Tag Archive | Sheryl Crow

A change would do you good

Sometimes when I sew, I turn on Dr. Oz. That was the case last week when I was hurriedly making myself a new apron for Thanksgiving. I was very thankful I did, because this episode validated something I’ve long known to be true.

If you’re sad, bored or unhappy with your life, a change would do you good. My girl Sheryl sang about it years ago, and Dr. Mehmet Oz’s father-in-law, Gerald Lemole, a respected surgeon and author himself, discussed that very thing on the episode called “How to Get a Super Brain.”

Not in the same words, but the meaning was there. Dr. Lemole said to find balance in life, you need four things:

1. You need love.

2. You need to feel useful.

3. You need to have something to look forward to.

4. You need to have gratitude for what you do have.

Simple, but profound – especially the something to look forward to part, which is missing in so many lives. How many people do you know who are stuck in a rut and never do anything fun or anticipate anything that will be a diversion from the mundane?

I can’t live that way – I have the need for change and something to look forward to embedded in my bones. My daughter inherited it, and I think my grandson did too. (When we left The Wonder Place the other day, where he and cousin Nathan had a great time, as we walked out the door, he asked,”Can we come back here again real soon?” And don’t even mention Christmas. He’s pinging already.)

We’ve been told it’s a character flaw, but it’s not. Dr. Lemole said so!

That trait was a serious bone of contention in my first marriage. I can’t tell you  how many times I heard “You’re never satisfied!” But anticipation doesn’t mean dissatisfaction. Looking forward to the next thing doesn’t mean you’re unhappy. Au contraire.

Having so much fun on a trip that you immediately want to plan the next one isn’t a bad thing, is it?

Being so pleased with how the room you just painted looks that you start planning the next project immediately doesn’t mean you’re crazy or flawed. Or unsatisfied.

In fact, it probably means that you’re more satisfied than people who never do or change anything.

For me, nothing says excitement like travel. I really am always planning the next trip. John will vouch for that – and I’m sure I try his patience, too, but at least he understands my wanderlust. In 2014 we’ll have our 10th anniversary, which, at our ages needs to count as a biggie, so we’re already tossing around ideas of fabulous places to go.

That’s something big to look forward to. So is the birth of our fifth grandchild, to come in April.

But as a movie hound, I also get excited about coming attractions, which is a pretty simple way to get a “looking forward to it” fix. Last night we saw Skyfall, which is shockingly good for a James Bond movie, though too long (and ridiculous if you don’t suspend disbelief). Javier Bardem is crazy-good as a crazy master criminal.

And we saw so many new previews – so my list of movies to look forward to grew by about three, just as it did at Lincoln and just as it did at Flight. SO many good ones to anticipate.

I also look forward to new-release CDs by favorite artists, new books by favorite authors, visits with my adorable grandchildren. Parties. A walk with the dogs on a beautiful day. A good conversation with a good friend.

You get the picture: Little things can do the trick for  Nos. 3 and 4.

We should all take lessons from dogs, who get excited by the least little thing.

Tess and Zuzu are always ready for anything. What’s next, Mom? Throw the ball, Dad. WALK?? WALK, you say!!!!

Anticipating something fun or something good is so important. So is being open to change.

It really will do you good.

All I wanna do (is have some fun)

This is not the post I’ve wanted to write for the past few days. That one, which will have to wait another day or two, has been highjacked by this one, because Sheryl Crow saved my life once, and, even though she’ll never know it, I need to thank her again before Thanksgiving week is over.

What happened is this: She wrote, recorded and released the song, “All I Wanna Do.” To paraphrase Don McLean, I do believe in rock ‘n’ roll and music touches my mortal soul – and that song told me something I couldn’t ignore.

Today it makes me want to dance, sing and smile, but in 1995, all it made me want to do, after a few listenings, was cry. Okay, dance and cry. You can do both.

It was one more thing to make me realize time was running out. Of course there was much more to it than that, but Sheryl definitely played a part in giving me clarity.

Today I’m happy most of the time, have some kind of fun most every day and have a life filled with love. Overflowing.

Last night was filled with nightmares of the ex – PTSD is forever, it seems. But life goes on.

This morning I opened the paper to a photo of my friend and coworker at NLRHS, Suzzette Patterson, who helped me through that time. She’s been on my mind lately, even though we haven’t talked in ages. So this has been on my mind all day.

Freedom from that trap – and an emotional death sentence – changed the trajectory of my life, and that of my children, who were and are brave troopers. And that change created what we have now.

For which I’m eternally grateful. Here are some of the reasons, beside the grandkids:

Thanksgiving, Lolly-style. Liz made the heap o’ potatoes, just like Mama Tackett used to make.

Blurry shot of me in my new apron – made hurriedly for the occasion, because nothing says “Thaknsgiving” like Hawaiian-print fabric.

Anti-oxidant, anti-Alzheimer’s mix (sweet potatoes, acorn squash, apples, pecans, raisins, turmeric, cinnamon and butter) and vegetarian southern-style dressing.

Hard to make a stand

The intention was to write a New Year’s Day blog, but yesterday it was hard to make a stand – literally, after a rough and painful night. Not from too much revelry – from nocturnal inner-thigh cramps that could bring He-man to his knees.

Online research assured me that such cramps, though horrific, aren’t that uncommon for people in my age bracket, but it was the first time for me, and it felt like the flesh was ripping loose from the bone.

Yowser.

My thigh muscles stayed balled up and sore most of yesterday, and they’re still recuperating today. Life goes on.

My inner drama queen (she lives large, unfortunately) could easily have decreed that waking in agony the first day of 2012 portends something ominous – in fact, she tried her damnedest to make that point – but a look at the newspaper quickly hushed her.

After seeing the obituary of a classmate (sad, sad news), my inner pragmatist remembered there are no guarantees and whatever life deals you, you take it and go on.

So, there. Returned to my senses. And today, my thighs have almost returned to normal.

What I wanted to say yesterday is that I don’t make resolutions. Like diets, they set you up for failure too many times. Goals and changes are better for me.

I wanted to say what a pleasure and joy it was to spend the morning with Sylvia in her PJs, smiling and precious. She and Liz spent the night, since Brent’s band, Free Verse, had a NYE gig.

And that Tess took great early morning pleasure in taking toys from the doggy toy box one at a time and showing them to Sylvia – and that when I suggested she show Sylvie one of her new Christmas toys, she went back to the toy box and came up with their new stuffed quail.

Should’ve taken pictures, but I missed the opportunity.

But I hope not to miss many more opportunities. Life is short, and every day is a winding road.

You never know what’s around the corner. My goal is not to miss many more opportunities.

Tess opens a new toy Christmas morning. Zuzu isn’t sure destruction is acceptable.

If it makes you happy …

I have a new crown in my head, of the dental variety, and it makes me happy. My wonderful dentist, Shirley Reid, just replaced a 31-year-old monstrosity, and it’s the ultimate in artistry. Matches my teeth perfectly and looks quite real.

Life’s simple pleasures are the best, though it’s odd for a vegetarian to flashback to an old pork and beans commercial tune.

My original tooth broke off when I was eating Crunch ’n Munch in my Bentwood rocker shortly after three years of intense pregnancy and/or nursing. (Ben and Liz are 15 months apart, and those years were rough on my teeth, among other body parts.)

Anyway, thinking of that commercial sent me to YouTube, which put me on memory lane, and now I feel better in general, even though two nights in a row of insomnia and the12-hours-end-run of the semester has had me on stress overload.

Be sure to check all the links (if it’s underlined, it’s a link) for some blasts from the past that might make you smile, too. Here’s something that made me ecstatic once upon a time. Hipness in toy form.

Girls just want to have fun

Yesterday’s music notes did a disservice to the female rockers out there, so I have to come back to the topic for just a minute. We boomers grew up on such greats as Janis (why did you leave us?) Joplin, Aretha, Bobbie Gentry and the late, great and untouchable Dusty Springfield (no one will ever touch her “Son of a Preacher Man,” though Joan Osborne’s is insanely good).

But again, music didn’t die with our heyday. The ’80s brought Annie Lennox, Cyndi Lauper (who was such an influence that at 4, daughter Liz converted a Barbie to a Cyndi Lauper doll), Pat Benatar (whom Liz chose to be for RnR dress up day at Park Hill Elementary) and grrrlll-power Joan Jett.

But, oh, the ’90s. Sexy/sassy Sheryl Crow. Sparkling Jewel. Growling Joan Osborne. Angry Alanis Morrisette. The beautiful and haunting Sarah McLachlan. The ever-so-fun and in-your-face-topical Dixie Chicks.

Girls rock. Women too. In a big way.

The girls I’m digging today are Adele, who makes me feel “Right as Rain”; Duffy, (“Mercy”!); Florence + the Machine, who have a strange and interesting sound (check out this funky “Not Fade Away”; and Amy (why’d you leave us?) Winehouse. And, of course, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals can keep me up at night listening to her retro groove.

Again, girls rock. And roll.

••••••••••••••••

But so does my son-in-law Brent, in the local band FreeVerse.

He and the boys gave this mom-in-law a most happy surprise Saturday night at The Afterthought by breaking into a smooth version of Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman.” (Awesome guitarwork, Adam.) That doesn’t negate what I’ve said about new music, but it does show that classics never die.

Now if I can just get them to play “What Is Hip?” …