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Raising a Glass

It’s that time of the year for us stir crazy Western New Yorkers who don’t partake in winter outings because the cold temperatures don’t appeal to us. By the time February comes along, we’re fireside chatting, cleaning out closets, rearranging furniture or otherwise seeking out creative ways to keep occupied. And have fun. On a recent car ride through slushy streets with my daughter and her boyfriend, he started noticing a late winter staple; shopping carts in various states of abandon, especially in dirty snow piles. “Someone should photograph and caption those and share them on social media. Each one has a story,” he remarked. I found this idea highly amusing. The following week my daughter and I were together driving and saw more carts. Stopped at a red light we laughed and I said, “If you are on the lookout, there is always something around to laugh about.” I looked up and noticed the sign on the building next to me, “Acme Nipple Manufacturing Company.” I shared that and we laughed some more between Ouches. I received a text from her later with the photo that I’m sharing on this week’s blog captioned, “Anguish surrounds us.” Still laughing!

In other news, what started as a frequent routine in my lanai last summer as a way to unwind and celebrate the day’s people, places and events that bring fresh air and enjoyment to my life is my raising a glass of wine in gratitude to the Universe at sunset. If I’m not with someone, I will text whomever I’m thinking of at the time to bring them into the moment. This has now become a daily ritual for me in the Sanctuary, so I decided to share some of the “glass raising” occasions from this week here with the thought of inspiring simple reasons for celebration.

Raising a glass for examples of our genius 20-something generation (some label them millennials):

The lengthy “put the phones down face-to-face” conversation with my grown son comparing electricity (it scares me a bit) and Reiki (I’m a practitioner and he calls it Voodoo) and their forms in terms of energy. This began in scientific vs. intuitive disagreement, and ended with us satisfied that we were both right. When we came to that conclusion, although we couldn’t figure out how that could be possible, we couldn’t stop laughing because of it. Bonus, this 21-year old college dropout blew my mind with his curiosity-driven knowledge of Tesla, Archimedes, scientific terms, inventions and history. “I’m interested, so I watch documentaries,” he explained. Kudos to him, also, for recognizing the instability of the auto industry and interviewing according to his passions for a grounds keeping job that brought him an offer for a train mechanic position; doubling his salary. Here’s to trusting, leaving your comfort zone, following your heart and taking risks!

I’m too toasting my daughter’s first blog. She has always loved nature, animals, food, photography and writing. A vegan and artisan whose mission it is to save the planet, she writes about such things. If you’re interested, check her out at Additionally, a new client (I’ll call her “L”) at work came in to sign up for our High School Equivalency Program. Her enthusiastic demeanor immediately brightened my day. We exchanged pleasantries as she told me she had started as a housekeeper for Motel 6 and quickly graduated to front desk reception. The reason was obvious. I told her about my admiration for their spokesperson, Tom Bodett, and my preference for their simple over ritzy accommodations because they will leave the light on for me. She agreed. When I asked her about her path, she doesn’t know where it will lead, merely content starting with that High School Diploma. This inspired me to Google Tom Bodett and I found his following relevant quote, “The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” Rock on, “L”, you are already Summa Cum Laud in life. High School should be a piece of cake. Also celebrating new friend Adam who is passionately inspiring young folks through his already successful organization, Warriors of Success. I was privileged to be guest on his podcast. If you care to listen to our first exchange, you can hear it at

Lastly, to any psychiatrists who may be reading this, I am aware the latest trend is diagnosing what’s known as co-occuring mental illness which pairs mental health with addiction labels. In this case I would be “bipolar” and “alcoholic”. Guilty in the mental health system, yet I prefer to consider myself happy and appreciative; a joyful celebrator of life, resurrecting a superb tradition. No analysis necessary, just a way to navigate life via fun.

Cheers, Everyone! Go forth and play.

Special shout out to Addy’s Wine and Spirits of Williamsville, NY who support my glass raising with discounts and great customer service. Thank You!

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