Merry Eostre


So my dear and diverse readers in blogging land, I’m going to diverge from my normal protocol (well mostly) and stick my toe into the potentially controversial topic of religion.

Today as most of you know is Easter here in the US. And some of you may also know, because I have mentioned on my blog before, I am not Christian– although I do tend to be a very spiritual (and respectful) person. But there is one thing that I have found over the years perplexing (and maybe slightly tiresome) that I’m going to put out to you all.

Why do people–like almost everybody I bump into–feel compelled to wish me a Happy Easter and assume this has meaning to me? This has been going on for days leading up to today and each time I hear it, I just wonder what they think when they say it. Do they think that I too am Christian and celebrate this particular holiday or is it just something to say instead of: gee, it’s a nice day out?

To me it would seem the more appropriate thing to say might be: Do you celebrate Easter? And then this might open a conversation. Or they could even discuss their Easter plans and say: What a great day for Easter. Then it leaves the other person open to speak of their plans if they have any, or just listen if they don’t.

If someone is a completely different religion, say Jewish, wishing them a Happy Easter, is not particularly relevant to them. At Christmas time these phrases (Merry Christmas!!) happen too, although folks seem sometimes to be a bit more aware and sometimes offer a ‘Happy Holidays’ just in case.

I understand that people aren’t trying to be rude or anything, but it’s more about awareness of ones interactions with people and who they might be. Like the adage: don’t assume. Just because you believe something and it has meaning to you, doesn’t mean it does to someone else (even if it has meaning to a large population). It’s maybe not a big thing really. Just a small politeness. A tiny way to say: hey, I’m me, but maybe you’re you and it’s OK. We can all live here together with our own beliefs, traditions and truths. A way to keep trying to connect our world on a more individual level and not lump everyone into a category. Maybe if we tried this and took the time to get to know each person we met rather than treat them as a reflection of our own insecurities, there wouldn’t be so much hate and fear.

So what if I said to you: Merry Eostre. What would you say and how would you feel? Would you take the time it hear what it means to me? Or will you remain in your own story till the end…??

I hope you all had a wonderful, peaceful and blessed Sunday.

wpid-IMG_20130623_193618.jpg

70 Years Young!!


This is what my co-worker posted on the white board about my birthday today! Happy birthday to me…  ha ha, because I’m really 60 today and he likes to be funny. But with me dancing around and that post, plenty of folks knew today was the day that I  tipped over into a new decade.

Usually I let these things slide, but since this one seemed fairly monumental to me, I let my mouth rip. I mean, sheesh, I recall feeling like my Grandma was way old when she was in her sixties! And wouldn’t you know, time just plundered on ahead and here I am! How the heck did that happen pray tell?


My high school friends and I have been scratching our heads (and looking in the mirrors) and wondering where all those years went. One of them just sent me a picture of my HS principal/geology teacher. For goodness sake, he’s 91 years old! He looked fantastic mind you, but 91 years old?! That’s nuts!

But even though I went to work, it’s been a great day so far. Some of my co-workers got me gifts….it was amazing and incredibly touching! Man, after 8 years of working at my old job, you had to die for anyone to pay attention. Two gals in the scheduling part of our OR came up behind me (very unusual) and I turned around from my desk. I said: wow, I’m being stalked by schedulers (I really had no idea what was going on). One is pretty serious, so she said: Yup, you made a really big mistake booking a case. My heart was pounding in my chest and I got so upset. Then the said: Happy Birthday, and they gave me the nicest gifts! I was shocked. It was so sweet!! Even my bosses got me something and another wonderful gal who gave me the book the other day.


And as I was leaving a bunch of them chimed in to a rendition of: Happy Birthday to you, you live in the zoo…. I changed it to: I work in the zoo… All in all, very touching. With hugs, fist bumps and all that…. So maybe I’m getting there and work is becoming more and more an accepting place.

On the home front, a huge package from a dear old friend, cards and best of all:

Calls from all three of my wonderful daughters! I even was remembered by someone I’ve been out of contact with for quite some time.

Mom and I will go out tomorrow to dinner too. I’m lucky to have this day, because it’s often a 3 day weekend. Yippee.

Let’s hope it’s a wonderful decade. Better than the last because that one was a bit tough. Now I’m really moving into the crone years: hopefully the wisdom will start to really come, the patience, the contentment and I’ll be walking the right path. Thanks to you all for you continued support on this blogging journey of mine!!

 

 

Staying Awake


Someone said this to me recently and I thought it was quite interesting and relevant to my life:

“I just try to stay awake and see what comes into my awareness.” 

image

So much of life (mine anyway) can easily get lost in a state of unawareness and a ‘sleepiness’ of the mind. With all the activity and hustle/bustle of the world around us, we can become easily distracted and therefore less focused on what’s right in front of us. And that’s not all really: in our own personal lives we all juggle many difficult issues, or even just responsibilities in general, so it can–at times–simply be overwhelming to stay awake and be aware.

My ADD type of personality too can be focusing on one thing, and then get pulled away by something more interesting, or loud, or colorful. Concentrating on the task at hand, or the person speaking to me can often be a challenge depending on the environment I’m in. Often I feel guilty that I don’t go out on weekends, but I recently realized that my introverted and ADD character simply needs to recharge for the next work week. When I am constantly bombarded, day after day with sensory data and distractions–it’s system overload.

image

It’s within the quiet moments that I am at my best ‘staying awake’. And in these moments of alertness is when the magic can happen: creativity, peace, insight and clarity. My deep awareness becomes enlightened and I see things more sharply, smell odors more deeply and hear with more resonance.

This blog has helped me to stay awake. Gathering material has helped me to be a seeker, keeping a watchful eye for beauty or curious photos. Listening to things now, I hear them wondering what they mean on a different level. It has awakened another part of me.

Maybe the older we get, the more awake we get–I would hope at least–and the more aware we become to the world around us. We’ve walked among our fellow humans longer so have a wider perspective-or should anyway. Our memory banks are filled with many resources from years of experiencing life.

So now our job is to simply remember not to slumber through life, not to let life’s drag on us keep our eyelids heavy to the world around us. And if they can remain open and seeking, then maybe–hopefully, something interesting will come into our awareness. And this is what brings meaning to our lives.

image

Once Again…


Once again I’ve made a big decision (and I’m probably driving you fellow bloggers nuts), but I’m giving my notice to resign on Monday. Many of you following me know that I have been unhappy in my current position and actually tried to quit once already. My manager convinced me to try to stay on–which I have for two more months. But, in the end, the place is simply too toxic for me.

That toxicity is carrying over into the rest of my life and I’m having a hard time seeing anything as positive these days. The bullying and negativity that goes on is monumental in this place and is simply dragging me down mentally and physically. It was probably the first time in my long working life where I almost just walked out last night. Man, I was so close….

image

My own personal sense of responsibility, and a bit of guilt thrown in, has kept me there this long. And the fact that jobs just seem so hard to come by. But there just comes a point where there is no turning back–there will be no convincing me this time! I’m done. Even though there are some good folks there, and some OK days–the anxiety days overshadow them and they obnoxious people are just too loud.

image

I don’t quite feel like a burden is removed yet. It’s always nerve wracking for me making these decisions, and somewhere deep inside is this voice telling me that somehow it’s my fault it didn’t work. That no job ever seems to work for me and I’ve got some sort of issue. I’m trying hard to combat this little voice in my head–but it’s there lurking.

I’ve already put out bunches of applications and made a inquiries to people I know. And I may consider some sort of nanny work. Anything as long as I don’t have to go back to a place where I am belittled or listen to people complain all day. Ugh. So done with that.

Each day will get easier to cope, and as the clouds dissipate, then hopefully I will see everything with renewed clarity and hope.

image

Too Late?


Lately I’ve been struggling. Most of you will feel me foolish I’m sure, but I will put it out there none the less, because this is partly why I blog. This is not a pretty uplifting post, so don’t read it if you want happy…

Some of it is where I’m at in my life right now, but a bigger part is simply what is going on around me in the world. It seems I read somewhere, or maybe heard, about people suffering from a sort of depression because of global decay. Maybe I have this cloaking me?

image

That part I’m sure most of you can relate to…I mean you know about the global decay around us at least. Whether or not it pulls at you is another story. But if you are the least bit human, there have to be some times where you must, like me, just want to put your hands to your ears and say: enough.

image

Where to begin? Just listing all the awful things going wrong now with our planet and with each other is enough to make me want to crawl into a cave an never come out. And when I remotely think how we are contributing to it all…well, then I actually get physically ill. Yes, I know, I know–I’m supposed to think happy thoughts and be grateful for my life and all. But how can I when there is so much destruction going on around me? Just because it’s not right next to me, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

The simple thing would be to never turn on my radio or look at my computer. Simply stick my head in the sand and make my move to live off in the wild somewhere and not pay attention. Don’t laugh, I’ve thought about this plan. There are many folks planning this life. They are building their shelters, stocking their food and water, (and probably guns)– and preparing…. Preparing for the day when there isn’t much left.

image

Could it happen in my life time? Surely major changes in my children’s life time. Ugh. Sometimes this makes me feel guilty. What earth did I give them? Is it a dying one?

But the real dilemma for me is how to live now? There are some things that I do that are good, but most things only contribute to the bad stuff. And the older I get, the more I am aware that most people around me don’t seem to notice or care. It is really painful for me. Yes, it’s really pain…if only mental anguish that I should stop everything I’m doing right now, get off this ride and change my life completely. Stop being the hypocrite that I am.

As each day passes, and I get older and older, I hope that someday I will be able to live out a life where I don’t feel a part of the machine. That grinding, chewing, chomping machine that is eating this planet and everything on it, and turning us into zombies.

Hopefully we will wake up from the dead some day and see what we are doing to our Mother, and to each other, before it is too late. Or maybe it already is……

 

 

 

For My Work Newsletter


So this is the article I am submitting in response to my decision to being asked to reconsider my resignation at my job:

image

My April Fool’s Day

When I moved here in September, it was for a few reasons. The main reason was to be close to my Mother, but it was also to be away from the brutal New England weather and to retire from a stressful career where my co-workers often did not care about one another.

It’s been a blessing living near my Mom and the weather is sublime.

Applying for jobs was exhausting, and when Bethesda called I was very excited. I actually had applied for a different position than the one I am currently in, but with my experience, they felt I would be better suited for this one.

They were forthcoming about the stress of the job, which made me a bit nervous at the time because of my hopes for coming here mentioned above, but assured me about teamwork among colleagues.

It’s been three months, and yes indeed, it’s stress on steroids! I’ve seen how the stress reveals parts of people that probably, under normal circumstances, wouldn’t bubble to the surface.  Some of these parts have directly affected me and, I won’t lie, this has been difficult.

For years I’ve been told ‘you are too sensitive’ or ‘have a thicker skin’ and often it made me feel there was something wrong with me. But as I grew older, I realized that I embrace this part of me and know that this is what makes me a kind, compassionate and loving person. I don’t want to keep people out with a thick skin and I prefer being sensitive to the world around me.

So I had to make a decision about the stress once again in my life and if I wanted to (not could) deal with it. And after much soul searching I decided to resign on Friday, April 1. Even though it killed me because there are so many wonderful people and I actually really like the job and am not ever a quitter. But I had also promised myself not to live a stressful life anymore.

Amazingly though, something happened. I was asked to reconsider. And many people, including some that had been stressed out directly at me, came to me and were very kind.

This made me think about some things.

  • We all have our troubles, so trying to be conscious that another person may be suffering personally may help us to be more patient
  • We all are tired and over worked, but acting as a team will help us all in the long run
  • A smile and a kind word goes a long way
  • Someone we think may not care, really might in the end but just may not know how to show it in the moment
  • Be the first one to extend a helping hand, or even consider being social with someone
  • Try to talk directly to the person first if you hear something you don’t like—remember: don’t assume
  • Let’s accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative in regards to people, how we say things and our attitudes

I guess this all sounds hokey and maybe I’m being unrealistic. But my feeling is that if we reach high than maybe we may obtain at least just short of our goals. And this is better than not reaching at all.

The decision then about reconsidering? After so many great people asked me to, and because I am hopeful and positive person…

The answer was absolutely!

————————————

image

I’m not sure how my co-workers will take it. They are a mixed and motley bunch. Some may be sympathetic and find it inspiring and others may find the words insipid. None the less, I am choosing to put them forth, just like I put myself forth every day in my blog to my blogging community. Many here hail me, some have walked away. Hey, it’s a free country and freedom of speech is regarded highly and we must be brave when we put ourselves out there to a new audience.

So shall I do when this gets published in our Surgical Services Newsletter. And then let the commenting commence….

 

Good Or Evil?


There are some things in this world that can either a very good thing or a very bad thing. Recently, I’ve wondered if the Internet is a perfect example of one of these things.

Certainly it is quite obvious the wonderful qualities the Internet provides to us all–especially you bloggers out there! For me personally, I never would have had the opportunity to test my writing or photography skills on such a public scale. Much to my surprise, both have been greeted with great positive delight and careful considerations. It is truly a highlight in my life (if that says anything about my life!!).

image
Delighted

Another amazing–and so current–part of the web is how it connects people! Again, it has been my great fortune to meet some wonderful bloggers who have become my friends. But beyond that: people meet future partners, have job interviews, start businesses, visit Grandchildren, read the news from around the world and get any random bit of information from this amazing thing called: The Internet. You never, ever would have thought of this 30 years ago!

image
 Fellow bloggers fall from the same tree!

But this very same thing that helps, can harm. Most of us are innocent in our browsing and searches: looking for how to spell some word or how to cook some new dish. All these things are at our finger tips. We can do or find anything…and so can someone with evil intent.

image
The dark side of the Internet

The Internet gathers information like Antarctica gathers snow. Each snowflake holds a bit of data waiting to be read. Purists have been trying to keep the web free from monitoring–let the data be free and unencumbered. People have a right to search, gather and download whatever they want from this treasure trove of information no matter what they may do with it after some say…. Or do they?

image
The treasure trove tree

Police, FBI say it’s OK to get on a perp’s phone or computer if they were terrorists. Maybe they could get information that could lead to stopping further attacks. Others say if we set a precedent  of hacking into people’s privacy, then we’re as good as lost. Back to the McCarthy era of profiling potential bad guys. Some feel if you have nothing to worry about, then you shouldn’t worry about the Internet being monitored–your data being monitored for subversive searches: if you’re innocent, no problem.

image
Find the Red!!

There is always a way to get information from one group to another, Internet or no. If the bad guys want to recruit, they will. Even within Nazi concentration camps, the prisoners had underground rebel groups that stock piled weapons. They had no web to pass this information back and forth, rest assured of that one! But the Internet makes it so easy and so International! Click a button and wham…join a terrorist group. Scary.

image
A mysterious symbol? No just a tile on my patio! 🙂

Certainly, we all want to be safe from these horrible extremist groups, but our right to privacy in this country is also paramount. Unfortunately, every time we push the power button on the computer and hit either Google or that big E….we’re putting ourselves out there for anyone to find us….eventually. Hopefully it’s only for things like clothing ads and other nuisance items that attach to your searches.

I guess the moral of the story is: be careful what you search for, because Big Brother may eventually may be watching.

image
If you find me big Bro, I just want peace!

Blogging For Growth


“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” –Anais Nin

This morning I was writing in my personal journal and this quote happened to be on the bottom of the journal page I was writing on. Part of what I was writing about was my blog and how much it has come to mean to me, how it has made me grow and what I have gained from it. As it happens so often, we see little things that serendipitously go along with what we feel or need, just like this quote.

When I started this blog, it began more as an exercise in writing and somewhere to put my photos. While I was still on Facebook then and did display my pictures there, my “voice” was rarely shared, and only then in short comments. I’ve always loved to write and have done so in the past. After having my astrological chart read by a friend, it blasted all over it: WRITE, so I decided it was time to find a venue.

Knowing my writing wasn’t professional or good enough to publish, someone suggested blogging. That seemed the ticket. It was free, easy and a perfect way to express myself openly. If I was lucky enough, maybe some people would even read my essays. The first time I got a hit, I was literally amazed! So now, at almost 500 followers, I’m ecstatic.

But I realized today, my blogging has gone way beyond my being able to share with others. It has brought something to me on such a deeper level. Or rather it has let me be the me I already am, but be able to express it now out loud. And this is a beautiful thing (for me).

Since as long as I can recall I’ve always been an observer. Not only an observer, but a story-teller. Even as a young child–an only child–I would make up huge tales, out loud, even if no-one was listening to keep myself amused. I would talk to trees, animals, the wind….any’thing’ that would listen. If a person would listen-or even if they wouldn’t, I would talk. I’m not so different now.

And as soon as I could write, I did. The important thing is that I was observing the world around me. As an adult, and now especially as I become more and more aware, my blog has helped me go deeper. Everything has potential to be material.  It’s made me hyper-aware. It’s made me a better listener, more observant, a critical thinker. Overall, I hope, a better person.

It’s given me the time to slow down and create. This, versus, just reading the garbage on Facebook. And I’ve made some wonderful friends on my blog. Other creators and artists. I’ve learned some amazing things too and traveled all around the world through other’s blogs. Everything is fair game now in my mind for my blog.

I’ve become like a reporter, author, photographer, comedian,  an autobiographer and poet all wrapped into one. It’s liberating, humbling, challenging and made me grow so much. My mind is always whirring away now in everything I do: what will make a good photo? Will this make a good piece for my blog? It keeps my mind active and healthy. It gives me the opportunity to experiment without fear of rejection.

So I thank the stars, literally, for giving me this opportunity. And I thank all of you for supporting this fancy. For without you, I’d still be that child just talking to myself! And honestly, this is way better!

Award: The Versatile Blogger Award!


versatileblogger111

I have been happily awarded this lovely award. Here are the rules…

The rules of this award are as follows:

1.  Display the award certificate on your website.
2.  Announce your win with a post and include a link to whoever presented your award.
3.  Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.  Create a post linking to them and drop them a comment to tip them off.
4.  Post 7 interesting facts about yourself.

I was awarded this award by http://winterowls.com/–Thanks so much! It’s a lovely website. Please check it out. Lovely artwork.

The following are 15 deserving bloggers:

1.   http://lingeringvisions.wordpress.com/ Great photography and writing!

2.  http://createdcreate-it.com/ Photoblog… very creative.

3. Alice: (http://alleysbackstreets.wordpress.com/) -Personal pictures with heartfelt captions.

4. Mary Strong-Spaid – (http://storieswithnobooks.com/)Awesome photography and poems.

5. saltypalette -(http://saltypalette.wordpress.com/) Amazing photos and captions.

6. seedbud – (http://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/)So many photos and stories of leaves and twigs!

7. jenfbs – (http://iblogitasiseeit.wordpress.com/)Just getting started with photos and stories.

8. sufey (@SufeySuryananadi) -(http://sufey.org/) Just fun!

9. Clyde – (http://vintageforde.wordpress.com/)Good poetry and a thoughtful fan.

10. Umesh Sharma -(http://wildernesstravel.wordpress.com/) Fabulous traveling photos.

11. aleafinspringtime – (http://aleafinspringtime.wordpress.com/)Lovely photos and sensitive writing.

12. A Nature Mom-(http://anaturemom.com/) Such a sweet blog, so fun.

13. yerpirate -(http://managuagunntoday.wordpress.com/) I love this blog…to see the heart of man.

14. Crazy Irishman – (http://crazyirishman.wordpress.com/)Another great poetic guy!

15. kayleebakes -(http://kayleebakes.wordpress.com/) More wonderful photos and captions.

I don’t know if the following facts will be interesting, but…….

1. I use henna to color my hair.

2. I ran the 1982 Boston marathon and I even qualified for it.

3. When I was 6 years old and in camp, I would sit with this giant bull pine tree and talk to it and hug it and water it. I’m still a tree hugger today.

4. I talk to myself. I think it comes from growing up an only child.

5. My belly button is pierced.

6. I’ve been married three times and dated more than I’d like to admit, but I’m single now.

7. Most days I feel like my little dog is my best friend.