15Jul/16
I give up, no really, I'm done

I Just Give Up!

Some things that help me when I feel like giving up

I give up, no really, I'm done

I give up, no really… I’m done!

We all have times in our lives when we feel like giving up. And for some reason it seems like the older we get the more life piles on our plate. Sometimes it just gets to be too much to bear and we feel like giving up. Recently I have had a bunch of things happen in my life and it really does seem like it is all too much. And I started doing the “why me” and “what did I do to deserve this” thing. How do I go on from here? How do I move forward? I remember my mom saying many times that she just wanted to run away. I never understood why she said that..I do now.

So this morning when I woke up I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and look at what was really going on. I resolved to have a different way of looking at my life and all that was happening around me. I have chosen to not let my circumstances define me any longer or how I was going to react to the situations affecting my life. Because really that is all we can do sometimes. We can’t change what is happening but we can change the way “we” react to it.

When life keeps handing us lemons, do we make lemonade out of them or just let them sit there and rot? I decided to make some lemonade. I know, it is so cliche but it really works. Here are some of the things I came up with to keep moving forward and not give up.

“Never, never, never give up” ~ Winston Churchill

  1. Help someone else who is going through hard time. Volunteer or join a group working for the good of your town. It truly makes you feel better to take the focus off yourself and put it on someone else.
  2. Turn off social media. It doesn’t do us any good when we are feeling sorry for ourselves to see all the ranting and raving going on in the world. Some one is going to say something that makes you feel even worse. So take the day off. Unplug!
  3. Smile – I have heard this so many times, but it really does work. force it if you need to but do it!
  4.  Laugh…watch a funny old movie or call someone that always makes you laugh. Laughter is always the best medicine.
  5. Do something just for the fun of it. You remember that right? We used to have fun. Think of what you once enjoyed doing and do it again.
  6. Exercise. I know you don’t think this would make you feel better but it really does. It boosts your mood by releasing endorphins. And it makes you feel good just because you did it. Admit it, you feel good about yourself when you exercise.
  7. Spend time with happy people. People that lift you up and bring you JOY! If you can’t spend time with them at least talk to them on the phone, through email or a text.
  8. Get outside and enjoy nature. Go for a walk. Look around at the trees and the the plants growing. Really look at them. Hike to the top of a mountain and scream as loud as you can(make sure no one else is around first).
  9. Spend time with little children. If you have small kids of your own or grandchildren they are the best thing to perk you up. They always look at life a little differently and make us see the good in the world.
  10. And finally, believe there is good in the world and search it out. If you can’t find any that day, then be the good yourself!

These are just some ways I try to beat the blahs and come out on the other side. Shopping is another thing I love to do and it always makes me happy, especially if I find a bargain. And living in the present moment helps, it is really all we have. When we live in the future we are fearful and don’t know what it will bring. When we live in the past, it is sometimes too painful or we wish for happier times with someone who isn’t with us anymore. We have to learn not to beat ourselves up when we feel down and are at the point of giving up. No one ever feels happy all the time. There are some people that always seem to have this smile plastered on their face and I wonder what is really going on there.

We all have times when we just want to sit in our pajamas all day, eat ice cream, watch sad movies and cry.(I may or may not have done this a time or two). But we just can’t let it become a habit. Don’t hide away from everyone and everything that could make you happy again. Let people help, you never know who will be the one that steps up and makes your day. But people can’t help unless you let them know you need them. People are always amazing me… in good ways and bad. But more often than not, it is good.

I have to tell you, I didn’t even feel like writing today. Last night I was supposed to write my weekly post and I just didn’t have it in me. I asked myself, what can I write about? I felt like I had nothing left in me that I wanted to share. So I just went to bed. Then I woke up today determined to not let all I am going through define me and my life. I decided to write about how I was feeling because that is what I do. I share my feelings in my writing and I feel so much JOY when I hit the publish button. So that is what I did. Thank you for always being here to listen and for telling me how much my writing affects you. Find the good!

As always I leave you with a question and a quote.

Do you ever feel like giving up? What do you do to keep going?

“I am going to keep having fun every day I have left, because there is no other way of life. You just have to decide whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore.” ~ Randy Pausch  (I love this quote!)

 

07Jul/16
fear...

What Are You Afraid Of?

My Top Ten Biggest Fears…

fear...

fear…

If we are honest with ourselves, we all have a fear of something. When I was a child I didn’t have many because I knew my parents were there to protect me. As I grew older my fears changed along with my age. As a teenager my biggest fear was how I would get to the local dance joint and then how I would get home afterward. Oh, to be young and that is the only thing you have to fear. Life seemed so simple then and most of our fears at the time were simple as well.

As we age the fears are bigger and many of them can’t just be brushed aside. They are too real. We are getting older. We have lost people we cared about. We all are facing our fears every day and the best we can do is to try and enjoy our lives every single day and not have any regrets when we take our last breath. Ok, I don’t want to get too mauldlin, so lets get to it, below are my top ten fears…

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” ~ Marianne Williamson

  1. Not having done everything on my bucket list. I have so many things I want to do yet in my life and I hope I have the time to do them all. I really need to start ticking more of them off the list. I have a lot left to do.
  2. I fear my hearing will get so bad I won’t be able to hear the sound of my kids and grandkids laughter. I know I would survive not being able to hear. I have problems already that cause me to miss many things people say. My hope is that I don’t lose my hearing totally and can’t hear the sound of laughter. There is nothing like that sound, especially when someone you love is the one laughing.
  3. Living too long and being a burden on my kids. I have seen this happen time and time again and don’t want it to happen to me. I want to be able to make my own decisions on my life and not have to rely on my kids to make them.
  4. I worry I will get dementia like my mother. I try to keep my brain active and constantly do new things. I am hoping that this will help. I saw what she went through and I don’t want my kids to see me go through that. I always wondered if she was really still in there and was trying very hard to tell us she was. It makes me sad to think that was the case. I always tried to let her know I understood how she felt.
  5. My fear I will die alone. I am not afraid of dying. I just hope I am not alone. As we age we lose so many friends and family members. It seems like at least once a week or more someone I know dies. I have already lost my immediate family.. my parents and my sister. So my wish is that I will continue to have the people I love around me as long as I’m here.
  6. Another huge fear of mine is that I will run out of money. What happens if I live till I’m 90, Will I have enough money? Will Social Security run out? Will I have to get a job when I am 80? It’s a very real concern.
  7. I fear I will never fall in love again. I really like being single. In fact I love it. I truly enjoy my independence and being able to do what I want, when I want. But I loved falling in love. The excitement of a new love is one of the all time great experiences in life. I fear I will never feel that way again.
  8. Losing my ability to drive. If I want to go somewhere I don’t want to have to rely on someone else to take me. I want to drive myself(my daughter would beg to differ, because she drives us a LOT, but I know I can if I want to) I think this is one of the biggest fears of most aging adults. And one of the hardest things for us to give up.
  9. Not being able to live in my own home. This home doesn’t have to be my present home, but I want it to be MY home. It could be an assisted living place of residence. I really would like it to be my own home. I know my mother didn’t want to leave her home but she had dementia and we were constantly worried about her safety. She told us constantly she wanted to be in her own home. And now I understand that.
  10. And finally I fear that the monster that resides under my bed will really truly eat my leg off once and for all if I forget and allow my leg to hang over the side of the bed. (I had to lighten things up a bit)

I don’t dwell on these fears but sometimes as I start to fall asleep they do creep into my mind. I know I am extremely blessed with good health, a loving family and many wonderful friends. I know people my age that have many of these fears and others. Some people fear losing their looks or their once slim body. I gave up on worrying about that quite a while ago. I exercise and try to take care of myself. But I can’t be worried about what I used to look like and why I don’t anymore.

Life goes by so fast. We shouldn’t spend our days being fearful. Yes, we do need to acknowledge our fears, we can’t just ignore them. But then we must try to move past the fear and find joy in every single day. Our fears are going to be there, but maybe  we can learn how to keep them from sabotaging our happiness.

What are your biggest fears?

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

01Jul/16
My Grandparents 50th anniversary

I’m Not My Mother’s Grandmother…

I’m not even “my” grandmother…

My Grandparents 50th anniversary

My grandparents 50th anniversary

My Grandma is in the middle of the picture above and she is basically the same age as I am right now. Seriously…I know times have changed but I can’t believe looking at this picture that she is the same age as me.

Are we, the Baby Boomers really looking and acting younger than our grandparents or is it just our imagination? Why did they seem so old back then? And why do we seem so much younger now? When I was growing up I can’t remember my grandparents, any of them, ever running and playing ball with us or hiking up a mountain in the summer heat. They did things with us but it was things like baking and reading and watching tv. I do remember Grandpa G telling some awesome stories about his days on the railroad. And I remember my Grandpa F taking me on some very long walks down to the park in their neighborhood.

As for they way they dressed or acted I can’t imagine what they would say if they could see us now. They acted “old”. When we visited with them and they were talking to my parents or other adults I couldn’t relate to anything they were talking about. Most of the time if we were even in the room during these conversations we were told to leave, that they were having an adult conversation, and for us to go play with the other kids. My grandchildren and I do lots of fun things when we are together and we have some great conversations on all kinds of topics, even politics. During one of these conversations they told me, “you sure don’t act or look like a grandma.” I’m hoping that is a compliment. You never know with them, but I’m going to take it as one.

 me...

me…same age as Grandma above

What’s changed? What’s different these days? Why did they seem so old and we look so much younger?  I think we take better care of ourselves now. We exercise. I never saw my grandparents exercise…ever. My oldest grandson and I have plank tournaments…who can hold one the longest. I beat him. The last time I asked if he wanted to have one he said no. When I asked him why he said because you will just beat me again. I am up to a two and a half minute plank. Could you see your grandparents doing a plank? I sure can’t.

Fashion has certainly changed along with the years. These days there are no rules about what you can or can’t wear as a “grandparent”. Thank goodness! My Grandma always wore a dress…always. And usually she had an apron on over it. She was almost always in the kitchen whipping up something wonderful for us kids to eat. My Dad’s mom did if I recall wear a pants suit now and then. I know I was shocked to see this and I’m sure it shocked her friends and neighbors. I remember when she moved to Florida I actually saw her in shorts. Unheard of in those days…she was such a trendsetter.

“Love is the greatest gift one generation can leave another.” ~ Richard Garnett

I often wonder when I look at their photos if I styled my hair the way they did, let it go grey( it may or may not be grey since I haven’t seen my real hair color in years) and wore the same dress if maybe I would look that way too. However it wouldn’t change who I am. I would still be the Grammie hiking up the trails and running around playing ball and jumping on the trampoline with my grands. I can’t even imagine seeing either of my grandmas jumping on a trampoline…just the thought of Grandma in her dress and oh, yes, her nylons — rolled at the knee–and the big thick shoes, which she never took off(I actually thought she wore them to bed) jumping on the trampoline cracks me up.

We are a different generation of grandparent. We are on Facebook and Instagram. We Tweet and Stumble and Tumble. We have lots of interests and hobbies. I have a blog. My grandson told me he was proud of me for starting this blog. It truly warmed my heart to have him say that to me. And that is one thing that doesn’t change from one generation to the next. We want our grandchildren to be proud of us. We want them to remember us when we aren’t here anymore. It doesn’t matter what we look like or how we dress, what matters is what they have learned from us, the times we shared and how they felt when we were together.

What do you remember about your grandparents? What do you hope your grandchildren will remember about you?

“Grandparents are a delightful blend of laughter, caring deeds, wonderful stories and love.” ~ Unknown

24Jun/16
Yay for 1st...

Do You Remember Your First Time?

10 firsts you may remember fondly — or not so fondly

Yay for 1st...

Yay for 1st…

Over the course of our lives we all have many firsts…some good, some bad and some we remember the rest of our lives.

Here is a list of my top ten firsts:

    1. First Friend – Mine was my friend Sue from first grade. We stayed friends for a very long time until we somehow lost touch. We did reconnect but sadly she has passed away now. I had many neighborhood friends growing up and we played from first thing in the morning until dark every day. I miss those kids and I miss those times. I also had great friends in high school and have recently reconnected with them which has been the most amazing thing ever. Then there were the special friends that I met through jobs I had. There is nothing better than friends that “get” you. But you always remember your first friend.
    2. First time you shaved – for girls it was our legs and I guess boys/young men their face. I remember it being such a big deal. My Mom would not let me do it. Every time I asked, she would tell me not yet. I was embarrassed around my friends who were already shaving theirs and also a bit envious. Somehow a simple thing like shaving your legs was a very “huge” thing to a teenager. When I finally was allowed to do it I cut my leg so bad right on the shin bone that I have a scar there until this very day.
    3. First time you drove a car – I couldn’t wait to get my permit and take my test and have my drivers license. I took my test in Dad’s brand new Chevy Nova. I think it made me feel so empowered to be behind the wheel and be doing something on my own at the young age of 16. I loved that car so much and when Dad finally decided to get a new one he gave me the Nova. I was in heaven.
    4. First job – My first job was at a local department store downtown in the cosmetics department. I was 16 and worked I think 4 hours a week. I was making 50 cents an hour if that, but it sure did make me feel good to get that pay check. I have had many jobs in my life but I don’t think any compare to that first one.
    5. First time traveling out of your city or state – I remember going to the beach in Atlantic City, NJ when I was very young. My parents took me every year and it felt like it took forever to get there from PA where I lived. As a child, everything in our young lives was more extreme. Sitting in the car waiting to reach the beach and the fun seemed like an eternity. But it was definitely worth the wait and so exciting. Especially the very first time we went.
    6. First time you bought something with your own money – I remember this one like it was yesterday. I wanted a pair of Capezio shoes. My Mom wouldn’t let me have them because they were too expensive. She finally said if I could get the money I could have a pair. So I babysat and earned the money to pay for them. Best money I ever spent and on my favorite pair of shoes that I ever owned.
    7. First place of your own – Whether the first place you had was an apartment or a house, it really didn’t matter, it was yours. There is something about having your own place that truly makes you feel like an adult. Its your place, no one is going to walk in unless you want them to be there. You can dance in the nude to your favorite songs and play the music as loud as you want. Disclaimer: I may or may not have done this at one time.
    8. First kiss – I had my very first kiss in first grade. His name was Richard, he was my “boyfriend” from 1st thru 5th grade. The very first kiss is different from all the others. I was young and innocent and it was very sweet. My first real “grownup” kiss was by mistake, at least on my part. I had practiced kissing the mirror for months and thought I was ready but didn’t have a boyfriend at the time. An older neighborhood boy, he was maybe 3 years older than me, offered to take me home from school, for some reason unknown to me at the time he made a detour and took me on a back road. I was confused and asked him why we were there and he said for this. He then planted a big kiss on my lips. I was surprised, excited and scared all at the same time. He told me I was a good kisser. I asked him to take me home immediately and never road in the car alone with him again. After that I did secretly feel like I was ready to really kiss someone I cared about and didn’t worry that I wouldn’t be doing it wrong anymore. So there was that. The first kiss with my boyfriend who would become my husband was truly the best one of all. When you kiss someone you love for the first time, it is really the “first” kiss. And no mater what happens after that, it is the one you remember.
    9. Which brings me to this one, First love – is the love of the boy in 1st grade any different than the love of the boy who would become the father of my children? I don’t know. I have had several men who I have loved in my life and each one was special in their own way and I remember each one of the times I first fell in love with them. It may be different for me also since I am not with any of them now. They are etched in my heart and memories and I love them all. I love them, the person they were when we fell in love.
    10. And finally this one. Sex – My first time was in the back seat of my boyfriend’s — eventual husband’s father’s 1950 Plymouth. It was not something I really wanted to do at that time, but I kept getting the “if you really loved me” thing. And so I caved. It was of course, less than wonderful and I thought to myself, “this is what all the fuss is about?” I didn’t think I wanted to do THAT again. But of course once you do, there is no going back. At least in my case.

Doing something for the “first time” fills us with a sense of empowerment and an equal excitement. Holding your newborn child in your arms for the first time, seeing one of your kids graduate from college and watching your first grandchild being born are some others that have brought me these same feelings of excitement and joy. I have had a few new “first times” lately and I am definitely planning on a few more. In my opinion, you are never to old to have a “first time.”  I leave you as always with a question and a quote.

When was the last time you had a “first time?” Or tell me what your favorite “first time” was.

“There’s a first time for everything.” ~ Greg Owen

 

 

16Jun/16
Love

Are We All Too Busy?

Can we all stop for a minute and maybe just listen…

Love is the answer...

Love is the answer…

 

Love is the answer but what is the question? The question is, why are we all so busy rushing here and there and “doing” that we don’t take time to just “be”? And all this rushing around we’re doing makes us cranky and stressed out and so we just tune everything and everyone out.

We don’t take time to stop and smile at people anymore. If you happen to pass someone while walking on the street or in the grocery store and catch their eye(if for some reason they aren’t looking down at their phone) and smile, 9 times out of 10 they won’t smile back and they look the other way or they look at you like you are crazy. Heaven forbid if you say hello. They quite possibly may call the cops. “There is a crazy woman walking through town today and….she just said “hello” to me.”

I think everyone is just so focused on the next moment or getting to where they need to be that they lose track of what truly matters in life. People matter and if we were more kind to each other, stopped rushing and actually talked to each other, then maybe just maybe we would all be better for it.

“Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for.” ~ Unknown

A few things happened lately that caused me to stop and think about this. In the course of a week I had two encounters that literally forced me to look at my life and also look at the way I treat others. I myself until recently was one of the people that were always rushing here and there, so I know of what I speak. I was out walking one day a few weeks ago and happened to glance down and see some beautiful flowers in pots on the porch of a house down the street from mine. They were really pretty flowers and I stopped for a minute to look closer when a small white haired woman walked out from the side of the house. I quickly told her I was admiring her flowers. I didn’t want her to think I was going to steal them or something. She looked a little leery at first and then her face changed and she just beamed.

And so my walk was delayed for about 45 minutes while she told me all about her life. She told me that her husband had just recently passed and that she lived in the house for 62 years. She loves gardening and does it as often as she can but her daughter-in-law helps her now. She showed me around the back yard to see her garden there too. She was quite proud of her flowers and wanted me to see them and also wanted to tell me all about her life. Her name was Dotty and she invited me to stop by more often and have a cup of tea with her. I felt good as I left her, and I was also filled with the thought that I was supposed to meet her, that maybe she just really needed someone to talk to at that moment. And I was that one.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~ Plato

Then last week while shopping with my daughter we passed an older woman in an aisle we were in and we both remarked after passing her, how much we loved her top. It had mermaids on it and it was just beautiful. I had regretted not saying something to her and was a little mad at myself. A little while later I ran into her again in another aisle and didn’t want to miss my chance again, so I looked right at her and told her that my daughter and I were just saying how much we loved her blouse. She was taken aback for a minute and then lightly blushed and said thank you so much. She said you don’t know how much I needed that. As she spoke I knew she must have lived recently or grew up in Paris. I absolutely love a French accent and since going there is on my bucket list I wanted to chat with her awhile longer just to hear her voice.

As we stood there staring at each other she almost looked like she was going to cry and then began telling me her story. Her husband of 40 years had just left her because he just didn’t have anything in common with her anymore and of course there is another woman involved and also of course she is younger and more beautiful. I told her she was very beautiful and that she would survive this and go on to see this was all meant to be. She asked me if I was sure that would happen and I told her I was since I had gone through the same thing. She said she felt unimportant and dowdy(her words). I told her I thought she was beautiful and intelligent and that her husband was an ass. She laughed then and we talked about many other things. We had quite a long conversation.

My daughter finally found me in the aisle with this beautiful woman and I wanted to introduce her. I asked the woman what her name was and she said Colette. I said are you from France and she said yes. And then went on to say she had just the past week returned from burying her Mother there. That is when her “ass” of a husband decided to tell her he no longer thought she had any worth to him. She asked our names and I said Renee and my daughter said Michelle. She laughed and said we were destined to meet. I gave her a hug and we went on our way. I think all of us were better for the conversation we had that day in the middle of an aisle in a store.

“Everyone has a story that will stop your heart.” ~ Claudia Shear

So my message to you is, listen to your heart, stop and talk to that person you walk by every day. Smile at the neighbor you have never spoken to in the seven years you lived in your house. Say hello to the grocery store clerk and ask them how their day is going. They all may have a story to tell. Sharing their story could truly make their day and it could make your day a whole lot better just by the simple act of listening. So I will leave you as always with a question and another quote.

Have you ever had this happen? Would you stop to chat with a total stranger and stay to listen to their story?

“Ask people how they’re doing, how’s life? Everyone has a story and you may be the one they want to tell it to.” ~ Unknown

 

 

10Jun/16
My "fix"

The Ocean Fixes Me

I have seen quotes that “the ocean fixes everything”, all I know is it sure fixes me..

My "fix"

My “fix”…

Spending time at the beach brings me so much joy. It is really my happy place and I love nothing more in life than sitting on a beach relaxing and reading a book. But it also has a way of “fixing” me.

I have had a bit of stress in my life recently and while I know things always have a way of working out sometimes it just gets overwhelming. I get so mad at myself for not being able to just rise above it all and move on but it truly seems harder and harder to do that. I think when we are young we think we are invincible and that we have all the time in the world. We expect good things to happen and they do. As we age we are dealing with so many things we didn’t know we would be facing at this point in our lives so it just makes it a little harder to keep coming back time and time again. I am not one to feel sorry for myself and I always look at the glass as half full but sometimes it is hard to do that. So then on top of not coping with things the way I should, I feel guilty for feeling the way I do.

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always our self we find in the sea.” ~ E.E.Cummings

Spending time at the beach last week reaffirmed just how much the ocean brings me back and soothes my soul. I have always loved the beach ever since my parents took me to Atlantic City, NJ when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. And I have never missed a single year since that very first time. I need that ocean fix, I crave it and can always tell when it is time for me to go again. I just need to sit on a beach somewhere and just “be”.

Why does the ocean make me feel this way? What is it that comes over me and takes me out of myself, fills me with a sense of calm and gets me ready to face the world again? I have never figured it out. I am a fire sign, so it makes sense that the ocean would cool me down and soothe the fire so to speak. I don’t know how or why, I just know it does.

Having just left the quiet, quaint beach town of Chincoteague, VA. I am once again reminded of how much I enjoy the peace and calmness of that kind of place. What a difference from years ago when I had to have the glitz, glamour, stores and bars to enjoy the beach. I craved all the excitement. I loved going to the beach during the day, and even then felt the connection but afterwards I wanted to hang out in all the loud music, filled to the max with people places. No more. The beach and all it has to offer me is quite enough.

Even the sunsets are better

Even the sunsets are better there…

I don’t think I am imagining how much of an effect the ocean has on me. I can sit on the beach for hours just watching wave after wave crashing to the shore. I can be quite happy watching sea gulls flying around and maybe seeing an occasional dolphin swimming by. All of that is awesome and I enjoy seeing it, but it is the calmness and feeling of total peace that keeps bringing me back again and again. I feel like I am somehow cleansed and released from all the stresses and things that were bothering me at home. I can almost(yes, almost) forget them and feel like I am me again. The young me that believed that anything was possible and that everything would be ok. I never used to doubt that. But now it gets harder and harder to believe these things I once knew to be true.

Lately, I have had a few set backs trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I love fashion and jewelry and love being a part of that industry. I am not one to just sit and not do anything. Yes, I am retired, and I love it..but I’m not dead. I love people and being around them. However in the period of a year I have been laid off by one company, the second one dropped my hours to zero and the third one is closing the end of July. It is frustrating at my age to start over so many times. And to have the company you really loved working for to just close. I have started over so many times in my life I have lost count. And what was easy and fun to do at 30 isn’t as easy and sure isn’t fun when you are in your 60’s. So as I sat on the beach last week I pondered all of this. Then I silently asked, “what’s next?” As I looked straight ahead the clouds in front of me formed a little “U”. I guess I got my answer.

the little "u" in the clouds...

the little “u” in the clouds…(look straight in the middle, it’s very small)

On the way home in the car I was feeling an increasing sense of dread that I was leaving my happy place and would be returning to reality. The stressful things will all still be there and I will have to deal with them again. So I wondered, if I lived at the beach would all these stresses magically just go away or would I still have the same ones I do now but I could walk on the beach every day and sort them out. I plan on being at the beach as much as I can to find out. And it’s way cheaper than therapy!

And so in closing I once again leave you with a question and a quote…Would you live at the beach if you could?

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or watch – we are going back from whence we came.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

02Jun/16
Cyndi Lauper and Boy George

I Remember Every Lyric To Songs From 50 Years Ago…

But I can’t remember what I had for breakfast today.

Cyndi Lauper and Boy George

Cyndi Lauper and Boy George

Seriously, why can I remember every single word to a song from over 50 years ago, but not remember why I came in the dining room?

I went to a concert last night. Cyndi Lauper and Boy George. It was an amazing night of music and brought back a ton of memories from the 80’s. It was fantastic. But my favorite part of the night and the one I am writing about today is when Cyndi sang a song from my teenage years.

It was a great night to be at a concert, there was a cool breeze going and the music was amazing. I was having a great time! All of the sudden Cyndi starts a song that I couldn’t believe she was singing. Unbelievable, I recognized it from the first three cords. It was a song from 1962. “The End of the World” by Skeeter Davis. I was immediately taken back to my 13 year old broken hearted angst ridden days as a teenager as I sang along with Cyndi. I was truly was close to tears as I belted out every single word.

“The End of the World” ~ Skeeter Davis, Written by Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee

“Why does the sun go on shining
Why does the sea rush to shore
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
‘Cause you don’t love me any more

 

Why do the birds go on singing
Why do the stars glow above
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when I lost your love

I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why everything’s the same as it was
I can’t understand, no, I can’t understand
How life goes on the way it does

Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye

Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye”

As I was singing along with the song I was thinking to myself, “how do I remember this”…It was over 50 years ago I heard this song and yet I knew each and every word like it was yesterday and I was playing my 45 on my little record player in my bedroom. I played that record until I wore the thing out and had to go buy another one. But really, how do we remember songs from back when we were teenagers and we can’t remember why we walked into a room? We stand there wondering why we’re there until we walk back out and suddenly it comes to you why you went in there in the first place.

Why do these words come so easily after so many years? Is it a  because a memory is attached? Not always. I have read studies where dementia patients respond to music from their youth and it may even help them regain some of their clarity. It triggers some lost part of the brain. So is that what happens when we hear a song from our younger days? We are triggering some lost part of our brain or are we triggering some lost part of our youth?

Music has always been important to me and I think it just stays in there until something “triggers” that memory. Case in point, when we hear a line from a song and can’t get the darn song out of our heads all day. And just how many of you can not remember what letter comes next in the alphabet until you sing the “Alphabet Song?”

Maybe it’s just repetition that makes us remember. I certainly played that record enough times. Or maybe it really is a memory of a lost love, a place or just a simpler time. We have so much going on in today’s world that is confusing and hard to understand. But music is simple and takes us to places that comforts us and soothes our soul.

“Music is what feelings sound like.” ~ Unknown

Perhaps the schools should start singing math to the students, I’m sure it would work better than some of the ways they are trying to teach it these days. I guess us old folks should make up songs about our grocery lists, daily chores and bills to be paid so we don’t forget these things. Do you think it would help? Ok, sorry but I just got a picture of myself going down the grocery aisle singing, “milk and coffee, toilet paper and tea.” Not too sure I’ll be doing that.

So I don’t have the answer as to why we remember these songs and we can’t remember what we need to get through the day. I don’t know, I’m just glad I do.

I leave you as usual with a question and a quote. Do you remember the lyrics to old songs? What was the last one you remembered and sang along to?

“Someone once asked me: Why do you love music so much? I replied: Because it’s the only thing that stays when everything and everyone is gone.” ~Unknown

 

 

26May/16
is this your house?

Do You Know Who This House Belongs To?

Because it’s falling apart and no one cares….

is this your house?

is this your house?

I wonder who lived here. I wonder where they are now. Was it a big family? Were they happy? Did they have meals all together at the kitchen table every night? Did they sit out on the wonderful balcony and have late afternoon tea? Did the kids run around outside and play in the yard? What did this magnificent old place look like when it was in it’s full grandeur?

Who knows the answer to these questions? Does anyone? I see so many of these empty, abandoned houses in my travels and every time it makes me stop and think about who lived there and what happened to them. A family once lived in that house. They were most likely happy and had kids and pets and lived a wonderful life. They celebrated birthdays and holidays together with their whole family. They loved their house. And they loved each other too. At least that is what I tell myself.

It used to be you would see one or two of these abandoned houses along the rode. But now you see them everywhere. One right after another. Why? Why is there so many? What happened to the family that lived there and didn’t they have any family members left to take it over before it fell into such disrepair? It didn’t look like that when it was abandoned. It was a beautiful home. Yes, maybe it needed a few repairs but it didn’t deserve to be left to ruin.

“It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.” ~ Unknown

There is one such house on a route I take quite frequently. I always noticed it and it struck a cord with me because there was always something going on in the house or in the yard. It really stuck out due to all the people there and also because it seemed the family was so happy and joyful. They always had picnics and parties out in the yard and numerous kids were running around playing. It was so nice to see this.Then one day I drove by and the house seemed empty. After driving by there a few more times my suspicions were confirmed. They were gone. What happened? How could a happy family like this all of the sudden be gone? And with all the people in the family, not one of them wanted the house.

Now granted, I know times are tough and there have been so many foreclosures in the country but are all of these empty houses a victim of the times or something else entirely? Do the people who owned them die and there is no one around to take over the house? No one to sell it? And then to make matters worse, they never get torn down, they just sit there and get covered by weeds and fall apart. It is, in my opinion, one of the saddest things.

I don’t know why it bothers me so much but it does. I think about these houses and think of all the happy times spent inside those walls that are now falling apart. I can envision the Christmas tree in the window and little kids dressed up in their costumes knocking on the front door at Halloween. The owners and their kids quickly coming to greet them with an apple or a bag of candy made by the lady of the house. I see the kids rooms full of their prized possessions. Their stuffed animals and games. What happened to their things? Was everything just left inside to rot along with the house?

“Home is a place you grew up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” ~ John Ed Pearce

I see so many vintage items and pictures at antique stores when I go there and I think the same thing about the items. These pictures were once hanging on the wall in a family’s home. This light was on a table beside a child’s bed. A family once ate their meals off of this beautiful set of dishes. The old toys especially the cars and dolls really get to me. I can picture the little curly haired girl playing with her beloved doll while her brother played with his cars on the floor. So many memories, now just sitting there waiting.

We are told these are all just things and they don’t matter, it is what we keep in the heart that really matters. The house sitting in disrepair. The old photos still in their original frames. The beautiful vintage desk that once sat in the parlor. Yes, they are just things, but they belonged to someone. Someone who loved them and someone that was loved.

I leave you as always with a question and a quote. What do “you” think when you see these abandoned houses sitting along the rode? Do you even think about them at all? Is it just me?

“Home is the nicest word there is.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

 

 

19May/16
Listen to me kid..

Hey, I Still Know Stuff…

I may be getting older but I still know a little something

Listen to me kid..

Listen to me kid..

Do all the young whippersnappers around you make you feel old or like you don’t know anything? Do you sometimes feel left out of conversations at dinners or a party because of your age? Do you feel you are totally dismissed, like you couldn’t possibly have a clue at “your age” of anything remotely relevant to the subject. Or worse, when you do finally have a chance to comment, you get the “eye roll.”

There have been several occasions lately where I felt this way. Maybe it was just me and the way I was feeling at the time or could it be I took the comments the wrong way, but it seems like this happens all too frequently these days. I have heard some of my friends talking about this and have seen comments on social media where the “older generation” is made fun of or mocked because how could they possibly know about anything current or interesting. I personally have felt it in a store and on the phone with a company I was dealing with.

It is all a little disconcerting to be treated in this way. To hear comments such as, “well that was then and this is now,” or “yes, I know they did it like that back in your day, but this is the way we do it in today’s world.” They may as well throw in “you old geezer” when saying these things because you know it is what they are thinking. It makes me angry to be treated like I don’t know anything or that I am incompetent because I am a certain age, it is the same way I felt when I was growing up and was treated at times like I couldn’t possibly know anything because I was a girl.

We should never be too quick to judge people on what they know just by looking at them. Nor should a whole generation be judged by their age. My generation, The Baby Boomers have gone through so many times and eras of change and revolution. We changed the world back then and we are changing it now. We have been through and seen so much and come out on the other side and in doing so we may have just gained a tiny bit of knowledge that we can pass along in today’s much different world.

“Age is not how old you are, but how many years of fun you’ve had.” -Matt Maldre

Our generation did not have all the electronics that we have today. We didn’t have computers or even calculators. So we had to learn all of this later in life. Kids today from the moment they are born are electronically connected and they know how to do things we are just learning to do. I have taught myself how to do most things by trial and error and believe me there were a lot of errors. But that is how you learn and continue to grow. I started this blog and had to learn so many things about how to get it out there for the world to even read it. I amazed myself at what I had a accomplished and that I did it all by myself. So I know a little about some stuff.

We should not be dismissed, we are still relevant. We know stuff. We know a little about a lot and we know a lot about a little. These wrinkles you mention mean I have been many places. These age spots you focus on mean I have lived and done things you will never do. These old eyes you look into have seen things…some wonderful and some I hope you will never see. When you look at us try to see what is really there. Try to see us as a whole person and see where we’ve come from and what we brought along with us. See us as having something valuable to offer. We may surprise you.

I remember growing up and listening to my grandfather for hours on end thinking he was the smartest man I ever knew. He had been through so much in his life and had so many wonderful stories and such valuable information to share that I just wanted to soak up everything he told me. I hung on his every word and loved listening to him.  And I don’t remember ever rolling my eyes during one of these conversations, not even once. Do the kids today even care about what we have to tell them? Do they want to hear our stories? I hope so.

So what do you think about this? Do you feel like the younger generation thinks we are no longer relevant? How do we change this? The bigger question is, should we even try?

We are relevant and we know stuff! Just ask us, we’ll tell you!

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~ C.S. Lewis

 

09May/16
This is what she looks like in my mind

My Child Is How Old??

How do I have a child that’s 50, when I am only 50 myself?

This is what she looks like in my mind

This is what she looks like in my mind…

So it happened this past weekend, my oldest(thank goodness) child turned 50! I really don’t know how this happened and where the time has gone. I just turned 50 myself. I remember it well, my kids had a wonderful 50th birthday surprise party for me. It was just last year, wasn’t it? It sure feels like it was. I remember the day Shelly was born and that a day afterward, it was Mother’s Day and I celebrated it in the hospital. But really, how did this happen?

This recent turn of events has caused me to do some thinking on how quickly time passes and how we don’t have endless days and years here on this earth. We need to do, say and be all that we want, when we want or miss the opportunity to do so. Our children grow up, our grandkids grow up and we can’t change that or stop time. There are days when I am with them and suddenly it hits me and I think to myself.. “right now, this moment, I would like to freeze this moment and stay in it forever.”

There are always times in your life which cause you to reflect. When the kids graduate from high school or college, when they marry, when they turn certain ages. But the age thing I think are always, at least for me, a time for reflecting the most. When they turned 16 was one of those times, then 21 and 30 and so on. But 50! Come on, I just can’t even.

Shelly in her much hated Danskin outfit

Shelly in her much hated Danskin outfit and the also much hated Poodle curtains behind her.(she was scared of them)

Remember when we were kids and it seemed like it took forever for our birthdays to roll around? Now I have one and it is no sooner over and there is another one coming so quickly I barely get the gifts put away from the first. Well I may have exaggerated a bit here but you get the gist of what I’m saying. Time flies by. My oldest grandson will be 14 this year and I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. In fact I think it was yesterday..

I remember my Mom telling me all of this and her acting all weepy sometimes about our gatherings for birthdays and holidays and how she wanted us all together. She wanted pictures and we all had to be there or we would suffer her endless reminders of how we didn’t show up for the much anticipated get together or event. I didn’t quite understand her angst then, but now “I get it.”

But back to the subject at hand…my child turning 50! Because this is what I am ranting about. I enjoyed my 50’s immensely. It was one of my better decades. My kids were all grown and living on their own(for the most part, occasionally one would drift back in for a time). I was in good shape physically and had a lot of stamina. I was even riding a bike for 20-30 miles at a time. I had a lot of fun those years as well. What happened to that person? I feel the same inside but the outside isn’t communicating to well with the inside. I remember those times vividly and fondly. So I hope the 50’s decade is a good one for my daughter, I hope she enjoys these years and remembers them with as much joy as I do.

My daughter is not just my daughter, she is also my friend. Being so close in age and having gone through all we went through to get this point in life has created a bond which I know will last forever. She is funny, smart, loving and a total music freak. Seriously, she absolutely loves music. One of the many things we share is that love of music and we go to a lot of concerts together. We love the beach and go as often as we can. We both love sitting on a beach where there is not a soul around us and just enjoy the view and sea air.  Sadly for us, most of the time on these empty beautiful beaches a family of ten comes by and pitches their tent right beside our chairs…Another thing we share is a love of shopping but that isn’t always a good thing. We are not good for each other as we encourage the other to buy. But we do have fun. We always have fun!

 

Shelly and I  in Outer Banks

Shelly and I in Outer Banks

And so I wish for her to have 50 more years to go to concerts and for me to be able to go with her. I can only hope!

I leave you as always with a question and a quote.

What are your thoughts on your children growing older, turning, 16, 21 or 50??

“The relationship between parents and children, but especially between mothers and daughters, is tremendously powerful, scarcely to be comprehended in any rational way.” – Joyce Carol Oates

and this one just for the fun of it…and because it made me laugh.
“Daughters are like flowers, they fill the world with beauty, and sometimes attract pests.”  ~Author Unknown