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wtfAcronymically speaking, there were a couple camps you could have joined in 2014 and been left breathless. Both were a circus of sorts, showing the freak show we call life. One was American Horror Story, and the other, an odd assortment of freakish charity, wherein normal people soaked themselves in ice-water for 10 seconds of video fame, giving unproven donations to the ALS Foundation. Regardless which, if either you participated in, they both left you unbalanced.

Nevertheless, unbalanced or not, we eventually returned to the reality of our lives already in progress around us, and went on with our day to day existence, with not so much as a blip in the radar, sliding towards 2015. That was of course until a group of hackers did blip some radar, exposing serious vulnerability in the invisible infrastructure and foundation we all depend upon. Let’s face it, circus or not, if the Internet tents come down how many of us really could progress through a daily reality?

It was, however, ironic that even though we had been faced with a massive breach in American security, discounting of course the millions of credit card numbers, medical files, passwords and accounts which had already been stolen and reported over the past couple of years, this time people finally got upset, because this was Hollywood…and by God that was wrong! Really?

War of the Worlds could not have dreamed a better opening day campaign than the one The Interview received, which appeared to be all the majority of the Twittering populous was concerned about. Unfortunately, the real 800 pound gorilla in the concession stand waiting for an Oscar and not a wiener was far more than the rude and unnecessary slap to the face of a foreign government. Simply put, if a major corporation could  effectively be taken down and secrets exposed for the sake of a 112 minute badly thought out Three Stooges routine, what could be done to the real world?

Looking back at all those people happily making fools of themselves with ice water and clever twists on a theme, it was recorded over 2.4 million moments of look at me were carried across our invisible network of tubes and exits (thank you Senator Ted Stevens – circa Youtube 2006*.) However, how many people actually voiced a terroristic themed, George Orwell alarm over the Sony hack? Frankly, THAT is a freaky showing of where our priorities in this world are falling…along with a bunch of ice.

If this nonchalant Scarlett O’Hara behavior wasn’t enough, because after all it did happen over the holidays…then maybe someone can explain why, in light of real and deadly terrorist action on the foreign soil of an ally, we publicly and politically snub the chance to show solidarity, only later sending a beloved folk singer to serenade the government, with a cabinet appointee…seriously? People died…a demonic statement was made, and all we could do was kiss a cheek and say “you’ve got a friend” after the fact? What were the powers that be thinking in such a non-scripted moment of WTF!

Having been raised in a time when security wasn’t an issue but a way of life, it scares me to see it being taken for granted and ignored, by a world turning more Morlock and Lemming than Jack Armstrong All American Boy. Just how long can we ignore the obvious…we are only human and sticks and stones do still break bones. Just because we live and work in an invisible world of dots and dashes doesn’t mean we are any less vulnerable, and don’t need solid allies and personal protection. What happens the day we wake up to a disconnected power silence, unable to log on and join a world no longer in progress?

It’s fun to enjoy entertainment and a blessing to offer our personal opinion, rights not offered in most countries. However, it is also our responsibility to be aware of everything a foot in our world and how it could, and very well will affect us at some point. Just because our professional and environmental footprints aren’t as visible as they once were doesn’t mean they aren’t every bit as deep, and as everyone knows…those that walk do inevitably fall, and if communication can’t get back up 911 is history.

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cZC67wXUTs

Days and Confused……

halla

The New Year has started, which means it is time to hit the stores and get ready for happynewyearvalentinesdaysaintpatricksdayeasterfourthofjulythanksgivingchristmas once again…seriously?

Fighting a recent attack of the flu, I lay in bed and thought about all the holidays we live through and chuckled, seeing a group of kids yelling out “Halla” to their confused friends. Now if you don’t get the urban slang, stick with the Jewish loaf I am sure you do know, because frankly that “Challa” offers just as much celebration, and since any holiday needs bread to get it off the ground these days, you might actually be ahead of the game.

The fast paced calendar driven life we live is actually nothing more than a shout out, meet and great, break bread go buy me something chain of 24 hour links. Traditions and values have all but disappeared and those that haven’t are so diluted avoiding anything religious, moralistic or comical, that they are nothing more than dressed up versions of a regular day. I am sure Hallmark is shivering in their boots.

We start each year wishing hope to all, and then wish love, followed up with a drink and some luck. After that, trying to avoid any religious artifact in the room, we bless people with a chocolate bunny, and set off fireworks all but forgetting the country we honor. Before we know it, time to party with monsters, eat ourselves silly and feel obligated to spend money to prove we love one another. In a nutshell, we do way too much wishing and celebrating just for show.

There are of course additional dollar assigned holidays tucked in between, like birthdays, anniversaries, Mothers Day and Fathers Day, Grand Parents Day, Bosses Day, Secretaries Day, and banks are closed for who really cares days. However, those are more optional…especially as you age, forgetting who you are, or who helped get you there in the first place…you know…Halla!

I would really like to have a year when there was less of a rush down the aisle of commercialism, fake compassion or self-serving gratification. How about a year when we start honestly wishing those around us the best, and stick to it by checking in with them, celebrating the undocumented days and even being thankful they are in your life? Who needs a card, a gift box or an invitation to hug or offer a smile, share a table or involve someone in your life? It is just too easy anymore to buy a $20 gift card, follow up with an email and say I love you, go get yourself something special on me.

If any of us took a step back we’d see that the I love you should be because we want someone in our lives and not just on the Internet.  How satisfying the year would be if we shared and cared who we are with one another up close and personal. But then again, it is easier to spend the bread than break it, and who needs a hug when you can just Halla.

bucket

As the year ends, everyone looks back on what they accomplished, what was left undone and what was lost. Many also check out their bucket list and with any luck, scratch off or add something new…praying of course there will be time to accomplish it. Thankfully, age and hindsight allow us to value what life has let us to do, even if we are the only ones who ever know it…because until a tea and crumpet laced eulogy, between sighs and tears no one ever fully knows what we carried in our bucket.

Keeping that thought, I have decided Gunga Din can sit on the bench with the other boys from this point on, because I no longer need a bucket…instead, I have compiled my Faucet List, one that will continue to remind me of the events running through me as I live my life, adding more as I go on. I want those around me to know why I am who I am, and what changed many a direction for me.

Looking at a running faucet of events filling my eventual bucket, my glass will be also always be full and not half empty, waiting for the day I do need a bucket to kick! Why worry about the last days of life and what needs to be done? Mark the moments that complete each new day and make a difference, while preparing for another!

Let’s face it, we are all going to die at some point – no one gets out of life alive…sorry if that is news to your ego or the friends of Ted Williams. So, since we are destined for a long dirt nap, why not take into consideration all the warmth, love and accomplishment that blanketed us in this life? For me, that took no thought…along I might add, to a few accomplishments that didn’t exactly turn out as planned.

The best part of a Faucet List is leaving behind the fact that you knew who you were in life, and remember…it is always better to get it from the horse’s mouth! Heck…you might find out you really do have a Wonderful Life, and there is still time to make it even better.

A Testament to Me…thus far

Watched tide pools fill and picked up starfish
Walked through the halls of our nation’s government and security and paid tribute to the fallen soldiers.
Savored fresh cut Hawaiian pineapple in the field, smelling volcanic air all around me
Walked in the ocean on both coasts and in Hawaii
Stood near blue glass ice glaciers in Alaska
Called 911 twice
Was silent at two Holocaust memorials, praying for us all
Flew in planes and helicopters, traveled in trains, on bikes, bus, boats and cruise ship
Saw the Crown Jewels of England
Never learned how to swim
Touched the Southernmost tip of the United States and witnessed the beauty of Canada
Experienced two blizzards
A part of two Super Bowl games and attended one World Series Game
Watched fireflies and listened to cicadas in the dark
Saw animals born and held several as they took their last breath
Looked into my father’s eyes as he said his last goodbye, knowing how much we loved each other
Survived a head trauma as a child that left me with seizures and by age 12 all scar tissue disappeared and I was fine.
Felt life as I gave birth four times and felt the heartbreak of death once
Watched the sun rise in Spain and experienced a different culture
Survived a horrible car accident
Listened to my child in her darkest and happiest moment because she wanted me there
Experienced life through the eyes of a child, a grandchild and an aging parent
Sat in a press briefing with first lady Rosalynn Carter, listening how she made life work in the public eye
Helped bring a grandson into the world
Worked in a food bank and confirmed how insignificant and alike we are in this life
Landed a dream job only to see it go away
Wrote three novels
Relaxed in the tour bus with a heavy metal band
Delivered a sermon at church
Mastered the computer with no instruction having been abysmal at math
Ate C-Rations in the 70’s and was thankful for the soldiers overseas protecting us
Cleared a dance floor with a partner as others watched and clapped
Baked incredible cinnamon rolls and biscuits sharing them often
Sat next to the Grand Wizard of the KKK and the daughter of a Satanist as they were interviewed, saddened by the darkness they shared
Walked on a gravel country road where the only interruption was little pigs making noise at their metal feeder
Was a part of a talk show when Rap music began
Stood by the stage as Jimmy Durante played piano and received a kiss on the hand by Emmett Kelly
Won a crown and wore it like a Princess
Was there for a dear friend in a time of pain and need and received the same love back
Lived in a time when locking doors was optional and trust was the norm
Felt discrimination for being unattractive, too attractive and old…the pain is the same
Had ideas stolen but still saw dreams come true
Sat in silence for hours at a lakes edge waiting for fish to bite
Won on lottery tickets
Enjoyed a Broadway show in New York three rows from the stage
Produced a radio broadcast
Hit a slot machine Jackpot in Vegas
Saved $400 in coupons at the grocery store and thrilled my kids
Was in a couple magazine stories
Was a columnist at 14 and years later also wrote for a newspaper
Traveled First Class
Had a store open just for me
Got re-married by an Elvis Impersonator
Had a child tell me I was her best friend
Stood in front of store windows in New York during Christmas
Watched the filming of a television show
Followed an ambulance to the hospital in fear and dread
Survived a mosh pit
Put on a convention
Helped raise $16,000 for Make a Wish
Caught my hair on fire in front of an audience
Attended several Hollywood parties in sequin dresses and style
Delighted in giving because it is better than receiving
Taught children in church
Had a squirrel sit next to me as she ate
Experienced a blind date, a friend date and an online date
Watched a waiter pull the tablecloth away leaving everything in place
Was interviewed on television and radio
Ate snails
Watched an IV in my arm as my kidneys started to fail from E.Coli poisoning
Won contests
Treated by a country doctor who boiled his instruments in a can on a stove in the mountains
Ran a mimeograph machine, Dictaphone and telex machine
Lived to see my daughter reach her goals
Performed on a stage
Watched a child screaming in delight soaked during their first rain
Sold candy door to door
Raised sea horses
Listened to my life told through the eyes of a child and a doll, realizing I needed to make changes
Experienced music on the AM/FM radio, 78’s, albums, 45’s, cassettes, 8 tracks, CD’s and MP3 files
Not once but twice – offered the CEO of a company his competitor’s product in embarrassment
Fought for something I believed in
Been loved and betrayed by a best friend
Put my hands onto the cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and dreamed
Competed in a beauty pageant
Climbed Mt. Yale
Walked the Freedom Trail
Saved a goldfish using a cocktail straw for mouth to mouth resuscitation
Drank water from a waterfall and iron water pump in the woods
Typed messages using carbon paper, liquid paper, second sheets and electronic email
Learned Mr. Right is usually Wrong
Held 16 roses on my birthday from a father who never bought roses
Learned not to question life after a lost hamster turned up a year later on Easter in a basket.
Toasted marshmallows over a crackling fire in the mountains
Listened to rain as it hit a canvass awning and a tin trailer roof
Learned what happens when a lobster shell falls behind a dresser for a month
Photographed moments for others that were once in a lifetime
Enjoyed drive-in movies and pickles in a cup
Walked away from a sewing machine with pride at what I had made

Started my life over more than once

Watch it!

watchit
There it was…a silver Timex, displayed securely in a case at my Joslins Department Store. The moment was 1979 and I was nineteen years old, treating myself the day before starting my first full time job. Where did the time go?

I don’t know about you, but a sense of power was associated with a watch at my house. My father always had his, even in later years when he messed with a toothpick setting his newfangled LED version…his wrist was never bare. I too, always wore a watch, dating back to a childhood Christmas, when my niece and I received leather strapped Cinderella ones, complete with ceramic figure. Then later when I thought I was cool,  I needed a time peace in keeping with my hippie state of mind, and a three inch band with brass snaps held Snoopy in place, along with some great hand tooled leather.

In many ways, those watches also represented the time we lived, more than just the time of day. There was a responsibility back then to know the hour, where we needed to be and of course just the ability to help, should someone ask, do you have the time? The validity behind such a request, has long been set to song lyrics and movie scripts…time and time again, because we are always concerned with where we are, and where we may be going…even if we are nowhere near Chicago.

In my life I’ve watched time fade, and as my parents aged, their gift giving became predictably comical, when right on time, each birthday or Christmas, they inevitably gave one another a new watch. After they both had passed away, I looked into the boxes once kept on dressers and smiled, as several Timex, Bolivia, LED and Waltham’s looked back with tired faces, no longer held by aging hands. True to fact…time never lasts as long as we think it will.

From the vast array of watches I have worn, there appears to be a statement of not just the times that were a changing, but what I once valued and how careful I watched it. After that first day of work, there would be many other timepieces accessorizing my attire…rings and pins, pendants that opened, some that were straight forward and a few with small diamonds trying to sparkle in the darkness. Each one ticking me into a new day, closing out the one I had been living, and keeping me on track to care for my family…minute by minute they each reminded me what needed to come next.

The last watch I regularly wore, was a very expensive solid gold and jewel encrusted Victorian slide bracelet. Each gold charm had  emotional value,  a daughter’s birthstone, a diamond cross and an assortment of comical frogs, which came together against a small gold clock face. The watch had been a wedding gift from my now ex-husband, and gave me a sense of value and importance, which was ironic since it was also ticking down reality as I knew it.

Instead of seeing that special watch as a gatekeeper of the minutes and hours I had been given, it was an ego-owned, excessive piece of jewelry, which I wore in a less than impressive life, rarely looking at it for the time. It was only when it disappeared one day, several years into my disastrous marriage that time stopped. My general assumption has always been that it was thrown out during a migraine induced blackout, along with whatever else I had in my hand, because it never again showed up. However, the time that passed between receiving and loosing it did finally come to light for me, and sadly I saw  how much time had actually been thrown away.

Today most people look to their cell phone for the correct time, and unless a vain personal statement needs to be made…like my lost Victorian one, watches are only worn as an accessory, no longer a reminder of how much time is left until the day is done. I actually wonder if like cursive writing, children will someday no longer learn how to tell time…the quarter of an hour and the sixty seconds into a minute. After all, they will have a tablet or cell phone blinking black numerals to tell them when their time is up.

As I write this, I guess I miss Cinderella more than I thought, each fleeting moment until midnight approached, holding close moments that had been made and marked forever in time. However, if nothing else, I have learned no matter how valuable something is, if you see it for more than it is, you often don’t see what is moving around you until it is too late. Simple is usually is the best, along with knowing where you are, where you are going and what you have to get done, and the satisfaction of doing it before time runs out. Indeed, such knowledge although priceless, is also timeless.

Let sleeping dogs…or lie

lay

We’ve all been there at one point or another – we’ve heard or seen something that was wrong, something that goes against the grain, values and/or common sense of humanity or worse yet, might actually expose the worst in someone. The question is what happens next? Do we walk away as a bystander, as the victim, the secret conscience of the guilty party, or do we stand up and hopefully right a wrong?

Life and the circles of business and society that swirl around us every day are ripe with injustice and deplorable behavior, and it is up to us to remember our own spiritual version of the Golden Rule and hold our values tight. However, as with everything else in this world that isn’t the easiest thing to do…especially when the injustice has been thrust upon us. So what’s next?

Unfortunately, power comes with knowledge and that alone presents a powerful fact, because such power is often used against us, knowing we will be silent so as to keep our lives intact as much as possible. Indeed, we do often pray to forget and move on, hoping justice will eventually catch up to those with less than good intentions and morals…because face it…who really believes the little guy? Who believes the subordinate? Power may come with knowledge, but it is status and money that come with a voice.

Recent headlines again threaten to tarnish yet another once solid figure in our lives and history, claiming this person was a self-serving abuser, who used power and status to satisfy urges and desires past what was right or condonable. There was no he said she said here, there appears instead to be a he did she was, and when that happens, battle lines get drawn and everyone who has no knowledge in the matter has an opinion. I doubt there is a better definition of blood sport.

When the dust has settled and the stars look down upon us, the simple fact remaining is we all just want to just be happy and have something in life to hold onto. For some of us, that might mean walking away from an abuser who has used their power to threaten our security, chalking it up to a learning experience in life that we hope to never repeat. However, for others, the experience eventually becomes a disease that must be cured before life can continue, and they are the ones who blow the whistle and ask to be recognized…even if it won’t be pleasant.

Looking at all the dirt and trash we walk through as we mature, wanting to clean up our own part of the world makes sense. It is our way to offer a fresh start to our families and let them know what is right, and to stay the course as much as possible. However, as with any part of nature, if it isn’t constantly tended and watched, the dirt builds back up, trash and decay reappear and soon it is as if nothing had ever been tended.

As someone who has stood on the edge of the should I say or should I go professional mountain of wrong, I know my silence wasn’t right…however, at the time it was right for me…a choice I had to make as a young single mother. Many times over the years, other encounters less physical also crossed my path, again giving me the choice to speak up or walk away, and although I did try several times to right the wrong, I quickly learned one small voice in this uncaring selfish world of excess isn’t heard, and you must live with the aftermath nevertheless.

So for those today that are speaking up, I give them praise and applaud their strength. I also offer words of firsthand knowledge to those calling them liars and opportunists: Unless you have been there, felt violated, felt helpless and most of all, felt trapped please shut up! You weren’t there – you have no idea the situation or how the need for survival might have reacted in your soul.

Once something is broken, is forever broken and even though it may have been mended, it will never again be what it was or what it might have been. However, sometimes it does become stronger after having been reinforced, and that is exactly what we need to do for those who take the step to speak out. We need to reinforce humanity, compassion and honesty no different than clearing a livable path in our world of decay so others won’t have to face the pain.

mutter

Okay, let’s face it…at one time or another, sometimes more than we want to admit we go through our day with blinders on. Often, it is because we are preoccupied, stressed or worried and other times…well, selfishly we just care about ourselves…after all, we’re only human. However, notice or not, life in general has been moving along faster than those age old snail paces I grew up hearing about, and I’ve started to wonder why no one else is noticing.

Sometimes the hurry up and wait of youth is understandable, and before you know it, school is done, jobs and marriage are on many horizons, as well as babies…rushing into children that complete the circle of life. As we age, we look back at the time we have had and lost, seeing it as no more than a sign of aging, along with graying hair, wrinkles and spots of age where we want them the least. However, it is more than that if we are honest…it isn’t just cherubic faces of babies now having families of their own that are moving at warp speed, it is the very world we live in.

I remember far too often, the times I have driven past a familiar spot seeing the landscape dramatically changed, saying…that sure went up over night! Well, no it didn’t, but my attentiveness to the changes behind my blinders was in a similar darkness. Stuck in the rut of my existence, comfortable with the norm, avoiding confrontation and trying to survive, I allow things to happen around me without so much of the blink of an eye, until like an infamous gorilla in the room, I can avoid them no more. So on that note, let’s talk about a certain celebrity this week who bared her soul…and everything else, again butting into our lives, leaving us to Mutter her assets belonged in a Museum.

When did gratuitous nudity, crime, violence and dysfunctional families for the sake of entertainment become a standard in the world where we live? Yes, I know it sounds like I am standing on a soap box, preaching to an opera that once couldn’t show a pregnant woman from the waist down! It isn’t that I am mourning the denigration of the young, or facing mortality with less than a gold star, I am simply stating the obvious and wondering why we keep on the blinders that let it continue? Frankly…it’s scaring the crap outta me!

It is inevitable with knowledge comes change, and on that horizon of change, comes a new way to learn, to understand and of course be amused. When movies and television grew up they brought thought provoking food for the soul, we went into court with Atticus Finch and felt humanity, we laughed with Ed Sullivan, learned from Mike Douglas and Phil Donahue, worried if Mike Wallace was in our office and walked carefree down a street of sesame, needing to figure out which one was not like the others, and it had nothing to do with racial or political equality. Then we evolved towards a ramped up exit…and yes, I mean a detour from the path of life, putting us onto the super highway of the Internet…and nothing has been the same since.

As a self taught computer geek, I love computers and the map of the Internet, so don’t get me wrong. Having the world at my fingers via laptop, tablet or phone can make anyone a Big Chief that gets it write every time. However, in always getting it right, there is no longer a need for trial and error, and our minds are allowed to hitchhike along the soft shoulder of this media hyped highway unwatched. If my dad was still alive he would shake his head at all that is within our grasp, especially since most of us have our thumbs stuck somewhere other than out for a ride.

The media events we now call the news, have nothing newsworthy to offer…I actually realized recently, that I had stopped watching our local newscasts almost five years ago…talk about a blinding moment! I hadn’t made a conscious decision, it just happened…everything I needed was on the Internet…in my face 24/7…whether I wanted it or not, bypassing the Ted Mack Amateur Hour of self praise reporters have all sunk to.

News now is shock valued entertainment. Television no longer relaxes or informs us, instead, it is a slick vehicle to show how stupid, uneducated, rich or overrated those around us may be, forcing us to acknowledge we don’t belong. We are schooled daily in how to commit crimes, have drugs mailed to our homes, steal from our neighbors and watch sexual exploits that should never even cross our minds…let alone walk into our home.

Networks that started as learning channels and stations valuing the arts and entertainment have become some of the worst. People that years ago would have been incarcerated for their actions, are now are getting overflowing bank accounts and status for such stupidity, immorality and overindulgence, and we keep up the ratings to insure there is more where that came from because we just don’t care.

Stores we once supported are gone because everything is bought on eBay or Amazon, coming through the mail anonymously. Relationships and education are selected through electronic catalogs of faces and courses (including sex should you want your mouse clicked), and if you are truly lucky, employment is also only a keystroke away from your pajamas and cup of coffee…no need to enter the real world at all!

We have truly taken a bucket seat back, lost our list of ambition and allowed the world to evolve into a spoiled child that has run amok without values or supervision. So I have to ask why…we certainly aren’t happier, and if anything, we are less educated and less driven to succeed. Humanity now suffers from envy and depression, which is woven through every bandwidth we allow, and satisfaction is only allocated to a buy it now on a website. For the sake of argument…why are we are content to live alone in our own little world of space?

I recently had a sweet young man stay with me who worked for the government. He is also running along that George Jetson fast track of tomorrow, wanting everything now, while having an inside track on what could make it happen. During recent violence in the Middle East, we watched CNN while a helicopter loaded refugee children under fire from a sniper. The reporter and cameraman inside were commenting on the situation between commercial breaks, as bullets rang out and the children screamed. I was horrified, but my friend rationalized it as just life.

After that moment I reached into my past, and heard the recorded words of Herbert Morrison (Google it!) as he watched the Hindenburg burn. The impact and imagery always hit me hard when it was brought up in my history classes, and it returned to me then equally as valid. I wonder now what life might have been like with the technological advancements we now have, along with the lack of good taste, morals and humanity which go hand in hand with them.

It isn’t a leap to see a convertible stopped on a Dallas street, while a shocked young woman in a pink suit covered in blood looks at her husband gasping for life. Suddenly, a reporter comes out of nowhere and shoves a microphone in her face, while others via for a once in a lifetime Selfie…Mrs. Kennedy…how does it feel to be covered with blood and brains? What are you feeling right now…are you wearing Chanel? This trip will forever change you won’t it?

Indeed, we have allowed a relentless need for dirty laundry to wash any innocence from our eyes. Once we had profiles in courage…but now, we are just guilty of needing profiles on Facebook, and no Walter…that isn’t the way it was…and it won’t ever be that way again.

cookie byte
Electronics and technology have all but taken the juice out of traditional holidays, charging even further into the future, and sadly…the memories lost can’t ever be plugged into place again.

During hurricane Sandy a dear friend of mine lost a great deal from her home. She commented to me, that all her holiday decorating and years of raising her now adult children was gone. We lamented over all the years we had each made costumes, baked and creatively strung everything from pearls to popcorn, but still smiled through the memories. After we talked, I remember looking through old photos of my family…so many that are now gone, making them a gift in themselves. I also noticed gaps, where pictures stopped…along with traditions we once photographed, because they were either digital or emailed.

Evolution of intelligence is inevitable…or no one could read what I wouldn’t be able to write. It is also applauded, having made medical care, security and in many ways life in general better. However, if you are at least 30, you will know that there was a sacrifice in the process, and family life is not what you once knew.

I realize it isn’t just the computerization of our lives that has changed.  Family structure, divorce and single parenting have also played a hand in it all, along with the aging Baby Boomers like myself, who remember and alone, now hurtfully wish we could find it again.

Those like Martha Stewart, who continue to craft and bake, along with the help of television and magazine coverage still get the overall effect. However, the full impact is lost, just like a drop of water in the ocean, because there is no domino effect giving life to the celebration.

Looking at the Halloween decorations on my front window…which, as anyone who knows me will tell you, should be up all year. I noticed there are no pumpkins carved on my steps and the sewing machine sits idle along with sequins, feathers and glue. That aside, I did get a Jib-Jab to the ribs with a mini Halloween production, and daily, my Facebook page offers images and greetings to remind me of the holiday today, with pictures of Halloween costumes I won’t see in person, next to a bowl of candy, which unfortunately I will know up close and personal.

Celebrate!

As Christmas approaches, we are also reminded by the increased cost of postage, that an email, image or electronic card is the more sensible way to reach out, and thanks to Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart boxes of anything can be ordered and dropped on the doorstep with a Drone and not a groan. We’ve forgotten the bemoaning as we carried in holiday goodies from the car, selecting and dreaming through each one and the magic they made to those we loved.

Even most treasured Christmas pageants at church are gone, replaced by choir music and basic scripture, all of which can be downloaded…no need to wait for a midnight service or the impish faced angel that held a glittery box by a nativity. Somehow I see a pathetic Charlie Brown special in all of it, from the empty mailbox to Linus and his blanket, both knowing the truth.

I remember in business when we were able to first screen calls. Placing on hold those we wished would go away, taking instead the ones vital to the moment that were enabled. We knew we would be wasting less time and getting more done. Now, however, we see our calls through a screen, and Skype memories or watch short video clips from a phone, soon to be forgotten once they are no longer vital. The traditions we are making now are what need to be placed on hold, and stepping back in time, when we actual made time…that is what should be the business at hand.

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