Day 195: Time

Time is a strange thing.  Sometimes you can feel it ticking away minute by minute and when you look up at the clock you’ll find that your internal clock was in keeping with the “official” external clock.  Other times, not so much.  How many times have you looked up at the clock, expecting it to be a certain time and it’s actually an hour earlier than you were hoping it would be…like when you’re at work and you want nothing more than to go home?  Or when you’re out with friends, having a wonderful time and you suddenly realize it’s 1:00am and you have to get up early for work the next day? Time is definitely relative. If you’re having a great time, it seems to rush by but when you’re bored it drags by so slowly.Remember when we were kids and Christmas was a month away? It might as well have been a year away. But the last month of summer vacation before school reconvened might as well have been a single day. My mom always told me that time seems to go by faster the older you get and i have discovered over the last few years that she was right. I think that it’s because of the whole relativity thing. When you’re young, you have your whole life in front of you so you don’t feel rushed to accomplish things. Whereas, at my age, the finiteness of time is so very real. You begin to realize that if you’re going to accomplish the things that you’ve dreamed of then you’d better start busting your ass to get them done.That’s how I feel about my dream to be published. If I don’t finish Rapture in a relatively short time, its publication will never happen.That’s a lot of pressure and it’s a bit uncomfortable. So I have to keep reminding myself that my time hasn’t run out yet and just keep writing and believing in myself. My time on earth has always been finite…it’s not something that just happened. So, in reality, my 59th year is really no different than my 29th.I’m just more aware of time’s passage. And that’s not a bad thing.

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Day 194: Easter

Easter is a time of rebirth and renewal so I feel that it is the perfect time for me to do both.  Something has been stirring inside me for a month or…it’s not unlike being in labor and waiting to birth something.  It’s had to gestate until now so that it can emerge fully formed.  I’ve been feeling restless and have been nesting in preparation for its arrival.  I won’t say it’s a “new” me, just a more realized version of myself.  I can’t say that it hasn’t caused me some anxiety because this honestly feels like a “do or die” thing.  I’m not ready to let my dreams die nor am I ready to let my physical health further decline.  It’s just time.  I’m making my stand and I’ll be damned if I will back down ever again.  Sometimes the hardest battle we have to fight is within ourselves.  I have just been existing for far too long and now it’s time to live, create, enjoy.  It’s time for me to become ME.

Happy Easter!    

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Day 193: Magical Writing Haven

I love my Magical Writing Haven even though it is a bit cramped.  I am still struggling with the thought of getting rid of all of my card making stuff but I really need to do it.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve made anything.  Plus, to be honest, I’m not that good at it…especially when you consider all of the money I’ve sent on supplies, dies, embossing folders, accessories, etc…  All of this should belong to someone that has a passion for it.  I would keep the papers, punches, stamps, inks, and embellishments because I can use them for other things but the rest needs to go.  I will either sell it or donate it to a senior center.  I will never get back even close to what I have spent on it but sometimes lessons that we learn come with a price tag.  It will open up some room in my haven so that’s a big plus.  We have a city senior center a couple of miles away so I’ll probably call them next week to see if they’d be interested.  Or check with a couple of friends that might like everything or maybe even my granddaughter, Rachel.  I’ll sleep on it.  I’m just excited to think of the space that will open up in here. I’ll have to do some rearranging but that will be fun too since I can do so much with that space.  1 thing about my haven that I love is the big window that I face while writing.  The photo at the top of the page really doesn’t do it justice because it doesn’t show its full width or the true range of colors that I see when I look out of it.  The left side of the photo is washed out because of the angle of the sun that’s shining on it so you can see all of the greenery on that side.  You can see my Winnie-the-Pooh characters that are dancing in midair on the window.  They make me happy.  And there are some dead vines that crept in between the storm window and the interior window last fall.  I kind of like them so I haven’t removed them yet.  There is a bigger window to left that overlooks the back yard which is on the east side of our house.  The view from the window in the photo is the side yard.  It’s on the south side of the house.  It looks a bit like a jungle with all of the trees, shrubs, and vines.  In our yard, we actually have grapevines that are really old and they are as thick as a tree trunk.  I love this acre on which our house sits.  The bad thing about having this view is that it sometimes distracts me from my writing because I’ll start watching the birds and squirrels.  But it’s good to daydream.  But right now I need to go start some laundry then get back in here and work on the Micromovements that are going to keep me on track and then write.        

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Day 192: Plans

Every day I PLAN to write a blog post and to either write or edit something.  In 194 days, I’ve missed 2 or 3 days due to illness/self-care or taking care of Rick so I feel really good about that.  But writing and/or editing hasn’t gone that well.  I am extremely frustrated by that.  I am tired of failing at something that really should be 2nd nature to me.  I love to write, it’s just the getting started part that gets in the way.  There are a few other things in my life that are also begging for change so I am about to embark on a Donna redux.  The 3 main things that I’m looking at changing are writing daily, getting healthier/losing weight, and reducing my spending/debt while saving more.  Basically, I want to be in control of these things rather than letting them control me.  I tend to eat and spend when I’m bored, upset, or depressed.  And, it’s a vicious cycle.  I’m bored so I mindlessly eat too much or impulse buy things I don’t really need so I become depressed and I self medicate by eating or spending more and so on and so forth.  You’d think that the fact that I know this would be enough to make the needed changes but, it’s not.  Logic and emotion are 2 totally separate things and they don’t always play well together.  Well, I’m going to work on getting them to cooperate.  SARK’s Micromovements will play a part in this whole thing.  I’ve been working on that by trying to come up with a way to possibly get all 3 of my issues on 1 Micromovement wheel.  I would like to substitute writing for spending and overeating.  Get bored – write.  Rather than reaching for a bag of chips – grab a pen and notebook instead.  But I know that it won’t be that easy which is why I need the Micromovement wheel and ways to get things down to 5 minutes, or less, chunks of activities.  The genius behind Micromovements is based on the fact that you do anything for 5 minutes.  It gives you a sense of completion and success.  If I tell myself that I’m going to write for 2 hours a day but end up only writing for 10 minutes, I feel like a failure and the next day I might think that there’s no reason to even try because I’m already a failure.  But if I plan to write for 5 minutes and end up writing for 15 minutes then I am an all-star so I’m more likely to write the next day and the day after that.  So I am going to really fine tune my wheel and add rewards for each thing I complete…just not food or a new electronic toy.  I’ll let you know how it goes!           

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Day 191: It Looks Like We’re In for an Exciting Day Here

They are predicting for today and tonight the worst storms that we’ve all year.  Severe thunderstorms, baseball-sized hail and, of course, the ever-present possibility of tornadoes.  If I were at home, I’d be a bit trepidatious but thrilled because our house was built in 1956…4 years before I was born…and it’s down in a little valley so I know it’s a strong house and just a bit safer since it is in the valley.  But I also know that if an F5 tornado hits, unless you’re in a cellar or reinforced room, you’d definitely better get in your bathtub and cover it up with a mattress and pray.  I remember when I was back in grade school and the weather got bad, we’d get beneath our desks and cover our heads.  Of course, all of the classrooms at our elementary school had 1 whole side of the room that was windows so I don’t think that the “duck and cover” system was going to work too well in the event of a serious tornado.  I have a very healthy respect for the storms we get here in Texas but I have very rarely panicked because of it.  My mom, on the other hand, would freak out while dad was calm and collected.  My mom was an alarmist about anything that was outside of her comfort zone and that’s really not a good thing for your children to witness.  She always took everything to the absolute worst possible outcome.  When we were both in grade school, once a week after picking us up…because we’d get snatched by some perv if we walked thru all of the safe neighborhoods to and from school..we’d stop at the convenience store and get a coke and some candy.  1 day my 6 or 7-year-old brother said that he wanted to work in a convenience store…because they had cokes and candy and Slurpees and gum, etc…and instead of just saying something benign she told him that someone would come in, rob, and shoot him dead.  Pretty much any possible career paths we mentioned as children were met with her standard, “you can’t because you’ll die a horrible death” spiel.  That woman could find a way for someone to die no matter what they were doing.  And it wasn’t just die…it was die a horribly painful death.  Fortunately, my dad was the voice of reason but the damage had been done and the die cast by the time I was in junior high.  My mom was basically 1 fear filled pinata.  There were so many things that I wanted to do when I was younger but my mom had caused me to be afraid of everything.  And if she couldn’t fill me with fear about something, she would guilt the hell out of me so I missed out on so many opportunities.  She had the apron strings tied very tightly to us and she never loosened them.  I went through 4 years of JROTC in high school and moved quickly up the ranks.  In my senior year, a Marine recruiter began trying to recruit me.  Hard.  He’d show up during my ROTC class, he’d call my home, and then he made the mistake of showing up at my house 1 day.  My mom totally jumped his shit and told him in no uncertain terms that he was to leave me alone and stop recruiting me.  I never saw him again.  I’ve looked back over the years and thought that I would have excelled in the Corp.  The discipline, camaraderie, the mission, the travel, the education, and, of course, being able to retire relatively early and start a 2nd career.  At 17, I wanted to go to work where my friends were working…fast food or retail.  Nope, I’d get killed by armed robbers.  I wanted to go away to college for my freshman year…nope, I’d be abducted and, you guessed it, killed.  After my second year of junior college, I was offered a scholarship at the American University in Washington, D.C. but my mom guilted into turning it down.  Where would I be now if I’d gone?  Most of my life is made up of the where would I be now if she hadn’t projected her fears and guilt upon me.  The 1 time that I defied her was when I decided to leave my abusive 1st marriage.  I told her for the 1st time that he was abusing me and that I was looking for an apartment.  Her response was that I couldn’t leave him because then who would look after me?  WTF???  I had a full-time and 2 part-time jobs and was the main breadwinner of the house.  She went on…if I lived alone in an apartment, I’d be raped and killed so I needed to move back home.  Nope to that.  I had gone from living with my parents to being married so I wasn’t going to go backward.  I was finally ready to spread my wings and fly.  And I did.  I weathered figurative and literal storms all on my own.  I did stupid things and took risks and lived to tell about it…well, a lot of it.  Some of it will never be told so only the others involved know about those things.  I lived on my own for almost 8 years, dated a lot of different types of people but never got too serious with any of them but remained friends with most of them, partied a little too much, came and went as I pleased, and, basically, grew the hell up.  I always say that I was doing in my late 20’s and early 30’s what most people had done in their teens so I was a bit smarter about the things that I did so I didn’t end up making too many stupid mistakes.  At 31, my mom and I made peace with each other after 30 pretty contentious years.  And she told me later that she was proud of me and who I’d become.  I had proved that I didn’t “need” anyone to take care of me.  I began to understand her better as time passed.  She was raised in a time when women were more submissive and they were wives, homemakers, and mothers.  They were dependent upon their husbands.  They were the “weaker sex.”  Well, bullshit to that!  She actually started bucking that system as she got older.  It was fun to watch.  And, the thing is, my dad actually respected her more when she did that.  She got a job.  She didn’t worry as much about having dinner on the table the second he walked in the door or cooking an elaborate breakfast each morning.  Dad began to do some of the cooking as well as other things that mom had always done.  And when Mom’s Alzheimer’s got really bad, he took care of her.  He’d go get her every day from the assisted living center and bring her home so she could be with Radar, her beloved German Shepherd, and be in more familiar surroundings.  He’d cook and then feed her.  He’d help her in the restroom.  He’d comb her hair and dress her.  He worried about her constantly.  If you’d known my dad say 25 years before this, you would have never guessed that this would have happened.  I wish that mom could have been cognizant of this change in him even for a day.  My dad was pretty lost when she finally passed.  WOW, I’ve kind of taken you on a long trip through my life and it all began because of the impending storms.  I guess that a lot of things happen because of impending storms.  Well, hopefully, this will be a day of intense but not tornadic storms.  And no baseball-sized hail pounding my car and our roof.  Plus, if there’s hail then there’s a good chance that there will be some tornado watches and warnings.  So, fingers crossed!                                                          

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Day 190: It Seems As Though Yesterday Didn’t Happen

I didn’t feel too well on Sunday night and then I woke up feeling terrible yesterday so I stayed home. My gallbladder was on a rampage so there was both pain and an upset stomach. And I just felt awful. I didn’t eat anything and I slept all day long. I did drink a Pepsi and took Pepcid though. I didn’t do a blog post because I just wasn’t up to it. I went to bed early and slept through the night. I feel better today and even made it to work. I’m eating bland right now though until my gallbladder is happier. I’ve had issues with it since I was a teenager and have had flare ups off and on since then. But it’s been pretty calm for quite awhile…that is until I started using Victoza for my diabetes. It has been wreaking havoc on my gallbladder since I began injecting it. I’ve finally decided that I don’t want to deal with it any longer. I don’t want my gallbladder to cause problems with my pancreas or liver. So, I’m done. I’m going to talk to my PCP about whether I should have my gallbladder removed or not. I worry about developing gallstones and then having to have it removed the old fashioned way which is major surgery rather than the easy way that they do it now. Enough of that. I’m going to go to bed early again tonight. I’ll be back tomorrow.

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Day 189: Spring Is So Very Present

Yesterday, we had storms all day.  Nature, with its dark skies, rain, wind, thunder, and lightning, put on an amazing show.  It began very early and continued throughout the night.  But now, it is a gorgeous sunny day with all the critters making full use of the cool sunny weather.  Birds, squirrels, dragonflies, honeybees, and butterflies are now putting on their amazing show.  I have my Paddywax Jane Austen candle burning…it’s gardenia, tuberose, and jasmine…and the scent is so spring-like.  On stormy days, I usually burn the John Steinbeck candle which is smoked birch and amber or my Earnest Hemingway candle which is cardamom, absinthe, and sandalwood.  Of the 3 candles I currently have, my favorite is the Steinbeck candle.  I’ve always liked those “heavier” scents.  My very favorite combination of essential oils that I wear is patchouli and jasmine.  Those are 2 of my very favorite scents.  If I wear actual cologne or perfume, I prefer things like Phlur’s Greylocke or 1 of the many that I have that has a hint of patchouli.  A more sensuous scent, if you will.  Smell is 1 of my strongest senses.  I can smell something and it will take me back to the exact time that I first experienced it.  It will bring a rush of memories…good or bad…to which I physically and emotionally react.  The same thing happens when I listen to music which also brings back a flood of memories.  It’s amazing how our mind and body react to these things…how we can feel the exact emotion that we had originally felt upon experiencing those scents and sounds.  I might laugh or cry, smile or feel regret or a twinge of sadness or a sense of loss, or it might even drag me down into full-blown depression for a while.  Yesterday, I took a musical trip back to the past and it was good for both my heart and soul.  It was not unlike yesterday’s storm that came through and cleared the air of its heaviness and then today’s brilliant sunshiney beauty which is so light and airy.  We live in cycles…up and down and in between, just like the weather.  It’s natural and there’s no way around it.  We just have to experience it as it happens and know that changes are always on the way.  A natural rhythm.  Nothing is permanent because the wheel is always turning.

I just wanted to say that if you’re into scents like I am, you really do need to check out Paddywax’s line of candles.  They have the authors line, apothecary line, and several others.  Every one of the candles that I have purchased, through Amazon, have been amazing.  They are a little pricey but worth it.  They are hand poured soy wax and are made in Nashville, TN.  They are long burning and some are subtle while others are extremely fragrant.  Just search for Paddywax to see all of their candles.

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Day 188: Another Beautiful Rainy Day

I have been setting up my new computer, listening to Tom Petty’s The Best of Everything, The Definitive Career Spanning Hits Collection 1976 – 2016  and watching and listening to the storms.  Storms make me happy.  Even when they are violent, they make me feel peaceful.  It’s as though the rain is washing away all the negative things from inside and outside of me.  The storms have dissipated for now but there are more out west that seem to be heading this way so this evening could be exciting.  But, I do love watching lightning when it’s dark outside.  The computer setup was uneventful even though I couldn’t do exactly what I had planned to do.  1 thing that I truly love about this computer is that the camera actually slides in and out of the top of the computer so that when you’re not using it, you can just push it back down and not have to worry about someone sneaking onto the camera uninvited.  Oh, now the music has changed…Toad the Wet Sprocket.  They are 1 of my favorite ’80s – ’90s bands.  Their album Dulcinea was my favorite album for the longest time.  Something’s Always Wrong is from that album and it is such a deep song…especially if you listen and read the lyrics at the same time to see the “spaces in between”.  Music is such a huge part of my life.  My dad was and my brother is so extremely instrumentally and vocally talented.  I did not receive the instrumental gene but did get the vocal gene, however, I did a lot of damage to my vocal abilities in my 20s.  I sang in local bands and did a little studio backup singing when my brother was working as a sound engineer.  Because of my introversion, in order to be able to really belt out a song onstage, I had to be, let’s just say, drunk on my ass.  I belted so hard and so often while so drunk, that I damaged my vocal cords and, instead of following my doctor’s orders to rest and take care of them, I just kept belting out the tunes because I had more loyalty to the bands than to my own wellbeing.  I usually sang alto but could hit the high notes when necessary.  That is no longer true.  I do okay as long as I stick to the lower registers.  I was young, stupid, and didn’t know any better.  About the only time I sing when others are around is when I’ve had a bit too much tequila, which doesn’t happen that often.  But I’ve been singing today here in my Magical Writing Haven while setting up the computer and listening to the wind, rain, and thunder.  It was a great accompaniment but I’m a little hoarse now.  That happens more often as I get older.  Changes.  I’ll end this on that note. 

 

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Day 187: Some Days…

Some days are everything that you could possibly hope for while others are more like nightmares.  Some race past you while others just sit still like stagnant water.  During the work week, I really like for days to speed by but I want my weekends to just drag slowly past.  But it usually ends up being just the opposite and that sucks because there is always so much that I want to accomplish on the weekends.  I did get a reprieve this weekend because the striping company was going to come out to do our parking lot and the fire lane next door on Saturday but since there a 100% chance of storms and thunderstorms he is going to do it tomorrow after we close.  I can deal with that because Friday is kind of a throwaway because you spend most of the evening just decompressing from the week.  Saturday is the weekend all day long.  Sunday is kind of my pre-Monday, so after about 3:00, it’s also a throwaway day.  I’m busy getting things ready for the week.  But I have a new computer sitting in my Magical Writing Haven in its box and that will be my Saturday.  I love new technology.  I’ve been using my laptop but I wanted a desktop with a 24″ monitor, at least 1 terabyte, and 8 gigabytes of RAM.  I got all of that for a great price direct from Lenovo.  And the CPU is actually in the monitor so I don’t have to worry about finding a space for a separate CPU.  That’s a big help since space in my Haven is extremely limited.  So I am looking forward to Saturday.  Depending upon how late the stripers are here tomorrow night, I’ll probably get started on it when I get home from work.  Or, maybe I’ll work on it a little tonight.  There is some rearranging that will have to be done but not a lot.  But I don’t care how much work it takes because I HAVE A NEW DESKTOP COMPUTER!  I’m hoping that it will make me more excited about writing again.  I will have to migrate files over from my laptop but that’s not too big of a deal since I have a lot of them on a flash drive.  Plus, I have some large capacity drives that I can copy everything onto and upload it in a chunk.  Well, I need to get out of here so I can go home and at least start moving things around in preparation for the unboxing of the computer.  I cannot wait!  Tomorrow will probably drip slowly away.  But that’s just how things happen!                            

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Day 186: Life Goes On…And On and On

That’s not a bad thing except when bad things are happening in your life and you want nothing more than to crawl into bed, pull the covers up over your head and sleep for a few days.  But you can’t because you have a family, work, organizations, etc…,  that are depending on you to do what you’re supposed to be doing.  You have to take care of sick family members, check your child’s homework, earn money to pay the bills, call the plumber, finish that report for your boss, and a multitude of other things.  Then, and only then, can you pull those covers up over your head.  If life weren’t that way, planner companies and self-help programs and authors would go out of business.  I personally have bought more than my fair share of Franklin Covey and Day Runner planners, organization and self-help books and any and everything that might help me stay on track and keep up with my responsibilities.  Some have helped and some were a huge waste of money.  But I’m still on the lookout for that magical formula that will get and keep my life organized and on track.  I’ve found bits and pieces but I’m still looking for everything in 1 planner, book, or program.  I really like Danielle LaPorte’s planner.  It’s based on her Core Desired Feelings.  It gets to the heart of what you desire and how you desire to feel.  And what you need to do to achieve both.  I just got a new planner that is all about working your plan to reach your goal in a year.  Let’s just see how that works.  Fortunately, it’s not dated so you can start at any time.  I plan to start on Saturday.  I’m not giving up on my goal of being a published author so I will keep searching for the best way to get there until I do actually get there!  And I will get there.          

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