Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012-The Year of Yin and Yang

" Don't let the bastards get you down, Lisë!" I can still hear my father's words earlier this year.  He's right, of course, as he is so very often.

Those words fell upon my newly-numb ears. I, along with dozens of my colleagues, had just been told that we were out of work. Jobs that most of us had begun just the year before. Jobs we'd had every reason to believe would be given much more than a twelve month run. Ah, yin. The year had begun so very, well...yang! Too bad it wasn't the only 'yin' moment of the year. But as the (old) song goes, "Accentuate the Positive". So, that's what we do. Because we have to. Or, just watching the news may drag us down into a very deep mental well.

Here's the great part, 'yang' wins this annual story! Goodness and the milk of human kindness always does. Thanks to all of the dear friends and relatives who sent me fun, flavorful gifts and cards to cheer me up; 'mystery' money to help with gas costs; drinks bought, meals cooked, leftovers packed up and sent home with me. All done to help defray the high cost of being unemployed. And then there are strangers; people who sent words of encouragement through social media; shared with me their unexpired parking slips; granted me interviews and made me feel like my career thus far, actually mattered!  Thank you. Thank you to all of you! I can't wait to do something wonderful for each and every one of you in turn. And seriously, as another (old) song goes, "How lucky can one guy be, like a fella' once said, ain't that a kick in the head?"Ain't it , indeed?

 Time now to turn the page. Look forward, not back. And never, ever let the bastards get us down again. Now, doesn't that feel good? Happy New Yang Year to you!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Double Deeeeeelight!

Who says 'pay it forward' is dead? Nobody I know. And it certainly hasn't been my experience. It is most certainly ALIVE!! (cue Frankenstein music).

There are the random acts of kindness, the 'blind' pay it forwards if you will. It just happened for me again. On my way to a job interview in downtown Chicago, I ask a man who's walking toward his parking space whether he's leaving and he nods, yes. Then instead of pulling out of the space, he walks toward me as I sit in my car, hands me his paid ticket stub and says, "Would you like this, it's paid up till midnight?" I thank him profusely. He has no idea that the sixteen bucks he's just saved me will really, really help. He didn't have to do that. Which is exactly the point. He didn't have to do that. But he did.

Today, out of the blue, I got three, count 'em, 3 (!) bottles of the promotional Heinz Tomato Ketchup with Jalapeno delivered to my door. I'd lusted after them openly on Facebook but shied away from buying any because of the shipping cost. Somebody, maybe Heinz Ketchup,  or one of my crazy sweet friends who call me "The Condiment Queen", made this happen. No ID on the sender. So, how FUN is that?

Lately I've been on the receiving end of all kinds of kindness and goodness. What's going on here? Wait, take that back. No need to question why, just the need to say, Thank You! Yes, I say thank you to the thoughtful and generous family members, AND friends, AND acquaintances. All of whom have gone out of their way to feed me, amuse me, encourage me, and just generally make the past several lean months a lot easier to handle. You all know who you are. And to the strangers, may you blessed in multiple ways as someone else 'pays it forward' to you. Bless you. Peace.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

G.I.G.O., What's that about?

I like candy. Probably too much. Sometimes it's just so good and oh boy, does it hit the spot.  But sometimes, it makes me sick.  Eventually, my tummy settles down and the feeling passes. I eat all of the right things for a good, long time and I feel better. Except for a childhood Lake County Fair cotton candy and cream puff binge,  there's no trauma from any of the other ill-fated food fiestas or how cruddy they made me feel. It's garbage in, without the lingering after-effects.

If only that were the case with reality shows, creepy movies, and cruel videos. There's no way to permanently purge memories of moments spent watching Real Housewives blather, slasher movie villains destroy, Honey Boo-Boo et al, do...whatever (!), or see yet another video where somebody, some 'thing' or some group is defiled. No figurative 'finger down the throat' to get the trash erased from my memory files. The garbage has been deposited. It's got to go somewhere. So, where does it come out? 

While I can only speak for myself, I sometimes hear myself say things that are easy, that don't make me stretch my mind.  Or, I get lazy. make excuses for things I've done, or not done. It's tough to get perspective on yourself.  On a personal note, from afar,  it sure seems like the mind crap has affected kids and adults in a variety of ways. I'll leave that analysis for the sociologists. 

 G.I.G.O., garbage in, garbage out. A steady diet of any kind of crap for your body and your brain will destroy you physically and cripple you mentally. On the other hand.....a little candy for your body, and a little candy for your mind isn't going to rot either one. But keep in mind that you can work off the sweet that goes from the lips to the hips. It's not quite so easy to work off, work out or erase the junk food you feed your brain. 

Moderation...still the key. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

When Silly Saves your Soul...

Ever been so embarrassed by your child's behavior that you are, literally, speechless? Today was my turn. Granted, my 'kid' has four paws. I figured I was exempt from this level of, let's call it, bemused horror. Not. Even. Close.  In less than 60 seconds, I was alternately horrified and deeply amused by Harvey the Wonder Dog's actions.

So there I am at the dining room table, searching for a new job, career, the usual. (At least, lately.)  Suddenly, the hair stands up on Harvey's neck, his gigantic yellow Labrador retriever head shoots up, he leaps to his paws and bolts through the front door. For no apparent reason. So I scramble after him. In my pajamas. In bare feet. He seems to know exactly where he's going. Two doors down. To the house with the new family. They just moved in. The movers have just left. The front door is ajar. And so it begins.

Harvey blasts through the front door. I'm three steps behind him. Not close enough to stop him but close enough to see  him tackle the little boy, cover him with kisses, lick the two little girls, and tear down the hall. To the kitchen. Uh-oh...

At this point, the kid's grandparents, brooms in hand, appear in the hallway. The area is now littered with giggling children. A loud crash is heard in the kitchen. A woman laughs. (No, not me.)  The mom. The owner of the house. The kids scramble into the kitchen and start squealing, " He ate the eggs, he ate the eggs!" Turns out the loud clatter was Harvey the Wonder Dog poaching the skillet off of the stove and crash-landing it onto the kitchen floor. As I round the corner, he's on his stomach. licking the pan lovingly. And I am absolutely horrified. Dumbstruck. I have no words. Except to finally blurt out, " I am SO, SO sorry!"

Nobody was hurt. Everybody laughed. And finally, my writer's block is gone. It's been nearly two years since my last blog entry, made just days before my mother died. Today is the first day that I've been able to really write. Thank you sweet, silly dog. Thank you, new neighbor. It's all going to be...okay.