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The Bliss Blog

Photo: Wanting to cull the collective wisdom here again, since you all had such brilliant ideas when I asked a question earlier in the week.  Here goes...how do you handle a relationship (romantic, housemate, parent-child) when your priorities and theirs are different when it comes to noticing when things need to be done (housekeeping as an example)?  Although I am by no means white glove clean, my rules for myself are : If you take it out, put it away where you found it. If you drop it, pick it up. If you make a mess, clean it up. If you borrow it, return it. Don't expect anyone else to clean up your literal or emotional mess. It just feels respectful, not holier than thou and to me, it reflects how I feel about myself and anyone else with whom I share space.  It feels good to accomplish tasks, like dishes, having a clean kitchen when I go to bed, (especially after a party:) stepping back and seeing that my lawn is mowed and weeds are whacked and that I can put away clean and folded clothes. Do you grin and bear it?  Do you clean up someone else's mess yourself?  Do you nag and nudge?  Do you simmer and stew over it?  Do you ask for change?  Have you noticed change? Your answers are likely to become part of an article, since I KNOW this is a common issue. Thank you <3
Earlier in the week, I posed this question on Facebook and was amazed by the responses that came in.
Wanting to cull the collective wisdom here again, since you all had such brilliant ideas when I asked a question earlier in the week.  Here goes…how do you handle a relationship (romantic, housemate, parent-child) when your priorities and… theirs are different when it comes to noticing when things need to be done (housekeeping as an example)?  Although I am by no means white glove clean, my rules for myself are :
If you take it out, put it away where you found it.
If you drop it, pick it up.
If you make a mess, clean it up.
If you borrow it, return it.
If you break it, repair or replace it.
Don’t expect anyone else to clean up your literal or emotional clutter.
It just feels respectful, not holier than thou and to me, it reflects how I feel about myself and anyone else with whom I share space.  It feels good to accomplish tasks, like dishes, having a clean kitchen when I go to bed, (especially after a party:) stepping back and seeing that my lawn is mowed and weeds are whacked and that I can put away clean and folded clothes. Do you grin and bear it?  Do you clean up someone else’s mess yourself?  Do you nag and nudge?  Do you simmer and stew over it?  Do you ask for change?  Have you noticed change? Your answers are likely to become part of an article, since I KNOW this is a common issue.
Here is what the group came up with. I noticed that no men chimed in, so I welcome them here.

If it is that important to me, I handle it and move on. I have worked out of my home for years and I want it clean when clients come in so I set my mind to get er done mode without resentment.  As far as kids, I had a friend that settled things with her teens by throwing whatever they left around in a clean trash can and making them pay for the return of items. I thought it was brilliant.

Got to work together..however if it bothers you and not them take care of it and move on.
What if it happens consistently?
Come up with a contract..an agreed plan with consequences if not kept.
I think you need to pick your battles. If you can come up with a plan that the other person would do that you would appreciate  and its keeps harmony then both parties are happy.
 Each person must practice a bit of “distress tolerance”
These are especially good questions to ponder before marriage. You can love, love, love the person, but if you are not compatible in lifestyle you can end up with way too many compromises. Then it’s difficult to melt into equilibrium. Slobs and neatnicks don’t blend too well. You could buy a duplex and live next door to each other. Haha!
 Living in a house with my husband, my 23 year old son, my 35 year old daughter and my granddaughters ages 3, 11 and 14, this is a HUGE problem.  We are all at very different levels of neatness/cleanliness.  My husband and I are on the same page, always have been so there is no issue there; we do what needs doing and it doesn’t matter who does it.  The rule for us has been, you spot it, you got it.  However, I am the most rigid in the house about the rules.  (I am frequently referred to as the Neatness Nazi) My son is a sporadic cleaner – wait until it’s God-awful and then go on a whirlwind cleaning session.  My daughter and her girls are slobs, plain and simple.  So I tend to go through the gamut of the aforementioned behaviors.  I very often to it myself (grumbling a bit).  I will nag and announce the rules in a rather loud voice.  I will often ask sweetly.  It is whatever works.  The most helpful part of all this is – my husband and I have a bedroom on the first floor where the living room, kitchen, our bathroom and our offices are.  So we pretty much consider that our portion of the house – and it is always kept up to snuff.  The rest of the gang have their bedrooms, another bathroom and the laundry room upstairs – their portion of the house and my husband (who is way more tolerant than I am) says hey, if I don’t have to see it and live with it, I don’t really care.  Sadly, I DO CARE.  I CAN ALMOST HEAR THE CHAOS UP THERE and eventually I will venture into no-man’s land and clean it up.  So I guess the overall answer is, if you want it done, do it yourself because these other crazy people just don’t see it the way you do and really can’t fathom why it upsets you so much. And I must add – I love them all dearly and wouldn’t trade any of them.  (And I’m positive they have to bite their tongues around me because I am a Neatness Nazi.)  🙂
When I cook, I do not sit down to eat until the kitchen is cleaned up!
Transparency, personal responsibility, acceptance.  First share how this is for you, so that they know – “When the kitchen isn’t clean, I feel … and I would like to request … How do you feel about that?”  If they are on board with changing, great – you can follow up with more transparency and communication.  If not, or if they say they will change but don’t, then you need to decide if this is a relationship dealbreaker.  If yes, set your boundaries and move on.  If not, accept that this is who they are and do the personal work necessary to be OK with it.  Check in deeply with yourself and if having the kitchen etc. clean will make you happy, clean it yourself or make arrangements to hire someone else to do it.  Keep yourself in the awareness that you are choosing to be with these people and choosing to take this on.
I ask but, at the end of the day, I have to decide if sharing the space with them is worth knowing that more often than not, if I want my standards kept, I’ll be doing the work to keep them. If it is, I’ll do it myself because I enjoy the results. If not, time for them to pack.
It’s hard, in my experience, to make adults shift from their level of tidiness at home. Is it Anal vs. Relaxed? Or Clean vs Slob? Part of why I got divorced. My 2nd hubby and I are very close on the Clean-O-Meter.
This made me laugh, because right on our refrigerator and in your handwriting is a well worn RULES that you wrote out for me. Do I read them – always. Do I follow them – hardly ever. Do I need them – YUP!. Just seeing them still brings a feeling of warmth and caring – that and a little yellow ball with a message that lives in my bedside table.

Today would have been her 67th birthday

A blast from the past sure-fire laugh inducer is Saturday Night Live re-runs; the first few seasons that included Laraine Newman, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd,  John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin and my favorite, the irrepressible Gilda Radner. Her characters Roseanne Rosannadana whose signature line “It’s always something,” became the title of her memoir, Emily Litella whose malapropisms were always followed up with the classic, somewhat whiny “Never mind,” and Baba Wawa who was a parody of Barbara Walters,  make me smile all these years later.

In 1986, Gilda Radner was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. With chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the cancer went into remission. But two years after the initial diagnosis, the cancer returned. She passed away in May 1989 at the age of 42, leaving behind a comedic and  loving legacy for her family, friends and fans.  With that in mind, back in the early 1990’s, I stepped foot behind the ‘red door’ of the non-residential cancer support community known as Gilda’s Club. The organization was founded by Gilda’s husband, comedian Gene Wilder, her brother Michael and her counselor Joanna Bull. It offers free programs, entertainment and support groups to those living with cancer, as well as for their family and friends. I had the joy of doing clowning at events; including the grand opening of the location in Warminster, Pennsylvania. There, with a wire-y haired Gilda look alike, I danced, skipping and flew around with the children. One of my most memorable highlights of the day was that there was a Mummer’s String band contingent and they gave the two of us long white plume feathers from their elaborate costumes. I also facilitated a living with loss group and caring for the caregiver group and recently stood in for the leader of a prostate cancer support group. Another day that remains with me for many reasons was a breast cancer survivors’ conference at which I taught a workshop on intimacy following a diagnosis. The courage of those who enter the building and leave feeling loved, inspire me greatly. Even in the midst of tears, laughter is often a staple.

I enjoyed reading Gilda’s book  “It’s Always Something” and watching the made for TV movie of the same name, and this take away concept hit home for me….

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”  and she added:  “The more I protested about this ambiguity, the more Joanna pointed out to me that it was both a terrible and wonderful part of life: terrible because you can’t count on anything for sure–like certain good health and no possibility of cancer; wonderful because no human being knows when another is going to die–no doctor can absolutely predict the outcome of a disease. The only thing that is certain is change. Joanna calls all of this ‘delicious ambiguity.’ ‘Couldn’t there be comfort and freedom in no one knowing the outcome of anything and all things being possible?’ she asked. Was I convinced? Not completely. I still wanted to believe in magic thinking. But I was intrigued.”

June 28th would have been Gilda’s 67th birthday. I chuckle to imagine how the many faces of Gilda might have aged, and how many new characters would have been born in the interceding years.

Gilda Radner

 

http://youtu.be/fpG2ArGLRWw Tribute to Gilda

 

 

 

This weekend I spent much needed restorative time immersed in nature.  Anticipating it for months, I knew that on the last weekend of June, I would be heading to Happy Tree Farm, which is the home of my friends Stephen and Kathy Redding. Each year, they welcome our far flung tribe of family and friends to their lakeside property (although I imagine they would hesitate to think of it that way, rather they would likely consider themselves honored stewards of the land.) for a Solstice gathering. Music, drumming, dancing, swimming, pot luck food, hugging, fireworks, and a  bonfire built from trees that had fallen in Hurricane Sandy, offered us their light and warmth.

Pre-bonfire wood with my friends Susan Duval and Carrie Willette Hipkiss

The Redding family is a unique clan. Stephen has had numerous return-from death experiences (I hesitate to refer to them as near death, since he literally did die and came back with stories about his experiences which he chronicles in his two books, More Or Less  and Something More), and he speaks about life, the Universe and everything to gatherings who are amazed by the wisdom he gleaned. The family owns and operates a landscaping and tree-care business. I think of Stephen as The Lorax ‘who speaks for the trees’ and to the trees. He acknowledged having a painful and difficult winter when many trees fell to the whirlwind that was Sandy. He and Kathy and their 4 adult children live there, working together as well. What has always amused me about their interactions is that his kids seem to accept Dad’s unusual activities, while my son thinks of me as his ‘weird hippie Mom’ for talking to trees (among other things).

On Saturday, I walked down the meandering paths, breathing in the fresh air, saying hello to the horses in their pen, the trees and plants that lined the dirt road, and the pond with fish, as I headed to my destination; the lake where people were already splashing about, floating on ‘pool noodles’, canoeing, and diving off the board into the literally healing waters. I have never experienced another body of water quite like it. A combination of minerals in this spring fed lake makes it buoyant and beneficial. A few years ago, I had a weed whacking accident, during which, from lack of attention, I sliced 18 lacerations in my right calf. A week or so later, Stephen invited me to come over for a swim, telling me that I would likely see some healing take place. Just being there was soothing. Within a few weeks, these formerly deep gashes were gone and to this day, you would never know they had ever been there. Needless to say, I was relieved, since I had imagined life long scarring. I joined my friends for some fun and frolic, followed by swinging on a swing-set and glider. As the sky darkened, we were treated to a fire works extravaganza that rivaled any 4th of July show I had ever seen.

Then the fire roared into action, sending sparks that leapt into the sky much in the same manner as the other pyro-technics had dazzled us a short while earlier. It was as if  we and the fire spoke and listened, a back and forth dialog of story telling as we sat for hours, perched on boulders, in trees, on chairs and benches, mesmerized by the flames.

Photo: Edie Weinstein on her cool perch to watch the fire.

The next morning, I participated in a Sunday lakeside service for Circle of Miracles, speaking about the power of intention and the ways in which we can plant seeds for that which we want to attract and sustain. I gave each person a feather as a talisman to remind them of their desire to take wing and fly and then asked them to call out their thoughts, blowing bubbles for each one, sending them into the sky as the sparks and fireworks had done the night before. We were all embraced by the elements on this beautiful second weekend of the Summer of 2013. May we all look back in awe and wonder.

 

 

Edie Weinstein

www.stephenredding.com

www.circleofmiracles.org

As I was prepping for being a guest on a radio show tonight, I was coming up with topics about which I would be speaking. My intention is to help people live the lives of their dreams and manna-fest their hearts’ desires. Pretty simple goal, but with all kinds of twists and turns along the way. I liken it to the seed planting that takes place when we want to grow a garden. Vivid imagination is an initial ingredient since before we place the first kernel into the ground, we need to have some idea of the end result. If we went a floral expanse, we aren’t going to plant potatoes and if we want veggies to grow, we aren’t going to plant pineapple. How often, though, do we make that choice when putting forth the seed pods in our minds?

From many sources, comes the same message. The  bible says “Ask and you shall receive.” Abraham-Hicks offers the message consistently ” Ask and it is given.”  Joe Jackson poses the musical dilemma “You can’t get what you want, ’til you know what you want.”  and then The Stones sagely say “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” How can people discover their passion and purpose?

I like to say that your purpose is what lights you up from the inside and turns you into a human sparkler. What would that feel like to be electrified and buzzing with energy, throwing off vibrant sparks of de-light?  Pretty nice place to be when I am there, which includes writing, reading, listening to music, teaching, interviewing, counseling and coaching. I set up time every day to do most of those things, which keeps my pilot light aglow. In that receptive state, so many ideas, insights and images enter. From that raw material, I create stories, experiential exercises to share, and counseling/coaching interventions. It also helps to have people around me who inspire me with their brilliance and insights, their positivity and get it done attitude. Being a visionary is one thing, but taking inspired action is what really launches us into the stratosphere.

I invite you to listen in to Far Out Radio from 6-8pm est and call in to pick my brain, or whatever is left of it by that time on a Friday evening, at the end of a long and rewarding week.

www.faroutradio.com

 

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