The World is Still Rich with Opportunity

A few years ago, I came across the quote below made by a reviewer of Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Worry Make Money, that came out in 1997.         I don’t know the reviewer’s name and never found the review referenced again. But, this was and is an inspiration to me and I have always referred back to it over the years. I have a copy of it on my cubicle at work and on my bathroom wall so I can read it when necessary.

“Do you think that opportunity only knocks once? If you do, Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Worry Make Money, says you’re buying into one of the most perpetuated ‘myths’ in our culture.

Carlson argues that this kind of thing inspires people to do things they really do not want to do. That it is based on a ‘never enough to go around’ mindset that just isn’t true. Thinking that it’s now or never, often encourages bad decision making, for instance, he says. You might take a job you do not want or move to an area that doesn’t really sit well with you.

The world we live in is rich with ever-increasing opportunity, he says. The world is in need of creative people and everyone has their own gifts and talents to offer. You just have to figure out how it’s going to work for you. There are thousands of jobs out there that you can do. There are thousands of business opportunities.

But, Carlson says, first you have to overcome your fear: The fear of not having enough. The fear that you only get one shot and then it’s over.

It’s a big lie. Your life will be filled with great opportunities over and over again.”

On the other hand, you may be a person who has been blessed by some wonderful opportunities. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more coming your way!

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of The Nevers television show 2021

Remember those feel-good television shows like Touched by an Angel, where angels walked among us and helped people with their daily lives?  Well, this is not that show.

The Nevers is not about the kindliness of mankind or angels.   As a matter of fact, kindness is rare in this American scifi, drama, and historical fiction.  “Victorian women find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies and a mission that may change…”   Not for the faint of heart nor the prudish.  The constant violence is its own character in the series.

I saw the first 3 episodes of The Nevers for free on HBO as a merchandising tool to entice me to add HBO to the cost of my subscription to Xfinity cable TV.  The Nevers is wonderful.  It is about women who kick ass in their attempts to keep safe those who are “touched” or extremely different than the average person, especially other women.   The difference is that we don’t know how or why these individuals are now endowed with newly acquired “powers”, unorthodox skills, and/or odd physical appearances.  These things make the average person think they are demon-possessed or witches in the 1800’s.

But people were allowed to see some kind of bizarre-looking ‘vessel’ fly through the city and drop invisible dots which touched individual residents with new skills and odd malformations, making some people feel different almost right away, while in others, the transformations took time. All quickly forget what they have seen. They—different sexes (mostly women), races, and professions—are labeled as “touched” from then on. 

Some can crush things with their hands, some can heal easily or heal others easily, some can read minds or see visions, or have the ability to control electric power, etc.  What if these abilities were from God?   One mother kills her own daughter who has new abilities and starts turning in others with these new abilities, thinking she is doing God’s work.  However, as a result of her work, some of the “touched” are kidnapped and experimented on by a “doctor” who intends to find out how they came to receive these new abilities.   Meanwhile, those he experiments on are lobotomized and/or deformed slaves working in tunnels while others are trained to kill and kidnap more “touched”.

Where are the good people in all this?  The “good” people wear many faces.   Their goodness is an illusion.  Most of the “touched” are good and are helped by seemingly nice people who only help to their own ends.   It seems the touched only trust each other. They solicit charity to keep their “orphanage” running. You can guess how it is with anybody who’s different.  Many of the scenes allude to the horrors still going on today.

Laura Donnelly (new to me) plays Amalia True, the head mistress of the “touched” in her orphanage.  She works on ways to help with her and their survival including fundraising.  Amalia is also “touched” with visions and physical strength.

Ann Skelly (new to me) plays Penance Adair, the woman who is “touched” with science and mechanical genius and is Amalia’s co-manager of the orphanage.

Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense, Ms. Austen Regrets, Hanna, etc.) plays the charitable benefactor to the touched orphanage who has an ulterior motive for her kindness.

Pip Torrens (Preacher, Poldark, The Mystery of the Spanish Chest (Poirot), etc.) plays Lord Gilbert Massen whose “touched” daughter died in his arms probably because she was too young to receive the “gift”.  He and his secret group of wealthy men want all of the “touched” to be destroyed.  So, he is definitely not a friend to the “touched”.

Eleanor Tomlinson (Jack the Giant Slayer, Colette, Poldark, etc.) plays Mary Brighton who is “touched” with a voice from heaven which calms and calls to other “touched”.   She is also the ex-wife of a police detective.

Ben Chaplin (The Truth about Cats and Dogs, The Remains of the Day, Cinderella, The Legend of Tarzan, etc.) plays the ex-husband police detective Frank Mundi who acts like he is on the side of the “touched” but works for those who are not on their side.

Amy Manson (Being Human, Once Upon a Time, etc.) plays Maladie (malady vs. my lady) who is a woman who is “touched” just as she is going into an asylum, escapes and wants to kill everyone especially the “touched”.   Her power is pain which comes in handy for her in the asylum.

Nick Frost (Attack the Block, Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End, Snow White and the Huntsman, etc.) plays the leading gangster Declan “Beggar King” Orrun who helps whoever pays the most.

Denis O’Hare (True Blood, American Gods, The Proposal, etc.) plays Dr. Edmund Hague who unmercifully experiments on the “touched” to try to find out where their gifts come from.  He is unsuccessful in his task so far.  Be prepared for the horror of his “work”.

Zackary Momoh (Harriet, Doctor Sleep, Death in Paradise, etc.), plays Doctor Horatio Cousens who has been “touched” with the ability to heal fatal wounds practically the same day.

Rochelle Neil (Terminator: Dark Fate, Death in Paradise, etc.) plays Anne Carbey who is “touched“ with the ability to start fires from her hands.   She assists Maladie in her murderous spree until she sees a better way with the more decent “touched”.

Kiran Sonia Sawar (new to me) plays as Harriet Kaur who is an aspiring lawyer and a “touched” woman who can turn objects into glass with her breath.

The series was created, written, and directed by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Justice League, Angel, Avengers movie series, Toy Story, Cabin in the Woods, Speed, etc.).   Update:  Joss Whedon has left the show.  (“‘The Nevers’ Can’t Escape Joss Whedon’s Shadow, for Better or (Mostly) Worse”, Alison Herman, April 13, 2021, The Ringer)

I love the show thus far and hope to see the rest of the episodes. HBO has another winner here.  No wonder there was such a fight for this show between the networks and streaming services.  (Wikipedia)

Written by Rosa L. Griffin                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Caregivers Part 3—A Little Selfishness is Good

I watched Paul Bettany play a character who was raised to put only God first in the movie, “The DaVinci Code”.   A bishop took advantage of this man’s self-mortification by flagellation (torture of his own body) and assigned him in the name of God to kill the members of a secret society who believed that Jesus was the father of Mary Magdalene’s baby. Here’s a character who gave his all to God not realizing until the end that he had been used for nefarious purposes.

Like the penitent man in the movie, many of us who are caregivers give our all without thought to our own mental, social, and physical well-being, especially those of us who serve family members 24 hours a day and are not paid. 

I was raised to believe in the “Golden Rule”—Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.  According to Matthew 7:12, “Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”  (World English Bible) “For there is no man who would that another should act towards him with a double heart” (Augustine).  Today, it’s kind of been twisted into “do unto others before they do unto you”.

According to Christie Bates, an author on Medium.com website Human Parts Humans 101, “You’re Supposed to be a Little Bit Selfish”, March 9, 2021.   “So many of us neglect our own needs to avoid seeming self-centered, and then we wonder why we are so unhappy.  It’s a scale of self-negation (freezing cold) vs. selfishness (boiling hot).  A little selfishness puts us at an average 98.6 degrees for this example = self-caring and responsible.   There’s a whole range of normal temperatures/healthy ways to be responsible to both ourselves and others.   Self-mortification is just as self-centered as selfishness.

As a child, we only thought in extremes.  Too much or too little is a problem.   Maybe you were having a hard time saying ‘no’ to babysitting.  Either extreme of identification with self is inauthentic and can lead to stress and pain for you and others.”  [A summary–Please read the article for yourself]

I’ve heard of couples leaving their young children at home alone to go on vacation.   Too hot.   Never going on a vacation at all?  Too cold.   I remember from church that we were supposed to put God first, then others, then self.   That doesn’t leave much for ourselves.   I know a woman who alternates between getting her own hair done and getting her loved one’s hair done.   That makes sense to me.

A good thin book to read is Teraleen Campbell’s Carefree to Caregiver.   It tells section by section what she learned in taking care of her mother who went from staying in her own home to having to be moved to a nursing home near friends and relatives for her comfort but a distance away from her daughter/caregiver.   She explains what she and her mother went through.  She also leaves a page for notes after each section.   Ms. Campbell includes the things she found out along the way which would be useful for a caregiver to know.   We in the Coffee Tea and Me Caregivers Support Network just finished reading and discussing Ms. Campbell’s book over the past few weeks.   Her book is available on Amazon.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Mature Dating: Adventures in Paradise? Or A Few Good Men

Debbie Weiss wrote a few articles about mature dating on her websites PS I Love You and The Hungover Widow.  I have listed four of her articles further down.

“The Biggest Problem with Middle-Aged Dating:  Living in the Past”

In this article, Weiss talked about the many men she dated at age fifty after her husband died.  But “They acted as if they already knew nothing was going to work out…Most implied I was going to have to change to suit them…They didn’t even seem to want sex so much as they demanded I listen to their woes.”   One guy only bought her a coffee and none for himself because of a past expensive girl friend who didn’t pay rent.

They didn’t ask questions about Weiss, but she “knew their full histories, families, financial, sometimes sexual.  They saw only the past women who’d disappointed them.   And they weren’t about to let that happen again…. Or the last woman who dumped him got tired of his coming over and bringing nothing, not love or even a shred of empathy or even, perhaps a dessert…. I better be available on demand.   Hot tubbing at his home as a second date?   He picked an expensive restaurant and wine for her to discover she would end up paying half for what she did not choose.   She never saw them again and they [were] surprised.”

Categories of men:

  1. I’ve been fucked over by women.
  2. Wants someone to jump when he calls.
  3. Aging playboy who wants easy sex but regards it as personal growth.
  4. A man she just met online who wants her to come over tonight.  “I just met you.  That’s creepy.”

She made her dating profile very specific.  She wanted a long-term, monogamous relationship.  She wanted to be too much trouble for most people.  “Revenge daters don’t want to try too hard.  Limit your time with the toxically jaded.”

And yes, Weiss did [finally] find a man who asked her a lot of questions about herself.  He read everything she’d written.   He was happy to see her every time they met.  For him, she was not the reincarnation of failures past.

My favorite paragraph from this article:

“Let’s employ Shoshin, the Zen Buddhist word for Beginner’s Mind.   It means to approach a situation as if for the very first time, with humility for what we don’t know and no preconceptions about what will happen.  We need to have hope that we will find love.  Or at least people we enjoy spending time with.”  (My sentiments exactly]

Sources:

The author of the four articles below, Debbie Wiess, found the right man for her on a dating site after six years.   You’ll read about the kinds of guys she met along the way.   She didn’t give up.   There is hope in each of the articles.   The theme of her The Hungover Widow website is “Offering empathy to those who find themselves alone at middle-age.”

“Overcoming the Bitterness That is Middle-Aged Dating, Or I Never Tried to Convince a Guy to Clean Out My Roof Gutters.”  April 2021, PS I love you, https://psiloveyou.xyz

“On Dating at Middle Age:   Where Are All the Grown-up Men? Or Why Do So Few Guys Clean Out Their Refrigerators?”   Feb. 2021, PS I love you, https://psiloveyou.xyz

“The Biggest Problem with Middle-Aged Dating:  Living in the Past”.   April 29, 2020.  The Hunger Over Widow, https://thehungoverwidow.com

“Why is Dating at Middle-Age so Hostile?  It All Started on the Playground.”  March 2021.  PS I love you, https://psiloveyou.xyz.

Rosa’s Adventures in Paradise

I believe in dating and I am not bitter about it.   I’m not looking for the “man of my dreams”, he doesn’t exist.  I don’t want to put a spell on anyone, and Mr.-Right-Now is ok for now.  I want adventure, fun and if it develops into anything more, so be it.  But it will be a mutual decision. 

I have been dating online for 2 years after divorcing an unfaithful husband of 16 years (that hurt), burying one boyfriend of 16 years, and letting another one go after 9 years.   I have met some nice guys; however, I turn away those with whom I don’t have much in common:  fishing, boating, surfing, swimming, skiing, farming, horseback riding, etc., (I’m a romantic bookworm) or who live too far away (more than 30 miles) from me.  That’s not to say that I might never become interested in these things (after all, I got used to car travelling).   I answer each man who contacts me and if he’s not the one I am looking for, I write a nice note of gratitude for his time, the reason, and my hope that he finds the one woman he is looking for.  I usually get a nice response to that.

However, I found one man on the Ourtime.com dating site who liked to travel by car, which I thought was too much like camping, but I had a great time in the year and a half we were dating.  We dated (went out) for a month before establishing ground rules about sex, etc.   We made a Friends-With-Benefits agreement after a month because of both of our past baggage.  We went to church together a few times, a comedy club, a few dances (he is an “expert” hand dancer), Montreal Jazz Festival to see George Benson, a resort near Disneyland, gathered shells on Myrtle Beach, etc. He was a great listener…we’d both talked for hours about the things that were important to each of us. And, we had a mutual parting which didn’t hurt a bit.   He was a man I enjoyed being with and he liked me because of my independence.  I’m not saying I would or would not do that again, but we had fun.   I consider him a successful match-up.

On the BLK dating website, I met about 7 men who lived not too far from me, but they seemed not to have time to talk.  I found a phone-only male friend on BLK a few months ago with whom I still talk daily.   I dated another man on BLK who didn’t even make it two weeks.  He was always wanting to rush everything.  We did not make a connection.  I’m still on BLK so maybe there’s still hope.

What I’ve found on dating sites:  

  1. Men contacting me from hundreds of miles away.   35 men fit that category.
  2. Some men saying, they would move to where I am.   Or they visit a relative near me on occasion or own property in the same city.
  3. Men who were too scruffy with hair protruding from their noses and floating all around their heads.  I like a man who has his facial hair under control.
  4. While most men were pretty polite and patient, there were a couple of men who were bitchy and rude.  
  5. Like in Debbie Wiess’s article above, I’ve also read contacts from men who obviously have been hurt—who demand “no baby mama drama,” “no loans”, “not a sugar daddy”, etc.).  Luckily for me they lived too far away from me.
  6. In my life, I’ve dated men of different types:  fat, thin, tall, short, black, white, same age and older.
  7. I like a man who likes to dance, but I’m no marathoner.   Slow dance, hand dance, line dancing, etc., suits me fine.

On the subject of someone wanting to change you:

For example, Disney’s The Little Mermaid had to grow legs to be married to a prince.  I prefer the movie Splash in which the man left his human life to be with the mermaid he loved under the sea.   Also, in the movie The Shape of Water [spoiler alert] the creature took his love to the sea where she should have been anyway.  Duh, she had gills and he had some terrifically sharp fingernails (probably great for catching their dinner instead of eating all those boiled eggs she used to feed him).

No, I’m not bitter, just adventurous and a hopeless romantic!   And, I don’t have to “Sit Still, Look Pretty” (Daya).

Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” [picture Anastasia Steele’s first helicopter ride with Christian Grey]

Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line’s “Meant to Be” [picture a waitress with a desire to become a singer and be loved]

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Say something positive every chance you get!

I miss being in a group of like-minded positive people:  friends, other authors, worshippers, mothers, children, fathers, cousins, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, etc.   I find that phone calls, sending cards or letters, and even virtual meetings will suffice until things get better. 

What I have said a lot to people during this pandemic, “I miss… your smile, wisdom, pleasant personality, hugging you, etc.”   Elbow and fist bumps will have to do for now.

Things I have said to people in the past:

“I love the color of your suit.”   The female vice president thanked me for the compliment and her frown turned into a smile.

“Don’t let nobody tell you that you are not fiiinnneee (fine)!”  To a man who picked up my car to be serviced who looked like the reincarnation of a younger “Mr. Clean”—bald head, earrings, and muscles, too.   He blushed.

“You have beautiful skin”.  I told a lady who was helping me register for a class.

A lady told me that I have beautiful skin which both pleased and surprised me but was pleasant to hear.

I have even complimented people on their masks (political, nature, horror, sports, etc.), their eyes, their voices, their hair, etc.

You might be surprised how much it will help your day and theirs.   Passiton.com is a website with many positive stories.

The song below may be perceived as sad, but I don’t see it that way.   I had a boyfriend (one of a few) who wanted to break up with me but could not.   So, I broke up with him.   We had made an agreement at the beginning of the relationship that it was “friends with benefits” only.   I guess he thought that I would “act up”.   That has never been me!   So, I saved him the trouble.   It was really a relief because I have never wanted to stay with anyone who did not want me or was more trouble than they were worth (another story).

 Song:

“Say something, I’m giving up on you

I’ll be the one, if you want me to

Anywhere, I would have followed you…”

Sung by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, 2013.

Source:  Musixmatch

Songwriters:  Campbell Mike/Axel Ian/Campbelle Mike

Lyrics © Reservoir 416, Ian Axel Music, Chad Vaccarino Publishing, Manhattan Astronaut Music, Songs of Universal, Inc.

It has a romantic melody, but maybe a sad message.   

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Caregiving Part 2: Where is it on the National scene?

Get ready.   I will be talking about politics—a taboo subject for me.

As I said in Part 1, a caregiver is anyone who gives care to another whether for pay or not.   By that definition—parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, nurses, doctors, morticians, clergymen, teachers, writers, politicians, policemen, fire fighters, social workers, therapists of mind or body, trainers, counselors, lawyers, actors, etc.—nearly everybody gives care of some type.

I’ve never cared much for politics.  Most of my life in elections, I’ve voted for what seemed like the lesser of two evils.  But I did vote!   I felt Jimmy Carter was a good example of what a U.S. President should be because he tried to bring the nation together and avoid divisiveness. To this day, he and his wife are still doing good for those in need—what a caregiver does.

I have to say that President 45 was the polar opposite.   Once you “won” the election, 45, did you bother to do research to find out what people’s needs are—even the people in your own base? Whether the 49 Senate Republicans who voted for removing him by impeachment the first time really were serious or it was just for show, I like to think that there are still some thinking women and men among Republicans.

Although it’s been said that Russia interfered with our voting in 2016, America, you knew who President 45 was—dishonest, dishonorable—before you picked him from the other much more capable and experienced Republican candidates in the debates.  Had you done right, he would have never been among the candidates.

The ”man” cares for no one, ever, or he wouldn’t have done the things he did over the past 5 years.   You knew he was incapable of handling money at all.   He owes money to everybody and pays no one.  You knew, or should have known, that President 45 had at least five bankruptcies;  that he demeaned women and people of color every chance he got.   Why do you think there are women with 26 or more sexual claims against him?  Would you have wanted him around your young girls and women?   You knew and your actions show that you wanted slavery of people of color to be re-established.   Otherwise, most of you Republicans, why would you drink the poison consistently for five years?

Some white people who voted for President 45 said on newscasts, “What was I thinking?”.   Obviously, you had a taste of the poison drink.   And, from day one of the last five years, he broke every law and Presidential tradition there was.  Checks and balances can’t really occur when everybody you appoint is someone who only donated to your campaign or was just one of your unqualified “friends” that you constantly fired. 

But, you who were still worthy Republicans and Democrats couldn’t break the same rules he broke or 45 and Fox and Friends (entertainment show) would cry, whine, fall on the ground, throw tantrums and say Snoop Dogg should have been killed for making fun of 45 in a video or blackballed Kathy Griffin for doing worse in a video or other newscasters who were fired for telling the truth about President 45 or had an NFL football player fired for kneeling during the National Anthem.  Killing an Iranian general was just another tactic to start a war so 45 couldn’t be put out of office as a war-time President.   President 45 tried every gimmick in his playbook to stay in office a second term.

And citizens and non-citizens became victims of political insanity in the fight against disease, homelessness, unemployment, injustice, business loss, and prejudice.   His illegal dealings and actions made a laughingstock out of the United States around the world and he alienated every ally we’ve ever had.   Even his own state, New York, didn’t want him there.    And, poor Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, is probably being bankrupted by his constant golfing and security expenses for the past 5 years.  

We didn’t even get the crumbs from the table.  President 45 ordered hundreds of refugees’ children in cages while we don’t know where their parents are to this day.  And, several female women and children disappeared during that time.   Were they lost to international sex trafficking?   The better solution would have been to keep the children with their parents while organizing a solution to the problem.    It’s time for the good gals/guys in both parties to stop following the rules 45 never followed, grow a pair, and make sure he never comes back.

 Certain politicians on both sides (Democrat and Republican) are multimillionaires and looking out for their own Wall Street interests.    So, of course, they are looking to help other millionaires avoid taxes and make more money.    

Then, there’s the filibuster tool used by the Senate.   Was there ever a bigger time waster/bull shit tosser when the American people are suffering in every way possible?  Business as usual you say?   I watched Trevor Noah’s If You Didn’t Know, Now You Know episode on his Daily Social Distancing Show on March 18 in which he explained what a filibuster was.   Originally it was started to keep debate open, but I feel that debate should stop when you have run out of things to prove your point and just vote!  I thought the job of a public servant was to care for all our American people.   Obviously, we don’t have enough public servants.

But, it appears that we as a nation have adopted John Wycliffe’s (c.1380) Charity should begin at himself.   It appears that President 45 took that literally.   Did he do anything for his base?   His base seems to think that he did, but they couldn’t tell you what that was.   Where’s the money he collected for himself from the Saudi Arabian arms deal?   Why was the American journalist cut up? 

Did he bring manufacturing back?   He can’t count the temporary manufacturing that Ford and other companies did making ventilators and other personal protective devices during the pandemic.  Dude, they still manufacture cars which they have no problem selling in a pandemic since they didn’t have to close like restaurants and other small businesses had to.  Car dealerships staying open sell cars to the well-to-do.   President 45 tried to talk Harley Davidson into keeping their manufacturing in the U.S.  But, even that fell through because the trend of companies to move to other countries so they can pay workers less will never stop.  Where is Harley Davidson now?   Not in the U.S.

On March 5, 2020, I heard President 45 say that the COVID-19 virus was a Democratic hoax.   A week later, on March 15, he conceded that the virus was real.  Right now, no longer in office, he boasts about how fast he got those vaccine companies to produce vaccines.   Yes, after putzing around for a few valuable months and coming up with quackery in the form of his advice to insert ultraviolet light under the skin, swallow disinfect, sunshine/heat would get rid of the virus, he wasn’t going to wear a mask, etc.

The last lie—President 45 told his base to go to the Capitol Building, and he would go with them.   Some of the crowd waited patiently for him.   Others still waited for him to keep his word.   But he waited and watched to see what the crowd that he, his son and Giuliani sent there would do.   I know he was laughing the whole time watching the coup he caused—bloodshed, bodily harm, damage to government property, possible kidnappings, etc.  

How come the President and the Republicans did not come out and join their base—the people they claim to represent?   Why did the Republicans run and hide just like the Democrats did?  Yes, the Capitol Building and the White House belong to the people of the U.S., but even they don’t have the right to destroy it and the people within.

Although a U.S. President gets paid to be a caregiver, 45 never earned his money.   But he counted his money, all the while scheming where he would get more!   Even people on welfare, disability, social security, etc. sent him a big hunk of their money.   What did they get in return?   More talk and more poison drink.

Republicans who backed his every little whim for the past 5 years forgot they were supposed to be caregivers for ALL of the American people including the military, the CIA, the FBI, medical workers, medical research, fire department, police, etc.—all U.S. and future U.S. people.      Republicans said they didn’t want to help those unemployed who can still work.  Where were they going to work in a national shut-in?   Amazon, McDonald’s, car companies, etc. can’t hire everybody.

In the crowd of people outside the Capitol on January 6, 2021, I saw millions of dollars in 45 paraphernalia and merchandising that benefited 45.  If those same people had used that money to benefit their families, think what they could have bought instead—food, clothing, paid bills, car, etc.   Remember, he as a care giver is supposed to be taking care of us all, especially you, his base.

In the Twilight Zone movie (1983), a racist white man (played by deceased Vic Morrow) was put into a situation where he is bundled onto a train taking him to a Jewish internment camp.  Everybody sees him as a fellow Jew which he denies.   What if you were seen as every race you despise?   What then?  

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

The Good Enough Life

Editor’s Note, “Wanting What You’ve Got”, p. 5.

“Acceptance is not acquiescence.  Acquiescence is quiet, desperate defeat.  Acceptance is the ability to distinguish between a want and a need, and to abjure [solemnly renounce] the former.

My husband wants a sienna-tiled villa hanging off an Amalfi cliff, with a yellow Porsche and a green Ferrari in the garage.  (I just want the house.)  But he concedes that he does not need it.  In fact, it would be a hassle to actually own it all.  Acceptance sheds the need.   Acquiescence is not wanting to let go of the need and doing so only reluctantly.

To pursue the good-enough life is to accept imperfection, not to acquiesce to terms that make one miserable.

From the Stoics to some of the best cognitive behavioral techniques of the 20th and 21 centuries, we are reminded of the importance of acceptance.

If we choose our battles well, if we frame the immutable as trade-off rather than dead-end, if we find that one talent rather than rue the ones we will never acquire, then ‘good enough’ is indeed the best path forward.”   Twitter: @KajaPerina

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You Are Good Enough, p.26

“You were not at the top of the class, not the employee of the month, nor are you the ‘10’ you think your partner wants.   But you are probably pretty spectacular in some way, and definitely good enough in most areas of life.  If ever there were a time to stop beating yourself up for being human, it is now.”

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The Good-Enough Partner:  When Your Partner Is Not Your Romantic Ideal, by Aaron Ben-Zeév, Ph.D., p.45

“Having a good enough partner implies making some compromises that are contrary to romance.

Enough can be defined as ‘as much as necessary.’  In ideal love, enough is not enough, and you cannot get enough of your partner—the better she [or he] is, the more you want.   Nevertheless, some people are not fortunate enough to have even a ‘good-enough’ partner—they might have a ‘just-enough’ partner or a ‘barely enough’ partner.   Consequently, many people settle for a partner who is no good for them at all. 

This becomes more complex, as someone who initially seems barely good enough can end up being the most suitable partner.  A nicer-looking wealthier woman might not be good for you if her values and attitude do not jibe with yours.  In short, constant comparison is lethal. 

We do not expect Mr. Right to fulfill all our needs, as some of these needs are fulfilled by us, ourselves.   As in the story of the pot of gold buried in the garden, sometimes the treasure can be found right at home.”

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How to Polish Your Personality:  …Change starts with a critical assessment of your traits and whether they work well for you—or don’t.  By Grant H. Brenner, M.D., pp.46-53.

“Katherine was grappling with a problem of identity, a problem, that, I find, is much more common today than is generally recognized.  Who she really was had been suppressed for years, in part due to her sense of duty, in part to her desire to please others, and in part to worries about what would happen if she did not conform.  Yet she never completely forgot who she was.

When the circumstances of her life and marriage changed, the authentic needs and personality traits she had long downplayed took on new importance.  She now had more opportunities and the freedom to pursue them.   The awareness of mortality can be clarifying.  It drives a lot of our decisions.”

Source: Psychology Today, psychologytoday.com, March/April 2021.

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of movie, The Raven (2012)

If you are an Edgar Allan Poe fan, then this movie is for you!   But, if you are not a fan of “bloody violence and grisly images” (IMDb), you may have to avoid it.   This is why the movie is rated R.

I’m a fan of mild horror.  For example, I don’t like movies where people are killing people just for the thrill of it.  Rob Zombie comes to mind.

This movie was released in 2012, but I enjoyed seeing it again recently.    However, I didn’t remember that the Pit and the Pendulum (one of Poe’s short stories) scene in this movie followed all the way through slicing a man in half.  It made me jump out of my chair with each pass of the huge blade.   I thought the director would have left that scene to our imagination.  Poe’s short story ends differently—the man is rescued.

John Cusack does a great job of portraying Poe as a sad drunk mourning over his dead wife.    He hasn’t been able to write for a long time though he is supposed to be writing for a newspaper headed by Maddux (Kevin McNally Maddux of Pirates of the Caribbean, Downton Abby, Supernatural, New Tricks, Underworld, etc.).  

And, because Poe has not written any new stories in years, a villain hopes to inspire him to write more by reenacting Poe’s previous short stories at a high price.   Poe is the prime suspect at first.   The movie is a series of puzzles that Poe and Detective Fields (Luke Evans of Dracula Untold, The Alienist, Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Beauty and the Beast, etc.) must figure out.  But, there is romance and dancing to curb some of the violence.

The movie is fast-paced because they have to find his kidnapped fiancé, Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve of Replicas, Star Trek into Darkness, Men in Black 3, etc.) before she becomes one of the grisly bodies.    Her father, Captain Charles Hamilton (Brendan Gleeson of Harry Potter, Edge of Tomorrow, The Village, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, etc.), hated Poe’s guts even before his daughter’s kidnapping.   

The excellent villain is played by Sam Hazeldine (The Huntsman, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, The Village, Ripper Street, The Wolfman, etc.), but I’m not going to tell you what character he plays.   The ending is unexpected.   The director is James McTeigue.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Caregiving Part One: Family and Friends

“Caregiving is providing care for the physical and emotional needs of a family member or a friend at home.   It may involve assisting with meals, personal care, and transportation, helping with medical procedures and therapy”.   (Source:  www.benzieseniorsources.org)

“The most common type is the family caregiver who takes care of a family member without pay.   Other types include professional, independent, private, informal, and volunteer caregivers.”  (Source:  www.griswoldhomecare.com)

“Communication is key in the relationship between a caregiver and a patient.   It is important to both openly share feelings and remain empathetic to the situation.”  (Source:   Patient Empowerment Network, www.powerfulpatients.org)

Two interesting articles:

“Caregiver Tools:  10 Things to Add to Your Toolkit”, Medically reviewed by Judith Marcin, M.D., written by Ann Pietrangelo, updated on November 21, 2016.  Healthline.com.

  1. Documentation
  2. Medication management
  3. Caregiver calendar
  4. Home accommodations
  5. Me time [the most neglected]
  6. Mutual respect
  7. Objectivity
  8. Limitations
  9. Balance and boundaries
  10. Why the caregiver tools matter

“Very Much like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, the Symptoms of Burnout can Begin Surfacing Months after a Traumatic Episode.”   “Caregiver Burnout”, by M. Ross Seligson, Ph.D., P.A., May 11, 2017, Today’s Caregiver magazine at Caregiver.com.  

I joined the two groups below after I no longer had outings and other distractions to help me bear with my relative’s depression and bipolar symptoms during this pandemic.   I’ve always been a caregiver for someone most of my life, but I never realized until now that was what I was doing.

  1.  Coffee Tea and Me Caregiver Support Network on Facebook.  Shirl Parnell is the founder.  Located in Baltimore, MD, you can call Shirl at 443-538-1815 if you have questions about joining.

I found out about their existence from a member of an outdoor exercise class I was in that was discontinued due to cold weather.    I miss the hugs, handshakes, and physical closeness with others that helped to distract me away from depression myself.

Coffee Tea and Me Caregiver Support Network on Facebook has group prayer via conference call each Thursday morning at 6 a.m.  They also have guest speakers on the prayer line occasionally.   I found a little bit of God’s gold in the form of a conference call (425) 436-6397, access code 8363910 and you will be prompted to add an #. [If you have a Metro PCS or T-Mobile phone, you may have to use CTM’s back-up number 206 451 6063 before you use their regular number and access code]

  1. Another caregiving support group that I joined is DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance).   I signed up for the Family and Friends Group which is currently meeting on Zoom first and third Thursdays of the month at 7:15 p.m.   You can contact Louis M. Borowicz on email at louandvicki@verizon.net or call 410-467-4709 in the greater Baltimore area.  Website:  you can join the Persons w/Mood Disorders Group or the Family and Friends group (https://www.dbsalliance.org/helping-a-friend-or-family-member/dbsa-support -groups/).   Louis also recommended a book entitled YOU NEED HELP! by S. Conrad.

I can’t think about caregiving without thinking of the homeless.   One homeless man told me years ago that he was homeless because he refused to follow the rules of his brother’s house. 

I watched a documentary where a son was trying to help his estranged alcoholic father.   He got his father into Alcoholics Anonymous and even rented an apartment for him.   But his father continued drinking and nearly caused the apartment to catch fire.   So, the son decided that he would just help the father whenever he could and hoped that one day his father would stop drinking on his own.

Another problem that occurred in the 60’s was that President Ronald Reagan closed many state mental health facilities.   “1967 Reagan signs the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and ends the practice of institutionalizing patients against their will, or for indefinite amounts of time.  This law is regarded by some as a ‘patient’s bill of rights’.   Sadly, the care outside state hospitals was inadequate.   The year after the law went into effect, a study shows the number of mentally ill people entering San Mateo’s criminal justice system doubles”.  (“Did the Emptying of Mental Hospitals Contribute to Homelessness?”, Jessica Placzek, December 8, 2016, kqed.org)

And, lastly, I don’t know if you have ever watched the television show, MOM, on CBS.  It has been on 7 seasons going on 8.   It is a drama, comedy, and romance.   The show is all about addictions:  alcohol and gambling mostly.  

Mother Bonnie (played by Allison Janney) is a past alcoholic, thief, con-woman, drug mule, etc. who only thought about herself and had a child Christy that she totally neglected (played by Anna Faris).   Now, both of them are in Alcoholics Anonymous with a group of female friends in the same boat.   

In season 6, episode 18, (“Soup Town and a Little Blonde Mongoose”) Bonnie’s daughter Christy is so sick that she cannot stand up (the second time I can remember Christy being this sick).   But this time Bonnie steps up to the plate and becomes, of all things, a CAREGIVER!   She avoids going to an Eagles concert to stay home with her daughter (of course, after making her boyfriend turn around and drive her all the way back home to help Christy).

Then, we get to see a side of Bonnie we have never seen.   Christy becomes her only priority—washing her clothes, getting her medicine, bathing her, helping her to get to the bathroom to vomit, etc. to the point that she gets totally worn out herself and in tears because Christy’s sickness lasts for days.  

Christy never got this kind of care as a child and the lack of care helped push her too into alcoholism, stripping, gambling addiction, and helping her mother with a life of crime.  In other words, survivors at other people’s expense.  Christy reverts back to being a child for a while from this special treatment.   While marketing, Bonnie even helps another mother who is stressed about a sick child and unfortunately leaves a recovering Christy alone in the market which is Bonnie’s usual modus operandi.   I love the show but sometimes I just want to smack Bonnie and Christy!  

Rebecca Ancheta-Blum is the director of MOM (many projects back to 1980 In Living Color), creator and writer Chuck Lorre (a man of many tv shows including Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Young Sheldon, etc. back to 1988.), co-creators Gemma Baker (also Two and a Half Men and movie The Replacements), and Eddie Gorodetsky (also Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Bob Hearts Abishola, and many more back to 1980s.)

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Believe in Yourself and Make This a Brand New Day of Love. The Rest is Still Unwritten.

These are songs of love and hope at a time when we all need them.

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS LOVE, SWEET LOVE

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love

It’s the only thing that there’s much too little of.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love.

No, not just for some, but for everyone.”

Excerpt from Source:  Musixmatch.   Songwriters:  Hal David and Burt F. Bacharach.  Lyrics © New Hidden Valley Music Co., Casa David Music, Bmg Rights Management (uk) Ltd (Hal David).  

We “still” need love because in the last four years we seem to have less and less love for each other.   No matter what your religious or political view, there should be something that you have in common with another human being.   Try it!

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

“Believe in yourself, right from the start
You’ll have brains
You’ll have a heart
You’ll have courage
To last your whole life through.

If you believe in yourself
As I believe in you.

If you believe
Within your heart you’ll know
That no one can change
The path that you must go.”

Excerpt from Source: Musixmatch.   Songwriter: Charlie Smalls.  Believe in Yourself (Dorothy) lyrics © Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp.

This song was in the 1978 movie The Wiz with an all-star cast consisting of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Richard Pryor, Lena Horne, Theresa Merritt, and Mabel King.  I loved The Wiz. Directed by Sidney Lumet who also directed other movies I’ve loved:  12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Serpico, and the Verdict.

You can do it.   Keep believing in yourself.  Don’t be discouraged.

A BRAND NEW DAY

“Everybody look around
‘Cause there’s a reason to rejoice you see
Everybody come out
And let’s commence to singing joyfully
Everybody look up
And feel the hope that we’ve been waiting for.

Everybody’s glad
Because our silent fear and dread is gone
Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about
You owe it to yourself to check it out
Can’t you feel a brand new day?

Everybody be glad
Because the sun is shining just for us
Everybody wake up
Into the morning into happiness

Hello world
It’s like a different way of living now
And thank you world
We always knew that we’d be free somehow
In harmony
And show the world that we’ve got liberty

It’s such a change
For us to live so independently
Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about
You owe it to yourself to check it out
Can’t you feel a brand new day?”

Excerpt from Source: Musixmatch.   Songwriter: Luther R. Vandross.  Music composed by Quincy Jones, Charlie Smalls, and Anthony Jackson.  A Brand New Day lyrics © Wb Music Corp.

This song was also in the 1978 movie The Wiz with an all-star cast consisting of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Richard Pryor, Lena Horne, Theresa Merritt, and Mabel King.  I loved The Wiz. Directed by Sidney Lumet who also directed other movies I’ve loved:  12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Serpico, and the Verdict.

UNWRITTEN

“I am unwritten
Can’t read my mind
I’m undefined
I’m just beginning
The pen’s in my hand
Ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it

No one else can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

I break tradition
Sometimes my tries are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes
But I can’t live that way

The rest is still unwritten.”

Excerpt from Source: LyricFind.   Songwriters: Danielle A. Brisebois / Natasha Anne Bedingfield / Wayne Steven Jr Rodrigues.   Unwritten lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Domino Publishing Company.

I fell in love with Natasha Bedingfield’s singing of “Unwritten” the first time I heard it on the radio.   Phrases like “break tradition”, “outside the lines”, “conditioned to not make mistakes”, “live your life with arms wide open”, etc.   The song could apply to writers or anyone living his or her life.   And it is a hopeful song with a great beat.

Merry Christmas to all and God bless us everyone!

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

I Have Always Been a Hand Washer

All my life I have washed hands after questionable acts like sneezing, handling trash, using the toilet, washing my body, after shaking hands or touching strange surfaces, etc.   So, to do it more for a pandemic was not that great an inconvenience.

I was browsing through tv shows a couple of weeks ago, and I came across a doctor talking about wearing masks and washing hands.   (Sorry, I forgot to write down the show it was on.)  What stood out to me was the part on washing hands.   The doctor showed pictures of people with really abused hands from washing them.   She said that we forget to put lotion or moisturizer on our hands each time we wash them.   Even before the pandemic, I’ve seen some really rough hands on men as well as women.  We all need to keep our hands moisturized.   

No matter which kind of moisturizer we use, our hands and other body parts need to be moisturized after each time we wash them.   I have a problem with the skin on my hands beginning mid-November to March of each year.   My hands start looking and feeling like soft parchment paper if I don’t put on lotion several times each day.   I still have tiny scars and rough patches on my hands from skin that itched and cracked to the point of hurting in spite of my wearing gloves and applying lotions in winter.  

I and other people I know have used various brands of moisturizers like Avon’s Silicone Glove Protective Hand Cream, Gold Bond Extra Strength Medicated Lotion, Vaseline Intensive Care, Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Moisturizing Lotion, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, Olay Body Quench Rapid Repair Lotion, Jergen’s Hydrating Lotion, etc., and love them.   But, a few years ago, a fellow coworker suggested Eucerin Intensive Repair Lotion and even gave me a small tube of it.   Some people have told me that Eucerin is too thick and gooey for them, but it’s just right for me. 

“In most cases, dry hands are caused by environmental conditions.  Weather, for example, can cause dry hands.  Frequent handwashing, exposure to chemicals, and certain medical conditions can dry out the skin on your hands, too.”  The article includes 10 remedies for dry hands. [Healthline.com.  “How to Heal and Prevent Dry Hands” by Chaunie Brusie, updated March 7, 2019]   

“A body lotion’s key benefit is to bring hydration back to your skin, but these days, more and more formulas are delivering added benefits.   From improving your skin’s elasticity to reducing the look of cellulite, there’s a perfect, multitasking body lotion out there for you”.   The article goes on to mention body rubs, body scrubs, body washes, body creams, etc.  [Birdie:  All Beauty, All the time—For Everyone; “We Found the 16 Best Body Lotions of 2020 (So You Don’t Have To)” by Syden Abrenica, updated November 3, 2020.  https://www.byrdie.com/best-body-lotions-4159935 ]

While I’m talking about hands, another article covers topics such as weak hand grip; tiny red bumps or blisters; numb or tingly hands; trigger finger; red scales or pus-filled bumps; the symptom: white, blue, or red fingers; hand tremors; purple finger nodules; hand pain, stiffness, and swelling; and long ring fingers.  [Health, “10 Things Your Hands Can Reveal About Your Health:  Hands Rely on a Symphony of Body Systems to Function Properly, so Doctors Often Look to These Appendages for Signs of Illness and Disease”, by Karen Pallarito, May 15, 2018.  https://www.health.com/condition/skin-conditions/hands-health]

Written by Rosa L. Griffin