Tag Archive: Pollyanna


“For some ten years I have kept a journal more or less regularly as a vehicle for adjusting my own perspective. I’ve found it a convenient way of stepping back occasionally to see what forms and shades my sometimes hectic activities were leaving on the canvas of my life.” – Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo (1932-2015)cuomo

Seems so simple, and for more than just a few … terrifying.

Just write every day for 15 minutes a day, every day.

That was the advice to post-graduate students by University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Professor Carol Stabile.

Good advice from my former across the cul-de-sac neighbor.stabile

Sorry to say, we are not talking about cumulative texting every day for four hours or more … With all due respect from the author of Almost DailyBrett that is not writing. LOL, SOL, BTW, BRB, JK, FOMO and the timeless WTF do not and will never constitute written expression or even coming close to contributing to the canvas of life.

Instead, we are discussing the practice of actually sitting down each and every day and writing for 15 minutes or longer.

Why would we want to do that? How about to improve our writing and thinking abilities?

Here’s the key question: What should you write about?

If you are asking that particular question, it may point to another issue: You may not be reading enough.

Yes in order to write; you need to read and read and read …

Canvas of Life

“An astrologist sent me a horoscope that said I was going to die on election day. I don’t know if she meant literally or figuratively. Just in case she means it literally, I think I’ll vote early.” – Cuomo diary on 1982 general election eve

Cuomo’s diaries of his difficult 1982 Democratic primary against NYC mayor Edward Koch and general election campaign for the governorship of New York were a hit in the mid-1980s.

Considering that my boss (e.g., Governor George Deukmejian) went through a similar process in the same year, just from the other side of the aisle, and across the country in California drew me to Cuomo’s diaries.

Cuomo wrote in the pre-dawn hours before heading out for a full-and-frantic day of politicking. Guess there are some not requiring the standard eight-hours of sleep that mumsy recommended.

The former New York governor used the old-fashioned pen and journal for his diaries, reflecting the historical fact the IBM PC had just been invented. Today, we will most likely opt for a lap top or tablet to write … even though pen and paper still works in this digital age. Heck Moses used his own tablets thousands of years ago.

There is so much happening in the world to write about, more good than bad. Yep, your author has been accused of being a Pollyanna.unicorn

The Economist just this week wrote about “Unicorns.” Yep, those highly capitalized and inventive, privately held companies with valuations exceeding $1 billion that are in no hurry to take their shares public … Uber, Airbnb, SpaceX, Pinterest, Dropbox, Snapchat …

Some lament the gyrations of Wall Street; sometimes the market is overbought and sometimes it is oversold … the choppy trend line is upward to the right.

Almost DailyBrett wrote about the Silly Season of politics, essentially recommending not getting one’s knickers in a twist about the bloviations of Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. Believe it or not, the political process has a way of moderating itself.

Summer is upon us (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) and it is a magical time of Urlaub that wundervolle Zeit for vacationing, exploring and sampling yummy wines and refreshing microbrews. Ahh … Gemütlichkeit … Le Dolce Vida.

Soon the days will grow shorter, the air will become cooler and the leaves will start to change colors, it will be that magical time: college football season. There is something about the pageantry of the fall spectacle that serves as a rebirth and pleasant thoughts of another New Year’s Day In Pasadena.

Please excuse my bout of positive vibrations. Yes Almost DailyBrett recognizes there is and will always be the cup half-empty portion of the world. This blog is indeed pragmatic and recognizes it is much more difficult to be always positive, than the latter.

Go away Gloomy Gus and Negative Nancy.

The point is this: The Canvas of Life has so much to read about and more importantly to write about.

Sit down for your 15 minutes and write to your heart’s content. And if you are brave enough, publish your journal. The digital ones-and-zeroes of binary code will enable your self-publishing.

It only takes 15 minutes each day, every day.

http://wgs.uoregon.edu/profile/cstabile/

https://cstabile.wordpress.com/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/01/us/mario-cuomo-dies-new-york-governor/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/02/nyregion/mario-cuomo-new-york-governor-and-liberal-beacon-dies-at-82.html?_r=0

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21659745-silicon-valley-should-be-celebrated-its-insularity-risks-backlash-empire-geeks

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/the-silly-season/

 

 

 

 

“There will come a day, I promise you … when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen. My prayer for you is that day will come sooner or later. But the only thing I have more experience than you in is this: I’m telling you it will come.” Vice President Joe Biden

It’s not every day that I quote Joe Biden, but every once in awhile even a loose cannon can be right …err … correct.

biden

What compels me to write a non-political blog featuring the Democratic vice president and former senator are the lessons he teaches us in overcoming the loss of a loved one or in his case, two loved ones. Biden instantaneously lost his wife, Neilia, and one-year old daughter, Naomi Christina, when they were broadsided by a tractor-trailer on December 18, 1972. His two sons were in the same car. They were seriously hurt, but have fully recovered. Historically, Biden does not work on this anniversary.

I can understand why.

As I have mentioned before, I have seen a similar version of this movie and just like the vice president I cried at the ending. It will be seven years this coming July 10 when I lost my wife, Robin, to terminal stage four, fully methathesized stomach cancer … a death sentence cancer.

Both Biden and yours truly are mackerel snappers. And all the years of parochial education naturally prompt one to beseech the All Mighty as to how she or he could allow someone near and dear to you to be taken away in the prime of her life. I lost one in a relatively short period of time. Biden lost two immediately.

Biden, who had just been elected to the US Senate from Delaware in 1972, remembers staring up to the capitol rotunda ceiling and saying, ‘God!’ It was if I was talking to God myself. ‘You can’t be good! How can you be good?’”

A padre at the Cathedral in Portland, Oregon a few years ago commented how all deaths are by their very nature sad, but can be actually welcomed when someone is elderly, sick, suffering and has no hope of ever continuing a healthy, happy life. The opposite is true when someone is vibrant, full of zest and contemplating her next three decades or so of life…and then…

One of the keys to Biden’s recovery was a strong wonderful woman, Jill Biden, the second lady of the United States. She is absolutely gorgeous even as she approaches her 61st birthday next week. She is obviously understanding and was willing to work with Joe, the widower, in not only incorporating her own life into his, but helping him to overcome…not forget…the double tragedy that struck his life.

“This woman (Jill) literally saved my life,” said Biden to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). In that same speech with the media present, Biden bravely said he understood thoughts of suicide because someone may have been to “the top of the mountain and they knew in their heart they’d never get there again, that was never going to be that way ever again.”

Mercifully, I never had those thoughts. Having said that, I am searching for my “Jill.” I know she is out there. She may even be reading my blog.

jillbiden

As I have written before in related Almost DailyBrett posts, “Competing Against the Dead?” and “The Trouble with Widowers,” it will take someone strong and accommodating. She will need to understand that I simply cannot forget 22 years, but at the same time I am ready to move on. I am always amazed by the unprompted pronouncements about how I have not recovered from Robin’s passing. That’s where Biden’s comments come into play.

When I now think of Robin, I remember fondly the good times, the fun times, the playful times. A smile comes onto my face, before an occasional tear ventures into my baby blues. The vice president without saying it directly was referencing how time is a great healer. Forgetting is neither an option nor something I want to do, but going forward with a renewed spring in my step is something that I see in my future.

I have been accused of being a Pollyanna. I happily plead guilty.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-biden-reflects-on-tragic-accident-loss-in-speech-to-soldiers-families-20120525,0,2650548.story

http://www.taps.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Biden

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Biden

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/the-trouble-with-widowers/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/competing-against-the-dead/

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pollyanna

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