My paper love affair came to an abrupt halt the other day. I was making an appointment in a Doctor’s office. I pulled out my bright red agenda book (which also has gorgeous paper to write on), when a friend announced, “Sue! Are you still using an agenda book? Why don’t you just put your appointments in your cell? Sue, you’re ancient!”
Just when you think everything you planned is going to go this way, it goes that way. Sometimes that way is the better way. Sometimes it’s not. Bottom line; be prepared for the unexpected. I’m not a travel writer, but here’s a story about a trip I went on. Here’s a little backstory, I was not prepared for the unexpected!
At the end of one of my creative writing workshops, a student got up from her chair, stretched and said, “Ahhhhhh! That felt like I was meditating!” Her comment took me by surprise! Students say many things to me after a class or workshop. Mostly, they ask questions about the course materials and content. This was the first time a student compared a creative writing workshop to meditation.
The question, “How did I get here and where am I going?” is always a present thought. Is this random, chance, or prescribed? Is my tale already set in stone and I’m simply following along a controlled path? Does someone or something have the game controls of my life? I wonder…
He continued to walk with his head slightly down. I watched him walk away. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He walked up the hill onto the football field. At the top of the hill, he stopped, waved then walked behind some trees. At that moment, I lost sight of him. I covered my mouth and started to cry tears of joy, of gratitude, happiness and a drop of grief.
Now, I feel like a seasoned old hen! Older and somewhat wiser, but still not able to spell well. The old lesson I grew up with now has a new attachment to it. New Lesson: If you want something really badly, then work super hard for it and you will earn it. However, if obtaining it is completely out of your control…
When I think back to my youth, I was fascinated with plants and growth. How a little bean when planted grew into a stem, into a strong bean plant, and reproduced beans of its own. The life cycle of the bean was incredible to watch.
My desk is full of papers. I have dozens of emails waiting for replies and regular mail to open. The magazine and newspaper pile has significantly grown. The “To Do” list is very long and also needs my attention. I’ve got a lot of stuff to do…
But…I don’t care. I’m pleasantly in a fog. A glorious fog in fact!
I used to be able to work in the garden all day. I still work in the garden, but I need to take into consideration my achy back and stiffer knees. I also need to eat, drink and pee more often. Now, I cover my skin entirely to prevent sun damage and skin spots. I usually stop my gardening activity when my back can no longer tolerate the bending over. BECAUSE I’M OLD! It’s getting easier to say it.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield said it best, “I’m an anti-bucket list guy. I don’t like bucket lists. That means that for almost your entire life you’re carrying around visual evidence of your own failure. Why do you do that to yourself?” Good question Chris!
For some, a great day might be a day without pain. For others an excellent day might be spent on a gorgeous beach in paradise. Some people might say a perfect day is spent at home, alone in a quiet peaceful place. Others might say their best day is every day as long as they are healthy and well.
During a gorgeous hot summer night, I was out walking with a couple of girlfriends. While walking the girls started to vent! To vent means to get the steam out. To discuss everything that is causing psychological, emotional, or physical distress. In some cases, venting may cause your arms to swing, feet to stomp, voices to yell, and hair to be pulled. Actually, it may look like a visual display of madness.
Everyone has a special talent within them. It might take years to uncover it, but it’s definitely there. The key is to unlock your talent and utilize it to its maximum potential. When I was younger, I didn’t know I would be a writer. I knew that I needed to write in my diary every day. I didn’t know this passion would become a profession. It took years for my writing seed to germinate and grow. I suppose the seed was always there inside of me. I just needed to harness and develop it. Some people have innate talents, which are completely a part of their landscape. No lessons are required to hone their skills — they just got it!
I wasn’t a lost person, always looking for themselves. I knew who I was early on. I felt connected to my world and work quite quickly. However, now I would love to talk to my 20-year-old self and say, “Hey, it’s ok to say NO – often. It’s ok not to agree. It’s ok that people won’t like you for being you. It’s ok to be independent. It’s ok to live along your own path even if it’s unpopular. It’s ok to simply be you!”
And… What profession am I talking about? How do you get paid in LOVE? Is actual LOVE the currency? Am I talking about matchmaking? Am I talking about a form of Professional Love? Also… What type of love am I referring to? The love people have for each other, or for animals, or for inanimate objects? Tell me! Which profession pays in love?
During the winter, many people complain about the cold temperatures, the snow, and the ice. I think I am one of the few people who love winter. Perhaps, complaining in general is non-stop. I constantly hear, “It’s so damn cold. The wind is a killer. I can barely walk from all the ice. I just can’t seem to warm up. Alas Spring!!!! I think the complaining season has come to an end…
Hampstead resident and Suburban columnist, author and educator Suzanne Reisler Litwin has also been working tirelessly — for 35 years — to help find a cure for T1D through fundraising. She was inspired to do so when two of her teen friends, brothers, were diagnosed with the disease. “When I think about the day it’s deemed cured, I can’t imagine a greater feeling of success.”
The other morning I woke up to the sound of ticking on my bathroom window. Tick, tick, tick, tick … Stop … Again, tick, tick, tick, tick … Stop. Again and again, the same ticking sound and then it would stop. This pattern repeated for about five minutes. I rolled over in my bed and tried to go back to sleep. I assumed it was a squirrel running about.
Apricots! Oh, how I love apricots!!! My love for apricots developed around 35 years ago. I was around 20 years old. That summer, I went to Israel to work and tour the country. The group trip was called, “Experience Israel”. During the first part of the trip we lived and worked on a Kibbutz in the Negev Dessert. During the second part of the trip we toured Israel.
I worked on a Kibbutz for about a month. We woke up every morning at 4 a.m. The air was cool at 4:30 a.m. We were told to pick the fruits which looked colour filled and unripe. We were told to only eat the fruits which were ripe, but not to eat too many. If we ate too many, our best friend would be the toilet!
Now…is the time. Not tomorrow. Not the next day. Not when you are on vacation. Not when you have reached your perfect weight. Not only on your birthday. Not when you deserve it. Not when the stars, the moon and the planets are all perfectly aligned.
Today is the day to eat the chocolate.