Movies

Are you a Cindy Lou or a Clark?

When it snows in December, I hear a song playing in my head…it’s on an endless loop.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
Take a look at the five and ten, it’s glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes that glow
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in every store
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door
A pair of hop-a-long boots and a pistol that shoots
Is the wish of Barney and Ben
Dolls that’ll talk and will go for a walk
Is the hope of Janice and Jen
And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
There’s a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well
It’s the sturdy kind that doesn’t mind the snow
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Soon the bells will start
And the thing that will make ’em ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in every store
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door
Sure it’s Christmas, once more
I’ve already begun my Christmas tradition of watching a different Christmas movie every evening, the multi-colored lights of our 30-year-old tree illuminating the near-dark living room. A mock-up of Scrooge’s small town graces the three-quarter wall around my kitchen, bookstores, candy stores, churches lit with a single small bulb. And of course, there’s Baby Jesus in his creche surrounded by shepherds, kings, and barnyard animals. Who would’ve imagined that guest list?
But there’s something in the way I think…and write…about Christmas that seems a little odd…or maybe not odd as much as not as ideal as I’d like.
Ideally, I want to be a bit more like Cindy Lou Who and a bit less like Clark Griswold, but did you notice that I started by describing the tree? the lights?
Sure, Clark gets to the point where he admits it’s more about being with family, sharing moments with those you love and less about light displays, presents, and perfect meals; but not until he drives himself a little mad.
What do I know for sure about the meaning of Christmas?
  • I know it isn’t about the presents, making sure everyone has the same amount and that you spent enough on each of them…it’s about giving the gift of time, love, laughter to the people you love.
  • I know it isn’t about the tree lights, the neighbor’s gorgeous light display, or the number of inflatables in your front yard; it’s about what shines from each of our hearts to illuminate the path of connection we share.
  • I know it isn’t about the perfect meal, getting everything to the table on time, baking until your back hurts; it’s about the communion that only happens around a dinner table.
And how do I behave to show that I know these things?
  • I keep meticulous records about how much I spend on each person so that no one is short-changed.
  • I make lists, check them twice, forget where I put them, make new lists, find the old ones, combine the lists, share the lists with someone who can help me remember what it is I forgot to put on the list, because God knows, if I forget to do something on that list, CHRISTMAS WILL BE RUINED!!!!
  • I plan meals, cocktails, desserts, snacks; finding recipes for home-made cranberry sauce, Christmas bread, new types of cookies that require hours of decorating, chilling, baking, or mixing.
  • I climb into the crawl-space to pull 100-pound Rubbermaid containers of decorations from their parking spots and spend three days putting everything out on display…even if the ground is too frozen to secure the Christmas dog and his reindeer friend.
AND FOLKS, THAT’S THE BEGINNING OF HOLIDAY STRESS
When your actions don’t follow the edicts of your authentic self, stress follows.
You’re out of alignment.
Ever drive a car that was out of alignment? It pulls you around. You fight the steering wheel to stay in your lane and sometimes, you bounce a lot. By the time you get to your destination, you’re too exhausted from the conflict to really enjoy yourself. And you’re dreading the drive home.
I wish upon the Christmas Star that I could say I’ve got it all figured out…that I’m always in alignment, living a stress-free life and enjoying every NOW that I have.
But see, chasing that would just add stress.
I’m only human after all. I’m not perfect.
I’m better than before, though.
This year, I’m not worried about the meals that I’m cooking. They WON’T be perfect, but they’ll be very good! And we’ll enjoy them all because we’ll be together…my entire family: parents, sisters, niece and nephews, children and grandchildren, husband and even Mika…and I KNOW she won’t be perfect either!
This year, there are several 100-pound Rubbermaid containers still parked in the crawl-space and the things that are out on display may actually stay out on display till Easter.
I’m enjoying THIS NOW.
And I’m sending my Christmas wishes to each and every one of you to enjoy your NOW too.
I’m claiming for you the laughter you so richly deserve; the connection of friends and family that will warm you for the rest of the year; the unconditional love that surpasses all understanding and stays in your heart forever and ever…longer than a DeBeer’s Diamond.
Merry Christmas Season Friends!
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Enlighten Me, Hard to Label

Post-Thanksgiving Ramblings

There are a few events that have triggered some deep Thanksgiving reflections this year:

  • The 57th birthday party of a sweet woman who suffered a stroke 7 months ago and is now struggling to re-learn to talk, move, walk.
  • The memorial celebration for the 53-year-old music genius who gave in to her cancer on the last full moon.
  • The Parliament of World Religions discussion about the mistreatment of farm animals in the United States forcing me to really, really consider vegetarianism. (But I did eat turkey on Thanksgiving.)
  • A visit to see my Aunt and the uncle whose overachieving bladder cannot stop making tumors.
  • A visit with one of my cousins and her family.
  • 86-year-old Ruth who is an environmental warrior and an independent lady.
  • A text message that my brother-in-law had a massive stroke.

Maybe you’re waiting for me to tell you what they all have in common; what my ramblings and reflections have taught me about life. I’m sorry to disappoint, but I cannot. Not because you as the reader need to make sense of it all for yourself, though that might be true; not because I’m being coy, because I’m not even sure what that means having never been coy in my life!

No, I can’t tell you how they’re related because I don’t know. I have no clue.

That’s probably why I’ve been holding them in my heart. I like things to make sense and so much of life does not. I like organized thoughts and events to follow patterns, but my mind usually jumps from one topic to the next so that I have to make notes to stay on track and the steps I take to finish my to-do list are anything but sequential.

I keep reading and re-reading this list. What do they have in common? What does it mean? What lesson am I to be learning from these several events? I feel like there’s one piece of the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle missing…THE PIECE that makes the picture come together.

I can tell you that I love my family. All of them…I have the best family in the world…from my grandkids to my parents; from my sisters to aunts; from my daughters to nieces and nephews. My cousins are truly, truly special people. I’m just so lucky to have all these great people in my life.

I can tell you that I love my life…except for winters in Ohio.

I can tell you that God is a real person in my life and I don’t talk to her nearly often enough.

I can tell you that I’m so flawed, and in spite of …maybe because of…the flaws, I sincerely like who I am.

I can tell you that the gratitude I talked about on Thanksgiving doesn’t end with that day. I’m grateful every day of my life…for everything I have in my life: health, family, friends, the ability to pay my bills.

And I can tell you that I still don’t know what triggered so much reflection this year. I still don’t know why these events impacted me so profoundly.

I can only tell you that they did.

That they helped me feel vulnerable, powerless, blessed.

That they triggered a loving response, prayer, and prayerful thoughts.

That they illuminated for me the careful layering of our emotions: the bedrock sadness, gratitude that constitutes more layers than any other single emotion, the grief, the too-generous portion of fear, inspiration to do better, motivation to do more, love, more sadness, and even more gratitude.

These are emotional reactions. They don’t give me a neat little quotation that will trigger the same emotional responses for you. Nothing I’ve written or thought of writing has helped me make sense of why my mind is stuck on these events specifically.

They are just a diorama of life, right? Miniature figurines in action before a construction paper background, sun, trees, grass, stick figures playing ball drawn in black crayon.

It’s just life. Nothing to make sense of; nothing to reason out; nothing to acquire.

Life in its complexity, simplicity, irony.

Maybe I don’t need to make sense of it. Maybe feeling this deeply was enough.

Maybe.

Enough.

 

 

 

Enlighten Me

F.E.A.R.

I don’t know why but the Edwin Starr song WAR is my current earworm…just began playing when I typed the title and I suppose you could interchange those two words:

FEAR, huh! What is it good for?

Absolutely Nothing!

Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet too…

Except, technically, that isn’t true. Fear is not evil, harmful, or bad in and of itself. It’s value-equal with joy, shame, happiness, guilt, anger, calm…and any other emotion we human beings experience.

The emotion itself is neutral.

Our reactions to the emotion are what can cause positive or negative consequences.

Fear can create reactions that keep us safe…like staying back from the edge of the Grand Canyon where there are more deaths from falling than you might think. (In 2012, the count was 685 with two or three deaths added each year.)

But if we let fear keep us from ever SEEING the Grand Canyon, then we’re letting it limit our lives.

I’ve been to the Grand Canyon once in my life…on my honeymoon. My crazy husband could, and did, lean out over the rim of the 6,000-foot drop and was lucky enough to NOT experience a dizzy spell, slip on loose gravel, get pulled off balance by a gust of wind, all of which have been reasons for GC deaths.

I never made it closer than 15 feet from the edge. I saw the brilliantly colored layers of rock glisten in the Arizona sun while remaining at a distance that kept my fear at bay.

Adrenal junkies may test their fear by hang-gliding off the edge or flying across it on a jet-packed motorcycle, but I feel fairly proud of myself for just getting out of the car.

In my life I’ve known a LOT of fear:

  • of flying, though now I fly three or four times a year
  • Of riding a motorcycle…before I married a Biker
  • Of public speaking…until I began facilitating presentations for my career
  • Of embarrassing myself…until I became aware that my embarrassments turned into fabulously funny stories that entertained friends and family and became some of the best essays I’ve written, one of which won a Thurber prize.
  • Of having surgery…until one saved my life
  • Of going to the dentist…until…okay, I’m still a little nervous about dentists, but I have found one who doesn’t terrorize me!

Once I told a friend that I was like Piglet in the Winnie the Pooh books; afraid of anything and everything. She said that made me one of the bravest people on earth.

Because I challenge myself to get uncomfortable, even through the fear. If you are never afraid, you don’t have the opportunity to be brave. Pooh told Christopher Robin:

You are smarter than you think,

stronger than you believe,

and braver than you feel.

I go back and forth on whether or not I believe her…or Winnie the Pooh, a bear of little brain, but most days, I choose to believe them both. And why not? To believe I’m brave gives me the ability to face my fears and do it anyway. If I believed that I am a coward, I’d act like I’m a coward and then fear would be the boss.

The Loving Wisdom of Molly Cameron

Last Sunday at the Columbus Center for Spiritual Living, Rev. Molly Cameron talked about fear. She talked about how limiting it can be when we allow it to push us around and she gave us a great acronym for fear that is the antidote to fear:

Feel

Everything

And

Release

 

Here’s how it happens according to Molly:

You don’t deny your feelings or shift them to the bottom of your to-do list. Feelings give us valuable information that we MUST pay attention to if we want to make effective and productive decisions. When we feel fear, there’s a reason. Don’t ignore that. Feel everything…even the negative emotions that can rain on a great parade.

Start with your head:

What do you think about this fear? Is it rational/irrational? Is it there as a caution light or a stop light? Am I feeling afraid because of the Grand Canyon or afraid of falling?

Move to your heart:

Is this true? Is there evidence this is true? What’s my heart saying? Do I want to see the Grand Canyon? Will I regret staying in the car?

Then to your soul:

What do I truly believe will be the highest vision for my life? What actions will be a lighthouse for others? How does this all fit into my purpose?

 

Release it to your higher power. By this point, the fear has dissipated; the rational part of your brain is back in charge.

You can decide to stay in your car if that’s what ration is telling you…as I said, I got out of the car but stayed back far enough from the rim that I could actually enjoy the vision of natural beauty that was in front of me without worrying about vertigo, a major gust of wind, or a bout of the ‘klutzies’.

A braver person might have walked to the edge.

I can only be as brave as me. I can’t be as brave as you.

 

Be Braver than you Feel…

If this is a topic that speaks to you, practice Molly’s process this week in the privacy of your own head, heart and soul.

When you feel afraid, ask yourself what your first thought was before the fear crawled up your spine. That thought will point you toward what you’re REALLY afraid of…and it probably isn’t the 6,000-foot ditch in the middle of America.

Tap into your heart’s wisdom. Is that something I really believe? Is there evidence for it? Will being close to the Grand Canyon cause me to absolutely fall? Will a great gust of wind? Vertigo? Slipping on loose gravel? Well, there’s evidence for those things. Will I regret missing the vision if I stay in the car? Yes.

Get in the spirit…what is it you believe is part of your purpose? What’s your highest vision for your life? I have a passion for travel, so to be in the parking lot of one of the Natural Wonders of the world and NOT get out of the car would go against the learning from experience that I believe is part of my purpose.

This fear was a caution light for me…and once I took precautions, I could enjoy the wonder this site had to offer.

I’ll never forget standing fifteen feet from the Grand Canyon; the oranges, reds, golds illuminating the space between the bottom and the soft blue of the Arizona sky. I’ll always remember the insights gained there as I stood mesmerized by a 6,000-foot ditch made by the power of water, a power I knew about from physical science classes and could now feel in the deepest part of my heart. Water, that keeps us alive, relaxes us with its rhythms and fascinates us in its flexibility; reflects back to us the images of heaven in diamond sparkles on its surface; holds us in its arms as we trust in the science of buoyancy.

That same water is one of the most powerful forces on earth.

Authentic power isn’t physical strength; it’s flexibility, adaptability, the art of influence and persuasion; it’s challenging the status quo of the shoreline gradually, gently without violence or hatred.

I doubt I would have seen all that from the car.

 

 

 

 

 

Conferences, Hard to Label, The Write Life

Oprah’s Got Nothin’ On Me!

 

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She has favorite things…

SO DO I!

Want some gift ideas for the people in your life? Here’s a list of my favorite things for:

WRITERS

  1. Subscription to The Writer Magazine, Writer’s Digest, Creative NonFiction, The Sun
  2. Scrivener Software
  3. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=vickinoll-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01N8VLZ2Q&asins=B01N8VLZ2Q&linkId=6538cf12d47ece49f2dab5a57df25428&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>A beautiful journal or two or three…that also empower women in Third World Countries
  4. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=vickinoll-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1416535039&asins=1416535039&linkId=52308f59b3ad5fb06e91e3e7a95f3006&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Old Friend From Far Away; //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=vickinoll-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=161180308X&asins=161180308X&linkId=3f9364aed66e385207952b9aa4b5ad78&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Writing Down the Bones; //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=vickinoll-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1451641257&asins=1451641257&linkId=2fb7bc286237f6035be051b305cc9394&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>The True Secret of Writing  ;
  5. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=vickinoll-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=0553347756&asins=0553347756&linkId=156de76e22b5995ae8c889248169ddca&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Wild Mind   Natalie Goldberg
  6. The War of Art; Turning Pro                                                  Steven Pressfield
  7. The Writer’s Market                          from Writer’s Digest
  8. Week at a Writing Retreat Center: Here’s 8 ideas , High Desert Retreat CenterRockvale Writing Retreat, a listing by state
  9. Tuition to a Writing Conference:

Mothers, Sisters, Friends:

Wives:

  • What does your wife ask of you all the time? To give her half an hour of your undivided attention?  Clean the basement? Do the grocery shopping?  Remodel the bathroom? Make a coupon book with a few coupons for each of the things (except remodels…she’ll only need one of those) she wants most from you…it won’t cost a thing but the rewards will be well worth it…as long as this isn’t her ONLY GIFT!
  • A romantic trip
  • One of the best gifts my husband ever got me was a wardrobe-replacement-budget. I had met my weight-loss goal and he gave me the money to refresh my wardrobe. The fun lasted well into February!

 

And guess what I just realized? Oprah DOES have something on me…about 80 more gift ideas on her Favorite Things List.

 

 

 

 

 

Books, Enlighten Me, The Write Life, Write Your Life, Writing Business, Writing life

Alexander McCall Smith

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Your first sentence is the most important thing you’ll write because it might be the only one that anyone reads.

So says Alexander McCall Smith, author of one of my favorite series, //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=vickinoll-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1400034779&asins=1400034779&linkId=bc6631b913342eaff914fb2ee5bd8fda&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066C0&bg_color=FFFFFF“>The #1 Ladies Detective Agency,

AND the //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=vickinoll-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1400079446&asins=1400079446&linkId=b8d2810df755effcdc44bbf2edb12244&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>44 Scotland Street Series,

AND the //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=vickinoll-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1400077087&asins=1400077087&linkId=f1e886a36d86868808ae5157e249c19d&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Professor Dr. von Igelfeld series,

AND the //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=vickinoll-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1400077095&asins=1400077095&linkId=cd635f39cf172cf14dcc5f95feb47fde&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Isabel Dalhousie series,

AND a crate full of stand-alone //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=vickinoll-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1101972831&asins=1101972831&linkId=e42836ef3815c76b29cded06ddcb5f69&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>novels,

AND short stories, AND… hmmm.

You get the idea…this guy is prolific and his work isn’t formulaic or repetitive. His characters are dynamic and chock full of contradictions and quirks just like the rest of humankind.

I got to listen to him talk about his work, his life and his travels for 45 minutes today at an event hosted by the Westerville Public Library. Walking on stage in his traditional tartan kilt, Einstein hair, and rhinestoned reading glasses, he began his talk with the subject of culture and etiquette.

Americans, he says, have issues with etiquette but they all seem to revolve around when it’s okay to wear white shoes.

casual classic clean couple
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Other things he’s picked up in his studies of culture include that Californians bond over stories of their health challenges, and German professors use their doctorate in their titles, making a professor with a double doctorate, Professor Dr. Dr.; his wife Frau Professor Dr. Dr. . Of course there’s a complexity if the wife has her own doctorate. Then she’s addressed as Dr. Frau Professor Dr. Dr.

In a talk sprinkled with such humor, I was enlightened, making my way to the highest level of nirvana in a short 45 minutes. Buddha had the 8-fold path. Alexander McCall’s Smith (AMS) has the UK Tube that employs, I believe, two major rails for a high-speed trip to self-actualization.

RAil # 1 on the AMS Path: Everything is what you want it to be. I can’t count how many times he talked about events gone awry that always led to something positive and funny. These same circumstances could bring most of us to tears or tantrums. The moral of the story is that everything that happens in our lives will be sad if you want it to be; joyous if that’s what you’re after; funny if you look for moments to laugh.

The trick is to figure out what we want more of in our lives and look for that in every situation…every single one.

Rail #2 on the AMS Path: People are kind when we are kind. Throughout his talk, Alexander McCall Smith spoke about living in or visiting different countries and how kind the people were there: Botswana, Italy, Scandinavia, Scotland, Muncie Indiana. Yes…Muncie. I’m sure that he’d receive kindness from the same stranger who cut in front of you in the Starbucks line because he exudes a very strong kindness-aura. You can’t help but feel better about the world when you’re in the same room with AMS.

I hope his kindness, nothing-is-serious energy rubbed off on me when he shook my hand. I could stand to be more kind, to take myself less seriously, and to exude so much warmth that I could wear a kilt on a cold November day in Ohio.

 

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And, BTW, I’ve become an Amazon Associate, so if you click through my book links and purchase any of these from Amazon, I will make a commission from your purchase at absolutely no additional cost to you. I am using this commission to defray the costs of maintaining my website. 

Just Funny

The Right Stuff

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I have wanted a Tesla since I sat in one in the Tesla dealership in Columbus, Ohio in 2012, or maybe sooner. Not my whole life, but it’s definitely been a minute.

They’re electric you know. That means they don’t use fossil fuels or leave a huge, black, carbon footprint on the earth.

A footprint-less earth would be ideal but impossible; a less footprinted earth is very, very possible.

It just takes all of us doing our part:

1 ) turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save about 10 gallons of water! The world is 70% water but only 1% of that is sodium-free. Less than 1% of that 1% is potable. That’s a pretty awe-inducing statistic…(one that I learned while chasing my barefoot 4-year old granddaughter around the Long Beach Aquarium).

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2) Turn off lights when you aren’t in the room…well, you’ll actually have to turn them off while you ARE in the room, but you know what I meant.

3) Go solar if you can afford it and if you can’t afford it, tell other people to go solar if they can afford it.

4) Compost your food waste…not meat leftovers, but everything else can go into your compost pile to nourish the soil…give the meat leftovers to the dog, then throw his food waste into the compost pile…but don’t tell me about it because even though according to Mother Earth News it’s technically safe to do this, it’s just really, really GROSS!

5) Drive A HYBRID OR…BETTER YET…A TESLA…and you’ll save the planet.

I have always dreamed of being a super-shero and saving a planet or two, starting with Earth; so a Tesla is THE car for me.

Except it isn’t.

Not yet anyway.

Maybe never unless Elon Musk reads this and decides it would be really nice to send me one.

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After all, I can be a little spacey, so I think I deserve one as much as outer space does.

And Elon, if you are reading this…my dream is shiny gun-metal gray with black leather interior and that awesome, awesome glass roof, and the dashboard that looks like a huge iPad…and also, can the seats be heated AND air-conditioned? And, if you don’t mind, could I change my order on the interior and go with the premium white with the dark ash and dark headliner?

AND between two paragraphs ago and now, Elon’s no longer the only one who needs to read this and be kind to me…ROBYN DENHOLM…please read this and think about ‘charging’ my Thanksgiving Day with a nice electric device…

NO…NOT A BLENDER….

one that I can ride down the road in…

NO…NOT A LIME SCOOTER…

one that I can ride down the road in the rain without getting wet…

NO…NOT A GOLF CART…

one that I can…never mind…

JUST SEND ME A TESLA, ROBYN.

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I actually know someone who owns a Tesla, which means I’m only 1-Degree of separation from an actual, real-life TESLA, which is much more impressive than being 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon!

Steve is a very good friend of my daughter and son-in-law, so when I requested a ride in his new Tesla, he agreed without hesitation because that’s the kind of guy he is…but imagine the shock and awe when he turned the car over to me! That’s right…

MY FRIEND STEVE let me DRIVE HIS NEW TESLA, Folks!

(For the very astute reader–Yes, you’re right…he got a friendship-status upgrade as soon as he let me drive that car!)

In spite of the black cat that walked across the parking lot the second I sat in the driver’s seat, I drove Steve’s Tesla without experiencing any bad luck whatsoever.

So take that, black cats everywhere! (I had my fingers crossed when I typed that so I think I’m still okay, right?)

That car floats across asphalt…and concrete. It goes from 0 to 60 faster than a Porsche and uses less gas than a lawnmower bicycle.

IT DRIVES ITSELF, PEOPLE! Full transparency—that part made me a little anxious. I have control issues and sitting in the driver’s seat while the car changed lanes, sped up, slowed down, and braked for red lights…was just a tad disconcerting even while it was one of the most exciting things I think I’ve ever done including whitewater rafting which was a lot more work than driving a Tesla!

If I had a Tesla, I’d drive it everywhere EXCEPT the gas station!

I’d pass so many gas stations without stopping that eventually, I’d forget how to select my ‘grade of gasoline’… slide my card through the card reader at just the right speed…and find the correct slot where my receipt will appear.

Forgetting all that just might give me more brain space to remember the words to five million Elton John songs, the names of ten thousand constellations, and those extra four digits of my zip code.

If I had a Tesla, the sun would shine brighter; the wind would be gentler; hurricanes would turn back to the ocean BEFORE they got close to shore.

If I had a Tesla, there’d be healthcare for everyone, assault rifles for no one, peace in the world, and Jon Stewart in the White House.

If I had a Tesla, every day would be Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, my birthday, Casual Friday, then the weekend.

If I had a Tesla, I’d be ten pounds thinner…okay, okay…twenty; and my husband would be twenty pounds heavier.

Gosh…life sounds just about perfect with a Tesla!

Elon? Are you paying attention?

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Robyn?

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ANYONE????

 

Ahhh, at least I had tonight…embraced in those soft leather seats…carried across dotted white lines by an auto-pilot…gliding in a silent, electric car that will one day save the world.

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The author in the driver’s seat of Steve’s Tesla

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Steve—You’re the best!

I mean, since you aren’t a car because if you were a car, you’d be in second place — behind the Tesla.

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Elton John

elton-john-style-gallery-2017-billboard-1548It’s a little bit funny…this feeling inside…I’m not one of those who can easily hide…so when I felt overwhelmed by the amount of talent in that one human being, I didn’t even try to hide it!

I screamed, shouted, raised my hands toward heaven, danced, clapped to the music.

I came close to crying when he sang Believe after a brief little monologue about how mean the world has gotten and that the only thing that can heal us is compassion and kindness because, although I’m not always kind or compassionate to others and even less frequently kind and compassionate to myself, I do believe that Elton John is 100% right about what we need to heal our world…love.

In the famous…or infamous…Milgram Experiments in which participants were asked to deliver an electric shock to another person, the researchers discovered 3 groups of participants: 1) those who obeyed and justified their behavior in some way, 2) those who obeyed and blamed someone else for the results, and 3) those who rebelled and refused to deliver the shocks.

The rebels usually said that there were higher ethical, moral and spiritual imperatives that they followed and that contradicted the needs of the experimenter. I’d say, they believed in love too. This is the group I hope I’d be in when it came time to make a choice about hurting someone else, but sadly, I’ve been in the other two groups more often than I’d like to admit. I’ve stood by silently while someone was bullied; I’ve used insults and hurtful humor to express my anger instead of just expressing my feelings in a straightforward manner; I’ve been in a circle of ‘mean girls’ and participated in hurtful behaviors. I’m not proud…just being open and honest.

Listening to Elton’s words, watching his fingers glide across the keyboard flawlessly, letting the music and the lyrics seep into my heart and soul, I was reminded of who I am at my core and how I want to show up in the world.

I want to show up as someone who accepts others just as they are without judgment because none of us can live up to our higher calling when we’re surrounded by judgment.

I want to show up as someone who listens with compassion, holding space for others while they process through difficult times knowing that I know that I know that everyone can find the right answers if they only have space, time and encouragement to find them. Advice only clutters things up.

I want to show up as someone who helps people smile and laugh and enjoy life.

Elton John rehearses for a full week for just one performance, but life isn’t a performance…it’s life! I can only practice showing up by showing up; I can only practice compassion and kindness by learning from my mistakes when I’m less than compassionate and kind.

Unlike EJ, I’ll play sour notes, make mistakes and once in a while sing off tune, (maybe more than once in a while).

Nobody’s perfect. Not even Elton. Though, after this concert, I really can’t prove that!

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I attended the concert with friends I have known for over 20 years. We all remember when rock was young, so when Sir Elton pounded out Crocodile Rock on his Yamaha piano we danced.

We were Still Standing, better than we ever did…looking like true survivors, feeling like little kids…

Because that’s what love, friendship, compassion, joy can do for you.

They help you stand, dance, run, celebrate life…which we did…

until he disappeared beyond the Yellow Brick Road.

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Thank you, Sir Elton John for providing a soundtrack for my life.

Thank you, Friends for providing the accompaniment to my life with love, acceptance, kindness and compassion.

Thank you, God for providing the substance of my life, the many blessings that bring me joy…

 

my family

friends

and the ability to go to an Elton John concert

Really an amazing experience.

Namaste, Sir Elton John…
May you know peace;
May you know kindness;
May you be well;
May you experience joy every day for the rest of your life in full repayment for the joy you’ve brought to all of your fans.

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