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What Would You Do? February 1, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.

The-Pink-PantherThe Hypothetical:  A neighbor you’ve been friendly with for 6 years has turned decidedly frosty toward you.  You don’t know why.  You’re certain that you did nothing directly to her that should have caused the change of heart.  But whenever you see her and smile or wave, she looks right through you . . . with a frosty glare.

What would you do?

Donald-Duck-MadA.  Angrily confront her and demand an explanation:

“Who the hell do you think you are?  I’ve been nothing but nice to you and you look at me like I’m a “dog deposit” left in the middle of your driveway!”

B. Ignore her back:

“I’ll see your frosty stare.  And raise you a . . . cold shoulder.”

C.  Collapse into a puddle of tears, effectively putting the keys to your happiness in her pocket.

Donald-Duck-BaseballD. Try to open up the channels of communication:

“Hey.  I’ve noticed that you seem a bit frosty towards me in recent interactions.  I can’t think why.  Is it something we should talk about at some point?”

E. Laugh & talk about her behind her back with anyone who will listen:

“OMG!  She is being a total bitch to me.  Every time she gives me her prune face I want to burst out laughing.”

Donald-DirectorF. Nothing.  If she wants to talk about it, let her broach the discussion.

G. Move.

H. Other.  Be as creative as you want here!

So . . . what would you do?


Before deciding ~> Breathe * Relax * Feel * Watch * Allow.

Instead of pushing, pulling, or trying to manipulate the actions of others, we can adopt an attitude of “cheerful indifference” as we allow things to be as they are.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Good Enough (Roxi St. Clair) * Self Acceptance (Find Your Middle Ground)




A Brand New Day January 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, People, Spirit & Ego.

Turtle-Underwater“When is the viewing?”

“No viewing.  He’s already been cremated.  All that’s left is ash.”

“WHAT?!  How could you do that?!  You knew we’d want to see him again.  And that we’d want to bury him in the family plot next to mom and dad.”

“Hmm . . . to be honest, I didn’t consider what you wanted.  HE wanted to be cremated.  I arranged for his cremation.”

“But you should have let us view him first!”

“Why?  That’s not what HE wanted.  HE didn’t want people admiring the work of a mortician, talking about how peaceful HE looked.”

Lotus“But we wanted to see him again!”

“Too bad. Too little. Too late.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means HIS wishes trumped yours.”

“That’s not good enough.  How could you ignore what WE wanted?!

“I’m sure you can figure it out.”

“Spell it out for me anyway.  I want to understand why you chose to disregard OUR wishes.”

“OK.  Here goes:  He called you. And called you. And called you. And YOU did not call back. YOU didn’t write. YOU didn’t visit. YOU ignored him while he was alive so I felt no need to accommodate YOUR egocentric desires once he died. HE asked to be cremated. I honored that request. Case closed.”

“But you had no right to cremate OUR brother!”

300px-Paradiso_Canto_31“Of course I did.  If I didn’t have the legal right to dispose of his remains, the funeral home would have refused my request.”

“That’s not what I meant! You should have called US to see what WE wanted.”

“I don’t see it that way. And, even if you could somehow convince me now, it’s too late.  It’s a done deal.  Deal with it.”

“He never should have married you!”

“But HE did.  And now he’s dead.  It’s a brand new day.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

When someone dies . . . should the wishes of the deceased trump the desires of the mourners?

Our Lady of Perpetual Displeasure January 13, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.

IMGP3881On a walk, uplifting thoughts fell on stone deaf ears.

Happiness comes first to those who are already smiling.

Blind to the good, Our Lady of Perpetual Displeasure mined a ponderous pile of grievances and gripes to regale with stale tales.

How refreshing the whinny of a pack horse fully unloaded! ~ Classic Haiku

Sometimes the teacher appears before the student is ready.

Aah . . . that’s better!

As shown by the parable of the Chinese Farmer, it pays to develop a “Maybe Mind”



Expectations Are Not Obligations January 11, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.

220px-TaleofPeterRabbit8Some people get annoyed when their expectations aren’t met.

As if their expectations gave rise to a corresponding obligation on the recipient’s part.

Silly rabbits!

Life doesn’t work that way.

Expectations are nothing but fluff and stuff, based on mere opinions about how the world “should” be.

And, for the more grandiose among us, how it would be . . .

“If only people would consult with us before acting like poorly educated baboons, dearth of common sense.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

I am patient with stupidity, but not with those who are proud of it. ~ Edith Sitwell

I’m Dying Here . . . January 9, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, People.

250px-New_Orleans_City_of_Old_Romance_and_New_Opportunity_Crop_p_23_MoneybagsA lady died in January.  Her credit card company billed her for the annual service fee in February.

In March and April, the bank added late fees and interest to the charge.  The balance, which had been $0.00 when she died, now approached $60.00.

A family member placed a call to the bank.  “Hi.  I’m calling to let you know my aunt died in January.”

After some back and forth, the bank’s representative said, “I’m sorry, but the account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.”

The nephew chuckled,”Maybe you should turn it over to collections.”

Missing the humor, the bank rep said, “Since it is two months past due, it already has been.”

170px-Suushi_Yurei“So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?”

“Either report her account to the fraud division or report her to the credit bureau.  Maybe both!”

“Do you think God will be mad at her?”

“Excuse me?

“Did you get what I was telling you – the part about her being dead?”

“Sir, you’ll have to speak to my supervisor.”

Supervisor gets on the phone.

The nephew says, “I’m calling to tell you, the account holder died back in January with a $0 balance.”

“The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply.”

170px-PuckCover“You mean you want to collect from her estate?”

“(Stammer) Are you her lawyer?”

“No, I’m her nephew.”

“Could you fax us a certificate of death?”

“Sure.  What’s your fax #?”

After the bank gets the fax:  “Our system just isn’t setup for death. I don’t know what more I can do to help.”

“Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. She won’t care.”

“Well, the late fees and charges will still apply.”

“No doubt.  Would you like her new billing address?”

“Sure. That might help.”

Hobbes“Odessa Memorial Cemetery, Highway 129, Plot Number 69GR.”

“Sir, that’s a cemetery!”

“Yup.  What do you do with dead people on your planet??”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.) 

The Ephemeral Grin of the Cheshire Cat January 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, People.

220px-AdvertYoungsTheHatterVictorianEraBridgeportCTI enjoy being around people who are vibrant, upbeat, and happy.

Who look at the positives at least as long as the negatives.

Who can engage in intelligent conversation.

And silly banter.

In the same laugh-riddled breath.

Without getting tangled up in pointless linguistic briars.

Who don’t stress and obsess about this, that, and the other thing.

Or even nothing at all.

* Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused. ~  Unknown

Cheshire_Cat_TennielI tend to avoid those who choose to play the part of “perpetual victim.”

Without ever attempting to stand on their own four feet.

Or who try to manipulate me with strategic weapons (e.g., guilt, fear, carrots, or compliments).

While wearing insincere grins.

As ephemeral as that worn by the Cheshire Cat.

Before it vanished into thin air.

* Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. ~ Alexander Pope

Aah . . . that’s better!

I Hope He Laughs December 23, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People.

Frog-CircusWe have a neighbor who loves to play the labeling game.

His view of the world is the only view of the world.

People who don’t share his perspective (like me!) are judged, labeled, and cubby-holed.

There is no room for gray in his life.

The-Pink-Panther* When he realized I did not embrace Rush Limbaugh as a modern day sage and savior, he called me a “brainwashed, socialist, communist, liberal sympathizer.”

You know . . .

A pinko!

* When he ranted about “short-sighted and misguided” environmentalists who block progress by opposing drilling for oil and gas in pristine wilderness areas, I tried to share a few thoughts on the benefits of sustainable and renewable energy sources ~ like wind and solar.

He interrupted with a snort and informed me I was “living in a dream world” and “needed to get my facts straight” because sun and wind cannot provide the energy we need “to keep moving forward.”

Shrek3He then added, free of charge, that he hated debating issues of importance with people who argue from an emotional frame of reference rather than from an intellectual point of view.


Did he just call me stupid???

One night at a wine tasting, he and I were seated at a table for eight when someone I’d met that evening asked me, “What do you write?”

Not wanting to get bogged down in particulars, I tossed out, “Oh, lots of things ~ poems, essays, several unfinished novels . . .”

Shrek-WavingAt that point, our neighbor jumped in with a gleeful pronouncement, “You have ADHD!”

Startled at his outburst, I replied, “No, I don’t . . .”

“Yes, you do!  You just said that you didn’t finish a project that you started!”

“So?  Not finishing a novel doesn’t mean I have ADHD.  I have no problem concentrating for sustained periods . . .”

“Then WHY didn’t you finish those novels?”

“Because I didn’t want to.”


Pluto-RollerskatingWithout abandoning his initial hypothesis, he switched gears, “Why are you getting so defensive?  I was just being funny.”

I looked around the table and saw several mouths agape. “Really?  How come no one is laughing?”

“Because YOU ruined the party for everyone by becoming defensive for no reason.”

“And what was the alternative?  Letting you put words in my mouth and yet another label on my forehead?”

“No, you could have just laughed.  Your problem is that you don’t have a sense of humor.  You need to lighten up and stop being so serious.”


“If you wanted me to laugh, you should have said something funny.”

Taken aback, he sputtered, “Well, this is a free country and I can say whatever I want . . .”

“Duly noted.  But, since this is a free country, we don’t have to laugh on cue.”

Donald-Duck-MadAt that point, his wife intervened and suggested we change the subject.

I nodded my agreement.

Seeing no one jumping to his defense, our freedom-loving friend switched from FIGHT to FLIGHT and beat a hasty retreat from the restaurant, his wife trailing behind.

I apologized to the rest of the table, amid a chorus of “YOU have nothing to apologize for.”

Hmm . . .

While I appreciated the show of support, it takes two to tango and I did my part to keep the dance moving in a downward spiral.

daffy_duck_boxingI could, of course, muster all sorts of justification for the barbs I’d tossed his way.  I could rationalize that he is a bully used to getting his own way, and that fighting back was the “right” thing to do.

But I won’t.

Because I saw his face as he was leaving the restaurant.

The sadness registered there made me wish I had just laughed at his initial “ADHD label” rather than engaging in a pointless debate about “nothing.”

Oh, well, live and learn.

Mickey-OKI’ve added him to my Christmas Gift List and I know exactly what to get him . . . a Dymo label-maker!

I hope he laughs.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Inside Out December 9, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Meditation, Mindfulness, People.

Grumpy gusInside Out provides an Insider’s perspective on the competing emotions in our brain ~ Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger.

Immersed in thoughts sent by Joy, Riley exudes joy. When Sadness takes the helm, Riley sinks.

If Fear grabs the controls, caution prevails.  With Anger calling the shots, Riley snaps at her parents.

Thoughts season our experiences and expectations.

As a quick experiment, follow one of these thoughts and observe how your reaction shifts:

Donald-Duck-BaseballA.  “I can’t believe she said that!  Who does she think she is?  I am so tired of listening to her go on and on and on about . . .”

B.  “Another terrorist attack?   Why would someone do that?  What is wrong with them?”

C.  “My To Do List is a mile long.  I’ll never get it all done.  Something’s gotta give . . . ”

Mickey-LoungingD.  “This is going to be fantastic fun!  It’s going to be a blast to catch up with everyone after all these years.  I can’t wait to see what . . .”

E.  “Om.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

When we put peace of mind ahead of all else, we discover the power that lies within. ~ Joseph V. Bailey


The Golden Apple December 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, People.

The “best” thing about mindfulness is discovering who we really are under all the layers of societal and familial conditioning.

* We stop listening to our ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts).

* We no longer allow others to substitute their judgment for ours.

* We refuse to allow passers-by to manipulate us or derail our progress.

* We stop worrying about our reputation with mere acquaintances.

After all, they have an extremely limited (and skewed) perspective, whereas we have had a front row seat from Day One.

Don’t worry.  If you don’t have clarity when you begin looking within for answers, the necessary clarity will arise in due course. 

Just begin and the way will appear.

The second “best” thing that happens as we become more mindful is that we start to see others as THEY really are . . . behind their masks.

We see how people use guilt, fear, and other intimidation tactics to manipulate us to THEIR way of thinking.

For example:

If you would just STOP doing what YOU want to do and DO what I WANT you to do . . . then we could be best buds.

As subliminal messages of that ilk are issued, our internal radar perks up.

We realize we can be friends with them . . . as long as we’re willing to use their yardstick as an external reference point to guide our actions, instead of looking within to decide what to be, say, and do.

Watch out!

The proffered Golden Apple is as toxic as the shiny red orb the Wicked Queen offered to Snow White.

It’s designed to lull us to sleep.

This pretend “friend” wants us under her control and domination, looking to her for guidance!

If someone offers you a Golden Apple, don’t be fooled into accepting a bite.

(And if you do bite in, spit it out.  Fast.)

All that glitters is not gold.

The real treasure lies within.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Be who you are and say what you mean because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. ~ Dr. Seuss

Hop On The Bus, Gus! December 1, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness, Humor, People.

J.K. Rowling gave a commencement speech at Harvard one year.

In that speech she said, “You will never truly know yourself or the strength of your relationships until both have been tested by adversity.”

I agree with her . . . and with Oprah.

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” ~ Oprah Winfrey


Aah . . . that’s better!

Island Trolley by Barbara Hines ~ Anna Maria Island Art


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