Tag Archive | thoughts

The Difference of a Year

We often hear about what a difference a year makes…or a day or a week or an hour. But does it truly resonate when we hear that expression? Most of the time i think it goes in one ear and out the other as we understand the meaning but not the point. I think if this time last year. I was weary and still shattered, soul tired and just trying to keep my emotional head above water.

The compound was still under repair, though that was getting closer to completion. I had argued with the insurance company that they had indeed made a $10,000 mistake in their favor. And eventually they had to admit that they had. I was broke from paying for everything and and felt utterly, completely, unmistakably alone. I once saw a picture of a tree, alone standing in the storm, and I felt exactly like that. Ugly, broke and beyond exhausted. I knew I deserved love, but who in the world was left? There was no one. Or so I thought. But I could not have been more wrong.

Feeling completely alone, so alone that not even God could find you is a hard place to be. But it was not to last long. The start of the love was Thanksgiving, when I took my cousin up on her offer to spend the holiday at her house. And so I did. And there, in the middle of their home, in the middle of this small town, in the middle of the holiday dinner, I found more love than I knew existed. There were open arms and hugs and smiles and laughs and conversations.

And for the first time in over two years, I did not feel alone. For the first time in over two yers, I felt loved.

And from that love that was given to me, a small hope was borne. A rejuvenation of sorts. It is amazing what a little love can do. It can bring a broken soul back to life. And so it did. In that house, with my cousins, I found my light again. I found my smile. I found the Sun. And I grew, from that day on, knowing that I was not alone, and that there was more love out there in the world for me that I could possibly imagine. And it was my job to find and courage that love into a beautiful life.

But it all started a year ago. And like putting fire to gasoline, it caught and spread. And nowm that love light that was lit on that day, burns a warm flame at my hearth. And I have them to thank.

Life is short. Never underestimate what a little bit if love can do, And never underestimate the miracles and growth that can happen in a year.

The Big D

Everyone at some some point will get depressed or a little down.There could be so many different reasons – a death, loss of job, loss of a relationship, or a thousand different things. And this is perfectly normal. I think it is a fallacy in life that we should never feel anything but happy and shiny Because that just is not realistic. And who says it is bad to feel bad sometimes?

Sometimes feeling down can motivate us to make much needed changes in our lives. Because depression is a place to visit not a place to live And eventually we will get sick and tired of being sick and tired. The problem is once we are in a funk, how do we get out of it? Especially when the funk makes it hard to get off the couch, much less be motivated to be a mover and shaker in your own life.

But that is indeed what we need to be. And sometimes getting a root canal seems easier than getting motivated. But you just have to pick yourself up by the bootstraps. But how?

I really don’t know exactly, but I do now what worked for me. First, you have to get very quiet, and go deep where the heart meets the soul and you listen. At first you may not hear anything, but eventually you will. That is God’s voice, your gut instinct, your intuition. Remember what brought you joy before, and concentrate on that, and on following that inner voice.

When I was 19, I went through an extremely difficult time. And when I did not feel like getting out of bed, I would decide every single morning that I would find something to be happy about. I would decide on a winter day that I would search for a flower, or look for children playing happily in a puddle on a rainy summer afternoon. Sounds stupid or silly? It probably is. But those little goals are what would get me out of bed.

And every day there would be a goal, and I promised myself that I would smile once completed. I also made a decision, every single day, to find moments to specifically enjoy on purpose. If life was terrible, I would at least find solace in a sunny day, or in the three minutes of my favorite song playing on the radio.

When I got older and lost the rest my family, even those goals were hard, so I cried a lot. And then there were no more tears. I started having a few moments of not being in a funk…and then the moments would last a little longer. I put up a goal board, and I refused to watch depressing or sad movies, and I watched funny TV shows and I made sure that I was around good, positive people who were supportive. And anyone who wasn’t supportive was cut out of my life.

I also decided every morning hat I was going to be happy that day – maybe for only a few minutes, but I was going to find some kind of happy. And I wrote things (affirmations, if you will) around the house to help keep my positive mindset. “I am stronger than the grief.” I am stronger that the depression.” “I can and I will”

And eventually, slowly the clouds started to break and the sun would shine. But it starts with you. Because it is easy to get into the habit of depression, especially if you are alone. And that is where your will power comes in. It takes a lot of strength, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or pull others in. Even when you are tired, ask a friend to come over. They don’t have to go and do anything big. Because your friends can help dust off the cobwebs and help you smile…maybe even laugh.

There are many who say that you have to find it all within yourself. But I disagree. Yes, you yourself have to be committed to getting out of the funk, but that doesn’t mean you have to have all of the answers or face the challenge alone. Those who love and care for your will be more than happy to help.

It may be a long road but it is not impossible. Take baby steps, and soon your will look back and see you have traveled miles. Each heartbeat gets you that much closer. And in the space between the seconds, you will find the inspiration to hold on.

Life is short. Make a decision every single day to make the best of it. Most people think that happiness is easy, but it’s not. It takes a lot of work, every single day, to be and stay happy. And some days are easier than others. But we can do it together, holding hands as we cross paths and share time in this life.

A Care on Your shoulder

It is often said that to have a good and happy life, you must take care of yourself first. And yet, we seem to find is so hard to do. It seems like self care and self awareness would be second nature to us by now. We can walk on the moon, edit DNA so diseased chromosomes are deleted, create the internet where the world’s information is in the palm of you hand…yet we still cannot master the art of self care.

And I wonder why that is exactly. And I don’t mean just pampering yourself. I mean Real self care, where we take care of our hearts, our emotions, our mental state and our resilience. Self care were we recognize the importance of making sure we are OK, really Ok, in this world.

When we do not tend to our mental and emotional health, we become bitter, angry, dysfunctional shells of our former selves. I have met people like that. The last man I dated was exactly that. Run from those kinds of people, those who are wounded and bleed all over you. Run because many of them are not only attached to their emotional wounds, but they have no intention of ever healing them. Why would someone choose to stay wounded? Because it takes tremendous strength to look yourself in the mirror, admit what is wrong and actually fix it. Many do mot have that kind of intestinal fortitude.

I have not been taking care of myself lately. I have been giving my time and self to other things and people. And it shows. My life is good, but I am tired and ragged because I have made the mistake of putting others before myself. One of my friends noticed this and chastised me. She reminded me that with both my parents being gone, if I fall apart there is no one to help put me back together. So I must not only take extra care of myself, but extra care in who I let into my world…I need to make sure my house, my heart, my home, my emotions, my life is all good, and then give to others. Not the other way around. And my friend is right.

And so it shall be, and already is. I am exercising again. Meditating, prayer, laughing with dear friends, eating healthy, some pampering, cleaning and organizing the house as the Great Purge of 2019 continues. But the purge is not only about things, it is about bad habits and people as well. I am taking positive steps to complete my own transformation that will take my life to the next level of wonderful.

Self care isn’t easy, because there are those who will criticize you and call you selfish when you are no longer doing what they want you to do. Don’t listen to those people, because anyone who loves you will understand and encourage you.

Self care is so important in this day and age of the more stress the better. It seems people wear their stress as a status symbol saying “look how important I am, I am so stressed.” Well, they can die an early death from that stress. Don’t let that be you. Take the time to enjoy those little things in life. Take the time to be grateful for what you have, and don’t concentrate on what you don’t. It will make a difference…small at first, but building momentum.

And slowly you will transform your life to what you want. But you have to have the energy to follow those dreams, make them materialize. We have the power to make our lives whatever we want…so what will you life be? Start with yourself, Taking care of yourself, being quiet and listening to the voice of God and your own voice within. reach deep down, where the heart meets the soul, where you hide when it is dark and quiet…it’s all there.

What I seek is happiness, purpose and of course, love. But a love that does not deplete me or tear me down. Love should feel good, it shouldn’t hurt. Love should energize you, not make you exhausted. And so, with a happy heart – because that is a decision too – I will go in search of. And when we find each other, not only will we take care of ourselves as we need to, but we will take care of each other as well. Until then, I will take care of my self one heartbeat at a time, until the life and love I want is right here.

Life is short. So take care of yourself.

A Hike in the Woods

It is Father’s Day, and it is not a day to sit around the house. Just because my father is gone does not mean I have to mope. So I went up to my favorite hiking place – Amacalola Falls. It was the perfect day for to be out in the woods, where I feel centered and safe.

The woods has always had that affect on me, which is why I hike when needing to clear my thoughts and heart. And there has been a lot to think about lately. The hiking trails were filled with families and a lot of kids. And father’s with their sons or daughters.

I miss having a family and I’m struggling to find my purpose not having one. For almost 10 years my life revolved around taking care of them. And I think not having a purpose is making easy prey for those do not have my best interest at heart. And when you’re searching we can easily find the wrong way.

And so I prayed to God at this beautiful waterfall. He made this beautiful place, these beautiful rocks, and with the beautiful water, on this beautiful planet. Surely He can help me find a purpose.

And then I talked to a friend of mine, who is in a similar place. And she reminded me not to come from this from a place of loss, but from a place of abundance. What does that mean?

That means stop coming from a place of stress. Instead of saying I have no purpose and I have to hurry up and find my purpose, why not recognize that my purpose will come to me? If I calm myself and relax I can free my mind and my emotions up for the what good is coming to me. There’s no rush, there’s no hurry. This isn’t the Life’s Purpose Olympics where somebody a golf medal for coming in first. There’s no time limit. I can slow down, and I can take my time, and I can let life unfold to me in it’s time and be open to what life shows me my purpose should be

And I want a purpose it’s meaningful and fulfilling, where I can help others and there’s something larger for myself, but doesn’t completely deplete me of all time, and energy, and resources. I want a purpose gives energy, and love, and meaning. I want a purpose that generates energy and recharges my spirit. This whole notion where we have to give to the point of depletion is a fallacy. We should be able to have a meaningful life without at sucking life out of us. There’s no Romanticism in being a martyr to the point of self-destruction.

Big changes are coming, because I am relaxing and praying and being centered. I am letting life show me what it wants me to see, and going with the current for once Yes, I believe in making the life you want, but you also cannot force it. I am figuring out the next, so I will relax and enjoy the now.

I will no longer stress because I don’t have it figured out. Instead I will focus in on me, and be centered. I will laugh and have fun. I will travel a bit, and clean a bit and work a bit and and pray a lot, and have faith a lot and love a lot. And in that, purpose will come.

Playing it Straight

It is amazing the how different life is when you are an adult than when you thought it would be as a child. As a child, you don’t understand things like working, or managing money, or getting up early, or even things like laundry. If you are lucky, these things seem to just magically happen.

And there are things that you assume will happen when you are adult that really doesn’t. For example, No one has died from falling in quicksand, or being eaten by a giant snake. I have not made millions from discovering a new kind of metal that could replace everything. And my parents did not live forever.

When I was younger, and even up until a few years ago, I thought healing was a straight line. I thought everything worked in a straight line – love, career, playing, shopping, figuring out what you wanted to do, making decisions, even being happy. But as an adult you learn that nothing is a straight line. Because we are different, and we have paths on which to meander and learn. There on some paths which we are supposed to only visit, some where we learn valuable, maybe painful lessons, and some that delivery us away from danger. After all, it’s a jungle out there.

And then there is the path of healing, which I also thought would be a straight line. I was wrong. what I have learned, is that this path too meanders. There are good days and bad days, or weeks or even months. There are waves. Sometimes those waves come crashing down and you feel like you were drowning even though you thought you were on solid ground. And sometimes you have days where you feel like all of it is done, and you are great. And in time, those stretches get longer and longer…but still there is no straight line.

And that is OK, because there is no timeline on healing. And who said it has to be a straight line anyway? I think that is a myth, just like quicksand. The problem comes when you try to force it, and deny that any more healing needs to be done.

Let’s face it, life a series of paths we must take. Some of those paths are better or more enjoyable than others. But would we want it any other way? The easy answer is yes, but really how deep of as faceted of a life would that be? An easy life would be easy, but we would miss so much depth and width of the person we were meant to be. And while the easy answer would be to have a compass in the great journey of life, would it really help? And would you actually want to use it? Because some of the unplanned paths we take, make our lives so much more rich, even if they require some care and healing afterwards.

So don’t play it straight. Go on those twists and turns. Give yourself the permission to take as much time, and as many paths as it takes to heal. It’s ok. Don’t fight the current, just ride the wave.

Life is short and straight lines are boring.

The Sob in the Process

Life is basically a mixed bag of whatever it is you get. there will be the good, and and the ugly and everything in between. As a whole, life is good. I have a great job in a great career, I have the best friends in the world, I have a roof over my head, and am reasonably happy.

But the last few weeks have been especially hard. And that is the thing about life, it is cyclical. I remember reading a book called The Prophet when I was 19. It changed my life. It was rich in truth and perspective. It challenged me and made me think in a way that I had never before. And in that book there was a passage about joy and sorrow:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. 
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced. 
When the reassure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

There is an urban rumor in this world that you are never supposed to be sad, or depressed, or angry, or melancholy, or anything other than positive and happy. There is a myth that these feelings are wrong and that there is something wrong with us if we do feel these emotions, because of the law of attraction…and of course we attract what we feel and where we are emotionally, right? WRONG.

You must feel those emotions in order to work through them in a healthy way and to get to what is waiting on the other side. If we do not allow ourselves to feel our feelings, even those that we perceive to be negative, then we will not work through the process and we will end up emotionally muted and unable to grow. If we do not deal with those negative emotions then they will cause us to be bitter. Whoever said we are not ever supposed to be uncomfortable in any way in life, or that we must get rid of negative emotions immediately was probably emotionally stunted himself.

And I will never allow myself to be a bitter shell of a human being. So, I have been crying, actually I have been sobbing to get all of he pain out. The last few weeks has been excruciating. And I live alone. So I must grieve alone, which is exhausting. Grief is exhausting enough, but to do it alone is exceptionally tiring.

So last night, I grabbed my biggest stuffed animal Ricky, sat on my bed, held him tightly as all the pain poured out of my eyes onto my cheeks. I buried my face in his soft polyester fur and let out audible sobs, barely able to breath at a few points. Time stood still as i just cried and cried. I have been through three family deaths and the death of three friends…alone. By now I should be a pro at this, but I am not.

The latest death has brought up all the pain of the last. A grief counselor suggested I have PTSD from my parents death, and all the events before and after. Indeed, you can have it from physical attacks, war, or extremely emotionally traumatic events. And if that is the case, the latest death and all the ugliness surrounding it has been a trigger. And so I must process and deal with it.

And one day, maybe I will have a partner with whom I can share this burden. Because it is hard to handle all of the bad by ones self, and being strong is exhausting. And then I can also share all the wonderful things too. I look forward to that day, I look forward to not having to shoulder all of my world alone. It is a heavy load.

Until then, I turn up the music to drown out the sobs, grab Ricky and cry my heart out. Actually cry the pain out. I look forward to the day that there are no tears. I look forward to truly being able to live in joy once more. It is coming…

What Dating a Good Man Teaches you

I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16 but ended up going on my fist date 3 months before my birthday. This was because the guy was moving out of state and my parents reluctantly allowed me to go. I am 42 now and have never been married. That’s a lot of dating. I have seen the good, bad and ugly of relationships. And I have learned a lot over the years.

My current boyfriend is amazing.  He doesn’t play games. He actually puts forth the effort and tells me, on a daily basis, that I am beautiful and amazing and totally worth it. I am thriving under the light of his wonderful attention and affection.  I wonder how I forgot that this is what dating is supposed to be, that this is how I am supposed to be treated? My current relationship is teaching me things that I didn’t realize I had forgotten. Like how I should be treated.

Somewhere along the way, dating became more of a game than a pleasure.  It seems that it’s about getting all that you can, when you can, while putting forth as little effort as you can.  When we women have men with this attitude from which to choose, we get discouraged by the lack of options and try to choose the lessor of many evils.

Ladies, Steve Harvey has it right – when a man really wants you, there will be no question. I think back to all those guys that used to drive me crazy making me wonder if they were really interested. Or that I was doing something wrong. Maybe that was the reason why they weren’t calling like they said they would, or didn’t seem interested, or would make an ambiguous date, then never follow through.

Stop wondering. Because if you have to wonder if he is interested, then the answer is No.  It doesn’t matter if you call or text him.  If he wanted to be with you, he would have already set up the date.

Easier said than done, right?  Because we are taught that if we have these high expectations, then we are demanding, and bitchy, and manipulative. No, we just know our worth.

I have had men who would text me (first of all, call the woman) and ask me to go out lunch that day…when I would accept and ask where…they wouldn’t respond. Until a few weeks later when it’s the same thing all over again. No, he didn’t get too busy, his phone didn’t break, he wasn’t sucked into a vortex where no communication was possible.  He just wasn’t really interested. So why text at all?  Who knows.  Maybe he wanted to keep that door open, or wanted an ego boost. He definitely didn’t want to go to lunch.

The guy I dated before my current boyfriend actually made me feel guilty if I even thought about asking him to help me with anything – He was healing from a woman who used him 3 years ago, so he couldn’t do anything for me.  I made the mistake of saying he could use my boat anytime he wanted if he would let me use his truck to pull my boat to the marina. I was promptly accused of making my boat and all maintenance his responsibility. If a man in interested in you, there will no excuses or strange accusations. If a man is interested, he will want to spend time with you, and he will care enough to help out when you need it.

My current boyfriend is amazing.  He sees projects that I cannot do myself, and he fixes them. I don’t even have to ask.  He just rented a Rug Doctor and cleaned the carpets in my house because my family is coming to visit.  And because he said I “should live in pretty.” Wow, what a difference.

I have dated men who refused to introduce me to any friends and family, while telling me how much they liked and cared for me.  My current boyfriend has introduced me to all of his friends and family. Because he wants me in his life, because he wants me to see from who and where comes. And he is interested in meeting my friends and family too. He wants to know my people. And a man who is truly  interested in you, will want to know your world and your people too.

There was a man who made a date on Easter with me….and was a no show.  Contacted me a few weeks later like everything was fine.  Then there are the guys who just wanted me to “come over and hang out”, but were never willing to drive to see me, or take me out.  Stay away from them, they are lazy and place no value on you or your time.

I think back on all the times I questioned if I was doing something wrong?  Women are taught that if you keep getting disappointed in dating, you are the one common factor.  So take a look in the mirror and find your fault. Well, it wasn’t me, it was them. Mostly. The only thing I wasn’t doing, in my worn and weary and discourage mindset, was remembering my worth. Because I didn’t want to seem demanding, or high maintenance, or bitchy, or unreasonable.

The man I am with now, expects me to know my worth, because he sees it every time he looks at me. And he makes sure I know how lucky he feels. And I am lucky too. Because finally, here is a man who sees what I didn’t see in myself for a long time. Dating a good man has reminded me that first and foremost, I am worth it.

Every day I am so very grateful that this wonderful man found his way into my life.

Because I am demanding, and high maintenance and bitchy and unreasonable…But only to those men who are not interested enough to do anything but put forth the least amount of effort possible.

And that is what dating a good man can teach you.

Where the Magic Happens

Home is where it happens. All the magic of life and family.  And this year I am counting on that magic to add to the wonderfulness of the holiday season.  This year I am hosting the family for Thanksgiving.  We all have our firsts in life, and this is one of mine.

To some this may not seem like a big deal, but to my large and very eclectic family its pretty big.  This is the first year that my parents are healthy and not suffering from cancer.  And this year everyone is in close proximity.  This is also probably the last year my nephews will be local. My oldest nephew is graduating college next month and who knows where he will end up.  The other two are going to school and working as well, but they all have off for the holidays this year.

It is the first time that the family will be gathering at my house.  In the past, we have all made it to our parents house.  But they are getting older and it is a lot of work for them to do all the cooking, cleaning and general preparation for such a family event.  I am hoping that it is a success, that everyone has a good time, even though it will be quite the adventure.  To understand the overtures of this undertaking, let me explain:

My parents are quite set in their ways.  They are great, wonderful, honest, hard working, loyal people.  But they can be extremely difficult to please.  And they both cannot be happy and comfortable at the same time.  You will go crazy trying to make that happen, trust this, I know. I have actually told them to choose each day of the visit who gets to be happy and comfortable, that way there is not constant complaining.  It works.

In the past visits, there have been complaints that the house is too cold (Dad likes the temp at 84-86), too hot (Mom likes it between 74-76) and neither of them like ANY air circulation, so no fans or such. The food is too spicy or too bland. And I live out in Egypt, s where I live is too far, from everything (I actually have the same complaint).

My mother smokes, but she hates smoking outside, mainly because it’s cold in the winter and she doesn’t like to be cold.  Once, in the House of Mold, she smoked on the screened-in-porch. When she got cold she insisted I bring her the warmest coat I owned…which happened to be a mink coat.  So there she is, sitting out in a screened-in-porch, in her pink fuzzy warm house slippers….smoking….in a mink coat. I would have taken a picture if I had not feared death. So I have set up a wonderful sitting area in the garage…along with 2 large, large room heaters, that each one would heat the small garage for most. There will be tables, chairs and a soft couch from which to choose.

My father, on his last visit, complained that he felt some small amount of air moving across his face. This air was coming from a closed air vent in his bedroom that was very suspect.  The threatened to sleep in the garage.  Instead I fixed a separate place for him upstairs in my office.  This time the bed in his room will be moved far away from that evil vent, thus avoiding the problem altogether.

Add to the mix my wonderful sister and her 2 sons.  Nothing much will happen with any of them, as they will be face-deep in their phones.  I will have to make a rule that there are no electronic devices at the table. My sister and Dad do speak the same language, sometimes I swear they have the same brain even. My youngest nephew smokes as well, so he will be in the garage with his grandmother, while we will try to keep the oldest from getting into a political discussion with my mother.  Liberal college kid views do not go over well with her  conservative mindset, and he is too young to be able to keep up with her quick wit (not kidding). I would prefer to save the fireworks for July 4th.

And everyone loves coffee. And wine. And food in general. And we can all gather next to the warm fireplace, when we are not out in the garage, hanging out with the smokers.  Or decorating the Christmas. Or asleep in our food comas.

And this weekend will be the flurry of getting the last bit ready…the deep cleaning (but not too deep, because my mother will need something to clean while she visits).  There will be dusting of things and cleaning of baseboards. Vacuuming, sweeping and mopping.  The cupboards are full of snacks and such, the throw blankets and sheets have all been swashed and are fresh and soft. There is music that has been picked out for the occasion.  It may be hard but it will be worth it.  Much laughter, love, great moments, memories and pictures.  And I will hug them just a little bit tighter, just a little bit longer.  This year, a year of so many wonderful things in our lives, and so many miracles.  And so much heartbreak and terror in the world.  Nothing like watching the news to make you hold your loves ones just a little closer.

And in those hugs, those moment and those memories, that is where the magic happens.

Simple Little Words

This simple little poem

that you shall not see until I let you

is just to say how wonderful

Life is now with you

You make my heart happy

when you hold me so very close

you make me smile each day I’m with you

And I enjoy this falling for you

Yes, I cannot wait to see you

hear about your day

I cannot wait to plan together

Whatever the next adventure brings our way

Wish I possessed the vocabulary

to truly communicate the feeling

but all I have are perfunctory words

which seem so small in comparison

But if I could write

the way you make my heart feel

No doubt they would be the sweetest

words ever written for another

but all the words I have to say

are so very simple and small

a confession of types:

That I love you

and that is all.

Childlike

I swam in the ocean and played like a child. I did back flips, hand stands and the back stroke. I let the current of the ocean carry me as I floated on the surface. I swam underwater, like a fish, seeing how long I could hd my breath before coming up to the surface for that first gasp of air when my lungs felt like they are going to burst. There was an excitement, an innocents that coursed through my veins as I felt the water against my skin.

At first the water was almost too cold, but then as my body adjusted tot he temperature, it felt refreshing and I was energized. The entire sea in front of me, with all the mystery it holds. All it’s secrets being whispered to me in the currents.

It had been almost two years since I swam in the ocean. Almost two years since I did back flips and let the water carry me. And it was wonderful.

It makes you appreciate the cool fresh salty air of the sea. And to feel the soft breeze across my damp face was pure heaven. And I saw God, in the sea, int he sky, in the everything of the moment. And I knew He had me in his hands and that all was well in my world.

There were hot Krispy Kreme donuts in bed, melting in my mouth from the first bite to the last. There was laughter, wine and dancing. There was the innocence and playfulness of a child. It was freedom.

Your Guts and Your Gums

We all have those doctor’s appointments we wish we could skip. Not many things make me cringe as much as going to the dentist. Even my annual lady’s appointment is a walk in the park compared to the dentist for me. My teeth are extremely sensitive and I just about nearly come up out of the chair when they try to clean my teeth and go poking around. The dentist is the worst doctor’s appointment ever – of course I say that before having had my first mammogram (coming up next month), so I reserve the right to change that statement at a later date.

I can take the optometrist poking me and blowing puffs of air in my eye – no problem. The gynecologist and his partner in crime, the speculum – piece of cake.  The endocrinologist sticking me with needles to get blood samples is fine. The cardiologist and those sticky EKG thingies…But put me in a dentist’s  chair and I freak out a bit. My mouth gets dry and my palms get sweaty.

And this morning I had my first dental appointment in many years (let’s not say just how long…). I had a bad feeling from the moment I walked in, but just that it was me being anxious. I got into the chair and told them to put me on the gas.

And then the bomb was dropped.

They didn’t have the gas. WHAT?!? What kind of dentist does not have the gas? The gas is the best part of the appointment and the only thing that keeps me in the chair and not running out of the office screaming.

This was not good news.  A dentist visit with no gas? Nothing to dull the pain of them poking, picking, pulling, pounding, sucking and pushing?? I tried to swallow but my mouth was too dry. My mind was racing and my heart was bouncing between my throat and my stomach. I knew I was in trouble when the technician looks at me and says, “When this hurts, just remember I am not being mean, it just may be uncomfortable. “

Excuse me? I laughed nervously and barely was able to say that that statement was not very re-assuring.

Why the heck would you say that to someone who is visible about to fall apart in the chair?????

After about 30 x-rays, chomping down on whatever-thing-that’s-way-too-big-for-my-mouth, it was time for the dentist. She steps in and I realized that I really had to pee.

After a brief discussion about how long it had been since my last visit (all of the sudden I felt very Catholic, and like I was saying how long it had been since confession). After a bit of poking she announced just how bad my teeth were and proceeded to try to sell me all kinds of procedures. Not just your garden variety root canal either…I mean the high dollar stuff. It’s been a while since my last visit, but I do know I have good teeth and do not need $25,000 worth of dental stuff. If they want patients to agree to such things, they really need to have the gas.

Needless to say I got out of there as fast as my non-nitrosed bum could go. I just had a bad feeling about it from the start, and when I checked them online  – which I should have done before hand – they were known for “selling” their services when not needed. They have many complaints against them.

And now…I have an appointment at a reputable dentist, who does sedation dentistry. I go in, I go to sleep, I wake up and it’s all done. Shame we can’t have all of our doctor’s appointments like that.

The moral of the story? Always trust your gut feeling, whether it’s about a dentist, a date, a job, a co-worker, whatever. Your guts are good to you. That little voice that warns you of those red flags…listen to it.

Now, excuse me while I pass the gas mask…

Falling for the Weekend

It is Fall here in the south. The weather is turning cooler, with the highs in the low 80’s and high 70’s. At night the air is crisp and cool, promising the cold of the winter to come. In a word, it is delicious. I love this time of year. The air-conditioning gets turned off and the windows or up at night, as the cooler temperatures makes sleeping under a warm blanket a wonderful experience…until you try to get out of bed the next morning. Car rides have the windows down and the radio up, as the cool fall air mixes with  the warm sun to make the perfect recipe for road trip.

The fall festivals have already started, and the leaves are beginning to turn colors. The air is light and fresh, as  are the spirits of those around. Yes, it is fall, yummy, cool, promising, busy and fun. This weekend was a great taste of what is to come.

Family is a big part of my life. My youngest nephew came up with his girlfriend to explore and go to see a concert. Leaving us boring adults behind, they went shopping, eating, concert going and had much fun just being together. But I suspect we boring old people had much more fun.

Friday night were “crack tots” and beer with friends. Crack tots, true to their name, are highly addictive. You cannot just have one of these delicious tots dipped in equally addictive cheese sauce.  Thank goodness they have no calories either (at least that is what I tell myself as I devour them). Later that night my nephew and his girlfriend arrived, and there was much laughter and love.

Saturday was crazy busy, as once again the two lovebirds went out looking for cool things to do in Atlanta. Breakfast was cooked, more laughter and lots of activity around the Burch household. Then it was time for the adults to play, as we planned a fun time downtown. A friend of mine has a brother who bought a favorite bar, so we went down for the celebration. And we celebrated a lot. There were hugs of friend that I had not seen for a=years, laughter, catching up, eating and drinking. There was great live music, an old bank vault filled with everything Elvis, dancing and lots of Johnny Cash. There were pictures and smiles, and of course, several times I nearly tripped.

Sunday brought about sleeping late, brunching and lots of laughter and love

And I have to say that I am falling in love…with this season, and these weekends, and my family, and this time, these moments, in life. I am falling for Fall. And it is wonderfully delicious!

The Lesson of Driving

I have been given the task of teaching my nephew how to drive.  Well actually, his grandmother (my Mom) taught him the basics, I just have to make sure he has expereince in traffic so he can get his liscense and not wreck when he starts driving. Sounds simple.

I am not sure how my parents managed to teach us how to drive and still have a liver left. My nephew has done very well, and yet by the time the lesson is over, the only thing I want to do is go to the liquer cabinet and pour something straight, forget the rocks.

Maybe it’s because it’s my new car that is being driven. Maybe because it’s my car. Maybe because I am old and drive like an old person. Maybe because I understand just how fragile life is and how in a second everything can change.  Maybe I need to drink before the driving lesson. But being the driving instructor scares the crap out of me.

The key to being a good and successful driving instructor is to let ever let the student know that you are scared. And no yelling. Ever. The last thing my nephew, or any young person learning to drive, needs is to hear me yelling “STOP!!’ or “TURN Here Now!!” The poor kind would have a heart attack and kill us both. I have found that a calm instructor makes a calm student.  And most of the time it is fine, as he is very good student. But in those moments when he does what all young drivers do…I take a deep breath, find something to hold onto, press my foot hard against the floor (like that makes him press the breaks faster??) close my eyes and say nothing. When we get home, that is the time to tell him, that the proper way to handle that next time.

I have to say that I am proud of him, driving now. We drove last night at dusk, in the rain, with quite a bit of traffic. He did good.

So we drive around the neighborhood. We go to the grocerystore and the post office. We drive to d whatever arrends need to be done. And at the end, he learns to drive, I enjoy and nice tall one and we both have a sense that we have accomplished something.

and that is what is important.

The Time in the Space

I have a pretty big place where I live. Almost 1,800 square feet. That may seem small to many, but to a girl who used to live by herself, that is a lot of space. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths plus a garage (which is now the computer lab and workout space). My nephew, sister and I all have own own space. We all have our own space to go to when we need. I have always lived in places like this. Where I had my own space, and anyone who stayed with me had their own space too.

My boyfriend has a wonderful place. I love staying with him because his place is warm, comfortable, beautiful and intimate. He has a great house that is like an efficiency – it has a bedroom with his wonderful comfortable king size bed, a kitchen with beautiful custom cedar counters he with his own hands, a laundry area and a bathroom with the best jacuzzi tub ever made. Walls, ceiling and floors that are of wood, laid with his strong hands, exactly in their place. And there is no place to hide.

I have always had a bit of trouble being vulnerable, being intimate, letting someone into my space and knowing how to be close. And here is my boyfriend, when I stay with him, in a place where I cannot hide. I cannot hide when i am feeling lost. I cannot hide when I am feeling fluffy and bloated. i cannot hide when I am board, or aggravated, or happy, or sleepy, or hungry, or thirsty. I cannot hide when I have to use the bathroom, or am cold, or am feeling insecure.

The time in his space, forces me to be intimate. And I love it. I find that in his space, where I cannot hide, where I am naked, where I am bare, is the place where I run when I need refuge. This place, warm, solid, warm, dark and sensual, is where I go to be protected, held and comforted. Yes, the time in this space, his space, has taught me a great deal. About myself, about intimacy, about sharing, about life and about him.

The Fog Has Lifted

It settled down like an unwelcome uninvited fog. It started about three weeks ago and stayed, thick, heavy tangible and low.  It felt awful. It left a residue. And now, slowly, it has lifted, leaving behind clear skies and fresh air. It was a bit of a funk. And everyone goes through the funk a bit, even when we have the best or most perfect lives.

In reality, there is no reason to be blue – my father is doing much better, my sister has a great job, my nephew is going back to school in a few weeks, I have a new car that I love, a wonderful man I am dating, I have wonderful friends and life, in general, is good.

But I was sluggish, just wanted to sleep, I even cried quite a bit. I just felt…Bleh.

And sometimes that’s how it goes. Even happy people get the blues sometimes. Even those, who seem to have everything in order have bad days…even bad weeks.

So how do you get out of the Bleh’s? I don’t rightly know. Some people get super social, some get super introverted and just want to be left alone. Some people throw themselves into work, others go hiking, biking, workout, work in a shop, go shopping or just drink. What do I do? A combination. Sometimes I like to be left alone, take a quiet walk. Sometimes I want to be around my friends and enjoy their stories and laughter. Other times I want to just put my head down and work, sometimes I have a drink (or three) and sometimes I want to be held.

All of this has helped me get out of Blahville. These things a long with a new experience. I worked in a workshop this past weekend with the man I am dating. We built shelves for his home. We went and got the wood, then I watched as he methodically measured and cut the pieces with the saws and power tools. I helped as much as I could, but I was entranced by the method of creating something out of noting but a few pieces of wood. After helping him, I was assigned my tasks – to sand and to stain.

So I took the sander as I was instructed, and I concentrated on nothing else but the wood, the sanding, feeling of the machine in my hands and the texture. It was slow, purposeful and planned. Then there was the staining. I had never stained before. So the trick is to get all the stain on evenly…with no finger prints or darker stains. That may not sound like a big deal, but to a clumsy Pinktank like me…it can be a bit of a challenge. Actually, I am not sure which I am most proud of – the fact that i did a great stain job, or the fact that I managed to NOT trip, fall, stumble, foible, wobble, dribble, drop, spill or break anything in the shop. That in itself took great effort and concentration.

But I great stain job I did accomplish. And as I was staining, it came to me, that in everything there is a methods, there is a process and we must be patient and allow life to takes it’s time, dry and develop. And it came to me also, that I am in this place in life. I am used to running, doing, working and accomplishing. Now is the time to let the methods of life unfold. To let the processes take place. And to just let it happen as it will.

It is amazing how much stress and pressure that can take off a person.

You have to have patience. Work hard, play hard, love hard. But know when to take a step back and let life unfold on its own.

Admit It

Ok I admit it. I have a bit of writer block.Those are two ugly words. especially for a writer. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about really, it’s that I kind of get the feeling that I have written about it all before. What do I have to say that is new? fresh? Inspiring? Hmmmm.

I could write about painting my nails tonight and how great it is to be a girl. How we get to have all the fun. Maybe I could write about buying a new car, and how it is easier than I thought it would be. I really did think I was going to have to go through a Spanish style inquisition requiring detailed explanations about  my credit, income, tax returns, my pets names, blood type, shoe size, the secret recipe that makes my meatloaf to die for good (I will never tell!). Or how I have become one of those people who obsesses about their car, washes it all the time and parks in the furthest parking spot. (I have not resorted to taking up two spaces…but it’s not Christmas at the mall yet either).

Maybe I could write about what it is like to be a writer and search for corporate contracts. How to deal with contracting agencies, how to be a contractor, how to send out a ridiculous amount of resumes and such per day. How to stay focused and not get discouraged or terrified when thinking about bills (alcohol helps. So does yoga. Oh wait, I don’t do yoga…)

Or maybe a nice piece on housecleaning – how I am scared to look under my bed and the fact that the dust bunnies are at war with the hair balls from the cats. Or how about the fact that I am fostering cats for a wonderful animal rescue? Maybe the fact that I am swimmingly happy and enjoying the wonderfulness of a romance that makes my knees weak?

There is always writing about what to do in the rain, how to build an arc, the importance of taking swimming lessons (along with explaining why it is perfectly normal for a woman to have 10 pairs of black pumps – because we NEED them). I recently organized my shoes. That was a huge undertaking. I could always write about living with my sister…and the many laughs we have (who would have thought we could get along for this long and not kill each other??).

And then there’s politics! Nothing gets people talking more than voicing your political opinion. Gun control, Bengazi, the IRS scandal, the NSA scandal, Fast and the Furious scandal, the $100 million vacation scandal, healthcare, {fill in the name of the latest scandal here}.

Yes, I suppose those, and many more things, could be topics of writing.

And yet, nothing seems to strike my fancy. No wise words to impart.

But sometimes that is what happens when we go and go and go in life. At some point, we must rest and refill. We must take pause and take a moment before we have anything to give to the world. Sometimes we must hide away. Call it writers block, or taking a break, or being an introvert, or…whatever you like. But sometimes it is necessary to just breathe…in…and….out. To relax. To have nothing to do. But live life.

And so tonight I sit, at the computer typing. But ony after I have enjoyed my favorite TV show, some coffee, watching lighting dance across the sky. Only after spending time with my family and pets, and catching up with friends. And only after living and breathing. Yes, life is refilling me, nurturing my soul and gently rocking to sleep, dreaming of that which I can write. Later.

Of Storms

I sit on the back porch, looking out over the water as the wind and thunder whip around in all directions. Lighting flashes brilliantly and the smell of the rain comes in with sound of its drops in the trees.

The power is out, but it’s no loss. And one would think with as much rain as here has been lately I would be sick of it. But there is seething wonderful about when it rains in the country, out on the water. It is beautiful- the sights, sounds and smells of a storm rolling in. Something wild, untame and primal.

Life is that way sometimes too. We ride out the storm, go through the waves, roll wih the current and hope we don’t have to swim upstream too often. We take frequent breaks to rest when we do.

I wish I could write something deep and wise at this moment. Wish I could impart some deeply philosophical gem of thought. But the truth is things have been a bit introverted lately. I have been tending to my own.

And now it is time to enjoy the storm, now that I am no longer in the middle of it. Now it is time to sit on the safety of my porch; covered, dry and protected, on awe of the storms raw power. No wonder we may feel overwhelmed when we are in its path.

And I pour a glass of wine, breath in the soft wet air, and smile.

Life is Messy

Looking at my house, it’s a mess, to put it nicely.  The dishes are stacked up in the kitchen sink and counter. There are glasses everywhere – on the kitchens table, on the counters, the coffee table, the outside tables, in the garden, in my bedroom, my sister’s and nephew’s bedrooms, and I think I saw one even in the laundry room.

My clothes are everywhere in my room and bathroom. The bathrooms need to be cleaned. The entire house needs to be dusted, wiped off and organized. And vacuumed. And mopped.  There are tufts of cat hair. And dust bunnies.

Oh, yes, the house is a mess.

But that’s what happens when you have a life that makes you feel happy, loved, safe and ready to walk on the clouds.

Life has been wonderful. Mom and Dad came up for a great visit. The family talked, drank wine, ate snacks, laughed and had a great time out on the patio by the garden. The next morning there was coffee to drink and breakfast to eat. There was rushing to leave for work and doctor’s appointments. There were hugs and smiles, plans of when they were coming up again.

And then there are the visits to see him, the man who makes me smile. There is waking up next to him, warm, cozy, safe. It is fun to enjoy those wonderful moments. Getting to know him, talking, laughing and learning. Seeing his life, in his world. Sharing and breathing.

Life is messy. In the best moments, when you are busy living, it can get messy, dusty, dirty….and happy. And my messy house is a sign of a happy life.

 

 

The Fuzzy Life

So I have a big “S” on my forehead. Especially when it comes to anything cute and furry. One of my best friends has run and animal rescue group for almost 2 years. And for the first year I was really good – I helped out with money donations, would always be available to promote special needs animals and provided a safe place for her to vent when things got overwhelming for her. I never once took in an animal.

And then…I agreed to foster two feral cats. Well, they were kind of feral as in they didn’t hate humans and might be friendly at some point, but who didn’t trust humans enough to actually be friendly. What does it take to tame a cat? A lot of time, patience and yummy food treats.

Then my friend showed me the two “bottle babies.” Bottle babies are baby cats that have lost their mother but are not old enough to be weaned, so you have to feed them from the a bottle. She mentioned that she had no place for them to go and was not sure what she was going to do with them. Oh yes, my friend is a master.

And I am a sucker for anything cute and fuzzy. And these fuzzy babies are adorable wrapped up in an extra layer of cute. I mean you just want to eat them with a spoon they are so cute!  One look at them and that was it…I heard it. You know, that sound when you get completely sucked into something? Yep.

So every 3-4 hours my family and I (because yes, everyone is involved in it at this point) feed them. And any friends who come in the house are expected to help feed and cuddle them too. They meow and play, then eat and play, then rest and play, then play and play. They are learning how to run, well, actually waddle at fast speeds, tumble, wrestle with each other, jump and scoot around backwards.  They have big round full bellies, the cutest little noses and eyes that close in happiness when they eat. They have learned to purr, and do so frequently when snuggling after eating.

They love to nuzzle around in long hair. They love to run under the coffee table where we cannot get them. They love to sniff my other cats, who are not quite sure what to make of these mini-cats. They are a joy to watch and they do not have to do anything but exist to be adored. You  cannot hold one of them without falling in love with them. And one day soon, they will make wonderful pets.

And so right now, my life is completely full of family and cats. My sister and nephew living with me, my two furry babies that I own, the two no-longer0feral cats, and the two bottle babies. And while I do enjoy having the extra furry love, I am looking forward to when they are all adopted out and we get back to a two cat home!

If you want to save a life, adopt a rescue pet, or agree to foster! It’s worth the time and effort.

Misconceptions About Writers

Write drunk; edit sober.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Writers stay up all night and write. OK, this one may be true…but only for those who do not have day jobs or families, or children, or any life outside of writing. I think this comes from the fact that most of us wish we were so successful we could stay up all night and write.

Writers look fabulous and writer-ish when writing. No, I look like someone who has had the flew for several weeks. I have on glasses, non-match clothes, barefoot, hair pulled back and usually a large glass of wine very close. And make up? Whatever my face happens to look like at the  moment.

Me looking very non-writer-ish  and non-glam while writing

Me looking very non-writer-ish and non-glam while writing

We all have to be alone, on a pond, or somewhere is Europe to be inspired. Oh, how I wish this were true. But it is not. Fact is I have been inspired while riding the bus, in church, while having sex, in the middle of a break-up (not while having sex in the middle of a break-up, that would be very strange…Please notice there is a comma there), while sitting in traffic, in the tub while shaving my legs. Most of the time writers get inspired by life. Everyday, plain things.

Writers are all brilliant. OK, this one may be true…or maybe it’s just me. Actually, I wish I were as smart and people thought I was. Somehow every thinks that because I am a writer, I must know everything. Most of the time don’t correct them and stay quiet so as to not prove them wrong.

Writers are hermits. Some are, some aren’t. Most of us are somewhere in the middle.

Writers must be eccentric artists. – No, some of us are accountants, teachers, business owners, etc. Sure, some of us are crazy, have a sock drawer that is pure chaos, have 4 cats, sometimes forget to get dressed and talk to ourselves (or maybe that’s just me), but most of us just happen to be good at using words.

Writers are brooding, tortured souls – No. Maybe some of us, but most writers I know are pretty happy. We get to do what we love, and if we are lucky, make a little money because a few people read our stuff and liked it.

Writers are all like Carrie Bradshaw, living fabulous lives, and having lots of sex. No, no and no. While my life is pretty fabulous, I so do not live like Carrie Bradshaw, nor am I having lots of sex (did I just write that out loud?!?). Most people think we lead glamorous lives. Many of us have day jobs. Many of us, if we are lucky enough to be able to work form home, may bot even get dressed or take a shower when we are writing. Super. Glam. I know.

Writers are all Fat or fabulously thin. Not so much. Some of us are, some of us aren’t. but most of us are caught in that Bridget Jones hemisphere of if we could just lose that extra 20m pounds, we could fit on our “skinny jeans”  that we refuse to throw away  – just in case, say a world famine happens are we can actually fit into those jeans.

We are starving artists or super rich. Nope. Just like the skinny jeans thing, most of us are making a living, somewhere above the lower and below the upper.

Writers know everything about literature. Um, not so much. Or spelling, or grammar, or sentence structure. That’s what editors are for.

We have wonderful offices in which to write – This one is also many times true. I know I have a wonderful home and work office where I am supposed to write. Many of us do. And most of us never use those spaces. I had a great home office, with lots of books, magazine, stacks of papers. However, where I actually write is completely different. Where I really write is on my couch, in my bedroom office, or in my bed.

Me and my total Glam writing life: