Saturday, January 23, 2010

When I started this blog, I hoped that to share my feelings and observations in a light, whimsical way. Like many, I've personally felt the pain of the Haitians and in many ways it felt inappropriate to laugh and kid around about my simple life problems when I saw daily images of people who had so little to begin with, have now had that taken away them. I've wondered to myself what it must feel like to TRULY be dependant on strangers to help you fulfill your most basic needs. To see death all around you, and wonder why you were spared. Or to even wonder if you were lucky to be spared when the entire world you know is devastated. Yet, through it all, I've seen people smiling, singing and still keeping their faith. I am able to give a few dollars and pray, yet these people have given me something more in return. I now look around at my home, yeah, I could use some more space and some things need fixing up, but what a mansion I've been blessed with. I look at my friends and family. Yes, they can annoy me and sometimes I wish I could go off by myself somewhere, but what if they were gone, I don't want to know how that would feel. Even something as simple as a glass of clean water from my sink would be a miracle not only for the Haitians, but many in the world. For some reason this earthquake has awakened something in me. I'm not going to lie or make false proclamations of what I will or will not do for the rest of my life. What I am going to work at is to keep positive and keep the faith no matter what obstacles I face. I will try to face my problems with the same courage and faith that I've seen from those whom no one would blame for wanting to give up.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I've been thinking a lot about people that have influenced my life. Of course, we all are influenced by our family and I could write VOLUMES about mine. There are SO MANY characters on both my parent's sides and my husband's family just adds to the adventure. Not to mention that I have 7 brothers and 2 sisters and the personalities are as diverse they come. I suppose this is where I've developed my genuine interest in most people and the ability to keep an open mind and true understanding that you can still love someone, even if you don't agree with them.
However, like many of us, I have to admit, I was influenced by people on TV. I'm going to start off by saying that I many times feel bad that television programming has deteriorated by the deluge of reality shows. I don't mind The Great Race or Survivor that test the human spirit. In these shows, I've seen the best and worst coming out in people. I'm very disappointed in shows like The Bachelor where women are desperately flaunting "their stuff" for men I don't think I would date after knowing for 5 minutes. Then, of course, if I need to feel good about my life, I switch on Oprah, Intervention or Jerry Springer and thank the dear Lord for that my family doesn't even come close to that kind of craziness. After thinking in great length about television shows present and past, the one show that consistently comes to the top of great influence is The Joy of Painting.
The Joy of Painting was hosted by a unique and lovable man, the late Bob Ross. Bob came into your living room via PBS so calm and centered. In the half hour you watched, he created masterpieces with such ease. His simple approach made anyone watching think they could be an artist and he encouraged you to do so. More importantly, Bob encouraged you to be an individual and in your creativity, there were NO MISTAKES! After all, what you were take away from his painting lessons was technique, your painting didn't have to look exactly like his. He also had such a relaxing and soothing approach that no matter what you had on your mind that day seemed to just melt as you entered the world with him. He truly was a man living in his own "happy little world". From my perspective, it didn't look like much would upset him as he seemed to be truly at peace with himself and the world. Many times when I'm doing something and screw it up, I think about how there are no mistakes, you just make it unique. I also try to emulate his serenity and know that peace truly begins within. Being OK with yourself, your mistakes and expressing your own individuality are the true lessons that were learned from the Joy of Painting. Thanks Bob Ross!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Reaching the Middle Ages

I've decided to write a little on becoming, well, middle-aged. All of a sudden it's decided to smack me right in the face. My own father decided to comment in my birthday card this past year "47 years old, WOW!" Thanks, Dad!! I know I'm a Grandma, but I've been able to blame that on my husband. "Our" kids are the product of his first marriage and since he's 9 years older than me, it just made me a young grandma. Which I should add, that I love being, perhaps that's a sign of age for me. But, I have to admit there have been other signs. Young men have started giving up their seats for me when the bus is crowded, WITHOUT trying to pick me up. People tell me I look like my mother, failing to add "25 years ago" or "when she was younger" I've finally given up wearing my contacts because I couldn't get used to the bifocal ones and the need for readers has become constant as my arms don't stretch across the room. But, the real kicker came when my husband decided he wanted John Lennon style eyeglasses and the people working at the optometrist office were clueless as to what he was talking about. Only then did I realize it has been 29 years since John was murdered and the young people waiting on him weren't even born yet when the event took place. I guess in our minds, he stopped aging at 40, but we sure didn't.

This started my mind thinking about all kinds of crazy things. Like, why do I like the music in most prime time commercials now and the Superbowl entertainment has become AWESOME in the past few years...yikes, I'm part of the mainstream. And, who the heck are these people on New Year's Rockin' Eve?!? I guess I'm not as cool as I used to be either! I also now remember things such as when cable was a luxury. When MTV came on the air and did nothing else but play videos. I also remember buying my music on vinyl albums and I still miss album art!! I know, downloads have pictures, but they are just too small!! There was nothing better than laying on the floor, headphones on, listening to records and checking out the album covers.

Yes, times have changed and I'm doing my best to change with them. I've got a wireless network at home so I can be mobile with my laptop. We don't look at a map anymore, we've got a GPS to guide us. I've also got an ipod so I can download my music too. I've also figured out that kids don't know how to answer phones, but send a text and you'll get a reply immediately. But, what's frightening is that I remember the world before we had any of these things. So you young ones, watch for the little signs!! It WILL happen you one day.
I made a New Year's Resolution to start a blog. Well, folks, this is it! I would also like to point out that this very well may be one of the few resolutions I've ever made and kept! No, wait, I've lost LOTS of weight. But somehow, it always finds me again. I suppose I could refine that resolution to be something like keep my weight at a healthy level. Something to ponder later.

I've thought long and hard about what direction I would like this blog to take. I decided direction, for me, is prohibitive to my thought you can expect from me is my personal take on life, family, Pittsburgh and things in general. In other words, whatever is on my mind that I feel a strong need to express myself about. What I truly hope to achieve is that via written word, I can ponder some of the craziness in my life and hopefully find we all share some humor in that!!