Archive - April 22, 2015

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Put your dreams away for another day, and let this moment take their place in your heart.

Put your dreams away for another day, and let this moment take their place in your heart.

A variation on the lyrics of the ballad by Lowe, Mann, and Weiss as written by Vic Ebeling.

 

Welcome to the first “Our Prime Life” blog.

How many of us believe we are in a prime time of our life

right now?

 

First of all, what does “prime” mean? I think we’ll agree

that the most commonly accepted meaning is that our

prime is the best time of our life. But other definitions

of prime include the beginning stage of something and

a phase that is an ideal or peak condition. So I’ll ask you

again: Do you believe you’re in a prime time in your life?

 

(If you’re reading this entry

and realize you’ve read it before,

a quick explanation is found at the

end of this blog.)

 

What is the “Our Prime Life” blog about?

 

The goal of “Our Prime Life” is to inspire its visitors to

consider that right now is a prime time of your life.

You could be a young individual or a more mature adult.

Struggling or successful. Working toward a dream or

working to maintain that dream. A woman or a man.

Anywhere on the spectrum of success… from just

making it to doing just great. Or just about to lose

it… and everything in between. Anywhere from

on your own to happily connected to hyper-responsible

for others.

 

So does the quality of our lives today depend totally on

what’s happening to us? Or can it be influenced by how

we perceive it? That’s where we begin our conversation.

 

           Why spend time with “Our Prime Life”?

 

Why would you want to read my reflections on this concept?

I believe there are at least two reasons: Life is full of ups

and downs—often more downs than ups. But my ups have

been sensational and came when they were supposed to,

which resulted in my life moving forward to the best it’s

ever been. And as I look back, my difficult times were

equally as important and essential to my growth.

 

I want to share with you what I’ve learned from good times

and bad times. And I want to give you a voice, to share

your experiences with me and with our other readers.

I have confidence that you will offer new ideas and

provide new insights. Hopefully by combining our ideas,

we will open even more lines of communication and

provide insights and inspiration for others.

 

                 An illustration of what I mean

 

I have memories of events in my childhood that make me

sad because I recall the unhappiness that went with them.

A young child cannot be expected to have the patience or

wisdom to understand that things may happen for a reason,

especially if they are painful or disappointing.

 

When I was a young child, my mother made me go to bed at

8:00 every night. In the dark, door closed. Why she did that

I won’t get into. The problem was ever since I was an infant,

I didn’t need much sleep. Never took a nap during the day

and only slept eight or so hours a night. As a result, I lay

awake each night for several hours until I fell asleep.

 

My younger brother would complain if he saw a light under

my door… my attempt to read with a flashlight under the

covers. So there I was, wide awake, nothing to do. What was

my solution? I made up stories. I was usually the heroine.

Sometimes westerns, sometimes war stories, sometimes crime

dramas, sometimes romance. For years, every night, I made

up stories.

 

As a teenager, circumstances changed and I actually stayed

up after everyone else went to bed, watching TV, doing

homework, reading books, talking on the phone with my

friends and then my high school boyfriends. But I still had

the love of imagination. I graduated from a university with a

degree from the school’s college of communication arts.

 

I wrote creatively my entire teenage and adult life. My high

school teachers praised my work. When I worked in the

entertainment industry, my specialty became preparing

scripts for production.

 

I saved my writing in boxes. A few years ago I went through

the boxes and realized, while there was some very good

writing, something was missing. I recently shared this

with a dear friend of mine, and she came up with an

insight. The magic word: approval. I agreed with her that

the incentive for my quest to write the great American

novel was writing for approval of my own life—that I had

accomplished my dream. But until then I wasn’t ready.

(This is an example of gaining insight from someone

else’s insight.)

 

That day a few years ago when I opened those boxes, I

threw away most of my stories. I had reached a point in my

journey where I was very content with where I was in

my life. It was at that point that I stopped using my energy

to prove I was the writer I always wanted to be and, instead,

let my imagination soar like it did those many dark

evenings long ago. Several ideas came together, and I

wrote a multi-award-winning novel, which turned into a

series. My four books have thus far won more than twenty

independent book festival awards.

 

I credit the success of my novels to those nights alone in the

dark, making up stories.

 

Sometimes we have to trust that “right now” might not be the

best time for the things we want for ourselves. So instead of spending

our time wishing and dreaming and grieving, I think we need

to appreciate what we have today.

 

As I look back on it, I spent so much of my life longing to

achieve my goal and thinking about what I didn’t have, I wasted

a lot of the time that I could have spent cherishing what I had.

 

Perhaps if you dwell on the thought that you’re not getting

what you want in life at this time, you may be missing what

you have now.

 

           What did I learn from this experience?

 

I try to tell myself, ‘you may not have what you thought was

essential to enjoy your life, but if you look at what you do

have, it may alter your concept of the essentials.’

 

A wonderful line from the award-winning musical,

Sunday in the Park with George, is spoken by the character

based on the great artist, George Seurat. Seurat completed

only a few paintings and died relatively young. He struggled,

sometimes painfully, with creating his art, but he did not

surrender. Because, as he states in the play, “A blank

canvas… so many possibilities.”

 

The sun comes up every morning to begin a new day…

like a blank canvas… so many possibilities.

 

         We could begin with a fresh awareness

 

When my husband was dying of cancer for eight months in

our home, he wanted me as his sole caretaker. I could have

seen my life as controlled only by that dynamic. But I still

had my son’s Little League games, and my psychotherapy

practice, where I could absorb myself in something outside

of myself, and the outpouring of love and care from our

neighbors and community, and I had our friends. Near the

end, a hospice nurse began visiting to regulate his medication

and check his condition. At that time my husband also

became open to inviting our friends to help with his

caretaking.

 

I had a running joke with the nurse. I would say, “See that

lady doing my dishes? She’s an attorney.” “See that woman

folding my laundry? She’s a college professor.” “See that fella

helping my husband adjust his position? He’s a television

propmaster.” She and I would laugh.

 

The most important lesson I learned about helping a friend

dealing with tragedy was to refrain from talking with sad

sympathy about the pain they had been going through

yesterday, or reflecting on how they would be able to survive

in the future, but to just concentrate on today. And simply

ask, “What can I do for you right now?”

 

             It’s true we can’t live in naive bliss

 

This isn’t to say that there are things that happened in our

past that we shouldn’t treasure. But there are things that are

happening today that we can celebrate.

 

However, we can’t deny what has been lost or what has hurt

us in the past. And we do have to have some direction for

the future.

 

But unexpected things happen every day. Some of them are

not what you would have wished for. Maybe even, on a rough

day, they seem overwhelming. But then sometimes good

things happen that we didn’t expect. We may not even notice

them. So many of us, instead of embracing these positive

events, count them as little compensation for the negative

experiences. How about recognizing these positive events

and enjoying them for the gifts that they are?   Each one.

 

                       Some things take time

 

I grew up in what was called a “bedroom community”

outside a major city. A bedroom community was a large

area of land where hundreds of tract homes were built to

create a new small city of families. It was hundreds of

medium-sized brick homes with a few places of worship,

grocery stores, schools, and a community center.

 

Each home had a backyard and front yard and a

boulevard… the area of ground between the sidewalk and

the curb. There were hundreds of new families with young

kids. Since all the homes were new, we had to seed our

lawns and plant bushes.

 

The majority of owners planted a sapling on the boulevard.

It was a small, scrawny beginning of a tree that someday

would begin to bear leaves in the spring, turn to beautiful

autumn colors in the fall, was nothing but limbs in the winter

and begin the cycle again when the winter chill began to melt.

 

When I left home for college, these trees were lovely, small

trees, about 15 to 20 feet tall.

 

Decades later I returned home with my small son. I wanted

him to see the house where I grew up, now owned by another family.

 

We turned the corner onto our street. It was amazing. As far as

we could see in front of dozens of homes were the saplings

we had planted that had grown into a natural masterpiece of

rows and rows of beautiful, graceful, magnificent trees

lining the streets.

 

In those years we had waited for the saplings to grow, they

had become 30 to 40 feet tall, forming an archway of grand,

leaf-covered branches, swaying in unison to the breeze,

decorating the neighborhood like a majestic, natural crown.

 

When we first planted these trees, we got in trouble if we

tried to climb them, or hang on the young limbs, or tie things

from the twigs. But they had become a strong, grand symbol

of the lives lived on those streets, celebrating the day-to-day

sagas of those families. They had survived and thrived.

 

 

                           A thought for today

 

“Having spent the better part of my life trying either to relive

the past or experience the future before it arrives, I have

come to believe that in between these two extremes is peace.”

Author unknown

 

                     Please share your thoughts

 

I look forward to hearing from you. Your comments, insights,

and questions are all welcome.

 

Let the discussion begin.

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my photo to the right of the top of this entry.

 

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