8 Minute Descent

image                                               The 150 souls onboard Flight 9525

Yesterday’s  horrific plane lane crash reminds us all how precarious our futures are.  Infants and their parents, teachers and schoolchildren, people from all walks of life shared their final eight minutes of life together.

All of their collective hopes and dreams were squeezed into an Airbus along with the love of  their families and friends.

I can’t help but dwell on what those eight minutes may have felt like. Reports say it was a controlled descent. It’s possible the passengers didn’t know at first what was even happening. Eventually the bliss of ignorance had to have been shattered. I hope it was just for a matter of seconds.

All of their lives are now dreams interrupted.  There are children who will not be born to the future mothers on that flight. The cure for disease may have been discovered by one of those kids. It’s endless, the possibilities.  The immensity of the loss reaches to the infinity that those souls are now a part of.

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Eight minutes.  The time it takes  to take a shower. Eight minutes.  Take the dog for a walk.

Eight minutes.  Make a fruit salad.  Eight minutes. Organize your sock drawer.

Eight minutes.  That’s all the had. Eight minutes was the rest of their lives.

Do something special today.

Janie

Missing Mom

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Today is the fifth anniversary of my mother’s death.  I miss her everyday. I miss her now.

If your mother is still with you please call her. Or write her a letter. Or text her. Or hug her. Do it for you. Do it for her. Do it for me.

Mothers can never be thanked enough. Mothers don’t even want to be thanked. They just would like to be acknowledged every once in a while. Acknowledge her. Don’t wait for Mother’s Day.

If you don’t have a mom who is here with us now then pray for her and light a candle. Remember her. Tell someone a story about her.  Don’t let her be forgotten.

I miss talking to her and getting advice.  I miss shopping with her and eating her food.

I miss how wise she was and how much she loved her family.

I miss her.

Janie

 

Operation Perseverance

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This is was the lesson of the day.  I now need to make it last a lifetime.

I got called out today.  As some of you know from my past posts I have started taking a yoga class. It’s part yoga, part mediation and part hurting myself. There is one particular pose that is done at every class.

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I cannot do it. I do not have the core strength. I physically just don’t.  I was okay with that. Until today.

It turns out I really don’t have the core strength. Only it’s not the core of my abdominal muscles that’s the problem.

I met with the instructor before class.  She asked how I’m doing with the class so far.  I told her I am really getting a lot out of it, but I can’t do that one pose so I’ll just do something else at  that time. Then she blew me away. Oh crap, I opened up a can of worms.

No, she said.  You have to focus, you have to push past the pain. Pain is ok, ( really? I thought). Bring your mind down to your core and your energy will follow.

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This is where I would normally run for the nearest exit. I am not the “energy” sort. Oh, and I’m not so fond of pain either.

She continued. Yoga teaches you not only how to breathe, or stretch. It will give you the ability to persevere. You can feel uncomfortable, even pain, and then just continue anyway. Don’t avoid it. And now for the “aha” moment.

If you are always avoiding what makes you uncomfortable then you’re not ever resolving it.

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She means in life, not yoga. She somehow understood that I run from any problems. I have gotten really good at avoidance.  I am beginning to excel at taking hurt and pain and washing them down with chocolate and peanut  butter.

Just count to ten when it hurts, she said. You can stand anything for ten seconds. Then count another ten and bring your mind to where it hurts. You can acknowledge the discomfort. Live with it for another ten. You’ve survived. Another ten, you’ve excelled.

I did it! I held the pose longer than I ever did before. Not even close to as long as the others in my class by I’m still proud of myself. I will hold it longer tomorrow.

I am strong,

Janie

Blessings from the Beggar

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I’ve seen “them” a lot lately.  Men and even women on the street begging for money. Some standing with a can or a hat, others sitting on the cold wet ground with a blanket wrapped around them and a sign. It always breaks my heart but especially now in the winter.

I’ve heard it all before too. The argument that suggests that they should just get a job. Others say there must be  mental illness involved.  The most common of all, don’t fork over your hard-earned money it will just go to drugs or alcohol.  I thought it was pretty clever when I saw a man asking for money with a sign that said “I won’t lie.  I need money for drugs”.

Sometimes I give and sometimes I don’t but I always end up having a debate in my head if I did the right thing. My argument goes like this:

“Why did you give that man money??  He probably drives a nicer car than you and goes out for a steak dinner before going home!!”

“How could you not give that man money?? How is he going to eat tonight? Don’t you have a heart!!”

There is now a racket where women have joined together and beg with their children, using the kids as pawns to your heart-strings. The police in NYC are trying to crack down on them.  There is also an unprecedented amount of beggars in the NYC subways, probably transplanted from the street because it is too cold outside.

I was on vacation oversees at one time  and went to a religious destination that is well-known for the women there ” selling” various items.  Basically they guilt you into buying.  I did buy one day. The women praised me wishing me and my family only good things.   I then returned the next day and the same women accosted me to buy for her again.  I did not.  She cursed me. Not a four letter word curse.  No, a full fledge hex on me and my family. And she didn’t stop either.  She followed me around spewing vile premonitions for my future.

It didn’t damage my desire to give charity, it reinforced it.  Just not to her.

Today I went food shopping at a supermarket a few towns away. Outside was an older man  in a tattered suit.  He greeted all the women going in and coming out. As I approached the door I saw a women put some money in his hand.  Then another woman came out and did the same. The third woman gave him money on her way in.

He smiled at everyone. I walked in. I did my shopping. I paid. I left. I went to my car and put my packages away. I couldn’t bring myself to leave. I walked back and gave him a few dollars.  He blessed me.

My theory is this.  I am  not smart enough to know how to eradicate homelessness or unemployment.  I am not rich enough to build shelters or homes for the people who need them. If someone is out asking for money, for whatever they will use it for, it  speaks volumes to their state of being. I will not judge.

His blessing counts just as much as anyone’s and we can all use any blessing we get these days.

The new argument in my head:

“Good job, Janie”.

🎂Birthdays and Babies🎂

image So here we are.  The last day of my youngest child’s sweet sixteen year.  Tomorrow she will be one step closer to adulthood. Not to get ahead of myself, I know she’s still not a true adult. But she is closer.

Seventeen.  The image that conjures up could be very scary.  On one level it is. I don’t remember what it’s like to have your whole life in front if you. To be on the cusp, where one has just enough information to make life decisions but not enough life experience to make them.

My baby. The one who still climbs up into my lap for a hug and a cuddle and then leaps off to go to her room for hours to be spent on the phone. Or is it snapchat? Or Instagram? Or facebook? Or her computer? She was born to technology, it is as familiar to her as using a toothbrush.

I promised myself when I was seventeen I wouldn’t become the adult who didn’t know how to use the latest gadgets.  I used to help my parents use their eight tracks cassettes. I could not understand what the difficulty was. It said eject, play, rewind right there. That’s the real issue, isn’t it?  Not that she’s growing up. My older children have reached this stage and so much more being nine and six years older than her. What the real issue here is… Me. The nostalgia creeping in is for my own youth. The excitement for the future is all hers though.

The  possibilities that await her are endless. She is smart, beautiful and kind. If she chooses to use all the gifts she has been given she has the potential to soar. The scary part for a parent is whether or not their child will use those gifts. It has taken me almost fifty years to figure out what all of my kids figured out by ten. They are their own people.

They are on their own journey. Their decisions are theirs alone. My husband and I have sunk all we have and then more than we thought we had into our babies like most parents do.  But then we lose control.  We don’t get to finish the job. Very hard for a control freak like me. No, parents are then relegated to the bench. We have to watch. Occasionally we can coach. Ok……..maybe we coach a lot. But we no longer have the ability to choose for them.

So choose well, my sweet girl.  You are always going to be my baby.  My lap will always be there waiting for you.  I’ll always be your biggest fan and probably your constant coach, ( I’ll work on that).

Choose to soar, to grow and to continue to learn.  Don’t give up, don’t doubt yourself and never doubt my love for you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Mom.   (Janie)

Upon Awakening

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How do you wake up? Alarm clock? Internal clock?  Dog licking your face? Sun pouring into your room? I think it matters.

The moment of awareness after slumber has the power to determine the course of your day.

When you come out of your peaceful, warm, cozy bed what goes through your mind.

I’d bet most of us go through our do-to list. What’s ahead for the day. Our plans. Doesn’t that sound stressful? Unless it’s going to be a great day and something really special is happening like today’s the day your bringing home a new puppy. Otherwise, it’s what should I wear to work and what am I making for dinner. Did I forget to sign a permission slip or make a lunch?

Good Morning Quotes With Images

How many of us wake up feeling grateful for the chance at a new day? Or wonder what will become of the endless possibilities that are awaiting us.

Are we indebted to the power that we have been given to create a beautiful day?

To do lists are great, even necessary.  We are accountable for how we spend our time and what we accomplish. However, all of those expectations and responsibilities are like weights around our spirits. They drag us down making us heavy and stressed.

I propose that for a few moments, seconds really, when consciousness seeps in, just breathe. Take it in. The power, the possibilities, the gratefulness for another day.

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Gray Matters

Today was hair color day. These days are coming more often lately.  Actually I’ve been coloring my hair since my mid twenties so it’s not like it plays with my head that I’m old enough to have to color my hair or anything. I just wish I didn’t have to so I wouldn’t feel so high-maintenance.  It’s not this gray. But it could be if I left it alone long enough and stress reducing yoga doesn’t work out.

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I asked my colorist once (okay, maybe more like a hundred times!) if I should just let it go. Her reaction, don’t even think about it. But of course she would say that.  I won’t.  I’m much too vain and too insecure to go gray.  Helen Mirren yes, Janie no.

I don’t think hair should turn gray when your older anyway.  I’m not one of those anti-aging gurus.I just figure take care of yourself as best as you can and pray a lot. Most can’t be fixed. It’s hereditary or just natures natural course.  But why gray???  When you reach middle age, when most women start turning gray (I’ve always been an over-achiever) life is just getting colorful. Your kids are older and in some ways less demanding. You have come to terms with so much. You are in the autumn of your life. Why gray???? How about rainbow hair???

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Wouldn’t that be fun??  But only if every forty something and onward were walking around like that. I bet women wouldn’t fight over parking spots or other nonsense if we all looked like Bozo. I bet we’d all walk around happy and laughing. But no. We go gray, blah, boring gray. No wonder we’re cranky. And so we color. Every three-four weeks.

Black or brown. For that we get excited!!

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As for me, thank you Mr. Goldwell. Now I have dark brown hair again, no gray!!

And it says chocolate right on the box. We were meant for each other.

How ironic, Grey’s Annatomy just came on:))

Janie