Friday, April 4, 2014

Je suis desole

Have trouble saying you are sorry? It is difficult to get those words out, isn't it? Admitting we are wrong to others does not come easy for any of us.

So, why not say it in French? It sounds so much more elegant.

    "Je suis desole."

Isn't it interesting that the word for "sorry" looks like "desolate"?

This word "desolate" means "sorrowful, caused by separation from a loved one" . Isn't that exactly what happens? We do something wrong and it drives a wedge between ourselves and the ones we love. The only thing which can mend and restore is the word "desole."

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Letter Writing Revived

After reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, I got the idea to engage in an old fashioned revival of the art of letter writing.

I'm going to start with my students, who are currently reading the novel in class. We are going to talk about the importance of letters in that day, how they were written, and then have them write their own notes. I even got the sealing wax, just because it adds some fun to it!

Do you remember the chapter where Elizabeth reads Darcy's letter to her (after she had rejected his proposal)? The more she read it, the more her mind and feelings changed. It was a pivotal moment for her.

Due to social media and texting so few people bother to send notes or letters, so I'm trying to revive this dying art. I bought a box of 50 note cards and plan to send out all 50 in the next year. A tad bit ambitious, you are probably thinking! I don't think I've sent 50 letters out in the past 20 years! We will see how the experiment grows.

Letters are a treasure. You can read them over and over years later. Digital communication is often impersonal and quickly disposed of. I still treasure letters my grandmother wrote me many years ago, and now that she is gone, it is wonderful to have these words of hers to treasure.

So turn off the computer, put aside the phone, grab a pen and paper and join me on this return to simpler days. Write a letter, and let me know what happens.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Snow, again.

Yes, it is Saturday here in the northeast, and yes, it is snowing once again. Aren't you tired of it? I know I am.

Not that I don't mind the surprise days off from work, but I hate the cold, and the snow only looks pretty for a few hours. Then it turns into a nuisance.

This is the time of year I always wonder, Why do I live in this state where winter stretches from December to late March? Why don't I move to the south? Texas? Florida?

Then I realize, without the cold I wouldn't appreciate the warmth. Part of the glory of spring, is the life springing out of that cold frozen ground. The green and yellow and pink taking over the browns and greys of the landscape. The amazing transformation that occurs between March and May is nothing short of amazing.

In life, we could not appreciate the good times if we didn't have the bad. We would appreciate a day off if we didn't work. We couldn't appreciate life if we hadn't lost someone to death. We cant value love without loss.  Its about the ying and yang. The balance of opposites.

So, now that I have found some kind of assurance that this will be over soon, and that there is a deeper significance to it all,  I can go outside, scrape off my car and head out, slipping and sliding into my future, which in 2 short months will include spring!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Swifter and Morty

I have to admit, I usually can resist commercials. I have studied the various techniques advertisers use to persuade you to buy their products, but for some reason, I really like Morty and his wife.

Maybe they remind me of my own grandparents, maybe they make cleaning seem so much easier (and I already hate it now, so any short cuts are welcome). I love the idea of getting a big box of Swifters on my front porch. Anyone want to send me some?

Then along came the ad with the one armed guy and his family. Wow. If a guy with one arm can help his wife with the cleaning, then I have no excuse. I should really get off my... ah, computer and get busy, right?

Swifter hired some really clever advertisers. I'm seriously considering buying some of their products. Well, I already have the small hand-held duster, but the longer one looks great for cleaning fan blades and such-- and those cobwebs in the corners I have been ignoring.

Have you tried them? What do you think?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sick Pics

There is a social media trend I do not understand: taking pictures of oneself or one's children when sick.

Zoom the camera in for a selfie of a sickly face, circles under eyes, sad pouty face,  and describe in the caption what all your symptoms are and what fluids are spewing from which orifices. DO I NEED TO KNOW THIS? When I am sick I hide from a camera. The last thing I would want to do is show 200 people how awful I look when sick.

Version 2 : My sick kids. Let's take a pic of my poor kid holding the barf bucket on the couch! Now there's a shot all my friends and acquaintances will love. NOT.

Perhaps it would be best to simply post that you (or little Susie)  is not feeling well, and prayers are requested. We understand, but we don't need all the details. Thanks.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Techno Orphan

I was out to lunch with my family on Sunday. We were all sitting around the table in a busy restaurant, waiting for our food. As we were chatting away,  I looked across at the table behind me and noticed a family of five. The mom and dad were busy with their phones. The oldest daughter, around 9, was on a tablet, as was one of the sons, around 7 years old.

The one son left had no technology on the table in front of him. He was all alone, and he had the saddest look on his face. No one was saying  a single word. His entire family had abandoned him to stray into cyberspace.

So much for being in the moment. So much for loving the ones your with. Technology improves communication? Not for this techno orphan.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Realistic Resolutions for 2014

Honestly, I wasn't even going to write any resolutions this year, which would be a first for me. Usually, I'm all about optimism and power to change, but this year, things are different. I thought about it some more, and realized the problem wasn't with the making the resolutions but rather the UNREALISTIC nature of my resolutions. So, I'm grounding myself in simplicity and practicality and writing 20 resolutions I am choosing to live by this year.

1. I vow to not wear out the belt on my treadmill. Realizing this could be a costly repair, I vow to use it only sporadically and lightly.

2. I resolve to not do for my kids what they can do themselves. To not fall into the role of servant. To realize the goal is creating independent humans. When they ask me for something, I will think twice before doing it.

3. I vow to not call someone an IDIOT even when they do something idiotic. This will take a great deal of will power, but I feel I can do it.

4. I resolve to throw out the clothes that are 3 sizes too small and 10 years old.

5. I vow to walk away from angry critical people, realizing their anger is not my problem.

6. To realize my discontent is a sign something is wrong, and while I can't change the other party/parties, I can change myself and my reactions.

7. To not fold socks anymore. I will not waste another minute of my life folding socks.

8. To accept the fact I will never understand or appreciate football.

9. To spend more time with people I care about, respect and feel a connection with, rather than with those I feel obligated to be with.

10. To not feel guilty about an afternoon nap.

11. To let go of dying relationships and be open to starting new ones.

12. To watch even less TV.

13. To go on more hikes and walks in the park.

14. To let go of my frustration over unfinished projects.

15. To listen more and lecture less.

16. To work on understanding the difference between reading the bible and meditating on it. To grasp the art of meditation and to make it a regular practice.

17. To travel to see some far-away friends.

18. To be open to change and opportunity and not allow myself to be trapped in the predictable and comfortable.

19. To sing more.

20. To play more board games with my kids.