Monday, November 30th, 2020

P Shopper Columns


I was a Pollyanna growing up. More aware of happy things than unhappy. I attribute that to a large number of relatives – clans on both sides. As cousins, we could have our own softball team. Many remain in that hometown. Thinking about them gives me a sense of well-being.

At seventeen, I was alone when my family and best friend drove away from the dormitory at George Washington University after helping move me in. The great adventure of my next life had begun. Sororities had sisters. Fraternities boyfriends. And students from all over the world to learn from. Happy does not adequately describe my life.

It was at this University, four blocks from the White House, that I met my first husband. He was unlike anyone I'd ever known. Full of life, ambitious, brilliant, generous.

Our first child was the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen. Still stunning and fascinating. Six years later her brother – the kindest, best hugger ever, still sweeps people off their feet – literally and figuratively.

At Christmas, letters were written individually, with love and joy. And soon enough, typed as one letter to all. Our home was a New England saltbox on seven acres where friends and family visited.

I began journaling feelings
that had refused to pass my lips.

Over the years, when facing personal problems, I began journaling feelings that had refused to pass my lips. I began to recognize that I knew what I was thinking when I read what my fingers had written. I had not wanted to face them, preferring to believe problems would be solved. Maybe I could be better. Maybe everything was my fault. I went for counseling. Things could change, could get better.

I could only change myself. Things got worse and the end came spectacularly. There was no way to fix a Humpty Dumpty, whether male or female. Pollyanna gave up. But survived.

All my journaling had a story I found was universal. Not everyone's story, but experienced within an outline of so many others'. I began to write this universal story years ago. It has never stopped teaching me. I am lucky, was able to live, think about, write down and read my own story. I lived through it and went on to thrive.

All my journaling had a story
I found was universal.

I am legion, not unique. My book is for those who do think they are unique and alone. We need to know what is and what is not our fault. It is also important to accept our faults, strive for betterment and yet see our own value. The time comes when we can move on, knowing that the best is yet to come.

Will I finish it? God willing, soon. Happily ever after? Yes, really!

Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.