August 29, 2008

Clogs, truth, and dares.

I believe in synchronicity. It's how God or the universe or whatever is bigger than us puts situations or people or things into our lives to help us see or grow or learn or just move forward on that path we have chosen. It happens often in my life, like magic, when just what I need is right in front of me. And it happened again this week.

I'm still suffering the stress of the recent break-in at my house. I'm alternately strong and anxious and thought it was time to see my favorite therapist to get some clarity and some peace. I've been upset that I haven't recovered faster, that I'm still anxious and disoriented, but the wisdom from the session made me realize that I'm just where I should be, that I should just stop pressuring myself, and that I should just hold still and allow myself to feel what I'm feeling. And I left with a great sense, through my entire body, of calmness and tranquility. Amazing.

So yesterday was this month's Wow meeting and our speaker was Laurie Hacking, a certified life coach who came to talk about "Wealth Flow." As usual, I didn't know Laurie except for reading her website ( one phone conversation and I allowed her to pick the topic and material of her choice to speak to us. She talked about how we women lead very busy lives and juggle many hats, often putting aside what we want in order to take care of others. She spoke about how we prevent ourselves from receiving abundance because of fear or lack of confidence, all of which creates "clogs" that stop the flow. She has a five step program in her coaching that includes being clear on where we are and what we want, being curious and expanding our vision, finding our clogs and clearing them out, taking action, and celebrating ourselves and our successes.

To help us learn more about ourselves, she played a game with us of Truth or Dare, asking such questions as "where are you drowning?" and "where are you not listening or trusting your inner knowledge" and "where are you too comfortable?" She dared us to "ask one person to help in an area where you struggle" and "stop, get present, and take a powerful step for you." And the questions caused us all to really take stock of issues we might be too fearful to face and gave us courage to see them clearly and move forward.

And for me? Once again, a speaker came to my house and spoke to exactly the place where I struggled. She asked me to "find the gift" in the recent tragedy which allowed me to shift my thinking to a really positive place. And then she asked one of the ladies "where are you too comfortable?" and my inner voice said "in my home" which I found astonishing, like maybe one of the gifts of the break-in is to show me that I stay home too much and that I need to have the courage to venture outside of my home and myself even more. I think she really shook up many of us in a very good way and I would recommend her wholeheartedly if any of you want help to create a life that is richer and more rewarding.

I do know that one gift from the break-in is that I'm much more open with people about who I am. As soon as the initial shock set in, I realized that, even though I am usually somewhat emotionallly guarded, I could not keep this to myself, that I would have to talk about it over and over for my own sanity. And amazingly,even though I've been anxious lately, I also have felt very strong and powerful at work, like suddenly I'm confident and self-assured, which is an amazing change for me, and maybe that has come from being so open and present. One last thing I noticed was that the feeling in the room all evening was one of calmness, that in a group of ladies who are usually exuberant and noisy it was peaceful and smooth and mellow, just as I have been since my session with the therapist the day before.

So, I admit that life is a wonderful mystery, that I don't have all the answers and that I am dedicated to learning whatever lessons it might bring me. For sure, the break-in has changed me and I think it has changed me for the better. I feel calm and strong and eagerly await whatever life brings me next. I'm striving less and accomplishing more. I'm more patient with myself and much more peaceful. Can you imagine all that from such a tragedy? Isn't life amazing?

August 23, 2008

Broken glass, Woody, and blessings.

It's been a tough few months. I can't even remember everything that happened. My poodle was poisoned by the pest guys (and survived, thankfully), I've been bedridden twice with exquisite back pain, I'm still dealing with a very difficult situation at work, I injured my right shoulder and can barely move that arm, and last week some nasty criminals broke in and stole my valuables. I'm afraid to go out and I'm afraid to stay in. I've stopped trying to figure out the bigger message in all this mess and am just trying to make it through each day, one at a time.

Thanks to a very dear friend, I did go out last weekend to see the new Woody Allen movie "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" which helped my mood and spirits for a while. I love Woody's movies, most of them, and think Annie Hall is perfect. Not everyone enjoys his movies, for sure, but for those of us who do, this new one is a gem. (If you haven't seen the movie, the following may spoil it for you, so maybe see the movie and then come back to this post later.) Suffice it to say the movie held my interest from the opening to the end. So these women go to Barcelona for the summer, one engaged and another just trying to find herself, and they meet a man who shakes up their world dramatically. Picture a very sexy man, always needing a shave, with a Spanish accent who asks how you are, listens to your answers, and then says things like "How come I don't believe you?" It's like he can see through the ladies to their insides, their soul, and that's very, very sexy.

I mention my last few months and this movie for a reason. In the movie, one woman was engaged to the perfect guy who planned their perfect future: money, travel, friends, shared interests. But no passion. Meeting the sexy Spaniard didn't change her choices, but made it so that she could never be really happy in that perfect life. The other woman created a relationship in Barcelona that was nurturing and passionate and exciting but chose to leave it at its peak, only stating that it wasn't what she wanted and she didn't know what that was. Maybe the message is that we can never be truly happy, that there's always something else we want, and that we live knowing that we can never have it all.

Many eastern religions and philosophies believe that the reason for pain in this life is wanting "more." That wanting nothing is the key to happiness, because then whatever we get will be a gift. Some also believe that we suffer because of past bad deeds, that issue of Karma, paying the price for our transgressions. So, what's the answer to the difficult and painful events of my life in the recent months? I just don't know. I'm trying to figure it out and find my way out and seek answers, but none are appearing. So I'll just take one day at a time, do my best each day, try to eat well and exercise, be kind to those I meet, and be grateful for my blessings. Maybe that's the answer, that I get so bogged down in my difficulties that I forget my many blessings! I think I got it!

August 20, 2008

Glass, gas, and guys.

Thought I'd give you an update on the burglary story. I had to have the glass door boarded up all weekend, and I felt really closed in since that is the only way to the back yard. The new glass did come Monday afternoon and then I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, like trying to get every last trace of the criminals out of my house. It's like they've taken away my ability to feel safe and I wonder if that ever comes back. For sure, I'm telling everyone I see to be safer and hope that will prevent such a tragedy to them and I feel better being open about it anyway.

So for sure, I don't feel like dating. I don't feel comfortable in my house or out of my house so I can't imagine trying to enjoy the company of someone new. I don't think he'd get an honest impression of who I really am while I'm still in this tizzy, so I'm passing on dating for now. But I did receive a few emails from guys who might be interested and I thought I'd share them with you. (Remember, I really don't make these up....)

First, from a guy whose philosophy of life isn't exactly endearing:
life is a waste of time, time is a waste of life, get wasted all the time and you'll have the time of your life your place or mine with favoite dvd

And maybe it's me, but I don't understand how what this has to do with anything:
i meet all of your requirements . . . i must confess i have a gas guzzler though . . . if you don't mind stopping every 300 miles or so, you just might be the woman for me . . .

Maybe it's the universe's way to remind me to have a sense of humor, I don't know. Until I'm feeling sociable again, I send my thanks and hugs to each of you who sent emails with your concern for me. Much appreciated.

August 16, 2008

Loss and pain and stuff.

I was at work two days ago and received a call from the police that a burglary had just taken place in my house. The police had gone through some of the papers that had been tossed and found my cell number, bless them, and told me on the phone without my asking them that my dog was OK, which I really appreciated. I drove home, trying not to cry, and walked in to the house and started sobbing. The big glass sliding door leading from the kitchen to the patio had been smashed and was in pieces all over the floor, maybe ten feet of that greenish glass strewn all around. My bedroom had been tossed, all the drawers opened and my clothes were all over the floor. I felt like I was in a movie or dreaming, it just didn't register that this was my house, my home, violated by strangers with evil intentions.

After the police left, I sat at my kitchen bar and made call after call to report it to the insurance, get the glass replaced, the space boarded up, and my car re-keyed. The criminals had taken my jewelry boxes and dumped everything, including my extra car key, into their sack, I suppose. It's amazing how I just sat there, reading a phone book, making polite calls to strangers I needed to help me, and didn't stop until everything was arranged. My son-in-law, the saint, had come to help me, and he cleaned up most of the broken glass, got me lunch, and stayed with me for the afternoon.

I write about this for a few reasons. I want all of us to be safer, to be more careful about our security. I have a new security system in place now and feel a little better. I alerted my neighbors and my friends so that all of them would make their homes safer and hopefully my experience will save even one person from such harm.

They really just took jewelry and cameras, stuff they could carry easily and sell quickly, likely for drug money, per the police. But their little three or four minute intrusion into my home has changed me. I feel scarred and bruised and traumatized. I feel numb. I can't really even put a name to these feelings fully, they are so strange. I'm not materialistic and do my best not to be attached to things, so the loss of the items is really not so troubling, but the intrusion into a place where I felt safe is shattering. I wonder how people living with this stress on a daily basis, like soldiers or even the police, manage to survive. I read about the physical effects of such trauma, how the body's hormones change, and I'm amazed at the far reaching effects of such stress.

I like to view challenges as warnings or lessons, like the universe is trying to save me from greater harm or push me in a certain direction or teach me something. At this moment, I can't even begin to figure it all out and I'm determined not to make changes or decisions while in this emotional state. For sure, I'm feeling much more sympathetic toward people who suffer trauma. And I'm feeling very comforted by the calls and emails and even visits from friends and family who are showing their care and concern. No matter what the lesson is from all this, please consider it a reminder to lock your doors and gates and windows, leave a car in the driveway, turn on a radio or TV when you're out, and report any suspicious behavior in your neighborhood. And know that any kind word to the wounded is greatly appreciated.

August 11, 2008

Ads, punctuation, and feet.

I am really in a strange place. I feel like a fish out of water or like I'm visiting a new country or maybe a new planet. Ever feel like that?!? It feels like a transition, but I have no idea what's happening next. I don't want to be negative or cynical ever and especially now that I don't really know what's happening, so maybe I'll just share some of the emails I've received from a few guys recently on an online dating site.

It's fun to get an email from a guy who looks promising. There's always that little jump of the heart and a warm hopeful feeling, like maybe this might be a great guy that will "get me" and who I'll enjoy. So I had an IM experience with a guy a few nights ago and it was such fun. He was witty and clever and quick and then I talked to him on the phone and it turned out that it was all adult ADD. In our fifteen minute conversation, I learned the names and details of his twelve businesss and one other business that requires him to be in three different states. I also learned the name, location, and business of his daughter and a complete list of all the countries he has visited and the ones he plans to visit soon. And he learned absolutely nothing about me! Nothing! Next!

And, just for your amusement and so you married folks will have a greater appreciation of your mate, I share with you assorted responses to my own online profile:

From a 20-year-old:
Hi, I know you're looking for a long term serious relationship probably with someone your own age, but I saw your profile and although I'm looking for some friends, I really liked your words and think we would get along well! I am interested in knowing more about you and I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading,

From three other 20ish guys - it's not a long-winded generation:
hey hottt stuff
Simple and sweet!
You seemed very cute , so I decided to message you.

From a guy my age who needs some lessons in introductions:
I liked your profile, so I thought that I would message you. I used to live in Chatsworth but am now in Sunland. What do you do for fun?

Could you please learn to punctuate?:
Hi there im Joe how are you youre a lovly looking woman great smile i hope my profile isnt too long lol. Im looking for my 2nd half too 3rd whatever it takes im a loving kind romantic man seeking same in a woman and i love to laugh i know slow dance and can cook and to me age is not important its the heart that counts you look just lovly would u care to chat im in North hills Calif but would relocate for the right partner

Is this a way to write to a woman you're interested in?
I enjoy going to the performing arts center for a show an may be a cup of coffee after I like golf road cycling and staying in good shap

In the No Thank You category:
Hey There,
I know you are looking for more of a serious relationship but I have a question for you and thought it would at least be worth asking. My apologies if I offend you in any way and I'm sorry for bothering you with this question... I have a thing for women's feet and I was wondering if you would be interested in meeting a guy who would give you a nice foot massage, then suck your toes and lick your feet thoroughly and sensually for as long as you want. This does not have to include anything sexual beyond the feet. What do you think about that?

And finally, in the "please keep your clothes on" category:
Do you like to be naked? I'm a nudist and would like you to go with me to my naturalist club. Do you like to role play? I do. let's talk please call me.

Really, I don't make up this stuff. Are there any "normal" guys out there? I have a friend who tells me that there's always another bus stopping at my curb, meaning that there are always lots of guys to meet, but if this is them, I'm not so willing. Maybe I'll stop looking for a while. I've got a lot of good books to read. Call me if the world changes.

August 7, 2008

Kids, blogs, and lessons.

I'm having a strange month so far. I'm still not feeling fabulous and am taking some lovely-nasty meds for the pain. Feeling a bit odd, a bit down, a bit lost, a bit out of sorts. You've felt like that, haven't you?

So meanwhile, I'm getting hits on a few dating sites from some guys, which could be a good thing. Could be, I said. Except that they're either under 29 years old, living in Texas or Virginia, or inviting me to join their nudist colony. All of these are fine for someone, but definitely not for me.

Meanwhile, the twins are just now five and had their birthday party at my house last Sunday. Now that was fun. Lots of kids and their parents in the pool, a few dogs, and assorted adults. And all seemed to have a great time. The twins opened their presents and kissed and hugged each gift-giver and today their mommy called me to read what they'd told her to write in a few thank you notes and I cried, it was so sweet.

And now my beautiful curly-haired daughter started writing her own blog!!! How cool is that!!! It's called "It's all about the small stuff" and you can read it and see her picture at It's her idea that it's not the big issues or events in life that are the most meaningful, but the little stuff that makes all the difference in making life richer and more meaningful. My daughter is an amazing, thoughtful, and kind woman and a wonderful mommy.

So what's the point? I have no idea, I really don't. Maybe it's that sometimes life is just about making it through the day. Or that not ever meal is Thanksgiving dinner and sometimes life is just routine. That there are good days and bad days? Or that there is lesson somewhere in here, but I don't know what it is. Do you?

August 1, 2008

Growth, new adventures, and sharing.

Those are my now 5-year-old twin grandchildren, waking up on their birthday. They have so much life ahead of them and parents who strive to make their lives rich and full. I contrast that to the ladies in my Wow group, ladies now in their 50s and
60s who have lived through joys and tragedies and now find themselves in a new time of their lives, a time of making new choices and being alone unexpectedly. I love Wow. I planned last night's Wow meeting as a get-to-know meeting. There have been quite a few new ladies joining the group and I wanted us to find out about each other, our talents, hobbies, business offerings, etc, so that we could network, make use of each other's skills. And continue to make new friends.

Very coincidentally, I received an email that morning from Michelle Niger, producer with "The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet," asking if I knew of any women willing to share their stories about Female Midlife Crisis. So after our potluck dinner, we created a circle of chairs in my front room and I presented Michelle's request and gave each of the ladies a chance to share their stories.

One by one, the ladies told stories of long marriages, followed by death or divorce, and how they found themselves in their 40s and 50s, surprisingly single and being forced to create a new life for themselves. I was amazed at their stories of challenges and courage, of illness and healing, of shyness and self-confidence, of fear and growth. I'm going to summarize as many of their stories as I can.

One lady, with degrees in accounting, works for the IRS as an auditor. She raised two children, one of whom is disabled, and found herself divorced after 21 years of marriage. She read, writes, and teaches computer classes. Another was unemployed after her dentist employer retired, at the same time as her ailing mom was placed in hospice, so she was able to spend six months caring for her mom in her lasts months of life. Another, who admits that she is very shy and had to force herself to come to our first meeting, graduated from college at the age of 45 and moved to California from Minnesota by herself after her divorce after a 26 year marriage. Another took her company throught the Y2K conversion and found herself laid off after 27 years, suffered from fibromyalgia, and reconnected with a cousin at a barbeque and ended up being her marketing director and publishing her first book, a story of America's first ladies. Another took care of a very sick husband for many years and was laid off after 17 years on the job; she now is happily involved as a saleperson for a beauty company and delighted to be self-employed. Another dreamed of being a journalist but became a court reporter instead, which has proved to be a great source of support as she became a single mother to two now very grown and successful children. Another is a retired teacher who admits that her life has taken quite a different path since joining Wow. At her 1st meeting, we had a speaker who taught about healing through movement and dance and our Wow member signed up for her pole dancing class, became a participant in the speakers charity film for cancer survivors - she dances, takes tai chi and water aerobics, and has just made her first commercial for a major US company to be shown at the upcoming Olympics. One was diagnosed with cancer last year and, upon hearing the news from her doctor, asked "OK, what do we do now?" She is a new grandmother and attributes her positive attitude to yoga - she's one who went recently went through a long and painful divorce and can't find enough time to do all the things she's waited years to enjoy. Another lost her mom last week, sadly, and works two jobs and fills the rest of her time with charity work for abused children and visiting residents of the assisted living facility where her mom spent her last days. A new member met the lady who joined her at the meeting at Karaoke and formed a three-woman signing group, singing like the Andrew Sisters, Brenda Lee, and Patsy Kline - she also has taught ballroom dancing and is currently unemployed but looking for a new career. An original member recently became an aesthetician, received her hypnotherapy credentials, and successfully healed after double hip surgery.

There are so many more stories, and I could go on and on. Each lady only had three or four minutes to tell her story and I know there is so much more to know. For me, I created Wow three years ago after a bad break-up when my beautiful curly haired daughter urged me to spend more time with my women friends and I realized they had all married or moved away. I looked around at these amazingly beautiful and talented women, so full of life, and realized that a little effort had changed me dramatically, bringing into my life women who characterized their "midlife crisis" as "re-inventing" or "a new chapter" and, although they'd all love to be on the talk show and admit to having survived many difficulties and challenges, none of them would call it a crisis. I am inspired by each and every women, all of whom approach life willing to walk through any fear in order to live life fully. I'm so blessed to know them all.