Thursday, April 24, 2008

Define Normal!

   Our public library is attached to the local high school, and the kids use it for different classes, etc.  There's a computer lab on the upper level here.  That's the "music" I'm listeneing to this morning.

   Well, things will be getting back to "normal" again.  My dog and fish sitting gig is done.  I'm heading back home this morning, so thought I'd stop here first.  With gas prices the way they are, I don't do a whole lot of extra running around.  Just the driving I have to do for work is bad enough, so I try to combine work trips with errands. 

   I've got a couple of midnight 12 hour shifts a week now.  My office manager said that we'll have another one starting within a week.  So we'll be extremely busy.  I did enjoy the extra time I had last week, but the paycheck?  Not so much.  But that is one of the hazards of being a home health aide, there are slumps or overloads in hours. 

   We've had some beautiful spring weather, but no rain, so the fire danger is very high.  We're due for rain and some cooler temperatures later this weekend, I guess.  The spring flowers-daffodils, crocus, snowdrops, tulips-are really getting going well.  I'm so glad that it's spring, winter this year sucked. 

   Other than the humdrum little details of my life, that's about it for now.  I'm still settling into the new way I'm living my life now, but do have a tendency to slip up and let those negative thoughts sneak into my consciousness every once in a while.  I have noticed a difference in the way I feel about all of life's little ups and downs, some of the bigger ones, too.  I'm one of those people who will wait for the perfect time before beginning something, which doesn't always happen the way we want it to.  A procrastinator with perfectionist tendencies.  :::shiver:::  So, it seemed like the perfect(see?) time to start this while I was away from home.  Without all the usual distractions.  One of the smarter things I've done lately.  Now all I have to do is adjust it to my life at home.  Although, that's going to come in fits and starts, at least for this weekend what with the 12 shifts and sleeping most of the day.  So, until next time...

                                   ~Thanks For Stopping By~

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Novel Idea

    ::sigh::  Why can't I get the font and size I want on here......

   Sorry, got distracted there for a minute, the next sentence is actually the real beginning of this entry.

    "I'm very tired.  I've done my best, but it's never quite good enough.  It's exhausting to never be quite good enough."    This sentence just caught at my breath.

    A quote from a novel.  "High Noon" by Nora Roberts-one of my favorite authors.  You just never know where you're going to find a statement, a sight, an idea that so resonates with your own life. 

    I was sitting at the table drinking the warmed up remains of last night's coffee, waiting for the fresh pot to finish brewing, when I read that sentence. The light bulb that goes on(you know, the one in the cartoon bubble) when you come up with a bright idea or realization, clicked on.  An energy efficient one, of course, as I try to be earth conscious.  And shining bright in my mind was the realization that that particular sentence applied to my life, so wholly.  I looked tired, I felt tired, I "was" tired.  For 40(before 10 years of age, that's not so much a problem) odd years I'd just been too tired to notice what I was doing to myself.  Yes, that's what I said-Doing to myself!  My inner critic was leaving me feeling exhausted from the pervasive negativity running through my mind and soul. 

    Now that I've learned to tune out that inner critic, learned to look at my life with a more positive perspective(most of the time), I'm not so exhausted.  On the day that I decided enough was enough, that I needed to look at my "self" with a clearer eye, the critic faded into the background and became inconsequential.  Yes, it's still there in the periphery and once in a while will sneak in some degradation, but now I listen with a different ear.  Now I know how to listen.  How to turn that negativity into inspiration to improve my life.  Don't get me wrong, there are negatives that need work, and there are things that I can't change.  But now instead of feeling helpless and hopeless, I feel motivated to fix and improve what I can, and to accept with clear vision, what I can't.  As I work to turn that motivation into action, I am inspired with the hope and knowledge that when I stumble, I can get back up and keep moving forward.  As I sit here straining my poor caffiene deprived brain to finish this, I've got hundreds of little sparks of ideas just waiting their turn to spring forth. 

    I'm closing this entry now, to go feed those sparks some coffee-precious energy-so with coffee cup, pen and paper in hand, who knows where it will lead.  Who knows what I can become.  And, I am so excited.  Just from one novel idea.

                                ~Thanks For Stopping By~

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fish Games

Good Evening,

    Paul asked a question in the comments of my last entry and I thought I'd post a quick entry in answer to his question.  What if the fish want to play?  I'm afraid that I am in essense their jailer.  They are not allowed out to play for the next 7 weeks.  That's the time remaining on their 3 month punishment for the strange disappearance of seven minnows that were left in their care during ice fishing season.  Yes, I know, the minnows were nothing but bait for much larger fish, small-mouth bass, rainbow trout, or whatever could be hooked through the ice on the lake.  The point is that the goldfish don't know that and their barbaric behavior has to be acknowledged and dealt with.  Besides, the 9" long plecostomus cheats at games, so they always end up fighting and making a messy puddle for someone else to clean up.  Have you ever had to pick up a 5" long goldfish?  Frankly, I'm thrilled that I don't have to deal with that.  Besides, it sets a bad example for the smaller fish, and it's not fair to the blind one!  Seriously, it has cloudy covering on both it's eyes, and keeps bumping into the castle.  Anyway, I hope this answers the question about the fish playing. 

    My 12 hour midnight shifts are being postponed a few days, leaving me with a free Sunday!  Yay!   I'll have to decide how to spend the day.  I should be done petsitting by early afternoon.  I should probably go take care of some errands and shopping.   Or maybe just goof off.  Depends on the weather, whether the sun will shine or not.  I hope you all have a great weekend-weather or not- and .......

                           ~Thanks For Stopping By~

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Trolls, a Witch and 1000 pieces

 Now that I have your attention....

   I've been dog and fish sitting since Sunday afternoon.  That sounds kind of funny, I know.  The dog is elderly, his owner had to go downstate for a week, and he would have had to spend alot of time in his cage.  The fish, actually, would have been fed by the neighbor or someone.  So, I'm staying at the house, taking care of the critters-deer and squirrels to be fed also.  It's kind of a mini vacation for me, except I've had a few shifts to work.  I have access to a computer, a washer and dryer to use, a nice back deck to sit out on and drink coffee in the beautiful weather we've had this week.  And I've discovered a few things.  I don't necessarily like being by myself like this.  I mean alone in a big house-they always make noises don't they?  Quite a change from my place. I didn't really think it would bother me, but I'm not sleeping very well, and all those noises..... 

    I have used this time by myself to do a puzzle, a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.  I don't think I've ever finished one that large all by myself, and I'm pretty darn proud!  I'm going to put some finish on it and hang it on my bedroom wall.  I bought it awhile ago, but didn't know where I was going to find room to put it together-this seemed like the perfect solution.

    I have, of course, spent time reading-2 books down, one to go.  I've been studying Tarot, doing a daily reading to help me learn the cards and their meanings.  I don't believe that they can predict the future, that's always subject to your actions.  But what I've been doing is using them to connect with my inner self, using them more as prompts to learn more about myself.  Fascinating!!

    I just finished reading a book that I really enjoyed.  Wildwood Dancing is by Juliet Marillier, and I was surprised to discover that it was a classic fairy tale-lessons and moral of the story included.  Right down to the happy ever after-for most of the characters.  I've been sticking to light romantic fiction for my pleasure reading.  The cover of the book and title caught my eye, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I'm glad I did.

    Well, that's mostly all of my major updates for now.  I'll find out tomorrow about a 12 hour shift that I may be starting on Sunday.  Two midnight shifts a week, plus the other clients I have left and I'm right back up to full time+.  With summer coming, I'll stay plenty busy.  I think I'll go have a bowl of ice cream and call it a night.  So, till next time....

                             ~Thanks for Stopping By~


Monday, April 14, 2008

Imagine that!!

    Who knew?  It may be something that each reader realized long ago, myself included.  I just don't always stop to think about it.  This morning it seems to be uppermost on my mind as I've had the opportunity to take my time and read at a more leisurely pace.  I find inspiration, a broadened perspective, reaffirmed  hope, a few great laughs, and general enjoyment in visiting journals.  I've learned a thing or two, been reminded that there are dreams and ambitions that I once had, but pushed toward the back of my consciousness and maybe thought unattainable, too complex or expensive to pursue.  It sometimes points out to me just how (I seem to be stuck here for just the right words) superficial my interactions with others has become.  There isn't much depth there.  As I read the thoughts of other writers here, whether a funny story, an epiphany, life lesson just learned, or what happened in their world that day, I find that depth.  I didn't even stop to realize that it's missing in my life, on a general day to day basis.  I've found a way to gently insinuate some of that depth by making time in my day to go online, sort through(way too many) emails, click to journals, and links to other journals from there.  In sharing parts of my life that I don't share with anyone else in my physical world, I'm adding to the depth of my life.  For so many years the people in my immediate life, have had a nominal interest in my thoughts and feelings, their own life story dominating the conversation as being more important and interesting than me.  I developed a reticence to share anything of myself, learned to listen, nod, insert sympathy where needed, smile and just keep "me" to myself.  Here, I can share that.  Here, there are readers who encourage, commiserate, agree, disagree, maybe even just say hi!  Here, there are people who are interested in what I have to say and how I feel on any given day.   My self-esteem has been in the dungeons of my psyche for so many years-a learned response-that it's a long and difficult climb back to finding that what I think and feel is important(especially to me).  My life may have certain degrees of isolation and probably will for a long time, but here-I am ME, I matter, and I'm learning to listen and then to sharebits and pieces of myself.  Here, I've learned to be "more" of a person. 

    Where exactly am I going with all this?  I'm not really sure.  I've lost my original train of thought, but I think I've gotten "a" point across, even if it wasn't my original thought.  It may be time for some more coffee.  I'm dogsitting with use of a computer any time of the day I feel like coming here.  WooHoo!  It feels very good.  I'll be back!

                              ~Thanks For Stopping By~

Friday, April 11, 2008

I was tagged and I'm Finally doing the meme!!!

   I was tagged by Allison at Allison's Corner of Thoughts and Fun.  I finally have the time to answer these questions.  So here goes-

The Rules:

1. Each player answers questions about themselves.

2. At the end of the post the player then tags 5 people, and posts their name, goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment letting them know they've been tagged.


1. WHAT WERE YOU DOING TEN YEARS AGO:  I wish like Allison I could say I was graduating High School, but we have to add a few(okay many) years for that event.  Ten years ago, I was facing a 13 year old that was smarter than was good for him, work(part of the day) 7 days a week, and the challenges of caregiving a spouse with MS.  Not one of the great times in my life.

2. WHAT ARE 5 THINGS ON MY TO DO LIST TODAY?  Today may be along one.  I've got to pack for several days of dog and fish sitting(don't ask!), go do some grocery shopping for said stay with the dog and fish, a 4 to 7 shift, a call to the office to change one of my shift times on Sunday, and stick my head in a good book-which I do every chance I get.

3.  MY 5 FAVORITE SNACKS:  Hmmm... Right now I've been on a corn chips kick, I love to snack on caramels when I'm in the library online, string cheese, crackers with peanut butter, and those Little Debbie Donut Sticks(breakfast in the car at 6:am).

4. WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE A BILLIONAIRE:  Give my Son enough money to live well while he finishes college, buy out of my lease and find a nice place to build a home surrounded by country-no near neighbors, gardens and a stream running through-a requirement.  I would donate to women's shelter and education programs, MS research, cancer research and education aid programs for teachers and nurses.  Then.....I'd retire to the country, and immerse myself in all the things I love doing-gardening, reading, and crafts(I'd finally get that quilt started).

5.  NAME 5 BAD HABITS:  Well, I'm a smoker, I'm not a very healthy eater, I'm a terrible procrastinator,  I'll be 5 minutes late for my own memorial service(I'm 5 minutes late for almost everything), I let negativity have too much of a hold on my attitude-but I am working on that one.

6. 5 PLACES I'VE LIVED:  Roscommon, Grayling, Gaylord, Toledo, and Sebring, OH.

7. 5 JOBS I'VE HAD:  I've been a waitress, a gas station attendant, motel maid, library aide, and a home health aide.  Oh, and a newspaper carrier.

   Five people I want to know more about:  Okay this is sneaky on my part, but since it's taken me so long to get the chance to do this one-if you read this and haven't been tagged for this meme, please leave me a comment and do it!  PLEASE?  I have no idea who's already done it.  Thanks So Much. 

    We're having a bit of winter flashback, last night the snowflakes falling from the sky were HUGE !  Like minature snowballs that just plopped on the ground.  I've never seen them that big.  It only lasted about 15 minutes, but we've got a cold rainy snap, so it's just yucky out.  I hope it'll clear up and warm up alittle bit, that way I can get some walking exercise-me and Buddy-the have to bribe with a treat to get him to do anything, overweight dog I'm sitting with.   In his defense, he's old and confused, going through a rough time right now.  I'll really enjoy spending time with him, though.  I miss having a dog. 

    Hey, I'm doing pretty good an entry 2 days in a row.  But now it's time to go do a couple of the things on that to do list for today.  I'll be around more often for the next week or so-access at the dogsitting house.   :)  Borrowing a phrase from a couple other journalists here-:::doing a 5 minute Snoopy happy dance:::  See ya really soon....

                                       ~Thanks for Stopping By~

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Living... in inspiration.

    A wandering mind is a fascinating place to be.  Today, my mind is wandering through the garden of life.  Living, and how I want to go about it has been on my mind alot lately.  I'm experiencing one of the most difficult aspects of my work life right now, and that too, has my mind on living life.  Not necessarily the "doing" but the being.  Let me explain....

    About 10 years ago I was shopping at one of the discount stores I frequented and came across a little silver band ring.  It's actually two bands of silver twisted around each other and I fell in love with it the moment I discovered it fit my middle finger of my right hand, where it remains to this day.  In that ring, I saw the duality of my life.  At that time, it was more about the woman inside, hurting and hiding, ready to give up hope that things would ever change for the better.  And the public facade that I became when I walked out in public, knowing that many saw me as a brave, compassionate, committed woman who worked hard to take care of a disabled husband and son at home, yet was out each and every day in all kinds of weather, delivering newspapers to supplement our income.  That was my escape from the misery of my life at home, which was hidden from all outside eyes.  I got fresh air, exercise, and alittle communication with the outside world.  I had a Jekyll and Hyde existence-the dungeons of hopelessness at home and the bright public personality that I learned to turn on and off at will.  As the years progressed and my life changed, the dual bands came to represent other opposites in my life.  As my spirituality changed and I realized that it would not be accepted or welcomed, but feared and misunderstood by those who shared my everyday life.  I learned to hide that aspect of myself deeply.  My isolation deepened.  The rings' two bands have represented many dualities over the years, and now, with all the changes I've been experiencing and the blossoming of the woman I am becoming, the bands now reflect as the woman I was- insecure, self-conscious, timid, and the woman that I am seeing in the mirror now.  One who has alot to learn and some major growth ahead, but now there is hope, happiness, serenity, renewed  sense of self.  I don't know how many other dualities this ring will come to represent, but I wear it every day and night.  I touch it and connect with my "Self".  This ring means more that the largest, most beautiful one in existence-for $5.oo + tax.

    I talked to Son for awhile last evening.  He's been pretty busy and of course had so much celebrating to do that we only talked for a short time on his birthday.  I am awed over and over again by his intelligence, his integrity, his concern for the planet and humanity, his efforts to live a life that will help change the world.  I am surprised at his level of maturity, proud of his talents, and grateful that he's turned into the man he has.  I am so fortunate.

    Oh, we have some definite signs of spring, even though the weather doesn't really want to change to suit the season, yet.  Last Thursday I saw my first robin of the season, Tuesday, the goldfinches and swallows joined their ranks and today I saw my first flock of seagulls of the season.  The snow is gone except where it was piled up by the snowplows, some gardens have tulips, crocus and daffodils poking their leaves above the mulch, I went for my first walk of the spring and realized how out of shape I am and brought home 2 turkey feathers to add to my collection of feathers, shells, and pretty stones.  Spring has sprung in Northern Michigan!!!!!

    I've been tagged by Allison, and I promise to make that entry very soon.  I've got to go learn some more about life, inspiration, strength and our capacity to love others.  You all have a great day and.....

                               ~Thanks For Stopping By~

Monday, April 7, 2008

WHAT was I thinking....?

    I'm not really sure.  All I know is that the last 10 days have been eye opening for me.  I realized that I really love coming here and writing my thoughts, reading about others lives and some of the profound thoughts they have, and I can't stand to be away any longer.  I've been limiting my time at the library and online at a home where I have access, that part seems sensible.  Not writing here, that's not so sensible.  I've wanted to encourage, commiserate, congratulate, and comment-only doing it once the whole time I was "gone".  So, for what it's worth, I'm back.   :)

    April 7th has been a day, twice before, that has been life changing.  On April 7th, 1976, I was in a car accident that left me hospitalized for 13 days, comatose for 2 of them, with 2 fractured vertebrae, and 142 stitches in my head and face.  I came through it with no permanent disabilities, was only off work for a month after my release from the hospital, but I have scars.  I don't remember the accident or the aftermath until I woke up in the hospital 2 days later.  My uncle and dad's next door neighbor were the volunteer fire dept. ambulance drivers, and the only way they found out who I was, was when they started to cut my clothes off and I started swearing at them.  My head injuries were severe enough that they couldn't recognize me.  I have what one of my more recent doctors referred to as a Harry Potter scar-not having read the books yet or seen the movies, I had no idea what she was talking about.  Now I do.  I've never had insurance to pay for plastic surgery, so I've lived with the scars all my adult life.  Bangs cover the worst one, some people don't even notice it until the wind blows or I get my hair wet when swimming.  These scars do remind me of the role that outward appearance plays for some people.  And it makes me realize just what you can miss by judging a book by it's cover. 

    The second time was April 7th, 1985.  I was 8 1/2 months pregnant, sitting in my favorite restaurant having coffee with the "gang" when I felt a twingeand needed to excuse myself for the bathroom.  2 hours later, my doctor broke my water and the process of my Son entering the world began.  He waited till the next day to actually arrive, allowing me to hold over his head that "I was in labor for 28 hours with you and....."   Happy Birthday Son!

    April 7th, 2008.  This is a third life changing day for me.  I've been struggling with alot of things lately-for the last 5 years actually.  I felt that I failed in my marriage, that I could never do things good enough, or be good enough, and was actually told those very things by the man who was supposed to love me.  My son was disrespectful, rebellious, cruel to me, I felt that I was a failure as a mother, too.(thankfully, I was very wrong about that)  A lifetime of trying to please others and ending up being nothing more than an inadequate doormat has taught me that I will never be good enough for someone else's ideals of what I should be.  I have spent so much of my life trying to fit in shoes that aren't mine to wear, have never been mine to wear, should never have been placed in front of me to begin with.  I can't live that way any longer.  I am working on letting the real person inside shine through, I've been thinking on who I'd like to be, what message I'd like the world to see when they look at me.  Yes, I have scars, outside and inside, but they don't define who I am.  They may in fact hide who I am, as some who see me won't see past them.  I may walk through the rest of my life alone, but I will be walking through it the way I want to, as who I want to be, imperfections and all.  And on this day, April 7th, 2008, I am ready to begin practicing what I've learned.  Today is actually a culmination of alot of soulsearching, reading, and thinking.  I have alot to learn yet, that's  something I'll never have to stop doing.  Thank the Goddess, I have the rest of my life to do it.  Stay tuned, I'll share some of my hard learned lessons.

    I'm closing this entry with a Happy Birthday wish for Son, and my wish that you all have the best day possible, and....

                               ~Thanks For Stopping By~