Gratitude Saturday May 8

It’s my blogiversary!

Four years ago I started my blog!

Yay!

People often ask how I can write almost every day. The answer is simple: I love blogging. When I wake up I am excited to sit in front of my computer and pump out a few hundred words, even when I have no idea what I am going to write about, which, let’s face it, pretty much every day. I open my computer with a few scribbled notes that I probably wrote months before, or, like today, I just start writing and end up with long run on sentences. Who said I always have a plan?

Ha

I want to blog every day. I am excited to interact with everyone. If I’m not feeling it, I don’t write. Period. I pen a note that I’m taking a few days off (this gives me accountability in my head) and I chill until I get the urge to write again. If you don’t love sitting in front of some electronic device and blogging, you need to ask yourself why are you doing it. I once saw someone had named their blog something like “Why did I start this damn blog” and I wonder at that as a title- if your title says that you don’t want to blog, why are you doing it?

Blog because you love it. Any other reason is just not worth it. Unless of course it’s your job, but if it’s your job and you hate it, maybe you should consider another job maybe…

But anyway…

I am grateful for my blog

I am grateful for WordPress (most of the time anyway)

I am grateful for all those who choose to read me

I am grateful to all those who choose to randomly “like” my blog

I am grateful to those who choose to follow my blog

I am grateful for all those who comment!!!!

I am grateful for all the wonderful people who I have met on this journey! You inspire me!!

Thank you!

Anything Can Happen Friday: Mother’s Day Edition

Rule of thirds: we talked about this yesterday. When you are trying to achieve a goal, you will be great 1/3 of the time, Okay a third, and crappy a third. (Alexi Pappas- Bravey) We debated if we thought this was a good ratio of good times to bad.

Somewhere in the discussion with Deb, I thought about Motherhood. (FYI- Deb has probably motivated more blogs than anyone else) As Deb and I were talking, I realized that motherhood is clearly part of the rule of thirds.

The great part? Well, that’s easy. Think about all those pictures on your phone, or in an album somewhere. Looking in my house is like a highlight reel of the great moments: artwork framed on my wall, pictures in cap and gown, certificates and trophies. These are all those moments that we think about when we decide to make Motherhood our goal.

I smile at the picture of “My first Haircut” where my daughter sits in the high chair and I clip her bangs. Who doesn’t love a “first” of something…it’s the beginning of the milestone. First day of school pics that my daughter stood patiently for every single year. Firsts, beginnings holding so much promise. I look on her window ledge and see a lifetime of trophies from things she has excelled at: Chess and and tennis and debate and law team. I remember cheering and crying when her little league softball team won the championship. I remember cheering and crying as she accepted the Pinstripe Bowl Scholar Athlete award at Yankee Stadium. The college acceptance letter. These are the moments you think about as you are carrying or adopting your child before they are even born. You can’t help but imagine the wonderful experiences that your child will have as they figure out who they are.

The quiet moments of reading “Goodnight Moon as their eyes get heavy. The tea parties on the living room floor. The times they add the chips into the cookie dough. Walking hand in hand with them as they skip a little bit. These are probably the greatest of the great moments- just you and your child and everyone is happy and you are just in the moment.

But on the road there, we have a lot of ennui. Sitting at the practices waiting for your kid to finish up. Rereading their opening statement for the Mock Trial competition a thousand and one times. Hearing them try to play “Smoke on the Water” first on recorder, and then on the clarinet, and then on the guitar….unless your child is a musical prodigy, there is no way you do not want to cut off your ears when they practice.

There’s the boredom that comes with the day to day, the rote of getting them out of bed, dressed, breakfast, make sure they have all their stuff, get them to school, come home and do homework, brush the teeth…rinse…repeat…how fondly do you remember reminding them if they have their gym uniform?

OF course…we have those moments that make you question why you became a parent. Colic….the dreaded hours between 4 and 6pm when they might just cry. Or the waking up in the middle of the night. The look of the new parent is a clever mix at awe in what they created, and shock at surviving on as little sleep as they do.

The toddler years. Who doesn’t love bolting down furniture and locking everything that opens. Ever try one of those toilet locks at 3am?

The years when your kid is struggling to find their place in the world?

When they lose a game or a competition or a friend?

When they hurt so bad that you feel like you are empty because you don’t want to see your child hurt so much?

The tween years….yeah…who doesn’t love the onset of puberty?

The teen years…rebels who think they have a cause?

Yup.

1/3 great

1/3 okay

1/3 crappy

But…

Wow…

It’s worth it.

Congratulations to everyone, whether or not they are a Mother, who has parented a child. It is not the goal of everyone, but to those who choose it, I salute you.

1/3 1/3 1/3

Have you heard about the rule of thirds?

I recently read a very good memoir: Bravey by Alexi Pappas. Pappas is an Olympian and producer/actor/writer. She has conquered her own demons. Pappas has packed a lot into a relatively young life…

One of the tricks (i don’t know what to call it, so I’ll go with tricks) is the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is as follows:

When you’re chasing a big goal, you’re supposed to feel good a third of the time, okay a third of the time, and crappy a third of the time

Alexi Pappas Bravey

This explains the success Pappas has had. She is willing to push through the pain in order to achieve her goals.

But…

Does this translate to little goals as well as big ones?

What if your goals are more modest? (Modest goals are okay: you set the rules for your life. You are allowed to have any goal, or no goal…)

My goal is to blog five days a week. I feel good when I blog every single time that I do it. Does this mean I’m doing it wrong? Should I be pushing myself to write deeper, show pain, write better? Should I feel crappy right now as I write?

If you feel lousy a third of the time you are doing something, is it worth doing?

Does the end justify the means?

Which leads me to: what if you embody this rule of thirds, and you go after your goal. You spend years feeling good a third of the time, 2/3 of your life is blah at best. Then something happens at zero hour to derail your goals. Maybe you teammate or coworker gets sick, maybe there’s a fire in your factory, maybe you lose…if you spent years feeling great only 1/3 of the time in pursuit of this goal, how well do you recover? Are you so used to pain that it doesn’t matter? Or are you depressed and feel like you’ve wasted your life?

Lots to discuss here…lots of food for thought.

What do you think? Do you have a goal? How do you feel while trying to accomplish it? Have you accomplished something via the rule of thirds?

What say you all?

The List

Democrats

  • Read Literary Fiction
  • Eat Sushi
  • Watch Netflix
  • Prefers weekends away to weeklong vacations
  • Own Cats
  • Ride Bikes
  • Like Roses
  • Listen to Jazz
  • Are Night Owls

Republicans

  • Read Science Fiction
  • Eat Salmon
  • Watch HBO MAX
  • Prefer weeklong vacations to weekends away
  • Own Dogs
  • Ride Scooters
  • Like Tulips
  • Listen to Classical
  • Are Early Birds

All members of the Democratic Party adhere to all these things, and all members of the Republican Party adhere to everything on their list. Right? I mean, we all know that if you belong to one of these parties, you are exactly like every other member of your party. You believe the exact same things. You stand for the exact same things.

Right?

Wait?

What’s that?

You’re a Democrat who owns a dog? And you listen to classical music? You hate literary fiction? You hate going away for the weekend?

But…

How can that be?

You identified as a Democrat?

I mean if you are a true Democrat, you must agree with everything that “they stand for”…

Can you imagine a Republican that’s a night owl or rides a bike? I mean, that’s just crazy talk….

Blasphemy…

Once you assign yourself to a party you are locked in to every single thing they stand for. You must vote for the candidate that they put on the ballot…

You are no longer allowed to think individually as per issue or person…

Group dynamics baby…

I’m sorry…what did you just say?

You say that we are all allowed to have whatever interests that we want? That we are allowed to choose the issues that we believe in? It doesn’t matter what party we belong to?

hmmmmm

Nahhhh…

That can’t be…

Democrats are one way. Republicans are another. That’s just how it is.

Right?

Or Left?

Portrait of the Artist as Just an Artist

Should The Cosby Show still be on TV?

Do I have your attention?

What Bill Cosby did to women was despicable. It was wrong on all sorts of levels which is why he went to prison.

But his TV show, the one all about family values….should it be pushed aside to the bins?

Should the thousands of other people who worked on that show be forced to suffer in shame even thought they did nothing wrong?

Do we separate the artist from the art?

I have been struggling with this issue for awhile. There are many books, movies, music and art that I like and appreciate for their intrinsic value. It’s pretty to look at, or complex in its ideas. It makes me think or it inspires me. Is it wrong to look at a work of art and not contemplate who the artist is? Should we just get rid of all that intellectual property because of the person who made it?

So, I have decided to take a stand: I am going to separate art from the artist. I am going to enjoy a piece of work on its own merits. I am not going to look at the background of an artist.

My college book club is really focused on looking at the background of the authors of the books that we read. We spent the first ten minutes of the last book club hearing someone recite the bio of the author…

Why?

Can’t a book just be a book?

Shouldn’t a book stand on its own merits without knowing anything about the author? if you’re a scholar this could be very interesting. I understand many a thesis is based on looking into the life of an artist. But for the lay person? Should we need a reason for the art? Shouldn’t the art stand alone?

Does the authors bio really matter?

Does who the artist is really matter?

Should we separate art from the artist?

Discuss:

On a side note: Two of my blog friends wrote very thought provoking pieces yesterday. As they gave me much to think about, I thought that you might enjoy them as well:

http://theycallmetater.com/2021/05/03/free-speech-and-the-cheerleader/

https://bleuwater.me/2021/05/03/study-56-of-young-liberal-women/

The Advice Column- Selectively Lazy

Dear LA,

Recently my husband and I got a puppy. We love the puppy very much, though she is not really trained. When we take the dog for a walk she tends to walk me instead of me walking her. When I was younger this behavior might not have bothered me, but you know, one of the side effects of aging is a sore shoulder after you’ve walked a very determined dog.

We did take the dog for training, and the trainer suggested things to do so the the dog stops this annoying behavior. The trainer says that when we are walking her (remember we are walking the dog not me) we should just stop whenever she starts to pull the leash. This way she will realize who is in charge (it’s supposed to be me in charge in case you were wondering)

.Walking the dog like this is very time consuming as one may have to stop after every step. It could take ten minutes to walk down the block!

I am willing to go through this process. I know that the end result is worth all the work. However, my Husband just does not see this in the same way that I do. After doing this for a minute he throws his hands up in the air and exclaims:

This really isn’t that important to me. I just don’t care if she pulls the leash.”

This is very frustrating to me. If all the people that walk the dog don’t practice the desired behavior, it won’t work!

How do I get my Husband to understand how important this is to me?

Signed,

Dog Tired

Dear Dog Tired,

I completely understand your frustration! My Husband does things like this as well. His desire to be selectively lazy wears away at my patience.

Sometimes couples have to be on the same page. They must present a united front, because if they don’t, things go awry. It is important to understand which issues are important to your partner so that you can help them achieve their goals.

The biggest problem of couples not seeing eye to eye on domestic duties is that one partner will end up doing more of the work. Think about laundry and loading the dishwasher. How many fights are started because Partner A likes things done one way and Partner B doesn’t do it the same way?

While I realize that there can be many ways to load a dishwasher, if A really likes it done a certain way, shouldn’t B try to hop on board?

Alas, what tends to happen is that A ends up doing the dishwasher all the time. A begins to resent B for not helping. Then fights begin about other things…

But wait…

You wanted advice, not reasons to be single…

OK- here’s all I got.

  1. talk to your partner about why you really need them to help you out on this issue- make them understand why it is important
  2. try not to control every aspect of domestic life. Let them do something their way. Make it something that doesn’t matter thought. For the love of all things good, make them replace the toilet paper when the roll is empty.

Walk on!

La

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

  1. Do I have what it takes to be an advice columnist?
  2. Do you have arguments with your partner about domestic duties?
  3. How do you solve the problem of your partner not doing things the way you want them done?
  4. What does or doesn’t your partner do that drives you crazy?
  5. Should there be training for partners who don’t listen?
  6. Is every single person breathing a sigh of relief?
  7. Anything else that was touched on in todays column?

What Inspired Me This Week: May 2

Lots of flowers!!!!!

Madison Square Park
Pretzel from Kirsh Bakery
Betty has taken to hiding her dog biscuits in the house. I think she thought this spot in the sofa cushions would work
guess who got a pedicure
Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue – my husband and I split a three meat platter (brisket, ribs and burnt ends)
The comedian went around table to table asking what the relationships were- when they got to ours- the guy said “Friends?” and I said- “She’s my daughter.” Got the biggest laugh of the night….
Betty at the dog park

Gratitude Saturday May 1

I was walking the dog the other day. We were going to the Farmer’s Market. On the way there, we saw someone on a non motorized scooter get hit by a van.

Here’s the thing about your senses: when you see someone get hit, the scene at first seems surreal to your eyes. Yet, the sound of the accident jolts you into reality. Your first split second thought of NO correlates with the sound of YES.

So I dialed 911 to report the accident- (full disclosure- a plains clothes police officer identified himself as he also witnessed the accident except from the other side of the street- he immediately took to checking on the person injured as he saved the scene as best as possible to determine what actually happened)

This was the third time that I dialed 911 in the past few months. One time the traffic light had gone out at the very heavily trafficked intersection near my house, and the other was my infamous ER visit.

So….

  1. I am grateful that the person involved in the accident did not appear seriously injured
  2. I am grateful for all the people who work at 911 call centers
  3. I am grateful to all the people who respond to emergency calls/situation
  4. I am also grateful that I was not walking faster down the street

My Month in Books- April

Nice weather +restrictions lifting= less reading

This is what I read from March 25- April 28

TitleAuthorHow I Heard About BookRating
Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life InterruptedSuleika JaouadGoodreads List1
Homeland ElegiesAyad AkhtarNot Sure2
The Rules of MagicAlice HoffmanTea Book Club3
Your Fully Charged Life: A Radically Simple Approach to Having Endless Energy and Filling Every Day with YayMeaghan B. MurphyGood Housekeeping4
One By OneRuth Warenot sure5
Early Morning RiserKatherine HeinyReal Simple6
Sorrow & BlissMeg MasonCollege Book Club7
Burnt SugarAvni DoshiCollege Book Club8
Anywhere For YouAbbie Greavesin store browse at Barnes and Noble9
We Begin at the EndChris WhitakerBarnes and Noble Book Club10
These are the order in which I liked these books. It does not mean the last one is bad or the first one is great. It’s just how much I liked them this month
This months Book Bingo is brought to us by brilliant-books.net. Once again I was lucky in my selections and I have attained BINGO!!

Think it Over…or Under

I’ve been thinking about thinking…

I feel when it comes to thinking, it’s sort of a three little bears experiment. We have Papa Over Thinking, and Mama Under Thinking and baby bear just right thinking. But like Goldilocks…how do we know when we’ve reached the level of thinking that is JUST RIGHT

Let’s start out with a premise that thinking is good. When you are about to do just about anything, the universal thought is probably that you should think about what you are doing. You shouldn’t cross the street without looking, you shouldn’t invest your money in shares of a bridge with a person that you met at the dollar store, you shouldn’t just pick some greenery from the forest and ingest it. You should at least glance at at least one possible consequence. So thinking = good

But let’s look at how thinking affects us by looking at the crossing the street example. If you decide not to look both ways, if you choose to not pay attention to your surroundings, if you decide to text while you walk, maybe you are thinking, but you are not necessarily thinking about the task at hand. If you don’t at least think about the possibility that cars could hit you, you are not thinking effectively. At some point you need to think about danger.

Now, if you are standing at the corner and think about the velocity of the cars, look to see if any car is faster or slower, if they seem to be swerving, if there are too many pedestrians, if the road is in good repair, etc there is a possibility that you will not get across the street. Ever. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be aware of the pitfalls that lie ahead, but you also have to learn to assess what could most likely happen from what will probably happen. Actually hearing the revving engine or a siren are actual signs that should heighten your senses. A truck three blocks away probably doesn’t matter in the ten seconds it takes to cross the street.

It’s very east to go from thinking to over thinking.

But what about under thinking? Do you just cross the street without looking? Do you hear the sirens but don’t stop to ascertain how close they are or from what direction they hail? Do you not look to see the pothole and try to avoid it?

But how do you know when crossing the street what the correct amount of thinking is? How does your brain make the connection from not to under to regular to over?

I guess part of the answer lies in distraction- how distracted are you when you are doing something. Thinking means that you have to be paying attention to something. Can you think when you are distracted? Yes, no and maybe. Sure, we say that we can multitask, but if nothing is getting 100% of our attention, are we really giving any of the things we are thinking about their proper due? When you are crossing the street, what percentage of your brain are you actually giving to it? Are you also thinking about work, family, where your life is going? Are you listening to music or a book? Are you holding the hand of a toddler or walking a dog? Are you texting? Haven’t we all seen at least one video of someone walking while texting who has fallen into a hole or fountain? Of course, we might call that “Not thinking”…

Next we have the risk thing. How much of a risk taker are you. I’m going to take a stance and say that over thinkers are less risk averse. I think over thinkers try to weigh out every single possibility that comes down the pike, so much so that they end up in a state of inertia. Instead of doing something they end up doing nothing. They become so bogged down in the thinking that they can’t move ahead. They are paralyzed with fear of taking a risk.

Impulsiveness, on the other hand, could be a sign of under thinking. Someone who decides spur of the moment, to take a leap, has probably not thought about the pros and cons of the situation at hand. They saw an opportunity and seized it. Depending on the situation, impulsiveness can be good or bad. Deciding on a whim to get on a train with a person you just met can have a delightful outcome. Deciding that jumping on top of that train might not work out so well for you. But yes- in both these cases, you should at least think a little bit about the consequences.

Personally, I think I can fall into any of the thinking categories. I don’t think, I under think, I think and I overthink. It all depends on what I’m doing. I have regretted things that I have done, and I have regretted things that I haven’t done. I have never overthought myself into paralysis though. I am actually a confident decision maker- I think, make pros and cons and decide. It’s neither good nor bad- it’s just me.

Food For Thought

  1. Do you consider yourself an over or under thinker
  2. Do you think it’s better/worse to be an over thinker (or under thinker)
  3. How much thought do you put into something before you move forward
  4. Have you ever been too scared to make a decision?
  5. Have you ever acted impulsively- what happened?
  6. Are you a risk taker
  7. What is your “just right” level of thought
  8. Anything at all that came to mind as you read my post