It’s a beautiful, bright Sunday in May ~ windows open, blue skies, and, after last night’s rain, song birds are chirping happily. Life is busy and good, with much to be thankful for. My five Random Musings are below:
- I live in Michigan with some of the most severe pandemic restrictions in place – our cases are higher than ever. Other states are wide open with numbers falling. What gives?
2. Enjoyed watching the Kentucky Derby yesterday ~ b/c of competing priorities I didn’t have time to do my usual research. We met up with friends & placed our “bets” on which horse we hoped would win. I glanced over the field and put my bet on the trainer – and his horse won. Something gleaned from growing up at the track — a) all the horses are “pretty,” b) sometimes a long-shot wins but c) when in doubt, bet on the trainer.
3. New job starts tomorrow ~ as is my pattern, I’ll be doing my current one + the new job as things ramp up. I’m hoping to jettison the current one over time, but that remains to be seen. It’s new territory, teams are being formed, and none of us really know what we’re in for – which is exciting and nerve-wracking, all in one. I prefer to be at the start of a project vs. coming in later on. And as my all-time favorite boss (from 7 career moves ago) always reminds me, “If you’re not the lead dog the view never changes.”
4. Working from home I had another epiphany recently ~ while I’m an introvert at heart, I can be extroverted, especially in my professional role, always needing time to regroup afterwards. Hello road trips! I am also hugely empathic. What’s that, you ask?
What is the difference between having empathy and being an empath? “Having empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain,” says Dr. Judith Orloff. “But for empaths it goes much further. We actually feel others’ emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have.”
As a result, working remotely works brilliantly for me b/c exposure to others – and their “stuff”- is minimized. When I do go out/interact, I take steps to guard myself from being bombarded with others’ energy / thoughts / emotions / physical ailments. Ever walk into a store and suddenly hear “noise” even though no one is talking? If I don’t do a prayer of protection ahead of time the experience feels and sounds like I’m on an airport tarmac standing between jet planes taking off. If you’ve experienced this, you might be empathic, too. This book helped me.
5. Last night I re-watched footage of Prince William & Princess Catherine’s 2011 wedding as this year marks their 10th anniversary. It was fun to view such a joyful event and remember where I was at that time. A few days after their wedding, I penned this blog post https://emjayandthem.com/2011/05/03/so-did-you-watch/ which went on to become “Fresh Pressed” by the editors at Word Press. It was deemed of their “best of 385,233 bloggers, 387,452 new posts, 449,667 comments, & 93,406,663 words posted” on May 3, 2011. It remains my most viewed & commented-on post, and it’s still fun to go back and re-read the comments from all over the world. How lovely she was and is.
So how about you?
- What have you learned about yourself lately?
- What new tasks are you undertaking?
- And did you watch?
It’s Super Bowl Sunday and time for 5 random things from my corner of the world.
Ready? Let’s do this!
1. Snow. Our part of the country is well UNDER “normal” snowfall levels. But late last week/this weekend a big storm blew in …Lake Effect snow, high winds followed by bitter temperatures. Local grocery stores were crowded with folks in line, chatting through their masks and talking about stocking up. I don’t know about you but I think people like a big storm, gives ’em something to talk about. 🙂
2. People. Sometimes I do wonder about people: the same ones whose mask hangs half off their face while they fondle produce can be seen shrieking at another for standing too close in line. When I go out there are often moments when I think, “well, this is why I don’t go out!” Mask-idiots = Maskiots!
3. Walks. I miss my walks. I’ve been able to get in a few here & there but, for the most part, it’s just too icy. I miss my doggie friends; just last week my buddy, Chief, and I were reunited. Hard to say who wiggled and twirled more!
4. Zoom Exhaustion. It’s a thing. Extroverts are all about Zoom calls, Zoom Happy Hours, Zoom-you-name its. You see Zoom allows them to be on camera, talk over each other, comment too much and tell others every single thought or concept they ever had. Meanwhile introverts are muted with the camera off because we know our facial expressions will give us away.
5. Road Trips: I miss road trips. Having a new place to go (besides the grocery store) and meetings in-person. I miss driving and listening to music or podcasts, sipping my coffee or water, and thinking. I sure do miss road trips. But I don’t miss doing so in winter. 🙂
So, how are you doing? What are you missing?
It’s Sunday morning, early December and here we are. Time for some random randoms from my part of the world. Ready? Let’s do this:
1 ) Sunday morning coming down: Sundays are my favorite, there’s no rushing, no fussing, just stirring and sautéing and tidying. Reading, regrouping, resting and readying. My day to recharge. ahhh…
2 ) Taters: Took this picture of 31lbs of potatoes I stacked up that represent what I’m leaving behind in 2020: 31lbs, 49″ and 60 – count ’em – 60 non-scale victories. Intermittent fasting is my life now. Want more info? Read the book, “Fast, Feast, Repeat” by Gin Stephens – it’s the health plan with a side effect of weight loss Fast. Feast. Repeat. | Gin Stephens | Macmillan
3 ) Walking friends: Something that’s saved my bacon this crazy year has been my daily walks. These are non-negotiable. I might not take a lunch break but I always take a walking break. Now sometimes my walks are stomps, other times more leisurely, but regardless, I come back refreshed, energized and thankful. A highlight is seeing my buddy, Chief. It’s even better when he sees me ~ tail thumping, a big smile as he lopes over to lean in for a big hug and many pets and assurances that he is, indeed, a very very very very good boy.
4 ) Christmas: The tree(s) are up and decorated; the lights and pretty colors make me smile and remind us both of the promise of Christmas.
5 ) Kiss an Angel good mornin’: Rest In Peace, Charley Pride. Such a sweet and timeless message of “the secret of happiness.” It’s a simple thing …. and the answer is in this song that I always sing:
What’s saving your bacon right now?
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” – Roy T. Bennett, “The Light in the Heart”
Autumn makes me happy. Of all my seasons to choose from, this is the one that makes my heart sing ~ the colors, the sights, the smells. I love Autumn!
A dog’s attitude is a great reminder on how to live: play, play, play, sleep.
Being and staying healthy makes me happy.
Every day I choose to put myself on the “to-do” list I’ve carried for 40+ years.
I choose movement, engagement, discernment, nutrition, and sleep.
I choose by turning off the “news” & smart phones and reaching for a book instead.
I choose by tuning out the voices who blather on with opinions on issues or choices they’ve never lived, researched, or attempted.
I choose to walk outside even if that involves gloves and long johns.
I choose to go to bed sooner and get up earlier to savor the sacred stillness of a quiet morning.
I choose to honor my body with real, whole foods made at home by yours truly.
I choose me.
What are you choosing? Have you put yourself on your “to-do” list yet? If not, why not? If not now, when?
* Originally posted July 3, 2013.
What does being a citizen mean to you? Really mean?
Does it mean you can vote? Does it mean you belong?
What does it mean?
To me, it means a defining moment in my life.
It represents the moment I stepped away from what my family might think and into what I thought.
To me, it means the opportunity to have a voice.
To have a say.
Sure I’d had responsibilities all along (taxes). But I’d never had a voice to go with it. (the ability to vote)
Yes, as a Canadian, I had those rights already. But as a Canadian woman living in the United States with her husband and sons, I always had an underlying feeling of being in limbo. Of belonging to one place but living in another. Of feeling .. disconnected.
But not anymore.
Because I’m a new citizen; Five years ago, I stepped up with 78 others (from 34 different countries) to take the Oath of Citizenship. It was one of the proudest and most emotional moments of my life. (more about my journey here.)
The thing is … I could be a citizen for 40 years and I’ll still choose to say that I’m a “new” citizen. Why? Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it all to me.
God Bless America, Land that I love
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above
From the mountains..to the prairies
To the oceans..White with foam
God Bless America!
My Home Sweet Home
Happy birthday, America …. from this grateful citizen.
**This is my 12th Independence Day as a new citizen. I’ll celebrate the holiday with flair, independently, of course!
It’s summer in Michigan ~ we all know what that means … Spring’s sweaty sister is here for a visit. Could be long, could be short but move over, ’cause she’s sharing your space! Here are Five Random thoughts for today ~ ~
1 ) Watermelon, Cherries, Blueberries and Strawberries in season. That is all.
2 ) Humidity is regularly 80% … or more. Walks are taken before 7:00 a.m. Books are devoured outside or under the kiss of a summer fan. That is all.
3 ) Michigan is still locked in/down. Just keep living. That is all.
4 ) Speaking of lock-downs – there is a strong physical & emotional resemblance to Hubbs here. Add golf and me and it’d be bang-on. That is all.
5 ) This is just a little too true ~ and that is all!
So, what day is it, anyway? And how are you coping?
It’s the first Friday in June – wow!
Memorial Day passed without the Holiday ~ no parades or BBQs, somber or otherwise. Lock-downs continue, with “social distancing,” face masks and the like. I’m in Michigan where businesses are just now beginning to re-open but haircuts are banned (you can’t make this up).
Here are 5 randoms from my world view ~
1 ) Daily walks – what started in winter has continued and daily walks have saved my sanity. I get away from the laptop to admire landscapes, pets and flowers while enjoying podcasts as I meander the neighborhood.
2 ) Lifelong learning ~ In addition to podcast learning and regular reading, another AHA lesson of late has been realizing AGAIN how much I love being home and how compatible Hubbs and I are. We have our little rhythm going; part of the day is spent together, part not, and we like and need both the connection and the time apart. I can’t imagine what this “stay at home” time would have been like had I been sheltered in place” with someone other than him. 🙂
3 ) Ch-ch-changes I feel my body changing, adapting to and craving daily exercise. My FitBit registers the “jump” in activity, from 5-6K/daily steps to 12-13K daily. On rainy days I use my rebounder inside. As a result, no “Quarantine 15” for me – actually, the reverse – I’ve lost lbs & inches, some due to exercise but most due to intermittent fasting, otherwise known as “time-restricted eating.” No longer noshing throughout the day, I drink black coffee/water in the morning, open my “eating window” when my body signals that it’s hungry, usually somewhere around 12:30 -2pm. Later, I enjoy dinner, listening for the “sigh” (your bodies’ signal it’s satiated) and stop, “closing” my eating window around 7-8pm. Since I give my body a daily break from constantly digesting, fasting is healing and restorative. Think of it as letting the cleaning lady in to do the heavy lifting for you – she clears the junk away ~ As a result my clothes are bigger, I’m smaller, and my eyes, skin & hair are brighter.
I feel ah-mazing! The best part? It’s. Free. 😀
4 ) Dogs & cats ~ 76 days in and I’ve yet to see one dog unhappy with the “stay home/stay safe” order. I see cats in sunny windows; everyone is adapting. Below is my pal, Chief, a favorite from my walking route:
5 ) In Summary ~ the first half of 2020 brought us Russia-Gate, impeachment attempts, COVID-19, Murder Hornets, Civil Unrest & Riots ~ this about sums it up:
So, how’re you doing?
Every year ( well, maybe not every year) my kids ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I’d give them my real answer:
What do I want for Mother’s Day?🌹
:: I want you ::
I want you to keep coming around, I want you to bring your kids around, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help. I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about your life, whatever.
Tell me about your job, your worries, your kids, your fur babies. I want you to continue sharing your life with me as you do.
Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don’t care. Hearing you laugh is music to my ears. And laughing together is the best! 💖
I’ve spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how. Now, give me time to sit back and admire my handiwork.
Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don’t mind. Hungry? You know I’ll make you something good. In fact, I don’t want it any other way.
Spend your money making a better life for you and your family, I have what I need. I want to see you happy and healthy and loved. So when you ask me what I want for Mother’s Day and I say “nothing” it’s because you’ve already been giving me my gift all year.
I want you. 💖
If you’re a Mom who feels the same way, feel free to copy and paste… I did!
and Happy Mother’s Day to my Mother in Heaven ~ She was the lead Kid-wrangler, barn helper, cake baker, costume sewer, 4-H leader, farm Treasurer, horse racing Secretary, shower & wedding organizer, party planner, master gardener, chief cook & bottle operator, farmhand, piano teacher, chauffeur, dog trainer, baby chick nurturer, horse breeder, speech preparer, Sunday school teacher ..and more.
She was something else. In her kitten heels & red patent purse on date nights, or with curlers in her hair off to town to get groceries. She took no guff, imparted quips and wisdom daily ~ She was hilarious,intelligent, well read and loving.
Man, I miss her. Not sure how she did it all but she did – and with flair! my Mom!
and one more:
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!