Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Closet Politician

I think I must be a closet politician. Why you ask? Last night I had a dream where I left my home and went to a crowded public place similar to an open air mall, and started giving a loud speech as to why everyone listening should vote a certain way. Of the little I recall, it seems to me that I was telling them why they should vote for me, what my platform was along with the reasons my views were a step up from the rest of the campaigning crowd! Talk about a nightmare!

Sherry and I both believe strongly that the United States of America has a solid foundation for voting rights. Sure it has a few kinks that could and should be worked out, but as citizens we are allowed to vote for whomever we wish, even though every vote you make is not without pressure. There is no campaigning, known as electioneering, within 100 feet of any polling place here in Colorado. Nonetheless you are inundated with signs and supporters along your route if you choose to vote in person. One of the reasons we choose the mail-in ballot.

Social Media is loaded with ads and personal opinions, along with the occasional friend who threatens to unfriend you if you support certain platforms or politicians. As our friend, please feel free to disagree in a polite, well-thought out, fact driven comment. You just might be able to change our opinion. Or better yet, hide the offending post and move on to our funnier stuff. The agree to disagree philosophy is an important part of our culture.

The deluge continues if you turn on the television or radio. We’d guess that there is a 50/50 chance that everything in these ads is actual fact and not just someone’s manipulation of the facts. That’s okay, we’ve been known to embellish a good story too. Just give the American public credit for knowing the difference.

The point is what used to be a few months of campaigning and all the accompanying rhetoric became an election year and now a minimum of one and half to two years of lead-ins, speculation and generalizations. Every candidate promises at the beginning of their run to avoid attacking other candidates and then the caucuses arrive….

Forget debates, we all know politicians like to argue, if there was that much arguing in our families, there’d be a whole lot of time-outs going on. Media misinformation, in a family situation would be called lying, at home this would have brought on a punishment reminiscent of the scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphie ended up with a very clean mouth. Baiting by commentators and reporters is bullying. And bullying is unacceptable in any other arena.

All of the above  is why even if I am a closet politician, you would never see me campaigning.

You will find us sitting at a cafe somewhere sipping wine, water, coffee, whatever the discussion calls for (and sometimes that’s whiskey!) debating the relative (and I use the term lightly) merits of each candidate. We freely admit that usually ends in laughter and a diversion to a completely different subject. We prefer to focus on the positive and bring joy into the world.

Here’s to a happy life!

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MaryBeth & Sherry  🌟

Featured image – courtesy fo clipartbest.com

 

For Love of Family

We’ve reached that phase where life starts to come full circle. Whereas you used to take your children to your parents for baby-sitting now they bring their children to you. And just like you did, they give you instructions on how to care for your grandbabies. It doesn’t matter than you managed to raise them pretty darn good, their way is the formula you must follow now, or at least until your children are out of earshot!

The first time we watched our granddaughter, my step-son gave us very clear instructions. We were to hold her on our shoulder and walk continuously as this is what she preferred. If on the off-chance she fell asleep, we could sit, but under no circumstances were we to allow her to see or hear the TV. (Boy, did she have them trained!)

Now we have 2!

Now there are 2!

We willingly obliged, right up until their car pulled out of the driveway. Then we sat, talked and cooed to this wondrous little doll until she fell asleep in Papa’s lap. At that point we turned on the TV, relaxed and watched. Naturally, as soon as we heard the doorbell ring, signaling her parents return, we shut off the TV, arranged that precious bundle on a shoulder, walking to the front door as if we’d been walking for hours.

Precious little fairies

Precious little fairies

Another sign of life’s circles is to us the tougher one. The caring for aging parents. I helped care for my Dad for 7 years before he passed. This journey is at time frustrating and unwelcome, other times it’s laughter and joy. At all times, for us, it is an act of love. Caring for aging parents can seem like a labyrinth for which there is no exit and a new surprise at every turn.

dad wave

Often, there is anger from your parent because the tables are turned, they start to feel like the child and you the parent. It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to understand why this is so difficult for them. If there is a defined illness or pain, they become irritated with new regimes and medications. Your parents feel the lack control and they have to idea how to get it back. There might be a loss of activities with their contemporaries, making them feel isolated and confined. If their journey includes dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory or cognitive loss of any kind, they may not understand what’s truly going on.

dad & Me

Coming from that perspective helped me to better understand my Dad’s disposition and make an effort to focus on laughter and helping him take part in those things he could still enjoy. Being surrounded by his family made him the happiest.

dad wedding

All in all, being on this side of the circle (yes, the older side, haha!) is one of the most rewarding parts of your family life, helping you to see your parents in a joyful new light, having your children as friends and allowing you to spoil your grandchildren. Actually, there’s no reason you can’t also spoil your parent at this time, I know mine certainly deserved it.

Mom & Dad Xmas 96

How do you or your family deal with this new aspect of life? Let us know in the comments, you may help someone else gain new perspective.

Here’s to a Happy Life! 🍻

IMG_1970 MaryBeth & Sherry

Yoga’na Laugh, OM sure of it.

Laughing Yoga

Hmmmm – Laughing Yoga? Ok, let’s give it a shot, I tell MaryBeth. I’ll pick you up. She gets in the car and I start to laugh. Got to love it when you look like the Bobbsey twins and you really didn’t plan it! Turquoise shirt and black yoga pants – we were ready to go and already had our first laugh!

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It was interesting and different. I guess there is a yogi who started this and there really was a lot of laughing and silliness. Had to look it up after class to find out more – Laughter Yoga (Hasyayoga) is a practice involving prolonged voluntary laughter, it is based on the belief that forced laughing leads to contagious laughter and that it has the same physiological and psychological benefits.

We totally get that – it does help your mental state. MaryBeth and I can start to laugh about something stupid and silly to the point of tears rolling down our faces. Usually it’s an inside joke that just keeps snowballing. You know the feeling, afterward, you think, that was really dumb. Funny but dumb.

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Anyway, we get the concept and think it’s great, but, If we are going to get all dressed to go to yoga – matching and all, we want to break a sweat or stretch something that needs to be stretched.

For us, it’s more stress-reducing to go out with people we know and laugh; the sharing of stories we all know and embellish on, the good-natured teasing, and the unexpected snort while laughing that evokes even more hilarity.

The people in the class have been going every week were very nice and like it; we say “good for them”! We don’t have to like everything we try. We just have to try it!

Laughter Yoga

Here’s to a happy life!

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