# 50 Sleepless in Quincy

Rats! It’s 2 am and I am wide awake. Again! Oh, I went to bed at 10 pm. Tossed around. Dozed and got up a few times to pee. And now I’m wide awake writing this bit of unwisdom to you, my dear reader.

The day they taught “How to Get to Sleep” at Pandeez school, (I’m a Pandeez, by the way,) I played hooky and was on a date with my friend Myrtle. But that’s for another story. I was wide-awake all that night.

And now I’m Sleepless in Quincy. Like Sleepless in Seattle? Not exactly. This is not going to end with me meeting Myrtle at the top of the Empire State Building in New York City. Seattle? After my wife Janet passed away, my friend Griggs invited me to live at his house in Seattle for a couple of months. Strange, but I had no trouble sleeping in Seattle. But then it was time to come home and move to Quincy. Where I’m sleepless … often.

The first remedy I tried for this malady was to make myself a cuppa coffee with cream and sugar, Didn’t get me sleepy, but at least I felt good.

My friend Julie in Tucson suggested I dose on Sleepytime tea with raw honey before bedtime. Again ,,, felt good, but  no help for my sleepless malady. My friend Pam in Rhode Island had two suggestions. The first was melatonin. Tried it. Nada. The next was to smoke a joint but I no longer can smoke anything if I want to live.

So … here I am. Now it’s almost 3 am. I’m drinking a glass of seltzer with a squirt of lemon juice. I’m writing this to you, my dear reader and you know what?

Wicked is a word we use in the Boston area for a great superlative. I’m in Quincy, close enough. II see the Boston skyline through my sliding glass doors. And my word to you is, “I’m feeling wicked good!” I’m doing what I was meant to do.

So, my friend, if you are up at 2 am for any purpose, think of me. Face toward Boston and give a wave. I’ll be downing a glass of seltzer and scribbling a Blog, story or a book. While …

Sleepless in Quincy!





#35 Starting Over: The Decision

In the wee hours of the morning I made the decision. I’m going to start my life over. Reboot. Seems to help my computer and has helped me before.

Start over at 85?  Shouldn’t I just concentrate on putting my affairs in order and just die? No way!

“Putting my Affairs in order?” In order for what? I’ll tell you what I need to do. Change what is not working and start over. Another part of my  Decision is to write some of these things down and pass them along to you, my reader. Hey, some day you may decide not to accept where your life is heading. So this is a log (blog?) of what is working for me. So here we go!

I’m sitting on a pillow thrown over a folding chair in front of my sliding glass doors. I have a view of the Boston skyline and Fore River. I’m writing in a black marble composition book propped on a high wooden stool. Writing with a blue Bic pen. Simple.

And I have closed down my mind to only the thoughts and sensations of the very moment. Unplugged from the past or the future. The future waits for my command. I say, “I’m happy!”

And my mind sends signals that send happy juices throughout my body. Healing has begun.

Now I stimulate myself with a cuppa coffee. Instan with milk and sugar.and I think, “Doug … something must be wrong with you that you want to start life over.” And you may wonder if I am going to tell you.

Not going to happen. But I will say this. Back in the day, many years ago, I worked for a few years at Guideposts, founded by Norman Vincent Peale. Norman changed the world. Transformed the lives of many people from sadness and misery to joy and fulfilment. Norman wrote a book and taught many sermons on “The Power of Positive Thinking.”

Change your thinking and change your life.  Like the old song says:

You gotta accentuate the positive,
Eliminate the negative,
An’ latch on
To the affirmative
Don’t mess with mister in-between!

You gotta spread joy up to the maximum,
Bring gloom down to the minimum,
An’ have faith (amen!)
Or pandemonium’s
Liable to walk upon the scene.

Listen to the once famous Bing Crosby sing it:


So … that’s my decision. And I will tell you more of the adventures in the following blogs.

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 See my little piece on living in the moment:


See 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: :


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:


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


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#11 Don’t Fix Your Friends

My dear Biddies and Geezers, I now share with you wisdom I just learned at 85. “Don’t fix my friends.” The people I call my friends have sifted down to a precious few. Some earlier friends and family have died. Some earlier friends and family have moved out of my circle for their own reasons. Like a hat blown away in the wind. Those that remain are precious to me.

Oh yes, my circle has changed. There are some new friends that have been attracted to me … and there are family and friends from the past that have reentered my life. The keywords here are “attraction,” and “change.”

hat blows away pastel

This is what I have learned to do. I live in the moment and focus on “good” that attracts me. I don’t struggle to reject “bad” that caused problems in my past. And gradually, effortlessly, in the present moments, “good” displaces “bad.” The Karma of the Universe mysteriously works its way. While I am never “perfect,” always flawed, I am always moving toward the “good.”

My friends have flaws that sometimes annoy me. Struggles by me to “fix” the flaw would be employing the negative energy of “rejection.” Bummer. I am attracted to the positive energy in their lives as they are to mine. As I am attracted and move toward the “good,” they may be attracted to follow me. I have learned to stay with the positive energy of “good” and if they follow, “good.” We are never perfect but always on the journey toward Nirvana.

Am I giving you advice? Not at all! I just am saying what works for me. I am powerless to “fix you.” But you have the power to follow the attraction of good remembering Happiness is not the fruit of a feeling but a feeling that is the result of your choice.

I have not written a book on this subject. So I just suggest a book you might enjoy, “Miracles from Benefit Street.”