Saturday, August 31, 2019

Front porches

"The road to a dear friend's house is never long." 
~Danish proverb

Claire's front porch / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Funny Friday: Classy conversation

"The art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." ~Lady Dorothy Fanny Nevill


Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Observing

“I believe that my job is to observe people and the world, and not to judge them. I always hope to position myself away from so-called conclusions. I would like to leave everything wide open to all the possibilities in the world.” ~Haruki Murakami


"Taking notes" / Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

High expectations

"As a rule, we find what we expect to find, and we often receive what we ask for." ~Elbert Hubbard


Brys Estate Secret Garden / Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Trusting your intuition

"Listen to the wind, it talks. 
Listen to the silence, it speaks. 
Listen to your heart, it knows." 
~Native American proverb

Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, August 26, 2019

Reciprocation

"If you are good to people, they will reciprocate with good behavior." 
~Divyanka Tripathi


A message left in stone / Cindy La Ferle 

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Friday, August 23, 2019

Funny Friday: Procrastination

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” ~attributed to Mark Twain

Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Personal mythology writing workshop

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”  
~Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Cindy La Ferle

Registration is now open for "Freeing Your Personal Mythology," the first of my Fall 2019 writing workshops at the Royal Oak Public Library. 

Details: Cultural traditions, religious upbringing, ethnic heritage, past experience, and family archaeology are all part of your life story. In this class, we'll explore how these influences shape your goals and dreams -- as well as your view of the world. Whether you’re starting a memoir or sketching a character for your novel, you'll leave the workshop with fresh inspiration and new tools for self discovery. Please phone or visit the ROPL (248-246-3700) to register; space is limited. No writing experience is necessary, and the workshop is free to the public.

Save the date: Sept. 25, 7pm
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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Validation

"The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when a friend asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer." ~Henry David Thoreau


Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Letting go

"Letting go is not giving up. It’s about surrendering any obsessive attachments to specific people, outcomes, and situations. It means showing up every day in your life with the intention to be your best self, without expecting life to go a certain way. Detach from what you think every aspect of your life must look like in order to be 'good enough' for you." ~Marc and Angel Chernoff


Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Making the journey

“The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn't matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.” ~Barbara Hall

Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Treating yourself

"Treat yourself as you would a good friend." 
~Kristin Neff

Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Funny Friday: The secret to success

"I always wished to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific." ~Lily Tomlin 


Fortune teller at Legs Inn, Cross Village / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Ideals

“It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” ~Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl


Garden at LeBear / Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Public relations advice

"People will forget what you said; people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel." ~ Maya Angelou


Sunset on Silver Beach, St. Joseph / Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Star-gazing on summer nights

"Let your soul stand cool and composed 
before a million universes." 
~Walt Whitman

Patio lights / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Sincere apologies

"Never ruin an apology with an excuse." 
~Benjamin Franklin


"Peace offering" / Cindy La Ferle

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Friday, August 9, 2019

Funny Friday: Getting Real

"Someone asked me today to be real, and I said, 'Do you want me to be real my way, or the way you think real should look?' And I guess that was a bit too real for that particular conversation." ~Brian Andreas, Impossible to Know


"Too cool for school" / Cindy La Ferle

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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Remembering kindness

"No act of kindness is ever wasted. Thank you." 
~Aesop

Birthday shopping in Saugatuck / Cindy La Ferle

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A new attitude

"Every day brings a choice: 
To practice stress or to practice peace." 
~Joan Borysenko

"Good morning" / Cindy La Ferle

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Desperately seeking peace

“All violence is the result of people tricking themselves into believing that their pain and problems are caused by other people, and that consequently those people deserve to be punished.”  ~Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life


"Storm Damage" / Cindy La Ferle

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Monday, August 5, 2019

Other viewpoints

"You never really understand a person until you 
consider things from his point of view." 
~Harper Lee

Cotswold Cottage at Greenfield Village / Cindy La Ferle

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Saturday, August 3, 2019

Weekend column: Random thoughts on turning sixty-five

"The great thing about getting older is that you get a chance to tell the people in your life who matter what they mean to you." ~Mike Love


Vintage / Cindy La Ferle

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I knew I'd crossed the threshold separating middle age from seniority when sales clerks and the kids selling movie tickets started giving me senior discounts without asking if I qualified. And I knew I'd lost my bloom when groups of millennials on the sidewalk refused to step aside to give me room to pass, elbowing me to the curb as if I were invisible. (Sadly, this happens all the time, no matter where I travel.)

Turning 65 tomorrow, I've been thinking a lot about growing older and feeling invisible. I've dreaded this birthday for a while, given that both my beloved father and my only uncle died at 65. (Is it a family curse?) While I've practiced preventative healthcare, I've faced a couple of my own setbacks in recent years -- enough to underscore the fact that longevity cannot be taken for granted. No matter how durable we think we are, everyone has an expiration date. 

You can do all the right things, of course, but age still catches up. You can hire the best skincare experts, stick to a healthy plant-based diet, and spend 75% of your waking hours working out. You can try to dress the part of a 30-year-old actor. But one fine day you'll look in the mirror and catch an old person looking back at you. Just like that. 

Age is a police officer, and he's always on your tail.

I'm thinking of the time the sheriff of Kalkaska pulled me over for speeding when I was en route to northern Michigan, about three years ago. I reminded the sheriff that the last time I got a traffic ticket was back in high school, when I turned right on a red light -- not long before it became legal to do so. I had a perfect record, I insisted. Why spoil that stellar record with a speeding ticket?

The sheriff (a senior himself) nodded and smiled, but it was clear I wasn't going to talk him out of anything. As he started writing my first speeding ticket, he said, "Well, you've had a good run."

So, this weekend I'm reminding myself that, yes indeed, I've had a good run. I'm grateful for the privilege of being alive and for all the exceptional opportunities I've had. If my remaining years were cut short now, I'd have to admit I haven't been cheated. 

Yet I don't want it to end too soon.

At the same time, I don't want to live in denial. I don't want to wage a desperate battle against seniority -- as if it were a disease to cure or correct with dermal fillers and a health club membership. I refuse to be ashamed of my age, even though so much of American culture conspires to make me feel otherwise.

I want to find enjoyable methods for building the stamina I'll need as I face more challenges in the future. (Weight lifting holds no appeal to me.) I want to keep lifting the quality of my life by populating it with people and activities that bring depth, joy, and pleasure to my remaining years. And I want to continue finding meaningful work that makes me feel inspired, useful, and creative.

A smart friend tells me she has a ritual for landmark birthdays like this one. After a quiet morning of reflection, she makes a list of things she wishes she could tell her younger self. It's a terrific idea, and if I could go back in time to counsel a much younger me, here's just a sampling of what I'd tell her:

* If you put up with bullshit, you'll get more bullshit. This applies to just about every aspect of living.

* Don't save the good stuff for later. That includes good china, good clothes, the good bottle of wine, and good experiences. Every day you're on the planet is worth the fuss.

* Trust is the most important part of any key relationship -- whether it's a close friendship or a romantic partnership. Look for people you can trust with your secrets. Look for honest souls with whom you can share your true opinions, confide your mistakes, and reveal your tender heart. Treasure the ones who support your big dreams and appreciate your authentic, imperfect self. Don't waste time playing games or playing small.

* Life without a dog is only half lived: Don't wait too long to bring canine love into your home. When human beings disappoint you, your devoted dog will soften your cynical heart. Having been a cat person most of my adult life, I didn't know what I was missing until I rescued a dog who needed me. I wish I had done this sooner.

* Your mother was right: Quality is better than quantity. The adage applies to friends on social media; the clothing in your closet; the stuff you collect; words on paper; and anything you put on your plate. 

* Don't assume anything about any topic unless you know its history. Always do your research, check your facts, and scrutinize your sources. Then graciously accept the possibility that you still might be wrong.

* Not everyone is going to like you, and not everyone will understand what you're trying to say or do. This isn't necessarily a problem. It means you stand for something. It means you've grown a spine. 

* Try something new at least once a week ... a different route home, a restaurant you haven't tried, a book you wouldn't ordinarily read. Life is more fun if you can avoid habits and ruts.

* Be polite, even when you'd like to tell someone to shove it where the sun doesn't shine. In a rude world that grows darker and more violent by the minute, your good manners will light the way and set you apart. Find opportunities to be kind.

* Tell people how much they mean to you, or thank them for something they've done for you. Now. That includes teachers, parents, mentors, doctors, bosses, friends, family members, or anyone else who's enriched or changed your life in some way. One day your folks (and many other people you adore) will be gone and it will be too late to express your love and gratitude. Don't wait for a special occasion. Today is a special occasion.   ~Cindy La Ferle