Category Archives: World, near and far

All about places I visit or just happen by.

Life as We Knew It

Hintersteinersee Lake, Lake, Kitzbühel, Austria, Nature

Life as we knew it has taken a back seat to nature’s dictum. 

Here we are, the powerful humans — or so we think — now, the backstory to a narrative long in the making. We can pinpoint to exact reasons we’re staying indoors these days (as we should). But upon reflection, once layers of grievances are peeled to the heart of the issue, what do we find?

That we had it coming. In some way or other. The world as a whole, not any one person in particular. But the particularity of the person — the utter focus on the self to the detriment of the whole, which nature is part of — turned the collective attention away from that which benefits us all. 

I don’t know exactly what that is, but if I were to pick one word to describe it, it would be Nature. Something we are all part of. Something we should try harder to protect. 

Pasqueflower, Pasque Flower, Dew

But how?

One example, which I’m often guilty of:  Staying tuned to what’s going on is vital, yet all too often, a big part of me wants to retreat internally. Take care of my business. Focus on me and what’s immediately around me. And that’s not necessarily bad; it’s what makes us strong. But it’s not enough, is it? How can it be enough?

So, yes, life as we knew it will return to normal. A reassuring yet disturbing thought, because it was much of that previous normal that brought us here. I sure hope we use this pause to try and create a better normal all around. 


Photos credit: pixabay

False Expectations

Frida Mom ad

Too real, too graphic. Too harsh to watch.

All said about a postpartum ad rejected by the Oscars.  The ad shows a mother struggling to get up in the middle of the night for her crying, hungry baby, then going to the bathroom and dealing with a pad and peri dish.

 Why is it too harsh to watch? Because of expectations, I gather.  

New motherhood is portrayed as magical, when in reality that’s far from what new mothers feels like 99.9 percent of the day and night.

Image result for unrealistic new motherhood portrayed by celebrities  vs  Frida Mom ad

We see celebrities standing on hospital steps and waving, big smiles on their faces, hours after pushing an eight-pound baby out of their bodies.

I remember a picture of Chelsea Clinton waving happily in front of the hospital with her new baby. Nothing but smiles. Kate Middleton did it several times. Yet, recently she spoke about how isolating those first few months and years felt. This from a woman who has all the support and money to make it better.

We’re guilty of creating unrealistic expectations for ourselves and other women. I raise my hand, I’m guilty. I go into celebration overdrive when I hear a woman is expecting. Is it up to me to share what I know? Not unless I’m asked, but choosing to share only the magical when there is so much more is wrong.

That’s why this ad hit a nerve. This is what we should show young women, more of this. A lesson in reality. This is what new motherhood really looks like – never mind the product promoted.

Most comments I read on the ad are supportive with a large number of women saying, no one ever told me what to really expect.  Because most people behave the way I do when I see a pregnant woman. Because reality makes us cringe.

But reality is what cuts through the feeling of isolation. The feeling of embarrassment and loneliness. Because, excuse me but it’s difficult to discuss bowel movements and bleeding and bloating and pain with just anyone. Reality is what makes a young mother feel like she’s not alone. That it’s okay, even though when it happens, it feels like it will never be okay again. It’s not easy, not pretty. We understand. We felt what you feel. Every bit of it.

Take note, prepare. Have an honest conversation with yourself and others. If asked, tell a soon-to-be mom the truth and point her to this ad.

No false expectations.

——-

Images: google, bloodandbaby

Mindfulness

assorted-color dandelions

When mindful, we can find profound meaning in everything. We can see the world as a constant source of inspiration.

Exploring ideas, writing, can keep us in the moment. And it’s so good for a clear and intuitive mind to be in the moment. But there’s always the internal chatter: can I do it?  

Can I focus? Can I achieve mindfulness?

As the mother of a teen who at times lacks focus,  I’ve been looking at the concept of mindfulness. At the idea of maintaining moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts and feelings and the surrounding environment. Deep, uninterrupted focus. 

Phronesis, Awareness, Philosophy

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are various mindfulness techniques. 

There is meditation. Some, designed specifically for teens.  

Getting a teen to sit through meditation, though — well, good luck. 

There are books. Some better than others.

There is mindful walking. Mindful writing.

There is poetry.  

Mindfulness is uniquely important for adults and young adults alike. That’s what I tell my son. And he reluctantly agrees.

Think about the focus necessary to sit through, observe, and carry on anything from routine chores to issues of massive importance. Without mindfulness, we’re barely scratching the surface of so much there is to know and better understand. 

The mindfulness technique I like best — unlike my son — is meditation. Among other things, meditation helps me understand there is a level of maturity youngsters need to reach in order to appreciate the art of internal reflection coupled with breathing and soothing music.

So, I give him his space. For now. 

What about you, dear friend? How do you achieve mindfulness? 

Images: pixabay

Stepping Back from Duties

Radio, Old, Retro, Vintage, Music, Sound

I turned on the news today, ready for traffic and weather. The latest on what’s going on in the middle east. The world. 

Within minutes, the talk turned to Harry and Meghan stepping back from royal duties. The shock. The dismay at an American woman stealing a British prince.

This could serve as great inspiration. We have to build our characters based of someone. Why not those beating up on famous figures? 

Later, I clicked through more articles on Harry and Meghan – don’t ask why – and one look at the comment section clarified these people’s desire to bail. The scrutiny and abuse, my goodness. The man is apparently not even in line of succession to the throne – outmoded a concept as that is – so why are folks bent out of shape?

Lion, Animal, Savannah, Lioness, Safari

The money?

Some commentators are complaining about the money spent by the couple.

So, I found a page that broke down how much the royals cost the taxpayers. Around $1 per British family per year.

For one dollar per year, the professional commentators want ownership rights to the air these people breathe. They want to rip them to shreds on the international stage for everyone to see.

One commentator was asking for a refund from Harry and Meghan.

How much would that be? Three dollars for the past three years. For three dollars this woman felt entitled to leave several nasty comments.

Something tells me nothing, no amount returned, would shut her up.  

Another commentator referenced the Queen. How sorry he felt for her majesty. Does he think the Queen – a loving grandmother, we assume – enjoys seeing a family member abused in such a manner?

If for the Queen’s sake, then why not leave her grandson alone?

So my question, all the way from California, is: why the dreadful behavior among the public?  We were on the brink of war not long ago; there is serious conflict in the world. Serious illness. Despair. Don’t people have issues of their own to resolve?

Can’t be the $1 per year, or the saddened royals.  

If the royal family love their son/brother/grandson they would be hurt reading despicable comments, wouldn’t they?

Images courtesy: Pixabay