It’s Good to be 67…March 30, 2014

As I read the meditation for today, I am reminded of how I felt about what I thought was God’s will for me. I used to think that God would provide choices to me, knowing I would always select the wrong one, and then God would be amused. A cruel understanding of God… Today I’m clear that God is deep within me, a part of me, and never leads me in the wrong direction. I just need to pay attention and alter my course if required.

 

I spent a few hours with an old and dear friend (and former short-term lover) today. We hadn’t seen one another in a long time and enjoyed catching up. I felt at home in her house and enjoyed the fond memories of what we shared for the short time that we were together. I’m so grateful that we were able to remain friends.

 

I’m still reeling from the wonderful event of yesterday and look forward to the day when I can share more specifically about it here on my blog and on Facebook.

 

Today in LGBT history (from the Quist app): 1958, the first performance of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Alvin Ailey was one of the most important modern dance choreographers on the 20th century. He was a gay man who died of AIDS in 1989.

 

My meditation for today (from A Women’s Spirit): Remembering that the wisdom and the truth of my Higher Power are as close as my quiet moments offers welcome relief in troubled times. I listen to the still small voice within and feel secure and joyful, knowing that my actions are God’s will.

 

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

It’s Good to be 67…March 29, 2014

There was an item on Facebook today that asked the reader to select a design that feels the best. The one I selected was #3. Here is the website: https://www.facebook.com/photo.phpfbid=634603609927451&set=a.286770081377474.76534.282843731770109&type=1 Number 3 says: That I’m sensitive and reflective. I’m comfortable spending hours alone with my thoughts and rarely become bored. I dislike superficiality; I’d rather be alone than have to suffer through small talk. My relationships with my friends are very strong, which gives me the inner tranquility and harmony that I require. I love deeply but if someone betrays me it is next to impossible to forgive. I am an old soul, someone who has lived many times before and has seen it all. All I crave now is simplicity and the chance to focus my attention on a meaningful existence. Interesting, I thought, and most of this is true for me. What’s not true is the part about not being willing to forgive. In reality, I do that well. I must forgive or suffer the consequences of carrying pain and resentment which does nothing but stop me from moving forward. Been there, done that…I learned that forgiveness is freedom. I might not have to like the person, but I sure can free my heart and let go of resentment by forgiving. The excitement of today, about which I am not yet at liberty to share, was entirely about releasing resentment and opening one’s heart to gratitude. Try it…don’t let resentment be your Higher Power. Today in LGBT history (from the Quist app): In 2009 the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore in Greenwich Village, NY, closed due to financial troubles. It had opened in 1967. It’s good to be 67! What happened with you today? Keep Writing! Ronni

It’s good to be 67…March 28, 2014

The meditation today talks about realities…yours, mine, others’ realities. In reality, all I have is my own, and yours is none of my business. It took me decades to get this. I used to think that if you lived your life as I told you, your life would be perfect. Mine, on the other hand, was a mess! Today my life is mine and yours is yours and if our journeys become parallel for a little while, it’s good.

Today Kelly (and Dooney) and I rode bikes up from Ventura to Ojai in preparation for our 7 day bike trip to New Orleans next week. The 20 mile ride was easy for both of us…thank goodness! That bodes well for these ol’ bods on bikes!

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And it was a good diversion to help me not focus on the film screening tomorrow.

Today in LGBT history (from the Quist app): 1972 — The Michigan Court of Appeals again rejects the contention that heterosexuals are exempt from the “crime against nature.”

My meditation for today (from A Women’s Spirit): There are many realities. We should remember this when we get too caught up in being concerned about the way the rest of the world lives. I don’t need everyone to agree with me today. I only think I do.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

It’s good to be 67…March 27, 2014

The meditation reading today reminds me that I need to suit up and show up, for myself first and then for others as I am needed. For too many years I showed up for others because I needed to hide from myself. I needed to hide in my good works so that I wouldn’t be rejected. Today I hide from no one, and I’m of service as I’m called upon to do, respecting my boundaries first and then being as radical as needed! Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky still guides much of my world…thank goodness!

Kelly and Dooney are here on Oxnard today as we begin preparations for the pre-release film screening on Saturday. Got my nails done and lip waxed; Kelly gets her first golf lesson from my coach Dee; Dooney gets to chase seagulls and pee on the dock; and the we will have dinner with Dee and her partner Judy at the Himalayan Restaurant in Ventura. It’s a busy day which helps me not think about the screening on Saturday! Oy!

Today in LGBT history (from the Quist app): In 1951, the U.S. State Department announced firing of four homosexuals. In 1943, William Arondeus, a gay artist, led a resistance group as they burned a Nazi-held building in The Netherlands.

My meditation for today (from A Women’s Spirit): I am invited to experience particular situations today. My presence is needed if I am called.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

It’s good to be 67…March 26, 2014

My morning walk is usually around the Channel islands Harbor these days. It was especially beautiful this morning.

Channel Islands Harbor

During my walk, I thought about the very first woman with whom I fell in love. It was 1967 and I was a junior in college. We were both music majors. As I walked past her practice room, I heard a sad, sorrowful then powerful Israeli-type tune coming from her piano. I sat down on the floor by the door and listened to her music as the tears rolled down my face. She and I became close friends and roommates. When we graduated from the University of Florida, she moved to Los Angeles with me. We lived together for two more years until I chose to get married rather than acknowledge my lesbian identity. I was heartbroken. I felt as if she and I were married but we didn’t talk about it…ever. She married some guy about 6 weeks after I married. She’s still with him. We have very limited contact but she’s always so close in my heart. I thought about her on my walk because the song Even Now by Barry Manilow played on my iPod and immediately her memory – and the tears – welled up. I miss her, but the memory and the feelings make me feel the happiness of having once loved someone so deeply.

I know it will happy again. My heart is open…

Today in LGBT history (from the Quist app): Today in 1977 was the first time openly gay and lesbian people were welcomed in the White House and the first official discussion of  lesbian and gay rights. Leaders included Charlotte Bunch, Frank Kameny, Elaine Noble, Troy Perry, Betty Powell, George Raya, Myra Riddle, Charlotte Spitzer, and Bruce Voeller.

My meditation for today (from A Women’s Spirit): When I am quiet and ready, I release the grip of a problem. I am ready for the solution, and healing occurs.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

It’s good to be 67…March 25, 2014

The meditation below reminds me of how I moved through the world for so many years. Because I felt “less-than,” I worked like crazy. Between 1995 and 2012, I wrote, co-wrote, or edited or co-edited 6 books and over 100 articles. I went from “coordinator” of the UCLA LGBT Center in 1997 to full professor in the UCLA Graduate School of Education Higher Education and Organizational Change department, the #1 education grad school in the country!

I worked 80 hours a week and sometimes more. While I had little to no love-life or social life (where I didn’t need to put my personal self out there), I was very successful in my work and in work-related circles. I’m grateful that I was able to write and work and help others. I know how important that was. Today, though, I’m grateful that while I’m still able to be of service, I have tremendous balance…lots of love and loving friends, a sweet (and growing) family, and the ability to socialize without fear. And THAT happened when I was finally able to let go of my identity as my work and feel comfortable in my own skin as my identity as my own self. I’m deeply grateful for this recovery. I can now get out of my own way, live life as it presents, and stay in the moment and the day. I love my life!

Good film news! My documentary has been accepted into two festivals already though I’m not yet at liberty to say which until they advertise. Soon…

Yesterday I saw Grand Budapest Hotel with my mother and sister yesterday. Funny film! Reminded me of the old Pink Panther flicks; was interviewed by Amy McDonald of the Happy Healthy Lesbian for her Queer Women Journal Project  (www.thehappyhealthylesbian.com); worked on a client’s book; was in an on-line boot camp to help find book agents; and I watched the Voice. Today: the gym; day two of the agent boot camp; work on my book and agent proposal; make a kick-ass salad; go to Ventura PFLAG meeting.

My dear friend Tom Bourdon is the new director of the Greater Boston PFLAG. I’m so proud of him and of his commitment to LGBT work. I just know he’s going to be the national Executive Director one day, maybe of PFLAG, maybe of another LGBT organization. His leadership is ethical, practical, and guided by love.

Today in LGBT history (from the Quist app): The Times of Harvey Milk wins best documentary Feature Oscar. 1985

My meditation for today (from A Women’s Spirit): Our insecurity, our fear that we’re inadequate, pushes us to over-extend. I don’t need to complete a big project every day. Making some progress is enough. Life is a process.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

 

It’s Good to be 67…March 24, 2014

I went to my grandnephew’s 6th birthday party yesterday. He shares the same birthday as me, March 20th. His 3 year old sister and my 3 year old grandson were also there along with what felt like a bizillion others of the 6-and-under set. They were everywhere!

I have to admit that I had a blast! I sat on the floor with the little ones, read Frozen which seems to be their favorite, and watched them interact with one another. With budding communication skills, these children, especially the very little ones, were delightful! They interacted with one another playfully, shared their toys, and seemed genuinely happy to be in the same space with each other. How refreshing!

I have to admit that I had a blast! I sat on the floor with the little ones, read Frozen which seems to be their favorite, and watched them interact with one another. With budding communication skills, these children, especially the very little ones, were delightful! They interacted with one another playfully, shared their toys, and seemed genuinely happy to be in the same space with each other. How refreshing!

I had a birthday dinner with my son Erik and my best friend Regina at Pete’s in downtown Los Angeles. Erik and Mom Among life’s greatest gifts are tender family (no matter how crazy – but you’re not crazy, of course, Erik!) and trusted loving friends. Among other things, Regina gave me the Karen Drucker Songs of the Spirit III cd with one of my favorite songs I’m So Grateful….

After dinner  I volunteered as an usher at the Vox Femina Women’s Chorus concert. Their music has filled me since 1998 when I invited them to sing at the first UCLA lavender Graduation. I had them come back every year…

And then, today, a great bike ride in preparation for my bike trip in a week and a half, and another choral concert, this one in Ventura. As the song goes, I fe-e-e-el good, da-da da-da da-da domp!

Today in LGBT history (from the Quist app): In 1971, Frank Kameny was the first openly gay person to run for a US Congressional Seat, representing the District of Columbia. He lost.

My meditation for today (from A Women’s Spirit): Being open to other people helps us grow. I am willing to give more of myself to others today.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

It’s Good to be 67…March 22, 2014

Yesterday I received this from a former UCLA student:

 I wanted to write you to simply express the positive impact you had on me of which you are perhaps not even aware. You and Emily Rokosch were the only openly lesbian women that I had ever met, whom I could look up to. It sounds so dramatic now to say that was ‘life-changing’ since my life is now intertwined with the LGBT community, but it was very much so at the time. I hung onto every word you shared about your long and difficult coming-out experience and I admired your strength, as well as the way you led discussions about gender expression and sexual orientation. (I recently drew on those for a graduate lecture I gave on Family/Gender/Sexuality!) The comfort I felt around you two women, and the positive experience I had at UCLA has since translated into confidence and a Sociology & Demography MSc degree with emphasis on gender and sexual (in)equalities.

Every now and then I receive similar tender, touching emails like this from former students from the University of Michigan, UCLA, and CSU Fullerton. Of course every professor/teacher/activist/mom prays for this kind of impact on our students but unless we hear from them, we just never know. The most important understanding for me is that I’m always surprised at how my words and actions impact(ed) another person. I hope that even in retirement I still positively affect a young person’s life, as my mentors still impact me in so many ways. Thank you, Frieda Saraga, Pritchy Smith, and Helen Schwartz, for guiding me even when you didn’t know it, and thank you, dear students, for letting me know…

I worked on my book, met With Helen Conley of the Ventura Democratic Club for coffee, then had a great golf lesson with Dee at Saticoy. After all that, I took a 3.5 mile walk around the Harbor which felt so good. I like to meditate when I take my walks, feeling God in the air, in the sea, in me.

I love golf regardless of my (lack of) skill level. It’s such a great way to just be in the moment. The focus has to be on that little ball right in front of me….not on the ball I flubbed a few minutes ago nor the one I’ll try to hit better next, but this one, right now. And that makes me think of one of my all-time favorite songs, probably the one with most closely represents how I’ve lived my life. Today as sung by John Denver. “Today is my moment and now is my glory, who cares what tomorrow may bring. A million tomorrows shall all pass away, e’re I forget all the joy that was mine today.” I first heard that song in the 60s while in college. My roommate Bobbi Lemlich would sing it as she played her guitar in our apartment. It’s stayed with me ever since though it has more meaning to me now than it did back then. (Regina sang it to me at my 60th birthday party at the UCLA LGBT Center.) I try to live my life one day at a time, in this day, in this moment. Sometimes I get tied up in my shorts but mostly, if I stay true to myself, the chaos and the drama are minimal at best.

Today in LGBT history (from the Quist app): In 1976 New Jersey Superior Court ruled that transgender people may marry based on their reassigned legal gender identity.

My meditation for today (from A Women’s Spirit): I can dare to let chosen friends know who I really am, and they won’t go away. Loving them changes my heart and soul.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

 

It’s good to be 67!

I was deeply touched yesterday by the hundreds of Facebook birthday wishes, especially from my children and grandchildren. My BFF Regina was concerned because I identified 67 as a nondescript year…a good year but not significant like the ones with 5s and 0s in them. That’s why I decided to create this blog…to show that 67 is far beyond nondescript and is, in fact, quite spectacular! Fingers crossed that it shall be!

I’m so grateful for my body and my health and that I’m able to workout at the gym as often as I do.

I had dinner last night with two new friends Judy Jhabara and her partner Dee my golf coach. What a fun evening with a couple of smart women! I miss connecting with women in this somewhat intimate, deep conversational way. That’s a big missing piece in my life…a community of like-minded women who are passionate about life. I need to find that place of belonging.

I received this beautiful video of one of my all-time favorite boys. Truly a special gift! Jude

The death of Fred Phelps is circulating on FB. He was so hateful, so incredibly mean, and beyond stupid. He spread his hatred loudly and without boundaries. I believe we must rise above his hate. My suggestion mirrors those of others: do not go to the protest of his funeral (as he so often did to our people) but rather make a donation to an LGBT organization. My donation is being made to the University of North Florida LGBT Center.

I had some brain farts about books/stories for young children. But I must finish my WWII book first, then write the screenplay that’s been haunting me, write my Key West book, blah blah blah…. So much to write! And my travel to support it all, of course!

Today I will take a good walk around the harbor, have coffee with Helen Conley of the Ventura County Stonewall Democratic Club, then have a golf lesson with my new friend Dee at the Saticoy Country Club.

Today in LGBT history (from the Quist app): Napoleonic Code goes into effect permitting same-sex activity. France, 1804.

My meditation today (from A Women’s Spirit): The willingness and courage to trust and accept our feelings brings peace of mind and the knowledge that all is well.    …Abby Warman.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

It’s good to be 67 blog…

March 20, 2014

Every year since 2006, my sweet friend and first grade teacher Melinda Moore calls me and has her class sing Happy Birthday to me! My day today started with the sound of those little voices in my ear. Thank you, MB!

I was born 67 years ago to Lois and Sanford (Sandy) Lebman who were 21 and 22 years old. My dad passed last year just three months before their 69th wedding anniversary. My Mother is so strong….and now I see where my siblings and I get our will and desire to survive against all odds. I am deeply grateful for my family of origin, for my body, for my health, and for the abundance and prosperity my Higher Power has gifted to me. My Higher Power takes loving care of me even when I was/am too stupid to take care of myself.

I start this year of being 67 with new eyebrows!

eyebrows beforeeyebrows after

it’s a strange thing for this ol’ dyke to do but, really, I love it and I’m glad my sisters and my mother were so insistent. I spent yesterday with them. Today I’ll do the things I love: work on my book, go to the gym and the library, and have dinner with friends.

So old people love to chat about health. My cholesterol  is 102/51, blood pressure is 130/85, weight is 137 ( only 7 pounds more than my 7th grade weigh!), and I feel great! It’s a fine way to start this journey of being 67.

I have many adventures planned for this year: travel, the documentary, my book. With dear friends and a crazy family, this journey has the makings of being a total hoot!

My meditation (from A Woman’s Spirit): I can’t expect you to share yourself if I can’t do the same. March 20. And I can’t love you if I don’t love myself first…

This day in LGBT history (from the Quist app): 1990, the first organizing meeting of Queer Nation in New York. Purpose to increase LGBT visibility and reduce homophobia; 1967, US Supreme Court denies Frank Kameny’s petition to review the legality of his firing from the U.S. Army.

So for today, happy birthday to me! What happened with you today? Keep Writing!

Ronni