Wednesday, October 7, 2020

For my Universe

I have had so many thoughts recently for blog posts that could be inspiring for those around me, and yet I can never quite find the words. Maybe it's just as simple as this................


The entire world has completely changed in only the last ten months. Nothing is the same. Is it any wonder we all feel tired, confused, and drained? Or motivated, ambitious, powerful, and then bewildered and unsure.

We have won tickets to a horror movie and need to recognize that it is not presented by Disney.

Yes, I do believe we can adapt the experience, but only through care, awareness, and attention.

Some of my friends are going through the most life-changing events that normally would have us walking on Bambi's legs - let alone adding this layer of the unknown. We have no idea of the challenges that others are trying to navigate through. Let alone masks - we also have blindfolds.

I cannot help the world but I can support my own small universe of people, and that includes myself.

In less than 50 years I will not be around. I have children in my life who will be, and if I can teach them that we are not bowling balls trying to knock everything down then I would have succeeded.

Please, please, wrap caution tape around yourself and grow aware that everyone else has it too.

Respect one another and respect yourself. Allow for space and growth. You will still be able to achieve and go at one million miles per hour, and imagine doing it gracefully and carefully.

We can only succeed through support and connection. Oh, and cake helps!!!


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

On Track for Amazing Days

We never hear of the day when Eleanor Roosevelt said: "forget it, I'm staying in today and watching the garden." Or when Buddha said, "I just need to switch off, put my feet up, and stop thinking."

Maybe we do hear about those days, but they are not the focus of amazing lives.

That's my point. Even when you have an off day. or a day when you just need to slow down and stop, it does not mean you are not still on track for an amazing day.

I'm always surprised that even when you are happily creating magic, you can get tired. I forget it can be hard work sometimes standing up for yourself, fighting for what feels good in your soul. When you are really out on the game field, playing the game of life, and not just sitting on the sides with popcorn, I always think adrenaline will keep you going. No, it takes more than that.

We are all showing that we are extraordinary at the moment in the way that we have adapted and adjusted to our world. Nothing is the same as how we imagined our summer would be. We are clinging on and not daring to look down. So give yourself a break!

During another harsh self-judgement session at 3am this morning, I had a breakthrough when all the disappointments I have were lined up in front of me, mocking me. It hurt. Somewhere inside me, I heard my voice say, yet who is still here, willing to have a great Tuesday? Me - not those disappointments.

It was a great feeling. Simple, yet powerful. And for my next trick, I say with my magicians spin, I will not let the gang of disappointments haunt me. I'm going to package them up as school bullies and throw them back into detention. I advise you do the same today and let me know how liberating that can feel.

Rest when you need to rest and also fly when you know can. Paint that painting, dance that dance and run up that mountain. Do that as well as laze on a wooden raft and drift through warm waters. Doze among flowers. Tip your hat against the sun and sit longer at the taverna.

 We are human and extraordinary beings can over-complicate being human! We designed the robot - but it wasn't so that we could become one.

Monday, July 6, 2020

The Zoom Conspiracy

Last week I considered taking a lawsuit out against Zoom.  After welcoming them so fondly into my work and home life, I am disappointed as to how they have treated me.

I have been so open to sharing my face, my thoughts, and my friends with them. Using them for writing accomplishments, inviting them to social gatherings, including a tea party and a festive Tequilla celebration. I've witnessed two murder mysteries, numerous plays, a singing contest, and hundreds of business meetings.  All of which I have declared great gratitude for.

So, why oh why would they disrespect me and become an accomplice in a weight gain which suddenly burst out (literally) for my attention a week ago? Zoom must have met up with the fridge and the sofa to devise such a plan. You ought to consider this carefully for yourself, as Zoom only requires shoulders above, thus inviting laziness from the shoulders down.

Is it a mere coincidence that Netflix and Hulu became really good at the same time, again encouraging one to sit for longer?

I am not the only person to think: if I just place my laptop here I can be seen, work and reach the fridge and remote control without moving. Let me add without moving for five or six hours. I won't eat as much, I said, while ordering luxury snack packs of everything to be delivered.

Then suddenly, we begin to go out and where do we go? TJ Maxx without dressing rooms.
I returned six items yesterday and when asked if anything was wrong, I replied; "Only my perception of reality, an adjustment is required!"

The joy of joy though, Zoom came out with its next plan of action for me, as today I caught myself eating and it was perhaps the first time I've ever seen that.

Introducing my new diet plan. It's easy, it's quick, it's forever.
1) Get your favorite snack.
2) Open up a zoom link.
3) Eat while watching - as though you aren't being watched. (Isn't that already a famous saying?)
It will change your life faster than this all happened.

Take care everyone.
Always, Jayne

PS Please remember, occasionally my posts are written tongue in a slice of cake....I mean cheek.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Before May 25th 2020

I told myself just now, that I need to get out into the fresh air and look at the sky before I write about what is going on. That I need a quiet moment to breathe.
How lucky am I that I can do that without fear of getting stopped in my car, dragged onto the ground, and being murdered.

This morning, while I looked at reports after reports about the riots and looting, I longed to learn about what is being done to investigate police brutality.  I understand that Derek Chauvin is being charged, but what next? We all know the violent demonstrators are not the ones demonstrating peacefully. But why are the police shooting rubber bullets into people standing on their porches?
Why was it OK that tear gas was used to separate a crowd to get someone to a photo opportunity?

If you have a problem in the ranks, it is often coming from the top. So I want to know what laws are going to be in place to protect us? I heard that the National Guard is now coming in to stop the violence, which I agree with. So, who is coming in to investigate those who are bent on parading power and corruptness? We all know there is good and bad, so what is happening to stop the bad? And I'm not talking about the aggressive destruction and looting.

In London years ago, I was holding a baby for a friend who had forgotten something in the supermarket. A woman smiled at me, looked at the baby, and then scowled at me with hate. That was once.
About 15 years ago, a woman from New York asked me if she could speak to an American planner, instead of me. That was once.
About 3 years ago, a twenty-year-old complained to me that people my age should not be working, as it wasn't fair to younger people. That was once.

I have no clue what it is like to face discrimination on a daily basis.

I'm pretty sure that every single one of us has experienced times of victimization, just because of a difference. Color, sex, age, religion, political party, sexual preference, size, social class, sports team - the list is long and if we want to find a problem, we will.
Murder because of difference - really? After everything the human race has been through, we still resort to basic bad action because we devour power, control, and selfishness.

It seems it is part of human nature that we hurt our own neighbors, but inside, we have our own voice that says stop, don't do that. So if that person does not hear their own voice, what on earth can we do so that they listen to another?

Before May 25th, Derek Chauvin had 18 complaints filed against him, including one fatality and Tou Thao had 6.
If we do nothing, something will happen.
Love is sadly not all we need.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Dr.Who and the chocolate need

Is it too early in the morning to eat chocolate?

I feel like I am caught in an episode of Dr.Who. (I know for some they will not get that reference while others are saying yes that's what I said.) This mixed reaction is what we all have in common right now. We are all mixed!

It's like when people are suddenly wearing summer outfits while some of us are still wearing winter boots. Some of us feel we did not get the memo while the rest of you are screaming catch up slowpoke.

I got told off for ignoring the arrows in Ocean Job Lot the other day! Then in Stop and Shop, I backed down one aisle to get what I wanted, so as not to go against the arrow. I almost made the reverse sound a truck does but didn't think the anxious woman behind me would appreciate my joke. In fact, she appeared so anxious, I stopped my plan and went the long way round to get my teabags.
Which is probably why they've put arrows in the stores, to make some of us get more exercise!

It's all different and yet it's not. We are having to handle our busy lives along with stress. Haven't we always? Except now, we have an extra layer of fear and unknown circumstances.

I see around me people adapting, creating, and growing. Learning new platforms and new ways of working. It's extraordinary. I am inspired by those that are hungry to do more.

I also see people growing tired and frustrated with the unknown and their own vulnerability. Anger is surfacing. Bitterness. I see people forgetting that we are not all the same. While some write about this being the realization of our values, others get desperate and shout.

We all have a responsibility to do what we can to support one another through this. The changes this has implemented will continue and we have no idea yet of the full effect that this will have on us.
For those that lost people, how do they grieve? For those that lost anything, how do they get back to another starting point?

There are ways to succeed and it will all take time, patience and care for one another. I wonder if we are capable of that. It feels like clinging, some days. Clinging to whatever we have known in the past, knowing it is being taken away like leaves are shaken from branches. Everything is going to take a little more explaining, a little more time. Nobody can bounce at full speed ahead at the moment, so why is there road rage against one another? It is OK to feel brave as much as it is OK to feel frightened.

I guess the only way to begin is with yourself, and for me, I feel like I'm in an episode of Dr.Who, as every morning, I wonder is it too early to eat chocolate?

Monday, April 20, 2020

Thank you Theater

I am proud to announce that two minutes ago I broke my own world record for demolishing Cadbury mini eggs in under 5 minutes. It is a skill that I have worked on for years. Please do not try it at home.

As well as mini eggs, I want to thank "writing" for being my serious quarantine partner. While we both felt we should break up, and have endured periods of one of us not talking to the other, I know we have felt a tremendous comfort by settling into hours of focused time together.

The challenge of writing is also in the vulnerability of sharing it. Any creative heart will agree. I admire all of the companies that have boldly adapted and are embracing our current situation by delivering programming online. That takes guts!

Big shout out to Vintage Soul Productions and Boston Playwrights Theater. Two places that have meant more to me than this blog can explain.

Sharece Sellem of Vintage Soul Productions devised a very clever and demanding 24 hour monologue challenge, which she has presented every week since our lockdown began and which will continue until life resumes.

I was lucky to be accepted and had three monologues performed and filmed this past weekend.

Having such a tight deadline was amazing and pushing procrastination to one side, I embraced my desire to put something out into the world that may mean something.

Every day at noon, it has become my tradition of logging into the Boston Playwrights Platform to enjoy a ten-minute play that would have been part of their wonderful on stage marathon, originally scheduled for April 19th.

I have delighted in watching nearly all of the plays, it's been inspiring. I see great energy and commitment from talented people who need to know they make a

That's what is going on at a deeper level isn't it?  We all need to know that we are making a difference. We want to feel seen, valued and wanted. We all do. We are going through complicated emotions at the moment that we were simply not prepared for. There wasn't a guide (yet) for this. "Corona Virus for Dummies." We don't know what we are doing.

We are all comparing ourselves against the word essential.
We are all comparing ourselves against the facebook posts we read.
We are all trying to do our best while sadness, fear and doubt run through us.
We all have a sense of being let down because we know our safety net has holes in it.
We all feel vulnerable.

Thank you for every person who is aware of that. Thank you for creating opportunities to support the sharing and documentation of this historic time. Thank you theater. You are entertaining, empowering and at times really funny! Thank you to friends who care and do their best to support and help lift one another. It all matters.

There are no mini eggs remaining, so I have treated myself to the download of "Get Fit Broadway Style." If I'm going to work out, I will do it with jazz hands and a five, six, seven, eight.  I will remerge into the world wearing feathers, tap shoes and looking like Ethel Merman.

Starting here, starting now, everything's coming up roses!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

I'm not Alice

It has taken me a long time to complete writing a blog post during our current days.
Should I be funny? Poignant? Thoughtful and inspiring? Who on earth can I be right now?

Some folks are amazing at what they are doing. Sewing masks, buying and delivering groceries. Presenting online. Adapting. Creating. Supporting and teaching. Donating and sharing.

I am baking, eating, writing, crying, laughing. I connect as much as I hide, and I notice how often I compare myself to others.

I am one of the privileged, who feel safe and not alone, my gratitude makes me feel guilty. Everything I planned for this year has changed, but life has tipped us all upside down, and there is a strange comfort in knowing that I'm not by myself in saying: "now what do I do?" There is something in knowing that globally we are all affected. Though, right now, I am not aware of what to do about that.  It's like we all received a failed notice at the living exam and are having to go back to phase one.

Life has given me what we call a new normal a couple of times, and I have often felt worn out by coping with that while life spins regularly around me. Here, everyone is handling a "new normal." Nothing will be the same again, and everything we do now has the unwanted opportunity to develop and plant what we want next - that is if we are lucky.

My heart aches when I think of the things people will lose and have already lost. I feel incredibly sad wondering how people will be able to continue. I cry when I think of those who are lonely and scared, and those that are greedy and taking advantage of others. When I think about the things I have not seen; the hospitals, the fear, the deaths at home as people cannot afford health care. The exhaustion of the ones on the front line, holding the hands or longing to and they can't.

I am truly, truly worried about the future and all I can do is remind myself that my name is not Alice and I must not fall down the rabbit hole of fear.  (Though I am allowing myself to eat and drink everything, and it's certainly making me larger!)

All I can do is hope and love, and look for the sunlight, and along with that, ask that others do the same.

For my Universe

I have had so many thoughts recently for blog posts that could be inspiring for those around me, and yet I can never quite find the words. M...