How Heavy Is Your Glass of Water?


End of summer

This is for everyone to ponder.  It is usually around the end of summer, just prior to those upcoming, important and sentimental Holidays that we begin worrying.  That is, worrying more than usual perhaps.  Hopefully this will help you this year.  Let me know what you think.

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight Doesn’t Matter. It depends on how long I Hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to Put the Glass Down.

Glass of water

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Forever Young


Always a way out of depression girl

On this warm, humid summer afternoon, I’m smiling while being loved by  three fur babies – my dogs, Miley, Casey and Mabel.  During my life, I escaped somewhat the throes of cancer with surgery and medicine.  However, the miracle of childbirth was stolen from me.  Still I consider myself very fortunate.  After all, I’ve lived thus far a fairly long life with many experiences to speak about.

One such I have was my youth, growing up during the 50s and 60s.  In 1966, my dad bought my very first guitar (inexpensive and hard to play).  He promised that if I showed him true interest and kept with it, he’d buy me my much desired Gibson guitar.

I couldn’t do it alone, and pleaded with him to allow me to take lessons.  To my surprise, he said “yes”.  I studied hard, and played my little heart out.  Used the Joan Baez Anthology of Songs Book to guide me.  In 1968, after bleeding calluses on my fingertips, the light in my eyes shone brightly when dad gifted me my  Gibson guitar.  For Christmas that year, students of the conservatory played a Theater type Auditorium amidst family, friends, neighbors, and strangers.  I had a partner, another shy girl, to help play and sing two songs.  First song was House of the Rising Sun, by The Animals.  My second song was “Blowin’ in the Wind” …

Well, my partner couldn’t make it through that 1st song.  Truth be known she ran behind the curtain without playing her guitar or singing a note.  You guessed: she had stage fright to the ‘nth degree and I had to finish – alone.  I muddled through, and I think more because I wouldn’t give up, I received a standing ovation and very long applause!  After the 2nd song, another rousing round of applause to which I smiled brightly as my teacher brought me flowers.  What a night!

By the way, I still have that Gibson guitar today although I haven’t played in years!   ‘Til the end of my life on earth, it will be a prized possession holding Forever Young memories.

On this tropical Labor Day afternoon, lazy and enjoying my fur babies asleep at my feet, the song Forever Young by Joan Baez plays in the background.  And I smile – she is my reason for playing the guitar. To hear the song click:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqqp-50AfUQ&feature=player_embedded#t=0

The lyrics:

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
And may you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

Joan Baez then and now   Joan Baez was, and still is, my very favorite singer, a legacy that spans the decades since the 60s that has opened hearts and been a call-to-action for compassion and conscience, and that still holds a powerful sway today.

Her effortless guitar playing, key changes from major to minor and quiet melody could not soften the impact of a line like, “Show me the countries where the bombs have to fall”.  That line has as much resonance today with the Syrian chemical atrocities as it had when the 60’s protest movement was birthing and Baez was on the rise.  I find myself wondering, where are the Joan Baez musical equivalents in a world that today needs torch songs of protest and concern more than ever?

And so it is, on this somewhat somber summer afternoon at home, I’m reminded in music of  Forever Young … the song that reminds us of Joan’s truth-telling and integrity as an artist.  A song that celebrates the light overcoming the places of darkness.

We all face challenges in our lifetimes.  It’s all in how we address those challenges – how we believe in ourselves, take steps to keep persevering, until we finally and often brutally begin to understand how basic and simple our needs truly are.

Andrea and Brutus

My dearest friend visited us yesterday.  Andrea brought her boy dog, Brutus to visit.  My three girls and Brutus were introduced and immediately I think my girls began to flirt with him!

Bottom line – these are the things I remember sweetly and lovingly.  Perhaps if you look back on your lifetime’s span thus far, you will enjoy yourself and remember you are, and may always be, Forever Young.

 

My treasured Gibson Guitar.

Gibson1Gibson2

 

 

Kids Unhappy Left Alone – Are Dogs Also? You Bet !


 

Leaving for work in the morning sometimes isn’t a happy experience for many folks. It’s not that you don’t love your job necessarily but you hate it when you have to leave your pets home alone, just like when folks have to leave their little kids behind.  A lot of animals aren’t particularly fond of it either.  Many dog lovers tell how sad they (and their dogs) feel when they go out of the house for their jobs, on errands, or even to have some fun on their own.  More activities are becoming dog-friendly but for the most part, time outside the home is time that you don’t get to spend with your dog.

Dogs have very little to occupy their time while you’re gone, especially if they’re the only pet in the household.  We’re their entertainment.  Some dogs are content to nap away their day while you’re away.  Other dogs have a much harder time coping with the situation when they’re home all alone.  These dogs can suffer from boredom, stress or separation anxiety.

How do you know if your dog is unhappy about being left alone?

Some dogs make their displeasure quite obvious by leaving behind a trail of destruction.  You could return home to find your furniture or personal belongings chewed up, the garbage ransacked, paper or pillows chewed to shreds, or you may find that your dog has vomited, urinated or defecated in the house.  Some dogs eat everything in sight when you’re away, and others become almost anorexic.  Some dogs groom themselves incessantly to calm their nerves.  Others vocalize their dissatisfaction by howling, whining and barking while you’re away.  And if you have neighbors nearby, you’re sure to hear about it!

If your dog is bored, anxious, depressed or destructive while you’re away, “environmental enrichment” can help.  This is the act of adding interesting items to your dog’s surroundings to safely entertain them.  When you give your dog plenty of fun things to do and see, his unhappy time alone can be transformed into a very satisfying day.  Here are some suggestions:

• Hire a dog walker, even if it’s every so often
• Invest in doggy day care at least a couple of days a week
• Leave plenty of fun toys for your dog (like puzzle toys that you fill with treats, or even the newer created interactive toys they enjoy for hours of fun)
• Tire him out with some active play before you go

 

I’m fortunate my three girls, while not necessarily liking whenever I go out, do not destroy nor ruin anything in the house.  The worst they do, which is actually good to me, is that they leave all their toys all over the living room.  But then I know that they’ve been playing and having fun which is so good for them.  And what I’ve tried to do on many an occasion is to bring a new toy to them upon my return if it happened to be a longer time away from home.  Or just a small biscuit treat after they hug me upon my return.  It concentrates on the fact they were good while I was gone.  So much so that as I arrived home recently, one of my white boxers, Casey, brought a toy to me to show, “See I’ve been good and playing!”