A New You?

It’s the beginning of a New Year, so how do you plan to “change” yourself?  Have you written down a list of resolutions?  Do you have a bunch of new goals?  And, how is that going for you?  If you’re like me, you have probably already run into problems.  And, of course, no surprise there.  I only made a few goals and I’ve already failed.  I planned that I would wake up at 6 am from Monday to Friday, and 7 am on Saturday and Sunday.  But I failed my first day.  Yup…I set my clock for 6, when it went off, I rolled over, shut that pesky noise off and woke up an hour later.  I was fairly angry at myself at first, and then reasoned that I must have needed that extra sleep, since I had gone back to sleep immediately.

What I didn’t do was let it ruin the rest of my day.  You see, usually I’ll focus on the one thing I did “wrong”, and let it color my day gray.  But, since becoming disabled (and it took that catastrophic event to make me treat myself better), I’ve realized how terribly I’ve treated myself for as long as I can remember. While I would tell others not to be so hard on themselves, I never was anything but hard on myself.  Being rigid with what you expect of yourself is not helpful. Berating yourself for mistakes fulfills no purpose.  What does help is to simply realize that sometimes we need to just get up, dust ourselves off, and go on with our day. 

So, I want you to remember is that life is an ocean, everything changes, expectations are not written in stone, they are written in the sand at your feet, and you can be absolutely sure that the waves will sweep in and erase all those goals.  The best thing to do is re-write, re-group and do the very best you can do.  Be kind to yourself.

Holiday Season

This is the holiday time of year, and whatever holiday you celebrate, I wish you the best! Be happy, be kind and love each other.

So, This Happened

As you may know, I have a very full house.  Our adult son and his adult girlfriend live here, along with our adult daughter.  While my husband and daughter are fully vaccinated and I got the first shot, however, due to medical complications I have been told by my doctors not to get the second, my son and his girlfriend are COVID-19 deniers and not vaccinated.  Since I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this – yes, they got COVID-19 and proceeded to share it with the rest of us.  Hopefully we’re all out of the woods, but we all are still suffering various effects.

I am having an extremely difficult time processing the fact that they brought this disease into a house where my husband, our daughter and myself have pre-existing conditions that make us susceptible to disease.  I have been unable to wrap my head around the fact that they have, and will continue to, put everyone they come in contact with at risk.  (I’ve been having a hard time with this fact on a larger scale ever since it become a “thing”.)  The worst fact of all this is that my son’s girlfriend is a nurse and she works at a hospital.  They truly don’t care that any one of us could have died due to this illness. 

Since I’ve only gotten the first shot (and before there was a vaccine), I’ve always taken extreme care to only go to doctor appointments and physical therapy sessions.  In both these environments, everyone wears a mask since there is no other option.  I haven’t been out shopping, dining, etc. ever since this began, and will not do so for the foreseeable future.  My greatest fear is that I could make someone ill.  How could I live with myself if that were to happen?

Please stay safe for both yourself and everyone else you encounter.  Caring is the best gift you can give.


This Thanksgiving many of us will be sitting down to a family meal and hopefully we will give thanks for all the blessings we have shared this past year.  For many, this will be a bittersweet day.  Over 770,000 people have died of Covid-19, and of course this has touched the lives of millions if others.  There is so much pain and sadness in our country (and across the entire world), that I can only hope we will be able to help each other with love and kindness.

While I realize that not everyone feels love, or kindness for that matter, (just look at the news) I hope that those of us who do, out-number those that don’t.  The best thing we can do is try to live by the following: “One should never do something to others that one would regard as an injury to one’s own self.” This is a quote from the Mahabharata, an ancient Sanskrit poem from India.  Personally, I can’t think of a better way to live your life.

Stuffed Animals and “Real” Life

I’ve always had a stuffed animal that I slept with.  Over the years I’ve had to retire many stuffed animals which was traumatic, to say the least.  And, yes, I did take my stuffed animal, a yellow cat with purple eyes, to college with me.  By the time I took my stuffed animal on my honeymoon, he was a little brown bear, and cute as – well, anything.

Where is this going, you may ask?  Well, the first thing I requested that my daughter bring me once I was in the hospital was my Tigger – yes, I sleep with Tigger, or Tigs as I call him.  The nurses, CPA’s and even some doctors told me that they too slept with a stuffed animal.  I had many conversations about how much others felt like they couldn’t sleep without their stuffed animal, how many they had, and that some people slept with a bed full of stuffed animals.  But everyone agreed that having a stuffed animal was soothing and that they slept much better with their beloved stuffed animal.

Everywhere I went, people made my bed and put Tigger sitting up against the pillow.  They made sure he didn’t get lost or tossed in the laundry.  It was a wonderful experience to meet so many other people who had stuffed animals and expressed how much they needed them.  So, if you have a stuffed animal, know that you’re not alone.

Teaching History

There’s been a lot of talk about Critical Race Theory, and I’m not even going to go there.  When I went to research this subject, I realized that It’s become really complicated, and I just don’t want to deal with it.  Maybe I’m lazy?  Not really, I want to talk about teaching the actual history of our country.

There was slavery from day one, including making slaves of the Indigenous Peoples, both with exporting them to be slaves elsewhere, and keeping them as slaves in the colonies.  That fact, along with bringing in African slaves to be used in the colonies, this is a history that is seldom taught in schools. 


If one looks at the history of our country; really of any country that has been Colonized, it is a history full of unacceptable actions, which lead to distressing consequences.  Some countries have recognized and taught that history (Germany – World War II), but most have both hidden and ignored that history.  It’s an inconvenient “blemish” on how the majority of the population wants to think about their history.

One example of hiding and denying history happened to me during my high school American history class.  The infamous Trail of Tears was explained in my class as something that was a pleasant experience for the Native population.  Now, I had just finished reading the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown, due to the detailed and referenced (from the U.S. National archives no less) facts, I knew this to be false.  When I said something to my teacher – Mr. Rice, I was shouted down, told to shut up and sent to the school office.  All for trying to tell the truth.  I highly recommend this book.  It will open your eyes to the reality of history as opposed to the false history that many history books teach.

I also must say that as a young child I saw many things on the nightly news that other people my age may not have seen.  I saw the Race Riots – which mostly comprised of footage of POC being beaten by the police.  As a child who was extremely aware of how unfair this was, I also took umbrage when the bullies went after the smaller kids which made me hyper aware of the many injustices in our society.

Another under represented aspect of our history is the long abuse of Black people.  First as slaves, then under Jim Crow laws, and now still fighting against police violence along with systemic racism, which unfortunately, also includes all people of color.  When you deny and refuse to teach the history of all, you also lose the ability to be able to change behavior and right wrongs.  I was never taught the truth of so many things.  Use the link below to educate yourself.

Goals Are Promises You Make to Yourself

Goals are great.  They can focus us on obtaining what we want and give us a way to get there.  However, if goals are promises, they can also become wishes if you either don’t work on them, or don’t let yourself work on them.  The difference between those two possibilities is vast.  Not working toward a goal can be caused by a variety of different things.  Your goal may not be a priority due to changed circumstances, or you’ve simply lost interest, or you just decided that now is not the time.

Standing in your own way by not letting yourself work on a goal is much more insidious.  There can be so many reasons that we may deny ourselves the things we want the most.  One reason can be that we feel unworthy.  Not only unworthy of fulfilling a precious goal that we’ve dreamed about, but there is also the fear of failure.  You can’t fail if you don’t try, right?  Filling your life with dreams of what could be “if only” allows you to not only hold your dream tight, but also not fail.  Failing is seen as defeat and no one wants to be seen as a loser.  But defeat can lead to better things. However, that’s not in our collective consciousness. We don’t see the glass half full; we tend to see it as half empty (or even mostly empty). 

As far as my own unrealized goals are concerned, I too have the same problems as many other people.  I’ve got quite a few goals that I’m not working on.  If I don’t send out my writing to agents, it can’t be rejected.  If I don’t do anything I literally cannot fail!  What a way to live.  Having a life-changing event happen to me did indeed give me a new perspective.  While I was in the hospital, I was sure that I’d “go for it” as they say.  But of course, once I came home the reality of navigating my everyday life became all consuming.  Do I fault myself for that?  Yes, of course.  Would I fault someone else for dealing with the at times overwhelming challenges I face?  No, I wouldn’t.  Instead, I’d encourage them to take time to get used to everything being difficult.  It takes time to walk laps, lift weights, practice balancing with first shoes only and then braces also.  Cooking, cleaning, showering and simply living is exhausting.  While I wouldn’t expect someone else to adjust to their new living situation immediately, I am extremely negative toward my own struggles.

We have to find a balance between blaming ourselves, and encouraging ourselves to realize our goals.  Life is too short to not work toward our dreams.   Work on believing yourself to be worthy of your dreams.  Don’t end up regretting what you didn’t accomplish in your life.

The Wonders of Fall

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always loved Fall.  There are many reasons for this – the beautifully changing leaves, the crisp new mornings that seem to promise unexpected adventures, but especially how fall feels like a time to reflect and reorganize your mind, spirit and life.  Of course, don’t get me wrong – I don’t think I’ve ever managed to reorganize myself properly, it just feels like a good time to do so.

While I was in the hospital, our computer room (really just a “dump everything we didn’t know where to put room”) was transformed into my new bedroom.  While It’s wonderful, I still have books to sort, crap to throw out, and boxes to go through – all before Christmas!  Why before Christmas?  The boxes are stacked in the living room where we usually put the Christmas tree.  Do I feel stressed?  Oh yes!  I’ve been home for three-and-a-half months, yet I’m not yet finished.  To give myself credit, I’ve gone through quite a few boxes, discovered books that I want to give away, and that I was holding onto things that don’t fit into my life anymore.

So, this Fall I want to finish all this work and move into the next chapter of my life.  So, nothing earth shattering, just empty the boxes.  Luckily, I can also enjoy the gorgeous leaves and fresh air by walking my daily laps on the porch and taking a small walk up the street when the weather is good.  I hope you’re enjoying this weather and the beauty of Mother Nature herself.

You’re Allowed to be Who You Really Are

Do other people tell you who you are?  Do they let you know what you think?  I’ve had this problem for a long time.  One reason is that I don’t speak up.  I’d rather either not say anything, leave the room, or just stoically listen to what they tell me without responding.  Because to do otherwise creates an problem as they yell at me for having an opinion on who I am and what I think. This behavior on my part is self-diminishing.  Not standing up for yourself and denying who you really are for long periods of time can be devastating.  However, in my defense, from the time I was small I was not allowed to speak up for myself.  The few times that I did, I was punished quite severely for doing so.

This has led me to the point in my life where I am questioning who I really am.  The one thing I don’t want to happen to any of you is to become older and not know for sure who you are.  Yes, others’ expectations of us will always be there, however this is not who you are.  Just as when you become part of a couple (married or not), you also become “spouse’s name” – wife.

This probably happens because I am not a memorable personality, others often forget my name.  Then for a long time (and it still happens) I’ve been known as my son’s and daughter’s mother.  Then again, I’ve been called the “Library Lady” because I was at the library at least three times a week for years.  Actually, that name doesn’t bother me at all, since it references an aspect of my being –books, reading.

By not knowing who you are, what you want and what you think, you are allowing others to tell you who you are.  You are not defining yourself.  Take the time to get to know who you are, what you think and exactly what you want.  Do it sooner rather than later.  Live the life you truly want, rather then some life someone else forced you into.  (Because being nice at the expense of living the life you want is no consolation.)

Encouraging Yourself

I just wanted to share this quote with you, since we all could do with encouragement.  Standing in our own way is often a problem.  Instead of comparing yourself to how you want to be, focus on how far you’ve come.  Celebrate each move forward, no matter how small it might be.