Tag Archives: Relaxation

All Worked Up (for Nothing)

This week, I got all worked up. For nothing. A few times!

When I realized just HOW nothing these matters were (and how wrong I was in each case!) I had to kind of giggle. Really glad that I didn’t complain publicly or tell anyone off, I filed my misstep in the back of my mind for future reference.

Before you have a cow, make sure it’s worth having.

Back in the 70’s, Gilda Radnor’s Saturday Night Live character, Emily LItella, would get ALL worked up over a subject.

My friend Renee Kantor LOVES this character and this week I WAS this character. Going on and on and on and on only to stop, think, and say “Never mind.”

My first “Never mind” involved an appointment with a contractor. “I’ll be there between 12 and 12:30,” said the text.

At 12:45 I was harrumphing! The nerve!

When dear old Sam arrived, Mark said, “Yeah…I saw him driving around in front of our house for fifteen minutes, but figured it couldn’t be the contractor because he kept driving past our house.”

Sam meekly said, “You texted me 6852 S. Lockwood Ridge Road.”

I replied, “Yes! 6852 S. Lockwood Ridge Road.”

Mark looked at me like I had two heads.

“Honey, that’s not our address.”

Oh my God! It’s NOT!

Now, back in 1990 I lived at 6852 Clover Lane in Upper Darby, PA. But that was 30 years ago!

This is a classic example of mental-pause, but for the life of me, I don’t know why I would conjure up that old address.

Sam went from being on my #$#%@ list to being the recipient of several mea culpas.

Next, I got into a fight with Google.

I’d been humming the song “Sweet Life” all day and finally asked my Google Mini, “Hey Google – play Sweet Life by Paul Stewart.”

It said, “Okay. Here’s a playlist from the 70’s of lite rock hits.”

I don’t want lite rock hits. I want a very specific lite rock hit!

Maybe if I say the artist first.

“Hey Google! Play Paul Stewart’s Sweet Life.”

Some godawful song that was CLEARLY not Sweet Life began playing.

I thought if I said it more forcefully, Google would finally obey.

HEY GOOGLE!!!! PLAY SWEET LIFE BY PAUL STEWART!!!!

Nope.

My blood pressure rose. The lovely lyrics and the melody that made my heart smile all morning was GONE.

I was pissed off at Google.

A good twenty minutes passed before it even occurred to me that maybe I might be wrong.

I shifted from my verbal orders to an online search of the song “Sweet Life.”

By Paul Davis.

Ooops.

This song fills my heart with gratitude for my sweet life, shared with my Mark.

When I finally said it correctly, Google began playing to perfection.

I went from being all worked up to chair dancing and singing loudly:

This old world seems to be in a hurry But darlin’ we’ll just keep on takin’ our time ‘Cause we’re livin’ such a sweet life Oh what a neat life Sharin’ my love with you We’re livin’ such a sweet life Oh what a neat life Makin’ our dreams come true We’re makin’ our dreams come true

– PAUL DAVIS (NOT STEWART)

As Mark Twain so perfectly stated: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

This quickness to frustration, even anger – it’s not my normal way of responding to life. It likely is somehow related to this eternal pause button we’re ALL on right now, in the midst of a pandemic that has disrupted every plan once held for 2020.

What can you do when you get all worked up?

Take that little step away from the instigating event and think (sooner than I did) that perhaps YOU may be at fault.

And if you are, laugh at it. Apologize. (Though Google doesn’t really care, Sam sure did.)

Getting worked up is a choice. I want to expend precious energy on things that later don’t make me say, “Never mind.”

Our WOW was “relaxation” and there I was, getting all worked up! How did I resolve it? Well, the story is to be continued, but here’s a start:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOM5T1BaAik

On the other side of letting go is FREEDOM, and that’s what I want to fill my question mark with. What about you?

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Truth in Advertising and Lessons in Integrity

Integrity (to be truthful) isn’t what causes me to whip out my credit card.

No, it’s usually a vision of a new, improved me. Insert the word “serum” and I’m a goner. Show me that Lori Greiner from Shark Tank gave it a thumbs up, and I say sign me up. Before and after photos? They’re eye candy to me and I look for the PayPal prompt.

I love buying hope.

Who knew my love of seductive advertising would collide with our Word of the Week (WOW), integrity, this past week?

It’s usually easy-peasy to find some inspirational quotes that resonate with our WOW. But integrity?

Look, I’ve got a glaring half-inch of gray hair at my temples. My toenails are an unkempt, chipped, sick blue color. You can now pinch way more than an inch (if you dare try) and my fingernail-less hands now fly unhindered over my keyboard.

The truth? I’m thinking about my next meal or series to binge-watch.

Not integrity.

Even though it being the word of the week nudged at me. I should get some inspiration on this, right?

Then my sister called.

Shirlee is the perfect example of integrity and I’ll give you two of boatloads of examples I could share. These are just from THIS week.

I belong to Backstage, an online portal for voiceover artists, actors, and all types of performers. We see gigs that appeal to us and submit auditions. It’s fun! And voiceover work always provided shoe money for me since my early twenties.

Now that my sister is building quite a reputation as a gifted actress, I sometimes see ads for jobs she’d be perfect for. And I sent her one, this week:

WOMAN WHO IS SIXTY; MUST LOOK FORTY.

Well of course, that’s Shirlee!

I read further. The commercial promoted a skin cream. And it was a paying gig, non-union. Perfect!

So I sent it to her, already planning how we’d record her audition and spend the booty.

Not so fast, Brenda.

We’re heading into a showdown with INTEGRITY.

She graciously thanked me, then sweetly said, “But wouldn’t that be lying? I mean, I’ve never used the cream…”

“It’s a paying gig! Who cares!”

Then silence.

Had any of the thousands of models hawking serum possessed an OUNCE of integrity, I may have saved THOUSANDS of hard-earned dollars.

But Shirlee?

She’s one in a million.

Example number two: While coexisting on lockdown at home, she and Tony have made fabulous meals, watched wonderful movies, created art with pasta…

Seriously. She’s beautiful, nice, and a creative genius.

…and she also taught Tony – for the first time in his life – to play Solitaire.

As she completed the deck, which resulted in a “no win” Tony said, “So now what?”

“What do you mean, ‘what’?”

“I mean, that’s IT?”

“Yes. When the deck is done, you either win or lose.”

“No! Don’t you shuffle what’s left and try to win?”

“No!

Shirlee had never cheated at Solitaire.

Perhaps the memories of Mom-Mom’s favorite admonition: “Thou God See-est Me” ingrained on her heart from youth kept Shirlee’s sinful nature at bay.

Or maybe she simply doesn’t HAVE one.

Who knows? I say thank you, Shirlee. You gave me something to write about during a week when all I wanted to do was eat cheesecake.

And for all my life, you’ve been the female Jesus and a beacon of all that is good and right with the world.

Parting thoughts on INTEGRITY, and a comforting new Word of the Week:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8b0uc7Vymo

Which means we can return to our recliners and eat cheesecake in peace.

xoxoxox

Love,
Brenda

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A Wonderfully Ordinary, Purpose-Filled Life

Have you considered that your life is purpose-filled?

I’m not talking about the endless “to-do” lists that await you on any given day.

Your purpose isn’t what you DO, it’s wrapped up in who you ARE.

I spoke with an amazingly brilliant young woman who was turning thirty (30!) with sadness. Rather than being purpose-filled, she faced the new decade with disappointment and self-criticism.

When I look at her, I see inner and outer beauty, humor, intelligence and gifting I only WISH I had at her age.  With almost a quarter of a century on her in years, to ME she was the picture of youth and vibrancy.

To her? She judged herself as behind the bell curve; certainly not where she had hoped to be and a failure because many of the “to do’s” on her life list remained unchecked.

I remember those years, when my friend Nancy (who lived in California at the time) shared her new salary and it was DOUBLE what I was making at the team.  When my circle was all marrying off and I hadn’t had a good date in YEARS.

Loser. Failure. Slacker. Oh the torment of such self-talk.

We lose joy in living when life is reduced to a competition against the sand slipping through the hourglass.

How hard we are on ourselves when it does NO GOOD!

Must my accomplishments be grand, outrageous and applauded to be meaningful? Or is this simply the cry of a fragile ego seeking comfort?

I considered many of these things as I recorded this week’s message:

First of all, did I hear a collective “YIPPEE” about the new Word of the Week, RELAXATION?

Or was that just my  own voice echoing through my office?

To me, this juncture of purpose and relaxation is an important one.  Can you (and me) just give ourselves a break this week from the performance trap and just relax into who we are?

Can we just love on ourselves a little – no, A LOT, and embrace that WE ARE ENOUGH?

That is my hope for all of us this week.

Take time to breathe.

Throw away the “should’s” and “to-do’s” and as for the Jones’s, it’s far too exhausting to try and keep up with them.

Oh, and for the 30, 40, 50 and 60-something’s out there who are judging their accomplishments harshly, here’s a parting shot:

Take THAT, sands in the hourglass.

We may not be spring chickens, but we’ve only just begun.

xoxoxox

Brenda

 

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