Spirit Lifters-Day 316 of being “Grounded” 1/16/21

Photos and humor…both can shift my whole mood, can change a whole day!!

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This one’s been around but it still cracks me up when I read it! My current favorites are #3, #5, and #12! Enjoy!

1.    The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner.

2.    2019:  Stay away from negative people.  2020:  Stay away from positive people.

3.     The world has turned upside down.  Old folks are sneaking out of the house & their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors! 

4.     This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her dog.  It was obvious she thought her dog understood her.  I came into my house & told my cat.  We laughed a lot. 

5.     Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit.  Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.

6.   Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?

7.   This virus has done what no woman has been able to do.  Cancel sports, shut down all bars & keep men at home! 

8.   I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 6-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!

9.  I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator. 

10. I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard.  I’m getting tired of the Living Room. 

11. Appropriate analogy.  “The curve is flattening so we can start lifting restrictions now” is like saying “The parachute has slowed our rate of descent, so we can take it off now.”

12. Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask & asking for money. 

13. The spread of COVID-19 is based on 2 things:  

        1.  How dense the population is.  

        2.  How dense the population is

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And here’s another chuckle!

Have faith in Pfizer’s Covid vaccine. Pfizer patented Viagra. If a company can raise the dead it can certainly save the living.

 

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just seconds later…

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I can’t decide whether I prefer sunrise or sunset, but in the winter, both can be a spectacular show to watch!!

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Spirit Lifters-Day 311 of being “Grounded” 1/11/21

You may have seen the video below. If not, well HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I meant to post it New Year’s Day but got distracted by other stuff.

And now, all I can think of is the powerful question I woke up with this last Thursday morning…the day after the…uh, insurrection at the US Capitol.

I wondered out loud if the way I was feeling…appalled, furious, disgusted, extremely critical of those selfish, insane people, was the same way my elders felt toward me in the 1960’s when I was willing to risk my life for the things I believed in so strongly…Racial Equality and ending the Vietnam war!

I had to think about that for a long time.

I concluded that violence was the difference. Back then we marched, and sat, and sang, and lobbied, and yes, I even put daisy’s in the rifle barrels of the National Guardsman trying to stop us.

So today, I am watching this Fireworks Video differently.

Each explosion is a failed gun shot, blossoming into glorious proof of the miracles in life.

Here. Try it again….

Thanks, and be safe and healthy.

Spirit Lifters–Day 301 of being “grounded”

Disclaimer: the first part of this, uh, essay, is not exactly uplifting, but, hang tight. I will get there.

I got myself through the first several months of the pandemic’s effects on my life by searching every single day for uplifting things to focus on…just to balance out all that was going on in the world.

As a practice like that can, it worked beautifully. My spirits were up, and my slowly increasing terror was easily manageable. 

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But somewhere along the line, it caught up with me. As my James would say (in Mississippi-Speak), I was just “slap wore out”. Most of us were. Not just with “quarantine fatigue”, but from all the other chaos we were experiencing; a deadly virus, horrific wildfires, and racial strife.

And politics?? Don’t even get me started!

Yep, just slap wore out!

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My exhaustion started showing up here in my blog. This is what I posted on September 18th:

https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/21344

I guess that should have been a warning…but I missed it. I had stopped practicing what I was preaching. I needed to re-establish an uplifting, daily ritual…and quick….but I didn’t, at least not right away.

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With the new year about to start, I am inspired by the concept of “resolutions”, even though in the past I have been reluctant to support this ritual. I have mostly seen it fail.

There is no magic just because the calendar numbers are changing, and I am a bit concerned that some are investing unrealistic hope in the year 2021 being better than what we have all just been through. That may be dangerously disappointing.

Realistically, I don’t think there will be a return to our old “normal”…ever.

And I actually hope there isn’t because too many things in that old normal were off kilter anyway…not working, even damaging, and we should not go back to that level of apathy, complacency and blind acceptance ever again.

Our New Normal could include all the lessons we’ve learned (or should have) during our forced, altered behavior. (Remember those photos in the first few days of World Lock Down, of beautiful clear blue skies all over the world??)

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But in the mean time, I’m going back to finding something beautiful, inspirational and miraculous every single day. I know that’s what my Dad did throughout his life, and he taught it to us. Toward the end, when he could not do much else, he’d sit on his front porch and watch for the wonderous among, and even camouflaged by, the mundane. He had a polaroid camera and would send me a photo now and then of a “miracle”. (A beautiful volunteer rose bush in his yard that he did not plant. An earthquake crack in the front sidewalk that had “healed” itself in another minor San Diego earthquake. And more.)

So I am determined to re-establish my own daily search for things to lift up my beleaguered spirits. 

Here is one of my favorite resources! The Greater Good Magazine. A free newsletter out of Berkeley about the science of well-being. It’s worth contributing to. (You’ll have to copy and paste because I still can’t figure out how to make a link.)

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/inspiring_moments_from_2020?utm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&utm_campaign=6de12255ab-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_GG_Newsletter_December_24_2020_COPY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae73e326e-6de12255ab-74625275

One short video (30 seconds) in the latest issue ironically* brought me to tears of joy. I think it’s about the 10th one, titled Competing gubernatorial candidates try to bring voters together.

Anyway, Happy New Year. Like many other places in the world, we in the Seattle area usually bring in the New Year with a spectacular, crowd pleasing fireworks display from the Space Needle. It was wisely cancelled this year to avoid a virus super-spreader event, and was replaced by a truly amazing light show to watch from our homes! (Again you’ll have to copy and paste, but worth the 10 minutes, especially if you can see it on a bigger screen.)

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattles-stunning-new-years-at-the-needle-show-goes-virtual-this-year/281-5139fa73-61f1-44e3-bdf4-64858333a647

Well, that’s it for today. I will keep my eyes (well, all my senses) open for more Spirit Lifters to share.

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Please consider adding your own Spirit Lifters in the comments section.

I bet we could build quite a list!!

Thanks, and Happy New Year!

*irony best appreciated if you know about my ancestry…

Veteran’s Day 2020

Brilliantly choreographed scene from my all time favorite movie about my generation…

Huge confession here…It has taken me most of my life to be able to accept, and then finally respect, the “Military”. Well, not the military as a whole, but respect for those who choose to join an armed service, especially for patriotic reasons. All that pledging allegiance as a kid, really meant something to me.

I saw my father cry exactly twice in my life. Once, for a split second, when my mother died. And once when I was very young, and we heard Kate Smith sing America the Beautiful. Talk about imprinting…

Becoming a young adult in the Vietnam War era, I was primed to join those of my generation who were loudly and sometimes, even violently, objecting to that war, but when the protesting became personal…aimed at my returning “brothers” just because they had accepted being drafted into that war, rather than fleeing their homes to run to Canada, I knew I had to find another stand for myself.

Confession: Back then, I could not understand that choice. I myself, would have easily left this country, rather than accepting being drafted to fight in a war that made no sense to me.

I’m much better at standing solidly for something I believe in, than fighting against something I hate.

In my young adolescence, I had already been exposed to the most extreme racial inequality in our country, so for a time, I let that experience impact my life to the degree that working hard for Civil Rights became my primary focus…rather than protesting against the injustice.

Then sometime in my 30’s, I went to D.C. to visit the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall. It broke my heart to have to look up 17 names, but by then, I was starting to see more clearly that I was not the only one permanently inspired by our standing at attention, hand-over-heart, daily pledging as kids.

And along the way, influenced by the passionate commitment of many men and women who had served in the Military, I was able to shift to deep respect and gratitude for their choices, while still maintaining my own stand for peace.

Here’s one of my most beautiful reminders…by the wonderful Karen Drucker.

Check her out at https://www.karendrucker.com/

These are the Veteran’s I’d like to thank this year (although many of my Elders on this list need to be moved to the Memorial Day post).

Colonel Louis Ford (Tad)-United States Air Force (my best friend’s father and my adopted second Dad)

Thomas Alvin Bessey-National Guard Mounted Cavalry (my Dad)

Jean McMaster Bessey- US Navy WAVES (my Mother)

Captain Brian Lee Ford-US Air Force (my best friend)

James Fletcher-US Army (my soulmate and life partner)

Jimmy Schack (James’s best friend)

Mary Paananen (dear colleague)

David Taylor (first love and still friends)

Joe LaFayette (college boyfriend, still friends)

Eddie Leachman (cousin’s best friend in high school)

Ari Cowan (amazing writer waging relentless compassion against violence)

Bret Burkholder (delightful colleague)

Vince Horan (beloved colleague)

Saralee Blum (former colleague)

Jim Sorensen (incredible husband, father whose children’s birth I attended)

Ron Holst (my cousin’s wife)

Michael Adams (son of an adopted daughter)

Dale Beuning (“son” of a dear colleague, kind of like my nephew)

Colonel James Kowalski (husband of my best Blogging friend)

Kirk Boettcher (beloved dentist of 35 years)

Mriana Williams dear friend and former housemate)

Richard Hartman (neighbor)

James Malone (husband of a favorite Psychodramatist)

Shawn Dennis (wonderful housemate)

Colonel James Sampson (my best friend’s other best friend)

Steve Dryden (childhood friend, son of my Mom’s best friend)

Don Ulmer (Writer’s Group)

Lou Chirillo (Writer’s Group)

Dave Bartholomew (my Writer’s Group leader)

Jason Bogar (Son of a beloved teacher/friend)

Colonel Bill Head (married to James’s niece)

Captain Roy Gurd (my best friend’s former best friend)

Jerry and Jennifer Niehaus (longtime colleague’s husband and daughter)

Carol Peringer’s first husband

Lenore (my sister) Bayuk’s first husband, Ronald L. Campbell, USMC

Niece Emily’s dad, John C. Johnson, USN in Korea

John Robertson (James’s number one long time employee)

(I know I am leaving out some names…so sorry)

Here are some posts I’ve written before about this subject.

11/11/18  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/17701

11/11/17  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/16142

5/30/16  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/4921

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/11/12/veterans-day-11-11-17/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/09/01/shiny-for-wordpress-photo-challenge/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/07/24/three-songs-for-song-lyric-sunday-7-24-16/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/09/11/9-11-18/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/12/03/songlyricsunday-12-3-17-courage/

Please check them out if you like and I appreciate any comments.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Cityscape 10/23/2020

I knew the photos I wanted to share for this challenge right away. I love the view of the city I have from my house…of course, the view is not of the city I live in. Nope, this view is of the next city over to the West of me.

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That’s the downtown Seattle skyline, with the glorious Olympic Mountains behind.

These next shots are from an early morning walk when I just loved what the sunrise was doing to the Columbia Center…76 stories, and when it was built, it was the tallest building on the West Coast.

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This towering scraper of the sky has always fascinated me, though I had never been inside it. I rarely go into Seattle. Just not an urban type, although I guess I can hardly say that anymore, given that there is nothing left of the “country-side” my home was part of when I bought it 47 years ago.

Anyway, just a few years ago, I had the extreme pleasure of officiating a spectacular and delightful wedding at the top of the Columbia Center. I adore this couple and was thrilled to be asked to marry them, but I have to admit, when they told me where, I nearly fainted. I have a more than mild case of Acrophobia.

I knew I would need to prepare myself so I could be fully present and grounded for their ceremony so I started taking pictures of the building from all over town….trying to make friends with this giant black monolith, towering tall over all it’s neighbors…

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On the day of the wedding, I arrived early to prepare for the celebration. The ride up the elevator to the very top took forever. It made me seasick and break into a cold sweat. When I saw where we would be standing…so close to the windows, I nearly chickened out, but James kept me calm by reminding me that I would be facing inward, my back to the view. (Well, that half glass of Chardonnay he brought me probably helped too. Hmm, I wonder what the Minister’s blood alcohol number is for the legality of the marriage to be in question…😋)

Once I found my footing, I could embrace and enjoy the spectacular view we would all have this day.

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I never told my sweet couple about my trepidation that day but I suppose, now they’ll know. So worth it!! What an amazing, creative, beautiful, warm, interesting wedding. And the “Cityscape” setting? Well, hard to imagine ever topping that!!

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As I was selecting photos, I noticed something! A surprising number of airliners showed up, I suppose headed for landing at SeaTac. How many do you count?

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2020/10/22/a-photo-a-week-challenge-cityscape/