Paradise Lost

I remember when I looked forward to writing. I’d sneak it in whenever I could…in random notebooks, on various Word documents scattered in my laptop, even on PostIts.

But I haven’t actually written much of anything in a very long time. I’ve let work consume me, and in turn, forgotten what I was actually working towards. 

I miss it. My brain misses it. My heart misses it. And whether or not someone out there is going to read it, I have come to the conclusion that I need to force myself to find the time for it. 

To be continued…Image

People in Funny Hats

Staring out the window on a car ride I saw a man and a woman, both of a more mature age, talking. I imagined they are neighbors, standing at their property lines, engaged in the ordinary conversation of “how is so-and-so” and “did you ever get that window fixed?” They stood in what looked like clothing appropriate for yard work with gloves and funny hats included. The kind of hats found in the gardening section of a store with loud patterns and wide brims to provide shade from the bright sun.

And as I glimpse these people for this one moment in passing, I think about how with each year we age, we become a little more comfortable in life.  A little more at ease with who we are. We discover a little more. We accept a little more. Maybe we do it at different paces, but it happens.

This image of the two of them relaxed and chatting gave me a vision of the years to come. Years of enjoying the time I have, doing things that I love and absorbing the joy of the people around me.

Years of wearing funny hats.

New Changes

For quite some time, I have been working on ways to relieve some stress in my life and quell the anxiety that has rattled me since being laid off. I don’t like not having a plan. I don’t like not knowing what’s going to happen with the bills. I’m the kind of person that needs to have a plan and a back up plan and it seems that all that has gone out the window.

Recently, I blogged about an accident that totaled my car. And without a job and bills piling up, the stress was beginning to suffocate me.

Then, a temporary job came along. And just like all the other times that we were almost in trouble, something came along to help. Maybe not solve the problem entirely, but enough to get us through to the next moment.

In all this chaos, I’m starting to feel a strange calm under the worry. The kind of calm that tells me that even though things aren’t how I planned, things will work out. It will get better. It’s been a long time since that feeling has surfaced. I’m wondering if I can keep it around.

When I was a teenager, I loved not knowing what would come next. I loved not having a plan and making last minute decisions. Worry never crossed my mind when I didn’t have enough money to fill up my gas tank. I don’t ever expect to get back to that feeling, but I would like to remind myself that the worrying is pointless. It only hinders the attempt to achieve a goal.

We do what we can do. We try our best. We may not always get the turnout we are looking for, but we keep moving and we keep working. Everything is temporary. Everything is always changing. If you let worrying slow you down, you’ll never get where you’re going.

 

I Give Up

Love is a funny thing. Some people jump in with both feet. They are more than satisfied not knowing what will happen. Some people wade in slowly, testing the waters and then easing in a little bit at a time as their comfort grows. 

Me? I swan dive. Face first. Every time. Sometimes that water can be pretty shallow and I wind up nursing my injuries. But other times, the water is so deep, you wish you could hold your breath forever. And just as quickly as I dove in, I can jump back out if the temperature changes.

When I have a job, I’m absorbed. I do everything I can picking up tasks the second the first is finished. I find things to do that no one knew needed to be done. I organize. I clean up. Then I try to make things easier or better. And if I work from home, I am a slave to the “one more minute” theory. It’ll just take me one more minute to finish this email. Two hours later, I’m still working. 

Books. I devoured books as a kid. Then there was a long stretch of time where I didn’t read at all. I like to refer to this as the zombie-parenting era. In the past few years, I’ve picked them up again. My bookshelves are overflowing. My husband is complaining. Thankfully, he bought me an ereader or I would start stashing them in any open space. 

This is me. I get addicted. I obsess. 

The good news is…I know it. 

We try to hide the characteristics we don’t like. We deny them. We don’t let them come out. But I find that the more I discover about myself, the more I have to find a way to like that quality. Somewhere along the line I stopped trying to fight my personality and now I work with it. I no longer try to change everything, I embrace it.

There is only so much you can change. There are certain aspects of ourselves that are simply rooted in our personality. Figure them out. Learn about yourself. And then see the positive. 

If you are told to build a cabinet, it’s easy if you have wood, nails and a  hammer. But if all you are given is some dinner plates and a hot glue gun, you’re going to have to figure out a new plan. 

MacGyver did it. So can you. 

 

 

Hooray for Monday?

I realize that usually everyone hates Mondays. I’m generally one of them. 

But, this week, I can’t wait for Monday. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for Monday.

Why? What spurred this moment of insanity?

A JOB.

A real, “get dressed nice and go to the office” job. Thanks to a call from a temp agency, I have a new opportunity for the next few weeks. They called last week with an opportunity at a nearby company. One that I had been applying to for the last few months. The company is being bought by another and is in need of a few extra hands to make some changes to their system. After a quick group interview last week, I was approved to start work tomorrow. 

It feels weird. I’m overly excited about it. I already have my outfit picked out. 

I am so thrilled to get to work that I already have these grand plans in my head that I’ll be their star employee and want to hire me for a permanent position. 

Too ambitious? 

Who cares? I’m going to work. And I’m going to work my butt off. Then I shall report back to the Twitterverse to report my success. 

Having a job is something we have all taken for granted at one point or another. Those days when you felt you were beaten down, defeated or just too exhausted. The times that you spent well over 40 hours toiling away even when you weren’t getting paid for it. Even the times that you simply did not feel like getting up in the morning.

But, for those of us who have been searching endlessly for a job and submitting resume after resume only to get another rejection form letter in our email boxes, Monday seems like a pretty good day. 

 

 

Ramblings

~Most people live life on the path we set for them. Too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along and knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize free will is a gift, you’ll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that’s The Chairman’s real plan. And maybe, one day, we won’t write the plan. You will.

~ The Adjustment Bureau

This movie gets my wheels turning. What I like most is that it can be interpreted in different ways. I’m not particularly religious and while this movie hints at a nondescript divination, it doesn’t necessarily make that the focus. The focus is more on choosing your own path and it stirs me in so many ways. And watching Matt Damon and Emily Blunt together, I think they made a surprisingly convincing argument as a believable pair of regular people finding that intangible “something” in each other. The type of connection that is brilliantly clear from the first few moments and couldn’t, or shouldn’t be severed.

Love or no love, choose your own path. Make your own roads. View things from your own perspective and if you don’t like what you see, change your course. Whether you believe that your life is predetermined or not, you do have the power to make your own decisions and even if they don’t turn out the way you want, there are many other turns in the journey ahead that can lead to what you are looking for. Or better yet, what you didn’t know you were looking for.

The One Where I’m an Idiot

I’m an idiot.

Okay, in reality, my trying to foster the right type of mood for the writing I was working on was headed in the right direction. I consider myself pretty self-aware and know what changes my moods. Like my sister and a good friend both mentioned in the comments, music can be very influential. I couldn’t agree more. Music has soothed my soul for as long as I can remember. Even before I can remember if you want to go by my mother’s account of the excitement I expressed when John Denver would come over the radio.

On Monday I was way too chipper. The weather was sunny and fairly warm. I had lots of errands to take care of and the day went way too well for me to switch the flip to somber. Tuesday didn’t look any better. I was starting to hunt for the right CDs to edge me into a darker tone. Maybe I could draw the blinds and eliminate some of that glorious sunlight. 

And then…

Then the rain came. The gray, chilly rain. This seemed promising.

You might be wondering where I realize I’m an idiot. It’s about to happen.

I put on my favorite sweatpants. I make a cup of tea. I grab a blanket and the remote and get comfortable on the sofa. I found a movie on the Sundance channel that I had missed once before and as I watched, felt the clouds gathering over my head. Then it hit me…MOVIES. All my life I have wanted to act or have some involvement in the entertainment industry. Just like reading a book, you are watching a story unfold in front of your eyes. Your emotions are manipulated by what you are seeing and hearing. When I leave a movie theater, I feel like I was a character. My mood is fully enveloped in what I’ve experienced.

How did I not think of this first?

Between the rain and the movie, I felt myself sliding down a slippery slope to gloom. I opened my laptop and the words started to flow. New ideas struck in intervals along the way; the lightning that sparked my character into motion. It felt good to get all those scattered thoughts I had been having come to fruition.

I’m not sure if I’ll have to wait to be wholly inspired to work on this piece again, but at least I know what can nudge me into the right state of mind now. The facepalm from not using what I’m so passionate about in the first place was enough to knock  the sense into me. 

 

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