My TV Myself

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Nestled comfortably in my cozy Lazygirl I stare at a blank TV screen, blacker than the highway to hell.  That’s an assumption, of course, since to the best of my knowledge, I have never actually traveled down the road to hell, though sometimes I wonder if I might not be headed in that direction.  Come to think of it, maybe I’m a current resident there now, but too dense to see it.  Hmmm . . .

In the midst of my reverie it dawns on me that quite possibly, I might just be sitting here staring at a picture of the workings of my mind.  Uh oh.  Blank.

With the touch of a button I have the power to bring it alive.  It is a world unto itself, rife with stories, news, fantasy, sports, profundity, stupidity, truth and fiction.  It is a magnificent bearer of both beauty and horror, and of love and hatred.

Within and behind that blank screen lies an entire world that is not real.  It entertains me and offers escape, distraction, and welcome relief from the gnawing fear of what is to become of us and of the world that we once knew and loved, a world that seems to deteriorate in bits and pieces day by day.  It magnifies that fear by spewing ugliness into our world with news and fake news or whatever else there is to tempt us into believing that our world has gone round the bend into raging, complete and utter, full-blown insanity.  Nuttydom, I call it.

Here is my mind mirrored back to me in sound bytes.  Here is my mind giving me the rich opportunity to decide what to watch – or not – the perfect mirror of the meanderings of my mind.

I stare for awhile at that blank screen in my head and realize that it’s up to me to decide.  I decide what I do with my mind.  I decide which channel I tune into, and I have the power to change what I wish to see in my mind’s eye at any given moment.  I can tune into what brings me a greater sense of peace and calm, and joy and happiness, or I can choose anxiety, anger, frustration, or powerlessness in the face of a world governed by leaders who put their personal interests ahead of those they supposedly serve.

But beware!  A choice for love isn’t easy.  It requires diligence, vigilance, determination, intention, and perseverance–just a few minor little attitude adjustments.  Without those, a love-chooser easily becomes prey to the tricky uncanny antics of an ego intent upon surviving it own annihilation in the face of love.  Wth any luck, perhaps the planet and its inhabitants will survive annihilation as well.

Maybe one day I’ll write about those crafty little ego antics, but for today, I’m going say goodbye to the blank screen and hello to the light.  Today, I focus on choosing love.

 

 

Where’s the Easy Button?

legs-window-car-dirt-road-51397.jpegWhen I was a kid my family used to accuse me of getting up earlier so that I could loaf longer. Back then I was insulted by their accusations, but now I see that they were dead right. If you want to get something done quickly and efficiently, ask a lazy person because they’ll always find a way to finish the job in a hurry so they can default back to lazy mode and loaf longer.

I was born the youngest in a family with three girls, one who claimed me as her very own personal adorable little baby doll. There was nothing that I was required to do for myself because she anticipated my every need and met each one before it appeared, haircuts included. I picked the perfect environment to nurture my lackawannado nature. My loving sister-mother exacerbated my slothful ways by playing right into my lazy little hands. Bless her heart.

I’m never overwhelmingly thrilled about staring at myself and my shortcomings eyeball to eyeball, but sometimes they just pop up out of nowhere and knock me off center by making me realize that I still have a lot of work to do on myself.   Rats. I want to get it over with fast so I can get out of here, whip through the pearly gates, find myself a comfy lazygirl where I can plop down, put the feet up, relax, push a few buttons, and have the world at my beck and call to fulfill my every need.

The lazy in me always wants it all to be easy.   I have probably been a queen in a past lifetime or two, living a peel-me-a-grape sort of existence, surrounded by servants and handmaidens scurrying around me like bees in a hive providing for my every need while I sat popping peeled grapes and bon bons into my greedy mouth.

Wouldn’t it be a fabulous life if we didn’t have to struggle? Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to work ourselves stupid just to get by? Shouldn’t it all be easy? And fun? Now that would make life really worth living. But alas, such is not always the case.

Take blogging for example. Sometimes I sit down and just start writing and in the space of an hour or less a beginning, middle, and end have emerged onto paper and I can call myself finished. On other days it’s a real struggle with writing, rewriting, guessing, second-guessing, and—well you get the idea.

Yesterday was a slogging blogging sort of a day. No matter how many attempts I made to get it right, it always seemed to come out wrong.   I ended the day with yet another unfinished blog, frustrated and exhausted from the effort of trying to write through a weary mind and blurry eyes. I learned long ago that if I find obstacles hurled on my path every other step of the way that I’m going in the wrong direction. The harder I try to get where I want to go, the more mired in quicksand I become until finally I sink into an abyss of failure and quit fighting the good fight.  Going against gravity sends me reeling backwards every time. When will I learn to listen?

My friends refuse to believe me when they hear me call myself lazy. They point out my organizational skills and neat freak ways and tell me that there is no way that I am lazy. Well—maybe they are right. On the other hand, their perspective is vastly different from mine. They see only the outside, while I am on the inside looking out.

Perhaps after a lifetime of procrastination and claiming that I do my best work under pressure, I’ve come to my senses and realize that it’s easier to do it now rather than later, and that if I continue to stumble over obstacles strewn across the path to my end game,, something is amiss. If I don’t slide gracefully into my destination I am on the wrong path.

What is classroom earth but an opportunity to give us free will to decide what we want, set out upon a journey toward our dreams, choose our path, watch our step, and make in-flight corrections when necessary?

Yep. I want it to be easy. If it isn’t, something is amiss. It behooves me to figure out what that is and fix it while I still have the chance. I’m on a mission to earn my right to that comfy lazygirl in the sky.  Oh but wait—I’ll probably be so busy doing whatever it is that folks do in up there that I won’t have time to sit down and enjoy it. Well, perhaps the joy is in the doing.  Or the journey.  Or maybe both.  If the bottom line of doing is joy, then I’ll take whatever I can get!

Hallelujah!  This blog showed up with a beginning and an end with a middle somewhere in between.  And it all happened before my second cup of coffee. I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.  At least for today.

May all of your doings be filled with joy this day.

 

 

Potties, Plaques, and Plagiarism

 This morning the universe very kindly presented me with inspiration courtesy of plagiarism and bathroom wisdom. It makes me wonder what, if anything, these two subjects might have in common but who knows—there may be a lesson lurking in here somewhere and with any luck I’ll find it.   A day without a lesson is a day without sustenance. Food. Coffee. Sunshine. That sort of thing. Wine. But those days are over. Who knows—maybe it’s about the seat that’s up. All I know is that I didn’t do it.

The first bit of inspiration came from a blogger who wrote about her concern over the plagiarizing of blogs.   I’m too new at this point to even think of worrying or caring about that yet, so I won’t.

The second was an email from my friend Ginny Daly who sent me a copy of a lovely meditation by Richard Rohr.

“ I noticed today’s meditation has a similar version of my “like likes like.” And to think here I thought I’d made that up years ago as it applies to an advertising concept I was teaching at the time.  How silly of me!”                                                            

It reminded me of a similar experience of my own.

I thought I made up a couple of things too, like “rom com” and “mani pedi”. Okay, I admit that mani pedi might have been around before I thought of it, but who knows? But rom com? When I first spoke those words to a very hip and knowing friend, her response was, “What’s a rom com?” Romantic comedy, silly. What else? Whether or not I actually made those abbreviations up in my head, or whether I plucked them right out of the universal pool of clever tidbits to be snatched is a question that will never be answered.

When I worked in a law firm with five floors each with a restroom, and each restroom with four stalls, I’d often find myself in desperate need of a bathroom while on the fly. I’d make a frantic dash into the nearest one of twenty stalls in such a hurry that sometimes I didn’t take the time to check out the condition of the seat.

I quickly learned that there are two sorts of women in the world—the sitters and the squatters. I’m a sitter. It’s those squatters that get me every time because their total lack of bathroom decorum manifests in a soaking wet seat as a gift for the next poor sucker with a frantic need for blessed relief. No wonder the squatters squat. They don’t want to become the victim of the last squatter’s gift. Heaven forbid.

Please don’t get me wrong, squatters. I’m sure that that there are the sweeties among you who clean up after yourselves in consideration of the person who follows you

But for those who don’t, I have a few words for you. Be considerate. Clean up after yourself. If not, be prepared to be faced with the possibility of some sort of nasty karma that may rise up and bite you in the butt.

By the way—apologies to those among you who are old-school ladies who think that butt is a dirty word—or at least an unladylike one. But it’s only an informal abbreviation of a legitimate word, right? Forrest Gump said it after all—except when he said it, it came out butt-tocks. Rom com. Mani pedi. Butt—not a big whoop, right?

Well so anyway, why don’t I wipe the seat, you may wonder? Duh. I don’t have time. I’m too busy trying not to wet my own self! When I have time, of course I check. When not, oh well . . .

In a fit of fury after one such encounter with a soggy seat, I stormed back to my office and flying fingers typed the words that fell out of my head.

If you sprinkle when you tinkle,

Please be a sweetie and wipe the seatie.

Okay, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I I made that one up. I taped a copy to the inside of the door in every restroom—all twenty stalls.

Twenty years later, I sat myself down on a seatie in someone’s home and—voila—I found myself staring eyeball to wall at one of those wood-carved plaques—you know—the kind you would find in a road-side souvenir shop that advertises the name of the town on everything that isn’t nailed down? There it was. A jagged-edged dark brown wooden plaque hanging on the wall in right front of me with the exact words I had written so long ago. Probably plucked right off of a shelf in some gift shop in God Only Knows What Town, USA.

Imagine my surprise ten years later when I wandered into the restroom of an elegant consignment shop and discovered a variation of the original hanging in all its glory before my very eyes. Yep—there it again—framed, hand-lettered, décor matched, and misquoted. It makes me wonder how many other versions and variations there may be somewhere out there in the world hanging around making money without meCome on! I mean, if you must plagiarize the plagiarizer, the least you can do is get it right, right? On the other hand, perhaps it was an intentional act on the part of the perpetrator designed to appear as if it might be an original thought. Hmmm . . .

Well now, as you might imagine, the discovery of these unexpected sightings conjured up some interesting and somewhat disturbing mind meanderings. Darn! Someone stole my stuff and claimed it as her own (it has to be a her, right?) Darn! Someone is cashing in on my creativity. Darn! Why didn’t I think of that? Darn! How dare she? Darn! I’d like to have a word with the sneaky little shedevil—if only I knew who she was. Darn! I wonder how much money she made that I didn’t?

Let that be a lesson to me.

Wait. What’s the lesson?

I don’t know, but I’m sure that there must be one in there somewhere. There always is. Maybe it has to do with not getting too attached to what I think is mine. Letting go. Finding humor. Forgiveness—not just for the perpetrator, but for myself for whatever I think I did or didn’t do that I should or shouldn’t have. I think I’ll just think about for a while and maybe I’ll get it figured out before I croak. On the other hand, maybe by then, it won’t even matter.

Hmm. That last thought makes me wonder. What does really matter?

Stay tuned.

Gone Fishin’

IMG_1592When I finally learned the meaning of the word blog, (the net really has some weird lingo, right) I remember that some rather unflattering thoughts about the whole concept invaded my head. Hmm. I think that some folks might call that judgment. Whatever. Anyway, tending to be the sort who shies away from the opinions of others, I wondered what could possibly intrigue me enough to make me want to sit down long enough to read the ramblings of a stranger. And now here I am, a stranger—and getting stranger every day—writing my own opinions about whatever zany idea comes to mind, mostly comprised of the ramblings and opinions within my own head.

So I say to myself, “Self,” I say, “Why have you devolved into doing the very thing that turned you off so many years ago?” Why? Well that could be the subject of an entire book that may or may not ever be written. Well maybe someday, but certainly not today . . .

Meanwhile, I’ve been fishing around the WordPress website and reeling in a lot of insight thanks to some of you bloggers out there who make otherwise boring old mundane everyday stuff sound so fascinating and scintillating that I can’t stop reading. How do you do that?   The least I can do is say thank you for inspiring me to get busy and try to figure out how to make my own boring mundane stuff, like doing the laundry or cleaning out a junk drawer sound so appealing that it lures in even the wariest of readers.

Reading stuff from other bloggers almost makes me feel like a voyeur, peeping in on the private thoughts of similar minds. It makes me think that maybe I’m not the only crazy one out here in the world, all alone and trying to make sense of what is.

Those private thoughts are a vein of gold that offer insight into the heart and soul of the one willing to share. But for some reason—mostly fear, I suspect—most of us are unwilling to tell on ourselves because it can feel unsafe and it’s really scary to be vulnerable which makes it tempting to take the safe route and hide out behind plastic smiles.

Here’s one of the most valuable lessons that I ever learned about vulnerability. The more willing and able I am to tell the truth about my deepest, darkest feelings to a trusted listener—someone who will not judge me for whatever heinous crime that I have committed, or for the way I feel—the more there is of me to love. And the more someone shares with me, the closer I feel to that person because I realize that we’re all struggling with the same human stuff and it helps me understand that we’re all trying to keep ourselves from drowning in the same fishing hole. That makes us all lovable—at least on some level—if we sink the lure deep enough to reel in the treasure.

Well schazzam—I just went from zero-to sixty-in five seconds, from humor over the mundane to the infinite depth of a soul. I guess life’s like that sometimes. One minute I’m wallowing around whining about how hard it is to get a grip, and the next I am laughing at the antics of the great cosmic clown who thinks its very funny to confront me with a wasp wandering around in my purse in a car barreling along at sixty mph, or finding chewing gum stuck to the side of my shoe. Hello? The side of my shoe? What—was I walking around on my ankles?

So I’m going to tell you the truth. Well, I’d really like to tell the truth, but to be perfectly honest. I’m not really sure what the truth is. But you know what? My game plan is to figure it out and start learning the lessons that I flunked along the way before it’s too late. Straighten up and die right.

One of the first things that I’m going to work on is finishing what I start. I have a myriad of incomplete stuff that I’ve written, just hanging around waiting for an ending. My life in a nutshell.

And it would be a little embarrassing to fess up to all the other loose ends dangling around in my life, so I won’t, at least for now. Maybe later, when I feel safe enough. Making a commitment to doing a blog on a regular basis is a step along the way.  Allowing success to creep in—even better. That would check a couple of things off of my bucket list—perseverance, procrastination, completing the incomplete, not giving up in a fit of “I can’t,” drop the fear of success. Oops. That sounds like a lot more than just a couple of things, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, ho boy, I’ve got a lot of work to do. Maybe I’ll just take a little minute and go fishing.   Well maybe not. I must confess that I have gone fishing only once in my life, and that was the day when my fish hook got caught in my cousin’s eyelid. Therein ended the fishing venture forever after. So that’ the truth—albeit a tiny part of it. Stay tuned.   And that said, we have reached the end of the fake fishing blog.

Hey wait a minute! Did I just finish something?

So it would seem.

Yeah, but will anyone read it?

Why? Does it matter?

Oops. Something else to figure out before it’s too late!

Here’s a little PS that just popped into my head.   The instant that I push the publish button and post a blog, I’m riding on a high that lasts for two or three days. Then slowly, when the high begins to fade away into the ethers, something nags at me until I get around to doing the next one. Huh. Have I just acquired another addiction? Well, whatever. I’ll think about that tomorrow.

Oh, and a final PS.  The picture that you see is one that I took myself.  AND, I might add, I am very proud of myself for figuring out how to get it from my personal photo library onto the top of this page.  For me that’s a huge deal–even bigger than writing a blog.  Now that’s something worth celebrating!