Friday, January 10
Wednesday, January 1
Thursday, December 26
Saturday, December 21
Monday, December 16
Everyone around me (ok, and me?!) is really experiencing or really recognizing that they are in a state of self-induced sadness. Shit is happening and everyone seems to be knee jerking and saying WTF! This sucks and I did it to myself! Mother Tucker!
Started this morning with a theme of Self-Importance and continued in the afternoon with a few more raw emotions I found Here and There. It made a tough day because I really like Here and There is such a great person too. But they're both really angry about Life's Injustices- rightly so- yet we are all fairly powerless against Them.
Sometimes you make lemonade and sometimes you suck on a lemon. It jess aint fare.
Anyhoo, one glorious ray of light today arrived in my home mailbox. Three beautiful handwritten notes- two by my very brilliant and caring nephews. One by a very articulate and thoughtful six year old and another by his almost-nine yr old brother. They wrote:
Dear Ela. I know you are small. And you cant speak or understand you. But I love you. And you are smart. Love Milan.
Dear Ela. what do you want for Xmas? I want a Ipod touch. How are you doing? I am felling great. You are growing so much. Love Mischa.It's pretty hard to feel any sadness when you read these and hold these had written letters in your hands and realize the thought and effort taken by these great little heroes. And so much love and thanks to their incredibly thoughtful Mom who also took the time to write. You can't give a better present to anyone than this simple act.
You guys are beautiful.
Saturday, November 30
Friday, November 29
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Friday, November 22
Thrifty Fun suggests a lot of great ideas like affirmation jars or thankfulness jars, job jars, jewelry or bathroom organizing. I kind of like the gift-giving idea where you layer your ingredients for homemade cocoa in the jar, top with marshmallows and seal it with a funky cork or washcloth topper and raffia twine. Or same idea but inserting dry bean or pea soup mixes with recipe card.
I've also washed, dried and spray-painted tin cans, using them for planters and seedlings as well as for nesting containers for Ela to learn and play with. She stacks them and puts them inside each other- cheapest toy ever =) They look fabulous spray painted. I used glossy red, teal, lime green and yellow.
I've been really cheaply painting my kitchen using Home Depot's mistints. They almost always have little $1 oops containers in various colors. I've been collecting them all summer. I have all sorts of blues, pinks, oranges, etc. but I have had them retint their mistints (free!) to browns which are almost always useful and neutral. Anyways for about $5 I painted all my base cabinets in my kitchen by mixing my mistints into a cool brown mahogany purply color. I quite like it. It at least cleans it up from the mess that it was before!
Anyhoo if you know other ideas for recycling pls let me know. I'm exploring ideas!
Tuesday, November 19
Wednesday, November 13
Tuesday, November 12
Saturday, November 9
I have had a bazillion discussions (ahem) with my spouse about how we CHOOSE how we feel. I have tried my best to explain that everyone CHOOSES to get angry, sad, anxious or whatever.
Nobody MAKES me mad- I choose to react in an angry way when someone says something that hits a nerve. But I could also choose to ignore it.
Nobody makes me sad- I choose to accept an insult when one is aimed at me. Or, I choose NOT to accept it because it is only ME that is insulted if I choose that accept those words.
I have learned this year that semantics are everything.
They are everything.
If you say "You're bad" when you mean "Your behavior is bad" these are entirely different statements. Is the person bad? Or is what they are DOING bad? Important differentiation.
"I hate you".
"I hate what you are doing".
See what I mean? Totally different.
"You piss me off". (also "You make me angry")
"What you are doing pisses me off".
Actually, you chose to react in either situation. You chose your feelings.
Know you have power.
Power in your words, power on your CHOOSING how to react.
Use your power. Use your choice.
Friday, November 8
My all time two favorite bra burner videos OF. ALL. TIME.
Ok and this video's another all time fave just because I love the dance off.
But seriously. I post them because recently I received my Oxfam newsletter where they ask you 'Hey, Can you give money to people in other countries that don't have what you have?' Of course you can. I don't care what situation you are in. We have a lot where we are. I can go without something for you in a third world country. I can. I can cut back more. I can. I can share what I have with you.
I can tell you clearly- definitely- that I have been keenly curious about women's rights since birth. It's no lie. I have questioned why my mom was at home. Why my Nana was nicknamed PET by her husband. Why my Nana was pulled from school in her teens to care for her mother who fell down the stairs. Why my Mom read me books that were about female heroines- about women who rose to the occasion all the time. In my 20s she gave me a book called LEGENDS about various women through history who changed world events. I also purchased books by Emily Murphy. I get it. I have seen what has transpired for my Nana, my Mom and what is in front of me and my daughter.
What if I had been born in... Ethiopia in 1973? Or Iran? Anywhere else? Why I came through into this world where I did was shit luck. Nobody gets to choose their existence or experience in this life. It is not their choosing or fault that they face the challenges they do.
And is it strange for us to realize that girls in other areas of the world have it worse? Certainly they do. We sponsor a girl in the Philippines. She is six. Her name is Christine. I hope she is okay in light of the recent storms and I will write and ask her. I'm going to send her a necklace in the mail for Xmas. I want her to know that someone somewhere far, far away is thinking about her.
So- do yourself a favor. Consider other people's experiences. Other childhoods. People who are immigrants. Know that they have different references than we do. Different commitments or priorities. And regardless- one woman to another- we need to support each other.
Thursday, October 31
Remind yourself everyday of the people and relationships for which you’re thankful. Whatever method you use, be grateful for what you have.
1. Love the one you're with.
5. Give a larger tip than usual.
6. Look people in the eye.
7. Smile and mean it.
9. Be patient.
10. Give thoughtful gifts.
11. Surprise the one you love.
12. Send a thank you note.
13. Give a good hug.
15. Acknowledge the negative parts of your life.
16. Give your dog an extra long walk.
17. Call a friend that needs to talk.
18. Donate more than you’re comfortable donating.
Sunday, October 27
But do you ever think about the POWER of those words?
What does it mean to say that "YOU SHOULD"? What is the power behind that phrase? It wasn't until I went through therapy this year that I was asked to look at that. It's something I said to myself constantly. "SHOULD" is the s-word. Should says that you are expected to do or be something that you are not. Should says that you aren't doing it currently, but geez you are supposed to be! Boy, you really aren't at your best, are you? You SHOULD be more. You SHOULD be better. Yikes! Behind the word should is often a belief or decision that you may want to question. When you say this S-word, ask yourself what you felt you SHOULD be and why did you think that?! Who says!? Who told you that you SHOULD?
Let's look at when we say it. Sometimes [if it's a task that you were given] you'll catch yourself saying damn! I should get that done! Really you're saying shit, I forgot about that! It's on my list! I better get to it before I forget. It's still a demand on yourself. It's still an expectation and something you're supposed to do although perhaps a legitimately time sensitive issue. Should is a future task that asks us to do something soon or in our future.
It's when we use should towards ourselves that we need to examine what we inwardly said, thought or felt that it can be questionable.
If we look at Should's cousins- WOULDA COULDA- we're travelling on a similar path. Woulda is the power-less version of Shoulda. Shoulda feels bad because he couldn't do it or feels he NEEDS to. He woulda but he just isn't able. It's not possible, he just isn't capable. I wistfully wish that I could be or do enough to have done it, or been able to achieve it, but I just wasn't capable or didn't think of it. It's always a past issue. I would have done X but I did Z. If only I'd had XYZ then I could have done ABC. It's a sense of lack. A sense of regret.
How about "Could"?
I could have this if I just... I could be this if I just... I could do this if I just... This could be great if... This could be terrible if... It could have been better. It could have been worse. Could is that silly space where we consider the possibilities that didn't occur, or that may occur if we consider them.
My therapist asked me to pay close attention to how I use my words. I'm famous for self-deprecating language and saying things to myself or at myself that can totally undermine my own personal efforts. Someone will ask me how my day is and I will answer "ask me later!".. like I haven't decided how it is yet! Or I'll tell myself that I should be finding more time, or that I would have more if I just did this, or that if I could just settle for less-or if I could have more- that I would be happier.
Semantics are everything.
You better believe it!