Sunday, January 31, 2010

Middle Age and Oyster Shells

I'm reading a sweet little book written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea, during a vacation she took by herself in 1955. It has an island setting, and is the result of her spending two weeks by herself. You'll remember that the Lindbergh's suffered the devastating loss of their first born son to kidnapping. They went on to have five more children, and a bustling life. This book is about life, marriage, change, and the beauty of ourselves, something that we often miss as we age.

In her narrative she uses shells as metaphors for life stages. The sunrise shell for early marriage. All pink and smooth, as with the first blush of love. Then comes the oyster shell with all of the little shells attached to the outside, like our homes, expanded to accommodate our growing family. The oyster is firmly attached to the rocky shore through tough, intertwined netting. Much like the lives we build to support our families, secure our place in society, stability for our children. We are busy during this time. Competing, striving, accomplishing, accumulating.

But then the family begins to leave for shells of their own. And we begin to wonder if we haven't outgrown our oyster shell. Lindbergh writes:

"Perhaps middle age is, or should be, a period of shedding shells; the shell of material accumulations and possessions, the shell of the ego. Perhaps one can shed at this stage in life as one sheds in beach living; one's pride, one's false ambitions, one's mask, one's armor. Was that armor not put on to protect one from the competitive world? If one ceases to compete, does one need it? Perhaps one can at last in middle age, if not earlier, be completely oneself. And what a liberation that would be!"

Middle age should be a time to take stock, let some of life's ambitions go, be okay with being average, everyday, extraordinary in our simplicity. Shedding the things that we've outgrown like our oyster shells, we are now free to explore life in new ways, unencumbered by the things we thought we needed to be happy. Free at last to explore, learn, teach, and nurture our own personal gifts. 

Middle age is a time to shed the old, embrace the new, and be happy with what is.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Secret Life Of Seahorses

One of our favorite places to visit is Monterey, California. When winter in the high country begins to feel like sensory deprivation, nothing recharges the spirit like a trip to the ocean. The aquarium in Monterey is a gem. A place that holds fond memories for my family. Many hours of being mesmerized by giant vats of jellyfish that vary between microscopic and giant, a three story aquarium and kelp bed, the joy of petting a bat ray, and watching a wave wash over the top of you. These are just a few of the exhibits and hands-on educational tools this fantastic aquarium offers. The latest is the "Secret Life Of Seahorses." A new one for 2009. Did you know that seahorses have a mating "dance" that looks like the tango? That the male actually carries the eggs and does the birthing? (Which we had the great good fortune to actually witness!)

One of the exhibits I really enjoyed was a "diner" where you are able to sit on a stool, order a fish dish, and have the "cook", "waitress" and "staff person" let you know if your choice is healthy or sustainable  - and why. (A very Disneyland-like experience.) The aquarium even has an I-Phone application to help you decide what to cook for dinner. It will tell you what is safe for different parts of the country. It's helpful when standing at the fish counter trying to remember if Chilean sea bass is okay or if it is so overfished it's in danger of becoming extinct. (The latter.) Or if it is better to eat farm-raised salmon or wild caught. (Again, the latter.) The app is called Seafood Watch, described as a seafood guide, which is free by the way, created by The Monterey Bay Aquarium.

If you get a chance, visit this aquarium. Take your family and friends with you. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Toe each his own!

I continue to be amused by the differences in my family. Shoes are a perfect representative of those differences. My husband and my youngest daughter are all about the shoes above. For different reasons, of course. My husband wants them for running after reading a book on running that says running barefoot is better for your feet. These shoes keep your feet clean, while giving them the barefoot feeling. He's hoping to find them in blue/cameo, not purple. My youngest thinks they will be perfect for her trip to Thailand in April. Never the fashionista, she claims she can climb trees, run, jump, and only need to take one pair of shoes on her trip. (Can you imagine a trip for a month and only one pair of shoes?) She would like a little style, however, thus the maryjanes:

My oldest daughter drools over shoes like these, that look very much like the ones she wore New Year's Eve this year:

And this is my newest acquisition in shoes. I stole the idea from Blissed-Out-Grandma. Warmth and comfort are high on my list of desires.

What about you? What type of shoes are you into these days?

P.S. I'm in the middle of something and will be reading and catching up in a few days!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Leave a comment

I really enjoyed all of the comments from my post on the "followers" widget. It's clear that some of us really like the widget and some of us prefer not to have it, for a variety of reasons. Which brings me to "comments." I will admit to a certain amount of validation when people comment on my postings, and a little let down when they don't. That feature feels much more personal to me than the "followers" widget. But again, I have to go back and ask myself why I'm blogging. For me it's the connections to other people. I'm an empty-nester, and can feel lonely for my family that live 10 hours away, blogging keeps me connected to others, to all of you. So a comment says that people are out there.

The other reason I blog, and the reason I first started blogging, was to get back in the habit of writing. An off shoot of posting several times a week is practice. Learning to express yourself in a meaningful way is a skill. One that is used throughout your life in many different ways, but most expressly in business. If you can learn to write creatively, clearly, it will work to your advantage. So I blog to hone my skills. Your comments give me a barometer as to whether my writing is interesting or, gasp, not. 

But the reality is probably much simpler. With over 115 million blogs, thanks to DJan's research, some may not leave comments because they have moved on, and in that case you can't really blame them. We can't write something that will be of interest to everyone, everyday. It is simply a matter of numbers. Many blogs, many new voices, only so much time. 

Which brings me to the reason for this post on comments. I was amazed at all of the new people who left comments on the last post. All of which I will get around to visiting in the days ahead. I always try to visit new people, but only when they leave me a comment. Which made me wonder - how many blogs have not established connections because they may just visit others and not leave comments? How many other people, like myself, would love to meet new people - especially those new to blogging - but use their comments as a way to forge those relationships?

So maybe the key to adding readers, if you would like to do that, is to make sure you drop a comment when reading blogs that you like. Don't be shy, and don't be put off if the blog has many followers. As I mentioned in my last post - most of those followers are not actual readers. I, for one, love to meet new people. I'm a student of humanity, and your stories make me laugh, cry, are entertaining, educational, and most of all take me to new heights and places I will never have the opportunity to visit. I will bet that many others feel the same way and use comments as their means of connecting to their readers. Of course there are those times that you just want to read, or you really don't have a comment. Or, more importantly, are happier without having too many readers. That's okay, too. But as one of the commenters noted yesterday - your readership is directly related to how many you read. But isn't that true in life as well? Your friendships or sense of community is directly related to how much energy you put into it? And some people are simply happier with less people in their lives, whether they are fellow bloggers, family or friends. Which is fine. Life is complicated enough, and blogging can become very time consuming. But for those that would like to expand their blogging relationships:

When in doubt, leave a comment.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The infamous "Followers" widget

I have read several blogs lately that refer to the "followers" widget as something that they feel is indicative of the value of their writing (and sometimes themselves). I remember when I first started blogging, that widget didn't exist. Most of us started writing, for the sake of writing, not to amass a following. We really had no idea how many people followed us because the comments were the only way to judge something like that. Not everyone comments every day, nor every week. Some people just stop by to read. At one point that was okay. What happened?

The "Followers" widget happened.

It started out as just an easy way to follow blogs. It automatically added a blog to your dashboard, then the "reader" would update your dashboard, flagging when there was a new post on the blogs you chose to follow. That way you wouldn't have to have a giant list, such as mine, on your sidebar. (I have both, dear readers, because you are too good to pass up.)

Then it turned into a competition with some folks. They tried all sorts of different combinations to increase the followers on their blogs. I had people leave comments asking me how they could get as many followers as I had. As if there was some magic combination of easy to do steps. Most of those commenters were not regular followers of my blog. They just surfed around looking for blogs with large followings to try to find that magic combination. I was never sure why they wanted followers - maybe to launch some product? When I visited their blogs, they often didn't even exist - no writing - just a blog with very little about them. I'm sure you've had similar visitors.

So what would happen, if tomorrow Blogger decided that widget was too cumbersome to continue and erased everyone's widget? What would that mean to you? Would you still have a blog?

I know that most widgets really don't reflect the readership of any one blog. You can have a thousand followers and at the most may only get 60-70 comments per day. If you're lucky! So did the other 930 read your blog? Probably not. So the widget is just that - a widget. It does not indicate your popularity, nor should it have any influence on what, and how, you write. If someone leaves it is not necessarily because they no longer "like" you - they may have closed down their blog, or maybe had too many blogs going and wanted to make it more manageable. There are millions and millions of blogs out there. If someone leaves you to read another one - don't take it personally. Don't attach self esteem, or self worth to a widget. Keep writing, keep blogging, because there will be someone who finds you that likes what you have to say. Has a connection with you. Feels honored to be your blogging friend.

Why? Because you're one in a million!

Friday, January 22, 2010

And the recipient of The Shift is....

Mental P. Mama! Just drop me a line Mama, with your address, and I'll stick this movie in the mail to you. Wow - and it was your birthday yesterday, too! It was meant to be. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. My husband, who actually drew the names, wanted to watch it twice. Yes, the man who reads most things having to do with finance and economics, wanted to watch it twice. That in itself is a "shift."

Thanks for playing along everyone. I'm so happy to hear it is on Netflix and Blockbuster. If you think you might be interested in Dr. Dyer's movie, then it certainly is worth a Netflix risk.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We are essentially snowed in. The main artery between Reno and Sacramento, I-80, was closed for ten hours last night. A big pileup, complete with four semi-truck and trailers and fire. Who, if you were to ask my opinion, would say they drive way to fast in most inclement conditions, and always scare the @#$@ out of me when I'm trying to stay out of their way. So we will, in all likelyhood, miss our friend's Greek surprise birthday party on Saturday in the Bay Area. I was looking forward to some Greek dancing ( me, in an awkward way), plenty of Opa's!, and lovely people. Instead it will probably be a Netflix movie and trying to stay off the roads and out of the way.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, wherever you are.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Shift

I ordered the movie "The Shift", which features Dr. Wayne Dyer, in a full feature film. I didn't know what to expect because most of my spiritual education comes from books. Including a couple of his, which was always worth my time.

Up until now.

This film was really good. Is it a block-buster? No. It's a film for people who are feeling a shift in their spiritual life and would like information in a new format.

Throughout the movie little nuggets would be delivered that held special meaning for people in a variety of life circumstances. From the busy mother, to the angry businessman, to the average joe doing his job. Having Dr. Dyer share some of his personal history was also interesting. Don't you every wonder how some people can seem so enlightened, while the rest of us struggle?

Anyway, I will pass it along to one of you as soon as my husband watches it. It really should make the rounds. So if you would like to drop me a comment letting me know that you are interested in a film like this, and would like to watch it, I'll send it to you. All I ask is that you take some quiet time for yourself and sit and watch it alone. My computer worked great. There are times when you need to stop the movie, close your eyes, and think about what was said. Hard to do when someone else is watching it with you. Not to mention that I really didn't want a critique of the movie from my husband. I just wanted to absorb what was being said. I'm having him watch it alone as well.

Then do the same thing - pass it along. If more than one person asks for it, then I'll put the names in a hat and draw one on Friday. You can watch the trailer for the movie at the above link. You can also order the movie online for download to your computer. If you do watch it, please let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ahh ha!

For those of you interested in a recent post I did on Michael Talbot's "The Holographic Universe," found here, you will like this post. Recent developments may indeed be on the road to proving the universe is one giant hologram. Trish, from Synchronicity, sent me the link to some very interesting work going on at this minute that may prove once and for all that the universe, as we know it, may not exist. So if our universe is a hologram, what does that mean? Well here are some interesting suggestions from Michael Talbot and physicists David Bohm and Karl Pribram:
  • "Our world and everything in it - from snowflakes to maple trees to falling stars and spinning electrons - are also only ghostly images, projections from a level of reality so beyond our own it is literally beyond both space and time."
  • "That what the mystics have been saying for centuries - that reality or maya - is an illusion. And that what is out there is really a vast, resonating symphony of wave forms, a "frequency domain" that is transformed into the world as we know it only after it enters our senses."
  • "Just as every portion of a hologram contains the image of the whole, every portion of the universe enfolds the whole. This means if we knew how to access it we could find the Andromeda galaxy in the thumbnail of our left hand. We could also find Cleopatra meeting Caesar for the first time, for in principle the whole past and implications for the whole future are also enfolded in each small region of space and time. Every cell in our body enfolds the entire cosmos. So does every leaf, every raindrop, and every dust mote, which brings new meaning to William Blake's famous poem:"
To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
  • "Our almost universal tendency to fragment the world and ignore the dynamic interconnectedness of all things is responsible for many of our problems, not only in science but in our lives and our society as well. For instance, we believe we can extract the valuable parts of the earth without affecting the whole. We believe it is possible to treat parts of our body and not be concerned with the whole. We believe we can deal with various problems in our society, such as crime, poverty, and drug addiction, without addressing the problems in our society as a whole, and so on. In Bohm's writings he argues passionately that our current way of fragmenting the world into parts not only doesn't work, but may even lead to our extinction."
  • On the other hand, "according to the holographic model, the mind/body ultimately cannot distinguish the difference between the neural holograms the brain uses to experience reality and the ones it conjures up while imagining reality. Both have a dramatic effect on the human organism, an effect so powerful that it can modulate the immune system."
So if the brain can modulate the immune system, it can be inferred that it may also have an effect on things outside our body. If our universe is a hologram, many things are in the realm of possibility. It also explains other phenomena once thought to be the stuff of science fiction. To go into the details would take too long here, but if you're interested, the above links might be worth your time.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I have always admired Gary Zukov.  The Seat of the Soul was one of those books that resonated with me in a very big way. I read it sometime in the early 1990's, when it first came out, and have re-read it every few years. He and his partner Linda Frances give workshops, have written a new book, and put out an occasional newsletter. I was reminded of their "guidelines" which I had posted on my bulletin board in our last house and need to print and put on my Intention Board here. I think I may have printed them in some form or other in a previous post. They are reminders to live our life with intention and awareness. Since it's a new year, I thought you might be interested in perusing them:

Practice using these Guidelines everywhere – at home, with family, with friends, with adversaries, at work, and at play. 
    • Focus on what I can learn about myself all the time, especially from my reactions (such as anger, fear, jealousy, resentment, and impatience), instead of judging or blaming others or myself.
    • Pay attention to my emotions by feeling the physical sensations in my energy centers (such as my chest, solar plexus, and throat areas).
    • Pay attention to my thoughts (such as judging, analyzing, comparing, daydreaming, planning my reply, etc., or thoughts of gratitude, appreciation, contentment, openness to Life, etc.)
    • Pay attention to my intention (such as blaming, judging, needing to be right, seeking admiration, escaping into thoughts (intellectualizing), trying to convince, etc., or cooperating, sharing, creating harmony, and revering Life).
    • Take responsibility for my feelings, experiences, and actions (no blaming).
    • Practice integrity at all times (often requires action, such as speaking when frightened parts of my personality don’t want to speak and not speaking when they feel compelled to speak).
    • Say or do what is most difficult (sharing what I notice, if appropriate, when someone speaks or acts from a frightened part of his or her personality; sharing about myself what I am frightened to say and know that I need to say.)
      • Change my perspective from fearful to loving (choose to see myself and others in a loving or appreciative way).
      • Release any distance I feel from anyone.
      • Be present while others are speaking (not preparing replies, judging, etc.)
      • Consult my intuition.
      • Choose my intention before I speak or act.
      • Act from the healthiest part of my personality that I can access (rather than caretaking, fixing, teaching, judging, blaming, gossiping, etc.)
      • Speak personally and specifically rather than generally and abstractly (use “I” statements rather than “we” or “you” statements).
      • Release attachment to the outcome (trust the Universe).  If I find myself attached, begin again with Commitment, Courage, Compassion.
      And remember to enjoy yourself!

      Saturday, January 16, 2010

      Blogging as a stream of consciousness...

      One of the best things about blogging is the practice we get as writers. Blogging allows us a stream of consciousness. At the same time we can explore ideas that pop up and share them. They are not always popular, but by tapping into this flow of creativity, we are able to connect with issues and topics that are not only interesting to us, but often may be a kernel of information needed by someone other than ourselves. This has happened to me on numerous occasions.

      Trust those first thoughts. They are often the most interesting, before we allow the ego to tell us they aren't good enough.

      Thursday, January 14, 2010


      Say what you will about the infamous Branjelina - but they pledged the same amount of money as the entire Peoples Republic of China to Haiti - $1,000,000!

      Hmmm ... couple that with the lastest on children's jewelery being produced in China high in cadmium - a known poison - sending parents to search toy boxes, and we can see who has the more generous spirit.

      Wednesday, January 13, 2010

      The New Millenium

      Most of us have had decades of being able to watch the ebb and flow of life. We know that there will be bad times and good times. Most of all we learn how resilient we are. Incredibly resilient. Knock us down and we will eventually get back up, if it is at all possible.

      We know that lessons learned in one time frame is usually used in another. So could there be a pattern in the chaos? I know I'm going out on a limb here, but could we be going through hard times in order to prepare ourselves for future happenings? Or better yet, to possibly avoid future happenings?

      One of the many emotions to come from difficult experiences is often empathy. It's pretty hard not to have feelings for those going through painful happenings, when you know exactly how they're feeling. Empathy is a good thing. It closes the gap between people. I recently felt great empathy for Jessica Simpson, for example. Not a person in need of sympathy usually, she has a good life in terms of money, talent, beauty. But when she went through a series of breakups, and then had her little dog carried off by a coyote, I felt genuine sympathy. I know what it's like to go through more than one major stressor in a short amount of time.

      Which brings me back to patterns in chaos. Over the last decade the US has had it's fair share of disasters. These occurrences also affected the world. Is there anyone who could not feel for the people trapped in the World Trade Center buildings as we were viciously attacked by terrorists? Maybe because they could relate to the horror inflicted by these same people in other parts of the world. And because of that, I could have heart-felt sympathy for the earthquake victims in Haiti. I remember the stories of people saying goodbye to their loved ones in the buildings before the collapse.  As for the wars and mismanagement by the last administration, culminating in a disastrous economic meltdown, the world has felt the repercussions of that one, too. So what is my point in all of this?

      Could we be in preparation for where we need to be for what is coming in the next decade? Could there be some pattern in the chaos? Do the things we go through as individuals also have an effect on how we view our world - and the peoples of that world? Shouldn't we be "thinking globally" for the next decade in terms of political policy? And this goes for all countries, not just the US. Understanding that the decisions we make in one country have far-reaching effects on others. The people of those "others." Extrapolating the "butterfly effect" and using it in a sociological context:

      The flapping of a single butterfly's wing today produces a tiny change in the state of the atmosphere. Over a period of time, what the atmosphere actually does diverges from what it would have done. So, in a month's time, a tornado that would have devastated the Indonesian coast doesn't happen. Or maybe one that wasn't going to happen, does. (Ian Stewart, Does God Play Dice? The Mathematics of Chaos, pg. 141)

      Tell me what you think.

      Monday, January 11, 2010

      The Simple 90's

      Okay, so for me, the 90's were easier. No big lessons to learn, no major illnesses, deaths or births. In fact we lived in the same house for 16 years, with the same neighbors, my children attending the same schools K-12. My husband worked for the same company for 23 years. I had my children in the same hospital I was born, and we had the same doctors for years. It could be the decade of "sameness." After the previous two decades, I wasn't complaining. In fact I liked knowing what to expect each day, taking comfort in routine. It wouldn't last forever, but for the 90's the only changes I yearned for was a vacation to the ocean each year.

      My time orbited my children's needs - home, school, extracurricular activities, etc. I managed to sneak some time in for myself and returned to college. To my utter amazement, I found I was pretty good at it. Who knew?

      Your comments were varied over the last few posts. Some bloggers were too young to be in the middle of anything other than growing, some were going through busy but drama-free years, and some were going through transformative years, just as I was. So what about you?

      What were you doing during the 1990's?

      Friday, January 8, 2010

      The Transformative 1980's

      (Designing Women)

      The 1970's were learning years. The 1980's were transformational. If you are in the midst of a transformational phase in your life right now, you may know what I mean. Big things happen. Life altering decisions are made. Roads are chosen. You are entering a new phase of your life, but it's hard to see while you are in the middle, less so in retrospect.

      For me it was about life and death.

      The decade began with marriage to a truly wonderful man. I've been very lucky in my life's journey to have a mate who allows me to be me. Then my life took another turn with the birth of the daughter I'd always wanted. I was 29 and life changed from being all about me, to being all about others. When my oldest was four we added daughter number two, but not before having a terrible car accident while I was pregnant. Then, within three months I buried my beloved father.

      To lose my father at age 58 was a tragedy. He had just been blessed with the grandchildren he adored, but wouldn't be around to enjoy. To say this was a difficult time, would be an understatement. But it was only a spoke in the wheel. It was only one of the many life altering events I would experience in this decade. Fate was not done with me yet, I was to have my own brush with mortality.

      It was 1989, the very end of the decade. My daughters were 18 months and six years old. I was swimming laps at our local pool several times a week. When drying my hair, I noticed something different with the sound of the hairdryer when moving it from left ear to right ear. I won't bother with the details, I've covered them in other posts, other than to say the tumor that was lodged near my brainstem would create havoc in it's removal. Life changing havoc.

      It was at this time I experienced "stressor overload". That happens when stressors that you can usually handle build up, and you experience depression, anxiety, fear, sleeplessness, etc. It's a warning system of sorts. It was also the motivation behind my spiritual search. Sometimes we arrive at a point in our lives where we need to find true meaning. Why are we here? Who are we? What is our purpose? Is there a purpose? Do we matter? And this was my time. And I'm very grateful for it.

      So the decade ended with a jump start. A lifelong search for my place in the whole scheme of things.

      What about you? Were the '80s pivotal? Have you ever experienced years where there were a series of events that changed you in some meaningful way?

      Wednesday, January 6, 2010

      Avatar 3-D

      I thought I would take a break from Memory Lane and give you my take on Avatar, the movie. If you like science fiction, and action, you will like this movie. I thought it was very well done. It is not a child's movie by any means, it has adult content and message. The theater was full of people our age, who had waited until the kids were back in school to go see it. The 3-D took a little getting used to, but was worth choosing the version that required the glasses, in my opinion. The message was great, and one that we need to heed.

      All in all - TWO THUMBS UP!

      Monday, January 4, 2010

      What were you learning in the 1970's?

      (Secluded Falls - Kauai)

      I had so much fun reading your comments from my last post, I thought we would move on to the 70's.

      Now this decade turned out to be full of life lessons for me. I think everyone has a time in their lives where their decisions and lifestyle choices may not be conducive to a life well-lived. Well the swinging 70's were mine.

      So what was I up to?

      Well I was married right out of high school, because that's what you did in the summer of 1971 if you were not off to college, and you've split from your high school sweetheart. Nothing like getting married on the rebound, especially since your father has already nixed the idea of ever "living with someone." I believe his words were something to the effect that "he would never darken my doorstep..." How dramatic was that? But throughly believable at the time. Of course that flew out the window when my brother lived with his girlfriend a few years later. Obviously different sets of rules for boys and girls in my father's mind. (He certainly darkened their doorstep!) Not that he wanted me to get married - no, he did his level best to change my mind, right up to the last minute. But to be perfectly honest - I had nothing better to do - and my husband to be was one of my best friends. How bad could living with your best friend be? At any rate, it lasted five years, and without children to share, it was an equitable and friendly split.

      Off to turning up the spigot on life lessons. Bad relationships, too much partying, and jobs that were not career opportunities. A limbo of sorts. But an important period it turns out. Because without seeing what life is when you are not focused on what's is really important - it sways and rocks - you'll never know what you don't want for the rest of your life. Now don't get me wrong - I had a ball - and I certainly made up for all those years of being married and not wreaking havoc on some college campus somewhere.

      The high point, and the end of the decade, was spent working at a Club Med in Hawaii. Now before you start thinking you know what goes on at Club Mediterranee, let me assure you - Hawaii is not the Caribbean. So forget sex on the beach stories - Hawaii was plenty fun, but there were rules there that were not the same as in some of the other clubs during the 1970's. But I had been offered a job, all expenses paid - including airfare to and from when I was ready to leave - so I figured why not? My father was not happy, to say the least, especially since 60 Minutes did a story about some of the more racy clubs, and he assumed they were all the same. But I was already there and all he could do was hope I'd come home soon.

      Six months later, and a wonderful time sailing through the Hawaiian islands with friends, I was ready to come home. But not for long. My plan was to put some things in order and return to Honolulu to share an apartment with one of my fellow GO's who was from there. We both had tired of the constant party - and believe me, when you work for a company that is selling fun - you are always working. Even when you are off work you are still representing vacations - no down time allowed. Not to mention a lack of newspapers and television. You literally have no idea what's going on in the outside world. Not that I cared much. But still. One can only live that lifestyle for a while before one becomes like one of those other GO's who spent too much time smoking pocololo and playing golf, or whatever they were teaching, and were burn-outs. So I left the beautiful island of Kauai behind, expecting to return to Oahu in record speed.

      But that was not to be...

      What about you? What were you doing in the 1970's? Were you learning life lessons as well?

      Saturday, January 2, 2010

      Were you alive in the 60's?

      I am always amazed how time just creeps along and before you know it you are several decades older. For the last few days I've lain awake trying to remember who I was during the 1960's. I was in high school, graduating in 1971, and for the most part lonely. My mother died in 1960, setting off a decade of feeling awkward. Actually more than a decade, but that's another story. I had plenty of friends, but you can still feel lonely surrounded by people. That feeling comes from within.

      Growing through your teens without a mother to fight with is not easy. Dads just don't hold the same place in a young women's heart when it comes to differentiation. High school was hard for me - many of my friends had dropped out and I was the only one on the bus in the morning heading to classes I knew in my heart I needed to attend. I've always been that way. A knowing of the right thing to do, even when my brain says to cut and run, who needs school? Or why not just continue drinking and partying, when I knew it was destructive in so many ways? I guess we all know the right things to do way ahead of actually paying the consequences - we just ignore them. Or not, if we're smart, and actually pay attention to our little voice. Mine was sometimes very authoritative - maybe my mother adding vehemence when it was needed?

      It was a wild decade. Many of the same issues as this one - war, recession, a society polarized. Peace, love, dope was the rallying cry. The dope was pot, not the harder drugs that materialized in the next decade. I'll talk about that later. No, the sixties for me was about being young, very young, and not being allowed to participate in the really cool iconic happenings such as Woodstock, or Haight Ashbury in San Francisco. My father would have killed me, even if I could have found a way to get there. Another issue about the 60's for me - I didn't have a car. I did not get a car when I turned sixteen. (The horror!) I took public transportation, or bummed a ride from those friends lucky enough to have one.

      I did manage to see BB King in San Francisco at the Filmore. Of course I lied. Do you think my father would have let me crawl into some car driven by "hippies" to go all the way to San Francisco? (Maybe 200 miles?) Naw.

      So the 1960's for me was a decade of mostly being too young to be a part of the action. I did however lose two friends to a car accident while they were drinking, which ruined my graduation party because my dad took the distributor cap out of the ($150) car he had bought me for graduation. It was being held out at Pyramid Lake, the same place my friends died, and he wasn't about to let me go. It was so traumatizing then and now it just sounds responsible. Would I have let my girls go to the same party in the same place a decade later? Of course not. Did they do something as equally dumb? Probably. But I did sign them up for the "booze-free" party with their class. Which turned out to not be as booze-free as all the parents had hoped. Kids are incredibly crafty when it comes to circumventing the rules.

      So where were you in the 60's? Were you a "hippie" or a "straight"? Or were you somewhere in the middle like me? Were you for, or against, the "establishment"? My husband, the only guy in the universe who went to the University of Oregon in 1969, and was a total "straight." One of those guys who was in ROTC because he knew as soon as he graduated he was off to Vietnam, and thought he might as well go as an officer. How he ever ended up with me is a wonder. But I've always been grateful he paid attention in school. It worked out well for both of us.

      So who were you in the 1960's?

      Were you even born?

      An Addendum: Read: latkas and New Year's Rant to get a great recipe and read a well-written post on the 1960's and our lack of follow-up, plus a call to this generation by My Year On The Grill.  BTW - if you want to link to any of my posts by joining in the conversation on your blog, you can link at the bottom of my post where it says Links to this post.