Thursday, January 9, 2014

Reflections on a Wintry Morning.

There is a little bit of time on my hands, just before tasks are due…

  It’s a good moment to sit at the friendly computer and try to tap out a few words. Never mind if they make sense or not… this isn’t always necessary or, for that matter, the case. What does matter is to once again regain the writing habit; like any other activity in life, it is very easy to lose when not practiced.

  So you become my willing or unwilling partner in this process. This blog now spans some four years of existence; yet a lifetime of happenings. It is very easy to know when I was laid up from treatments or surgery… the postings increased in size and numbers (quality and content…???)… well over one thousand pages of … stuff … The reaction has been interesting; readers from South America to China and many stops in between. This has surprised me quite a bit… almost 10,000 reads from over 15 countries. Some apparently one time only (I guess they didn’t like what they saw) yet many repeats from places not expected.

  Every New Year brings decisions to be made… some are small, day to day decisions. However, over the years it has become very apparent that even these “small” decisions have an impact sometime later in our lives. They have to be thought out… Then, there are the other “larger than life” decisions which may impact life as we know it and change it drastically. And these are more common that we may imagine. A small action or… inaction … a decision made or a decision not made… whether consciously or not, these may change the course of a life. This has been touched on before, somewhere and somewhen along the way...

  What are yours? Have you ever actually thought about those moments when your life changed, sometimes without your actually knowing this was happening?

Now that I have you thinking… let’s change the subject.

  I put up a resolution in a recent blog and placed it on Tweeter (@RJAsPandora) and the response was truly beyond belief. Many comments and the absolute majority were positive. All I suggested was that the only valid resolution (to me) was not to let life go on as usual, to do something different. Wow!!

  What is a bit surprising is that when I put this on, it was something which seemed logical to me. After all, the usual weight and betterment resolutions are repeated every year; this leads me to think they are not followed too well. So, what about just doing something different? It doesn’t have to be a drastic change or a total life upheaval… just something different.

  We accept our daily routines as they become imposed on us by our own habits and our own mistakes or successes. Anything and everything we do in life, when it becomes a repeatable and repeated task, becomes routine. Once we allow it to become routine, this task loses any charm or allure it may have had at the beginning. It is now an obligation. And once an obligation, it becomes a task we want to be able to stop doing because it has become boring. Problem is... we can't always stop it (them).

  So, once in a while, do something different. It can be as trivial as changing your daily route on your way to work. So it’s longer? Leave a little earlier… enjoy the change!! Mix your exercise routine; explore a new place to go; if you dine out, try a new restaurant, a new cuisine you never had before… Take short week end or day trips and learn to enjoy the place where you live...

  In other words… Get to know and accept yourself and this may help you understand the life path you are on and, in doing so, also to begin enjoying yourself and it a bit more… It’s never too late.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:

  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year Resolutions… Ahem..!!

Well… it’s that time of the Year… Again…

…when, as we look sideways into the mirror, that “oh-so-familiar” wistful cry comes to our lips once again… OMG!!!! … When did I get into this stranger’s body...? … And THAT hair…!!!! GADS!!!! (well, for those who have hair to sport…)

Or, as we look at time slipping away through our clenched fists, we begin to question every action we may have taken during the year…

New Year resolutions were probably invented by someone who definitely did not like the results of whatever he or she did during the year; had these been positive, there would be no more resolutions other than… Keep it Going!! Just remember this basic truth, as voiced by Quino's Mafalda: "Saying to oneself that the New Year will be better is ignoring the fact that what has to become better is the person, not the year."

We may promise to do many things differently but unless they actually get attempted, these are naught but empty promises. There have been as many as 30 intended “to be done” items in some of the lists that I have seen from time to time. These are odes to wishin’; perhaps for some folks they may actually do some good by encouraging them to pursue at least some of the listed intentions. You know… some is better than nothing…

2014 is coming at a time when there is a lot of confusion in this world of ours. But then, every beginning of every year comes at a similar time and under similar circumstances. This has been true for as long as I can remember and that is getting on into a few years now… politically, socially and religiously, this world of ours is getting more and more polarized every day.

Within our midst, we seem to be heading into a hostile cycle. A cycle much like the one we lived (those of us who acknowledge remembering that far back…) during and immediately following the VN War in the 60’s. It was a time of turmoil and open conflict; some say it was a time when we came closest, since the civil war, to having another civil conflict within the US. And we have now an added ingredient which is doing its bit to polarize our views and feelings even more than they were then: religion. Whether by design, intent or happenstance, religions are being openly pitted one against another and, at best, this is a situation which will not bring anything too positive…

What will the New Year bring about? We really don’t know yet; there are too many possibilities … too many unknowns to be known and to be explored. Some of these unknowns will be examined and taken apart by each one of us, some by others…

Actually, like many of you probably have done, I also sat down to make a list of resolutions for the coming year. After going through many possibilities and acknowledging the fact that most of these would be left by the wayside, my list came down to one simple entry:

2014 resolution... Make sure life does not go on as usual... Do something different...!!

Happy New Year!! 
May it be full of surprises, unknowns and possibilities to explore!!!

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:

  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to

Doña América and other memories.

I know she has already been mentioned somewhen along this line of sometimes unhinged memories as they relate to moments of my life , but y...