#2 Measure Twice

Good Morning my Biddie and Geezer friends and followers. Sometimes the best thing to do is to do NOTHING!

I successfully managed to do nothing on an issue. I am very pleased with myself. For many years of my life, before I became a Geezer, my discipline was, “Just Do It!” And much of my life got done effectively … sometimes at a cost.

Now that I’m a Geezer, I need a different philosophy. Carpenters and dressmakers often quote the slogan, “Measure twice; cut once!” With the help of my friend Pam, I applied that to one of my relationships.


Something occurred in one of my relationships. You don’t need to know exactly except it was a bit traumatic for me. I was ready to “do something.” Fortunately, I decided to tell my friend Pam about the situation. Her advice? DO NOTHING. She said, “Do nothing and in a few days it will be as if it never happened. And your relationship will go on.”

So … repressing my life-long discipline of fixing everything RIGHT NOW by JUST DOING SOMETHING, I decided to wait. Acting right away would be like cutting a board after measuring only once. Maybe an irreversible error. I did nothing.

Two weeks later I discovered that not only was my “measurement” of the situation completely incorrect, but the board did not need cutting at all. My first measurement was completely wrong.

Now, there is one more ingredient to the story. Where I got it right. During the two weeks I lived my life “In the Moment” without thoughts of the situation that prompted me to want to “cut the board.” Thank you Pam.

So this is a blog about second chances … but giving yourself a second chance before you screw up. There is a story I wrote about a second chance after you screw up It’s Pentimento: A Second Chance at Love

pentimento ,noun,

Painting, the presence, or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over.

Read it at:


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# 29 Living Simply

Living simply is essential for my creativity to flourish. My 1 bedroom apartment in Quincy is as bare as a cave. I have learned that for me … Clutter is the Killer of Creativity. My friend Lynette lives in a “nest” filled with “things.”

I just returned from a visit to my friend Lynette. She lives in a 1 bedroom apartment is Riverside, Rhode Island. It’s near Providence. The plan was for me to come down on the train that arrived about noon. She would collect me at the Providence station. We would drive to her place, have a simple meal, and I would catch a late-afternoon train back to Boston and then the MBTA, (we call it the “T”), back home. Didn’t happen.

Here’s what went down:

We started out great. Just as I emerged from the station lobby, Lynette drove up. I climbed in the car, gave her a kiss and we drove off to Riverside, about 15 minutes away. Then, within minutes, we were savoring complex gastronomic pleasures from earthy food and wine. Simply prepared but knowledgeably selected. Lynette does THAT simple well.

The food? Steamer clams boiled in a broth of beer, garlic, onions, and celery. Also a pasta salad made with mayo, celery, and onions. And hot dogs on buns with mustard and sauerkraut or chili peppers. And then a white wine, an Italian Pinto Grigio that complemented all the flavors and crowned the simple feast as a meal for royalty. Simple, inexpensive, yet superlative.

Lynette and I each shared our recent events. It was healing for both of us. Then it was time for me to begin my return journey. Lynette checked the radio for the traffic report. Bummer! The highway was a parking lot. Trying to get me back to the train would destroy all of the good feeling our simple visit had generated.

“Why not stay the night?” she asked, “I’ll take you to the train on my way to work at 10 am tomorrow. There will be no traffic.” I agreed, intending to write in the living room while Lynette watched her soaps and slept in her bedroom. Didn’t work. The sound of the TV soaps drifted out of the bedroom and my eye roamed around viewing the clutter of her nest. No creative thoughts. I finally lay my head down on the couch and slept until it was time to get up and return to Quincy.

Back in my clutterless cave I am writing up a storm. Again. But I realize this because of my visit to Lynette. During our simple meal, the clutter of my mind had been cleared and swept clean. Creativity flourished.

Thank you, Lynette.

See all my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page


# 26 How to Change the World

I was feeling a little down. I write my little books and stories hoping they will bring some enjoyment to the readers. Make their day a little brighter. And I have gotten some good comments back from some readers. But I wish a lot more of the world would read them. Was feeling a little blue … but then I remembered a hymn we used to sing … with enthusiasm … in my Sunday School. It was written by Ina D. Ogden in 1913. Ear­ly in her life, Og­don had hoped to preach on the Chau­tau­qua cir­cuit. How­ev­er, her fa­ther’s ill­ness forced her to aban­don her plans for an evan­gel­is­tic ca­reer, in or­der to care for him at home. She wrote these en­cour­ag­ing words show­ing how one can serve the Lord in ma­ny dif­fer­ent ways and cir­cum­stanc­es. In other words, make the best of where you find your­self.

Here are the lyrics:

  1. Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
    Do not wait to shed your light afar;
    To the many duties ever near you now be true,
    Brighten the corner where you are.

    • Refrain:
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
      Brighten the corner where you are!
  2. Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
    Let not narrow self your way debar;
    Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
    Brighten the corner where you are.
  3. Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
    Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
    Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
    Brighten the corner where you are.

Now the facts. That little song has been recorded and sung by Ela Fitzgerald, Burl Ives, and other famous groups and changed the world of many people. And the idea is still true.

Don’t fret the many, many people who are trying to change the world by making other people miserable with violent demonstration. You and I can with a kind wor or a small act Brighten the Corner Where We Are and the brightness can spread around the world.

You are important. A little piece I wrote about how important you are is It’s All About you: :


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#25 No Sex or Love Scenes

“You don’t do sex and love scenes well!” That is what a friend of mine said about my writing. She has read much of the stuff I write while it was still in draft … unpublished. She was, “of course” saying that about my “writing.” I never did any sex or love scenes live with her. So, she would not know if I was “awesome” live. I’m a Geezer but I still have some life. How about you?

Maybe my friend likes her sex and love scenes hotter than I write. My writing is not “overtly” graphic for a reason. I want the reader’s imagination to fire the scene to their desired level of passion. I’ll just supply the clues.

My friend “hated” the draft of a novel of mine she reviewed that dealt with some love and sex issues. So I put the work aside for a while. I picked it up later and did some rewriting and finished it. And gave it a new tile, “Love Outside the Lines.”

My intended readers are Biddies and Geezers. I don’t think the younger readers have enough life experience to appreciate the situations the characters of the book live through. But you do!

Read it and give it a review on Amazon or Goodreads. See it by clicking the link:

See all my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page


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#24 Random Thoughts

It’s 2 AM. Could not sleep. I made myself a cuppa coffee. Not a good idea for sleeping but I needed the caffeine. Wanted to talk to you. I’m thinking of you, my Biddies and Geezers. Are any of you awake? Maybe some on the left coast never went to bed yet. On the East Coast some are sleeping and some are awake like me, could not sleep. Hi!

A sip of my sweet coffee brings me pleasure. In self-defense I quickly apply discipline to my thoughts to only be in the very moment. In the very recent past there are a couple of sad events I want to exclude from thought. Another sip of coffee stimulates me in the present.

My mind is now awake enough to realize it is decision time. In the discipline of being in the moment observe my room. Spartan. But … nothing is missing that I need right now. And therefore between happiness and misery, the choice is easy. I choose happiness and live it. Oh, and now another thought joins the thoughts of you my readers Joy. Joy at the thought of sharing these feelings with you. I am not alone in my Spartan room. So my love for you flows from my heart, down my arm to my fingers, and through the Bic pen to the page of my marble composition book. Later I will type if on my laptop, and send it to my blog on the internet to you.

As I pause in my writing for the moment a few thoughts cross my mind. What shall I do today? I don’t need food. I should restock a little wine so I will take a little trip on the bus to Quincy Center today. Will I have lunch while I am there? I don’t need that decision now. Now I need to reheat my coffee.

As I zapped my coffee, my thoughts went to you, my reader. Loving thoughts whether you are male or female … you are my companions in my Spartan room as I write.

One of my writings, “Writing in the Wee Hours,” is at :


But another book you might like is “Murder at the House of Prayer at:


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#23 Just Showing Up

My profound wisdom for today is to just show up. For us Biddies and Geezers, just showing up can be seen as a revolutionary act.

Dear God, there are lots of groups of very angry people showing up to demonstrate these days! Protestors for all sorts of causes populate the landscape and the TV news. They are everywhere.

But when I show up… I could be in danger. I plan to show up with a smile and I could be mistaken for a counter-revolutionary. And more dangerous … if I laugh, it might start a riot.

I am amazed at the modern logic that leads people to believe that working a crowd up to a lather of anger and frustration and venting it upon people of a different opinion will bring about a better world.

Because of media reporting it is easy to believe that the entire world is angry and is fighting for some righteous cause, Or against some person for some misdeed or even something they said or tweeted. Burt reality? The real world is different from what we see on TV.

As a bone fide Geezer I have a special window into today’s world. Sometimes I ride the T, (the Boston subway), during the rush hours. The following is a typical scenario. A crowd stands on the platform just behind the yellow line as the already train rumbles into the station. With a swish the doors open and, shoulder to shoulder, the people, (and I) push into the train. All the seats are filled and the rest of the people hang onto straps and bars as the doors swish closed and the train lurches into motion and picks up speed. I stand in front of specially designated seats right by the door.

A large sign designates those seats for “Seniors and Disabled” and most often the people in them are young and able-bodied. But they do not see me because their heads are bowed and they are intent on their smart phones. Their bodies may be in the seats but their minds are far, far away. Never showed up to the reality of the situation. But they are not the point of my story.

Often a young hero or heroine halfway down the car will wave at me and motion for me to come take their seat. A seat not “designated.” I always accept, not just for me, but for the blessing that the universe will bestow on them for their gift. But more. The passengers in the car have been taught a very strong lesson that is far more effective than the signs designating priority seating for us Biddies and Geezers. A lesson possible by Just Showing Up.

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See my books and stories on Doug Olsen’s Author Page


# 19 A Love Poem in the Twilight Years

As a Geezer who lives alone, I have relationships that are only at a distance … on the internet. This is a poem about one of these:

To Someone

A love poem in the sunset years


There is a Realm

Located not in space and time.


And there your soul and mine





Oh do not fret

That in the here and now

Or in the there and then

We were  to other souls inclined

And love them yet.

The Author of All Grace

Has formed this special place

And named it just for us.

It’s done.


And ‘though I cannot touch your hand,

No physical thing for us is planned,

And ‘though the words we share are weak,

We text each other, rarely speak,

Together now, we truly swim

In waves of love

Sent from above

And it is Grand.


Know this, my dear,

And do not fear.

‘Though Time in this world will turn the page.

We’re joined forever in our realm

And there


We shall not age.