coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Monday, November 27, 2017

Getting to know me

Our beloved granddaughter, E, recently spent the night with us. While she was here, we got a FaceTime call from old friends. E observed as we interacted lovingly with a family she didn't know. She wondered who they were. I told her that we used to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family almost every year for 30 years. Shocked she exclaimed "Wow, Grandma! You guys have a secret life." That tickled me.

It has not been a secret life, by the way. It has been sassy and loud. It is just that my granddaughter is still at that age where she doesn't realize her Grandpa and I are individuals independent from the social roles we play. This was a bit of a revelation to her, I think; a moment of personal growth.

When I was young I was always asking my mother and grandmother questions about their lives.
Just like you need kindling to build a good fire, you need knowledge of the "other" to build a relationship. It is easier to forgive people for their weaknesses if you have an understanding of how they developed them. And, of course, being interested in the people around you creates empathy.

I look forward to this next developmental step with E. Hopefully, she will learn to know all her grandparents as individuals, rather than thinking of us simply as her grandparents. I will be happy when she knows me as Colette, in addition to knowing me as Grandma.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Is it so wrong?

Sheesh, I can't believe we are really going to stage another relentlessly sunny Thanksgiving in flip flops and shorts. 

As the day approaches, I am finally going to admit I miss having Thanksgiving in the frozen north lands where it is weather appropriate for the season.
No, I do not want to move back. I am done with white knuckle driving and shoveling snow. I just wish I could occasionally spend Thanksgiving  there, and see my old friends.

This is our 4th Thanksgiving in Florida. The first three years we ate like civilized people in the dining room. The first two we even used our good china. Last year, meh! Bring out the white Corning Ware. It's Florida casual, now. I may NEVER haul out that good china again.

In fact, this year we are having Thanksgiving out by the pool in the lanai. I am looking forward to it. It is the best  time of the year in Florida. However, I miss a cold-weather Thanksgiving in a house with a wood stove and lots of candles. I can't help it. That's what I am used to.

If we are giving thanks at this time of the year, then I am thankful for the life I have lived. It has been jam packed with both joy and sorrow, which is to say it has been quite full. As I get older I notice the quiet moments are often swarming with memories. I have to wonder, is it so wrong to yearn for the past?

Paying homage to my friend JE's Challah.  A powerful Thanksgiving memory.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Goodness Gracious!

Wow!  There sure are a lot of slimeball sexist pigs out there.  Right? 

Everyday it seems like a new one is being called out.  There are so many that no one seems to know what to do with them all.  Hold them accountable, I say!  If it ruins their careers, so be it.  Some of them ruined the careers of the women they dehumanized (think Harvey Weinstein), and I'm a firm believer in the punishment fitting the crime.  Make them apologize publicly at the very least.  Force them to consider their actions and how it impacted on the lives of the women they victimized. THAT's how one "begins" to atone for one's sins - by fully understanding what one has done. Begin being the key word. 

It is good to be sorry for your sins, as long as it is real and changes you for the better.  It is a step in the right direction and may keep you from burning in the fires of hell for eternity (big mytho-poetic smile here). And for those who are still trying to lie and pretend all those women are making it up, sheesh - that just doesn't fly anymore.  Bring on the investigations, regardless of party, or title, or relationship.  Let the chips fall as they may.  

We have been moving backwards the past year. Change, however, is the nature of reality.  Eventually we will stop moving backwards, the political dynamic will re-set, and we will start moving forward again.  I can't help but think it is already happening.  Am I an optimist or a realist?  You tell me. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

I'm no lady

I'm still thinking about snark and how it holds us back.  I think in the patriarchal past "ladies" have had to resort to snark and innuendo. We have been so controlled by appearance and approval seeking that we could not be direct. How many of us even reveal our personalities to all but our closest friends?  I know more than a few cases where women have not revealed their real personalities to their husbands or boyfriends for fear they will not be liked.  These poor "ladies" live their whole lives in disguise. 

But this is the new world order. Now we need to to learn to act like Women, not like Ladies. We need to redefine what being a woman is. Being a woman means being courageous, direct, and passionate about our truths.  It means being more concerned with our presence than our appearance.  If we believe strongly in something we need to feel free to speak outright, in plain sight, without fearing how we will look or how others will judge us. 

Don't worry over much about being a lady.  Consider being a strong woman, instead.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Holding on to the past

I need to get rid of things in this house. A winnowing is sorely needed. When we moved three and a half years ago I thought I had been sufficiently bold in discarding "things." But I still have too much, and it oppresses me. 

I could start with toys, that might be the easiest place to begin. Now that my grandson is in school, the toddler toys and books can go to a thrift store. I know exactly which toys he has not been the least bit interested in for the past year or two. Why don't I give them away? 

I still have a number of toys that my young teen granddaughter used to play with as a child.  Why are they still here? Who am I saving them for? 

In fact, I still have a box of smurfs that my daughter played with as a child.  She loved them, but neither of her children showed any interest in them. Why do I keep them? 

What is this nostalgic mania that keeps me loaded down with family relics? Why is it hard to let go of the past?

Surely memories are enough?