Celebrate Instead of Tolerate

On the radio last week a therapist talked about celebrating others in the culture instead of only tolerating or accepting them.

I didn’t ever like the word tolerance precisely because I thought merely tolerating someone’s difference didn’t go far enough.

I have been turned off interacting with a man who turned out to be homophobic.

In my future OKCupid profile I’m going to list open-mindedness as one of the 6 Things I Can’t Live Without.

As I referred to recently in a blog entry here I have been writing about the beauty of individuality for years now.

Friday, June 19 is Juneteenth–the day of Freedom for African Americans in our history.

For awhile now I haven’t liked to celebrate the Fourth of July.

No only do I detest sitting around a patio table at a barbecue.

It has always rubbed me the wrong way that we were celebrating a holiday that didn’t guarantee every American their freedom.

And I don’t eat hot dogs or burgers–yet that’s another story.

We need to celebrate each other every day.

We should take joy and pride in everyone’s true nature.

We should hold in high esteem the culture they come from.

I have a couple of fashion binders and a beauty binder.

In the beauty binder I insert pages with tips on makeup taken from magazines.

In the beauty binder I insert photos of women of all colors.

I like to look through the photos for inspiration.

Everyone being ourselves makes the world wonderful.

I think every person living on earth is beautiful.

That a lot of people don’t view others this way is sad.

In coming blog entries I’m going to talk about what I think in more detail.

I’ll talk soon about a remarkable discovery I made two weeks ago. And about one of my earliest experiences in life as a teenager.

By telling my stories I hope to give others permission to tell their stories.

Plenty of Fish-y

I haven’t found Mr. Right. Nor have I found Mr. Almost Right. And I haven’t found Mr. Not-Right-Yet-I’ll-Take-Him Anyway.

Yes I’ve tried–OKCupid, Chemistry, How About We, Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, and Match–I’ve tried them all.

I only met one guy in person. He was a personal trainer yet curiously wasn’t certified as a personal trainer.

In his profile photos he had black hair. In person he had gray hair. So his photos were 10 years old.

His online requirement was that he sought to meet:

“An intelligent woman who loves life and likes to laugh.”

Though I fit this criteria he wasn’t interested in me. He acted like I was a charity case–like he was doing me a favor sending me messages.

To meet him in person I wore a sleeveless denim dress with an ombre hem and cut-out back like a keyhole. I had on navy-strap platform sandals.

His idea of “intelligent” involved reading James Patterson novels.

This date took¬† place 3 years ago. It’s the only time I’ll spill details about a person.

After I met this guy the better highlight of that day was shopping at a fish market to pick up dinner.

It pays to stock up on plenty of fish in your refrigerator when you dine alone.

I turn 55 in the spring and will be treating myself to a birthday feast for dinner in my apartment.

Complete with a new set of flatware, dishes, and cloth napkin.

And yes a lobster tail should I be able to get one.

Serve yourself. Don’t wait for a mate.

Get dolled up and dine like you’re in a restaurant when you’re at home.

 

Rising in Tune

I’ve read the book In a Single Garment of Destiny the collected essays and speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

From what I remember it was said that after civil rights were gained King wanted everyone to break bread together.

He framed obtaining civil rights as a cause benefiting all Americans not just African Americans.

Reading about acts of hate has the effect that I’m in actual pain even though I’m not the victim.

Still I think the rhetoric in opinion pieces in the New York Times and elsewhere only serves to sow division rather than uniting Americans.

Since I value Education I’ve made the positive dissemination and use of information a choice to adhere to.

Continuing to dwell on the negative offers no hope. And I think that hope is warranted.

People can change. This is a fact. I’ve seen this with people I know.

You have the choice. You can decide to love others

I’d like to be proactive and positive in talking about what’s going right in the world.

I’ll end here with a link to the Black Lives Matter organization website.

They sell a tee-shirt.

My goal is to seek out the stories of innovative individuals making a difference. To write about these people in the blog.

To tear the borders down, break the walls, and create a better world I think IS possible.

In coming blog entries I’ll talk about my own experiences.

If “every eye is a mirror” I’ve seen with my own eyes that people can be open-minded.

The Beauty of Individuality

The online Merriam Webster definition of stigma is “a mark of shame or discredit.”

I’m not keen to use the term stigma to describe what is in effect a lack of compassion for people who are different, who might not look like you, who might have an illness.

Too often the word stigma is framed as the cause of people not seeking help for mental health issues.

My memoir Left of the Dial chronicles my own fear of not being normal.

In 2020 I would like to be part of the solution to what’s going on in the world.

For too long narrow-mindedness has ruled in society.

I can identify with individuals who were subjected to “conversion therapy.”

I can relate to people who were told to conform and give up their dream of being an artist.

What I’d really like to do is contribute to the dialog about how to heal from stigma.

No one should feel guilty or ashamed because they don’t fit the mold of what other people think is acceptable.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of internalizing this stigma.

On the cusp of 55 I’ve decided to promote individuality as the remedy.

The only way to succeed in life is to be who you are not who others would like you to be.

In coming blog entries I’m going to talk about the beauty of individuality in more detail.

Choosing to Be Grateful

In this gloomy weather I find that having an attitude of gratitude imbues my life with hope for the future.

Every other day I write down 5 things I’m grateful for in my grateful journal.

It’s a hardbound spiral journal that I write entries in.

First I reread the last two or three selections. Then I write a new entry.

A research study reveals that keeping a grateful journal can help a person ward off blue feelings. It might have even halted people from being depressed.

Gathering around the Thanksgiving or other holiday table¬† you’re bound to interact with people that don’t share your worldview.

I’ve found that the remedy is keep my cool and talk about other things.

I’m too jaded to think that anyone in our government–not Liberal Democrat Republican or Conservative–can help ordinary Americans and do the right thing for everyone on the planet as well.

The part of Thanksgiving that I can accept celebrating is the “giving thanks” part of the holiday.

I’m grateful to be happy and healthy and healed. I’m grateful for every experience I’ve had–good and not-so-good. I’m grateful for everyone I’ve met along the way in my life.

One change–it could be called the fourth changeover–had the most impact on my happiness.

In recent months I’ve been able to make peace with reality and to make peace with other people.

What I’m able to do now is to understand that there’s no “right” or “wrong.”

I am who I am. You are who you are. Others are who they are.

The goal as I see it is to give each other a wide latitude to express ourselves.

What alarms me is that there are people who think the government can actually help them. They have fixed beliefs about Mr. Toupee and about everyone else who has been elected to serve us.

So–they sharpen their knives and cut you to pieces along with the turkey.

I turn 55 soon. The older I get I’ve come to believe that compassion is called for.

We must have compassion for the haters, for those who are less fortunate, for people who have done us wrong, for ourselves if we feel poorly about something we did.

Having compassion for others who don’t think, believe, act, live, and identify the same way you do is what’s needed in this often sad and angry society we live in.

My therapist is fond of saying that everyone being different makes the world interesting.

I’m grateful that there’s no other person like me walking down the street.

And yes–I’m grateful to live in America in a city where I’m free to walk down that street.

Those of us who benefit in the world should be doing things to help people who haven’t had any advantage.

This is the message I bring to you in this season:

Choose to love. Choose to be grateful. Choose to do your own thing without fear.

 

 

Changeover #3

As I head along on the road to another birthday I’ve made one other change: Cutting the crap out of my life.

Refusing to fall prey to the hateful rhetoric advanced in “click-bait” news articles on the internet.

Choosing to walk on the sunny side of the street. Instead of dwelling on what’s not right in the world.

As the ability of our elected officials to govern ethically is going down the toilet I have no trust that anyone in Washington will come together to help ordinary Americans.

So–I will not talk about Mr. Toupee and his ilk.

I can only tell you that I’m impressed with Andrew Yang–the Democratic candidate. He gets my vote for President should he make it to the primary.

No–I just say no to Joe Biden. It’s because the former Vice President has stated that he thinks marijuana should remain illegal. I prey–prego as Italians would say–that Joe Biden is not elected president.

This is the end of my screed about politics.

As I’ve written, my life improved when I cut the crap out of my reading matter. Cutting the crap out of what I eat has helped too. Cutting the crap out of my relationships has changed things for the better too.

Our government is a circus–yet it’s a dangerous clown act. There isn’t a clown car big enough to fit all the Bozos with the power to screw up America for ordinary Americans and screw up the planet for everyone on it.

So–I chose to dedicate my Left of the Dial blog to positive topics that can empower readers.

I turn 55 in 2020. I will continue to write about my experience as a woman living through “the change.”

Sharing what I’ve learned and what I think along the road to 55 is my version of “What Now.”

Spreading Joy, Love, Peace, and Understanding

By reading about other women I’m inspired to spread joy, love, peace, and understanding.

Dua is Albanian for love.

The Dua Lipa interview in the May issue of Elle magazine has inspired me to no end.

She’s the Albanian singer-songwriter who won a Grammy award for Best New Artist.

In the interview she talked about having eggs as snacks. She cooked and fed her interviewer eggs.

In my Flourish blog devoted to other topics I wrote about my change to scrambling eggs and veggies for breakfast.

Hearing Dua Lipa talk about having eggs as a snack reinforces my belief that a music star–or any famous person–can be an inspiration.

In the interview she talked about getting lost in a scroll hole of negative comments about who you are.

Not a fan of social media I understand the temptation to live for “likes” and worry that what you write will alienate your followers.

Dua seems down-to-earth which impresses me.

The interview talked about how women have been standing up and asserting our needs for a long time. Starting with Janet Jackson in the 1990s.

This gives me confidence to stand up for myself and what I believe in.

Ladies: start your engines.

 

 

Hope and Healing

My agenda is to advance my vision of recovery, from whatever it is a person is in recovery from.

I’m confident that it’s possible to recover from whatever disadvantage–an illness; a setback; whatever–that has derailed you.

My message of hope and healing is what people need to hear.

Every beautiful person living on earth has the right to be endowed with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Free from hate and oppression; free to be who they are without having to live in fear.

Here’s to us square pegs in round holes.

Here’s to the dreamers among us who envision a better life for ourselves and others.

What I really intend to do in this blog is to give form to the beauty of recovery in all its definitions and manifestations.

My version is Left of the Dial.

In a coming blog entry I’ll talk about this more.

My Vision for 2019

There’s a lot of negativity in the world.

We don’t have to dwell on the negative in our minds and in our beliefs.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this topic in the early days of the New Year.

The Artist’s Statement I live by is this:

To act as a Chief Joy Officer to create things of beauty to share with others to make them feel good.

I urge you if you are an artist or a creator of any kind or simply a human being to focus on the positive.

I’m 53 years old. I firmly believe that dwelling on the negative is only a good way to age yourself faster.

And how do you feel interacting with a person who is bitter or judgmental about you or other people?

Spending only fifteen minutes listening to their negative beliefs has the power to drain your energy and put you in an ill mood.

My goal is to empower, educate, and entertain readers, followers, and audience members.

The lesson I offer you in all of this is:

Consider focusing on the positive.

A blogger might get thousands of followers by advancing negative rhetoric.

I’ve decided I cannot and will not water down what I write or compromise what I write to make it acceptable to millions of followers.

I will not change my cheerful voice in here.

My vision for 2019 is to write blog entries that continue to be in the vanguard.

What is the point of dwelling on the negative?

My story is not the exception to the rule.

There are others out there who have recovered and have full and robust lives doing what they love.

All my life I will advance my vision of Recovery for Everyone, from whatever it is you’re in recovery from.

In here and elsewhere I will continue to offer hope for healing the illness in society.

And I will continue to write about my latest finds at Sephora : )

 

 

 

Becoming Who You Are

An enduring quote tells us:

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Post-illness you can recover yourself along with your mental health.

My persistent belief at mid-life is that you shouldn’t stop doing new things until you’re carried out on your last day.

Make every day a celebration.

I wanted to talk about the necklace in the photo in the last blog entry. The woman took it out of the counter to show me. The tag read Murano.

“I’ll take it,” I snapped because Murano is a famous glass maker from Venice, Italy.

I had bought a Murano millefiore glass bead necklace on a tour of their factory.

The point of this blog entry being that you should not hesitate to give yourself little perks to feel better.

“The Road to You” should be paved with kindness and compassion.

Be not afraid to act and dress a little bolder to make a statement:

“I’m here. I have breasts. Get over it.”

You owe it to yourself to be happy. By expressing yourself through how you style yourself in clothes you can also make others happy.

I’m the resident Fashionista at the poetry readings.

You can absolutely reclaim the good from your life before illness and discard the rest.

I’ve decided at 53 that I want to channel the time when I was a disc jockey on FM radio in the 1980s.

This reinvention started by wearing the outfit in the photo in the last blog entry.

In the coming blog entry I will talk about in more detail about reclaiming yourself after illness strikes.

I’ll talk about exerting your power to be who you are without fear of reprisal.

Tying this in to setting goals in mid-life to get more of what you want out of life.

You can absolutely use your personal history as the springboard for making changes at mid-life.

It truly is never too late to be what you might have been.