Pillow Philosophy

Everybody has their own beliefs or philosophies. They have their own opinions and their own viewpoints, their own thoughts and their own outlook.

People have developed their own way of viewing the world and making sense of the big and little variations in life. This can take a minute or a lifetime. It may involve a word or two or an entire book.

In my experience, written philosophies have usually been profound, witty and often very wordy. Authors and writers like to use what they like and are familiar with and that would be words.

I have nothing against words. I use them a great deal myself. My problem is, I can’t remember them when they come in large groups. I want to use good viewpoints in my life and that is hard when they are the size of a novel.

I like philosophies that will fit on something the size of a pillow – what I call Pillow Philosophy. I love an opinion with few words and profound meaning. That way I can remember and incorporate the idea into my mind. It’s easily repeated in my life and shared with others.

Pillow Philosophy can be as funny as it is serious and as witty as it is profound. That can be most difficult with so few words being used. I think that’s why they speak to me. They are meaningful, unique, often humorous, easy to recall and require a writing skill all their own.

Pillow Philosophy has been in existence for centuries. Remember framed needlework pieces that said “Home Sweet Home”? And I’m sure Greek and Roman mosaic floors and walls spelled out witty little thoughts. This is certainly not something new.

Some of my favorites are:

“All I know is that I do not know anything.” Socrates

“There is nothing stronger than gentleness.” John Wooten

“We are what we repeatedly do.” Will Durant

“He who hesitates is lost.” Cato

“No matter where you go, there you are.” Keith Caserta

See how amazing one small short idea can be? It is a tiny springboard to a large pool of further thought and imagination, in which one can float for hours, soaking up all manner of sunlight and growth.

I can imagine the rooms of my home filled with pillows, quilts, wallhangings and table runners, all speaking words of wisdom to me at every turn. I could change them with the seasons and at my whim. The flow of knowledge would be endless and quite amusing.

Pillow Philosophy fits not only my way of thinking but my way of decorating. How convenient is that!

New Friendships

School has started and all the grandkids are back in their respective educational environments. New schedules are starting, new classes are developing and new friendships are forming. In high school, it is all very exciting and a little stressful.

Starting all-new and unknown things is always a bit stressful. You don’t know what to expect or how to be prepared exactly. It keeps you on your toes, for sure. A new school year is just like that.

All of my grands are old enough to manage their schedules, get themselves up and off to school on time. That is a great start. Mom sure appreciates that ability.

They have all chosen their classes for this semester and can certainly get from class to class and manage their schedule for the week. All are capable of dealing with time well enough to get their school work done, fit in band practice, and a couple of them even have part-time jobs this year.

The new friendships, however, are quite surprising and somewhat exciting. One grandchild has befriended a second generation Asian teenager, one is friends with a boy named Hussein and one with a transgender boy named Katie.

Can I tell you how proud I am of my grandchildren? They are free of bias. They are inclusive. They do not judge others by their “outsides.” They are setting great examples for their peers. They are going to learn so much about really loving people.

In these times of division and hatred, these kids are learning and teaching acceptance and tolerance. I am amazed they are so aware of this at such a young age, when I know people four and five times their age who are ignorant of it.

A variety of friendships is vital to having a well-rounded, strong village. How boring would it be if all our buddies looked and acted just like us? We would learn nothing, go nowhere, be little.

The key to growth and strength in nature is diversity. The same is true in our lives. We don’t thrive as a village where everyone agrees with us, looks like us and dresses like us. We need new ideas, different thoughts, amazing contrast and brilliant extremes. We need people who think outside the lines, who have second thoughts, who think with their hands, who think on their feet, who don’t think at all.

My grandchildren know this. They already have a colorful village surrounding them and they will only get more so as they grow older. Good, strong, diverse friendships are necessary. They are fun. They are life-affirming.

Getting Ready

A party that lasts five hours can easily require weeks of menu planning, invitation review and labeling, decoration selection, gift purchasing and wardrobe try ons. By the time the guests arrive, the hostess can be exhausted from the preparation activities or she may be thrilled with the process of sharing her home with others. She may need a nap instead of being able to gleefully greet each invitee at the front door and welcome them in. Passing the hors-d’œurves and keeping conversation going may be the last thing on her mind or she may be the queen of the ball the entire night.

Preparing for any event demands organization, thought, care, certainly a love for the event and maybe a bit of creativity. Oh, and don’t forget time. It does take a bit of time, the most precious commodity.

It’s best to think of the preparation time as part of the event itself. When planning for a vacation, for instance, tell yourself that all the time spent organizing the trip is part of the vacation, and enjoy it!

Wear you bathing suit and have a piña colada while making hotel reservations for your trip to the beach. Play Hawaiian music while choosing your wardrobe for a trip to the Islands. Make a roaring fire and sip hot chocolate while you choose the best ski resort for your winter getaway.

It can all be fun, enjoyable and make memories, just like the vacation itself (or any event you are planning). Getting ready is half the fun of anything. The other half is doing the great adventure planned for. This formula can take a lifetime. At least, I would hope so.

Even the big one that never works out well. You know, the happening that practically breaks up families before the event which is supposed to bring them together. The happiest time in your life preceded by months of pure misery, to the point that the bride and groom are often not speaking.

The dreaded WEDDING, with the accompanying one year of organization, requiring many months of decision-making, tasting, comparing, shopping, writing, labeling, dance lessons, dress fittings, mock table settings, name card placements, flower arranging, music selecting, musician deciding, toast practice, and gift buying for maids and ushers.

Then there is the planning for the honeymoon, an experience unto itself. Should it be where the bride wants to go? Should it be a surprise? Do you want donations from family and friends toward the trip? Are you getting a little frustrated? Perk up, sweetie. Things are looking good. The wedding is one month away!

Invitations have gone out already and RSVP’s have begun returning. Gifts have started arriving at the bride”s home, one by one. It’s ALL supposed to fun! This is the start of a marriage. Don’t let it be misery and frustration. Be sure your memories are joyful and worth remembering.

A year of preparation for a thirty-minute ceremony and a big party. Make it worth your time, money, effort and care. Remember it’s only a day, one day. The first day of the rest of your lives together. Start out right. Start out happy, smiling, in agreement, surrounded by your village (whatever size that is), comfortable and still in love.

The preparation should always be as remarkable and as memorable as the event itself.

Now get ready because life is coming and it is worth being prepared for!