Sunday, April 29, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

May your dreams unfurl this week.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Image courtesy of my garden!

Friday, April 27, 2012

I So Need To Believe This Is True...

  I've been feeling a wee bit sad and lost of late. I can't attribute it to any one thing, it's more a feeling that follows me and every once in awhile, gets in front of me and blocks my way.

I try to be reasonable about it; ponder down to the root of its cause; realize that feelings pass; know that emotions aren't solidly held in place and given time will change again. And, when I've done all that I try to be kind to myself and say, "Well just feel it and let it go, there's obviously no answer for it today."

Recently, without caring anymore about my pride and sense of professional Self, in order to respond to My Lion's need to have my help with our budget, I went on a job hunt. It wasn't for anything that my resume proves I am highly qualified to do. It wasn't for a job in PR/Marketing. It wasn't for someone with years of managerial experience, which I have successfully navigated. It wasn't for a teaching position at the area colleges. It wasn't as a staff writer. No- none of those.

It was to be a greeter at an area car dealership. A dealership, I might add, where Michael and I have purchased many cars and one of the leading salesmen can vouch for me. And, that's all right...I'm okay with it. In fact, I think I'd find it interesting.

I've arrived at the point in my life where I understand that good work is not defined by the title or position. Good work is defined, for me, as anything that allows me to contribute and serve. And, good work is anything that helps me to feel better about myself and my gifts. Good work is about assisting to ease, even slightly, the on-going struggle most of us have with money, and the lack there-of.

I went in, filled-out the application, handing it to the Sales Manager as I left after a few words of pleasant conversation. I looked nice, sounded competent and capable. Projected warmth. Had a smile on my face and in my voice. I did everything I could, to once again, land a job here. So far, I've not been asked back for an interview and that was a couple of weeks ago...

I resist the urge to scream, "Oh for god's sake! REALLY? REALLY?! Not even qualified to be a greeter?!?!?!"

This morning, I started the computer and went to my daily meditation and found this that I'm sharing with you.  I so need to believe this is true:

The Real Work
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.

If you're feeling like I am, I hope it will help. I'm hoping it will help me. I'm tired of feeling less-than and not good enough. And, so the real work of getting my Self back on track will begin again. I'll start today. I'll find the ways to remember the truth of me. I'll hope the very same for you.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Continues To Try

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

Let your secret dreams carry you far this week.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Dreams


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ava Awwws

It occurs to me that Ava could be falling victim to Second Child Syndrome.  You know what I mean...the first child gets all the attention and the cooing and awing and then the second one comes along and we're too busy to take the time to coo.

I realize that this blog may also be part of that unfair happening; I know I was much more liberal with sharing Livy with all of you and I haven't been the same with Ava.  Now that I realize the error of my ways, well, I won't have it!  Little Ava is especially darling to my eyes because it's astounding how much she looks like my beloved Laura at this age.  Truly, it's like having baby Lar-Lar once again.

As you can tell, Ava will and does eat anything.  Even her birthday sign. 

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Great Aunt Holly x2

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pondering Discipline

While Argyle recharges his devilment batteries, I'll use the precious few minutes to get some of my thoughts down.  I wish this was one of my posts that had answers and direction on the topic at hand, but really, it's just my way of getting some of the questions out for consideration.

The one area where I have absolutely no question with this new pup, is that I've grown older.  I hope a bit wiser as well, but I can definitely say I'm physically older.  I wear out way faster than Argyle does.  My patience with some of his craziness is a wee bit thinner.  My frustration factor is way higher.  Some days, depending on what crazy thing he's done, I worry about a bad confluence of far both of us have been lucky.

I suppose I started wondering about discipline and how it actually manifests vs. being force upon us.  I watch this little dog and realize that I really love him.  But, more than that, I'm tickled by his fun personality.  He's light and sunny and positive and he makes me smile.  He also makes me sigh a great deal and shake my head.  But, mostly he makes me smile.

Having never had children, the need to worry about the correct means of discipline was a non-issue.  While I have my very considered opinions about children and how they should be en-cultured to society, I've learned to keep them to myself because: a.) I've never had a child so what do I really know, and b.) don't ever tell someone how to raise or discipline their child if you wish to stay in relationship with that person.

If someone asks what I think, I'll gladly share it, but when it comes to children, I try to stay as quiet as I can.  I've learned.  But, in as much as this is my blog and I get to say what I want, I'm going to break my rule and say what I think.  And, when it comes to discipline with children, I'd say we're way too soft on them and worry about their little self-esteem way too much.

The fact is, if we raise an individual to be polite, share, listen, follow direction, understand their limits and the parameters, they will be someone who everyone will want to be around.  They will be welcomed into all circles.  They will be admired.  They will be sought out.  Their self esteem will flourish because they are comfortable in their own skin and know how to be a working part of society.

And I know that what I just wrote is way easier said than done.  But, I believe that we make it even harder by thinking that we should constantly negotiate our requirements with a child instead of directing them.  The right to negotiate is earned.  And, it's only possible when an individual has enough experience to be able to have the conversation with you.  Again, just my opinion.

So, as it relates to this little six month old of mine, I realize that for the first time, I can understand the murky gray area that a parent faces when it comes to this issue.  I now realize that even if you are one who is very clear about the correct way of disciplining a younger being, there is an even more important question that needs to be raised.

The bigger question when it comes to discipline is, how does one discipline another without squelching the natural exuberance and lightheartedness, the independence, the sense of wonder, the individualism?

Argyle can be such a wild thing.  Scotties pretty much always flunk obedience school, not because of lack of intelligence, but perhaps because they are very intelligent and so wrote the book on how to be STUBBORN!  I think they may have invented it. It takes patience and a firm hand if you want to have a Scottie that people like instead of wishing to aim at with a gun.

I know I am the Alpha in this pack.  I know that all of the Scotties are going to consistently test that status.  I know that I'm always going to make certain that testing me only goes so far.  I know my job is to keep Argyle alive and whole as he crashes head-long into his world without a clue.  I know there are times when I'm going to have to shake the ever-livin' stuffing out of him after he's severely crossed the line.

Along with that, though, I now sense that discipline and how intense and how frequently it must be doled out seemed alot more clear when I was younger.  Now, I'm just not sure about it and that might have more to do with me not always having to have my own way.  It may have to do with me realizing that another being is part of the dance. 

Are the issues surrounding discipline and what makes it such a hot button issue less about our sense of the need for it and more about two individuals demanding their own way?  I'm beginning to think, maybe so.

Despite my clarity that discipline is critically important,  I'm more conscious of the fact that I want Argyle to be a good pet, but not at the cost of his great fun personality.  I now realize that keeping a being's personality intact as they learn, is more important than my need to be in constant control of things.  Don't get me wrong- I'm not above cracking his butt when he desperately needs it...but now I'm not as quick to think he 'needs' it.  More importantly, I've finally disciplined my ego so that I don't delude myself into thinking he 'deserves' to be smacked.  None of us deserves to be smacked even when we might need it. 

There has to be a balance...I know there has to be a balance.  And therein lies the murky gray area.

How does an older spirit help a younger spirit become disciplined AND maintain the silly, fun, chaotic, energetic, creative parts?  Perhaps by keeping this question in the prominent place when the unavoidable battles ensue? 

If you have the answer, please let me know.  I'll be the one running around trying to keep an exuberant puppy alive and well.  Most likely laughing like a wild thing as we go.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Mommer

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Was Young Once And Liberal

Definition of liberal n :  one who is liberal: as one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways.

Interestingly enough, in older dictionaries, the definition also includes:  lacking moral restraint.

Am I the only one who had a father who said words to this effect:  "It's easy to be liberal when you're young because you're doing it on someone else's dime!"  I hated it when he would say things like; it seemed so snide.  When I was old enough to begin looking at the world around me; take account of my world view; wonder about the rightness/wrongness of the world, there was more than one occasion when Dad and I simply had to end our discussions with the live and let live philosophy.  The, "we'll have to agree to disagree," rule was often invoked.  But, I'm awfully glad that he continued to spar with me and make me think.  I like to believe that my bright-eyed, optimistic, youthful exuberance for the ability to positively impact wrongs and make change, helped him maintain equilibrium in his thinking.  Maybe even keep him on his toes while we verbally squared off!  At the very least, keep him hopeful that things can always be made better.

My father was never dismissive of my thoughts simply because I was young with less life experience. He told me not to give up on anything I believed was just, right, fair, but he did show me where just wishing something was so wasn't enough to get it done.  Because he didn't treat me like an idiot or condescend, I always gave him the benefit of the doubt.  I recognized his intelligence, wisdom, and deeper experience.  Still, the 70's were a breeding ground for social upheaval and dissonance; the never trust anyone over 30 philosophy was rampant, so our points of view were vastly different on many things.  Not unlike our world today, it gave us lots and lots to discuss and argue.

I believe that my father was one of the best parents in the universe. Even more, he was a mentor.  A strong advocate.  A teacher.  A guide.  He did way more right than wrong in terms of my up-bringing.  However, the one thing I wish he had done better was teach me how challenging it can be in terms of living in the real world.  I wish he had been more open about money and finances.  I wish he had been more forthcoming about the financial struggles our family faced.  How difficult it can be to own and operate a business successfully.  I wish I understood sooner that things just don't happen without someone making sure they happen, like:  The lights and heat are on because someone paid the utility bill.  I ate regularly because someone worked to make certain we had food in the house.  I was blessed with a great education because someone made sure that tuition was paid, or that appropriate financing was secured for the tuition; financing that would have to be re-paid by a person who understood their responsibility to the contractual agreement.

I wish, instead of adopting the usual mind-set of most parents, the one that says "make sure my child always feels safe and secure," he had talked more about the need for someone, somewhere to secure that our world was orderly, our needs were met, because someone worked to pay for it all.

Because conversations like that didn't happen often, I didn't give it much thought.  The inner workings of the need to contribute and understand what heavy lifting it takes to keep your loved ones together body and soul just wasn't something I pondered.  By nature, I am a grateful person, so I always said thanks for things but you can't thank someone when you aren't even aware of the gift.  Know what I mean?

I am still very liberal in terms of my thinking when it comes to the Human condition.  But, as I've grown older and struggle, like most of us with finances and the rising cost of breathing in and out, I'm so not liberal in my thinking when it comes to money, government, or funding what so many now consider their right, their due, their fair share.  I'm just not.

And, I must admit it bugs the hell out of me because despite my best efforts of making sure, "I'll NEVER think like you do, Dad!!!"  Well, here I am.  I'm not Jimmy Dietor, but I sure the hell am Jimmy Dietor's Daughter. So, how do I say what's on my mind now without sounding like a condescending old, F**k?  I don't know...but I have to say it regardless.  So here goes:

We have done our younger generations a serious dis-service.  Our children should be part of  a discussion about our family bills.  It's all right to talk about our monthly expenses and when we're a bit strapped for cash.  It's a good thing to let our kids know when we need to tighten our budget or when we can celebrate better times with a treat for all.

We should have made basic finances, how to budget, and money management a major part of educational curriculum.  We should teach our children to get right with money and understand how it works.  We should stress how each of us needs to invest in ourselves and work toward feeling successful. 

Instead, because we've taught them to expect they should always have everything they want or need without regard how it is paid for, we have raised them to believe they have more RIGHTS than privileges. We now have people who can no longer differentiate between the two.  It's becoming increasingly problematic.  Let's be clear what is the difference:

right n:  Something to which one has a just claim; the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled.
privilege n:  A right or an immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor.

A right comes to you simply because you are.  A privilege is something you earn or is given to you out of the generosity of another's purse or belief that you are worthy.  And, while in practice they do seem closely related, they are not interchangeable concepts.

As Human Beings, as Americans, we have very few RIGHTS; those we have are incredibly significant.  Read the Constitution and our Bill of Rights is spelled out.  You will not read any where in it that you have a RIGHT to a life made better or easier and paid for by others.  It simply is not there.  It's not an over sight; it's not meant to be cruel.  It's that the writers of the Constitution understood the concept of manifest destiny and embraced personal freedom to create our lives as we see fit.

We The People! We make up the government.  There's no separate entity, called The Government that has an unending privy purse ready to make your life easier.  When you say The Government should pay for something, you're actually saying, "The people of the U.S., more specifically, the Tax Paying Citizens of the U.S. should pay for my fill-in-the-blank!" It doesn't work that way.  Nor should it. 

When I hear younger people say, "I have the right to health insurance and I'm not asking anyone but the insurance companies to do their part,"  or, "I have a right to affordable education and paying for my college degree shouldn't be something with which I am burdened," I want to ask, "Really?  You don't think you should pay for these things yourself, but you think I should be required to buy it for you?" And how do you think that's going to happen? Companies are profit centered entities.  We can discuss how much profit is too much and whether they should be more service minded and caring; I probably will agree with you.  But, at the end of the day, they are profit driven businesses.  If they don't make money, they don't stay in business.  And, if they are forced, through laws, to pay for your health care, your birth control, your education, or your fill-in-the-blank to which you think you are entitled, those costs will be passed along to others in terms of hidden fees and higher premiums, higher costs and taxes.

At what point does your belief that you have a RIGHT to things for free or at no cost, justify that the price tag be passed along to the rest of us for payment ?!  Or, had you simply not considered it? If there is a bill involved, someone, some where must pay the bill.  Nothing is free.  But, you have to be open and fair enough to wonder who is expected to pay for it if you're not willing.

Recently, a friend of mine said, "If  I see someone hungry and I have enough to share, then I'll share it. The only thing over which I have any real control is myself."  For me, that's true liberal thinking at its finest.  I am liberal enough to want to help everyone in need.  But I am conservative enough to understand that I only have resources to help some and that I can only do so when I have enough to share.  My liberal way of thinking means that I search for ways to help others, but first I must meet my obligations to myself and my family.  At the same time, I'm conservative enough in my thinking to say, "My willingness to help another is my choice; I will not have it mandated through government policy that is too far-reaching and invades my personal space and life!"

I wish we would return to the days when people understood that they need to invest in themselves first before they look to others to invest in them.  Return to the days before we constantly looked for government to take care of us.

conservative n:  marked by moderation or caution.  Relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners.

So after trodding the earth for awhile, here's where my journey has brought me:  If I wish to be liberal in my thinking of Human Beings and  be willing to respond to need when I encounter it, I must be conservative in my views of what I can do and also what I need.  I must be conservative in my view of finances and money so I can meet my financial obligations and help those truly in need.  I must be conservative enough to believe that I have very few rights but am lucky to have privileges.  I must be conservative enough to understand that I must make my own way, and trust that if I do right by others and am liberal in my willingness to help, those good intentions and acts will be returned to me.

Go ahead Daddy....where ever you are, you can laugh.  I get it.  I'm now with you on this topic.  I am finally a liberal conservative; or maybe I'm a conservative liberal.  However you say it, you knew I'd eventually figure it out.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Jimmy Dietor's Daughter

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Silent Sermon Sunday

May you find love in the quiet places the day holds.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Photo taken by me in Disney World
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