Sunday, April 11, 2021

No ‘Bah Humbug’ for 2018


It’s a good thing I walked away from my computer, this was taken on my half-hour walk. Photos by Jory Westberry

It’s a good thing I walked away from my computer, this was taken on my half-hour walk. Photos by Jory Westberry

The loving people in my life are sending very clear messages of comfort and joy for 2018, perhaps because of Irma’s challenges, but nonetheless, great ideas to soothe the soul.

Get this! Ralph Lauren flowered, soft PJs. I haven’t had matching PJs in forever, so these are perfect wearing apparel for reading a book, writing a book or a column for the Coastal Breeze News. For once, I feel like a million-bucks comfy rather than rag-tag comfy and I’m positive it will affect the quality of my work. One can hope.

Another gift – a book entitled 52 Lists for Happiness – Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity, Balance and Joy by Moorea Seal – grabbed me from her dedication to her husband, Max.



It is through our understanding that we can be happy on our own that we choose one another every single day. Our pursuit of personal happiness and the thought behind all we do as individuals is the greatest foundation for loving one another well.

Wow. I haven’t heard love described that way before. Considering the thought behind all we do as individuals? Her words also resonated with me in a broader sense after experiencing the divisiveness in our country and in the world. Could harmony and understanding start with each of us being happy within ourselves and consciously thinking about all we do? It bears some thought and possibly action. What if? In addition to her 52 topics for lists, she has a “Take Action” suggestion each week to get you going. For example, one suggests taking a break from technology and taking a walk outside. Great idea, so I’ll see you in a half hour.



Much better, head clear, took some photos, and my creative juices are flowing!

Another fun gift was a Hello ~ Conversation Jar. Inside are topics written on slips of paper that are conversation starters. For example, the first one I picked out said, “If you could have dinner with anyone (past or present), who would it be and why?”

I gave this question a lot of thought and eliminated a bunch. Not “that one” because the conversation would be non-stop, all about him, and that’s not a conversation. Mother Theresa possibly. Lots of categories flew through my mind, musicians, artists, explorers, inventors, champions. I’d ask Lance Armstrong why he had to cheat to win. I don’t think he’d come up with a good response so the conversation would be over. The problem with this question is that there are so many great possibilities to consider that the time left to talk would be minimal. Oh, that’s right, it’s just pretend!



What about medical professionals, astronomers, engineers? How do you figure out how much weight a bridge will hold? Teachers? How did you know that particular child needed a hug at exactly that time? Leaders? Nelson Mandela, Pope Francis, Gandhi, Lincoln, Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Einstein, Rachel Carson, Jane Goodall, so much to ask each of them and Frank Lloyd Wright, Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah Winfrey, Ansel Adams… The list could go on and on. Who would you have on your list? Would you have trouble narrowing it to one?

One of my friends gave me a blank journal with the admonishment that I needed to write every day and document the things going on in my life. How would I describe my mother with dementia? I feel fortunate that she still knows who I am; she thought her son was her long-lost brother. I guess writing about all of this would be a healthy idea to diffuse the frustration I feel and unfairness of this disease. (Side note: The Alzheimer’s Association provides very thorough sessions on this topic. Last year there were four and they were held at the Marco Island Library.)

My preference would be to write about positive things that are going on in my world and THE world, so maybe a combination of the challenges and the positives would provide the balance that Moorea Seal writes about. There are many definitions of balance. The one that might help all of us is; trying to keep an equilibrium between work and relaxation as the way to some kind of peace, personal balance and harmony. I’m confident that this can be achieved in 2018, so Happy New Year!

Jory Westberry has been a dedicated educator for over 40 years, the last 14 as Principal of Tommie Barfield Elementary, where she left her heart. Life is rich with things to learn, ponder and enjoy so let’s get on with the journey together!

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