45. Don’t Get Caught Up In This World

It’s so easy to get caught up in this world,  and all of its problems.    This song,  which I heard Sarah Guthrie sing last year,  was written by her grandfather,  Woody Guthrie.  It reminded me of the troubles of the world.  Some problems of life are inevitable.  We are living here, for the time being,  and have to find a way to get money and have a place to live, which usually involves a job of some sort.   Jobs come with people who you must learn to get along with, and office politics,  and doing things you really don’t want to do.  Spouses,  or significant others,  often lead to kids, which lead to schools,  teachers,  and PTA meetings,  and a world in itself.  Spouses and kids often lead to houses in the suburbs,  where rules exist about what color your house can be,  and how many cars you are allowed to have in your driveway, what type of mailbox you are allowed to have, etcetera.   And, you are expected to have kids,  and have kids who behave,  are well-rounded,  play sports,  learn to play an instrument,  and get good grades.  If you don’t,  then you must be doing something wrong.  When it comes time to vote, people expect you to pick a side,  and vote for that side,  and stand up for your side.  You are expected to keep up with the world’s news,  and what country is invading their neighbor,  and who won those elections you voted in,  and which politician has quit,  or been fired,  or done something they shouldn’t have done (hint,  all of them).  While you’re at it,  keep up with the local news and what product was recalled last,  and which school was just locked down, and what the nightly news headlines are.   Which church will you go to?  What religion will you practice?  Whatever one you pick,  you must abide by their teachings.  What is the latest new thing in social media?  Have you logged on and checked your messages today?   You must check your Facebook messages,  and your email every day!   Which new movies are coming out?   What celebrity couple just split up?   On,  and on,  and on,  and on it goes,  it will never stop,  that is what everyone knows.   It’s a wonder we aren’t all mad as a hatter!  No offense to anyone in the millinery industry.

If you don’t keep up with the world and all of its issues,  you are labeled as someone who doesn’t care.  Or if you don’t keep up with the tragedies of the day,  but focus on the good,  you are a Pollyanna, which somehow is a bad thing to be according to the general population.

Life makes it hard to believe how there could be anything else important outside of this world,  let alone remember that is so.   Unless we receive a reminder.  I received one the other day.  My grandfather stopped by to say,  Hi.   That wouldn’t be such a big deal,  except that he died years ago.  I was up late one evening,  as usual,  and noticed my clock chimed twelve times at eleven – thirty.   I looked at the picture of my grandfather sitting on the table next to me and thought to myself,  “Grandpa, can you fix your clock,  it’s messed up again”.  The mantel clock I have that my grandfather made,  has the unusual ability to set itself right whenever I forget to have someone wind it for me.  I kind of just assume that my grandfather fixes it for me,  because clocks don’t just reset themselves.  But,  I hadn’t forgotten to have it wound this time.

Well,  later that night, I was lying in bed and it occurred to me, that maybe there was nothing wrong with the clock,  but it was just my grandfather saying,  hello.  Just as I had the thought, I noticed that the power light on the bottom of my TV started flashing off and on.  It did this for several seconds (I have never seen it do that again).  It was as if  my grandfather was trying to say yes,  that’s it,  you got it right,  I’m just saying hello.  If I needed any more convincing,  I also noticed that my mantel clock was back to chiming at the proper time the next day,  without anyone touching it.

Somewhere out there,  is a whole other world where it doesn’t matter if you make enough money,  or what country you want to live in, or the color of your skin.  You will never feel bad,  or too tired to do anything.  You won’t have a care in the world.  You won’t have to do anything you don’t want to do,  and will have fun every day, all day.  Somewhere,  where it’s all good.  I’m in no hurry to get there.  But,  it’s nice to know it’s there,  and a bit of that world is right here with us all the time,  even if we can’t always see it.  Try to remember that,  and watch for the reminders,  they are there for everyone. We just have to slow down enough to notice them.

 

 

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44. Find Your Happy Place

What thoughts make you happiest?  Which places make you happy?  Do you have a space you can go to that makes you happy?  Find your happy place.  I have a selection of happy memories I can go visit anytime I want to.  A memory of holding my toddler on my lap and rocking her to sleep.  Memories of walking through the field behind my house where I grew up.  I walked through the field and woods with my dog almost every day in the summertime when I was a kid.  When I want to visit a happy place in my mind,  I remember my grandparents house.  I can remember every detail,  from the smell of motor oil wafting through the air as I would turn the brass doorknob to enter the garage,  to the smell of Wrigley’s peppermint gum filling the buffet cabinet where my grandmother kept her purse.  I can remember entering my grandparents house and I can remember the details of every room of their home,  the color of every wall,  and floor,  the sounds of the birds outside that I heard every morning when I woke up,  and the smell of every room.  What are your happiest memories?

Do you have a space in your house that makes you happy?  My chaise lounge chair is where I spend most of my time,  so I have around me some of my favorite things.   From my chair I can see the Jesus statue (my daughter calls him my Hippy Jesus, because his fingers are raised,  she thinks it looks like he’s giving the peace sign), that sat on my grandparents fireplace mantel as long as I can remember.  The clock that my grandfather made,  sits in front of me.  A few of my father’s,  and great grandfather’s marbles decorate the edge of my fireplace mantel.   I can see my bird feeders from my seat,  and the many beautiful birds that visit everyday.  Especially in the summer time,  with my windows open,  I can sit and watch and listen to them,  and smell the fresh air, and feel the warm breeze flowing through my room.  It is easy to be happy in the moment.  You should carve out at least one little corner of your home that you can go to and feel a sense of comfort,  and joy.

How about a song you love?  Or,  maybe music from a particular band or person.  Music has the power to make you almost instantly happy,  or sad,  depending on what songs you listen to,  and what they mean to you.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

Everyone needs a happy place, or happy memory to think about when things aren’t going the way you would like them to.  A memory or place you can go that instantly brings you back into feeling happy,  or joyful.  To feeling good.  When you are having a bad day at work,  or whenever you are,  go somewhere private and think about your happiest memories.  They will make you forget about your problems for a few minutes,  and you will feel so much better.

 

 

 

43. Why?

Why,  oh why are we required to brush all the tangles out of our hair?   If you have short hair,  just skip this part of the blog.  But, if you’ve ever had long hair, can you send me a message and tell me why?  If you are a female, and you had long hair when you were a kid,  then you may remember the torture that you went through when your mother,  or grandmother brushed through your tangled hair!  The pain!  The hours of torture!  All for tangle free hair!  Why?  My mother tried conditioner,  and whatever she could think of,  but the tangles in my long semi straight hair always persisted!  These days,  my hair is quite a bit shorter than when I was a kid,  but it is never tangle free.  I like the way my hair looks when I’ve just had it shampooed (the friend who cuts my hair will be glad to know I didn’t say “washed”),  and I have it scrunched up,  which makes it curl up.  But,  brush it out, and all my beautiful curls go flat.  I don’t have the luxury of shampooing my hair everyday,  or even every other day.  That’s because I can’t do it myself.  I have to rely on someone else to do it,  and I can’t ask them to do it too often.  So,  brush my hair and my hair looks good for one day, two tops.   It hit me,  all of a sudden today,  why do I have to get all the tangles out?  Maybe the hair stylists of the world would disagree,  but I say why not leave the tangles?  I mean,  I get that you don’t want your hair to look like something that resembles a bird’s nest,  but aside from taming the messiness of your hair,  what is the point?  Who made the rule?  I say it’s time we looked at why we do what we do,  and maybe make some changes!

Why are we supposed to eat three meals a day?  Isn’t that what you grew up believing?  I never eat three meals a day.  I haven’t done that since I was a kid.  Once I went to college,  I ate when I wanted to.  Who made that rule?   And, who decides what is appropriate breakfast and dinner food?   Maybe it’s a regional thing.   I know people in Europe often eat a breakfast, with breads and cheese, which we would consider a lunchtime meal.  Why is it wrong to eat eggs and sausage or bacon for dinner,  if the mood strikes you?

What about flowers versus weeds?   I have a huge yard,  and I love the way it looks when it’s filled with little brightly yellow colored flowers.  You might call them weeds because they are dandelions,  but they look like flowers to me.   Who decided they were bad?  I mean,  you can even eat them if you wanted to.   So how can a food also be a weed?

Let’s talk about leaves.  In the Fall,  people spend a lot of money and time to sweep up the leaves that fall into their yard.  Who decided that a leaf free yard was necessary?  My yard is too big to even consider raking,  but even if it weren’t,  I can’t see myself raking leaves.  I believe I read that they are actually good for your yard and act as a mulch for your yard.  But,  maybe that was written by someone trying to get out of raking their yard,  I don’t know.

Why do we go to school for twelve years?  Thirteen to fifteen,  if you add in pre-school and kindergarten.  Why do we have to learn things we may never use,  yet the things we need to know in everyday life,  we must learn from others outside of school,  or figure out on our own?  Like how to manage your money.  How to cook a meal.  How to sew a button on,  change the oil in your car,  check the tire pressure,  how to start fire.  Maybe these are all things you could pay someone else to do for you,  but chances are you will need to be able to do them for yourself at some point in your life,  even if it’s just until you make enough money to pay someone else to do it.  The list of things you won’t learn in school,  but need to know , is almost endless.

How about wearing white after Labor Day.   What kind of crazy rule is that?  And,  wearing black to a funeral?  Don’t even get me started on the whole funeral topic!  That’s a blog post in itself.  I could go on , and on with the list of things we do that, just because everyone does it that way.    Doing things the way you don’t really want to,  just because someone,  somewhere decided that’s how it should be,  can lead to stress and stress leads to things like ulcers and migraines.   Everyone would be better off if they could just do their own thing,  so to speak.   If your way of doing things isn’t going to effect anyone else in a negative way,  then go for it!  Eat pancakes for dinner,  and pizza for breakfast.  Aside from not being the healthiest meal you could choose,  what does it really matter?  Do whatever you want,  and you will feel much better for it.