My daughter went back to college last weekend to start her senior year. We drove down, got the stuff from the storage locker and moved her in. I am grateful that everything went well, and move in went better than expected. I am grateful for her nice on-campus apartment that is in pretty good shape, her great roommates and her university. May the fun and studying begin.


My word for the week is renewal/renew. Here’s how it was found in the books that I’m reading:

  1. Ken and Annette were extremely lucky to remain totally in love from the moment they met. Ken said it was the easiest thing he ever had to do.’ When I read those lines, at first I thought they contradicted a lot of what I’d learnt about love being something that requires constant work and renewal. Now that I realize that what these answers point to is that, although you have to work at a relationship, you shouldn’t have to work at convincing someone to love you. Natasha Lunn
  2. But there seemed to be something profoundly different about hitting the middle aged mark- a sense of accomplishment, an emotional reckoning, and a feeling of renewed possibility about the future. Caroline Kennedy
  3. The dropping of leaves by deciduous trees is called abscission. It occurs on the cusp between autumn and winter, as part of an arc of growth, maturity, and renewal. Katherine May
  4. The beginning of the school year reinforced how it felt to be young and renewed– clear walls and clean erasers, year after year. Kristin van Ogtrop
  5. I’d become a distraction at the school, and my contract wasn’t being renewed. Mary Kay Andrews

What I’m going to think about RENEW/RENEWAL/RENEWED

  1. Renew in all its forms was not found in most of the books I read. Is this because it’s a hard word to use, or because we don’t think about things getting a new life?
  2. Why does September still feel like a beginning to me?
  3. As we age, should we think about ways to renew ourselves? Isn’t renewal natural?

Cosmetics Do No Good- Steve Kowit

Cosmetics do no good:
no shadow, rouge, mascara, lipstick—
nothing helps.
However artfully I comb my hair,
embellishing my throat & wrists with jewels,
it is no use—there is no
semblance of the beautiful young girl
I was
& long for still.
My loveliness is past.
& no one could be more aware than I am
that coquettishness at this age
only renders me ridiculous.
I know it. Nonetheless,
I primp myself before the glass
like an infatuated schoolgirl
fussing over every detail,
practicing whatever subtlety
may please him.
I cannot help myself.
The God of Passion has his will of me
& I am tossed about
between humiliation & desire,
rectitude & lust,
disintegration & renewal,
ruin & salvation.

after Vidyapati
writersalmanac.publicradio.org

35 thoughts on “Gratitude and Mindfulness: 8/20/22

  1. I believe in renewals. Each day that I awaken and I’m not in a fog of chemo meds, or fighting back nausea, I feel a sense of gratitude and renewal. And on days where I have the strength and balance to shower and wash my hair (which truly has had a a total rebirth or renewal ), I am especially delighted. (It’s amazing to feel actual hair on top of my head again). Renewals, large or small, have become joyous to me.

    I disagree with the poem. There is nothing ridiculous about primping at any age if it makes you feel good about yourself. It shows you are still alive and value who you are. I have learned that if I feel well enough to to sit down at my makeup mirror and tend to my appearance, it means I still exist. I’m still here! So, It is indeed a renewal of self care and self love.
    A month before turning 70 I wrote a lengthy poem about a woman looking into a mirror who was reliving her youth and admitting her fears about the aging process. A few months later I was diagnosed with cancer and I immediately stopped worrying about aging. I prayed for an opportunity to grow old. I wanted that chance. So I had a rebirth of my thoughts about life, aging, and everything in between.
    Now I believe If we are lucky enough to grow old, then each year, each day, each moment is a chance to renew something in our lives. What a gift that is.

    I have always felt a renewal at the beginning of a new school year. I’d have a new group of children to enrich, to care for, and new motivations for ways to create and inspire students.

    If we stop our desire to constantly renew our lives, than we cease to exist.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What is it about showering that’s so renewing? I feel like I can take in the world after I’ve showered? But as to the poem…yeah…I agree…but I thought it was worth a share

      Like

    2. Oh Leslie. How I agree with you. After a very bad fall ended with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) I had to learn to live again, including how to walk. My daughter said she knew I was on the mend when I asked for my makeup. And at 84 I still put on my face every day.
      I am sending you hugs during your recovery, from far away New Zealand. Keep safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Judith I love that your daughter knew you were on the mend when you asked for your makeup. Good for you for keeping up your makeup routine. If I can do that each day I feel a sense of accomplishment ! I’m really happy that you are back in the game! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I forgot to answer your question in my answer above…is renewal natural? Aging is natural for all living things. But renewal in human beings is an attitude. It isn’t like the tree who loses its leaves during winter and waits for spring to renew. With people we make a conscious choice to keep going and revitalizing our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, August and September feels like a beginning to me. I live in a college town, so the streets have been busier now. When you are out and about you have a sense of who the new faces are. My son is out of the house and starting his junior year in college. Glad to hear your daughter has a nice apartment.
    I think exercise or even a nice walk in nature can be renewing for my middle aged self.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I associate renewal with library books.

    Many claim that spring is a time of renewal and fall of endings, but I see your point about September. It’s always felt that way to me, too. The start of my favorite time of year. New football season, new school year, new primetime TV schedule (when that mattered). It just makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fall is like a new beginning…but I guess I
      I Ike the thought of there being three beginnings to the year…fall, spring and New Years…lots of time for clean slates

      Like

  5. I’ve always felt that way. Something about the season of autumn that makes it a new beginning, even more than when we celebrate the New Year. I tend to think of the leaves falling as shedding off what no longer belongs and looking forward to new growth…it’s like a renewal process we go through before getting there.

    Liked by 1 person

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