Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Special Royal Wedding Commemorative Edition

A link to the wonderful blog whence these questions came, From This Side of the Pond,  is to the left.

1. What is something that bothers you if it is not done perfectly?

I have a 'thing' about making my bed as soon as I arise. I exhort my children to do the same. After the morning flurry settles down and they're off to school, as I pass my son's room....I can't help myself! I have to go in and re-make his bed! Because his idea of 'make your bed' and my idea of it are, well, different. We never speak of this, but he must know, because I cannot be walking by covers askew and half the pillows on the floor all day long. And I can't simply close the door because that would make the hallway too dark, don't you know. 
My husband rags on me all the time, because he thinks I like a lot of things 'perfect.' The truth is, I do. But most of the time, I have learned to live with imperfection. Life is easier that way.

2. What is one of your best childhood memories?
Staying outdoors the live-long day. Playing games, riding bikes, having picnic lunches, climbing trees, making forts, going to the was a kid's world all the way until suppertime!

3. Do you plan to watch the Royal Wedding and when was the last time you wore a hat? 
Hahaha! I love that these questions are together this way! Of course I plan to watch the Royal Wedding. V. excited about it, especially since we are right here in the middle of the action. Husband even wants to head down to the Parade Route! I am not so sure about that, so we'll see. There is a neighborhood party planned, too. I have a feeling the whole town will be one big party!
As for hats, it has to be in the winter. Mostly hats are utilitarian for me. Because I have an unusually big head, most women's hats simply do not fit me!

4. Where do you fall in the birth order in your family? Do you think this has influenced your personality? 
I am the second to the youngest, out of seven children. My brother and I are close in age, with the rest all a bit older, so we were sort of a subset, known as "the littles" when we were growing up. So, in one sense, I was also the "elder" of that minigroup. I think both roles had some influence on me. I learned early on how to be the pesky little smart aleck in order to get attention and to get my way. Later on, when it was just my younger brother and me, I learned to take charge and take care of others. In a way, I had the best of both worlds. 

5. Where do you think you spend most of your money?
First, there is the mortgage and property taxes on our New Jersey home! In daily life, it is easily the supermarket....

6. When you need to confront someone would you rather communicate in person, on the phone, by email or by letter? Why? 
My last choice would be the phone. I have a weird phobia about making phone calls, even when they are non-confrontational. Email has been a godsend to me!
If it is a business (non-personal) type of confrontation, I prefer the written word (email or letter), not only so that I can measure my words, but also to have a record of the interaction.
If it is a personal matter, say with my husband or a family member, I prefer in person, as I have the advantage of being both open-minded and quick-witted (even if I do say so myself!!)

7. Dodge ball, freeze tag, kickball or jump rope? You have to pick one. 
Jump rope, because it's collaborative rather than competitive.

8. Insert your own random thought here

It's not my own random thought, but it's a poem by Robert Frost called A Prayer in Spring:

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy and humble

"People who feel powerless to make themselves happy often use arrogance as a shield."
That was from my horoscope today. It's food for thought! When I find myself in such company, I do well to keep my sense of humor close at hand. It's not necessary to express it verbally, but to keep sipping at the well of joy within me. That's MY shield!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Between a rock and a hard place

As the prayer says, I am to accept hardships as the pathway to peace. I am wondering, is hardship the only pathway to peace? Is it the acceptance of hardship that is the pathway to peace, or is it the hardship itself?
I often find myself these days contemplating my life in this context. To an outsider, my life looks very easy, and certainly in so many ways it is. And yet there is hardship of a sort. No details here. Just trust me on that. So, do I accept the hardship and find myself on the pathway to peace? Really?
What exactly does this pathway look like? How do I even know I am on it? For all I know, I am on a completely different pathway. Perhaps I took a wrong turn, or I didn't accept strongly enough or consistently enough. Who decides this stuff anyway? Who decides if I have accepted hardship, which therefore places me on this pathway to that peace? Is it me? Is it God?
I seem to have more questions than answers on this one. be it. It must be so.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Enjoy Yourself...It's Later Than You Think

In a conversation with my daughter, I mentioned that we humans are alive, usually, no more than about 100 years, give or take. I stated my opinion that that is not a very long time. She replied," A hundred years is a very long time!"
Such is the perspective of the young. The older I get, the faster time seems to go by. Now, I know I am in the second, or last, part of life. I expect I'll live to around 90, given my family history. So I have a few good decades left. How shall I spend it? What is really important, after all? Must we spend our time, or direct our efforts to, doing something important or good for others? Is it enough to just enjoy our time on Earth? Is that a life well spent?
Truly, if we all did only that (that is, enjoy ourselves), where would we be? Of course, everyone defines enjoyment differently. I imagine some people, perhaps inventors of importance, or spiritual leaders, derive enjoyment from their work. But is that the purpose? Do they do it for the enjoyment of it? In that case, is it okay to simply enjoy whatever I am doing, even if it does not necessarily contribute to a greater good? Or is it selfish?
I guess the answer lies in the shades of grey. I can do both. I just have to find a way.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday is Fun and Mental Day

First a brain teaser:

What is greater than God,
More evil than the Devil,
The poor have it,
The rich need it,
If you eat it, you will die?

While you think about it, watch and listen:
(answer is below)


 The answer is......Nothing!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday is God's Love Day

"God is going before me, making my crooked places straight."
 I have that written in a notebook I keep. Mostly the notebook contains important phone numbers, to-do lists, lists of books I want to read and places I want to go. Intermingled with these are random thoughts and quotes I have picked up along the way. I like coming across them at unexpected moments. They usually make me stop and read them one more time. This might even make my perspective, at the moment, widen. And that can only be a good thing.
This morning, I opened my notebook, in order to review my latest list. I came upon the above quote. I am not really sure where it came from. Also on the page is this: " God already had the solution, before I even had the problem."  As well as,  " I make good choices  to fulfill my destiny." And, "The right people are going to cross my path."

I am certain that I did not originate any of these thoughts, and that I heard them or read them somewhere. But I neglected to credit the author in my personal note-taking. It may have been Dr. Wayne Dyer; I wouldn't put it past him.
Anyway, so there are the thoughts. As I look at them, I wonder about their meaning for me now, on this day, here, at this place.
"God is going before me, making my crooked places straight." To me, that says that, as long as I follow God, I am on the path that He is creating for me. Or rather, the path that we are co-creating. I can't see what is on the path ahead of the next curve. But that is okay, because God has that covered. I only need to walk the path. Also, I am the path. I can't always see what is beyond my crooked places either. But that is okay, because God has that covered. He is straightening my crooked spots. I only need to be myself, and trust in the process. Oh, and stop trying to straighten it all out on my own. Because God has that covered.
"God already had the solution, before I even had the problem." I am a big believer in the concept that we are here to learn. The purpose of life is to learn, and, more specifically, the purpose of life is to learn...Love. Oh, sure, simple. Not. It's the Big Lesson. And we have myriad opportunities. And there are seemingly endless mini-lessons, pop quizzes, group projects, field trips, major tests and so on. It's life-long. Problems are the main way we learn about Love, when it comes down to it. If there were no problems, we'd be in heaven, man. So, problems, and solving them, bring us back to our life-long pursuit. As we learn about Love, how to do it and how to receive it and how to manifest it in ourselves and in our lives and in others, we come back to God. Slowly, suddenly, surprisingly, surely. God is the solution to all of our problems. Because God is Love, of course.
"I make good choices to fulfill my destiny." This sounds like an affirmation, and, as affirmations go, it's a nice one. Who, after all, doesn't want what it affirms? So, I will leave it there, and repeat as necessary. Silently, to myself. It's a good one to remember.
"The right people are going to cross my path." Serendipity. Synchronicity. Angels. Miracles. If a person is in your life, then they are the right person. They might not always look like it, but they are there for a reason. The reason may not always be readily apparent. If you are resisting that person's presence in your life, all the more reason to take a second look and ask yourself why.
So, let me see if I have got this: I am co-creating a path of learning about the Love of God, am being provided with the opportunities and other people to learn about Love, and all I need to do is make good choices in order to achieve the ultimate goal, which is the return to the Love of God.