now browsing by author
Monday, February 25, 2019 today begins the end of the shortest month of the year with the promise of spring around the corner. In less than two weeks we will be back on Daylight Savings time, and the daylight will extend into the early hours of the evening. Although SAD is one of my struggles this winter, I was able to control the blue and grey mood swings that come over me. I credit that to my family and friends as well as to myself. Six years ago when the seasonal affects (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder) took me down a spiraling abyss, I confronted this disorder. I acknowledged my depression and sought help. It was due to an accumulation of events that 2013 was both my worst mental health year and my best!
When we face our demons, and we all have them, it becomes an opportunity to accept the challenges and obstacles that lay before and to use the intelligence (the thought processes) to cut through the heavy, dense fog that is pulling us down, down, down!
In the winter of 2013, I had no idea that I was empowering myself to become the person I always thought I was. Instead, when I reflected on who I wanted to be and who I was, I knew it was time for a change, and that it is never too late. Although change can be terrifying and often we (I) have used excuses such as I can’t change because I’m too old, or I don’t have the resources the answer was I couldn’t I was not ready. Taking the fork in the road in February 2013 has allowed me to be me.
Here are lyrics of I Got to Be Me, sung by Sammy Davis, Jr.
Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me; I’ve gotta be me
What else can I be but what I am
I could blame Charlie Wiener for the fact that I am wide awake at 4:33 a.m., on a Sunday morning. However, it is because of Charlie that I am filled with the enthusiasm that life provides. I am cherishing his writings in, American Stories, just as I did in the sequel, Carrie Come to Me Smiling.
Like the character Kim, we all have lived a life that too often we look back on and say; it’s not enough; my existence means nothing. We may think that everyone is succeeding while we are barely capable to tread water. Our accomplishments whether little or big have been buried in the crevices of our brain and we do not acknowledge them. Instead for many of us, myself include, spelled in all CAPITAL LETTERS, wake up one day and ask is this LIFE?
Sadly for some, they run away from all that they have created, accomplished, and achieved, and try to start anew. The truth is we cannot run away from ourselves, but we can learn from the past and remold ourselves. We, you and I are the designers of this moment in time. Nothing will change for the better or worse unless we mold the clay, pick up a paintbrush and add some color to the landscape or sketch out the inner feelings that may be holding us back from appreciating the beauty of life.
Some people wait until an event in their life rings a bell and allows the freedom to choose. The bell may be a lottery winning or a diagnosis of what we may refer to as “ill”-fate. The reality is a lottery winning may cause other ill-fated issues, whereas a diagnosis of dying is something we all live with from the moment we are born. For some the end comes sooner than for others, but, it is up to each of us to make the most of each day and to not squander it away.
Our world is filled with books that tell stories some are fictional others are based on facts, research, and emotional concepts. Reading can provide us with inspiration and a road map. The road map is not going to be a straight line; it will have curves and ups and downs and detours as well as roadblocks. However, it is up to us as the intelligent life form to find our way, not allowing the walls to close in on us.
Kim, the character in American Stories is on a path collecting stories, and although the strangers she meets are as different from her as night is to day, there is a commonality. The commonality is that we are all trying to find, the comfort of peace within ourselves so we may enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. This is what empowers me to share my journey with you and to create a platform where we come together as different individuals finding our sameness. Charlie has captured my soul in his writing; I feel as if he is writing about me as well as you!
Empower yourself to live. It is Sunday, February 24th, 2019, do not waste another minute. My dear friend, Norman Tischler lived life to the fullest. The riches he recently left behind are the people whom he touched, whether with his music, his words, a bear hug, or just a look that said, “I love you!” I now belong to a world of strangers who are friends by association and the enthusiasm of being part of the story!
It’s Saturday – changing hats for a few hours. Some of us wear many from daughter to wife and mother, friend, employee, self-employed, while following the pathways that create our stories. Today I am an Intel Rep – supporting, training, and guiding. Sounds just like me!
As I read American Stories, by K. Adrian Zonneville, aka Charlie Weiner, I now know that these books were written for a much deeper purpose than Charlie will ever understand, nor will I. You see, when I chose to really live my life, not just go through the motions, I became interested in helping others in a manner in which my future would be enriched. Enrichment is not in the form of financial gain, although a little extra in the pocket and bank might provide a little less of a burden, the love and friendships I am adding into my experiences here on earth are much more valuable.
As a young child, from the age of 9 or 10 years old, I struggled with making friends and being accepted. Just prior to puberty I became gawky and unsure of myself. I wanted so much to be part of the IN GROUP I literally pushed myself out of the inner circles. However, looking back with hindsight, I was not totally on the fringe, I was somewhere between the core and edge, and if I had known what empowerment was, I may be a different person today.
My desire to be part of the click ate at my soul and caused me many embittered thoughts that I carried on my back that weighed me down. I allowed my pre-pubescent years to hold me in a place that was not safe. I did creep out of that maze of feelings throughout my life, but I kept getting pulled back like I was tethered to that time. However, within the last five years I cut the teether and have begun running through the maze of life with hands up over my head, and every once in a while you may actually hear my shouts of ‘Glee.’
Reading American Stories, I understand that my mission in life is to experience and guide and be guided. I am no longer living with clouded eyes and heart, I am open to awareness, and that is what empowers me. I have no guarantees as to what tomorrow will bring, but I have the control to make each moment my best. I must continue to breathe in the life that guides me!
I have just begun reading, American Stories, by one of my newest favorite authors, Charlie Weiner, aka, K. Adrain Zonnerville. It always takes me a chapter plus to get mesmerized by his storytelling and descriptions of life as seen and approached by his characters. This morning, waking early, as usual, I picked up the book and began my day reading. I stopped at the point when the main character identifies that she is a collector of sorts. She collects stories! I realized at that moment in time why this book as well as the sequel that I read first, speak to me. I too am a collector, not of stories, but of people.
Don’t get nervous; I am not collecting people and keeping them bound up. I am collecting people, like you, and me and encouraging them to live free, sing, dance, and express themselves in the medium that provides them joy. I am not a Pollyanna and do not expect that happiness means never feeling sad, angry, unappreciated, or any negativity. What I do expect at least from myself is to face each obstacle with as much positive energy to move around it or through it when the Wonder Woman in me pushes onward.
I have spent the better part of my almost 69 years trying to be like you, and I now know, I want to be me. I once believed in the lyrics sung by Frank Sinatra, “All of me Come on get all of me Can’t you see I’m just a mess without you…” Spending one’s life trying to fit in when you feel like the square peg in the round hole, is not living. However, lessons can be learned, and one day you may wake up and become a collector of sorts. As I gather new friends and revive relationships with old friends, I appreciate how precious life is. It is a gift to follow our journey and share our experiences. We are all guides in this amazing universe.
Although Carrie, the main character in American Stories may be dying, in reality, she is alive. She teaches us that death does not have to destroy; it can be a lesson that teaches us how to fulfill dreams and appreciate each other. By taking one step in front of another, we can create a path that provides us joy as we journey forward.
Join me here at newclevelandradio.net as we continue to podcast and provide you with opportunities. Let us become empowered to appreciate our strengths!
A new day and a new refreshing look for the website. Life is a journey as we travel down the road and possibly take a swerve to the right or left the landscape changes. Sometimes the changes are obvious and cause us to step back and ask why other times they are not. I have chosen to make a change to the website layout to attract additional viewers as well as spice things up for those that return to newclevelandradio.net to find out what is happening! A LOT IS!
As you may have noticed, “After Further Review” has been on hiatus along with, Senior Moments and Cherished Companions. Alex and Pat are in the process of revamping “After Further Review,” I am not able to share their new visions, but as soon as we can we will make the announcement. Senior Moments should be returning in the early to late Spring months. Bradley and Heather Greene have been extremely busy as they have moved and are in the process of renovating their new home. Talk about re-inventing one’s self; this couple is amazing not just as Elder Care Professionals, but as visionaries. In April, Care Notes will be returning and Doug Wilbur, Cherished Companions, will bring together professionals providing home care when the need is required.
We are working on a new show on Cigars and Booze. Jaison Roberts is organizing his concept, cigars and booze are one of his many passions.
In addition to the current line-up and returning shows, the Empowerment Series, led by women across Northeast Ohio will be sharing their journeys while offering their hands in friendship, awareness, and acceptance. Our next meet and greet will be held on Wednesday, March 20th at 6 pm and hosted by Vista Springs, Greenbriar, in Parma, Ohio. Watch for postings on our Facebook page.
Yesterday, February 17th, 2019 I shared in a LOVE FEST. I was celebrating the life of Norman Tischler. For some of you reading this you may not know who Norman was, and in reality, I barely knew him, but I loved him, and I cherish all that continue to love him, his partner Lynn, his grandchildren, and numerous assorted relatives, but mostly friends and fans! Last night at the Music Box Supper Club in downtown Cleveland, Ohio many of his musicians’ colleagues paid tribute to him, his music, corny jokes, and his compassion for life! If Norman Tischler said hello to you, you were/are his friend for eternity.
The music that played through the Supper Club both upstairs and down was contagiously filling the halls with such sincere gratitude that the hundreds or more of us became one as we swayed, danced, and sung to the music. The talent that graced the stage, all local, were as good if not better than what we normally refer to as the professionals. These men and women are truly honed crafted with the gift of sharing life through music, while voices sang or played a variety of songs that brought us all joy, even when we all shouted out, “Where’s Norman?”
Norman left the body of the earth four weeks ago and yet his life accomplishments live on. Although not a wealthy man in the sense of financial riches, this New York transplant to Cleveland, Ohio was rich with compassion and love. His love for music brought a sense of community to all he met. From a Vista volunteer to a Saxophonist who jammed with anyone and everyone, jumping (or walking) up on stage with his trusty Sax. As was shared last night, Norman never asked if he would be paid, fed, or thanked for his performance, he lived to give, not to get!
We all need to take a step back and like, Norman Tischler, live our lives with join and sharing that with everyone we meet. Shake hands, fist bump, hi-5, hug, and or kiss and make a valuable connection with another human being. Put your mobile device down and have a conversation, listen, learn, and “love on another, right now.”
My parents were born and raised in the early part of the 20th century. What was considered OKAY then is being interpreted today as rude, insensitive, and morally wrong. Although my parents and their friends may not have been perfect, I do not believe that they intentionally said or displayed themselves to be inappropriate or hurtful.
Halloween or costume parties was an opportunity to dress up as someone you admired or were intrigued by their character. Think about the era that they were living at the end of World War I and the beginning of World War II. In addition to the tenuous world, they were growing up in they among many found solace in movies, music, and a little bit of make-believe. They were influenced by reality as well as the comfort of play acting that helped brighten their days.
If I had not researched the roots of blackface, I would not have known the origin was the whiteface actors were mocking. “The purpose of blackface was mocking… and erasing black culture, turning it into a figment of the white imagination for entertainment,” says Prof Carr. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47125474) My parent’s generation and mine as well saw the performances of actors, singers, and many musicians as entertainment, and only that. Even the precious Mickey Mouse was first portrayed in minstrel form, considering it was 1929, and our culture was different.
Our culture has evolved. However, we must be careful and understand what we may approve of today, tomorrow our children and grandchildren will find fault with and point out the things we did that may keep them from being who they want because our society has a need to find fault! Instead, of accusing, we should make an attempt to understand and become more aware of what is right or wrong? Although I do not believe in the concept, “An eye for an eye,” in early days (before you or me, and even our parents and grandparents) this was an acceptable approach in some cultures. The code of Hammurabi dates back to 1754 BC.
We are all human, and humans are not perfect. We make mistakes by choosing to do something that we may think is OKAY. We use words that in our group are acceptable, but outside of that circle may not be or interpreted in ways they were not meant. Isn’t it time we become more sensitive to the real meanings and not the assumed.
Someone will read this and scream out that I am a bleeding liberal believing we should all be allowed to do and say things in our manner. That is not what I am saying, what I am stressing is why we are so quick to punish people for what may have been acceptable when they were involved in their action. Let us learn from it and understand why our values have changed and stop throwing stones and taking an EYE for an EYE!
I remember when I was about nine years old, I repeated the N-word. I did not do so with malice, but I had heard the word used, and I knew it referred to African Americans, however when I was nine they were referred to as Black People. Tempe was a beautiful soul and African American. My family loved this woman who came to our home once a week to iron and press our clothing, as my mom worked out of the house. I used to love coming home from school and sitting in the basement with her as she lovingly ironed the most perfect creases in my father’s white shirts, and my brother’s slacks. She was an artist in getting each pleat in my skirts to lay appropriately, and her delicate touch with my mother’s clothing was precise. Tempe taught me how to iron (which I still do to this day.)
One afternoon while sitting and watching her perform her craft I called her the N-word, I don’t remember what I said, but I do remember that when my parents came home, I was reprimanded. I was told in no uncertain terms never to use that word again and that I had to apologize to Tempe. My father drove me to her house, and he walked me to the door. I remember when she opened the door her daughter, just a few years younger then I was standing behind her. The look Tempe gave me was sad, and yet her demeanor towards me was accepting. I began to cry as I apologized and told her I was just using a word I heard others use and she explained to me why it was hurtful. She explained she knew in her heart of hearts I did not intend to hurt her, but someone else may not understand if I used that term in their presence. I made a solemn oath to never call another Black person (African American) by that word ever again. We hugged and cried together, and I was stronger for her understanding and the lesson my parent’s taught me.
I would not want that one incident to come back and haunt me or my son’s or any future grandchildren that I may have. What was somewhat acceptable in some homes in the ’50s should not be society’s reason for throwing a stone today!
STOP and THINK before you ASSUME!
February has many fine meanings for me. First, it’s the month before my birth month. It’s a short month, and soon it will be Spring, that makes me smile a lot. However, this month is full of challenges that could be obstacles.
Tomorrow, February 2nd, Puxatawney Phil sticks his head out of the ground, looks for his shadow, and always, without question announces six more weeks of winter. Winter not being my favorite season, especially this past week with sub-zero temperatures, I am not to keen on listening to his premonition for the end of winter.
On February 3, 1984, my best friend, my partner, became my husband. We had a private ceremony on that day. Although we had every intention to marry, we married on that day to prove to a custody judge that our relationship was legitimate and retaining custody of my oldest son was appropriate. Although this is a day to celebrate, we chose to have a wedding with all the trimmings in July of that same year, to share with friends and family, not for maintaining custody. However, 20 years to the day, my POPs passed away. Now that day and date are filled with a rush of emotions. Additionally this year on said date, I will be attending a Memorial Service (Funeral) for a cherished musician who recently befriended me.
February 4 for most of my life was a great day, my favorite cousin, Gloria celebrated her birthday just four weeks prior to mine. As soon as I was old enough to send her cards or call her to wish her a happy day, my yearly routine included this very special girl. In my mind, she will always be the cute petite cousin who I looked up to with respect and so much love. Sadly, my Gloria passed away just weeks before my mother in 2016. I am blessed to still be in touch with her children and grandchildren keeping that connection alive and bright.
February 14th has never been special in my past. I was not the young girl in high school or college with boys or a boy sending me flowers, and or professing love for me. Although my husband of 35 year treats me special every day, Valentine’s Day is just another day in our lives. Rich refuses to be nice to me for just one day! (I am blessed.)
One reason I loved this short month is that my mother was a Leap Year Baby. It became a standing joke that not only was my mother shorter than all of her children; she was also younger in birthdays! When mom died on October 11, 2016, she was 96 in years but 24 in Birthdays. (Don’t worry, we never let her go a year without a celebration, she enjoyed birthday wishes on the 28th of February and the 1st of March.)
So as this month begins I will face it head-on. Each day is another step closer to my favorite seasons, Spring, Summer & Fall. Join me in sharing memories that will warm us adding sunshine and smiles into our lives. We are not guaranteed a future, that is why we must live in the present!
This morning I awoke early once again, 5 am-ish, reflecting on Wednesday evening and how the Meet & Greet for Empowerment affected me. For the very first time in a long time, I felt a community of people that I can begin to call friends. I was instilled by these women to look deep inside myself and enjoy the fact that I have friends near and far.
Growing up I wanted to be like someone else, loving my cousin Gloria Jaffe Seigel; I longed to be just like her. However, that wasn’t possible. I was me! I could, however, learn from her and allow the beauty that I sought from her life to impact mine. I wore some of her hand me downs, I babysat for her children, and we shared a birthdate separated by one month. What I adored about my cousin was the energy that pulled people towards her and the abundance of friends she had. When I felt alone and lonely, I would think of her and ask myself how I can be more like her?
In elementary and junior high school I wanted to be like Janet, Cheryl, Michelle, and the rest of the click. I now know they liked me, but I was not part of the group back then. I wondered why. and strived to be just like them, feeling like a failure every step of the way, spending too many days and nights crying over the WHYS?
High school was a momentous time in my life, I found a circle of friends, and made a commitment to myself to enjoy my life in a new city, the cold tundra of St. Louis Park, Minnesota. The four years my family lived in SLP, I made life long friendship that I was able to rekindle on Facebook and beyond.
However, loneliness and that sad feeling of having no friends returned in 1996. It was a warm Fall day when Alex was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum. One day he was just an over-active little first grader, and the next he was wearing the scarlet letter on his chest. Parents of his schoolmates who were our friends pulled away and the kids that had been inviting him to birthday parties and play dates came to an end. In the beginning, my family didn’t understand, and sadly some assumed he or we were faking his diagnosis. REALLY? REALLY! Rich and I have spent the better part of twenty-two years without a social connection. We both convinced ourselves that work and family were enough, but it wasn’t.
In 2013 I had a breakdown, I admitted I was depressed and feeling all alone. Although I loved Rich, I did not feel like I was in love with him and that hit me hard. I couldn’t live with him or without him, and this time I knew I had to fix this. It has been a journey! (I love him, and I am in love with him, despite his wackiness.)
Over the last six years I have chosen to take forks in the road (thanks Katie the Carlady for that analogy.) Following the straight path, being the good daughter, wife, mother, and acquaintance making everyone else happy was killing me. It was finally time for me take a leap of faith and sooth my achy breaky heart. Today I am proud to say I have and I continue to develop friendships. No longer do I allow my head voice tell me I am not worthy, my mantra is, “If you don’t like me, it’s your loss.” I am willing to listen, share, and care, it’s up to you to lend me a hand.
Last evening on Facebook I posted a quote and shared it with many of my new and older friends (not age-wise.)
The responses I received from this post have sparked my heart, energy, and love for life. It reminds me how fragile each second is. So, if I become sappy, just know it makes me happy!
I hope you will join me on my journey and take the fork in the road that works for you. There is no mistake you can always backtrack if you need to, or take another leap of faith.