Parts Unknown – Heaven

clouds-2709662_640The 2nd in a week, Anthony Bourdain was found dead of apparent suicide. May he rest in peace.

anthony-bourdain-parts-unknownHis TV show, Parts Unknown, was entertaining and interesting and pulled us out of our busy world and into adventure. Anthony lived life to the fullest, sucking every last drop of fun out of his existence. A self-proclaimed alcoholic and prior drug user, he battled his demons through his passion for food. Heaven will be eating well.

 

restaurant-2697945_640Like Kate Spade, creativity appeared to be the outlet for all the good within. Something beautiful, whether a handbag or a dish to be savored for an evening, their true self and soul shined through. We have all benefited from their contributions.

Addictions typically mask pain. Many people are afraid to deal with their pain for the fear that it will never go away. You MUST feel, then deal and THEN you will heal. You don’t have to do it alone and there is no shame in asking for help. Your family and friends don’t need to know the details. Surprisingly, pain can be present in your life from birth. It comes in from past lives. I realize that not everyone believes in this, but I know it to be true. Why else can a small child, in a pleasant environment, display “issues”?

If you battle addictions, mental illness, or ongoing negative behavior patterns, please do something to heal yourself. There is nothing in your life that can’t be replaced with something better. You are a beautiful human being. Your needs, your feelings, your very life is important to the Universe. You are here for a greater purpose. Maybe you are here to teach someone else that you can recover from whatever troubles you and live peacefully. Maybe there is a culinary delight or fabulous handbag in your future.

I wonder what’s for dinner in The Universe Cafe tonight? Cheers, Anthony.

The Day The Music Died

53130451[1]Last week when I was in Target, I found this cute little hat with Sgt Pepper patches on it. I bought it, of course, but it took me back to my teen years and listening to the album until I knew every word by heart. The album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was released May 26, 1967. I didn’t get interested in it until about seven years later.

Some say that when John Lennon was killed on December 8, 1980, the music died. However, we know that Don MacLean’s 1971 hit “American Pie” was intended to be about the plane crash that took Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper on February 3, 1959.

We all have our interpretation of when the music we love met its end. For me, it was the ending of the 80s. I am a die-hard rock-n-roller and am very grateful that Denver has a classic rock station, playing songs from the 60s thru the 80s. But what has happened to rock music?wallpaper.wiki-Classic-Ac-Dc-Wallpaper-PIC-WPC003516[1]

Sorry, millennial friends, but your music sucks. We don’t need any more Pop Tarts with a wall of sound backing them up. And the hillbilly chorus line. . .that’s just awful. Apologies again, but where are the rockers?

I’ve written about this many times, but I think people are rotting their brains with electronic devices. I don’t see an ounce of creativity in anyone anymore. Graffiti artists, maybe. Most of creative effort I see these days is doing the same thing over again. There is no desire to be innovative. Hell, there is no desire to work. And playing in a band takes work. Serious work and serious on the road travel to make it. I suppose the record companies (do they even call them that anymore?) have something to do with it. It is all about making money after all.

Most people seem to be moving through life in a daze, just getting by, rushing thru everything with too much technology and sucking down coffee. (I love coffee, too.) But no one FEELS. You have to feel to create. You have to bleed out of your soul to bring to life beautiful artistry, music, design, and words.

Most people are afraid to feel.

If you look back at music, many of the musicians struggled. They lived in vans and ate cheese sandwiches. Yes, I know they drank or did drugs too. Some things never change. But they weren’t afraid to pour out their life into guitar, drum and keyboard.

So I am tossing out this challenge to the musically – talented: I double-dog dare you to open your heart and pour it into some earth-shaking rock. Just so I can feel it again.

I Have To Grow Older, In Order To Get Younger

water-fight-442257_640I grew up as a miniature adult. The product of a teenage pregnancy, my father had little to do with me, and my mother was just angry that her life was ruined. I spent the first twelve years living with my grandparents.

Being mostly unwanted, I learned very early that I needed to take care of myself. I grew up on a farm in rural Iowa and started to have chores at an early age. I was old from an early age.

I will be 58 years old in a few months and planning my work retirement at 59 1/2. I’ve spent nearly my entire life working and am not planning on a new career. I have realized it is time to have my childhood. Oh, I don’t mean to suddenly become helpless and let someone take care of everything. I’m just not wired that way.

It is time to Play.

I’m not even sure I know how to do that. What?! Seriously?! Maybe I should say that I don’t know what play is for an adult. I guess I could think about it as the opposite of work. Aside from necessary activities for your existence, Work is doing something for someone on their time schedule with the expectation of something in return, as in wages. Wages are good and if you’ve saved enough of them you get to retire and still get them in a different form. So then Play would be doing something for yourself on your time schedule with the expectation of something in return. . . such as freedom and relaxation.

But can you only get that with Play?

Not necessarily. I think it is all about your experiences and perception. I think if you love what you do, and maybe you work for yourself, you can experience freedom and happiness. I believe it is all in how you invent your life.

toys-3200971_640My thoughts are full of these things as I start my transition. I’m tired of the grind and the stress. Many work environments are getting more faster-paced and more technology. The push to do more and more often is wearing on people. I am experiencing a great deal of that in my workplace. I come home tired and then go to bed a few hours later just to start it all over again. I’m getting past the point of even enjoying what I do.

I am ready for Play.

I constantly think about what I enjoy and how I want to incorporate all of that in my life. I am quite certain you will see many more of my blog posts. I look forward to daily exercise. Since I live so close to a lake, I hope to walk around it quite often. I love Pilates so that will be in my daily routine. Reading has always been my escape and relaxation so I will be able to settle in with a good book. I’ll make friends again with the local libraries. And to actually have time to watch a movie. And so on.  Sigh. I guess I don’t really worry or wonder what I’ll do every day.

I think it is just time to go Play!

Who Moved My Cheese

miniature-figures-2938521_640You may have read or at least heard of the book “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson M.D. (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, September 8, 1998). It’s a story about Mice who spend their days scurrying through the Maze to find Cheese. It’s a metaphor for people, in that Cheese represents something they want in life. But mostly it’s about change and the different ways of dealing with it.

Some people thrive on change. Others, not so much. Some resist it to the last.

Change of some sort is inevitable. We’re human, so we age and aging brings change. Buildings go up, get old and they change. It’s not possible to resist all change. Or as the Borg say “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.”

Sometimes change is unexpected or we have no control over it. Loss of life or limb, a debilitating injury or illness, natural disaster, those things can slam us to the ground without warning. And you just have to deal with it. These are moldy cheeses and some people just scrape the mold off and eat it anyway.cheese-3081046_640

Some changes come with a price tag. Divorce, loss of income, incarceration – to name a few. They are based upon choice, even if you think it is unwilling. Kind of like stinky Limberger cheese.

Other changes are pressed upon you and you must choose to accept them or not. Corporate mergers, company buyouts, workplace changes, moving back to your home town to care for aging parents. Holy, moly, it’s Swiss cheese!

Whether you know it or not, at the time, all of those kinds of changes can result in something better for you. It’s all in how you view them. Or maybe you make cheesecake. Who doesn’t like that?

And then there are changes you choose, because you want them. Getting married, having a baby, changing to a better job, buying a home. Cream cheese on a bagel! Add coffee and start your day with breakfast.

In the Cheese story, the mice were running out of cheese. Some of the mice took off to find more cheese and never came back. Others were going to stay because they didn’t believe the cheese was running out. But a few of those mice went looking for more cheese, found it, and came back to tell the rest of the mice. Proof positive that change can be good.animal-1238983_640

What does your cheese look like? Are you running out? Are you willing to make changes to have more cheese? Or do you have plenty of cheese, but are carefully doling it out so it lasts? Or are you waiting for someone else to take care of your cheese?

Change will come. You might want to get out the crackers.

IT Is Not An Earring

earring-2591496_640Have you ever stopped wearing pierced earrings and after a time the hole grew shut? Maybe you had three or four in each ear and decided you didn’t want that many anymore. Maybe you just decided you didn’t like pierced ears after a time. Earrings are a fun and beautiful accessory that can be enjoyed.

Sex is not earring. If you don’t use IT, the hole will not grow shut. You might think that when you are in your menopause years. Your body is changing and maybe sex is not what it used to be. Our inner tissues get thinner and drier and that can make sex painful. Enough so that you would rather just quit and let the hole grow shut.

man-3221066_640Sex is enjoyable and healthful for you in many ways. If you do not move your joints the fluids surrounding them do not lubricate them properly and then you have pain. Same thing Down Below. Using IT keeps it healthier and lubricated. Plus all the brain chemicals and hormones that get generated during sex keeps you happier and healthier.

If you are experiencing a lot of pain, talk to your doctor. There are many options that can help. If you are in a relationship, SHARE your issues with your partner. It will help prevent them from thinking that you are not interested in THEM. Try different things with your partner. If penetration is too painful, try oral. Invest in a Battery Operated Boy, otherwise known as BOB. BOB can be your friend if you are not in a relationship. Just do not give up sex because it is painful.

You are still a sexy, beautiful woman. Be that! And put the earring back in.

Me, My Selfie, and I

OMG, I can’t believe how good my hair looks today. I should’ve worn different earrings, they don’t really match my dress. My lipstick looks off. And. . . HHOOONNNKKKK!!!! Well sh*t, another double caramel macchiato ruined.

Didn’t your mother tell you to look both ways before you cross the street? To watch where you were going?

christmas-1871085_640The Selfie Obsession is overtaking the world. Preoccupation with looks, clothing, jewelry and location-location-location has nearly gotten many people injured or killed.

I remember as a teenager and young adult being overly concerned with how I looked. I believe that’s quite normal as you are developing a sense of who you are and who you want to be. Much of that includes how you appear to others. It might have been hours in front of the mirror, making sure every hair strand was where it was supposed to be and your makeup was perfect. Then a pile of discarded clothes as you picked the perfect outfit. I began sewing at a young age so I could have choices that I liked.

As you get older, you have less time to fuss and begin to develop an acceptance. Sometimes you would look in the mirror and think “f*ck” and go anyway. Those moments weren’t always the best choice when you figured out later in the day that white underwear wasn’t necessarily the right choice to wear under white pants.

mirror-1138098_640Since the creation of those magical cell phone cameras, preoccupation with appearance has morphed into obsessive levels. I’m not sure I understand it since I think I have taken one selfie in my life and promptly deleted it. I’m not that excited about close-up photos. I think selfies have gone way beyond checking your appearance or sharing a moment with friends. I heard on the news that it has now been termed “Selfitis”.IMG_0195

Let’s examine that word. “Self” meaning your essential being. “-itis” as related to inflammatory diseases. So does that mean you are an inflamed being? Are you a disease that needs to be treated? With what? Your cell phone camera?! I suppose it’s better than some drug. But why would you think there is something wrong with you? I’ve read that many people have such anxiety about how they look that they feel compelled to take a selfie. Don’t you know you are a beautiful human being?

Put your phone down, give yourself a big hug and smile. . .at everyone around you. They’ll smile back and then you won’t need a device to validate your loveliness.

The Crazy Train of Menopause

S Train 50Cue up: Ozzie

No, you are not bat-sh*t crazy. Not even a little, peering-over-the-edge into cray-cray. You are on the journey through menopause. Not to say that won’t make you feel nuts. So first let us take a step back in time to understand this.

When you were a young girl, around the age of eleven, you knew what you wanted to be when you grew up. You knew what you were passionate about even if you didn’t know what the word meant. Maybe you took action on your dreams – wrote and illustrated a storybook, orchestrated a fund-raiser at your school, made things and sold them.

And then. . . puberty arrived. You were horrified to discover that you were bleeding DOWN THERE. Then came the Crying and the Drama. You cried your way into your teen years and it escalated into DRAMA. Young adulthood brought “He Loves Me!” and “He Doesn’t Love Me!” and more Drama. And eventually some nice boy decided you weren’t totally nuts and put a ring on your finger. Suddenly estrogen hit its all-time-high and your world became “how can I care for/cook/clean/pickup/work, work, work for you and you and you”. You grew older and you started getting angry when the for-everyone-else became exhausting. You didn’t know it, but your estrogen started its roller-coaster game.

The menopause journey has begun. The gradual depletion of estrogen drives us to return to Self. It is the time to teach others that they are perfectly capable of making their own lunch or whatever. It is the time for you to remember what your eleven-year-old self was passionate about and build your best life. Yes, you might feel nuts and those around you will be convinced that you have gone totally bat-sh*t crazy and don’t love them anymore. You will all get through it and survive. And you know something, when those around you see how happy you are fulfilling your dreams they might just step on the bandwagon and help you.

Here’s to your best life.  Bat-sh*t crazy, indeed.

Originally posted October 2017

 

You Become What You Eat

yoga-429718_640It is difficult to listen to any advice about what to eat these days. Everyone has an opinion, everyone has a new diet, and everyone still eliminates it all in the same way.

You have to know your body, and you have to pay attention to how it reacts to what you put inside of it. Everyone is different so it stands to reason that we all need different things.

Mainly, I think that the least amount of chemicals we ingest the better we will feel. Too many chemicals usually leads to more chemicals to try to fix them. And then we wonder why we feel like sh*t most of the time and the medical world wants to give us even more chemicals. But that’s a tangent that I’m not going to go off on.

Here is what I’ve learned about food:

Water, water, water. It’s not about your skin as so many would have us believe. My skin is dry as a bone and I suck down water all day long. Water makes you pee, end of story. Peeing purges toxins so think of it as taking a bath from the inside out. Adding a squeeze of fresh lemon, FRESH – not that stuff in the plastic lemon, boosts the toxin release. Try it. You’ll pee more.

To continue the elimination topic. I know, gross, but that’s life. Vegetables make you poop. Like water, that’s a good thing. Gets rid of, shall we say, stuck toxins. Double gross. But hey, my nurse friend told me once that if you are sick but still eat, drink, poop and pee you will live. More carrots, anyone?

Fruit and dairy give your stomach something to do. They make the vegetables work harder. Plus they taste good and can help you get over your sugar addiction. (I’m not there, yet.)

The vegans will hate me, but meat is good for you. Animal protein makes your hair grow, your fingernails strong and long and keeps your muscle tissue intact. Muscles help burn fat. Yes, they do and the shape of them makes your shape look good. Six pack abs don’t come from beer.

Eggs, eggs, eggs. Breakfast of champions. Stir in some green chili and you won’t be hungry until dinner.

Beans. I’m not really sure what purpose they serve except to entertain teenage boys.screenshot

And then my all-time favorite: grains. I love bread, or at least I used to, until I learned about chemically-modified grains. Truly scary. Grains just muck up your intestines and destroy all the work the vegetables just did. They make you swell up like a balloon and give older women hot flashes from hell.

Sugar. OH SIGH. That’s my addiction of choice. It’s in almost everything and very hard to give up. The best thing to do is limit the type and amount you put in your mouth. I get one piece of chocolate with lunch and dinner. Keeps me happy and keeps the craving at bay. Cold turkey would never work.

Whatever you eat, just think about how it would look on you. Do you want to look like a chemical diagram or a long, thin green bean?

The 27 Club

ship-2804074_1280I’m sure you are familiar with this; the musicians who died at the age of 27. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain. And countless others. I was just reminded of this when the radio station I listen to was planning a weekend lineup of their music.

What is so significant about the age of 27?

There is an astrological phenomenon called the “Saturn Return”, or the “get your sh*t together” time. Every 27-29 years, Saturn rolls through the skies and returns to the astrological sign it was in when you were born. The first return is the wakeup call to being a grown-up. It is the time when you face your toughest lessons, possibly a time to clean-up the sh*t storm you had been creating. It is the time to commit to your calling. Some people get the message and get on the path of good things. Oprah, Steve Jobs and JK Rowling had difficult twenty-something years and. . . well you know their successes.

Saturn is known as the taskmaster. It rules Capricorn, which is noted for goal-setting. Serious get your sh*t together stuff.

The second Saturn Return rolls around in your late fifties, but is less crazy-making than the first simply because you’ve “been there, done that” and have the wisdom to deal with it. However, it can still be stressful. How many people do you know that have divorced or remarried during this time? It is the time for your life review, to take care of unfinished business, to return to your passion and maybe just to ditch what no longer serves you. Resistance is futile or so say the Borg [Star Trek]. People who do [resist] usually check out from society, live alone and collect cats.

The third Saturn Return comes in at about age 90. If you’ve lived that long, then I’m totally bettin’ that you’ve got your sh*t together – so congratulations. Please share your wisdom with the rest of us.

Me, I’m in my second return. Saturn was in Capricorn when I was born and made me a hard-workin’ soul. Kinda over it. I’ve made quite a few changes in the last year or so that have improved my life, taught me how to relax, and that please my soul. I’ve planned for my retirement in a couple of years, oddly enough right before Saturn moves into Aquarius. Coincidence? Maybe.

I just like to think that Saturn has my back.

Finding Nemo

aquarium-284551_1280

Do you sometimes think that you live in a fishbowl and spend all your time looking outside of the glass? Or that you are content to just swim around in circles knowing that you are in your space. Occasionally, when the cat takes a big swipe at your bowl, things get a little sideways – so to speak – and you are not sure you want to be in a fishbowl. The ocean is calling. . .Nemo. Fishbowls are made of glass so you can see all the possibilities that surround you.

Nemo got caught and put in a fishbowl, escaped, and spent the rest of the movie journeying back home. Along the way he encountered many adventures, other creatures, and even some scary experiences. His escapades served a greater purpose for him. He liked his way of life, but he had grown and was a much happier fish. (That’s my take on the story, anyway.)

Life is a series of fishbowls and we jump from one to another due to our growth, our needs and sometimes just our wants. But it is how you view your time in your fishbowl that matters. Is it a prison, a cave, paradise, and/or a window to other fishbowls?question-679997_1920

My sweetie and I have recently been looking at retirement communities. We’re not at the place where we want or even need to move. We’ve only been in our new house a year and a half and we are surrounded by all the urban things we wanted. We can easily walk to shopping, food, drink and a huge lovely lake. We are just looking outside our fishbowl and future possibilities, should the need arise to make a change.aquarium-156725_1280

What we discovered is that there are different types of retirement communities. Some are very happy, with a positive vibe, and feature resort-type living. Others simply feel like someplace you go to die, in other words, lifeless. The important part of the looking was to demonstrate that, no way in hell, are we ready for this. But there is nothing wrong in the looking. It’s like trying on swimsuits. Some of them make your a$$ look huge. Others painfully squash your boobs. And then there is that one-in-twenty that look downright awesome. That’s when you know that it is right.

So thank you, Nemo, for showing us that our fishbowls can and should change.