Monday, August 01, 2016

Critical thinking or just hitting 'like'?

I was unfriended recently because, I'm pretty sure, I wrote a comment on a  friend's Facebook timeline that respectfully challenged the source of a political story. I was very careful not to be inflammatory or tromp heavily on that person's cherished convictions.

My reason for even commenting was because I thought the post/link, about election fraud, sounded a little too much like propaganda rather than being factually based. When I investigated the organization that issued the 'study,' and read comments, and followed links, it began to look like one either backed by the Trump people or the Bernie people to discredit Hillary and the Democratic National Committee. While it purported to be a non-partisan organization run by a group of non-partisan lawyers, journalists, analysts, etc., there were no names attached to it at all on their website, and the DNC and Hillary appeared to be the only ones investigated and targeted -- nothing at all about the Republican election and voter registration fraud that has been widely publicized in the last decade or so.

My comment pretty much said that. I questioned the assertion that it was a 'non-partisan' organization.

Clearly it was not welcome. And equally clearly, I was no longer welcome in that person's life.

I thought about it all day and why it upset me, other than losing a friendship that while not a close one was a pleasant one with someone I thought highly of.

And I figured it out: it is the lack of evidence of any critical thinking -- and it doesn't just extend to this particular post and 'study,' but to all such social media posts that claim a candidate or organization did/said/stole/lied in some very authoritative and absolutist language with very little supporting evidence cited when you actually read the story. Often the 'study' is reported by a site that is widely known to have a left or right or special interest bias.

I'd venture to say that many -- if not most -- Facebook users hit "Like" or "Share" based on the incendiary headline without even READING the whole article!

How many actually research it and look for sources, reputable sources, with a truly non-partisan point of view, sources which actually strive to present both sides of the story instead of wildly slanting whatever thin strands of 'evidence' might be there? Anyone? Even a little bit?

Well, I do. I was raised to think, to ask questions (conversations around our dinner table were often quite lively). As a journalist, I was trained to provide both points of view in a story, or else label the story as editorial, not as news. As an English major, I was expected to learn critical literary analysis. As a liberal arts major, I was required to sample different philosophies and disciplines, and taught how to examine them and draw my own conclusions based on evidence provided.

Is that even taught in our schools anymore?  Are we giving our children data and expecting nothing more out of them than to regurgitate it on tests? Do we have discussions about politics or religion or social issues within our groups of family and friends without rancorous judgment and angry disagreement? Does anyone remember how to disagree respectfully?

I think not, at least based on what I am reading and seeing on social media and in the news and newspapers.

And yes, I do watch the news, I do read newspapers and blogs and magazines. I have heard many of those who post on Facebook claim that they 'never' watch the news -- too biased -- but rely instead on Facebook groups to get the 'real' story.


These groups are not unbiased. They present a particular point of view. If you don't balance it out by also reading groups who present a different viewpoint, you are not getting 'the real story.'

No one likes having a dearly held belief challenged, political or religious or social. But if you respond by refusing to consider any other evidence, if you continue to wear blinders and steadfastly forge ahead without considering what else may be waiting just outside your narrow tunnel vision, you risk losing much, much more.

 I'm sorry that I lost a friend over politics. I'm sorry that this person didn't value our relationship enough to just block my posts but keep me as a friend -- as I have done over the last two elections with some of my friends and relatives.

But I am not sorry for speaking up -- although I pretty much have decided that for this election, I am simply going to vote my convictions rather than ballyhoo them on Facebook, hard as it may be. You may hold me accountable to that.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Women! Are you really going to stand for this?

Donald Trump said out loud and very publicly this week what the Republicans have pussy-footed around saying (through enacting and proposing and supporting anti-reproductive rights legislation) for years:

    Women who have abortions should be punished.

and while he may not have said it in these exact words, what he meant was:

    Women should not be allowed to determine what medical procedures are performed or medications prescribed when it comes to their reproductive systems.

     Women's lives are not important when a  fertilized egg is growing in a uterus. That group of cells takes priority over any medical, emotional, or spiritual needs of the woman.

    If women think they can get away with acting in their own best interests on anything relating to reproductive rights, they better think again, because WE WILL COME AFTER THEM. 

It's been all over the news, and many groups (including some of the Repubs) have responded in shock and dismay.

But all you have to do is to look at the state of reproductive health legislation in this country to know that Trump has just voiced exactly what the majority of our Republican legislators (both federal and state), and not just a few Democrats, alas, really think.

That's what Trump has done throughout his bombastic and unprecedented presidential campaign on many topics, not just this one, actually. He has openly voiced what is not politically correct or acceptable to say. (And I am NOT defending him on this.)  The maybe-not-quite-voiced conclusions? Women (and minorities, Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants) should NOT be treated equally. They are not worthy, they are not as good as (white Christian) men, they do not deserve equal pay for equal work, they cannot and should not be allowed to determine what happens to their own bodies. But we support women, they say the bedroom, the kitchen, the nursery, the classroom, as nurses and caretakers...not in the executive offices, as decision makers, as innovators, as doctors or lawyers....

But Trump and all the other presidential campaign candidates and associated events are not the real subject of this particular blog post.

THIS is:
What I do not understand (and haven't, really, for years) is WHY the women of this country are allowing Trump and the lawmakers who believe and say these things about women's reproductive rights to get away with it?

WHY are you not protesting and actively campaigning to defeat candidates who would take away this very personal, very basic right of an individual to determine her own medical treatment and options?

WHY are you silent when state after state after state limits access to safe and effective and LEGAL access to birth control and wellness checkups and medication and mammogram screenings and reproductive cancer screenings, and yes, abortion?

WHY do you believe that a group of mostly men, mostly older, should determine how, if, and when you receive medical care and medications as it relates to your reproductive organs?

WHY on earth would you believe that ANYone, ANY organization, ANY group, ANY law, has the RIGHT to tell you what you can and cannot do about your body?

I remember when effective birth control was not readily available. I remember when abortion was not legal and thousands of women were helped by an underground network of clergy, doctors, lawyers, and others to receive what we all hoped would be safe abortions. I remember women who died from illegal, botched, kitchen table procedures, who were rendered sterile or maimed because of desperate do-it-yourself coat hanger and knitting needle attempts.

I supported and worked for safe and legal abortion, for access to birth control and reproductive counseling and medical tests and wellness procedures. Planned Parenthood was a godsend for millions of women then, and continues -- even though it has been so hobbled by the untruths and vicious lies that have been spread this last year -- to do so now. I lobbied on Capital Hill and in the Missouri legislature. I wrote letters and gave interviews and marched in picket lines and parades. I was then and continue to be PRO-CHOICE, even though my reproductive days are long over.

So where are you, Millennials and Generation X and Generation Z? 

What are you doing to ensure that these rights stay legal and accessible?

What are you going to do when our presidential candidates tell you that women who have abortions should be punished?

Do you not understand that your access to safe and legal abortion is under attack -- and is dwindling?

Do you not understand that your access to safe and effective birth control is under attack...and being curtailed?

Do you not understand that your right to make medical decisions for yourself is already limited and is likely to be even more so?

How can you not care?


Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana
Read more at:
 “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~ George Santayana in The Life of Reason, 1905.

“People are always quick to call evil what they do not know. The unknown sprouts fear. It spreads like an infection, burrowing into every facet of their lives. They need a scapegoat, someone to blame. Fingers are pointed, accusations are made, and a target lands on somebody’s back. They grow angry. They turn violent.
To history, human nature must be a stubborn and tiring student. No matter how many times history tries to show it the error of its ways, it never learns from its mistakes.”
Kelseyleigh Reber, If I Resist

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana
Read more at:
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana
Read more at:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A note to my United States Postal Carrier

Dear Thin Lady with the Hoodie who stands at our subdivision mailboxes peering intently at the letters in your hand:

Please go find another job.
This is not working for us. It can't be working very well for you, either, based on the conversation I had with our postmaster one day last week, and a mail supervisor the day before. And honestly, I'm working up to another conversation with the postmaster about the quality of our mail delivery service.  (I learned also that mine was among MANY complaints received in recent weeks, so this is not new.)

I know the current carriers are training you so that they can have a little time off from their current six-day-a-week delivery schedule. I talked to your aunt. She was not helpful. She said, "I'm doing the best I can."

It isn't enough.

You actually have a handbook that describes in detail the requirements of your job as a rural postal carrier. There is a lot to learn and a great deal of reporting accountability, and I can certainly see where aspects of the job are difficult to remember.

But when you get it all together, your job is to deliver the correct mail to the address on the package/envelope, and not put it in someone else's box. You are not doing that very well. If you are dyslexic, then find a job that doesn't require you to read numbers and letters with complete accuracy.  It isn't this one.

Twice in the last two weeks, I have had packages placed in others' mailboxes (and I'm wondering now about things expected over the last few months but never received). You had no way of knowing what was inside: it could have been a priceless heirloom, a birthday gift, prescription medication, a freebie giveaway. IT DOESN'T MATTER what was inside: your job is to deliver the mail to the address. You failed to do that.

In one case, my neighbor/friend called to tell me about it, and I retrieved the package from him. In the other, it was left in someone's box who I don't know well, and it was retrieved by a Postal Service supervisor who came out to the subdivision boxes after I went to the post office to find out what to do, since the package sender had called to make sure I'd received it and was able to track it as having been placed in the parcel locker. The supervisor opened the main panel of the mailboxes and searched through all the individual slots until he found my package which, despite having been delivered the previous day, was thankfully still in the individual's locker box.

I'd really like to believe that the person in whose box it was placed would have notified me or returned it to the Post Office or left it in the box with a note that said "Misdelivered." That's what I would do.  But what if they didn't? What if it was medication that they could steal or sell? Or financial account information that could be used for identify theft? A check that could be cashed? Government documents that could jeopardize a person's medical or legal benefits? Are we going to find stacks of mail behind a dumpster that you just didn't have time to delivery properly? Yikes.
YOU are liable and responsible, missy, just as much as the person who receives mail not intended for them.

You have a solemn and clear responsibility to deliver the mail only to the person to whom it is addressed, and you did not do that. I'm now waiting on a report from my doctor who told me it was mailed last week, and then again on Tuesday. Not here yet. We'll see if it comes tomorrow. (And of course I will check with the doctor before I head for the Post Office.)

Mail delivery is not just a job, it is a trust, a contract, between the sender and the carrier to get it to where it needs to go. I have great respect for the US Postal Service for doing an immense job correctly most of the time, and I am amazed that it goes as well as it does. But you're a weak link here, and it sounds as though you've had adequate time to learn the process. Please find something else to do, for both our sakes. Because I won't stop complaining until it's right.

No excuses

Not really. My intentions to post daily with the Reverb 15 prompts were totally positive. But stuff happens, and intentions sometimes are put aside for other things.

So some three months later, and here I am again, thank you, God/dess.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

It's Reverb time again -- 2015: Day 1

For some years now I have participated in a writing prompt titled Reverb. It's a look back at the year that is ending and an intention for the coming year. It is always insightful.

You are invited to participate, if you'd like, by going here to sign up.  Even if all you to is to reflect on the day's prompt, it can be beneficial, but you also can post links to your blog in the daily linkys for others to read. 

So onto the first prompt: 

 “Maybe lists are like prayers.”

What sorts of lists do you have on the go at the moment?

What do they suggest you are praying for?

I am a list-maker; always have been. I write stuff down -- grocery lists, things to do, ideas, packing lists, things to remember, menus or baking projects for holidays and parties. Even if I don't write it down, there is always an agenda in my head, a list, of things I want to do each day and pretty much the order in which I intend to complete the tasks. I wake up with lists. I go to bed with lists. 

Mostly they are a sort of shorthand, however -- not the minute-by-minute to-do lists that my daughter has taken to doing so that she doesn't forget things. I write brief words, or abbreviations like 'ct fd' on my calendar, meaning "Pick up the bag of cat food at the vet's office."  I use my calendar as a list too  -- things I need to do each day or each week, events I want to remember like "RF, LM c/TG" meaning that we are going to a play with our friends and then to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. 

Right now I have lists for Christmas in my head -- nothing on paper yet or virtually unless you count Amazon wish lists. Gifts for others that must be purchased and sent; cookies I intend to bake; what I'm fixing for a couple of gatherings we have scheduled; holiday items I need to get for next year when they go on sale after Christmas. A list of to-dos: write holiday letter, sort through papers on my desk; get out the Christmas card holder; make sure meds are ordered through January; pick up cat food. That sort of trivia.

If my prayers are reflected in my lists, they would all be gratitude prayers for so many blessings: thank you that I feel well enough to go to the play and to a restaurant and to an event -- that I am not in afib and not hurting anywhere and have energy. Thank you that we are blessed with enough money to purchase gifts, food, shelter, medication, and pay bills and have reliable, safe vehicles, and yes, to buy enough cat food to keep our boys and girls healthy and well.  

Thank you that we can begin planning to attend a very special party in February. Thank you for friends to have lunch with, to go to events with, to send cards to. Thank you for my wonderful, devoted husband who is still recovering from extensive sinus surgery and needs an extra trip to see the doctor that requires a last-minute overnight stay. Thank you that I still have a memory and enough intelligence left to even be able to write things down and remember what they are!  Thank you that I am alive! That I am here!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Haters gonna hate....I guess

For those of you who do not want to read my take on a political issue, stop now. Don't bother to comment. 

Along with millions of others, I have watched and celebrated the decisions this week handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States. It's not that either of them directly affect me now; it's that they do impact my friends and family, along with so many millions who have worked so long and so hard to make them happen, who have prayed for them to happen, whose lives are changed for the good because they happened.

But this post is not directly about either decision.

It's about seeing that a Facebook friend 'liked' a post by someone else that piqued my curiosity enough for me to go read the post.

The accompanying picture showed the White House illuminated by rainbow lights -- an image that was all over social media. But this original poster had written about how disturbing the picture was -- not because of the ruling, but because of the "fucking clown who lives here" and who "feels it's his right to involve himself in your life...." The post ended by saying that Americans are slaves and sheep to the media and the lies "the pompous ass who lives in this house dictates."    

Whoa, Nellie.

So....President Obama is responsible for the marriage equality ruling? Huh? Because of his lies and fabrications? Because he wants to control our lives? 

We learn early in school -- well, at least I did -- that our government has three branches in order to act as checks and balances for the others. We learn how they function. And we learn that the Supreme Court's  job is to make sure our state and federal laws and our President's actions are within the boundaries set by the Constitution. (There is more basic info here...)

The President had nothing to do with the Court's decision(s). Under our Constitution and our laws, he could not assume that power. The Congress didn't either. Nor did the media, folks. 

The Court decided the way they did based on the Constitution and how the case that was argued before them is interpreted through Constitutional law. Nothing else. 

This post was clearly from someone who hates our President. HATES him fiercely and irrationally and vengefully. And while all our Presidents have had their haters (I was no fan of George W. Bush, believe me), President Obama has been the subject of more vitriolic venom and vengeful action than ever before (or, as in the recent Congress, INaction, deliberately and for no other reason than the Republican Congress HATED that Obama was in the White House and made a pact not to pass any Democratic bills).

The primary basis for this hatred is race. You know it; I know it; they know it. It just KILLS them to see a black family in the White House, a black man as the leader of our United States. Any other reason given is way secondary to this fact. It's just not acceptable to publicly hate on a black man in power because of his color; especially not when he is our duly elected President (by a MAJORITY of the voters, by the way). So the haters always find another way to justify their diatribes and hate speech, even when Obama had nothing to do with the reason the haters state -- like this Supreme Court ruling, for instance. It's his race, people. His black skin. That's the real reason.

In truth, however, President Obama has been an extremely influential leader (despite the Republicans in Congress). Most remarkable is that he actually managed to get a national healthcare bill passed -- a feat attempted by leaders of both parties since 1912. But there is a lot more on his star chart. Read the article.

(I have absolutely NO doubt that if Hillary Clinton becomes the next President of the United States that she will be the next target for extreme hatred and vilification by the conservative camps. And that, friends, will be because of her sex: a woman? In the White House? As the Commander in Chief? Leader of the free world? A WOMAN?)

So yes, this post disturbed me a lot. The fact that someone I know 'liked' what the poster wrote disturbs me too. It's worth pointing out that both the original poster and the person I know have many inspirational and motivational posts on their public pages -- comments that urge people to keep going, to stay positive, to be who you are and embrace life, among others. To write or approve of something so full of hate and contempt (on so many levels, from the full text in the original post) seems to belie their good words of hope and encouragement and acceptance. I'm not sure you can do both and actually live what you purport to believe. 

There is a popular quote by Janis Ian making its way around social media: "We don't have to agree on anything to be kind to one another." 

Maybe that doesn't extend to politics, to Supreme Court decisions, or Democrat-Republican, liberal or conservative differences and opinions. Or religion, especially when one religion sees itself as the only right way and everybody else is wrong, no question, no arguments. Or social justice issues, where everyone is equal but some are a little more equal than others, especially if you have money, are male, and are white. 

But I think it does. 

*** Do not make the mistake of thinking that I am a Pollyanna who never sees the ugly side of anything. Do not think for one moment that I do not know what it is to lobby and fight hard for issues I believe in, or to be bitterly disappointed in the actions and inactions of others, especially politicians, but also corporate management. Do not label me as a do-gooder, knee-jerk liberal Yankee Democrat who doesn't know what the "real" world is like. And especially do not dismiss my incredibly good research skills, my ability to write an impactful letter or testimony or opinion piece, and my Scorpio nature. All while being kind, of course....


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April Moon 15, Day 3

The prompt: Giving birth doesn't have to be literal. So far in my life I have birthed...

...A lot of pretty good marketing ideas and advertisements for both non-profit and public sector organizations, and a whole bunch of them for a couple of corporations.
...Various reinventions of my life depending on where I was, where I wanted to go, and/or what was necessary at the time -- like coming to California 18 years ago
...Two daughters, neither of whom came from my womb, but who grew in my heart.
...A nice portfolio of newspaper and magazine clips of stories about people, places, events, and more -- starting many decades ago. I no longer write 500-word ledes, by the way.
...Ideas, advice, friendships, relationships. It's a growth process, never a completed journey.
...Myself. Learning to be who I am, one day at a time, and figuring that out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Moon 15, Day 2

The prompt: Knowing what I know now, I would tell my ten-years-ago self:

Ten years ago I was 57. It was 2005, and we were full-on into our real estate career, busy, active, working hard.

My mother was slipping bit by bit, too many miles away from me. I was on the Arts Council and very busy with that volunteer work. We were about to launch a new photo club which would meet with nine people in our great room on that first meeting, and which, ten years later, has morphed into something a bit different than our original ideas, but is still going strong.

I'd come a long way, however, and really was well-launched on a good path for me. But there are a few things.....

Today I would tell that person who was me then to let it go. The people-pleasing. The fear. The resentment. The anger. The only thing all of that angst will change is ME, and not necessarily for the better. It will not change the people, places, or things at which the fear and anger are directed.

I would gift myself with Mary Oliver's miracle-working poem "The Journey" and memorize it. And I'd read more Mary Oliver poems.

I would remind myself that the most important thing about life are friends and family -- and honestly, I was already very aware of that in 2005, but still too trusting, too ready to accept people as honest and true. People are often not what they seem to be, even dear, close, loved ones. That is a bitter, bitter pill to swallow and process. Lack of trust, deception, lies, and fear are devastating.

I would pull that back in myself, me who had always given too much and carried too many others along, trying to fix it all for them. I wish I had known -- and understood -- then:
You strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do,
determined to save
the only life you could save.
From "The Journey", in Dream Work (1986)

I would give myself permission to have more fun, to be more spontaneous (something I still don't do enough of), to enjoy things.

I would be grateful for each day for my health, although I was already working to keep it good.

I would remind myself that I am strong and capable and that I can weather some terrible disappointments and griefs, and still be loving and kind.

And I would tell myself to be kinder: to myself, to my family and friends, to clerks, to telephone callers, to random people I see on the street. Judgement serves little purpose: kindness does.

April Moon, Day 1

"That's when I knew that this chapter of my life had ended. And now I was free to.."

That's the first writing prompt for the marvelous 2015 April Moon series from wild wonderful writing woman Kat McNally, she of Reverb and August Moon.

It's a little different this year, she explains. It's a story-starter, really. I'm a bit late in beginning this one, but it'll work no matter when I begin or end!

While I can think of several chapter endings, at least a few of them are not appropriate for a public forum such as this (although they're great stories). But let me tell you about the end of my freelance career....

It was January 2010 and we'd been to see one of the traveling Broadway-style shows that Redding regularly featured at their Civic Center -- "The Wedding Singer." Actually, we hadn't subscribed to the series for a few years since Tony was working in Chico at that time, and the plays were always on week nights, which made for a very long day of driving for him. These were gifted to us by friends who couldn't go.

After the performance, we headed, hand-in-hand, back to the truck in the parking lot. It was dark and the lot was dimly lit. As we got to the back of the truck, we parted -- Tony to the driver's side, me to the passenger's. There was not a light near the truck, so I was walking mostly in the dark. I came past the tailgate and headed down the side of the truck.

"AHHHHHHHHH," I yelled as my toe struck the concrete parking curb stop which was partially hidden under the truck bed. There was nothing to grab. I flew sideways and landed on my outstretched right hand, then my hip and body followed.

I crashed onto the blacktop and just lay there for a minute. A couple of people from nearby cars came hurrying up to help; Tony came around the end of the truck, and they tried to help me sit up.

I knew my wrist was broken. It was in an unnatural s-curve, although it didn't hurt. "It's broken," I said, holding it close to my chest. "Maybe not," said Tony, as he helped me stand, along with two other men, and then together they boosted me into the truck since there was no way I could grab onto the strap to pull myself in.

I thanked the others and we headed for the Mercy Hospital ER. I had the presence of mind to take off my rings since my hand hadn't begun to swell yet, and also directed Tony to the hospital.

They took me back immediately and it wasn't long before they shot me up with painkillers and an anti-nausea drug. X-rays showed several pieces of shattered bone. Long story short: It was splinted that night; a week later I had surgery and the wonderful orthopedist put it back together with many screws and a plate.

But even that night I knew I wasn't going to be writing stories anytime soon. It was my right hand. My note-taking hand. And there's no way I'm typing stories with just my left hand.It hurt, and I had no idea how long I'd be in a cast. Certainly I wasn't going to meet deadlines any time soon.

It was over, those freelance gigs. And I wasn't too upset about it, actually. I loved the interviewing, the getting to meet new people and find out their stories and how they got to where they are. But the deadlines? Meh. The stress of trying to tell their story accurately and yet still making it enticing in a mere 500-700 words? Very hard. I would sweat blood over the story and always ended up paring it down, hopefully not losing the essence as I chopped words. I would not miss that part.

The next day I called my editor to tell her I was out, but that I had a replacement in mind, a local friend who had no freelance experience but whose writing was clean, interesting, and sharp. They both agreed -- and my friend Melissa is still writing for them, five years later.

 I was ready to be done, apparently, and the Universe took a rather drastic way of letting me know that. I needed to get out of the way to allow Melissa her opportunity.

While I know I could have resumed freelancing once I'd healed, it never felt right again. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

#Reverb 15 -- March -- Decluttering

The prompt: Spring favorites | Cleaning out the closet, updating your beauty regime, tackling DIY projects.  What are your favorites this spring?

I swear that I am in a constant state of decluttering....closet twice a year when I switch from warm clothes to cool clothes, the office every time I sit down at my very messy desk, the kitchen when I open a messy drawer, the linen closet weekly when I put away clean, folded sheets. And don't get me started on the attic.

It just never quite seems to come together, though. There is always more to do. It is never finished.

The last few months have been interesting, though, in that through my reiki group and increasing passion for this healing modality, I have read more about astrological influences and energy involvement than I have ever studied. This past week, for instance, was a huge week with a new super moon, a solar eclipse, and the spring equinox. There were other astrological references that I only vaguely understand, but involving cycles and degrees, beginnings and endings.

I understand beginnings and endings. And the energy felt tumultuous, big, charged. It was a time for big change, a time to let go of things that no longer serve our best interests to make way for new things to come into our lives. It was a time for evaluating everything, including relationships and projects. And its effects continue through the next six months, so no, I didn't have to get everything done this week.

But I'm embracing this spiritual journey that reiki seems to have launched me into, planning to continue training with three days of level two training coming up, and opportunities for 'woo-woo' workshops appearing. I am appreciating the energy and wisdom that my little group of reiki students/practitioners offers, and learning so much.

Practically, I'm again cleaning out closets as I contemplate cool clothes (since our winter appears to be quite over), and discarding bits of paper, cosmetics, medicines, tubes, boxes, and the like that accumulate in drawers over time. I am finally throwing out three bags of fabric that I cut into pattern sections (along with the now outdated patterns) oh so many years ago, facing the truth that no, I will not ever sew them, and wouldn't wear them anymore anyway. More, more, more of this kind of cleaning out!

And more more more of the 'woo-woo' experiences that are resonating with my deepest self right now.

Monday, March 02, 2015

#Reverb15 -- February

Wuv, twue wuv...Love is strange | What characteristic or habit of yours is so odd, you'd be mortified if your partner ever discovered it? Alternatively, what makes you a total goober and your other half still loves you for it? If you're single, let your freak flag fly and tell us about what you're afraid might turn off a potential mate. 

Well, I'm a little late, by two days, to this prompt for February, and honestly, I'm not sure about it.

At this stage in my life, I'm pretty much What You See is What You Get....not about being 'mortified' if my partner discovered some habit or characteristic. Actually, I gave up that deceptive practice a long time ago.

And that's a GOOD thing.

Why hide a part of who you are from your partner? How does that make for open, honest communication if you share only what you think s/he would want to know about you? How would you feel if your partner withheld a part of him/herself from you because s/he was afraid you wouldn't love/like them anymore, or if you would be horrified at learning about a habit or characteristic? 

I don't much like surprises, especially surprises like those. I want to know all about the warts, the uglies, the nasties, the funkies. If I can't handle those details, then the relationship isn't one I should be in. And I hate even worse being blindsided -- I mean, don't YOU?

Seems to me that if you have a habit or characteristic that you think is so awful that you can't talk about it to someone who you claim to love and cherish that maybe you'd better both take a look at the habit AND think about why you're reluctant to 'fess up to your partner.

Do I have little habits and characteristics that are hinky? Yup. But he loves me. And he knows them all, as I know his. No secrets here. And that's a GOOD thing.

Monday, February 09, 2015

#Reverb 15 January -- my UNgoal

The Prompt: Ungoals | What are you so NOT doing this year? What's on your "I just can't care about that" list?

Well, I'd love to say that I am not going to have any more big medical issues this year, but that got blown to hell last week when we discovered that the sight in one eye -- my GOOD eye, vision-wise -- has deteriorated quite a bit. So I will be having an MRI to rule out brain tumors and strokes, and then we'll go from there. Meanwhile I am back on eye drops for the glaucoma. Not something you want to mess around with. My doctor is on top of it, though, and I'm grateful for that.

So instead I'm going to reiterate what I've been saying and mostly doing for the last couple of years: I am not spending time with people who I don't much like anyway, for whatever reasons, and I'm not doing things or participating in causes that I don't feel strongly, even passionately, about. I don't play games anymore with people. If you don't like what I am and what I believe, that's fine. We'll be done.

When you clean house, when you open the doors and declutter your house, literally or figuratively, it makes room for new, good things to come in and take root. I want more things like my wonderful reiki group, like our new drumming sessions. I want more gratitude and joy. I want to always see the glass as half-full.