Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

The 20th century had a magical timeline, starting in ’46 and ending in ’64, that cushioned baby boomers from harsh realities and swift changes. Comforts included pay phone booths for ten-cent calls, black/white television with heavy doses of lighthearted programming, neighborhoods safe enough to play in by street lights, enticing cityscapes to explore on bicycles, lots of dodge ball, jump rope and kick-the-can played in yards manicured by motorless push mowers.

Back then technology crept up slowly, peering around the corners of our lives before tiptoeing in, allowing us ample adjustment time. Etch-a-Sketches, push-button phones, transistor radios with ear phones, Jiffy-Pop popcorn, electric blankets and mixers, along with gas-powered mowers soon were the norm in everyday life for everyday folks.

As boomers adjusted to adult goals and responsibilities, technology marched a little bolder toward the front lines of progress. Antennas to cable TV with VCR’s, cassettes to CD’s, Xerox machines to photo copiers, toaster ovens to microwaves, mail-in film to Polaroids, overnight post to faxing, typewriters to Tandy computers, and crank-to-electric car windows raised the standards of normal with diminished adjustment periods.

Many of those retired boomers now have more time to acclimate to technological advances, but the tech world is totally uncooperative these days. Improvements appear instantly. Digital reigns as choices/preferences are totally ignored. Boomers are left to their own tactics to acquire even mediocre skills, usually utilizing only half of a device’s functions due to ignorance.

We have flat screen monitors and Netflix, pocket-sized phones that take photos and videos, face-to-face phone chats with callers clear across the globe, digital transmission of print information, and cars that drive and stop with almost no human direction.

I am out of breath, overwhelmed and frustrated, still struggling to master using both thumbs for different functions on a game console! What wizardry will we wrangle with next week?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spring Floats

Mother Nature teases us with hints of Mardi Gras. Tiny flares of yellow and purple dot the brown barren leaf carpet as vivid crocus blooms appear among green throw rugs of creeping phlox. Her spring decor will be awesome as always.

Punxsutawney Phil may have dismayed the East Coast with warnings of six more weeks of winter, but Ripley County Romeo disagreed with that dreary forecast; his shadow didn’t come out to play. Mother Earth seems bored with winter’s monotones as she pulls colorful spring accessories from seasonal storage.

Wispy clouds swirl across a canvas
of blue sky;
Flags dance in the fickle breeze as it
waltzes by.
Could be a time for philosophizing,
but why,
When sun and earth tempt us in ways
one can’t deny?

Laissez les bons temps rouler! Spring is coming!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Leaving a Love

These few words describe a former love, a relationship that inspired and motivated, expanded my vision and presence, heightened my reason for being, offered both comfort and reward, a love surpassing all others.

Yet, such a love is not flawless, not without its disappointments and dangers. Loyalties fade. There are compromises, costs and sacrifices to consider. It is a painful truth when separation is inevitable, and utterly deflating if circumstances make living without that love permanently necessary for survival.

I flirt with the thought of reconnection, imagine giving in to temptation now and then. Seduction threatens often but I resist.

Such has been my history with one adored by many, the charming chocolate confection called M & M’s, peanut, of course.

All things in moderation doesn’t work in this relationship. With me and Peanut M & M’s, it’s an all or nothing affair.

So, I seek other M’s to fill the dopamine void. They are out there, and moderation is key to conquering the devastating effects of addiction.

*Movement offers multiple benefits, motivation to move on beyond the unhealthy love paramount among them.

*Music energizes, fueling optimism. Combine it with movement for a healthy exhilarating rush.

*Mindfulness or meditation enhances appreciation for what is, diminishing the loss of a sweet love.

*Mother Nature is a loyal companion, even if she requires strolls with umbrellas these days.

*Meals can supply tasty ingredients to help in the manufacture of dopamine without debilitating side effects.

*Manifesting to completion a project of art or crafts, notes or words creates more of the coveted neurotransmitter, too.

*Making lists and checking off the entries as they are performed provides a natural boost, even if the lists are short and the tasks are simple.

*Moments of pleasant surprise and jolts out daily ruts also offer a natural high with no negative side effects.

M & M’s, who needs you?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inaugural Address 2017

I listened to the inaugural address by our new President so I could draw my own conclusions. Then I listened briefly to some CBS commentators’ remarks. My take is a bit different. I am a swing voter, not particularly loyal to one party over the other; I am more interested in the human factor.

Our President did paint a rather dark image of our country’s current condition. Facts. He spread the blame around, not targeting one party or one administration, but zooming in on corrupt self-serving politicians.

Vigilant voters’ voices elected Trump, who is determined to lighten up the picture of Anerica’s current status and spread the benefits to American citizens first and foremost. One commentator labeled his statements as popularist isolationism. My spin-“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Voters must remain vigilant. Passivity has been the enemy. Passivity intensifies the power corrupt elected officials abuse. Passivity has too long loosened the reigns of the ones leading the way.

Passivity permeates American society. Corruption paints enlarging shadows on our local canvases, too. Continued vigilance is required on all levels-institutional, city, county, state and national. It is time for the eradication of personal agendas among elected officials.

We shall see.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

S-M-A-R-T in 2017

Remember the musical theme of the TV show The Twilight Zone? Cue that tune now. One of those moments just made an entrance – not totally creepy, though. Had it all happened on my iphone I would now be in conspiracy mode wondering why ‘they’ would be listening to me, but it didn’t involve my phone. Though I do talk out loud occasionally, especially when a deadline is exiting, not even the cat has heard me utter a syllable this morning, so my screens and microphones are not spying on me this time. The moment grabbed my attention about this entry.

I have been asked how I come up with the silly ideas for my column. That element of surprise is not there just for the PN readers of the Correspondence page; it is there for me the writer, too. Seldom does an idea thought through wind up on the page in the same form. I am just thankful for having the idea. Often the topic is not even in my head until pen meets the paper at 4 am in a booth at 24/7. (Maybe it looks like a stake-out for hard serve ice cream. I will be glad when that is back in the inventory).

Another circumstance gave me the go-ahead for today’s subject.. Wednesday at the noon meeting of the Poplar Bluff Toastmasters I heard a short speech on writing meaningful resolutions. It was a lively, informative presentation and I even took notes. Because my resolution poem has already been printed, I was refereeing an internal debate about duplicating a theme two weeks in a row. Then, meandering around the living room hoping my warm lemon water would kick-start a solution, I turned the TV on just in time to hear a CBS This Morning guest share the SAME information I noted at Toastmasters. Debate over. Here is the second column on New Year’s resolutions.

If we are going to keep composing them annually, sometimes perfect copies of failed ones. Let’s be SMART about them this year.
S – Be SPECIFIC. ‘Dieting’ is too vague. Eliminate a food instead.
M – Make it MEASURABLE. ‘Lose weight’ promotes procrastination. Drop a pant size is preferred.
A – It should be ATTAINABLE. That’s why I never say I will get noticeably taller. No can do.
R – REALISTIC is key. Wear a bikini in May? Ha! Come on, now.
T – Create a TIMELINE. “Inch by inch it’s a cinch; yard by yard it’s hard.”

If you have not written yours yet, or you have given up already, you are not alone. Try being SMART about it in 2017.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In Praise of Reading

There is no one to blame but myself; I know better. The relapse caught me off guard, inflicting an overdose of doldrums too early in this winter season.

If I could pass blame, it would be directed at television. Months go by without my watching one entire show. Last week, though, perhaps pushed by the arrival of cold winter rains to get cozy in the rocking chair in front of the screen, I soaked up a lot of programming. Much of it was a downer – news, talk panels, soaps, crime/detective/medical series blurring the lines between fiction and reality – so I had to search for uplifting, laugh-provoking broadcasts. It takes a lot of laughs to tip the scales to healthy viewing, if it can be labeled that.

Negativity takes a toll on the body and the brain. Television would argue that I have insurmountable power over it, and I do, IF I use that on/off button and reach for the printed word instead.

Reading, even from digital sources, exercises the brain, providing strong antidotes to winter doldrums and warding off worrisome side effects that include blood pressure issues, weight gain, stress overloads, delayed decision -making, foggy thinking, memory lapses, and focus challenges.

Readers are more empathetic and better problem solvers. A candidate for Secretary of Defense has a library of 10,000 books and has read most of them, according to a radio newscaster. Perhaps being a reader should be a qualification for all Cabinet selections, especially if the Commander in Chief-elect claims not to be one.

Periodically I threaten to cancel my television service; I have reduced it to basic programming for now. On this week’s agenda is rearranging the furniture so my cozy rocker is closer to a bookshelf, not in direct line of the tv. I will find more steps I can take to ward off another relapse of television-induced melancholy. Winter might hang around a while. I want to welcome it with hope.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Emptying a Purse

Emptying an old purse,
A hearse for road trips,
Encapsulating time
In prime paper slips
Of days, nights, sights, meals,
Long sealed by silent lips,
Revealing now quick smiles
For miles of peaks and dips
In life’s random roadmap of adventures.

Scribbled names and numbers
Of summer’s delights,
And reminders to recall
The stall, by stormy frights,
Of chats, laughter and song,
As long the moments did

Linger till the sun’s rays
Delayed no more rich sights,
Mazes of magic marvels to retrace.

Now a new purse to fill,
The thrill of new direction.
Unchartered miles and smiles
To pile with affection.
Precious signs of the past
Will last with reflection
As the relics of now
Somehow make selection,
Stuffing purses and heart with joy and love.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment