A reflective moment for those that have gone before me…

Holidays bring back memories of childhood, and in those moments you reach back in time, and love from your heart with all of your being, those that shared and were responsible for impacting your life. In their absence, those memories are magnified and longed for, especially when you are alone. Taking time to sit with those memories is so important.

It is no wonder that as we enter what we believe to be the last chapter of our own life that, especially with so many being afflicted with Alzheimer’s and Dementia these days, that it is the long-term memories that seem to surface and remain rather than the short-term ones.

Today. I resolve to take time this Christmas to remember those special times with my Mother, my Daddy, my sister Rebecca, my Nana and Granddad, my late husband, my aunts and uncles and cousins who have gone before me – and even my friends who have passed away – and drink in the memories of my life with them like hot chocolate with marshmallows sitting by a crackling fire with snow gently falling softly outside, surrounded by the beauty of Ponderosa Pines in Lakeside, Arizona, listening to Johnny Nash singing “I Can See Clearly Now.”

missing u at xmas


I want my Mama; I want my Daddy…

parents gone

When you are young, it is never a thought; when it is a possibility, you pray really hard that they will be alright, and you will still have them. When they are gone – there is a hole left in your heart that nothing can ever replace – your prayers increase, and you pray that the faith you have will sustain you and that you really will see them again. All the holidays are not the same…but the cravings for their presence increases and if you slow down you begin to revisit some of those special moments with them… and you hit replay in your mind, so you can relive it again and again.

Maybe that is why we move so fast at holiday time…doing, doing and doing, because if we STOP, if we SLOW down, we might realize they are gone and have to deal with the feelings…the tears….the fact that the holiday will not be the same without them.

Parents – a huge job that as a child we do not understand; as an adult, even if you do not have children, you realize that whatever life you had with your parents, they did the best they could or knew how.

One of my favorite sayings by Ram Dass is, “In the end we are all just walking each other home.” I miss my parents…and on that walk I had with them, I only wish I had held their hands more tightly…I want my Mama; I want my Daddy – you are never too old to still say those words.

The tears flow…and I pause to let them stream down my face, because I read that it is scientifically proven that there are 38 toxins in a tear of sadness and only one toxin in a tear of joy. I am letting them stream to cleanse me, and as I do, I offer up a prayer for all of us that are missing our beloved parents this Holiday Season.

What I love…

simple JRT

I love this – in spite of the fact that I have moved so fast I couldn’t catch myself most of my life, I value the simple life. I love home and my dog and music and books and quiet time. For so many years I have been devoid of true quiet time… only those moments stolen in the still of the wee morning hours were truly mine.

I love community; I love helping others and knowing who my neighbors are, but after losing my mother and father, I find that I must claim some of the hours that were normally slated for everything else, for me – to drink in the memories of my 70 years on this planet and all I have done and learned and un-learned.

Reflection gives way to a better today and tomorrow, allowing me to share, hopefully from my experiences to help people avoid the pitfalls I myself have encountered, as well as the joys and successes. 

simple abundance

We all have a book inside of us…mine has been being crafted for years…it is actually on my bucket list is to bring it to fruition before my time on Earth expires.

My favorite book in the world, as I have said many times, is “Simple Abundance.” It saved me at a very dark time in my life. Once I discovered it, I read it daily for five years. That daybook of simplicity, joy, balance, order and harmony suggested tools that I did my best to apply to my life. I did and the dedication to those 5 principles birthed wonderful results, even with the ups and downs of life that we all experience.

I commit to re-visiting that life-jacket of a book in 2019. Simplicity – as I learned from that wonderful book – is indeed simple, for it taught me that “All you have is all you truly need.”

Thoughts are THINGS

emotions and illness

Many, many years ago I was introduced to a book, “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. The book tells of Hay’s journey in life and her battle with cancer to her healing. She did work on herself and guarded her thoughts to help her achieve a cancer free status. The book details in a dictionary like form the mental causation of the physical manifestation of illness. I have often consulted that book to see if there were actual parallels to whatever ailment I was experiencing.

If I were totally honest with myself, I could see that my thoughts or belief about something, especially when my emotions were super-charged over some issue going on in my life, truly provided some insight into what I needed to do to change my health and ultimately the way I life my life. It also made me examine my belief system – was it something I really believed or was it someone else’s belief system I was exposed to and accepted as truth because it was someone I loved or was an authority figure. The bottom line is that I do believe that “thoughts are things,” and that whatever we dwell on or believe is true for us. Some may say this is new age mumbo-jumbo but the truth is that it parallels many passages in the Holy Bible:

-Proverbs 23:7 – As someone thinks within himself, so he is.

-Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it; comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

2 Corinthians 10:5 – We demolish arguments and every pretentious that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ; each me, God, and know my heart; Psalm 139:23-24 – Test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. And, there are so many more.

The great philosophers, great statesmen such as Benjamin Franklin, great leaders and even many closer to our lives today remind us that what we think about we bring about. Anyone struggling with an addiction or trying to eliminate a habit knows that their thoughts affect their actions. It is a minute by minute job to guard our thoughts from negativity. We hear it over and over, “Is the glass half empty, or half full?” Henry Ford said, “Think you can; think you can’t; either way, you’ll be right.”

Vision Boards, affirmations, prayer and meditation all assist us on our journey and, if it is our desire, helps us to change our lives for the better. I BELIEVE that my thoughts affect my actions!

This memory post is for me – not posted for debate – for we all have our own thoughts and beliefs and should respect those of each other. I write this as a reminder for myself that “Thoughts are things” – powerful things – and that I must choose the good ones for my life to flow in the direction I want it to flow.

Love & Longevity – My return to the work I love

work & its importance

In 2014 I did an interview on a book called, “Younger Next Year.” It was written by a doctor of internal medicine, Henry S. Lodge, and an athlete, Chris Crowley. The overall premise of the book was “how to live optimally well into your 80s and beyond.” The book illustrated three major precepts:

The first, passion – it is what gets us going each day – makes us want to get out of bed; second, exercise – which is more important than what you eat because it nullifies some of things we do to ourselves with our food choices, and third, an intimate relationship – not necessarily sex, though it could be, but definitely someone you can trust to share your deepest, darkest secrets with, and who has your back.

I see many people retire to travel and live life – I truly have already lived an adventurous life – and retirement is not a thought for me right now. I still want to work. Though I may not completely have all three requirements, the job thing is so important because it does consume such a large part of our lives. I know that writing exercises my brain, interviews excite me, and chasing down the facts of a story causes my blood to circulate without interruption of flow. Steve Jobs seems to have possessed a lot of wisdom about the “job” you are in, and his thoughts on this resonate with my own.

I BELIEVE if you are lucky enough to find and get to do what you love, life will drop you a life jacket that keeps you afloat even though your body, and sometimes your mind, exhibit the effects of aging…but, it does so with grace. As to exercise, my four-legged companion, The Doggie Lama, is not happy if he does not get to walk each day and see another human being or pet on the walk – so I do get exercise, though not cardio, with him. As for an intimate relationship, I have not found that person of the opposite sex that “lights my fire,” yet, but I have a couple of female friends with whom I am able to share ANY thing and feel confident they have my back.

So… I think I am set to make it well into my 80s and beyond, if the authors of “Younger Next Year,” are correct. If not, you will know it and say, “Well, that didn’t work for Barbara,” but either way, those three precepts from the book give me the motivation to do my best to make each day matter towards the goal of “living optimally well into my 80s and beyond,” because I only want to be here if I am making a difference.

In my mind, what I can share from the reporting and interviewing I do can make a difference, because I get to search and deliver all sides of an issue or recount someone’s own story about their life with others.

The three precepts from “Younger Next Year” reminded me of keeping the inner fires of my soul ignited.

My Sunday musings for MYSELF.

September 22, 2018 – FALL!

Sept 22

There IS a real reason to love Fall; God executed a perfect plan with the Seasons – they each have their own meaning, but rarely in our busy lives to we take time to really contemplate the Seasons. Today, on the AUTUMNAL EQUINOX, I am closing one chapter of my life, just like the end of summer, and honor it with reflection as I move forward into the next chapter.

Today I throw away the rest of the stuff that weighs me down – STUFF – just STUFF that has taken up space and I truly release it to the dump – Goodbye, STUFF – then I will HONOR my energetic and tired body with a massage and afterward, in a relaxed state, I will ceremoniously celebrate what was and pave the way for what is to come.

Life is Good! I open my arms and WELCOME Fall and its lessons.

September 19, 2018 – Detours

Sept 19aSept 19b

Step by step we walk. A pedometer is not really necessary. You can feel how far you have traveled. Each journey is different. You leave something of yourself wherever you go, and you take some of others along with you. Some trails or pathways you have ventured on before, but if you walk them again they are not exactly the same. Revisiting a path can be better because you are aware – aware of what was good and what was less than so.

C. S. Lewis said, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?”

In October I will revisit a path with excitement and a new perspective – it is exciting because I WANT to do it. It is much akin to feeling like a child just before Christmas, or waiting for the tooth fairy or your birthday. Excitement does not end when you are older – it’s just that you often have “been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, so it has to be something really special to get you excited.

Just like “the beat goes on,” so does the path with its ups and downs and bends and curves. What’s around the corner? I KNOW it is something worth walking toward.

September 16, 2018

Sept 16

Sunday morning memory – a great time to be reminded of the people who are your friends – those who truly are more than the definition of the NOUN “friend,” and whose actions exhibit the definition of the word itself. Our hearts and souls know WHO they are…your tribe, your circle. Though small in number, they are mightier than any Army because they fortify your life with love, loyalty, thought, compassion, and genuine care, just asking for your friendship in return. Like marriage, friendship may not be equal, but it delivers a commitment between two humans that enriches each other’s lives, like no other. The movie, Beaches, and Bette Middler’s, “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” is what I think of when I think of a Friend…

“Make new friends, but keep the old, some are silver and the other gold.”

Gratitude to those worthy of wearing the title of Friend.

September 13, 2018

Sept 13

The saying, “Be a Voice; not an Echo,” has so much more meaning as you attain true maturity; I now understand those senior persons who were so adamant about things in my youth – when I thought, “Who do they think they are!” Today I know; they had experience – wisdom, so often hard-earned; they had lived life which we youth had yet to experience.

My, my – how our perspective changes as we arrive where they once were. I so hope the current youth will listen and avoid our hard-learned lessons. God Bless us one and all on our journey , and may we all recognize that it really is as Alice in Wonderful told us – “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

September 9, 2018

life lessons grays anatomy

It has been a year since I closed on my Lakeside house, and with many starts and stops, each time believing I was almost at the finish line, I finally am really almost there. I can almost touch that finish line…ALMOST. Only those closest to me know, as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story.” Many things that had value have been shared, evaluated, and discarded or kept. This has been quite the road less traveled, but truly a spiritual journey full of epiphanies. Other Baby Boomers who may also be where I am, are looking back at what and who has mattered on their path.

Lessons are understood now…some lessons I did not even know I was being taught. Things I once believed have been challenged and truths revealed. I have lived a life of adventure and see how I have been placed in many roles I would not have chosen myself, but were truly placed in them because they were mine to fill. I strived always to go beyond mediocrity and never was satisfied with my results because I wanted what I did to matter, to really matter. I still feel that way.

Unlike many who say they would not change a thing in their lives, I would. Hindsight is 20/20. With that hindsight, however, at this stage of my life, I believe that if I ever strayed from the path that was mine to walk, there was always Divine Intervention gifted me so that I could find a new road that would lead me back to the true path of my Earthly sojourn.

Just as nature reveals many answers with her changing seasons, animals bring insights to me to aide me on my journey. I embrace their traits and the gifts they present me. I AM aware. I AM grateful, and I AM blessed today to revisit a post from last year which opens my eyes once again to snippets of insight for the next road I have chosen to walk.

Sundays are special days, and with Fall in the air, today I Fall in love again with the gift of life and the tests given, passed or failed – for I know today that even the failed tests contain wisdom for the journey.

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