Life Topics

Hello Friend

I don’t give a damn if people like me, and it’s incredibly liberating.  I’m finally at a point in my life where my personal needs are a major priority, that I won’t apologize for.  I’m done raising my family and no longer come in third.  Some might say it’s selfishness, if that’s how you were raised.   I beg to differ.  My actions are born from the essential elements that make me happy – it is not selfish.   Like most, I gather fundamental elements that help to fill a menu of actions to choose from.  However, in the process of building a decent and productive life there have been situations where I haven’t always been reflected in a flattering light.  In other words, I may screw up in a way that can cause people to misinterpret who I really am; to dislike me.  That being said, let me introduce myself.

Growing up we were taught to be nice and polite to others, worthy virtues.  Following these tenants was pretty easy and implanted a simple message of friendship, love and harmony.  Do unto others, and all that.  The part “they” fail to mention is that you must do unto yourself as well.  Learn what is important to you and chase it.  Chase it with everything you have!  It could mean missing out some time with your children, spouse or friends.  It could mean missing a game or a play or a dinner.  In the long run it’s not fatal.  You juggle, but it’s ok to drop a few balls, or catch some balls for yourself.  I have forgone many evenings with my family to attend University classes because I told myself it was the right thing to do.  I was chasing and they were stationary. That time in my life weeded out those who had disdain for my “selfish” dreams and ambitions, with those who cared about my success.  Again, a character misinterpretation.  Don’t hate me because I am fragile.

Long ago were the days when you could make a friend at a playground by just saying, “Hi.  Do you want to be my friend?”  I find it incredibly difficult to make friends today.  There are trust issues that swirl around my conscience.  Can I open up to this person, tell them who I really am?  And, there are people who meet you and just don’t like you.  You can always tell by body language, reactions and lack of interest.  Sometimes I let myself wonder why someone doesn’t like me.  I try to brush it away not wanting to feel rejected.  I hate that feeling.  I try to think back to the first impression.  I remember what they said and how I responded.  Was I an ass?  Should I have been more attentive?  Usually, the answer is no.  I was myself, and if that doesn’t cut it then sorry, you lose.  It might be simple chemistry.   Either way, you’re meant to be friends or not.

So, who doesn’t like me?  I really don’t care.  I’ve filled countless days with blessings and delight.
I have two wonderful children, a devoted spouse, a supportive family and a crew of really cool friends.  I try to stay acutely focused on the positive forces in my life.  It helps.  I won’t feel bad about my choices, my downfalls, my missteps, my victories and achievements because it’s all part of who I am.  If I see you out, I might say, “Hi.  Do you want to be my friend?”  And if you say or think “no” that’s OK.  I’ll always be here if you need me.  That’s what I’ve been taught.  You know, I now realize, I really do care who likes me.  I’m not basing my worth on it, but I’m hoping to find a new friend.

Hello friend.

 

Life Topics

A Million Tomorrows

elementaryschoolYou’re alive in a body full of
baggage and wiring.  Turn away from any voices that whisper lies.

Protect the hope in your pocket.
Warn those who reach for it. Don’t let dissapointments throw you to the muddy ground.

Slowly reveal your scars.
Pick at them carefully, without letting
them bleed.  You’re a grown up for God’s sakes.  Never give up the child inside, or you’ll be lost forever.

Be obnoxiously curious.  Find the answers built on an endless list of ignorant questions. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Build your life on what could be.
Your dreams can fill a million tomorrows.

Life Topics

A Fabulous Retirement

I dream about retirement these days like a dog dreams about a bone.  That blessed and well-deserved day when I get to call it quits.  I imagine the leadup to “o-dark-thirty” may be stressful trying to wrap everything up for the next sap, I mean person, who takes over my job.  My boss will say, “Jo, make sure he/she is well trained…and will you be available if we have any questions?”  I’ll be like, “absolutely, and I will be around if you need anything”.  Right.  Of course, I would never leave anyone high and dry, but already my priorities have changed.  Sometimes learning OTJ is the best way.  I’d be doing them a favor if I was unavailable.  Baptism by fire and all that.  When I’ve finally fulfilled my parting duties, there’ll be no more looking at the clock, no meetings, no deadlines, no projects, no managing people and no boss.  A blissful life full of nos.  But even more so, a presence full of yes’, for anything I want to do if it’s within my newly fixed income.

I’m not what you would call a “planner.” So I may be in a bit of a financial crunch when I stop taking in my lucrative Public Access pay.  I could learn to live meagerly if I had to.  Coupons and day-old bread could be adopted into my routine.  On the bright side though, I’ll be rich with time and an overactive imagination.  Think of the possibilities!   Lunch with friends, reading novels, showering daily, writing stories, walking the dog, sitting in the sun, doing light chores, getting a haircut, maybe do artwork, plan get togethers and floss my teeth.  And, if I get even the slightest bit bored, especially with the personal hygiene, I can get a little part-time job for some pocket change and mental rescue.  As long as the job’s hours are short and flexible with an obscenely high pay rate.  I most definitely plan to live a dilettante life.

Who do I want to be when I’m done being a grown up; fabulous, absolutely fabulous.  My life of leisure will be outrageously delicious.  I will amusingly pretend to forget what day it is saying, “is it a weekday, or weekend day?” I’ll laugh as I say this, feeling clever and witty; feigning confusion.  I’ll be old enough to be excused for being obnoxious.  The only people who would take offense would be those who begrudgingly must work the next day.  Pontoon boat rides in the summer will be a daily activity, staying out late, as there are no more “school nights” to worry about.  Young people may seek my worldly, yet practicle, advice on everything from boiling an egg to changing their motor oil.  I’ll arrogantly think I have it all together, or maybe just bluff, like only a seasoned retiree can do.

I’ll have to wait a while to become that eccentric, retired old lady.  There is still a whole decade before I start to live this fanciful existence.  In the meantime, I’ll practice saying “get off my lawn!” and “God love ya’”.  There’s time enough now to start my retirement hobbies on the weekends to prepare the future.  As far as my job, I really like it and have little to nothing to complain about.  It has served me well.  My mid-life has had no crisis and is mostly unremarkable.  My fifties have been a training ground of fetching rocks and putting out fires, teaching me how to be a stronger woman. All these experiences have helped create a solid gateway to my next phase.  Afterall, a fabulous life must be built, it doesn’t magically happen one day.

Life Topics

The List

I have a List.
It’s not an extensive to-do, just a large purple post-it with that sits next to my computer.  Sometimes it’s pretty full. I would feel like a superstar if I could get it all done.   I have a pencil next to it to scratch off things that have been conquered.  Important things have stars next to them, some items have question marks, and some are faded scratches that I can’t make out.  Unfortunately, today only 3 things have been scratched off.

There are things that linger for weeks, at least it seems.  They perpetually get copied from one List over to a new List for another day.  The one thing that’s always on there is “back up computer”.  I don’t know about you, but this always gets pushed to another day.  How hard is it to back up a computer?  In my nightmares, it never gets done, and my computer crashes.  I think I might do that today, not sure.

I’m trying to be productive, be that model employee who’s on top of things.  Well, I do make some progress, but it screams at me, “research authors”, “clean studio”, and “upload programs”.   These things I might not get to today. They’re important enough to get on the List, but there’s no star next to them.

As I work, new emails flash in front of my eyes.  “Oh, a sale at Wayfair, oh new yarns at WEBS, oh Amazon recommends something.”    Just a quick look at the emails.  I happily order a few new things for myself, which are not on the List, and go back to the financial report.  Emails are a killer life and List distraction.

I wonder, am I really a List person?  As I look around me, my List is covered with files and mail.  I’ll have to unbury it to get started again.  The mess is familiar, and almost comforting, but highly unproductive.  Should I abandon the List for the quiet chaos I’m so familiar with?  No, I’ve been there.  Using a List has brought some important change in my life.  I have become more focused, more organized and more productive.  I think I’ll move the mail and files now.

I need my List to be the person I want to be.

Life Topics

Time and Treason

DSCN4015

Look in the mirror to
see the terms of your journey.
Time and treason have tried to
lead you to other conclusions.
Negative thought is the
predatory of joyful memory.

Try to recognize yourself in the
form that you’ve become.
Sagging and wrinkles are the
result of hope, fear, laughter,
heartbreak and joy.
Embrace yourself, and never
let go.

Don’t let gravity anchor the
spirit of who you once were.
Dance to a new song that was
written for you today.

A life well lived is the gift that
you wear openly.  A face does
not lie to please the vain.
The scale can’t stop my fancy.
My reflection is a map showing
each stop along the way.

I am beautiful.

Life Topics

Depression

Depression
Depression

Pull up your bootstraps.
The veil is all in your head, not over your face.
Depression will eat you up.

Self -talk becomes tedious.
Sick of my own voice.
Words can’t stop the pain.
Pain can’t stop the words.
My body aches.

Small pills introduce me
to my real self.
A life outside the dark shell.
Sunshine warms my face.

Life has possibilities.

Life Topics

In Your Backyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ice crashes into the glass, soon to be submerged with my thoughts.  Drown it all.  These are my happy hours.  Wet the slate clean.

The doctor said he couldn’t drink.  Drink and you die, abstain and you live.  His ice is submerged with memories in virgin form.  He looks at me with disdain.

I am safe until the next test.  Numbers are a state of mind.  Find a new doctor if they are bad. Smoke a cigarette.

Is this medicine?  Don’t be afraid to say yes.

People are human, I am a cliché that makes no sense.  Ignore advice and love. I am my own business. Bad news will try to find me.  I will hide.

Make no plans, but have ice just in case. Clink, clink and repeat. Clink, clink and repeat.
Taboo lives and breathes in your backyard.

Invite it in for a drink.