September is here once again - a time for new beginnings, along with memories of my own school days. For me, going back to school was exciting.
I loved learning. I totally and lovingly blame Mom for this curiosity to absorb everything I could - both classroom content and people in general.
This curiosity has lasted me a lifetime. I'm now a teacher who can do my share of instilling a love of learning and receptivity in my students.
Mom was my first role model for empowerment. Only in her sudden death in 2010 did I realize how much she had prepared me to stand on my own two feet - that I always had that power, no matter what life adversity would come my way.
LIKE MOTHER - LIKE DAUGHTER, IN SO MANY WAYS
I got my roots in the early years playing Scrabble and Chinese Checkers with Mom. I learned how to play by the rules. I also appreciated the value of trying to win fairly.
My biggest challenge was winning when a perpetrator was breaking all the rules. I could only use my wit and grit. I know that Mom is the strongest woman I have ever known and she passed that life-saving trait to me. Her no - nonsense approach to things has made me fairly fearless, or at least able to bluff my way through things.
I know she must have been frightened and angry when told by her doctor that she was pre-diabetic. But considering family history, we went to class and she mastered all nutritional information, thus making insulin unnecessary. And she also mastered the glucometer! She looked great with those dropped pounds as well, accepting this and any challenge!
Speaking of challenges, I would like to share an interview I did with myself.
LIKE MOTHER - LIKE DAUGHTER, IN SO MANY WAYS
The times I'm most creative are...
When I first wake up in the morning between 5-6 a.m., no matter what is on my agenda. I am usually filled with energy, creativity and a desire to conquer the world ... by 9 pm or so, not so much!
The times I'm most joyful are...
When I am at peace. Whether family, friend or critter, there is nothing like spending time, doing anything, with those you love. This includes 'me' time because we all need to love ourselves and take care of yourself.
Something I'd like to learn to do...
Well my latest answer is something of an artistic design. I'm having fun exploring my creative side.
My secret talent...
I can play the piano, pretty amateur, but I enjoy the fact that I can read music and do the basics. It is a beautiful accompaniment to my amazing singing voice...hee-hee!
Best gift I ever gave someone...
Trips to Nashville, Georgia and Atlantic City with my Mom. The look of joy of her face as she saw relatives, explored new adventures while relaying her past memories and her joyful, childlike excitement with boat rides, casinos, fancy hotels ... just the memories of it all. There is nothing like the gift of your time.
Best gift I ever received from someone...
My wedding ring and what it stood for, now almost 30 years later.
If you peeked in my closet, you would find...
Law and Order
It may not come as a shock that I am quite organized and my closet is no exception. I have been ribbed by my some gal pals for having pink hangers for spring and summer and maroon, for fall and winter. "Hello,... us gals need to keep it together and we start in the closet!"
My dream dinner date...
A picnic (spring, summer, fall) or a fireside dinner in the winter with the man I love. Music is a must, I'll pick! Accompanied by a lot of laughter.
My favorite vacation spot/paradise destination...
A private beach, lotsa peace and quiet, unlimited beverages with pretty umbrellas. Oh yeah, with my sweet dog, Andy!
Something I got rid of and never missed...
The belief that I had to be remotely perfect in appearance or attitude! I highly recommend this philosophy. It seriously makes you feel light as a feather and like there is nothing you cannot do!
Something I fear...
The possibility and reality of the evilness that man can exhibit towards one another. It makes me feel helpless and that may be my biggest fear of all.
What I most despise in others...
An inability or unwillingness to listen to another viewpoint; being quick to judge without knowing or caring about all the facts; people who assume they know it all when they really know nothing of importance. What all of these statements have in common is what I despise most of all : ignorance.
What songs tell us the most about me...
There are three songs that summarize me through my life's journey:
Annie Lennox's "Lifted", John Lennon's "Imagine" and The Beatles "Long and Winding Road".
I am most moved by these timeless songs that make me pause, reflect, shed a tear and regain perspective, all in less than five minutes. How can you beat that for inspiration...?
Some advice to my younger self...
Girlfriend, you do not have to get a "100" on every test. Mom was right, "do your best and love what you do. It would be a boring world indeed if we were all the same or perfect."
The best part of getting older...
I'm starting already (oops, some of you have noticed...) I can pretty much say anything I please and feel any way I want to feel. No one has to listen (news flash!) and no one has to agree. It's all cool!
Best advice to a new writer...
Be true to yourself in what you write about. Be receptive to constructive critique in the polish and publication of your work. We all have much to learn and many are even willing to teach.
My favorite book and why...
My best friend gave me a compilation of Shakespeare's stories and I treasure it. Foregoing all the trendy and predictable electives in college, I took anything Shakespeare... and loved it so. King Lear and Romeo & Juliet are my all time favorites. Visiting the Globe Theater in London was the icing on the cake for me.
What subjects / genres are you best at writing/ about?
I feel most comfortable writing about people and life experience, whether real or fictional. My fiction is eerily realistic as I need to think of an actual person when I am writing. And, I would switch up circumstances and details to protect the innocent, of course!
What would be a subject/ genre that would challenge your current writing efforts? Or are you perfectly happy with where you are?
I am never perfectly happy, in that I will always be receptive to an appropriate challenge. I would be very awkward with anything of an extreme nature, such as dry factual medical information or very erotic, amorous expression.
"Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I'm possible!"
Until next time, be inspired by those who are special in your world.
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