Saturday, October 27, 2007

I had a great day!

Good things about today...

waking up late
sitting in the sun to catch a few rays
toasted multigrain bagels with butter
shopping at the outlet mall
buying a new purse...
new sneakers...
and a new book
buying a few small trinkets for my girls
dinner out with hubby
a soft serve vanilla cone dipped in chocolate from Dairy Queen
beautiful weather
phone call from my son
a cool breeze from open windows
watching the Red Sox

Thursday, October 25, 2007


The past couple of days it has been cool enough here to wear a light jacket around. The air feels so clean and crisp. We even had some rain earlier in the week which we so desperately needed. I forgot to mention that while we were out driving over the weekend, we passed by a few lakes which were suffering from our continued drought. I think it was the first time I could really process the severity of the situation---docks without water beneath them, empty holes where there should be water. It's scary.

I had a productive day of doing all the things I needed to do. I got my exercise in which is a priority for me simply because I find it such a struggle to keep up. I have to talk myself into working out every single day because mostly I do not want to. But I know that I always, always feel better afterwards and so I keep my eye on that and push ahead. I tell myself that I must not give into that lazy voice that keeps telling me to skip a day that I know will lead into another skipped day until a year has gone by without me doing anything. This is my history and I am fighting not repeat it. I'm almost up to 6 months of steady exercise. I'm proud of that, but I want that number to be higher.

I have this wonderful life that I do not always appreciate and I need to work on that as well.

I have it good.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

All day Saturday

"Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling." - Margaret B. Runbeck

My husband and I left for a "little drive up the road" at 11:00 AM this morning and didn't return until 7:30 PM this evening. It was an absolutely beautiful day. The leaves are just beginning to turn in the mountains up here and there was an Oktoberfest happening in one of the little towns. Everyone was drinking up a storm and seemed not to have a care in the world. We did some shopping, but mostly we drove around places we had never been before. My husband loves doing stuff like this and I have to be in the mood to go along because I know what I'm in for when I agree to go on a "little drive up the road." I take along whatever book I am reading at the moment, a magazine or two, and my IPOD for good measure because he likes the oldies and talk radio and I don't.

We went out to dinner and collected "homes for sale" books from all the places we passed through because he's always on the lookout for a new home even though I keep telling him I want to find a home where I know I will live forever. He's like a traveling gypsy and I am like a thousand year old tree whose roots dig so deep into the earth that you will never be able to move me. I keep going along with the moves because they have served us well financially, however that does not stop me from wanting to find one place where I can stay till the end of time.

We discussed my upcoming birthday and what I wanted. I gave him a few ideas and then he suggested that maybe he would get me a new vacuum so that we could give our old vacuum to our middle child for his apartment. I don't think so. I put the kibosh on that clearly-not-in-my-best-interest-present by telling him that vacuums are never presents and what is wrong with him for even suggesting something like that?

We're now watching the Red Sox and wishing them well.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Every once in a while my husband will say to me, “You must not have been given enough hugs when you were growing up.” He says this because I am not a big hugger. I do not subscribe to the “you need 12 hugs a day to be happy” theory. I do not feel as though I need hugs in order to be happy, or know that I am loved.

But he is right, I did not receive a lot of hugs when I was growing up. The first time he said this to me, I felt really insulted because it felt like a judgment. Actually, it still feels like a judgment but it’s one I am able to accept as based in truth. I never connected my lack of hugging skills to my childhood until he brought it up. I got defensive because it hit a nerve. I felt like he was telling me that I was not a loving person because I do not go around shouting I LOVE YOU a million times a day or grabbing my children or him and insisting we hug the life out of each other. I find him really needy with all this hugging business and it irritates me because I am not needy in that way. It’s hard for me to understand what the big deal is about hugs.

You see, for me, a hug means nothing if five minutes later you’re on my case for not cleaning out the refrigerator. I’d much rather be shown love than be told I am loved. It’s the old “actions speak louder than words” routine that I live by and subscribe to.

This hugging thing has made me think about how much we are products of our upbringings. Our childhoods are spent soaking up information which shape us. We move through the world based on how we learned to live while we were growing up. If you haven’t been hugged a lot, you do not know that you should miss it or that you should do it regularly without being prompted or asked, which is what happens all the time with me.

I cannot pass by my husband without him saying he needs a hug. I have to consciously tell myself not to look annoyed or let out a big aggravated sigh because that’s my first thought when he keeps requesting them. I am thinking, “Don’t you see how I do everything for you and can’t you make the jump from that to knowing that I love you?” Because that’s what I do. I see the things he does and I instinctively know without being told that I am loved. A five second hug doesn’t change anything for me. It seems simple enough to me.

I worry, though, that maybe I have failed my children in the hugging department. I mean, just because I don’t require hugs doesn’t mean that others might not need them. And it's not like I never hug them, because I do--just not every single time they pass by me like it seems some people do. I trust that they know that love is more than words or hugs. It’s the day to day living and giving and nurturing which translate into love. I think back to my childhood and ask myself if my lack of hugs made me feel unloved and I can honestly say that no it did not.

I find hugging superfluous and have to force myself to hug all the time because it does not come naturally.

But that does not mean I love any less because I don’t.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

On my mind

"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm not sure my heart is in writing here anymore. The reasons are contradictory and probably won't make sense to anyone but me. I think part of my problem is that blogging feels like it's just another responsibility to me--one I'm not willing to put my all into. There's work involved with blogging that I don't like. I don't like how you have to leave comments to get people to comment (and even then, that system doesn't always work). I know from experience that to increase readership, you have to read other blogs and comment to let them know you are reading and then maybe, maybe, they will stoop to come and read you and maybe, maybe, they will then leave a comment. I've been down this road and all I have to say is that I don't want to do it anymore. I don't want to leave fake comments at blogs just to get fake comments at my blog, however, I'm not sure what the purpose of me writing is then. I mean, wouldn't it be better to just have a private blog if I don't want to work to have readers?

The comment thing is a double edged sword. It helps feed the desire to keep writing, but it also makes you feel guilty if you do not return comments to let someone know that you appreciate their reading. I don't have hours to devote to all that commenting anymore and so I have to resort to people maybe randomly checking this place out. It feels lonely. I'd like to think I write just for me, but who am I kidding. I only comment sparingly now---when I feel I have something to say or to add. I hate all that phoney commenting where you say you agree with someone when you most certainly do not. There are so many blog cliques and I don't feel like I fit in anywhere. I want other people to read me and like me but I don't want to put the work into it that it requires. I guess I really am a lazy ass after all.

If I write and no one reads me, do I still matter? I sure hope so.

So who knows what will happen here.

I went to the grocery store after working out today to pick some stuff up for dinner tonight. When I got home, I noticed that somehow I had bought a huge box of DOTS, a box of Oreo cookies and a box of these new vanilla and chocolate pops called Mighty Moos.

OMG. I am so out of control.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I can do anything for 24 hours

"A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart." - Johann Wolfgang Goethe, from "Faust"

When my husband works from home, I get nothing done that I really need to do. He makes phone calls and is loud and every little inconvenience is magnified to the point of ridiculousness and I just try to stay out of his way because I get "shushed" a lot and being "shushed" makes me just a little angry.

So that was my day today.

We did go out to lunch and that was nice and I got my run in so I don't feel like smacking anyone or screaming bloody murder.

He leaves tomorrow morning for three days.

I can't wait!

Friday, October 12, 2007


If I should fall
I know that you would not be there
to catch me.

Knowing this,
coming to understand this in a world
where I should be able to count on you
separates me
from almost everyone.

I stand apart
because I stand alone.

You are always letting me go.
You are always teaching me
that there are no ties that bind.

I am falling
and you just keep letting me.

I never imagined
I could know such a painful truth
and somehow,
still survive.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Can't Steal Happiness

If there's a heaven (and I'm counting on it), I'd like to think it's as beautiful as today. No clouds, blue skies, a sparkling sun, fallish temperatures---perfection. I could live forever in a day like today.

With the windows wide open (first time in many months), and the music blaring, I cleaned my refrigerator and freezer. It looks amazing. I went for a run. I did not cook dinner but got takeout instead.

Anyway, I'm happy. Life is good.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If I can do it, so can you

Here's a thought. I think everyone is capable of pretending (aka: faking) that they like someone they don't particularly like. I do it all the time. If we all went around telling each other exactly how we feel about each other, I'd venture a guess that none of us would have any friends or relatives that we speak to on a regular basis. I know I wouldn't.

And so, if you're a relative of mine and you decide to call this house and I pick up the phone, how about you pretend that you like me, or at the very least, that you recognize my voice since I've been married to your son for over 20 years. It's not that difficult to fake kindness once you get the hang of it and I know you have it in you because you're nice to everyone else in this house but me.

If you need tips on how to be a hypocritical phoney who knows how to fake kindness, take careful note of how I speak with you every time I speak with you.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Loving where you are

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. " - Buddha

It's sunny and warm here today again, not even a bit like Fall but I love the sun and the heat so I won't complain. I'd much rather be hot than cold and I can't explain why except that I grew up where it was cold and so I guess I just had my fill of it. Now I cannot get enough of the sun. I know for a fact that it affects my mood. I am happier in the south than I've ever been. Sometimes I like to think it's shining just for me.

We've got nothing planned of importance today. The husband usually does yard work but he got in late last night and said he didn't feel like doing anything which is fine by me. I have to spend the afternoon tomorrow with my youngest at a sporting event which will take all day so he can do all that yard stuff tomorrow.

The other day I was out shopping and picked up a copy of the first season of Friday Night Lights on DVD. It was only $20 and I have heard all sorts of good things about it but never got around to watching it. I don't usually like to spend money on silly things like that because there's always something more important that our money can be spent on (the children who are now older but do not seem to require any less money, in fact, seem to require more with cars and whatnot). But I was standing there and I thought to myself how I don't blink an eye about spending big bucks for anything that they want and there I was worrying that $20 would be too much to spend on me and I thought to hell with it and bought it. I plan on doing that more because I'm only living once as far as I know.

I'm reading the most wonderful book, The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. It's a nice thick book and I love big books because it seems like I can make the story last forever. I'm not even halfway through, but so far it's very good. I've gotten back into the habit of always having a book on hand to read.

There for a while, I just sort of stopped reading for some reason, then this summer, one of the books my youngest had to read was The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. This child of mine is notorious for hating to read but then takes a gifted Literature class where she is required to do nothing but read, so you tell me. Anyway, she loved The Kite Runner and she's said that about exactly one other book in her life so I read it and agreed that it was a good read. So now I'm back to being excited about reading again myself. I love getting lost inside books. They allow my soul soar with adventures I might not experience otherwise.

What's not to love about that?

Friday, October 5, 2007


"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."- Annie Dillard

There is something to be said for hard work. There’s something to be said for setting clear goals and making up your mind not to falter in a such a way that it is impossible to get yourself back on track again. I have struggled my entire life with sticking to things that I know are good for me. I tend to live in extremes, an all or nothing existence, and I’ve finally realized that this lack of stick-to-it-ness doesn’t serve me or help me in any way.

I want to wake up in the morning and take care of the things that need to be taken care of without feeling myself drowning in the responsibilities that seem to confirm the mediocrity of my life. I don’t want to admit that I’m just an average person with an average life who gets up every day and doesn’t really make a difference anywhere. All too often, I take the easy way out by wishing for things but never putting forth the effort to attain those things. Then I get all indignant like I've been cheated and I look outside myself to place the blame when I know the blame is mine alone. The truth is that life is ordinary a lot of the time and no amount of wishing will make it otherwise. I keep waiting for the time when I can accept that without feeling like I'm losing something important.

I feel lost in my life a lot. I want to write it down somewhere that I’ve let years go by feeling lost–-surrendering myself to this wandering around without purpose–-to this living just to get by. I need to be able to see it in writing so that I can read it over and over again to remind myself that I have choices. I feel ashamed that I forget or ignore that fact that I do have power. It really sucks knowing that I haven't done my very best at things that really matter. I don't know of any other way to put it. It just really sucks living with that knowledge.

But what I’m learning is that no one is coming to save me from myself and this internal struggle of mine. I'm like a hitchhiker that everyone keeps whooshing by, but I think I'm ok with that now, although I haven't always been. I have people who love me, who adore me (really), so it is not a question of not having people to lean on, it's more that I need to believe I can navigate this world on my own and this is what I am working on. I'm trying hard not to be too distressed that I'm in my 40's and still haven't gotten this life thing figured out yet.

It’s hard work. It’s about trying to find peace. It’s about forgiving myself for the mistakes I’ve made and not falling backwards and becoming immobile when others continue to bring those things up. And it’s about forgiving them for not letting things go and not realizing how damaging it is to whip out that mistake list the minute it becomes useful again to bring it up. In the past, I never felt like I could let anything go when someone was always reminding me. I want to be able to let things go.

There are things I know about myself that are hard to know. The truly awful things, I simply want to deny but they do not cease to exist just because I don’t want to face them. I’ve asked myself what I’m afraid of, what I feel will happen if I acknowledge that I am hopelessly flawed? I think I’m afraid I won’t be able to live with myself which is ridiculous because I get up every day and live with myself being hopelessly flawed. I even think that some of my biggest flaws are things that win over other people's hearts, so there's proof right there that making mistakes is all part of the journey.

Anyway, I don’t know why it is always such an awful shock to realize I'll never be perfect.

And who knows, maybe it's good that the really important things are hard work.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Scented Memories

I bought a pumpkin scented candle last week and put it in my kitchen. Every time I go in there, I am reminded of the place where I grew up. I start thinking about pumpkin patches and apple cider and leaves so breathtakingly beautiful you have to see them to believe them. I spend a lot of time shoving aside memories that have the potential to leave me feeling sad for all that I am always missing, but I'm starting to believe that I'm shortchanging myself on all the good things, on all the smiles that live beside the memories that sometimes leave me melancholy. I think it'll always be this way, so I might as well face reality and permit myself to remember--allow the memories to come, no matter the baggage that might come along with them. I'm pretty confident that I'll find some way to deal.

Fall has it's own special scent and feeling but I can't seem to find it anywhere in the air where I currently live, so I look for it in other places.

Anyway, I love how a memory can be jogged by a scent, and that was my point in writing this.

So much of life is complicated. It's nice to know that some things come easy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Persistence when I'd rather not

What made me happy today was going out and exercising even though it was the last thing in the world that I wanted to do. I have days where I have to fight myself on this, where I'd much rather give into the aches and pains that I somehow make so much bigger simply so that I can con myself into believing that it might be a good idea to take a day off.

I cannot tell you how many times I have given into that desire only to do the same thing the next day and the day after that. My little break turns into years. I really am too much to take sometimes with my ridiculousness. Trust me on this.

So I put my sneakers on, pulled my hair back, popped my IPOD in my ears (on songs that lift my heart) and I walked.

The payoff is twofold. I get the exercise which somehow helps me cope with my life so much better (not that my life is horrible or anything, but I've found that I need to make time to exercise because ultimately it makes me feel so much better.) And secondly, I feel good that I didn't give in to my desire to be a lazy ass, and, really, that's worth every blister and shin splint. I think.

So that was my moment of happiness which lasted most of the day.

And I went out for Chinese food afterwards with my husband, and that was good, too.