Haiku: Youth Means Never Being Sleepless

Can't sleep

Do you ever have those nights when you just can’t sleep? That was me this week. I was sleepless at a hotel in Pasadena, California.

I tried it all:

  • Toss. Turn. Toss. Turn.
  • Punch down the pillow.
  • Imagine flowing in a peaceful river.
  • Breathe in, count to 4, breathe out, count to 4, repeat…
  • Relax every body part, starting at the feet and working upward.
  • Count My blessings (Instead of Sheep)…as in the Irving Berlin song.

But it didn’t work. 

Nothing did.

That’s ok.

I got a haiku out of it, thinking about how being young means never having insomnia. And how I never knew to appreciate that when I was young.

Haiku: Youth

those long-ago days 
when “I’m going back to sleep!”
could somehow come true

It was nice to remember the Irving Berlin song about insomnia, and how I used to watch White Christmas (the movie in which it was featured) with my Dad. So maybe sleeplessness isn’t all bad.

Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)

Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney singing the classic Count My Blessings
in the movie White Christmas

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings

by Irving Berlin

National Haiku Writing Month

February is National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) and I’m a habitual haiku-er (is that a word?)... For more Glover Gardens haiku, click here.

© 2019 Glover Gardens

People are Amazing and Wonderful and Wise

OK, Dear Reader, I acknowledge the skeptics among you, those of you who  are pretty sure other humans would just as soon sell you down the river as validate your humanity.  But – you know what? – there aren’t that many of those folks!  A few bad apples may indeed spoil the barrel, but most people are pretty darn amazing.  Most people want to work with you and find a win/win situation.  Most people are pretty happy for you to be right, if they can be right, too.

Most people would cheer for you when you are striving to succeed.  And you would cheer for them, too, I am convinced.

My latest realization of how great others are is the cacophony of responses to my post about aging and attitudes (click  “The Older You Are, The More You Live in the Past”.  I read this provocative statement by a smart guy who should know what he’s talking about, but it seemed so generic, so pablum-like, so give-up-ish, and I wanted to hear from you.

And here’s what I got in response (you people are brilliant!):

  • “I look forward far more than backward … and that has not always been the case! So I would vote ‘depends on the individual and the circumstances in that individual life’. Good point to ponder – thanks for posting and nudging me to make today one of the forward-looking ones.”
  • “Of course, the more we age the more experiences we have and it is normal to reflect on those experiences as we live each day…but, if you remain busy in this life it would be silly to live for the past since the present and the future are more exciting. There is a question missing which says, do older people use their experiences of the past to enhance the present and future?”
  • “I agree that some individuals live in the past more and some do not. I think maybe those of us living with regrets may have a more difficult time being present as our bodies and minds begin to age. I think when we learn to follow our intuition and live with no regrets, we are able to be more present, because we have selected our choices wisely and our moments are more congruent. I think our souls want what is rightfully theirs, true happiness which comes from following our dreams and passions. When we are able to right our wrongs as they happen and reach for our dreams, we can age gracefully, without regret, this makes room for us to be present for our experiences.”
  • “Yes, I agree everyone will have their own perspective on life. It’s been my experience that those who live in the past are most often those who are unhappy with today. My philosophy is to take from the past what I need for today and plan loosely for the future but roll with the joy of whatever comes.”

These comments are from intelligent strangers, mostly, with one from my Dad.  And wow, I think we are receiving the wisdom of the universe and the Almighty here.  Serendipity. Blessings.  Humanity.

past__present__future_by_xnotperfectbutrealx-d3exrqh

A Day in the Life of an Octogenarian

I’m getting more and more interested in the balance – or trade-offs – between wisdom, aging and the desire and ability to embrace new concepts and experiences.   I launched a poll in a recent post to find out what you think about whether or not people tend to live in the past as they age – here are the not-surprising results.  It depends. (If you’d like to take the poll, please visit the post, The Older You Are, the More You Live in the Past.)

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 9.38.50 PM

Soon afterward, serendipitously, coincidentally, I received a wonderful email from an octogenarian in my life.  It was a short little essay about his day.  I loved it!  This gentleman is definitely not living in the past.  I wrote to him: “Seriously, it reads like a poem. I hope you are writing more of this kind of thing. Maybe you should start a blog. I would read it!”  “You flatter me,” he said.  “I just meant this as a piece of foolishness.”

This “foolishness” is a great example of one older person living in the moment, not the past.  Here’s his essay, Today, shared with permission.

Today

This morning I went out for a late breakfast.

I left the restaurant without paying my check.

I went to the supermarket.

Half finished shopping, I reached in my pocket for my shopping list.

Instead I pulled out the restaurant check.

After I finished shopping, I went back to the restaurant and paid my check with apologies.

When I got home, I rested a bit.

Then, at 3:00 PM I arrived at a homeowner association meeting.

As the last speaker on the agenda, I made a ten minutes presentation with controversial overtones to a gathering of about fifty senior citizens.

I received many plaudits for my presentation (from those who agreed with me of course).

Afterwards I went out and bought a bottle of Scotch.

When I got home, I sat out on the deck with Eileen and a Scotch, on the rocks.

It was a beautiful afternoon to sit on the deck.

Just another day in the life of an 85 year old retiree.

Have a good night.