Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue moon ringing in a New Year, 2010

There's an eclipsed Blue Moon tonight, so I am taking that as a sign that 2010 will be good.

2009 has been mostly wonderful. I am enormously blessed. I look forward to the promise that a new year brings and will do my best to honor my life here on earth. I will continue to seek the truth in all things and I will work to acquire the knowledge I need to help myself and my family navigate through this world. I will look for the divine everywhere and in everyone. I will strive to remain in the light.

Happy New Year!

May health, happiness and prosperity be yours.

Friday, December 25, 2009

the stars are brightly shining

I woke up Christmas morning with a sore throat. It's no wonder, really. My kids have been sick off and on for the past month and I could have picked up something from them. Or, it could have been from that woman I stood behind at the post office the other day. She coughed like a maniac without covering her mouth. She carried around a little plastic bottle all taped up with gray masking tape and about every few seconds she would spit into it. I tried not to think about it too much or look at her doing this because it was seriously grossing me out. I've never seen anything like it. Who carries around a little plastic bottle to spit into? The post office line was ridiculously long and as I was standing there all I could think was that this woman's germs were making a beeline into my air space at breakneck speed and I had no way to protect myself from the assault. Sure enough, I woke up to my throat feeling as though it was on fire. I've loaded up on vitamin C and took some colloidal silver to kill whatever bacteria has invaded my body and I'm already starting to feel better. Oh, and I pop Zicam dissolvable tablets as well. They always make my colds go away quicker.

I made a delicious meal, mostly using my grill. I've read several blog posts lately about people finding joy and peace in the kitchen and maybe there's something in the water because I seem to be finding that same sort of contentment when I'm cooking that I never felt before. I think a part of me has spent a great deal of time convincing myself that I'm not a good cook and will never be one. I assigned myself a label of mediocrity in the cooking department and was content to live down to that assessment. Then one day I got bored and tried new things and found that I can cook and I'm really good at it. I'm the type of person that likes to follow directions to the letter and so letting go of that rigidity has given me the freedom to subtract or add things or even totally make up my own recipes as I go along. All my life I've been aware that I place limits on myself that only hurt me. I'm learning to change the way I think about myself, giving myself permission to be more. It's like the sky is the limit if only I believe it. Better late than never, right?

I did not miss my extended family even once this year, so I am here to report that after 18 years, being away from loved ones gets easier. It's like I've totally accepted that this is my life and it's up to me to make the most of my time here. When I went outside tonight to turn on my Christmas lights, I looked up into the cold December night sky and sent my love and good wishes their way. I am with them always. They are always with me.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I tried something different this year. Instead of waiting until Christmas Eve to wrap all the presents, I started a couple of days ago and now, for the first time in forever, I am not hunched over on the floor somewhere with tape and wrapping paper and Christmas tags cursing whoever it was that thought it was a good idea to wrap presents in pretty colored paper. It feels glorious.
Merry Christmas from my house to yours. I wish you happiness, peace, light and love.

Friday, December 18, 2009

the lies she tells me

She lies about everything. Stupid lies. Insulting lies that make me want to suggest she work harder at coming up with something more believable when she cannot find the words to speak the truth. I ask her if she even cares about us because I think that she can't possibly care about people she lies to all the time so easily, with not so much as an inkling of guilt. And she replies, "that's an awful thing to say," turning the discussion away from her, pointing an accusatory finger back at me which is another thing she does to avoid answering questions honestly.

I want to take responsibility for the part I feel I must play in this, the part that makes her feel unsafe in telling the truth, even about the little things. I wonder where I went wrong, where I failed on my end. I think about this every time she lies and since she lies so much I'm thinking about it all the time. I've tried reacting with anger, compassion, and unconditional love but nothing ever changes--the lies just keep spilling and spilling out of her mouth and into the spaces of air that appear empty between us.

She lies about everything and I do not know what to do about it except not believe anything she says.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The center of everything

I am trying to burn down a pumpkin spiced candle that's almost at its end. I should probably just put it away already but I love the scent. It's raining outside--has been raining and cold most of the day. I ended up doing a little Christmas shopping today and bought some poinsettias for the house. I finally threw my pumpkins in the trash although what I wanted to do was toss them out back into the woods at the edge of our lawn so that they would rot and maybe the seeds would take root and sprout pumpkins next year but my husband said it would attract ants and apparently we don't want to attract a bunch of ants outside where they live anyway so in the trash they went.

I can't wait to run tomorrow since I wasn't able to run today. Sometimes I hate running so much I want to cry because of all the aches I end up having, but then I'll miss a day because of rain and all I can think about is running. I'm never sure whether I am running away from something or towards something--maybe a little of both. I do know that when I am out there, I forget about everything and that's a good thing when your head is always filled to bursting with thoughts that won't let you rest.

I received the most thoughtful, wonderful gift for my birthday--tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera and I can hardly wait until Saturday when we go. I had been quietly promoting this as a gift for a while amongst my family but no one seemed to get a clue so I gave up throwing out hints about a year ago. Then one day I was listening to the soundtrack and thinking to myself that I'd really like to go see it in person and the next day tickets arrived in the mail!! It was like magic. I wasn't feeling sorry for myself and I wasn't angry that I hadn't had the opportunity to go yet, I was simply thinking how great it would be to go. I didn't say a thing--I just had the thought in my head that I wanted to go and just like that, I am going!

In my dreams--the ones I manage to remember--I always have magical powers. I like thinking I'm learning to find the magic of my dreams when I'm awake.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Drop by drop

"Writing a journal means that facing your ocean, you are afraid to swim across it, so you attempt to drink it drop by drop."~George Sand

I've been watching the second season of HBO's In Treatment on demand and decided that there is an art to listening I had never noticed before and I wonder if maybe the only way to have access to that type of listening is to pay for it. I'm not being snarky here. It's just that no one I know listens the way the therapist on the show listens to his patients--with such care, such attention to detail, and such compassion. It is truly an art and something I would like to learn to do better, and have done better in regards to me.


For the past couple of weeks I have been on an eating binge. I eat everything in sight--leftover Baby Ruth bars from Halloween, chips, pretzels--you name it and I eat it. I go to bed at night with a container of extra strength tropical fruit TUMS by my nightstand and chew those up like skittles to combat the indigestion brought on by these feeding frenzies, then I wake up the next day and do it all over again. I am never filled up. I am never filled up.


There is an angel tree filled with requests by children at the grocery store where I shop. The other day I stood there and read the little wishes and I almost started crying because I wanted to scoop them all up and be the person who filled all those wishes but I know my husband would flip out if I did such a thing. Instead I think I will take an angel every time I go and fill that wish from now until Christmas. I have been blessed with much and it makes me happy to share--especially with children who remind me to be ever hopeful of just about everything.


Weekends get a little stressful around here. I want a break from the same old, same old and want to be free to do what I want to do and yet my adult children seem only to think of my life in terms of what I can do for them. It's all so predictable and annoying and I do not know of a way to complain about it that gets my point across for more than 5 minutes. I do not want to be that parent who wishes her children would just hurry up and leave but I find myself becoming her more and more--especially on the weekends. It's a fight to keep my newly found serenity and it worries me that I feel serenity most strongly when I am by myself.


I have hated running the past two weeks. It's a struggle to get myself out the door, not because I hate being outside but because I dread running the same paths and hearing the same music. I started to think about how many miles I have run in the last 21 weeks of religious exercise and it feels like a million. I am running up and down streets and around cul de sacs--like a lab rat stuck in a maze. So I'm thinking about changing up my scenery by going somewhere new. And I bought some new sneakers to have something new and shiny to motivate me not to give up. You should hear the pep talks I give myself each morning. This is what I say: "You can't give up. You have to keep trying. Remember how good you feel afterwards. Don't be that person who can't stick to things for more than just a short while." This is a dangerous time for me. I always know when I am about to take a little break from exercising that will last 6 months or more and I am determined not to let that happen. I'll keep you posted.


I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving. I've got pies to bake and a turkey to cook correctly so that I don't give my family food poisoning. This is always a worry of my husband's even though no one has ever gotten food poisoning from food I have prepared in over 20 years. Still, each year I get cautioned that I must prepare the turkey correctly. This year he has also suggested that perhaps instead of potentially poisoning everyone with turkey, maybe I should just make meatloaf and mashed potatoes instead. It promises to be another interesting holiday in my corner of the world.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

the easy kill

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

On the day of my birthday, I did not get a call from my parents. I kept checking the phone thinking I would miss their call when I went out for a run, when I stepped out to get the mail, while I was in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher. I was watching TV in bed that night with my phone beside me, and I decided I needed to check the recent call list one last time just to make sure I didn't miss their call, but there was no listing with their name and number beside it. There was no missing call. It was in that moment that I was able to step out of myself and see how pathetic the whole situation was. I see myself waiting for the call. I see myself accepting no call will come.

I like to think about life as a journey of lessons learned, so I tried to figure out what the lesson of this could be. Was it that the world did not end just because I did not get a call from them on the one day of the year that is mine? Was it that a phone call, or lack thereof, should not be mistaken for love or lack thereof? Was the lesson that expectations of others are futile--even the simplest of things--because expectations inevitably lead to disappointments? Who knows. I'm sure I don't.

I tried to imagine the thought process that went into them not calling me because it is important that I understand why. Did they make a conscious choice to let the day pass without a word to me or did I slip their mind altogether? I will not lie: neither choice feels acceptable. Understanding eludes me.

A pattern of mine that I've been trying to break is the one where I lock all the unacceptable things inside my head where I tell myself not to think about them. It's a safety mechanism of mine that I've taken up because people have not always been careful of my heart and I know I'll be unwaveringly vigilant. I've learned, though, that the feelings tied to all the unacceptable things do not go away just because I choose not think about them.

Instead, I've been trying to deal with the feelings as they come--to honor the feelings, good and bad, that come from my journey. I used to think it was best to lock everything bad away because I was afraid thinking those thoughts would kill me, but they didn't. In case you haven't noticed, I can be quite theatrical at times. I thought the feelings would paralyze me and render me unable to move forward. But then I stopped being afraid to feel my own emotions, and learned I am stronger than I think I am. Hidden, unexamined, unfelt feelings are more poisonous than allowing myself to feel them. I can cry the sadness out of me and then move on.

For most of my adult life, I have felt somewhat disconnected from people, and I think the roots of this disconnection go all the way back to my beginning. There was a lack of nurturing I experienced--not in any way connected to having food, clothing, and shelter--that left me feeling apart from the rest of the world. I find this difficult to explain. It's like being on the outside looking in all the time. It's needing to watch other families and relationships to learn what it's like to behave like a normal family/person because it doesn't come naturally. It's guarding your heart always, because that is what makes you feel safe in this world.

When something happens to remind me where I come from, I feel stuck and angry and sad all at once. I have to sit in those emotions and feel them and they feel awful. I think if only I was a better person--THEN I'm sure they would have remembered to call me--which is ridiculous. I don't want to have to be better to be remembered. I just want to be who I am.

Sometimes I feel so alone in this world--that my ties to the people I love are so tenuous--that if severed--I would simply float away, telling myself not to look back, because I would know instinctively that those on the ground would not be looking up to see where I might be going.

I have been mourning the relationship I have with my parents for most of my life. It feels like this: I have everything except what they did not give me, and what they did not give me is everything I'll ever want.


*This happened a number of weeks ago and I wrote this immediately afterwards, however, I wasn't really able to post it until now because I felt so horrible. I'm pretty much over it now. Time heals what reason cannot.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

another me

I have the window opened a little more than a crack, and the faint smell of cigarette smoke is snaking its way into the room. I imagine our neighbor next door standing on her deck out back to keep the smell of smoke out of her house and away from her little boy. Growing up, my father smoked like a mad man. There are pictures of him, at thirteen years old, sneaking a smoke in the back of a building somewhere. When we were little, and would go through old photographs, my siblings and I couldn't get over how bad he must have been to be smoking at thirteen. We couldn't even imagine.

Our house smelled like smoke--the curtains, the furniture, our clothes--everything. When my father turned forty, his mother was diagnosed with lung cancer--from being a smoker her entire life. Her ugly, painful death from this disease made my father give up smoking. He simply stopped one day and never smoked again.

Although I've never been a smoker, there are times I get the urge to buy myself a pack of cigarettes. It's the strangest thing. I imagine myself in some secluded spot, sneaking a cigarette or two then coming back to a life where that's not something I would ever do in a million years.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not stopping

"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eye."~The Little Prince

I waited all morning and half the afternoon for the rain to die down to a drizzle so that I could go outside and do my run. This blog is becoming monotonous--I run, and I talk about running but I can't help it--it's what makes me happy and feel at peace. This was the second day this week that rain was trying to take away my fun. I was impatient for it to be gone. But then I went out there with a hat on and a SWEATSHIRT! and my music in my ears and I ran. I loved everything about the drizzle hitting my face, keeping me cool. I loved the clouds in the sky and the trees turning beautiful fall colors and the stream of water rushing down the street beside me. I feel closest to God--with the divine greatness of the universe--when I am outdoors. I never, ever in my whole life took the time to look around and really appreciate all the natural beauty around me, so it's like I am making up for lost time.

I spent the last couple of weeks getting my house in shape for a visit from my in-laws and then at the very last minute they decided that the trip was just too long to make. At first I was like---huh? But then I remembered how miserable I feel when I am in a car for endless hours--how my body aches and how bored to death I feel. And I thought about how they're so much older and shouldn't have to do anything they don't want to do and then I was ok with it. It's not like getting angry would have changed things anyway so I didn't bother wasting the energy. My house is looking spotless and organized, so in a way, I am thankful for the little push to get things in order.

Believe it or not, I think about writing here a lot, although it's clear that I do not actually come here and write very often. There really isn't much going on in my life that's interesting from the outside looking in. I've been going through some internal changes that are difficult to articulate. All I know is that I have searched tirelessly for truth and peace and God---and after all the searching, I found them all inside me. I was looking outside when I should have been looking within. I'm rejecting fear and choosing love. As much as possible, I am trying to send out into the world good energies so that good energies come back to me and it's working. I am being pleasantly surprised by the power I have that I did not know I had. I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life. My life is truly what I make it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Have a nice day

I got up this morning as usual and prepared to go for a run. It was sprinkling just a little bit so I decided that I'd do a little housework and wait to see if it cleared. Around 9:00 AM, someone rings my front doorbell and starts knocking on the door. I peeked out the blinds and saw a 20 something male standing there kind of shuffling around. I know I shouldn't have opened the door, but I did and he immediately went into some spiel about his mother being in a bad accident and how he needed gas and/or money for gas so that he could go to the hospital to see his dying mother. He was crying and very dramatic about the whole thing. He told me he owned a pressure washing business and that if I gave him gas or gas money to go see his dying mother, that he'd be happy to come back and pressure wash my house and driveway. I told him that wasn't necessary because at this point, all I really wanted to do was get rid of him because he made me nervous with all his shuffling around. He also had really bad teeth--they were black and this gloomy gray color and they kind of freaked me out. I immediately chastised myself for being judgmental and told him I'd check in my garage to see if we had any gas. I closed the door and locked it as quick as lightening.

In the back of my head, I knew that I wanted to tell him straight up to just go away, but I've been trying to find my sense of compassion towards other human beings again. And I've been working hard at removing fear from my life because when I stopped to think about all the things I fear, I found the list was pretty endless. I hated knowing that a lot of my life has been defined by fears that simply stole away time I could have used being happy and productive. There is so much to be afraid of and I think our society plays on those fears so that they can push through agendas that do not benefit any of us. Lately, my mind has been filled with fears about our disastrous financial situation, and the swine flu fear mongering seems to escalate by the minute. It's just endless and I decided I did not want to participate in all that fear anymore so when I feel the panic rising, I retrain my brain to calm myself down about whatever it is that is making me feel scared. I've been very successful at stamping out fears over which I ultimately have no control, and as a reward, I feel much happier.

So when I closed the door on the jittery man out front--even though a part of me sensed something wasn't right--I decided I'd give him money because I tried to think how I would feel if I was alone in the world and I needed to get somewhere and I didn't have any money to buy gas. I thought it wouldn't hurt me to give him money and whatever gas I had in the gas can in the garage because I have enough of both and could get more any time I wanted more. When you're blessed with riches, it costs nothing to give some away--I truly believe that. I tried to see past his exterior into his spirit where I know goodness lies in all of us, and decided I could trust this person I did not know for more than 3 minutes.

As I was digging out my wallet, my son, who was home at the time, came out of his room and asked me what I was doing so I told him the story. He informed me that a cop was out front and, of course, started in on the "don't ever open the door for anyone" lecture as if I was the child and he was the parent. The cop rings our doorbell and asked us if we knew this man and we told him no and I recounted the tale he had told me just moments before. He said he'd been called by some other neighbors and that he was going to look into the background of this fellow.

Long story short, Mr. jittery-black-teeth-money/gas-solicitor was lying. Apparently he's some sort of druggie/dealer. Pretty soon police cruiser number two arrives, then police cruiser number three. It was quite a show. They handcuffed him and hauled him off to jail!

All I could think about today was how these rotten, lying scumbag people ruin things for everyone because they make you harden your heart, they make you suspicious, they make you not want to trust anyone, or do nice things. I was thinking what must go through the mind of someone like that to come onto private property and blatantly lie to scam money to buy drugs. In a million years, I cannot imagine myself in a scenario like that and for that, I am grateful. Still, I feel ridiculous that I chose to believe him, that my kindness is a weakness that other people see as an opportunity to take advantage of.

There is never a dull moment in this neighborhood. I could toss out all the TV's we own and just sit by the windows and be entertained both day and night. I couldn't make up half this stuff even if I tried. I look around me and there's so much dysfunction, so much moral depravity I can hardly stand it. It's hard feeling like you're the only normal person in a world full of whackos.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The earth turns, the sun burns

I decided not to be hateful to the man who walks his dogs and won't say hello to me when I say hi to him. All summer long, I've been ignoring him whenever I see him. It takes a lot of effort to ignore someone who is right across the street hanging onto a dog that is barking wildly and struggling mightily to cross the street and sniff me out. I need to believe that there is goodness in everyone. Whether this is a foolish belief or not remains to be seen. I saw him today and said hello. He said hello back. Progress.

This morning was a gift. The air was just a little bit cool here and that's the first time in forever that I have not been met with a wall of heat the moment I step outdoors. A shadow of the moon was still up in the sky, so was the sun, and so were the clouds. I wished I could be up there, too, floating on a cloud or something, sipping a drink with lots of ice. Sometimes the earth feels too crowded with people and stuff. In my dreams, I can fly. If only.

Everything is going well here. My youngest seems to be adjusting to college life and we are adjusting to life without her here all the time. Every day it's a new drama at the school--tonight it was a fire in her dorm. She proudly stated that she remembered to take her cell phone and her favorite blanket when the alarm went off in the building. No mention of the $2,000 laptop, though. Priorities, I guess.

Anyway, I want to say that I've been busy being happy, because that's what's true.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

who i am, who i'm not, who i want to be

My summer has been a whirlwind of activity and now we're getting ready for our youngest to go off to college. It's such an exciting time for her and I'm so happy to be a part of it. I'm not sad in the least--I'm thrilled for her. It is not enough to say I wish the world for her. My dreams for her are limitless. I forget about being negative when I'm around my children. They have always been my hope for bigger and better things. In my deepest heart, I know that what I get from them is more than what I have given to them. The list is endless. Not surprisingly, the list begins and ends with love.

One of the pleasures of running every day is that I turn a glorious shade of bronze just by trekking through my neighborhood. I think exposure to the sun has been demonized by medical professionals to the point of ridiculousness and I'm sure that's mostly because sunshine cannot be bottled and sold at exorbitant prices to the masses. The sun has always felt so healing to me and maybe that's because my body instinctively knows how good it is for me. My blistered, aching feet are wounds I curse and cherish simultaneously. They remind me I am alive. They keep me in the moment.

I am not sure why I haven't been writing as much lately. Partly it has to do with me trying to come to terms with this life of mine. I've been on a quest for truth in everything and have found that you cannot find the truth if truth is not inside you. This has proved difficult because I'm a keeper of secrets. I can bury secrets deep inside the vault of my soul and forget about them. Occasionally, I will take them out in the dead of the night but never long enough to sort anything out. I ask myself what it is that I am afraid of and I answer that I am afraid I will fall apart if I dare to stare down the secrets/truths about myself that feel impossible to come to terms with. I think I do not have the time to fall apart when I've got real life to deal with and so I keep putting this showdown off till another day. I think the sun will continue to shine and time will continue to march on, but there are days I'm not convinced of it. There is truth inside me that I need to set free, that I need to face without fear so that I can find the truth in everything.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rule breakers

(another shitty person story)

I had picked up about 25-30 items at the grocery store last night. I walked up to one line and saw that there were two people ahead of me with their carts filled to the brim so I wandered down to another lane and started to unload my stuff. I was halfway through unloading (I was bending over my cart picking a couple of yogurts up) when this woman comes up behind me and shouts, "WELL, I GUESS THIS ISN'T A 15 ITEMS OR LESS LINE ANYMORE!!!" then she stomped off in a huff. It was at that moment that I happened to glance up to see that I had wandered (unknowingly) into a 15 items or less line. I seriously did not even notice the sign hanging from the ceiling (also, not that this is an excuse, but these stores all have different item limits--some say 10 some say 15 some say 25--I clearly had more than 15 items, but they were yogurts and gatorades and some canned goods--and checking out would have been quick). Apparently this is a death row offense as far as some people are concerned. The woman behind the indignant bitch said jokingly, "ooooooooo, you're such a rule breaker!" I told her that WOW, I would have moved if she had just acted like a normal person, but she assumed that I was conspiring to make all the 15-items-and-less-people wait behind me on purpose when I didn't even realize I was in one of those stupid lines. OMG, people are really trying my patience lately!

I was incensed for most of my trip home, but then a good song came on the radio and I let it go. I mean, if the biggest problem that woman has in life is ME making a mistake and unloading too many items at the checkout, then she has nothing to complain about, and if MY biggest problem is a nasty old bitch griping about a silly mistake that I would have been glad to rectify if she had simply been normal, then my life is quite excellent indeed.

Monday, July 20, 2009

He said, ask anything

I am trying to limit my time online. I was becoming increasingly depressed about the state of, well, everything. The mainstream media insults our intelligence by only reporting news which has been approved by "higher ups" in the broadcasting industry. This means we get watered down information or bloated information depending on what the real agenda is behind the scenes. So I look to the internet to tell me the truth, and the truth is mostly always ugly. I'll be in a good mood and forget that our government is marching us towards socialism/communism and then I'll read something that reminds me and I start sinking into a pit of despair again.

I have been making sure that I stay committed to my running again. I feel less pessimistic about the world for at least the couple of hours it takes me to work out, cool down, shower and get on with my day. I feel peace in those two hours, and there are even moments where I can convince myself that we are not doomed, that something or someone will intervene on our behalf and save us from our traitorous government. I'll be quite honest--I've handed it over to God because I do not know what else to do. On my good days, I am convinced that evil will not prevail because no matter how powerful evil forces can be, God, in His infinite goodness, is the ultimate superpower. I find myself praying all the time--for guidance, for strength, for patience, for hope. I have spent inordinate amounts of time searching for answers, for truth. I read everything and I am open to all sorts of different opinions on things because I think it is a mistake to think that there is only one way that is the right way. I've read articles by people who say there is no God and I can understand where they are coming from even though I do not feel that same way. For me, it's essential to believe in God, to know that He is somewhere watching over all of us. I try not to question if my faith is a result of not being able to bear the thought that God doesn't exist, because I pretty much know I couldn't bear the thought of that. So it's settled for me. There is a God of goodness and light and I pray to Him always to watch over us and keep us safe. I pray for the destruction of the evil people who are ruining everything. I don't even care if this is an awful thing to do because it feels right to me. I'm sick and tired of being kind to people who wish to do me and my family harm--so I wish on them what they are doing to us--times a million.

My washing machine broke today, so I had to run out and buy a new one but it won't be delivered until Wednesday. By then, the pile of unwashed clothes ought to be up to the ceiling in the laundry room. I usually can't skip even a day or I end up being sorry that I thought I could get by without doing at least one load. My life is one thrill after another, to be sure.

I am struggling to find a balance between acknowledging the alarming reality of our changing world and living my best life, and it is proving to be quite the challenge. Sometimes I wish I didn't know so much, that I didn't search and search and search to find out truths that take some of the color out of the world for me. Still, I think I'd rather know than not know because at least I will not be surprised, I will not be caught off guard. I've always hated surprises unless the surprises are diamonds or sapphires or rubies.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Joke me something awful

I'm sick of shitty people.

Example A. I've lived in this neighborhood for a little over 7 years. I pretty much keep to myself but I always go out of my way to say hello or wave to my neighbors and will engage in small talk if necessary. So there's this guy I always passed when I used to do my run. He doesn't live on my street but a couple of streets over. He's really the unfriendly sort. It took me about two months to get him to respond to me when I would say hello to him when I would pass him. I think part of the problem was that I was onto his scam of walking his dog and allowing it to crap on everyone else's lawn without picking it up and carrying it home to dispose as the rules in our covenants state. We even get reminders written on whiteboards at the beginning of our subdivision so there really is no excuse for this sort of ignorant behavior. I caught him doing it a couple of times but never said anything, I just filed it away and would refer to him as the guy who let his dog crap on everyone's lawn without picking it up.

But after about 2 months of continued HELLO'S on my part, this old fart finally said hello back to me. I considered it a success because this guy is what I call MAD AT THE WORLD. You know the type--mad at everyone for all of life's little hardships and blaming everyone else for the fact that he's a loser. The type that would take his dog out every single day and purposely allow it to crap on a neighbor's lawn without cleaning up after it as a way of sticking it to all of his so-called enemies. I can just picture him chuckling at home about how it's such an awesome thing that he lets his dog crap everywhere. HehHehHehHeh. I can almost hear him. And you KNOW he's the type who would have a complete COW if you allowed your pet to do the same thing he does to everyone else. Typical ass.

Fast forward to today. I pass him walking his dog (he actually took the dog to the backyard of a home that is for sale to take a crap because that's where I saw him exiting and he has no business being on that property). He continues walking down the street and I passed by him and WAVED PLUS SAID HELLO and this freak looked me straight in the eyes and then turned away without saying anything. I was dismissed. That was IT for me. I said "OKAYYYYYYYY" and let out a huge sigh like WTF? and ran by his obnoxious ass. I will NEVER acknowledge him again for the rest of my life. Some people are just beyond any sort of redemption. I am convinced of this. He better stay off the streets, too, because I might be tempted to run him over if he gets in my way.

Exhibit B. I asked my daughter to take her car to get an emissions test so that I can get the yearly car registration sticker. I give her a check to pay for the test, I am paying for the registration, we paid for the car in full and gave it to her and we also pay the insurance each month on the car. Well, she starts giving me attitude about how it's such a bother to go get it inspected! Lots of stomping around and mumbling under her breath. Now if I was the sort of person who made up a huge list each day and asked everyone to complete all the tasks or ELSE, I could understand all the drama, however, I rarely ask anything of anyone. She's 25 and living at home with no plans to leave any time soon. I keep asking my husband if we can just slip away during the night and leave everyone because I am convinced no one will ever leave. They left, found out life was difficult/expensive in the real world and came back.

Part of the reason I've been having a hard time lately is that I see no end to this and I think that a good mother should just go with the flow and welcome everyone back and not feel like I'm losing something important that I feel I've worked towards (my children growing up and moving out). I told my husband that I would not have had children so young if I had known that things would turn out like this. More than half my life has been spent caring for other people and before that I lived at home and was under the thumb of very strict parents. It's like I never got to live and have tons of fun or be in any way selfish. EVER. I know that's dramatic, but it's how I feel sometimes. And when stuff like this emissions test kerfluffle comes up, I want to quietly go into my room, get a suitcase, pack a few things, then hit the road. And here's the thing. I don't think I would look back or be sad because I'm so over all of them. I know in a few hours I'll have cooled off but right this minute I can picture myself by myself forever.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Let freedom ring.

I read somewhere today that freedom is a state of mind and I like that thought so I'm going to try to remember it the next time I start worrying. The worries. The worries are heavy. I want to knock them off my shoulders and dump them in a bottomless pit so that I never have to deal with them again. The worries keep me up at night, they consume my thoughts throughout the day. I breath them in and breath them out. I cannot make them go away.

Freedom is a state of mind. Ok. For the moment, it's working.

My hair smells like smoke from the grill. I had a massive grease fire going on this afternoon when I was cooking up the food. I'm the griller in my family which I know is unusual, but with my husband gone a lot of the time, I needed to know how to fire up a grill or go without and so now I am an expert. We had hamburgers, hotdogs, sweet italian sausage, baked beans, salad, my specialty deviled eggs, and corn on the cob. It was all so delicious. I don't think there are fireworks in town this year due to the economy but no big deal. We can buy fireworks in the grocery stores here so if we want them we can go buy them. When I was growing up, my father would put on a fireworks show each year for the neighborhood. We'd crawl up on the roof of our house and watch them and it's great how I can think back to that time and I'm back there. I love the snapshot memories that take me back.

I bought a new pair of sneakers last night and I am thinking about taking up my walking/running routine again. I took a "day" off that lasted 8 months. I always do this. I run like an engine for a year then get tired and decide to rest a day and then I don't go back. There is no sense in this, I know and I fight to understand why I'm wired this way. I lose motivation somehow. It leaves me when I don't realize it's going and then I can't get it back no matter how hard I try. I know the motivation must come from within, though, so there's that.

I'm trying to keep my mind off the economic difficulties going on in our world. I'd feel better if I felt that we had people working toward fixing what is broken, however I think we have people intentionally working to destroy rather than build up. I worry for the people without jobs. I feel strangely calm about my husband's job even though he is in an industry that the Obama administration is working tirelessly to decimate. I'm certain we will be ok but I still care deeply about the direction our world is headed and I wish I could get everyone to think good thoughts and pray to God to help us. We have a bunch of people in our government who are not our friends, who are following a path that is wrong, who are betraying us. I've gotten beyond the democrat/republican thing because I think both are rotten and corrupt.

Anyway, my hope is that freedom, or at least the form of freedom we have now, does not get smaller. That is my wish this 4th of July. For everyone.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Close your eyes and sleep to dream

I've been reading a lot of political blogs lately and what I've found is that they tend to depress me and make me lose hope in everything and I think hope is important to have. It makes getting up in the morning worthwhile if you believe that there are positives to counter all the negatives, that there is light somewhere within the darkness. So I decided to stop obsessing over wanting to read everything and know everything because what can one person do with all that knowledge anyway? I want to know what is going on, but I need to continue to have hope that things will be ok. I'm not sure if I'm just fooling myself or what. I've become somewhat jaded about everything and I am not exaggerating when I write this. I'm like the dark cloud over Eyeore's head threatening to rain at any moment and spoil everyone's day. Tell me something wonderful and I'll be able to root out the evil that's lurking beneath the all the wonderfulness. I've turned into quite the killjoy for sure.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and we were both lamenting about how our lives did not turn out the way we had dreamed they would--how things happened that we had no control over and how we had to adapt to a different life plan. There isn't a place to go where we can just cry about the losses that probably aren't significant to most of the outside world but still feel huge to us. There's this fear of expressing dissatisfaction when you know that mostly your life is blessed, because the rule is that you count your blessings and you do not ask for more than enough when you have enough. And so we discuss this with each other and tell each other that we're lucky because we are. And the speaking of the words that feel like a betrayal helps for a while. We hang up our phones and get on with the lives we have and we feel less alone knowing there is at least one person walking the earth who feels the same things.

I'm on one of my cleaning binges again. It's always all or nothing with me and I tend to disrespect housecleaning now that I have been doing it more than half of my life. There's nothing rewarding about it but I get to the point where I feel like I need control of something, anything, and so I clean. Even when I know that tomorrow at this time everything I've done will be undone there are at least a few moments when things are in order and that gives me a little peace. My gravestone will probably read something like, She lived, She cleaned, She saw her cleaning come undone, She died.

I'm almost done the Bible and know that I will have to go back and read it all again because there is just so much to take in after just one reading. My mind is filled with all the stories and all the questions I have that I am afraid I will never get the answers to--at least not in this life. I've found some of the most beautiful prose inside the Bible and I wasn't expecting that. And I've also found that while there were things I did not understand, I did get the messages of love that were preached throughout, and the messages of forgiveness. Life is so complicated, and people make it more complicated than it needs to be. The message of loving one another is such a simple thing, yet most of us can't sustain that sort of love long enough to make a difference. There are too many outside annoyances calling our attention away from what is most important and we simply allow those distractions to steal the gift of love away and put it on a back burner. I start off each day swearing to do better and by noon I'm off track. I'm not sure good intentions count for anything when good intentions are all I ever end up having.

Watermelon is great this time of the year...and air conditioning is the greatest invention of all time when it is 100 degrees outside. I feel alive when I go outside and within a minute am covered in sweat. I feel alive when I come inside and am met with a wall of cool air. I am here in this corner of the world struggling to make sense of everything that doesn't make sense. I turn the page and think about all the things I need to put down in words so that I will not be forgotten. I scream inside my head, don't forget me.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I never wanted to fit in any place except your heart

I went with my youngest daughter to her college orientation this week. She was accepted at a top 10 university and the place is enormous but she's coming from a one of the largest high schools in the nation so it shouldn't be too big of an adjustment--just lots of walking to classes and whatnot. I spent a lot of time riding around the campus trying to find all the different places so I could get a feel for where she'll be, and for the first time in a long time I really started to feel old--like more of my life is behind me than in front of me now. I don't know if that's true--it's just how I felt at the time.

There was so much young life all around me, and feverish activity, and I remembered how it felt to be in that place feeling those things. For a moment or two, or three, I wished I could go back. I don't know if that's a horrible thing to feel or not, but I wished it with my heart. Not that I would undo anything that's happened since I've been to college, it's just that feeling I would like to get back, of the world being this wide open place filled with nothing but hope (not Barack Obama socialist hope--REAL HOPE). And I miss having dreams for myself, because most of my dreams are now for my children, and it's been this way for as long as I've had them (many, many years). I think I need to find a way to change all that and get out of this funk.

I was walking the other day and passed by this gorgeous magnolia tree. Have you ever seen one with your own eyes? They are staggeringly beautiful. The flower is like some sort of sculpture it is so exquisite. They make you want to stop and stare at them, and in this world of "hurry up and get there yesterday" that's saying something. It was the scent, though, that felt most like heaven. It's a scent you wish you could drink so you could get filled up with it. I think I will always want to live in a place where magnolia trees grow.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

She brings light, she is like the sun

"For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out."~James Baldwin

The saddest part of today was when I was sitting way up in the civic center stadium while the class of 2009 marched in and I couldn't find my daughter among the sea of 1000 green caps and gowns.

I stood there looking for someone I knew so I could approximate in the alphabet where she would be and I couldn't pick out even one face that I recognized from so far up. I panicked then, just for a little bit, because I thought--who sends their kid to a high school with a graduating class of 1000? And I could feel tears pooling in my eyes with the ridiculousness of it all--but then I found her--decked out with her honors collar and ropes (cords) and medals and pins and my heart filled with joy. She never found me in the crowd, but I found her. She has done everything right and I hope our country doesn't get too screwed up before she gets to really shine because that would be a damn shame. She brings light, she is like the sun.

On the way over to the graduation ceremony, stuck in traffic, my husband sighed and asked me if our daughter just couldn't have skipped the ceremony and picked up her diploma at the school sometime next week. I've gotten good at taking this sort of remark and not exploding on the spot anymore. What I do is I tell him I can't entertain his nonsense at the moment and to please act normal. Then I'll file the comment away in my head somewhere and take it out (like now) and think--whatever will I do with myself if I have to deal with this craziness for the rest of my life.

You might think that your youngest daughter graduating from high school with so many honors she barely has room around her neck for more would be an experience you'd want to dive into and enjoy forever. But no--it's an inconvenience for him--finding a parking spot and whatnot. I had to remind him that today was not about him and I truly think that I should NOT have to do that sort of thing at this point in my life, but for life to run smoothly, I suck up the things that make me want to scream. I think I am getting better at accepting that life will not always be the way I want it to be.

Then it's time to choose a place to eat and of course there's a battle between the graduate and my husband and he doesn't seem to get that it's HER day and that he should take her where she wants to go. Nope. An argument ensues and I sit there feeling myself shrinking and wishing I could disappear because no one will "just go along" except for me. What's so hard about doing something you don't want to do once in awhile? My father used to tell me it builds character.

Anyway, I thought I'd be very emotional today but between my husband's juvenile behavior and my son's griping about not "having a plan about where to sit," and the kid who sat next to me who hogged the armrest while my husband hogged the one on the other side leaving me scrunched up and claustrophobic, and my camera malfunctioning, and the 12 or 13 people who needed to get up and as a result I had to get up to let them go by so that I was pretty much a like a jack-in-the-box for most of the ceremony, and then the restaurant wars afterwards--well, I was too aggravated to feel sentimental and weepy. Mostly I just wanted to hit someone.

I'm really proud of my daughter and all she has accomplished. I'm happy to think I played a small part in all that greatness.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tic toc, tic toc

"If someone love you for what you can do then it's flattering, but why do they love you? If someone loves you for who you are then they have to know you, which means you have to know them."~Ann Patchett

At the beginning of the week my husband informed me that he was taking the entire next week off because he felt burnt out from work. I wish I could be the type of wife who, when I heard something like that, could find some semblance of joy in that news. But I'm the type of person who thinks..."GRRREEAATTT!!! Another person I'll have to pick up after, and another person who just takes and takes and takes from me as though I am a never ending well of giving."

These impromptu vacations of his always involve "lists of things to do" which would be great if he took that list and did those things himself, but that's not what happens. What happens is that there becomes this constant talk of "togetherness" which translates into me doing more than my share of the work because I do things quickly while he seems to take on a supervisor role handing out critiques on how I'm coming along with whatever job he's got lined up for me. Totally not fun. His vacations mean more work for me and I don't understand why he doesn't understand why this would not excite me. These are the times when the ticking inside my head gets progressively louder by the day and because no one can see or hear it, it always comes as a surprise to everyone when I explode from the frustration of it all.

I, too, know why the caged bird sings.

Today he calls me and says, "Hey, how about next week we go room to room and deep clean everything and throw away stuff we don't need."

So, yeah, I'm really looking forward to THAT!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Searching for something

To combat monotony in my life, I have taken to cooking new things. Every week I ask around the house for suggestions and someone always comes through with an idea and I make it. I've tried lots of different things and I've had more hits than misses, however I think this is mostly about having a challenge, of doing something different. My life has come to this: I cook for a little excitement, to say I've done something new.

My youngest has only 1 more day of high school left. I thought by now my heart would be breaking with sadness for all the time that has slipped by without me really noticing. I thought tears would constantly be at the ready to fall and fall some more. But here I am, not really all that wistful or sad. I cannot cry for what I am losing because I need to focus on everything good that is in front of her. There is a world out there with its arms open wide just waiting for her. I pray the world is gentle with her, with all of us she leaves behind.

I had a bit of a meltdown last weekend and if I must say so myself, it was not one of my brightest moments. I feel this ticking inside my head sometimes, like a bomb just waiting to go off at the smallest of provocations. I've learned to turn it off a good deal of the time, but there are moments when it gets the best of me and I lose control. Afterwards I feel like such a loser--like I will never be able to rise above the pettiness of life and people because inevitably, I engage in these despicable scenes where I don't know who I am anymore. And I could not even tell you what was really wrong, just that everything felt too much and one wrong word sent me over the edge. I resolve not to do it again until I do it again then feel rotten for my lack of self-control.

I'm still searching for the truth in religion, God, faith, church, life. I have this idea that the truth should be simple, clear, static. I think that the truth should not be subjective, depending on a particular agenda we might have inside our heads. It's like molding a truth to what you want it to be. That's not real. But I'll read something about church/God/religion and it will strike such a chord with me and I think that I have found the truth and then I'll read something else that makes more sense and completely leave the first truth to stand behind the second truth I've just found. So I think--what is it? What is the truth? Are there as many truths as there are people in this world, or is there one truth that I must dig and dig to find? And will that truth still be the same 10 years from now, because I want it to be the truth 10 years from now and not have to find out that I've had faith in something false. So is it that I'm afraid to be wrong--or wrong again? I think I am. It's not like I haven't been wrong a million times before. It's not such a big deal. If I'm wrong, life will go on and I'll just believe in a new truth. I should be happy that my heart is open to hearing everything and sifting through it all to try to find what I am looking for.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The ongoing list of things I don't want to do, but do anyway

Things I do this week that I don't want to do but do anyway because I LIVE IN REALITY AND REALITY REQUIRES IT OF ME.

This will be a list that I add to as the days go by. I asked my daughter to move her car up the driveway so that another car could fit in. Well, you might have thought I was asking her to drive to Alaska to get me some ice what with all the huffing and puffing that went along with her moving her damn car. It took all of about 3 minutes but I was disturbing her "movie watching." Boo hoo hoo. Life is SO rough! So here's my list starting Sunday night:

Folded and put away about 20 towels.
Just threw in another load of laundry at 10:00 PM.
Listening to my husband bitch about seeing a spider--OMG! Whatever will we do? (I walked over and stomped the life out it).
Sorted through a bunch of socks.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Into the light

Over the weekend, I had several moments when I had to actively fight being hateful, and I lost. It's not my nature to be hateful. I think I am the exact opposite of hateful, and because of that, it's easy for other people to view me as a doormat you stand on to wipe away any dirt you might have picked up on the bottom of your shoes. The people who love me think the well of my giving is bottomless--that I exist for that purpose alone. I think when it gets to be too much I have to scream for them to hear me, see me. And then they behave for a couple of days like I am a queen and then after that we repeat the whole process until I get hateful and start screaming again. I've never mapped out these episodes but I'd estimate a guess that this happens every couple of months. It's good to know that I can count on life never changing.

I think I mentioned before about how I decided to read the Bible and it has been a very sobering experience for me. Being raised a Catholic, I remember most of the stories, but what has surprised me is how much I missed as I left it to other people to interpret for me. I don't want to sound fanatical or anything, but I feel as though the experience of reading the Bible has changed my life. The messages of God in the Bible are very clear but they get lost in man's translations. Furthermore, God stresses that man should NOT translate his words because God says what he means and means what he says, so no translation is necessary.

The Catholic church has done lots of rewriting of the laws of God, and this is not something I recognized until I took the time to read the Bible. I followed where I was led and never questioned anything. This is just one more example of how I went along with what other people said to me or wanted for me. I have a long history of doing that and I am not sure why. I'm the "go along gal" even when there is voice in my head telling me to run in the other direction. It's not that I like sabotaging my life, but you might think so by some of the choices I have made.

Anyway, without going into a whole big spiel, I think I am finding truth inside the Bible, and the truth I am finding is throwing my life into a bit of a turmoil. I have to wrestle with the fact that I have been deceived by a church that has moved away from serving God. I mean--I didn't even realize that the Catholic church had changed God's ten commandments! But they did! And I just followed along reciting the Catholic church's altered commandments as if I was speaking the truth. And I felt self-important and superior to anyone who did not have the same beliefs. I did not know any better--but is that really a good enough excuse? I don't think so.

No one really likes the new me who keeps quoting God's words and telling everyone that the truth they believe is a lie. But it's like I can't stop. I want them to see what I see. And then I'll panic and think that maybe this new truth I'm believing is just another deception, another way that I'll end up being wrong about everything. That's what finding new truths has done to me--it has made me question everyone and everything.

I feel like the story of all of our lives has been written already and our purpose is to try to make the best choices that put us in the best position for peace in our next life. Obviously I have some things to work on. I am a work in progress. I am potentially awesome.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Positivity early in the morning

My daughter was gathering her things to get ready to go to school and my husband yells out to her:

"Sara, drive carefully. There's lots of nuts out driving this time of the morning. Keep your wits about you. And be on the lookout for any end-of-the-year Columbine-type episodes at school. Have a great day!"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The nerve of some people

While I was on vacation a week ago, we stayed at a really nice hotel with a pool that was located right on the ocean. We had an ocean front room and it was simply heavenly waking up, opening the shades and seeing the beautiful ocean right there in front of me. I would sit on the balcony late at night and listen to the waves crashing and think about how much I would like to live there forever. I belong near the ocean. Case closed.

During the day, my daughter would spend a lot of time at the pool because she doesn't especially like the annoyance of sand. From the beginning of the week there was a group of women (about 4 of them) who would come to the pool with their children (each woman had at least 3 kids) and they would hog a whole section of the pool area with all their pool/beach/snacking/drinking paraphernalia. This wasn't a quiet little group as you can imagine. There was lots of drama coming out of that corner, including, but not limited to: the women downing beers as early as 10:30 AM (who watches the kids when you're partying with the gals???), balls being misfired and landing on other hotel guests who were minding their own business, fights between the kiddos while the moms were focusing on their tans, and there was even an episode of a MISSING CHILD where they could not locate one of the children for about an HOUR. Come to find out, the little boy had wandered to the BEACH by himself to play in the ocean. The horror! I would need to be sedated for the duration if something like that happened on my watch, but this group merely gave the lad a little time out then he was sent back into the pool to splash and make noise to his heart's content.

This group could give soap operas a run for their money what with all the over-the-top-nonstop-nonsense. Both my daughter and I wondered where the husbands were because we never saw any men in the group. Then, on the second to the last day a man showed up and spent about an hour with the group--but that was it. I assumed they must be out fishing or golfing or whatever it is men do while avoiding taking care of their kids and hanging out with their wives on these "group" vacations. I've never really understood the need for group vacations. I know people who NEVER go on vacation unless they have another family (or two or three) going along with them. I don't get it. I keep thinking these people cannot stand to be alone with their own families for any extended period of time if they have to have "buffer" families along. Maybe I'm just an oddity. I only want my family around, and sometimes even THEY are too much for me, let alone 2 or 3 other families.

On the second to the last night there, my daughter and I headed out to dinner and as we were turning out of the parking lot of the hotel, I happened to look across the street and saw this entire group of people camped out at a house (a rental home). There were 5 cars outside the home, and everyone was on the front porch having some sort of gathering. I said to my daughter, "Is that the noisy group of people that have been at the pool all week?" (I thought I must be seeing things because if they were renting that house for vacation, there was NO WAY they should have been hanging out at the hotel pool). She said, "Yep, that's them."

Huh? I couldn't it believe it. I had noticed that a couple of the women had brought along beach chairs for when they went to the beach (from the pool), and I wondered why they would do that since we were given complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas if we stayed at the hotel. I decided to keep an eye on the cheaters the next day so that I could confirm their nefarious pool/beach shenanigans.

So the next day, I watched them at the pool, then they'd go to the beach (and they would take along their chairs), they'd go into the hotel and use the bathrooms. We ended up going out for a while and when I came back later that evening I noticed the troop marching over the stairs from the beach. The women instructed the kids to jump into the pool to wash the sand off, and they also rinsed their boogie boards off in the pool. Then the group took their belongings and made a beeline across the street to their vacation house for the evening. I kid you not.

As far as I am concerned, those people were stealing. They were using a pool for free that everyone else had to pay for. And the thing I couldn't get over was how brazen they all were. If I was blatantly stealing something, I think I would at least try to be as inconspicuous as possible and yet this little party did nothing to blend into the background--in fact, they behaved as though they owned the place. Who acts like this? Who thinks it is a good idea to teach your children that it's ok to be dishonest in this manner? Do they not have consciences? Don't they think it's important to do the right thing, especially when little eyes are watching?

I learn something new every day, and some days I learn more than one thing. Lately, the things I've been learning about people leave me wondering what the hell is wrong with some people.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Brighter than sunshine

I came home from the grocery store Sunday afternoon to find my son sitting on a bench outside the front door armed with a hose and one of those car cleaning mitts. I asked him what he was doing and he explained that my husband was being driven crazy by a tiny bird that kept coming up to the brass kick plate on our front door. Apparently, the little bird could see it's reflection in the kick plate and hopped around cheep-cheeping at himself. So I was "But what are YOU doing?" And he told me that he was waiting for the bird to return so that he could spray it with water or toss the mitt at it so that it would go away. This is what I live with. I went inside and I had to hear all about the terrorist bird (about the size of baseball) who would NOT stop making a racket while my husband was trying to watch TV. I told him to turn up the volume. I mean, REALLY. The little bird wasn't hurting anything or anyone. He was just hopping along the front step looking at himself and cheeping merrily and we have to immediately institute plans to murder the poor thing.

This reminds me of the time years ago when we were taking a road trip back home with the kids. It was a 18 hour trip and about 10 minutes into the ride, the kids were in the back screeching at each other at the top of their lungs. I had brought a book to immerse myself in and I just tuned them out but my husband went ballistic and pronounced that "Everyone better knock it off and remain silent for the rest of the trip!" Now that's reality for you!

The bird hasn't been back all week while my husband has been out of town so let's see if he makes a reappearance to start harassing him this weekend again.

I can't believe it's mid April already. Time is flying. My youngest daughter is getting ready to graduate from high school and I thought I'd be truly depressed by the prospect of her leaving to go off to college, but strangely, I'm just so excited for her and how well she has done. I really have been blessed to have children who have remained grounded in a world where it's so easy to get distracted by excesses everywhere. She has been especially hard hit by the loss of friendships due to their involvement in drinking,drugs and just plain rebellion towards EVERYTHING and she has managed to pick herself up and find new friends and a new way of life without them. She has kept her eye on the prize and I am unendingly proud of her for that.

Monday, April 13, 2009

There you go with hope again

I spent the last week sitting on a beach staring out at this awe-inspiring ocean.

I keep this memory close and take it out when I need to remember just how beautiful life can be.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This is morning, it's when I spend the most time thinking about what I've given up

Sometimes I feel invisible. Here's just one example: An email was sent out to a group of people asking if someone would step up and do the job of someone who would not be able to. I happened to be online at the time the email came in and I answered right away that I would be more than happy to cover for that person. I hit reply all, so that everyone would know and everyone could relax and not worry about stepping up to help. About a day later (today, in fact) another person on the email list piped in that he would do the job. Next thing I know, a flood of people replied how awesome this guy was to offer to help. I was like--WTF? I'm just so sick of people and the stupid games they play. Why can't anyone act normal? I know that I don't give off an air of liking to be dismissed and yet...there I was being dismissed by these people for no reason. Joe f-ing Blow is so awesome and I am---invisible, I guess.

Then I email my parents to see how they're doing and I filled them in on what's going on here. I also jumped up on my soapbox and did a little political ranting because I am just so incredulous about our precarious state of affairs as far as the economy is concerned (I believe the government will go bankrupt at some point), and the response I get back from them went something like this..."glad to hear you're doing well, life is filled with disappointments, the better you get used to it, the better off you'll be."

Ok. I didn't mention a thing about being disappointed. Hell, I'm ANGRY, not disappointed. I never get the feeling that they know anything about who I really am. For Christmas this past year they sent me a granny bathrobe and a gold pin thing that you see old ladies wear on the outside of their jackets. I am NOT KIDDING. I've never seen anything like it in my life. When I opened the gift, me and the kids started heart-attack laughing over it and I couldn't stop. I laughed so hard that I knocked off a Hallmark angel from the table next to me and the head of the angel broke off. I figured that was a sign that perhaps I shouldn't have been disrespectful of the gifts I was given because I really loved that angel. Immediately I stopped laughing.

Anyway...if I had to assign a theme to my childhood years it would be that "life is filled with disappointments" line. My childhood was great, but what was pounded into my head from an early age was this: be seen and not heard, don't question anything, dream small, aim low, follow the leader, be a good child of God, be good, color inside the lines, keep anger in check, fighting is pointless, live INSIDE the box, give other people control over your life, surrender. It was like living with someone's hands around my throat squeezing the life out of me bit by bit. It's taken me forever to knock those bastard hands off from around my neck. Forever.

I am running on anger now. It's behind everything that I do. It bubbles up just beneath the surface and is the motivating factor that keeps me moving. I want to break things. Then I want to stomp on top of the pile of things that I have broken for good measure. I keep the anger stoked by reminding myself of all the different ways I am asked to deal with asinine people and situations while keeping a straight face as I'm dealing with it all. I have to keep the fire alive or I am liable to give into a paralyzing sadness where I won't want to do anything.

Some of the anger is self directed because I'm finding out late in the game that I have been had by people I've trusted all of my life. I refused to believe evil exists and now I see it everywhere. I am having a crisis of faith--not in God, because He remains a constant, but rather in people, in humanity. It's like I've been sleepwalking my entire existence and have finally woken up and now I am on the war path. My mind is alert, questioning, and above all else, angry.

So I wake up angry, all day long I am angry and I even go to bed angry. It's with me all the time. Sometimes I'll wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and it is still there with me in the quiet darkness reminding me that I need to stay vigilant lest I fall back into that mindless, listless sleep again where I can be deceived and not even know it.

There is a reason I am alive right here, right now. There is a plan for me written somewhere and it's important that I wake the f*&k up and stay awake to find out what that plan is. My anger keeps me on the path to searching out my destiny. It my fuel. It keeps me going.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Congress passes Hiltler Youth Service Bill

Expanded Americorps has an authoritarian feel

Is anyone else besides me alarmed by Obama and our government yet???? They've stripped the "mandatory" wording from the bill, but as we all know, it can be slipped back in at any time (Friday evenings after everyone else is asleep). Get your kids prepared to go off to indoctrination camp because it's coming (uniforms included!!!)!

He promised this BEFORE the election, then wiped it off his website when it was given too much negative attention in the blogosphere--however, now that the teleprompter narcissist is in power, the bill was not only added back on, it was PASSED without hardly a word of it being mentioned in our mainstream media (which is there just to feed propoganda to the unsuspecting public--what you don't know won't hurt you and all that...).

This is the kind of bill that is needed when a child does not have parents who puts him/her first in their lives. This is the kind of bill that is needed to keep kids out of trouble--which is something that PARENTS should be doing all on their own without government interference. The wording in this bill is astoundingly creepy.

All I can say is my children will be participating in this little program OVER MY DEAD BODY.

Read the text of the bill HERE.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday at the park

I have decided I am tired of being phony. It takes too much effort. I used to feel the need to fill silences with lots of meaningless words, asking questions I don't care to know the answer to, agreeing to things I detest, laughing at things that aren't funny--you know the drill.

I am clear on what matters in my life, on the people that matter to me. I never have to be phony around my family--ever. I can be my truest self and they love me anyway. I never have to be anything more than who I am and I never feel the need to fill the quiet with mindless noise.

There are people who teach me things without ever being aware of the lessons they are teaching me. These are mostly people I abhor for one reason or another, but they leave me thinking, questioning, assessing, and ultimately changing the way I move through my life.

Too much time has been spent trying to bend myself in ways that are contrary to who I am. I think of all the wasted time I will never get back and that is more than enough reason to put an end to the phoniness once and for all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On hair, love, politics, and God

"There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures. There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade. And finally of course, there are times that are cold, and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream. Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are.”~Chogyam Trungpa

I chopped off most of my hair today--the first time in about five years. They divided my hair out into four sections of ponytails then cut them off. The hair will go to Locks of Love. It makes me so happy giving it all away. I told my daughter that the best thing about getting it cut today was throwing my purse over my shoulder and not having my hair get all tangled up in the strap. I feel much lighter now, like my head is floating above my shoulders.

I know that a lot of time has passed since I last posted but I have not felt like writing lately. I've had this heavy heart for a while in terms of our world and where we're headed and when I'm troubled like I've been, it helps me to turn inward to try to find peace. I've had this horrible feeling about what's going to happen to the United States--and feel like we're not heading in a direction that I feel is good for us. I believe our government is filled with people who do not have our best interests at heart and it's hard being at the mercy of people I mistrust with every fiber of my being. I've wanted to do something--anything--to make sure that my family survives. I believe the financial crisis is much worse than what our traitorous government tells us and so I've been trying to prepare by doing things NOW that I hope will help us down the line. I've started storing food and other sorts of supplies in preparation for the worst. If the worst does not come, I can always use the stuff I've bought anyway. I'm not typically an alarmist, but I listen to my heart when it tells me something is wrong. I think if I listen to my heart with pure intentions, then my heart will not fail me.

I bought a large print Bible the other day (because my sight is failing me) and plan on reading it cover to cover. I grew up Catholic but have not been inside a church for more years than I care to tell you. I went to Catholic schools all my life but after I left home, I decided that there was too much about the church that rubbed me the wrong way. I know too many people who go to church on Sundays believing themselves to be holier than thou, yet on the remaining six days of the week, they are as hateful as the day is long. I never felt any connection to God inside a church for some reason and because I did not attend mass anymore, I figured that I was knowingly signing a one way ticket to hell for myself (Catholic guilt will do that to you).

But even though I stopped going to church, I never stopped having a relationship with God, in fact, I think my connection to Him grew stronger the minute I stopped forcing myself to pray with a church full of people. And now with everything that is happening all around me, I felt compelled to go back and read God's words to see how I can apply them to my life--to find answers that I know are inside if I take the time to read them carefully. I feel slightly ashamed that I am such a voracious reader and yet I've never read the entire Bible. I've sat in churches and allowed other people to tell me their interpretations, but I've never challenged myself to seek the wisdom I know I will find there on my own. Rest assured I am not getting all God squad on everyone because I still manage to sin up a storm on a daily basis without even trying.

Spring is almost here and I am loving seeing the color come back into the world. There are miracles everywhere when I stop long enough to notice them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

You're as subtle as a brick in the small of my back

The truth is that I know the answers to all the questions I am always asking myself, or at least most of them.

The truth comes back to me, and the choices that I made and make, and really that is all there is to it.

It's all so simple, and I like to make it complicated, mysterious, unique just to me, when it is not.

When I need answers I should just look in a mirror because the answer is always me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Break a window, burn a souffle, scream a lullabye

I have it in my head that other people lead more normal lives than I do. By that I mean when other people get in the car to go out to eat with their families, I'm sure the trip to wherever they're going doesn't end up in shouting matches like it does here--where I have to hold myself back from opening my door and jumping out into the road just to get away from all of them. Normal in that when someone suggests to their father that he might be passing by the dry cleaners where he needs to drop off his shirts for work, everyone doesn't end up listening to a tirade about how someone doesn't need anyone telling him how to drive or where to go because he knows everything and takes care of everything.

Normal in that people can agree on one place to go to eat without it being a major production like we always have here--people within a family who can compromise and not always put themselves first because they feel they work the hardest or deserve to make all the decisions for everyone because they earn the money that will buy the food everyone will eat. I want normal people in my life and I don't have normal people in my life, and when I look around me, I think everyone has normal people except me, and I'm jealous of them. I think I started off my life pretty normal then gravitated towards crazy and now I am neck deep in it and I want out even though I know I cannot go.

I know tomorrow I will feel differently, but now, I am beside myself with regret. I don't want out of control yellers who make mountains out of molehills, who fight dirty by bringing up things that have taken place years ago just because it's easier than being normal and letting things go. I'm sick of scab-pickers who feed me the most beautiful words thinking that I will believe in words when there aren't any actions to back them up.

It's the day of love and after attempting to going out to eat with my family, we all came home and went our separate ways because we can't do the simple things without making them difficult and ridiculous and so terribly insane it makes me ashamed to even write it all down. I took the valentine my husband gave me and I went into the kitchen and I got scissors and cut it up into a million pieces and left in by his wallet. It felt cathartic cutting that thing up.

Don't give me a valentine that speaks of love then scream like a maniac about all the things in life that should not matter because that is not the way I have ever operated and if you don't know that by now, then I guess I am living with people who do not know me at all.

And it's moments like this that I wonder how in the world I ended up in this place, in this life with these people. What's the purpose, the message, the life lesson I need to learn that put me right here where I least want to be?

And I could I have gotten it so wrong? How could I have thought I knew that this is what I wanted for my life when I was only 21 years old? And I want so badly to go back and make different choices...ones which do not lead me HERE with a person who finds it so easy to stamp out my light, to leave me lonely.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bring your checkbook

It's tennis time which means that I'm going to have lots and lots of stories about how incredibly ridiculous a simple sport becomes in the hands of "professionals."

I am being bombarded already with flyers telling me how much I will owe for sweat suits, uniforms (they get a new one EVERY YEAR), balls, spirit wear, food, booster dues and sponsorship monies. Economic hard times? Forget about it. Bring your checkbook to the meeting, that's what they have in big bold letters at the top of the flyers.

And again with the fake birthdays. I cannot take the fake birthdays anymore!!! I wrote about this last year but I think I deleted it because I didn't want anyone from her team to find it and read it...but the coach assigns every girl a fake birthday if her birthday doesn't fall during the tennis season so that no one feels left out. Then the parents are asked to bake up treats for the occasion and then they all sing happy birthday even if their birthdays are in August. I honestly have never seen anything as silly as this in all my life. I just took a quick scan of the fake birthdays (all scheduled out on a calendar!) and every single girl has a fake birthday assigned to her except MY DAUGHTER who does have a birthday that falls within the tennis season.

It makes me want to scream. This is what is wrong with kids these days. We have to make everything even stevens even if your kid sucks and my kid is spectacular--they will both get an award so no one goes home sad. Boo hoo hoo. As a another example (not tennis related but along the same lines), for senior superlatives this year they have things like BEST SMILE, BEST PERSONALITY, DAZED AND CONFUSED, and MOST ATHLETIC but do you think they have anything that says SMARTEST? Nope. We do not want to celebrate academic achievement IN SCHOOL now would we? Don't get me started because I can go on for days...

Last year we had to donate to a food fund then were also asked to bring something each week to boot and when I questioned them about the money they went into a long spiels about the cost of food as if I am some sort of idiot. Of course I know how much food costs, but do we really need to bring a huge can of Twizzlers and peanut M&M's for the players? If they cut out the crap they'd have plenty of money for food. Let's use a little common sense, people. These moms go crazy about the food and I'm a mom myself and I am telling you I DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT. They police the food and watch how much you take and it's all so petty. I stay as far away as possible from these people because I have a habit of saying what's on my mind and that doesn't go over too well with the politically correct folks who love appearing virtuous while deep inside they are as mean as the day is long.

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll be back with more shortly!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January is 31 days too long

I'm waiting for January to be over. I know. It's not like once February rushes in that things will magically change and life will be better. I just find January hard, have found it hard for years. It hasn't helped that I've been sick, and that the sun hasn't been shining as much. I was born to have the sun beating down on me, shining on me. I'm not sure of much, but I'm quite sure of that.

I've lived in both the north and the south so I know for a fact that I thrive better where there is lots of sun. I remember moving to the south and being amazed at all the sun I had missed all my life. When I woke up in the morning I couldn't believe it was sunny almost everyday (when I lived in Florida). I'd open the blinds and think, "It's sunny again?" It was like I had died and gone to heaven. I will always love Florida for the sun and for making me feel like I was on vacation every single day that I lived there.

I can't think of anything else to write that I haven't written before so I won't bore y'all or waste your time any further. I'm living. I'm alive. Life is good.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Things I'm tired of...

Here are a few things I am tired of:

People constantly referring to themselves in the third person. Enough already. Say ME, not Her. Say I, not SHE. I have had it up to my eyeballs with this third-person writing crap. Is this the new thing and I'm just out of the loop? If so, I'll remain on the outside. I don't know why it's annoying me so much but honest to God I feel like smacking people who constantly write in this manner.

People who decide it's a good idea to buy a present for someone then solicit funds from everyone because they think it's such a great idea and that you must want to be a part of it. Newsflash: I don't want to be a part of it. I don't want my husband to be a part of it. At work they are always after him for money for this one and that one...for birthdays, Christmas and whatthefuckever they can create, and I am just sick to death of it all. Why do we have to contribute money for a present for the secretary of my husband's boss? HUH? She doesn't do any work for my husband. I type all his shit. Nobody has a collection for me so why should we contribute money for her? It grates on my last nerve.

Also, let me add to this group, people who ask me and my husband to buy crap from their kids when we have three kids of our own, TWO in college and one who will be in college next year. Do you think we have $20 extra dollars to spend on an apple pound cake to support your kid's baseball team? No we do not but my husband buys it anyway because he doesn't want people to think we're cheap. Okkkkkkkkkkk. Every month it's something new. ENOUGH! I never, ever had my kids sell things to other people because I know how expensive it is and yet here we are now stuck with people who want to take, take, take all the time and don't think for a minute about how rude they are being by putting us on the spot. I'm beginning to seriously hate these people.

Birthdays right after the holidays. I know it's not their fault, however, I find myself hating January and February because of all the birthdays that keep popping up. The whole thing wears me out--what with the lists of things people want when they already have more than enough and then I feel bad because like I said before, they shouldn't be penalized for being born right after Christmas. I can't enjoy their birthdays, though. It feels like I'm in the middle of great big avalanche. It feels like I'm drowning.

People who join gyms then come home and eat a whole plate of brownies.

The fact that the price of a barrel of oil keeps going down, yet our gas prices have been gradually creeping up these past two weeks. We were at an all time low a couple of weeks ago at $1.39. Within two weeks it's shot back up to $1.79. WTF? I know that's still cheap, but WTF? The news reports that the price is creeping up so that when summer rolls around we won't have prices spike up quickly. HUH? It's fucking January!!!! And then I start hearing how Congress wants to put a tax on gas to get it back up to $3.00 so that we'll all start driving fuel efficient cars that no one wants to drive while THEY'RE tooling around in major gas-guzzlers. This is America. I want to drive what I want to drive and not what some out of touch elitist bullshitter wants me to drive so that they can feel better about themselves. The hypocrisy of these people is mind boggling. I am convinced that the purpose of the new administration will be to kill the middle class. I am not being over dramatic. I truly believe this. I will be happy if I am proven wrong but I doubt that's going to happen. They do not want working hard to pay off for us. It's too discouraging for me to think too much about.

My husband asking me to come sit by him while he watches television. Huh? He wants me to sit by him and watch him watch tv. That makes no sense. He doesn't want to watch what I want to watch, he wants me to sit beside him and be happy watching him watch what he wants to watch. This makes me think that he thinks I'm the sort of simple minded person who doesn't mind being bored out of my mind for extended periods of time when in fact, I do mind that VERY MUCH. I usually say no but he keeps asking me anyway. I don't ask him to come sit beside me as I read on the computer. It wouldn't occur to me to even ask that and I don't understand why he continues to ask me to watch him watch tv. Perhaps I give off the impression that I am an airhead, but I don't think so.

The cold. I live in the south because I love being hot. I sat watching my daughter play tennis today in the bitter cold. I wanted to sit in the car but then she asked me if I was coming out to watch her and so I told her I'd be out as soon as I saw her match begin. An hour and a half into the match, snowflakes started falling softly out of the sky and we all looked up, and for a moment, I did not hate that my feet were frozen numb or that I could not stop shaking in an attempt to keep myself warm. I haven't seen snow in years. It felt like a small, secret miracle sent to make me happy when my heart was frozen over along with the rest of me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Off the top of my head

"An honest confession is good for the soul, but bad for the reputation." ~Thomas Dewar

I listen to the same music all the time. I think my IPOD songs tell you a lot about who I am. I never remember my dreams at night but if I fall asleep during the day (rarely) my dreams are vivid. The two recurring dreams I have are of all my teeth falling out while I try to catch them in my hands and of me flying. I love the dreams where I fly. I get angry when I think people aren't listening to me. During Christmas vacation, my youngest daughter started speaking to me in this squeaky, baby voice and I cannot tell you how much it feels like nails being dragged up and down a blackboard. I know it's irrational but it makes me want to scream bloody murder. I want to tell her to knock it off, but I don't. Lately it seems like everyone uses me as a sounding board for all the things that suck in their lives. I find myself tuning them out and you would not believe how easy it is for me to do that. I like eating Kellogg's Honey Smacks out of the box. I'm sick of making the same things for dinner all the time but change is met with resistance here in this house. While I'm making dinner, all I can think about is how much I want to get the mess I'm making cleaned up. I saw a report on Fox News the other day about how more and more adult children are moving back home after college and how married couples don't get to have that "empty nest" syndrome anymore. It depressed me because THAT IS MY LIFE. I can't imagine a time when one or more of them won't be here and I think if I knew this a long time ago, I would have waited to have children because at least then I could look back and remember a time when the world revolved around me, when I got to be first. I love the smell of hyacinths. Whenever I see them I have to stop and smell them and for a few minutes afterwards, I am happy. I think it's great that the scent of a flower can make me happy. I really don't see what the big deal is about Tina Fey. I just finished The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, and I think I will love that book forever. I went out for lunch yesterday and had Chinese food. My fortune said something about "not spending foolishly--and to be frugal." I hate fortunes like that even though I don't place a lot faith in fortune cookies. I guess I'd rather not be lectured while I'm at lunch and that's what it feels like. I'd rather be honest than politically correct. I live inside my head a lot. Sometimes I'm mean and I know I'm being mean but it's like I can't help myself. Mostly, though, I'm incredibly nice. I stopped watching Oprah because I hold her partially responsible for getting Barack Obama elected. I remember her urging him to run a number of years ago when he was a guest on her show and, of course, he said he wouldn't because he was too inexperienced and look what happened. I curse Oprah for that. I used to think that writing letters when I'm unhappy about something or someone was an effective way to try to change things but the last 4 letters I've written have taught me that all I'm really doing is wasting my time. I think marriage is harder than motherhood. I wish I could get back all the time I've wasted trying to get people to like me or think that I am worthy. If I find out someone has hurt one of my children, all I want to do is seek revenge on their behalf. I take burning hot showers when I can't get warm. I always wear socks to bed and have to have my hair in a high ponytail or it feels like my hair is choking me. I think the guy across the street is a drug dealer. He moves these gigantic speakers in and out of his basement on a regular basis and that's where I imagine he stores his drugs. I know a little about almost everything because I read so much. I learn by doing. I force myself to drink lots of water when I'd rather be drinking Diet Pepsi, although Pepsi's new logo, which reminds me of Obama, is surprisingly making it easier for me. I love to bake but I don't usually eat the things I bake. I don't know how to break the habit of wanting to please others, to make other people happy. I do it unconsciously and it's only afterwards that I'm left to think what was I thinking... and I feel guilty for feeling angry at those people who take my kindnesses for granted and allow me to always put them first even though I'm the one who has taught them that it's ok to think of me as an afterthought.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Vulnerable, All-Knowing

You know those employee team building exercises where you climb a ladder then fall backwards into the arms of your co-workers down below? I'm not the type of person who could easily do that. Even if you promised me the world, even if my co-workers were all muscle-bound workout freaks who could pump three times my weight without breaking a sweat, even if you told me I would lose my job if I did not do it, I know that I would have the hardest time letting go and trusting them to catch me. Someone would have to push me. They would have to contend with me gripping whatever I could grip in order not to drop. I would put up a terrible fight. I would have the hardest time voluntarily letting go.

I don't like being a passenger in cars anymore, I want to be the driver. It drives my husband crazy the way I am always gasping and shouting "red light!" or "pedestrian 10 feet ahead" or "slow down!" I hang onto the ceiling hook sometimes, and I do this without even knowing I am doing it which drives him all the more crazy until he is shouting back at me that I need to shut up and allow him to drive in peace! and hasn't he kept me safe for years? and what's my major malfunction anyway???? I have no answer for this. I'm afraid if I don't do my shout-out-warnings that something will happen and then we'll all be sorry. I like to err on the side of safety.

I have days when I feel fragile from the moment I wake up. It's like instead of being whole, I'm all these little pieces that are threatening to splinter apart and I'm afraid if I start breaking that I will never be able to catch all that is falling away. I move through the world carefully on those days until the feeling of fragileness disappears. I guess you could say I get through them by living through them because I haven't found a better way around it.