Tuesday, June 09, 2020

The Assertive Gene

having or showing a confident and forceful personality

I'm mulling over why so many of us women have trouble being assertive after an online discussion on the topic this morning.  But I can see why, after reading this definition.  It's intimidating.  And a bit unnerving.  I really like the "confident" part.  I think all of us would like to be confident in our choices and our lives, but "forceful"?  

Yeah, no.  

I'd rather be subtle, tactful and pragmatic, peacemaker that I am. I would like to be a force to be reckoned with though.

I do have some maxims that I try to live up to: 
  • Ask for what you want. Because people aren't mind readers and you have nothing to lose by asking.
  • Don't get mad, get even (aka win, not whine). I can either internalize the negativity and selfishness that life seems to be dealing out now or I can donate to my local food bank, support my PBS and NPR stations and volunteer for a candidate--and feel my heart expand instead.
  • Catch them with sugar not vinegar. I'm happy to be polite and listen in the hopes to learn about how you think and then exchange ideas and facts. 
  • Don't overthink it. Tact is good, but sometimes just saying right out loud what you know to be true and right is powerful and righteous.
I am beyond fortunate that my grandma and my mom showed me how to be a strong and confident woman in the time before feminism was even a word.  My grandmother was a risk-taker who immigrated alone, with no English, when she was just a teenager, right after WWI.  She took on the state who asserted eminent domain and won.  My mom always drove equally with my dad on trips and worked outside the home when most women did not.  She was a full contributing partner, not a passive sidekick.  

I'm more tactful than either of them.  But I have opinions and thoughts and can be as stubborn as a limpet in a tidepool. 

I may not know if my self-confidence is environmental or genetic, but I'm grateful that it's the rich soil my personality is rooted in.

Especially now since speaking out against injustice and racism and inequality is important. It's not a time to be quiet. It's time to shout out in support of justice, of brotherhood, of equality.  Although I thought these ideals were self-evident, I've woken up to find that not everybody believes that same. It's time to listen, to exercise empathy, to share experiences and the wisdom the years have taught us. 

Be assertive. Be a force for good.

Thanks for hanging in there and listening. 


Sunday, June 07, 2020

Guideposts #116

There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.

~Leonard Cohen

Sunday, May 24, 2020

My Sunday Guidepost #115

Caring for others creates the spirit of a nation.

~Pat Nixon

Friday, May 22, 2020

Party Time in the Garden

Yeah, it's that time of year when the peony buds become huge explosions of color and scent overnight. Festiva Maxima is a glorious white with unpredictable red color breaks. This year the breaks are minimal. No complaints!

This peony holds a special place in my heart.  She came from a wonderful neighbor who loved gardening as much as I do. It sprouted out in her front yard, much to everyone's surprise, after she removed the overgrown junipers. It's officially Festiva Maxima, but I always think of it as Joan Winkel. I wish she still lived two houses up so we could share our enthusiasm. 

And it's my most rambunctious and reliable peony.  I think it knows how much I love it!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Iris is the Goddess of the Rainbow

Every day brings another old friend into the garden.  Like my very favorite bearded iris--Batik. (Shhh, don't tell the other iris.)
I admit that I like the floral showoffs. If I'm going to expend time and effort, then I might as well know the rewards are well worth it!

The buds on the peonies are getting bigger and showing color so I think they'll burst out if we get even a tiny bit of warm weather or sunshine.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Snip snip snip

The coronavirus has us all living life differently.  During this quarantine, I did something I've never done before. I cut my mom's hair. 

I'll pause for a sec while you contemplate the possible outcomes.

Yeah, everything from "what a great job" to "uh-oh".

I trim my bangs and ends when they get too rambunctious.  I am the designated barber for my guys.  Even the dog lets me cut her snowshoe toes, back skirt and ear mats. 

But I've never attempted anything that a decent hairdresser could probably do in their sleep.  Not that you'd want them to.

Her hair (my mom's, not the dog's) is shorter.  It seems to be even side to side. There are no obvious holes or chunks. She says it feels much better.  I noticed she didn't tip me though.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Bright Spots In My Day

Things that are making me smile today:
  • Lilac buds outside my window.
  • Dirt under my fingernails.  (Even if a brick and my fingernail had a disagreement.)
  • Temps in the 60s.
  • A rapidly-disappearing list of Spring garden chores.
  • Sunshine beaming into the bedroom.
  • Fresh compost for the roses and peonies.
  • Green grass.
  • Photos of my grand-niece in the dog crate when I was babysitting her three years ago.
  • Winsor & Newton paints and Canson Watercolor paper.
  • Giraffe spots.
  • Pepperjack cheese, Dave's Killer Bread and pickles.
  • Cookie dough.
  • My gorgeous, sexy husband.
  • Making a list of forty-five things I love about him. (Guess which anniversary is coming up?)
  • The Sultans of Swing sung by a Frenchman.
  • Putting flower shams on sofa cushions.
  • Storing the fall/winter area rug.
What small pleasures are making your day beautiful while you are practicing Social Distancing?