Monday, December 31, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 31, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR THIS YEAR-LONG EXPERIENCE OF EXPRESSING GRATITUDE EVERY DAY.

Be Grateful

Life is better when you feel blessed, when you can look around and say “Thank you, God.” Religious or not, when you see life as a wonderful gift, your experience is a richer one than any amount of money can provide. Imagine going through life like you’re a child, and every morning is Christmas.
It’s tempting to think gratitude comes from having what you want. You see yourself giving thanks if you had money, a loving family, and maybe a house on the beach. Still, you know there are ungrateful, unhappy people with these things, and poor people full of gratitude for what little they have. Where does this feeling come from?
Gratitude arises from how you look at things. It is the natural feeling that comes from truly appreciating the people and things in your life. It is also something you can learn.

First, you have to stop and smell the roses. You can’t be thankful for something you don’t notice or enjoy. Roses really do smell great, by the way.
Then, you need to make this appreciative approach to roses and life a habit. There’s no need to ignore the ugliness in the world, but you have to habitually see the beautiful things.

Start writing down every positive thing that happens to you, and all the things you like. Do this until you start automatically seeing the good things in life. If you’ve ever bought a white car, and started seeing white cars all over, you know how awareness can alter your perception of reality. To see wonderful things all over, train yourself to look for them.
When you are in the habit of “counting your blessings,” gratitude, and a much richer experience of life is the natural result.

I am eternally grateful for all the good things in Life I experienced in 2012 and will experience in 2013.  I am thankful for still being here...and I damn well better appreciate it.  And I do.

Happy New Year!

rlw


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 30, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR LISTS.

Hi.  My name is Bob and I am a List Addict. 

I feel better already.

I have always been a maker and keeper of lists.  Post-It notes, napkins, envelope backs, notepaper, legal paper, spiral notebooks, etc. have been my friends and my bane for as long as I can remember (not remembering so well, is one of the reasons I keep the lists). 

My life is overly full with "must do" projects from grocery lists, backyard remodel projects, music to learn how to play, daily routines I would like to adopt, blah-blah...They keep me on track to accomplish far more than I ever would with my eratic memory cells.

I seem to have greater recollection from the 70's (now, that is odd, considering) than what I did last week.  There is a warm sense of satisfaction to 'crossing something off' my list.  I have been known to have added (to my current working list) all the things I have done already today, just so I can 'cross them off'.  I tried erasing them when done, but the satisfaction at the end of the day just isn't the same....as there will always be 100+ things 'yet to do', the never-ending list that will never be finished.

Now that I am retired, with far more time to work on my lists, my listofthingsnotdoneaphobia seems to have gotten worse, not better.  I also have more time to add to my lists at about triple the speed of 'crossing them off'.

A friend sent me a JukeBox link to Top Music Hits of Your favorite Year.  As I skipped down memory lane of my high school and college years (1962-1969) and my rock-n-roll adventures of the 70's...I was able to 'add' to my 'must learn how to play' list about 40 songs in about 60 minutes....the challenge is, that it takes several days to learn how to play each song well enough to 'cross it off'.  One minute to add something; much more than that to finish it (clean and organize hall closet)....5 seconds to write down, 2 weeks to brood over it and a full day to accomplish.

Therein, lies my delicious dilemma.  I love lists.  I love accomplishments and self-accolades for getting a project properly done.  My innate ability to make the front end of the list project grow at a far more accelerated rate than the back end of 'done that' check offs will keep me busy for years. 

It has become my personal "Winchester Mystery House" project where Sarah Winchester, widow of the Winchester Firearms fortune heir, believed she wouldn't die as long as she kept remodeling her home.  There is a fascinating Northern California day trip to see staircases that lead into brick walls, secret passages, etc.

I cannot comprehend what I would do with my time if I actually finished everything on my lists.  Now my Android SmartPhone keeps my multitude of lists handy at all times - destroying 'cloud bytes' instead of trees to keep my massive to-do project in play.  If I stopped adding to it right now - I figure I would still have many years of projects to work on that are already on the list.

It worked for Sarah Winchester for 83 years....I am good with that.

rlw

Two more days til 2013. One more Gratitude Blog to go.  It has been fun and personally satisfying.




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Saturday, December 29, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 29, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL, ALTHOUGH MOSTLY DEAF TO MOST CONVERSATIONS, I CAN STILL HEAR GREAT MUSIC.

My tastes have changed and somewhat mellowed (sometimes) over the years and as the Classic Rock Generation moves towards the mist at the end of the vale, it is great to see great Classic Rock songs embellished with violins, cellos and a choir and see former bad boys of rock be recognized for their contribution to the arts (at the Kennedy Center with the President in attendance).

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN - HEART TRIBUTE TO LED ZEPPELIN


Lise's influence on me has opened a new opportunity for appreciation of the flip side to rock-n-roll...classical music and opera.  Even a country-rocker from Oklahoma is moved by this aria from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi:

O mio babbino caro  Puccini - sung by Maria Callas


rlw





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Friday, December 28, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 28, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE FUN OF PLAYING LIVE MUSIC AND THE CAPABILITY OF RECORDING SAME.



 End of the year approaching and this blog will come to a close in 4 days...three more blogs to go.  I will always remain grateful for the multitude of small 'things' that have the possibility of creating joy within us that we have the opportunity to experience in our daily lives.  As a collector of 'quotes', one of my favoites addresses this issue:  "Remember that the best 'things' in life are not 'things' at all."

The joy of overcoming self-doubt about my ability to take up the bass guitar and learn to play my favorite songs after the age of 60, the brief foray (an initial attempt - especially outside your usual areas of competence;  as in "scientists' forays into politics",
the rock-star look with graying pony-tail, and the ability to leave behind a visual legacy for my children and children's children...barring the demise of the Internet.

I-IV-V BLUES - OPEN MIC NIGHT JAM

Wow, what a great year, with much more to come in 2013.  New songs in progress to learn, play post:

Candyman - Roy Orbison
Knocking on Heaven's Door - Dylan
Mean Woman Blues - Roy Orbison
For What Its Worth -  Buffalo Springfield
Louie, Louie - Kingsmen
Sweet Dreams Baby - Roy Orbison
Back in Black -  AC/DC
Dizzy Miss Lizzy - Beatles
Don't Say you Love Me  - Billy Squire

To far too much fun in 2013...

rlw

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 27, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR AN ABUNDANCE OF BEAUTIFUL THOUGHTFUL HOLIDAY CARDS THIS YEAR.

For those that don't text, email, or tweet their Christmas list...there is still the traditional Holiday Card in the mail...I will probably see that disappear like the buggy whip.

A friend (via email) sent these cards you 'probably didn't get' samples to me to cheer me up.

rlw













  



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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 26, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR NOT HAVING ODD-SHAPED PRESENTS TO WRAP THIS YEAR.

Other than the minor mechanical challenges of the assembly of the Vanity Table/Chair for our daughter, the other gifts were fairly straightforward to wrap in tubes, boxes, or bags.
Obvious FAIL-is that a bow?
A friend sent the following pics to me regarding some very creative ways (some are a very clever disguise, for the professional guessers in your family) and of course an example of the clasic FAIL on the art of package wrapping for your loved one's gifts.

Enjoy - Happy Holidays and I hope your wrapping was as good as these...

rlw

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 25, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR A PERFECT DAY WITH FULL FAMILY.

14 year old girl's dream -
fully stocked vanity
Auntie Sarah & Linkin
 My older 3 sons with girlfriends, spouses, grandkids and brother-n-law joined us today for a wonderful family celebration.

Lots of strewn wrapping and bows, smiles, toys, coffee and nibbles in front of the fireplace, followed by ham dinner with all the trimmings, wine, pecan pie and coffee.  Everybody healthy and happy...couldn't be any better.

Very, very thankful for everything.

My bald head & ears
 are not cold anymore
They used to be tiny
- what happened
Kyan slept through the entire event




rlw





  



CAROL OF THE BELLS for 12 Cellos - HAPPY HOLIDAYS



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Monday, December 24, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 24, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR A GREAT CHRISTMAS EVE WITH MY FAMILY.

A bit rainy, somewhat cold, grey and drizzily day outside, but warm and full of Christmas cheer inside.  The day cleared a bit in the afternoon and Lise and I took our nature path hike out and back to the house.  Finished wrapping presents for the grandkids that will be coming by for a visit tomorrow morning.  Hot mulled cider on the stove.  Fireplace on.  Christmas Carols on the CD player.  Very nice.

Sarah finished her participation in the Sacramento Ballet Company's production of The Nutcracker, yesterday.  She finished up with a matinee and an evening performance both Saturday and Sunday.  This year she had the role of one of the Candy Cane attendants and did a wonderful job.  We went out for a celebratory dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in town.  Everybody was dressed up (after retiring, I pretty much live in  jeans and sweatshirts.  I don't have many occasions to wear my  former business life suits and ties) and it was far too much fun.

When these special moment occur, I can't help thinking back to 2008 and my Cancer diagnosis.  Although the treatment regimen was one of the toughest times I have experienced, the success has provided me the opportunity to be here tonight and see my grandsons tomorrow morning.  A Christmas without excited, bright-eyed kids could not possibly be the same

I am thankfiul.

rlw




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Sunday, December 23, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 23, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING A PARENT.

So much to say, so I will say little.  I have been blessed with 3 sons and a daughter and 3 grandsons.  No owner's manual came with the Dad kit...learned alot on the job, along the way.  I learned mostly things about myself I never wouldI see my oldest being a super Dad to his 3 son's and I feel good about the job I did when he was small. 

My youngest son has  his girlfriend's younger relatives living with them pretty much full time also.  A good Dad in action is heartwarming.  Have to say, I love it when I hear my parenting words come out of their mouths, just the way my Mom probably felt when her words came out of my mouth.

Every species has similar challenges - being good parents...not, of course, the ones that eat their young...but the more more humane ones take to their responsibility in a beautiful way.

rlw


Parenting in the Antarctic
 

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 22, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA: DECEMBER 22, 2012.

STAYIN' ALIVE

Yesterday, December 21 was a big day for all of us.  It was the day the Mayan Apocalypse did not happen (whew), the official start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the official start of summer in the Southern Hemisphere (as cold and wet as it was yesterday - it is odd to type - 'the official start of summer...anywhere'), and for Christians and/or enthusiastic capitalists...3 shopping days until Christmas and 7 days later - the start of 2013.

Noted Birthdays for December 21

Calico Jack, the English pirate
Phil Donahue, talk show host
Jane Fonda, actress
Frank Zappa, singer    "YELLOW SNOW"
Carl Wilson - Singer    'HEAVEN'
Samuel L. Jackson - actor
Keifer Sutherland - Actor

Died on this day in history:

F. Scott Firzgerald - Writer
George Patton - Military
Albert King - Musician     SANTA CLAUS WANTS SOME LOVIN'


Noted Birthdays for December 22

Maurice Gibb - Singer
Robin Gibb - Singer     STAYIN' ALIVE
Ralph Fiennes - Actor
Jordin Sparks - Singer


Died on this day in history:

Darryl Zanuck - producer

 ...just stayin' alive...

rlw

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Friday, December 21, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 21, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR STILL BEING HERE, BLOGGING TO ALL OF YOU.

The Mayans did not get it right, thank God, and here we are. 

On a more serene, local note, I am definitely thankful for the neighborhood I live in and the great peaceful scenery I get to appreciate on my walks with Lise.

It is a couple of miles, past the school, the playgrounds, skateboard park, designated wilderness area, over the bridge/over the stream, more wilderness area -  full of wild blackberries and voil'a: a Starbucks waiting patiently for weary travelers.

Great scenery to apprecite on the nature walk back to home.


rlw


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Thursday, December 20, 2012

GRATITUDE - December 20, 2012

I AM GRATEFUL FOR HOPE THAT THE WORLD WILL STILL BE HERE TOMORROW.


ARE YOU READY?  The Mayan Calendar predicts the demise of Earth tomorrow.   It may be less than a week to Christmas, but if you go by the Mayan calendar, the end of the world will come first.

"Mayan prophecy predicts an apocalypse Friday, and around the world people are prepping, such as in a warehouse east of L.A., where the Atlas Survival Shelter is located.

Ron Hubbard, creator of Atlas Survival Shelters, has built these doomsday-prepared structures deep underground.

“How many of these things are you selling?” ABC News’ David Wright asked Hubbard.

Last year, it was like one a month,” Hubbard replied. “Then, the beginning of 2012, it went to one a week and then, since December, it went to one a day.”
Hopefully, this is not my last blog.  I fully intend to post again tomorrow.

rlw

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