The Pursuit of Happiness…


Today I read an article (http://www.infobarrel.com/22_Habits_of_Unhappy_People) and it talked about the things that unhappy people do, and as I read the items in question, I realized that I do a few of those things. So I sat and thought about it, and again came to the realization that I am an over all happy person, despite the “unhappy” things I may do from time to time.

Do I have my moments? Of course, most of us do, but they are moments. Am I occasionally depressed? Yes, I am. The usual stuff. I miss my dad, and others that have gone on before us, or my friends, or I’m upset with myself for not doing what I should be doing and instead shut down or watch TV (the evil vortex from hell), but that’s natural. I’m getting older and I wonder where the time has gone and I tend to wonder if I can make my dreams a reality, but I know if I can’t, I’m still living a truly blessed life. I dream about my books selling more, so I can write at home, but the fact that even one person has read and loved them, I feel lucky. I get lonely sometimes, craving to be with people, but I also relish the quiet of my home. Sometimes I blame hormones… why not? I have them, they should be responsible for something other than weight gain and hair growth, but I know that it’s me, how I see myself.

Most of the time I like me, well, I love me. I’m pretty unique in a lot of ways. I’m a unicorn, long before Dbags like Kanye talked about it, I was calling myself a unicorn. I always have been. I am the epitome of dichotomy. I am an introvert and an extrovert. When I did that test that shows where you are in the business world, you know, the one that determines if you’re an analytical, driver, amiable, expressive – I fell right smack dab in the middle. I guess it means that I can get a long with everyone, but even that’s my choice, not a guarantee.

This morning I let someone I don’t know make me angry. Some idiot in a Jaguar (just felt like mentioning the car… has no real meaning) jumped the line as we were coming over the hill. I had the right of way, but he didn’t care and when I yelled at him, he tried to intimidate me with his stare. That only infuriated me. SO I yelled and shooed him on. “Go on, Drive Ass!”, which he finally did. The real issue is that even after the incident, I was mad. I was mad driving the curves, I was mad going through lights, and I was mad when the car in front of me left four car lengths between him and the car in front of him. It took a good half hour before I wasn’t mad anymore. What a waste of time and energy on my part. I let that jackhole get under my skin and change my mood, which up tot hat point had been great. That’s one of the unhappy things in the article I mentioned above, and he was right. I was unhappy.

Another thing mentioned in the article was not following through. I’ve been notoriously lax in that area as well. Worrying about what people think… that too. Now, I’m not an unhappy person, I’m really not, but more and more, I’ve not been doing what I intend to do. Procrastination has taken up residence in my home and I’m sick of it being there. All of these things I mention were points in the article. Again, I’m really not unhappy, but I do see the potential for me to become increasingly less happy if I don’t do something about my behavior.

So, as a witch I celebrate Samhain, (pronounced Sow-Wen… just an FYI) as well as Halloween, and for those that don’t know, that was our New Year (or End Year – depends on the pagan), so as the New Year has begun in my spiritual world, I am making a resolution. I resolve to move forward, and to actively pursue my happiness. To make a concerted effort to complete tasks, laugh more, find new hobbies and try not to let the other actions of people (of whom I have no control) dictate how I feel. I’m not saying I won’t slip up and get mad, or be a coach potato, or be sad, but as this is my life and ultimately my responsibility, it falls to me to make things happen. My own happiness being one of those things.

So, now begins the Pursuit of Happiness… well, more happiness… and hopefully, more reward. Blessed Be.

 

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Review – Mama’s Child by Joan Steinau Lester


Synopsis: MAMA’S CHILD follows twenty-three years in the life of Lizzie O’Leary, an idealistic young white woman who travels to the American South as a civil rights worker. She meets, falls in love with, and marries Solomon Jordan, a musician and fellow activist, who is black. Together, the young couple settles in the more liberal San Francisco area and starts a family: daughter Ruby, and son Che. They remain deeply involved in the Black Liberation Movement: participating in protest marches, and living in a home filled with Black Power posters, jazz, protest songs, and visiting Black Panthers.

 But by 1978, when the novel opens, there is tension between the couple. Solomon’s music career keeps him away from home too much, and Lizzie is frustrated: “I need you here. I can’t raise these kids by myself. And they need a black parent, some days I just don’t know what to do.” Eventually, the strain becomes unbearable, and they divorce when their children are still young.

Mama's Child Cover

 Their divorce deeply affects daughter Ruby, who is already suffering from a confused sense of self—“Am I black or white?” she continually asks herself. “Where do I belong?” She struggles with her own racial identity as well as her anger at her mother for splitting up the family. As for mother Lizzie, despite her attempts at trying to hold on to the emotional cord that binds them, the rift between mother and daughter widens.

 It isn’t until Ruby herself becomes a wife and mother that she begins to develop compassion and understanding for the many ways that her own mother’s love transcended race and questions of identity.

 Told in chapters alternating between the voices of the mother and daughter, MAMA’S CHILD goes deep into the raw emotions of love, family, and ancestry– from two points of view.

Review: This was a very interesting book for several different reasons.  The author’s life paralleled the book, but only in structure (she herself a white woman who married a black man and had two biracial children, as well as living in Berkley and falling in love with a woman), however, the characters’ themselves are completely fiction.  I also enjoyed seeing the perspectives of both characters, the mother and daughter, (who could be extremely frustrating at times) as they struggle to find out who they are, sometimes painfully.
The author, Joan Stenau Lester, recently mentioned that her reoccurring theme through the book is forgiveness, but I would also add that it is the importance of communication and even responsibility.  The pain that plays out is real and the frustration for me came from the fact that these characters don’t talk to one another.  But that happens everyday in real life, so the flaws these characters have are real.
This is a well written and detailed book, but it is also extremely emotional.  It will elicit emotion from the reader, whether it be joy, encouragement or rage and disappointment.  I was definitely drawn into the story.  I would be only a few years younger than the character of the daughter, Ruby, so it was interesting to see different things through her eyes that I’ve never seen, nor will I ever see.  I also have a biracial niece, so it was interesting to see what the mother in this story was thinking.  Overall, I would recommend this book, I give it 4 stars.  It was definitely thought provoking and heartfelt.
4 pink stars

One Star Reviews – Cynthia Shepp


My friend Cynthia posted this today on her blog and I think it was eloquently stated and couldn’t be more true. Please check it out.

Cynthia Shepp

I want to talk about one star reviews for a minute. A book that I really liked got a 1 star review this morning that it does not deserve. This book had great writing and a great plot. I reviewed it myself and I gave it 5 stars. It was funny, unique, and I still tell people to read it and I read it a long time ago. Which means that the book stuck with me because it was good. I only give books what I think they deserve. If I really loved a book, the editing was good, and the book flowed well, I will give it 5 stars because it deserves it.

Some books could deserve one star reviews, I am not disputing that. People should always give their truthful opinion. If you don’t like the book, you don’t like the book. What pisses me off is when…

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