Tag Archive: Growing UP


  1. Growing Old is Obligatory; Growing Up is Optional.*

Sunday 5th April 2015

Berta-The Barber of Seville 1984

This morning I woke up old and I realized, my obligation had to be fulfilled like everyone else’s.

The image I saw in the mirror brought to mind the photo you see: my 30-year-old self, singing the role of Bertha, a mid-60s maid, from Rossini’s Opera, The Barber of Seville.

At the time, I was quite convinced I would never reach such a ripe age. I dreaded both, reaching it and not.

Today, as I scanned the prune-like face in the mirror, I felt, as I often do, so happy and triumphant that I have made it this far!

I dare say I have also kept growing up.

I have grown in wisdom, therefore, in self-acceptance and self-love.

Death doesn’t frighten me as it used to. Neither wrinkles do.

Berta’s aria finishes with the lines:

“E vecchietta disperata

mi convien così crepar.”

And old, desperate

It’s more convenient that I kick the bucket.

First I thought of writing that, Non mi convien cosi crepar,

But then, as I am learning Italian, I checked in the dictionary and crepare also means: to splitting one’s sides laughing. You only need to add “dalle rise”.

Therefore, I will crepar dalle rise, and continue to laugh into any age, genes, fate and my own efforts, take me.

Happy growing old and up!

* I wish the quote was mine. I translated it from Spanish, and I guess it comes from my cheerful 82-year-old brother-in-law, Luis Carlos, who spends a lot of his time sourcing interesting, wise and funny quotes and stories from the Internet.

** For the old or young, but curious, go to my Music Matters… to Me, for some links to Berta’s aria, none sung by me as in those days in Colombia (1983 and 1984), live performances weren’t recorded. You will also find a trip to memory lane from my days with the Colombian National Opera Company.

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Saturday 3rd January 2015

New Year Resolutions… Should I?

Well… in my opinion, “I shouldn’t”.

I don’t know if I understand correctly, but the word itself seems to imply doubt. “I should” sounds to me as if it is something imposed from outside; from society, religion or family, instead of something that springs from the certainty of inner truth.

Therefore, “I shouldn’t”: instead, “I will”.

For example, “I will” write this and other blogs more often, without pestering myself spending a few hours making sure it is grammatically, spiritually and ethically correct, which is the main reason why I don’t write more often. Feel free to correct me!

I am a very wealthy person: wealthy in experience. This is the best I have to give to you, in case it is of any use.

What “will you” do, achieve, strive for this year?

I hope you “will to have” a happy, peaceful and profitable one.

Patrissia

http://www.patrissiacuberos.com
http://www.thethermodynamicsoflove.co.uk
thescienceoftheimprobable.wordpress.com

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 7th June 2014

 

22. HEALTH RISKS AND THE RISKS OF HEALTH

 

 

On Monday, I saw at the surgery a man I have been watching in and out of pubs for the last 7 years: bulbous red nose, unhealthy skin, thin as a rake, normally with a cigarette hanging from his lips. I could hear his rattling cough from the waiting room while he queued in front the reception desk.

 

After my routine blood test, I saw him again sitting at the Chemists waiting area. He looked worried and kept rubbing the area around his left lung. I wondered if the dangers of smoking had at last, caught up with him and if he now wishes he had paid heed to all the advice.

 

Perhaps because of my poor health during my younger years, I grew up with the eyes of a diagnostician. I often look at people and sense what might be ailing them. I am frequently right, as experience has proved. I often wish I could stop people in the street and tell them: “Watch out what you eat” or “Do this or that”, but I don’t think many people would take it kindly or be interested. It is particularly hard when your loved ones do things that you know from personal experience, to be harmful. Yet, they won’t listen until their bodies force them to. Sometimes it is too late.

 

In this country, we are fortunate that we have clean water accessible to all, and regardless of the belief that poor people can’t eat properly, having been there, I know decent food is generally cheaper than fast food. I am not talking about the over priced, often faddist organic labelled food. Very nice, and good for you, but sometimes just a label.

 

Then, why don’t we all eat healthily, avoid smoking, avoid drinking in excess, avoid harmful substances in our environment, keep a good posture, learn to breath? Why don’t we all accept help and suggestions that would prevent illness or even improve our health?

 

Perhaps because being healthy has certain risks many of us are unconsciously afraid off:

 

If we are healthy:

  • We have no excuse to not to work hard.
  • We have no excuse to not to be relied upon by your family and friends.
  • We have no excuse to be lazy.
  • Worse than that, people might envy rather than pity us..
  • One more problem in this country is that if you are on health related benefits and you get better, you will lose them.

 

However, in my view, the gained benefits are far greater than what we could lose. Nowadays, I experience ecstatic pleasure having a piece of toast with butter (a forbidden substance for most of my younger years) and jam (another, forbidden for over 11 years), or going for a walk ( I couldn’t walk for more than 20 minutes or so, for several years), or carrying stuff that would have sent me into spasms of pain not long ago.

 

So, next time you feel tempted to do or not do something that might affect your health, think, not only of the pleasures you might miss, but also of the satisfaction of being independent, self reliant and free to do the things you love doing.

 

As all types of medicine, conventional or alternative, and all manner of religious and spiritual guidance suggest, be moderate in everything, and aim to accept cheerfully what life brings to you every day.

 

I hope you are immoderate only in joy, pleasure, happiness and of course, goodness.

.

 

http://www.patrissiacuberos.com

 

 

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible  and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

21. Bricks for Breakfast.

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 31st May 2014

 

21. Bricks for Breakfast

 

 

I had planned to write about diet today. A brick for breakfast came to help with extra inspiration. During my adventures with my new bread-maker, I have produced a couple of bricks, even though this second time I did remember to add the yeast!

 

In both instances, butter and jam have made easier chewing and swallowing

 

It all made me reflect on how at all levels, we all encounter bricks we need to chew and swallow: bad news, things that don’t turn up as we wish, difficult people and situations that make us feel as if we are trying to swallow bricks or to squeeze juice from them.

 

I think the solution is to add butter… and jam for good measure! Paraphrasing Mary Poppins, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

 

Like butter, we should be soft and adaptable in body and mind, in order to adapt to circumstances, and to bear with everyone around us without changing our nature.

 

Like jam, we should try to be of a sweet nature and sweeten and make palatable all life around us.

 

www.patrissiacuberos.com

 

 

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible  and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up
Saturday 29th March 2014
13. The Limitations of the Unlimited

I confess I hate limitations. I hate to be told that I can’t. And yet, I have to accept that we are shackled by Limitation even in our affluent, prosperous society, where those limitations are generally self-inflicted through our own excessive desires and expectations.
I fall painfully into this last category. My unlimited mind, a mind like yours or anyone’s, can imagine worlds, situations and possibilities that are beyond my physical capabilities and the limitations of time… I was going to call it my worst enemy, but I think I better befriend it!
At 8.00 am, a day extends ahead of me with a promise of a million small and large projects that I am sure I will be able complete:
• Today, I’ll edit my book for 6 hours: around 4000 words at the current speed, if no more scenes and dialogues decide to sprout on the way! (14 years on the go! I don’t dare to plan anymore a publication date! It is an embarrassment, but being my first novel, it has to be the best I can achieve at this stage.)
• Today, I will do 2 hours of piano practice: I will finally master that little Scarlatti sonata (at it, on and off for 10 years). I might even improve the Mozart sonata (2 years on the go.)
• Today, I’ll write my blog and I will do it in 20 minutes instead of the usual 2 hours.
• Today I will finish at least my sewing project No 7 (at least 6 more on the go, all unfinished; all piling up in my basket.)
• Today, I will give the kitchen a proper clean.
• Today, I’ll go out for a two hours walk…
• Today I will watch that David Attenborough’s Documentary.
• Today I will do a bit of gardening… after all, it is sunny…
However:
• Today, after 20 minutes at the piano I have to stop to do yoga because my back aches. My fault as I did too much writing and sewing yesterday. For once, the three 10 to 20 minutes yoga sessions, and the 3 hours cleaning, baking and stewing the last of the autumn apples, weren’t enough to compensate for the stillness. (Arthritis is being wo-man-handled, but not yet defeated. Flares up if I sit or don’t move for more than a couple of hours.)
• Today, I sit to write this blog, planning to continue editing… but my carpal tunnel syndrome is making its appearance again, numbing my right thumb and making it difficult to write…
What shall I do?
• I shall be gracious, and not complain about having an active mind;
• I shall be grateful for my health being as good as it is. After all, I rather have problems sitting too long instead of not being able to move.
• I will re-read/check extracts of my novel and I’ll use my thumb as little as possible.
• I will do some gardening… hands and back permitting.
• I will go for a walk indeed, and enjoy this beautiful sunshine.
I might be exercised enough later on, to afford some writing, sewing and playing the piano!
Tomorrow at 8 am, the day will seem limitless… again…
If anyone out there would like to be my Executive Secretary/Editor/Personal Assistant, let me know. I am considering winning a lottery or becoming a Best Selling author in order to pay one! Of course I need to finish the book first, don’t I?

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. See also the Links page. Whenever possible and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

 

Will’s Muscles

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 8th March 2014

 

Will’s Muscles

 

 

Like all healthy babies of the animal kingdom, Will was born with a good set of muscles to complement his bone structure. Indeed, he grabbed the finger of the Doctor with great gusto and screamed his lungs out in the first few seconds of his life. He held his little head quite upright before the third month of his life.

As a young child, Will was active, bubbly, and full of life and muscle.

School happened; bullying happened; the comfort of home, TV, computer games happened; the care of parents who mistook loving and protecting with letting the will of their Will dominate their lives, happened.

Will started to spend more and more hours sitting down in front of a screen than running around. His sleep patterns became erratic, his diet, higher and higher in carbohydrates.

By the age of 15, Will was obese, his muscles were wasting away rapidly, he was at risk of developing diabetes, and he was suffering from depression.

Doctors, exams, psychologists, clinics happened; pills were taken; more TV and games were watched and played; more comfort eating happened. After all, he was a sweet tooth, and mother loved him.

Will was by now, a slumped mass lying on a bed all the time, too weak, sleepless, and depressed to move.  His bones and joints had become too weak to support his large body. His eating habits, added to drugs and inactivity had taken their toll.

An elderly wise Doctor was called as a last resource. He examined Will carefully with serious countenance.

“Am I going to die, Doctor?” panted Will with effort, watching anxiously his own laboured breathing, and the doctor’s stern face as he packed the stethoscope in its case. 

“Well… depends…” answered the Doctor.

“On what?”

 “On you, Will.”

“On me? What can I do?”

“You can give a step or two today, and a few more tomorrow?”

“What do you mean? I can’t move!”

“Can’t you, really?” Said the Doctor cryptically and left the room swiftly, leaving an indignant boy, half sitting on the bed.

Will’s mother was downstairs waiting with bated breath for the old practitioner’s diagnosis.

The Doctor looked at her with concern in his face. “It all depends on him exercising his muscles, but particularly HIS WILL’S MUSCLES.” He emphasized.

“But he can’t! He can’t move!” the woman sobbed.

“He could, if he has the will.”

“He is too weak!”

“If you really want to help him, put the remote control out of reach, but visible from his bed, every time he puts it in his bed. In a few days, move TV and computers out of his room. Then, move them downstairs. Change his diet to a highly nutritional, low calorie one.”

“He will hate me for it. He’s already very depressed. He will REALLY suffer.”

The old Doctor stared sternly at her from behind his glasses for a few seconds: “Either, you and Will develop your will muscles, or Will, will die.”

 

There is a healthy boy in my neighbourhood who, one grey day, not long ago, got up from his bed reached out for a TV  control, and regained control of his life.

 

PS. Is there any area of your life in which you could do with developing more “will’s muscles”?

PS. Don’t overdo it. Enjoy life!

 

 

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

 

0. This is a purely fictional story. Any similarity with any person, family or circumstances is mere coincidence.

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. Whenever possible and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

 

Fate, Fortune and Will

 

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 15th Feb 2014

Fate, Fortune and Will

Some people are fortunate enough to appear to have it all: health, a roof over their heads, enough food, warmth, clothing, love and security, opportunities for learning, work, creating, enjoying life. However, all too often, they are unfortunate enough not to recognize it.

If you are reading this, it means you, like me, have been spared from the distressing and even tragic consequences of the latest storms. Perhaps, like me, you are reflecting on your good fortune.

After having planned this week’s post, one of my dearest friends asked me, pretty much what the protagonist of one of my books always asks himself:

“Is our destiny determined by genes, birth, upbringing, past choices?

Or can we determine the course of our existence?”*

My answers, based on my personal experience and my observations of life and people, are:

  • 50%, Genes, birth, family, education and upbringing:
  • 50%, What we decide to make of our 50% lottery.

In my personal experience, we can change even our health, and overcome many other seemingly impossible challenges, quite dramatically. We can change, of course, the effects of education and upbringing. We can transform ourselves, our lives, our health and our level of happiness.

In my view, it is the power of our will what can take us all the way, from simple wish to the intention; from the intention, to the attention and focus necessary to work our wish into the desired result. Perhaps you will care to have a look at my nephew Juan Acosta’s project,  http://ThoughtsintoResults.com (By the way, Juan has grown up in USA, and I have had no influence whatsoever in his upbringing. However, obviously we are into similar missions!)

But, how do you train your will to will what you need to will in order to transform your life?

My suggestion for this week is to observe, and if necessary to change your attitude to your life and your circumstances. Essentially, I suggest that you strive to see your glass, not even half full but full to the brim with the unabashed and pretty permanent joy of being alive; of having learnt what you have learnt; of experiencing the love you experience for and from people, places, objects, whatever form love takes in your life.

Will, have Faith in yourself; work at it and/or open space for it. Remember:

“Never give up hope and good luck will find you”

(From the Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story)

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. Whenever possible and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.

*From “The Secret Life of a God”, part of “The Thermodynamics of Love Trilogy”, hopefully to be out and about this year. I won’t give up hope!

How to Grow Old the Right Way Up

Saturday 25th January 2014

Self Belief: The Hardest Creed

 

Many people are happy to believe in God, in their Doctor, in the Government, in the Social System, in their Rights as Citizens, in Charitable acts, in their families, in the remedies they take, in the sky, the stars, the sun, the rain, the soil, being there all the time for them.

The reality is that the only thing we probably can believe in is ourselves. We can turn into sophistic logic of some description and even try to deny that. But that is difficult. Because we believe we know we are here; we experience hunger, cold, pleasure, pain. Paraphrasing Decartes’ “Cogito Ergo Sum”, we think, therefore we exist.

Yet, when it comes to the value of our existence, our purpose, our direction in life, even our wishes and desires, it is incredible how often we doubt. And we doubt to the point of not caring about our bodies and minds; we doubt to the point in which we discard and refuse to search for or acknowledge our purpose, our direction in life. How often this essential doubt leads us to squander our health; our ability to be happy; our time; our money.

I keep thinking of creating more of an order to these posts… but perhaps at the moment I value much the spontaneity of having thought I should continue with one of the 3 pillars of physical health, and yet in the last minute deciding, I wanted to speak about the cardinal Virtue of Faith in ourselves.

I leave you with a quote from one of my books: “I don’t know if God exists, but I am totally sure God believes in me.” (From The Thermodynamics of Love)

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS

1. I am not a health practitioner of any description. The tips I will be giving are directly related to my personal experience and my experiences with family and friends who seem to have benefited from those tips. Please if in doubt, always consult a qualified practitioner.
2. With their permission I will be mentioning in these pages the names and expertise of many people who have contributed to my current state of health. Whenever possible  and relevant, I will be leading you to their websites or giving you a direct contact if you ask me. Nobody is or will be paying me or rewarding me in any way for doing so. I will be doing it because they are wonderful practitioners, to whom I owe much and to whom I am very happy to direct people to, for the benefit of all. I don’t and won’t recommend anyone whose help and expertise I haven’t experienced and benefited from directly.