Monday, November 28, 2011

Whiney Babies

I recently read a book on body language, ingesting enough info to make me a dangerous armchair expert.

What impressed me more than the ability to tell if someone is lying or flirting with me (or both at the same time) was how attitude or posture affects the brain.
For instance, if you dread doing something, admit it out loud but then counter it with an affirmation that you are going to do it anyway. Do it with a smile. These simple actions trigger measureable chemical and electrical impulses in your brain that actually help you get through the cumbersome task.
Gloomy and depressed? Smile.  Hate your job? Straighten your shoulders, take a deep breath, and trudge forward.  The mere affectation of a positive attitude and the brain responds in kind.
The reverse is also true.  If you dread a task, whine about it. Continuously. Keep on frowning. Feeling unloved? Hunch your shoulders, make a hangdog face, think sad thoughts.  Before long, you’ll be watching The Remains of the Day or reading an Oprah Book Club novel.
I admire folks who face huge obstacles with positive attitudes. They make the best of a situation, or they know when to walk away and start over.  They don’t see the glass as half empty because they don’t have time for clichés. 
Positive people face their struggles as challenges; they don’t respond constantly whining. They persist. There is a time and a place for an occasional pity party.  Grief is inevitable in one’s lifetime, but so are recovery and healing and joy. They soldier on and shoulder on.
I have no patience with whiners.  I’m mean like that. Okay, life sucks.  Love sucks.  The job sucks. Instead of acting the victim and wallowing in your vortex of gloom, seek a solution and try smiling. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Leftovers and Hand me downs

My grandson reached down and found a hole in his comfy pair of socks.  He worked on it and worked on it, trying to make the hole bigger. 
“Don’t do that.  I can fix it.”
“That’s okay.  Mama can buy me more.”
His older brother hadn’t worn a favorite shirt in a long time. “It’s missing a button.”
“Bring it over.  I can fix it.”
He looked at me as if I were speaking in tongues.
We chip a tiny corner on our favorite cereal bowl. We accidentally bleach a white spot on a new shirt. We don’t wear a dress or a pair of pants because we don’t have time to mend a rip.
And they go into the recycle or the donation pile.  Ignored.
We do the same with food. We order too much lunch, we make too much for a meal, we serve ourselves more than we can eat at one sitting.  We keep leftovers only long enough until we can pitch them in the trash without guilt.  
What waste:  one tiny imperfection; one slight abuse, and we discard, erase, start over.
I darned my grandson’s socks.  I appliquéd a red rose over the bleached white spot on my shirt.  I fixed the tiny rip. I order only what I will eat at one sitting, I make only enough for one meal, and I recycle leftovers in the refrigerator until they are truly inedible.
Where did I learn my frugality?
I AM imperfection: the sock with the tiny hole on its toe, the chipped bowl, the ripped hem.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I want a new drug.

I want a new drug.

I am the oldest anyone in my immediate family has gotten without having had a stroke or heart attack. According to my internist, I am literally a time bomb set to go off at any second. She scours my lab reports every six months for any slight increase in blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood glucose levels, then she prescribes light doses of Lipitor and Avapro and heavy dosages of exercise. Not just any exercise – she wants me to do aerobic exercise. 
One that don’t cost too much
Or come in a pill

There is a reason why the word EXERCISE consists of eight letters – it’s a double four-letter cuss word.  I don’t care that it’s good for everything, including the failing economy of this nation.  Name it; it cures it (or delays it):  aging, anxiety, arthritis, blood pressure, cancer, cholesterol, depression, dementia, diabetes, flexibility, heart problems, immune systems, lung capacity, sexual dysfunction, sleep disorders, yadda, yadda, yadda.

So what?

Not everything that is “good” is good for me.  Three servings of dairy a day is a death sentence to a person like me who is lactose intolerant. Money is “good” for me, but I’m dangerous with an ATM card.  A square of chocolate and a glass of wine is “good” for a woman my age, but that can lead to ancillary problems (and a more entertaining blog). You get the picture.
One that won’t make my mouth too dry
Or make my eyes too red
My doctor has scolded me for years to get more exercise, but I could care less.  I can take her.  She's at least forty lbs lighter than I am. But I will say this - the one thing that convinced me that I needed to do something besides take pills was the mirror. Okay, maybe also the huge pair of jeans I had to buy at the end of last summer. Or the inability to tie my own shoes.  Or the fact that I was breathless just getting to the driveway from the front porch.
Or make me feel three feet thick
I wish I was only 36 inches thick. Have you seen Huey Lewis lately? He looks good, and we’re the same age.  It just isn't fair.

And so I drag my aging, overweight backside to the gym five days a week. I chain ball, side step, pony, hustle, and do other insane flapping movements trying to keep the inevitable at bay – this rocker chick is getting old, but she plans on getting a whole lot older.

Monday, November 7, 2011

HoneyBunch, Chapter Three ~ And Ever After

HoneyBunch asked me out several times before I agreed to meet him in person. We swapped emails and phone calls, but I was hesitant to take our relationship any further. It was a little lopsided at first:  he proposed on the first date; I, on the other hand, kept telling him after each one that it was our last.

Somewhere in there HoneyBunch’s persistence and patience overcame my persnicketiness and paranoia. Also, when I tell people that I suspect God had a hand in this, they think I am being poetic, but it is the truth.

Two months before (while I was perusing my pathetic pool of gentlemen callers on eHarmony), I had a serious conversation with my Creator. I let Him know it was okay if there was no one “out there” for me.  I was grateful for all the blessings He had given me. To ask for more would be greedy.  

But just in case (after all, He’s omniscient), if He saw someone who would be an excellent fit for me, I sure would appreciate if He nudged him my way. Only excellent would do; nothing less, please.

I actually made a list in my journal, then I got down on my aging knees and shared it with Him.  I needed a man who was morally strong, intelligent and well-read, had a sense of humor and liked to smile.  He had to have integrity, and he had to be kind and protective of those he loved.  These are not unusual qualities, but what would make this man special (if he existed at all) - he would have to love and understand my idiosyncrasies.  (I am a tiny bit difficult.)

HoneyBunch met all those qualifications and more. I didn’t ask for handsome or sexy, yet he is.  AND, how can you not love someone who calls you Goddess every, single day?

People call our meeting on the Internet a modern-day romance, but I'm too busy being in love to bicker over semantics. I say our relationship is a testimony that God has a plan for each of us.  HoneyBunch and I (the Goddess) married three months after our first date, and we celebrate our “ever afters” as happily as we can.