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Tag Archives: family
Rainy Day Tribute
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My mom was 9 when America entered World War Two. She watched as cousins, uncles, her first crush went off to war. She went with her parents to see the news reels and watched for familiar names in the rolls … Continue reading
November 2015 I almost didn’t write a letter this year. Like the city under this winter’s snow, I withdrew from the outside world by the end of March. The plight of our family problem had reached an apex and my … Continue reading
“God Never Gives You More Than You Can Handle” Yeah Right!
I have heard this line all my life. My life has challenged me with this premise constantly. However, this month with the snow piling up in Boston, and the events that have transpired over the last week have proven to … Continue reading
I am thankful for the letter “F”
I’m sitting watching skaters dance on Frog Pond this crisp fall day, remembering the days when my own childish laughter echoed through the bright days.
Closing my eyes I’m transported back to the past when the smells of leaves, apples and spices filled the air and the promise of snow was something exciting. I would sit under the dining room table next to the burning fire from the stove watching TV specials while mom turned out a banquet of treats both savory and sweet, in the three days leading up to thanksgiving.
The day itself could be summed up by the letter F:
Fun, Food, Friends, Family and Football.
Those memories have given me strength over this last year, which has been one of the most difficult in my adult life. It has made me look at this upcoming holiday season with a bittersweet anticipation. There is so much more difficulty ahead of my family, yet there is hope. Hope that sits in my soul that we can get back some of that laughter and excitement.
Reflecting on all that has transpired this year, I find that thanksgiving for me still equates to “F”. For every trial or opportunity that I have encountered it has been friends and family that have shown me support and the courage to go forward.
Every time I have wanted to retreat into my shell and stay there, a silver lining would surface allowing me to fight for the future.
For those of you who either participated or bore witness to this time, I have so much to thank you for:
Mary, you are so young and have a lot more learning to do, but on Barbie’s birthday you showed a clear headed calmness that was much needed.
To my family, thank you for rallying to my support when needed.
Billy I truly believe that the amputations will be a blessing in disguise for you, giving you more mobility, better health and a reason to fight for the future.
Mom and Dee spending time away from you has provided me with a clarity I wouldn’t have had, it has committed me to change with no going back.
To my friends, despite not being around much the few times I’ve reached out you have been there for me when I needed it. I’m not good at asking for help or sharing, but I’m learning and I am so very grateful to you.
To my new friends, welcome into my chaos. You are a true light shining in my weary world.
To the children in my life you keep me young and remind me of laughter on frosty fall days.
May all of you know the love and support I have had in this past year without the turmoil that precipitated it.
And may 2015 represent a new F… Living Fierce.
It’s 7:30 am here in the city. It’s strangely quiet for a Thursday. Or maybe my hearing is less acute from lack of sleep, I’m not sure.
Sugar is softly humming a pleasant sleepy snore; the turtles are lazy not quite sure if they want to wake; and the house is still dark silent. The birds and cars echo from beyond the walls, but no one else inside stirs.
I’ve been up all night arranging and scheduling the details of next week, lining up contacts and particulars on shoots, transportation and tickets. Markus is working on some time to get together and I’ve done all I can on my iPhone.
The next steps are my lists. Lists of what to bring, what to leave behind, info and contacts, as well as projects I know will go undone while I am gone.
And, the whole time I’ve been doing this, there has been a gnawing in my stomach. The feeling of being split. Do I follow what could be a huge opportunity for me and trust that Dee won’t fuck things up? I want to go. I need to go, yet I keep remembering my last trip to Germany and what awaited me on my return.
Can I trust her to have any strength, any resolve at all? Someone told me recently that she is clinging to me like a life preserver, desperate to keep this odd co-dependency in tact. But, what happens to me in the process? What happens to mom. The knots tighten in my stomach at the thought.
It is so strangely sad, this feeling of distrust, that I can’t be comfortable leaving mom alone with her now. I sit and wonder how things have spun so out of control and second guess my decision to go.
I wish I felt better about leaving, I wish the sister I knew so long ago was here. Or that mom was strong enough to deal with her if she melts down. Do wishes ever come true? I don’t know.
This feeling has thrown an ambivalent blanket over my excitement for this trip. Not even being asked to do my first solo album cover seems to give me a rush.
Maybe I will feel different on the plane. Maybe I will breathe if mom FaceTime’s me with an “all’s quiet.” Maybe then I can enjoy this….maybe.
Do wishes come true?
It is my choice…
I have many people who post platitudes on the laws of attraction on my social networking sites. Most are either thought provoking or innocuous. While I believe that the law of attraction and the secret are tools we can use to achieve goals, dreams and happiness. It is only one tool in our tool box. Another one in mine is a good sense of humor.
So when someone posted a Joel Osteen platitude “you can’t think positive if you surround yourself with negative thinkers,” I made a joke.
“So how do you get rid of your family?” This got the intended laugh from the original poster, but then someone else chimed in.
This poster wanted to complain about my little joke saying they didn’t understand why people keep family that they hate in their life and I was to get rid of them.
I thought that this was assuming a lot. Just because there are negative people in my family– Hell they make an art out of their negativity, doesn’t mean that I hate them.
Quite the contrary I love my family. They are my blood. That doesn’t mean that I don’t understand them or acknowledge their short comings and faults.
I also know and understand that we don’t change anyone, only how we react to them. So I am not trying to change my negative family. I live my life and if they can’t understand me that’s ok too.
My family is largely negative, true. They grew up in times where war and abuse were much more common and tolerated than today. They are reactive, fearing abandonment by those closest and being left alone and vulnerable for their remaining years. Yet they love. They want what’s best for us, even if they can’t see past their own fears. Does this mean I should throw them away? Why? What purpose would it serve? Do any of us really think that by chucking our families out we will never run into this negativity again? Talk about delusional.
So why this blog? Well this little interaction got me thinking. First I should tell you I’m not a big preacher follower, I don’t see them as the “Shepards” to my “flock”. I don’t believe my soul needs saving and I certainly can’t follow anyone who tells me to give up 2/3 of my worldly good while driving an escalade.
That doesn’t mean that they occasionally get me thinking. I have a vague recollection of Joel Osteen, but I don’t follow him and probably wouldn’t know him if I walked into him.
But, it his quote (or the one attributed to him) that I want to talk about.
Surrounding yourself with only positive thinkers is next to impossible. That would be like living in modern US and only ever interacting with a single ethnicity. We all interact with a variety of people everyday. Even the Amish deal with “outsiders”.
Additionally, the human condition focuses on the negatives. Look at our news. Look at how we learn, by mistakes. Last night what brought the community out of their homes and interacting in the streets? A block party? No. It was a massive fire.
Do we do things in advance because it’s the right thing to do? No. We usually learn through tragedy. Everything from the insufficient communications and life boats on the Titanic to the latest terrorist bombings and shootings (whether foreign or domestic) we learn when we become outraged over a catalytic event and that pushes us to action.
So I understand that negativity is preprogrammed in our make up. So, that would make thinking positive a matter of choice. Every time we are faced with some form of negativity, every time we hear “you can’t” or “I can’t”, we are being issued a challenge. Now sometimes these are done with the best of intentions: to keep us out of harms way for example.
But, we should always question why? Assess if the answers are valid and then determine if there is a better way of doing something. For example:
If someone says you can’t eat cheese. “Why?”
“Well you are lactose in tolerant.”
“Oh so I can have cheese if I take lactate or lactose free cheese?”
“Well yes but it’s fattening?”
“So, if I eat it in moderation and maintain a healthy BMI, then I can have cheese?”
“Well yes but it’s gross?”
“I think it’s gross?”
“No, the way they make it is gross?”
“Worse than yogurt?”
“Yogurt is good for us.”
“Worse than cottage cheese?”
“Thank you for your concern, but I think I will have a piece of cheese.”
“Do what you want, but ‘I’ wouldn’t eat that!”
“Ok waiter don’t put cheese on their fries.”
A silly example yes, but it highlights that it is our choice to have and do something we love. It is our choice to find positive solutions to challenges issued, and it’s our choice to pursue our passions despite those who would try to stop us.
They may react negatively to your choice out of fear, hatred, or a need to control things around them, yet that is their choice, not necessarily yours.
I had a friend ask me why I would go to a giant pillow fight. He thought it was strange and reacted very negatively to the idea. I simply asked him when he lost his child like sense of fun.
As kids we all participated in a pillow fight, we laughed and vented and had a good time. No one was malicious or intent on hurting each other. I never met someone who was hurt by a friendly pillow fight.
Yet it is the view if many that when you get beyond age 10 you must let go of these activities. Oddly enough it is these same folks that lament about their bodies getting old but the still feel young inside. Really? Even the elderly can participate in a gentle pillow fight? They choose to let themselves get old.
I liked the Golden Girls tv show because even though they were caricatures of average people, they showed that you are never too old to be silly, negative and positive folks can live and love together and in the end life is a choice.
So what is your choice?
A Note On Valentine’s Day
It’s Valentine’s Day season. You know the made up holiday to give us diabetes and make every single girl feel inferior if they aren’t being wooed and pursued every February 14th.
In recent generations, men have felt the pressure to be romantic on this day and then stow romance away for another year. Really? One day because the candy companies say you have to? Boys, that so wrong!
I have never been one for forced sentiment days. If a man wants to be with me, I expect that he will show me this on a regular basis, not just one day a year.
I do like lavishing attention on friends, family and lovers, but the time and place is at my discretion. Likewise, if my boyfriend pays attention to me the other 364 days of the year, Valentine’s day means nothing, but an excuse for sex. And, I’ve never needed an excuse, so this day has never been a pull-out-all-the-stops type of day for me. I have romance when I want it, sex when I want it, and alone time when I don’t. I pamper my lover on Valentine’s if I have one and myself if I don’t…actually I pamper myself whether or not I am in a relationship, he just gets to enjoy the attention too.
I remember friends and family on this day as well, because love comes in many different forms and everyone likes to know that they are loved.
Also, if a man hasn’t paid the right kind of attention to me, he probably won’t last to Valentine’s day and that’s fine with me. I never want to be tied to an emotional albatross. I’m much too good for that–no conceit here, I just won’t settle.
Some say this is why I never married, my standards are too high. But, really is that true? I don’t date and toss men away for superficial reasons. When a relationship ends I know I have given it my all and have closure. What more can you ask of me?
So what do I expect on this ooey-gooey holiday? Love. Warmth. Fun.
Wether your a romantic partner or friend/family, remember me on this day with hugs and kisses. Laugh with me, cry with me, act silly with me.
Make me smile. Make me glad you are in my life. And I will do the same for you in return.
Happy Valentine’s Day.