Time Magazine’s Firsts
Because women are changing the world
Peace . . .
Time Magazine’s Firsts
Because women are changing the world
Peace . . .
Everything and everyone are temporary. Some things are temporary longer, but never permanent. The oldest thing you can think of will someday be as gone and forgotten as tomorrow’s Top 40. Is this too deep for a Sunday morning? I apologize. I’m in a melancholy mood.
How, you ask, is this woebegone thinking going to dig me out of the doldrums? When I mention my thoughts on this out loud, at least one person will eventually tell me I’m depressing. I understand. Life is art. Your perspective depends on where you are standing. Lack of permanence is comforting or unnerving depending on your perspective.
Abraham Lincoln, in an address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, once said,
“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”
Sometimes we control how long something will be temporary. We can take action; re-cut a bad haircut, remove a tattoo. We can take a break or even quit a job or relationship. I prefer not to stay in an unacceptable situation if it shows no sign of change. I left an employer over a decade ago, because I needed different hours. I asked if there was any way to change my shift, and they said no. It was a fine place to work, but it just didn’t fit my family needs. Several people mentioned how they should leave too, for various reasons, but mostly because they hated it there.
Upon handing in my two-week notice, a couple of managers approached me. They wanted me to stay. They would have offered me different hours. They would have trained me in different areas. They really had high hopes for me. Would I consider staying? “Sorry,” I said. “I already have another job.” Perhaps if they had known I was so very temporary, they have valued me more from the onset.
When I go back to that place, I still see a couple of those people who said they wanted to leave. If you wait for change to fall in your lap, you might have to wait a long time. After a while you forget you have a choice. Time flies when you’re having fun, but disappears forever when you’re not.
When things are really bad, I mean really bad, caring friends will ask, “Are you okay?” To which I reply, “I’m fine.” When they ask if I’m sure, I say, “What else am I going to be?” I suppose the obvious answer to that is “not fine.” But as long as I’m conscious and breathing, I make the choice to be fine. The rest is temporary.
In my car this morning, Alanis Morissette was singing through the stereo.
I’m broke but I’m happy
I’m poor but I’m kind
I’m short but I’m healthy, yeah
I’m high but I’m grounded
I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed
I’m lost but I’m hopeful baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything’s gonna be fine fine fine
She sings of the yin and yang of life. The fact that I gravitate toward the yang when the yin of life weighs me down is a healthy thing. I write. I walk. I get out of the house. I look for beauty in the world. I find beauty within myself. I know both light and dark are temporary, and find delight and grief in their brevity.
So, yeah. I’m a little introspective and quiet this morning. And a little melancholy.
And this too shall pass.
Peace . . .
There is a quilt draped across the back of my desk chair. It’s just a small lap quilt, the kind I remember from nursing homes. The fabrics are old-fashioned prints, woven from cotton. The simple squares are sewn together in random sequence. The layers are tied with yarn at the corners of the pieces. I don’t even know who made it.
It is, by all standards, a quilt of no distinction at all.
Given to the University of Minnesota by a quilting group, it was made to keep oncology patients warm. Diminishing weight and the treatments they endure leave cancer patients extremely cold all the time.
When I first saw the quilt, my father sat at the kitchen table, where all memories of my father lead. He wore a thin grey goose-down jacket. The stocking cap Mother knitted sat high on his head. The quilt lay across his lap and over his slippered feet.
The strong, firm man of my childhood was now frail, thin, and weak. His face produced a genuine smile that visually drained precious energy from his body. I noticed the quilt immediately.
“Where did you get this?”
I hugged him then walked over to do the same to my mother. She explained where he received the quilt, and we all agreed how very nice it was.
As the weeks progressed, my father was never without his quilt. And now, as I look at it these twenty-four years later, I imagine it wise and gentle. The threads woven in purpose. The pieces cut with precision. Love somehow supernaturally layered between patchwork and batting and backing.
For decades the quilt sat neatly folded on my bedroom shelves as a reminder of the care my father received during his last months from so many faceless angels. It is a steadfast message that we just never know when the good we do will affect the lives of others.
Recently I brought the quilt from its place on the shelf and rested it on the back of my chair. When the temperature dips down, as it can in Minnesota, the quilt comes out to lay across my lap and over my slippered feet. It reminds me, as I work diligently at my job, to do well. But more importantly, it reminds me how lucky I am to be in a position where I can do good.
― Minor Myers
Peace . . .
When I was a kid, we never buckled up. The cars were big, and the seats were hard and flat. If the driver took a sharp turn, we’d slide across the back seat until we pressed up against another passenger and flattened them to the door. Cloverleaf turns were the best because they went on forever, and you just couldn’t right yourself.
Sometimes life is like that. I’ve taken a big turn, and I’m giggling. It’s exciting and fun, but I’m pressed up against the side of the car and I can’t seem to right myself. In the chaos, my purse tipped over and all my belongings are strewn across the floor.
If you’re not a woman or don’t carry a purse, you have no idea what kind of catastrophe it is to have it empty on the floor of a car. There are cosmetics, credit cards, pills, scraps of paper, keys, and candy that will melt if lost and forgotten under the seat. This is how my life feels. It is an upside down purse on the bottom of a car, careening around a cloverleaf off of Interstate 94. And I’m smooshed against the window giggling so hard I’m in danger of peeing my pants.
I know you were wondering why I hadn’t posted in a while . . . You were, right?
The car is finally starting to come out of its turn and I’m thinking about how to put my purse back together without stepping on any of it first. I chose to write here, because it seems to clear my head. It’s some type of conscious meditation, connecting brain fibers, inducing deep breath. It feels familiar, like soil under bare feet.
I see that there are two ways to go with this. I can pick up the most important things first — the credit cards and pills — or toss the scraps of meaningless papers out the window.
No, I don’t litter in real life. This is all metaphorically speaking. Try to stay with me, here.
Isn’t there some saying about swallowing your biggest frog first? Yuck. It reminds me of a nightmare I once had. I’m going to pick up my credit cards and pills first, which will make the rest seem like tadpoles. Gross.
So here’s the plan. It’s not etched in stone, but the internet is close.
Another fun thing I remember about the old bench seats is a sharp turn followed by one in the other direction. I never knew if Mom or Dad did it just to hear us laugh, but sliding from one side of the car to the other was a thrill I will never forget.
One best left to memory, and not encountered in metaphor!
Nowadays we have seat belts, helmets, shin guards, face masks, and anti-lock brakes meant to
suck the fun out of everything keep us safe and extend our lives. When they come up with one for the sharp turns in life, let me know, will ya?
Peace . . .
‘It Is What It Is’ is an idiomatic phrase, indicating the immutable nature of an object or circumstance.
Urban Dictionary is more explicit.
Used often in the business world, this incredibly versatile phrase can be literally translated as “fuck it.”‘The client changed the deadline to today? Well, it is what it is.’
Kacey Musgraves sings,
“Maybe I love you,
Maybe I’m just kind of bored,
It is what it is
Till it ain’t,
I’d like to live just one day without hearing this hopeless statement. The expression is for those who give up; for those who don’t care. I hate it when this one creeps into my language. Upon hearing the words leave my lips, I flinch — a mechanical reaction to a thoughtless expression spoken in defeat.
Have we become so ineffective at engaging change in our lives or the lives of those around us that we throw up our hands at the first sign of adversity? Perhaps we have forgotten that mistakes are forgiven. How much easier it is to say that fate has intervened again. We accept no responsibility. We are not accountable. No fault, no foul. It is what it is.
Instead, ask yourself, “Is it really?”
I’m not saying you shouldn’t embrace a good old-fashioned depression now and then. The last thing I want when I’m feeling down is for someone to make me feel guilty about being sad. Get out a full box of Keelnex® and have at it! Then put on your big person pants and go back to what you do best.
Plan your escape. Win over the customer. Kiss your boss’s backside. Love your spouse. Fix the problem. Prevent it from happening again. Say you’re sorry. Do something that keeps you true to YOU. Make yourself proud.
“It is what it is” never did anything but keep things stagnant.
Peace . . .
After spending days thinking I had nothing to post on the subject of change, I ended up not being able to decide which to post. One might say I kept changing my mind! And so here is my second installment of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Change.
If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.
An yet another couple interpretation I love:
Nothing is permanent but change.
Some of my other favorite interpretations:
Season for Same Old Change / Fly for Icarus
The Patient Gardener’s Weblog
Chris’ Sideline Pics
What a Difference a Tide Makes / mybeautifulthings
High Street Photo x 100
bob’s wife (Very tender)
Francine In Retirement
A Meditative Journey with Saldage
What Is It?!?
Last Call / Beyond the Brush
Are we absolutely sure the apocalypse didn’t come in 2012 and we missed it? Can we do a head count here? Knowing what to expect might have helped me know where to look. Were zombies supposed to inherit the earth, was Jesus showing up for dinner, or was the earth just going to explode?
What I’m saying is, perhaps the apocalypse did happen, and we were looking in the wrong direction. Is it possible the Hopi fifth world arrived, but it just looks an awful lot like the fourth one? Was a baby born on the 21st of December in 2012 who will change the course of Global Warming? Maybe the apocalypse is somewhat of a gradual movement toward a better world more than the total destruction of the one we know. We won’t really notice it until one day we look back and say, “Hey, didn’t the world used to be a much worse place?”
If you’re looking for doomsday, just check out the morning paper. It’s here. People living their days on earth in hell. Lonely people. Hungry elderly. Children with no one to teach them how to find the good in themselves. Children gunned down in the middle of their play. People living in fear. People with no hope. Not like those days when you wake up and life seems hopeless. I’m talking about a real total depletion of hope. No hope of hope.
It’s 2013. Are you still here? Don’t dread the apocalypse . . . I say we’re ready for it. Don’t wait for it to happen, bring it on! Make it happen! Stop preparing for the worst and start initiating the change. Be the Shift!
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~~Theodore Roosevelt
Can you imagine if you woke up this morning, in 2013, and everyone had a shift of global awareness? Be the apocalypse. How will you change the world this year?
United Global Shift: Projects (Start small, check out the Peace Promises)
Tiny Buddah: 25 Ways to Make a Difference (Listed as quotes)
Scott Berkun: Essay #49 (Scott is a writer whose popular topics are writing, creativity and management)
It’s been a long weekend. I went off the grid, just North-West of the Middle of Nowhere. I’ve caused some grief with just about everyone I love. Thanksgiving was on its way, and I just couldn’t pick a date. You see, I like my kids to go to my ex’s side on the holidays since he has a lot of family over there. There is just me, Bubba, and the dogs over here. We’re important, but they can stop by and see us anytime. Grandparents, as I painfully know, are not on this earth forever, and must be cherished.
I needed to pick a non-Thanksgiving date for a turkey dinner. The trouble is, the kids are grown with lives of their own. Everyone has Thanksgiving day off of work, but to find another date was impossible. No matter how I worked it, I would have been leaving one child out. I couldn’t seem to make that call. Which one would have to show up for the microwaved plate of leftovers? Or maybe I was just making excuses. I just couldn’t deal with the planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning of traditional meal. I was in a funk.
Stovetop stuffing, deli turkey, steamed carrots, mashed potatoes, and homemade rolls sufficed for Bubba and I. We ate like boars on the t.v. trays watching something from Netflix. It sounds worse than it was. 🙂
Friday was spent packing and cleaning for the weekend North-West of the Middle of Nowhere. Whether it was the weather — a cold winter storm blew in — or the work of getting ready, my arthritis kicked in. It was a long achy trip up there. The ache lasted through a good part of Saturday. For this, and a few other reasons I don’t care to mention, I wasn’t very good company. I was still in my funk, and Bubba paid for it.
North-West of the Middle of Nowhere:
This morning, Monday, I am back in the center of Somewhere. I have taken the day off from work. The coffee shop looked toastier than it is. My vanilla soy latte has cooled, no longer warming me from the inside. It took three tries to get their wireless password right. Checking out my notifications led me to a new blogger I had not seen before. I liked her blog name insearchofitall. It reminded me of my tagline Seeking all things . . . . I started reading her current post, In Search of Giving Thanks.
The line that caught my eye reads, ” . . . life changes and we have to be adaptable. Isn’t that what the pilgrims did?”
Yes. Life changes. The changes rarely come easily, even if we have waited and hoped and planned for them. Some changes never come no matter how hard we try. Some changes are thrust upon us whether we like it or not. We must cope the only way we know how. For me, it is a trip to the coffee shop, time alone, list-making, and some well-pulled bootstraps.
We are each pilgrims in our own life. Life changes and we must adapt. Life changes and we need to go forward. There is no other direction than forward. I am stronger than I look, both physically and emotionally. I have lived through things I thought would break me in two. I have showed my best side when I didn’t think I had one. I have kicked ass when I didn’t think I could take one more step. For myself and all of which I am capable, I am thankful.
Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone.