May-June 2008 - Women's Press
6 LocalPerspectivesIs it contributing to my comfort?Still learning from DadBy MaryAine CherryMy 94-year-old Dad is in his own homewith assistance from his children and caregivers.I’m one of his caregivers. We are tryingto take care of him after a fall that resultedin a fracture. He’s on the mend and doingbetter.I learn very interesting things from him.How to be in the moment is the primarylesson. My life seems non-existent while Iam in his home, taking care of him. Thishas the side effect of making my focussharper about my own life when I leave.And Dad uses a phrase that is changingmy life. He says in response to somethingI am helping him with: “It’s not contributingto my comfort.” So I adjust what I amdoing so he is comfortable.I have been applying that phrase andquestion to my life. WOW!I had a brief roommate situation thatdid not contribute to my comfort and myNurturing Your LimitsBy Jeanie GreensfelderNURSINGHOME?new choice was to find a place that wasaffordable where I didn’t need a roommate.Finding boundaries feels very empowering.A month later a business opportunitywas presented to me. As I thought overall the initial possibilities, it seemed like agood choice. The closer we came to signinga contract, the louder my inner voicebecame. Why was I uncomfortable?Once again I asked myself, “Is this contributingto my comfort?” No, it is not. SoI chose to wait. I chose to listen to my innerguidance and dear friends’ counsel and justsay no. The timing was not right to addanother person to my office.Do you know how empowering it is tosay no when that’s how you really feel? Tostop justifying why I feel the way I do, tostop going ahead with something becauseI’m afraid to speak my own truth?My Dad just taught me a great phraseto live life by. I encourage you to use thisphrase in your own life. I think you’ll besatisfied with where it takes you.During one of my walks, a Dalmatian leaptfrom behind a bush and snarled. I wasfrightened until I noticed his bulky collarand knew I was protected by an invisibleelectric fence. An underground wire beepedwarnings that only the dog could hear ashe followed me along the perimeter of theproperty.I wondered how people would liketo wear collars and be con fined by invisiblefences with the threat of a shock if wecrossed them. Then I realized we do and weare.Internal warning beeps for humansoften sound like this: “Where do you thinkyou’re going?” “You’ll be sorry.” “Better gohome.”We have the illusion of freedom, butour invisible fences are internal, dug intoour psyche at a young age. Being collaredby our habits and schedules--living in ourmental backyard--has its comforts. Totalfreedom could feel overwhelming.Some of us have bigger yards than others.When our desires and our inner restrictionsare compatible, we don’t have manyproblems, but if our desires stretch beyondthe confines of our limits, we have to eitherreduce our desires, stretch our limits, or feeldissatisfied.For instance, when I read about awoman who backpacked around the worldfor a year, I knew my limits wouldn’t stretchthat far.Even though an upcoming hike to thebottom of the Grand Canyon scared mefor weeks, I wanted to test my limits tothat degree. My fears of “You’ll fall off theedge” were unfounded. Watching the trailturn red, green, and then yellow during thedescent through geological formations andlooking up the canyon from the ColoradoRiver rewarded and nurtured me.I enjoy smaller expansions of my limitswhen I break my routine to walk in adiffer ent area, cook something new, or altermy daily schedule.What new thing wouldyou like to do toexpand your limits?If you have loved ones in a nursing home or aboutto enter a nursing home – do not “spend down”their assets. Nearly ALL the assets of nursinghome residents can be SAVED. Their care willremain the same. Nursing home residents havelegal rights. Learn federal and state healthinsurance laws that work for the resident.Law Offices ofGeraldine E. Champion805-473-4747Call to hear about upcoming seminars!www.ca-elderlaw.comWhere Is Dad?By Charlene HugginsWith the advent of family-issues’ drivenwebsites like www.momsrising.org andwww.familiesrising.org, one quietly noticesthat one of the main components of thetraditional nuclear family unit—Dad—is missing from the conversation. DanaGlazer, a documentary film maker has setabout giving voice to this missing Dad andwhile doing so debunk the stereotypes offatherhood that exist within our culture.Recently, I spoke with Mr. Glazer abouthis documentary film, The Evolution of Dad,in order to get a sense of what he hoped toachieve with his work-in-progress.Glazer understands that WOMEN’Sissues are connected to the overall health ofthe family and therefore, the Father, beinga member of the family, is connected tothe Mother’s (womens’) concerns. In thisway, Glazer appears to be disregarding thegender lines that have been created for usby societal norms that are deeply out-oftouch with the reality of 21st century familylife. His goal with The Evolution of Dad isto create a thought-provoking film, whichchallenges the myths that exist within ourculture concerning fatherhood. In it he willexplore dads from past, present and future.Glazer views his exploration of “Dad”as an extension of the feminist movement,which historically has viewed family issueslike maternity/paternity leave, flexible workschedules, after-school programs, healthcare for all children, and realistic fair wagesas only women’s concerns. Unfortunately,the current nature of the work force, publicpolicies, and personal belief systemsreally do not support families’ values. Equalopportunity gains by women notwithstanding,many families still operate under thecultural ideal that moms care for childrenand fathers earn the money. Although twoWater MusicBy Jean GerardWometn’s Press | May & June 2008 | firstname.lastname@example.orgBeware of words strung on a thin straight lineand lowered in waters muddied by reflection.Those who expect a poem to be benigncan be deceived by rhyme and retrospectionas crafty writers troll for floating souls.Watch out for dancing rhythms of deceit.Lures and shadows mask subversive goals.Entrapment is achieved by accents sweet.Yet if the poet wrote the depth she knowswhere crawls the little worm that eats the roseand, living, makes it die, and dying, bloom –if she revealed the subtleties of doomI think the gods would strike her dead with awefor laying bare the secrets that she saw.parent incomes is now the norm, it’s stillthe aforementioned mythic family idealthat our society likes to perpetuate, and it’sstill the myth that guides the work placeand governmental policies and entrenchedgender belief systems about parenting.This is why Mr.Glazer’s documentaryis so important. As a father and husband,he’s acutely aware that the old standard ofwhat it means to be a father doesn’t workanymore; he wants to challenge the culturalassumptions that drive dad’s role withinsociety. Within the film, Mr. Glazer highlightstrailblazing fathers who want handsoninvolvement in the raising of children.One such father is Dallas Hayes. Hayes is afather who has opted out of the work forceand stays home to care for his young son.To him, caring for his son is a father’s joband he will define his role as dad for himselfand ignore the mold set forth by society.He also understands that the mythic, traditionalfamily values are slowly dissolving asboth parents find it increasingly necessaryto maintain employment which oftentimesrequires nannies and/or daycare. In his view,the parental members of the family havemerely become productive employees.By featuring dads like Hayes, Glazer’sdocumentary hopes to be a catalystfor change. His biggest challenge is toreach those many fathers who think feministissues have nothing to do with them.Glazer welcomes any fathers or familieswho have broken out of the mold anddeveloped creative new modes of operationfor the family to get in touch with himand share their story through his websiteevolutionofdad.com. To become moreinvolved with family issues, go tomomsrising.org and familiesrising.org. Tokeep abreast of Glazer’s progress on his documentary,go to evolutionofdad.com.
May & June 2008 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press Voices 7Voices Around the Table:Dorothy SegoviaIf I could do it differently, I wouldbelieve in myself. Each morning I’d look inthe mirror and hug myself and say “Hello,Beauty!” Every evening I’d give myselfpraise for the fabulous events and laugh outloud at the foibles. If I couldn’t find a reasonto laugh at my mistakes - I’d call one ofmy many fabulous friends who could!Sonia Paz Baron-VineI would pay attention and grab theoptions that life gave me and I let slipthrough my fingers...In 1972 life gave meFAME. I created a musical duo with a friendof mine and we recorded a 45 in Chile. Oursong went to # 1 in a week and stayed insecond place for 16 weeks thus earning a“gold record.” Wetraveled allover SouthA m e r i c a ,a p p e a r e don TVmany timesand had afan club. Ilet that slip awayby listening to a jealousboyfriend who did not“like” his girl to be involvedin show business....And thereyou have it.Lisa QuinnWhen I was 29 I got married. Notbecause I wanted a ring on my finger, butbecause I followed down a path of sayingYES, when I really wanted to say NO. Myyear of marriage left me feeling bitter, tired,and unworthy. The big “D” label from mydivorce was like the scarlet letter. The scarhas never completely gone away, but overtime its memory continues to give me thecourage to unleash my intuition I had inmy early 20’s. Getting married took a tollon my trust in relationships, while givingme the gift to forgive another humanbeing.I know if could get married again Iwould have the courage to say NO, notbecause of the person who was asking, butbecause of the person I am today.Jill TurnbowCoulda, shoulda...but not I sure Iwoulda. It would be easy to regret some ofthe decisions I have made in my life. MaybeI shouldn’t have married so young. MaybeI should have had children. Could I havegone to a different college? Chosen a differentprofession, or lack thereof? Maybe.But without those “mistakes” in the past, Iwouldn’t have ended up here. And this is agreat place, a great time, and a pretty greatlife. Of course, I would have liked to havedone it all in a size 8. Oh, well.Jeanie GreensfelderAh, so tempting, the dream to live somethingover in a new way. That first marriage,choice of college, become a doctor,Peace Corps in Africa, never marry, focuson adventure and personal challenges, skydive, an earlier move to California, hit thatsurf, marine biologyand scuba dolphinand shark excursions,a stint in a Broadwaymusical, and may thefantasy play on.Whoops, any ofthose changes eliminateme. They’d createa different person, perhapsa more fascinatingone, but I’m fond of who Iam and my snail-paced abilityto grasp life’s lessons.I used to yearn to go back, do over. NowI respect that at each moment of my life Idid the best I could do at that time and thateach choice added to who I am today.There is a spiritual time line exercise.With a line across a piece of paper markedwith each decade you have lived—10, 20,30, 40, 50—make a dot when your 3 worstexperiences occurred. With another coloredpen mark when your 3 best experiencesoccurred.Usually there is a correlation that badexperiences lead to good experiences. Thegrowth that comes from a negative experiencegenerally leads us toward a positiveone.Enjoy and appreciate who you are!Margaret HennessyWe can’t go back and undo what we’vedone in the past, but we can do things differentlyfrom now on. If we consider verycarefully what changes we would make, wewill find that we can still make them! Hereare some changes I would consider:If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?• Have more fun.• Worry less.• Take things in stride. Take things a lotless seriously.• Enjoy all the moments. Even the badones…they all have their positive side.• Make more friends.• Spend more time with family and lesswith work.• Be more positive.It’s not too late to change. If we closelyexamine these examples, it’s clear that all ofthem can be implemented right now. Wecan be more appreciative of our life, spendmore time with loved ones, laugh more,and worry less.“Continuity gives us roots; change givesus branches, letting us stretch and grow andreach new heights.” — Pauline R. Kezer.So, consider it carefully—What wouldyou do differently if you had your life tolive over?Carrie AsuncionIf I had to do it over again—I wouldcare less about what other people thoughtand instead ask myself “What brings mysoul peace and joy?” I would care moreabout being rather than all the franticdoing to keep up. And I would relax intothe knowing that “this too shall pass”- thatnothing is so bigthat my wholeworld will comecrashing down. Iwould take morerisks and worryless—about howI look, about if Idid enough, hadenough, or if anyonewould noticethe miniscule imperfectionson my legs.I’m now proud to say thatmy imperfections are whatmake me unique. And oh yes, I’d worry lessabout growing old, and instead embracethis moment and all the moments whichhave led up to this wondrous experience ofbecoming myself and finding my voice overthe past 43 years.Shara KellerIf I had it to do over again I would forgiveyou, even when your words dissolvedthe ground into broken clods and shatteredthe lives of everyone else I loved. I wouldopen my whole heart and keep giving youall my love, that enormous, trusting lovethat children have, rather than closingmyself away, becoming hard, blaming you.Because blaming became a habit—acurtain of protection that parted me fromopen-hearted living. I didn’t even realize Ihad a choice. Until now, when I wake crying,wishing only to tell you I love you, Ilove you, I love.Kathleen DeragonI wouldn’t have married three days afterI graduated from college. I would havetaken some time to live on my own and seehow I fit in to the world and what I wascapable of doing on my own. But, that said,that would mean that I wouldn’t have todaymy two loving and remarkable daughters.And, in the scheme of things, they weremeant to be here, and those learning-to-beon-my-ownlessons happened in their owntime, on life’s schedule, not mine. I love mylife and who I am, all a result of not doingthings differently!Anne R. AllenIf people learn from their mistakes, Ishould be a genius by now. Mistakes arewhat I do best. But the only mistake I trulyregret is the one Ican’t seem to learnfrom: falling for thelies of the dietindustry. I doit again andagain, andeach time Iend up fatter. IfI had accepted myhealthy, chunky bodywhen I hit menopause,instead of following everylow-fat, low-carb, plastic-foodfad that came along, I’d still be thathealthy, chunky weight instead of seriouslyfat.I wish I had believed what feminist doctorslike Christiane Northrup said fifteenyears ago: Long-term weight loss throughstarvation is a myth. It’s like trying to holdyour breath forever. Will power can’t winagainst the body’s need to sustain itself.Deprivation creates cravings, which is why,in the long run, diets make you fat.1101 Laurel Lane - San Luis Obispo541-1464“We hold the keys to your car’s health”When To Service, That Is The Question.Why should I service my car every 3000 miles, when the dealertells me I can go longer?Continental Motor Works recommends servicing your car every3000-5000 miles (depending on what kind of driving you do,and how many miles you drive per year, and if we use syntheticoil) or at least every 6 months (whether you drive the car ornot). Regular preventative maintenance will give you best gasmileage, prevent problems on the road, and get you to 200,000miles without major repairs. Ask us about our Car CareClub, which will sign you up for a year’s worth of services at adiscounted price.Mention Women’s Press and get 10% off,good through 2008E-mail your car questions email@example.com.Tune in to the Motormouths every Saturday morningfrom 8-9 am on KVEC 920 AM.