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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Anger

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Filled with anger

Consumed with frustration

I look to make sense of the situation

You have created.

Your refusal to understand me

Your refusal to see me

For the person I am inside

You put the blame on me

You say it is what I have done

At no time acknowledging your role in this game

You see me for what you believe me to be

I will never win in your eyes

I will always be a pariah

I am tired of trying to please you

To make you like me

To make you see me for the wonder that is me

Never seeing the person that I am.

The bond is now broken

No adhesive will make it whole.

Filled with anger

Consumed with frustration

I will never let you beat me

No matter how hard you try.

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Living With Joy

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I just finished reading one of the most amazingly beautiful books I have ever had the fortune to read.

Breathtakingly, soul-strentheningly beautiful.

I read it cover to cover in a day.

Yet, it will stay with me for quite sometime.

Buy it.  Today.  Read it.  Now.

Until I Say Goodbye: My Year of Living With Joy, by Susan Spencer-Wendel, chronicles her life after receiving a diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at the age of 44.  It is not a book of sadness, or pity, or anger.  It is a book of laughter and love and JOY.  In the book, Susan tells of spending a year making joyful memories for and with her loved ones.  With her husband, her best-friend since childhood, her sister, her children.  Separately and together.  Even as her muscles are failing more and more rapidly, she desires to infuse her life – her very spirit – with JOY.

Susan and I grew up in the same hometown (where she lives about a mile and a half from my brother).  She is my age.  We share the same name (I wonder if she wasn’t really in love with the name growing up as I wasn’t – I have never felt like a SUSAN).  We both have three children – one with Asperger’s (her last, my first).  Both two boys and a girl (hers in the opposite order as mine).  I went to high-school with her life-long best friend.  As I read the book, I could picture the landscape of South Florida.  I breathed it with every rich detail.  There where times when I would laugh out loud – back up – read it again – only to laugh even harder.

And there were times when I had to hold back the sobs.

As I was reading the book, I would occasionally stop and ask myself if I would still love it as much if I didn’t feel  a bit of a personal (albeit vicarious) connection.

And each time the answer was a resounding, “YES!”  And not just for the humorous well-written prose, but for the lesson she imparts.

As we are facing challenges in our lives, we have several choices.  We can fight it tooth and nail.  We can fall in to a deep depression.  Or we can accept it for what it – for what it will be  – and choose to be JOYFUL.

Not happy.

Joyful.

There is a big difference between the two words.  They are not synonymous.

We may not be HAPPY to be in the midst of the challenge.  But, in accepting it – or as Susan puts it, finding your Zen, we can open our minds and hearts to finding JOY in every situation.

It is such a hard choice.  And certainly, making the choice to be joyful is not the path of least resistance.  It is ever so much easier to feel anger.  Or to allow ourselves to slip into the caverns of despair.  Making the choice for acceptance is HARD.  You have to work at it.  And as humans, we don’t really like things we have to work at.

Oh, I am sure that there were times when Susan felt genuinely pissed off at her impending fate.  Yet, she made the conscious decision to accept that what will be will be.  There was nothing she could do to stop it.  There was nothing she could do to even slow it.  It was happening and there was absolutely nothing she could do to avoid it.  After all, isn’t life too short (and in her case, quite literally) to spend it pissed off or sad?

Such a very good question.

And one that makes me think that if she has been able to face her fate with such dignity and grace – surely I can learn to do the same thing.

Surely we all can.

Impossible Things are Happening Every Day

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Daily Prompt: Impossibility.

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – the White Queen, Alice in Wonderland.

What are the six impossible things you believe in? (If you can only manage one or two, that’s also okay.)

Julie Andrews as Cinderella

Julie Andrews as Cinderella

In the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical version of Cinderella there is a delightful little song sung at the end of Act I called “Impossible.”  It is the scene where Cinderella first meets her Fairy Godmother and good ol’ FG works her magic to get that sooty little girl all gussied up to go to the ball.

Impossible, for a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage.
Impossible, for a plain country bumpkin and a prince to join in marriage,
And four white mice will never be four white horses!
Such fol-der-ol and fid-dle-dy dee of course, is— Impossible!
But the world is full of zanies and fools
Who don’t believe in sensible rules
And won’t believe what sensible people say.
And because these daft and dewey-eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes,
Impossible things are happening every day.

I really like to think I am one of those zany fools who doesn’t believe in sensible rules.  One of those daft dewey-eyed dopes who continue to believe in the impossible.

So, instead of list six things, I am going to say just one.

I believe in the impossibility of finding lasting love.  That remarkable love that holds you up, but allows you to still be you. That love that endures all.

I believe in the impossibility of that love being in my world.

After all, impossible things are happening every day…

On Blogging

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winding road

I have come to love blogging.  Truly love it.

I love that it gives me a chance to write.  I wasn’t always a writer.  Or, at least I didn’t think I was.  I never really liked writing fiction.  And non-fiction?  Oy.  All those research papers were just tedious.  My ADHD made it REALLY hard to focus on the topic.  REALLY hard. All those notecards and outlines.  UGH.   But, I could always manage to pull something brilliant out of my butt and get a fairly decent grade.

What I did enjoy was writing little snippets about things in my life  – whenever those little snippets struck me.  Little poems.  Or pieces of poetic prose.  And while I had a feeling they were pretty good, I didn’t have an organized place to put them.  I have little scraps of paper lying around where I jotted down ideas.

And friends did always say I always knew just the right thing to say – and MAN, could I work a metaphor.

That is where blogging comes in.  It became the perfect place for me to write.

I look at other people’s blogs and I notice how FOCUSED they are.  Their blogs have a theme!  Blogs on poetry.  Blogs on family.  Blogs on fashion.  Blogs on mental-health.  Blogs on music.  Bogs on education.  Pretty well focused on a single topic.

And then I look at mine.  The posts are all over the place!  I’ve got a little bit of everything!  No focus.  Just like that picture above.  Wandering.  And I begin to think maybe I need to have a bit more of a point!

But, I realize that rambling road is like my mind.  All over the place!  I am not very single focused.  Not one little bit.

I guess that is my theme then.  Literally the rambling musings of my mind.  After all, it isn’t about the directness of the path, it’s about the destination.

Like the Beatles said, “It’s the long and winding road, that leads me back, to your door.”  And I am glad my winding road leads me to your door.

Perhaps…

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Perhaps I should have never released the words

Perhaps they should have stayed chained within the prison of my mind

Perhaps I was selfish by letting them out – thinking only of myself

Perhaps I made you feel conflicted – mired in the middle

Perhaps I made you feel angry – to know what’s in my heart

Perhaps I made you feel sorrow – for what will never be

Perhaps I made you feel confusion – of what is in your mind

Or

Perhaps in hearing my words of freedom, just

Perhaps I made you feel hope – for things that may still come

Just Me and My Boys

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IMAG1302

My sweet little boy monkeys.

It seems that I am always doing special things with the Girl Child.  Their dad will take the boys off to go do something (like go to a retro monster movie), and Monkey #3 and I will have “Girls’ Day.”  We’ll shop, have lunch, get our nails done.  You know – girly things

It is rare when it is just me and the Boy Monkeys.  Today, however, it was just the three of us.  And it was really pretty great.

I have the Monkeys every Saturday during the day, whether it is my parenting time or not, while their father is at work.  Usually, we are just at home doing weekend things.  But, today the boys and I stepped out.

My mother decided to take The Girl Child to go see a local production of Swan Lake.  Monkey #1 had a short Boy Scout thing to do.  The Middle Monkey and I went to pick him up.  We were all hungry, so off to IHOP (Monkey #1’s request – he loves the red velvet pancakes).  It was a delightful little breakfast.  No arguing.  No meltdowns.  No irritations.  Fabulous.

Monkey #1 had seen that there was a neighborhood yard sale going on, and wanted to go picking.  I didn’t feel like wandering from house to house.  So, we made a compromise.  We went to this place that is like one giant yard sale crammed in a building.  There is stuff EVERYWHERE.  And you never know what you might find.  We even saw an electric butter churn!  The boys and I had so much fun scrounging around seeing what we could see.  We would make fun of silly things, wonder about unusual things, comment on the cost of overpriced things, laugh at how someone would put a price on an empty box, and marvel at a 5 foot tall hand-made model of a Dutch windmill.

I was able to get some books for a book drive we are having at school and some vintage necklaces to use the beads to make something new.The Middle Monkey picked out a pencil sharpener shaped like a die (the singular for dice) and a strategy game I loved playing when I was a kid.Monkey #1 found a National Geographic from July 1976 (yes, the Bicentennial Edition).  I had to talk him out of the bamboo cane he wanted to buy.  I could just see him deciding to cane one of the other two monkeys in a fit of frustration.  All for less than what we paid for breakfast at IHOP.

Then my mother called and said she was heading home with the Girl Child.  The boys and I were tempted to tell her just to keep the girl.  We were off having fun!  But, we headed out anyway, thus ending our little excursion.

What a great day.

The Twilight Zone

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Daily Prompt: Comfort Zone.

What are you more comfortable with — routine and planning, or laissez-faire spontaneity?

“You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”

With all possible respect to Rod Sterling…

I like to do things.  I like to go out.  Have fun.  Enjoy the people I love and care about.  And if the planets align, I LOVE to just go out and do it!

I do not like to be the one making the plans.  Being to one to make the decisions for a group of people actually brings me great discomfort.  Maybe it speaks to my slight submissive qualities.  Who knows…

But, on the other hand, once plans have been made and if they have to be cancelled – Oh boy… While I like to think I am flexible enough to deal with it, I frequently have a hard time with it.  Particularly if I am really looking forward to it.

I guess I prefer to live my life in The Twilight Zone of planned spontaneity.  If such a thing exists.  And since we are journeying into the wonderous land of imagination, I am going to say it does.  Why?  Because it is my blog, and I can say what I want to…

When my ex-husband and I went on our 2 week honeymoon across country (previously mentioned in “Oh the Places I Won’t Go,”) we spent the entire trip like that.  We had certain dates when we had to be in certain places.  In between, we would open up the map and the AAA TourBooks, and see what was between point A and point B.  We saw some interesting sights!  The world’s largest road-runner, the town where Billy the Kid was finally apprehended amazing Anasazi ruins atop a mesa, and stayed at a former brothel in Sante Fe (which I have since learned are being converted into low-income apartments).  We loved that feeling of being able to just explore.

I wish life could be more like that.  Know where you have to get to, but enjoy the path in between.