Saturday, October 17, 2015
Last spring my friend, Nina Ploetz, asked me to help edit her manuscript. It was a poem she had written for a little boy who had been bullied. I was so impressed with the content that I did not hesitate to say yes. The poem eventually turned into a wonderfully illustrated book titled, I am, I Can, I Will, A Jungle Dream. It is now available on Amazon.com For a couple of years I had been looking for an appropriate piece for our summer Writing Camp students to edit. My camp co-worker, B.J. Johnson, and I agreed that this was perfect. After obtaining permission from the author we presented the unedited manuscript to our students. Not only did they enjoy trying their hand at editing, they loved the message that the work offered and every single one of them related to the story. As a thank you to the author the students were asked to write a brief statement expressing their feelings. Miss Ploetz was so thrilled she included their feedback on the back cover of her now published book. In the words of our students: Neala P. Nina I like your book. It was kind of like me when I was little. I was teased and bullied. Ashton G. I loved this poem, it touched my heart. I loved it because the poem helped me think about me being me when I was little. Jhoana R. This poem was very touching. It tells you to accept who you are and accept your differences. This poem could be read by anyone. Joseph R. I liked this book. I think this book is good because I relate to this character, in certain ways. Colin S. I like this poem so much; it made me think that no one is different. To have their words on the back of a published book was exciting for the students, but they had one more surprise gift coming from my generous friend. They each received their very own signed copy of I Am, I Can, I Will, A Jungle Dream.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Over the years I know I have given my Creator plenty to laugh about. I didn't do it intentionally, that's just me. Whatever I have done it does not compare with the sense of humor that the Universe displays. I have been divorced from my husband of 27 years for 16 years. During that time he has been in the hospital more times than I can count due to the way he chooses to live his life. He is now on dialysis and his health pretty much sucks. To say I am grateful to have had the good sense to seek a divorce when I did is putting it mildly. I can look at his situation from a distance. I do remember the marriage vows we took back in 1972 and strangely the words "until death do you part" keep coming back to me. I am wondering why that is as I am no longer tied to a religion. Spirituality is now a much better fit. About 7 years ago my ex was admitted to our local hospital in really bad shape do to his drinking. A surgeon with a very good reputation gave him two days to live and strongly suggested the family be called. Our daughter lives here, but at that time our sons did not. One was married and living in Colorado and the other in Georgia. They got together and literally planned a funeral. They choose flowers at Hallmark, talked to the priest and the mortuary. They went out to dinner and waited. The funeral that was supposed to happen didn't and the patient lived. There is some humor there if one looks deep enough. Besides it did get all three siblings together, if only briefly. One would think that when someone comes that close to death he/she would give serious thought to changing their life style. That didn't happen either. Last Wednesday night he apparently reached a critical state and was flown to a hospital in Albuquerque. I really wasn't thinking that he probably would die this time, but come on you don't put a patient on a helicopter and fly him 100 miles away just to have something to do. I was told that the hospital released him last night (Friday). My reaction was, SERIOUSLY? There really is no end to this little story (yet), but I can't help seeing the humor.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
This is my very first post on my new computer. This is so cool! My old computer was probably 10 years old and it was a wonder it is still working. It reminds me of my microwave that my son replaced on my last birthday. I hate to admit it but I think that was at least 25 years old and still working. I wonder why I do that to myself. It isn't that I didn't have the money to update the items. Apparently I have convinced myself that I deserve to struggle rather than to have the best. With all the research I have done in recent years I should know by now that the things we think team up with like thoughts and create our reality. So if I don't think I deserve something better guess where that leads me? Part of not purchasing a new computer was fear of not being smart enough to operate the machine. I was not born in the electronic generation. The majority of my friends around my age wouldn't touch a computer with a ten foot pole. Not only do I use one I have published two books, two E-books, written two newspaper columns and produced numerous other projects using this modern day piece of machinery. So I guess my problem isn't what I can do, it is a failure to recognize what I can do. Here is to the next 10 years of trying something new. It will be interesting to see what I come up with. I'll keep you posted!
Saturday, October 3, 2015
For the last couple of days I have been thinking about friends and what it takes to be a good one. I have many friends, but only a handful of true friends. Out of curiosity I decided to check out a couple of online sites to see what professionals had to say on the subject. The first site was www.psychologytoday.com which produced a list of 13 traits they considered necessary to be a true friend. They were: trustworthy, honest, dependable, loyal, trust others, non judgmental, good listener, supportive in good times, supportive in bad times, self-confident, see humor in life and fun to be around. That’s a long list for anyone to follow all the time. The second site I checked into was www.thrivingfamily.com. Their list was a bit more reasonable listing only 6 traits. They are: trustworthiness, loyalty, compassion, authenticity, acceptance and good listener. I then decided to sit down with a pen and paper intending to come up with my own list. I had expected it to be rather long. Wrong! It only contained two traits for true friendship which are dependability and honesty. I believe my muse took over at this point and stopped me from writing anything else. Focusing on the words dependability and honesty I began making a mental list of people who have proved to be true friends over time. They absolutely all fit! I can always depend on them if I truly need help or advice and even if we disagree about something we allow each other to express our side of the debate. In recent years I have had the experience of surviving a relationship with a soul who I am certain is as close to a spiritual partner as anyone could ever be. Some people might call that a soulmate, but I am just going to leave it at Universal partner. Even though this person and I had a special kind of relationship it never could have evolved to a true friendship. Why you may ask? He simply did not meet my personal criteria of dependability and honesty. Today I believe the purpose of this relationship was to provide a mirror for one or both of us to gain better vision of where our lives were going. Even though to this day the experience still causes tears I am grateful to have survived and hopefully learned from the many lessons it offered.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
A therapist told me many years ago that the answer to that question should be #1. It doesn’t matter if you are married, have children or are single. One is always the correct answer no matter what. That has always been a very hard concept for me. I pretty much spent 40 years of my life putting everyone else’s needs before mine. When the time came, about 15 years ago, that I decided to change directions I was accused of being narcissistic. The funny thing is that the person who made that statement is the most self centered individual that I know. Whoever said that life is a mirror got that right! I admit that there were times in my past life when I helped others because I wanted them to like/love me. What a messed up reason that was. I no longer buy attention. People can either see by my actions that I am basically a giving person or not. If they don’t, it could be that their mirrors need cleaning. It’s sad that it has taken me over 70 years to realize that accepting full ownership of the fact that I am number one is nothing to feel guilty about. I am in competition with no one.