mylifein100words

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Thoughts on Confidence

There is a crowd around me cheering, “You can do it!! You’re the best!!” Partner. Daughter. Sister. Friends. Even co-workers. They all believe in me. They have confidence that I am capable of more in life. Why do they have confidence in me that I don’t have in myself?

I have an acquaintance who seems to move smoothly from job to job, advancing as she goes, making sure she has the job that she wants and that suits her life. She doesn’t seem to settle. Why does she have confidence and I don’t? Is it genetic? Learned?

To be continued…

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Trees

A strange thing has happened. I have begun to “feel” for trees. Mostly city trees.  I feel badly when I see them stuck in concrete with little room to grow. I’m sad when I see one standing there—dead.

In my neighborhood a sign recently went up on a tree. “To Be Removed.” “Reason: dead.” I felt relieved the tree would finally be at peace.

This is all new for me. I’ve never been a big nature-person. Yet, I find myself more interested in flowers and trees and plants than I’ve ever been before. I want them to be happy.

 

Read this, it’s fun: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/07/16/my-preschoolers-left-a-note-on-a-fallen-tree-when-we-returned-we-couldnt-believe-what-we-saw/?utm_term=.0cb75842c1df

 

 

Getting Older

I wish my mother was here. We would, for sure, talk about tRump and his many crimes and his cronies’ crimes. Hours we would talk.

She would tell me if I’m too old to wear sparkly nail polish.

If it was 1990 Mom she would fix me my favorite summer dinner—chicken salad, baked potato, and green beans.

Mom could guide me as I enter what feels like a new phase. I’m going to be 60-years-old in a minute and I would love for Mom to help me understand what it’s like to get older when you feel young inside.

The Boy on the Carousel

I watched a father hold his son on the boat in Depoe Bay. The boy was scared. “I’ll take care of you, son.” That’s the message a dad sends when he lifts his frightened child onto his lap. “You’re safe with me.”

Some men think their job is to toughen up their boy and that will make him a man, teach him how to navigate the world. I have a photograph of Joe on a carousel. He’s about three-years-old and he’s crying—hard. Now we look at that picture and laugh. But I know it’s not funny. It was wrong.

Alone on the Beach

I saw a little boy on the beach in Astoria, Oregon—he was one of five children. He was walking away from his family—away from the ocean where the rest of them were playing. For a few minutes Mom and Dad didn’t react; they didn’t seem to notice his absence.

Then Mom called to him, tried to lure him back to where the rest of the family was. She danced when he started toward her. But he stopped and made her come to him, come to where he wanted to be.

I identified with him—alone in a crowd.

Mom–I wish I was a poet

The most influential woman in my life. Mary Elizabeth Woods Lightfoot. Dec. 29, 1913–Jan. 4, 2010.

She was not perfect, but in retrospect, it’s hard to find a flaw.

She didn’t always understand, but she loved unconditionally.

She didn’t hold a grudge that I know of.

She was a great cook, especially for the time that she was raising a family. I wanted TV dinners and Spaghetti-O’s and she was having none of that.

Her faith was everything to her. I think we all disappointed her on that score. Yet, she forgave and loved us with all her heart.

The Women in my Life (to be continued…)

 

I don’t think about these women very often, but they influenced my early life in interesting ways.

Aunt Helen: Mom described her as “handsome” or “striking,” meaning that she wasn’t conventionally pretty. I remember tuna fish sandwiches with potato chips on them at her apartment in Jamaica.

Aunt Edna: She was the embodiment of womanly elegance. Quiet, with a beautiful smile, and a face that listened to every word you said. I learned from her to always bring a gift when you go to visit.

Mrs. Moran: She wanted to help, influence, give. A Christmas dress from her every year.

Goals 2018

I don’t think of them as resolutions; I think of them as goals, goals for 2018. First, I want to write at least four days a week. That’s one of the reasons that I’m writing this, to start forming a habit. I want to write four days a week and on the fifth day, look for places to submit. I’m going to try to shut off the voices. You know the ones, the ones that say “You are no good! You can’t do anything! You suck!”

The other perpetual goal, it carries over each year: read the books I own.

Generals

Generals. They are leaders; schooled in the ways of the military; able to make decisions seemingly with ease; giving orders; afraid of no one and nothing. That’s what we are brought up to believe.

Somewhere along the way someone thought, “Oooh, this school system is messed up—let’s put a General in charge!!” But, it doesn’t translate. That General as school superintendent was not successful. Why? Because it’s not just about making decisions or giving orders. It’s about understanding education, supporting your staff, caring about children.

Now we have General Kelly. He cares not about the American people, I think.

Watching the Changing Leaves

I’m not a science nerd and I’ve never really been a nature lover. Yet suddenly, I am fascinated by the natural world.  Today it’s the autumn leaves—they are changing so slowly this year.  I have my theories on why:  It’s been quite dry for the last many weeks.  It’s a much hotter September-October than I remember for a long time.  But looking around, I do wonder—what’s going on in that tree? What’s the story behind the leaves?

Growing up in suburbia, living in the city, I don’t crave nature, but now I do appreciate it as never before.