Seeing my bad behavior reflected in others : It’s never too late to change!


When I was a little kid, I used to tattle on my sisters,  even when they didn’t really do anything wrong. I’d say, “mommy she’s hitting me, or pinching me, or kicking me.” Sometimes those things would happen, but more often they didn’t. After all, siblings do regularly plummet each other.

One day I was playing at a neighbor’s house. I was about 7 or 8.  I distinctly remember sitting in a treehouse.  I was listening to the little sister constantly complain about her brother. I suddenly realized that was how I was acting. It didn’t make me happy to see my own annoying behavior mirrored back at me. After that day, I stopped the tattling.

Another thing I’m still not good at is accepting apologies. My husband can say, “I’m sorry” and I still go on. I think I’ve done that with other people too.

I took me until today to realize that is not good behavior. I won’t give you the details, but I apologized to someone about a minor infraction and they were still upset.

From this day on, I will be accepting people’s apologies. Really accepting them.

Who says it’s never too late to change? I’m 63 and 1/2.

Is there a behavior you display that you can change. Did you ever have one of those wake up moments.

My two older sisters and me!

My two older sisters and me!

What kind of a world are we making for our children?


Another bulletin comes on the TV about another shooting, this time in a mall in Maryland.

What bothers me most about my reaction is that I’m not shocked. Shootings around this country are becoming a commonplace thing. Do you even pay attention any more when those “special bulletins” come on TV interrupting the violent program you may be watching, (You might even not be watching TV, you might be playing those realistic killer video games. ) Could there be a connection? Duh, yes.

What worries me is my little grandson. He’s so sweet and innocent. What kind of world does he have to look forward to? Is he going to have to be locked down in his house at certain times of the day.

I remember when I went to school. It was one of the safest places in the world. The thought that somebody would come in the school and harm the children was the farthest thing from anyone’s mind. Everything was orderly, and kids didn’t have to be frightened.

I did see changes come  when I was still teaching school. We had several lock downs because of the rumor of drive-by shootings. Those guns again.

Something tells me that our gun policy is not working. It’s getting more and more like the wild west every day. I’m thinking even the wild west isn’t as wild as our society is becoming these days.

I heard some conservative woman on TV suggest that we should lock more people up in mental institutions to solve this problem. As far as she could see, the problem had absolutely nothing to do with too many guns. I won’t even dignify her by mentioning her name. (She is the one with the long blonde hair and the irritating voice. )

It looks like I’m going to do most of my shopping online. I’ll try not to worry about the future. But I really wish my grandson’s mother would start thinking about the benefits of home-schooling.

Challenge for the week: Talk to a friendly stranger


Today I did something fun. I sat with a lady I didn’t know at Starbucks. There weren’t any seats and I asked if I could sit next to her.

I mentioned that when I was in Europe years ago, people sat together at tables. I found out that she was going to Germany next week, and originally lived there. She told me that she met her husband during WWII and he was a retired Air force man.  I found out she had a 17-year-old granddaughter, and was going to Europe next week. She talked about growing up in Germany. She told me a little bit about her life.

We started talking about the world situation and the trouble the military men have. Did you know the lower paid service man only make about $31,000 a year? I found out that they go on tour after tour. When they get out, they have to wait for benefits. In the old days they didn’t have to go on so many tours. I found out her husband fought in the first “Desert Storm” and was in Iraq for a year.

We also talked about other topics, and it was such an interesting conversation.  I found out her feelings about gun control. She thought it was important. She also pointed out that in some European  countries there are no guns and there is not as much violence.

It was time for me to go home, and I bid her farewell. It was time well spent.

I would’ve never known anything about this lady if I hadn’t asked if I could sit down.  Maybe she’ll find me in the cyber-world. I did tell her the name of this blog.

We’re all so connected to our phones, and our little worlds. What happened to the art of conversation? Everyone is so plugged into their own little world that we don’t look for opportunities to meet new people and learn new things.

It’s too bad. I think we’ve lost something important.

Talking about soldiers with a stranger.

Talking about soldiers with a stranger.

Challenge for the week: take a chance and introduce yourself to a total stranger. See, if you can broaden your horizons.

You just never know what you’ll find out!

Agree or disagree?

Children grow up and become instant presto friends. There’s nothing like it!


Baloon Fun Time

Baloon Fun Time (Photo credit: andreasandrews)

 

Speaking from experience, once you have a child, they make it into you heart forever. There is no getting around it.  Maybe some people can forget about their kids once they reach 18, but that would be a person who doesn’t have a soul.

 

What’s great about adult children is that you can enjoy them on an adult level. Presto, you have instant friends. You will find that they might share your taste in clothes, food, and recreational activities.

 

My daughter keeps asking me if it’s weird having a grown-up daughter. The answer is no. It’s delightful.

 

The children they were stay in your memory and are in pictures, but  you readily accept them as adults.

 

It’s a plus.

 

Having children has been a fun experience for me, and an additional joy. I never expected to get all the benefits from it.

 

When they’re little, you get to experience life from their perspective. Who doesn’t enjoy watching your child ride the merry-go round for the first time? How about going to the zoo with them? There’s nothing like that first smile. Then there’s the first step. The first step away from you. But that’s your job. To help them grow up.

 

When they grow up, you can feel proud of them and share in their accomplishments and joys. That’s just as satisfying, of course, you do share in the disappointments too. That means like everything else in life, you” take the bitter with the sweet. ”

 

All in all, I think parenthood is a rewarding experience and well-worth the hard work.

 

What do you think?

 

 

 

The Movie “Quartet” is a Winner: Dustin Hoffman’s Directorial Debut at 75 Grade: A


If you’re a baby boomer or above, you’re facing some realities. You aren’t going to look like your 25 no matter how much you try. You start noticing other changes too. You get tired faster.  Some people notice a little forgetfulness creeping in. Imagine how it’s going to be in your  70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

Acceptance of very old age is beautifully portrayed in the movie, “Quartet.” It is Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut (at 75) and he does a sensitive job. He was wise enough to do his first production with the best actors. Try Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, and  Pauline Collins,   Even though they’re elderly, they’re effective.  Just like the characters they portray in the movie.

The movie is about people living in a retirement home for musicians,  Beecham, residents are notable instrumentalists and opera singers. They don’t sit around and play Bingo; they play and sing music. Most of it classical and operatic There is plenty of music interspersed throughout the movie. There’s some authentic singing done by some of these masterful actors, singers and instrumentalists.

One of the conflicts comes into play when a former diva Jean Horton, portrayed by Maggie Smith, has to make contact with her ex husband Reginald portrayed by Tom  Courtenay. You know it was a serious breakup by their reaction to each other.

The retirement home needs to put on a show to raise money so they can stay in business. Smith’s character doesn’t want to tarnish her reputation since she can’t hit the high notes she used to. Part of the movie deals with Jeans reluctance to perform again.

Although the movie drags a little in the beginning, it picks up speed and by middle, you’ll be completely captivated.

*If you live in Columbus, Ohio, it’s playing at The Drexel Theater in Bexley.

Stay for the credits. They have some before and after pictures of the actors.

( I attended this movie with people I’ve been singing in a choir with for over 20 years. By the end of the movie, we were joking about scoping out a retirement home now.  I couldn’t think of people I’d rather live with when  I’m really old! )

English: Dustin Hoffman at the Cannes Film Fes...

English: Dustin Hoffman at the Cannes Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Harmony Project Singing as One Voice


The Harmony Project.  We are singing Beth Neilson Chapman's "There is no darkness."  Photo by Paul Feeney

The Harmony Project. We are singing Beth Neilson Chapman’s
“There is no darkness.” Photo by Paul Feeney

I’ve been in choirs all my life. I remember how happy I was the first time I officially belonged to a choir. I was in the 5th grade at Rowland Elementary school. I even remember some of the songs we sang for our program.  Miss Titus, our devoted teacher, would probably be thrilled that I remember the words to “The Erie Canal.”

I’ve been in many choirs since then. Singing makes me feel good. I like the social aspects of it too. It’s just plain fun. The Harmony Project, one of the choirs I sing in,  is something special. It’s a philanthropic group that sings and shares. Good works have been done in Columbus, Ohio, under the banner of the “Harmony Project.” We raise money, and get to give concerts too.

Choir Directors always talk about “singing with one voice.”  That is a hard thing to achieve. Sometimes, you have some frustrated singers, with better than average voices, over-singing. At times, what you end up with is  different voices, not blending at all. Sometimes, it reminds me of a competition.  If you have a skillful musical director, they won’t allow this to happen.

Last night at the Harmony Project, everyone was singing enthusiastically while they followed Musical director,  David Brown. In the middle of it all, I said to myself. Wow, this is a once in a lifetime moment. Stay  in the present, listen, to your neighbor, blend in and forget yourself.

It was one of those magical moments. One I’ll always remember. We were all one voice.

Members of The Harmony Project singing with heart and soul!  From the Bill Pearsol album

Members of The Harmony Project singing with heart and soul! From the Bill Pearsol album

Should people ever hold grudges? Is there a time when a grudge supersedes resolving issues?


Resentment

You can’t expect to live life without running into problems. Sometimes people get so frustrated, that they decide to hold a grudge.  What’s so unsettling about a grudge is that it keeps the bitter feelings alive. It hurts all parties involved every time they think about it.

According to my New Oxford  Online Dictionary a grudge is: resentment, bitterness, rancor, pique, umbrage, dissatisfaction, disgruntlement, bad feelings, hard feelings, ill feelings, ill will, animosity, antipathy, antagonism, enmity, animus; informal a chip on one’s shoulder.

We all know about grudges. A lot of times they occur between countries. Then, what we all end up is a war. It’s like we’re all little kids saying, “I’m right, and your wrong, na, na, na, na, etc! In the meantime, many innocent people are victimized. Look at all our brave soldiers that are killed fighting meaningless wars.

Alcoholics Anonymous recognizes the destructive force that grudges have. In one of the steps, people have to apologize and make amends to people they’ve hurt.

Family Grudges Occur Too Often

It’s amazing how many grudges occur within families. You often hear about brothers and sisters turning against each other. Sometimes, if happens after a parent dies and people have to decide what to do with remaining possessions or money. I’m convinced this all  emanates from childish feelings of jealousy.

I know someone who didn’t talk to his brother for 40 years because they got into a disagreement over a bottle of wine after their father’s funeral. One brother called the other cheap and poured his inexpensive bottle down the drain Unfortunately, by the time they talked one of them had Alzheimer’s Disease and didn’t even recognize his apologetic brother.  So, it never really got settled.

If a child acted like this, we’d put them both in time-out chairs.  After the time-out was over we’d have a little talk.  We would say, “Don’t call your brother cheap, and you apologize right now.”

It takes an effort

I guess if people don’t work to resolve issues, maybe their relationship was superficial in the first place. If you sincerely cared at all about the other person, you wouldn’t let your pride get in the way.

It’s true there are some relationships not worth salvaging; for example,  people who inflict serious physical and emotional damage are not worth talking to again.

Decide if it’s worth working out

If you are feuding with someone, and care about them, this is my advice: act like a grownup and resolve the issue.

You won’t be sorry. Someday, you might even forget what the fight was about, and that it ever happened.

You’re going to gain so much more than you’ll lose

What’s the silliest grudge you ever heard of? Do you ever think it’s a good idea to hold a grudge?