#SoCS Stream of Consciousness Saturday ‘The Question is Who, and the answer is…’ #SaturdayThoughts #Tanka

This post was written in response to Linda Hill’s weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. 

 This week’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday Linda has asked us to begin a post starting with the word ‘who’. Join in and have fun!

This morning, as I do most mornings, as part of my morning routine, I wrote my morning pages. There are many ways to write your morning pages, more in tomorrow’s post, but for me it’s just one page of free writing which takes about ten minutes to write in my journal. This morning I responded to Linda’s prompt and started with the word ‘who’. Here’s what I wrote.

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Click on the link to listen to the podcast The Question is ‘Who’, and the Answer is…. 

 

Who said life would be easy, or fun, or even interesting?

Who told you all your dreams would come true?

Who predicted true love and happiness were in your path?

Perhaps it was your parents, or a TV ad or programme, or a grandparent, friend, teacher, or even a therapist?

Or maybe You decided that You were worth it, that You were enough, that it was You who foretold and visualised your future and then made it come true by turning wishes into goals with careful planning, perseverance, hard work, motivation and determination? And why not? A little help along the way.

It was You who made the promises, and it is You who can make them come true.

Who said it was possible, valuable and deserved? You

Who said it was impossible, worthless or undeserved? You

Who is right either way? You

It is always You. So, believe in yourself, work on yourself, plan to make your dreams become goals and make them come true, because your life is a gift, and You have the power; it’s in your hands.

The question is WHO, and the answer is YOU.


Writing this post has reminded me of the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley.

Here’s the last stanza:

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

I Hope you’re having a wonderful Saturday! Take care and stay safe.

#SoCS Stream of Consciousness Saturday ‘Stay Calm’ #SaturdayThoughts

This post was written in response to Linda Hill’s weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. 

This week’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday Linda has asked us to use a word starting with the letters “cal” as our prompt word. Join in and have fun!

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Stay Calm

Calm is a word which has become one of my favourites. Every day is full of tiny problems which give could lead to disaster if I don’t find a solution. A broken washing machine, losing my car keys, forgetting my best friend’s birthday, a toothache, a traffic jam which makes me late to an important appointment, a bad hair day…

On any day, so many little things can go wrong and cause havoc, but if I react by losing my nerves, which I sometimes do, it only makes matters worse. On the other hand, I can usually find simple solutions to most small, daily problems if I react calmly.

Machines can be repaired, if it’s urgent I can access a dry cleaners or laundromats, hairdresser’s, dentists, or an Uber. If I calm down, I can find most misplaced objects (once I put the keys in the freezer and found them retracing my steps!). A heartfelt apology or an honest excuse will often work wonders when I’ve made a mistake. Responding to a rude client (in my case student) with more rudeness or anger will only increase the problem, calm them down or ask them to leave. But if I’m worked up, the solution to even the simplest problem becomes impossible.

So how do I calm down when I’m feeling hysterical? The following simple activities take between 2 and 10 minutes and I find they usually help me relax.

1- Controlling my breathing does wonders, I love the breathing technique recommended by Dr Chatterjee; three in, hold for four and breathe out in five, then repeat until I feel calmer.

2- If I can, I find a quiet spot and close my eyes, and breathe slowly and visualise the problem and think of a solution.

3- I’m a great believer in the power of writing lists, so just sitting down for a few minutes and writing a list of possible solutions, also helps.

4- Asking for help. If I can’t solve it myself, I think about who I could phone and ask for help.

How do you keep calm? 

#SoCS Stream of Consciousness Saturday ‘March 2020-March 2021: A Year to Remember’ #SaturdayThoughts

This post was written in response to Linda Hill’s weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. 

This week’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday Linda has asked us to write about this past year to share our common experiences as a way to connect, to feel a little less alone, perhaps. 

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March 2020- March 2021: A Year to Remember

I’d use four words to describe how I’ve felt over the last year: Connectedness, Silence, Introspection, and Renewal.

Connectedness

Perhaps ironically, from March 2020 to March 2021 is the year I have felt less alone in the world in my life!

I feel connected to everyone in the world, because we’ve all had to cope with the same fears, restrictions, economic crisis, and illness this pandemic has brought.

The very existence of this pandemic, which originated in a market in a town in china and reached every corner of the world in a few weeks, just goes to show how interconnected we are.

We all breathe the same air, are warmed by the same sun, and our tides are governed by the same moon. We are all unique, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t connected to everything else on our planet and universe.

Silence

At first, during lockdown the silence, especially at night when the curfew meant we were all at home early, was terrifying.

I love silence. In fact, when I write, I often I use my headphones on mute to block everything out and write, but that’s my choice, for a few hours. This silence was different, it was empty; life was missing. And it was distressing, because it wasn’t normal. It was the silence of absence; as if the world had stopped breathing, and it led to a distressing feeling; as something was missing and there was a hole in the world.

Now, after a year we are still on partial lockdown, but the vaccine is being administered and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The Silence is no longer frightening, it’s just silence, a friendly, quiet silence. A silence waiting for the storm to pass.

Introversion 

Apart from the pandemic, between March and September 2020, I’ve had challenging months, not related to the pandemic, but worsened by occurring at the same time. I was forced to travel, visit several hospitals, and take care of administrative and household matters in hospitals, shops and government offices, when all I wanted to do was hide at home and wait for the storm to pass.

I wrote little during this time, except some notes and poems, and a few blog posts, but I didn’t have the routines or mindset to revise or continue writing my novels.

However, I did read a lot, especially personal growth and self-help books that have helped me immensely to understand myself and cope with stressful situations. I’m still reading these wonderful books and posting reviews and opinions about them on my blog every Monday on a weekly post called #MondayMotivation. 

Renewal

Fortunately, October brought a relative peace back into my life and I was able to devote my time to my literary pursuits with renewed strength and enthusiasm.

And now that winter is coming to a close, the vaccine is being administered, and the world seems a safer place, we are all longing to get back to our lives, but our ‘new lives’ because at least I am not the same person I was last March. I want more freedom to hug my friends and family and to travel, but I also appreciate everything I have and everyone I love, much more.

I value and feel grateful for my comfortable home, my internet connection for social media, work and enjoyment, the food in my fridge, the clothes I choose to wear, the friends I speak to on the phone every day and the air I breathe.

What are your reflections on this last year?

#SoCS Stream of Consciousness Saturday ‘Frosty’ #SaturdayThoughts #FlashFiction

This post was written in response to Linda Hill’s weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. 

This week’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “-sty.” Find a word that ends in “-sty” or use the word “sty.” Enjoy!

Frosty

A few words have crossed my mind, such as:

Nasty, but I refuse to let any type of unpleasantness into my life.

Dusty, but I’m not in the mood to think about housework or dirt.

Crusty, I was tempted, but it’s way past my bedtime and I’m not hungry.

Hasty, I’m no longer in a hurry. I’ve been there, done all the rushing around, life is slower now.

Misty, this word brings sad memories. It’s the name of our cat who was run over, and I don’t need sad memories right now.

So, I finally settled on Frosty because I live an hour and a half’s drive from the Mediterranean Sea, where the climate is mild, so frost is a pretty, exotic thing I see very little of, and therefore it has no negative connotations for me. On the contrary, I looked through Pixabay and found some lovely pictures of frost, like this one:

I would love to stay at a log cabin, like the ones you see in films, in distant places like Canada and Alaska, sit by the window and write whatever comes to mind, drinking cups of tea and hot chocolate, by the fireplace, and eating hot soup with crusty bread (maybe I am hungry?).

I’d write a story about a writer who was in search of inspiration. She rented a cabin in the snowy countryside in the Alaskan wild where she found a diary in the bedside table drawer, left behind by a previous occupant who had also come to write a book.

She opened the first page and read:

Once upon a time a writer needed solitude to write her novel, so she rented a cabin and found a diary written by a previous occupant. It started with Once upon a time…

She wrote the first chapter, and then she left.

She returned every year to find her diary in the same place. She wrote a new chapter each year.

(And now I’m going to bed, because it’s one o’clock in the morning.

Tomorrow morning I’ll reread my post and write the end of the story.

Hi! I’m Back. Here’s Part II).

“Good morning, Maggie.”

Maggie turned to the pretty young girl and smiled.

“Where would you like to go today?” the nice girl said, showing her images on a screen. “There’s a beach, the mountains, a thick wood, or …”

“I want to go back to Alaska.”

“If you’re sure?” Maggie nodded enthusiastically.

The girl pushed Maggie’s wheelchair into the viewing room. “Why are you always so keen on frosty Alaska?”

Maggie’s eyes shone. “I have to finish my novel.”

The young girl caressed Maggie’s wrinkled hand, put on her 3D glasses and said, “Alaska it is.”

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#SoCS Stream of Consciousness Saturday ‘Gratitude’ #SaturdayThoughts #StaySafe

This post was written in response to Linda Hill’s weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. 

This week’s prompt is “first thing.” Start your post with the words, “first thing” and go from there. Bonus points if you end your post with the last thing. Have fun!

Gratitude

The first thing I do every single morning, just after I turn off my phone alarm, while I’m still lying in bed, eyes closed, aware that a new day has just started, is to say ‘thank you’ to the universe for everything I am and everything a have.

I am alive, healthy, happy, loved, enthusiastic about my day and grateful to be lying in a warm, comfortable bed and feeling positive emotions.

I also have a loving family, a roof over my head, hot water to shower, delicious food to cook and eat, central heating, warm clothes and shoes, and plenty of exciting things to do for the next sixteen hours, until I lie down in my bed, and repeat my gratitude for the wonderful day I will have had, which is the last thing I’ll be doing.

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One of the positive aspects of the pandemic we’re suffering, at least in my case, is the sense of gratitude and appreciation for what I have, knowing that everything related to my physical world is a temporary loan.

I’m making a conscious effort to appreciate what I have, while being more concerned with what I am, which I trust is a more permanent state.

#StaySafe

#MarcosPlaylist ‘Easy (Like a Sunday Morning)’ by Commodores #Spotify #Saturdaysingalong #Tanka

Welcome back to #MarcosPlaylist and #SaturdaySingalong with another song from the playlist I made for my grandson in August 2020 on Spotify, when he was just a few days old. I chose my favourite songs with a mellow rhythm to sing to him, dance with him cradled in my arms and perhaps send him to sleep, or at least calm him down! This post, tanka and playlist is for Marcos, now twelve-weeks old.

Today I’m featuring Easy (like a Sunday morning) a song written by the great, grammy-award-winning artist, Lionel Ritchie and made famous by Commodores, the popular soul, dance and funky group of which he was a member, until he launched his solo career in 1982.

Lionel Richie in 2017.jpg

Richie receiving the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors

Easy became a hit in 1977, when I was in my first year at Westfield College, such a long time ago, and yet it seems like yesterday! 

Here’s the youtube remasterised version. Don’t you just love the shiny costumes flickering all over the screen! It takes me right back to the Age of Glitter in Pop Culture in the seventies; David Cassidy, Marc Bolan, David Bowie, shiny icons, sparkling stars, I danced and sang-along with them all! Such glowing memories!

Free as summer sunbeams,

Easy like Sunday morning,

Loose like shooting star, 

Unchained, unfettered, serene,

Heart glittering in night sky. 

I hope you have a long, lazy Sunday, free to do whatever makes you happy.

I’m looking forward to mine, although I’ll be busy converting my basement into a playroom for my grandchildren. 
what are you doing this weekend?

Do you have a special Spotify playlist or favourite song you’d like to share? Go ahead and tell us in the comments!

Stay safe, singalong, enjoy and have a great Saturday and Sunday!

Image by Geralt at pixabay.com

 

 

#MarcosPlaylist ‘What the world needs now’ by Jackie DeShannnon #Spotify #Saturdaysingalong #Tanka

Welcome back to #MarcosPlaylist and #SaturdaySingalong with another song from the playlist I made for my grandson in August 2020 on Spotify, when he was just a few days old. I chose my favourite songs with a mellow rhythm to sing to him, dance with him cradled in my arms and perhaps send him to sleep, or at least calm him down!

Today I’m featuring What the world needs now, a wonderful song composed by the great Burt Bacharach and made famous by the singer, Jackie DeShannon in 1965, when I was six years old! 

Jackie has recently launched a remasterised Anthology of her songs  including hits such as Lonely Girl. She’s also famous for composing Grammy Award Winning Song, Bette Davis Eyes, in 1974, although the song was made famous by singer, Kim Carnes.

 

Again, I love the calming rhythm and uplifting lyrics as I singalong with Marcos! Here’s the spotify link:

This post, tanka and playlist is dedicated to my now eleven-week old grandson, Marcos.

What the world needs now,

Is love, sweet love, honest love,

Like a mother’s love,

You don’t need to reach the stars,

Just enjoy and share the love.

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Do you have a special Spotify playlist or favourite song you’d like to share? Go ahead and tell us in the comments!

Stay safe, singalong, enjoy and have a great Saturday!

Image by Geralt at pixabay.com

 

#MarcosPlaylist ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ by Steve Wonder #Spotify #Saturdaysingalong #Haiku

Welcome back to #MarcosPlaylist and #SaturdaySingalong with another song from the playlist I made for my grandson in August 2020 on Spotify, when he was just a few days old. I chose my favourite songs with a mellow rhythm to sing to him, dance with him cradled in my arms and perhaps send him to sleep, or at least calm him down!

Today I’m featuring isn’t she lovely, once again by Stevie Wonder, well, I did tell you he’s one of my favourite singers. His songs are so feel-good. I love singing-along and dancing to his tunes. It perks me up no end! 

Stevie Wonder wrote isn’t she lovely to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Aisha. I never tire of listening to this song, so full of love. Here’s a YouTube video in which he sings it with his grown-up daughter on stage

This post, haiku and playlist is dedicated to my now ten-week old grandson, Marcos.

Isn’t he precious,

Sent from heaven, made from love,

Wonderful Marcos.

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Which is your favourite Steve Wonder song? Let me know in the comments.

Do you have a special Spotify playlist you’d like to share? Go ahead and share in the comments.

Stay safe, singalong, enjoy and have a great Saturday!

Image by Geralt at pixabay.com

#MarcosPlaylist ‘For Once in my Life’ by Steve Wonder #Spotify #Saturdaysingalong #Tanka

Last month I made a playlist with some of my favourite melodies on Spotify. I chose those which had a mellow rhythm and would hopefully lull my newborn grandson, Marcos, to sleep, or at least calm him down!

I’m not a great fan of most nursery songs for helping children to sleep or relax, they’re either too short and repetitive or too lively to encourage rest!

As I compiled some of my some of my favourite,  calming songs, I also use this playlist sometimes while I’m writing, although mostly I prefer silence. 

I’ll be posting one of the songs with a haiku or tanka on Saturdays with the spotify link to the song.

Singalong, enjoy and have a great Saturday!

 

For once in her life
She has someone who needs her,
His voice fills her hopes,
His smile fills her heart with love,
Her dreams shine in his wide eyes.

For Lidia.

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I love Steve Wonder’s songs! They’re so feel-good and emotionally energising. There’s more than one in Marcos’ playlist. 

Which is your favourite Steve Wonder song? Let me know in the comments.

Do you have a special Spotify playlist you’d like to share? Go ahead and share in the comments.

Stay safe and remember…