Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We Plan. God Laughs......

This bit of wisdom was a text from my daughter.  A quote from a speaker at her business conference over the weekend.

 Day Fourteen - cooped up in the white elephant (my house).  My face is healing slowly, and I can walk by a mirror now without shuddering.  The pain in my scalp, ear, teeth, and left side of my head has diminished to a mild discomfort. The manner in which I’ve spent my days in the first weeks of 2011 isn’t quite what I had in mind. I was ready to crash through all those limitations I had placed on myself the last few years, like a Biggest Loser contestant busting through the “before” poster.  I was planning to block my ears to the negative naysayers by singing joyfully, at the top of my lungs. My self-awareness and confidence was strapped in my back pack as I confidently headed down  a much gentler path and adventure road, gratefully, one day at a time.  

Instead of a list of resolutions I could beat myself up about not achieving at years end, I decided to find a word, a sort of mantra, to focus on and send out to the universe as an Intention.  My word was BLOSSOM. I figured that was a good fit since I spent last year nurturing, feeding, and letting my Creator coax me back into healthy vibrancy.  It was time. Time to take the practice and apply it moment by moment.  Time to create something positive wherever I found myself potted. I really wanted to take this carefully cultivated and relatively weed free spirit out into the world and spread a little beauty- and kindness. Growing Shingles was not what I had in mind. This wasn’t blossoming. My petals had the blight. 
Yet, the words “there is a season and a time to every purpose, under heaven” kept echoing through my head.  Probably due to the time available to peruse I-tunes and some of my oldies favorites.  The Byrds, Turn, Turn, Turn was one of them. It appeared to be a time for me to blossom in inquisitive, quiet ways. A time to read..... old newspapers; everything from the Wall Street Journal, the Columbus Dispatch, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and really local papers detailing the week’s Kiwanis meeting.  The papers were daily gifts from loved ones who also brought jello, tapioca pudding, and other soft comfort foods. I borrowed David Sedaris new book, Squirrel meets Chipmunk thinking it would leave me in stitches, as most of his work does.  His ability to turn the mundane into a hysterical event, sarcastic wit, and self-deprecating humor, are normally right up my alley. This newest book was a little over the top for my taste; beautifully crafted but sort of sad and sickening.  The first few stories I forced laughter, but somewhere about Chapter Five or so, I wondered if Aesop’s ghost had taken over Sedaris’ body as the fables became gruesome and depressing.  It just went on and on. I can hardly meditate now, at least not when reflecting out my kitchen bay window anymore.  When the squirrels scamper by in my bucolic back yard, I’m distracted.... wondering if they are seriously dating or what pick up lines they’re using!   Much easier on my damaged head and gentler to the spirit was Regina Brett’s new book, God Never Blinks.  Reading it, I felt a soul sister connection as the events in her life seemed to mirror so many of mine.  The big difference....she seems to have “gotten it” MUCH earlier in life than I have. Thus, her personally detailed, 50 life lessons.   I would highly recommend this book as a graduation, anniversary or milestone birthday gift. I was introduced to Regina’s column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, several years ago, and became an instant fan. Her  honesty, humility, spirituality and love of life is palpable in all her writing.
It also appeared to be a time to catch up on the television of this decade.  I’m not a big boob tube watcher.  Most of the shows folks have been talking about, I've never seen. Now was the time to sit and watch marathon, back to back sessions of Millionaire Matchmaker, Beverly Hills Housewives and Jersey Shore. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it certainly was a shake your head in disbelief experience.  How about those housewives?  We wonder why we have serious bullying issues with our youth?   These botoxed, bulimic, potty-mouthed Stepford wives, are just  middle-aged versions of Mean Girls.  And that, is just how they treat each other!   Yikes... With friends like that.....  I guess, this venue is so popular there are “Housewives” shows from all the major cities, each series giving us a taste of how “the other half lives, where they live.”  I gained a serious appreciation for my half....... you know, the poor... the tired.... the hungry.... the compassionate.  Curiosity led me to Millionaire Matchmaker.  Why in the world would successful, wealthy folks need someone to fix them up?  A few episodes of this show reinforced an old line my dad used to use, “not for all the tea in China” (or my matter how many zero’s are on the portfolio) could I endure even a one-nighter with any of these charmers!  I’m not sure where they find their candidates, but a better name for this show might be, “So You Want to Date A Physchopath?”  I could barely tolerate the episode where the millionaire took his date (first date mind you) to a Sex Museum, but the millionaire who exposed this sweet, young kindergarten teacher to eccentric food by ordering her meal for her ,bordered on gruesome. Now, I am not talking exotic as in deep-fried crickets or shark-fin soup.  This meal began with an embroyo cocktail and spiraled into the stuff upset stomachs are made of.  Ahhhh....then we have Jersey Shore- every parent’s worst nightmare. It’s a cross between an XXX-rated The Godfather and Girls Gone Wild.  The nightly prayer on every parent’s lips, "Please God, don’t let our son bring home Snookie or let my daughter move to the East Coast to shack up with The Situation."  I was trying very hard to find the redeeming aspects and popularity of these shows.  The only value I could find was the reinforcement of the great lives, friends, boyfriends and spouses we have been blessed with!  My gratitude was the highest it had been in two weeks. 
Some of my channel surfing was wholesome. I landed on the food channel and spent a good 8 hours drooling over delectable, fresh food reminiscent of my European vacation a few years ago.  My fave was the episodes of The Barefoot Contessa. Her farm co-op delivered fresh fruits and vegetables weekly. The market basket brimming with color and good health was eye candy but it was an out of body experience as she whipped up such delights as an arugula, green apple, red onion salad with chunky smoked bacon and blue cheese. My mouth watered at the tomato, basil, cheese bake with homemade olive oil and rosemary infused croutons. The bite sized hot zucchini pancakes incited the beast in my stomach and made demanding, growling, noises. It did spark my creativity as I indulged in the preparation of a "from scratch" Caesar Salad this week, anchovies, home-made croutons and all. Hey, the doctor did say I needed to load up on the fresh fruits and veggies! 
This, my dear readers, is how I have spent my last few weeks. Nothing like what I had planned.  Nonetheless, at the next social gathering, I will dazzle you with my knowledge of the similarities between the moral conscience of animals and humans; tell you why Kelsey is leaving his marriage to Camille and how much its going to cost him;  let you know that in the dating world there are bimbos, cougars and himbos; reassure you if someone from the Jersey Shore calls you a b- - ch, it is truly a term of endearment. I can advise you which of fresh, garden greens flavor and pungency are complimentary to various dishes. Most important of all, I have it on good authority, The best is yet to come (Lesson #45) and It’s okay to get angry with God.  He can take it (Lesson #8). 
Maybe this week I will spend some time meditating with my new Mandela coloring book. I’m  not making any plans!  
I’m sure I heard God laugh.  

P.S. A little update. I must look better. I ventured out for a few hours today and my littlest grand-daughter said to her mom as I walked towards their car, "Mimi looks cute today!"  A few weeks ago she was recoiling in horror. This time, I laughed.... with God.