Do you remember this? You had to come to dinner every night. You had to be on-time. Before you sat down at the table you had to wash your face and hands and brush off your clothes.

Every family member sat down to dinner at the same time every night of the week.

All of the food was on the table. Dishes were passed around with a big spoon for scooping up your portion divided by the number of mouths around the table. When you tried to skip the peas, you got a commanding lecture.

You were asked how your day went and what was bothering you. You could have an excuse not to be there, but it had to be a real good one. The next day at dinner you had to give an accounting of that place, who was there, what you did and how you felt about it.


You couldn’t talk back or make a smart remark.

You also could not walk away until you were excused.

So what did we get for all the trouble it took to participate in this somewhat repressive ritual?   We learned to have a day that was valuable, reportable to people who day after day showed us how concerned they were about our lives. Relatives who we saw everyday and who cared about us.

We learned to talk to others openly face-to-face about how we feel and get their feed-back, perspective, validation. We learned to mean what we say and say what we mean.

Back then we called it Integrity. Now, they call it “being real.”


Except for some very fortunate households, on the whole we no longer practice this ritual nor any of the virtues attached to it. Perhaps we need to consciously decide what kind of world we want to have going forward. I want to suggest that we ought to make a conscious decision about how we want to relate to one another.

Those nightly dinners fed more than our bodies.

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The Changes I’ve Been Going Through

Many of us hold a vision in our minds, not a visual vision, but rather a feeling based in our hearts of a love that will never fail. We wonder will it ever be fulfilled. Yes, yes it will.

How do I know? Because I know hoping and keeping the dream makes it so. There is a shift in the air, the space around us, and in the Universe at large when you refuse to let go of the dream. So, darling, keep the dream. It will make a space to be filled by the right person.

There will be wanna-be mates who turn out to be substitutes, like seconds (flawed clothing items) and knock-offs (copied from the original item).  Forgive me, my first career was as a dressmaker. But I have been a student of love my whole life.

I research love all the time. No one knows how to solve the mystery except for those folks who can honestly say and show they have been happily married for decades. One of my study groups. These folks have something in common. They are willing to change.

Its not easy, the older and seemingly wiser we get, the harder it is to let someone else be the reason we will change. My suggestion is to become child-like again. Be that inquisitive and influential kid you once were. You are older and wise enough not to get in trouble. But remember how open your heart and mind used to be. Access that beautiful child again in IMG_0211your older body and watch, wait and see what appears before you. Say yes to love when its standing right in front of you.

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I just returned from my girlfriend Shirley’s 75th birthday party. I have known her for little over a year. The woman sitting next to me at the party lunch table had know her for 45 years. There were twelve women present who know Shirley, chosen by Shirley to come to her party.

IMG_3640Her youngest daughter, soon to turn 50 years old, made all the arrangements at a local restaurant’s semi-private room. Soft sunlight from a snowy winter’s day radiated from a wall of windows on one side of the room. Tall helium balloons and a custom cake kept company on two tables full of gifts.

Shirley’s 14 year old granddaughter was sitting next to her mom, grinning from ear to ear, as proud and as calm and centered as her mother and grandma. This young girl was getting a good example of feminine wisdom.

Every woman in that room was age 50 or older. They all had beaming smiles, open hearts and gracious manners.

You can imagine how I felt.

They did not talk about Sisterhood, MeToo, Woman’s issues, or gender stereotyping. We were present for Shirley. Each woman believed Shirley has lived a long life as a totally loving, exceptionally warm-hearted person. By saying, a person, I mean anyone can choose this path and so create such an event on their 75th birthday. Shirley is not rich with money, not a celebrity beyond those who know her personally, not a social advocate. She worked years as a Social Worker. She gives from her heart.

These are the finer things in life. Love is what matters. Imagine in your old age being so remembered by people who feel loved by you. Present day, loved by you. What you imagine, you can make happen. This is worthwhile.


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How do you trust someone so completely to feel able to devote the rest of your life to them, to make them a death-till-us-part life partner?

What if they change after the vows? What if over the years they develop in a direction opposed to your direction? Will they make you miserable down the road or being you happiness?

You may be in love right now. That much is true.

But this kind of love glows hot and in time burns away. What is left is a decision to stay together based on how intertwined your lives have become. IMG_3579

You can get a clue how your loved one will make that decision by looking for their patterns. These are patterns of behavior from their past. In your own mind, use words like practical, impatient, shallow, careful, considerate, needy, wise.

Ask your loved one about their past, paying attention to their attitude in addition to their words. Then, take the time to verify their viewpoint by cross referencing stories with their friends and relatives. Don’t fool yourself. Love comes in many forms. There are many people to love. The trust you need in a Life Partner is only as strong your match.

If their true patterns are the kind you can love and be comfortable trusting, you have a match. After all, you will see these patterns clear as day when all is said and done. Why not gather this information ahead of your choice for a Life Partner?

Question: Why have a Life Partner?

Answer: Because life is meant to be shared, the ups the downs, the ins and outs.

If this has been helpful, please let me know. I need your comments.



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Freeze This Day

Christmas Day is so special in each way for each person. Just as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and New Years. They are days to STOP the hustle, the hassle and the rat race. I for one feel more myself when I don’t have to think of getting ahead financially. When there is a reason for my relatives to visit, all at the same time.

Even if for just one day.

Classical Music stations are filled with stories of the Nutcracker, playing music by orchestras from many parts of the world. This year here in the Midwest, we have a whole lot of white snow to add to the feeling of Christmas. Wikipedia reports the composer Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky was educated as a civil servant. But there certainly was more inside of him to express to the world. Because of his courage to let it come out from deep inside, we have most famously, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Marche Slave, along with his piano and violin concertos, six numbered symphonies and his operas, The Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin, to name a few. Thank you Mr. Tchaikovsky. Is this the perfect harmony we are meant to live in?

Vince Gill, Jenny Gill and Marty Paich wrote, Let There Be Peace On Earth.

Today people are kind in a way I wish would happen everyday. There is no rush through the day. I feel a prolonged pause through each moment wishing it would never end. If I were asked to sum up the main message in my reading this year, I would say that the magic is in the moment. It needs nothing from us but our open mind and heart and to view each person as a brother or a sister.



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There is a song that keeps running round my head. Of all the Christmas Songs out there, this one speaks to me. Its called, “I Really Don’t Want Much for Christmas,” Music and lyrics by Jeremy Lubbock and Richard Rudolph. The version I love is with trumpet by Cris Botti, sung by Eric Benet on the CD entitled, Chris Botti December.

This song says its better to give a homeless child a home . . . for the world to lose “hate” in order to find “bliss.”  Oh, yes, starting right here, right now.

I beleive this song’s value is with its emphasis on what’s far more important than materialism. But hey, we live in this commerical world and are quite bombarded with the pazzaz and bling of it all.

What to do? I suggest we give memorable gifts. Give gifts that really mean something to the recipient. They are friends, family, lovers, supporters of your daily life. They are not a number of a shopping list. So, while you think each one of them, their temperament, their interests, their clothing style, their hopes and dreams. Give a gift that speaks to the style they have . . .  you will be speaking to their hearts.

For example, I have a nephew who I love. Don’t see him very often, living 60 miles apart. When I do see him he is often on the basketball court. But I always give him a hug. Last year he insisted on his mother going with him to the mall to find the present he wanted to give to me. I gotta tell ya, that sweater means the world to me.

Clothing has meaning in ceremonies and celebrations worldwide. It has the significance we give it based on tradition and habits we want to start.  From the very first minute of our birth, we were wrapped in a blanket; a fabric, a textile. I really don’t want much for Christmas. I want people to give meaning to eachother.

From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas.

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The Holidays


No matter what, you will most likely be swept up in the activities around your family and friends.

Or not.

Why not?

Have they discovered you’re not all that pleasant to be around?

Are you not where you want to be professionally or personally?

As we prepare to be loved by people we know, get a bonus at work, or reflect on success this year, keep in mind a major factor in your success is your skill level with people.

Here is a quote from Chapter Nine of THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG, David Schwartz .

  1. Learn to remember names.
  2. Be a comfortable person.
  3. Acquire the quality of being relaxed and easy-going.
  4. Don’t be egotistical.
  5. Cultivate the quality of being interesting.
  6. Study to get the “scratchy” elements out of your personality.
  7. Sincerely attempt to heal every misunderstanding . . . drain off your grievances.
  8. Practice liking people until you learn to do it genuinely.
  9. Never miss an opportunity to congratulate or express sympathy in sorrow or disappointment.
  10. Give spiritual strength to people, and they will give genuine affection to you

He goes on to say,

Friendship cant be bought. When we try, we lose in two ways:

We waste money

We create contempt.

When you take the initiative to get to know people better you create a better world right where you stand. Like, Paying it Forward, it has a ripple-effect that you can watch happen.

In public, introduce yourself to others at every possible opportunity. Be sure the other person gets your name right and be sure you pronounce the other person’s name the way he or she pronounces it. Help yourself out by writing down their name, spelled correctly and their contact information according to what they prefer, phone, email, FB, etc.

In January, drop them a note, or call the people you want to know better. You can always ask how their Holidays went.

Please recognize the fact that no one is perfect, the other person has a right to be different and don’t be a reformer. Meaning, put a little “live and let live” into your philosophy. Most people intensely dislike being told they’re wrong. You have a right to your own opinion, but sometimes its better to keep it to yourself.

Last but not least, say pleasant things to strangers. It warms both your worlds.

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