Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Comfort of Scarves

Writing, for me, is a way to be honest with myself.  I have so many thoughts swirling around day to day that I often can't distinguish the legitimate ones from the utter nonsense.  I find when the thoughts are just too many and things are a bit over crowded that all I have to do is write.  Somehow, the process of putting thoughts to paper, figuratively speaking, brings truth to the forefront and all the rest seem to fade away.  At least for a moment.  So, today I find myself full of nonsense and in search of a little truth.  Let's see what happens.

Once again my life is requiring some readjusting.  In theory this sounds exciting and there are moments when I have ideas that seem borderline genius, however it is in fact exhausting and not much fun at all.  The reason being that I have run out of new options and find myself forced to pull from previous forms of existence.  There is a part of me that wants to take comfort in the familiar and embrace the past, much like a favorite old sweater.  But there is another part that questions the sanity of this.  Are we not supposed to be moving forward?  How many times have I heard, 'you can never go back'?  Yet, moving forward seems impossible, at least in this place I now find myself.  The new sweaters available don't seem all that well made and I can't stand the current trend of long in the front and short in the back.  I require symmetry.  So, I move towards digging out my old sweater.  Only when I finally locate it, there is a hole in the arm and it appears quite misshapen.  What's a person to do?  Perhaps a nice warm scarf that can double as a blanket.  I am aware that this seems a bit like moving forward, yet it comes with a touch of comfort from the past, which in fact may be my answer.  This is where I find myself today, if I were to be honest. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Almost Optimistic

My world as of late has been comprised mostly of failures, so you can imagine my delight today when I quite unexpectedly had a success.  Now, this success was not life changing or ground breaking, but nevertheless it was a success.  I'm quite aware that I have used the word success four times since beginning this post, but I just don't want anyone to forget that I, in fact, had a success.  Today, I successfully made gluten free sugar cookies that look and taste nearly identical to my regular sugar cookies.  I was so sure they would be a failure that I made an extra batch of the regular so my family would at least have something to decorate. 

This now brings me to my point.  Why do I anticipate failure?  Well, in this instance probably because of my recent record in the areas of family, friends, decorating, pet care taking, education, cooking, & all around living.  But lets not dwell on that.  Let's instead focus on why even in my 'better' seasons I worry about not being up to par.  I could be simplistic about it all and say it's in my nature, that I am a half empty kind of person.  But, really I'm almost an optimist. Contrary to what some of you may be thinking, being an 'almost optimist' does not make me a pessimist. 

Almost optimists like to look at the bright side of things and are even quite cheerful at times, but we have a bit more reality embedded within us than your average optimist.  You see, we know that life won't always work out and that things both good and bad happen in seasons.  We have a built in graph that helps us see the chance of something failing based on previously stored data.  We also realize that success and failure are probabilities, not guaranteed outcomes.  When our internal data shows that we are in a 'bad' season, we, like any other optimist, move forward with plans and ideas.  However, we don't ignore the probability of failure and plan accordingly.  I dare any psychologist to counter this logic that is based in rational thought, not negative energy.  So the next time you plan for failure, ask yourself if you are being a pessimist or an almost optimist.  If your answer is the latter, then I say all is well and carry on. You can always use the extra dough in the refrigerator to make cookies for your gluten tolerant friends and non tolerant enemies.

Monday, December 12, 2011


It has often been remarked that I belong in a different era.  I'm not sure how much of this is just my innate personality and how much is a result of a lifetime study of British period books/movies.  Upon watching yet another Masterpiece Classic, I discovered a new sliver of information to live by.  One must conduct oneself in a manner that is, if not pleasing at the very least, not offensive to others.  So often I am guilty, as way too many of us are, of mistaking frankness with blurting out whatever comes to mind.  One can be frank and honest without saying every thought.  I know for myself that much of what I say needs to be checked.   Therefore, I have devised a list of questions to run randomly through my head during conversation.  If what I am about to say meets with an affirmative, then I should close the mouth that seems to always want to be open.  Feel free to adopt my list of questions, goodness knows we could all use with an occasional check.  And remember, being real doesn't give you the right to offend just so you can have a reputation for being yourself.  After all, just because you are yourself doesn't mean you are well liked.

1.  Is what I am about to say for my own amusement?
2.  Am I about to say something so that I will seem amusing?
3.  Am I trying to fill dead air?
4.  Am I trying to take over the conversation, because clearly I am more amusing then the other person?
5.  Is what I am about to say better left for a diary or Internet journal?
6.  Do I want to end this conversation? (The affirmative answer to this question requires a different response to the one stated above, instead continue talking while ignoring questions 1-5 and chances are they will find a way to escape the conversation, hopefully never to return)
7.  Do I want to have another conversation with this person?

No need to thank me for this bit of wisdom and advice, but feel free to let me know how effective it was in helping you attain a bit of the etiquette so needed in our modern society.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hidden Insight

It seems that I have been causing myself quite a bit of trouble lately.  I'm pretty sure that becoming mute would put an end to most of it.  But, I have yet to come up with a rational pain free way of achieving this.  So, I am doing the only other thing that comes to mind, hiding. 

I realise that this sounds like an unhealthy thing to do, but I beg to differ.  There have been many brave people throughout history that have hidden and come out heroes or at the very least alive.  Okay, so perhaps 'hiding' is a strong word.  I am just one little decision at a time choosing to be alone.  The first time, I said 'no' it felt strange, even wrong.  But, the feelings of rest and peace that came over me as I stayed in my Utopian home (really, check out my pictures on 'More Than Words) made it not only worth it, but my new go to phrase.  "Tansy, do you want to go to dinner and a movie?"  "No."  "Tansy, do you want to walk around downtown, stare at strangers and make small talk?"  "No."  "What about helping your 'friends' only to have them treat you like an indentured servant that is rebelling?"  "No."  Each time I say no, it's like a gift I'm giving myself.

For years, I have worked on improving myself so that I could be a better friend/person.  You see to me friend and person were one and the same.  I thought to be a person that I must also be a friend and a good one at that.  Problem is that most people don't quite see things this way, to them being a person is good enough.  Why go through the trouble of being a 'friend', when you can just take advantage of those schmucks that are giving out friendship and its benefits for free?  The only problem with this is that the 'friends' that are having the life sucked out of them, get worn down pretty quick and start to short circuit.  They no longer have anything to offer, so the 'persons' simply chew them out for being flawed and worthless hoping this will help their 'friends' get back to their 'A' game.  Shockingly, this actually works.  However, on occasion the 'friend' gets smart and realises that they have a choice.  A choice to say 'no', not today.  Today, I choose self respect and a nice cozy hiding spot.  Today, I breathe for myself and maybe a cat or two.

In hiding comes healing, a chance to gain perspective and insight.  Too often we are told that being alone is wrong and even unstable.  But I think pushing on endlessly trying to please others in a headless bird state is wrong and unstable.  I mean headless birds do not make good decisions.  But, people that sit quietly sipping wine while watching Cranford, now those are some insightful people.  I will emerge one day, but not until I have watched a few more BBC miniseries while enjoying my own thoughts and ideas.  Ideas that will  make me a stronger person, but hopefully not a better 'friend'.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Reserve the Right to Change My Mind

I wouldn't be me, if I didn't on occasion change my mind.  That being said, my cat Lily is still with us.  There were several sappy reasons why I couldn't let her go, but it was actually because of  one quite rational reason that she managed to get a 'stay of execution'.   

Here I was being encouraged by my vet to put down a loyal friend because her 'non' terminal disease was difficult to manage.  Based on the information given to me, it did indeed seem daunting and bit painful for both of us. So, I decided with a heavy heart that ending her life was for the best.  However after a few days of some non Paxil worrying and pouting, I decided to conduct some research into her condition.  After all these years, I at least owed her that.  What I discovered (from which you will be spared the details) was that just like in every other area of my life, I don't have to go the traditional path.  Especially, when it offered little to no hope.  Passionate once again and I must say a little indignant over some of the facts, I have begun with the help of a slightly reluctant yet forward thinking young vet a path that already has shown some amazing results.  Lily will not only recover from this illness, but she will no doubt go on to live out her full existence. 

I am quite aware that I will have to let her go one day, but for now I'm grateful  for the extra time that we almost didn't have.

Oh and I realize that my last two posts have been about a cat.  I do apologize that Lily isn't a dog and therefore more universally accepted but, for all her loyalty I felt she deserved at least a couple posts written in her honor. 

Here are three long ago and sappy reasons:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Goodbye Lily

Most of the time, I can find humor even in life's most difficult moments.  Unfortunately, this is not one of those times for me.  Tomorrow I have to put down my dear cat and companion of 14 years.  Now, I realize that I have just lost 14 of my 15 readers, but she truly was a special friend.  From the moment, I let this little feral stray into my house, she has worked diligently to warm her way into my heart.  She hasn't ever been 'normal' and most people never knew I even had her, what with her skittish reclusive behavior.  I never really thought cats could develop traits from their owners, but then she has always been exceptional.   Despite what many would consider a flawed personality, she was loved by my entire family and in return was fiercely loyal and full of an almost human like love.  It is with a heavy and sad heart that I say goodbye.  But, in the words of my 7 year old, "Lily is going to heaven, which is the best place on earth."

Friday, November 18, 2011

This is Just Awkward

I tend to make awkward conversations worse.  It's as if I have this overwhelming need to stop the uncomfortable feelings by over explaining things.  Here is an example: 

Acquaintance: "Wow, your house is amazing!  How do you keep things so clean and neat while having kids and homeschooling?" 

Me: "Well, that's simple; I'm crazy."

Acquaintance: "Oh...", with a perplexed almost scared expression. 

Me:  "Ha ha ha .... no I'm kidding, I'm not crazy.  I just never sit down or rest all day; it's what I do....  Especially after a stressful day, I mean noting calms me down faster than vacuuming." 

Acquaintance:  "So, you never do anything for yourself?" 

Me:  "No, this is what I do for myself...  I can't rest or be happy if things aren't in order...  I mean it's just the way I am; my whole family is this way and only some of us are truly insane." 

Acquaintance:  ".... okay?....." 

I would continue, but it I don't think I could survive the pain of the documentation. 

I've heard it said that life is full of awkward moments.  This is quite a strong statement, what with the implication of the word 'full'. If a jar is full of candy, then one assumes that all there is in the jar is candy and let's be honest, a lot of it.  So, I can only jump to the conclusion that life = awkward.  So why then, is it that I so often  feel the need to make the awkwardness go away?  And, where do I think it's going to go since the jar of life is already full of other awkward moments?  I have now written myself into an awkward corner, which the only way out of is to ramble on some more in a nonsensical pattern.  Well, today I say 'no'.  Today, I choose to breathe in the awkwardness of my post, and ask that you please accept this as my gift to you.  Use it as a chance to, like me, embrace the awkwardness that is life. 

* I have copy and pasted a section of an old post that I feel on occasion needs to be restated:

By the way, as a side note I just want to add that I take no responsibility for my run on sentences, typos and grammatical errors.  According to Jane Austen this is just part of my make up due to my preselected gender.

"...the usual style of letter writing among women is faultless, except in three particulars...A general deficiency of subject, a total inattention to stops, and a very frequent ignorance of grammar."

Northanger Abby

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Pact

My sister and I have made a pact.  We do this often and don't have a good record of follow through.  But, nevertheless we continue to make them.  This new one involves our homes.  I recently read that most homes' decor is a good indicator of when the owner peaked in happiness, fulfillment and creativity.  I'm not sure if this is really true.  I'm sure there are several very happy people out there telling time on a late seventies sunburst clock, especially since it is now considered a highly sought after collectible.  But, I digress.  Despite whether or not this may or may not be true, we both decided that it is indeed life altering truth.  Neither of us wants to accept that we have 'peaked'. So, this brings me to the 'pact'.  We have agreed to hold each other accountable to making one change in our homes each month.  This change has to be bigger than sliding a candle a few inches to the left, but smaller than wall removal.  Never one to procrastinate on things I actually want to do, I have begun my first change.

This change is small and not really all that creative, since I have merely changed a desk from brown to white.  But, it is going to force me to make other changes in the room in which it has been residing.  This domino effect is really the point of my $7.82 change.  The whole idea that one thing leads to another is in fact the pattern of a life being lived.  Often times we are forced into living by having to react to unexpected events.  Although these things can be great catalysts, to truly live life one must on occasion purposely set things into motion. 

As I move forward with this little project, I'm not under the illusion that something so small will  make me a better person, but then again maybe I am. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

No Comment

There is a certain blog I read on occasion that is slightly more popular than mine; last I checked it had just over 2000 followers.  What I find interesting about this particular Internet journal is that it's set up so that no comments can be left.  Perhaps I should try this.  Not for the same reasons as this other blog, which clearly is because the writer doesn't want to be inundated with the responses from thousands of strangers, with some possibly being a tad unstable.  No, my reason would be so that I don't have to embarrass my 13 followers with the '0 comments' section at the bottom of my posts.  I mean think how they must feel when they reach the end of yet another amazing post only to find that there are no comments.

It's not that I'm needy, what with the Russians reading again.  "Thanks guys!"  It's just that well, I'm needy.  So, perhaps if I remove the option to comment, I can live with the fantasy that thousands of people are staring at their computer screens muttering to themselves because they have been thwarted once again in their attempt write "Good Job" or "Brilliant". 

 I have no idea how to actually remove the ability to comment or even know if it's possible on my low budget site.  So, I'll just add that no response is necessary for this post.  No matter how tempted you may be, I ask that you refrain and kindly leave my brilliance hanging in dead air.  I'm working on becoming a better person and exposing myself to the great abyss, with no affirmation, is exactly what is needed.  Because it isn't really about what people think or don't think, it's about me needing to release my thoughts into a black hole, so that I can make room for the seemingly endless new ones that appear daily.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Too Much Information

I hadn't planned to return to my 'blogging', which is quite obvious from the fact that I haven't posted since early June.  However, I rarely follow through with most of my plans.  Today as I sit in front of my computer on a windy cold afternoon in November, I have decided to share some of my thoughts once again.  I'm not really sure why I am doing this, since I was informed recently from a most reliable source that people are more interested in pictures than words.  But, I have always loved the written word and the emotions and feelings it can conjure inside myself.  Okay, enough 'rambling'. 

I very recently decided to leave the comfort of my medically induced state of mind and join the world as my former overly anxious self.  I think after seven years of fooling people into thinking I was a calm together kind of person, I began to feel like a fraud.  No, I guess that isn't quite accurate.  I didn't really feel like a fraud, since I don't think I was feeling much of anything.  I look back on that moment when I decided that the 'professionals' clearly new better and sold my soul for a $5 co-pay.  But, that was back when I still had faith in what the 'medical' world had to offer.  So much has transpired in my life since then and as I have made successful alternative changes in other areas of my life, I decided that perhaps it was time to leave behind my tiny pill that apparently causes 'Clubbed Foot' and other odd things.  I came by this info quite reliably on the side window of my facebook page, so it must be true. 

Anyway, after going through weeks of detox from this slightly addicting club foot drug, I am proud to announce that I am once again certifiably insane.  And, I must say it's great to be back.  Why just the other night I was thinking how refreshing it was to loose it on my children for having the audacity to leave all the throw pillows on the floor after an apparent battle in the basement. Then there were the refreshing tears that came so easily as I looked at a photograph of someone I met once over a year ago.  Life is a gift and I no longer see the need to try and live it as someone else, no matter how together I may appear to be.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tirade of a Heavy Heart

Usually, I try to avoid sharing my more serious thoughts in a public format but I have been unable to shake some disturbing thoughts and just need to send them out into the great unknown.  Please comment if you have anything to add or contradict, I would like to hear some other perspectives.

Being a much more sociable person than I would like to be, I come into contact with various people.  I have learned over the years that no one is perfect and that I don't need to be pointing out splinters in others eyes, when no doubt I have my own plank to worry about.  However, that doesn't stop me from feeling perplexed or even disturbed by what I see and hear. 

Quite honestly, I don't know what has happened to our society?  We now have a world where each individual has their own moral standard on which to judge themselves.  There are no longer drawn lines or virtues based on something greater than us.  It is as if we have all walked into a giant moral buffet and picked and chosen what 'works' for us.  "I liked what Oprah said over here."  and "I think I like this idea that Jesus pointed out there."  oh and "Look the healing colors of the Divine"  "Wait is that Old Testament Law? yuck! I didn't even know that was still available."  I guess the point I am trying to make is that we have decided what works for us and what doesn't and the result is a world where there are approximately 6 billion shades of gray.  I don't know why this disturbs me so much.  But, I can make a pretty good guess.  We are all living for ourselves and ourselves alone.  I believe there was a time when you could tell the difference between a Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, etc.  Now they are all one in the same.  

We are all just trying to be 'good' people.  But, it is actually sickening to see mothers of young children drinking and cursing like sailors and then patting each other on the back because their kids made the honor role.  Or, grown women lusting over their teenage sons' friends, while making a 'healthy' home cooked meal. And, when did casual sex become so casual? Christians and non Christians alike, throw it around like hugs at a sorority party.  If things aren't going our way, we 'deserve' to feel desirable.  Hey, and even if they are, why not celebrate the sexual beings that we are.  Nothing has any meaning or depth. When did we become so flippant about every and anything? 

I am afraid that everything we see, read, and hear comes with an agenda and we have been brainwashed into believing all of them even if they contradict each other.  Maybe that is the heart of what bothers me; we are truly just behaving like a bunch of hypocrites. 

As I read over what I have just written, I realize that I am not nearly as coherent as I planned to be.  But, I have laid out my heart even if it sounds as confused as I feel.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Picasso May Have Been On To Something

My seven year old just named his thumb Bobby.  If all goes well, Bobby will still be with us in the morning.  Just another brilliant tactic to get him to stop sucking his thumb.  Bobby is really nothing more than a happy face drawn on his left thumb.  If Bobby hasn't vanished by morning, we will be able to progress into some very expensive orthodontics.  If he is wiped out in the night, then we may have to go the route of the British and consider a mouth where one has all of one's teeth 'tolerable' despite the fact of the order or arrangement. 

This brings me to another thought; why do we long for symmetry?  Or better still, why do we find symmetry attractive, when it is so rarely found on its own?  I read once that when we find someone attractive, like a movie star, the reason has more to do with the symmetry of their features than the perfection of them.  Eyes don't need to be stunning, noses can me a bit large as long as all the features are perfectly symmetrical.  Something in our brain registers this as pleasant.  This is really quite a shame, I mean life would be so much simpler if we all saw the world as Picasso.  Granted, I believe his perspective was caused by a some awful sexually transmitted disease, but still how nice to see beauty in the bizarre or distorted.  Things would be quite reversed.  Instead of everyone trying to line things up perfectly, so they can be socially acceptable, most of us would be Adonises and the few that remained would be desperately trying to find ways to distort their evenness.  Which then brings up the idea that we feel the need to change to be accepted.  And, finally why do we want to be accepted based on our outward appearance? 

Actually, at this point in my life I don't want to be accepted at all.  Because, with acceptance comes responsibility and I have more than my share of that at the moment.  I can't change my now symmetrical teeth, but I can at least maintain my Picassoesque personality, in hopes that the asymmetricalness of it all continues to keep the world at bay.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Who Am I?

No worries all, I haven't had an identity crisis.  I've just been thinking about how I am drawn to so many different things.  Humor and light hearted nonsense are always my first picks and when there is nothing else a little bit of seriousness works its way in.  I always seem to resist the 'serious' things in life.  Serious books, movies, relationships and conversations are always put off as long as possible.  Yet, when I finally yield they feed me like nothing else.  Humor always makes me smile, something I don't do enough.  Nonsense, is a gift I am always waiting to receive.  But, they are not sustaining, not like the 'serious' in my life.  So why do I avoid it at all costs?  It's like being faced with a jar of colorful jellybeans and one of carrots and celery that are just as colorful and being drawn to the jelly beans.  A wise person may choose the veggies, but not after much debate.  The things that we truly need are often the very things we avoid.  Or at least that's how it appears in my life. 

Here's the part that I don't have an answer for.  If every time I read or view some deep bit of wisdom with a little dose of heaviness, I come away saner and maybe even, dare I say, a little wiser why do I make it my last call?  The last thing I choose.  When all humor is exhausted and nonsense worth my time can't be found, then and only then do I pick up that which I really need. 

Not to say humor and nonsense aren't important, but some how when they have passed they seem fleeting and I feel a bit empty.  But deep serious always gives me plenty to chew on long after it's first taste. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Quiet Time with Cary Grant

Why do I like to be alone?  If I was alone all the time, would this be something I crave?  Both questions are rhetorical.  In fact, both are really one.  I crave being alone, because I rarely am.  But, there is a part of me that wants to delve deeper, shocking I know.  I am usually such a shallow creature.  This time, my mind seems to want to wander and explore the idea of how much of my feelings are nature and how much are nurture? 

I spent much of my youth alone and a bit on the outside.  I'm sure if you were to get a hold of my journals from those days, they would weave quite a tale of misery.  But truth be told, I enjoyed my quiet days and nights in which I could reflect on the meaning behind R.E.M.'s lyrics or watch spellbound as Cary Grant charmed his way into the hearts of Irene Dunne, Katherine Hepburn, & even myself.  I thrived in my alternate universe.  One in which I made all the choices and didn't have to worry about what I said and it's ramifications.  In essence, it created this being that I am now, this person of deep self analysis.  I must say that this little trail really leaves me no closer to an answer for the whole nature and nurture quandary.  But, I guess it doesn't really matter, because suddenly all I want to do is put in 'My Favorite Wife' and listen to some 90's grunge.  I'll have to finish this debate later, although perhaps maybe I have just given all of us my answer.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Failure Is An Option

I have decided to let everyone in on a little secret.  I am really not that brilliant.  I remember in the 5th grade overhearing a discussion between two of my three teachers.  I, apparently, was failing spelling.  Part of me shudders even now to admit this.  One teacher adored me and the other had an odd dislike for me.  The one wanted to pad my grade to make it passing, since she was sure I would improve.  The other very clearly made it known that I should get the grade I had earned.  Needless to say, come report card time, I had a passing grade.  I am almost ashamed to admit this, as it is a fault, even if it was in the past.  For some reason or another, spelling has never been a strong point of mine.  Thanks to spell check, most of the time, I can pass myself off as nearly flawless in an area that I was at one time deemed a failure. 

In fact, I think I try very hard to create 'spell checks' in many areas of my life.  Little buffers to hide my flaws from others.  The strange thing is that occasionally, just like when spell check doesn't correct a word because, in fact, it is really a word just not the one I wanted, I end up exposing my lack of brilliance.  Honestly, these are humbling times and quite hard to look at.  Especially, when I can't remember which rug I've brushed them under.  It seems lately imperfections and idiosyncrasies are coming out more often, and I have a theory as to why.  I think I am trying to free myself.  Brilliance is a lonely prison at times, but fake brilliance is a long term stay in an insane asylum. 

So, let it be known I am nothing more than an average person with a dependency on a spell check or two.  Feel free to pad my failing grade, just don't let me overhear the conversation, it might give me a complex.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Screaming Babies and Wives

Well, I have decided to push on for the time being with or without the Russians. 

I am exhausted.  Most people in my state would be either sleeping or mindlessly watching television, however as I have stated before, I am not most people.  So, a blog entry it is.  I have always empathized with tired grumpy children and exhausted screaming babies.  This is mostly because I tend to react in a very similar fashion when I am tired.  This has always been.  So, why doesn't my husband leave me alone when he knows I am tired?  Even after 16 years of me snapping at him, he still provokes me to become an evil version of myself, with awful antagonising questions like,  "What is the cost of shipping on the chair you want to order?" or "Do you want to watch a movie?"  How is one supposed to respond to such bait. 

Now at this point, you may be wondering if I am assuming that my husband knows I am tired.  Or more to the point, have I told him that I am tired.  The answer is no to the first and yes to the second.  He was informed before he even entered the house this evening and in case his processing disorder was in full effect, I was wearing my pajamas and robe during dinner as a visual aid. 

Okay, so I know that he hasn't done anything wrong, not really.  But, everything feels wrong.  Every person that wants something from me provokes a wrath very similar to that of an overtired child throwing a tantrum in the middle of a store because their mother had to 'hit' one more sale.  Even if that something is just a simple question.  So, there it is all laid out nice for all to read, I am mean when I am tired.  I just don't have people staring at me in sympathy saying, "She's just tired, someone needs to put her to bed."  Perhaps, I should consider getting one of those medical warning bracelets or something, that says just that.  It may just save a life and possibly my marriage.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Death of a Blog

I am beginning to question the validity of my having a blog.  I truly find myself in a catch 22.  It goes against every fiber of my being to 'brag' about my blog and invite people to read utter nonsense about me.  However, if I continue on in the vein in which things are going, there will soon be no reason to continue, at least in such a public manner.  I actually heard crickets chirping the last few times I clicked  publish.  Things have hit such a low that the Russians are no longer visiting.  I once had some grand illusion that my writing was something that someone other than myself would want to read.  I must say this blog attempt has placed me back in reality and I am now considering developing new talents in the areas of homemade cleaning products and basket weaving.  I can see my booth at the farmer's market now, perhaps it may even be blog worthy, but alas not by me.

I am not saddened by these thoughts, but just questioning the use of my time and 'talents'.  I grew up with a great love for creative gifts and a deep respect for people that had them.  Anyone with an overbearing Asian or in my case Western mother can memorize facts and get a degree from an Ivy League school, but only those with a true creative gift can live a life of passion.  At least this is how I have always felt.  I spent most of my adolescence and a great deal of my adult life believing that I had a 'gift' and that it was only because of fear that I had never reached my potential. 

I no longer believe this to be true.  I do feel that I am a creative person and this will never change, but gifted I am not.  At least not by the world's standards.  Every day, I choose to approach things in a unique way and I know that this perspective, which I graciously share with my family each day, is a gift they receive with gratitude.  I wasn't meant to shine for the world, but for those that I treasure most.  So, there is no sadness for a dream brought to its end, but a joy for a reality that I can live with.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

We Only Get One Blip

I should be off starting dinner.  But, I have found myself drawn to write down something . . . anything. So, I will discuss my latest thoughts.  I'll spare everyone my latest rantings on the poisoning of our food supply and move on to something more meditative:  Time. 

Years ago, at the age of twelve, I was diagnosed by one Dr. Salcedo as a Neurotic.  He explained to my mother that this simply meant that I couldn't live in the present that my thoughts were constantly moving to the future.  What's wrong with being future oriented?  I mean, we all need goals to reach for right?  Well, nothing unless your thoughts revolve around worry, which mine often do.  So, consequently I have always been drawn to anything related to time.  Lately, my thoughts have drifted to finding ways to live in the moment or in essence how to slow time.  This is the exact opposite of my nature and yet I am fascinated at the possibility of being able live in such a manner.  Each person's life is simply a blip on the universe's scale.  Why would anyone in their right mind want to speed up the only blip they get? 

I am not fool enough to believe that life equals happiness, but it can be a joy to live.  How does one live with joy?  Well, I don't think I have yet read enough articles on the subject to convince my brain that there is an answer.  But, I am beginning to slowly grasp the need to breathe in each moment.  Even the unpleasant ones.  Only by being awake to each thing that happens to us do we feel time.  If we walk around numb to all that is happening, a day and a lifetime seem like one.  I want my lifetime to be something that I not only lived but felt. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A New Normal

The consumer is a very powerful person.  As the main shopper for a family of four, I haven't always felt this way.  But recently, as a result of health issues in our little nucleus, I have become quite empowered.  No longer will the evil conglomerates and self seeking government regulators control the fate of my family. 

Over the last few weeks, I have had to come to terms with saying good-bye to the normal side of myself.  The side that likes to believe that she is well thought of by her peer base.  Or at the very least, not talked about in exaggerated whispers along with looks of horror.  Now that all partings have been complete, I am free to be as eccentric as my genetics will allow.  Which, unfortunately, is quite high on the spectrum.

The strange girl in the goodwill hat and her facial haired boyfriend, the pseudo intellectual still single over 40 women, & the 'home school' family with a love for mismatched clothes and unkempt hair have all become my regular shopping companions at the farmer's markets and co-ops.  I don't mind really.  They after all have become my new normal and honestly I wasn't all that thrilled with the Cocoa Pebble & Mountain Dew crowd that I was hanging with before. 

At the risk of sounding trite, life is a journey.  Sometimes it is a straight path to the end, but most of the time it is full of twists and turns, much like a game of Chutes & Ladders.  In the end, we all die.  So, we shouldn't focus on the end so much and welcome the twists and turns that shape us.  And, if for some awful reason you are on the straight path, add some of your own twists.  Because after all it's the journey we are here for.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Most Selfish Creature

I think if I had been left to my own devices, I could have been a most selfish creature.  My days drift in a pattern of serving others.  It begins often before I am even awake.  Somewhere between 1 and 3 a.m., when my 6 year old crawls into the bed and I slide over to make room.  Even my smile seems selfless at times.  I often bestow it wearily in my attempt to hide my worry for one of my children.  Daily, I practice giving of myself.  Despite being decades into this practice, I still, at times, find it unnatural.  Which leads me to my current mode of thought:  I could have been a most selfish creature.

I imagine I could spend hours lying in bed each morning, too exhausted from thinking of myself the previous day to get up.  I believe that I could spend an additional few hours powdering my nose and meticulously hiding my flaws.  I suppose I could prepare a meal with only me and my desires in mind and then leave the mess to clean up itself.  Indeed I have no doubt that I could talk endlessly about myself with such flourish that those around me have no choice but to be silenced.  I know that this could all be pulled off with amazingly little effort on my part.

Thankfully, I was not left to my own devices.  And, although at times I resent my responsibilities and find my mind in a state of unrest, I know that these same responsibilities and 'stressful' thoughts are what keep me from being the anti-heroine in my own novel.  They are the catalysts moving my story somewhere, in my humanness, I was never meant to go. A place of wholeness that can only be found in losing myself.  At the end of this exhausting day, I am grateful to my family for helping me become what I should never have been.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beautiful Poetry

I long to write something beautiful and poetic.  To share the depths of my inner being.  Yet, I can never seem to find the right words.  I always have plenty to help find the humor or irritations of life, but never the deep.  I am afraid that the truth is I have closed off that part of me.  The raw vulnerable part that is full of too much.  Too much fear.  Too much pain.  Too much of the unsightly.  I can't even stand to look at it myself.  I have spent years practicing strength.  And, I am strong, too strong.  My strength comes with a hardness that is like an impermeable shell.  I'm not sure I could even shatter it if I wanted to.  And, I don't.  I shudder at weakness of any kind.  I hear my voice now saying, " Exposing weakness only makes you weaker."  Showing the unlovely parts, makes you unlovable." 

I long to write something beautiful and poetic....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

State of Mind

We just had the first blizzard of the season.  I am using the term loosely, since it may have dropped 10 inches of snow.  But, it was enough to cause the local schools to shut down for a couple of days.  The word 'snow-day' is being thrown around a lot and it reminds me of an Erma Bombeck book I read years ago.  She cleverly talked about how moms would whittle snowshoes out of furniture so their kids could walk to school.  No mother can withstand being locked up day in and day out with their bored, whining, apathetic, argumentative children without giving up a piece of her sanity.

These last two snow days have been exceptionally calm around here, though.  The boredom, whining, etc. were all floating around, but since I have been homeschooling for the last 4 years, I can't imagine a day without these old friends. My sanity left with my morning coffee break that I would take each morning after dropping my oldest off at school and putting my youngest down for a Benadryl induced nap.  Quiet has become a state of mind.  I can create it anytime I like.  Just recently, while my youngest was shooting me with his Nerf gun, I decided to enjoy a serene moment with myself.  It was very relaxing.  The best part was when I came back, he was gone.  The only evidence of his former presence, being a plastic gun and a round of soft bullets.

Perhaps, I did give up my sanity years ago.  But, I can't say that I miss it.  And, on those rare moments when I might begin to wonder what it would be like to have it again, I just stop, stare at the wall, block out all forms of reality and enjoy a little quality time with my happy thoughts. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Collection Crisis

I have never been much of a collector.  Growing up in a transient military household we were not encouraged to have 'things'.  Just the word 'clutter' sends chills up my spine.  However, I do admire a well placed Marthaesque collection displayed just so on the cover of a magazine.  So much so that I even began to desire my own collection.  Unfortunately for me, my Spartan upbringing and nature will not allow me to collect inanimate objects that require regular dusting.  However, my constantly functioning, yet occasionally misfiring brain, recently decided to bypass my sense and reasoning and has started a collection for me.

This collection doesn't require regular dusting, nor does it take up space in my home.  At least not permanently.  It is a collection of friends.  Ahhh, doesn't that sound sweet.  Not so much.  You see I am an introvert.  Well, an extroverted introvert.  Yes, there really is such a thing.  We are a rare group of people that like being around others and always seem to have fun, but find true rejuvenation and  rest in being alone.  Most people mistake us for outgoing extroverts and at times we even manage to confuse ourselves, but we truly enjoy being alone.  Visiting and socializing is always entertaining but unfortunately it is also draining. 

The solution for living a balanced life of an extroverted introvert appears simple enough and it is also my favorite word, balance.  Go out with or have a few selected friends over to visit and enjoy my sparkling personality followed by plenty of alone time with that same sparkling personality.  This so called balance has seemed to work well over the years, perhaps leaning a little more towards time alone, but still not so bad.  Unfortunately, my desire for a collection along with my misfiring brain has caused some problems recently.  Every where I go, I can't stop myself from befriending people. Just the other day I nearly invited the post office worker I was buying stamps from over for tea.  Things have gotten out of control.  It's as if I have become one of those women whose creepy dolls have taken over the house.  To the point that when you walk in the living room they are sitting and laying all over the room.  There isn't even a spot for a real person to sit on the couch.  Not to say that the friends I have collected are creepy, well not all of them, but I have let things get out of control. 

The Spartan in me just wants to go back to the necessities of life.  One or two dear friends whose relationships provide a chance to give and receive along with plenty of time to sit in my office and stare out the window at my strange neighbor shoveling snow off the pond in the middle of a snow storm.  I don't have an answer and I'm not saying collecting friends is wrong, but it is hard to be alone when one is always inviting the world over or out.  Perhaps, if I just start picking up shot glasses from truck stops and have my husband build me a curio cabinet to place them in, I will convince my brain that we are indeed collecting something and I will once again find the balance I crave.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Selective Noise

I consider myself outdated at least in the technical sense.  I have always balked at technology.  I might possibly be the only person under 40 whose cell phone doesn't have a texting keyboard.  This is by choice.  I obviously have a computer and clearly a blog, but this is only because one does have to function in the world or at least show signs of attempting.  For years, I fought email and praised the values of snail mail, but then one day it occurred to me that email could in fact be used to my advantage.  Being the extroverted introvert that I am, I found great pleasure and ease in being able to avoid the draining small talk that ensued whenever I had to call someone to ask a question or give information. 

So you can imagine my excitement this morning when I, out of mere curiosity, unhooked my son's charging ipod from my laptop, placed the headphones in my ears and heard the sounds of Annie Lennox and Five for Fighting instead of the cries and demands of my family.  I know ipods are 'outdated', what with iphones, Droids, and Siths.  But, this is something new for me.  Honestly, I never saw the point.  I crave silence not more noise.  However, this morning I learned that if you can't have silence then at least you should be able to choose you noise, and today I choose Jack Johnson.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Following the Rules

Minutes before I was about to make a new post, I came across another blog on why people unsubscribe.  It was painfully amusing.  For the most part, I follow the "How to Keep Subscribers" rules, but I was definitely struck by my lack of following one in particular.  It, being written by a man and all, was brief and stated that you should not have your topics all over the place.  He claimed this was just a window into an undisciplined life.  I must say that I felt a strong need to stop and ponder this.  You see, my blog is about my ramblings.  Just whatever 'crap' (please read this word with a British accent, it just sounds better that way) or, on rare occasions, wisdom I feel like sharing with the outside world.  To say I am undisciplined is almost comical.  I mean, I can't go and neatly place my 'boots' in the boot tray without straightening the corner of the entry rug that was off by a few millimeters.  So, now here I find myself in quite a quandary.  Do I become more focused and stick to a common topic like "The Health Benefits of Knitting" or do I just stay with my original game plan, which was to write about my life in the hopes of helping myself and a very select few become comfortable in who they are?  In order to be secure or know your own identity, you  must be comfortable with your thoughts.  You don't necessarily need to understand them, but you do need to befriend them and maybe share them on occasion.  So, maybe I will  just continue on and risk a possible pandemic of unsubscriptions on the grounds of principle.  There, all that brilliance stated in less than 500 words.  Just following the rules, well at least some of them.