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Archive for the ‘Life balance’ Category

Where Were You July 20, 1969?

 

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Like most major events, the moon landing and Neil Armstrong’s walk is firmly ingrained in our brains. We remember where we were and what we were doing. We remember what time of day it was. Me? Here’s what was going on…

The place:  Lane 3 at Sheridan Swim Club’s annual invitational meet. The time:  3:18 P.M. (CST) The weather:  hot, sunny, miserable for parents in the stands. The activity: Me, slogging through the 400 yd. Individual Medley (IM) 100 yds. each stroke: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. The results: Dead last. I knew this wouldn’t be my stellar event. First, I was a sprinter; 100yd. IM was more my speed. Second, before the race, the P.A. announcer said the landing would be aired momentarily.  And I’m going to be underwater. Fantastic. By the fifth of eight laps of this race, I lagged behind, thanks to breaststroke. I swam breaststroke like Myrtle the turtle. That day, my stroke was even more turtle-like, because I swam with my ears above water. (The better to hear the broadcast.) See photo above. My hope was that it would appear as if an effort was still being made. I failed miserably because I just could not miss history in the making. Coach was less than pleased to see the results, but I’d totally justified it in my mind. Sometimes you just have to keep your head above water, you know?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

So, what were YOU doing? Where were you? What do you recall if you were near a radio or television? I’d love to hear from you and will compile a list. I’d bet my last dollar you can remember, if you were old enough, that is.  bw

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Remember When Nobody Knew Your Birthday?

 

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First, thank you for remembering mine! Yep, yesterday I turned 64-ish. Give or take an ish. When I was a little kid, birthdays came and went without a blip on the screen. Oh, wait, ha, we didn’t have screens.  In the 60’s and 70’s, I didn’t even get to take birthday treats to school. It was during summer break. As a kid, that stinks. Now, at least, some teachers allow treats on half-birthdays, which is a start. Sometimes schools have everyone bring treats on the same day for summer birthdays. Well, geez, what fun is THAT to have your birthday smooshed in with everybody else’s?

Then came FaceBook. The universe answered every summer birthday person’s invisibility. We did a 180, from when nobody knew to the Billboard Effect! Except for Jeff, of course, who put the wrong birthday on his profile…

While there are tons of reasons I abhor Facebook, there aren’t many reasons for Facebook better than birthdays. Why? Well, there was this one guy. He pretty much nailed Facebook in 1943. They just didn’t call it that. It was TriangleBook. A/K/A Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. 

Once you get basic junk met, like survival and safety, you step right up to TriangleBook: love, belonging, community/inclusion. If that’s not enough lovin’, level up to Ego, which includes little gems like self-esteem, power, recognition and prestige. That dude really got it. Hence, TriangleBook or FaceBook. Or MyFace, or FaceSpace as our parents would call it. 

Today greeting card inventories turn over slower than a table at Cracker Barrel on Sunday morning. I get it. I still love sending cards. I’m a noter, by nature. I love receiving cards…early, late, whenever. Who doesn’t? I have to say, however, getting gobs of birthday posts are simply the best! I’m going to step up my game and pay even more attention to other’s birthday alerts, because I know how much fun it is to be on the receiving end. 

Thank you from the bottom of my triangle. BW

Boob Cups & Sandbags

Too many things bubbling to the surface this week, so we’ll touch two topics briefly!

Boob Cups

Early June always reminds me of the summer of 1967 at Sheridan Swim Club. I was a budding twelve year old; that time in life between child and young adult. Frustratingly, your mind and body can’t pick a lane. Mom bought me a brown & pink dotted Swiss bikini. An apron was velcroed under my wannabe-bust, in case I wanted to cover the stomach. The bra was slightly padded. Seems like an unremarkable memory, right? It was. Until I overheard this freshman, Patti say, “Did you guys see Bobbe’s Big Boob Cups?!?!” OH MY DOTTED-SWISS SAVIOR! I was mortified. Were they THAT ginormous? Did my boob cups surface before surface in the water before the rest of me? 

She was poking fun at me. And I’d bet my bottom dollar that if she poked one of my boob cups, it would dent, because you can’t fool Mother Busture. And they wonder why young girls struggle with their bodies…  To this day, when I try on swimsuits, my eyes go right to the boob cubs. Do we ever heal from snide remarks? Not fully, no. Be kind when commenting. A vulnerable person may be within earshot. Possibly boob shot, which is what I wanted to do with both boob cups.

Sandbags

On a totally unrelated topic, the National Guard showed up Saturday to help make and distribute sandbags. If unfamiliar, bags help shore up river levees to keep rivers in their banks. The need was great; 130,000 bags requested on JUST Sunday. And I couldn’t help. I’d overachieved edging the yard by opting for a $24.95 shovel (19.95 with ACE coupon).

Maybe it was the repetitive jumping on the shovel, bending over to scoop dirt or to realign our 12” sidewalk stones. YouTube made hand edging look like easy. Plus, I was a physical beast, so why not? Ohhhhhh, I don’t know. Because I’m 63 11/12? Because I’ve never done it before? YouTube lied. As for my shovel, I’d like to shove the shovel up ACE Hardware shovel manager’s keister. Or maybe shove some common sense into my head. Hundred’s of physical therapy dollars later, I’m recovering, slowly.  Grrrrrrrr.

Instead, I volunteered at the check-in desk last Sunday, to help. It was fun. The city lifted the age limit. Children of all ages could help with parents or guardians. There were baseball clubs, church groups and gobs of families. Adults with children had designated sand piles so they wouldn’t interfere with the heavy duty sand baggers. I mean, kids will be kids…  “He threw sand on me!”  “I’m hot!” “It’s so hard.” “I’m done!” You know, the same thing the adults are thinking, but powering through it all. But, God bless them, they helped! No matter if they shoveled a teaspoon of sand or a mountain, they helped. And that’s where community pride begins.

Last night, I helped the Salvation Army serve the Guardsmen dinner at Quincy University. Again, it was fun to help. And these men and women are so darn appreciative and respectful. When the call arises, please answer your community. You’ll not want a minute of it back. Hey, wait, maybe I could fill the boob cups with baby sandbags…   Oh, this brain. BW

Be a Houseguest Rockstar With These 10 Tips

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It wasn’t a new year’s resolution, but 2019 has turned out to be the “Year of the Friend” visits around the country. The only reason it happened is this: I invited myself. Ugh. I can hardly write about these impositions. Mom is, no doubt, rolling her eyes out loud at me, because people with manners just don’t do this. I’m a little sorry, but not a lot sorry, because I got to mix some biz with pleasure and spend time with really great friends.

My destinations included humans – and a few hounds – ages 4 weeks old to 94. The overall theme of these travels was, “If not now, when?” I’ve learned that with major miles and busy lifestyles among us, most people won’t outright invite others. I really don’t either, really. We all just assume, “They should know they’re welcome.”  They haven’t met my mother, “Not until you’re invited, Young Lady!”

When imposing on others, I tried hard to abide by these ten tips. (My hosts may be rolling their own eyes after reading my intentions below…!)

  1. Offer a few dates you could visit. Fortunately, I have honest friends who tell me when it’s inconvenient to visit.
  2. Limit your stay to two days. I thought it was Mom’s rule, but just learned it’s not.   “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”   Benjamin Franklin
  3. Be a good guest. This includes bed made and room(s) tidied daily, particularly the bathroom. ESPECIALLY the bathroom.
  4. Be gracious. Come bearing gift(s) or follow up promptly. If there’s a young child in the home, take a book or tiny toy. (Side bar: just found out that I mailed my thank you note to Christine and Family to Debbie’s house.  Oh, Bobbe…)
  5. Be cooperative. If there is a 6:45 p.m. dinner reservation, do whatever it takes to be ready…FIRST.  Thou shall not wait on you!
  6. Be agreeable. They want to go bowling and eat pizza. You’d hoped for TopGolf and Tacos. Toughen up Taco Head. Go with it.
  7. House rules rule! I noted in 75% of the homes where I stayed. (Okay, 3 of 4) shoes were left by the door. Once inside, it’s best to ask before you tromp through their house.
  8. Assess your pajamas. For some of you that may even mean, “GET SOME PAJAMAS!” Perhaps you sleep in bikini briefs, boxers or bare bottom. This doesn’t mean everyone does. Cover up buttercup. Oh, and while dressing, SHUT. THE. DOOR. You never know who might pop in. Awkward!
  9. Spring for a meal. They’ll say, “No!” You say, “Yes!” Personally, I hate food funding fights, so I’ve gotten quite sly about handing off my credit card to the waiter unnoticed. I figure it’s the least I can do in exchange for lodging. #needtips?
  10. Be self-sufficient, on both arrival and departure.  This may include Lyft, Uber or car rental. Your hosts and hostesses appreciate not having to fetch you, although some will insist. On the other end, I’ve found that my friends are more than happy to return me to the airport. Hmmmm, what’s that fishy smell? Oh, ha-ha, It’s me! Bye, bye!
  11. BONUS TIP: Board Bob the Beagle. Don’t even think of showing up with extra people or pets, unless encouraged. That is just rude. Ruff ruff!

My friend, Christine, said something which made me feel much better about inviting myself, “How can you invite yourself if the door is always open?” I like that philosophy. A lot. Hear that one, Mom? Is this new age hospitality?

Thank you, thank you, from Denver to Dallas to Charlotte. There was a common denomination among you all: loads of laughter. My emotional tank is now full to the brim. Thanks for the fill-ups, Friends! You all were grand hosts, I can only hope I was as grand of a guest. Bw

 

My First Green Beer in Years

As some of you saw on social media, I actually went out Saturday night. That in itself is unusual. The fact that it was St. Pat’s Eve made it improbable. Yet, I went. I had to wear teal, which is the closest color to green that I own. I do have a kelly green wristlet, compliments of Mary Beth McGee, but it was a bit dressy for the bar.

My Hannibal pal, Lisa, told me at T-minus two hours, that The Scott-Free project was the playing at On the Rail. After an hour and a half of  debating,

“Go, don’t go, go, don’t go,” I went.

Lyft dropped me at the door. It’s the best service in town. Call me vain, but I feel like a celebrity when I get out of the Nissan or Toyota. On the other hand, maybe it’s not vanity, but intelligence: smart enough not to drive on a c-rrrrazy night like this and lucky enough to not have to jockey parking places. Also, Quincy is small enough that your wait is minimal…if they can get through the four-way stop at 18th & Broadway, that is. It’s worth every penny. Both ways.

I figured that it had been several decades since I’d experienced St. Pat’s revelry. Here’s what I learned:

1. Everybody’s Irish on a bar-crawl.

2. Tu-tus are not just for dance recitals anymore.

3. Green beer’s not bad.

4. Nobody drinks green wine or vodka. (But couldn’t we?)

5. Every song the band played was by an Irish group: this included, Credence Clearwater Revival, The Eagles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Nobody chose to prove them wrong. Who cared? The music by The Scott-Free Project is always excellent.

I asked Scott what the name of his project meant. He explained it to me:

“It means that when I used to be in a band, we would all have to agree on what songs to play. Now that I am rolling solo, or with one other musician, I am free to play what I want.”

What a great approach, right? Why don’t we all be our own free projects and do what makes us happy(ier)? It means that you’ve got to be bolder, gutsier and riskier. And when bar-hoppers request songs that you don’t know, just play them something they’ll enjoy just as much. My personal favorite is “Bathroom on the Right.” Also known as “Bad Moon on the Rise”. And what was REALLY funny, the bathroom IS on the right! (Make that stage right…)

It’s not always easy being the headliner. They’re musicians, comedians, and overall crowd pleasers. I have no idea how much musicians make for three hours in our local bars, but I sure hope you tip them on your way out. They earn every cent. Just like your Lyft driver.

Here’s hoping you had a spirited St. Patty’s holiday, when everything turns green. What a perfect time of year for a much needed holiday, even for those of us who are slightly Irish, if not at all.

O’Bobbe

 

 

 

That’s On Me and That’s the Troof

4f7ff044-0642-4eef-b058-b3ac4e119e08We’ve been hearing this phrase a lot lately. It’s a handy one. It can tolerate any pronoun:

That’s on me.

That’s on you.

That’s on us.

That’s on them.

I think this phrase be used a lot or a little. It depends. If we’re taking ownership in something we’ve done that doesn’t turn out particularly well. Well, that’s on me. I need to own it. 

Before slinging this phrase around, perhaps the best idea  is to turn the phrase  into a question “That’s on who?”  (For you grammar gurus, I suppose it’s more correct to say, “That’s on whom?” Whichever, it is and right now, I’m getting confused about the wrong thing, so let’s move on, shall we?)

If someone is trying to throw blame on you for something, they might say, “That’s on you!”  If it’s true, then it’s going to hit right where it hurts. Why? Because truth is hard. Truth can hurt. But the truth is the truth is the truth. And that’s the truth. Or as our Nick would’ve said it as a little kid, without front teeth, “That’s the troof!” And that’s okay. We need to hear a little more troof!

The problem with hearing the troof is that we become so damn defensive. It’s a natural response.  If we don’t go down the defensive road, I know that for myself, I will just crumble into a puddle of woe. Woe goes like this: 

“I’m so stupid. I’m such a loser. I should’ve known better.” Yeah, let’s be self-defeating. That’s so much more fun! This is because someone has just validated what I’ve known all along. And the troof can feel like crap. So, be careful before you sling around “That’s on you.”

However, if we’re to correct our actions and become better humans, then it’s important to know what troof feels like. I think I really like using this version (troof), because it makes me laugh. And maybe we all need to do that a little bit more when it’s on us. Bw

My friend, Michele, is Just the Best!

After 67 years, my parents had been split up, not by divorce, but by different aging conditions. 

While there was no question about the strength of our friendship, it was confirmed many times by Michele’s willingness to accompany me on my visits. 

There are two kinds of humans in this world: those who can deal with the elderly and those who cannot. Now a successful banker, Michele had CNA experience a couple of decades before this. 

CNAs must deal with the messiest of patients and there was nothing that could violate Michele! 

At this time of the year, I’ll never forget when my ninety year old mom was in the hospital one winter, three times in six weeks, for recurring pneumonia. Her diagnosis was, “pneumonia and failure to thrive.” Her prognosis read, “Poor”. She wouldn’t eat or drink and it felt like the beginning of the end. 

One Sunday morning, Michele offered to go with me to the hospital. Very few people assume the invitation is always open. I would never ask anyone if they wanted to go, except a family member. 

Mom had just had a bath and was ready for a breakfast that she wouldn’t eat. Her hair, thin from aging and wet from her bath, was plastered against her small head. It was unsettling. 

There were two basic things to do: get food and liquid in her and set that hair! Michele coaxed her kindly and fed her easily from the front, while I put her hair up in Velcro curlers, from the back. It was a two-pronged approach and quite a vision, I’m sure. 

Perhaps it was because of Michele’s kind, gentle easy nature with Mom, orr maybe it was the ever-present sparkle in her eyes, but it was the loveliest gesture a friend could offer Mom and me.

We see this aging parent scenario unfold hundreds and thousands of times. Let this be a positive lesson to us all that we, too, can dish up kindness and assistance with a spoon or a fork. And a little Dippity-Do! 

Thanks, Michele. LYLAS!