Saturday, January 16, 2010

SMILE ...

You might notice a trend over the next month or two that leans toward the number 50. I am turning 50 this year and it is on my mind a lot. I am not having any kind of crisis about it. The best word I can use to describe how I feel is DISBELIEF. Saying that in and of itself seems somewhat silly as it is very real. I think that being the youngest child in a family of three children with substantial age differences between the siblings, has always kept me feeling distinctly young. I am not suggesting that 50 means old on any level, but as the youngest child, 50 always seemed very grown up.

One of my uncles always spoke of his desire to retire at the age of fifty. I can recall the night his 50th Retirement Party was held and watching my mom get dressed for the occasion. This also had a big impact on my perception of fifty being a very serious adult age.

Having a Bucket List at 50 seems a bit premature. I have however found myself thinking that there are some things I should have done by the age of 50. It is totally in keeping with my modus operandi to leave things to the last minute so jumping out of an aeroplane and swimming with dolphins are certainly not going to happen before March 28th.

Life does however present us with all sorts of opportunities every day if we are willing to see them. I am making a concerted effort to be more conscious of the things that happen around me through which I can achieve some things that in retrospect I will be pleased about having done by the time I was 50. After living in the USA for almost nine years, being an AVON lady is one of those obvious things. I enrolled and am enjoying the process of building a little business that is growing month by month.

Catching up on my friend Angel’s blog, I read about a writing competition. Angel enters these frequently and her courage to do so inspired me to participate this time. Using a photograph for inspiration, contestants were invited to compose a short fiction (or poetry) piece no more than 250 words in any genre or style. I have never considered myself to be poetic and from the length of my blog posts, it’s obvious that I am not very good at writing very short stories! I tend to lean toward the more verbose side of things. I decided however that having entered a writing contest is definitely something I want on my ‘Done by 50’ list. I went to the site, looked at the photograph and wrote down my spontaneous reaction. You can see my entry here. I am entry number 185.

I headed this post SMILE because when I do something a little out of the ordinary or something that feels a bit risky, when I go to tell DDTF about it I always start with, “Don’t laugh, but I just want to tell you that I ……” In realizing that, it made me smile, so don’t laugh, but if you want to check out my entry, you can click here.



This is my Uncle prior to his retirement, my late cousin on his right knee, my sister in front, and that's me under the bow and hat!




Tuesday, January 12, 2010

INCOMING ...

IN an email from a friend:

Alert Levels
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even, "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

The Scots raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the frontline in the British army for the last 300 years.

New Zealand has also raised its security levels - from "baaa" to "BAAAA!" Due to continuing defense cutbacks (the air force being a squadron of spotty teenagers flying paper airplanes and the navy some toy boats in the Prime Minister's bath), New Zealand only has one more level of escalation, which is "Shit, I hope Australia will come and rescue us".

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from, "No worries!" to, "She'll be right, mate". Two more escalation levels remain, "Crikey!', "I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend" and, "The barbie is cancelled!" So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

INCOMING ...

I've decided to add a new feature to my blog. INCOMING ... will share a weekly email, facebook message, transcript of a voice mail or text I've received that made my day. This is the first one:
Hey Dawn -
After a while of debating whether I wanted to include my pets to any capacity on the blog, I've decided after talking to you the other day, that I was going to not only include - but make Sasha an Outsider!!

I was trying to figure out which was the best way to do this and came up with having her do interviews with city dogs, cats and whatever animal comes up. It'll all be in first person. So they can talk about their owners, dislikes, favorite toys, gossip and more.If you haven't already, check out the site to see her video and tell me what you think.

I wanted to send you a message personally, 'cause you were the reason I decided to just go for it! So thank you.

Lots of love,
Jose

Check out all the great things Jose has to offer by clicking here for THE FIVE OUTSIDERS and here for MOMENTOS RECAPTURED - the Skydiving clip is great!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

SEVEN ...

Perhaps I should have headed this post DIDN’T. I only managed seven of the potential ten RECAP posts I had intended achieving. Driving back home after dropping Ross off at school this morning, I wondered what not achieving this goal says about me. For a brief moment I got philosophical and looked at the bigger picture, and then I narrowed it down to simply, I didn’t do it. I have a tendency to over think things sometimes when it comes to my own actions, or lack of them. What is the message? – what is the lesson? – what’s the underlying thought? – what’s the motivation behind it? … etc., etc., etc. Sometimes I wish I’d just shut up! I said to myself that I was not going to dwell on this point because I can’t change the fact that I did seven instead of ten and that I should rather put time and energy into doing today’s post instead of analyzing that which I can’t change. All this before 9am – no wonder I’m exhausted by noon.

One of the strands of the belief system my mother weaved into me is, NEVER LEAVE FOR TOMORROW WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY. I value this and am always trying to apply it to my day-to-day activities. I am constantly trying to get the most out of my time. From the time I took Ross out of public school just before the end of 2nd grade and put him into a Jewish day school, I started volunteering. This was a very new concept for me. I had only ever exchanged the investment of my time and skills for a pay check. Because I am limited in being able to do hands-on stuff at the school, I took on many administrative type roles that I could do from home. I coordinated other volunteer programs, I arranged school trips, I entered data, I collected funds for gifts for teachers, I coordinated many, many RSVP’s for many events, I counted coupons, I collected receipts, I encouraged other volunteers. This all amounted to the equivalent of a part time administrative work from home situation in exchange for nothing more than the sheer pleasure of doing it. These were all important jobs that had to be done behind the scenes and I was more than happy doing them for close to five and a half years.

As the end of 2009 was approaching, I realized I was not enjoying this very much anymore. I also decided to do everything within my power to make 2010 the year I bring a project together that I have been working on for a couple of years now. I also have a Bar Mitzvah to plan and I would like to find a course of study to become a Life Coach. After exhausting myself mentally from over thinking it and coming to the conclusion that my child would not hate me and I wouldn’t receive a life sentence for being a quitter or deserter if I cut back on my volunteering projects, I completed them and handed them back giving the school reasonable notice with the promise to keep my services available for one extra month should any of my posts not be filled. At one point during this thought process, Ross came to me and said, “Mom, you really need to go on a volunteering diet!” At that point I came to peaceful terms with my decision.

On the day I made the decision to tell the school I was not continuing I came across this link:

ARIESMarch 21-April 19

Conscious Self-Restraint


It's imperative that you cut back your activities, for effective pruning allows new growth to flourish. But you may bump into deeply rooted resistances as you attempt to play a larger role on the stage of life. The contradiction now is that you are at your most brilliant and nothing can hold you back, yet paradoxically the walls of reality continue to close in. You cannot get away with shooting from the hip, even if you're confident of your aim. The full enterprising power of Aries is yours when you accept the limits of society that require more precision this year. Whether you like it or not, you must slow down to get what you want.
Seriously, people – how much more of a clearer sign did I need? These signs tell me that my soul searching is never in vain. The Universe never lets me down and if I am willing to look, it will see that it always provides me with everything I need.

As a firm believer in teaching my children by example, I think I can safely assume that Ross has learned that giving of your time and energy when it is needed gives you so much more than any pay check ever will and that sometimes you have to step up to the plate just because something has to get done. I think our children have a greater chance than we did of being taught that it is vital to find the balance between making a living and making a life.

Friday, January 01, 2010

RECAP #7 ...

Over the course of this last week of 2009, I have watched several TV shows that recap the songs, music vids, most shameful celebrity behavior/dress/shoes/hair/ … who cares, really – kind of stuff. Other than a few songs I recognize off the radio, I am pretty out of touch when it comes to naming songs and their artists from current hits. Watching all this stuff brought me to a point of asking this question – Am I now a victim of this thing I grew up preaching about to my parents as the source of their lack of understanding when it came to certain areas of my life … the generation gap?

When I compare the characters I wanted to be or be with back then, it’s interesting to me how they differ from my current tastes. The difference between what appealed to me then and what appeals to me now amuses me. I also think it might confirm a lot of my mom’s worst fears about my fun-totally adventurous-have no regrets-I’ll take endless risks-spent-youth!

Here are a few of the things that make up part of my BEST OF list:


More than the p.i. himself, I always wanted to hang out with HIGGINS and THE LADS

I never missed a single episode of '30 Something'. I was hooked from the first note of the theme song of the first episode. Had I been the married woman, I would have to have been Hope as I wanted to look like her, but more than anything, I wanted to be Michael’s wife. (When I met DDTF, I felt like I had found my Michael Steadman.)




I wanted to get inside David Byrnes' head and considered myself the girlfriend who was better than that!



I still want Hathaway's eyebrows and Dr. Ross was the deal maker. I wanted to be this nurse.
Oh, I so get every aspect of these two women's lives!


I can understand how Bill ends up with three wives and I would love to experience the world being as tall as Karen if just for one day. I heart Hank, too!
It takes special skill to keep it together while falling apart.



It's a matter of loyalty, people.

Consistantly my favorite, Hot Husband - Amsterdam, Circa '94/95



 
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