Why Would Bees Do That?

A few years ago, every time I opened my front door, I noticed at least 10 to 15 dead bees with no hive to be found. I soon found the reason for this ‘bee graveyard.’ One early morning in the peaceful predawn darkness, I witnessed the bees hovering around the outside light, which radiated intense heat. No matter whether the bees were getting burned, they continued this dance, touching the light, bouncing away and then returning for more abuse until they dropped onto the ground, quite toasty, I believe, and also quite dead. What would make them continue to return to the heated light knowing, perhaps, on some primal level that they would fry? Their deadly behavior made me think about my own behavior.

In my own journey, why, at times, have I done things that I know aren’t good for me? Certainly, unlike the bees, I don’t walk in front of a moving truck, yet I have my own version of reaching out and touching the burning light. In my life, I have spent far too much time people pleasing, thinking that this was what I had to do, yet it didn’t serve me well. Certainly, worrying about what others thought and trying to make them happy, when nothing really would, resulted in limiting my own growth. Yet, I continued this behavior, which was my own way of rubbing up against the burning light.

Professionally, I worked far too long in a position that did not serve me, yet daily, I returned to the job, alongside those who cared little for my welfare and even less for the good I was trying to accomplish. Thinking perhaps I could change and others would too, I kept trying to touch the burning light. Yes, I woke up and followed my own soul’s demands, but not before getting the proverbial burn seared into my soul.

Over the years, I twisted and turned, configuring myself into a rubber Gumby, bending into the shape that others expected, knowing that such behavior took me away from my innate beauty and, at times, my values. I sought the burning light and on some level I knew it would burn me, yet I returned for more.

The bees had a chance to survive at daylight when the automatic lights dimmed, yet they could not wait; it was as if they had to touch the light. In my own life, it certainly would have been easier if I could have just turned off the light, but one of my many life’s lessons is to see the light and avoid it. I am doing just this—one day at a time.

What I Do Well

I am really the last one to toot my own horn, so when I was told to write a list entitled: “Things I Do Well,” the activity certainly did not come easily or naturally. At the time, I was told to list only five things. Most of the time, as we grow, we focus on what we are doing wrong or the many mistakes we have made. Such an exercise helps to change this narrative and after writing the list every day, it is surprising how much easier it is to come up with items. I thought I would share a compilation of a few of my lists with you, my readers. While I do not write these lists daily any more, I write them when I am feeling particularly vulnerable and in need of some inner strength. These lists always help to center myself and is a great reminder about my strengths. Continue reading “What I Do Well”

My Brother

After his little brother Jeffrey died, Stephen became an only child again, which wasn’t in the blueprint of our family. Steve was in first grade when I was born, so there are about 6 ½ years between us. I don’t think he planned on having a sister either and I assume he would have liked another buddy to play with, but again, so many unplanned events brought us together as family. As most little sisters, I worshipped my big brother and tried to emulate him in every way. By the time I was old enough to have a sense of my self, he was mostly out the house. In fact, when I was 14, he brought home his wife-to-be, Marilyn, who was to become my sister-in-law and best friend. I remember feeling so upset that I would be losing my sibling to another girl, yet Stephen reminded me that he would always love me and that I would always be his sister. His words have stayed with me my entire life and I know he feels this way today. Continue reading “My Brother”


When did the transition happen from my gorgeous, stylish, incredibly ‘blingy’ shoes to the safe, comfortable, ‘almost’ grandmotherly types? So slowly did this change occur, over a period of years, that I never saw it coming. One day, I opened my closet and the beauties had disappeared. In their places were boxes of black, comfortable, safe walking shoes with various points of entry (slip ons, slide-intos, Velcro closings, and pull-ons)—all providing levels of maximum comfort and all quietly uninteresting, borderline boring. At one time, I was known as the Imelda Marcos of my family and friends (Philippine First Lady 1986-1991 who was supposedly known for having about 3,000 pairs of shoes). “Where is Barbara today?” someone would ask? Jokingly (but not really), and they would respond, “Oh, she must be shoe shopping.” Continue reading “Shoes”

New Year’s Resolutions in April

Perhaps it is strange to reflect on New Year’s Resolutions in April, but by now, if I had made them, they probably would have been broken. I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions because for me they became trite and repetitive and even generic. I have been through the same litany of resolutions that most humans have: lose 10 pounds; don’t yell at children (when they were younger); be kind (kinder) to my husband; be more patient with others; be a better mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc….They didn’t work because they didn’t really fit. So, if I were to have them, here are my New Year’s Resolutions for every year–ones that actually fit me: Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions in April”