Monday, January 31, 2011

Thirty Third Post - Size

I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections  by Nora Ephron  

Ephron writes about falling hard for a way of life (“Journalism: A Love Story”) and about breaking up even harder with the men in her life (“The D Word”); lists “Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again” (“There is no explaining the stock market but people try”; “You can never know the truth of anyone’s marriage, including your own”; “Cary Grant was Jewish”; “Men cheat”); reveals the alarming evolution, a decade after she wrote and directed You’ve Got Mail, of her relationship with her in-box (“The Six Stages of E-Mail”); and asks the age-old question, which came first, the chicken soup or the cold? All the while, she gives candid, edgy voice to everything women who have reached a certain age have been thinking . . . but rarely acknowledging.
Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true—and could have come only from Nora Ephron—
I Remember Nothing is pure joy.

Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten.
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Knopf (first published November 1st 2010)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thirty Second Post - Better

One of my sons recently posted  "needs to be a better person all the time" on his Facebook status. I think he's a pretty amazing person so it caused me to stop and respond.
"Better doesn't mean we're not good enough as we are. It does give us the option of doing things a different way. The question is: Are you WHO you are, or are you WHAT you do? Did you know the driving theme of my counselling business is - Better is Possible? I love you sweetie. FYI, I agree with Grandma" - who posted,
"We can all try to be better,,,thanks for being an example".
My sons response came quickly,
" Is this a quote from your blog, mom? I need to start reading that thing more often. Love".

So goes the life of our 2011 family. A family who correspond via Facebook and then further post our conversations in a blog.(except my middle child, who has me on a limited profile) My oldest son is in his late twenties and is truly an amazing human being. I love spending time with him, but along with amazing comes busy. Out of necessity we often make quick and short connections on Facebook (resist your urge to judge - we visit in person as often as he is available) 

When I started my blog, Better is Possible, I wrote that one day I would explain the title. Today is one day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thirty First Post - Evaluate

’10 Things Bloggers Should Not Do’: a Bloggiesta mini-challenge is being hosted by Hannah @ Word Lily 

Maw Books Blog

Better is Possible's (how true is that?) Self Evaluation:

1. You Must Not Expect Results Overnight: 4/5
This is rather hard to evaluate because I'm not sure what results I'm anticipating. I enjoy blogging and am thrilled when people leave comments.
2. You Must Not Ignore Your Readers: 3/5
 Oops, I thought my blog was about me. I will be more aware of my readers and their needs; or maybe it will still be mostly about me and my needs.....something worth pondering. Who am I blogging for?

3. You Must Not Scrape Another Blogger's Content: 5/5
None of this for me.
4. You Must Not Expect Success Without Promoting: 2.5/5
I'm pretty much at the side of the road, waiting for people to stop by. I'm getting ready to make a move.....I do post a link to Better is Possible on my Facebook account. (and then I feel like I'm bugging my friends - although no one is forcing them to go to the link.)
5. You Must Not Be Another Blogger: 4/5
 I have enough fun just being me. I have little desire to be someone else at this stage in my life. If anything I need to tone down the "real"
6. You Must Not Fail To Update Your Blog Regularly: 4/5
My goal has been to blog once a week and for the most part I've met that goal. Once I retire from my full time job, I'd like to blog a few more times a week. That is still a few years in the distance.
7. You Must Not Ignore SEO:  1/5
Honestly....I have never heard of SEO until this challenge. I shall be looking into this. Then I can decide if I'm lazy or not.
8. You Must Not Ignore Networking: 2/5
I'm working on this. I'm still primarily blogging for recreation and enjoyment so I'm networking slowly.
9. You Must Not Have An Unreadable/Unnavigable Site:4/5
I think my blog is efficient and simple to navigate. Perhaps that is because I don't have an abundance of "stuff" on it. At this point I'm quite pleased with its ease of use as well as its presentation.
10. You Must Not Throw Mud Around: 5/5
LOL! Heck if I've got mud to throw, it won't be on the Internet! That's why I have a telephone, friends, and my mother!

That completes another mini-challenge and as soon as I label this post I shall click on Publish.

How would your blog rate?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thirtieth Post - Bloggiesta

Time to refresh my blog. It's not too late to join the challenge. Follow the link to Maw Books Blog and join the fun - or perhaps work bee! No time to write, going to go update, repair, redesign......

I'm heading over to analyze my blog. I'm pleased that Bloggiesta Ole! fits well with my premise that "Better is Possible."

My mini challenge #1 is labels. There is a wealth of information about labels at Beth Fish Reads .

Does your blogging need renewal?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Twenty Ninth Post - Church

It's Sunday morning and in my Evangelical Christian tradition it's time for church. Going to church used to be a slam dunk, routine thing to do. Wake up, shower, eat, get dressed, and go to church. Period. No questions asked! It seems that things have changed. Sunday morning comes and I'm full of indecision. Should I go? Where should I go? Do I want to go? Should I go even if I don't want to?

Let me back up a bit…..

I often joke that I was born a Christian. I'm pretty sure I started attending church when I was less than a month old. I went to the same church that almost all of our family attended. My mom's family were founding members and when the congregation grew out of their original building my father was actively involved in the construction of the new building. I LOVED being part of church. Church life WAS life.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Twenty Eighth Post - Guest

I am pleased to welcome my friend Ruth as the premier guest writer at Better is Possible.
Welcome Ruth!

Dreams or Dollhouses
A year ago, my dear friend gave me a journal for my birthday. "It's a dream journal" she said, "You write your dreams in it". Great, I thought. Now I have to think about what my dreams still are and what significance they hold for me.
Don't get me wrong, I am a dreamer. My mother used to say that all the time. "Dreamer" she would call me when I saw things I liked or wanted. My mom isn't really a dreamer. She's very practical. We dreamers need people like that in our lives. My daddy was a dreamer. He taught me to dream. We used to do community theatre together, my dad and I. It was one of the ways we dreamt of living different lives together. He taught me that it was okay to dream, my mom taught me to keep my feet on the ground. Life got in the way of my daddy's dreams. Childhood issues that were never dealt with crushed his dreams, but in some way his life gave me permission to dream.
I used to spend hours playing by myself with my dolls and teddy bears and dreams of what life as a grown up would be like. I used to play dress up with my young neighbour and we would dream of going to balls and being princesses and being loved by our prince charming.
I've thought a lot about dreams since I received the journal. My dreams have changed and yet the heart of them has remained the same. I always dreamed of having the family I have now, being loved by my prince charming, who turns out to not be a prince in real life, but definitely is to me. I hadn't dreamt of the struggles it would take to get to where we are now, but I had dreamt of being here. I had originally dreamt I would have little girls I could dress in pink and ribbons and who would be dreamers like me. We could play pretend and have tea parties with teddy bears and dress up in the party dresses I had saved for just such a thing. We would play with my Barbies and dolls that I had saved for the little girls I would have. I raised three sons instead - three wonderful young men who have brought me such joy and in whom I have so much pride. My two brothers have three sons between them who I adore and enjoy. I have been surrounded by boys. My dolls and tea sets have remained intact in storage. Not the exact dream I had, but a beautiful one none the less. I have a daughter-in-law now. That was part of my dream of a growing family. It's wonderful.
I still keep dreaming. Last summer when I was contemplating this concept of my dreams I did something I've always wanted to do. I'm 47 years old and I bought a dollhouse. Not a "Barbie Dream House", but a miniature dollhouse. The biggest most wonderful dollhouse I could afford. My dear friend laughed when I told her. It's not a dream she would have – after all it's my dream. The dollhouse did not come assembled, but that is part of the dream, building and furnishing it. It has remained in its packaging in my craft room since I purchased it. Part of the dream now, I guess, is finding time to build it.
This week my youngest brother's wife gave birth to a baby girl. A beautiful "pink" baby girl. The first granddaughter for my mother. The first girl born in our family since me. I loved her the moment I held her, just as I had her brother and her cousins. My sister-in-law, who would have been quite content to be the mother of boys, knows that my dreams included girls. She will let me buy pink for this precious princess. She will share her with the family that is seriously lacking girls.
This week I opened the box my dollhouse came in. I'm going to start building it. I'm going to share it with my niece as she grows. I want to show her how to dream. I want her to know it's okay to keep on dreaming.

What do you do to keep the "little girl" in you alive?
Thanks again, Ruth! BTW, I want to come and play with your dollhouse with you!!!!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Twenty Seventh Post - Joy

January 3rd, 2011 and I feel saturated by joy. It's a seemingly ordinary day, yet joy is flowing through my soul. I have never considered myself to be a particularly joyful person –  it has been mentioned that I could 'suck the joy right out of a day' (OK, the ex said that, so take it with a large dose of salt). Too often my life has been spent waiting for the bubble to burst, the shoe to drop, catastrophe to strike. It has been difficult to sit, rest, and or simply be in joy. There have been glimmers; the birth of my children, watching Peyton Place with my Omie, sleepovers, hugs and kisses from grandchildren, marriage, salvation……….so much good is a part of my life. However, sitting in joy, letting it pour all over and through me, without the concern of impending doom, has been a challenge. Perhaps it is my aging that has allowed me soak up that sweet spot of joy for longer periods of time. If I have a word for 2011, it is JOY. The thing with joy is that it is not about me! I can't make it, do it, and fix things to obtain it. I can't  own it, grab it, cling to it – you may be able to, but not me. When it comes, it comes; it has its own presence. It feels light, yet covers me with its cloak. It brings freedom and isn't confining. I don't go to it; it comes to me – when I let it. Sometimes I picture it hovering around, trying to land, but I'm a moving target and it is when I am still that it settles upon me and I am at peace. Just maybe, it's here all of the time, to bring me strength. Just maybe, now that I'm older and somewhat wiser, I've discovered that I don't have to reach up or out for it; it is within!

Have you discovered the wonder of basking in your joy?

The beauty of nature; a container of joy

Joy, joy, God's great joy.
Joy, joy, down in my soul;
sweet, beautiful, soul saving joy,

oh, joy, joy in my soul