Conundrums Demystified

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe other day I was sitting at Starbucks waiting for my customized travel coffee to be served up.  I stop each Sunday at the front end of my three plus hour drive to Houston for a Trenta (can someone please tell me why Starbucks is so pretentious they need their own size names), iced unsweetened soymilk 5 shots of espresso keep me the hell awake drink.  I stop in Huntsville for a similar sized Black Tea and Cool Lime (fully caffeinated) to make the last hour of my trip.

Anyhoo, there I was sitting and waiting when I opened last month’s Oprah magazine.  I know, I bitched about her magazine already, this time I actually found something I enjoyed (shocking).  Every month there is a feature called “Contributors”, most times when I read Oprah I breeze past this page not this time.  ‘Demystified’ was interesting, it was funny and compelling enough for me to tear the page out on the sly. Five contributors to the magazine answered four questions, or as the headline read:

Five creative minds come to terms with their most compelling conundrums.

I loved the ‘conundrums’ and thought it would be interesting to try to answer them myself.

Stolen directly from page 12 of the September issue of Oprah, I bring you Demystified.


I am so glad I learned the secret to…living with ambiguity and taking risks in my career and my personal life.  Had I always followed the path of safety I wouldn’t have seen the world nor had so many truly amazing opportunities to love and be loved.

But I hope I never figure out…how to live an unemotional life, not crying at movies or when reading a book.  I don’t want to grow so jaded or cynical I don’t respond to those emotional triggers intended to pull at our heartstrings, whether in a McDonalds commercial (“I had blue eyes first”) or at the real life wedding of a friend.

When I need help with life’s mysteries, I turn to…best friends, my own mind and books in that order.  I use to turn to my beloved step-mother who was my anchor for many years, since her passing I often replay out conversations in my mind and find many mysteries are resolved this way, she was true North for me.  My husband is a wonderful sounding board but wants to solve problems instead of allowing me to work my way through them.

My next challenge is figuring out… how to continue working, return to school for my Ph.D., maintain my marriage and actually have a life worth living while doing all of it.  Yes, I know sounds like I want it all, why not?  I keep asking myself why I would do this, why pursue an advanced degree at 56 years old, what the hell is the benefit?  But it is the dream.


I would love it if you answer the questions yourself, in your own blog or even here in the comments.  For ease here they are:

I am so glad I learned the secret to…

But I hope I never figure out…

When I need help with life’s mysteries, I turn to…

My next challenge is figuring out…

Comments

  1. Tweeted this post.

  2. Omg … this is my favorite post of yours thus far! Your words spoke to my soul. Learning to life life in ambiguity is a skill that must be learned by all! You will get your Ph.D … the value of life’s journey is in pursuing our dreams at ANY AGE! You have truly inspired me this morning.

  3. Great piece Val… and loved all the answers too…I really identified with crying at the cinema and over books – I cried through three trailers before I even got to the main film last week !
    I’m enjoying exploring the answers, they feed into my secret life !!!!

    • I saw a movie this weekend that I cried through parts, DB kept sticking an elbow into my ribs for the sniffling. Don’t know why men have such issues. The other answers are wonderful aren’t they?

  4. This is lovely. I need to do this. In fact I will. Just because your idea is brilliant 🙂

    Love you ❤ ❤

  5. I am so glad I learned the secret to – being happily married
    But I hope I never figure out – what she is thinking when she gets angry at me.
    When I need help with life’s mysteries, I turn to – past words of wisdom from my father
    My next challenge is figuring out – If there is anything further that i would like to accomplish

    Thanks Val. I dont remember the last time I was challenged my something I read. This was good for me

    • These are fun sometimes aren’t they? I like your answers, introspective and very you. I think there are things you want to do in the future, you just don’t want to tell.

  6. This is a great posting Val and it is nice to see that a few of your friends / followers have offered their own twist on the questions, I on the other hand have failed miserably in not adding my thoughts but then I rarely add anything on a personal footing, but then you already knew that my great friend.

    Have a wonderful rest of weekend Val 🙂 😉

    Andro xxxx

    • I accept that Andro, it is always a choice. I am just happy to see you visit.

      🙂

      • I am definitely lacking in the visiting at the moment, and I am getting further behind on everyone’s posts, even my FTP’s are on the back burner 😦

        I will finish those on time but my interest levels on WP have been waning somewhat, but that can change so not to worry 🙂 Hey have fun today my sweet friend 🙂

        Andro xxxx

        • We all go through this now and then. Whether because real life bites on the azz, or we simply grow tired. It is to be expected, it is life.

          No one is going to fault you. That is what friends do. Hold us in esteem no matter what.

          • What lovely thoughts you have Val
            and thank you my sweet friend 🙂 🙂

            Hey it’s Monday already, I hope that
            yours is a very happy and wicked one 😉

            Andro xxxx

  7. I am so glad I learned the secret to…happiness and standing on my own, two feet, without depending on a man for fulfillment.

    But I hope I never figure out…how to live without my wits about me. My mother had Alzheimer’s and we felt like we lost her long before she died. I think knowing that is what makes me want to constantly write. I feel this need to write down my stories before I lose my memory. I am about 10 years younger than my mother was when she died and the thought can be unnerving.

    When I need help with life’s mysteries, I turn to…my friends and even my daughter. She’s a good listener.

    My next challenge is figuring out…how I’m ever going to afford to retire. Yikes. Now, that is scary!

  8. If you ever hear someone say they’ve finally found all the answers to life’s mysteries, step away slowly from them and then run. The lightning bolt is about to hit. Either that, or the ketamine dart from the hospital personnel is not far behind.

  9. You would have been supercharged with all that caffeine in the system. lol

    • I drink coffee as if it was water. Pots and pots of it, all day long. I don’t think it does the same thing to me as most people since I fall directly to sleep when I want.

  10. I am so glad I learned the secret to…acceptance. Accepting my physical, emotional and intellectual attributes and limitations.

    But I hope I never figure out…how to envy. All my life, I was never envious of anyone and this is a gift I wish never to lose.

    When I need help with life’s mysteries, I turn to…god.

    My next challenge is figuring out…how not to become a burden through illness, etc. to my loved ones. Healthy diet, regular exercise, mental dexterity, moderation in everything – hope these are enough.

    Luv and hugz,
    Eric

  11. AirportsMadeSimple says:

    I am so glad I learned the secret to…tact. Ok, ok. In most situations. 🙂

    But I hope I never figure out…how to become apathetic.

    When I need help with life’s mysteries, I turn to…Nature.

    My next challenge is figuring out…how to maintain REAL work, life, and family balance. 🙂

    • Wonderful answers! Tact is an important skill to master, it is unfortunate so many fail at this one isn’t it. Love the rest of your responses, especially the last one.

  12. I am so glad I learned the secret to seeing Off-Broadway theater for free: volunteer usher.

    But I hope I never figure out how to make haggis.

    When I need help with life’s mysteries, I turn to my sage and opinionated friends, particularly Milton.

    My next challenge is figuring out how to get my boss to stick a crowbar in the company safe to pay me better.

    • Oh, I love your first answer! Living in New York that must come in handy. Now you have given it away and others will be clamoring for your skill.

      I wish no one else had this skill, truly. I have tried haggis. I try regional foods no matter where I travel. Bleh.

      Love the rest also, thank you for adding to the collection.

  13. I am so glad I learned the secret to… living one day at a time (or at least, I’m getting there).

    But I hope I never figure out… how to stop trying new things.

    When I need help with life’s mysteries, I turn to… chocolate, and just accept the fact that while I’ll never solve the mysteries, I can savor my chocolate and ponder them.

    My next challenge is figuring out… what to do with my irksome swollen left knee.

    Nothing too profound from me, Valentine, but I had fun thinking of them. 🙂

  14. I’m so glad I learned the secret to . . . what happened to page 12 of the September issue of the Oprah magazine at the Starbucks. 😉

    Lovely answers all, but I especially love that you considered your stepmother true North.

    I went back to school when I was in my 30s and I took a one-credit course for “Returning Students.” There was a 72-year old man in the class and he not only enjoyed being back on campus, but he brought so much to the discussions. So, you’re just a spring chicken. Go for it, kick you know what and take no names.

    Not that I think you need encouragement in that.

    • I am glad I could answer that question for you!

      We will see my friend, we will see. It is a huge investment in time and money. It is a dream but it is also, well maybe a dream to long delayed.

  15. I like your answers, Val. I’ll need some time for introspection. or navel gazing–whichever one works. 😉

  16. I am so glad I learned the secret to ,,,,,,, Well I am still figuring this one out Val, Because the day I figure it all out will be the day I exit this planet!…..

    But I hope I never figure out… the answer to this one is above, as I’m not ready to leave the Planet Just Yet!

    When I need help with life’s mysteries, I turn to… My spirit side friends…. and then life gets even more mysterious!! 🙂
    My next challenge is figuring out … What’s Next… Where… And What…. Made the I AM’s and Which Planet will be the next big mess up!

    🙂 Love and Big Hugs Val..
    Sue xoxox

  17. Hmmmm… Great questions that I need to think on a bit!

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