Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Awkward Years

The other day I wrote about our 6th grade class making a movie for Coronet Films. The movie was called "Courtesy at School". I may have mentioned that, gratefully, I was in 1 very fast shot. 6th grade was definitely not my best time or look, for that matter. If you look up the word "awkward" in the dictionary, I am certain my 6th grade picture will be there.

To say I looked even remotely like the person I am now or for that matter have been since my late teens, would not even be close. For I truly was an "ugly duckling".
I often wonder what a different turn my life would have taken had I realized in my 20's that I was truly beautiful, instead of always feeling like an "ugly duckling". My baby fat didn't disappear from my face until my mid twenties.

When I look at pictures of me in my 20's and 30's, I think to myself "I was gorgeous". I just didn't know it and therefore had very low self-esteem. It makes one wonder how different life might have been had I just a little more self-esteem. Certainly not conceit. Just some confidence. It makes me wonder if my life would have been different.

Would I have chosen different paths? Would I be in a different place now? Probably not, it seems we are often destined to take the path we end up on. But, it does make you wonder. Would my life have been more glamorous? Would I have married a different man?

I know that if I had, I would not have gone through the experiences that have made me the woman I am today. However, one does wonder! It seems I've turned out very well. My confidence is very high although I am still humble, maybe. At 63 I think I'm a "babe". What would have happened if I realized at 25 that I was a "babe"?

My belief system is such, that I truly believe that "going through the fire" makes us stronger. Much like molten lead, that finally becomes steel. That is what hard times does for us. We grow, we become strong and hopefully people who know how to make the best of every situation that we face.

My life has gone, I believe, just where it was meant to go. I am told that I am a good person with good ideals. Fortunately, I married a man who holds dear the same beliefs I do, that one gives back to society for all that we have been given. That we are grateful for the life we live and the people who make our life more rich every day. That we have been blessed with wonderful children and grandchildren. So I think I am truly where I belong. I am a very lucky woman...who just happens to be a "babe".

With confidence and love,


"Courtesy At School" Our Wonder Years

My friend Leni Jane and her husband Michael were in California a couple of weeks ago. Leni Jane, whom I have known since Freshman year at Maine East High School in Park Ridge, IL, is a wonderful friend. She has enriched my life so much over the years. I doubt she realizes how much. Anyway, I digress as usual. When she came back from California, she emailed all of us her pictures from California. We have been out of high school for some time now.

There were 2 faces I immediately recognized and the rest were all a group of strangers. Funny how we change over the years. Of course, WE don't think we've changed, just everyone else has! I emailed her and said, "who are those people"? Leni Jane replied with everyones name. The memories just came flooding back. If we don't think about someone for a long time, it's as if they had no impact on our lives.

When we see them again, it's as if we had been in contact forever and amazingly, a new friendship starts. It is extraordinary! When many of us were in 6th grade at Ballard School (no longer there), we made a movie for Coronet Films which was a division of Encyclopedia Brittanica. The movie was an educational film called "Courtesy At School". The star of the film was, of course, the cutest boy in 6th grade...Tommy Hawkins. Now he is just Tom and looks exactly the same as he did when we were kids. Tom had a copy of the movie and showed it to Leni Jane and Michael.

Leni Jane, ever the organizer, wanted to know who we all were in the movie. You see, those of us who went to Maine East came from many different grammar schools. Leni Jane went to Lincoln, I think. But those of us at Ballard in 6th grade are in that movie.

I had a 35 mm copy for years which I recently sent to my friend Renee. Just before she got the copy I sent her, she had found our movie posted on the web at http://www.avgeeks.com/pivot/entry.php?id=165. Now, our Leni Jane who organizes all our reunions and is in touch with everyone who is still around from our enormous class of over 700 kids, wants to know who all was in this movie. The movie, is, as they say, a hoot!

Because of this moment in time, I have found a long lost friend, although, I'm not certain we were friends in the true sense of the word. We certainly were classmates from 6th to 12th grade. Now, I feel this strong sense of friendship...perhaps, it is just nostalgia. Whatever it is, it's nice.

Leni Jane has been emailing all of us to try to remember everyone who was in our movie. We have come up with many names, but not everyone. I suggested Leni Jane get in touch with Renee (you all know her from previous blogs). She has a mind like a steel trap and will remember almost everyone in the movie. I emailed her and, of course, she remembers so many of the kids, now grandparents in many cases, who were in our movie.

But the nicest thing that has happened to me, is the contact with Dwight. The reconnection is so nice. We have similar memories of those times, amazingly we are quite similar today. He has been married 3 times, unfortunately, he lost his 2nd wife at an age when they should have been planning a very long future. However, he is happily married again and has been for 17 years. He has grandchildren and sounds extremely happy. (What more could we want for the people who we knew when.)

We have been corresponding almost daily, sometimes just a quick note, sometimes more. I warned him, he would appear here. I don't think he minded. I am happy that he is happy. Now, if only I could find the rest of them...those people who appeared for a brief time in my life...from 6th to 12th grade.

What I wouldn't give to know where they all are. Are they happy? Did their lives turn out as they hoped? What a movie we could make now. Maybe we should..."Courtesy at School, The Sequel"!

If you are interested you should go to the site and watch this short, but actually, funny movie our 6th grade class at Ballard School in Des Plaines, Illinois made for Coronet Films.

Dwight, I'm so happy that you are happy...but watch out, The Dread Pirate Roberts may be lurking just behind the next corner.

With love on Christmas Day 2007,

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The 2 Most Important Words In The English Language

The 2 most important words in the English language are "I am". With those 2 words we commit ourselves to whatever we wish to do. "I am the leader people are looking for." When we put these words before a declaratory statement, we are, in fact, creating an affirmation for ourselves.

Affirmations are very powerful! If we write affirmations and put them up where we can see them daily, they will become real. Our lives can significantly change by putting out positive energy everyday. The key is to truly believe your affirmation. They must be written in the present tense.

I choose...I am totally committed to...I am capable of...Think of how amazing our lives will be if we are constantly reinforcing our inner voices with positive talk. Then add prayer to what you want for yourself. Of course, using the same tense. Now you've added your spiritual belief to your affirmation, making it even more powerful.

Commit totally to what you want. I choose to be healthy and therefore, I'm going for a 25 minute walk every morning. Imagine if you will, going to bed at night and your last thought is I am waking up at 6:30 in the morning, completely refreshed and ready to have a very productive day. I think you will wake up refreshed and ready to conquer the world.

It is, also, important to remember to thank your higher power for all the gifts you have. Even those who do not believe they have any gifts or blessings should look around. They will find them. Are you healthy? Are the people you love healthy? Are you lucky enough to have a roof over your head? Do you have people in your life that you love, who love you?

Your life may not be exactly what you want right now, but it can be better. Your life can be exactly what you desire. Write down what you want, work toward your goals every day. Before you go to sleep at night, look at yourself in the mirror and tell you, that you "love" you. When you get into bed tell yourself how you're going to feel in the morning. When you give, do it with an open heart, expecting nothing in return.

Remember, just a smile can be a blessing for the stranger you encounter who has had no one to smile at him/her in a long time. Life itself is an extraordinary miracle. Celebrate it every day.

With love,


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Life Just Keeps Getting Better

I believe that every day we have a choice. When we wake up, we can choose to "be happy" or we can choose "be miserable". Personally, I always choose to be happy. Extraordinarily it is when we choose to be happy, we are. Our choices are very important to how we live our life.

Have you ever noticed that when you are positive, everything that happens to you is, in fact, positive. Our minds are very strong and what we think and believe usually relates to our behavior. How others see us. I know this sounds simplistic, but the truth is, it is simple. Our thoughts create our behavior and the outcome of what we want for ourselves.

People who go around telling everyone how unhappy, miserable, broke, kids don't call, etc. usually are unhappy, miserable, broke and their kids don't call. Conversely, people who tell you that everything is wonderful, have everything. Health, happiness and kids who call! Many years ago, when I was quite young, I read a book called "The Magic Of Believing".

It was a time in my life when I needed some magic. That book taught me to be positive. To believe, truly believe that what I thought directly related to how the world would treat me. It was no surprise that I found a great job at a great salary and my life just got better every day. All because I changed my belief system.

The next time you have a negative thought, immediately replace it with a positive one and watch what happens. Your life will change before your eyes just because that voice in your head that talks to you, is now speaking positively. Affirming that you are worthy of everything you desire. Therefore, dear reader, as my friend Renee would say, "what have you got to lose". Try it. You might just discover that next year at this time...your life and you are in a better place.


Sunday, December 09, 2007


This certainly is the season of miracles. For the Jews, the reclamation of the Temple in Jerusalem with oil for the ark that was only enough for 1 day, burned for 8 days, ergo the celebration of Chanukah. For the Gentiles, this is the season of the birth of Jesus Christ who many believe to be "The son of G-d", "The Messiah".

Even though it is the season of miracles, it is tarnished by the rush to buy, buy, buy, instead of appreciating the miracles all around us. I believe miracles happen every day. We are just too busy to notice that a miracle just happened. Perhaps it is the smile that a stranger gives you as you pass or the accident that was so close, but didn't happen. It might be the $10.00 bill you find in a purse or jacket you haven't worn for a while or maybe a piece of jewelry that you thought was gone for good. These don't seem like miracles, but they are.

Every day new lives are born...they are miracles. People meet for the 1st time and something clicks. They know they will be together forever. A friend from whom you haven't heard gets in touch. Young men and women fighting a war they have no business fighting, are spared, perhaps for just 1 more day, perhaps so they can go home to the ones that love them.

You see, I believe in miracles. I always have and everday that I get to share with people I love is truly a miracle. One for which I am incredibly grateful. So believe in miracles. Before you know it, you will start noticing them.


Monday, December 03, 2007


Have you ever met someone for the 1st time and immediately felt a connection. You can't stop talking to one another, you don't run out of things to talk about and feel as comfortable as if you had known them your entire life. I believe that when we meet someone with whom we instantly connect that we have known them in a previous life.

There are those of you who don't believe that we come this way many times...I do. Perhaps it is because I don't believe this is all there is. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I have been to foreign countries and somehow knew what was around the next corner, even though I had never been there before. I've also had feelings of dread in a city I've never been to, half way around the world and just knew that something terrible had happened to me there.

Maybe I just have a screw loose...of course, those of you who know me, probably would agree with that. But, I have, for my entire life, at least to my earliest memory, believed that I lived before and I believe that I will live again. It just seems incredulous that this amazing journey called life simply ends. Those who believe in past lives, believe that we come back until we learn all the lessons we are supposed to learn.

When one thinks about this, logically, it explains why there are those who have so much, while there are people who have nothing and yet manage to live a life worth living. This enormous disparity is not random. At least my belief system is such that I believe it is not random.

Think about Mozart who at the age of 4 wrote his 1st concerto. There are so many child prodigies, how do these children know what they know at such young ages. If you believe as I do, it is simply that they have been here before and learned these things. Whether it's playing an instrument or being able to do complex math problems or whatever skill they have at a very young age.

Back to "Kismet", when we are lucky enough to meet someone with whom we have an instant connection, it is not coincidence. But rather, meeting an old friend which is why we are so comfortable so quickly. I'm certain that like me, you have people in your lives, usually relatives that you have known forever and yet you've never truly been comfortable with them, they just don't fit as well as someone you have just met.

One doesn't have to believe as I do, just be aware the next time you meet someone new...are you immediately at ease? Do you have people in your life that you have known forever and yet feel as if you are strangers? All I ask is that you think about it. You don't have to agree and you probably don't...but it should make you think!

Been here before,