Sunday, September 28, 2008

Up with People Wandered In

What a joyous week James and I had when our "Up with People" cast members wandered in for a stay with us as their "host-family" for their week in Sahuarita. Danielle (23) from Wisconsin and Steph (18) from Vermont brightened our lives with their youth and energy, demanded nothing other than a bed, food and a car ride twice a day, and reminded us how much we missed our grown children. They treated us to an amazing concert on Saturday night, complete with a special guest performance by Herb Allen and the Chandler Brothers ( all seniors we might add!) who wrote the very first music for Up with People in 1965. The concert was done in both English and Spanish and covered a multitude of cultures by young people from 22 countries. We were so privileged to be a small part of this group for even a week; it reminded us that life is for living - and the only way to live is to be INVOLVED as often as you can. Find at least one new thing to explore and share each week is our new motto; it makes life shine! We can still watch TV if we choose, but we are determined NOT to be couch potatoes. We want to be like the 80 year-olds we saw in concert Saturday: they were still kicking right along with the young adults they played for. You can stay young no matter how old you get as long as you involve yourself with life!. Thanks Steph and Danielle for reminding us of this important message.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Creating Harmony

I find it so easy to create harmony in the looks of my home - add a decoration here, paint a wall to harmonize or soothe, quilt a wall hanging to promote the southwest look; I wish creating harmony in my relationships was as easy. It seems so easy sometimes to get frustrated when a coworker or family member is closed off and hard to reach. I find myself wanting to be kind, but acting defensively instead because I am afraid of being rejected in my efforts to reach out, and sometimes just feeling plain ornery because I want things to be easy and smooth rather than stiff and awkwardly hard. I so admire the people I come in contact with that seem to put everyone around them at ease, make me feel appreciated , and have others wanting to gravitate to them. What is it exactly that they do - or don't do - that everyone just seems to feel happy around them? While on the other hand, there are those who immediately have me feeling uptight, as though I were a nuisance, and make me want to hide myself away in my office or room so I don't have to deal with them. What do they do - or not do? And what part do I play in furthering the happiness or uptightness with my reactions? Could I change the uptightness to happiness with the right reactions, or is this just part of the world as it is. Should I reach out more, or leave the vicinity if I'm feeling uptight? Which will create harmony in my life in the best possible way. Colors are easy - either they work together or they don't; you simply change them if they don't. People are much more complex, and sometimes I feel like a child in my level of understanding them and in helping both myself and them towards harmony.