Thursday, April 7, 2011

Has It Really Been a Year?


Some call it reflection, others call it inventory: I think it’s just a part of moving forward in life: Review.

Periodically, my mind reviews a particular segment of life: Work, Relationships, Location, Health and Inner Stuff. When I started this process in earnest more than 25 years ago, I followed direction to put it on paper. Through the years the need to put things to paper decreases as the problem to solution or goal to fruition methodology has become ingrained within my neuro-net. So ingrained is this that it would better be described as a continuing stock inventory system rather than a yearly goal setting session.

So it was not surprising when there is a “problem” my brain goes into hyper-drive to find a solution. This trait, call it Type-A personality or liken it to the Rabbit character in Winnie-the-Pooh, is helpful at minimizing situations so that they never become real problems.

The demarcation for this particular inventory came quickly in that it’s been a year since my last cross country move. Logical to look at the state of things/life, as the dust has settled and scramble has turned to routine.

Work ~ this year has marked more regular writing work than ever. With more than 50 ghosted articles sold and a regular technical writing gig, I’m pleased with the quality and the level of output. The downside is the ridiculously low pay. My son said yesterday, “That’s great money for 1856!” and he’s correct.

Relationships ~ really the key to a happy life are the people around. It may be old age creeping up on me hopefully, just wisdom probably a bit of both. But honestly, if it’s difficult, I’m really not interested. Relationships are so much better when they’re easy. Things are easy if everyone is polite.

I’ve noticed there are two kinds of people, probably more but for this example there are two: the kind of person that accepts an apology and the kind of person that continues to tell you how awful you are after you apologize.

Disrespect just leads to hard feelings, or in tough places, mortal peril. Personally, I choose to be polite for social cohesion. It’s easier to navigate situations if everyone cooperates and is forthright. I know, some would say I’m trying to live on Cloud Nine. And I would reply: If Cloud Nine requires manners then, yes. I require good behavior from myself when I make a mistake, I apologize and so expect the same from others.

Then of course, there are the people with whom I have no business being around. Take my ex, please! Seriously, we are ex, we don’t talk, we aren’t friends. If people ask me why? He's my ex, duh... Those who knew us should attest that the world is a happier place for the distance between us. After a number of years, I had a dream where I discovered he was doing really well. I woke really hoping the dream was true that he was doing well. I don’t know if he is or isn’t. It’s none of my business, that’s the ex-part. I consider this segment complete.

I learned a long time ago a relationship takes two people with a similar vision for the relationship for both people to be happy. I remind myself of that periodically as I continue life’s construction.

Location ~ Location, Location, Location… it’s true. Wishing to be somewhere and being somewhere are two entirely different things. Make a decision. Be there.

Health ~ As an issue health has come to the fore in the news as the overweight people outnumber the physically fit. The percentages coincide with the level of poverty and unhappiness, though not by simple equation. A simple way to live is healthfully: Eat right, sleep enough, avoid anger, and love daily.

Health is one of my favorite topics. I’ve been published on this subject more than any other in the last 20 years, probably because I love eating. I love good food. The flavors, spices, and textures of good food made into a fabulous dish is one of the things that make life enjoyable.

Memorable food moments this year: avocado off a tree, orange juice from personally picked oranges, Churro @ Olvera St, Soup in a Bread Bowl @ New Orleans Square, my daughter’s potato soup, ripe jalapeños, my neighbor’s lentil soup, my husband’s veggie burgers, my son’s quesadilla, my son’s rice & beans… I just discovered, the way to make my list of favorite people is to cook a tasty dish.

Inner Stuff (old & new) ~ I have these things called thoughts and feelings. Sometimes they’re old, sometimes their new, sometimes useful, sometimes just clutter… I decided to de-clutter the old and useless, just let it go, don’t beat the dead horse. Life got lighter, calmer, happier.

I liken the inner stuff to a closet. When I started my Fibber McGee closet was full. If I opened the door stuff would tumble out with a crash. Life went from one crash to another. It also made seeing today in reality difficult, if not impossible. Reality is where it’s at baby. Reality is today!

At a moment of clarity I realized I didn’t like the way a bunch of the old stuff felt when it crashed and I set about throwing out the stuff I didn’t want anymore. Some of closet junk I gave back to others, it wasn’t mine to keep. Some of the junk was mine and I had to face it, deal with it and move on. Some of the stuff was useful, some stuff was pleasant so I tidied up and placed those items in a mental file: Things Worth Remembering.

Things Worth Remembering:
Like the Kitty: Allergic to Kitty: Don’t pet Kitty.
Kids, like vegetables, spoil if you put them on a shelf & forget about them.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Share good things, it makes the world a better place.

1 comment:

Samantha Blackwell said...

Yeah, I can't believe it's been a year too. I hope this one is even better than the last one! :)