nurturing thursdays: life in a…fortune cookie?

Never know what you’ll find when you break open a fortune cookie. 

Since I’m not usually a fan of this Chinese take-out dessert, I’m not likely to rush over to the bag to crack one open and see what it says about my past…present…or future.

Unlike me, however, my husband and daughter like the taste of fortune cookies and are always curious about their predictions.

When my daughter came across the following in a cookie she opened for me, well…it did seem appropriate for what I was going through at the time.

Avoid agreeing with people merely to keep peace.

In fact, that tiny slip of paper is still in the clutches of my pet tyrannosaurus rex…a little, rubber one which came as a prize in some food product…sitting at the top of my laptop.

Trying to rid my life of unwanted and unnecessary stress these last several years has meant adopting the message in these words. There’s no retracting the time lost worrying over other people’s agendas. Instead, I’ve made a concerted effort to find peace in my own life, ensuring that I can live as happily as is feasible.

I don’t insist others agree with me…just because.

…i do wish them peace, however.

………hugmamma.

my pet T-REX...

my pet T-REX…

(Find more inspiration at…
https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/nurturing-thursday-fly/

Journey – surprise, its not over yet

Good advice from someone more than half my age.

Whoever said this next generation is self-absorbed hasn’t met Roshan or others like him.

Given half the chance…these young ‘uns might save the earth…in spite of mankind.
………hugmamma.

advice…

Tricky business…giving advice. It’s like walking a tightrope. One misstep and you fall into the abyss, never to be heard from again. 

I never give advice, even when asked. I can inform as to what I would do, or have done. However I’ve never felt qualified to tell someone else how to live their life. Being the youngest of 9, I’ve never come from a place of authority.

Whether or not my inability to give advice is the reason I don’t take advice well, especially unsolicited advice, I can’t say for sure.

What I can say is that my life has been a testament to the fact that like a hornet’s nest, when someone tries poking around in my business attempting to straighten me out…I can sting with the best of ’em.

Just as I don’t tell others what to do or how to live, I don’t go on the offensive right away. I try to deflect the “holier than thou” attitude…by not saying anything, or by charming the pants off the one giving advice…tongue-in-cheek, of course. Only when I’m backed into a corner will I lash out…like an animal fighting to escape, 

I’m never proud of what I say or do in the heat of the moment. And yet I’m also totally clueless as to why someone would go so far as to badger me. Unless it’s to hear me say “You’re right; I’m wrong.” And not that I’m never wrong, it’s just I prefer to think we’re all entitled to our own opinions. 

Someone once said she felt an aggressive person knowingly terrorizes a weaker person. There’s some truth in that.

The strong act; the less strong react. Perhaps that’s the way of all species.

Of course most of us fall somewhere in the middle. We can be strong when the need arises. We’re not always wearing our armor  prepared to do battle. In fact it takes me awhile to assemble mine. There’s always the to-ing and fro-ing. Should I? Shouldn’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?

The upside for me in penning Journeying towards her best life with Pat is that I get to chat with her about other things, including issues with which I might be dealing. And believe it or not, she reaches me in the way others might not. 

How is that you might ask?

Well first of all, Pat doesn’t hit me over the head with a hammer. (Figuratively speaking, of course.) While explaining the opposing viewpoint, she’s doing so while stroking my bruised ego…“… your personality has always come through loud and clear and I’d never want you to change.”  Very smart maneuver. She also agrees that the person nailing me to the wall isn’t very smart in going that route. I totally agree, especially with me.

So while I’m still not inclined to totally let down my guard, I am definitely seeing the other side in a different light. 

Thanks, Pat!

The old adage is true……you get more with honey…than you do with vinegar. 

…with me you get everything…within reason, that is.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medical Complications: A Doctor Finds Herself On The Other Side

A dear girlfriend recently experienced what Dr. Rubin writes in her post. What would I do were the unthinkable to happen to my husband, or my daughter as a result of a mishap at the hands of a medical provider? Remaining calm under life-threatening situations is incomprehensible. Nonetheless, what Dr. Rubin suggests makes a lot of sense. I can only hope I’ll remember her advice should I ever need it.

………hugmamma.

Carrie Rubin

Nothing in medicine is without risk. As a physician, I’ve always known this. As a layperson, I’ve just experienced it.

surgical instruments Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Last week my mother suffered a severe complication during routine surgery. As a result, what she went in for was not at all what she came out with. A long road to recovery lies ahead, one with the unfortunate road block of another surgery along the way.

As a medical doctor, I understand complications happen. Nothing is one-hundred percent, and believe me, no healthcare provider wants a patient to have a bad outcome. But as a daughter, I also understand the anger and frustration that result from a medical mishap.

Out of respect for my mother and her medical team, I won’t share specifics about the incident, but I thought a general post on the topic might help others in a similar situation. Who knows…

View original post 416 more words

dr. oz…channeling oprah?

Like his mentor, TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz is loved by millions of women. Granted, there are men in the audience…if only a few handfuls.

I too was bitten by the Oz bug, never having caught the Oprah bug. Probably because he’s a NYC cardiologist and he’s undeniably cute. That he’s “hot” in a passive-aggressive way helps.

When Dr. Oz began his show, I’d hang on his every word. I’d write down his health tips and bombard my husband with them as soon as he came through the front door. Not the jealous type, my husband merely chuckled at my exuberance over the man whose company I kept every day at 3 p.m.

As my initial adulation began wearing off, or maybe because I wasn’t one of the lucky ladies sitting in front of him, Dr. Oz reverted back to being mortal again. At least to me… sitting alone in front of the TV without other giddy women egging me on. 

Eventually I stopped watching Dr. Oz. In part, his shows were becoming repetitious. His favorite topic was weight loss, and probably still is. I guess I’d done enough research on my own to know what I had to do to keep my weight in check. Not that it made me an expert. It’s just that I’d…been there, done that.

Another reason I parted company with the Dr. Oz show was his obvious appeal to the women in the audience. They seemed to swoon when asked to join him on stage as volunteers for his experiments. I love hugging, don’t get me wrong. After all…I am hugmamma. It’s just that I got a little uncomfortable with the bountiful hugs being exchanged between the doctor and his female fans. They came to expect his hugs and he seemed only too glad to oblige. Granted, I’m sure he’s a genuinely caring person with a natural penchant for physical closeness. It might even be a cultural thing, like it is for me as a native of Hawaii where the Aloha Spirit abounds.

For me, it just got to be a little too much. 

Finally, there was one piece of advice he would voice time and again. I’d chuckle about it at first, especially while telling my husband that Dr. Oz said we should have sex several times a week. According to him, it was important to the male’s health. No pressure there.

As time passed, I simply stopped tuning into Dr. Oz. Pretty much like I stopped tuning into the Catholic Church every Sunday, because the priest seemed so far removed from the realities of today’s world.

You can imagine my surprise when I heard that Dr. Oz was called before Congress to answer to charges that he’s abusing his power over consumers. They feel he is energetically supporting products that have no proof in fact of working as he claims on his program. One example cited was the doctor’s claim that the geen coffee bean would increase weight loss. Evidently, there’s not substantive research to back up those claims. Can you imagine the FDA approving a drug because Dr. Oz says it works brilliantly, without scientific data to back him up?

Dr. Oz tried to do on his show what Oprah successfully did on hers…brought the audience along on her beautifully woven message of words. She inspired change, giving hope to millions who wanted to live their best life.

There’s a fine line between the psychological and the physical. And when health information is being doled out like a mixed bag of magic pills, then I agree with those who say…buyer beware!  Fortunately, Dr. Oz is now aware of his power over consumers and wants to help protect them against businesses only too happy to take their money.

As for me, if Dr. Oz could attend to me as a heart patient I’d be totally happy. I’m positive his bedside manner includes hugging. And in a crisis, who doesn’t want to have a compassionate soul holding you? However that doesn’t mean…

i’ll be watching him on tv…anytime soon…

………hugmamma.

Following is an excerpt from an article in the February 4, 2014 issue of THE NEW YORKER, written by Michael Specter…Is Dr. Oz Doing More Harm Than Good?

Oz has become used to crowds, to adulation, and to fame. That morning, when he arrived in darkness, hundreds of people, mostly women, already stood in line at the entrance to the hospital; many lacked insurance, a doctor, or medical support of any kind. There were screams of delight when he hopped out of the car. People had come for the free exam and for helpful advice, but also to see him. Oz is fifty-two and jauntily fit, with a perfectly tamed helmet of brown hair and lengthy sideburns. His scrubs, powder blue and cinched at the waist, fit so well they looked as if they had been run up for him onSavile Row. In promotional pictures, Oz, with a stethoscope draped like a scarf around his neck, looks eerily like Doug Ross, the character that George Clooney made famous on “E.R.” He worked the line like a gifted politician, hugging people as they flipped open their phones and tried to get a picture with him. Many had brought old copies of magazines to be signed: TimeGood HousekeepingPrevention—all with Oz on the cover. “I worship you, Dr. Oz,” one woman told him. Another threw her arms around his neck. “I haven’t seen a doctor in eight years,” she said. “I’m scared. You are the only one I trust.”

Oz squeezed her shoulder and stared into her eyes. “I’ll see you inside,” he said. “We are going to get through this, and we will do it together.”

 

 

nurturing thursdays: partnering for success

When my daughter broke off with her first beau, a brother-in-law with whom I’m very close told me …”She’ll be fine. They’ll both meet someone for whom they’re better suited.”Nashville 09-2010 00132

Those words have resonated with me ever since. 

Not only is the advice romance appropriate, I find it applicable to any relationship.

For some folks, like my husband, self confidence is a by-product of having been nurtured by great parents. Individuals whose love for one another was undeniable. And a love which blanketed their offspring, and all future generations…forever after.

On the other hand, the majority of people probably struggle with low self-esteem

I would suggest it better that these folks surround themselves with supporters, rather than detractors. Positive, not negative, personalities whose energy will help sustain and grow an otherwise wilting confidence.

However, just as my very wise and very beloved brother-in-law advised, everyone is suitable for someone. We just need to find the right one…

…be it a friend…or a lover…

………hugmamma.

"If you don't see your worth, you'll alwa...

 

friends affect us…

fibromyalgia awareness

Found an interesting post Nine Signs that Unhealthy Friendships are Fueling Your Fibromyalgia at http://asethaviens.com/

I’d go so far as to say that unhealthy relationships of any kind aren’t good for fibromyalgia sufferers. Then again, Asetha is correct in placing so-called friends, at the top of the list.

Friends have quick access to our innermost thoughts and feelings.

We trust friends to offer us words of wisdom.

Aren’t friends the first to whom we turn for compassion…praise…support?

Friendships can, however, become the breeding ground for discontent. Remember the old adage “Familiarity breeds contempt?” It’s sad when that happens. When friends begin to envy our lives in one way or another. 

I don’t suppose even friends realize when they begin to cross the line. Ones who take a dig at you every now and then, thinking you won’t notice or that they’re only thinking of what’s good for you.

What’s good for me.

I believed my mom when she said that to me. However, even she could lead me on a merry chase that way. Nonetheless, she borne me so I knew she had my back. Most of the time, at least.

When others tell me, or imply, that they know what’s good for me. They go too far. Even I don’t always know what’s good for me, so how can someone looking at me on the outside know what’s going on inside?

Companionship with folks like myself who are tentatively making our way through life, humble about our strengths, forgiving of our weaknesses…that’s more my style when it comes to friendships.

Although I can probably count my good friends on one hand, I enjoy the moments we share…and relish seeing them again, whenever.

Not judging others because we don’t walk in their shoes seems the best advice any friend can give another.

…that’s what i offer you…dear friend…

………hugmamma.Nashville 09-2010 00058

nurturing thursdays

What I find most fascinating about Word Press is the inter-connection of people the world over…all from different walks of life. I know of no other platform from which folks can launch their talents…hidden or otherwise. So while I enjoy doing my thing, I can’t help but promote others who do their thing.

DJM Rakiey at http://www.djmrakiey.wordperss.com posted the following on his blog…Images and Words. His perspective as a photographer is unique, at least from my perspective as a writer. 

LIFE IS LIKE A CAMERA

Focus on what’s important.

Capture the good times.

Develop from the negatives.

And if they don’t work out,

Take another shot.

…djm…a photographer with a wise soul…and a talent for words…

………hugmamma.

helicopters…

WikiWorld comic based on the article "Hel...

What do those whirlybirds in the sky have to do with parenting? Well, according to those in the know…evidently self-proscribed experts on the matter…helicopter parenting applies to those of us who forever hover over our children seemingly to fashion all their decisions about…well…everything.

Some who know me, and some who don’t, might think I’m a helicopter parent. As they say…”sticks and stones…” Although I must confess…I’m not completely immune to hurtful words. However as I said to my daughter when some other child would say something unkind…”It’s her problem, not yours. She’s trying to put her unhappiness onto you.”

Folks insecure in themselves tend to insist that their’s is the only way.

I can only speak for myself and offer my experiences as guidelines that others might choose to utilize. But I’m no expert on someone else’s life, that’s for sure. I don’t know where they came from…and I don’t know where they’re going. I’m only a pit stop along the way. And as we all know, there are various and sundry other pit stops from which we can gain sustenance and momentary reprieve.

I’m not familiar with any helicopter parents, probably because my daughter has been living on the opposite side of the country from us the last 11 years. It’s rather difficult to hover from 3,000 miles. I’m sure I’d have crash landed by now. 

Yes, my husband and I have offered our daughter advice on a whole host of topics…from drinking and driving…to being aware of her surroundings when she’s out alone at night. No, we haven’t told her who she should befriend or how she should spend her free time. We figure she’s learned by our example…and from what we’ve been saying since the day she could understand the English language. In other words…we’ve laid the foundation for what we hope is an upstanding citizen. Someone who cares about herself and others, and who shares her talents and abilities with her community.

I believe parents need to know who their children are, and toward that end need not be afraid to ask.

Bubbles.

 Having given birth to my child, I feel a basic responsibility for her well-being. No one else, other than her father, has that physical connection. Others may choose to be responsible for my daughter, but the obligation is mine and my husband’s. We brought this human being into the world, so we are charged with making sure she has a fighting chance at survival.

I cannot imprison my daughter in a bubble. I kid you not. Sometimes I wish it were that easy. I cannot physically safeguard her from the crazies of the world…the rapists…the kidnappers…the drunk-drivers…the manipulators…the screamers…the stupid boyfriends…and married men who hit on her. I wish I could pistol whip some of them! Not that I’d know how to hold a gun were I to get my hands on one.

Thankfully my daughter has grown very comfortably into her own skin. She listens very respectfully to what I might have to say…and does what feels organic for her. And I’m so grateful she does. As she’s aged she’s become the teacher…and I’ve become an unwitting…student. Funny, how the roles are often reversed between parents and children.

It might be said that my daughter is beginning to exhibit signs of a helicopter. She worries that if I fall at home…no one will hear me. So she’s thinking of getting me that device advertised on TV where the old woman who falls tells the person on the other end of the call…”Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!

…a little whirrring…and worrying…is a good thing…

………hugmamma.IMG_4648

you should…talk to strangers

Not something you often hear, especially from a mom who’s been very protective of her only child, even now that she’s 27.

While NOT talking to strangers is still a good idea for youngsters, doing just the opposite might be exactly what the doctor orders for our ailing adult society.March 2011A 00059

Remaining clueless about one another will prove to be humanity’s death knell. Wearing blinders isolates us from the possibilities. And without them, what kind of hope is there for our future? Life offers no guarantees EXCEPT that we’re all in it for the long haul…until death do us part. So why not let your guard down and reach out to someone…as often as you can.

March 2011A 00061Reaching out to others who reach right back…totally makes my day.

My insatiable curiosity, and gift for gab, make it impossible for me not to want to know… “Whaaas up?” So when an idea takes hold, I usually follow its lead.

Today, while enjoying a celebration of my native Hawaiian culture at a local retailer, I happened upon an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair. He reminded me of a famous entertainer my husband and I had taken our parents to see a few times when we were visiting the islands. Rather than drop the thought, I stopped to ask the woman sitting next to him if he was from Hawaii. It turned out that they were husband and wife and were originally from Honolulu. Until moving to Seattle recently, they had lived in Nevada for more than 20 years.

Mr. Cummings was from the same town as my husband, and his grandfather had been in law enforcement in my hometown…before my time, obviously, since Mr. Cummings looked to be in his 70s, or perhaps 80s. Small, small world…getting smaller every day.

It felt so natural to chat and laugh with total strangers who felt, if only for a few moments, like friends of the family.

I can’t recall ever being rebuffed when I’ve extended myself in a gesture of friendliness. I can only remember being repaid in kind. My experiences have encouraged me…

…to talk to strangers…

………hugmamma. March 2011A 00046

what i now know…the divine m…

I came across the following interview with Bette Midler recently.

International edition

International edition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s an understatement to say that Midler has evolved. My first memory of her was prancing around a Broadway stage in a mermaid costume. At least I think it was Broadway. And I think the show was called The Divine Miss M. 

Wish I could have seen Midler on stage, camping it up. Instead I caught a part of her act on some TV variety show…maybe The Ed Sullivan Show. I’m not certain.

The last time I saw Midler was in The First Wives Club, with Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn.

Regardless where she plays, on stage, on TV, or in film, Midler is a unique talent. There’s not another like her. The same can be said about the following advice she seems very happy to share.

The Divine Miss M dishes about dreams, destiny and deciding what matters
(AARP The Magazine, October/November-Reported by Bill Newcott)

  • Life is Not Your Personal Express Lane
    You’ve got to figure, “Well, there are 7 billion other people in the world. It doesn’t all have to be about me!” It took me about 66 years to come to this conclusion.
  • Songs Tell Untold Truths
    Twenty-seven people sang Wind Beneath My Wings before I got around to it. A lot of people saw the movie that I sang it in, Beaches, and what they came away with was that song. They turned to their loved ones and said, “You know, you are the wind beneath my wings!” The song expressed how they felt in a way a simple “I love you” would not have.
  • The Big World is Better Than Your Little One
    When you have had your head down doing something–even something you love, love, love–and you finally pick your head up and see the world around you, it’s just so beautiful. It’s just…oh, my God, I’m so glad I lived! That’s when you realize you need balance. I seek that now all the time.
  • You Can’t Always Be “On,” No Matter What People Expect
    For a while it was exhausting, and now I don’t really care.
  • It’s OK to Let Go of a Dream
    That’s exactly it: They’re dreams. A lot of the time they’re fantasies, and you become enslaved to them. Sometimes they’re hormonal. When the hormones fade, then the dream no longer means the same thing. That’s when you need to get yourself a new dream.
  • Beauty Ain’t Pretty
    You should be very careful about who does your manipedi, because you can really screw your toes up. You should stop beating your hair into submission, even if you don’t like it. Everyone should exfoliate, every day, even guys. More than two drinks a day will ruin your skin. And if you don’t have a full-length mirror, you’re going to get fat. Period.

…bette…will always be…divine…

Bette Midler at the 2010 HRC Annual Dinner

Bette Midler at the 2010 HRC Annual Dinner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

………hugmamma. 🙂

think…sunny!

We can’t be reminded enough about the power of positive thinking. Being bombarded by negativity everyday means we have to hunker down and…let the sunshine in!

Retrain your brain so you see the sunny side…by Joanne Hlavacek

  While studies indicate that genes have some 30% to 40% control over our mind-set, Elaine Fox, Oxford psychologist and author of Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain,  suggests it’s possible to retrain our brains through actions. Her advice for a sunnier outlook:

Count your blessings. If you record your day in a diary and review the entries later, it becomes easier to see just how much in your life is going right. “We know that by doing these kinds of techniques, the biases will gradually start to change,” Fox says.

 Make time for you. Distancing yourself from stress helps eliminate a negative mind-set. “Literally take 10 minutes in the day out to sit…turn off everything.” Fox advises. She also recommends spending time outdoors.

Push yourself. Fox found that pessimists often hang back and wait for things to happen instead of taking initiative. To combat this tendency, she recommends putting extra effort into something meaningful to you. That could be raising the bar at work, adding distance to your morning run or spending more time with your kids. “Pushing yourself and exceeding your comfort zone is very important,” Fox says.

(USA WEEKEND, 9/21-23/12)

so stretch out…and…get some sun!

………hugmamma.

2012 resolution…#1

English: Two New Year's Resolutions postcards

Image via Wikipedia

Hanging up from a phone call just minutes ago, I was inspired, it seems, to put fingers to keys. It was an “aha” moment which had me galloping down the hallway to my writing nook.

So why the rush?

Thoughts and words are always coming at me in a hurry. It’s only natural then that I begin a list of New Year’s resolutionsas they creep into the sweatshop that is my brain. The first being…

Don’t obsess about…what ifs…what might have beens…what was.

Instead, savor…what is…what can be…and even, change.

The clock continues to tick…even as we stand still.

Don’t be Cinderella…waiting for a second chance at happiness. She was lucky…the shoe…still fit.

I may be compelled to pen more from time to time…or i may not. Just go with the flow…and be on the look out…

…if it suits you. no worries…if it doesn’t…

………hugmamma.  🙂

Cinderella - Prince Charming & Cinderella

Image via Wikipedia

how can i miss you…if you won’t go away…

One of the humorous sayings gracing a bottle cap in my new header. Funny…yes. But right now…bittersweet. For as I type…my daughter is making her way back east. Yes, I shed a few tears. Not alligator ones…never those. Only heartfelt…wrung from the depths of a mother’s soul.

We were like friends, the two of us. Laughing, teasing, following one another around…the house, the shops…always sharing thoughts, insight, reflections, advice. Yes, advice. My 25 year-old gave me great advice…on more than one occasion. And I gratefully accepted it…more than once.

How did she grow to be so wise? A young woman nearly 40 years my junior, counseling me on cutting myself some slack. That my perception of situations is as valid as anyone’s. Giving me the okay to put myself first, contrary to all the Catholic nuns from Boston instilled in me for 13 years, from kindergarten through high school. I guess my daughter’s public school education trumped mine. Or maybe not.

My Christian values, and my husband’s…especially his, considering he’d been studying to be a priest before we met…have contributed immeasureably to our daughter’s upbringing. No I didn’t lure him away; he quit of his own accord. Thank God…for letting me have him instead…my husband, my best friend.

Family values and personal experiences have substantively impacted my daughter’s maturation. She gives of herself unconditionally, but is learning to fight for her own soul’s preservation. No longer is she succumbing to the demands of others…or of situations over which she has no control. With guidance from many caring mentors, role models, peers and friends, my daughter has evolved…her spirit intact.

I’ll miss her physical presence, for my daughter always did for me before I had to ask…pour my cup of tea…walk and feed Mocha…prop a pillow behind my lumbar for support…offer a hug, several in fact…making decisions which could befuddle…covering my head with the hood of my jacket…holding my elbow, my hand as we crossed the street…

So many gifts…too many to count.
From daughter to mother.
Offered in love…
Without reserve…without conditions…without hesitation.
My cup is never half-empty…
Only always half-full.
When God calls me home…
My life will have wanted for nothing…
Except maybe a few more precious moments…
With what He gifted me…
The loves of my life…
…my beloved husband…and most cherished daughter.

…i truly couldn’t want for more…

………hugmamma.