Free Speech?

It is already January 12th and this is my first post of the year.  I had hoped to be writing much more than this by now!  Of course, I did not expect to get that nasty, nasty flu that hit mightily this year. Knocked me down for a solid two weeks.  The good news is that I am regaining strength and on the road to recovery and her we go into the New Year, albeit a bit later than planned!

Suffice it to say I have watched A LOT of TV while I was ill.  And I am a news junkie.  And there have been a few tragedies.  Another plane with 162 people crashed into the ocean; at least they will find this one.  Little comfort to the families, but they will be able to bury their loved ones.

And then the terrorist attacks in Paris.  Attacks against cartoonists drawing pictures.  Attacks against free speech. ATTACKS AGAINST WHAT EACH OF US DO HERE EVERYDAY.

I personally don’t agree with poking fun at someone’s religion, someone’s skin color, someone’s ethnicity, someone’s sexual orientation, but I do agree that we all have the right to do it.

There really hasn’t been any kind of free speech in the United States for a very long time.  Anyone who makes a comment about that is racist or bigoted is immediately chastised, and if a public figure, may not be for long.  While, again, I do not like racist or bigoted statements either, does “free speech” mean that there is a right to say whatever, without any ramifications?  Or does it mean that you can say whatever you want, but be prepared to deal with the consequences of your words?

What is free speech really?

 

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Soon it will be…2015

End of the Year Musings

I’ve usually spent the end of the year doing inventory, as if my life were a warehouse of goods that needed to be categorized and labeled, so I could show others all that was there. Now, however, I realize that I needed to have them counted, so I could prove to myself that I had them there. It was as if I was not a whole person, or a good-enough person, unless my warehouse was overflowing with the “good-enough’s.” Of course, considering that I have been unable to work for over 3 years, and a lot of my self-worth was on my work, my warehouse was getting very empty. Like any other fractured human, at least this is what I like to tell myself, I tried to fill it with all types of other things. Despite all of my attempts, nothing really worked. I always felt empty, alone and lost.  My inventory method was falling shorter and shorter each year, as my way of measuring up to my own standard no longer existed. (One would think I would have figured out this was going to happen and I did, I’m just not too quick on the change factor!)  Recently there has been a shift…yes, a change can happen, it just takes a while…a long while…a  long, long while….

I am not doing inventory this year, however, as I do not see a need.  I know what happened and I know what did not happen.  I know what I accomplished and what I wish I would have.  I am aware of all the ways that I want to do things differently, so I see no need to go back and “dig them all out again.”  I also do not see a need to make any New Year’s Resolutions…I do not see any value in them.  I have made them, broken them, beat my self up about breaking them, made new ones, broke those and felt like a failure, all by midnight on January 1st.  Not doing that again!

I did have a theme for 2014…JUST BE…and although I think it took about eleven and a half months for me to get there, I do think I have learned to just be.  I love my solitude, perhaps too much…no, that’s like too much fun, just can’t happen.  I am content.  I have what I need and I am very fortunate.  I was able to give during the holidays in ways I never thought I’d be able to again.  That has made me very happy.  And I have no expectations of anyone else.  I do not want or need anything.  I have been so blessed to be able to Just Be!

So, as I look forward to 2015, I am sure I will find another theme that fits.  At the moment, it feels that   it will be more action-oriented; the time for sitting and reflecting may be done.  That is okay though, I believe I am ready for the challenge!

So Happy New Year Everyone! I hope that you find your inspirations in the New Year!  And before I go, I do want to thank all of you in the blogosphere for all the inspiration that you have  given to me this year.  Your love and encouragement has kept me going, even during my “absences” from posting… Thank You All

 

 

Class Reunion–35 years and counting

So I broke down and went to my first class reunion last weekend…okay it was my third-fifth class reunion, just the first one I’ve ever really attended. I went to the fifth, but stayed twenty minutes and left. It felt like high school and I didn’t need that again.  It is so interesting to see that little microcosm of society! For the most part, everyone has stopped worrying about “who is better than” and “who has more,” yet there were those “select” few.  You know, the “ones” who still talk to the only the other “ones.”  And they look around the room making eye contact with rest of us lowly minions, thinking that we are pining for their attention.  I noticed them about a half an hour before I left…and I was there five hours.  Someone I was talking to pointed it out to me, so I paid attention.  I realized that there was this “group of four,” not including their very uncomfortable spouses, who were having a very difficult time getting the rest of the mingling crowd to pay attention to them.  They tried a lot of things: they laughed very loudly, then looked around to see who noticed; they all walked to the bar together giggling at whatever, pretending not to look around; and they did the same on their social visit to the restroom.  Their extreme disappointment when no one cared what they did was evident…everyone else had moved on…had grown up…had seemingly left them behind.

It really was good to see people again.  I wish that  more people attended, but who am I to talk, it took thirty-five years for me to attend!  I realized when I got there that I miss the friends I made in high school.  I haven’t seen most of them for thirty-five years.  It isn’t anyone’s fault, life just happens.  I never felt like I fit in then; after this weekend, I know it doesn’t matter anymore.  That is a refreshing feeling.  It is sad that it took thirty-five years for me to feel that way, yet it is great that it happened at all!  I also realized how truly blessed I am to have reconnected with the friends I have since moving back to my hometown.  They have made this transition so much better.  I would be lost without them.  It is good to have this time in my life to reflect on what is important and what is valuable; what is lasting and what is true; what is golden and what is treasured.

 

 

Travels…in my mind

I would love to say I’ve been traveled and that is why my last blog post has been so long ago. Ok, so I’ll say I’ve been traveling.  I often do, only it is never a physical trip; I never leave my house!  I go to all sorts of places, however lately I have spent a lot of time with family in California.  I think it is because I had planned a trip there over two years ago now and had to cancel because of a sick fur-kid.  Of course, in hindsight, I did not have to cancel and should not have canceled, but only hindsight can show me that.  Somehow, I don’t think my recent “trips” to the sunny state of California measure up to what it would be like to actually go there!

I have also made return trips to Hawaii, to bask in the sunshine and feel the warm ocean water again!  It is so beautiful with the tropical flowers and the bright colors.  And the Rocky Mountains, in contrast, with their strength and majesty.  The mountain streams cascade with a clear purpose and direction.  And there are so many other places that I visit over again, just to experience their beauty and the peace, the joy and the excitement I felt being there.

In reality, I have just been very stressed and exhausted lately.  I really don’t think the exhaustion has anything to do with my travels, either!  I’ve been having “issues” around the house and I guess I’m just not as good at dealing with them as I used to be.  It just wears me out.  It has set off the RA and the PsA, which as resulted in swollen and painful joints, especially in my hands.  This angers me, as I feel if I dealt with the stress better, I would not have the physical reaction.  And, we all know what this does…yep, makes the physical reaction worse!  Ain’t that productive!

Today, I am going to try to break the pattern and get back to what I want to be doing.  This is my start to that.  So I will try to be more “responsible” in my posting.  I am hoping that the problems  around the house are just about over…although owning a house usually means there is always something that needs tending to.  (I really like having little “projects” to do; I just like being able to DO them, I don’t like things going wrong that I can’t fix.)  Also, it is autumn, my favorite time of year…the colors and the smells are superb!  It will be awesome to be able to once again experience Mother Nature’s bounty! I am so grateful for all that She gives to us.

I won’t stop traveling though, I’ve found it to be a rather enjoyable pursuit.

 

Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster

Once again, it has been it has been far too long.  I can honestly report that it is not because I’ve had nothing to say, just no time/energy to say it!  Just to catch every one up: Rudy, my Super Dooper Trooper is doing Wonderfully! He gave me another scare, and only one week ago I thought I was going to lose him.  Then, on Wednesday, 9/10, he had a “perfect” glucose level of 133! The vet and I agreed that we are going to wait one month before testing him again.  He’s been through enough tests and it’s time to just let him be for now.  Additionally, I have fallen twice in the past  two weeks, which has taken a toll on my body.  This may be the stress of everything causing a lack of coordination or just too much going on.  Either way it is taking a toll on my body!

Needless to say, dealing with this emotional roller coaster has left me fairly exhausted all the time.  I am still keeping up with the things I normally do, I am just not doing them at the same level.  I do think in the past day or two, I am starting to return to “normal,” whatever that is!  At least, I am feeling like I want to do something again!  I have begun to “study” writing, as I believe that to do something well, one must keep up on the skills of doing it.  In my case that means learning AND doing!  I have done that with just about everything I have ever done in my life and it has worked out well for me.  I just have to watch out for the tendency to get caught up in the learning and never get to the doing part!  Especially now that the doing is writing, which is very scary for me.  As I write those words, it seems very ironic that writing would be scarier than therapy! After all, therapy is, if done incorrectly, a far more dangerous enterprise. I mean, if I suck at writing, it is not detrimental to anyone’s life. (Except maybe my ego, but not my life.) Yet if I sucked at therapy, I could really screw someone’s life up. And I was not scared to walk into my office every day and see folks for therapy, in fact I enjoyed it.  So when I think of it that way, writing should be easy, right?  I think I will continue learning…

On that note, I just started reading a new book, entitled “Trying Not To Try” by Edward Slingerland.  It is based on the Chinese Philosophy of wu-wei, which is described as “an effortless way to go through life with spontaneity.”  It allegedly disputes all the thoughts about planning, reasoning and effort being needed for a happy life.  I am interested to find out more about the philosophy, especially since it fits into my theme of this year: “Just Be.”  Also, maybe it will help me be able to put words on paper; just write and stop trying so hard to make it perfect and planned out.  Which, of course, will probably go against everything I am learning about outlines, research and index cards!  That is what makes learning so much fun though…reading about all the different ways of doing things and putting them together to make the way that works for me!

After all, once I figure it out, I could write a book about it!

My Super Dooper Trooper – Not Saying Goodbye Yet

So we went to the vet yesterday to check on kidney functioning and glucose levels.  My Rudy is amazing!  His kidneys are now functioning within NORMAL RANGE and his glucose level has dropped 200 points!  While it is still way high (450) at least it is headed in the correct direction! The vet is pleased and said that we are not out of the woods just yet, but we are definitely headed in the right direction.

Of course, I wanted to take him out for breakfast to celebrate-or at least for a walk in the park.  Instead I brought him home to his “special food” and his insulin shot.  Poor guy, he’s worked so hard to get his levels in check and he can’t even have a treat to celebrate!  (It got way to hot to go for a way later in the day.)  And I think he was just so happy not to be at the vet’s office that he was okay with coming home.

I am now cautiously optimistic that he will be okay for a while longer.  My emotions have been all over the place and I am sure they will continue to be.  I know this is not the important part, Rudy is. It has been a roller coaster, though; maybe for him too.  I just feel very lucky to have more time to spend with my Begga-boy!  It doesn’t happen very often that we get that “little more time,” or that “one more day,”  that we so often ask for when it is too late.  Now it is my challenge not to waste the gift I have been given, but to make the very most of it I can!  I hope I am up to that challenge.

I also want to thank everyone in the virtual world who gave Rudy and me support and prayers, they made all the difference!  Without my virtual friends my days would have been much harder.  I am blessed in so many ways.

Now I must return to Rudy who is asking for something…probably a treat that he can no longer have…

How Do I Say Goodbye to My Boy?

I know I haven’t written a new post for a while and I haven’t been reading or commenting on many blogs either. I have been very preoccupied and with good reason. My oldest fur-kid, Rudy, isn’t doing very well. He has diabetes and it has gone out of control. Last weekend he started having a lot of symptoms that pointed to high blood sugar levels. When I took him to the vet, the number was 653 (normal is around 100). In addition, his kidneys have been “compromised.” Not Good. I thought that I had lost him at that point and was trying to emotionally prepare myself, as if one can do that. The vet gave me a little hope by changing his diet. Although he told me not to buy any more insulin, he would give me some as I only have enough for about a week. When I asked how long before we would know if the diet was working, he said, “a week or two.” So, that means I could only have a week or two left with my boy.  IMG_0551

When I think back on the 12 years we have had together, there have been so many good times! He has been my “Beggaboy,” my “Ruddabegga.” He has helped me through some very dark times in my life and been there for me when no one else has. He has made it through three moves and has hung in there with me through numerous relationships (despite trying to tell me that one in particular was disastrous for us!) He has stuck by me despite my bringing two puppies into our lives and one very abused adult dog. He really doesn’t like puppies! And no matter what I threw at him, he has smiled through it all and continues as my boy; “da man of da house!” Someone said to me: “Yeah the little buggers break your heart when they leave you.” My response: “Yeah they do, but I wouldn’t trade the last 12 years with him for anything.”

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How do say goodbye? I have no idea. I know that I will have to. I don’t know if it will be this week or next or maybe I will have more time with him. In any case, I know that the time is coming faster than I want it to. Until then, I will love him and spend ALL my time with him. I will stay by his side and have no regrets about not being with him. I will not let him suffer. I will not make him stay when his quality of life is gone, for that would be selfish on my part. I do not want that for him. Hell, I don’t want that for me! For there is no greater love than what a dog has for his human, and Rudy has loved me far better than I could ever have loved him. Now it is my turn to fix that, I will not let him down. I will love him as he has loved me.

Even though it will be one of the hardest things I will ever have to do, when it is time I will say goodbye. I will hold him in my arms so that he knows he I love him as he takes his last breath. And I will keep him in my heart always. For that is what he would do for me. It is what he has done for me.

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