Saturday, October 18, 2008

Barack Obama and John McCain in line to VOTE for the #1 Best Book to be given Anonymously: Thou Shalt Not Whine

As you can see Barrack Osama and John McCain were in line to congratulate January Jones on Thou Shalt Not Whine being voted the #1 Best Book to be given Anonymously by RA!

What is RA? It is a prestigious group comprised of Readers Anonymous. Of course, this vote was conducted anonymously which makes it even more meaningful to Ms. Jones, who isn't anonymous!

While I was in Washington checking out the political scene, I was honored to attend a funeral at Arlington Cemetery for my dear friend, Jack Green. He was a "prince among men" and a man who served his country for over 45 years. 

I have included an article excerpted from my book called Pity Party Pals in his memory and the memory of all my dear friends that I have lost and miss terribly. Whenever we lose someone dear, the only comfort is to cherish our memories of all the wonderful times shared together. 

See below:
The Pity Party Cure

My mother had a cure for whining that she used on me,  and it's one that i have successfully used on my own kids. It's similar to the Norwegian Ris-pa-rumpen Cure but not nearly as charming. Basically, it's another question approach with consequences. The question is always asked in a mother's "I mean business" tone of voice, and it goes like this: "If you want to whine, do you want me to give you something to really whine about right now?" It worked then and it works now.

Then I didn't know anything about what really whining meant. Nor did I know anything about consequences. Now I do. When my first husband, David, a navy test pilot, was tragically killed in a crash, I quickly found out what it really meant to really have something to whine about.

Somehow I survived, but only because of my best friend, Jane. We had  become friends when fate found us buying new homes next door to each other in 1968. We were pioneers in a newly suburbanized area north of Los Angeles called  Westlake Village, The City in The Country. 

Jane and I had a lot in common. I knew immediately that we were a perfect match the day our new carpets were installed. Jane's floor covering was lime green while I had chosen bright orange.  Remember, it was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. We were determined that our homes would be psychedelically correct. We weren't just California dreaming, we were California living.

Despite the ray of sunlight Jane's friendship provided, David was dead and frankly I wished I were too. My babies missed their Daddy. We all did. My first year of widowhood was tough, but Jane ushered me through it by being my one and only guest at a yearlong pity party. Jane knew a lot about whining since she had survived an incredibly tragic childhood. She stepped up to the table with innovative, cutting edge whining techniques that she generously shared with me.

For instance, Jane knew all about looking vulnerable and helpless. She had the biggest, saddest eyes in the world. Together we had the best pity party imaginable. It consisted of a few martinis and lots of commiserating, followed by lots of laughing, and it went on evening after evening. We functioned well during the day know happy hour was coming.

Then one day, I was finally all talked and cried out. Jane made me go out to mark the occasion. It was Christmas time. She forced me to go to a party. I resisted but she insisted. Friends don't let friends whine forever. At that party, I met me second husband. Jane was my matron of honor at our wedding and again at our twenty-fifth anniversary. At that point, we put our pity parties on hiatus.

They started up again when Jane got divorced, and then found out she had Stage-3 colon cancer. Now our roles reversed. She talked while I listened. it was her turn to be angry. It was my turn to listen with unconditional love.  

Our final pity party lasted three years, during which she fought the cancer. We had some of the best times during these years. When I would spend the nights with her at the hospital, we would try not to cry, but laugh instead. It felt so good just to be together at our own private slumber party that laughing came naturally, in fluid waves. It helped us both to relive and recount all of our old, fun times. Our sweet silliness helped to make the long nights shorter.

I was devastated when I lost my best friend. It really hit me hard on the first March 12th after she was gone. My husband, David had died on that day. It was the first time in thirty-two years that Jane hadn't called me to see how I was doing on that anniversary. She was the only one who remembered. 

Aside from helping us get through major tragedies, whining can also accomplish many other wonderful things. Whining works because it gets you attention. It can get what you want or what you need. Also, whining is the avenue for communicating that lets you bond with family or friends. As Jane and I proved, it can be very therapeutic. It is important to reach out to others. It can't hurt but it could help.

After the whining dies down, you will find solutions that will replace the sorrow. Companions can become conduits of compassion. They will help you to make a new plan, an aggressive attach on whatever ails you. It just takes a steady pace of one step at a time, with no looking back.

Your best friends will help you face the truth when you can't do it yourself, and listen to your stories no matter how sad they get - while at the same time making you laugh. With your best friend along for the ride, anything is possible. Just ask Lucy and Ethel or Jane and January. 

Excerpted: Thou Shalt Not Whine,,,The Eleventh Commandment by January Jones: Beaufort Books 2008


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