Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sparkling Betty

     Last week my friend Betty made her transition. I came home Monday evening from work with the news, and upon telling my husband, he said, "That's interesting. The person I was playing music with this afternoon said his wife's grandmother was not doing well and they didn't know if she was going to make it." I asked his musical acquaintance's name, and replied, "Yes, that's Betty's grandson-in-law." Small world. Ironically, Dennis and I have known Betty longer than her grandson-in-law.
     I used to work at West Heights United Methodist Church, and Betty and Blanche were the money-counters during my tenure, faithfully there each Monday morning to count and record the previous day's offering. Betty stayed and entered the giving/giver information into our computer system. There was always great joy and laughter when they were in the office.
    Betty lived for many years in a condo overlooking the golf course at Rolling Hills. She hosted our partying group of women, the NUNS, for many lovely evenings of feasting, drinking and merriment. I sum up those magnificent summer evenings together with friends in the word LOVE--holding each other and our families in love and prayer and joy and sorrow. Betty was always "the hostess with the mostest."
     I remembered this weekend that our downstairs (primarily beer--here's to you, Betty) refrigerator was a gift from Betty. She was happy to get rid of it when cleaning out a rental property, and we are still enjoying it many years later.
     I visited Betty several times at Oxford Grand where she last lived. While others who knew her said that her memory was not what it had been, she was always "on top of it" when I saw her, asking me about our sons by name, and telling me the goings-on with all her family. Even when she was not feeling well, she still made lively conversation and smiled brightly.
     Betty sparkled. She had a magnificent smile, and rarely did I see her when she was not smiling. This is no small thing, as she suffered for decades with very painful arthritis. But she kept moving and contributing in so many ways, despite her pain.
     I believe Betty was ready to go Home. While I miss her, and it is still a bit jarring to realize she is no longer with us, I know she is back to bliss, and is sparkling ten-thousand-fold compared to her earthly life. She has truly blessed us with her time here. I am grateful for having known her. Thank you, Betty, for sparkling up our world!
     Grieving and joyful at the same time,

Thursday, February 15, 2018

I Screwed Up

     I like to think that I rarely make mistakes, and alas, that fantasy world in my own head is a lovely place to hang out. Unfortunately, because I hang out there so much, when I do actually make a mistake, my fantasy gets shattered, at least for a while. That's not a lovely place to hang out.
     As we move through the tax prep season, the thing we tax preparers dread is for someone whose taxes are done and filed to come in with another document and say, "I just got this in the mail, does this affect my taxes?" 99% of the time the answer is "yes." Are you guessing where my own screw-up lies? Yep, our taxes were filed on Tuesday, tax-changing document received Wednesday. Dang it.
     It will be handled, life will go on. I will restore my rare-mistake fantasy world. I will stick a note in my calendar for next year that says "Do NOT file our taxes before March 1!" I will continue to practice going easy on myself when I screw up. And I know my boss and my office mate are going to get a huge laugh out of all this.
     Forging ahead,

Thursday, February 8, 2018

What's Important

The words of Rudyard Kipling:
Do not care
Overly much for
Wealth, or power, or fame,
Or one day you will meet someone
Who cares for none of these things,
And you realize
How poor you have become.
     I think that none of us have to look very far to see folks in the "wealth, or power, or fame" category. I'll grant you that I don't know the "whole story," but even from what I see from the outside looking in, I don't care to go there.
     I've been listening a lot to Abraham-Hicks recordings. Abraham, through Esther Hicks, delivers a very simple message--our job is to do whatever it takes within ourselves to feel good. Feeling good keeps our vibration high, which enables us to attract what we desire into our lives. It's completely an "inside" job--there's no changing others or circumstances or government or anything outside ourselves in order to make ourselves happy. No matter what's happening around us, our most important function is to keep our vibration high, by paying attention, first, foremost and always, to how we feel.
     This is an enormous challenge in our head-oriented society. Connection to the heart and feelings are often poo-pooed as weak or irrelevant. And how can I feel happy when there's so much chaos and misery around me? Ah, there's the challenge.
     Feeling good is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When I feel good, I attract more things to feel good about. That's what life is designed for--the Universe supports this with every bit of Its energy. Pretty simple, not necessarily easy, but so worth the effort.
     I feel good!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Re-arranged Family Member

     Meet Dusty, our grand-dog. This is our son Derek's dog who has come to live with us while Derek adventures in Australia. The first pet in our home of 32+ years, it is quite a change, and quite wonderful! What a joy it is to wake up to this snuggle-buddy.

     Dusty seems to be adapting to our house quite easily, since he has been here many times before, and he is quite comfy with Dennis and me. He obeys well. Dennis considers it his mission to exercise Dusty and himself a lot during the day, so Dusty is ready to laze and snuggle and watch basketball with me after a long day at the tax job. Perfect arrangement, win-win for all!
     Life is grand!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Joyful Anticipation

     My life is really mighty fine, in the "run of the mill" day-to-day smooth flow. I have few complaints. However, I do find it extra enjoyable when I have some "big" events to look forward to.
     There are some annual events that I experience with joyful anticipation: both the start and end of tax season, March Madness, and opening day of baseball season, to name a few. Already for this year, I've planned at trip to eastern Canada, and I'm about to sign up for a five-city baseball tour including a bonus trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. For this baseball nut, that's a died-and-gone-to-heaven trip. In a few days, my son's Golden Retriever, Dusty, will take up residence with us for an undetermined period of time while my son travels to Australia. I haven't had a pet since I was growing up in Pennsylvania, and I adore Dusty, so this is a time of great excitement for me.
     Joyful anticipation of these upcoming events in and of itself is great, but there's also a bigger purpose behind it. It holds me in the mindset of "there's even more good to come!" That's an important place to be as creators of our own experience. When we hold ourselves in that place of allowing, the Universe has to deliver. Or if you prefer, as Jesus said, it is done unto you as you believe.
     Fun, Fun, Fun! Life is good!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Darkness & Light

     My experience of the last few days has included deep darkness, including a big soul-rinsing meltdown, and brilliant light, in the form of a complete answer to (what was for me) a huge prayer. Too often I'd like to skip the dark lows and stay in the bright highs. However, I realize my life would be incomplete without both. Each is necessary so that I can recognize the other. The dark lows are a blessing in that they remind me that I've landed in a place where I don't want to remain. This is summed up nicely in these words by May Sarton:

Help us to be the always hopeful
Gardeners of the spirit
Who know that without darkness
Nothing comes to birth
As without light
Nothing flowers.

Love and Peace,

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Joyful Words

     Today I begin my third annual three-month stint as a tax preparer. I'm a "numbers nerd" and I truly love the work. In today's political/tax environment, there is always much to learn, and I find that very invigorating.
     Last year this time, I was deep into writing WHOA! (See tab above.) Each morning I would wake up early and spend 30-45 minutes writing. It was very spiritually satisfying, in addition to eventually creating a book. I expect this tax season that I'll be using this blog more as my writing outlet--gotta keep the words flowing.
     This morning I found two pieces I particularly like...

From "A Grateful Heart": Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves for we shall never cease to be amused. --Anonymous
Today's "Note from the Universe" by Mike Dooley:
Life is not what you see, but what you've projected. It's not what you've felt, but what you've decided. It's not what you've experienced, but how you've remembered it. It's not what you've forged, but what you've allowed. And it's not who's appeared, but who you've summoned.

And this should serve you well, beloved, until you find what you already have.

The Universe
Enjoying the old song "I Feel Good!" stuck in my head,