Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

[breadcrumbs]

A Special Day with a Friend

IMG_3057

When fellow bloggie-friend and  commiserating grandmother, Lisa Winkler   contacted me a few weeks ago that she was coming to Los Angeles with her husband, I was thrilled.  She and I decided to fit some time in for each other. We exchanged a few emails back and forth – from what to pack (warm clothes? raincoat? layers?) to where we would meet (her hotel!) and what we should do (“whatever you want” – we each said!).

I’ve lived in LA for several decades,  almost my entire adult life. I love it here, and have many dear friends and family. But there is something special about getting together with  friends from the (freezing cold) East Coast. First, I get to show off LA’s weather! Listen, we may have earthquakes here, but nothing beats our 70’s climate in January.  Second, I get to spend some time taking friends and family around, something I love to do.

Being with people from the East Coast reminds me of my family, who I miss very much. Their weather may be cold, but their personalities are very warm.

And since Lisa (who blogs over at Cycling Grandma with her astute observations of the world) and I have never met, except for our online communication, this was a  chance for us to meet in IRL (that’s “in real life” btw!). I’ve always admired Lisa and enjoyed writing about her play awhile ago on my blog.

When I drove up and saw Lisa, I felt as if I was seeing someone I’ve known for more than just the few years that we’ve been emailing, blogging and corresponding online.  It was thrilling.

Oh! The chatting, talking, comparing notes. On and on and on. Whew. I had to be careful driving, because I was so distracted by the excitement of it all.

Our first stop on that Monday afternoon when the sun was shining (low 70’s during the day; cooler in the early morning), was the “Fish Grill” which is a favorite restaurant of mine. Grilled fish, tacos, fast-food, and fun ambience.

                                                 IMG_3061 Lisa and I had myriad things to talk about. From family, to kids, to married couples and of course grandchildren. Oh, the kvelling and the venting (come on, what do you expect when two middle aged ladies get together?).  We had lots in common: Talking about hobbies, writing, passions. You name it.

Our next stop after eating lunch  and snapping a picture, (“Ummm, do you mind taking a photo of us,” I asked someone at the next table.), we headed over to the Museum of Tolerance,  located near Beverly Hills.

The place was pretty empty that day except for a few school gatherings, and the patrons were overly eager to help us out (one interestingly – ahem – offered to show us the restroom, which we politely declined; “we’re good, thank you!”). Another one, later on in our trek, wanted to give us a ticket to use for the computerized exhibits. We told her we are not techno-savvy and declined that as well.

I chuckle at the irony of two ladies walking through a museum which evokes sadness and tragedy, and chatting about things that were not always relevant to the topic or mood.  But yes, we did explore a few exhibits.  Going through the museum triggered lots of discussions about our respective Jewish heritage and other stimulating discussions about our moms, dads and other relatives. Lisa is an accomplished playwright of “The Shabbos List,”  and  writer of people’s memoirs, so her knowledge of Jewish culture is rich and stimulating.

After the museum, we headed to Walgreens, where  Lisa picked up a few essentials she needed.  I dropped her off at the hotel and then with plans to get together for a bit the next day as well, we said good-bye.

Our second day together was equally wonderful. We drove by the LACMA museum (LA county art museum) and the Tar Pits and down Wilshire Blvd, while I, the tour guide (ahem, ahem) shared my knowledge, as if I was a born and bred Angelino (not).

We talked more about the weather (just kidding), and then headed over to The Grove, a charming out-door mall, and walked around a bit. Lisa and I sat outside for about an hour chatting, sipping  latte and the Special of the Day (Lisa ordered that one!) at the Coffee Bean at the Farmer’s Market (adjacent to the Grove shopping mall). Time flies and before we knew it, it was 4 pm and both of us had to be on our ways.

I then drove Lisa back to the hotel. All good things must come to an end.

Lisa’s visit was a welcome break from my regular routine of work and errands. Since I have a flexible schedule at work, I was more than happy to block out a few hours or more to get together. Lisa kept thanking me, but it was my pleasure really. And of course, being active and able to drive and get around without extreme fatigue is a treat for me. So Lisa gets the credit for giving me the opportunity for that.

Lisa and I already promised each other that the next time I’m in NY or NJ, we will get together! I’m already looking forward, notwithstanding the NY weather!

And please check out Lisa’s blog which features a post about the Los Angeles segment of her California trip.


A Not so Serious Look at Guilt

I used to be a huge fan of Erma Bombeck, may she rest in peace. My mother read most of her paperback books – filled with humor about raising children and running a household  in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  So naturally, if my mother read them, I read them too, and we laughed together at Bombeck’s inimitable and self-deprecating style.

One thing Erma Bombeck talked a lot about was the G word. Yes, guilt. No, she was not Jewish, but yes, she understood guilt and how we moms (and grandmothers) tend to feel guilty all the time.

I want to banish guilt from my vocabulary. That is not to say I don’t want to change and grow and improve and all that good stuff. But hello – what can be good about “Oy, I should’ve, could’ve….what’s wrong with me? I’m soooo bad….oy – I messed up, ….” ????

I know that Bombeck once wrote that as housewives we make more decisions in a day than judges in the Supreme Court!! Now, that’s very true. I’d like to draw a parallel.

As a middle aged mother and grandmother, I use the word “guilty” more times on myself in a day than the D.A. in a court of law does in a month.

Seriously, let’s give examples here: a) Oy, I might have asked a personal question to that friend after shul. b)I mistakenly excluded that person from the community project we were working on. c) I forgot to wish so-and-so mazel tov on her recent simcha d) I was too tired to go to that person’s event on Shabbos. d) I spoke gossip about so-and-so….

You get the point….notice the pattern here? I, I, I, I…
Hey – how much power do I really have over other people? (rhetorical question!)

And that’s only referring to the self-inducing guilt. We have not even begun to talk about the guilt-trips many put on others (hey, you grandkids never call me!!) — but that’s the subject of another article…..oy vey iz mir! (wo is me! in Yiddish)

Basically, (and I’m going to use the royal “we” here…) WE all do our best with our interactions with other people. We try really hard to be nice and kind, and good citizens as our mothers and fathers and teachers taught us. Remember the song, “Let’s be friends, make amends, now’s the time to say I’m sorry…” (usually sung during the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by children in Jewish Day Schools.)

Yup. It’s all about treating others the way we would like to be treated.

And the rest is really not up to us. We can only do our best. And really at the end of the day, we have to just be kind to ourselves, and forgive ourselves for being human.

No place for guilt here….right Erma?? Move forward, carry on, and smile!!


Letting Go of the Remote Control

An all-too familiar situation:

Here’s the scenario:  I see something going on in my surroundings – whether with my adult kids, or with a close friend, or even with a colleague at work.  I think about it a lot,  decide I know better, and make an assessment. A voice inside me says “stay out of it” but I don’t heed that voice. Another voice says, “help them, get involved, say something.”

Eeny meeny miney moe. Which voice to listen to? I listen to the second voice – the busybody one.

CLANG! I realize immediately that I shouldn’t have! Voice #1  inside me says, “you knew better than to get involved….”

Proactive or Reactive?

There is a new word the past decade or so: proactive. That refers to taking care of things ahead of time, planning for the future so that there is more chance of success.  Pushing the buttons on the Remote Control – the mechanism that thinks we can control and take care of everything in the world. We are going to save the day.

Proactive is a great thing. But usually “proactive” is for one’s own life. Not someone else’s life.

In fact, when one gets involved in someone else’s life, it often only complicates things for them —– and for us. It doesn’t help.

Shouting (to myself!) to Stop!

So when I read about people in books and periodicals who have dilemmas “should I or shouldn’t I?”…..I want to scream through the pages of the book, “DON’T!….. Stay out of it! It’s a train wreck!” But then again, I can’t tell them what to do. It’s their life to live (even if it’s just a fictional account in a book!).I think unless something is in a  life and death situation, or in a case of abuse or serious danger, OR if that person specifically asks for help (and even then it’s probably best to refer to professionals – a friend should never take the place of professionals), then it is best to stay out of it.

Prayer and relinquishing control:

Sometimes I really have to protect myself from places that I am not equipped to navigate the difficult waves.  Prayer always is a good thing. We can pray for the well-being of others, let G-d take over, relinquish control. And then give them love and encouragement.  And finally focus on the one place that we were given power to change: ourselves.


Subscribe to Blog!

Would you like to be notified of new posts? ENTER YOUR EMAIL HERE please and then look out for an email to CONFIRM your subscription.

Proud Member of Midlife Boulevard

Proud Member of Midlife Boulevard

Community

View Past Posts

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien