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. 

 

 

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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.

Anti-Resolutions

I’m not really a New Year’s resolution maker. I never have been. I don’t like the pressure of assigning tasks and having people ask if I’m keeping up with them. It’s none of their business if I’m losing weight or being nicer to people than I was last year.

However, the insanity that we designate as “the holiday season” always makes my life a tornado of activity and I forget what my daily routine used to be. So, when the new year has arrived and the gifts are put away, I take a look at what I need to do with myself. “Setting goals” sounds much more promising than “keeping resolutions” to me. And since I have already assigned myself to a path of self-improvement, adding some new goals doesn’t seem like such a chore.

This past year, I read 25 books. I decided that’s not enough. The amount of books I want to read is astronomically high. As in, I really hope I can read in the afterlife or I will never read them all. This year, 35 sounds pretty good. I’d like it to be higher, but I think being realistic is more important at this point.

Continuing my exercising and eating habits is in the plan, of course. I’ve been successful with it, so let’s keep that on the clipboard as a “to do”.

I think my biggest goal ahead of me is better time management. I’ve always been so good at it professionally. It’s one of my best attributes. I need to apply that talent to my everyday life at home. I get the important things done, but I don’t seem to allow enough time for the things I want to do. More reading, more writing, more blogging, more fun time with my kids…all of which I feel like I push to the side for things like dishes and laundry. Balance is important to maintaining happiness. Not just your happiness, but that of your family, too. The people around you will be better off if you are content with the life you are living. And who doesn’t want to make the people they love happy, right?

By the way, thanks for coming by again. I know I’ve neglected this page, but I’m thrilled to return and keep it up. I’ll keep coming back if you will. And while you’re here, let me know what your “anti-resolutions” are for the year.

I Want, I Want, I Want

Last week we went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I didn’t do anything. I relaxed. I laughed. I moved in slow motion.

It. Was. Sublime.

I went thinking, I’m going to read and I’m going to write and be productive in the most awesome of ways!

But, I didn’t read…or write. I watched this:

 

So, mostly, all I did was admire. And think. And I thought, What the hell do I want? What am I doing?

This is what I came up with, so far, in no particular order or necessity:

1.) I want a job. An honest to goodness, pay me regularly and not scraping for work or hoping this gig will last kind of job.

2.) I want to improve my posture. What? There’s nothing wrong with that. My shoulders are always so tense…I need to push them down. I’m working on it.

3.) I want to make some stuff. Ok, maybe this one isn’t completely specific, but with my impulsiveness in mind, this could include crafting, drawing, painting, redecorating and/or papier mache. Well…not papier mache. You get it.

4.) I want to be healthier. This one I revisit frequently. I’m exercising. I’m eating better. I’m a work in progress. I feel motivated with this one.

5.) I want to learn Spanish. I know Spanish fairly well. I read it better than I speak it. I’d like to be able to speak it without thinking twice. My best guess is this will include a lot of verb conjugation for me to master. Maybe after that…Italian. Too ambitious?

6.) I want to kick Anxiety’s ass. ‘Nuff said. Prognosis looks good.

7.) I want to soak up as much as I can. Knowledge. Movies. Music. Life. The point here is to absorb, not just admire in passing.

8.) I want to be a guest on the late show with Craig Ferguson. Okay. I know. This is completely outlandish and pointless. Maybe it’s why I put it on the list. Maybe I need something so unreachable to keep my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground. People are famous for nothing these days…anything is possible, right? I just REALLY fancy an awkward pause. (If you don’t know what that means, I suggest you watch the show.)

There are my thoughts. Don’t worry, I don’t charge for them. Not even pennies. Feel free to comment with your own wants. It feels good to put them in print. It also helps you feel more encouraged to go out and get them. 😉

 

 

Writing S’more About Memories

We made tacos for dinner on Friday night. Tacos are always fun and messy so it was a good meal. Not just in the “warm your belly” sense, but also in a “warm your heart” kind of way as we joked and spilled and passed the fixings around.

After dinner, my husband brought in some wood for the fireplace and we decided to make some s’mores to top off the night. This being the first time we made them in the fireplace, we weren’t sure if the kids would be able to sit there and cook the marshmallows. My son lit his marshmallow on fire. My daughter decided her face was too hot. It was then my job to cook them all and the kids would take care of the real work…eating them.

I pierced the sugary glob and rested the stick in just the right spot for even browning. As the flames danced around, I started to lose myself in the thought process of describing everything I was seeing. Between the colors and the movement, my brain was getting a workout and I thought about what might make a good post later.

Then I started to drift off. My mind wandered down a path of memories instead. As a kid, when we had backyard barbeques, the kids would roast marshmallows over the charcoal when dinner was done. We took orders from all the family members. How many? How well do you like them cooked? It was a task we took seriously.

Without realizing it, my memories swirled and curled, dreamily, like the smoke rising from the fire. I had visions of my grandmother snacking on nearly burned gooey goodness that almost always ended up on her shirt. We were all sticky messes by the end of the evening, but our bellies were as full as our hearts. It was not unlike the taco dinner we just finished.

Then I realized, falling back to these moments proved to be a much better exercise than watching flames flit about a pile of wood. The fire was just the backdrop.

Suddenly, I was snapped back to reality when my husband said, “You really just like doing that, don’t you?”

Babe…you are so right.

Unapologetic

For years growing up, I wondered how I would figure out who I am.  What do I want?  Why am I the way I am?  I tend to live my life on the edge of my emotions.  They swallow me up and swirl me around until the next emotion comes along.  It’s like traveling by tornado after tornado.  The pounding hail of anger.  The spinning winds of elation.  The soaking rains of sadness.  They fill me up; they tear me down.

I’ve finally learned to embrace this quality. Some people go through life hiding their feelings.  Denying what makes them who they are to put on a mask and appear different to the faces looking back at them.  I go through life hanging on to every moment.  I’m influenced by every experience.  For all the fun, love, hardships and heartache I’ve been through, I’ve held on to it all and let it steer my steps to my future.  The good and the bad have special places in my soul where they linger swimmingly and occasionally rise to the surface.        

I’m not outrageous.  I’m not dramatic.  

However, I am empathetic.  I’m impulsive.  I’m unapologetic.  I like this about me.  I feel like I’m experiencing life even if I’m not traipsing from country to country backpacking.  I savor any food or drink I consume.  I leave movies feeling like I could have played one of the characters.  Every song has a meaning to me, some deeper than others.  If you ask for advice, you’ll get my honest opinion.  Not one that’s walked over eggshells first.  Don’t worry, I’m considerate of others’ feelings.  I even put myself in your place best as I can before giving my two cents.  Some may think I’m odd, or intrusive, or even naive, but my experiences are what they are because other people’s experiences were meshed with mine.  I’m just as interested in others as I am my own life.  

The best part is, for everything I look back on in my past, I look on it fondly.  Even the lowest of the lows.  It’s what has shaped me.  What has helped me get to this point today.  If I had denied myself the pleasure of passionate feelings, no matter how blissful or dismal, I may not have seen the lessons.

What’s the point of the oversharing today?  Don’t just live your life…love it.  And if you don’t love it…change it, find a way.  It’s the only one you’ve got.

9/11 In Remembrance

I think every generation has at least one occurrence that brought them to tears as a citizen of this country.  The kind of event that they say, “I remember where I was when that happened.”

I was in a meeting at work.  A regular, monthly meeting to discuss the issues our department was facing, achievements and such.  I remember returning to my desk to find people milling about and looking solemn and nervous.  Then my supervisor walked up the aisle to announce that while we were in our conference room, the Twin Towers had been hit. 

I didn’t know anyone that worked there.  I didn’t even know anyone in the New York area.  I took my scheduled break, a bit stunned, and walked down to the cafeteria.  Televisions were lined up playing the news stories and I stopped to watch.  As I stood there, unsure and shaken, I prayed.  I prayed for the safety of the airline passengers, grim as their outcome was.  I prayed for the thousands of employees in the building.  I prayed for the citizens of the city in and around the buildings.  And I prayed for the good people trying to help them all.  And as I prayed, which is not a common thing for me to do, I cried.  I stood and watched and cried.  And even as I type these words, the tears well up once again.  Never had I felt so concerned, so yearning to help and so utterly helpless all at the same time.  After sufficient exposure to the incident, I wandered, in a daze, back to my desk. 

There’s no answer as to why.  There’s nothing that will satisfy our questions.  To this day, if I watch any show detailing what happened that day, I sob uncontrollably.  Even the Challenger explosion had not affected me to this extent.  Seeing a tragedy like this is earth shaking.  I cannot even fathom the fear those people experienced or the hopelessness they faced. 

So, to remember this day, I send my loving prayers and thoughts to each person affected by this day.  The families, the friends, the strangers.  All of us.  All of you.  My heart hurts on this day every year to think of the lives that have been lost.  And it fills with joy to know that we came together to help each other get through it with love and understanding and empathy.  Please remember this day always and forever.