TOPIC 35 HOPE A BIT ABOUT ME AND MY HOPES Still no new topic or not one that I have seen. If you have, let me know. I am working on improving my blog and one thing I was old to do, was an About me page. So here is what I have posted on that page, mostly about Cranky Old Lady and the development of Emotional Fitness Training, Inc.
Crankiness has always been part of my life. I faced the need to learn how to get and stay emotionally fit. Staying strong is a life long process, some times easy, other times almost impossible, but always necessary.
Getting strong for me started when I was young and mainly because I was the youngest of three. Big brothers can be protective, but also are known to torture. Moreover, my mother was known to have major cranks monthly.
After having one, she often spoke of having “Fallen off the roof.” If you know that meant getting her period, you knew what I did not know for the first thirteen years of my life. Bodily functions particularly related to sex were just not discussed in our house or most houses during that time. As do must children I blamed my mother’ monthly verbal abuse and anger attacks on myself.
Mom was also a critic and a crank–never felt I could please her, but as compensation knew I was my father’s Curly Headed Cow Girl and could do no wrong in his eyes. Just for your information I was bald until three; thereafter, I had stick-straight hair, but that didn’t matter to him or me. So his love was unconditional. Something everyone needs from someone and contrary to the pop psychology myth it need not be a parent, but is better when it is.
Mom was not all problems and she gave me several wonderful gifts. One was a love of nature and particularly of animals. We had to move because my parent’s dreams of buying a home died with my grandfather–who had promised to sign over a house he owned and my parents remodeled. He died, supposedly with the papers on his desk waiting to be signed. Anyway, we moved from that house to a home in the country which Mom and Dad then tried to buy a house. They couldn’t get a mortgage, and we had to move. Thereafter, both gave up the dream of ever buying a house.
As a seven-year old, the second move meant changing schools and being one of the first new kids to enter the second grade in my new school. All creatures, human and otherwise, have a cast system, a hierarchy. Newcomers have to prove their way and I was shy and did not make friends easily. Smart mother got me a dog and for many years, she was my best and only friend.
In addition to my dog, our house was often filled with various wounded or baby animals needing rescuing. My favorite was a baby hoot owl that we returned the wild, but stayed around the trees near our home for many years. Then my mother saw that I learned to ride horseback and as a teen that set me free. We had no money, but I had “good hands” and was allowed to ride and help train some polo ponies at a near-by rich man’s estate.
A second gift of my mother’s relates directly to some of the Emotional Fitness Exercises I have developed. Something I called sloganeering. Four stand out.
- Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
- But for the grace of God (Neither she nor my father were religious by the way.)
- O, wad some Power the giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us! (By the Poet, Bobbie Burns and Mom would always quote it with a perfect Scottish accent. )
- Maybe, tomorrow. ( Mom loved sunsets and many evenings would take us outside to see if there was a beautiful one. When it was gray and rainy, she always said, “Maybe, tomorrow” and that was long before Anne sang “Sun come out tomorrow.”
Anyway, that psychiatrist, besides helping me with target practice, turned me completely against my profession for a while or at least from those trained in the way of Dr. Freud and blaming parents. I found a better understanding of why the first four failed with the cognitive therapists and slowly became proud to be a therapist once again.
- Sometimes known as Sweet Old Lady as the picture shows.
- I am also know as Professor Levine. I taught Columbia University School of Social Work for seven years as full-time faculty. I failed to get tenure–I spent the summers at the beach, married and had children instead of getting my doctorate or publishing professional stuff. I eventually became adjunct faculty. That means being paid a junk salary with no benefits, because you loved teaching and are capable of over-working. I am glad I did. Teaching is a way to keep learning and it started me on the track of sharing my knowledge.
- I am retired now. At the request of one of our sons when we retired, we moved to from the Big Apple to the big bad west. That is where I learned to shoot a gun. The request came so we could help raise our grandsons, and that keeps us very emotionally strong and feeling young and useful.
- My retirement has also meant trying to finish off at least two items on my bucket list:
- Item one finish and publish a novel I started years ago. Am publishing that on my 75th birthday. Will set up a blog page just for that. Watch for it.
- Second item is to turn Emotional Fitness Training into a money-making business. The business motto is “Make Money Doing Good and it has never been in the red. This year maybe. and mainly developing EFTI as an online source of support and a business. Watch for the opening of my EFTI store.
FUEL MY HOPES: Be kind to me, get kindness badges for you, and help others get and stay strong. Kindness is an Emotional Fitness Exercise. Click here for all 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.
IMAGE BY: Cartoon by stock‑photo‑grandma‑confused‑46657861.jpg by shutterstock.com, pictures of me by my Cranky Old Man