Kissing Black-tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Français : Chiens de prairie à queue noire (Cynomys ludovicianus) se faisant la bise. 日本語: キスしてるオグロプレーリードッグ (Cynomys ludovicianus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Kindness, kissing, knitting, knowledge, knees. I like knitting. It’s very therapeutic. I like knowing things. I like kissing. I’m very fond of my knees. But I’m going to focus on kindness mostly because it seems to be in shorter and shorter supply anymore.
People just don’t seem as kind as they used to be. I wonder, did we become less kind before or after reality shows where people do nothing but scream at each other? It’s like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. It would seem to me that TV producers wouldn’t produce a show they weren’t sure would have a following. Or did our lack of kindness find its birth in what has become nastier and nastier politics? Or maybe it began with twenty-four seven cable news shows that dump so much information on us; we suffer from knowing too much about too many things. We don’t know what to with all these facts so we get cranky. I really don’t know. I just know I wish I lived in a kinder world.
A world where, even if we disagree with a person’s lifestyle, we are still kind to them. Where children aren’t bullied because they’re different. Where we give people some room for error. Where we’re respectful of those whose age is nowhere near ours, realizing most of us have something valuable to offer.
The holidays are fast approaching. We’ll hear stories about people buying coffee at Starbucks for those in line behind them. We’ll hear a lot about generosity. There will be those wonderful syrupy Hallmark commercials which, as redundant as they are, make me tear up every time. As sappy as they are I prefer those to watching people yell at each other. I wish I knew why we seem to be kinder at this time of year but I’m sad to say I don’t have a clue. I guess the logical answer is that we’re just feeling more generous but why then are the holidays considered the most stressful time of the year?
Maybe we’re working a little harder at being nice because we’re frantically trying to get it all done and we instinctively know “playing nice” keeps us calm. It’s an unconscious message we send ourselves so we don’t implode. I know that I work harder during the holidays because I see too many others that don’t and I don’t want to be a participant in that. I know the clerk behind the counter is as tired and frustrated as I am so I give her some slack. When someone cuts in front of me in line (which I don’t tolerate any other time of the year) I just let it go. Or maybe we’re trying kinder simply because we think that’s what expected of us during the Holidays. Maybe it’s those sappy Hallmark commercials that make us believe we’re all living in a schmaltzy movie.
I don’t think I care what the reason is for the extra kindness at this time of year; I just wish it were always that way. Kindness has a snow ball effect. The more it rolls the more snow it gathers. I think I’ll go out and build a snowman.
Is there a woman alive who doesn’t love her jeans?
I know why I love mine.
They hold me in. They lift me up. They make me look ten pounds lighter. I can wear them for three or four days before they start to lose their shape.
They look great dressed up or dressed down. With heels, with flats, and best with boots up to my knees.
They eliminate the need for lots of different pants because unless it’s a formal occasion, they work everywhere.
Oops, not everywhere.
Europe doesn’t have the same love affair with jeans. I’m always careful to judiciously wear them when I travel abroad. (Same with aerobic shoes.)
However, I have a bone to pick with the proponents of short-zippered jeans that show your “crack” when you bend over. We make fun of plumbers for the very same exposure. Why is it any different for women? Are our “cracks” any more attractive?
I don’t think so.
Here’s the thing about jeans. Jeans should fit. If jeans fit correctly there aren’t any unattractive rolls hanging over the waist but they’re not baggy either.
All women, regardless of their size, look better in clothes that fit. And as far as the infamous “mom” jeans-what’s the big deal? Maybe some women prefer comfort over fashion. Isn’t that o.k.?
Besides, in light of all the problems in this world (hunger, homelessness, war, violence) aren’t there more important issues we should be concerned with than what type of jeans a women wears?
Honestly, I’m much more appalled when I see too much flesh exposed, rather than too little.
Now that the weather is getting cooler, I’ve hauled out my jeans and sweaters.
How about you? Are you as nuts about your jeans as I am?
Identity, ideals, ice, ignorance, illogical, illusion, imagination, impatience, imperfect, impossible, individual, infinity, information, integrity
Today I’m grateful for ignorance. Yep. Ignorance. Sometimes it’s just good to not know some things. Sometimes I choose ignorance.
I choose not to know what celebrities are doing, who they’re dating or divorcing, what rehab they’re going through. I choose to remain ignorant of the supposed hot scenes between the covers of “Fifty Shades of Gray”. I choose to not know what it feels like to be intoxicated or on drugs. I choose to be ignorant about why certain people don’t get along. I choose to be ignorant about a number of things.
I think that’s because I’m tired of drama. There’s just too much of it anyway. So the more I remain ignorant the less the drama. The more you know the more there is to get you upset. The more you know the more likely you will be drawn into a situation you’d just as soon avoid.
So today, I’m thankful to be ignorant.
Today I’m thankful for my home. It shelters me behind its old, thick walls. It’s warm and inviting. It has been my haven, the place I feel most protected. It has kept me and my family safe for years. It has been a wonderful backdrop for my many decorating projects.
I’m even thankful for the amount of work it requires. It keeps me from getting bored. I’m thankful because it’s like no one else’s house. It’s over one hundred years old and houses just aren’t built like this anymore. But for all its charm, it has a few drawbacks, like uneven floors and way too many doors and windows. For a house that seems big, I have a very small kitchen with maybe three feet of countertop. I’m way ahead of the modern trend of kitchen cabinets extending to the ceiling. Mine have always been that way. I chuckle every time I see a remodeling show where the owners take this approach. who are remodeling their kitchen that cabinets to the ceiling I would love to know what the homeowners think once they realize that cabinets to the ceiling are not all they’re cracked up to be.
However, what I do have to make up for almost no counter top is a walk-in pantry that I can’t imagine living without. If we ever move or build a house, that’s one feature I’ll insist upon, not ceiling-high cabinets. I have a formal dining room which even though we never use, is great to decorate. Because we don’t use it, it’s the one room in the house that’s rarely messy. It also has a built-in hutch which houses my assorted Goodwill dishes. But for all I love about this old house, it’s how I feel when I walk in the door that I’m most thankful for. I think most women probably feel that way about their homes.
Sometimes when I get stressed out over things, when depression looms, I have an instinctive urge to get home as quick as I can. I know I’m safe here. I’ve tried hard not to let anger or dysfunction enter my home. I guess it’s true that we women are “nesters”. Speaking of nesting, a Dr. Seuss book I used to read to my daughter (I can’t remember which one.) had a phrase that my husband hears me quote a lot. “I love my house. I love my nest. In all the world, my nest is best.”
I hope you feel that way about your home and if you don’t, go to your library and browse through some decorating books, the kind that emphasizes using what you have or decorating inexpensively. Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive. (Remember, I’m cheap.)
Noise? (Photo credit: AGrinberg)
Quality, qualify, quake, quarrel, quilt, quiet, quirky.
Today I am thankful for quiet. (Quiet doesn’t necessarily mean lack of noise. We can be quiet within even when it’s noisy around us. But for this post, I’m referring to quiet as the lack of noise.) I’m not one of those people who need someone around all the time. I don’t mind being alone especially when I can have quiet time. I find I listen and think better when it’s quiet.
Religious leaders from all faiths have extolled the importance of quiet for meditation. In Christian vernacular, quiet times refer to the times we set aside to read our Bibles and pray. Although I still read and study my Bible, there seem to be more and more times I remain quiet and just listen. Every once in awhile I like some extended time of total quiet. When even my own voice is not allowed to break the silence.
There has been considerable research about noise and stress and the conclusion has been that noise is a huge stress factor in the world. It certainly didn’t use to be that way. Life was simply quieter a hundred years ago because life was, well, simple. Of course we can turn off the noise if we choose. We just seldom choose. But complete quiet is hard to get used to. Most of us are uncomfortable with quiet. There are reasons for uneasiness.
When we are quiet, the chatter in our head subsides to a whisper. That’s when our demons can come to haunt us. We are faced with our fears and insecurities. That doesn’t scare me like it used to. I’m learning to be comfortable with the “quieter” version of me.
Most of us are going to go through a period of quietness before we leave this earth. Due to the infirmities that accompany old age, we will have no choice. Being comfortable with “quiet” and being unafraid to face ourselves will prepare us. I hope this doesn’t sound maudlin but the truth is unless our lives are “interrupted”, we are going to experience old age. If we want to be a serene, contented elderly person, we need to be a serene contented 20, 30, 40, etc year old person.
The future always begins with the present.