09 October 2011

The Apple Of Our Eyes

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
~Steve Jobs, Co-founder and CEO, Apple, Inc.

Prior to last Wednesday, I thought it was Eve who invented the apple. Of course I'm joking; I hardly believe that an apple, one of my most favorite fruits (Fuji in particular) is at the "core" of woman being "established as subordinate to man, ending Utopian unity between the sexes."

At least Steve Jobs didn't allow one bad apple to destroy a whole bunch of great ideas, which all began in his parents garage at 20 years old. I've researched so much about this man in the last few days all because after returning from taking the apple of my eye to school, I heard the news of the Apple Founders death on the radio just as I was about to turn my car off. My curiosity was piqued so I stayed to listen. If nothing else, I thought I'd be able to impress my extremely technophile son with my knowledge since he can't stand that I won't "get with it," never mind that it costs a lot of money to "get with it." I still refuse to pay the extra $30.00 for the texting "privileges," if that gives you an idea of where I stand in the world of technology. (Whatever happened to Morse code, by the way?)

What captures my attention is good old fashioned wisdom; un"Tweeted," un"Texted," and un"Status Updated." By the end of the 3-5 minute news announcement of Job's death, I was bewitched by the infinite wisdom of this technological genius and bewildered that the two should go hand in hand. (e.g. I can't picture the Dalai Lama hanging out in the Silicon Valley). Okay, so I've been enlightened...again. As the radio played an excerpt from Steve Job's Commencement address delivered to the students at Stanford University, I was blown away and couldn't wait to find out more about this man who was clearly taken from us too soon...as usual with the "good ones."

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." (Steve Job, June 12, 2005. To read the entire speech and/or watch the video, click here http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html )

Being the Apple fanatic that he is, I pulled up the Stanford speech and told my son I wanted to share a little of the man behind his beloved Apple products; as usual, he was anxious to oblige. He, too, was enamored by the humanness behind the gadgets. Then we watched the video of the actual speech together and I watched as my little techno monkey hung onto every single word. It always makes my heart smile when I witness him being influenced by positive and influential role models.

He has been saving his allowance and dog walking money diligently with the hopes of owning an iPad before they become extinct. It's comforting to know that when he does (and he will) acquire his "latest and greatest," that the gadget will have a heartbeat and a constant reminder that anything in life is attainable if you follow your heart.

Steve Jobs
2/24/1955 - 10/5/2011

Stay hungry, stay foolish....indeed!
The Paper Whisperer


18 September 2011

Save Your Drama, Mama(s)

"Hatred is a learned behavior. It worked. I hate "them" for attempting to instill it in me."
~Robin Garrett-Welsh~

What's scarier than ONE mother with a heart full of hate? ONE MILLION mothers with hearts full of hate!

JUST in case you haven't heard, Dancing With The Stars has announced their fall lineup and stirring up quite the controversy is Cher's transgender child, Chaz Bono. Since I'm not a huge fan of the show, or television in general, I didn't tune in the night of the big reveal. It wasn't until the following morning when I logged onto my computer and saw a headline reading, "New Dancing Cast Announced: One Very Controversial Figure." Okay, of course I'll bite.

I clicked on the lineup and perused the list once, twice, three times..."who the hell is the controversial figure?!" I thought to myself. The suspense was killing me. "It just has to be Nancy Grace," I concluded. Or maybe, just maybe, David Arquette in light of his recent separation from Courtney Cox and subsequent rehab stay, perhaps?  Then I watched a news clip stating that an organization called, One Million Moms was calling for the boycott of Dancing With The Stars because Chaz Bono would be dancing this year. WHAT?! Seriously?!

I googled the "Mommies Dearest," found their website and the title of the "hate du jour" read, "Dancing with the Stars has Spun Out of Control!" "Now they have gone too far! Not only are they casting Carson Kressley (gasp, a gay man!), but also transgender Chaz Bono. Both are LGBT rights advocates and promote this destructive lifestyle," states the website. Destructive lifestyle? Really? As opposed to your hate spewing "nondestructive" lifestyle? Then they blame DWTS for "helping them create visibility for the LGBT community." OMG! OMG! OMG!

First and foremost, I don't know a whole lot of children who are even remotely interested in watching Dancing With The Stars. Secondly, it's called DANCING WITH THE STARS, not, Delving Into The Personal Lives of Stars! And thirdly, children wouldn't even know that Chaz OR Carson are any different than you or me if you didn't make such a BIG DEAL OUT OF IT!! But that's what you "haters" love to do; pass YOUR ignorance down from generation to generation.

If you are truly intent on boycotting something, why don't you boycott the AT&T commercial where the husband comes home and tells the wife that he purchased a phone plan for the entire family. She immediately begins berating him and mumbling that her "mother was right, she should have married John Clark." It makes my heart hurt every single time I see it come on. Or how about the Jerry Springer show that comes on right when children are coming home from school? Or just about any other ridiculous reality show that is on the television? The "Real" Housewives of ANYWHERE? You've got to be kidding me!! Better yet, why don't you turn the stupid television off and play a board game with your child, read with your child or bake brownies to take to school and share some kindness. By the time DWTS comes on, your child should be getting ready for bed with a good book anyway.

Another idea would be to focus your "Christian" attention (and pent up animosity) on the growing number of teen suicides or the epidemic levels in which bullying has reached. Wouldn't that make your heart feel better and all those hate lines disappear from your face? The poor children that are killing themselves because they are "different," are mostly YOUR children and they are afraid of you and the type of bully offspring that you are producing.

Now, I'd like to tell you how it all went down in my home; my peace loving home. Chaz was scheduled to appear on Oprah to talk about his "new life," and I was anxious to watch as I grew up with Sonny and Cher and their precious little girl, Chastity. My son asked me what Oprah was about and I began telling him about the person that Chaz used to be and about her famous parents. I pulled up pictures on the computer of a young Chastity and told him how I used to think she was the cutest little girl I'd ever seen. He agreed, but we both noticed how sad she looked in most all of the pictures as opposed to how happy she seemed telling her story of becoming the person she should have been.

And since wishing for a couple of penises to fall off in my lifetime does not make me an expert in transgenderism, I simply imparted the basics, in an age appropriate and gentle manner. And instead of focusing on whether Chaz wanted to stand up or sit down to use the bathroom, I elected to focus on the core matter, and that is the end result; the smiles, the laughter and the happily ever afters. My child listened intently with the utmost empathy as I explained  how Chaz will still not be free as the hate mongers will always be there to judge him, ridicule him and as it turns out, even boycott him. I saw the sadness in my child's face at the mere thought that there are actually people who feed on this type of ignorance. I should also point out that my child is a Christian who reads the bible and believes that all people are good....because that is how he has been raised.

So, fast way forward to the Dancing debacle and the "controversy" over Chaz Bono....as my son and I are at dinner I said, "Guess what? Remember Chaz Bono, he is going to be on Dancing With The Stars." "Cool, dancing or as a judge?" "Dancing, however, there is a bit of a problem. There is a group that is threatening to boycott the show because he will be on." "WHAT?! WHY?!" "Because he used to be a she, and even though he doesn't pay these peoples bills, sit down to dinner with any of them or have any impact on these people whatsoever, they still believe that it is their right to tell him who or what he can do with HIS LIFE," I explained. "That seems like a ridiculous waste of energy, doesn't it Mom?" he asked. "Yes, Baby, it does and it breaks my heart that ANYONE has to be subjected to this type of nonsensical brutality," I said.  Then he added that he didn't even know any kids that watched Dancing With The Stars.

This type of prejudice is so foreign to me and something I suppose I will never be able to understand. There are REAL problems out there, like the number of children that are on facebook, being exposed to, often times, raunchy adult conversations, lewd photographs, and drunken banter. Facebook rules state that you must be at least 13 years old to even sign up, however, I see children who are much younger with accounts, indicating that they are falsifying their birth dates in order to get an account.  That means parents are teaching their children that it is okay to lie in order to partake in a "grown-up" environment, despite all the warnings surrounding the stresses and bullying that comes along with the "membership." Now THERE'S a cause for you!

Anyway, I hadn't planned on turning the television back on until the new season of American Idol started, but I think, just for kicks, grins and major well wishes, I'll tune in to DWTS to see Chaz dance tomorrow evening. I hope he receives a standing ovation for being bold enough to persevere and not let the haters get the best of him. BONUS if Momma Bear Cher is there!

Cha, Cha, Cha, Chaz!!
The Paper Whisperer

23 July 2011

Near to Norway

"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go."
~Author Unknown~

Dear Norway,

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you on this very sad day. There are no words to describe the logic in the mind of hate mongers, extremists, and evil beings who think they are above the law and who, forever, alter our lives. My heart is so heavy as I carry a part of your pain. Peace be with you during your extremely arduous journey through the process of loss, healing and attempted understanding.

A beacon of light from the United States

Kære Norge,

Vores tanker og bønner gå til du på denne meget trist dag. Der findes ingen ord til at beskrive logikken i sindet af had mongers, ekstremister og onde mennesker, der mener, de er hævet over loven og for evigt ændrer vores liv. Mit hjerte er så tunge som jeg bære en del af din smerte. Fred være med dig under dine yderst vanskelig rejse gennem processen med tab, helbredelse og forståelse.

Et fyrtårn af lys fra USA


16 July 2011

To Catch A Cheater

"I’m too shy to express my sexual needs except over the phone to people I don’t know."
~Gary Shandling
Trust me, you are not the only one that finds it a wee bit strange that I am neglectful when it comes to updating my blog, and when I finally do, I'm *forcing* you to read, yet another, "wee willy winky" story. I "swear" I'm not perverted, but rather appalled at the outpouring of seemingly intelligent people sending pictures of their anatomies across the wires of late.

Sadly, the latest "Weiner Du Jour" is one of my (former) heroes, Chris Hansen, whom I fell in love with while watching him nab sexual predators on Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" series. Ironic, isn't it? For those of you unfamiliar with the show, To Catch a Predator was a series committed to taking down would-be predators through an undercover sting operation. Chris Hansen was the omnipotently cool host who appeared from behind the scenes to inform the alleged pedophiles just how unlucky their "lucky day" was going to turn out. *SMILE* you're on "Candy" camera!  Ugh!

While still reeling from the Anthony Weiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger news (not really), I log into the WWW and see Chris Hansen in the headlines. I swear I would have refrained from writing about it had all the headlines not been so damn funny, beginning with the one I woke up to from the Huffington Post: "This week in famous people sending dirty pictures to women who aren't their wives, Chris Hansen reportedly texted and emailed explicit photos to his alleged mistress."  That headline had me rolling as this new "fad" did seem to have reached epidemic proportions. It's no longer "only" the country that has fallen on hard times. (That was bad, I know)

The world continued to take jabs at Mr. Hansen and they all made me laugh. The funniest aspect of the story was the "who" that was behind the undercover sting operation that left the bad taste of his own medicine in Chris' mouth. The National Enquirer, that's "WHO!" That's just gotta hurt! I guess it could have been worse.

A Miami New Times blogger wrote, "Yes, yes--we're supposed to be really mean to pedophiles, but that's the job of the courts and big prisoners named Tree Stump, not a guy who's supposed to be an investigative reporter. The man does not have an ethical bone in his body and now even his wife and kids know it."

Zap2it Blogger wrote, "Hey pedophiles who are rejoicing about Hansen getting a taste of his own medicine: sit down, you're still pedophiles. He wins." The visual on that made me laugh out loud. (Exuberant pedophiles, joined hands, laughing and dancing in a circle in the common room as the 5:00 news reports the "Breaking News" regarding Chris Hansen).

Perhaps the greatest consequence of Mr. Hansen's untimely behavior was his lost promotion with Dateline. According to the New York Post, NBC was set to name Hansen as the new Dateline anchor next month filling Ann Curry's spot after she landed the top job on The Today Show. "The plan has been scrapped by NBC brass who believe the scandal has damaged Hansen." That's kinda huge, isn't it? ! I certainly hope it was worth it.

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my brain around the concept of forwarding these illicit images. IF you've seen one......well, I'm just sayin'. Do the senders get pixel envy? What are they all thinking? Am I soooo "old school" because my phone is devoid of any text-ticles? "I" equate it to shopping for eggs. Sure, the carton reads small, medium or large, but then again, they can write anything they want to, can't they? One thing's for certain, always has been, always will be, you boys are certainly proud of your packaging and more often than not, are hard pressed to put all your "eggs" in one basket. But that's okay, those of us who are older and wiser ALWAYS check for cracks!

Forever Sunny Side Up,
The Paper Whisperer

18 June 2011

Weiner's Schnitzel

"Men have become the tools of their tools."
~Henry David Thoreau~

So, yet another politician is caught with his pants down. I was "almost" as shocked as I was when the 89 year old Hugh Hefner's 25 year old fiance called off their wedding. (I'm tearing up as I type)  Perversion; a prerequisite for political employment, just as Priests must be (at least) bordering on pedophilia and Firemen must be hunka, hunka "burning" loves!

In a "sext" message sent to former porn star, Ginger Lee, Weiner typed, "Alright, my package and I are not going to beg. We both see the hazard of going down the path of comparitive sexiness." As far as I can see (or want to see), Anthony, there is nothing that even remotely compares you to any type of sexiness. Ugh!

As a matter of fact, you remind me of "someone," I just can't seem to put my finger on it. Hmmmm...
In a follow-up sext message, Weiner wrote to Lee, "You aren't giving my package due credit." I have six words for you, Congressman; be careful what you wish for. I believe it's safe to say that your package is certainly getting more than enough credit now, whereby, taking a whole lot of pressure off the Vienna sausage, Governor Schwarzenegger.

I'll have to admit, the empathetic side of me felt a bit sad for him while watching his resignation being aired. Perhaps it was not so much for him, but rather more for the situation he has created for himself and the repercussions that will follow. Naturally my thoughts went immediately to his beautiful wife of only 11 short months, who is in the early stages of pregnancy. What the hell were you thinking Anthony? What or who caused you to become such a misogynistic jerk?!

And then there was an obnoxious heckler there that was driving me crazy and I kept wondering why he was allowed to continue his infantile rantings while the shamed Congressman was trying to say his peace. It wasn't at all surprising to find out that the heckler was an employee of the Howard Stern show. Go figure.

So where does an unemployed Weiner go (after the rehab card is played, of course)? Great news! He's already received a job offer from Larry Flynt, founder of Hustler Magazine (Ouch...salt in the wound). Flynt has offered to pay 20% above the salary he earned in the U.S. House of Representatives. And according to the National Taxpayers Union, his 12 years in office have earned him a pension (penis pension?) worth $1.2 million. Not too shabby for not even pulling down his tighty whities (thank god for small favors), which is a helluva lot more than we can say for Arnie. The maid, really? So very cliche'.
It's difficult to see the picture when we are inside of the frame. Break the cycle and have the upper hand in sealing your OWN fate.

Politically, and otherwise, uncorrupted,
The Paper Whisperer

12 June 2011

Say what?!

"Accent your positive and delete your negative."
~Donna Karan

Every time I watch a movie that has someone speaking with an accent, I take on that accent....for days! I'm crazy good at it and have even fooled people into thinking I was from their country. I've entertained many young children over the years, however, I'm not so forthcoming with my secondary accentuations when I am around adults. Are you kidding me, it's hard enough for me to be taken seriously! All I need is for someone over the age of 12 to hear my Martian melodies or my Leprechaun lingo!

When my eleven year old was much younger, he used to cry when I spoke in different accents. "Mommmmmmmy, please be normal again!" [That does not compute...that does not compute...yep, I have a robot voice too.) Funny thing is, now he begs me to do accents...for anyone AND everyone! (Even the wait staff at the Mexican restaurant....yeah, that was awkward!) "Unfortunately," I am unable to do them on command. They just take over when I am least expecting it.

Normally, "the accents" (the voices, incognito) are fun, entertaining and quite impressive, but the last few days have posed quite a few problems. I had the audacity to watch back to back Massachusetts infused films with, "The Fighter," and then "The Town." What the %$# was I thinkin? When I awoke yesterday morning, I began mentally planning my day...IN A BOSTON ACCENT!!! It's not pretty and there's no way to make it pretty. They say the "F" word....A LOT! Like every otha fecken wehrd! Ahviusly, I can't wahk aroun da house using da language, so all my thoughts were in Bostonian. I was so ready to wash my brain out with soap!!

There was a little girl in my son's kindergarten class from "Bahston." It was so cute (okay, not so much) to hear her speak. Her grandmother was her guardian and we would often talk while waiting for the children to get out of school. I found her mildly entertaining even though her choice of words made me blush. (Okay, they didn't until she spoke that way in front of her grandchild, who didn't even wince, by the way.) The hypocritical Southern Belle that I am, limits my "free speech" to the confines of my own home and most certainly out of the earshot of children! So imagine my fecken surprise when this grandmother turned to my precious and well mannered little charmer and said, "I told youse to stahp wit dat ma'am shit! Geez, ya makin' me feel old, youse ahr!" To which I replied, "Ah youse fecken kiddin' me?! He's fihve, an naht yit able ta decipha a Yankee ahccent. Alls he knows at dis point is whut I teach him, and thaht is to be resepctfahl to all youse!"

Notice how I took on her accent? I don't just do it with movies, I do it with people as well. I'm a communication chameleon. It's so annoying! If I'm around my Georgia friends, I'm suddenly Dolly Parton. If I'm around my Cajun friends, I suddenly emerged from "down da bayah" (that's bayou for you coonass challenged folks). But quite possibly the funniest story is when I used to speak to my best friend's maid, who was from Central America, in broken English....just like she did.

One day my brother was in town and we stopped by my friend's house and no one was home but the maid. We sat down to visit with her for a bit and when we left, my brother was quick to point out the havoc I wreaked on her ears when I spoke "that" way. Here she is, after all, trying to understand and learn English and I'm saying things like, "Ms. Connie, you no eat lunch today?" or "You get paper, I write Ms. Linda note."  I thought I was doing her a favor speaking to her the way she spoke to me and probably would have continued to do it forever until my brother pointed out that what she was hearing, perhaps, sounded a lot like Pig Latin. I never spoke to her again in anything other than my own "language." Sometimes it would make me giggle wondering if she wondered whatever happened to my accent.

I started writing this yesterday and had to stop, sign into Netflix and stream another movie in order to lose the last accent. I was so happy when one of the first character's in the film I had chosen had the strongest Irish brogue I'd heard in quite sometime. 'Twas music ta me ears! The fecken curse had been lifted. Aye! NOT that I have anythin a'tall against Boston, mind ye! Ahs a mahter o'fact, me faverit baseball team is the Boston Red Sox and on me Buhkit List at number 5 is ta watch the Sox beat tha Yanks at Fenway Park!

May ye live as long as ye want and never want as long as ye live,
The Paper Whisperer

25 May 2011

Not so fast there, Daddy-O(we)!

"The son whines to his father, "You messed up my childhood!"
And the father says, "How could I, son, I wasn't even there." ~Anonymous

When I opened my email yesterday morning, I saw the most touching story about a woman in Arizona who was handed a $93,000.00 check for back child support collected after 30 years. "THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!!!" A very familiar story that is so close to mine, and millions of others hearts. Sadly, these type of "Happy Endings," are few and far between so I felt compelled to share this amazingly beautiful execution of justice.

Doesn't it seem a little forked up that our government was able to find Bin Laden in ten years and yet, it took the DES (Department of Economic Security) 30 years to catch up with some loser who went out for a gallon of milk and forgot to come back home. Let's see some of that Seal Team 6 action converging on the massive amount of deadbeat dads out there.

I will never understand how any father can just financially AND emotionally abandon their child and still sleep at night. Why are [most] mothers so different? The majority of us would give our lives for our children, without hesitation. Thankfully, modern technology has made it so much easier to track these amoeba down. Thirty years ago when I embarked on my futile journey in attempts to obtain child SUPPORT, the process was long and arduous. And since I was a struggling single mother (like most are), I was unable to hire an attorney, but rather had to trust the system that is set up for "us;" a system that failed me time and time again. Where the welfare of children are concerned, NOTHING should ever have to be that hard.

And unfortunately it goes far beyond the monetary ramifications; as if that isn't stressful enough. The emotional repercussions of an absent parent are felt far into adulthood and more often than not are repeated in the life of the abandoned child. Yet another vicious cycle in the dark world of abuse.

And as mothers, we want to protect our children at any cost, so instead of espousing what we truly want to say about the absent parent, we make excuses for their deplorable behavior. The last thing children want or need to hear is what a scum bag, piece of shit, self-righteous, self-serving dirt bag their sperm donor was/is. (Yes, I have excellent taste in men) Their soft little hearts shouldn't even have to be burdened with this information. Besides, they only recognize love until they are "taught" hate. Life is hard enough.
I have also met some amazing men in my lifetime who touched my heart with their instinctive and more than willing support for their children. No wage assignments, no forced visitations, no mounting needless legal expenses, just and abundance of love and gratitude for the privilege to be called parent. Ahhhhhh....

Enjoy Kathi Petersen's story while living vicariously through her joy and tears. It gives me hope in collecting my own $30,000. PLUS interest!! Never say never girls!


Don't stop believing,
The Paper Whisperer

30 January 2011

The Journey Begins

"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love,
 and something to hope for."
 ~Joseph Addison

While perusing  the dish aisle at Ross For Less a few nights ago, a coffee mug caught my eye because of it's size and unique shape. *laughing* Yes, I pick out my coffee mugs the same way "most girls" would pick out a diamond ring. It's just as important in my world. As I reached for the mug, I noticed it had something written on it. I turned it around to see the word, "Happiness" written in Chinese, as well as English. There was no way I was going to leave that store without that mug; my new favorite mug! Obviously, it would hold a lot of coffee, which would make me VERY HAPPY, in and of itself. But just in case that wasn't enough, the big bold writing would would serve as a constant reminder on those days that required much more than a good cup O'Joe.

A few days later I was at my favorite little thrift store and came across even more "Happy-ness" in the form of a framed picture. Of course I had to have it too! Does one ever have enough HAPPINESS? It sits on the shelf with all my favorite books (most of which are "manuals" on how to find happiness....ah the irony) and my little money Buddha; a gift from a former co-worker. Now I'm really laughing! It just occurred to me that perhaps, this shelving arrangement is sending a very conflicting message as fundamentally, I DO NOT believe that money is the key to happiness.  I'd probably get 20 to life for this if I lived in China. (Notice the ever so slight difference in the Chinese writing on the mug and the picture, proving that even in China they, too, "struggle" with, "You say tomato, I say tomahto." Teehee)

So if I didn't already have enough Happiness flowing into my life, I tune into Oprah on Wednesday and her show topic was, guess what? Yep....Happiness! Goldie Hawn was her special guest and she, in my opinion, sweats happiness! "Motivated by the alarming jump in stress, depression, and violence among today’s children and young people," according to her website, in 2005 Goldie created The Hawn Foundation. "Our mission is to help young minds by nurturing resilience, hope, and optimism," states Goldie. I love that resilience is the first thing she mentions in her mission. I believe it is as paramount as Reading, Riting and Rithmetic.

This past summer, a counselor described me as "abnormally resilient." It made me happy, but it also reminded me how tired I am, of being resilient. The concept of nurturing resilience in children makes complete sense to me. I wonder how many lives would be so very different if they only knew what it looked like, felt like...tasted like. It's a powerful tool when you get to pull it out when you need it as opposed to not being able to survive without it. A beautiful mission by a truly beautiful human being. Here is the link in case you are interested in learning more about Goldie's organization. http://www.thehawnfoundation.org/welcome

Another guest on Oprah's show that day was Dan Buettner (total eye candy and boyfriend to former supermodel, Cheryl Tiegs). He is the author of a book entitled, "Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way." He has traveled the world studying the happiest populations and even the happiest place in America (San Luis Obispo, CA) to find out what makes people happy. Surprise, surprise, it is NOT money. According to Buettner, "the average person can control about forty percent of his or her own happiness that requires only slight changes." Relative to your job, he says, "Do what gives you bliss not bucks." (I like that!) Buettner also stresses the importance of sex as it releases a hormone called Oxytocin, a.k.a., the cuddle hormone. [You know you want to....cuddle, that is.]

And then, of course, there are the no-brainers like healthful eating, exercise, friends and family, keeping in mind Oprah's words of wisdom, "Surround yourself only with people that are going to lift you higher." Amen?! I am so lucky in that I have the most amazing friends in the UNIVERSE! They are all so different and bring a myriad of wisdom to the table. I learn something new every single day about each one of them and in turn, am taught something new about myself. Life is a learning curve, in and of itself and knowledge, especially about one's self, is certainly key in the journey towards happiness. 

That said, my own journey TO happiness FINALLY begins tomorrow and I feel like a child on Christmas Eve. I know any sleep tonight will be near impossible. I pray that tomorrow will be the first day of the life that I was meant to live....that each and every one of us are entitled to live. Tomorrow, after a year of waiting, I begin EMDR Therapy. EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro as a means to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories, and allowing negative beliefs to be reformulated. It is nothing short of off the charts fascinating and has an 80-90% success rate. BOO-YA!! 

I have spent eleven plus years in and out of therapy attempting to make peace with a multitude of childhood traumatic events and it wasn't until a year ago that I learned about EMDR. I suppose this would completely negate the idea that money doesn't buy happiness. I could have purchased a nice cozy home with all the co-pays and out of pocket expenses incurred trying to "buy" happiness. And inasmuch as I am a firm believer that we all can use a little unbiased conversing with someone who gets paid a lot of money to ask, "And why do you think you feel that way?," I'm up to my hairline in coping tools. Know what I mean, Jelly Bean? 

I'm one of "those people" who has spent their whole life researching how to fix the problem while everyone else was having fun and already experiencing happiness. So when I heard the term EMDR a year ago, it was something new; something I had not yet researched. I'm also one of those people who will try ANYTHING short of biting the head off of a rattlesnake, in order to live the life that God meant for me to live. I drove straight to the library to get any and all books on EMDR. I read the entire week sobbing at the thought of living normally. So here I am, the eve of EMDR, and I find myself elated one second and filled with trepidation the next. What if it doesn't work? What if I lose my sense of humor that has kept me alive for the last 49 years? What if it does work and I am unable to survive in a happy person's body? How will I adjust to knowing and BELIEVING that I am lovable and worthy of all that is good and decent in this world? What if, like a prisoner that has been pardoned, I am unable to process life "on the outside?"

I will keep you posted and would love for you to keep me in your thoughts and prayers. In the meantime, if you are struggling with something that is interfering with your ability to lead a productive and meaningful life, I am attaching a link that will give you a peak inside the world behind this amazing technology. I do not know who this therapist is as I found her on YouTube, and found her to be most informative in her explanation.

Pay it forward,
The Paper Whisperer

25 January 2011

"NOW" hear this!

"Those who live in the past, stay there. Those who live in the future, never get there.
And those who live for moment....live!"
~Mark Shapiro~
Huh-lowwww, Gawjus!! Yep, I'm talking to you, 2011!! I have never been so excited to see "someone" in my whole life. Out with the old, in with the old. Nope, that's not a type-o, it's called reality. Two can play this game. Here's how I see it. Every new year brings the same old same old; everyone's gonna be a new this or a new that, including myself. But, by the end of the year, nothing has changed except the added stress because, whadya know, nothing changed! It's a vicious cycle. So this year I've decided to use a bit of reverse psychology and simply live in the now; the present moment. I've punted the past and told my future I'd get back to her because I'm too busy enjoying my present. It's Now O'Clock!

Without the added pressure of having to change, I've found, thus far, that I'm actually changing even more. It makes so much sense when you think about it. No one likes being told what to do. When there's no pressure there's no stressor. hahaha Wonder if Nike would like to use that?

Back when I was a "gym rat," I had my routine; my very rigid, OCD'ish, quite frankly I'm missing the point here, routine. I mean to tell you, I was so rigid that when someone wasn't finished with the "Fanny Fixer" when my watch said it was time to fix my fanny, it sent me into a tailspin....no joke! So one day during my workout, this gym nazi comes up to me and taps me on my shoulder while I'm running on the treadmill. "OH NO YOU DIDN'T JUST THROW A WRENCH INTO MY RITUAL WHEN I STILL HAD 24 MINUTES LEFT TO GO!! Yes... she did.
It seems there was this little old man who wanted a treadmill and I had been on longer than the allotted 30 minute time limit (when others were waiting). So without so much as a cool down, I was forced to abandon my ship. I was panicking like a fish out of water when the gym nazi suggested that I go to the Elliptical machine to finish up my workout. "But you DON'T UNDERSTAND! The Elliptical is NOT part of my routine," I argued. Then she proceeds to tell me how much better it would be for me if I would mix it up a little; work other areas. 'Whatever, you Jillian Michaels wannabe!'

All the while I am pouting like a 10 year old that has just had their video game taken away. I was making god awful facial expressions, rolling my eyes and calling her all sorts of "fun" names inside my head. I was just about to put my fingers in my ears and start la, la, la'ing, when I realized that my two hour childcare limit was almost up....so I stomped over to the Elliptical while she gave me a "thatta girl" nod. "Yeah, I'll show you, gym nazi! I'll continue to pout the entire time I'm doing whatever it is that this machine does...you'll see!" I could tell I completely ruined her day.....not!

I was totally convinced that I wouldn't be able to sleep that night, work the next day or EVER get through life the way I knew it, again. You probably think I'm kidding. Anyway, I put my headphones back on and Snap's, "You've Got The Power," was playing. I could workout on a sawhorse as long as that song was playing! (God works in mysterious ways!) So I start pumping the Elliptical to the oh so cool beat of Snap and next thing I know, I've got a big smile on my face and a new "best friend!" Guess you could say I "Snapped" out of it; threw caution to the wind and simply enjoyed being in the moment. I liked it, a lot! "Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out” so says JohnWooden.


That said, I'm resolving to no longer seek out the happily ever after and just show up for the happily ever now. It's been nothing short of liberating. You've got "The Power!" And here's a link to Snap just in case you need a little nudge. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z33tH-JdPDg

See ya Now & Later,
The Paper Whisperer