Queer Shift

Celebration Shift

Hopefully someone or several someones celebrate your victories in life. Especially you! Everyone needs an ally or team of allies. Likewise, we all need to support and truly celebrate others in our lives who mean the most to us. August is a great time to compare and contrast on the life you are having to the life you are wanting. Looking back, looking forward. It begins with gratitude, awareness and acknowledgement.

I adore Marion Cotillard’s Academy award-winning performance of the life of Edith Piaf in 2007’s La Vie en Rose, marking the first time an Oscar had been given for a French-language role. The film culminates from Piaf’s glorious anthem, Non, je ne regrette rien, or translated — No regrets.

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
All the things
That went wrong
For at last I have learned to be strong

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
For the grief doesn’t last
It is gone
I’ve forgotten the past

And the memories I had
I no longer desire
Both the good and the bad
I have flung in a fire

And I feel in my heart
That the seed has been sown
It is something quite new
It’s like nothing I’ve known

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
All the things that went wrong
For at last I have learned to be strong

The doorway to being happy should be translated or actually marked with ‘Making Things Happen.’ If you concentrate on living your life with purpose, the being happy part will take care of itself.

The current research is pretty clear. It is more significant, and it creates more trust, when you offer support to others when things go right. Being a reliable ally. Abundance versus scarcity perspective, right? Most of us have a difficult time celebrating and sharing what is good and wonderful in our lives. Engaging, embracing, creating the life we want, versus living in the past, full of regrets.

A lot of people don’t want to hear you when you have something great to celebrate. Instead, people are often jealous, self-absorbed, and indifferent. They compare, compete, and even criticize.

We have learned not to brag and to soft-pedal the good and wonderful things in the name of some misbegotten notion of humility. I say fuck that. Each of us is in charge of determining what makes life worth living, and what’s really important to us regarding life happiness.

May I humbly offer a real gem, or annual practice, that works for me, a late-summer suggestion for everyone, but particularly for queer people: Begin creating an annual list of what makes like worth living. Read it regularly, add to it frequently, even delete things or people when they become non-nourishing or toxic in your life. When you can celebrate what makes your life worth living, be truly glad for someone else’s victories and good fortune, you are far more likely to celebrate your own successes, both large and small. Others have faith in you, and you have more faith in yourself.

Here’s a short version of my current list, just to give you an idea.

What Makes Life Worth Living? (a few ideas not in any particular order)

Douglas Lott, my cowboy husband…who is my life

Traveling afar as well as short, renewing day trips

All things Italian, cities, food, wine, history, language, opera, literature

George Bernard Shaw plays, essays, quotations

A perfect filet mignon, with sauteed mushrooms (my definition: eight oz. med. rare)

Moab red rock

Anything wooden, glass or the color black

Sunrises, spring lilacs, wintertime candles

My MacBook Pro

Paul Simon (anytime)

Lime green compound bi-pinnate leaves of a locust trees

Pale green cymbidium orchids

Fresh homemade pesto, from basil and other herbs I have grown, sharing it.

Sleeping with the windows open, and snuggling

Stephen Sondheim musicals

Garth Brooks’ Wranglers

Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Ella and Aretha, the Divas

Robert Altman films

Early seasons of HBO series

W.H. and E.E.

Mozart, Gershwin, Liszt

Meditation, massage, re-creation

The smallest circle of closest friends

Integrity, authenticity, pride, trust, truth-telling, change and choice, hope, faith, love, respect, unity

My intelligent, courageous, beautiful daughter

Missing Deacon, my emotionally unavailable but perfectly adorable Westhighland terrier and jonesing for a new dog

A hidden, previously unexplored mountain path

Seeing theater and talking about it with Topher

Fresh-baked breads

Quiet, absolutely no audible sound

Those who value shock-value

Sauret, Monet, Manet, Picasso and VanGogh

Frank Lloyd Wright’s genius

Symmetrical, perfectly placed vegetable seeds in rich soil (anticipation)

Bluebells atop the Alpine Loop

Catching up with an old friend

Seeing the highway patrol before they see me

Meetings with agendas

Mossy rocks in any mountain river/stream/streamlet

A cold bedroom with really cold, stiff white sheets

Violent thunderstorms, midsummer variety

Fresh asparagus, peaches, green beans, spinach, red potatoes

Knowing that fate and the universe send good things to me, I can attract them

Listening to old Dionne Warwick CD’s during the month of March

Knowing about unconditional love, and being challenged with the opportunity to actually practice it

Volunteering for something that evokes change

Working out at the gym (really pushing boundaries)

2 ½-year-olds

Rare chances of 10+ hours of sleep

Philosophy (all kinds)

A good argument

A Bombay sapphire martini, up, three Maytag blue cheese stuffed olives

Someone who thinks it isn’t possible

Realizing that I am more and more like my dad, Darrell Jarvis Frost, than I ever thought possible, a male hero—after his death and in my very own mid-life

Discovering the literal manifestation of universal principles

Knowledge of the principle of reciprocity


Beautiful MEN, and Women


Staying healthy

William Shakespeare’s plays (sans Titus Andronicus)

Savoring good writing and reading the Sunday N.Y. Times over coffee, nowhere to go, nothing to do

Samuel Barber compositions

Satire, comedy, parody, wit, jokes, laughing, Ha Ha in general



Knowing that if I am not living on the edge, I am taking up too much space

Unexpected raises

Service, parables, soulmates, bookstores


The sunlight through the many windows in our home early in the morning

Knowing that my heaven will be a big heaven, and I will walk through the front door

Establishing the movement

Loving truth, put pardoning error

It may not be “now or never,” but it’s almost always “NOW is better.” No regrets



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