Wednesday, April 27, 2016

If a picture is worth a thousand words - why do I still hear you?

By now, I cannot be the only one who wishes we had election year boundaries.  Obviously, there is no criteria for a candidate to run, so wouldn't it be nice to limit our exposure?

What does this picture tell you?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Let's encourage this as our new method of campaigning.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to silence the insult throwing, half-truths and false promises with just a picture? And why do they all YELL?  I can imagine it now....a picture holding a baby for truth (or a facsimile thereof); a mean face for insults (or any hateful rhetoric); how about a thumbs up with those who choose to endorse the candidate simulating support?  I love this idea.

Talk is cheap anyway.  Isn't it the actions that come from everything we say that is ultimately what matters?  It's not just the elected officials either (though I am really tired of them right now).

If we say we will drive careful and pay attention, we should.  Otherwise, the results can be life-changing (or life-ending).  When we say we are sorry, we should be (and our actions should reflect whatever it is we are sorry about).

Food face - safe bet!
Those who know me know I say "just because you feel something, doesn't make it true".  I say this because feelings change; and many times we have the ability to choose how we feel.  Those "feelings" can take the form of words, actions or both.  Another favorite line of mine (ask my kids) is "just because something is true, doesn't mean it needs to be said".

Let's think about that for a minute.  If I have food on my face, that is a "truth" that I can change and would welcome the insight.  (real life examples always are the best).  Now, if I notice that someone is gaining or losing weight, (besides myself)  I doubt they need me (or anyone else) to point it out to them.  One, it is something they are aware of and two, a comment regarding same doesn't provide an immediate opportunity for change.  

Hair style changes can be tricky, too.  Now we are talking about "opinions".  I will never forget a comment shared after I got my hair cut.  It was when I was working at Insurance Services Office (this goes back a few years...ok - 35, but it obviously made a lasting impression. )  I remember the whole scene.  I walked to my desk and was putting things away when Dorothy (the receptionist) called me over.  She was an older lady (compared to me at the time, but probably about my age now).  She had those glasses that she wore on a chain around her neck.  She put them on, (imagine perched at end of nose) and said "did you get your hair cut?"  I replied with a smile, "yes, I did".  After a further once-over, she proclaimed "I liked it better the old way".  WOW. With my smile now frozen on my face I quickly advised "then I am glad I didn't get it cut for you."  And walked away.....

If that same thing happened today, I would probably respond differently.  But that doesn't mean any more appropriately.  I could see myself grabbing my head, moaning in agony and exclaiming, "Oh God no. What can I do to make this better for you!"  I obviously have gotten more dramatic (and mouthy) with age?  Buyer...Beware!

I don't know why I choose this road when confronted (with anything) since not everyone appreciates my humor as much as I do.  It is a safe bet to say, I have been the instigator in helping my kids respond in this type of manner.

Maybe it can best be explained by what my dad told my brother-in-law as he became exposed to the ways of our family - "Don't mind the girls, Tony, they just like to giggle."

Until next time,
(hope it doesn't cost you)

your pal,

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rainy days and Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...

Friday is coming!
We have had rain in the forecast since Saturday.  And the weather person has been spot on this time.  Lately, it seems it is dark and rainy when I wake up and dark and rainy when I drive home.  When Terry emptied the rain gauge on Sunday (after approximately 36 hours had passed) we had over 8 inches of rain.  And that was three days ago.   It seems as if we either "feast or famine" on this resource we rely on so heavily.

When we first moved to Austin, Lake Travis was around 40% full and losing water rapidly.  Long time Austinites would tell me, this lake can fill up after just a few days of rain.  I did not believe them but that is exactly what happened.  Last spring when it started raining, it quickly filled up to 80% and since that time, it continues to increase. And here we are, at spring again -with our latest number at 102%.

We live on high ground so if we experience flooding, EVERYONE will be in big trouble.  But Austin has many low lying areas that have flooded frequently lately.  I can't imagine how disheartening it would be to have to come in and try to clean a mess like that up ONCE, let alone numerous times.

So we will be "feasting" on the rain, until once again, the sun comes out and dries everything out...for too long, and then we will be longing for the dark wet mornings (and nights) that we have no more.

It seems to me, in my life and in conversations with others, that many aspects of life have that "feast or famine" theme.

Have you ever been so busy at work you could barely keep your head out of water (play on words intended) only to find yourself the very next week, desperately trying to find something (anything) to do that will make the clock continue to move forward?

How about life in general?  So much to do, so little time - until all you have is time on your hands. Or our health?  Do we appreciate it when everything is going well (or only notice it when we enter the dark days of illness?)

There are so many "words" we could fill in (blessings, love, attention, etc. etc. etc) that could outline where we are at any given time in the "feast or famine" category.

I wonder if it is how we look at things that determine a "feast or famine"?  I have always told my kids that if they believe they can't do something, won't like something, will never get something right, then that is exactly what will happen.  If this is the case, could we be creating our own "famines" in some areas?

Yes, I believe so.  Now, don't get me wrong.  We cannot determine how much rain will fall (outside and in our life).  But we can choose how we receive the "rain".  When we are "drowning" in abundance, maybe that is when we should set out the barrels so we will have the "overflow" to fall back on during those dry spells.

Until next time,

Your pal,

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Now I'm just somebody that I used to know

Chips add to a smile!
How many people do you suppose we are in a lifetime?  We can do the easy math and start counting roles.  In my instance, I started out as the first daughter, first granddaughter, first niece (notice a theme here?)  But as I was growing up, I quickly added the role of sister (many times over) and eventually somebody became my first friend (and visa versa).  In kindergarten, I became a student and that has continued off and on all my life.  I enjoyed being a girlfriend for the first time in 6th grade.  That involved trading ID bracelets and going to the sixth grade dance.  It seems to be much more complicated these days.  When I was 14, I became an employee for the first time.  Later in life, I became a wife, mother, aunt, boss,(or bossy), grandmother (Mimi) and great aunt.  If I am lucky, there will be more roles to come. And I didn't even count all the "in-law  roles I enjoy along with views and categories that also indicate who I am.

Within each of those roles, I deal with different people and am a different person.  Hence the question, who am I...really?  .

I feel younger than the age group indicated for me.  Milestones besides birthdays are when you move to a new age category for customer service, surveys. etc.  They usually are grouped in a five year span until you reach 65+.  That is the summit of categories.  How quickly it seems I have almost reached my climb to the top.

Yet I am still a wildcard in so many areas.  When I envisioned myself getting old(er), I was certain I would become more dignified, reserved, dare I say adult?  As it happens, I still can't dress myself without assistance (have lost count of the times I wear my leggings inside-out).  I desperately need a bib as evidenced most recently when Madi and I went to the Moviehouse and Eatery.  Such a nice establishment with an in-house chef and a full menu.  This is like going out to dinner in your recliner.  I don't know when I realized I had ketchup from my fries all over my shirt, but I do know it was before the chocolate covered brownie joined in the fray.  When we stood up to leave after the movie, more popcorn spilled off my lap and chair then I had eaten.  I was a disaster.

Count me in when identifying adults with inappropriate tendencies.  Nothing illegal, immoral or unethical but necessary could be a stretch.  Why do I identify necessary as taking pictures of strangers for my sister/daughter/friend/staff meeting to observe?  Because whatever I am taking a picture of is wildly inappropriate so my behavior feels more like a reporting obligation.  Also, please tell me I am not the only mother who has code words frequently used with kids to make subtle observations?  Anyone???

In my favor, I do KNOW how to behave accordingly; but then it comes down to choices.  And I guess my point here is that I thought I would make the right choices ONCE I GREW UP.

I guess the bottom line here is, that is not going to happen.  I am going to be a girl trapped in an old woman's body that still laughs when she shouldn't and thinks she is funny(ier) than may be the general consensus.  Also, I enjoy singing along to the radio like a rock star.  Public - consider yourself warned.

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bff's forever....I

Friendship is a funny thing.  Not funny - ha ha, though you will share many laughs with a good friend.  Growing up, I thought everyone was my friend.  Once you were introduced, we were friends..or we weren't.  I always had lots of friends and I believed that everyone else did, too.

I can make friends with anyone!
As an adult, I have tested positive for being an ambivert, (someone who exhibits qualities of both introversion and extroversion).  In fact, I have had people tell me, they never know who will show up.  I have chosen to take that as complimentary.  Either way, throughout my life, both have served me well.  While I may not always be as outgoing from one day to the next, I truly enjoy people.  As I have gotten older, I even talk to strangers.  Early friends are going to struggle with this new facet of my personality, as I was very introverted in my younger years.  But it's the truth.  Now I can't seem to keep quiet in an elevator, grocery aisle, you name it.  I am Miss Welcome Wagon.  It truly overwhelms my introverted nature if I think about it too much.  

Once grown with children of my own, I realized there were many different ways to manage friendships.  And just how friendship was perceived.  In no particular order, one daughter never thought she had any friends, but when I set up a meeting with the teacher (in concern), the teacher told me that my girl was "Miss Popularity" and everyone liked her.  Yet she didn't see that.  Similar to that was her sister who never complained about lack of friends, but preferred exclusive relationships.  One friend at a time, if you will.  She never "unfriended" anyone, but it was more of a "must be present to win" type of scenario.  Still another daughter was "friends with everyone".  She had friends at school, friends in the neighborhood and friends at church.  

The other realization I made as an adult was many of who I called friends were merely acquaintances.  My friend list shrunk considerably.  But since I tend to focus on quality versus quantity, the best realization I made was how enduring true friendships can be.

My longest BFF has held that title since 10th grade.  We have been together through marriages, divorces, loss, new beginnings and just about everything life holds.  Yet we don't talk regularly and we see each other even less.  But I can pick up my phone and call (or text) her and we will pick up right where we left off.  No explanation is ever needed for silence because we are so comfortable with each other.  Although we don't live near each other, our friendship continues to live between us.

The best thing about friends is they know your story.  One of the hardest things about starting a new career (or even a new job if you relocate) is that nobody knows "who you are". After spending many years in one place, I was unprepared for how long it would take for me to "know people" and let them "know me".

But Texas is a friendly state and I have made many friends in the past 5 years.  Some I thought were just acquaintances but the on-going nature of our relationship has proved me wrong.  And just as I can text them (as if we were talking moments ago) so they can text me.  It's a beautiful thing.

I don't know if I am always the best friend, but I do know the potential for these relationships last a lifetime.  And I am very blessed with the friends I have.  

Until next time,

your pal,

It's never too late to do the "right" thing

Even this is my opinion! What is "the right thing"?  Many times over the years, I have heard people say "I want to do the...