Thursday, December 10, 2015

Do you share your cookies with your dog? If you are diabetic and the cookie is a sugar-free cookie with no chocolate, read the contents. It may contain a sweetener, xylitol, which I had never heard of until last night on the news.
This substance is safe for humans. It kills dogs. It is used particularly in chewing gum and some cookies.

Best gift of all? A positive attitude

Throughout my life, times occur over and over again where people link elbows and march like Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man in "The Wizard of Oz" and chant fearfully, "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!" The cacophony is becoming a deafening scream as the possibility of real monsters  around us becomes more and more a real possibility.

Being read, a real goal of mine most of the time, has gone by the wayside for six weeks.
It hasn't been because of a paucity of things to write about; on the contrary, too much has been happening for me to settle on one topic.

I am appalled by the ugliness I am witnessing not only by ISIS, but fellow Americans.  It just happens that this is the time in MY lifetime when fear has been greatest. And fear leads to anger leads to mob mentality. It isn't pretty. I reflect that since I have more than seven decades of life, I've done a lot of living. I don't necessarily have a lot of time I would lose. I figure I may as well go on living as I always have. I have always found being embedded "with my own kind" to be rather boring. I like the richness of cultural diversity. At base, if both persons are open to it, we have common ground. And the wonderful foods provide such a rich, varied banquet.

No, I'm not afraid for my kith and kin. Frankly, living in a gargantuan Metroplex with sparse public transportation, we all are at risk any time we drive anywhere. And frankly, I continue to be more concerned about environmental issues because they will have a greater effect on my-great grandchildren some day. Enough clean water to survive comes to mind.  And yes, I've done a lot of research.  In that regard, people drive me nuts.

It is Christmas time. This has been a difficult time for me throughout my adulthood.  In the past year, I have been in counseling with a talented young woman who has helped me review my life realistically. I have failed significantly at several goals, you see, and was having difficulty seeing the worth of what I have accomplished. Oh, yeah. There's more to come. I'm still starting new projects. I am still working to lead my life, not just manage it. And yeah. It's a lot more fun than giving up.

Any way, Christmas. I'm smiling--apparently quite warmly--at everyone I meet. I intuit this because I am getting really warm smiles in return. I didn't frown at Christmas music in the stores after Halloween--though it did not encourage me to start shopping. I started shopping this week. Last year I discovered the wonder of online shopping one afternoon and having it all delivered to my door. I had better get busy.

I have given myself the gift of deciding that, warts and all, I would rather be me  than anyone else, no matter how successful. I coulda been a contender! Well, I'm not. Warts and all? A LOT of warts.But I'm a pretty good me, and knowing that allows me to laugh, to smile, hug when I can, help when I notice the need, and in all ways, share as much as I possibly can. And sometimes what I share is the chance to be silent, and peaceful.

This really is how I feel. It sounds saccharine. It's not. Getting  here for me has taken determination, sweat and tears. I'm proud of that. I know some optimists who are happy effortlessly. I know, too, that being human, they have their own problems, and yes, I still choose mine.

So much of it comes down to attitude. I was thinking recently, as I wrote one of the occasional checks I still write now and then, that my payment is a way of saying thank you for the goods, the services. I remember when I was fearfully trying to get my budget and the month to come out even. With fear, I wasn't grateful. Sometimes I begrudged.  Maybe understanding this is what we call the "wisdom" that can sometimes come with getting older.

I remember the cocky confidence of youth, so certain I had an immeasurably huge bank account of time to live and do what I intended to do.  I have absolutely no idea today of the time left. I am unusually healthy for my years, my doctor tells me.  Nevertheless, the uncertainty has made each day a gift, and yes, I still squander some of the days.

I needed to sit down and write today. I might even truly get on a regular schedule. I used to want to write with my individual, unique insights. Now I want to write about the common ground we all have in there somewhere.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, and yes, I do have two friends who send me winter solstice cards, I hope it works well for you.