Sunday, January 10, 2021

What do you need to be happy?

 The new year has certainly starting with a bang. But I am focusing on my new word - explore. I starting reading an old book I've had for years - Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach (1995). Each day there is a short reading. Some just give you pause for thought, some ask you to do something. Yesterday the question was, What do you really need to be happy? Not want, need. A pretty deep question.


The first thing that came into my mind was the basic needs. Food, shelter, love. Yes we do need those things to survive and for those things I am truly grateful. But beyond that. What do I need to be happy? I wrote what came to mind as I wrote, but it's certainly a question that deserves more thought.

Today the reading was recognizing even the little things every day. Life is short and we never know when we'll be moving on. The author used the movie Our Town as an example of how we take things for granted. The heroine dies in child birth and begs to come back for just one day. In that day she realizes all the amazing things in every day that are wonderous and how we are so busy with unnecessary peripherals, we miss it. 

“Let's really look at one another!...It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. I didn't realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed... Wait! One more look. Good-bye , Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover's Corners....Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking....and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths....and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth,you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every,every minute? (Emily)”
― Thornton Wilder, Our Town

What is it that you need to be happy? How many magic moments have past you by as mundane? I'll let you know if I ever find the answer for myself and hope you take the time to ponder your own answers. 

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Word for 2021

 On New Year's Eve in 2019, I reflected on my word (Dream) and thought about where I wanted to go in 2020. I spent the year 2019 dreaming - and boy did I dream. So many things I want to do. So the appropriate word for 2020 seemed to be motivation. I needed motivation to make those dreams happen. 

Here's how I started 2020

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Winter Solstice

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice at 2:02 a.m. PST. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year. The solstice occurs when one the Earth's pole's maximum tilt is away from the sun. For the Northern Hemisphere, this happens in December and in the southern hemisphere it occurs in June. So for the U.S. (where I live), the winter solstice occurs in the wee hours of tomorrow morning.

 It is the first day of Winter. And to add to the excitement, tomorrow at sunset the "Christmas Star" will be visible!

Thursday, December 3, 2020


 Every year, thanks to my friend Terri, I choose a word to focus on for the year. Then, as the year comes to a close, I focus on how that word impacted my life. Well, last year I chose Motivation. Motivation - the reason we have for behaving in a particular way or a willingness to get something done.

When I chose that word, I thought it would spur me into fulfilling directions - making dreams happen. But that isn't what happened.

The end of December my husband got really sick. As we moved into January things got worse, and continued to get worse. And then covid struck. The world as we knew it was turned upside down and inside out. As I think about all the events, the word that comes to mind is purge.

I purged my house. We took loads upon loads of boxes to the local thrift store.

I purged my yard. We finally tackled the ominous task of getting rid of English ivy and bamboo. A job I thought would be far simpler than it was.

I purged relationships. As tensions rose with the uncertainty, who we are showed itself. I lost friend who stabbed me in the back - I stepped away from a long term, toxic friendship - a relationship with no respect for differences and no interest in understanding.

And it hurt deeply. One I chose to move on from, others decided to move away from me. It's hard to understand why some people would rather be someone different to your face than when you are around. It makes me wonder what their "motivation" is.

Purging means getting rid of things that are unclean or undesirable. It means to purify or clear. So 2020 was really not motivation, it was purge. But purge taught me about my own motivation.

Why do I procrastinate? I know something needs to be done, but I find excuses not to do them. Why do I pursue those friendships that closed on me? Why do I want so desperately to stay friends with someone who's motivation is clearly self-serving?

That's when I started thinking about motivation. What is my motivation. I want my home to be inviting, but I don't know how to give myself permission to rest - So I try to do it all at once and burn out. Procrastinate. Why do I pursue friendships that have clearly ended? I want to be liked. I want people to understand me.

And so I am thinking about my word for 2021. So much has changed this last year. I think 2021 will be a year of rediscovery. A year of redirection. A year of transformation and balance. A year of harmony.


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Childhood Cancer

 Childhood cancer has to be the most horrible thing to have to endure. There have been several children in my life that have been afflicted and their families have had to deal with so many different and difficult things. The thought that their child might die. The skyrocketing costs of medical treatment. The feeling of isolation in coping. And in this lonely year of covid, all those things are multiplied. 

More than 70% of children with cancer survive, but the toll on the family can be devastating. Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance is an organization that is dedicated to supporting families dealing all the confusing facets of the journey. 

On this Tuesday, the annual day of giving, I am asking anyone who can to donate $5 to help support these families. It is one very small way we can help. We've set up a donation event on Facebook and invite you to stop by - Candle Lighters for Children with Cancer Fundraiser on our page. 

Please let me thank you in advance - on behalf of all the families that have been helped by this amazing organization. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

As We Wait

 I imagine you, like most of the country and me, are watching the news intently waiting to see who the next president will be. And I'm worried about how people will behave.

 President Trump has encourage his followers to be aggressive and intimidating. And it continues. The crowds that have gathered around polling places with weapons accusing the ballot counters of cheating for Biden. The president sits in his resident tweeting falsehoods to spur the unrest and a winner hasn't even been called yet! But the fact is, whoever wins, it is the voice of the people. That's why we vote. Isn't that what Trump supporters said when he won four years ago? And he didn't even have the the popular vote! 

And nothing is happening here that has not happened in the past. It was speculated all along that he would lose and contest it. His son stood outside the polls and stated, "they are stealing the election from us". I think they think to highly of themselves to think that the US government would go to such extremes and violate it's own laws and values to "steal" an election. 

Mail in voting is not fraught with abuse. In Oregon we have been voting exclusively by mail for twenty years. There have been 38 convictions for voter fraud out of more than 60 MILLION ballots. 

But Trumps rhetoric has put his followers into a fury and are blaming the process and calling it a trick by the "dems". He said "the fraud and abuse will be an embarrassment to our country". Trump tweeted "STOP THE COUNTING" to which the Italian Prime Minister tweeted back, "IT'S CALLED DEMOCRACY". Who is the embarrassment?

The only thing different with this year's election is the volume of mail in ballots due to the pandemic that continues to kill hundreds of Americans every day. Another bone of contention to so many. 

It's time for us all to come together and start thinking about each other, not just ourselves. It's time to realize the mask doesn't infringe on your civil liberties any more than wearing a seat belt or bike helmet does. It's time to remember the person you might be exposing is someone's grandmother or your own parents or sisters or brothers. 

It's time to let go of the nonsensical conspiracy theories and start treating each other like ONE nation! 

Come on America - we're better than this!

Note: Respectful comments are welcome. Any disrespect towards either party will be deleted. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

I Challenge you to Entertain

 I am saddened and confused at how some people place politics above relationships. Their actions say, If you don't believe like me, then you're an idiot and I can't be kind or respect you. 

I recently saw the end to a fifty year friendship over politics. And it makes me sad, but also somewhat relieved. Let me give you some background - see if maybe you can relate.