Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘People’

A Unique Perspective

Photograph of Shuffleboard at the Century Vill...

Photograph of Shuffleboard at the Century Village Retirement Community – NARA – 548567 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday Greg and I had the opportunity to observe people in action.  People who manage a retirement community here in our area.  They were gracious hosts and showed us what they do to make a safe and comfortable environment for senior adults age 55 and older.  It is an independent living community, filled with many amenities, love and warmth.

The facility itself is large and beautiful – but what was impressive to us – were the people who live there.  Everyone was  happy, in good humor and eager to meet a new friend.  When we first walked up to the facility a couple of older gentlemen sitting outside the front doors flirted with me right in front of Greg,-  telling me that I had made their day – so cute 🙂  Greg got a real kick out of it and teased them back, which they found very endearing.  We walked in to  the large lobby where an art display was in progress.  The artist was a sweet lady in her 80’s that got started with art lessons at age 69!  There was wine and cheese and a display of her pictures with everyone milling around.  And we found to our amazement, someone we had known from a staff position at a nearby church about 5 years ago.  Greg had baptized this man and he had remembered the experience with fond memories.  It was great to talk with him and find out he had been in this facility for 19 months and LOVED IT!

In this unique independent living facility – the live in managers either make or break any feelings or atmosphere for the senior adults.  It was great to witness that this management couple was doing something right.  This kind of lifestyle is certainly not for everyone, but the rewards can far outweigh the drawbacks – because like church work – it is about people.  It is about ministry in the truest form – serving people.

Our unique perspective was in witnessing the dynamic of happy people living with a group of people who thrive on love, attention and time.

I think we are all like the people who live there.  We thrive when someone takes a special interest in us – someone who makes us feel special, our needs are important – and someone who really listens and understands.  It is a shame to think that we must become senior adults to have people pay attention to us in that way.

It is a lesson to all of us on this side of retirement.  It is a great reminder that life is short.  Enjoy each day as it comes.  Live each day to the fullest.  Listen to others.  Make others feel safe in your company.  Make others feel wanted and special.  Love on people.  Watch what happens.  See people  blossom right in front of your eyes.

 

God Bless

Faith Of Our Fathers

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 26th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I heard an excellent message this morning on the Founding Fathers of our great country – including pictures and quotes from the men. It was inspiring, to say the least. These men were ordinary men – but they did extra ordinary things and showed extra ordinary courage in light of declaring freedom. And so inspired – I went about to find a great video to share with you with some of those great things I heard this morning. I trust that we will never forget the price that was paid and those who paved the way for us to be free.

Enjoy and God Bless.

Interesting…

Man and woman in bathing suits in a rowboat ne...

So Greg and I were sitting at the kitchen table having a discussion over scrambled eggs, toast and coffee, when suddenly we found ourselves on a topic that has been hashed around in our home MANY times:  Why can’t a man think more like a woman?  And to be fair – Why can’t a woman think more like a man?

Greg, of course – sides with all the men out there and sees the need to defend his “maleness” – while I struggle to fight for the “right to be heard” and explain that women just don’t think like men.

It is a very familiar dance.  The male vs. women thinking – a completely different approach to life,  to people and relationships.

When men see something such as a picture or image on TV – it does something for them.  When a woman sees that same provocative thing – they are usually disgusted and turned OFF.  When a woman is just being friendly to a man it can be interpreted as something else – but the man can think that it means something else entirely.  The woman see that as it is – just being friendly.  And making a new friend.  When a man is friendly to a woman – woman usually see this as friendly – unless it is creepy in some way – while a man may be thinking totally differently about his friendliness and her responses to it – leading – shall we say – somewhere else?

Greg was telling me that he heard on a radio program the other day – how men like seeing pictures of women – so these same men think that sending a nude photo of themselves will somehow be a turn-on to women he’s never met on the internet or through text messages.  Clearly men DO NOT UNDERSTAND WOMEN.

I love all my friends and I have many – both men and women.  But understanding the differences in how men and women relate with one another can takes a lifetime.  Is it worth it?  Yes.  A well rounded person should have friends from both sexes and have an easy rapport with both.

And after being married to the same man for almost 30 years, I can clearly see the differences – at least in our home:   Men see and feel through their eyes.  Women see and feel through their heart.  

Because men assume that women feel as they do – often times conversation can be misunderstood.  And because women assume men think like a woman – when they just want a “good talk”  (like they would with any of their girlfriends) – it can be misunderstood.  Woman love having deep conversations and often times their guy friends are like their girl friends – comfortable and dependable.  With nothing meant – and no interest whatsoever.

Greg has had to learn the art of listening – because I like to express myself through talking things out.  And I have had to learn that he doesn’t just want to talk all the time 🙂  And by communication, we’ve learned that I am a natural “nurturer” – loving to help, encourage and lend support to those out there within my reach.

And I have learned that Greg needs to be admired and be the “hero” in my life – making even the most difficult of days – better.  He longs to fix and offer wisdom and advice to my everyday problems and situations.  He loves to be connected and be consulted in even the smallest of decisions.

We’ve learned to support each other and to play to each other’s strengths – and yes,  even help each other understand why men and women react and respond the way they do – when it seems foreign to us.

It’s – interesting.  It’s called life.

What do you find the most interesting about woman – if you’re a man?  And about men – if you’re a woman?  Do you try to walk around in their skin once in a while to see if you can understand them better?  Try it – it’s very – interesting.

God Bless

Priceless “In The Moment” Moments

The city of Burbank, CA looking east from Univ...

Image via Wikipedia

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the last time I was single and living at home.  I went right from my parent’s home at 20 years of age to another way of life – without ever have lived on my own.

And although it worked out for me – I also see great benefits to living on your own before being married.

Both of my children have had opportunities to live on their own after finishing high school.  And although this can be hard, financially – I believe the lessons learned while living on your own are very valuable.  Some things just can’t be taught while living at home.

With our daughter – she was so determined that she would make it – and it took two jobs for her to do so – she’s been very proud of herself that she was completely self sufficient by the time she was 20 years old.  She learned a lot of about room-mates and finances that she’s never forgotten – and when it came time for her to get married – she was already very disciplined with money and her work ethic.  She’s one of the hardest working young women I know.

Shawn, who will be 20 in October – has moved to California to pursue a music education and hopefully a career with his music training.  He lives with room-mates in Burbank and has struggled to maintain his rent with only a part-time job.  We are grateful he got a job, when so few are available.  And we’re also thankful that his loan money will cover his tuition AND his housing this fall.  But it’s still tough to make the rent and pay for things like food – until then.

Experiences like this are so valuable.  And he will look back on these times as “the good old days” before real bills, a wife and children to support.  All of this – priceless in the big scheme of things to come.

As I chatted on the phone with him last night – I reminded him that this too shall pass – and his present circumstance is what great songs and writings are made of  🙂  Maybe not while he’s struggling – but sometime after as he looks back…

Living “in the moment” – trying to be present – even during hard times of struggle. Being available in the mind.  On purpose and on task.  Learning to get by on very little – to be engaged and still positive about life.  This is what living “in the moment” is all about.

Are you alway “in the moment”?  Does your mind wander to “better times” either in the past – or somewhere in the future?  Can you be content and very present?  Now – today?  Especially when things are not ideal?  And you may be struggling?  Can you find the priceless of the here and now?  Knowing this moment will pass you by – and be no more?

Did you live on your own before you were married?  What did you do without during those years?  What’s your story?

 

God Bless

A Feeling Of Anticipation

"Anticipation" by American illustrat...

Image via Wikipedia

I have not been able to shake a feeling the last couple of days.  And feelings being what they are – “feelings” – I have tried to push it down and ignore it.

Last night it had an ever-growing intensity – I was not feeling well either so that might have contributed to this – uh – feeling – but I’m not sure.  My stomach was jumpy and I could actually feel anticipation.

There have only been a couple of times that I have felt like this.  It’s the feeling that I get when somebody is about to jump out at me – saying “BOO” – or when I am looking at some daunting task before me – and need to “jump in” or “jump off” as it were.   The same feeling in my stomach – in preparation for it to lurch and dance around.

But since I have no reason to feel this way – and certainly not last night – it’s been a little unnerving.  Life is pretty calm here these days.  Oh like everyone else – I have some unresolved issues with a friend and have not been able to put that to right – as of yet – and there are some other issues – but nothing that has not been there before.  It is nothing new in my world.  Things are calm – if not totally resolved or finished.  And yet...I feel it.  Ever building.  Ever present.  Anticipation.

In my spirit I can feel something – I’m just not sure what it is.  But there is a whisper of hope – a whisper of anticipation with that hope.  And although it is scary – the dark unknown – it makes me smile.

Do you suppose that things are about to change – for the better in issues that I have had no control over?  Things that I was sure were hopeless and unresolvable?  Or are “feelings” just feelings.  Does God whisper to you in your spirit – something you just can’t shake?

When was the last time you had a “feeling” you couldn’t shake?  A feeling of anticipation?  Did you ever find out the reason for it, later?

One of my favorite Carly Simon songs is called “Anticipation” – here it is for you to listen to – Enjoy and God Bless!

Are You A Leaf, A Branch Or A Root?

Tyler Perry in the Star Trek movie

Image by feastoffun.com via Flickr

I borrowed the following video found on youtube – from a friend on facebook and shared it on my wall.  But if you are not a friend of mine on there – you would not have seen it.  It is typical Tyler Perry comedy – him playing one of his characters, Madia.  I love this because even though Madia is not ‘religious’ and has no claim to even being ‘moral’ she has many good things to say that are just ‘common sense’  and sound advice to those in bad relationships – and about relationships that all of us have in our lives.  It is done with such openness and authenticity – it made me chuckle – but also made me say to myself, ‘she really gets it’.

I particularly like what she says about the people who come and go in our lives and how she likens them to either, leaves, branches or roots.  I have had people in my life fall in all three categories – and she is very accurate – you will see.  The leaves and branches people can really mess you up – leave you ‘high and dry’ – but they teach us something – usually one thing that we can hang on to.  The root people are the people who are in it for life.  I’m not talking about family – because family has to – it’s their job and no one can help who they are related to.   But other friendships that don’t have to – have no ‘family’ obligation to you.  They are just there because they love you – no matter what.  These are the people you enjoy doing life with – because they ‘get you’ – and you ‘get them’.

Watch for Tyler Perry having a hard time staying in character – pretty funny stuff – and I bet you’ll be agreeing with me that – Madia may be a little eccentric – but she’s RIGHT ON.

Enjoy and God Bless!

Working The Anger Out

"Always write angry letters to your enemi...

Image by Abby Lanes via Flickr

‎”Always write angry letters to your enemies. Never mail them.” – James Fallows

How many times have we done this? I know I have.  More than once.  My own dear husband admits to writing one of these to me a couple of years ago – and never let me read it – and he’s glad – so am I.

Letters written with anger are never restorative. Instead they can do real damage – as the written word is forever.  It is always imprinted on the memory and heart and is a tough thing to move past.

I don’t believe it is a sin to be angry.  Jesus was angry – many times.  He never sinned in anger and asks that we do the same.  There are going to be things that make us angry – it’s just a fact of life.  There are things we can’t understand – things we can’t resolve and the list goes on and on.

I wrote one of these ‘angry’ letters to a friend I had a falling out with – but I’m so glad I never mailed it – or passed it through an email.  The letter was for me alone – part of my healing to just ‘get it out’ on paper and reevaluate what went wrong – and validate me as a person.  Sometimes this is a necessary thing to do.  Once the anger and emotion is passed – often times there is something left in its place.  Perspective and sadness. Sadness for the circumstances – and perspective that time passing brings – taking the punch out of the anger.  Sadness that so much time is lost in the mean time.

I must admit that I don’t get angry very often.  I’m pretty even-tempered – yet I’m passionate about certain things – but usually not angry.  I love people in my life – deeply.  Love my family and friends with a solid love.  I think what really sets me off are ‘half truths’ told about me – or people totally misunderstanding me and passing me off as something that is not even true.  And being helpless to change this opinion.  Another thing that really sets me off is being helpless to change past circumstances that got blown WAY out of proportion.  I am naive enough to believe that adults should be able to get past themselves – truly and totally forgive – to save the relationship – learn from mistakes of the past and be restored in every sense of the word.  My dear husband smiles at me and pats me on the head – like I’m a small child full of innocence and wonder.  And says, ‘Oh Cindy – that is just not the real world’

And so writing letters are for me alone. God is the only one who sees them.  And He is doing a deep work of art – in my heart.  Helping me work out the disappointment, hurt and anger – and stop it before I spew it on others close to me.  I’ve kept a journal for years – and recently I told ‘my story’ as I remember it.  We all have our ‘story’ don’t we?  Mistakes we have made?  Someone that has hurt you?  Something you can’t fix on your own?  Yes – we all do.

Can I be angry and not sin?  That is the challenge for me. Can I still be passionate about wanting change – and not push before people are ready for change?  Can I keep who I am intact – and not lose myself to emotion?  Can I do and feel what is right – and not compromise what I feel God would want me to do?  Follow His leading and direction – rather than what others tell me?  Know myself so well – that it is not a dilemma for me to restore others in love?  These are the questions I struggle with – daily.  And sometimes what I feel God is leading me to do – is not the popular consensus.

My encouragement for you is this:  Write that angry emotional letter – get it all out!  All of it. The feelings and emotions – the being misunderstood – the slander against you – the feelings of betrayal and being wronged.   Imagine taking a walk with that person who has wronged you.  Find a nice place to stop along the road – a nice grassy patch that’s very quiet and peaceful.  Take out the letter and read it out-loud to that person.  Ask them not to interrupt you until you’re done reading it.  This letter will say it all – and you won’t have to depend on your memory – and get lost in emotion – you can just read it.  Imagine that they hear you.  Really hear you. Imagine that they understand – and that they feel sorry for causing you pain – and they accept your apology too.  Imagine the conversation of healing and restoration – even if you have to MAKE IT UP.  Remember – it is for you. It is part of your heart healing – and letting go of the anger.

I have done this – not once – but many times. It is always a restorative conversation.  The anger is no longer there.  I am still writing – and there are days when I have to take that walk with someone again and read a letter – forgive and be forgiven – and have a healing conversation.  There are days when I have to forgive myself all over again.  I wish I could say that all of my relationships have been finally worked out and are restored – back in good daily communication – having put the past behind – but sadly this is not true.  But I still wait in anticipation for God to truly restore and heal – and bring back to me – what was once lost. There must still be lessons for me to learn. Until then – I am still working on me. I am in process – on a long journey.

God Bless

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