Being Boswell

Seeing opens your heart.

I agree, it was an impulsive decision, I couldn’t, or didn’t stop myself. I didn’t use my logic, engage my rational, or consult our budget to make this choice. I simply followed my heart-who wanted what she wanted when she wanted it. Ever happen to you?

Two weeks earlier I had met a Havanese puppy at the bank and fell in love. I didn’t mean to, I wasn’t even considering a new dog. actually didn’t want a new dog because I was still grieving Jeff, my soul-mate-dog. He adored me and I adored him. He slept next to after my divorce, we shared our transition from country to city living-him having to poop on a leash and me having to pick it, and he was my wing-man when I was dating. If Jeff didn’t like the guy, neither did I.

But there was something about this puppy at the bank that caught my heart. And I couldn’t shake it. So Easter morning of 2015 we drove East on the PA Turnpike stopping along the way at Pet Smart to pick up dog stuff. I knew from past pet experiences that once I held these teddy-bear pups, smelled their puppy breath and rubbed their soft bellies, I wouldn’t be leaving empty handed. And I was right, we came home with Gabriella. Gabbie for short.

Gabbie was a shy pup, slow to trust and warm up to us. As a result I was constantly reminded, she is not Jeff. I knew I wasn’t in love with her. I didn’t recognize myself. I had never hesitated loving a pet. Who was I? Had we made a mistake?

I talked with Tom about taking her back to the breeder. Knowing what an animal lover I am he was also surprised. Thankfully, he held for me what I was unable to hold at the time and said, “No, she is our dog now.” I will always love him for that.

I told Jena that Gabbie and I were not bonding. She casually said, “It’s the hair in her eyes. She can’t see you and you can’t see her. Cut the hair around her face and you might change your heart.” Havanese have hair, not fur, and a lot of it. It is what keeps them looking like puppies even when adults.

I told Jena a story I had heard about someone that cut the hair around their dog’s face and it never grew back. Kind of like my over plucking my eye brows as a teenager and now I carry an eyebrow pencil in my purse. She laughed and said, “I think you should try it.”

So a few days later I decided Gabbie and I were going to have our first serious grooming session. She struggled as I tried unsuccessfully to trim her. She didn’t trust me. Out of fear of hurting her, and frustration of losing to a 3-pound pup, I assertively announced in my best alpha-dog-voice, that I was the human which meant I was in charge and she needed to be calm. She settled into my lap and the fur flew.

When I was finished she looked at me. I looked back. We took a moment to see each other for the first time. It’s like we both said, “Oh there you are!” In that moment I was reminded that there is relational difference between looking and seeing. Do you know what I mean?

As the day went on I noticed differences between us. Gabbie watched me as I moved around the room, she didn’t run into the dining room chair when we played ball, she moved closer to me allowing me to cuddle her a little longer and for the first time she asked to go out. I nuzzled her more, talked to her more and I got to know her. Our hearts opened because we saw each other.

Several weeks later I had dinner with Landon. I was distracted at the restaurant, tracking the waitress, noticing the people coming in the door, taking in the decor of the place. I realized wasn’t seeing Landon, 3 feet from me. So I refocused and set my intention to see. And there sat my adult son. Handsome. Smart. Honest. Engaging. I looked for the little boy who wore the blue pajamas and was all arms and legs. Instead I saw my grown up son with the eyes of an adult.

In the movie Avatar, instead of saying, “How are you?” they greet each other saying, “I see you.”

Being seen is a gift.

Seeing opens your heart.

Patricia Boswell

Too many Yes’s make a No

When I moved the Laurel Mountains in 1981 we frequented the Friday night seafood buffet at Seven Springs. It was within our budget and was marketed as an all-the-food-we-could-eat evening. I had never been to an all-you-can-eat-anything, other than my own kitchen, so it seemed like a good idea.

Walking into the banquet room was like my first time in Disney World. I was simultaneously enthralled and overwhelmed. The food laden tables were arranged in a thoughtful, course-sensitive order.

The first was chock full of salads. Pasta salads. Potato salad. Green salads. Cut veggies with dip. Jello salads. Fruit salads. Soups. And cornucopias overflowing with bread and rolls.

Five feet to the left was the meat table. A man in a white coat and chef’s hat politely carved hunks from the heat-light-warmed prime rib, ham and turkey.

Another five feet was the seafood table, my personal favorite. Shrimp. Oysters. Alaskan King Crab legs. Whole lobster (cut in half.)

And last, but not at all least, was the dessert table. Let me say that differently; THE DESSERT TABLE. Enough said-you have all experienced a buffet dessert table.

I quickly learned that the number of YES’S I said to the plethora of culinary treats determined how I felt on the car ride home. Whether every turn, bump and change in elevation would cause me gastric distress. Too many YES’S turned into a NO of being able to enjoy the rest of the evening or sleep that night.

Life is like an elaborate buffet table, filled with YES’S. I love it all! I want it all! It’s all good food, beautifully displayed and it’s there for the taking. All I have to do is say YES and put it on my plate(s).

Over the years I have repeatedly found myself engaged with projects, friends, and organizations, that I say YES, YES, YES, too. I am truly interested when I say YES. Really I am.

But when I get home, and I am quiet enough to hear myself feel, I know…I have done it again. I know because a familiar sensation begins to build in my gut. It’s barely noticeable at first, but slowly I recognize it. Dread. Dread of an over booked life.

And then I ask myself, “Why did I say YES?”

Well, for many reasons.

Because I like the idea or project.

Because I like the people involved.

Because I am flattered to be included.

Because I want to belong.

Because I want their approval.

Because I don’t want to be left out.

Because I want to be helpful.

Because I like saying YES.

Because saying YES is easier than saying NO.

Every YES means we are saying NO to something else. Our time and energy are a limited resource. When I say YES to one more meeting I say NO to that time to write, exercise, hang out with loved ones or simply do nothing.

Saying NO is a loss. Saying YES is a loss. Every choice we make we lose the other choice.

Just something to think about as you head out to the buffet tables of your life.

What will you say YES to?

What will you say NO to?

May your YES’S and NO’S serve you well.

With love,

Patricia Boswell

Rethinking Valentine’s Day

Yesterday, while my dental hygienists hands were in my mouth, scraping away, she told me she was leaving at 2 to attend her 1st grade daughters “Friendship Party,” aka Valentine’s Day party.

Amy distracted me from the drool accumulating in my mouth by telling me about the school’s tradition of Friendship week. Monday the kids got friendship bracelets. Tuesday they wore their pajamas. Wednesday was special hat day, or something like that. I forget what Thursday was, but Friendship week ended with the Friendship party. Ann was responsible for suppling the game prizes.

I was getting the picture. The school was trying to reconsider Valentine’s Day. With no way to engage the conversation, I scrolled back to my elementary school Valentine’s day memories. I saw the Valentine’s boxes each of us so painstakingly created, cutting and pasting, using that white tacky glue that we dug out in lumps. We designed collages of love, friendship and desperation. I feared that my box would not be full of cartoon puppies and kittens with X’s and O’s covering pink and red hearts, asking for, and declaring friendship. Will you be my Valentine?

School Valentine parties highlighted my class status. My sense of self was based on the number of Valentine’s in my box at the end of the party, as well as, who the cards were from. I paid attention to whether the kids deemed popular graced me with their perforated, penny cards. I also noted how my stash compared to that of my neighbors. More than her, I was loved. Less than her, I was ashamed.

Last night my daughter and daughter in law came over after attending a Mary Kay Galentine’s party at Alex and Ani’s. Valentine’s day for gals only. No one attending needed a romantic relationship to be included. You just needed to be a woman.

Truth be told, isn’t it women who really subscribe to Valentine’s Day, anyway? It is a day where we, hopefully, will be told by our love that we are the most special, most loved and most appreciated person in his or her life. Problem is if you don’t have a “love” you miss out.

Sometimes, you miss out even if you have a love. He or she forgets, doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day or is just a dud. As it stands Valentine’s Day can be painful at worst, stressful at best.

Today as I scooped ground sage into a bag at the Co-op, a young woman stood next to me. “I can use the same spoon,” she said, “I need sage too.” She asked me if I knew the measurement conversion from whole sage to ground sage. I confessed I didn’t; that I was a dump and taste kind of cook. I asked her what she was making.

It sounded difficult. Gnocchi with a filling and sauce. She explained she was making it for her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. Her gift to him. Then she said, “I hope he likes it.”

“Well,” I said as I handed her the spoon and leveled my eyes to meet hers, “if he doesn’t…” She finished, “He’s not worth it.”

“Exactly,” I smiled, feeling very maternal.

All this got me thinking. What if we spent some portion of Valentine’s day considering our relationship to ourselves? What we love about ourselves. What we admire. How we crack ourselves up.

A day that you take yourself out. Or stay in, whatever your pink and red heart desires. Where you feed yourself, by candle light, food you love. Surrounding yourself with people you love, hugging them because it feels good to you. If you like flowers buy some or pick some.

XO

Patricia Boswell

Inspiration for a Monday morning

We happened to flip through to the Grammy’s last night.  As with any television awards show we watched with distraction. Folding laundry. Paying bills. Organizing for the week ahead.

Until…a bright, red haired Cyndi Lauper introduced a duet by Carole King and someone I didn’t know, Sara Bareilles. I love Carole King. Her songs comforted and inspired me as a teen. I was braver because of her words.

I sat down to watch. With all of my attention. I felt goosebumps as these two women, Carole older, Sara younger, sang and played their pianos to each other and to me.

I was still moved this morning, so much so I decided to share it with you.

Sit down. Enjoy.

Carole King and Sara Bareilles

 

 
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Patricia Boswell

I’m headed under the covers…

I have a good friend that often says she doesn’t care.

Sometimes when she says this I feel judgmental, believing she should care. Other times I feel intrigued, wondering what would happen it I didn’t care either.

I think what she is really saying is she is not going to allow said person, event or thing to upset her. She is not going to get wrapped-around-the-axle like another friend describes herself doing.

My dad used to say, “I could care less,” when he was done with us and/or our behavior. (Grammatically speaking he should have said I couldn’t care less, but in that moment I wasn’t about to correct his English.) I knew what he meant was we were on the edge of trouble. I felt hurt when he said this. I wanted him to always care about everything pertaining to me. He usually didn’t. Maybe that is why I care so much today.

Recently, several days in a row, I came home from work and imageswent straight to bed. I thought I was tired. Tom determined I was depressed. That’s the thing with depression, the depress-e doesn’t recognize it, someone from the outside does.

I was depressed. And to my surprise, being truly honest here, I enjoyed it. I felt relieved  because when I am depressed I allow myself to care less. I didn’t worry about getting dinner ready or stopping at the store to pick up last minute items. I didn’t feel bad about not returning the calls I needed to make to friends and family. I didn’t care about the half finished house projects waiting for our attention. I didn’t feel not good enough or not important. Because, I didn’t care.

I had unwrapped myself from around the preverbal axle. This was a come-to-Jesus moment.

“Really?”, I asked myself in astonishment. Was this was how I was going to set boundaries? Am I going to take care of myself by going to bed at 5:00 and pulling the covers over my head?

Looking back, my early-to-bed was a break I needed. Kind of a deep breath in my schedule. I have taken this liberty a couple of other times in my life, always around big transitions. Deciding to end my marriage, moving into Pittsburgh and selling our families home, and recently Landon’s wedding.

Sometimes I just need to give myself a break. I depress myself to stop myself. Stop moving. Stop producing. Stop initiating. Going to bed accomplishes this. My mini depressive episode. I now trust this behavior in myself; as long as it is only a couple of days. My internal clock needed to reset.

I wonder if this is an option to getting sick. I used to do that. Every 7 years I would end up in the hospital. My doctor pondered this phenomenon out loud with me, “What’s up?”

Good question.

There are many ways to stop and regroup. This seems to be mine. It gets my attention and prompts me to make changes. I need to care differently. I need to care at least as much about myself as I do for someone else. I want to hold myself to a softer standard of accountability checking in with my energy level, my interest and my availability.

And after all that, I may decide, that sometimes, I just don’t care.

XO
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Patricia Boswell

Membership Pledge Week

A couple of weeks ago all of my favorite radio stations held their pledge week. They drive me crazy, and they work. My guilt, my sense of doing my share, and my really wanting that super duper CD or ladies cut T shirt gift with a $120 donation-only $10 a week, you spend that much on coffee, think how well your coffee goes with NPR, pledge now by calling…- drive me to make my pledge. And gladly. They offer a great gift to me and I appreciate it.

And they gave me a great idea. Pledge week at being Boswell.

That’s right. Pledge week.

But don’t send money. (Well you can if you want too.) Send your friends. Introduce them to being Boswell. Suggest if they like it they can subscribe to receive weekly stories. Stories that will make them laugh, as well as bring them to tears. Stories they can relate to, see themselves in, comment on and be part of a conversation. They can even have their Monday morning coffee with bB. And it’s free!

Pick your favorite post, highlight the URL address (that is the long line of letters at the top of the page where the little stone is, for my technically challenged readers, I am not being smart…really) paste it in an email and send it to 10 (or more if you like) friends you think would benefit from reading bB.

If you love bB send a friend now. For the next week the universe will match your friend contribution with one of it’s own. So your donation will be doubled.

I want to increase my readership by the end of the year. Why? Because it is what bloggers do. And if I get really popular, companies will advertise with me and I will be paid for writing. That would be soooo cool. Gaining subscribers also energizes me to keep writing.

So I need your help.

And your gift for pledging friends? An embarsassing picture of me dressed as Mary Tyler Moore/That Girl/Mad Men Woman from last weekends Halloween Party.

It's my hair

It’s my hair

 
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Patricia Boswell

My One Year Anniversary…

A reader recently asked me, “What has happened to your blog? I miss it.”

I appreciated the question, and her caring. And I was uncertain of the answer. What had happened?

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 22nd I will be one year without my period. That may be TMI for some of you, but those of you somewhere on the menopausal spectrum know what that date means. According to western medicine I am in MENOPAUSE, or more accurately, according to Wikipedia, I am postmenopausal.

I have high hopes for myself on Wednesday the 23rd. I have been promised, assured and convinced that menopause is a spiritual club that only women who have survived peri menopause get to join. I think there may even be a special hand shake that I will intuitively know upon waking Wednesday morning. I will greet my fellow PM’ers with a knowing nod. We will smile, confident we have made it to where our erratic, irritable, bleeding sisters wish they were.

By Wednesday afternoon I am counting on my hormones to play nice so I can make it through a day without weeping; that I will no longer be combustable so I can stop stripping off layers in the Apple store in front of a Genius; and that my mind will regain clarity so I can remember the password to my ATM card. (If any of you know differently please don’t burst my bubble. I need this illusion.)

The last 4 weeks, the final menstrual stretch, has left me feeling reclusive. All I want to do is get home, lock the front door, and close the curtains. Some days I can’t get out of the car and up the front steps fast enough. Turning that knob, clockwise, between me and the rest of the world, is a spiritual experience.

Which brings me back the question, “What happened to my blog?” I have had several ideas for interesting posts over the past month. I have written them down, dictated them into my phone and emailed them to myself, recited potential topics in the shower. It’s not  that I haven’t been feeling creative, I simply could not make myself type them out. I could not move them beyond my interior self.

I shared this with a friend, concerned that I might be depressed. She is a PM’er too so I knew she would know. She confidently assured me that I was not depressed. She said I was incubating.

Incubating. That fits. I like that image. I am incubating. images

I have decided to trust this process. Surrender to it and gracefully morph into my next version of me. I may need to stay under the grow light a little bit longer. I will be sure to let you know how I turn out.
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Patricia Boswell

I am going to spare you this weeks writing assignment, it is a rewrite… so instead I have some follow up pictures I have been wanting to show you. First a picture of the nose-less swordfish charm

IMG_0919Every time I look at him I can’t help but feel badly. I guess he met the same fate as his live counterpart. Maimed.

 

Next, when I feel concerned that blog and memoir writing is simply a narcissistic indulgence I subject others to, I remind myself that …

576343_401939066498044_352495419_n…that it is!!!! Thanks for listening…

 

Finally, for some great pictures and very interesting, fun facts. take a look at this website…http://www.wisegeek.com

Be Well,
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Patricia Boswell

Seeing opens your heart.

I agree, it was an impulsive decision, I couldn’t, or didn’t stop myself. I didn’t use my logic, engage my rational, or consult our budget to make this choice. I simply followed my heart-who wanted what she wanted when she wanted it. Ever happen to you?

Two weeks earlier I had met a Havanese puppy at the bank and fell in love. I didn’t mean to, I wasn’t even considering a new dog. actually didn’t want a new dog because I was still grieving Jeff, my soul-mate-dog. He adored me and I adored him. He slept next to after my divorce, we shared our transition from country to city living-him having to poop on a leash and me having to pick it, and he was my wing-man when I was dating. If Jeff didn’t like the guy, neither did I.

But there was something about this puppy at the bank that caught my heart. And I couldn’t shake it. So Easter morning of 2015 we drove East on the PA Turnpike stopping along the way at Pet Smart to pick up dog stuff. I knew from past pet experiences that once I held these teddy-bear pups, smelled their puppy breath and rubbed their soft bellies, I wouldn’t be leaving empty handed. And I was right, we came home with Gabriella. Gabbie for short.

Gabbie was a shy pup, slow to trust and warm up to us. As a result I was constantly reminded, she is not Jeff. I knew I wasn’t in love with her. I didn’t recognize myself. I had never hesitated loving a pet. Who was I? Had we made a mistake?

I talked with Tom about taking her back to the breeder. Knowing what an animal lover I am he was also surprised. Thankfully, he held for me what I was unable to hold at the time and said, “No, she is our dog now.” I will always love him for that.

I told Jena that Gabbie and I were not bonding. She casually said, “It’s the hair in her eyes. She can’t see you and you can’t see her. Cut the hair around her face and you might change your heart.” Havanese have hair, not fur, and a lot of it. It is what keeps them looking like puppies even when adults.

I told Jena a story I had heard about someone that cut the hair around their dog’s face and it never grew back. Kind of like my over plucking my eye brows as a teenager and now I carry an eyebrow pencil in my purse. She laughed and said, “I think you should try it.”

So a few days later I decided Gabbie and I were going to have our first serious grooming session. She struggled as I tried unsuccessfully to trim her. She didn’t trust me. Out of fear of hurting her, and frustration of losing to a 3-pound pup, I assertively announced in my best alpha-dog-voice, that I was the human which meant I was in charge and she needed to be calm. She settled into my lap and the fur flew.

When I was finished she looked at me. I looked back. We took a moment to see each other for the first time. It’s like we both said, “Oh there you are!” In that moment I was reminded that there is relational difference between looking and seeing. Do you know what I mean?

As the day went on I noticed differences between us. Gabbie watched me as I moved around the room, she didn’t run into the dining room chair when we played ball, she moved closer to me allowing me to cuddle her a little longer and for the first time she asked to go out. I nuzzled her more, talked to her more and I got to know her. Our hearts opened because we saw each other.

Several weeks later I had dinner with Landon. I was distracted at the restaurant, tracking the waitress, noticing the people coming in the door, taking in the decor of the place. I realized wasn’t seeing Landon, 3 feet from me. So I refocused and set my intention to see. And there sat my adult son. Handsome. Smart. Honest. Engaging. I looked for the little boy who wore the blue pajamas and was all arms and legs. Instead I saw my grown up son with the eyes of an adult.

In the movie Avatar, instead of saying, “How are you?” they greet each other saying, “I see you.”

Being seen is a gift.

Seeing opens your heart.

Patricia Boswell

Too many Yes’s make a No

When I moved the Laurel Mountains in 1981 we frequented the Friday night seafood buffet at Seven Springs. It was within our budget and was marketed as an all-the-food-we-could-eat evening. I had never been to an all-you-can-eat-anything, other than my own kitchen, so it seemed like a good idea.

Walking into the banquet room was like my first time in Disney World. I was simultaneously enthralled and overwhelmed. The food laden tables were arranged in a thoughtful, course-sensitive order.

The first was chock full of salads. Pasta salads. Potato salad. Green salads. Cut veggies with dip. Jello salads. Fruit salads. Soups. And cornucopias overflowing with bread and rolls.

Five feet to the left was the meat table. A man in a white coat and chef’s hat politely carved hunks from the heat-light-warmed prime rib, ham and turkey.

Another five feet was the seafood table, my personal favorite. Shrimp. Oysters. Alaskan King Crab legs. Whole lobster (cut in half.)

And last, but not at all least, was the dessert table. Let me say that differently; THE DESSERT TABLE. Enough said-you have all experienced a buffet dessert table.

I quickly learned that the number of YES’S I said to the plethora of culinary treats determined how I felt on the car ride home. Whether every turn, bump and change in elevation would cause me gastric distress. Too many YES’S turned into a NO of being able to enjoy the rest of the evening or sleep that night.

Life is like an elaborate buffet table, filled with YES’S. I love it all! I want it all! It’s all good food, beautifully displayed and it’s there for the taking. All I have to do is say YES and put it on my plate(s).

Over the years I have repeatedly found myself engaged with projects, friends, and organizations, that I say YES, YES, YES, too. I am truly interested when I say YES. Really I am.

But when I get home, and I am quiet enough to hear myself feel, I know…I have done it again. I know because a familiar sensation begins to build in my gut. It’s barely noticeable at first, but slowly I recognize it. Dread. Dread of an over booked life.

And then I ask myself, “Why did I say YES?”

Well, for many reasons.

Because I like the idea or project.

Because I like the people involved.

Because I am flattered to be included.

Because I want to belong.

Because I want their approval.

Because I don’t want to be left out.

Because I want to be helpful.

Because I like saying YES.

Because saying YES is easier than saying NO.

Every YES means we are saying NO to something else. Our time and energy are a limited resource. When I say YES to one more meeting I say NO to that time to write, exercise, hang out with loved ones or simply do nothing.

Saying NO is a loss. Saying YES is a loss. Every choice we make we lose the other choice.

Just something to think about as you head out to the buffet tables of your life.

What will you say YES to?

What will you say NO to?

May your YES’S and NO’S serve you well.

With love,

Patricia Boswell

Rethinking Valentine’s Day

Yesterday, while my dental hygienists hands were in my mouth, scraping away, she told me she was leaving at 2 to attend her 1st grade daughters “Friendship Party,” aka Valentine’s Day party.

Amy distracted me from the drool accumulating in my mouth by telling me about the school’s tradition of Friendship week. Monday the kids got friendship bracelets. Tuesday they wore their pajamas. Wednesday was special hat day, or something like that. I forget what Thursday was, but Friendship week ended with the Friendship party. Ann was responsible for suppling the game prizes.

I was getting the picture. The school was trying to reconsider Valentine’s Day. With no way to engage the conversation, I scrolled back to my elementary school Valentine’s day memories. I saw the Valentine’s boxes each of us so painstakingly created, cutting and pasting, using that white tacky glue that we dug out in lumps. We designed collages of love, friendship and desperation. I feared that my box would not be full of cartoon puppies and kittens with X’s and O’s covering pink and red hearts, asking for, and declaring friendship. Will you be my Valentine?

School Valentine parties highlighted my class status. My sense of self was based on the number of Valentine’s in my box at the end of the party, as well as, who the cards were from. I paid attention to whether the kids deemed popular graced me with their perforated, penny cards. I also noted how my stash compared to that of my neighbors. More than her, I was loved. Less than her, I was ashamed.

Last night my daughter and daughter in law came over after attending a Mary Kay Galentine’s party at Alex and Ani’s. Valentine’s day for gals only. No one attending needed a romantic relationship to be included. You just needed to be a woman.

Truth be told, isn’t it women who really subscribe to Valentine’s Day, anyway? It is a day where we, hopefully, will be told by our love that we are the most special, most loved and most appreciated person in his or her life. Problem is if you don’t have a “love” you miss out.

Sometimes, you miss out even if you have a love. He or she forgets, doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day or is just a dud. As it stands Valentine’s Day can be painful at worst, stressful at best.

Today as I scooped ground sage into a bag at the Co-op, a young woman stood next to me. “I can use the same spoon,” she said, “I need sage too.” She asked me if I knew the measurement conversion from whole sage to ground sage. I confessed I didn’t; that I was a dump and taste kind of cook. I asked her what she was making.

It sounded difficult. Gnocchi with a filling and sauce. She explained she was making it for her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. Her gift to him. Then she said, “I hope he likes it.”

“Well,” I said as I handed her the spoon and leveled my eyes to meet hers, “if he doesn’t…” She finished, “He’s not worth it.”

“Exactly,” I smiled, feeling very maternal.

All this got me thinking. What if we spent some portion of Valentine’s day considering our relationship to ourselves? What we love about ourselves. What we admire. How we crack ourselves up.

A day that you take yourself out. Or stay in, whatever your pink and red heart desires. Where you feed yourself, by candle light, food you love. Surrounding yourself with people you love, hugging them because it feels good to you. If you like flowers buy some or pick some.

XO

Patricia Boswell

Inspiration for a Monday morning

We happened to flip through to the Grammy’s last night.  As with any television awards show we watched with distraction. Folding laundry. Paying bills. Organizing for the week ahead.

Until…a bright, red haired Cyndi Lauper introduced a duet by Carole King and someone I didn’t know, Sara Bareilles. I love Carole King. Her songs comforted and inspired me as a teen. I was braver because of her words.

I sat down to watch. With all of my attention. I felt goosebumps as these two women, Carole older, Sara younger, sang and played their pianos to each other and to me.

I was still moved this morning, so much so I decided to share it with you.

Sit down. Enjoy.

Carole King and Sara Bareilles

 

 
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Patricia Boswell

I’m headed under the covers…

I have a good friend that often says she doesn’t care.

Sometimes when she says this I feel judgmental, believing she should care. Other times I feel intrigued, wondering what would happen it I didn’t care either.

I think what she is really saying is she is not going to allow said person, event or thing to upset her. She is not going to get wrapped-around-the-axle like another friend describes herself doing.

My dad used to say, “I could care less,” when he was done with us and/or our behavior. (Grammatically speaking he should have said I couldn’t care less, but in that moment I wasn’t about to correct his English.) I knew what he meant was we were on the edge of trouble. I felt hurt when he said this. I wanted him to always care about everything pertaining to me. He usually didn’t. Maybe that is why I care so much today.

Recently, several days in a row, I came home from work and imageswent straight to bed. I thought I was tired. Tom determined I was depressed. That’s the thing with depression, the depress-e doesn’t recognize it, someone from the outside does.

I was depressed. And to my surprise, being truly honest here, I enjoyed it. I felt relieved  because when I am depressed I allow myself to care less. I didn’t worry about getting dinner ready or stopping at the store to pick up last minute items. I didn’t feel bad about not returning the calls I needed to make to friends and family. I didn’t care about the half finished house projects waiting for our attention. I didn’t feel not good enough or not important. Because, I didn’t care.

I had unwrapped myself from around the preverbal axle. This was a come-to-Jesus moment.

“Really?”, I asked myself in astonishment. Was this was how I was going to set boundaries? Am I going to take care of myself by going to bed at 5:00 and pulling the covers over my head?

Looking back, my early-to-bed was a break I needed. Kind of a deep breath in my schedule. I have taken this liberty a couple of other times in my life, always around big transitions. Deciding to end my marriage, moving into Pittsburgh and selling our families home, and recently Landon’s wedding.

Sometimes I just need to give myself a break. I depress myself to stop myself. Stop moving. Stop producing. Stop initiating. Going to bed accomplishes this. My mini depressive episode. I now trust this behavior in myself; as long as it is only a couple of days. My internal clock needed to reset.

I wonder if this is an option to getting sick. I used to do that. Every 7 years I would end up in the hospital. My doctor pondered this phenomenon out loud with me, “What’s up?”

Good question.

There are many ways to stop and regroup. This seems to be mine. It gets my attention and prompts me to make changes. I need to care differently. I need to care at least as much about myself as I do for someone else. I want to hold myself to a softer standard of accountability checking in with my energy level, my interest and my availability.

And after all that, I may decide, that sometimes, I just don’t care.

XO
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Patricia Boswell

Membership Pledge Week

A couple of weeks ago all of my favorite radio stations held their pledge week. They drive me crazy, and they work. My guilt, my sense of doing my share, and my really wanting that super duper CD or ladies cut T shirt gift with a $120 donation-only $10 a week, you spend that much on coffee, think how well your coffee goes with NPR, pledge now by calling…- drive me to make my pledge. And gladly. They offer a great gift to me and I appreciate it.

And they gave me a great idea. Pledge week at being Boswell.

That’s right. Pledge week.

But don’t send money. (Well you can if you want too.) Send your friends. Introduce them to being Boswell. Suggest if they like it they can subscribe to receive weekly stories. Stories that will make them laugh, as well as bring them to tears. Stories they can relate to, see themselves in, comment on and be part of a conversation. They can even have their Monday morning coffee with bB. And it’s free!

Pick your favorite post, highlight the URL address (that is the long line of letters at the top of the page where the little stone is, for my technically challenged readers, I am not being smart…really) paste it in an email and send it to 10 (or more if you like) friends you think would benefit from reading bB.

If you love bB send a friend now. For the next week the universe will match your friend contribution with one of it’s own. So your donation will be doubled.

I want to increase my readership by the end of the year. Why? Because it is what bloggers do. And if I get really popular, companies will advertise with me and I will be paid for writing. That would be soooo cool. Gaining subscribers also energizes me to keep writing.

So I need your help.

And your gift for pledging friends? An embarsassing picture of me dressed as Mary Tyler Moore/That Girl/Mad Men Woman from last weekends Halloween Party.

It's my hair

It’s my hair

 
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Patricia Boswell

My One Year Anniversary…

A reader recently asked me, “What has happened to your blog? I miss it.”

I appreciated the question, and her caring. And I was uncertain of the answer. What had happened?

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 22nd I will be one year without my period. That may be TMI for some of you, but those of you somewhere on the menopausal spectrum know what that date means. According to western medicine I am in MENOPAUSE, or more accurately, according to Wikipedia, I am postmenopausal.

I have high hopes for myself on Wednesday the 23rd. I have been promised, assured and convinced that menopause is a spiritual club that only women who have survived peri menopause get to join. I think there may even be a special hand shake that I will intuitively know upon waking Wednesday morning. I will greet my fellow PM’ers with a knowing nod. We will smile, confident we have made it to where our erratic, irritable, bleeding sisters wish they were.

By Wednesday afternoon I am counting on my hormones to play nice so I can make it through a day without weeping; that I will no longer be combustable so I can stop stripping off layers in the Apple store in front of a Genius; and that my mind will regain clarity so I can remember the password to my ATM card. (If any of you know differently please don’t burst my bubble. I need this illusion.)

The last 4 weeks, the final menstrual stretch, has left me feeling reclusive. All I want to do is get home, lock the front door, and close the curtains. Some days I can’t get out of the car and up the front steps fast enough. Turning that knob, clockwise, between me and the rest of the world, is a spiritual experience.

Which brings me back the question, “What happened to my blog?” I have had several ideas for interesting posts over the past month. I have written them down, dictated them into my phone and emailed them to myself, recited potential topics in the shower. It’s not  that I haven’t been feeling creative, I simply could not make myself type them out. I could not move them beyond my interior self.

I shared this with a friend, concerned that I might be depressed. She is a PM’er too so I knew she would know. She confidently assured me that I was not depressed. She said I was incubating.

Incubating. That fits. I like that image. I am incubating. images

I have decided to trust this process. Surrender to it and gracefully morph into my next version of me. I may need to stay under the grow light a little bit longer. I will be sure to let you know how I turn out.
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Patricia Boswell

I am going to spare you this weeks writing assignment, it is a rewrite… so instead I have some follow up pictures I have been wanting to show you. First a picture of the nose-less swordfish charm

IMG_0919Every time I look at him I can’t help but feel badly. I guess he met the same fate as his live counterpart. Maimed.

 

Next, when I feel concerned that blog and memoir writing is simply a narcissistic indulgence I subject others to, I remind myself that …

576343_401939066498044_352495419_n…that it is!!!! Thanks for listening…

 

Finally, for some great pictures and very interesting, fun facts. take a look at this website…http://www.wisegeek.com

Be Well,
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Patricia Boswell