Age Is Only A Number

I recently celebrated an almost milestone birthday and someone recently asked me how it feels to be almost eighty.

Hummm…. I never really thought about it. Honestly. Age to me has always been just a number. It does not define me, nor does it have anything to do with how old or young at heart I feel. I certainly don’t feel old. Whatever wrinkles I have I have earned them by living.

There are those who might chime in that I’m only fooling myself. Not really. I know the year I was born, but I’ve lived my whole life on the premise that as long as I can put my feet on the floor at sunrise, I’m going to enjoy every minute of the day ahead. I’m going to tackle whatever monster comes my way and know that I have never been given anything that is too tough to beat. I will survive.

Sure. I have made bad decisions in my life, but I haven’t let that stop me from learning from them. Making lemonade out of lemons is part of the deal in this human life we are all living if we want to have a good journey.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018. All Rights reserved

La La La

The streets are relatively empty here in my neighborhood. Snowbirds have gone north and many of our permanent residents are traveling during the SoFi summer months to escape the heat. In all the years that I’ve been coming to South Beach this is the first summer I have ever spent here and I’ve discovered how it’s interesting that life changes with lightly traveled sidewalks that are usually filled with foot traffic and intercontinental languages filling the space around me. The once crowed outside café tables are vacant. Hungry souls are still here, but they are dining inside enjoying a temporary respite from the heat. 

Sofi and I take our walks a little earlier in the morning and on the way home sometimes stop at our favorite little café for a croissant and cappuccino. I usually fill my time waiting for my morning coffee scanning Facebook on my iPhone.

All of this reminded me this morning about an article I recently read about the psychological effect Facebook has on people. Looking at my Facebook’s posts by friends one would think that everyone has a perfectly happy life, busy doing things, enjoying experiences we wish we could have, and leading a la la life. 

The idea that everyone else is living a utopian life but not us, well, it’s kind of depressing, isn’t it? Thinking about this I clicked on my home page and reread some of my posts, and it’s really true. I am so guilty! It sounds as though I’m living a la la life. The image I’m projecting is that everything’s is la la every day. That is so not true, my friends. 

As we all know, real life is not la la all the time. The reality is that my life is just like yours – full of ups and downs. Arthur and I are getting older and we have lost most of our dear friends. It seems that we are always getting calls with news about the people who have been important strings to our past have gone. A piece of our souls are slowly being eaten away by time as months and years roll by.

Last year the one pill I take. Only one pill. It was changed by my new doctor and the new beta blocker put me into the hospital with AF (atrial fibrillation) for 56 hours and I had to be converted. Certainly not a Facebook event.

Then my oldest very active, young and healthy daughter was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, my middle child who devotes her life to helping humans and animals by no fault of her own, due to torrential rains and delayed contractors cutting her crop, lost an entire field of hay planted to feed the rescue horses that she has taken in and kept from certain death. Money out of her pocket down the drain and no way to replace it. 

https://www.gofundme.com/feedahorses

 All of these are just small hick ups in our family in the scheme of things, but this is real life. No one ever, ever has a Facebook life, believe me. Ever. 

Even if the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence believe me it’s not. There are weeds in there just because this is the way the real universe works. 

The challenge is to look for the small beautiful moments every day and focus on each sunrise and sunset as being a special gift. Don’t pass a small flowering tree without taking in its beauty. Don’t pass any stranger without a smile and nod. It just may be the emotional medicine they need at that moment.  
Never ever under estimate the value of positive thinking and how it radiates beyond us to others. And for heaven’s sake don’t believe everything you read on Facebook. As my son wrote twenty years ago, life is a Lemon Parade. La La is only a reality in music.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2016©. All Rights Reserved

Understanding Your Talents: Finding The Life You Want

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Photo credit Mary Cloutier Angel Trail

When I was a young girl I lived on a hill above the town. Usually I took the bus, but sometimes we walked downtown by a long trail of steps called Angel Trail. The trail was surrounded by hemlock and woods and was sometimes scary, but an easy way to get downtown. The hard part was going back home up those many steps through the woods. It took energy and determination knowing the climb was worth the goal-getting home quickly with the pleasure of bus change still in our pockets.

Through my life’s journey beyond those trips up and down Angel trail, I have found no matter how old you are, or at what point you are in your life and career, one of the hardest things is taking our talents and their worth up those difficult steps beyond the personal pleasure we get using them.

“She’s a square peg in a round hole.” Being creative sometimes, I think, is similar to being cursed with the tentacles of an octopus. Why? Because there are so many directions that we can go and in reality so few career outlets where we can fit and earn a decent living.

Understanding your talents to find the life that you want is sometimes very difficult, isn’t it?

Recently I’ve had several discussions with each of my very creative children about this. How can we grow creatively in alternative directions without neglecting our mainstream talent and know which creative companion path will be the best for us?

“I think she’s a control freak.” Believe it or not, I have always found that if I let go and I don’t try so hard to figure it out, the answer usually comes when I am most still and really not expecting it. When I quit worrying about right and wrong choices or directions. If I work mentally to create my own reality through positive thinking and if I am able to evaporate the self-induced stress caused by fear and doubt, I find I can hear more clearly my inner subconscious voice showing me the way. It has always been when I let go of trying to force my own agenda, that doors open to show me the answers in both my life and career.

“That’s a crazy idea!” Quit giving power to others over your life. Easy to say I know. This was and still is the hardest hurdle for me. Don’t be afraid of what ‘they’ think. I have always been most successful when I ignore those who say it is impossible. We all want to be winners and don’t want to be ridiculed by failure, but if we don’t risk how we ever going to be successful? In anything.

“She is the oldest one here!” I began a life in television in my late twenties because I took the chance of auditioning for a job for which I practically had no qualifications. I overcame my fear of rejection, took a risk, and got the job that began my career in television. It would turn out that brave audition allowed me to support my family years later as a widowed single mother.

“Is she kidding!” When I became fifty, I didn’t listen to the naysayers and began my film and theater career. At an age when most of my friends were getting ready to retire with cocktails in one hand and a golf club in the other, I was going against the mainstream of thought at that time for women in film-I was intent to embark on a new career. And succeeded.

“I think she is becoming a recluse.” When I was sixty I sat down in front of my word processor (remember those) and I wrote my first book, checking off another from my Bucket List and adding a fulfilling creative path down which I continue to merrily walk.

“You are extraordinary.” You within yourself have the ability to do this, too. We all have many layers that make up who we are. It’s just that we have to take a risk to find those layers within ourselves and not be afraid to develop them. I never wanted to be famous. I never wanted to do anything except be able to be creative in my own way. This is something that anybody can do. Doctor, lawyer, chef, engineer. It doesn’t matter. If you are willing to work for your dreams and willing to let go of the exact direction you think you have to walk to find that dream. Let your inner subconscious, sixth sense, show you the time and way.

“Start today”. If you drop the ‘fear of change’ mindset and create your own reality through belief in your dreams, letting go of the stress related to your present discontent, you can move forward and open another door. There is nothing wrong with taking those first baby steps, testing the waters, before you jump in with both feet. Take control of your life and you may be surprised how good it feels. You have something to say, a unique talent to bring. Don’t wait. A fulfilling life awaits when you utilize all of these tools to find the life that you want now. Find your silver lining, your sense of purpose and self.

Personally, for me, the worst nightmare at my end would be to say ‘I wish I had done that.’

Sandra Hart Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

IMG_0261.PNGGarner Ray Flener Angel Trail