Thursday, June 03, 2010
There has never been a year when I was upset by my birthday; I like celebrating the years I have had on this earth and look forward to the next one. The only thing that has really thrown me for a loop has been my children's birthdays. I get a little disoriented and shocked. Do I really have 4 'children' in their 30's??? Then I get over it - they are all wonderful and I love having grandchildren.
My life philosophy in a nutshell:
* We are each responsible for our health, the better we treat our bodies, minds, and spirits, the healthier and stronger they will be.
* A sense of humor goes a long way toward keeping things in perspective.
* Learning new things and taking healthy risks keeps life interesting and keeps you intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually flexible.
* Mix things you have to do with things you love to do and try to love the things you have to do.
* Spend time with people of all ages, enjoy them and learn from them - everyone has something to offer.
* Find time for quiet meditation or prayer, especially when life gets chaotic or you start losing perspective.
* Seek out opportunities to help others, the environment, animals - a favorite cause.
* Have some passions in life and immerse yourself in them.
A little summary of my health journey on Spark. After several very difficult years and two abdominal surgeries, I had gained 30 pounds, was very depressed, and very out of shape. I had already begun to lose some of the weight and to get some of my energy back before discovering Spark People, but with the tools offered here and the support I get from all of you, I have made so much progress toward real health; health beyond weight loss. I have not just returned to my ideal weight, I have gotten myself back. What could be better than that?
The Ubiquitous Little Black Dress
Flamenco ~ Ole!
Rockin' Out With my Taylor
I had to laugh when I reviewed the photos from my mini photo shoot. Stella the Diva started out wanting to be in each photo, then quickly got bored. She definitely wanted to include her ball in the action.
Thank you, my friends for your sweet birthday wishes, but even more for your encouragement, your support when I've been sad, and your comments on my blogs and Spark Page.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Folk music is nothing like playing flamenco guitar and is new to me. I was always too shy to sing solo, so I never took an interest in playing folk guitar until recently.
On this day, my 60th birthday, I am sharing my first little (very unprofessional) music video with you. I used my regular camera to shoot the video; not only is the actual video not great quality, but by the time it was saved for web steaming, got even more diluted. Click it off at the end of the song or you'll get dizzy.
When I learn to do some better recording, I hope to post a flamenco video. That may take a while.
Apologies to police everywhere, these are sentiments from the dust bowl years.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Another memorial service yesterday for a very sweet acquaintance who lost his fight with cancer. Eddie led a very kind and unassuming life as a painter and owner of a unique little bookstore, never drove, rode his bike everywhere. In a small town, he touched many lives with his quiet kindness and witty humor, and the nature center where his memorial service was held was overflowing with people who will miss him very much. It is one of the blessings of a small town, people tend to really care about each other.
With so many memorial services and so many good-byes recently, I have been wondering: am I kind enough? Am I attentive enough? Do I show people I really care about them? This is not about my legacy, but about appreciating my fellow humans in an attentive way each day. I used to be so shy that people thought I was 'stuck-up' since I wasn't very demonstrative. My profession as a teacher changed that for me, as I have to be attentive, kind, and outgoing every working day. That and being married to a gregarious husband, I have changed considerably. While I am still shy, I have learned to be outgoing and generous with my smile, hugs, and words.
But still, I think of people like Eddie, who I see every day and chat with in the groceries store, visit with at parties, stop and talk to on walks and wonder if I get too caught up in the busy-ness of daily living to stop and spend more time with them. Eddie blogged about his fight with cancer, and I stopped by his blog on a regular basis to see how he was doing and to wish him well. I honestly didn't think he would die. If I had, would I have done things differently? Would I have actually physically stopped by?
I'm not feeling guilty, that's not it. I am meditating on the importance of being kind, present, and generous. I am meditating on the importance of letting people know how much I care for them in words and actions.
Monday, May 31, 2010
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
The Quiet Warrior, by Kim Bayes
A memorial to the animals who gave their lives to serve our country.
Mike, the Sea Bee.
I am sad about the rate at which we are losing our WWII veterans, and on this day, especially missing my father.
Dad was captured by the Germans and ended up in a German prison camp. The conditions were brutal, and contrary to some people's beliefs, POWs in German prison camps were not treated humanely. Dad had gangrene, pneumonia, and at 6' tall weighed only 85 pounds when he was released. POW's returning home after WWII were not welcomed home as heros, but were ostracized as cowards and/or traitors. His experiences in prison camp and his treatment upon arrival home were so traumatic, that he never spoke of them until later in life when he joined an Ex-POW organization and became very active in it. I am so glad that Dad was able to find the opportunity to reconnect with some of the men he was in prison camp with and other POWs before his death.
At the end of his life, Dad was honored for his bravery at a special ceremony. This meant so much to him. It was difficult to get him there because he was so weakened by chemo and his brain tumor, but he was able to deliver a speech and receive his medal of honor.
Dad died at home, in the loving care of his family, two weeks later.
Thank you Dad. Thank you to all of the veterans who have given their limbs, their lives, and sacrificed their boyhood or girlhood to serve our country.
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