Tag Archives: Oprah

A New Day

I don’t want to “go back to the way things were.” 2020 was pretty damn good to me. I watched images on TV and cried, I was often heartsick with all that happened, and I felt stressed and worried at times – decidedly anxious – but my reality was not bad at all. I had work, food (enough to put on a few pandemic pounds😐), and a secure roof over my head. I don’t have children I had to keep occupied or educated. I’m not ill-suited to staying home or away from other people. Moreover, I did everything Saint Doctor Fauci said to do and did not contract the virus. (Because I never was anywhere to catch them I didn’t get a single cold or come down with the flu either.)

2020, for me personally, was the best year I’d had in five years, years in which there was a problematic situation in my life, not of my making, which had deep negative effects on me. Think of it like this. Imagine – and this is not my story – that just prior to the pandemic you’d had a terrible illness that was cured or went into remission. Or maybe your child or partner – again not my situation – was an addict but got their act together just before 2020 and was no longer abusing any substances. Or perhaps – really not my story – you’d been in prison and were released before last year. In any of these imagined scenarios, independent of anything else and assuming you didn’t get a bad case of the virus, 2020 would be looking pretty $%&@# good, no? It did to me. It did to me.

I don’t know that I’m out of the woods – my problem could definitely be reinstated as it’s fully beyond my control – but I can not tell you how very fine 2020 was in its absence. In this blog I called last year a “cake walk” for me compared to the preceding ones. Seriously, I’d take five 2020s, only in the sense of my own small existence and in NO WAY minimizing all the horrible things that have happened to other people, over one of the previous five years. Maybe I’d take ten of ’em, not sure. I’ve said this for years and don’t know if I ever said it in the blog but I maintain that sometimes you don’t fully see how bad things were or how you felt in its whole until things get better. I think that about grief for instance, or any kind of downtrodden period. Only when they lift (assuming they do) can you see how bad or oppressive it was.

People talk about having a word for 2021. If I’ve got one and to the extent it remains within my control, my word is freedom. Of course the cynic in me feels obligated to note that it could all go to shit but barring that…

I did read 30 books in 2020 per my “resolutions”. I’m recently drawn back to “spiritual” (which is not religious) or life-affirming works of a sort I haven’t read in awhile. Thanks to a mention last year in Ally Bean’s lively blog I read Glennon Doyle’s Untamed. Before my local library shut down for many months in early 2020 I happened to see and check out Oprah Winfrey’s The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose. This is a beautiful book, literally and figuratively, and one that should have general appeal to a certain kind of person, whether or not they respond particularly to Oprah herself (as I do). I would suggest it to anyone interested in living their life in a full and meaningful-to-you way. It’s made up of bits of prose by Oprah and quotations from over 60 people she esteems. Once the library reopened and I’d returned my copy I checked out the “Playaway” audio version so I could hear the various people in their own voices which really added to it.

In a mini free library I picked up Tosha Silver’s Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead, which, once I got around to looking at it, truly resonated with me. It’s probably a bit “out there” for a lot of people (although not so out there to preclude Dr Christiane Northrup from writing the intro), but I think Ms Silver presents a vibrantly different way of looking at life and its possibilities. She’s smart and fun too, no dry, boring monologues here. Her universe is a generous one, where you get what you need, which isn’t the same as having all your wishes filled. She counters the western notion of grasping, clinging, struggling and fighting for everything with one of relaxing into a belief that the universe/divine order will provide what is needed if allowed. What I think? There’s no harm in considering Silver’s ideas especially if traditional western thinking doesn’t truly suit you.

To take a sharp turn in another direction, I’ll end by saying my creativity is charging along, strong as ever. For most of 2020 I let a pair of earrings bide their time in my Amazon cart; I told myself not to buy them because I figured I could probably make a similar pair with what I have onhand. I did buy a packet of ready-made hoops, an indulgence by my standards. Late 2020 I got to it and made them.

I’m already thinking summer. I love wearing jewelry but my necklaces don’t get much play. My winter tops – mostly zip-ups and fleece – aren’t really necklace-friendly and about six months of the year, maybe more, I’m swimming in sunscreen and have never wanted to get my necklaces greasy (not sure how’d you’d even get sunscreen off of them successfully). I have an idea to wear chokers in summer, thinking they won’t get as close to the sunscreen terrain.😊 Anyway, I made this one today. It goes with my current mood/frame of mind, in a good way.

No more “House arrest” in the living room

I’m pretty happy with the things I’ve done with my living room, which I’ve shown from time to time on the blog.  Inspiration hit again recently, partly from a memory from a number of years ago when Nate Berkus, the charming interior decorator, spoke on Oprah about people’s tendency to place their furniture under “house arrest” – it was all “up against the wall.” I looked around and stood accused; the furniture tended to cling to the walls but given the fairly small space, I wasn’t sure how to fix it.

I have longed to have seating which faced the window, especially for winter (if you can’t BE outside, it helps to at least be able to look). Here’s my solution: pulling the couch away from the wall and angling it and the 5×8 rug in the space. The couch now faces neither the TV nor the window straight-on but each at an angle, but not so much of one or the other that your neck will complain. And there’s still plenty of room to walk around.

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The couch is very deep and I thought it didn’t look good – big wall-o-couch – till I put the plant and small table at the end, which soften the appearance.

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I made other small switchups. I put the white IKEA chair cover back in my bedroom and brought the flowered one to the living room (restoring each to the chair they came with). I pulled the blue lamp with the old-fashioned pull chain at the base out of storage. I had thought the baby blue co!or wouldn’t work before, given my general color scheme, but for now it’s okay and picks up blue in the chair cover. (I have since made a larger wood off-white top to put under the lamp so there’s a place to set drinks. When I put a drink on the coffee table I am at risk of kicking it off as I did once this summer, breaking a clear glass and sending my beverage flying, oops).

I have previously shown a high, narrow shelf I put up, one with pretty white lights strung from it. The lights are on a timer, 6:30-10:30pm. Well, last winter I got the bright idea to hang them in front of the window, despite knowing they acted up when moved. When I went to put them back on my high shelf for summer they promptly died and all the shaking and  “rearranging” in the world wasn’t bringing them back. I was kicking myself – I loved them on the shelf. Why hadn’t I left them alone? However, in  mid-summer I went to a local church rummage sale, the same annual one where I’d initially found the lights, and damned if I didn’t find another set. Yay! In addition to re-hanging my beautiful lights, I painted the unfinished wood white. Aaahhh, happy.

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