Archive for February 2012

A Genie On My Mind

February 26, 2012

Photo from the website: the-about.blogspot.com

We all know what a genie is, right?

In the animated Disney movie Aladdin it’s a swirl of smoke that emerges from a lamp. This swirl had a voice like Robin Williams and acts like him also. However, now that he’s out of the lamp he must grant three wishes to the person who “freed” him .

A Google search indicates that a genie is “A spirit of Arabian folklore, as traditionally depicted imprisoned within a bottle or oil lamp, and capable of granting wishes when summoned.”

Aladdin’s genie allowed only 3 wishes–one of which had to be what the genie wanted. So that left Aladdin with only two.

I expect right about now you’re wondering if I’ve finally slipped on that proverbial banana peel and thudded into irreversible senility. Well, I may have but not about this. 😉

Why? Because this past few on several different occasions and with several different groups the topic came up in some way about what we might select if we had a choice between two wishes.

Wow, just like Aladdin and who didn’t think carefully about his first choice which put him in some serious conflict–if I’m remembering the story line correctly.

Friday morning we had snow.

Anyway, after the various discussions I listened to and the choices others made, I thought about the choice I’d mentioned. That thought has lingered with me enough that I figured I’d write about it today since I hadn’t come up with anything else. And I groused about not having enough time in a day to my husband last night. I ended my list of issues by saying I wished I could make the day have 30 hours in it instead of 24.

He gave me that husbandly look that drives me nuts (insert one you have that your hubby or someone close to you uses). He rubbed his chin, looking thoughtful, then pronounced. “Some planets far distant from the sun have days that last 2 1/2 years. Other planets have days that only last about 12 hours. Which one going to?” Then he sat back, glanced at me with that well-I-solved-another- problem look, and grinned.

I know I snarled. I felt it form and grow.

His answer didn’t help me other than to consider an alternative, a more realistic one. “Okay, a personal assistant. That’s what I need. One who knows everything I don’t which makes me use too much time figuring the darn process out. Oh, and would do all the things I really hate or don’t do well.”

The snow made the world magical.

I got that look again. “Good luck with that.” Then he grinned. Again. “Or find Aladdin’s lamp.”

I know I’m very fortunate and blessed with many wonderful gifts for which I’m always grateful. But life is never perfect. Probably if I found a magic lamp and got my wish, I’d end up with a genie with attitude and his own agenda. He’d probably be more trouble than not.

But if I had a guaranteed wish come true that could be entirely selfish, I really think I’d love an assistant. Hands down. But the perfect one. I’m deciding what the specific qualifications should be and writing them down (that creeping forgetfulness, you know). Just. In. Case–that genie shows up.

In the meantime, I’m not one to wait around so I’ve also made my list of tasks for this week. L Sure wish I could slough a few off to that personal assistant. 😉

But maybe…

Today that snow is gone.

So what about you? What’s the one thing you’d wish for that would be purely just for you?

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What’s Been On My Mind

February 19, 2012

The perfect rose--

Goals.

They’ve been on my mind quite a bit this past week.

Okay, I’ll admit I’m a goal-oriented woman. If I hadn’t been I wouldn’t have achieved what I have in my life. But there’s something about goals that I don’t often express–to myself or to others. And believe me, those who know me personally know I’m not afraid to get into some serious conversations about goals.

So what was this point about goals that struck me this past week? And why did I consider it when I did? And then like my Oreo with a new toy why can’t I leave it alone until I’ve mulled it over?

Well, here goes what prompted this mulling.

My sister and I drove up to Madison this week to visit with her daughter who’s now in her first year of private practice as a physician. She was anxious for me to see her first “real” home, meaning one that’s not attached to school or residency housing.

Goal oriented aunt and niece

And I was anxious to have a visit with her. While we were sharing a glass of wine, she mentioned that she’s spent some time thinking about her goals and how she’s achieved them. In past years she’d focused her goals in getting great grades throughout school, getting into medical school and completing it well, doing her externships well, getting a great residency, research and publishing to establish a professional reputation, and finally getting in a practice she loves in an area she also loves.

Whew! I’m exhausted just writing all that… 😉

But now that she’s settled in, she’s realizing she must set her sights on new goals, and we talked about those. Many of them are personal as well as professional. She asked if I did the same. I nodded and explained that this is exactly how it should be in her life at this point.

She also mentioned that along the way she realized she prioritized this goal of being a doctor in private practice, she’d not achieved other things she’d love to have, maybe more personal or pursuing intellectual paths she didn’t have time for. Boy, I’ve been there. It can be a rude awakening in some ways.

And I thought again how proud of her I am. And how blessed I’ve been to have such a close relationship with her while she was growing up. (I feel the same about my other niece and nephews, and I treasure my times, past and present, with them. But that’s another blog topic.)

My point to my niece was goals when achieved should be/must be replaced with new ones. Those should reflect what we’ve learned about ourselves and our environment and indicate a new path or adventure we hope to achieve. If we don’t do this, we really cease growing professionally, intellectually, emotionally, personally.

Another goal achieved

So all this reflection on goals brought me back to myself. Doesn’t it always? 🙂

This week I’m ready to tackle doing some serious revision on another book. I’ve had to take this past week to get myself immersed into the world I’ve created for this book. I realized that much of the growth of my main character for this next book relies more heavily than usual on rethinking what her goals have been in life. She’s forced to do this because the situations in her life have changed dramatically. Early in the book she’s fighting this need to change her goals because she doesn’t want to give up what she thought would help her achieve her concept of her former perfect life goal.

That’s another point about goals. Sometimes life just smacks us down short of achieving that goal. Then we have to get up and figure out what our real goal is because no way are we going to reach that goal. If we can’t be flexible and analytical about our lives and ourselves, we won’t do well in achieving our goals.

These are some of my thoughts I leave you with today. I’d like to hear what you think about goals and how you use them or not.

The quiet watcher while I write

Owls and Memories

February 12, 2012

A owl tenant from the past

This past week I received an email from my sister-in-law. Attached were 2 short videos taken from a camera mounted inside an owl box on their property. I could watch the pair of owls that had arrived and settled in.

I suspect the video camera is a new venture for my brother and his wife. They set up that owl box several years ago, and each year about this time a mating pair arrive.

Then comes the fun of watching the owls live their daily routines alongside my brother and his wife.

Those returning owls have become the topic of many conversations, emails, photos, etc. By mid-summer the owls have done their mating, parenting, and leave for who knows where until about this time the following year.

Now we see four

Of course, after they owls leave, my brother does a major owl box cleaning and sanitizing to make sure it’s ready for their yearly feathered visitors.

Each year my hubby and I get an invitation to come out and watch the owls–if only…

Cleaning up after the visitors leave

But after that email and watching the videos, I couldn’t get California and our past trips out of my mind. So I pulled out some photos of past trips. My eyes kept returning to a few which I’ve scanned to share with you today.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my home and my views, but this week California dreamin’ been on my mind.

Now San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge:

My fist view many years ago.

And a sunny day on the coast

Big Sur coastline and rocks.

–Big Sur area.

  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Clouds never deter my enjoyment of the coastline.

Days of Life

February 5, 2012

Life is like an hourglass. It needs to be flipped over every now and then.

I used a variation of that title phrase in a recent email to a friend. Funny, ever since then it’s been bouncing around in my gray matter and made me remember several red-letter days in my life and what about the day made them memorable to me.

With the first few days that popped up, I didn’t see what the connecting thread was. However, this morning, it dawned on me–sort of like the sunrise that wasn’t this morning. You got it–another dreary day. We still have the lights on.

But I digress.

You’re probably asking and rightly so, “What’s the connection?”

Nothing earth-shattering when I tell you–life changing.

Yes, that’s the connection. In some way those days changed me, my life, my family, my world. Maybe even others beyond my immediate sphere.

Think about it for a minute. I’ll give you a few examples.

The late evening conversation I had with the man who called to ask me for a date. He ultimately became my husband; we’ve been married over 30 years. Understand this–at the time I firmly believed I’d never marry again. Been there, done that, it was a disaster. The experience gave me wisdom beyond measure and a better knowledge of myself. I was sure that staying single was my best option.

One of our first trips to Carmel and a favorite day.

On that theme, the late afternoon conversation with this same man who I’d known about 6 weeks. Talking turned into an argument over a workers’ strike that had gained national attention. He infuriated me with his views so different from mine. I walked away from him when we couldn’t agree to disagree. Before I did that, I told him not to bother to stay in touch.

He didn’t. But a few days later he showed up at my front door. We talked again–on the front porch–in view of all the neighbors. We continued the discussion after he admitted he enjoyed playing devil’s advocate. He liked that we could have disagreements and differing opinions. He respected my right to my beliefs, but he expected the same from me. And he didn’t intend to walk away.

I learned this was a man I could argue with and he wouldn’t get angry. I did respect him. Needless to say, we’ve enjoyed some friendly bickering ever since.

Other days of my life I hold dear for many different reasons. My college graduations, the births of my children, my wedding day, the few moments of consciousness before my two life threatening/altering surgeries, the day my husband “died” 3 times during a 12 hour surgery, the days my two sons died. And many more.

Another favorite day in my life in another place I love.

They have become my life of days.

Do you have some? Please share one.