Category Archives: Opinion

Age is a Work of Art

I enjoy the summer with its plentiful sunshine, warm breezes, and gardens overflowing with green plants and colorful flowers. I love to sit on my backyard deck and listen to the birds as they sing their cheerful songs from the branches of the trees overhead and watch the squirrels as they chatter among themselves and scamper through the yard. It’s often a welcome relief from the cold winter months of Minnesota. It’s also a time for family gatherings like graduations, weddings, picnics, and backyard barbecues.cake with candles 1

There’s one other event that the summer brings to our family, and that’s birthday celebrations. During this time, our family celebrates three birthdays in quick succession, each one only a week apart. And my birthday happens to be one of them.

Usually I enjoy celebrating birthdays. It has never really bothered me what age I was. I always believed that age was just a number, a state of mind, and that you were only as old as you feel.

But this summer I’ll turn 59. For some reason, the thought of turning 59 bothers me. I suppose it’s because it means that next year I’ll be 60. My apologies to all the sexagenarians out there, but 60 sounds old to me! I still can’t get used to the idea that by all standards, I’m already considered a senior citizen. I don’t feel like a senior citizen. As far as I’m concerned, my brain still thinks like the 25 to 30-year-old woman who I once was. And when I look at my reflection in the mirror, I can see that I truly don’t have that many wrinkles and I can only find three or four gray hairs. As a matter of fact, when people find out that I’m 58, they always tell me that they would never have guessed that I was that old.

But maybe I should look at this from a different point of view. Perhaps I should leave my emotions out of the picture and instead of thinking about all the negative aspects to aging, maybe I should consider all the benefits to growing older.

One of my favorite quotes is by Stanislaw Lec and it goes like this: “Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.”

I think that says it all. It’s true that when you’re young, you have the whole future before you. You have high hopes for tomorrow and so many dreams to chase. There’s so much to look forward to and you never give a second thought to growing old. But as we grow older, as we mature, I believe that we have so much more within ourselves than we had in our youth.

For instance, we have the knowledge and the experience to live our lives even smarter and better than when we were younger. We know what to do because there’s a good chance that we’ve been in similar circumstances before. We make wiser decisions and hopefully, smarter choices. Not only that, but we can help others to benefit from our experiences – those we love such as our children and even our grandchildren if we’re lucky.

Our emotions are more finely tuned and usually we can deal with those emotions better (not all the time, but most of the time). We can enjoy other people’s company more because of the experience we’ve gained from our past relationships.

And I think we can love others more fully and more deeply than ever before. And that’s the best part of all.

Do you remember that old jingle: “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better?” I believe it’s true.

So maybe turning 59 won’t be so bad after all. And before I blow out those birthday candles, I’ll think I’ll make the wish that next year my 60th birthday will be even better.

 

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Three Words You Never Hear Any More

I grew up in a family of seven children, and whenever the telephone rang in our house, you could hear seven voices chime out simultaneously: “I’ll get it!” Following this was always a race to see who could manage to pick up the receiver first and say that special word: “Hello?”

In our house it was a privilege to answer the telephone. We didn’t have cell phones back then. We didn’t have an answering machine, either, so there was no screening of the calls being received. Hard as it is to believe, we actually wanted to know who was on the other end of the line calling us. We never allowed a telephone call to go unanswered. telephone ringing 1But today it seems that the words: “I’ll get it” are three words that you never hear anymore.

With the birth of the answering machine and the ability to screen calls, it is practically unheard of to answer a call without first checking to see who is calling. And how many of us have land lines anymore? Today most of us own cell phones, a modern convenience which allows us to receive our calls anywhere at any time. But in many instances we’re not even talking on our phones because often we prefer texting to talking. Yes, modern technology has certainly changed our attitude towards the telephone. And I wonder: Has it been for the better?

As a matter of fact, I did not own a cell phone until a couple of years ago. I’ve been unable to work for the past eleven years due to medical disabilities which has kept me homebound, and so my husband felt that I didn’t need a cell phone; after all, I had the land line available to me. After an emergency arose, it became apparent that I did need a cell phone, and so finally (as my children so aptly put it) “I stepped into the 21st century.” They pointed out to me that a cell phone was better than a land line because of the texting feature. With texting, I’d be able to communicate faster and easier with people because sometimes it’s “inconvenient” to talk on the phone. At least, this was the way that it was explained to me by them.

But it seems to me that it’s more difficult than ever to get hold of people, even my own children! Well, is it just me or does everyone have this problem? I text, I leave messages, and often I never hear back from the people I call or text. It’s so frustrating not to be able to get hold of other people. And I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been with others who have simply ignored their cell phones when they’ve been ringing, and I think: Aren’t you going to answer that?

I think that the other problem with the cell phone age is texting. I know what you’re going to say because I’ve heard it from my own children. Yes, it is convenient, and yes, it is quick. But what about our communication skills? I’m talking about good old-fashioned talking, one-to-one voice communication. I’m talking about a verbal exchange between two people. There can be problems with texting. Many times you really can’t express all that you need to express in the printed word, such as the tone of your voice or the way you emphasize a certain word. Now I realize that you can place a smiley face or some other emoticon in your text message, but is it really the same as “hearing” the smile in someone’s voice when they’re talking, or listening to them laugh? What about when they’re feeling sad or worried? Can you really express those feelings in a text message? I truly don’t believe that you can.

I know that technology is here to stay, and I’m all for it because we’re supposed to evolve and become better. But maybe we should start thinking about being a bit more considerate of each other when we use it. After all, it’s supposed to help us, not harm us. Maybe we should use a bit of common sense and think about whether it’s better to text or to actually talk on the phone depending on the situation. And I always plead with my children: Please check  your messages and call people back.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t be afraid to say: “I’ll get it.”

 

 

 

 

 

I Love Chocolate

Oooh . . .  Which flavor do I love? There is no question whatsoever! Chocolate has been and always will be my favorite flavor. You can ask any woman and I think that she will tell you that chocolate is the go-to flavor. I could be wrong about this, of course, but every woman who I know absolutely adores chocolate.

After all, what is Valentine’s Day all about? Uh-huh! Chocolate. We do anticipate receiving those heart-shaped ribbon-wrapped boxes filled with those sweet chocolate confections of all varieties – coconut, maple, vanilla, pecan, caramel, orange, butternut . . . ooh . . . it just makes my mouth water to think of it! chocolates

And you must admit that a box of chocolates is always a great way for any man to show his love and adoration for his woman. It’s a nice gift for any birthday or anniversary. Of course, it shouldn’t be the ONLY gift that you should give to the woman who you love, but it makes for a nice additional gift. It’s also a nice little gift for any day, for those days when there’s nothing going on, just to show that you love her.

I love chocolate in any form, whether it’s from the box, in a cake, or in ice cream form. I even love chocolate milk or hot chocolate. Chocolate soothes me. I think chocolate is luxurious. It makes me feel so good. It just relaxes me. There’s just something about chocolate that I absolutely love. And it tastes so good. I love its sweetness and smoothness.

Yes, oh yes. Chocolate is my flavor. I love chocolate.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt! ”  ~ Lucy Van Pelt in Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

 

 

Artzine: What is Art?

starry night

First, let me say that I was totally thrilled when my friend and fellow blogger, Wren, invited me to join a collaboration of bloggers called Artzine, a project which was created by the lovely Khana. Artzine is a monthly project featured on Khana’s site where “we can share our experiences, thoughts and feelings regarding art.”

After looking the project over, I thought the project sounded very intriguing and just like the kind of project that I would love to be involved with, so of course, I gladly accepted her kind invitation.

But first I must warn you: I am not an artist. The best I can do when it comes to drawing, sketching, or painting people is that of stick figures. I’m not kidding! I do, however, have a good sense of color. And sculpting? I must say that I make a pretty fair ash tray from Play-Dough along with the best of them. But I am aware that there’s more to art than just drawing, sketching, painting, or sculpting. And that’s what brings me to the first question.

The question for this post is this: What is art anyway? What does it mean to you?

I think the definition of art is going to be different for everyone. You know the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” Well, I think that art is like that, too. I think that art is in the eye of the beholder as well. What one person sees as art another person may see as a piece of of junk or as a bunch of scribbles. It’s all in how you look at art, I think. I think that art is very subjective. Everyone’s tastes are different.

For instance, I adore art from the renaissance period, but pop art – not so much; whereas my daughter loves pop art but does not care for art from the renaissance period. I know this because we have gone to art exhibits together before so I know her tastes, just as she knows mine. She can see things in pop art that I just cannot for the life of me see. I just don’t get it, but she does.

I also believe that art can be anything that is created. I’m not talking about only painting or sculpting. But let us also consider music. Is that not art? Are not musicians artists in their own right? They create masterpieces of a different kind, and those masterpieces, the music, that they create can touch your mind, your heart, your very soul, can they not? This is why I believe that music should be considered as art.

There’s all kinds of art all around us. I myself create art when I make my quilts. And what about a master carpenter who creates beautiful wood furniture? Is that not art? And what about a dancer? Is not the dance an art in itself? What about a singer? Is not the song he or she sings not their art? I think there are countless kinds of artists that I could not even name them all here.

I think that art is any work that stirs us, moves us, or touches our mind, our imagination, our emotions, our heart, our soul.

I love being an artist. I love to create things. As I said before, I am a quilter, and when I’m creating quilts, I am at my best. I’m also a singer and I play the piano. When I’m making music, I am the most happy I can be. I’m a writer, and when I’m writing, I’m at one of the highest points I can be at. I am an artist at heart, so yes, I love being an artist. So I guess you could say that art means a lot to me, and I never even realized it until I had to answer this question. Art is life. Life is art. What more is there to say?

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”  ~ Aristotle

 

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The World Needs . . .

 

what the world needs now

 

The world needs . . .

People who see each other with eyes that are unbiased.

 

The world needs . . .

People who listen to each other with hearts that are open.

 

The world needs . . .

People who speak to each other with words that are kind.

 

The world needs . . .

People who embrace each other with arms that are gentle.

 

The world needs . . .

People who are not afraid to hope for a better tomorrow.

 

The world needs . . .

People who can love and be loved in return.

 

The world needs . . .

People who are willing to do all these things TOGETHER.

 

 

Poetry Collaboration: Written in response to a poetry collaboration by http://writingwingsforyou.com/ which you may find at:  http://writingwingsforyou.com/2014/08/01/the-world-needs-poetry-collaboration/

★ I’d personally like to thank Marie for allowing me to be part of this wonderful collaboration and I’d also like to thank writtenonpavements.wordpress.com for inviting me in the first place.  I had a lovely time making a contribution to this collaboration, and I encourage you to check out both of their sites.

No Excuses

The seven cardinal or deadly sins are: lust, gluttony, avarice (or greed), sloth (or laziness), wrath (or extreme anger), envy, and pride. This classification of sins has been used since early Christian times in order to instruct and educate Christians concerning fallen humanity’s tendency to sin. They were guidelines by which Christians could lead a virtuous life.

To tell the truth, I don’t think I would even want the job of adding a new sin to the list. That’s an awfully big responsibility for just one person, especially me! But if God gave me a commandment, saying: “Cindy, you WILL decide what the eighth deadly sin will be,” then I guess I would have no choice. And I know exactly what the eighth sin would be.

white rabbit late 1I have one pet peeve that I would elect as the eighth sin and that would be tardiness. As far as I’m concerned, unless there is a true emergency, there is no excuse whatsoever for someone to be late. Seriously. Especially if you are chronically late.

For instance, if you arrive at work five minutes late every single day of the week, isn’t that your queue that you should be leaving five minutes earlier? And what about those people that you make a dinner date with, say another couple, and they arrive twenty minutes late. But you knew they were going to be late because they’re always late. What is up with those people? Do they like making a dramatic entrance? I’m sorry, but I think it is rude and disrespectful. After all, everyone’s time is valuable. And I’m sorry if it hits a little too close to home for anyone who may be reading this, but that’s just how I feel.

Everyone’s late now and then; even I’ve been late here and there. And there are occasions when it can’t be helped. But for heaven’s sake, there is no excuse for habitual tardiness, not in my book. I just think it’s inconsiderate. We need to start thinking more of each other when it comes to these situations.

And we must try to remember that we will only be treated in the same way that we treat others.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “People count the faults of those who keep them waiting.”  ~ Proverb

 

 

 

Age is a Work of Art

There are some people who worry about getting older. There are even some people who lie about their age and pretend that they are younger. But I think that age is just a number.

One of my favorite quotes is by Stanislaw Lec and it goes like this:

“Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.”

I think that about says it all. It’s true that while you’re young, you have the whole future before you, unless you run across some unforeseen circumstances. But as we grow older, as we mature, we have so much more within ourselves than we had when we were younger.

hourglass 1We have the knowledge and the experience to live our lives even smarter than when we were younger. We know what to do because chances are we’ve been in similar circumstances before.

We make wiser decisions and hopefully, smarter choices. Not only that, but we can help others to benefit from our experiences – those we love such as our children and our children’s children.

Our emotions are more finely tuned and we usually can deal with them better (not all the time, granted, but usually).

We can enjoy other people’s company more because we know how to do that from our past relationships. And in this way, we can get more out of life.

And I think we can appreciate those we love even more, and this means that we can love more fully, more deeply than ever before. And that’s the best part of all.

So I think we get better. Do you remember that old jingle: “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better?” I think it’s true.

Therefore, I don’t think a person should be concerned about numbers when it comes to their age. It really doesn’t matter whether your driver’s license says you were born in 1950 or 1993 because age is just a number. You’re only as old as you feel.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”  ~ George Burns

 

 

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