Sun Lakes Writers’ Group

We Can Always Just Reboot

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Have you ever had one of those days when just everything you tried didn’t work? Nothing was going to go right no matter how hard you tried, or what you did. It was just all going to spit. Even what you said came out wrong, or was misunderstood by the people you talked to. Things were so bad, you couldn’t even find a hole to crawl into and hide. Even when you tried collecting your thoughts and rebooting your day, even then you couldn’t get yourself to understand what you were trying to say. Now, that’s a bad day.

We have all had them. We have all been there, and maybe you are there right now. Well, cheer up, chins up, and have heart. Help is on the way. Today is National Have a Good Day day. Yes sir, today, no one has a bad day. Today everything will go right for you, and all of what you say will be clearly understood, and all of what you do will fall into place and have the outcome you expect. That’s a good thing, right? Let’s think about that for a minute.

Everything you say will be understood. That’s like saying everything you say today will be the truth. “Does this dress make me look fat?” That’s a classic example of a loaded question. Answer it honestly and you may not be having such a good day for a very long time. So, if everything you say today is going to be clearly understood, you might want to really think about what you are going to say before you say it. Sometimes, not being so understood could be a good thing. Is that clear? For some of us who do not always thoroughly work out what we are going to say, and just blurt it out, we have seen, and possibly have regretted the consequences. Do you recognize the saying, “You can’t unsay what you have said,” or “You can’t unhear what you have heard”? At least if you are unclear in what you are saying, you have a chance to explain what you mean without someone getting really upset. However, there’s no explaining away a very clear wrong thing to say. Muddy waters can definitely be a safe haven at times, and that can make for a good day.

On this most auspicious day, National Have a Good Day day, whatever you endeavor to do will have the outcome that you expect. So, you then need to ask yourself before you do something, what is it you want to happen as a result of you doing it? Then ask, if I do this, whatever this is, will it give me a reward, or will it give me exactly what I would expect will happen?

Most of the time, before we do something, we can see what it will lead to. Then, the question is, do we disregard our intuition, and do it anyway? If it is the right thing to do, the only thing to do, we should probably do it. If we can think of any other way to do it, and get a different, even better result, then we should be smart and go that way. Make sense? Now, is that what you do? Be honest, you never know who is listening.

Some of us have no choice, but to jump in head first most of the time, without testing the water first. Planning is not something we do. It’s not something we can do, and it’s not something we should do. The idea of making a plan can get complicated for some of us. For us, it’s easier to just make it up as we go. Our day sort of just unfolds and we go with it. We see the day as something unpredictable and full of surprises. Not exactly a recommended way to go through the day, but one that works for us, and at times can be pretty exciting. For us, without a plan usually means that we have a relatively good day, every day. If we don’t plan on something, it can’t really go wrong because it didn’t have a direction in the first place. If we are misunderstood, that’s not our fault, it’s that people just can’t keep up with us because they’re too busy making plans for their day. If things don’t come out as we expect, we change either the way we are doing them, or rethink our expectations. Then, at the end of the day, we see that all is good and right with the world, sort of. Well enough anyway, to go to bed, get a good night sleep, and start over in the morning. The only plan we have is a fresh cup of coffee, and a reboot for the next day.

So, we who do not plan things out, say a very heartfelt and grateful thank you to those of you who do. It makes our days seem to be that much better. We always have a good day, comparatively anyway.

Useless Glittery Mess!

Barbara Schwartz

Yvonne had just turned 40 and was in a very poor mood. Her hair was beginning to gray, she was 30 pounds overweight and she really felt useless. Her husband, while trying to be supportive, was really no help at all and she had to turn to other things to make her feel better.

For her graying hair, she tried a “temporary” hair dye. It was supposed to be a wash in, wash out type of dye, but she didn’t read the fine print well enough to realize that it was only a wash in dye: She would have to let it grow out and it would take about six weeks for that to happen. But she washed it in one day and was so disappointed with the results. Her hair was naturally black so she bought black hair dye. No one mentioned to her that she should have purchased a lighter shade than her actual hair color. So, the black dye went on. After it was dried and sort of styled, Yvonne realized her mistake and when she looked in the mirror, all she saw was a large thing somewhat resembling a charcoal briquet sitting on top of her head. Since she hadn’t realized that it wouldn’t wash out yet, she wasn’t too worried and figured that it would last until the end of the week. When it didn’t wash out, she read the back of the box and was horrified to find that she would have to live with the briquet on her head for at least a month. She went to the hairdresser every two weeks to have the hair cut and tried to hide the growing out roots. None of this increased her mood level.

For the overweight issue, she joined Weight Watchers. The first week, she followed the plan to the letter and lost five pounds. She faithfully followed the plan and lost 35 pounds in six months. She felt GREAT!! She actually quit her job and went to work for Weight Watchers. As an employee, she was compelled to keep the weight down and that was quite the incentive for her. Her mood was so highly elevated; her best friends were amazed as was her husband (who had become super supportive all this time!). She no longer felt useless and was FINALLY a happy person.

After working there her first year, the company had a regional conference held at the nearby Hilton hotel conference room. The conference had a “magic” theme. It was called the “Magic of Weight Loss” and part of the entertainment was a magician doing his thing (rabbits out of hats, birds being pulled from pockets, you get the idea!). There were bags of metallic glitter on every table and all 150 people were told to reach in and toss the glitter at specific times during the magic show. Talk about a colossal mess!! There was metallic glitter in Yvonne’s hair, all over her clothing, inside and out, and all the participants at the conference had been walking through the glitter and it was now trailed all over the hotel conference room, the restrooms, and the lobby. In the lobby, the maintenance crew was frantically vacuuming and getting madder by the minute since the vacuums were having one heck of a time picking up the glittery metallic pieces. The hotel management asked all of the conference people to please stay in the conference room until the conference was over and then to please go outside through one specific door so they wouldn’t have to fight the vacuums too much.

Yvonne and her fellow workers felt sort of sad that they had caused so much trouble at the Hilton, but they had a good laugh about it.

The Hilton was not laughing; they banned Weight Watchers from having any more conventions in their hotels and they completely banned ALL confetti, glitter, birdseed, rice and even birds being released from all their conventions, meetings, and weddings.

Indeed, Yvonne really felt better now!

An Unforgettable Person I Have Met

Barbara Schwartz

It had to have been at least 30 years ago.

Mom was a self-trained artist. She did artwork in almost every media there was. Not only did she work in watercolor, oil paint, pastels, charcoals and pencils, she worked in leather carvings, wood carvings, metals and ceramics.

She took a couple of classes in her later years (I think she was in her 70s when she went to a local community college in California and took a couple of classes). But she read a ton of books on the media de jour that she was interested in.

One day she stumbled upon Robert Bateman’s work. Bateman is a native Canadian and is currently almost 90 years old. He specialized in paintings of every size imaginable. He had some canvases that were at least a six-foot square. If you look carefully at one of his huge seascapes, you swear that you could walk right into it.


He was doing a book signing at an art gallery in nearby Lafayette, California, that was about 20 minutes away from Mom’s home. She wanted to go – REALLY wanted to go – so I put her walker in the car and off we went in the mild summertime evening.

We were not the only folks there! We waited in line for what seemed like forever and she got more and more excited as she approached the front of the line.

The first thing she did was put out her right hand to shake the hand of the mighty Bateman. She commented on how much she LOVED his work and how inspired she was by him. (Nothing shy about Mom!)

She was wearing one of her leather pendants that she hand-tooled and he complimented her on how beautiful it was.

I swear that Mom turned 15 years old in that instant as all she talked about for months was that “Robert Bateman commented on MY leather work” and that “he shook my hand.”

Since I was right there with her, he commented to me on some of Mom’s other works that she had shown him.

I am quite sure that he has absolutely no memory of this little 4-foot 8-inch bundle of talent, and even though she passed away 10 years ago, I am positive that she never forgot meeting the great Robert Bateman; it truly was the highlight of her life.