October 16, 2020 – Have you ever met my brother ‘Turtle’?

If you’ve ever met my brother, you would remember. I assure you. I’m going to call him ‘Turtle’ because that’s probably the most accurate way to describe him. He walks slow, he talks slow, he eats slow, he drives slow. If he ever did anything fast, I might mistake him for somebody else. And not only does my brother do most things unnervingly slow, he also loves the water, much like a turtle. He loves to swim and be near the water as often as possible. He even lives on the water (on a small sailboat). So in this case, I believe Turtle is the most fitting thing to call him.

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October 15, 2020 – Love is never wasted.

Have you ever written something profound to someone and never heard back? That’s what I’m wrestling with today. Saw my ‘shrink’ this afternoon and shared with her how I had recently written something really intense, soul-baring and powerful to someone I love dearly. I wanted them to recognize how much they mean to me and how much I appreciate them and love them. And what did they say or do once they read the letter? I am assuming they’ve read the letter by now. I stuck it on their computer monitor and also sent them a text as a reminder. Anyway, I’ve heard NOTHING. Radio silence. Crickets. Damn, that hurts! So the ol’ brain starts getting worked up. Did they even read the letter? Did they read it and throw it into the garbage? Will they ever respond? Do they feel about me the way I feel about them?

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October 14, 2020 – Aging like ‘fine wine’ is a myth.

Oh, to be young again! You never seem to appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone. The clear vision, firm yet supple skin, ears that actually hear, hips and legs that gracefully support your upper body and help you effortlessly move about. As you gaze at your reflection, you ask, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall…who is the fairest of us all?” “Sorry, not you, Honey”, the Mirror responds with a smirk. “The fountain of youth has dried up along with your skin so you’d better start accepting these ‘changes’ because it’s not going to get any better. Of course, that is, unless you’ve got a lot of money in your savings account and are able to pay for a very skilled and reputable plastic surgeon”. Thanks a lot for your infinite wisdom, Mirror! See if I ever summon you again!!

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October 13, 2020 – Got a kidney to spare?

Today, I thought I’d talk about all the things that make life worth living. It’s so easy to think about all of the things you don’t have and get sucked into the whole ‘life isn’t fair’ vortex, which can take you down, down, down. But if you take a moment, you’ll find that there are always things to be grateful for, even the most simplistic. You just have to take a look around.

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October 12, 2020 – I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

You want to know the BEST way to destroy a relationship? When someone you really care about asks if they can borrow some money, lend it to them. And then sit back. Don’t worry, it won’t take long. At first, you’ll only think about it from time to time. A few days will go by, and then weeks. Weeks turn into months, months turn into years. All the while, you’re paying close attention and wondering, how is it that they can afford a new car, multiple vacations, a beautiful, expensive wardrobe and dinners out nearly every night of the week, but they cannot be bothered with paying you (me) back? And how do you know this, pray tell? Have you been going around to the neighbors and asking questions? Have you made inquiries at the borrowers place of business? Did you hire a private detective? How could you possibly know all of these personal things about this particular person? Well, it isn’t that hard actually. You just have to turn on your computer and google their name. It is actually quite amazing what you discover about people, especially the ones that have multiple social media accounts and love to post nearly everything (nothing’s off limits) about their lives.

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October 11, 2020 – Don’t invite me to your party.

Gonna throw a party? Don’t invite me. If it’s a costume party, it’s a pretty sure bet that I won’t wear one and I also won’t drink, won’t smoke, won’t mingle and I sure as heck won’t dance. I may make a trip or two to the ‘snack bar’ and enjoy your food, but then I will retreat to a chair or a couch in a dimly lit corner and pretend to be invisible. I am a dyed-in-the-wool party-pooper. We party-poopers can really dampen the energy of a party but don’t let us. Go ahead and have your fun! We really don’t mind. Just don’t ask us to partake. Beer pong? No thanks. Share a blunt? I’ll pass. Oh, you want to dance? Hmmmm. Well, as much as I’d LOVE to shake my groove thing in your garage amongst all of your friends and neighbors, maybe another time? “What the heck is wrong with you?” I just heard you ask. “I mean, who would turn down a party?” Well, I would for one. “But what could have possibly happened that was so traumatic that you will no longer entertain the idea of even going to one?” you then inquire. “What’s not to love? You get to ‘let your hair down’, listen to some jammin’ music, eat some hor d’oeuvres, sip on a nice, cool beverage and mingle.”

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October 10, 2020 – Let’s do lunch sometime.

Are you one of those people that likes to say, “Let’s do lunch sometime” when you don’t know how else to exit a conversation? Well, unless you really mean it, I implore you, please don’t. There are a lot of people in the world (including me) that will take you at your word. And when you never get around to making that lunch date happen despite the many times I bring it up, it makes me feel shitty about me and you. Words are very powerful and if you don’t actually want to dine together, there are so many other things you can say on your way out the door that wouldn’t make me continually question whether I suck at relationships or whether you do. Rather than saying, “Let’s do lunch sometime”, how about, “Hey gotta run, much to do. Have a lovely day!” as you turn and walk out the door. You can even lie and I won’t know any different.

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October 9, 2020 – Lack of Supervision

We weren’t your average family, not even close. I suppose we sort of resembled one (to outsiders) when my biological father was in the picture, but once my mom left my dad (with good reason I might add), things got rather wild. There was very little structure when it was just my mom in charge. She wasn’t around much so you can imagine the shenanigans that took place. There were essentially no rules or boundaries. I thought of us as a pack of wild wolves with no ‘alpha’ to lead the way. The 2-story house we lived in at the time was fairly spacious and it sat on a double lot. It had what most homes had, bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining area, but it also had some really cool features that we completely exploited. We essentially turned it into an indoor playground. Back in the day, we probably would have been great contenders on American Ninja Warrior!

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October 8, 2020 – Stage Fright

So many missed opportunities, so many. I yearned to perform, I knew I could really get the crowd on its feet. If only I could conquer ‘the beast’. While I was in grade school, a piano recital was the first time it reared its ugly head. I had practiced for weeks, months. I could play the song with my eyes closed. But on that dreaded day, when it came time to perform in front of all of those people, I couldn’t do it. I sat down on the piano bench and put my fingers on the keys, and my mind went completely and utterly blank. The beast (aka Stage Fright/SF) was standing directly behind me, its sinewy hands gripping my shoulders. It actually looked a lot like ‘Death’ but the hooded cape was red instead of black, and in lieu of a scythe, SF was brandishing a rather menacing hook (like the kind they used on the Gong Show to pull someone off the stage). The piano teacher was disgusted, my mom was disappointed, and I was humiliated and ashamed. It was my first and last piano recital, I gave up the piano after that.

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October 7, 2020 – Don’t you love it when people say, “It could always be worse”?

I just stubbed my toe and I am trying not to scream or cry. My toe is throbbing so I rock back and forth on the floor to distract myself until the pain subsides and I can regain my composure. You heard me faintly in the distance, when I first called out. And out of curiosity, you approach. Wait! I’d rather you didn’t. I can already hear it. Don’t say it, please, don’t say it. If you do, I’m going to lose it. Ack! You said it!! YOU SAID IT!!!! “It could always be worse.” Ok, was that really necessary? How about a little compassion. Some sympathy, some empathy, something?? I know you had it much worse, I know you grew up during the Depression when life was hard for A LOT OF PEOPLE, most people, in fact. But, hey, I’m in pain and I really hate when you say that! It’s dismissive and it makes me think you really don’t care. I know it can always be worse and unless death is imminent, you don’t usually take notice. Hey! I’m talking to you. Look at me. For crying out loud, would you look at me?!

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