Category Archives: Random Thoughts

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?

 

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.

 

A Three Year Journey, Never Intended

Three years I began a New Life.  Or should I say I began a New Journey in my Life.  A New Journey sounds so much better and more intriguing, wouldn’t you agree?  I would assume it depends on whether it is a Journey one intended to take.

I went home for lunch on a Thursday afternoon, it was August 5, 2011.  I’d been having “episodes” of unknown origin, but they were mimicking TIA’s or mini-strokes.  I had been to the hospital ER many, many times; had more CT scans of my head than I probably should have in my lifetime; and, had freaked out my friends, my co-workers and myself more than once.  On this day, instead of going to the ER, I called my doctor.  I thought that was a wise move, since I was tired of wasting everyone’s time and resources to be told that they didn’t know what was wrong.  The doctor told me I had to see a neurologist and until I did, no more work.  Little did I know that it would take a year, and my insistence at seeing a third neurologist to get a diagnosis and a solution.  Of course, by this time, I had no job, which meant I had to move because I could no longer afford where I was living.  Of course this provoked just a little (sarcasm here) stress in my life, which caused the RA to go out of control.   Additionally, I lost two of my main supports, which were my old neighbors.  I had not planned on that.  I’ve never returned to work and my health is such now, that it seems unlikely I ever will.  Although, I would like nothing better.

There are many details, twists and turns that life has taken throughout these past three years, far too many to mention here.  The life lessons are always the most important; the demons we struggle with and overcome; the challenges we face and win; and the realization of who and what really matters.  I know that these will continue throughout my life, I hope to get better at dealing with them and at letting go of the little things and the things I cannot change.  I am finding that, unfortunately, that also means letting go of people.  There are people in my life who let me down to the point that I can never trust them again; who have shown me their true character and, not that I am perfect, it is cruel; and, there are those who have, at least in their own honesty, walked away from me.  This has been the hardest part of my journey during the past three years.  Or maybe it has been the hurt I have caused others, for I know I have.  I have let people down in ways for which I have many regrets.  I have tried to make amends where possible and apologies when I can.  And tried to do it better the next time.  I guess that is all to do.

It has been an interesting journey.  I have learned a lot about myself, my world and the people in my world.  I have been to the depths of depression and have had wonderful friends to pull me back up.  I have had major health crises that without my friends I would literally not have survived.  And I have had triumphs that my friends were with me to celebrate and share.  What have I learned? That I have the BEST FRIENDS, that I am BLESSED they are in my life; that no matter how dark or lonely some days may get, they will ALWAYS be there, just one phone call away.  I have also learned that I can handle much more than I thought I could, and I really thought I was pretty strong before.  I’ve learned to be more independent and to ask for help only when it is truly needed.  I’ve learned to let the little things go and not stress about them as much.  I’ve learned to be GRATEFUL for all that I have, for it is so much!  I’m learning to ENJOY EACH MOMENT because it is all I really have and to stop expecting things to be a certain way.  It appears that when I can release my expectations, I am pleasantly surprised by something new!  The biggest thing I’ve learned about myself is that I have a lot to learn!  This is good, for life will continue with its twists and turns and how boring it would be without them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday’s Fears

It has been too long since I have posted.  I know this, not because of the date, but because my head is exploding with words.  It seems that the only times I have a lot to say are the times I have little time to write.  While the times I have a lot of time to write are the times I feel I have little to say.  I believe that is fear, my friends.  So, today I am taking the time to write and hoping that I am ready for the company that is coming in 70 minutes.  No, I am not showered or dressed yet, so I will have to type rather quickly!

I am back in my funk.  That bicycle I bought July 4th has left my garage three times and one was to go to the bike shop to be repaired.  So I have only been on it twice.  Okay, so I’ve had a double ear infection like forever and the doctor said riding it might not be good, and I have had trouble just keeping my balance while walking, but this would not have stopped me in the past.  So is my common sense getting better or am I just becoming too compliant? I hate being compliant!

The weather here has been perfect, 70’s and low humidity.  We have set records for cool weather in July!  I have slept.  In the house with the windows open at least, but I have slept.  Of course, I found out this has contributed to the double ear infection problem, so now I am sleeping with the windows closed and the air-conditioning on while the weather outside is perfect.  And the kicker:  I am 53 years old and I may need to get tubes in my ears…I think I am a little young to be going through my second childhood!  Don’t little kids get these when they are like 3? I’m no expert on these things, I didn’t have kids and dogs generally don’t get tubes in their ears!

Speaking of dogs, my youngest, and some would say my favorite, Willie (Princess Wilhelmina) has now been diagnosed with allergies and is taking daily medicine.  She is also eating a lot. She is supposed to be a mini doxie, but I am unsure how long we will be keeping the mini part.  I’ve already started the diet; I did that the day I started the medicine and we went to the park for a walk before we started the medicine.  I am very familiar with steroids.  I started them the day before.  I did not do the diet or the walk for myself, however.  I’ve always been better at taking care of others.  I did begin to be more careful with my diet last night, right after I ate the candy bar and the cookies.  I did not eat them in front of Willie, though, so that counts, right?  Today, I am hoping to go back to the park with Willie and might even take my oldest, Rudy, who is diabetic. (I didn’t eat the candy bar or cookies in front of him either.)  Of course that would leave the middle child at home by herself, which would increase my guilt significantly.  This usually means we all stay home.  And sleep.

My other project for today is to “let go” of my former life.  In my previous life I was a mental health therapist.  I was very good at what I did and I believe I helped a lot of people.  This illness has removed my ability to do that work anymore.  I could never handle the stress, the hours and the mental acuity required.  I no longer have the memory that is needed.  That all sucks and makes me extremely sad.  So I have decided not to look at all the books I have that related to my former life.  It is time to give them to someone who can use them.  I have no idea who that is, but maybe my local library does.  So I will start there.  Today a friend will help me box them up and I will deliver them next week.  In addition, I am going to make my “office” at home more of a “studio” where I can be more creative.  Now, it looks like an office, very practical and business like.  I am not business like any more.  Now I am all over the place, I “flit” and that’s okay.  I want to be comfy when I create, not sit at a desk in a desk chair that hurts my body.  So that needs to change.  And today is the day it begins.  It will be a fun project.  I will start with cleaning out the space, so I know what I need/want.  Then I can hit the thrift stores to see what I can find.  What an adventure! Kind of exciting, getting to create a new space in which to create. I am a writer now: maybe not an author (yet), but a writer.  That is my new profession and I am very grateful that I have it.  If I can ever get past the fear of putting the words on the paper!

 

 

External vs Internal: Does It Really Matter?

There have not been many external events happening recently, unless you count the illness stuff and I really don’t want to.  Or you count the recovery from illness, which is a bit better to focus on, I guess.  Other than that there has just been a lot of sleeping, watching TV and reading, which I guess does fall into that recovery category.  Internally, however, things are beginning to shift again.  I am feeling the need to get out of the house, not for purely social reasons, although those are important enough, but also for observational reasons.  I need to be observing life–people, places and things–so that I can write.  And I am writing again, oh, I guess that is an external change.  It feels so internal to me that I don’t notice when words actually leave my head and get put on paper…well, on the computer screen.  It is especially nice when they STAY on the screen after I put them there.  Yes, I “lost” two hours of writing the other day, just gone to great abyss of…wherever that shit goes when it goes somewhere!  The important fact here is that it is gone…bye-bye…see ya (NOT).  That was the bad news.  The other bad news is that I can’t just rewrite it, those words came once, not sure they will come again, although I will try.  The good news, I spent yesterday setting up a new writing system (another external change)! So hopefully that won’t happen ever again.  I hope.  At least not this week.  Or this month.  Or this year.

So, I am excited about today because I get to spend it writing.  I really hope the words come.  If not it doesn’t matter.  I have a new mantra…Keep My Butt In The Chair! I say it to myself a lot now.  It is the only way that I am ever going to finish anything! It is the only way that anyone ever finishes anything.  I know I don’t have a lot of stamina and I can’t stay in that chair for long, but I have to give it a try.  You know, one hour of writing, two hours of napping, one hour of writing, two hours of napping, etc.  That is about how life goes, no matter what I try to do.  And somewhere I will slip in my “observation” time.  It will happen.  I just have to keep my motivation and my dream in front of me.  And the other negative crap, self-defeating thoughts, in that great abyss of…

I am also finding that the balance is hard.  The amount of time “required” being alone so that I can gather my thoughts so I am able put words together into a story, along with not being so isolated that I forget how to interact with people.  It becomes easier and easier to become reclusive.  I do miss laughing though!  I find I don’t laugh anymore.  I haven’t for a long time.  And I miss it more and more.  I realize now, that even when I find something funny, I have a hard time laughing at it.  I wonder, is laughing a skill that one learns and forgets?  Or is laughing something that, with enough pain, too difficult to bring back?  Either way, I want it back!  I love to laugh…or at least I used to!  I used humor at work all the time, I was known for it and it worked! I do not know how to get it back, but I do know I am going to work at it.

It seems I’ve made a list for myself:  Keep my butt in the chair; Make observation time; Keep my dream in front of me; Find the balance; Re-learn how to laugh again.

Okay, I’m exhausted just looking at the list!   Is it nap time, yet?