Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

Conversation around equality is uncomfortable. To begin with.  This is not a fresh circumstance. Equality has been a core component of conflict over the ages. Race. Age. Gender. Belief. Economic state. Land ownership. Ownership of all sorts.  It is disturbing for so many reasons. The way chauvinism shows up in all the layers of our culture is so ingrained it becomes virtually invisible.

I complimented the lovely young woman at the AT & T store saying she looked very much like their national spokesperson on television.  Laughingly I said, “Or perhaps she looks like you.”  Her response?  “Well, she is really OLD.  I hope I don’t look THAT old.”  My many decades tucked into my pocket, I  smiled at her.  I recognized the opportunity for affront on both sides. I’d apparently insulted her by suggesting she  shared a “look” with a woman she  believed to be really old.  And since I beat  both their ages  added together I had the opportunity to take offense. “If you think THAT’s old…”  Instead, I decided to be observant instead of offended.

So the concept of equality is informed by so many elements, both observed and unobserved.  I  was raised by a bigot and an inadvertent misogynist.  I think my father would have told you that he loved his wife and respected women.  And yet he raised me with, “It’s too bad you aren’t a boy – you are just a waste of a good brain in a girl.”  If a program on television featured any face besides  pasty white, it was turned off. Unless it was Sammy Davis, Jr. who, “Wasn’t bad for a ______.” It was not until I was 11 that I learned that the n word was not the preferred way to describe an  African American.  I bring this up for a significant reason.  My father has been dead for 24 years.  His prejudice still, accidentally, informs my first view.  A driver in a turban cut me off in traffic yesterday.  Because he drove so close, right in front of my car, I could see the texture of his turban.  Was it annoyance that brought my father’s  voice to my ear, whispering, “towel head?”  The instant I became aware of that rolling around in my brain (which took seconds, by the way) I was appalled. Ashamed of myself, actually.   After decades  – those derogatory labels still float in my DNA.  They rise up, unbidden, at unexpected moments. IF my father was an inadvertent misogynist, I have to conclude that I am an inadvertent racist.  It is from this realization that I want to provoke conversation, thought, examination.  {I am not pleased that an ethnic assessment of that sort comes to my thinking at any time.  And yet, it does. It is topical as I begin to explore the nature of creating a personal path toward justice and equity.}

Noticing difference is not racism.  I am an artist.  I noticed yesterday that there were more silver cars parked in the bank lot than any other color: 5 silver, 1 white, one blue, one red.  That’s noticing.  Thinking that silver cars are better than white, blue or red cars is judgement, at best, and has the opportunity to be a manifestation of prejudice.  I wonder about the line between judgement and discernment. Have for years.  I know there’s a line, I just don’t know where it is.  And there’s a line between noticing difference and experiencing prejudice.  I don’t know where that is, either.

Do you?

I formalized an approach to house making last year. An approach I’d inadvertently applied (willy nilly) for many years.  I created a set of cards (that I offered in a bundle) titled THREE MINUTES, Seven Minutes and ELEVEN MINUTES.  Those were the most common time frames that various house keeping tasks seemed to take.  I filled them out.  I but them in a bag.  I pulled one or two or three out in the course of a day when I had 3, 7 or 11 minutes in between things that I was willing to invest in house making.  I used it as my “get up and move around” activity when I was sitting writing or designing for hours.  When the bag was empty: I started all over again!  The house started looking increasingly better and increasingly I felt less pressure about “getting it ALL done” at once.  Because I was starting to get it done, consistently, little bits at a time.  Doing that for months built a habit.  I don’t need to use those cards now because I’ve fully embraced the system and have trained myself to the various tasks. And somewhere in there I managed to reframe my assessment of “I hate house work,” to “I love enjoying a clean and presentable living environment.” Viola!  So today, as I waited for my hot water pot to boil for a beverage I pulled out the elements of the stove top and cleaned underneath and washed the little catch bowls.  Finished just as the water pot clicked off.  And THAT’s how I’m rolling out my house keeping mojo in 2015.  You?  Does this seem possible if you, also, are inclined to say, “I hate  house work?”

There are other elements to this story of transforming my relationship to keeping house.  They are longer and more complicated.  If you would like me to tell THAT story, let me know.

Remember and Do What Matters
Discovery Process with Mary Anne Radmacher, $99
February 1  – 22, 2015

You might not realize it but you do KNOW what matters to you. You really do!

In the MUCH of daily living, it’s easy to disconnect from your MUST, the thing that puts wind beneath your wings and adds lightness to your being. How does this disconnection manifest?

Do you dread your “to do” list?
Does everything weary you?
Do you feel vaguely or even decidedly unsatisfied?
Do you care a great deal (maybe too much) what others say about you?
Have you said “Yes” to so many things that you feel behind all the time?

Say YES to one more, this one. Come spend time with me. You will respond any way that feels natural to you – via video, recorded text or in writing.

We’ll work together to get what matters to you fully in your line of sight and create a set of reminding measures to call you back if you begin to stray or lose focus.

It’s a 22 day process – the perfect amount of time to form a new habit – the habit of being connected to what truly matters to you. Come discover and uncover with me starting next with your first message from me…the evening of January 31, 2015.

Sensitive to the times and economy, I’m making this guided process the thriftiest I’ve ever offered at only $99. Write me for payment options

Remember what matters, YOU and your MUST!

There are many practical reasons to wait.  Wait for a more auspicious time. For better funding. Ha! for ANY funding! For broader education or more deepened networked connections.  The temptation is to wait until all of those elements align.  Perfectly.  Which is why there are many people who ponder aloud in the last seasons of their lives the dreams they held and kept. Inside.  Imagine what could happen to such a dream, held so deeply and long, if, each time the thought of it came to you some specific, small action was taken toward that dream.   Imagine!

Every BIG thing is comprised, in fact, built upon, many solid, smaller things.  I do not have to do everything toward my dream today. I CAN do one small thing. And I think I will. How about you? WHAT are you waiting for?