Sunday, September 27, 2015

Inspirational Video's

Every so often it's good to watch a few inspirational videos. Here are some wonderful video I feel fit the theme of my more popular post!

1. The Dugger's article is by far my most viewed article. Though rather disturbing topic, it has that train wreck effect, you don't want to see it, but can't look away. I try to look on the bright side, at least the former TLC reality sitcom would inspire such satire.

Kid Farm

2. Although my Fat Shaming article didn't make the top ten, it had a recent increase of viewing, upon seeing this remarkable video, I felt inspired to share!
Why Fat Girls Shouldn't Wear Bikinis

3. Although this video doesn't represent any one particular article, Charlie Chaplin's speech at end of "the Great Dictator" was breath taking my beautiful. Hear in his words transformed into visual gratification, called
The Greatest Speech Ever Made

4. My Fraggle article is still my  favorite. Yes it may seem silly, but I do believe in the philosophy in much of the work of the Jim Henson Corporation.
Let Me Be Your Song

5. My last article, Aging Pagan; Our Personal Autumn Equinox became very popular, thanks to the sharing of a kind, wise and respected elder on her page. This video series, is a reaction channel, exploring the differences between generations.
Elders React 

I hope to continue to write for you and thank you for reading. Expect more articles coming soon!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Aging Pagan; Our Personal Autumn Equinox

To Jim

In the spirit of the upcoming Equinox, I feel it's time to talk about age and death. For fourteen years I have worked in health care, some of that time as an EMT, but mostly as a Home Health Aide. I'm not a doctor, nurse or lawyer. What I'm is a witness. I'm there when the nurse leaves, in the patients home, where few doctors venture. I have seen courage and fear. The stories I could tell you could equally break your heart or inspire a greeting card. I'm here merely to give my personal advice and strongly suggest you seek your own legal counsel. I share with you some suggestions, as well address concerns. Please use both knowledge and free will.

1. Some wise advice from his holiness the Dahai Lama.

This holds true, especially for those who suffer from conditions that affects memory. Don't live with regrets, make amends if you can and patch up damaged relationships. Be kind and thoughtful as often as you can. Your fancy toys won't fit in your hospital room, but images of your past will dance in your head. Make those memories special. Remember kisses, hugs, sun rises/ sets, butterfly's, songs, good cheers, merriment. Let go of your arguments, disappointments, scratches on pride and low point's.

2. Please heal past traumas.  I can not stress this enough. An elderly person I knew witnessed the sexual assault of a friend, both were very young at the time. This resulted in many nightmares and as the patients mind deteriorated she relived the experience unable to understand this was no longer a threat.

3. Study the effects of advance aging, as well as your families medical history. Make the decisions of what you are willing to go through and what you are not. Seek legal counsel, realize DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate) only prevent medical professionals from any attempts of restarting the heart, they will often go to great lengths from preventing the organ from stopping.  I suggest you not stop with documents,  but video record your feeling's on this issue. This means brainstorming on some of the most horrific of situations. As difficult as this may be, its far worse being in these situations without your wishes honored.

4. Be kind to the young. To your children or younger family members, never forget these will be the people determining what happens to you and your estates. The children of today will be your caretaker's and world leader's when you become more vulnerable. Think about the world you leave behind.

5. Obviously, eat right and exercise, but stay mentally active as well. Do that crossword puzzle while you eat your yogurt and drink coffee without sugar. Socialise, date and be sexually active. Find some social hobbies and take on several. As an able body person, you may want to start a program that encourages others with physical limitations to be physically active. You never know, you could one day be benefiting from the gifts you gave others. So volunteer at the hospital, make crafts, fix old cars, learn a new language, take a class, play on a team, dance even with just your eyes.

6. Celebrate age. Crown yourself the Crone or the Wise one. Own your age and be the person you want to be. Enjoy your free time and appreciate the wisdom you have gained. Believe it or not it will serve you better than youth.

7. Remember, just because you're retired doesn't mean everyone else has stopped working. All your free time could consume you and lead to feelings of neglect. If you want to be closer to your family, try to get to know them and find an interest you could share. You may not fully understand the newer generation, doesn't mean you can not connect in some way. Be a friend. Please don't forget how difficult life can be. Understand life's circumstances when frustrated by youth.

8. Determine your final interment and the details of your last ceremony.  Following religious and spiritual customs tends to make the transition more peaceful. You don't have to follow the traditional route of a funeral home, Death Doula's are an option in most if the USA. Pagan funeral options are also becoming more available. Military Viking Funeral.

9. Assistant living facilities and nursing homes hate change! Some have not adjusted to the fact most of their residents grew up with rock and roll. A music once despised by the generation before. They are also of the mindset of pushing Christianity onto their residents. Too often a prayer said by the director ends "in Jesus name." Offensive to pagans, atheist. Jews, Muslims and other ideas outside this one religion. This is not the time to be intimidated or weak. Stand up for your rights.

10. Know when to stop driving. As we age, our sight goes, our mind may wander, we might nap randomly, all serious dangers while we drive. Please, you don't want to be responsible for the death of another person, know when to let go. Its often better for seniors to live where there is decent public transportation.

11. Down size! You don't want to waste your energy cleaning a big empty house. Stairs are lovely, but are your enemy! Trust me! You might want to consider an apartment or condo over an entire house. When looking for a final home, you want to consider a few things.
You have to think ahead.
A. Where's the closes hospital and do you like it?
B. What access to public transportation is there available? Just because you can drive now, doesn't mean you will in the future.
C. How close are there stores for food, clothing and other area's? Are there dangerous roads, intersections, insufficient space for safe travel by walking or wheelchair?
E. Home maintenance coverage, utilities and security coverage.
F. Activities to do in the community.
G. Avoid stairs!  Your knees will thank me.  Also don't go with narrow hallways, doors and rooms. Make sure to look for big bathrooms with spacious showers or walk in tubs.  Either have a large bedroom or get a smaller bed.

12. When you're dead your will can be contested. If you have something special you want to give to a special person, give it to them before you die. This way you can enjoy their happiness, while ensuring the item goes where you want it.

13. If you need further advice, watch the Golden Girls. Believe it or not, these four women, through comedy covered many of complex issues of living longer.

14. Keep your favorite music from your youth handy!

The final year's of your life does not mean you are no longer an adult, but a sacred one. Ancient story teller. Our living past and gift to the future. Appreciate the treasure you are!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Classic Sesame Street

I was born in the summer of 1980. To me Sesame Street has always existed, for I never knew life without it.  At that moment in time all four Beatles were still alive. Reagan was in office, making racist remarks about African Americans to increase his vote.

 Long before the internet, people were excited about music television and being able to watch, rewind and fast forward movies from their homes with VCRs. Access to knowledge was limited to your library and catalogs. Your memory held about a dozen phone numbers by heart, which you had at one point dialed in a phone booth. The world was a different place, not in a change in behavior, but man state of ignorance has long been shattered with the interconnection of the world wide web. Something the younger generations will take for granted, much like our generation did for television and with the generation before that it was radio and so on....

Eleven years before then, in 1969 Sesame Street starring Jim Hensons Muppets, aired its first episode on the Children Television Workshop. Its main objection was to educate inner city children, who often couldn't attend preschool,  basic learning skills for entering elementary school. The alphabet, counting, colors, shapes, early science and social studies were made available to children with access to public broadcasting. Not only was this educational, but fully entertaining. Sesame Street made learning fun, with lovable characters like Big Bird and Groover, who had a child like demeanour that both entertained and related to common stresses a small child would understand, but an adult would not. They had fun parental figures like Gordon and Susan, who gave direction and security to all children and Muppets alike.  Education was drilled into us with song and dance. 

In just four short year's, the show will be celebrating fifty years on the aire. To just think, those children who first appeared on the show are not only already grown, but likely grandparents or entering that time period in their life. Imagine how old the adults are now. Loretta Long (Susan,) Bob McGrath and Caroll Spinney (Big Bird) are three of the remaining performers of the original show. I remember when Maria ( Sonia Manzano) had an African American boyfriend named David (Northern Calloway) and I was confused to why she was suddenly marrying Luis. It was the first time I ever saw an interracial relationship and I believed this short term relationship affected my generation enough to help change society

Classic Sesame Street is considered outdated, for example they teach children how to use a pay phone. It's also considered controversial, using the word Ash can as an example for the letter A. During the story line, Gordon is walking with a young girl who was new to the neighborhood. He openly talked about bringing her to his apartment, where his wife Susan served milk and homemade cookies. Back then this was completely innocent. This was the actions of good neighbors. Now a days, people are extremely cautious. No one wants to be accused of anything, communities began neglecting their children.  It's not something I would advise allowing your child to watch unattended, due to social and technical differences. When watching the first episode with my daughter, I explained that this behavior has changed. No longer could you trust a stranger who is so friendly. Yet I feel tomorrows generation could stand to learn from an obvious mistake we are currently making. It is not we should fear, our neighbors, but know them. Nothing is full proof and even a family relative could be that monster you fear. I say, let us bring back the idea of community and the people in our neighborhood.

Throughout the year's many talented, inspirational, influential and even historical people have either appeared or worked on the show. Sesame Street often brought out a more gentler side in an individual. Many great people who have since died have their way into this show. Historical Sesame when watched in order will show you our evolution in society. 

Another often frowned upon aspect of the show was the encouragement of imagination, including imagery friends.  I support imagery car rides, pretend cake at tea parties, finding images in clouds and day dreaming.
I believe in children playing outside, singing songs and looking at world through lenses of the future, not present. I support encouraging children to improve upon things, not keep things as they are. Maria and David's relationship had to end, when Sonia became pregnant in real life. David being her boyfriend was pretty controversial during that time, but no one wanted it to go further. So they broke up David and Maria, hooked Maria up with Luis, then they had a short engagement, marriage and then the Maria is pregnant story line came, with the birth of her daughter later on. The show has long since evolved, but let us not forget this lesson. 

Gina in the role of the Maiden.
Gina with her adopted son Marco, now she is the Mother!

The show also first at the time to have a single mother character, now Gina a character who came in to replace the maiden down the street (character Maria once was, who then was the Mother and has since retired a Crone,) became a single mother, though adoption and is still at the Mother figure today. 

Maiden, Mother, Crone

To avoid repeating the past, one should know about it. However, take a tip from Sesame Street and find a more interesting way to learn your history. Watching the Sesame Street from your childhood will help you relate better to your parents generation and go back further if you can, and further generations. Also I love Sonias imitation of Charlie Chaplin and how Forgetful Jones always forgets the next line. It's those little moments that are special so, scattered throughout the show. We all who watched the show had them. I ask you, what were your?

Old school Sesame Street is also a great way to introduce your children to the music you grew up with. 

Giving you a trip down memory lane, while giving your children a history lesson, yes history! One of the greatest aspects of watching these old episodes, is it makes the older generations more approachable. Something about watching your parents generation play as you did, in such an intimate a setting Sesame Street provides breaks a barrier between generations, which I hope out last my lifetime. Our children have parents who grew up and loved many of the same characters they loved.  Though the show will have to change, people retire, die, technology and social structure change, the goal to make education available and fun has been the greatest gift Sesame Street has provided. 

I hope one Saturday morning you wake up early with your little ones, pull out the bowls, milk and cereal. Break the rules and have a feast in your living room together. Put on some old school cartoons and shows and don't forget your Classic Sesame Street. Tell your kids stories, fill them in on the outdated stuff, point out the old technology, hair styles, clothing, cars, etc... Remind your children that you were once like them, don't be afraid of that common bond.