Dixie Darr

Thanksgiving–Gratitude Day 4

In solitude, spirituality on November 23, 2017 at 6:53 am

So many things to be thankful for today.

Books – You are what you read and I read a lot – 93 books and counting so far this year. I contain multitudes. Just ask me.

Libraries – Public libraries are our best institutions. Period. They allow me to read whatever my heart desires without depleting my finances or filling more bookshelves. God bless them every one.

Solitude – I’m lucky that I treasure solitude and like my own company.

Family and friends – I know this is supposed to be first on the list, but I am what’s now called an elder orphan, aging alone without kids. I also grew up without extended family and with a father who said we had moved to Colorado to get away from family, so those ties are weak at best. My only close family consists of my brother, his wife, two daughters, and two grandchildren. I love them all but hardly ever see them. Although I don’t spend holidays with my friends, a few of them have become like family to me, and I’m grateful to include them in my life.

Church – my church and church family are the center of my life. They bring me contact with younger people, good conversation, hugs, purpose, and validation. I’m eternally grateful that I happened upon Highlands United Methodist Church at exactly the right time.

Today, I’m also thankful for my favorite Thanksgiving traditions: Listening to Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant where you can get anything you want, reading Truman Capote’s The Thanksgiving Visitor, and, as God is my witness, watching the Turkey’s Away episode of WKRP in Cincinnati.

Finally, I thank the forces of the universe for bringing Jerry back into my life. My first boyfriend and now my last. He awakened something inside me that was so long dormant I thought it was dead. The best gift.

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I Wasted Time, And Now Time Is Wasting Me – Gratitude Day 3

In Books, creativity, Learning, spirituality, work on November 22, 2017 at 6:15 am

Our most precious commodity these days isn’t money but time. When we’re young, time is on our side. Now we often wonder what we’d do if we could turn back time. I always valued time more than money, which explains my patchwork career of part-time, temporary “jobs” and also my lack of financial resources.

The most peculiar and familiar quality of time is its elasticity. We mark it off in equal minutes, hours, days and ignore the plain fact that one minute/hour/day is never equal to the next. Some days time drags its feet with the hours taking forever to pass. Other days flit by at a dizzying pace. The first happens when we are waiting interminable hours anticipating something good. The second when we engage in pleasant activities that we wish would last longer. I need less of the former and more of the latter.

I confess to sometimes taking a nap just to pass time. Yet even while I wish time would hurry up already, I’m aware that at age 69, I have a limited amount of time left, maybe less than I think. So the conundrum is always how to spend my hours wisely, enjoying and not wasting them, but not rushing them either.

Author Annie Dillard said, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” I don’t want to spend my last days and years letting time slip through my fingers, wishing I’d done something else.

Perchance to Dream (Gratitude Day 2)

In Finding Your Calling, Learning on November 21, 2017 at 6:22 am

In a parallel universe, I like to think, lives a Dixie who spent her life studying dreams because that would be a fascinating life. Maybe in another place, she can fly as I do in my favorite dreams. And in another, she lives in a house with many undiscovered rooms. I’d just as soon forgo the one where her car gets stolen, which has thankfully never occurred in my real life but seems to happen frequently in my dreams.

Why do we dream? What do our dreams mean? Do we leave our bodies as we sleep and visit those strange universes as some cultures believe? Why do we have so much trouble remembering our dreams?

Why do we dream? No one really knows, but researchers have determined that people who are not allowed to dream experience problems ranging from depression and weight gain to hallucinations.

What do our dreams mean? People interpret dreams differently, of course, but many common dreams have generally agreed upon meanings. My flying dream, for example, indicates feeling confident and in control of my life. I’d like to have more of these, please. Undiscovered rooms signal new or neglected talents and interests. The stolen car probably means a lack of knowing how to make a transition or get to my destination.

I don’t remember ever having a true nightmare. The closest I come is the one about being at school with a test to take and realizing that I have neither attended the class or studied, can’t find my clothes, and don’t know where the classroom is. This one is very common even among people (like me!) who finished school decades ago. It shows that we have a lesson we need to learn from the past.

And then we have erotic dreams. Oops! I’m out of space. Have to get back to that another time.

Waking up without an alarm, telling yourself to remember your dreams, and keeping a dream diary on your nightstand are ways to help remember your dreams.

I think more songs have been written about dreams than any other topic except love, from the Everly Brothers’ All I Have to Do is Dream to Aerosmith’s Dream On. Roy Orbison alone has at least four.

I’ll conclude with Sweet Dreams. You get to choose between Patsy Cline and the Eurythmics.