I think all of us would love for the world to be a joyous place filled with strawberry ice cream, confetti, helium balloons and colorful streamers where we dance in the streets with lively music filling the air from every rooftop under sunny blue skies dotted with happy little clouds. There would be no crime, no disease, no disabilities, no avarice, no greed. Everyone is smart! Everyone is beautiful! People would have each others’ best interests at heart and kindness and compassion would be the order of the day.

That’s the stuff of fairy tales and we all know it.

Some people operate under the weight of the direct opposite of that fantasy ideal and almost collapse from the self-imposed negativity of trying to right too many wrongs. Noble, yes but the reality of the ugliness in the world can be too much for anyone to deal with day in and day out, year after year after year if indeed adherence to such a lofty goal is able to sustain itself for any extended period of time.

On the flip side, however, are those individuals for whom unpleasantness must be avoided at all costs. These are the folks, God Bless ‘Em, who insist on only viewing their world with optimism. They do not – ever – wish to be made aware of anything that challenges their funny, furry, fuzzy, fluffy outlook. Too often, these fortunate ones have not yet had to grapple with doubt or struggle or unfairness or financial worry or inequality or hardship or poverty or loss or isolation or physical unattractiveness. Theirs has always been a lovely, wonderful world. I’ve wondered whether they are aware that most people’s lives are not similarly blessed or if they realize that so many others won’t ever enjoy the good life these Golden Ones sometimes take for granted.

It’s true that negativity in a person is an undesirable trait; however, cheerful yet unmitigated and relentless avoidance of the harsh actualities of the Real World is hardly admirable – or practical – either.

Daily Prompt: Fluff

Age creeps up on us all and while it does create new challenges, many of which are related to body ailments and an increase in physical limitations, the added years also afford us perspectives not previously embraced. The older I get I begin to understand there are demons I’ve fought my entire life. I recognize now the people in my life who’ve always had my back as well as the sad realization there are others who do not — no matter how hard I’ve tried to garner their true love, support and acceptance. One can only channel Sally Field for so long.

And so, I try not to dwell on my hurt and disappointment. Instead, I’m working on appreciating what I do have — and it’s a bunch! — and taking better care of myself even if that means letting go in the appropriate manner.

Daily Prompt: Release

We navigate our lives with arms stretched out before us, unsure of what lies ahead. We find our way, we learn, we grow. Soon, we are enmeshed in the familiar, the sameness, the comfort of what’s known, providing us with the warm satisfaction of safety, nesting and contentment. But this same familiarity can often lead to stagnation, boredom and restlessness whether or not we are aware of its impact. We require change and challenges if we are to grow.

So, if we are to enjoy continued reawakenings – those grand feelings of awe and self-nurturing – we must recreate ourselves. New mantles undertaken with enthusiasm, perhaps tinged with caution and restraint, are key to exploring new realms of what we are capable of becoming. Climbing those mountains, learning new skills and acquiring new tools for living, touring exotic locales, opening ourselves up to infinite possibilities are all positive and exciting facets of lives not just well lived but truly, truly lived.

Daily Prompt: Recreate

Pizza oozing,
with temptation
certain to both
sate and deflate
with every glorious

Thick crust or thin
(thin, please)
(lots of it)
basil and oregano
spicy Italian sausage
crispy capicola.

Flavorful? Oh, my.
she says
wiping the drool
while simultaneously
the cholesterol check
she’s put off for too long.

Daily Prompt: Flavorful

She’s a hard woman to like
let alone love.

I know I should try harder.

She is weak, manipulative
and lacking in charm.
She is joyless and self-pitying
and worries about
every. little. thing.
On steroids.

I should be more caring, more tolerant.
Patience is not my strong suit.
It would be easier to show sympathy
if she were someone pleasant,
someone cheerful, someone fun.

But no. Instead, she is the dullest person
on the planet.
I’m pretty darn sure of it.
And seems content to inflict her misery on the rest of us
instead of making her own way,
finding her own happiness.

Yes, I suppose I should be more kind
but damn if she doesn’t make it
almost impossible to care.

Daily Prompt: Sympathy

My twenties were hard. I was alone and unsure of myself. Feelings of inadequacies at times were overwhelming and simply stated, I just wanted to be loved, to know love, to have someone to share my days (and years) with. As much as I struggled during this time of my life, I was sure of one thing: Moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other just as I did when I walked dusty gravel roads each day to clear my mind and (try!) to keep extra pounds at bay. That has been my mantra over the years and it continues to sustain me. I’ve expanded my self/world view even further with new words of encouragement: RSG, Baby. Reach, Stretch, Grow!

Really, it’s the only choice we have.

Daily Prompt: Continue

Hearty laugh
Luscious green eyes
Cheekbones, prominent and high
On his beautiful face.

The earthy scent of his skin
Intoxicating in the way
It screams his name
In his touch.

His salt & pepper beard
Molded to the firm
Set of his jaw
Highlighting lips I love to kiss.

His keen sense of humor
His profound observations
His worldview
His respectful nature.

He loves me with a passion
I thought I would never know
He is my life, my light, my soul
I am enamored with this man.

He is my all.

Daily Prompt: Enamored