As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on my mom’s deck finally settling down after hours of my own restlessness and indecision.

This blog topic (or lack thereof) has been on my mind as well as numerous paintings I have been working on prior to an upcoming festival.

The restlessness comes in as I am not in my own space. I’m staying at my Mom’s house and it’s a home full of “Mom’s treasures”, with no visible blank spaces.

I don’t feel exactly comfortable or inspired in these jammed packed rooms. 

Why am I here, staying at my Mom’s house?

I rent my own house on Airbnb and it’s been occupied for a while.

My mom is gracious enough to let me and my two big dogs move in with her just down the street. So while I am so grateful for this arrangement, it has its challenges. 

I have arranged a makeshift art table out of wall board from her garage which are near stacks of boxes of books that remain unpacked from her move 3 years ago. It’s a in a breezeway that’s cool and has good light with skylights overhead. (Pretty ingenious if I do say so myself). 

As I am wondering what to write about this month I noticed a stack of magazines on the floor called Country Beautiful from 1962-64.

Why these needed to be brought to her new home when she moved is a whole other topic, but I’m curious enough to thumb through the articles of these magazines which smell a bit musty and dated.  

I could not believe what I was seeing as headlines in these publications.

“In Pursuit of the Present”, is an article about the benefits of being in nature and includes a quote from Henry David Thoreau about how ”We cannot afford NOT to live in the present.” I feel like I just read a current article on the same topic with the same quote not too long ago. 

“In Search of Excellence”, is an article where the author is lamenting the state of the US public education system in 1962! It touts the need for good teachers who are well paid. It points out the lack of study skills in students and implicates parents as more important to these improving than the teachers. And lastly the author seems to be concerned that the sciences and the humanities are becoming more specialized and separated.

Aren’t these all things we are still debating and talking about 54 years later???

The final article from 1964 that caught my eye was entitled “The Woman Within. Every woman can be beautiful; her true charms are what she is, not what she paints herself to be”

Again, this is a familiar topic of recent memory as many writers today dive into the theme of the feminine rising and how inner beauty comes from self love. 

Isn’t the definition of insanity doing things the same way and expecting different results?

Are we simply recycling old ideas and thoughts?

What’s new? What has changed? 

In terms of being “in the now”, today we see research touting the positive effects of meditation. Meditation retreats are offered all over the world. I went to one in Mexico and was changed forever as a result.

Mindfulness and yoga are being taught to students of all ages and has become quite mainstream.

The healing benefits of nature are being proven and prescribed by some physicians. It’s become more than a pleasant feeling in the woods but a viable recommendation for wellness and healing. So it is the same but different.

Education still experiences the challenge and disgrace of grossly underpaid professionals.

Five decades after the article I found was written, parents and teachers both blame each other for the lack of study skills that students exhibit. And we now have STEM schools, technical schools and engineering degrees which focus mostly on the sciences and not much on humanities, so the gap between studies widens to a chasm. Is it a problem?? Underpaid teachers for sure is a problem. The other two are debatable in my opinion. 

Without diving too much into the “woo”, we have clearly entered a time when women are finding their voice, their authenticity and the confidence to speak their truths.

There are numerous viable female candidates running for the highest office in the land and many more being elected into positions of power all over our country.

We have women in all professions and sports. Here’s the “cover” of an article I found online, with just a quick search for “Women in Power.” (Origin: http://cem-az.com/commercial-executive-magazine-women-in-power/)

We’ve come a long way baby from the early 1960’s…thank Goddess!

As a former history teacher I found these articles were a fascinating glimpse into my parents’ world at the time when they were starting a family. 

For as much as things change, they are kind of the same.

It is evidence of the cycles and circles of life that we all experience. I am grateful for where we are now and how the world has shifted and our knowledge has deepened.

There is still work to be done, but the historical perspective gives me hope that we will figure some of these things out eventually.

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