DECEMBER PONDERINGS

This is on my mind at this beginning of December.  I want to take my time when writing this piece because it is important to me.  I begin by saying I am sorry for my choices.  But sorry is not enough.  No one ever knows the best way to be a parent.  I did not.  And my parents did not. And now, I am reaping what I sewed.  It makes sense.  Now what do I mean? I can only tell you what happened to me.  I think.  My memory comes and goes.  But I think I had my version of a miracle happen this Thanksgiving.  This is what happened.  This may take a while.  Grab a coffee. 

One of the benefits of a pandemic and being cooped inside is self-reflection.  I have had a lot of time to think.  So, I have tried to see what I could have done to avoid these brain strokes.  I don’t like them.  And I get better. Then, I take four steps back.  So, let me fill you in on my thoughts of late.  Why do I keep returning to new beginnings over and over? Is there something I am doing to cause this?  Hmmmmmm.   Now I am not asking you to agree with my reasoning. But this is what I think is happening. 

When I was a little girl, Mother would say to me A LOT because I was so headstrong, “You’ll be sorry when I am gone.”  “NO, I WON’T!!!!!!”  “I gave up my life for your children!”  “WHY????  NO ONE ASKED YOU TO DO THAT.   I WILL NEVER TO THAT!!!!”  And I didn’t.  If you have read my Journals, you know that I had several careers and marriages with a modicum of success.  I would do anything with anyone and go anywhere not to stay home with my children.  I was in a lot of plays with rehearsals and went to college classes a lot. And we all suffered in a lot of ways because of my actions and choices. 

Now, today, I do not have a good relationship with my adult children or my grandchildren. They are all good people with lives of their own. Often, I would try to be a friend to each of them and try to get them to cooperate. That did not work. I have apologized and said I am sorry, but sorry is not enough. I don’t know what would have worked. A mother’s love, time, and attention. Now, nothing will ever be enough. I cannot undo any of it. Regret and what could have been are useless and a total waste of time. I can’t go back and change any decision I ever made. I can learn from it but not change it. Try to embrace the right thing right where I am that unlocks the future. When I am centered and focused on the joy and beauty of my life, life unfolds effortlessly. And now, in my 80’s, on some level, I believe that I began to punish myself by having brain strokes over and over and over. And, this Thanksgiving, behold the miracle, I decided to stop doing that. Can I do it? I am going to try. By the way, the miracle was also my realization that I could be doing my own self-sabotage. And I have realized that feelings are not facts, and the fact remains that I love and miss my children – all three of them, and I love their father with all of his faults . And that love is bigger than the lives.

My goal was NOT to be like my mother. My children’s goal is NOT to be like their mother. Oops. My heart goes out for all the parents who hurt as a result of choices made. Goals reached. Missions accomplished.

This is the REVISED unpublished new Preface to JOURNAL OF JANET TALLULAH. I doubt I will ever update that book. 

Preface

    This is based on an intensive daily journal that I wrote when I got to Los Angeles, California in July 1968.  I arrived from Gainesville, Georgia, after having a lot of problems getting out of town.  I was a junior college professor.  Actually, I was the Chairman of the Division of Humanities.  That was a PhD position and I needed to get my PhD. I was accepted in the Theatre History doctorate program at UCLA in Los Angeles.  But there were other considerations that propelled me to travel cross-country.  In my heart, I wanted to be a professional actress in film and television. AND I was married to a guy I didn’t like but was sexually attracted to and had gotten pregnant, gotten married for my family’s reputation, and had three small children by the time I was 27. Oops. 

The problem was – I thought the grass was greener somewhere else even though Daddy kept telling me that it was not!  In disgust, I decided he did not know because he was trapped. That was why he drank so much. No wonder!  I would drink, too, if I were married to Mother. But he had ‘made his bed; he must lie in it.:” Oh, for goodness sakes, life was not a bunch of clichés. Life was to be lived!  And, I must leave Gainesville before I, too, got trapped because “it was the early bird who got the worm”, and I was “already late to the party”.  Life was passing me by.

     It was not until I was in my early 30’s that a psychiatrist helped me realize that I did not have to accept things the way they were. Yes, I had made my bed. I DID NOT have to lie in it.  What?????  What a concept!!  Well, I definitely did not like the way things were. I then chose to do something else. Move. Where? New York City?  Broadway?  No. Not with three little kids.  California?  Hollywood? Hmmmm.  Maybe.  There was grass there. Plus, an ocean.  My friend in theatre, Jimmie Ralston, had moved there. Hmmmm.

     How would I get outta’ Dodge?  I knew. I would try to get accepted into UCLA Graduate School – get my PhD in drama. And, at the same time, try to break into the film business without telling anyone.  That would work.  I wouldn’t tell them I planned to stay if I made it happen. I could take a year’s leave of absence from my job. I needed my PhD, anyway. I’d come back if I didn’t like it. 

     At that point, I started taking steps – writing letters, sending applications, doing research – to move to Los Angeles.  I applied for and got accepted into the PhD program at UCLA.  I applied for and almost got a Fellowship to the program.  I also subscribed to the Los Angeles Times, having it mailed to my office address, in order to become familiar with the City.  Needless to say, life became chaotic.  Events became unpredictable and unfathomable while I was making life-altering choices that would affect the lives of those around me for years to come.  Now, later in life, I painfully regret some of the choices I made.  But, at the time, I forged ahead making changes right and left, believing I knew what I was doing. I was convinced that I could not grow into the person I wanted to be by staying where I was.  I was destined for bigger things.  Thus, I must position myself where opportunities could arise. 

     Who is to say that I was wrong?  Maybe I was right!!  I am glad I had the courage to take risks.  I am proud of my children.  It is all a matter of “perception” – how I perceived things then, and how I perceive things now – and how other people perceived and perceive things. The same set of facts is different for each one of us. And each of us can believe what he/she wants to believe.  Most interpretations are on the surface and misconstrued, anyway – accumulated from bits and pieces of information and observations that lead to right or wrong conclusions that are hardly ever the same. It wasn’t until I went to law school in my late 50’s that I began to learn the difference between perception and facts. What happened.  As an actress, I acted SUBTEXT. As an attorney, I needed FACTS. 

     That said… I am not focusing on facts in this Journal – well, sort of.  This Journal is filled with my perceptions, my obsessions, my goals, my fears, my thoughts, my loves, and my hates – in my search for the “real ME’.  I went through a LOT of changes. It is especially hard to relive all I went through during the years 1969 through 1971, because I was young, vulnerable, naïve, and very Southern. I have chosen those years because my entire family went through a “crash course” in living. I was not ready for what came at me. Neither was my husband Darrell. Or the kids.  As a result, we all “grew by leaps and bounds.

     1969 was the year of Woodstock, of the Beatles breakup, of the start of the draft lottery for the Vietnam War, of the trial of the Chicago Seven, or of the horror of the Manson Family murders in California. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon; the Internet was born; the first artificial heart transplant was performed; the personal computer revolution began, and the world’s largest airplane – Boeing 747-100 – took flight. 

     In 1970, Paul McCartney announced the Beatles had disbanded, and the Apollo 13 mission to the moon had been abandoned.  100,000 people demonstrated in Washington D.C. against the Vietnam War.  A fire at a nightclub near Grenoble in Russia trapped night clubbers leaving 142 – mostly teenagers – dead.  California became the first state to adopt a “No Fault” divorce law. 

     1971 saw China admitted to the United Nations and NASDAQ debut. The Sylmar earthquake hit the San Fernando Valley, and Walt Disney World opened in Florida. The N.Y. Times began publishing sections of the Pentagon Papers starting on June 13, showing the U.S. Government had been lying to the American people.

     I was oblivious to most of that. I had just arrived in Los Angeles, California, from Gainesville, Georgia!!! I was making changes! Big changes!  How?  Well, in 1969, I began writing in a journal to help me “think”.  And, this is what I wrote (sorta).  Actually, I began writing in a journal at that point in time and have continued writing in my journal ever since.  I enjoy writing.  The wonder of it is that I have “published” some of it – the beginning years. 

     In 1971, I wrote in my journal: “I will write a book. My [working] book title will be ‘This Woman’s Search’. The gist of it will be – OK, here is the story. This is what I did and what has worked for me. I’LL TELL YOU. All you have to do is listen and see if you can use any of it.  Hopefully something will hit you, and you will be motivated to do it, to begin it [write in a journal]. I could also call my Book “A Search in Progress”.” “Janet Tallulah” is somewhat of an edited transcription of my first journals – the time when I made major changes in my life journey that still remain.  My search is still progressing.  I am now in my 80s.

     First, I want to build a foundation [“attorney-speak” for giving my readers some background].  I was born at home on Cleveland Road in Gainesville, Georgia, with Dr. Davis in attendance.  It was a Tuesday, March 30, 1937.  Mother and Daddy named me Janet Tallulah Jewell.  Daddy’s mother was named Mary Tallulah Dickson Jewell-Loudermilk, so I was named after her.  I grew up in Gainesville.  My father was in the chicken business, and my mother was a housewife:  Jesse and Anna Lou Jewell.  I had two older sisters – Barbara and Patricia.  We moved to Green Street Circle when I was four, and that remained our family home until Mother died in 2002.  I loved school from Day One.  As a result, I got good grades. I was a leader from the git-go.  I participated in school activities, extra-curricular activities, and First Baptist Church activities.  I loved Wade Lindorme from the time I first saw him when he moved to Gainesville from Atlanta.  He was a year older than I was.  We remained a couple throughout grammar school and high school, dating until I went to the University of Wisconsin to college in the fall of 1957. 

     Things changed once I left Gainesville to go to college.  I chose the University of Wisconsin because I wanted to experience something different.  But I was not prepared for what happened.  The somewhat sheltered existence that I had lived for most of my life began to disintegrate. Everything was different. I tried to be the leader that I had been in high school, but that was not to be.  I made a lot of wrong choices.  I was miserable.  I missed the comfort of the familiar, and most especially, I missed Wade. I had dreams and goals, but I did not have the muscles and/or savvy to handle the myriad of changes that came at me. 

     In my second year of college, I met Darrell William MacIntyre.  He was a Phi Gam from Madison, Wisconsin, and very good looking.  He was considered a “real catch”.  I was very attracted to him.  I was a Kappa Alpha Theta.  We dated all that year, eventually getting “pinned”.  That is when a fraternity guy gives a girl his fraternity pin. It is like being engaged – college style.  And, by the end of my sophomore year, I discovered that I was pregnant.  So, after deciding that I did not want to get an abortion AND facing the fact that I had “ruined” my family’s good name in Gainesville, I made to decision to marry Darrell, knowing that decisions come with consequences.  My life had changed forever!  I cannot say that we were ever in love.  We had a strong physical attraction to each other that continued for many years until he died in 1986. 

     All of that is a long story that I will save for another book – maybe, but I married Darrell William MacIntyre on August 17, 1957, and became Janet Jewell MacIntyre or Janet MacIntyre.  Many people called me “Jan”.  Still do.  I think it was a Wisconsin thing- shortening names.  In the fall of 1957, we moved to Madison to live until Darrell had to report to duty [as a Second Lieutenant] to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, in January 1958.  He was stationed in Special Services at Fort Sam for two years.  And that is where our daughter Tracy Lee was born – on February 23, 1958.  She was a beautiful little girl.  I was so happy.  So was Darrell. 

     After Darrell got out of the service, we both enrolled in the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, to continue our college education.  Darrell was accepted into law school, and I was accepted into a Bachelor of Arts program with a major in drama, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.  That is where our son Craig Dickson was born – on April 5, 1961.  After college, Darrell and I, with our small family, moved back to Gainesville, where Darrell began practicing law and I began teaching speech and drama at Brenau College. 

     In 1964, while teaching at Brenau, I got pregnant again, so I resigned from teaching at Brenau.  I stayed out a year, giving birth to our son Blake William – on December 11, 1964.  During the spring of 1965, I was hired to serve as Chairman of the Division of Humanities at a junior college, Gainesville Junior College (“GJC”) that was opening in Gainesville as part of the State University System.  It was a PhD position, and I got the position on the condition that I would obtain my PhD at some point in the near future.  I was the only woman in the State of Georgia to hold such a position. 

     So, in 1968, after discovering that UCLA had a PhD program in Theatre History, I took a year’s leave of absence from GJC to move with my family to Los Angeles to work on my PhD.  I applied for a Fellowship and it looked promising.  Darrell got a job as a prosecuting attorney with the U.S. Justice Department in the Criminal Division.  And we rented a home in the Huntington area of Pacific Palisades, California.  I did not get the Fellowship, missing it by one person.  Darrell had difficulty passing the California Bar Exam.  And, the children were unhappy and missed Mother and their friends in Gainesville.  Life was not good.  The truth be known, I did not want to go back to Georgia.  Georgia itself was/is beautiful.  But I had grown to hate much about my life in Gainesville.  I wanted more.  I LOVED California.  I wanted to give my children more and better.  So, I begged all of them to be patient so that I could establish residency and still get my PhD.  Meanwhile, I began exploring the possibility of a career as a professional actress in film and television. Gregory Peck offered to help me. He helped me get into The Actors Studio where I started training with Lee Strasberg and his “method acting” right away.

     That is enough background.  This book begins in 1969.  I am 32; Darrell is 35. Tracy is 11. Craig is 8. Blake is 5. All of us were young and vulnerable. AND, naïve. Darrell and I separated for a short period of time, and I had an affair during that time with Norman Russell, a good-looking, smooth-talking con-guy, who got me to loan him a lot of money.  Just in time, Darrell returned and kept me from giving Norman a LOT of money. He threatened Norman with a gun, telling Norman to stay away from me.  After that, we moved from Pacific Palisades to Brentwood, renting a home on North Bundy. Meanwhile, while I was “establishing residency in California” to get lower tuition at UCLA, I got an agent, Harold Swoverland.  I got professional headshots taken by Max Factor’s son.  I was happy. 

     Now, a word about “The Journal”.  I began writing in a journal in 1969.  A friend of mine, John Prince, told me about a weekend retreat in San Jacinto, California, that was conducted by a man named Ira Progoff.  I discovered that Ira Progoff was an American psychologist who had studied under Carl Jung.  That didn’t mean a lot to me, but I didn’t care.  I was unhappy and trying to change my life, confused as hell. I discovered that Ira was best known for his development of the Intensive Journal Method.  His main interest was in depth psychology and particularly the humanistic adaptation of Jungian ideas to the lives of ordinary people like me.   He founded Dialogue House in New York City to help promote this method.   So, I started attending his weekend retreats in 1969, with John Prince. 

     The first weekend was a confused mess. I didn’t understand much of what I was hearing.  First of all, Ira said the main idea of journal-writing was to provide a total program for the inner life to discover what is taking place inside of a person. Well, I did not know that I had an “inner life”, much less need to discover what was taking place inside of me. Ira said that The Journal was the hub of a wheel – a person must use it not only in privacy but also in a group because a group and group contact opens one up. In a workshop, each person was like a well in a circle of wells. If that person went down into his own well, there was a great benefit in hearing himself say something he wanted to say. The Journal was structured to prevent the self from going in a circle.

     In the Journal, one wants to dialog with all the important things in his life. The aim is to get seriously involved with the dialogue. Plus, one wants to keep enough daily entries for a week to give a sense of what is happening and do dreams and dream extensions. It is important to get started without waiting in order to get started. There is a process that works within the depth of a person – it must be given the opportunity to work for that person. Basic dialog is the dialog that works between one and one’s inner self that will keep one in the “eye of the hurricane.” Forgive me for not explaining everything to you. I am still learning myself.  And, as I said before, I am now in my 80s.

                                                                                       J.W.M.

I did not write this, but I like it.  I dedicate it to my children and my grandchildren even though they are alive and missing from my life. I am the one who moved away.  But, this began years ago. 

— You Don’t Just Lose Someone Once —

You lose them over and over, 

sometimes many times a day.

When the loss, momentarily forgotten,

creeps up, 

and attacks you from behind.

Fresh waves of grief as the realisation hits home,

they are gone.

Again.

You don’t just lose someone once, 

you lose them every time you open your eyes to a new dawn,

and as you awaken, 

so does your memory, 

so does the jolting bolt of lightning that rips into your heart,

they are gone.

Again.

Losing someone is a journey,

not a one-off.

There is no end to the loss,

there is only a learned skill on how to stay afloat,

when it washes over.

Be kind to those who are sailing this stormy sea, 

they have a journey ahead of them,

and a daily shock to the system each time they realise,

they are gone,

Again.

You don’t just lose someone once, 

you lose them every day, 

for a lifetime.

Just know that you can be sorry, but sorry doesn’t do it.  I am also sorry you had to sit though all of this but maybe it will help someone to find that delicate balance in loving children and having careers and good health and ……… The point of all this is still me-centered. Oops. I want to stop trying to punish myself by being the headstrong girl that I have been all my life. The times are very different now. 

Best Jay

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ROSES FOR YOU

Today, I want to post something easy on JAYSPEAK because it has been a stressful week, and I am exhausted from the emotions that I have experienced.  I don’t want to write about all the things that have happened, so I am going to do what I do when I need a rest – post photos of roses.  That is my go-to “happy place”.This memory came up on Facebook for me – I don’t know what year.  Sometime before October 1, 2015.  That is the date that Steve and I moved to Nice, France. 

So Enjoy these photos.

“For the record — in case anyone thinks that all I do is walk around the west side of Los Angeles and take pictures of flowers, let me say that I choose not to post about my job – litigating employment cases on behalf of plaintiffs and practicing entertainment law.  Maybe I should, because I practice law full-time, and it is contentious, stressful, exhilarating, upsetting, anxiety-producing, interesting, and demanding.  I am constantly on the move, writing motions, answering and propounding discovery, conducting or defending depositions, going to court, meeting new potential clients, and so forth.  So, as many mornings as I can, I walk for 2 hours – early before dawn — to work out the stress and prepare for the upcoming day.  During those walks, I allow my mind to wander, and take pictures of roses (mostly) with my IPhone.  As Paul Harvey would say… and now you know the rest of the story.—”

Best, Jay “Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone who Celebrates.”

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FROM PARIS WITH LOVE

Some days I am filled with energy and others are very lethargic. Today is not so hot after a wonderful day yesterday. So, let’s both grab a cup of coffee. That helps to give us a break. And coffee goes with everything in Paris.

This week I have been pondering a lot of things – mainly how I spent most of my life planning my life around a man. The men changed but I did not. You would think I would have learned a lesson, but noooooooo. I just found another man. And I would give each one that good ole college try of 10 years or so and move on to another man. We Southern girls liked the men. So, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself without a man. Like NOW. Haha. What am I going to do with all the insights and awarenesses that are coming at me like Mac Trucks? And lots of dreams about lives that happened a long time ago.

I must stand alone, and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. So, as the songs I once loved fade away, so do the thoughts and feelings of others. I tell myself what’s meant to be will always find a way, so I’m letting go. And I am paying close attention to what is finding a way to stay. Wow. Really letting go. It has been hard for a while, but it’s getting easier. Day by day, step by step.. that’s how I’m living my life now. Finding small joys in the little things that make me smile. I’ll get where I need to be, eventually. Or not. Knowing that I will, for me, for now, will have to be enough. I can do this. Yes, I miss my family. Yes, I miss my friends. But I am now loving them as they are without trying to change them in any way. They will either make it or they won’t. I will either make it or I won’t. You will either make it or you won’t.

Today’s borrowed piece that I want to share with you is this.  These lessons do not limit to any one aspect or one person. They are universal and will help you through all walks of life. Embrace them and make them a part of your life for a peaceful, joyous life.                                      –    Featured Image Source: Pakin Songmor © 123RF.com

“Gautama Buddha: a prince, a warrior, a meditator and an enlightened teacher. Nothing will ever stress enough the kind of wisdom he imparted at his time, the kind which still exists to inspire millions and millions of people around the world.  Buddha means the one who is awake. He indeed was and his teachings continue to knock sense into the lost and the drifted. Buddha was the embodiment of peace, acceptance and detachment to material possessions.  Through his messages, we can better understand our spiritual and emotional selves. Here are 11 of the life-changing pieces of lessons from this enlightened soul.

1. “When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily”

Love is a pure, undemanding emotion. You don’t hurt the ones you love. True love will always be a reason for your growth. There is a clear distinction between unconditional love and the emotions based on our ego’s needs.

2. “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth”

No matter how hard you try to hide the truth, it will eventually be revealed. The seekers of the truth will ultimately find it. Truth can never stay hidden.

3. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

We often seek solace and happiness in the external environment, the things we buy and the material possessions we have. In reality, peaceful living only comes from acknowledging what you have within. Peace resides within you only.

4. “There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path”

Ever heard how life is about the journey and not the destination? Well, it’s the truth! Accept the joys and the sorrows of the journey and you will understand what it is to be living. Happiness isn’t the end goal, being happy all along is.

5. “An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body but an evil friend will wound your mind”

Your life becomes more meaningful and happening when you have the right kind of people in your life. Supporting, joyous, compassionate people. Having negative people around only means hurting our own lives.

6. “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

It is a very deep teaching and a very meaningful one if we understand what Buddha was trying to convey. We all are one. The differences are only presumed by us only. There was no segregation originally. In the eyes of the universe, we are all one and equally worthy of love and happiness.

7. “You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger”

Anger and resentment eat you like fire eats wood. It destroys the one experiencing it and not the one it is against. Learn to forgive and move on.

8. “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

It is something many religions endorse: our thoughts create our reality. What we focus on is what we believe. If it’s the darkness you concentrate on, how do you suppose you will see the light? It’s all about our perspective and thoughts.

9. “Believe nothing no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

Don’t let others think for you – think for yourself. Know your ground and stick to it. You have your view of the world and, if something clashes with it, you have the right to disregard it. Popularity doesn’t mean it’s the right thing.

10. “You only lose what you cling to”

If you do not attach yourself emotionally to something, it will not be a loss. Nothing lasts forever. Unconditional love and happiness will come when we fully accept the experiences, even when they are short-lived.

11. “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk our path.”

It’s your life and you will have to live it. No one can do it for you. You cannot let others guide your life but you have to steer it yourself. Be your own torch to carve your way through this journey called life.”

I took the cat netting down from the balcony and now I think I can see clearer outside my window. Maybe. Maybe not. BE CAREFUL! Beware making another person the center of your life. YOU ARE THE CENTER OF YOUR LIFE. Love yourself first and foremost. Then love others.

I have a lot of memes that I have saved, but it is becoming too many memes. So, I will leave you with lots of words to think about. I don’t expect you to agree. Also, I have a lot of thoughts to share on another day. After the pandemic. Everybody is hurting. Getting to know my neighborhood. Facing fear. Making decisions. Stay tuned…….

Best Jay

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HELLO FROM PARIS!

Hello from Paris! Guess what? I have made the decision to stay in Paris. I will NOT be moving any time soon. Who knows about tomorrow, much less “the future”? If I have my way, I will have a wonderful future!!!! And it takes place in Paris. So, I have unpacked my bags and am preparing to stay. AND, MY COVER PHOTO ABOVE IS BORROWED. I APOLOGIZE TO THE PHOTOGRAPHER. I am the photographer of the photo below.

So, I ‘want to tell you about another pet peeve and share an interesting message I found on the internet. So, grab a coffee.

My pet peeve surrounds CODE SPEAK. What is code speak? People who post a photo or send an email with an attachment with no foundation. And I have NO idea what they are talking about.?What do I mean by « Building a foundation”? Use your common sense. I don’t like guessing what the person means or where the person is or why he/she is there. TELL ME IN ADVANCE!!! Or, at least, enjoy my not-knowing, if that was the intention. Whew! I am glad I got that off my chest.

And, now, for a fun post for me and gives you something to look forward to,

“An extensive study in the U.S.A found that the most productive age in human life is between 60-70 years of age.

 The 2nd.  most productive stage of the human being is from 70 to 80 years of age.

 The 3rd.  most productive stage is from 50 to 60 years of age.

 The average age of NOBEL PRIZE winners is 62 years old.

 The average age of the presidents of prominent companies in the world is 63 years.

 The average age of the pastors of the 100 largest churches in the U.S.A. is 71.

 The average age of the Popes is 76 years.

 This tells us in a way that it has been determined, that the best years of your life are between 60 and 80 years.

 A study published in NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE found that at age 60, you reach the TOP of your potential and this continues into your 80s.

 Therefore, if you are between 60 -70 or 70-80 you are in the BEST and 2nd.  level of your life.

 SOURCE: N.Engl.J .Med.  70,389 (2018) ..

 SO, I am not old.  I am just getting started…..if I can remember what  I was doing.  Haha.  

And now some favorite memes…….

BEST, JAY

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NOVEMBER begins with pet-PEEVES AND BLESSINGS…..

As I sit here getting ready to write, I remember how much I don’t like this MAC that I have been using ever since Steve died in 2016, and I still don’t like it.  I always prefer my PC.  But I have used this one because it was brand new when he died and so I have tried to make it my own and now have important documents on it.  As important as my life gets these days.  

I have several things I want to write about today.  First, I will bitch and complain – about the MAC, about the rain outside, about Halloween, about …… the list goes on.  Bottom line, I don’t like Halloween.  I don’t find anything about it “fun”.  I always found it to be a “mean” holiday about mean things done by mean people to people that were supposed to be funny or whatever. I did not like the “carnivals” at Candler Street School.   I only liked the cake walks.  I always hoped that I would win some mother’s homemade Lemon-cheese cake.  Yummy.  But I would take home what I won, and it would be homemade.  I just did not like “Angel Food”.  I loved cocoanut. (Only Southerners will know what I am talking about.)  And I hated dressing up as some stupid pirate or witch. I NEVER liked “costume” anything (except acting wardrobe). I did not want to pretend I was mean or looked mean or wanted to trick you, or any of it.

But I will cut to the chase to spend time writing about my new positive spin that I now put on each day. “I am willing to let LIFE love me today. And one way I am willing to let LIFE love me is by writing this blog and including my favorite photos for all to see.” I took these photos during the pandemic when I was staying at a friend’s studio in the Sixth Arrondissement last year (2020). I love each shot and had great fun taking them.

And, now, for the Closer — I know better than to give “advice”, but I am sharing these thoughts as several “suggestions” because I like it. I edited it and think of it often…..

FOR THOSE WHO ARE 80-yrs OLD AND older, PLEASE READ THIS.

This is for you. I really like what is said here and am going to try my best to follow it. Thank you to the person who wrote this.  I have made a few changes.   May God bless us all as we strive to be a blessing to others at this age, especially to our children — if possible. 

Between 80 and death. It’s time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it. Don’t just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Remember there is nothing more dangerous than a son or daughter-in-law or daughter and son-in-law with big ideas for your hard-earned capital. Don’t feel bad spending your money on yourself. You took care of your children for many years, and you’ve taught them what you could. You gave them an education, food, shelter, and support. The responsibility is now theirs to earn their own money.

Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well, and get your sleep. It’s easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. That is why you need to keep yourself in good shape and be aware of your medical and physical needs. Keep in touch with your doctor, do tests even when you’re feeling well. Stay informed.

Always buy the best, most beautiful items for your significant other (if you have one.)  Or yourself. The key goal is to enjoy your money.  

Don’t stress over the little things. You’ve already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don’t let the past drag you down and don’t let the future frighten you. Feel good in the now. Small issues will soon be forgotten.

Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Love life, love your family, love your neighbor and remember: “A man or woman is not old as long as he or she has intelligence and affection.”

Be proud, both inside and out. Don’t stop going to your hair salon or barber, do your nails, go to the dermatologist and the dentist, keep your perfumes and creams well stocked. When you are well-maintained on the outside, it seeps in, making you feel proud and strong.

Don’t lose sight of fashion trends for your age, but keep your own sense of style. You’ve developed your own sense of what looks good on you – keep it and be proud of it. It’s part of who you are.

ALWAYS stay up-to-date. Read newspapers, watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying. Make sure you have an active email account and try to use some of those social networks. You’ll be surprised at what old friends you’ll meet.

Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideas as you, but they are the future and will take the world in their direction. Give suggestions, not criticism, and try to remind them that yesterday’s wisdom still applies today. Don’t use the phrase: “In my time.” Your time is now. As long as you’re alive, you are part of this time.

Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people, it’ll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better. Spending your time with bitter people will make you feel older and harder to be around.

Do not surrender to the temptation of living with your children or grandchildren (if you have a financial choice, that is). Sure, being surrounded by family sounds great, but we all need our privacy. They need theirs and you need yours. Even then, do so only if you feel you really need the help or do not want to live by yourself.

Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, dance. You can adopt a cat or a dog, grow a kitchen garden, play cards, checkers, chess, dominoes, golf.

Try to go. Get out of the house, meet people you haven’t seen in a while, experience something new (or something old). The important thing is to leave the house from time to time. Go to museums, go to walk through a park. Get out there.

Speak in courteous tones and try not to complain or criticize too much unless you really need to. Try to accept situations as they are.

Pains and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them but accept them as a part of life.

If you’ve been offended by someone – forgive them. If you’ve offended someone-apologize. Don’t drag around resentment with you. It only serves to make you sad and bitter. It doesn’t matter who was right. Someone once said: “Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Don’t take that poison. Forgive, forget, and move on with your life.

Laugh. Laugh away your worries Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. Many never get to this age, never get to experience a full life.

I have a dream that I repeat to myself every day.  Outrageous and expensive and wonderful.  Who knows?  There is time.  So no memes. IT HAS GOTTEN TO BE A MEME-CRAZY WORLD OUT THERE. CAUTION IS SUGGESTED.

THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!

BEST, Jay

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DREAMS DON’T HAVE AN EXPIRATION…

DREAMS DON’’T HAVE AN EXPIRATION!

It is easy to dream, living in Paris.  Yes, I get scared.

It’s okay to be scared..

That means I am alive- in fact, we’re all scared at first as we grow older.

Have you ever……?  …….    Not yet……!!!!

Chapter 11 is the chapter that changes my life.

This is where I start my comeback.

This is the chapter in my life that changes my life..

And it’s all up to me.

I’ve made a choice to rise from the ashes of the old life that I burned down.  Haha.  Boy, oh boy.  I watched it crash and burn. 

So, it’s our turn to choose to rise up or stay down.  Come on!! Let’s do it. 

Whatever your dreams are, no matter how big or how small,

We’ve got this!

Learn to walk.  THEN, learn to dance.

Start a new career.  Wellllllll, maybe not. 

Skydive.  Hmmmm. No.

And when we get to that point where we’re scared and maybe it even hurts a little..

Keep going.

I have decided to tell myself that my best days, my loudest laughter, and deepest loves are still ahead of me.

I have stopped saying what could go wrong and started believing what could go right.

It’s my life and my mindset. Hey! Each day I am just doing my best. And that’s enough.

I’ve got one shot. Do something! Take action! Even if it’s wrong. Anyway, there is NO wrong or right. Each day is a new beginning. Smile. And start again.

I have favorite restaurants that I go to in my neighborhood.  And, one day, I had stayed in for the several days with my left knee.  So, I wanted to treat myself on my next free day to lunch at a favorite place – the restaurant down the street – Restaurant Honoré.  I wanted to have some fish – unless there was a Du Jour special that sounded good.  It was drizzling outside.  So, at noon, I walked to the restaurant.  I know not to go before noon.  They don’t like it. 

When I arrived, there were a few people, but I got the table I liked – inside in a corner without any steps.  And I saw the Du Jour – chicken.  I love their chicken, so that is what I got.  And, if you order the special, it comes with a starter salad, a main dish, and a dessert for one price.  It is different every day. That works for me. So, I got the “formula déjeuner” – hard-boiled eggs with mayonnaise starter, chicken and rice with sauce, and fresh fruit for dessert.  Plus, a glass of white wine and a cup of espresso. It was delicious! Everything had its own unique taste.  Even the mayonnaise. I am no longer drinking wine. Now I drink perrier with lime or something similar. And the sauce on the rice and chicken was perfect.  I would have preferred a different dessert (they have wonderful crème brûlée.)  But I wanted the set price more.  Wow.  The French really know how to cook. 

And an interesting side note about this restaurant.  It is owned and operated by two guys, one of whom does the cooking.  And the other one speaks English and is also a real estate agent on the side.  We exchanged cards because he is going to help me find a tuner for my Steinway piano.  I have since decided to sell it even though it needs tuning.  Anyway, his tuner never called me.  But he tried to help me.  As I said before, there is no such thing as “customer service” in Paris.  It is all who you know and if they like you. 

Best, Jay

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CHAPTER 11

Do you know what I mean by “true colors”?  When someone shows you their “true colors”, what should you do with the new information?  It could be something you have suspected for a long time.  And now you have confirmation?  Withdraw?  Set boundaries?  Confront?  I don’t have answers.  I have tried all three.  With some, I withdraw.  From others, I try to set boundaries. That usually doesn’t work.  I NEVER confront.  It does no good.

What are my true colors? I don’t think that I hide anything very well. Haha. I just blurt it all out there!!! I try to. But I don’t think it works. One of my sons thinks I don’t “get it”. I am like a cat chasing its tail. Always want to be somewhere I am not!! Yes. What’s your point? I have ALWAYS been like that. University of Wisconsin, Early marriage, kids right away, actress, attorney, writer. Career woman before her time. Always pushing the envelope. Trusting when I don’t “get it“ right away. Duh. I never caught on to jokes. I couldn’t remember punch lines. I am sharing with you an article that I borrowed from the Internet. I think it says what I would say to myself if I could because I am learning how to trust myself and to make my own decisions.

I am in negotiations on a Nice apartment, unable to thrive in Paris, and struggling with money and health issues in my 80’s. I get very scared. I like to think that this is a conversation that my Higher Self [I have named her “Helen”] has with this frightened little girl – Janet as she searches for her next mission in life. And I dedicate it to my next chapter – CHAPTER 11 – Return to Nice. Here it is.

“Yes.  You are strong enough to survive this.

I know it seems like your world is over and maybe you can’t find the light right now, but hang in there. 

I know your soul is weary and you feel like you can’t keep going, but don’t stop.

Your happiness may seem so far away, but it’s not as far as you might think.

Yes, the nights can be long and you don’t have any answers, but you don’t have to.

Breathe.

Take a moment and remember what all you’ve survived before now.

You’ve been through the fire and always found your way..your courage has been forged in the flames that tried to take you down.

Remember that- you’re a warrior who will continue to rise again.

It’s time to find your magic again and listen to your heart.

It knows the way, but you’ve gotten so weary that you’ve lost the path.

If you’ve lost faith in yourself and your strength is waning, know that you’re not alone.

You’re loved, you’re enough and I believe in you.

It’s always darkest before dawn and this is your time to start again.

Every end is a new beginning and your next chapter will be magical..

You just have to start believing in you like I do.

Like all the people in your life do.

I know you’re reading this and wondering how you’ll make it through this, I’m telling you..

You got this.

You are meant for more than to simply fizzle out like a dampened flicker of light.

You’re a wildfire capable of setting your soul and life on fire again.

Take my hand and let’s start climbing out of the darkness, day by day. [step by step]

I know you’ve been looking for a sign, something to believe in..

Well, this is it.  Today is your wake up call and this is where you start again- you’re strong enough and you’re worth it.  It won’t be easy and it won’t be fast, but it will change your life if you’re ready.  These words were meant for you.

Are you ready to start again?

Believe, darling..in you, your destiny and most of all, in that you are meant for more.

Beginning today..get up, step up and start remembering the magic and dreams you lost along the way.

Anything’s possible if you just believe..

And I believe in you.❤️

Credit for this belongs to:    https://houseofravenwolf.com/collections/ravenwolf-original-works

And now for some cartoons without commentary. You don’t have to “get it”.

And, one day, it just clicks…. I am realizing what’s important and what isn’t. I am learning to think more of me and just how far I have come. And I smile. I smile because I keep waking up in the morning . I smile because I am proud of myself and the person I have fought to become. On to Chapter 11. Bring it on.

Best, Jay

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THOUGHTS AND STUFF….

Whew, I have gone through A LOT this year! We ALL have.  While my stamina is impressive, the nonstop juggling of my life in the midst of an ongoing pandemic has left me with little energy left to care for myself! I am using a lot of time to search for encouraging life advice as I navigate my day-to-day. We are all worthy of comfort, love, and nurturance.  We deserve it.  We are worth it. 

So today, I am sharing a post that I like with you because I want to.  I am trying to change my thinking from negative to positive.  So far, it still defaults to negative. Haha. A work in progress.

But, also, today, I have been thinking about another matter a lot – PARIS.  I love Paris.  I have always loved Paris, the thought of Paris, the dream of living in Paris one day.  And now, I do – while I make plans to move back to Nice. I am here to tell you that living in Paris has been everything I thought it would be – wonderful food, wonderful people, interesting neighborhoods, gorgeous architecture, the Seine River, lots of trees, beautiful, interesting things everywhere. 

So, why am I leaving since I love Paris with all my heart? Because I am almost 85. And I need to be in a place that feels like home to live in my last years on earth – however long that may be. I thought I would return to the USA and be buried with Mother and Daddy. But that does not feel like home. And California is too expensive for me. Paris does not feel like home. Besides, it is outside my comfort zone financially. I have made my decision. Nice, it is. That feels like home. And France has excellent health care. I will admit that I am moving reluctantly. But, hopefully, moving while I still can.

I KNOW the weather is better for my body, and I KNOW the Sea is energizing to me. I KNOW good doctors, and so it is….unless I change my mind. It is not easy to get an apartment in Nice.

The French system is complicated, so is the system in the USA.  So I am still tending to myself, and I want to do that for several more years.  I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT LIES AHEAD!!!!  I am telling myself that will be fun.  WELLllllll, if I am going to keep on waking up in the mornings, I must get my mind to go with the flow.  So, this is the article that is helping me today.  Sorry, these are just practical considerations. So, if you find these too negative, stop reading. I simply want to keep you adequately informed. Haha!

So, I think that we can all agree that Paris is enchanting on multiple levels.

This is the article. I don’t know who wrote it. Sorry. I thought I had saved the person’s name. I didn’t. I hope he/she doesn’t mind that I am sharing it.

“WHY YOU ARE NOT TAKING ACTION
Know-how!!That’s it. It’s the number one reason we don’t take action. Your brain is telling you, you’re not good enough or don’t know enough. 
🦋 take a breathe🦋 let go of self-blame for one minute🦋 what does your heart say?
We have many, many to-dos. We don’t know how to do some of them or some of the steps within 
So then we spin – looping in thoughts, and we hesitate, procrastinate, and don’t do much – our dreams drying in a vine inside our heart like withered grape.


YOU GOT THIS!–“

When I was setting up my first email automation, it was arcane, they used jargon and the help info was like an alien language 🦄 — I had a friend show me twice! Yup! Twice. I read it and reread it until my brain picked up the lingo. And I JUST KEPT GOING until I got it. (I was a 4.0 student too, flew planes, and skipped ahead to more difficult classes – but email automation – my brain wanted to act confused and made it hard, 🤷‍♀️ so I just kept going – kept breaking it down into stupid simple steps)
ANS:🦋 Keep It Stupid Simple: start with one task, break down the steps, do the one you don’t know how to do first.
🗝 Whenever you don’t know – break it down into yet an even smaller step.
🦋 Give yourself plenty of time – this isn’t a math test – and you weren’t doing it at all before – so who cares how long it takes – your focus is simply to learn how,
🦋 reread the help section many times if needed – who cares – nope doesn’t mean you’re stupid – just learning – ask someone in the know – search online – repeat it once you learn it so you can remember next time.
🦋 Your brain needs to take a pass at it, to repeat things often up to 8 times before it becomes natural and sometimes more.
🌺 Don’t quit because your brain’s error messages make you feel dumb or not enough – none of that is remotely close to true.

You got this !!

Thanks for sharing some time with me.

Best, Jay

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THE SUNDAY FUNNIES – FROM PARIS, WITH LOVE

Do people still have a sense of humor? Both of my sons like to laugh. I sometimes question their sense of humor, but that’s my job. I am their mother. And I seldom believe their political beliefs. But that is true of how I feel about a lot of people. I love all of them anyway. I try to make it unconditional …. with conditions. (SIGH) So, in their honor ( “collateral damage that I am….), I am posting my version of the Sunday Funnies, without comment. Maybe. WELLllllll… Maybe a few comments. HAHA. First, some questions without disclosing what I believe…. (as though it won’t be obvious….)

Are Republicans overtly trying to undermine our democracy by voting against things that help a lot of people?

Will Californians ever realize how good they have it without living for a time in the South or middle America?

How do I love unconditionally people who hate what I love and/or love what I hate?

How do I accept and love my new state of being? What is that? you ask. [with edits from me]

“Don’t expect people to understand what you are going through, they can’t. A stroke (big or small) is so disabling and life-changing, it is impossible to understand unless experienced; only other stroke or TBI survivors will understand your struggles. Unfortunately, it is true with most unfortunate things happening in any person’s life. It is better to share your struggles with them than to get any sympathy or help you might need from people.” Are you “collateral damage”?

So, I am sharing my struggles and questions with you and sugar-coating them with “the funnies.” FYI, it is Paris Fashion Week. Thus the Gorgeous gown at the top.

Best, Jay P.S. Rough Seas make me seasick, and I don’t know how to sail. And I know the grass is greener for me in California and in France on the other side of the fence.

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GOODBYE, SEPTEMBER 2021. I LOVE YOU.

This is on my mind – LOTS. It is a glorious September day in Paris! I woke up!! After being sick all week AND tested, I am happy to report that I passed the test. I had taken two steps forward. This week I took four steps back. People were bowling – at least four that I know of. And each one yelled, “Strike!!!!” several times. I will admit that I got knocked down. I was wounded. But I still chose to get back up.

Damaged but not broken. I fell once. Oops. But I got myself back up, and I am still up. And, that fall did not break anything. And, I began healing, rediscovering myself, and starting over.

AND after much thought and consideration, these are some thoughts that I want to share with you. Get a coffee!!  This may take a while as I strive to move forward. . 

Two decisions: sell the piano; move back to Nice. I don’t know how yet.

I am basically a small-town Southern girl. I love cities. I love Atlanta. I love New York City. I love Chicago. I love Los Angeles. I love San Francisco. I love London. I love Paris most of all.

But I KNOW how to maneuver in a small town. (Three Sisters dreaming of going to Moscow – Chekhov) And, now in my golden years, I don’t have the money or skills to go where I want to go in this city. I waited too long. I wish I had come sooner. My friends here are having so much fun and I cannot do any of it. But again I digress…

Anyway, My Rule Book applies to small-town Southern girls in small towns where I was taught to “be a lady”. Don’t be tacky. This takes me to a wonderful post I am using with my own edits from Facebook, because I was told ALL of those things by my mother. She was a Victim begetting (my sisters and me) victims begetting (our children) victims and on and on in its petty pace through to the last syllable of recorded time.

Another important thing to think about in your copious free time (sigh) –

A writer named Camille Rainfield wrote this priceless piece, and I had ALL these things told to me: “Be a lady they said. Your skirt is too short. Don’t show so much skin. Don’t show your thighs. Don’t show your breasts. Don’t show your midriff. Don’t show your cleavage. Don’t show your underwear. Don’t show your shoulders. Cover up. Leave something to the imagination. Dress modestly. Don’t be a temptress. Men can’t control themselves.

Men have needs. You look frumpy. Loosen up. Show some skin. Look sexy. Look hot. Don’t be so provocative. You’re asking for it. Wear black. Wear heels. You’re too dressed up. You’re too dressed down. Don’t wear those sweatpants; you look like you’ve let yourself go. Your hemline is too short. Your hemline is too long.  Too high.  Too low. 

Be a lady they said. Don’t be too fat. Don’t be too thin. Don’t be too large. Don’t be too small. Eat up. Slim down. Stop eating so much. Don’t eat too fast. Order a salad. Don’t eat carbs. Skip dessert. You need to lose weight. Fit into that dress. Go on a diet. Watch what you eat. Eat celery. Chew gum. Drink lots of water. You have to fit into those jeans. God, you look like a skeleton. Why don’t you just eat? You look emaciated. You look sick. Eat a burger. Men like women with some meat on their bones. Be small. Be light. Be little. Be petite. Be feminine. Be a size zero. Be a double zero. Be nothing. Be less than nothing. 

Be a lady they said. Remove your body hair. Tan your skin. Lift your face. Tuck your tummy. Thin your thighs. Tone your calves. Perk up your boobs. Look natural. Be yourself. Be genuine. Be confident. You’re trying too hard. You look overdone. Men don’t like girls who try too hard.

Be a lady they said. Wear makeup. Prime your face. Conceal your blemishes. Contour your nose. Highlight your cheekbones. Line your lids. Fill in your brows. Lengthen your lashes. Color your lips. Powder, blush, bronze, highlight. Your hair is too short. Your hair is too long. Your ends are split. Highlight your hair. Your roots are showing. Dye your hair. Not blue, that looks unnatural. Look young. Look youthful. Look ageless. Don’t get old. Women don’t get old. Old is ugly. Men don’t like ugly.

Be a lady they said. Save yourself. Be pure. Be virginal. Don’t talk about sex. Don’t flirt. Don’t be a whore. Don’t sleep around. Don’t lose your dignity. Don’t have sex. Don’t give yourself away. Men don’t like sluts. Don’t be a prude. Don’t be so up tight. Have a little fun. Smile more. Pleasure men. Be experienced. Be sexual. Be innocent. Be dirty. Be virginal. Be sexy. Be the cool girl. Don’t be like the other girls.

Be a lady they said. Don’t talk too loud. Don’t talk too much. Don’t take up space. Don’t sit like that. Don’t stand like that. Don’t be intimidating. Why are you so miserable? Don’t be a bitch. Don’t be so bossy. Don’t be assertive. Don’t overact. Don’t be so emotional. Don’t cry. Don’t yell. Don’t swear. Be passive. Be obedient. Endure the pain. Be pleasing. Don’t complain. Let him down easy. Boost his ego. Make him fall for you. Men want what they can’t have. Don’t give yourself away. Make him work for it. Men love the chase. Fold his clothes. Cook his dinner. Keep him happy. That’s a woman’s job. You’ll make a good wife some day. Take his last name. You hyphenated your name? Crazy feminist. Give him children. You don’t want children? You will some day. You’ll change your mind.

Be a lady they said. Don’t get raped. Protect yourself. Don’t drink too much. Don’t walk alone. Don’t go out too late. Don’t dress like that. Don’t show too much. Don’t get drunk. Have a buddy. Walk where it is well lit. Stay in the safe neighborhoods. Tell someone where you’re going. Bring pepper spray. Buy a rape whistle. Hold your keys like a weapon. Check your trunk. Lock your doors. Don’t go out alone. Don’t make eye contact. Don’t bat your eyelashes. Don’t look easy. Don’t attract attention. Don’t crack dirty jokes. Don’t smile at strangers. Don’t go out at night. Don’t trust anyone. Don’t say yes. Don’t say no. Just “be a lady” they said. -Camille Rainville (my edits)

As a result, I had four marriages in which I was a “lady” throughout! My mother did not say all of that but she said a lot. You get the point. But, I digress……

So, after being knocked down, I did what all good Southern girls do, I immediately took offense and looked around at whom I could blame – according to the Rule Book. BUT, after a lot of thought and reading, I came to these conclusions with an unknown author’s help and my customized edits:

What does “take offence” really mean?  According to the Collins dictionary it means:  “If someone takes offence at something you say or do, they feel upset, often unnecessarily, because they think you are being rude to them.

So it means the person feels the other person is being mean or betrayed them … but what if they weren’t? What if there was no malicious intent at all and the perception of betrayal or insult was entirely in the receiving person’s mind? Is it still offensive? What if a group of people felt that person was being betrayed? Does that make it offensive? Is it a democratic majority rules type of situation, even though other people do not take offense at it?   What about the super-sensitive Southern girls who feel offended by everything? Even gossip?  Does that make everything offensive? Who is right? The person who said or did something who had no intent of malice or the person who received it and took offence? Probably both are right in their own mind because perception is reality as they say, according to the Rule Book.  But can we be expected to be aware of everyone’s sensitivities and personal perception? No we can’t in reality as we cannot read their mind. 

So who is responsible for your taking offence? 

I AM! It’s actually MY choice to take offence. Just like it is a choice to get up after being knocked down. And the most emotionally intelligent response to that is to question MYself and why it upset ME? Did it trigger something for me that I am very conscious of or sensitive about? 

When I have and behave with emotional intelligence, I step away from my ego and ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY for my own feelings and responses. That means that rather than taking offence at something I will question my response to it to better understand myself. I might also look a bit deeper at the person it came from and question his/her intention in saying or doing what he/she did. What might be going on for him/her so I can understand them better too. I don’t want to leave myself open to being manipulated by others and take four steps backwards with fuzzy thinking. And the Small-Town Southern Girl’s Rule Book is being updated to 2021. First update – BREAK THE RULES.

Maybe we were not meant to be lifted up by our family, maybe that was all part of the plan. We were supposed to be abused, emotionally traumatized, and hurt. Life is Duality, it’s good and bad, and right and wrong, and black and white, light, and dark, so as we try to forge forth into a new day and a better way, we become conscious of the fact that our future is truly in our hands, our actions, and our belief of a better tomorrow. As adults, we can change, heal, and unlearn.We have the power right now to understand, to understand that what we went through was necessary for our awakening; For our realization that I’m not gonna take this anymore, I deserve happiness, and I deserve to do what’s right for me and not be defined by something that was not my fault, or that I had no control over. Victims begetting victims begetting victims ……..to the last syllable of recorded time.

In conclusion, as I struggle to regain my forward momentum.

Hopi Indian Chief White Eagle commented a few days ago on the current situation: ′′ This moment humanity is experiencing can be seen as a door or a hole. The decision to fall in the hole or walk through the door is up to you. If you consume the news 24 hours a day, with negative energy, constantly nervous, with pessimism, you will fall into this hole.

But if you take the opportunity to look at yourself, to rethink life and death, to take care of yourself and others, then you will walk through the portal. Take care of your home, take care of your body. Connect with your spiritual home. When you take care of yourself, you take care of everyone at the same time. Do not underestimate the spiritual dimension of this crisis. Take the perspective of an eagle that sees everything from above with a broader view. There is a social question in this crisis, but also a spiritual question. The two go hand in hand. Without the social dimension we fall into fanaticism. Without the spiritual dimension, we fall into pessimism and futility. Are you ready to face this crisis. Grab your toolbox and use all the tools at your disposal.

Learn resistance from the example of Indian and African peoples: we have been and are exterminated. But we never stopped singing, dancing, lighting a fire and rejoicing. Don’t feel guilty for feeling blessed in these troubled times. Being sad or angry doesn’t help at all. Resistance is resistance through joy!

You have the right to be strong and positive. And there’s no other way to do it than to maintain a beautiful, happy, bright posture. Has nothing to do with alienation (ignorance of the world). It’s a resistance strategy. When we cross the threshold, we have a new worldview because we faced our fears and difficulties. This is all you can do now:

– Serenity in the storm

– Keep calm, pray everyday

– Make a habit of meeting the sacred everyday.

Show resistance through art, joy, trust and love.

  • Hopi Indian Chief White Eagle

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!! This week, I threw away 8 of my personal Journals. I am letting go!! So, producers who want to buy my life rights to write my interesting life story, I am open to negotiations. My memories are still sharp as a tack.

Best, Jay

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