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.

 

 

 

 

We, Adults, Have A Lot To Learn

Anyone else about to deactivate all their social media platforms because of the amount of vitriol, ignorance, sanctimonious crap that people keep projecting?

I am 42 and I have never seen America more divisive and nasty.

Here’s the thing, we can research and make informed opinions, but unless you’re an expert in the field you are discussing, should you really be speaking from a place of 100% knowledge? And then, to build on that, why pick on those who disagree with you? Do you really think THAT is the way to bring change?

I think what’s happening here, if I may, is there is an abundance of misdirected anger, wrath, unhappiness within oneself, and it has found its outlet.

THE CORONAVIRUS.

Yes, this virus is very real. But why is the pandemic bringing us apart rather than bringing us together?

If I may pose a theory,  expanding on what I wrote above, is that people are unhappy but rather than seek comfort in humanity, they shun it. They pick the worst and highlight that. They seek the ones who disagree to pick fights, so they can feel “better”, and rather than learn and grow, regression is at an all time high.

It’s not cause I’m saying so… just look around you.

Clearly, it’s much more difficult to understand people who are different than us than it is to seek comfort in those who agree with you, so the latter is the favorite. But no population will ever think the same and while that is a great thing, it also causes chaos.

Welcome to humanity.

Look, I don’t have the answer to give to end this all, but I will offer this true story as a beginning to finding the answer:

I was reading a book at a hotel pool. There were two children playing in the water – maybe ages 10 (girl) and 7 (boy) – along with their grandmother. When a family entered the pool area, the girl saw there were two boys coming in – one in their age group, one a bit younger. And so, she turned to her brother and said, “Look, we can make friends!”

 

Saying Goodbye When It’s Time

I said goodbye to a friend this week. And no, before you think the worst, no one died. Only the realization that two people should not put each other through trouble anymore. When expectations of what being a friend means differs tremendously between two people, it’s time to end the pain.

And that’s okay.

Full disclosure, a regular question to me over years would go like this –  “She’s doesn’t seem that happy with you. Why are you friends exactly?”

While differences can be part of the fun, if those differences cause someone pain, well, time to cut the cord, no? It’s okay not to be friends with everyone.

I mean, come on… different strokes for different folks.

It’s quality. Not quantity.

Friends compliment life. And when necessary, they challenge you. But if they try to make you something you are not, to fulfill their needs, then… is that friendship? What’s worse is if they try to make you feel bad, over and over again, for being yourself, then it’s clear they’re not happy with you as a friend and again, why are we friends exactly?

Not easy, though. Especially when dealing with human emotions.

But I’ve learned over the years that friendship is whatever a pair defines it to be. I have been blessed with dear friends I’ve retained since my teens. And while we may go a year without talking, we know we care about each other as life moves swiftly and we go in different directions.

Friendship is what you make of it. If both people really want to be in it.

“Real friends were the kind where you pick up where you’d left off, whether it be a week since you’d seen each other or two years.”

 Jojo Moyes, One Plus One: A Novel

 

 

 

 

 

My Little Buddy In The Age Of The Coronavirus

Having been laid off from my job while the world pauses, I’ve found some extra time on my hands. And in an effort to help my family, I’ve begun to aid in the homeschooling of my eight-year-old nephew.

Now, my nephew and I were already close. I’ve been watching him since practically the day he was born and over the years, we’ve developed a special bond. When I enter my brother’s home, my nephew is the first to great me with a huge smile and a loud, “Hi Aunt Tina! Come play!” or “Hi Aunt Tina! Come look at this!”

And while I am 42 years old, there is a young 10-year-old girl in me who loves to play and have fun. Seriously. I’m a champ at Nerf gun battles, hide ‘n find (a take off from the original hide ‘n seek, which my nephews and I made up,) coloring, board games (especially Battleship!) and soon, if my nephews have it their way, video games.

But back to the beginning. I’ve been helping homeschool. And I must say, TEACHERS, YOU ARE GODS. Thank you soooooooooooooooo much for what you do. You help the future way more than any Congressman/woman and should be paid accordingly. And they patience you must have! I am in awe.

So, yeah. I’ve been helping with homeschool and also babysitting more than normal and because of this, an 8 year old has become my new little buddy.

When I told him he could call me whenever he wanted, I began to wake up to text and phone messages asking if I wanted to play Roblox remotely – me on my phone, him at his home while we chat over FaceTime. He made sure to install it on my phone on a visit  and then proceeded to give me a tutorial. When I struggled, he said, “Aunt Tina, do you know what patience is?” I smiled and said, “Yes, I do” to which he replied, “Well, then you just have to have it.”

Words of wisdom right there.

When we finish our school lessons, he asks how much time I can stay to hang out. We are currently watching the first season of Clone Wars, which is very well done btw, and also love to go outside and plant flowers in the backyard and fill our bird house with birdseed and more. His smile brightens my day.

And the last time I was with him, I was doing laundry and he opted to stop playing and join me, just to chat. He told me about his best friend at school and how they get in trouble and the big spider he saw the other day in the backyard, that had hair!

I will miss these days when all goes back to “normal” but I’m happy to know enough to cherish them as they are happening.

To see a big smile on an eight year old’s face is to witness real happiness.

To receive a hug from a child without asking for one is to know real affection.

To make a child happy and comfortable by embracing who they are is to teach real confidence.

To have a child call upon you because they consider you important is to understand the essential.

And to wake up to a phone message from your nephew asking where you are and if you want to come over and you alter your day to do so is to experience real love.

Thank you Fair Bear (my nickname for him,) for all you are and all you teach.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Wonders… 5 Ways We Are Changing For The Better From The Coronavirus…

My past few posts have been a bit depressing so I thought for this one I’d write about the ways I am seeing the world change for the better, due to the pandemic at hand.

Sure, we could argue till we’re blue in the face about how this all started, how governments are responding, how people are acting, but seriously, what good would arguing do?

“Love is saying ‘I feel differently’ instead of ‘You’re wrong.’” – Unknown

And as someone who loves difference of opinions because it’s the best way to learn, I am going to ignore that noise and focus instead on some good things I’ve noticed come out of the #coronavirus and well, that’s something to shine a spotlight on, isn’t it?

5 Ways we are changing for the better

We’re so damn clean.
Anyone else notice how sanitized people and things are getting? I mean, how can that be a bad thing? Hand washing and covering your mouth when you sneeze and not breathing on top of people… all wonderful traits that are getting instilled in people as they become routine.

The pause leads to thought.
In a weird way, the world is pausing. The wheels have largely stopped and because of that, what was once the norm is now anything but. We’ve been forced to find a new norm with stay-at-home orders and loss of employment among other things. But with these new limitations, we are led right to an important aspect of our life. Our HOME. If it’s your temple, you’ll take comfort in your design. But if on the flip side, you don’t like what you find, well… isn’t that in itself a gift because now, you see it as it is and can do something about it? When one is busy, it’s way too easy to ignore important things.

We’re learning what’s essential.
By definition, essential means what is absolutely necessary. And we are learning what that is! In a world filled of an abundance of distraction, eye candy and material goods, this lesson is not one to be taken for granted. It’s a gift to be able to stop, see what one really needs, and then progress from there to form a healthier state of being. And isn’t it interesting to find out what you do really need, when all bling and glitz and distraction is removed?

Gaining awareness of what teacher’s do and how grossly underpaid they are.
Full disclosure, I have no children by choice. But I am seeing those who do have children, are getting a big taste of what teachers actually do and how incredibly challenging it is to teach children. Perhaps now people will think about where state money should go (not with words, but with actual action and legislation) as the importance of this position has been elevated and revealed for all to witness. Education does not have pharmaceutical lobbyists but imagine if it did….

Letting nature breathe.
Sadly, it had to be forced upon us by a global virus, but a ray of light through this storm is the fact nature has been allowed to do as she would without our massive intervention. The environment is not infinite, despite what the 1980s/90s thought. And allowing it a chance to reset, enjoy itself without our intrusion and just breathe a sigh of relief to be allowed to do so, is perhaps the very best gift this pandemic has given us. Has given the world. And well, that’s pretty damn good.

What positive observations have you observed? #coronavirus

 

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

Tuesday Thinking… Where We Are At #Coronavirus

I’ve been thinking a lot about where the world is at. Face masks. Self-Isolation. Quarantine. (there is a difference!) Social Distancing. Non-essential businesses closing to stop the spread. The spread of something that started with an animal in China. And what do we learn? So little… And what comes… the typical bashing of Trump (ignoring what Congress is doing,) being angry at China and going to the extremes based on emotion rather than logic.

Perhaps this will be controversial to say but someone has to say it:

The government is the problem.

Yes, it’s easy to say Trump should have done this, China should have done that… but if you study the past fifty or so years, the timeline builds to this. Capitalism never having a chance with corporate welfare and insane backhanded deals. Congress making loads off the people, not only through their insider knowledge (which they declared was okay to have… of course they did!) but with making sure their lobbyists and those with money were set BEFORE the people.

This is simply a consequence revealing itself in times of distress… Remember what happened when the banks/stock market screwed themselves? The government to the rescue! Man… it could have gone such another way in America.

Sigh.

But… I do believe the virus is targeting those who allowed this… think about it. Children are barely affected…. THANK GOD, BUDDHA, ALLAH, etc….

I know this is a time of pandemic. But one has to ask… if we truly had a government of the people, by the people, would we have come to this? And why is the wealth so concentrated among BIG BUSINESS and GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS? Will it take this devastation to return to our constitution…? To a government meant for the people, not the elites who declared themselves so?

And if that is the case, could that be the silver lining in all of this?

 

Lessons from time spent with my 90 year old Nonna

When my mother called to ask if I would join her on a trip to visit my 90 year-old grandmother, without hesitation, I said yes and began to look forward to it.

Growing up on the east coast, I spent quality time with my Nonna but when my immediate family moved to Los Angeles when I was ten, our visits were not as often but were still filled with quality time whenever we saw each other, which was yearly. As she aged, my Nonna could no longer travel to us but I could still travel to her and have managed to get out to NY on average once every two to three years. Distance is an obstacle but I believe time spent with others is not about quantity but rather quality.

As I wait for my plane to board to return home, I’m reflecting on the past four days I’ve spent with my Nonna and how amazing it was to be around this lively ninety year-old Sicilian woman. And I learned a few things I’d like to share…

  • Age is but a number and does not define a person.
  • Being in the moment can be just sitting there, in a person’s presence.
  • See things for yourself before you form an opinion, regardless of what others tell you.
  • Love keeps you young and alive. Bottom line.
  • Family is a window to look into to help understand yourself.
  • Letting others be who they are is perhaps the best thing you can do for someone you love.
  • Making a 90 year-old laugh is one of the greatest joys I’ve experienced.

I wish so bad I could just take her home with me and let her breath the Pacific Ocean mist for her remaining days (though I think she has a looooooonnnng time to go!) but alas, that is likely not to happen as she told me she can’t travel and the rest of my family are there with her…

“In ever conceivable manner, the family is the link to our past, bridge to our future.”
– Alex Haley, author

 

 

Change Change Change

I’ve been thinking a lot about change and wrote a piece about it on Hubpages.

Please find the link below…

“Why is change so hard?

 

As I’ve been talking about here on my blog for quite a while, it’s time for me to make some changes, from less wine to more exercise, and though I have definitely started this journey, the time to focus and kick it up a notch is NOW.

Stay tuned…

Am I an asshole?

I need a lot of alone time.

Definitely more than the average person and probably even more than the person who thinks they need a lot of alone time. Ask anyone who has lived with me, dated me or well, tried to get to know me.

I’m not saying this as some badge of honor. Oh no. It’s a problem and I know that.

But it’s me.

I like to spend time alone. I need it. As weird as it sounds, I’m still getting to know myself and without time alone, I don’t feel entirely free to do that.

Is this different from others? Or am I just more vocal about it? I seriously don’t know but hell, I’m coming clean on my blog right now.

I need a lot of alone time.

Do you?

Someone once said that if you can’t spend time alone, than you’re hiding something from yourself. Wait… Is that just a thought I had from all my philosophy study? I seriously don’t know. But I struggle with original thought when I study from the masters. Are we not to build upon them though?

I digress….

I need a lot of alone time.

But what do you do when that need hurts those you love?

Which side do you fulfill…?

Pause for a moment.

Today, I was talking to my father. Not about this. Not at all literally BUT in the conversation we were having, he asked something about living in reality….

And I was struck!

(Not the first time my father said a statement seemingly simple and yet, so therapeutic….)

Have I adapted to the fact that I am no longer living as one? Married, you are living as two. Individuals, yes. But choices no longer are your own because of the commitment you’ve made to another individual…

What then, if you need alone time?

Is that selfish?

Are you an asshole?

What say you?