LIFE is GOOD – Website

Have got to flip yesterday & today – Website Wednesday & TED Talk Thursday.   Much more click baity!

Starting NEXT week – can’t postpone sharing LIFE is GOOD, a website & company that flipped my life into full-consciousness mode!

Envision a display of fireworks – the most excellent ones you can imagine – bursting over your digital device, celebrating my discovering Bert & John Jacobs, their AWEsome company…  and Steve Gross,  Founder & Chief Playmaker of the Life is Good Kids Foundation.  My world opened up, the angels sang, the Universe say, “Get working, kiddo!”

Great Life is Good T-shirts & products, awesome back stories, ab fab work & life credo, and – behind it all – an incredible MOM.

Because of Life is Good, my present is busy busy busy & my future looks off the charts!

LIFE IS GOOD ~ belated pre-review book

Apologies for the belated review – missed out posting it yesterday.  Oops!  And it’s not a review, but a look forward to what will be.

There are dozens of books I could have reviewed, ones that have turned my life around, set expectations on their ear, spun fresh perspectives.  But not today.  Am looking into the future, to finishing Bert & John Jacobs’, Life Is Good – how to live with purpose & enjoy the ride.

Without a doubt, the Universe sent Bert Jacobs my way to give a different spin to my view of eldering.  To fully infuse it with OPTIMISM.  My natural bent.  But one bent out of shape by the false message playing in my head that optimism isn’t valued.

Mega duh!  My successes in education, business, eldercare have been gilded with optimism.  Now,  deepen that connection.  Make it intentional, be aware of & embrace it, draw it into an unlimited partnership!

After I read Life Is Good, it will make even more gloriously optimistic sense than it does right now.  I will be Bertified & Johnish, a Jacobs-ite.  A very good thing, indeed!

See you on the other side of “Life isn’t easy.  Life isn’t perfect.  Life is good.”

Baby, take a bow

Yesterday was an unimaginable red-letter day.   Who knew when Saturday dawned that Sunday would be utterly WOW?   Then Opportunity stepped in.

Background:  It was my pleasure to plan & prep & prep for yesterday’s Bryn Athyn Community (B-Act) late afternoon cast party, but a delightful spanner was thrown into the works when a special friend extended an invitation for Sunday lunch.

On 10/15/17, my reality was that things were organized enough that by I could drop by all the paper goods & stock the Green Room fridge at the Mitchell Performing Arts Center (the play AND party site) with sodas, barbequed meat balls, baby potatoes dolloped with sour cream/bacon/chives, dozens of deviled eggs, chili, guacamole, salsa, veggie dip, cheese balls (blue -and- cheddar), sliced veggies with ranch dip for dunking, cream cheese with cocktail sauce & mini shrimp, pumpkin dip with apple slices, apple pie spread, grapes dipped in melted butterscotch bits & rolled in crushed pecans, cookies & cream puffs.  All DONE by 10:30 a.m., leaving John & I free to get to Tom Rose’s 11:00 a.m. investiture service, stop at York Diner for a nibble, arrive at Trish’s out in the far western reaches of Montgomery County for what both of us agree was the MOST fun lunch & extended gab & gaggle of new friends EVER.

I am as proud of yesterday as any accomplishment in my life.  Things were well organized & work was advanced enough that, when opportunity knocked we could answer YES without leaving anyone in the lurch. The party foods were packaged in service-ready containers, labeled with the contents, if it contained nuts, & a recommended cracker or dipper.  If there hadn’t been room in the fridge – which, praise be, there was – the foods that required refrigeration until the 4:00 p.m. party would have been fine, packed in our big ice chest, chilled with the well-sealed bags of ice atop the stacked containers.

That would have been unthinkable four years ago.  It was the culmination of a grand plan – getting to yesterday took years of  intention, determination, focus & follow through.

For three years, I volunteered to put on every B-Act cast party.  Doing a long line of parties let me figure out what worked best, plan & execute menus that provide maximum satisfaction for minimum effort & minimal expenses, are easy to set up & clean up.

Everything completed & stored by 10:30 a.m. for the late afternoon party,  without a  suggestion of stress.  Even the pick up of left-overs et al was as easy peasy as it gets – picked up around 9:00 p.m. (we were at Trish’s until 8:00!) at the B-Act president’s home, all chilled in our trusty Igloo ice chest.

That might not seem like a major accomplishment, but it is epic.  Its planning involved years of preparation, of learning & applying the lessons, REMEMBERING what worked & doing more of that -and- eliminated the sub par & gosh awful, doing things at the best time & in the most effective manner, at the most effective time (instead of finally) & in effective ways.

All of which went against an upbringing that drummed into me the opposite of everything that went into yesterday’s triumph, lifelong messages extolling creativity as springing from spontaneity (“stodgy planning is so bourgeois”), celebrating winging it as the mark of true genius, putting personal gratification above others’,  painting last-minute dramatics as conducive to great final results, & presenting stress strain unhappiness as conducive to the creative process.

Yesterday, being ABLE to accept a last minute invitation because I’d already overridden really dumb ancient messaging, turned out to be a personal performance worth several curtain calls.

Baby, take a bow!

 

 

Innovation & all that lies ahead

An advantage of growing older is racking up enough experiences to spot the same old issues, whether the usual suspects pop out in the usual way OR get sneaky & attack under different guises.

Although it was a jaw-dropper when this was first brought home to me five years ago, I am an innovator, a problem solver.  Never saw myself that way – the first manager of our local farm market mentioned it, as if it was obvious.  To her – yes.  To me – nope.

Oh, I knew about being a problem solver.  That was my unacknowledged but essential family role.  But the innovator part caught me unawares, although looking back over 60 years shouted out the truth of her comment.

For 41 years, my #1 problem-solving energies were directed at getting a better sense of mental emotional spiritual balance in a life that had been & continued to be…  I can’t describe the indescribable.  Trying to make sense of whackadoodle dynamics that seemed to make sense to everyone BUT me.

Which is where Susie’s “innovator” description comes in – for 41 years, I’ve reached for different perceptions of “reality,” different spins on events, different WHYs behind what this person or that did.  I upended entrenched views of myself, my family, my teachers friends colleagues, disrupting assumptions with “what ifs.”

Although it didn’t hit me until today, that’s innovation at its core – seeking different views, fresh understandings.

I am always seeking a new take on old problems.  I am willing to jettison what is messing me up, even if it is something I’ve held onto for decades.  (Our resistance to do that is a blog posting all on its own!)  I hold my image of what HAPPENED in any given moment with light reins – 65 years have shown how many times what I was SURE happened turned out to either be off-kilter.

Being an innovator got me to this flat-out terrific now.  It zooms me, even at a glacial pace, to all that lies ahead.

And it drives a lot of people nuts.

Life IS Good – Podcast Tuesday

Delighted to discover The Art of Charm team – speak to me, guys!  People think of me as a social smoothie – in some ways, yes; in others – oh brother, am such a fledgling!!  Having a blast as I work my way through the 30-day challenge, taking me upward & onward to a glorious upbeat, optimistic FABULOUS forever!

Here’s the link to BERT JACOBS’s interview with the AoC guys – great info at ANY age. Bliss!

https://theartofcharm.com/podcast-episodes/bert-jacobs-life-good-episode-502/

 

2-timin’ Willie Nelson

No, HE’s not 2-timing ~ here’s just two times he’s gotten dandy press coverage for his still roaring career.  At 84!

First, a Daily Beast post from March about the scheduled drop of a new album, God’s Problem Child. ~ to quote Rolling Stone, “Listening to a new Willie Nelson album with a set of fresh ears is almost impossible to do in 2017 – and Nelson knows it. Hovering over all news regarding the Red Headed Stranger are worries about the health of the country icon, who turns 84 on April 29th. So he decided to make the elephant in the room – his own mortality – the focal point of his new LP, God’s Problem Child**.”

Now, he’s back on the press circuit, promoting an album – Willie Nelson & the Boys – made with his 20-something sons, Lucas & Michal, due out on 10/20/17.  So Daily Beast dropped a video of the three of them discussing music & performing Send Me The Pillow You Dream On.

Willie Nelson – 84 & going strong… with a little support from his boys.  Speaks (sings?) volumes!

 

**I did the best I could do
Or the best I could tell
The higher I flew, the farther I fell
Born in the mud,
Raised in the wild
Washed in the blood,
God’s Problem Child
I feel the shine, following me
Not far behind, that’s where I wanna be
A little out of town, fine by me
Darkness may fall
We still got a light
Keeping us all
Safe through the night
Heaven must love
God’s problem child
Heaven must love
God’s problem child
Heaven must love
God’s problem child

TONCHE – Mindwalker1910 10/30/00

Mom’s participation in the Tonche Women’s Weekend was a high point of her closing years & a high-water mark for showing her at her most KRL-ish.  By the next October – 2001 – she was gone, reunited with her O! Best Beloved.

Subj: Tonche
Date: Mon Oct 30 08:32:43 EST 2000

Almost a month without a posting from me. All is well. In fact, all is beyond the beyond. I think that the reason I haven’t written is because words are inadequate to describe what I have experienced this month.

Miracles do happen.

Earlier this month, I attended the Women’s Weekend at Tonche (outside of Woodstock, NY. I wanted to go last year, had planned on going, but could not make it because I was still recuperating from my “episode.”

This year, I got there.

It is awful, the way that words fail me when I am most deeply, deeply moved. My vocabulary does not include the words to describe what I saw and felt over that remarkable weekend. I felt totally wrapped up in love.

It was a weekend filled with old and new friends, renewed energies, and an unexpected chance to get in a good visit with my older daughter, Mim. I do not know which of us was more surprised to see the other person there! My age made it almost unthinkable that I would actually get there and keep going under my own steam for the whole time; Mim’s lack of transportation and own physical challenges make it equally challenging for her. What a blessing that we both overcame any obstacles to be there, in the heart of caring women.

Elsa was informed right off the bat by Deanna Nelson Odhner that she and the others would take care of me over the weekend. I felt like a mountain woman version of the Queen of Sheba, with my every wish and want taken care of. So much love, wonderful homemade food AND a view of the Catskills that would knock your socks off.

The one thing that I am going to share is a realization that came during ”sharing” time with the small circle of women I met with in the morning and evening. I had, over the two days, discussed bits and pieces of my life. I think it was on the second evening – or maybe it was on the last morning – that I mentioned that life had been easy on me. One of the young woman looked at me in disbelief and blurted out, “Mrs. Lockhart, from what you’ve described, your life has been anything but easy!” That got me thinking – it feels like the right word to describe my life is “easy,” but I can see what she meant. Perhaps “fortunate” is better.

One of the key blessings to come out of the weekend has been the gift of seeing things in a new light, with a richer awareness and a deeper appreciation. For 2 ½ days, I basked in the happiness of being there with both of my daughters. I developed new friendships, especially with Julie Conaron, and increased the depth of old ones, particularly with Deanna.

I was up every morning bright and early and down to Danna’s house in plenty of time for breakfast, and I stayed up until the end of each program/discussion group. I felt strong mentally, spiritually and physically.

I said I was going to go and I went!

If only I could share all that was in my heart, all the images in my mind – what a glorious posting this would be!

Love to one and all, especially to my fellow mountain women – The Queen of Sheba (aka Grammie)