Jump In With Both Feet


Image by Owen Buggy

Richard Branson, CEO AND FOUNDER of Virgin Group recently posted in a blog: 
“Dreaming is one of humanity’s greatest gifts. It champions aspiration, spurs innovation, leads to change and propels us forward. In a world without dreams, there would be no adventure, no moon landing, no female CEOs, no civil rights. What a half-lived and tragic existence we would have. We should all dream big, and encourage others to do so, too.”

This perspective has been my mantra since I was a teen creating a ‘dream-memory’ board in my bedroom tacking up pictures of things I wanted to happen in my life. Even then I realized that these life events would not just appear like magic. I knew I would have to work hard toward my goals, but those pictures gave me a structure to my dreams and gave me focus. 

My life has had some valleys that I didn’t ask for, side roads that were big detours and extra high mountains I was forced to climb, but those major dreams I had as a teen in her bedroom, mostly came true in varying degrees.   

I have always encouraged my children to follow their dreams, think out of the box and when everyone tells you it can’t be done – prove them wrong by swimming against the tide and DO IT! 

Those are the dreams that come true! When no one believes in your ideas, you believe in yourself and have the last laugh through your success. Nothing stops one’s dreams in their tracks like the power of fear and needing outside approval. If you don’t really believe in your dreams, they will evaporate in all the hot air around you.

 My having lived almost eight decades, I can assure you that if you still have unrequited dreams, it is never too late to make them come true. Jump in will both feet and make them happen. The last laugh will be yours and the naysayers will be left with, “Gee, I should have done that!” Too bad. Their loss. You beat them to it!

Copyright©Sandra Hart 2017

All Rights Reserved.

Elizabeth’s Story

Each encounter we have in our lives creates the fabric from which we are made. 

Copyright©Sandra Hart

All Rights reserved

It’s Never Too Late

It is never too late to follow your dreams no matter how old you are. We all have different chapters in our lives, going to school, choosing a career, earning a living, raising a family and finally planning and enjoying your retirement years. Maybe life’s early realities pushed your dreams aside, but there is no reason you can’t pick up those dreams now and make them happen. Where there is a will, there is a way. Learn to play an instrument, go back to school. If you want it badly enough, you can make it happen. If I can do it, so can you!

The Burden Of Strength

Today while I was in my car waiting for the light to change, I saw a young woman struggling carrying an enamel bed headboard under one arm and the footboard under the other, sometimes switching it to her shoulders as she walked along the street. Just watching her struggle just for those few minutes moved me and made me think about how hard a woman’s life sometimes can be. When we find ourselves alone, women most often find solutions and we persevere no matter how hard the challenge, or stress on our lives and bodies. 

I remember my grandmother who while raising her 10 children on a daily basis cooked for her entire family as well as the farmhands. As if that wasn’t enough, she made all of the clothes for her children, fed the chickens, planted and tended the vegetable garden, and gathered fresh eggs for morning breakfast. 

She baked and cooked everything from scratch in her kitchen on a coal stove that she had to keep fired.

 She used to scrub the wash on a washboard, stirred a hot cauldron of soapy water to get them clean and ironed the clothes with a heavy sad iron. She needed at least two irons on the go together for an effective system: one in use, and one re-heating. I remember the sound of the sizzle when she sprinkled a few drops of water on it to see if it was hot enough. 

Through it all, my dear grandmother managed to have a smile on her face all day long. No wonder she and many other women of her era died in their fifties and sixties. 

 For too long we woman have a hard time sometimes saying ‘no’ to what is believed to be ‘our jobs’ as over- worked-solution-solving caretakers.  

 Now I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. Our families benefit from who we innately are and can do. I have to be honest with myself, although I am two generations away from my grandmother, I am guilty as charged and I’m not too sure I can ever change. It’s become too much a part of my DNA. 

How about you? Does the shoe fit? 

Copyright©Sandra Hart.    All Rights Reserved

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I Had A Dream

I had a dream that I awoke to a world of rationality, patriotism, non-partisan peace among men and charity to those who mean no harm. Love, hope for the future and for those willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard the opportunities were there.  The churches and synagogues were an integral part of  jointly helping their rebounding communities ….and I felt safe. Malice, greed and hatred were words unfamiliar to us.  The year was 1947 and I was 8 years old.  

This morning I opened my eyes and the forward flight of  seventy years brought me back to reality that has no dream attached to it, but all the realities of our 2017 collective nightmares.  How did this happen?

I have lived through 14 presidential elections, my family’s preferred candidate not always getting elected, but my parents were patriots who lived through the depression and respected our Constitution and the democratic process.  With hate and malice toward none, they placed patriotism and love of country before politics. I am grateful for their strength that has allowed me to move forward in my life, sharing their same values.

My father always cautioned me that if I couldn’t say something nice, keep it to myself.   “There are other ways to give positive reenfircement than hurting someone with negative speech or actions,” he would say.  “Think before you speak. Always give someone the benefit of doubt and a chance,” he advised. “Do as your faith guides you, not as ‘they’ do.”

Well, it is evident everywhere I turn, all of this sage elder advice from my father years ago has evaporated in today’s divided political and hateful rethoric. 

 With  fake news running rampant on the internet and passed around greedily like Krispy Kremes, everyone salivating to get  their ‘two cents’ in to see who can be the most hatefully  divisive, politicians holding up the democratic process because they angrily feel like it, Facebook ‘likes’ attached to vile negative posts, it seems we are doomed to perpetual division. 

Where oh where has my country gone? Is everyone drinking denial Kool Aid? Hey folks, if you know civics, we have a new democratically elected president.  The electoral college has spoken. I understand, reality bites for some, but acceptance and support of our Constitution is part of the privilege of living in this great country.

 

I am off Facebook and only sharing my blogs. I have turned off the television and instead I am reading more and working at my own craft and thank God everyday for the beautiful  adoptive children in my extended family life who wouldn’t be here today if their birth mothers had had an abortion. 

 I am boycotting my once respected union peers out in Hollywood. I want to see them ply their craft and I care not a twit their stance on politics. Whether folks agree or not with you, fellow actors,  award events are not the platforms to share your political rage. Just because you can, doesn’t make it right, or even interesting.  

So, I don’t know how long my withdrawal from the political insanity will be, but  with malice toward none I am giving the new president a chance to keep us safe, improve the economy, and move us forward. If he doesn’t, then, lucky me, democracy will allow a change. 


In the meantime, for someone,  do or say something kind today, will you? One small step for mankind may collectively save all of us in the end.

Artwork by Norman Rockwell

Copyright©Sandra Hart 2017.      All  Rights Reserved

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I’ll Think About It Tomorrow


Everyone had a great time. After 14 days of family celebration at sea and a few extra on land we’re finally back home. My bags and body sat for a few days in New York trying to get rid of the London fog in the center of my chest. A bonus I brought home from England. (As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.) 

Sunday I gave up. On Christmas Day, I ‘snowbirded’ south. I quit trying to accept the chill and finally gave in to the call of South Beach and the end of gloomy and cold weather. Somehow being sick in warm weather eases the pain of being under it. Unless you have a dog. 

Having a dog. You have to always pretend you’re well. You can never be sick. Look sick. Feel sick. Succumb to even the thought of being unwell. Dogs have to be fed and walked no matter how much more comfortable the couch is. Twice a day, I slip on flip flops, bypass the pile of unopened mail on the floor and shuffle out of the house with wads of Kleenex to stifle my coughs, counting my steps until I can lie down again, hoping I don’t run into anyone in the elevator.   

So here I sit, lie, cough, my luggage still sitting like two heavy bouncers by the door. Maybe today I’ll get them upstairs. Unpacking is another story. When all my clean underwear is gone? Sounds like a plan. 

Copyright Sandra Hart 2016©. All Rights Reserved

 

Who Are You, Really?

I recently have started vlogging in conjunction with my weekly blog here on WordPress. Easy for you, you might think. With all of my television background and time spent in front of the camera it should be natural. Yes? No. 

For me, it has been an extreme learning curve. 
Previously, I have been in front of the camera as an interviewer or newscaster. On television and film, I have always assumed my character and perhaps only small parts within that make believe I have found myself. All of this technique and experience is so much different than being just old me. Even on Romper Room I was a teacher and not really myself. 

Time and again I have heard famous actors reveal how shy they really are, or how difficult it is for them to expose themselves as ‘real persons’. I kind of understood them, but now I really know what they mean. It takes a lot of ‘unlearning’ to expose the ‘real me’ in my vlogging efforts.  

All of this brings me to wondering if any of us even in our sixties and beyond know who we really are. Are we defined by our careers, our race or sex, beliefs, age, our talents or our roles as parents, breadwinners, or whatever face or hat we put on in front of the mirror? Is that a reflection of what others see in us as to who we are?

These past few election weeks have been a real eye opener to me. A few Facebook friends that I thought I knew have shown such an ugly side of who they really are that they have shattered the mirror. I have been quite taken back at times. Hiding within the darkness of social media has enabled the worst in some people. Do they honestly see themselves and realize what image they are projecting?  Do they know who they really are?

Previously, I always had confidence in knowing who I am, but vlogging has made me aware that maybe, after all these years I’m not so sure yet.    

I do hope that some of you are further along with that than I am and are willing to help me along my way. Or maybe it is as Shakespeare has said, 

So I am off on this new adventure and learning vlog by vlog. One advantage of talking to myself in front of the camera in an empty room is that at least I know somebody’s listening.

Copyright©Sandra Hart 2016. All Rights Reserved.