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September 2019

August 2019

Memoir ~ an article by Kate H.

Writing MEMOIR

I don’t want to write memoir to defend myself. After 25 years I shouldn’t need to.

Like the saying goes Don’t explain; your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it. 

But maybe I do need to. Not because I’m sorry or because I want to change minds or even because I need to convince myself.

I know to my core it was the most amazing life-giving “mistake” I ever made. 

But it did open Pandora’s box. And everybody knows that story. Or Eve and her apple, although what’s not good about curiosity and critical thinking? 

So maybe I don’t belong in those stories at all. Maybe what I need is to write a new story. No boxes or forbidden apples or Prince Charmings. 

Just my story. Actual mistakes and mixed motives and insensitivities and regrets that have nothing to do with boxes or mythical gardens. 

So give up thinking I have no bias. No mythology of my own. These are the only eyes I have to look back. I’ve no reason for second guessing.

But maybe for a second remembering. 

August 23, 2019 ~ Welcome Angie; Writing Memoirs; Other types of writing

We had 7 of us present for the meeting yesterday. 
We are happy to welcome Ang to the group; we spent a little time on introductions, and on covering a few of our 'rules' for her.
We also spent time on "Old" business, but I made no notes on that. Among things that came up, I remember suggesting that we have another social event; maybe the nerf ball battle opportunity at the new Mountain Adventure.  Got some smiles and nods; we'll see if we manifest that. :)

Kate H was our facilitator yesterday. The topic she presented was about Writing Our Memories/Memoirs. She recently attended a 3 session class on such writing through ENMU.
One of the first things she mentioned was an app called Audio Recorder. I may have written the title incorrectly, however, because I can't find the one that functions exactly as she described. What attracted me to the one she found is that it will produce a file on each recording that one can then manipulate. Cool!
I'll update this when I know the right app. But you will find TONS of them available if you look.  Let us know if you try one (or more) out.

Like others in the group yesterday, I was initially turned off when I read 'memoirs'. I couldn't be less interested in a chronological report of my life, and I could not write one, not remembering those years. But Kate shared a whole list of other approaches to writing of this kind. Some that I noted are these:
Chronological (of course)
Topical - as in vacations, or sports, etc.
Episodical - perhaps a memorable event such as a graduation or wedding or...
Focusing on an Object/Animal - choosing something important to us (individually) (as in Angela's bike)
Coming of Age/Coming Out stories - fairly obvious.
Spiritual Quests or Breakthroughs
Where/How I fit in my family - Frankly, I'm not sure if this was a method, or a subset of another category. Thought it was an interesting approach.

In the discussion around this, LB mentioned a book that she & her husband used some time ago, about Questions to Ask Yourself. I've capitalized that, but we don't know the real title yet. I've found some possibles, and if I can confirm any of them, I'll let you know.  And some of these books will end up in our Books list, because a couple of them are already interesting to me.  Might even be a way to start conversation in meetings!
And it seemed, to me at least, that the group in general was more positive about the possibilities of writing after we heard Kate's presentation of those different approaches or methods.

Days for Girls came up again (thanks NE). She has found/recruited a group of women in Carlsbad who are very interested in this volunteer opportunity. 
This page is all about the ways that people can help. This sounds to me like such a great project. I hope it will be one that we can embrace as a group. That will unfold as it does.

In closing business, NE had a great idea that some of us may implement before the next meeting. She suggests that we each write something (from any method or POV that draws you) to read to each other in the group next time (Sept. 13, 2019). Not everyone (mostly me) jumped on this idea, but we have agreed that most of us will attempt to comply.  :)
I will send out an extra reminder toward the end of next week to remind all of us of this idea.  Write or not as you are drawn.  Poetry, prose, songs, etc.  Enjoy!

If the writing/reading stuff does not fill the time, I will present the next topic. I have a couple in mind; one being Trust. 
See ya next time.


August 9, 2019 ~ Happy Healthy Dead

Short minutes for today!

NE facilitated the discussion on Happy Healthy Dead. Some of her information comes from a book called Goddesses Never Age, by Christiane Northrup, M.D.
I like this quote that appeared on her page when I found the link under her name:
"True health is only possible when we understand the unity of our minds, emotions, spirits, and physical bodies and stop striving for perfection.”

This theory also comes from the Law of Attraction and mostly from Esther and Jerry Hicks (when I first discovered it). I'm providing no links on this subject. There are literally thousands of them. There are now many many people who teach, discuss, critique, explain, channel, etc. this theory. If you're interested in going deeper, you'll have no trouble finding resources.

Our discussion was very interesting, though I took few notes. Some of us are believers in the theory; others were more skeptical.
We did tend to agree, though, that a more positive outlook about life and death and aging would likely make the procession through these years a little better.
You'll have to define 'better' for yourselves.

We talked a little while about the legal issues of dying - especially in NM where there are no laws that make assisted suicide an option.
We have a couple of books in our library (i use that term loosely!) that can help with some of the details of preparing to be dead.

I particularly enjoyed a distinction that NE made:
Gratitude - a feeling in response to something Given.
Appreciation - an understanding of the Value of what was given.

If someone volunteered to facilitate on the 23rd, I failed to note it. I'll ask that in the reminder email going out tomorrow.


July 26, 2019 ~ Discussing Newbies; Balance

In old business, we discussed Rules; whether & how to add more women; and confidentiality as it applies to the blog.  Each member of the group answered several questions (in an email) about these specific things. Each member let me know, as acting recording secretary, how they want to be mentioned in the blog.  All posts have been edited to accommodate these requests. We confirmed our Rules, and I have added a sidebar item that expresses those, right below the "Who We Are" sidebar item. 

We agreed that some growth is good, so that travel and travails, and life, in general, doesn't deplete our numbers so far that the group won't survive.
Personally, I hope we can increase the age range for this group, too, but that may be difficult while we meet during normal working hours.

We also agreed that this group is for and about women, and we will stick to that policy as we continue and, hopefully, grow a bit over time.

We agreed that we trust each other to keep in mind that new members should 'fit' into the group... to feel 'simpatico', if you will. And of course, be interested in these subjects.
And we agreed that we will not invite males to be in this group, at least for the foreseeable future, and possibly forever.
We agreed that we will bring up the name of any potential new member we are considering asking to join us to the whole group. Not to critique them in any way, but only to give each of us sisters the chance to reject someone who is already some kind of problem for us.  
This phrasing feels awkward to me, but I think you know what I mean.  If you don't, ask questions.  (Yes, this came straight from the "questions" email; you didn't ask questions then, so...I'm assuming you have none.)

We agreed that this blog may be a way to introduce this group to a new prospect. That will be up to you as you talk to prospects, of course.
But all have agreed that you can give a link to this blog to new prospects.

To reiterate: the blog - This Blog, Itsa Village IS NOT PRIVATE.  It exists on the web like any other blog. However, I do not 'tag' it or list it on any drivers or such. I have done NO "optimization" techniques. We are unlikely to be found by a casual searcher.
We CAN be found, perhaps, by someone who searches using words like aging, death & dying, etc...but there is such a tiny bit of traffic to this blog that we will never get to the top 200 of any search.

New Business - at last! :)
Irma facilitated our discussion today on Balance.  An important point, to me, was one about noting a difference in what we Need, versus what we Want. This can apply to how we spend our time, as well as how we spend other resources, such as money and our energy.
A few suggestions that I noted were these:
Take Breaks - as in tackling chores.
Embrace a healthy (healthier) life style or eating habits.
Avoid negativity.
Learn to prioritize.
Pamper yourself!
ASK when you need help.

NE volunteered to facilitate the next meeting. Her topic will be Happy Healthy Dead.