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A Day Well Spent

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Tue, 06/11/2024 - 15:30

I have done a few homely tasks today, and that makes me feel like I have contributed something. I like that feeling. Women in my generation were raised to serve. We served as waitresses, secretaries, administrative assistants, nurses -- the roles we felt had been assigned because, well, women do these things. It wasn't until the end of my working life that I achieved a position normally held by a man, and for the first year I had to be classified as temporary until I could prove that I could do the job. I could. So for three years, from the age of 62 to 65 I served as Administrator/Chief of Staff for the union that represented 15,000 staff employees in one of the biggest universities in California. I enjoyed the job, and under my watch our budget went from red to black. Programs were working, union staff had workloads balanced, and things hummed along, mostly.

Falling Short, Living Long

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Sat, 05/04/2024 - 12:36

My dream life is usually pretty ordinary. It's in primary colors with broad messages. Sometimes I think I fall short in this area because there doesn't seem to be much complexity. My subconscious likes to use direct messages. Occasionally I have important dreams that require some careful picking through to get to the meaning, so it's not always true that I 'fall short'. But I do imagine other people's dreams are bigger, more important, more meaningful than the simple ones I have.


Submitted by Virginia Watts on Wed, 04/10/2024 - 11:13

What's the forecast? Can we count on it? No. We would like to think we can, but no one can predict the future. We hope for sunny weather when we plan a picnic, we hope for rain when we plant a garden. We know these events will occur at some point. But there is just no telling when. There is nothing else to do but accept whatever comes our way. At least insofar as weather is concerned. 

Does the same apply to our moods? Can we choose to be of a sunny disposition? Many say yes, just decide to be happy, that's all it takes. Does it work that way for you? Sometimes there are triggers that bring us to places where we need to be sad, or mad, or even just sit with how confounded we are by people or world events. Up until now, I have had very little patience with this whole process.

Mending the Nets

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Sat, 01/20/2024 - 12:06

For three years my husband and I felt the safety nets surrounding our existence had been tearing. Nothing seemed safe anymore. We couldn't gather together for fear of spreading a deadly disease. Big hole. Our medical providers were overstretched and systems were failing. Big hole. Supplies of medical equipment necessary to treat the sick had been neglected and replacements were not available. Big hole. Supply lines for basic daily needs were interrupted and we scrambled to make do. Big hole. 

We learned to use what we had in our pantrys when we could not figure out ways to shop or organize deliveries. We figured out how to connect safely by using the internet and doing some online gathering. Artists provided free entertainment online so we could have some relief from the daily news of death and more death. We spent time organizing our living space, well some of us! We discovered old hobbies and looked for new ones. We were learning how to patch some of the holes. 


Submitted by Virginia Watts on Tue, 01/02/2024 - 11:48

A friend posted a spinner to choose a word for the New Year. Mine popped up 'delight'. I am lucky! It feels like the reflection of what I have been feeling the last day or two. And it has been a very long time since that feeling has lasted more than a moment. So many challenges over the last few years, not only world challenges, social challenges, environmental challenges, but personal ones as well. Challenges of aging, of a body that surprises me almost daily with a new reminder that I am no longer in possession of the energy and flexibility of someone thirty years younger, and self care needs to be at the very top of my to do list every single day.

In Search Of

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Tue, 12/05/2023 - 13:08

One of my neighbors on our Buy Nothing Group was looking for white roses to propagate from cuttings. We have a wonderful display of tiny pink Cecile Bruners when they are in bloom. But they are pink, not white. I offered those, but told her she would have to bring her own clippers and take whatever she wanted. Another neighbor offered roses too, and eventually she was able to collect quite a few cuttings. Normally I would have taken the cuttings for her and left them on our porch, but my husband and I have been under the Covid seige for the last two weeks, and I haven't ventured out. It's one of the weirdest viruses I have ever experienced, and I do not recommend it. Yes, we are boosted and reboosted, and have done all the usual things to protect ourselves. But before Thanksgiving we had been going out and about, and well, I guess that's what happens when you rejoin the world no matter how careful you try to be.

Thanks Giving

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Wed, 11/15/2023 - 12:38
Autumn leaves in tin can labeled 365

Right now it feels to me like time is as fragile as the fall leaves I arrange in the little tin can labeled 365 that sits on my desk. The leaves were only tiny buds in June. Now If I handle them too roughly they crumble. I've had them here for a week and I love the way they are beginning to curl and the way the colors change as they make their inevitable journey to stardust. That's where our journey ends too. Stardust.


Submitted by Virginia Watts on Mon, 10/09/2023 - 13:27

As I recall, before the Great Pandemic of 2020, I used to be able to focus on a task. I was capable of doing the laundry, shopping for food, leading my Writing Group and planning writing exercises, cooking, and generally staying with a task until it was completed. But I have been overcome by an insidious fog which traps me in an anxiety loop with occasional bursts of determination that fizzle out in minutes. I now own more pairs of shoes than I ever have had in my life. Walking shoes, orthopedic shoes, slippers, sandals, athletic shoes. Since the pandemic hit I have purchased more shoes than I could ever wear out.  Shoes in a closet

Under an Autumn Moon

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Mon, 10/02/2023 - 13:28

What is it about autumn? We know leaves will be falling, branches will be bare, but we savor and celebrate the process. Change is precious in this season, something we normally want to avoid. We welcome it in the fall. The autumn moon shines brighter in our collective memories, and the earlier sunsets can streak the sky with darker colors. The weather is unpredictable, some days start out under gray skies and then the sun breaks through late in the day and we shed our sweaters and jackets.

Fall Memory

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Fri, 09/22/2023 - 13:22


The air is heavy. I can feel it in my chest, that little sear of pain with each inhale. “Haze” my father called it. “It will burn off soon.” Burn it does, at least in my lungs. But it's 1952. I’m a kid and my energy level exceeds the need for a lung full of clean air. Los Angeles smog is just accepted as inevitable, and until the wind blows it off to sea or the rain brings the pollution down, we live with it.