This is Friendship

I’ve had many jobs over the years and have made friendships along the way. Very fortunate to have come across some amazing people in my time and with social media, we all have a place to keep in touch and keep each other posted on what’s going on…

While no two friendships are alike… some will fall naturally into the “see each other when you see each other” and it’s lovely. Then some, you genuinely make an effort toward seeing and then there are those who become family.

One such friend, who falls into the last group, recently lost a family member. She lives a couple hours from me so our visits have become yearly and sometimes, even less. We try to catch up on the phone a few times a year but life happens and sometimes we go longer than we should.

Well, randomly, last week, I couldn’t stop thinking about this friend of mine, who again, I haven’t seen or spoken to in many months. I even thought I saw her. So I texted her a simple “Hey, I miss you.” Lo and behold, she texted me back expressing the pain she was in from the death of a loved one, that just happened.

I said, I’m coming to you. Give me a day and time.

And though we hadn’t seen each other in two years or even chatted in almost a year, we fell immediately into sync and didn’t stop talking for four hours.

Our faces have aged a bit and gone is the 20-year-old invincible attitude, but in their place, is understanding, history and love.

Many years ago, this friend could have walked away from me. I would have if I were in her shoes, considering the selfish way in which I’d conducted myself at the time…

But instead, she loved me more.

“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.”

-Henry David Thoreau

 

 

A Beginning

I know I’ve been writing a lot about children lately… Perhaps it’s because they’re the only ones leaving a good impression on me in recent times…

The world has been shook, that’s for sure. And how the pieces fall in that wake will leave many consequences to come.

Philosophically speaking, we must ask ourselves “What world are we leaving future generations? And more specifically, speaking of where I live, what is the America to come?”

Pandemics disrupt. It’s what they do. But rather than bring people together, it has created an even greater chasm between those of differing opinions and since everyone thinks they are right, how will any meaningful change occur that isn’t politicized to death?

So, I want to pose a BIG beginning solution…

What if, instead of caring about what side of the political team you’re on, consider being on team humanity? And from that premise, perhaps then, we can begin to discuss how to deal with this pandemic and move forward toward individual prosperity rather than our standard of government/big business crony capitalism political BS.

With movements such as #blacklivesmatter and #metoo, people who have been disenfranchised are finding their voice and starting to be heard. There is tremendous power in understanding each other… and that’s where I think we need to begin because differences will always exist, and that’s a fact.

And children. Oh, let us learn from them!

The other day, I was hanging with my 8 & 10 year old nephews. We decided to do movie day but both of them wanted to watch something differently. As Aunt, I said, okay, I’ll write the name of both movies on slips of paper and we’ll randomly select. Knowing I was playing with fire since one of them would not get the movie they wanted, I hoped they would see that both options could work but a decision had to be made fairly.

Well, I was in for a surprise.

The 8 year old won. His choice was “Godzilla” while his brother wanted to watch “StarDog & TurboCat.” I watched the “one who got his choice” eye his older sibling, noticing the disappointment in his brother’s face. A moment later, the 8 year old  suddenly said, “No, it’s okay, Aunt Tina. Let’s watch StarDog.”

Both myself and the 10 year old snapped our heads toward him and said, “Really?” “Are you serious?” To which this beautiful child said, “Yeah, it’s okay. It will be a fun movie too.”

Moral of the story… Even if you get your way, it’s not always the best choice to make.

 

 

 

 

Music as Memory

Sunday funday… wait, what day is it? Oh yeah, it’s Sunday… phew

Here in Los Angeles, we’re on this permanent lockdown of sorts, so pardon me…

But yes, let’s return to Sunday Funday even though days of the week don’t matter that much to me right now…

Anywho, my husband and I are preparing to BBQ so randomly, I decided to listen to some music I used to listen to ALL THE TIME, and when I say all the time, I mean it. My iPod was permanently attached to my ears from ages 25-28, which would explain my hearing loss but I digress.

Music was everything to me then. I was single, living alone and working my ass off in post production and filmmaking. I had little time for anything else but music was my constant. And listening now to some of those songs that comforted me then, ones I listened to on repeat like Death Cab For Cutie’s “Transatlanticism” or “Fool on the Hill” by the Beatles or “Goodbye to Romance” by Ozzy or any LCD Soundsystem album, is like a blast to the past.

Music is a time capsule unlike any other.

I flashed to the walks I would take to the bank and having an answering/fax machine or printing directions when I was going far… it all came crashing back and it was a wave of love… love of another time, another way of living, a younger me who I think would be proud of the 42 year-old-me, though if I told her about this pandemic and Donald Trump was president, she would have laughed like I was crazy…

And speaking of crazy, music is a God send, no? Pardon me as I go listen to Flaming Lips “Do you realize??” and remember Silver Lake days of indie rock music, Barefoot wine and MNRC – Monday Night Record Club.

 

The Good Part #coronavirus

Damn. These days, going on social media, reading the news, checking reddit… it’s easy to see the world is on fire right on and I don’t just mean from the Covid spread. I mean the amount of information being disseminated in favor of one’s POV and agenda and the vitriol that comes along with it.

People are speaking as though they are God. Individuals are battling each other over moral beliefs – where there is never a winner – and I’m reading comments like “If you like Trump, you can go drown in a sea of shark infested waters” and “If you don’t wear a mask, I hope you get the coronavirus and die a horrible death” – what the hell is happening to people???

Well, I’ve decided to focus on some good things to come from this world pandemic and I’d like to share them with you, if like myself, you’re over the moralistic agendas of ill-informed individuals trying desperately to get you to agree they are right. I’d like the facts and nothing but, thank you. So here are some facts:

In my apartment building of twelve units, a three year-old girl was celebrating her birthday without her friends and family. Her mother let us know and one by one, all us neighbors began to put cards, gifts, notes, well-wishes on her door and windows, and we came to find out the sweet child had one of her best days ever!

As I bike along the part of the road that is allowed for doing so by the Pacific Ocean (I live three blocks from it) I see signs in the windows of homes that promote positive messages to their community: “Stay Strong” “We’re In This Together” “Love” “Honk And We’ll Drink” :) One window had a teddy bear in it, near a child’s drawing of a rainbow and heart. 

John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” – did you see the cast of the Office dance?? There’s a little something for everyone here and it’s all positive.

On a walk, I see multiple sidewalk murals created from chalk, offering complimentary art to all who walk by. 

More to come…

But in the meantime, I’d love to know what positive things you’ve seen come from the strange times we now find ourselves in?

 

Sunday Meditations… We have an opportunity here… #coronavirus

First off, thank you to those who are working their assess off so the rest of us can remain healthy and safe. YOU – those in healthcare, emergency services, grocery and delivery – ARE the REAL HEROES in this scenario – not the government. THANK YOU SO MUCH

That said, I’ve been thinking about the opportunity that we as individuals, citizens of all nations, have been given because of this virus.

Yes, the virus is killing people but….

it’s allowed the world to breath.

THE WORLD.

Do you understand what that means? Because I can barely grasp the significance myself at first thought…

Animals are returning to their natural habit… smog is clearing and here in Los Angeles, it’s downright gorgeous (that’s where I live.. tell me about where you live please!) Dolphins are abundant here, before yes, but now so are whales, right by our pacific coastline.

And then priorities… how have they shifted? Family and loved ones are the top while careers are put on pause. It makes you think about how you spent your time before…

What will happen when the virus is vaccinated and people try to live on? The world will be different from here on out, no matter who or what you believe, but what’s important is how different YOU are when this is over… at least, that’s what I’m thinking for myself.

Because I’ve changed.

Already.

Have you?

And despite the understandable financial struggle, I’ve watched nature live without much interference by man and that has paid me plentiful.

And now, I wonder…

Can we can rise from this, better than ever before, knowing now what’s truly important….

Things or People?

Truth or Money?

#coronavirus #thechoiceisours

Love IS The Answer

The mass shooting of the LGBTQ community in Orlando, Florida, is deeply disturbing but it’s also indicative of the world we live in.

There can be no such thing as a utopia until there is no hate in the world and speaking realistically, is that ever possible when man has the choice to be both good and evil?

I don’t think so. Man is imperfect and we must deal with that.

The knee-jerk reaction is to take away guns, impose mass restrictions and preach love. But seriously, what good is that going to do? People who want to kill will find a way (the black market is probably better than the legal market) and hate does not listen to restrictions or preaching.

I think it’s fair to say that more often than not these horrific, senseless shootings are done out of anger and misguided religious beliefs. When one hears Christians claiming homosexuality is wrong simply because they believe it so and despite all evidence contrary, it’s enough to make you pull out your hair. When Muslims take their own lives ALONG WITH OTHERS in the name of their Koran, we try to fight fire with fire. When Scientologist’s force family members to shun their “non-believing” family members, one wonders how anyone can do that.

But religion is belief and there is no arguing with it as it is not rooted in fact.

Personally, I’m agnostic. But I can’t imagine any God wanting someone to hurt another simply because they’re different.

Why are people so fearful of differences?

Why can’t we all live together in peace?

What were those club-goers doing that made this killer so angry? Why are so many people so angry at others who disagree with them but cause them no injury?

Why are so many people unhappy?

Perhaps if we stopped paying attention to pop culture and turned to philosophy, we could start to learn how to live together in peace….

This is a people problem, not a regulation problem.

#loveistheanswer #natureisreligion

 

25 Days of Spreading Love – A countdown to Christmas: Dec. 18

For the original idea, please go here.

7 Days till Christmas – spreading love by volunteering

My husband and I wanted to volunteer our time this holiday season to help those who are less fortunate.

In Santa Monica, there is a wonderful organization called One Voice LA. They help families at poverty level within our local communities. Every year they do a Holiday Food Program. Children receive toys and books and adults receive an overflowing basket of food. Tonight, my husband and I were two of the many volunteers it takes to make this happen. Along with people of all ages and cultures, we filled boxes full of food and then helped load them onto trucks. People from all walks of life, varying in ages and races, got to work tonight.

This is a four-day event and there are two more days left. Perhaps if you are in the area, you might consider volunteering as well. Information can be found here.

A beautiful part of humanity is the fact that we are all in this together.

The older I get, the more I realize, the holiday spirit is one of family, gratitude and philanthropy.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
– Aesop

Spread the love. #spreadthelove

 

The Living

I’ve been struggling lately with something. I don’t think I’m looking for it. I know I hate it. And yet, it seems to be everywhere and all I want to do is call it out for what it is.

Bullshit.

Pardon my language but “nonsense” is just not strong enough a word. I’m talking about the real deal. The meaningless crap that sucks one’s life away. The people who talk the talk but walk a very different walk. The actions of most Republicans and Democrats in office.

It’s all been driving me a bit mad, lately. As though my bullshit meter got turned to high alert… so how to stop it from making me absolutely miserable?

Recently, my sister recommended the show “The Walking Dead” to me. At first I said, “nah, I’m not into zombie stuff,” but then she proceeded to tell me about how the story wasn’t all about that but actually more about the living, the humans who survived. Now, that intrigued me. So I watched the first episode and haven’t been able to stop. It poses and explores all kinds of deep questions about survival and humanity. It’s complete mind candy.

And lo and behold, I think it’s helped with my struggle about dealing with bullshit.

As I watched this story unfold about survival, I realized that life IS a struggle, zombies or no zombies, and it’s ALL about how we deal with that struggle.

I will never be able to stop all the bullshit out there but I can learn to live in a world in which it exists because the bottom line is, it does. Life is imperfect. It’s a struggle. There are evil forces out there. I can let that fact make me miserable or I can choose otherwise. It’s up to me to decide what to focus on. Like the characters on the show demonstrate, living isn’t simple and it isn’t black and white. It’s gray and all sorts of messy. But what it ultimately comes down to, at its very core, is how we treat ourselves and others.

Difference of Opinion

Lately, I’ve been thinking a bit about difference of opinions.

Being someone who has no problem with expressing my beliefs, I find I often anger others if they don’t agree with me or I don’t agree with them but I don’t understand why anyone would waste time and energy on being angry or indignant if I’m not forcing anything upon them. Beliefs run strong and that is a wonderful part of being human but I find that rather than use reason in dealing with difference of opinions, anger and/or resentment is often the choice of the majority.

But how are difference of opinions anything to get angry about? Now, if something is forced upon someone, then by all means, one must fight for their beliefs but if not, is it not beneficial to hear difference of opinions? I find they will either change one’s beliefs through the processing of new information or reinforce your beliefs and either way, one grows as a human, do they not?

And how exactly is this a bad thing??

Fortunately, I’ve been raised to think for myself and understand not everyone has to think like me. Also, I personally believe that it’s best to teach through example rather than through anger, bitterness or comment. So the best I can do is be who I am, live my beliefs and work for them and treat others in the manner that I would like to be treated, (granted they are not imposing any force upon me.) But, as mentioned above, not everyone thinks like me and so I am continually saddened to see all the name calling, the insults, the mightier-than-thou attitude, the disrespect, the intolerance and the blatant disregard for difference of opinions that is seemingly everywhere, from Facebook statuses to the President of the United State’s speeches.

Speaking of which, a very important election is coming up in a few months here in America and I’m noticing many people are treating others who disagree with them with a level of contempt that befits Hitler.

While we may not all get along, can we not treat one another with respect rather than contempt if one has a difference of opinion other than our own?

I’ve found teaching is best done by example, so perhaps if more people thought about the way they acted, difference of opinions wouldn’t be so hard to deal with…

That’s my opinion and it’s okay if you disagree :) But I’d love to hear why though…

It is what it is.

There are some things in life one has control over. And then there are some things one doesn’t and you just have to say, it is what it is.

For example, I have a pretty bad case of OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. Not the typical one that most have, like those who need to check if their oven is off before they leave the house or have their alarm clock set to an odd number (and I do both by the way) but rather the one that makes someone go a little extreme and need medicine to alter the chemical imbalance. I fought it for many years and tried desperately to fix it on my own but then, when it reached its worse, I realized it’s part of my brain makeup and once I finally accepted that, I sought help and have done a pretty good job of correcting it, as much as I can but…

It is what it is.

There are things about all of us that we wish were otherwise. Some people are short and wish they were taller. Some people are born with defects and wish they weren’t. Some people get cancer and have to deal with the truth of it. Some people mess up and suffer severe consequences because of it and then think, if only… But when something is permanent, it is what it is, and one must deal.

While we live in reality, sometimes it’s easier to pretend things aren’t what they are or try to deny something that one doesn’t want. My favorite line in any film is “Never underestimate the power of denial” – American Beauty. But I choose to try really hard to live in the here and now and in reality. Many times, it’s not the easiest or funnest, but I know inside it’s the right thing for me to do.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking lately about the fact that there are things about me that just are. Things I cannot change.  And when others have problems with one of these things, well… my attention gets drawn to it and I have to accept all over again that some things are beyond my control. And I like to be in control.

But then… I think…

Yes. It is what it is. Nothing is perfect. And what’s so wrong with that?