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Showing posts from July, 2009

Benefits of Travel

I love to travel. It's in my blood. For most of my life I have traveled up and down the east and west coast of the U.S. and other parts of the world. As a child I traveled usually with my aunts to visit relatives down south, as we called it, driving from New York to Virginia several times during the year. As an adult living in California, my husband and I drove up and down the west coast exploring cities and towns from Los Angeles to Baja and up to Washington state. Once we drove from Los Angeles to New York and back, camping most of the way. It took us almost a month. We circled the U.S. stopping at campsites in the South, East, North, and West. We even ventured across Canada until it became too cold to camp in our little tent. On the whole, it was an invaluable trip. Not only did I get a geography lesson, but also it gave me a better understanding of and regard for the people and places that make up this country.

My first venture overseas was to Nigeria. Since then I've trave…

Journaling: an important tool for writers

I began writing a journal after reading Anais Nin's Diaries years ago. I'd checked it out of the library and became fascinated with her account of her friendships with Henry and June Miller and other artists of the early part of the twentieth century. Before long I was hooked by that form of writing. Previously, I'd started keeping a diary, and on rare occasions when I could remember, I'd record my daily activities. Then I'd lock it, anyone who really wanted to see what I'd written could have easily opened the lock with a paper clip. However, after reading Nin's diaries (aka Anais Nin's Journals), I soon found that the small white book I'd purchased was too confining. I needed to expand from just listing my daily mundane activities. So I purchased a large notebook and thus began my years of journaling.

I now have volumes including a travel journal, one when my son was a baby and just learning to talk, a gardening journal in which I keep track of how …

Living Fully

Frances E. Williams was eighty-nine when she died. She had been an actress, activist, organizer, and community worker among other things. Working with her on her biography, I got to know this wonderful lady who led such a rich life. From her I learned the value of living fully. By that I mean not being afraid to stretch yourself beyond the confines of what you know; letting go and experiencing the unknown; freeing yourself from fear, prejudice, age, or what other people will say. One of the prerequisites to living life fully is to know yourself. What makes you happy? What do you fear? What do you like to do? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Answers to these questions can give you insight into your attitude towards life.

Being open to change is another important factor. If you are not open to change, you limit yourself. Go back to school should you desire. learning is a lifetime endeavor. Whether it is to learn to play a musical instrument, sing, paint, dance, speak an…

The Joy of Aging

I celebrate the joy of aging. Yes, there have been times when aches and pains made me not want to get out of bed some mornings, but there have been many more times when I look forward to my day and relish the chance to experience something new. A woman once said to me, "I don't tell folks my age because I don't want them saying "you're that old," or "You look so young for your age." Another woman said, "I've made it this far and I'm proud." It all depends on your perspective. I don't want to be defined by my age. After all, it's just a number. Not that I'm trying to hide anything. One look at me and one can tell I'm no longer a spring chicken, as the saying goes - the slowing steps, the spreading waistline, the sagging breast, the constant battle to cover that gray. Yes, I do color my hair. This reminds me of my aunt's adage, "...as long as there's Miss Clairol..." You get the picture. What's …