Tuesday, September 16, 2008


If nothing you do matters,
then all that matters is what you do....

I heard this statement recently and I confess that at first blush it struck me as nonsense at worst, confusing at best.

The person speaking went on to explain that at those moments when you realize your actions will not change the 'big picture outcome' of a situation it's time to turn your attention, effort, heart and soul towards what small things you ARE able to do. Take actions that WILL make a difference. Those things within your control may or may not be related to the larger issue at hand - but you always have choices.

Quite profound.

It is incredibly easy (and disheartening) to look at a situation and realize that try as you may you are NOT going to control the outcome. Reasons vary, but you realize it lies beyond your grasp to rein in (or rein out) the horses and wagon you see about to go over the cliff.

The light bulb for me within the statement I mention was the tool of refocusing. Finding (if you can) some smaller inroad you may be able to attain within the bigger picture. And if that can't be found move on.

Do what you can in some other unrelated arena. Make some other small progress. Give some kindness. Change the world (or the day, or the moment) in some other small way. Do whatever you can within your reach.

To be powerless in 'given situation' doesn't necessarily mean there's nothing you can do - it may mean you just need to do something else.....

I don't know why I'd never really thought of it that way!

Sometimes life leaves me feeling a bit powerless - but as long as there are choices, other paths I can choose 'what I do matters'. Just, perhaps, in a smaller reaching circle....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


There are certain aspects of being 50-something that I confess I'm not keen on...

For instance needing glasses to read ANYTHING. Poo and bother. Because that leads to needing the magnifier glasses which I never have with me when I want to read something (drawing my attention to my lack of planning). Not knowing where any of these pairs of glasses are leads to an awareness of my lack of memory, as I can't recall WHERE I was the last time I used my glasses. Hunt & search for glasses. Poo and bother!

There are other aspects of this point in my life that, alternately, I love.

Take the ASPEN-POPLAR CAFE pictured above.

There was a time I wouldn't have in any way broken my routine or slowed my schedule to accept an invitation from my husband to sit and chat with him (with a wine for him and a beer for me) on a sunny Summer day. No, no. Too busy was I. Too busy was the business. Too soon would my next student arrive. No, no thank you....

Now I wonder how many moments I've lost to 'I have to's' that are long gone, forgotten and were (I know now) not of the import I assigned to them. You often read essays, articles, books reminding we mortals to savor time with our children, our parents, our friends, our hobbies. Far less often do we think of saving (or making) time for our spouses. Perhaps because our husband or wife is so integral to our days that the concept of making time for them escapes lucid thought.

Even less inclined are we mere mortals to take time to spend alone with OURSELVES....

In the rush and worry, responsibility and race of each day it seems optional if not silly to carve out time for husband/wife or ones self. But the 50-something me has come to understand that time spent with him and time spent by myself are not only important but wonderfully renewing.

It may not be so for everyone (not all husbands are created equally, lol) and not all people believe they need any time alone with themselves (tho I'd debate that with vigor).

Still, the next time you're invited to steal away for a shared moment of time (or the thought occurs to steal a moment for yourself) at your version of the Aspen-Poplar Cafe go for it!