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RandiLynnMrvos



March 1, 2020

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Photo: Geran de Klerk 
BY CHANCE

Sometimes when we least expect it, the events of the day put us on a path of destiny.

A while back, I made plans to stop at the library just long enough to pick up a book when I spotted a friend whom I hadn't seen in years.

Most of us have probably run into friends and acquaintances by chance, but this meeting was different.

That day, I didn't expect to see someone who had worked in the same department at the hospital as I had some thirty years ago.  But there she was, on her way out of the library.  I called out her name.  She looked up and smiled.  After a hug, I asked her how she was doing.  Without a trace of emotion, she told me she was dying.

I was shocked, not only to learn of her predicament but that she seemed indifferent.  Or, was it she had come to accept her fate?  After she explained the details of her prognosis, I wondered:  why did we meet on this day, at this place, at this exact time?  Was there a purpose to this reunion?

At the time, I didn't realize that this may be synchronicity at work, the meaningful coincidences that play a role in our lives.

Author and public speaker Deepak Chopra defines synchronicity as an unexpected coincidence that happens to break statistical probabilities.  It is a conspiracy of improbabilities.  He believes that synchronicity happens when improbable events come together and move you into an extended state of awareness and enhance your intuitive abilities. 

As Jan revealed more details of her condition, I didn't know what to say, but I felt an overwhelming sadness.  This emotional impact is part of synchronicity. 

Mark Holland, co-author of Synchronicity says, "The primary reality of synchronicities is emotional, not intellectual."  He believes that the reason they’re there is to make us feel something and to show that our lives are rich and worth reflecting upon.   

I think back to the time when Jan and I were young medical technologists.  Jan liked to talk about the three rabbits she owned as pets.  She loved those rabbits and they were like family to her.

One time, Jan came by the house with a rabbit so that our young daughter could play with it.  Not long after that 'play date,' I retired from the working at the hospital.  That was the last time I saw her.  Happy bunny memories.  And now this.

Photo: James Wheeler 
You might believe the reunion with Jan was merely a coincidence, unless you look deeper and see the event as valuable and potentially instructive.

In Psychology Today, former Cincinnati reporter Gregg Levoy says Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, "believed that synchronicities mirror deep psychological processes, carry messages the way dreams do, and take on meaning and provide guidance to the degree they correspond to emotional states and inner experiences.

One only had to look at a recent event in my past to understand a possible meaning as to why I ran into Jan.

I understood the illness.

About two years earlier, my sister-in-law Barb died of a brain tumor, a glioblastoma—the same diagnosis as Jan's.  My husband and I became Barb's caregivers from diagnosis to death.  Little by little, the cancer robbed her of doing daily tasks like getting dressed and using silverware.  It robbed her of vocabulary—her words came out as gibberish.  Perhaps the reason for running into Jan was that I had been called upon to be available if she needed help.

Jan's closest family lives 500 miles away.  So, I volunteered to give her with rides.  On one occasion, I drove her to a doctor's appointment.  When we arrived, Jan needed to fill out papers for insurance records. The complications of her illness affected her memory.  She had forgotten her house number, but I was able to remind her.  Then as she continued to fill out the form, she came across a place for her birth date.  She grinned at me and said she remembered.  April 16th.

Jan was born on the same day as my father.

While there is no evidence that synchronicity exists, there are amazing coincidences that happen all the time.  Are they the result of random chance?  Or, do they convey some hidden meaning?  Only you can decide.

More questions ran through my mind.  Why did I run into Jan now instead of years earlier?  Why was it me instead of another co-worker?  If I had run an errand before going to the library, we would have never met.  How could it be that the timing was so perfect?

Of course, I will never know the answers.  But I believe there has to be a reason and it makes me wonder and reflect.  How can this not be a meaningful coincidence?  How can this not be destiny?  How can this not be meant to be?

À la prochaine! 
















February 1, 2020

Photo: Jewish Women's Archive* 
Surprisingly audacious reflections of a humble writer   
I AM NOT LIKE MRS. MAISEL

My husband and I binge-watched the third season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  We love this Emmy-winning American period comedy-drama starring Rachel Brosnahan so much that we watched it with captions—we didn't want to miss a single word or joke.

The premise in a nutshell:  Mrs. Maisel has everything she's ever dreamed of—a perfect husband, two kids and an exquisite apartment on New York's Upper West Side, but when her husband leaves her for another woman, she unwittingly discovers she has a talent for stand-up comedy.  

I've seen the first and second seasons multiple times, and it got me thinking how different I am from Miriam as she is called by her parents or Midge as she is known by her friends and ex-husband.  Though I don't make a regular habit of comparing myself to television characters, I thought it would be interesting to note the differences.  Here are some observations.

Unlike Midge:
  • I do not wear gorgeous high-end vintage-inspired dresses.
  • I do not wear hats, shoes and gloves that coordinate with the gorgeous high-end vintage-inspired dresses. 
  • I would never be able to afford the hats, shoes, and gloves that coordinate with the gorgeous high-end vintage-inspired dresses.  
  • I have never invited a rabbi to the house; a priest yes, but not a rabbi.
  • I've never done stand-up comedy, but my husband says I'm funnier than most of my family.
  • I've never bleached my hair (or my nether regions).
  • I've never said the word penis in front of my father.
  • My mother never went to a fortune-teller (she could have, but she never told me).
  • Photo: Amazon Prime 
  • Our family had a housekeeper, but she never made goulash.
  • I've never eaten mac and cheese as a hangover cure.
  • I've never made a brisket or bribed anyone with a brisket.
  • I've never attended a bris, a ceremony for Jewish boys like Bar Mitzvahs, except much more painful. 
  • I've never sailed on a yacht sipping champagne (and I have no regrets because I would have been greener than the Grinch).
  • I never had a picture of the Dionne quintuplets hanging on a wall in my bedroom.  Not that I would want one and thank goodness I didn't because I wasn't allowed to hang any pictures on the walls of my bedroom.  (So, you can imagine what my college dorm room looked like.  Every wall was plastered with posters—but not a single picture of the Dionne quintuplets).  
There you have it.  Fourteen differences.  But for the hell of it, let's move on to comparisons.  There are only two, maybe three.   

  • During my teenage years, I pushed a boy out my bedroom window after a late-night tryst. 
  • Like Midge, I've been on television.  I was on T Bar B, a children's show where kids had the opportunity to announce their name and age, sing the happy birthday song, and have cake.  Well, everyone had cake but me.  I was yanked away before having a single taste.  (I don't think it would have spoiled my dinner.  And yes, I'm still a little bitter).
  • Midge dated Benjamin, a tall, nice-looking Jewish doctor.  I dated two med students, who I assume would become doctors.  And then again as I think about it, this might not belong with the comparisons.  Neither of them 'looked like an angry building' when they got mad—which was what Benjamin told Midge when describing what tall people look like when they get upset.  

Maybe in season four, I will find more similarities with Midge, but there will likely be more differences.  Way more differences.  Either way, I'll have to wait another year.  So until then, you can bet that my husband and I will watch the third season again as well as the first and second seasons.  We will still laugh at the delicious dialogues.  We will still repeat the lines—"I will have to kill you.  I'll feel bad about it, but I'll have to do it." "Tits up." "At least we're not as fucked as those fucking fucks."  

And...we will still savor The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 


À la prochaine! 


Jewish Women's Archive. "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." (Viewed on December 15, 2019) <https://jwa.org/media/marvelous-mrs-maisel>.






January 1, 2020

                                                                                                                                                                  Photo: Vitaly Taranov 
Surprisingly audacious reflections of a humble writer   INSPIRING OR SHAMING? 

How is it possible that a Facebook post could make me say WTF?

Over the Christmas holidays, I was tagged (as well as fifty others) on Facebook in a plea to contribute to a charity.  This may be a common thing to do, but I was shocked.  It was probably an innocent act and others would think nothing of this, but it made me wonder why someone would list names in conjunction with a fundraiser.  Maybe the purpose was to inspire people to donate or make it easier for them to donate, but it made me feel uncomfortable.  Again, I will reiterate that it probably wasn't meant to be malicious; and yet in some way, it felt like shaming people into giving.

Charity shaming is used to pressure a person into donating to a cause that one has personally deemed worthy.  It generally has a negative affect and it can be counter-productive.  Thankfully, I don't see this kind of intimidation on social media too often.

Facebook is a friend network.  Most of the time, people use it to socialize.  But not everyone uses it strictly for keeping in touch or reconnecting with long-lost friends.

Many of my friends and family use Facebook as a fundraising platform.  They ask for a donation in lieu of birthday gifts or for an organization that they support.  In fact, my peeps post fundraising events multiple times a year.  My husband and I notice the appeals and we contribute generously, mainly because we believe in the causes and we don't feel bullied into donating. 
Photo: Wei Ding 

Nobody wants to be hassled or embarrassed into giving to a charity.  People want the freedom to choose.  And, people are more likely to give to a cause if it resonates with them and if they know how their donation will be spent.  For instance, one of the organizations that I contribute to is the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.  I know the funds raised will benefit the programs that they offer.  But I would point out that the Carnegie Center does not post possible donor's names on Facebook.

Trying to bully somebody into donating to a cause is becoming more and more prevalent—it can backfire and turn people away from giving.  And that's sad because there are many wonderful charitable undertakings that depend on donations.  Championing a cause is admirable, but manipulating people is just plain wrong.

I get the feeling there's going to be more of this pushy in your face fundraising tactic throughout the new year.  Why?  It appears to work.  People who use this ploy seem to be wildly successful in raising money.  But it comes across as guilting people into opening their checkbooks.  Safe to say, this strategy is not for me.  I prefer a less forceful approach, a more considerate approach.  Because I believe giving should be a personal choice.

To my followers: 

Thank you for supporting 
Children's Writer's World and The Maggie Project.  
It truly means the world to me. 
May the new year bring you new inspirations, 
new goals, and new achievements.


https://thinksaveretire.com/charity-shaming-double-standard/

To leave a comment, please contact:  Randi Lynn Mrvos