Do you wear costumes?

Dear Fellow Journalers,

This is a copy of a post written in 2015!

Today is Halloween. When I was a youngster, the entire month of October was filled with thoughts and planning on my costume for the big event and all the candy we kids were going to get.

I got to thinking the other day about costumes. In a sense, we all still wear costumes. Think about it- costumes make you feel confident ( I used to wear a certain necklace my Grandmother gave me when I went on interviews or had a presentation to make.) can change your perspective and perhaps your life.
Some costumes involve REAL clothing (“Clothing makes the man”.) Clothing can include jewelry, watches, ties, hair coloring, makeup, plastic surgery – all these things can enhance a costume.

Why wear costumes at all? One of my friends says “What you see is what you get” and she is not far off. I don’t think there is a pretentious bone in her body. What are we afraid of? Are we letting our thoughts control our emotions so that we put on fake persona and become other people?
Will the REAL __________ please stand up!

‘Til next time,

~Sallie

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Sharing questions

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Have you ever been in a group where each of the participants was given an assignment that had an assigned completion date and the results of their findings had to be made verbally at the meeting? Most of us have had that experience. Have you ever been late with the assignment or witnessed someone who was? Besides the feelings of embarrassment  there’s also the reaction of the moderator’s to consider, who probably is your boss.

Roberta Hestenes, who was a small group dynamics expert in California in the 1980’s had that experience with a man we’ll call “Fred”.” Fred” failed to complete his assigned task and Roberta was irritated but simply instructed “Fred” to bring the finished information to the next meeting. You would think that “Fred” being let off the hook would complete the assignment and have it ready for the next meeting. But no, he failed again. Roberta was beyond angry. “Fred’s” work was holding up every body’s else’s project. The next meeting she decided to try something new and that changed everything not only for “Fred” but for everyone in her organization.

Roberta gathered everyone in a circle and began with this sharing question: “If you wish to share, tell about a high point and a low point of the past week.” The participants went around the table until they came to “Fred.” “A high point?” he mumbled. “There really wasn’t one. It’s all pretty much a low point. My wife is terminally ill and we’ve brought her home to die. I’m trying to hold down this job while caring for our three young children. Things are pretty rough right now.”  Roberta and everyone was speechless. Roberta had no idea her employee had been having so much difficulty in his life because  she had never asked.

That day, Roberta made a commitment to herself. Whenever she led a group discussion she would first offer people the opportunity to share what was going on in their lives. It might be the only time all week that someone expressed interest and received compassion.

One of the participants in the above group went on to form her own company. Following her previous boss’s example, she used sharing questions in her meetings. Some of the questions were: “If your home was burning and you only had time to bring out three objects what would they be?”, “How did your parent’s decide your name?” and a really telling question was “What was your dream job when you were 21?”

Sharing questions develop empathy and community and I think they are worthwhile. What about you?

~Sallie

The Days of our lives

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The following is a piece G wrote in 2012:

It’s staggering when you think about it. The days of our lives I mean. So far I have lived 24,455 days plus a few. That’s a lot of days. Most of them I have no memory of what I did or what happened. (Bet that’s true for you too) There are of course many memorable ones, but truth be told, most of the days of our lives are uneventful and not memorable. Shame, isn’t it. They just pass us by. Life burned up, gone without a trace.

Since earlier this week when I found my new favorite saying:

EVERY DAY IS A TRAINING DAY LIFE IS THE LESSON WE LEARN

I got to thinking that while we may not remember a lot of our days, chances are phenomenal that we have learned something, large or small, conscious or unconscious, every day. Our brain is like a tape recorder that NEVER turns off. Some scientists claim if we could be put into deep hypnosis that we would be able to repeat every word or action in our lives. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I don’t think it is outside the realm of possibility.

Anyway, thinking about all these things, and attempting to make this new quote my life slogan, I’ve decided to do the following:

. From now on I’m keeping a daily journal. Not a diary, but a journal. I’m only going to put stuff in there that I consider “good stuff.” What I’ve learned in the course of the day that I want to remember and use again. Kind acts done to me, and that I’ve done for others. I don’t plan to do this to “keep score”, but simply to “keep memories” for further good use. . I’ve always been a “people watcher” and I plan to continue. Only this time I’m really going to watch. I have time to do this now, where before I could only be a causal observer. I think I’ll learn a lot about the human condition. . What new and exciting things will I learn? How will I best be able to use them? Will this new knowledge change my life for the better, and how? . How will this knowledge affect my relationships with people? Will I gain new friends and lose old ones? Will some relationships become deeper, and others disintegrate? . How much and how deeply will I change? And will the change last? Will I be happy or not with the change? . Can I expect the world to cooperate or sabotage these plans?

Well my friends, pretty deep huh? And all this from a little girl’s tee shirt!

I’m off now, on a quest. I don’t know what I’ll find there, but I know I HAVE to go. This old man is going to try and recapture what it was like to wake up in the morning and be excited by what MIGHT happen, and what might be learned from it. To put aside all the skepticism, the callousness, the hard knocks, the bitterness, and the life scars, and go forth with optimism and LEARN LIFES’ LESSONS! Will I get slapped around some? Sure, but as always, I’ll get back up and keep moving.

Is this an epiphany? I really don’t know, not yet anyway. In any case, regardless of your age may I invite you to have your own epiphany? To join me in a rebirth of the spirit in your life! REMEMBER:

 

EVERY DAY IS A TRAINING DAY—LIFE IS THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED !

“The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits.”~Albert Einstein

It doesn’t take long for information to become knowledge, but for it to become wisdom sometimes takes a lifetime. — Preeta Krishna

~Sallie

Thinking of you

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Today I begin a new series of posts I tentatively title ” Thinking of you”. I will be posting every Friday. The posts will be short but designed to make you think. Hope you like them. Feedback will be appreciated!!

~Sallie

“You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, the breath of fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence.. Let the words run through your veins and let the colors fill your mind.”  Jac Vanck

37 Things you’ll regret when you’re old

Dear Fellow Journalers,

These 37 items comes from a blog named Lessons Learned from Life:

  1. Not traveling when you had the chance. Traveling becomes infinitely harder the older you get, especially if you have a family and need to pay the way for three-plus people instead of just yourself.

  2. Not learning another language. You’ll kick yourself when you realize you took three years of language in high school and remember none of it.

  3. Staying in a bad relationship. No one who ever gets out of a bad relationship looks back without wishing they made the move sooner.

  4. Forgoing sunscreen. Wrinkles, moles, and skin cancer can largely be avoided if you protect yourself.

  5. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians. “Nah, dude, I’ll catch Nirvana next time they come through town.” Facepalm

  6. Being scared to do things. Looking back you’ll think, What was I so afraid of?

  7. Failing to make physical fitness a priority. Too many of us spend the physical peak of our lives on the couch. When you hit 40, 50, 60, and beyond, you’ll dream of what you could have done.

  8. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles. Few things are as sad as an old person saying, “Well, it just wasn’t done back then.”

  9. Not quitting a terrible job. Look, you gotta pay the bills. But if you don’t make a plan to improve your situation, you might wake up one day having spent 40 years in hell.

  10. Not trying harder in school. It’s not just that your grades play a role in determining where you end up in life. Eventually you’ll realize how neat it was to get to spend all day learning, and wish you’d paid more attention.

  11. Not realizing how beautiful you were. Too many of us spend our youth unhappy with the way we look, but the reality is, that’s when we’re our most beautiful.

  12. Being afraid to say “I love you.” When you’re old, you won’t care if your love wasn’t returned — only that you made it known how you felt.

  13. Not listening to your parents’ advice. You don’t want to hear it when you’re young, but the infuriating truth is that most of what your parents say about life is true.

  14. Spending your youth self-absorbed. You’ll be embarrassed about it, frankly.

  15. Caring too much about what other people think. In 20 years you won’t give a darn about any of those people you once worried so much about.

  16. Supporting others’ dreams over your own. Supporting others is a beautiful thing, but not when it means you never get to shine.

  17. Not moving on fast enough. Old people look back at the long periods spent picking themselves off the ground as nothing but wasted time.

  18. Holding grudges, especially with those you love. What’s the point of re-living the anger over and over?

  19. Not standing up for yourself. Old people don’t take sh*t from anyone. Neither should you.

  20. Not volunteering enough. OK, so you probably won’t regret not volunteering Hunger Games style, but nearing the end of one’s life without having helped to make the world a better place is a great source of sadness for many.

  21. Neglecting your teeth. Neglecting your teeth. Brush. Floss. Get regular checkups. It will all seem so maddeningly easy when you have dentures.

  22. Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die. Most of us realize too late what an awesome resource grandparents are. They can explain everything you’ll ever wonder about where you came from, but only if you ask them in time.

  23. Working too much. No one looks back from their deathbed and wishes they spent more time at the office, but they do wish they spent more time with family, friends, and hobbies.

  24. Not learning how to cook one awesome meal. Knowing one drool-worthy meal will make all those dinner parties and celebrations that much more special.

  25. Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment. Young people are constantly on the go, but stopping to take it all in now and again is a good thing.

  26. Failing to finish what you start. Failing to finish what you start. “I had big dreams of becoming a nurse. I even signed up for the classes, but then…”

  27. Never mastering one awesome party trick. You will go to hundreds, if not thousands, of parties in your life. Wouldn’t it be cool to be the life of them all?

  28. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations. Don’t let them tell you, “We don’t do that.”

  29. Refusing to let friendships run their course. People grow apart. Clinging to what was, instead of acknowledging that things have changed, can be a source of ongoing agitation and sadness.

  30. Not playing with your kids enough. When you’re old, you’ll realize your kid went from wanting to play with you to wanting you out of their room in the blink of an eye.

  31. Never taking a big risk (especially in love). Knowing that you took a leap of faith at least once —even if you fell flat on your face — will be a great comfort when you’re old.

  32. Not taking the time to develop contacts and network. Networking may seem like a bunch of crap when you’re young, but later on it becomes clear that it’s how so many jobs are won.

  33. Worrying too much. As Tom Petty sang, “Most things I worry about never happen anyway.”

  34. Getting caught up in needless drama. Who needs it?

  35. Not spending enough time with loved ones. Our time with our loved ones is finite. Make it count.

  36. Never performing in front of others. This isn’t a regret for everyone, but many elderly people wish they knew — just once — what it was like to stand in front of a crowd and show off their talents.

  37. Not being grateful sooner.

It can be hard to see in the beginning, but eventually it becomes clear that every moment on this earth — from the mundane to the amazing — is a gift that we’re all so incredibly lucky to share.

Sallie

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