Happy Friday everyone. I made a commttment to write once a week, and it seems the week flies by and it's Friday and I haven't written yet. I never know what I am going to write about. Yesterday was Jim's birthday and he was happy to see all of the birthday wishes on Facebook. I was thinking how wonderful it is that we have so many ways to stay in contact with each other now. Most of us who use our computers or phones to text or email rarely call each other. I am guilty of that as well. I have one friend who says she is not planning to get a computer (I can't even imagine that) she is NOT going to be emailing, tweeting, or facebooking. She said it is too impersonal. But, the magnificent benefit is that we, who do, get to keep in contact with hundreds, if not thousands of friends, acquaintances, family members - and even meet people that become friends. I do call occasionally and have a nice chat on the phone, or in person which is so wonderful. It is a real treat. In the mean time, I am so very happy to be able to stay in touch via these "impersonal ways."

I took the photo of these three old men sitting there in Carpentaria (near Santa Barbara) and they looked so chummy and content. I just love that picture. Gosh, now I am missing living in Santa Barbara. Not only is it so breathtakingly beautiful, but it has such a great dance, yoga, art, and poetry community - oh, and great coffee houses too. Of course, it is fun and exciting to move to new cities and start over meeting people, making friends and finding new favorite places. Okay, getting back to friendships, I think the most important thing is to stay in contact whatever way you prefer, no matter how busy and how much we have to do, our frienship with our family, friends, acquaintances, students, co-workers is important and valuable. Some have found that sending "forwards" when they email is as a way of staying in contact. I especially like it when there is a little personal note too. I must add that I don't like it when someone sends frequent "forwards".

I did promise to add the bits of wisdom I learned along the way. So, here it is: I find that when I remember to release others from the expectations I have of them, I create peace of mind for myself, and it is a true form of love and respect for them. Let people be themselves. Shower them with unconditional love and understanding rather than attack and blame. We have the choice of keeping them in our lives or not. It is not for us to change them. In one of Shirley Maclaine's books, she wrote that when her father was dying he said, "Nothing matters but love." Certainly, not a new revelation, but one we forget and need to be reminded of time and time again. And, that's okay.

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