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September 6th, 2012 by judytalks

My excellent adventure ended when I returned home on August 27. I was happy to see that everything was still up and running, though I had been gone for 2 months.

Flying Solo, the group I started in April, had been aptly managed by its members, who continued to meet, and even had a short list of topics to discuss and research. I couldn’t ask for more!

This group is beginning to branch out to other communities and so I’m busy preparing workshops to answer both general and specific questions that single people have about handling pesky situations. The support and information from a group does wonders to help navigate the muddy waters of finding honest repair people to figuring out options for transportation when needed.

Fall is on its way, though it’s still hot here, but I’m always geared up to “go to work” when summer vacation is over. What projects do you have on your to-do list? Let me know.

Best wishes,

Closure – Mixed Emotions

June 15th, 2012 by judytalks

What feelings do you have when something meaningful in your life comes to a close? Do you ever feel that there is a permanent end to an event or phase of your life? I contemplated this thought as we finished this season at the grieving center where I am a facilitator. Those families that close their participation will probably never completely be “finished” with their grief. And the families returning will use this break to enjoy summer vacations, but thoughts of their loved ones will still be present.

What is it that we want or expect from “closure”? Answers to questions may never come. Relief from pain is never complete. The ideal answer seems to be that we can put some things in life to rest , so we may rest. Saying goodbye allows you to start saying hello to the new ideas, possibilities, and people you encounter. It’s hard to move forward when you’re dragging a huge sack of rocks behind you.

We have a closing ceremony for those leaving, to acknowledge the work they’ve done and the healing that has taken place. Why not devise you own small ceremony for those hard to let go of things? Sound silly? If it’s crowding out room for new beginnings, give it a proper send-off and express gratitude that it’s done. Living in the moment is the attitude of choice for many. I’m trying to make it mine consistently.

Wishing you the best,

Simmering Summer

August 23rd, 2011 by judytalks

It’s still super hot here in Arizona and we have another month or more of triple digit weather. Though I try to find ways to escape the scorching sun, it reminds me that I always loved summer. As a kid growing up in the Midwest (Wisconsin), sunshine couldn’t come too soon. It meant no school for three whole months, lazy days, vacation with family, and endless hours to goof off.

Although I always had a summer job, I never felt any pressure to get things done. Time moved slowly, schedules were kept to a minimum, and I could just go with the flow most days.

Whatever happened to that luxurious sense of easy living in warm weather? Just going on vacation for a few weeks takes endless preparation and an urgency to fill every day with meaningful activities.

I’ve accomplished a lot this summer, things that needed to be done. Lifestyle changes, focused projects for my writing, and some important business goals. I feel I’ve jumped a hurdle and landed on both feet, but somehow I forgot to lie in the grass and watch the big, puffy clouds of summer move across the sky.

I think summer was invented to give us respite from the endless tasks we perform and the rigid schedules that have to be met most of the year.

All too soon, cool breezes will brush across the landscape and there will be a chill in the air. I’ll be able to sit on my screen room in the morning, sipping coffee and watching fall put in its appearance. Meanwhile, I’m going to hold on to the last rays of blazing heat and remember going barefoot for three whole months.

Have some dream time,

Summertime Means Vacation.

July 8th, 2010 by judytalks

The 4th of July always means that summer is half over. Usually I’m just getting into the swing of things, and it’s no different this year. My plans have changed 4 or 5 times since late winter when we decided to spend 3 months in MN. visiting family, doing some book business, and just seeing the wonderful sights, indoors and out, in beautiful Minnesota.
I’ll be flying to MN on July 27th while my husband stays here to hold down the fort. My plans for book talks about A Child’s Grief are being finalized, with some open spots for contacts with interested groups. Most importantly, I’ll be catching up with family, people I only see a few times a year – not nearly enough.
Years ago, families took one 2-week vacation a year, went someplace interesting, usually by car, and brought home rolls and rolls of pictures. Family events were often frequent throughout the year because they stayed close to home after growing up. And even though flying today takes far less time and probably costs less than driving, we simply don’t make it a point to spend time with folks – family or friends – who really matter to us. I’m determined to change that in my life. I’m going to vacate my premises several times throughout the year, hassle through security, pack light and pop in regularly.
Real hugs are good for the soul.
Happy rest of the summer.

What did you do on your summer vacation?

June 12th, 2010 by judytalks

So far, mine has been quite busy. Juggling and organizing travel and events for work and play makes me think I should just stay home. But how boring…

A short trip for a graduation I wouldn’t miss, an anticipated time with family in the midwest, opportunities for connecting with book stores and groups that work with grief and/or kids are all must items.

I’m lucky to be able to enjoy all this variety. It’s cool today in AZ., we’re going to a play this evening, and everyone’s well. Hope you are too.


The long, hot summer

August 3rd, 2009 by judytalks

August, and that wonderful time of year, summer, is nearly over. Growing up in Wisconsin, we ran barefoot, hopped rocks in the shallow part of the Fox River, ate ice cream, and watched outdoor movies in the public park.
Here in Arizona, it’s too hot to even go outside most of the day, let alone go barefoot. But it rains. And blows and cleans the earth, while settling red dust on the car, screens, and anything that stands still.
It’s countdown time to our trip to the Twin Cities for family fun and book talks and signings for A Child’s Grief. My mission is to inform and inspire adults to understand the needs of children experiencing the loss of a parent. Loss in general is the social marker today, and we somehow remain in the dark about its impact and the road to recovery.
I hope you are enjoying your summer. Picnics, vacations, family reunions, the beach, lying under a tree with a good book, all ways to unwind a little and shake off the tension of hard work.
Here’s to more ice cream.

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