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To The Moon, Alice!

I once had a boss who would shoot down every single idea that I had because he was afraid that people would find out that I was available to help faculty be successful.  He told the university accrediting committee that he was afraid that he didn’t have enough resources to handle the subsequent demand.  Given the constraints that I was working in– I wasn’t even allowed to tell anyone about my services–I still found ways to subversively get the word out and faculty were overjoyed when they “found me.”.  Ironically, when I was laid off due to budget cuts, he said one of the reasons I was being let go because I wasn’t working with enough faculty.  (insert sound of needle screeching across an LP here)  I just had to laugh at the absurdity of it all as I found ways to overcome his obstacles.

When I was a child, I was surrounded by “the can do spirit.”  This attitude seemed to permeate all areas of our culture and as a result we had an era of amazing growth and prosperity.  Shoot!  We even managed to do the impossible!  We put a man on the moon!

In modern times, the idea of “the power of positive thinking” is believed to be a bunch of hooey.  But if we go a little deeper, we find some interesting stuff.  Here is what we know from language, cognitive psychology, and positive psychology research: Our thoughts and language impact our world view and how we move about in the world.  We will look and find examples to substantiate our beliefs and world view. For instance, if we believe the sky is green, we will search the internet to find proof that the sky is, indeed, green.  We will find other people who also believe the sky is green.  We will get into arguments with people who say the sky is blue and claim it is a government conspiracy, etc.  We will find examples in our daily life that reinforce our beliefs.

A modern retro woman still holds a positive world view and a “can do spirit.”  She knows that being optimistic and being careful to use positive language opens up amazing vistas for her and her family.  It is how she overcomes obstacles that the world can throw her way.  She really is able to look for the silver lining.  So what if it is raining, hard, on the last day of the family vacation!  It gives the family a chance to re-enact Gene Kelly’s famous “Singing in the Rain” dance!

When Ralph Kramden used to threaten his wife, Alice, with sending her to the moon in The Honeymooners, I doubt he thought that one day man really would be walking on the moon.  What is your “moon” and what thought shifts can you make to get you there?

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6 Comments

  1. Hmmmm. My moon is to reinvent for my family a pre WWII home economy. When I die I want to be as skilled in the rural home arts as my grandmothers.

  2. I love it, Rebecca! To me, it seems like the more self-sufficient I become, the more confidence I gain in my ability to do things for myself. Our grandmothers certainly had the “can do spirit” because they really had to figure out how to do things for themselves!

  3. Wow, great Topic Dr. Julie! I loved your last post too…and thanks for your recommendations side bar – love it! I wonder if Ponds sales are going up with all the talk on Mad Men – I actually enjoyed the last episode, all the different layers of “what do you want to do” vs. “what do you think you should do” – still very dark though! Another thought on Ponds – I have really dry skin, and as we discussed, on the face Ponds can lead to breakouts – but what about as a moisturizer on the arms and legs? I haven’t tried it yet – but my forearms are really dry, it might work.

    So, anyway, What is my Moon? Great question, and Thank you so much for asking!! Unfortunatly my parents are not the most optimistic people you will meet, and my in laws are wonderful people and parents but tend to want to DO everything for you – squashing that “can do” spirit before you get a change to feel confident in accomplishing tasks. I am very drawn to lots of different positive people (yourself included), and I like watching Joel Osteen – if you have never seen him, almost every sermon is about positive thinking. So anyway, My Moon is definately growing in confidence as a homemaker, wife and mother and person – in home management, cookery, child rearing and spiritual development.

    I was happy to have the opportunity today to deliver a meal to a friend – it came out really well and was so easy – porkloin rubbed with salt, pepper & rosemary then roasted. How easy! I can remember that without referring to a recipe. I’m sure I left an impression that I can cook – amazing!! While there are down sides to living in suburbia, I am impressed with the confidence of so many mothers I know – sometimes a confidence that surpasses skill & experience, but confidence nontheless.

    I had to return Wooden’s book on Mentoring to the Library today, but was able to read the beautiful chapter he wrote about his wife. It was all about Trust, and how she taught him how important it is to trust people in relationships. I would like to trust that life will offer me opportunities to grow into a confident homemaker although I am a “late bloomer”!

  4. Oh, Ann. If it’s not too late for me it’s not too late for you.

    I believe in the power of positive thought. I believe that things have a way of working out for the best and that we can trust that this will ultimately be so in spite of trials and tribulations.

    And it is my great privilege to be living my moon — retired, privileged to have the wherewithal to do what I want and pursue what interests me — and to find this quest so inspiring. And that includes all that comes to me through my interest in womanhood, including the “Modern Retro Woman.”

    I love the phrase Rebecca used — “rural home arts.” I don’t think I’ve seen my quest expressed just that way before.

  5. Kathy, thank YOU for being an inspiration to us!

    And, Ann, just remember, I “bloomed” much later than you and look what I’ve already learned. As Kathy says, it’s not too late!

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