As many of you know, one of my absolute favorite books is “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith. I first read this when I was about ten, and it immediately became part of me. I love this book. I wish to write words that are impactful to someone as the words in this book are to me.
I really don’t have the words to do this prompt the justice which it deserves, so I will present you with a wonderful quote from the book:
“Who wants to die? Everything struggles to live. Look at that tree growing up there out of the grating. It gets no sun, and water only when it rains. It’s growing out of the sour earth. And it’s strong because its hard struggle to live is making it strong. My children will be strong that way.”
I don’t trust people who say they are going to change the world.
Saying that you want to change THE WORLD implies that you literally know what’s best for THE WORLD. It implies a degree of omniscience…and sorry…anyone with that much ego can’t help but be a bit dangerous. For every one person with good intentions towards saving the world, there are probably ten with nefarious intentions.
What I do believe in is people taking personal responsibility.
If we all took personal responsibility there would be no need to change the world. If people took care of their health, didn’t abuse substances, didn’t hurt others…If people took care of the children that they brought into the world…if people worked and didn’t spend more than they have…if people learned to respect others…
If every single person took care of themselves and respected others there would be no problems.
So I guess, if pressed to answer the prompt, I take care of myself. I take care of my daughter. I now help my parents. I take care of the pets that I’ve taken into my home. I take personal responsibility.
I make really varied and weird playlists, because I will hear a random song and toss it on the list, with really no meaning as to why other than it moved me in some way. When you have this scattered attitude, you can wind up with literally anything.
The things that have been my favorites over the past month include:
The soundtrack from the movie Belfast– which is lots of Van Morrison and just wonderful
Mad Rush by Philip Glass performed by Simone Dinnerstein (which I saw her perform live last week at Carnegie Hall)
That being said, I have places that I go to get a little me time. My local park is a favorite. The Metropolitan Museum of Art works. Barnes and Noble is a plus (this is one time I don’t want an indie book store- I want to get lost in the stacks and not have anyone offer to help me) However, the number one place I go when I need solitude is a movie theater.
There is nothing like a movie theater to get me to my happy place.
First off, I love movies and film and anything shown on a big screen with surround sound. I love the comfy recliner seats now popular in mega theaters, and I love the old school scratchy velvet seats- (always burgundy btw) of the indie houses… I love the smell of popcorn popping and the pseudo buttery topping. I love that the indie theaters have a selection of tea.
When I go in and sit in my seat, lean back, and just get absorbed in the moment I am in my ultimate happy place.
I tend to go to movies by myself because this is something I do entirely for me. It is also something I do to be completely alone. This is my ultimate solitude place. What ever was troubling me as I walked down the carpeted aisle will leave the moment I organize my coat and drink and snack…
Going to see movies in a theater. My ultimate indulgence. My ultimate place of solitude!!
After I’ve thought about why I want to do X, and if it seems like something reasonable and I can manage my expectations, I set upon creating a plan.
I can be very detailed in my plans. And I write them in my planner accordingly. Sometimes I do things in steps. And I often give myself two to three weeks to get into the habit of that particular step. Because you need time to develop a pattern so that it becomes second nature. And sometimes I add a step to an already developed habit- ie: when I boil the water for tea in the morning I change the pet bowls and make sure they have fresh water and I feed them. As my tea steeps I empty the dishwasher. I just do these things on autopilot.
So when I set out a goal, and I’ve plotted it out, and then I’ve accomplished it, I feel strong.
I decided to do Bloganuary. Some of the prompts were, how do I say this…ridiculous. But I knew that I wanted to stretch my wings a little, so maybe ridiculous was just what I needed. Maybe just having fun with the writing was all I needed.
Which it’s been so far.
Hopefully I will continue to do these prompts until the 31st, and then I will feel strong. Sometimes you don’t need big wins in life: sometimes little wins feel good too. Sometimes they feel better…
FYI- I did the habit link thing here too. I wrote my regular blog. And then after I wrote my regular blog, I had a glass of water and then I started on the Bloganuary posts…it quickly became a habit…
My Great Grandmother, newly married at 14, came to settle with her Husband in NYC. I want to know what it was like for a girl, because she was a girl, with no education, who was born in Naples to come and settle in Brooklyn.
Barely conversant in some regional dialect, to then come here, and try to figure out how to survive in this brave new world? With a husband who was a scoundrel of the first degree? And with a brother who was not much better?
Her Husband left her to go back to Italy to fight with them in WWI- leaving her behind with two small children…
When he did return to the US, he then left her for another woman…
And yet she survived.
I want to see how she got her resilience- her strength and her resolve. What she had to endure just to get to tomorrow.
So maybe not exactly 1912, but you get the idea…
Strong women. May we all find the strength that we need to survive.
I was probably making breakfast or lunch, because I remember opening the fridge draw where we keep cheese. When I shut the refrigerator, I saw Sally and Penny sitting there in anticipation of getting a little treat. Their looks of hope and anticipation were priceless to me.