Music moves the heart and stirs the soul. Remembering Karen Carpenter.

I’m a big music gal who couldn’t narrow my tastes down to a favorite genre if you paid me – or simply asked.

I love all music and my collection has no rhyme or reason. From world music to classical, funk, rock, and decade mixes. Blue grass, Cajun, Christian and soul. Easy listening, big band, Gregorian chant. No matter what the genre, you are guaranteed to find it when you scroll through the countless playlists on my apps – or on my Classic iPod (yes, it exists in my car). There are even remnants of my past on CDs at my parents’ house. Continue reading “Music moves the heart and stirs the soul. Remembering Karen Carpenter.”

Your daily thought, point to ponder and soulful reflection.

Daily thought: Where has romance gone? What happened to courting, building friendships and lasting love?

Point to ponder: In a society that boasts radical feminism and views masculinity as toxic, do the outnumbered even stand a chance in a cesspool of single people looking for love in all the wrong places?

Soulful reflection: As it goes on a Sunday, I chose the morning music that would accompany my brunch prep. The music has to align with the weather, the day’s plan – or lack thereof – and my current state of mind. Today’s playlist selection was a Classic Country Drive. The country music that my father listened to and loved when I was a child. The music I dreaded and loathed! Oh, how the times change! Age brings with it an appreciation for, what I would now refer to as, one of the finer things in life.

Always the lyrics girl, which is why I choose classical or instrumental when I write, I listened carefully to the words as I moved around the kitchen, singing to my little pooch. As the words registered, I wondered whatever happened to good old fashioned romance – and what the odds are for people finding that needle in the haystack who wonders the same thing.

It seems dating is out, hooking-up is in. Chivalry is dead, feminists are presumed to be the new norm. Gentlemen feel awkward, ladies feel lost. Pecs, abs and restrictive diets with a side of intense workouts are in; a little jiggle when you wiggle and offering more than just tight buns, out.

There was no bigger heartache than those suffered by cowboys and prairie girls. They sing it all too well. Yet I couldn’t help but hear kindness, compassion and genuine love in each song. Sure, they got drunk, broke a thing or two, and cried a lot. But today’s music finds them breaking windows with baseball bats, planning revenge and making sure that self-absorption is top of mind when moving on.

Chemistry is important, connection key, yet I can’t help wondering if people are missing out on so much by not looking deeper – by not seeing the man who would seek to understand your feelings, by not seeing the woman who would walk through fire with you, by not paying attention to – or appreciating – the basic ingredients that create a lasting relationship. Some seem to only go for the frosting on the cake.

For those who have found it, cherish it. For those who want to, reconsider what it is you’re looking for – and take your time finding it.

Your daily thought, point to ponder and soulful reflection.

Daily thought: A relationship is like a plant. If you don’t water and tend to it, it will die but with a some TLC, it can also come back to life.

Point to ponder: Do you take a partner for granted? Do you think once you charm someone into a relationship, you just stop the things you did to woo them? Or simply go back to your life as a single person, throwing them a crumb or two to keep them hanging in?

Soulful reflection: I recall vividly one of many conversations with my partner when we were faced with relationship challenges and my sharing that above daily thought with him. Some of us don’t even need much water or TLC, but the complete lack thereof leaves us to wither, wilt and eventually – die, like the plant.

Ironically, I wasn’t into plants or herbs at that time. I knew the responsibility and consistent care they would require, and I was once too free spirited for such commitment. Yet now I have them, and I witnessed my analogy right here in real time – and had to smile, a bittersweet yet comforting and knowing smile.

I arrived home last night to a wilted and dead-looking basil plant because I’d stayed at my parents home unexpectedly the evening before, thus missed the ritualistic morning watering. How heartbroken I was! In the past, I would have thrown it out. It’s dead. It doesn’t look so good anymore. What’s done is done. But I’m obsessed with my plants and was willing and determined to bring it back to life. It’s a commitment, a choice I make every day to nurture and grow them, not giving up on them because of some dead-looking leaves.

This morning, that basil plant looked like brand new. It was standing tall, robust and healthy in appearance.

If only we would do the same in our relationships. Of course some have to be thrown in the trash, but others – simply need some water, weeding and care enough to repair and flourish over time.

Some throw things away with too easily. Some aren’t willing to put a little work in when things get bumpy. Some just aren’t capable, so they should live plant-free.

But if you are capable, be sure to water where you stand today because the grass is only as green as the one you tend to.

It’s double quote day!

“Love is a friendship set to music.” —Joseph Campbell

Nothing more perfectly describes my parents’ relationship and this second quote of the day is in honor of them.

Happy anniversary to my mother and father!

Your friendship and love is a gift to all of us. What a stellar example of what a relationship can and should be.

Slainte!

Successfully single – or not. The choice is yours.

About 20 or so years ago, I hosted a workshop titled “Successfully Single” and the objective was to guide others in living a single life – successfully.

What exactly does that mean?

It means finding peace, joy and contentment in your singleness. It means transforming loneliness into solitude and creating a space for interior exploration and adventures. It means changing your perspective and not feeling alone, but finding fulfillment within yourself. When you accept your single status and become comfortable on your own, the possibilities are truly endless.

Continue reading “Successfully single – or not. The choice is yours.”

Seasons of the heart.

Letting go of a relationship and the person you love ranks up there with one of the most difficult things to do in life.

What’s even more difficult is letting go when a relationship isn’t blatantly bad – but not enough.

If one person yearns in a way the other cannot fulfill, there will be an unrelenting longing and chronic emptiness.

Continue reading “Seasons of the heart.”

Where true love begins.

Sometimes we grapple with something we’re not sure about. For many of us, grappling may very well be a way of life.

It may involve a person, a relationship, a job, a habit or a situation. It eats away at us, consumes us and borders close to obsession.

Making a decision is hard – but owning it after the fact rarely is. We can choose to dwell or move on, even if the path forward isn’t paved and filled with potholes. Continue reading “Where true love begins.”