November 2007

There’s little that’s worse than grieving through the holidays; in my experience. So for starters don’t expect too much of yourself, do what feels right and let the rest be for another year. There have been holiday seasons when I was in such deep grief that even putting up the Christmas tree felt like it a task beyond what I could handle. On that year I hung a wreath and had a tiny one foot table top Christmas tree, Christmas cards that year became Valentine cards! My pain was so deep, my grief so shattering that all I wished for was New Years Day; knowing that would mean Christmas was over and a new and hopefully less painful year was beginning.

I cannot make your grief less, or take away your pain. I can only tell you, take care of your self, your spirit and allow yourself to truly grieve the ones you miss. That is the only real way through the pain; to feel the loss, to feel the depth of missing them and to talk to them in spirit, or keep a journal and write out your pain. That worked for me like nothing else did and today I am a happier, healed person for allowing my grief a place in my life. I allowed myself days when all I did was sit and cry and read inspirational books, or walk on the beach or sit under a tree and remember the person I loved so dearly, who was taken from my life.

I feel for each of you in this season. I know the pain of grief and I send up prayers thaty each of you will be watched over and supported in your dark days. I remember distinctly the Christmas after my father died; (2003) there was a holiday commercial on that year that practically made me nautious. In the commercial was a big happy family in red sweaters with a golden retriever all grouped near the Christmas tree beaming with happiness as if everything in their world couldn’t be more perfect. My thought every single time I saw that commercial was I will never be a family like that, because my parents and daughter have been taken from me. It felt so unfair, because my pain was so great. I hated to even see their happiness.

Sometimes in our grief it is unbelievably painful to see others in their happiness; thankfully that feeling fades and we find a way to make peace with our loss and to create life for ourselves again. Our lives will never be the same after our loss, but they can indeed be positive again with time, healing, grief counseling, prayer and a journal. Be gentle with yourself this season and do only what you feel able to handle and close the door on the rest; saving it for another time or year when you feel more ready to handle it. Blessings to each of you!

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is recognize that we need to slow down, take care of ourselves and step away from the insanity. I have been feeling really in need of a good rest lately. I’m certain this is due to months of showing my house, living in a house that must always be in pristine show order, writing and editing a book, writing for two websites and trying to sort, box and divest myself of a certain amount of belongings. This is certainly enough to make anyone desire a good rest.

A Wonderful Memory of My Day at Maui Hyatt Spa
Photo credit Lisa Overman

So what does this writer do for herself when life becomes too much?
Eleven Things I’ve Done For Myself in 24 Hours.
1. I took a long bath with a sea salt scrub scented with vanilla and cinnamon that I made myself.
2. Read a good novel whose value is strictly pleasure.
3. I chose to eat some very healthy food, lots of veggies, vitamins and mangosteen juice!
4. I sat in the sun for 45 minutes on my patio.
5. I watched Oprah’s show. She’s always inspiring!
6. I slept nine hours.
7. I went to bed early.
8. I limited my time on the computer.
9. I limited my television time to a couple favorite shows.
10. I came up with a list of ways to break away for a couple days this month.
11. I ordered one my favorite Hawaiian Coco Mango lotions and shower gels from the Hyatt Kaanapali Spa on Maui.

I hope these will help each of you! What works for you when you need a good break?

By: Beth Whitman

Beth has written a book of her solo travel experiences and adventures around the globe. Her book and website are an inspiration to women who long to embark on their own journey of adventure and travel. The website includes travel insight, experiences and travel tips for women from Beth and other travel writers who have lived their own solo travel adventures. My experiences are included there under Wander Blogs; Hammock In Paradise.

Nicholas Negroponte is the founder of One Laptop Per Child. His organizations goal is to get a laptop in the hands of every child in the world, according to the Nov 12th People Magazine currently on sale.

According to the People Magazine article, his non profit has developed a laptop called the XO which is powered either by solar, electric or manually. The computer has wireless connection and is made of a green and white material that is resistant to sand, heat and water; basically a design that withstands conditions typical of any third world country where the computers will be distributed.

For a short period in November; beginning on November 12th Nicholas Negroponte is creating a Give One Get One offer. His website says this offer will begin on November 12th and consumers can purchase the XO computer for $399 dollars ($200 of this is TAX DEDUCTABLE!!) For this your purchase buys a child in a developing country a lap top as well as one for a child in your family!

This is such a beautiful gift he has created. His incredible belief, motivation, love and knowledge is creating an opportunity for families and children with no means to afford technology;the gift of a laptop computer with wireless access. I am so impressed, I plan to purchase one myself for this charitable cause!! Please check out his website and make a donation yourself.

Today I found this website,