Ten Years

This week marks the Tenth Anniversary of my newsletter. Little did I know back in 1997 how far and how many it would reach. The world has changed quite a bit since then….still, I remain as optimistic as ever that we can make things a whole lot better. Ten years….wow! Over 370 essays, working on my 9th album, over 30 videos and countless daily quotes. I can honestly tell you these past 10 years have been an incredible experience for me. Some have been there from the very beginning, others have joined along the way. I look with excitement to continuing the journey over the next ten years, sharing some stories, opinions, thoughts, smiles and a tear or two. We’re really not that different as some would have us believe. We share quite a bit in common. After all, we are all mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, friends and neighbors. We all breathe and eat from the same planet…our dreams may differ from time to time, but we’re all born and one day we all must pass on. What we do in-between is who we are.

This is also the tenth anniversary of the website. I look forward with excitement and optimism to the next few years where many websites like my own will develop into mini television networks where people can view programs from their living room television screens whenever they choose. Some have that ability now…over time, it will be available to all.

So there it is….ten years! I hope in my own small way I have helped you from time to time. Yes I know….we may not always agree on subject matter, but I’m sure you understand my thoughts come from my heart.

Thanks to all for the continued success of the newsletter and website,

Love, and God Bless,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2007 Jennifer Avalon

The Hermit

A while back I had a fascinating conversation over a cup of coffee with a new friend of mine. She told me that overall she was practically a Hermit, and proud of it. She informed me that except for me and a limited few number of people, she communicated sparingly with the rest of the world. She went on to tell me that she used to run her own food store for over thirty years and frankly, she felt that she had “tapped out” her supply and reserves of dealing with people. Thirty years of business and friendships, that at the end of the journey, had left her feeling accomplished, empty, and exhausted. Her name is Gayle.

Gayle informed me that after retiring, for the first time in her life she was finding peace and tranquility. The years of being in business had taken their toll and left her feeling that the only way for her to be happy was to be alone. The thirty years with her store had left her no time to develop a social life, and she never got married. Her personal life, she felt, was sacrificed for a successful business. I could not help but observe that with each sip of coffee, as Gayle opened up and told me about her life her sad eyes revealed what she had gone through. Tears welled up when she told me that if she had to do it all over again, she would have gladly forgone some of the money, for a little romance and companionship. I told Gayle that it’s not too late to find Love…perhaps it’s at this time in her life when she would appreciate it the most. She fired back, “Hermits don’t need Love, they need Peace.” I replied, “You can have both.” She thought about it, and gazed out the coffee shop window. Then I had an idea….I said, “Gayle, how about coming over to my home Friday night….a couple of us girls get together from time to time, just to chat and share a few laughs. Nothing heavy….just a little conversation to help us get through the week.” Gayle said that she would think about it.

So, lo and behold, Gayle showed up the following Friday night, nervous, but friendly. I watched as the time went by and slowly the tightness in her shoulders started to relax. She shared with us some wonderful, timeless stories, and we did the same with her. At the end of the evening Gayle remarked, “Is it okay if I come next Friday?” We all gave each other hugs and said, “See you next week.” Gayle drove away with a warm smile on her face.

Since that first Friday Gayle has come back time and time again, and now she is “one of the girls.” Just a few nights ago she brought up the term “Hermit,”….she laughed and said, “Ladies, I am a Recovering Hermit.” Gayle feels she has started a new chapter in her life, and recently a wonderful man has come into the picture. I guess I was right…. one can have Love and Peace, after all.

To Good Friends,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2007 Jennifer Avalon

Where Would You Live?

If you had the opportunity and the finances to live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Think carefully….because what we answer says a lot about who we are, what we are, what we value, and what we need.

There are certain cities in the world that are considered the hubs of wealth, yet, when you look at the lists of the richest people in the world, and where they live, in most cases they never show up in those locations. Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, lives in Seattle Washington, and Warren Buffet, coming in at number two, lives in Omaha, Nebraska. Surprised?

When over half the world gets by on the equivalent of a dollar a day, where we would live and what we would do with our lives carries quite a great responsibility. If much is given, much is expected. Some would choose a condo in midtown Manhattan, others a home in the Hamptons, still more an alpine lodge in Montana, a chalet in Switzerland, an apartment in Paris, a castle in Scotland, a mansion in Bangkok, a beachfront oasis in Bali, etc. Whatever we would choose, one thing would remain the same…we would still only have one life to live, and 24 hours in a day! What we do with that life and how we spend that time, would say mountains about who we are.

In most of the choices we make in life, there always seems to be a tug of war between the body and the soul. As we may enjoy the finer things, how much and how far we are willing to go to get them eventually comes into question. It is at those moments when we decide, how much do we compromise? If you can afford a huge house, does it mean you should buy it? Do you purchase a half million dollar automobile, or $20,000.00 Ford or Chevy? Things start to add up after a while….and before you know it, you have a lot of things, and not enough time to play with them all.

David Gilmore, guitarist with the rock group Pink Floyd, recently addressed the issue of acquiring things. He said something to the effect that he bought a collection of Ferrari cars, but what astonished him was that after a couple of years, he noticed that not only did he have to purchase the cars, but also provide garages to store them, and employ people to take care of them! You can imagine that after a while it started to look like a business had been built up around his fascination with a certain automobile. When many bands tour the world, they carry with them, in many cases, over five hundred people whose livelihood depends on the success of the tour. Each decision carries with it responsibility and ramifications. What we want and where we live, also carries with it that kind of weight.

A wise man once said the best kind of life is a simple life. One that holds with it a sense of spirituality and lightness of being. Simplicity can cut through anything…there is right, there is wrong, there is up, there is down, there is left, and there is right. Simple.

We may never have everything we want, but there’s a heck of a lot to say about contentment. Can we be happy with what we’ve got?

Smell the roses,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2007 Jennifer Avalon


Over the next twenty to twenty five years the Baby Boom Generation will reach retirement age. In the United States they will become one of the largest, if not the largest, demographic to ever retire. One can only wonder how that is going to change our way of life. How so, you may ask? More people drawing Social Security, more needing health care, some relocating, assisted living, etc. Are the various agencies prepared for what they call the “Boomer Tsunami”?

I recently had a conversation with the director of my local senior center. She could not stress enough how vitally important it is for centers catering to retirees to get their programs together and be prepared for a large group of individuals to need and use their facilities. She is also aware that the face of her center will probably change as a reaction to the needs and wants of the coming Boomer Retirees. Yelling out your favorite Beatles tune will no longer get a blank stare to those over 65, in the next few years. The Boomers are coming….whether we like it or not.

This fact is not being lost on Corporate America and those corporations worldwide. They are strategically aligning themselves with programs and products to cater to the Boomer Demographic, with the disposable income that they’ll have. Is it too far fetched to think that one day within the next few years if you visit a senior center you may hear from the back a group of individuals in a rock band blasting out their favorite tunes? Will “Smoke on The Water,” “Whole Lotta Love,” or, “Free Bird” ever sound the same again? Boomer Bands Rock On!

There will be challenges, yet, the face of old age will change. The transformation of our nation will be quite noticeable. Politicians and entertainment companies will listen and observe the reactions from the Boomers to their policies and tastes. That much buying power coupled with more available time presents an undefiable concoction. There could be a drain and a concern on Generation X’ers to keep the ball rolling…hopefully the transition from Boomers to Generation X’ers will be smooth. Still, it’s quite possible that there will be hiccups in the passing of the baton to the next generation.

One final point I would like to present….the contributions of the Baby Boom Generation will be fully examined. Quantity versus quality will be addressed. The Boomers will have a chance to look back on their lives at what went right, and what went wrong. They will want to address, what do they really need to take with them into their senior years? They’ll finally have to ask themselves, did they change the world? or just add a new coat of paint?

Live long and prosper,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2007 Jennifer Avalon

Everything Old is New Again

When you first moved to your current house or apartment, everything looked brand new. When you stared out the window, walked around the neighborhood, shopped at the local stores, everything seemed exciting and crisp. Eventually, this starts to wear away until after a while it seems standard and a little blase. Time has a strange way of clouding our vision. Everything new starts to feel old.

It doesn’t have to stay that way. Take a trip, and upon your return, when you turn the key, the perspective will be changed. To not get bored with our lives and our surroundings, we constantly have to find ways of stripping away the fog and allowing new light to shine through those old windows. So how does one make one’s surroundings look new? It could be a new coat of paint, rearrangement of furniture, or a special painting in the center of the living room. Everything old can be made new again….all it may take is for our eyes to see things from a different perspective.

The same holds true for our cars, stereos, T.V. sets, etc. Most of the time new items begin to appear old because we allow ourselves to see them that way. Unfortunately, the same can be said for relationships! Some may think their lives can easily change by trading in their spouse for a new model…in quite a few cases, trust me, they don’t make them like they used to! There’s a lot to be said for “vintage”:)

Each morning when I rise the sun coming up always looks new….know why? Because standing before me is a new day, yet to be touched. There is no such thing as the same old sunrise or sunset. While we may feel Time can get repetitious, each second is sparkling new. As our experiences increase with age, the majestic always lies in what is simple. A walk through the woods, and one is totally reassured that the wind never blows the same way twice. All we have to do is shake up the routines, and our minds strip away the cobwebs over our eyes so the windows of our souls can see how wonderful and precious Life truly is.

Old and in the way? Never. Let’s raise our glasses to the vintage, to the flavor of Life, that never grows old.


Jennifer Avalon

© 2007 Jennifer Avalon

Comfortably Numb

Have you ever had a week where so much has happened that by Friday you feel comfortably numb? A state where so much has gone on that not only do you feel neither here nor there, but disorientation circles around you? Comfortably numb….going thirteen rounds in the boxing ring of life. Why does this happen, we may ask? Perhaps it is the minds way of giving us a “time out,” a chance to reflect, rest, relax, regroup and prepare to get back on the treadmill of humanity.

I once was walking along a street in New York City, a man bumped into me and kept right on going. I looked back, he didn’t even turn around, just headed off down the street, banging into a few other people. On another occasion, I was at the post office and a person went up to the window and asked for three books of stamps. The clerk at the window had a glazed look on his face….he waited about three minutes and said to the customer, “How many stamps do you want?” Comfortably numb, indeed.

Many of us are constantly looking for ways to deal with the pressures of life…some use medication, others alcohol, and some, exercise. Unfortunately, more and more are just choosing to tune out and float. You know what I mean? Just look around…you can see it. It’s one thing to daydream…it’s something else entirely to look vacated. The band Pink Floyd has written a song all about it called, you guessed it, “Comfortably Numb” !

Have you ever gotten into a car, driven around ten blocks, and wondered how you got there? Comfortably numb. Have you ever had a conversation with someone, tuned out, and tuned back in before the end of the conversation? Comfortably numb. Have you ever had a cup of coffee and then the next minute the cup is empty, and you’re wondering who drank it all? Comfortably numb! Have you ever done the laundry, brought it upstairs, and then returned later to pick it up again? Comfortably numb. How about this one….you think it’s Tuesday until you get to the office and find out it’s Wednesday! Comfortably numb, indeed.

As you can tell, I’m having a little fun with this…but one thing’s for sure….this “condition” of comfortably numb can become quite contagious. Let’s hope we don’t start to live in a world that’s just “comfortably numb.”

Step lively,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2007 Jennifer Avalon


We all start out seeing the world as a beautiful, wondrous place. Unfortunately, in many cases, life can easily dampen our dreams. As the years roll by we can become discouraged, and eventually abandon the goals we set out on originally. It all comes down to our perceptions, and pockets of little sparks that can justly kick start our engine of accomplishments.

Have you ever been around someone who is full of life and excited about the future? After a while the air around them begins to feel charged, and when they leave you feel a drop of energy. A fully charged individual believes anything is possible, if they just put their minds to it. On the other side of the coin are those who simply fold up the tent and surrender. Unfortunately, we’ve met some of those people too…how many times have we met someone who we feel has already died, and they’re just waiting for their heart to stop beating?

Sparks are all around us…little gems, little miracles that can blast us through a dead-end street. Some people see walls…while others can walk right through them. A wise man once said, if you don’t like the way things are, help change it, don’t sit back and complain. All it takes is one person to take a bold step. Sparks are there just for the asking, but it’s up to us to take the blinders off so that we can see their glow. The breath of God is all around us…all it takes is for us to breathe it in. A spark cannot ignite and glow unless it has oxygen…the air that God provides us to breathe, it too can transform the smallest ember into a flame within the heart.

Good people glow because they are full of sparks…they know that life is a marathon race, where a peaceful death is the finish line. Sparks can help us become super beings who can see beyond themselves. Sparks help us understand that we are all part of the family of man, where every soul is a member. A spark can be a thought, a new idea, a solution to a pressing problem. It’s extraordinary how just when we’re ready to give up, a spark appears.

Shine On,
Jennifer Avalon

© 2007 Jennifer Avalon

Jot It Down

Reminiscing about the past can be a tricky exercise. You never quite know what thoughts and feelings can crop up in your mind at any moment. It doesn’t always have to be an unpleasant activity. Here is something to try the next time you have a few minutes to gaze into the past and drift through the memories:

Start at the first moment you can remember being alive…let’s say it’s 3 years old. Picture the year in your mind….think to yourself, are there any positive memories associated with that year? If there are, write it down. Then, proceed to the next year and the one after that, and so on. Each time you remember a positive thought, action, or feeling, jot it down. After a while the list begins to grow and the negative memories fall by the wayside. As we look back on our teen years, some may have been troublesome, but I’m sure we all can pull a chuckle or two out of the rabbit’s hat of adolescence. Once you get to the present, look over the list….you may be surprised just how many good times you had and perhaps forgot about. Take the list and put it in a safe place. Whenever you have one of those blue days, where nothing seems to go right, take out the sheet of paper, look over it, and you’ll be transported back to a warm moment or two when the world seemed just right.

It’s not a foolish exercise….it’s not living in the past. It’s remembering the good times, and allowing us to count a blessing or two. I am a big believer in positive reinforcements…God knows we need them more than ever these days! But the past doesn’t always have to stay in the past….it might help us in the present to be able to burst forth and catapult us into tomorrow, understanding that good times too, can lie ahead…the best days of our lives may not be over, and miracles sometimes come when we least expect them.

When you get together next time with friends or family, try the exercise with them….pass a sheet of paper to each person in the group and get them to write down some positive thoughts and experiences from the past. Then, take turns reading them aloud. Trust me, there will be much laughter, pats on the back, and maybe even some tears of joy. At the end of the evening, you may all even ask yourselves, why don’t we do this more often?

A penny for your thoughts,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2007 Jennifer Avalon

Trails Through the Wilderness

Life is one huge forest…while all around it are multiple trails from which we have to choose. Some are short, some are long…each represent a journey of length and time. We all choose one, whether we know it or not. So let’s expand on this concept of trails through the wilderness a little further….

When we examine these trails some are quite astonishing…they can incorporate dead ends, circles and paths that seem to go on forever. I have a cousin who passed away at 26 years of age…I kid you not, he packed more into those 26 years of living then some I meet who are close to 80. Though his trail may have seemed short to some, once inside the forest magical things can happen when you can stumble upon a super trail where Time and Space can be compressed and condensed. Jimi Hendrix, the legendary guitarist, passed away at 27 years of age, yet each year we are still amazed at the depth and expansion of the music that is still being released from the library of material he accumulated and recorded over his short time on earth. The other side of the equation is a friend I have who is 75 years old and spent the better part of her life doing as little as possible. Yes she had dreams, and ambitions, but was so paralyzed by the thought of taking a chance that she chose to not even bother. Unfortunately, Life can end quite quickly, but for those where it does, for the rest of us, wasting Time can become a sin.

Once we enter the Forest of Life, indeed anything can happen! We learn with each step, embrace the challenges, and seek food, comfort and shelter. Yet we are forewarned…it is quite easy to get lost in the forest. Weather conditions can change at any given moment. There are no guarantees, but to increase our odds the better prepared we are, and experiences along the way can greatly increase the odds for us to prevail through. The destination? What else? The other side of the forest.

Some consider Life the ultimate game, where the stakes are high, and mistakes are costly. For me, as I walk along my trail through the wilderness I may make mistakes, but I try to learn not to repeat them. Life can be kind, and Life can be cruel….yet no matter where we are in the forest, if we just look up, there is the sky, reminding us that there is another world beyond the trees.

Happy Trails,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2007 Jennifer Avalon

Full Circle

Within the past century, decade by decade the family structure splintered piece by piece, and, in some cases, spread itself to the four corners of the world. When the children grew up to spread their wings they couldn’t get far enough away from Mom and Dad. “Independence” became the motto of the day. “Doing your own thing,” was cool. Unfortunately, something happened to the family along the road to Nirvana…it slammed into a brick wall. In a perfect world, distance and space between family members could be a good thing, but Life has a strange way of throwing cold water on a formula that doesn’t work over time.

I’m sure we all have our horror stories of family members who went adrift and did bad deeds….but were we quite prepared to enter into financial and emotional relationships with strangers? What am I getting at? Well check this out….two brothers may have a hard time owning a house together, but have no problem becoming a partner in a condo or co-op with a group of people they don’t even know. Whether we care to admit it or not, condos and co-ops are business arrangements that are shared, and if something goes wrong, all are liable. So while we’re running from our families, we have landed and embraced relationships unfamiliar to us. While in the past families would pool their money together to purchase property and items, that money over time has been diluted and reduced to less buying power. The tribal family has become franchised.

Welcome to 2007….where people are starting to reverse the trend. I’ve begun reading where it is now becoming not uncommon for brothers and sisters to pool their money together to buy townhouses, two-family houses, and believe it or not, country inns. They woke up one morning and realized, “Hey, we can buy better and more if we pool our money together.” But can you really trust your family? Or do you have an easier time trusting strangers? In the olden days when a family member got out of line, the head of the family called a meeting and solved the problem. If a condo or co-op can have an elected board, why can’t a family? What was once scorned and frowned upon, is now starting to be considered an option, once again. Family used to be business, and finance…it just may become that once again.

While many of us in the past set out to try to reinvent the wheel, we may be just finding out that the wagon can run quite well with the wheels we already have. Maybe they just need a little oil and grease from time to time…but vintage doesn’t have to be a dirty word. The family structure is the glue that keeps a nation together…without it, over time, we crumble. I think many are coming Full Circle taking what they’ve learned, and applying it to the family structure and realizing that the best quality of life is when the family is strong, governed, and nurtured. We may return to the days where around one table Grandparents, parents, and children see themselves as friends, not enemies.

Full Circle,

Jennifer Avalon

© 2007 Jennifer Avalon