I have what can only be described as a “songbrain”. How it works: a certain word or phrase will be used in my presence, or a mood will strike me and a song starts up between my ears. It’s like a have some kind of jukebox that clicks on just the right song to match what’s going on with me emotionally in the moment. I don’t have to will the song to play, it just does.
Now, readers who are familiar with my blog surely understand my deep and abiding love for music. I have been known to wax nostalgic about music from my growing up years like I did here: Song Stories
I’ve also shared my love of making Google playlists for myself, like I did here: Music Therapy
Suffice it to say:
This is the song that runs through my head on days when my 50 year old body is crack ‘a lacking and I forget what I came down to the kitchen pantry to get. Today, truth be told, is kinda one of those days. Thank the good lord I have a massage scheduled later.
This is the song in my head when I’m feeling sassy, playful, and I’m having a particularly good hair day.
This is the song Hubs and I could very much relate to when our spawn were, at 14 months apart, in the throes of those oh so fun teenage years. It allowed us to daydream for a bit. Thanks, Fastball.
This is a song I recently discovered while listening to The Current, a MPR station out of the twin cities, which has a show on Sunday mornings entitled “United States of Americana”. This is a song that really makes me think and feel. Now when I am reading or watching news reports about young black youth being harassed, beaten, or killed (as in the case of Trayvon Martin in Florida), I hear this song in my head. “With a pocketful of Skittles”. That line, to me, is the essence of the entire song. He was just a kid.
“My Sweet Lord” by the late, great George Harrison is so beautiful to me. It comes to mind for me when I’m feeling present, aware, and grateful for all of the blessings I have in this life of mine. It’s both comforting and worshipful to me.
In honor of it being Wednesday, and on account of having a head full of snot (I hab a heb code at the bobent) along with a shit-ton of half baked blog post ideas in there as well, I write this post today. True focus is eluding me.
There. I have successfully lowered your expectations. Now things have nowhere to go but up, right?
Like all of us, I am a work in progress. I am also subject to change. Call me flaky. Whatever. In my 50 years on planet earth, I have nonetheless developed some amount of wisdom.
I always enjoyed Oprah’s column “What I know for sure”, which was planted at the end of each monthly magazine her empire churned out. It may still be a feature, but for whatever reason, I no longer subscribe. Anyhoo, here’s my own personal take on it:
What I think I know for sure:
That we all need something to look forward to. It helps motivate you to get out of bed every morning, put one foot in front of the other, and navigate the ups and downs of daily existence. Even if that “something” is just a cupcake you’re going to enjoy on your afternoon break at work. Or a dinner out with friends. Or a family barbeque. Or a church picnic. Okay, secrets out. Food is indeed my biggest personal motivator.
That not all my blog posts are as good as I think they are as I hit that “Publish” button. Which sucks. But it also pushes me to pen a better post tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.
That regular exercise, even my moderately paced 25 minute walks around my neighborhood, makes me feel better and more capable, both mentally and physically.
That children in preschool and elementary school should be taught compassion in schools. As an actual part of the curriculum. We need more of that wonderful shit if we are going to have the good future we all want for this world.
That it is of extreme importance to me as a creative writer and human being on planet Earth to maintain my sense of curiosity about all things, big and little. My feeling is that if I lose this essential part of myself, I will cease to exist. Because I would die of boredom, of course.
That I will never regret starting this blog. I figure at the very least, it will be considered a legacy for my spawn and any spawn that have spawned or will spawn from my spawn. And if I made anyone laugh, that’s just the frosting on the brownie.
That the most depressing phrase that seems to be trending is the following: “It is what it is”. The only upside, according to me, is if you allow it to turn into this one: “Let it Be”. Because sometimes that is the best and most simple thing you can do in a situation in which you feel you have little to no control.
That the concept of a “Gap Year” for 50 year olds, of course should most certainly become a thing. I speak from experience. Nothing could have been better for me, upon moving to Colorado one year ago, than pressing the pause button on my career. I’ve had time to work on improving myself through reading, volunteering, and creative writing via this blog. I can see much more clearly now.
Okay, my song brain has kicked in, so I will just leave you lovely folks with this…and you can sing along because the lyrics are attached!
Call me crazy, but I believe in the power of a good mantra. When you have one (or two or 16) that you connect with, not just in your mind, but in your heart and soul, you have an ability to focus on what’s most important to you.
This is my most used and helpful mantra. What I think is especially fabulous about it is just how ridiculously adaptable it is.
Many of you already are aware of the translation of this acronym as “Keep It Simple Stupid”. That was how I glommed onto it initially. You see, I have a fantastic ability to overthink everything in my life-from what I should have said to so and so, to what I should wear to church on Sunday, to what kind of part time job I should seek. Geez, if only overthinking was a skill I could get paid for. I wonder how much I could get an hour for that? Perhaps it’d be a salaried position? Maybe I could get paid extra for not taking health insurance as I can stay on Hubs plan? Okay, there I go again. That was not useful. Deep breath….ahhhh…KISS…..
Okay, I’m good.
Other ways I use the mantra KISS:
Note: I have determined that I will refer to the last “S” in KISS as “stupid” very sparingly. Because I think it’s important to be kind to oneself.
Keep it silly, sister. Because I firmly adhere to the notion that in order to have a successful, meaningful, and happy life, one should not take anything too seriously. Or anyone, for that matter.
Keep it specific, sister. This one came to me while I was using my wicked crafting skills creative energy to put together my very first vision board. I firmly believe that having a physical picture of what you want in your life increases the chances of it becoming reality. For instance, instead of affixing a picture of, say, a wine bottle or grapes to my vision board, I affixed a picture of Napa Valley because that is a place I very much wish to visit with Hubs, asap. Seeing it every day will keep it fresh in my mind, which is good because, I am 50.
Keep it sincere, sister. Bottom line-I’m just going to be me. I will continue to write (and live) with my heart in the right place. Which happens to be on my sleeve.
Keep it succinct, stupid. Yes, I know this sounds super boring. But not nearly as boring as it would be for you, dear patient readers (or anyone I am conversing with in real life),for me to ramble on, stream-of-consciousness style, taking my sweet, pokey time in getting to the damn point. It’s the opposite of verbose. An adjective that has been used to describe me (and sometimes, unfortunately, my writing) which I truly abhore.
Keep it smart, sister. This is possibly the most challenging use of this acronym for me. Because all my life I’ve struggled with feeling that I’m just not that smart. Thankfully, the successes I’ve had in this life along with the people I love who love me back, have helped me to no longer be hyper-focused on it. Keeping it smart, sister, is important to my writing. I believe that if I’m going to put my opinion out there for the world to see, especially if it’s about current events, I need to know what I’m talking about. That’s why I spend time doing some research if I’m not fully confident that the opinion I’m preparing to put out there is based on facts.
Oops!! In the excitement of being nominated for the Liebster award, I, the spaz that you know now that I am, forgot that part of the deal was to pose questions for those bloggers that most inspire/entertain me. To nominate them as I have been by this lovely blogger (it matters not that I do not know their name at this point in time)
Like CJ from Feeding on Folly. The woman cracks me up every time I read her blog posts. And she’s totally down for drinking wine and munching on gourmet cheese and crackers with me. I think we kinda get each other.
So, I just got the shock of my life as a blogger. I was nominated by for a Liebster award! Wow! Someone in the blogosphere actually thinks I’m okay at this writing thing. Who’d-a-thunk-it? Certainly not me.
My nomination came from this talented and kind writer:
First question my curious mind requires an answer to is Who the heck is Liebster? Okay, stick with me here while I figure this out….
Okay, first thing I learn about Liebster is it’s a german word. Yay!! Though I have yet to confirm this through ancestry.com or other websites you send your spit to, I have it on good authority (good old mom and dad) that our ancestors hailed from Germany. So perfect, right? It’s a sign. I love signs!!
Liebster, translated into English is “dearest”, “favorite”, and “my love”. Oh, I’m gushing!
Alright, now what does the award part mean in “Liebster award”? According to my extensive research, bloggers are bestowed nominations for it when they are “up and coming” and have under 200 followers. Hey, I don’t think I’ve ever in my entire life been referred to as “Up and Coming”!! Makes me feel young again. Maybe I should print t-shirts. You know my artist kiddo does make and sell t-shirts. Hmmm…there’s a thought. And yes, I proudly have 25 followers, so I certainly qualify for this nomination based on that little factoid.
Okay, enough spazzing out (for now anyway).
This nomination does not come without strings. There are questions I am required to answer. Hopefully I’ll get them right because I like to win!! Especially if I get a trophy. I’ve never won one of those.
Question #1: Why do you write?
Because I have a lot of opinions and feelings and I feel a sense of satisfaction when I hit “publish”. And I don’t have any volunteers to hang with me all day and listen while I flap my gums about whatever happens to be on my mind.
Question #2: Is there anything in your life that fills the same need as writing?
Only thing that comes to mind is cleaning the house. But like, who in their right mind would spend hours upon hours cleaning their house every week? Not this broad, that’s for sure.
Question #3: Did you always want to write, or were you more like me and wanted to be the President of the lost city of Atlantis?
I always wanted to write. Always. Cannot recall a time in which this wasn’t something I wanted to do in my core of cores.
Question #4: What’s something you want to write about but haven’t yet for some reason?
I’d say it’s a toss about about that time I declined George Clooney’s offer of a night of Italian wine and unbridled passion and the time I won Survivor. Just kidding, peeps. Do you really think I’d turn down George?
Question #5: What is your favorite punctuation mark?
Without a doubt, the comma. The meaning of a sentence can vary wildly based on the placement of a simple comma. Example: Rhonda’s inspiration comes from her Hubs cooking neighborhood bunnies. See what I mean?
Question #6: What is something you cannot stand?
When I’m talking on the phone and someone is also talking at me in person at the same time. Or when I’m really into watching something on t.v. and Hubs is simultaneously telling me a story. It’s information overload for my brain and makes me feel crazed.
Question #7: What is something you can stand, but you’d really rather not deal with?
People who have the audacity to wear two different socks in public. It seems to be a trend, I swear! The only possible way I could imagine addressing this fashion atrocity would be to carry multiple matching pairs of socks in my purse at all times. But I do not wish to carry a purse larger than a bowling ball bag with me everywhere I go. So I’ll deal.
Question #8: If you could burn any single building to the ground what would it be?
Well, as long as no living beings are in said building, I’d say an abandoned, dilapidated old barn, far from any trees (need to be responsible and not cause a forest fire), and right next to a beautiful lake. All my friends would be there, sitting around in Zero Gravity camping loungers, drinking craft beer and roasting marshmallows while Jack Johnson strums his guitar sitting on a stool amidst the revelry.
Question #9: What is the last thing that made you laugh so hard you made a noise you’re ashamed of?
I think I made a few charming guffaws last week whilst watching the episode of Seinfeld where George is gifted a doll that looks exactly like his mother. And his fiance insists on keeping this doll in bed with them during a nookie nookie session. That Susan was a twisted woman. Good thing for George she died upon licking those cheap wedding invitation envelopes. He dodged a bullet there.
Question #10: What would it take for you to steal a car?
First off, I would require the tank be full. And it’d have to be a really cool, fast car like a Jaguar. I’d say that there would have to be an iron clad guarantee that I would not be caught, arrested, or prosecuted. But seriously, that would take all the fun out of it amiright? All kidding aside, I’d do it if it meant saving someone’s life. Or if the prize was a month long, all expenses paid trip for Hubs and I to visit Europe.
Question #11: If you had a spear, a potted plant, and an empty journal, what would you do to impress a date?
A pickle spear or a pineapple spear? I would enjoy either. I’d impress my date by sharing it with them. Since there is no mention of a writing utensil in this scenario, I’d rip up the journal and use it for confetti to celebrate the event. And then I would lead my date on a guided meditation on the potted plant.
I think it’s high time I bring out the pinata and play a game with my blogging posse (clearly I have yet to get the letter “P” out of my system). What do you say peeps?
It’s important to me that you understand that next to my sheer enjoyment of expressing myself through creative writing via this blog, I am finding the connections I’ve been making with my followers and other bloggers meaningful and inspiring. Plus, I’m positively pining to procure your perceptions. Clearly, Playful/Pubescent Polly is at the reins of this pinata pony now. Okay, time to proceed.
6 questions. Nothing too preposterous.
First, here’s a pic of my petunias (it’s entirely possible that I have ADHD, but that’s another post entirely. Someday. If I remember to pen it.)
1)If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
P: To be a butterfly with great hearing. A purple one, because most of the time that is my favorite color. So everyone who sees me thinks I’m all pretty and innocent. But what they don’t know is that I have supersonic hearing. And when I fly on back home I can turn back into myself and write down everything I heard (to later be used as fodder for my blog posts), because unlike the version of myself sans wings, I also have hyperthymesia.
P: For me, it’s dogs all the way! There is a reason people why the word “dog” is simply “God” spelled backwards. And just like God, dogs love all of us unconditionally. Cats are a whole other ball of twine from my perspective. They are a persnickety lot. Plus I’m allergic to them, or 88% of them anyway. On top of that, “Cat” spelled backwards is “tac” which is not even a word. Except for “Tic Tacs” which isn’t a real word either, just a minimally enjoyable mint.
3.) Would you rather see John Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen in concert?
P: Well I’d totally be thrilled to see both of them, as their songs contributed to the soundtrack of my pubescent years. But since I have to choose, I pick “The Boss”. For practical reasons primarily. Springsteen is the oldest of the two, thus statistically (don’t judge me, I’m not a mathematician for Pete’s sake) more likely to croke prior to Johnny Cougar. Time is of the essence here.
4) Who would play you in the movie or t.v. version of your life?
P: Mary Louise Parker or Winona Ryder. Keep your pessimistic opinions to yourselves please. A girl can dream right?
5) What’s your current platform?
P: I am on a path to my own personal new reality, transporting myself in a creative writing vehicle that doesn’t always follow the road signs.
6) Pick what you perceive as the perfect ingredient for the best dessert: Pineapples or Peanut Butter.
P: Totally depends on the day as I love them both. Pineapples are awesome because they look really cool and they are the official fruit of Hawaii, or so I presume. And I really want Hubs and I to go there someday. And they are healthy (I did mention I may have ADHD right?). Probably even a superfood. Peanut butter is awesome because of the texture, plus it is a good source of protein. So it’s a total toss up.
So here’s my plan: I’m going to rest on my laurels sipping a pina colada while beating my pretend pinata to death until it explodes with candy while you peruse this post and provide me with your perspectives. I’ll be as patient as I can be (which is not very).
Disclaimer!!! I have not been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder (yet anyway). However, my alter ego, Pollyanna, has a variety of personas. Such as Pubescent Pollyanna, who is currently penning this post. Pubescent Polly has perhaps been unleashed as a result of my current life circumstances. Many of my days this summer have been reminiscent of a time, long long ago, when my pubescent self was home alone, listening to pop music on my boombox and writing pathetically putrid poems, songs, and plays. The grown up me, however, posits that life experiences, whether painful, parental, pleasing, peculiar or a partnership of two or more of them, have unveiled a plethora of personas in which I inhabit. And all of these personas I’m discovering are propelled by Real Rhonda.
In addition to Pubescent Polly, there is:
Pokey Polly: She’s the one that takes 8 times longer to finish a meal than anyone else on the planet. Especially when eating pizza. Or Pie. Or Pineapples.
Peaceful Polly: She’s the one who just wants everyone to get along for Pete’s Sake! She strives to be mindful. She meditates daily. She protests peacefully for truth, justice, and human rights.
Passionate Pollyanna: She’s the one who is nuts about music. And food. Like peanut butter and pistachios. Peaches and pumpkin (though not together. She has no interest in being Pukey Polly). And she loves the color purple. And Hubs, her partner in life. And puppies.
Planner Pollyanna: This is the one who underneath it all, loves herself a party. Planning the party is a joy for her. She does her best to ponder who to invite, what they like to eat and drink, listen to and what games they might like to play.
Persnickety Polly: She’s kind of a snarky bitch. She’s hard to please and may come off to some as a perfectionist. She doesn’t do a lot of blog posts.
Playful Pollyanna: She’s the one in control now. She is perpetually in cahoots with Pubescent Pollyanna. She likes to goof off a lot. She has more fun than any of the other personas.
Persistent Polly-She is particularly important. She perseveres people! She doesn’t give up no matter what. Even if people don’t like her pitiful blog.
Pondering Pollyanna: This persona is pensive. Perhaps a bit deep. She pens posts about personal observations about life and possibilities.
Pitiful Polly: Despite her white privilege, she finds things to whine about anyway. She is not allowed to pen any posts on Pollyanna’s Path.
Pissy Polly-She is the political one. She only posts when something in the political arena truly, positively, pisses her off. And she has potential solutions to whatever the problem is that has her so perturbed.
People Pleasing Polly: She is present in the vast majority of posts on this blog. She prefers to hear positive commentary, but because she is able to partner with Peaceful Polly, she is very open to constructive criticism.
Then there are the personas of Pollyanna that no one will be reading because they suck, like Pretend Pollyanna, Preposterous Pollyanna, Petty Polly, Pretentious Pollyanna, Patronizing Pollyanna or Pessimistic Polly.
As Real Rhonda I hope in the future to present my precious followers with plenty of other personas, such as Progressive Polly, Promising Pollyanna, Proactive Polly, and Praiseful Pollyanna. Because Perfect Pollyanna doesn’t exist.