Posts Tagged With: change

 
 

Will the Real Me Please Stand Up

Friday Letter to my Kids – June 19, 2015 –

Dear J, J, L and L,

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Age slows you down. You swear it won’t happen to you. Then menopause hits, or a surgery or two, or an autoimmune disorder appears. You cope, you adjust, you medicate, you treat, you pursue other options. You age faster than you thought possible.

You sound like your grandma when she used to try to stand up from her chair. Yeah, that sound. Ooomph, uhhhhhh, psssssshhhhh, ahhhh.

You straighten your back slowly, hoping it doesn’t catch and stay crooked. You feel like a lawn mower that’s sat idle over a few months and needs some oil, fresh gas, a new air filter and a sharpening.

One day you try to roll out of bed and wonder what alien life form took over your body in your sleep. Your feet hurt, your legs turn to bags of rocks. Nimble no longer describes anything about you except perhaps your wallet.

Smart man, that Robert Frost guy.

Truth.

The mirror betrays you.

The scale lies.

Your clothes shrink overnight.

Brain cells shrivel and rearrange themselves.

And forget the whole memory thing. I recall at thirty something, staring at Big L and being completely blank on what your name was. I tried to say your name, not even the letter L graced the screen of my brain. Nada. Imagine putting a couple of decades on top of that early memory loss and you’re staring at a mega data sink hole.

I’m fighting it. Not sure where I’d find a personal trainer who helps you win against aging and old person syndrome. But time isn’t on my side and neither are the odds. I pedal my bike pretending I’m sixteen, but looking more than a few decades older and slightly wider than that. Surely there’s more countermeasures to deploy in beating back the aches and arthritis and aging process.

Why do I tell you this, in your prime, your vigorous amazing twenties and thirties?

Photo by Paweł Grzywocz

Photo by Paweł Grzywocz

It’s a sign. it’s one of those small roadside poster sized signs you see two hundred miles from your destination. “There will be other signs,” you think to yourself, “as I get closer.”

And there are. But those miles roll by in the hectic pace of life with kids and schedules and work and fun.

I swore in my teens: “I will never grow old. I refuse to look old or act old or become old!” And now I’m offered the senior citizen discount by the AC repairman without even getting asked for my ID. So what if I saved twenty-five dollars. My already tilted world slanted a bit more and I felt myself sliding toward some abyss.

Well, that’s a bit dramatic.

But still. Imagine that happening to you. At your age! You’d feel disheartened and brushed aside, too.

In my head I’m not really any older than you. Just a little more jaded, a little slower. The real me inside dances to Queen’s lyrics, “we will, we will, rock you!” The real me holds up a lighter and sings “we are the champions, my friend!”

The real me never actually grows old!

Here’s real secret I meant to share with you: neither will you.

All my love,

Mom

~~~~~

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” ~ Sophia Loren

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Categories: Friday Letter to My Kids | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

Physics for Four-Year-Olds

I took two of my favorite tiny people to the park several times over the past month. We usually go armed with buckets and shovels (and kleenex, just in case.)

Plans of building sandcastles and making weed, rock and sand “soup” fall by the wayside as we arrive. As soon as these two kick off their sandals they head for the swing set.

I get it. I really do. I recall a personal addiction to that sensation of forward and back and up. I remember as a child willing myself to keep sailing upward when I’d let go, imagining that with enough willpower I’d be able to fly. It’s especially thrilling when someone will “underdog” your swing and really send you rocketing, catching a little air at each extreme arc of the swing. Ah, those were amazing days.

photo-26 copy 13

The perfect way to spend a cool May evening.

The just-barely four-year-old decided that it’s time to finally learn to pump herself on the swing. She’s been working on it with her Dad and Mom at different times. I hoped that some particular magic that only Gramma’s possess might contribute to her success.

Sadly, no matter how many times we tried, no matter how it got explained, the idea of when and how much to lean back timed with when to lean forward just never quite jelled. I assured her that someday it would just naturally make sense, that she’d suddenly find that she’s sitting on a self-propelled swing. No need for “someone” to push her.

The last time we were at the park together, a week ago, I assured her that when I saw her again she’d have mastered the art of pumping herself on the swing. I told her that one day it would just make sense and her body would naturally move in cadence with the ebb and flow of the swinging motion. I could say that with confidence because she was moving to a new house with a swing set in the back yard. And, I wouldn’t be seeing her for at least three months.

Now it seems like I’m the one stuck on a weird new swing set unable to get the rhythm of the thing so I can enjoy the ride. That four-year-old moved way East, further east than I can drive in a day or two. Her absence, along with her Mommy and little sister and Daddy, has left me dangling. Quite frankly I don’t feel much like swinging, or doing much of anything. I feel homesick and heartsick even though they’re the ones who left.

Sigh.

It’s more than just their move out-of-state.

All four of my kids are now in four different states, spread out over a radius too wide for my mothering instincts to accept. I’m not sure when we’ll all be together again. I’m extra grateful we had some family together time in Colorado a few weeks ago.

I know, I know. One of these days I’ll find myself spontaneously feeling happy and lighthearted and not weighed down with missing them. One of these days things will click and I’ll laugh without feeling slightly fake. Eventually I’ll welcome the sun’s incessant cheerful rays through the blinds instead of shutting it out and living in a shaded dark interior.

One of these days I’ll feel the swing moving me forward and back, up and out, and my legs and body will follow suit, keeping life moving in a wide arc of joy and growth.

Until then, I’ll just try to understand and accept the physics of life’s forward momentum.

"It's not working!"

“It’s not working!”

Categories: Family, motherhood | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments
 
 

Unbelievable and Shocking Realizations Unfold Worldwide

photo 4-4 copy 11

“Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking, into the future…” Bad lyrics from a dumb song.

Recent events coupled with historical data have revealed the following true facts that are unquestionably the most unnerving thing you’ll read all week:

  1. Children born in the last twenty to twenty-five years are now in their twenties!
  2. In a related, but so far unexplained phenomenon, adults who once looked twenty are now approaching the age of fifty and beginning to look older.
  3. Sadly, fifty years-olds from twenty years ago, have progressed to the age of seventy and just don’t feel as young as they once did. Congress has dispatched a committee with a massive budget to look into this.
  4. Apparently this oddity extends beyond the human population as well. Cats and dogs, although showing little signs of aging by way of wrinkles and graying hair, nonetheless develop lung, heart and arthritic conditions as they move into the first decade of life.
  5. But wait! Even plant life is affected. Acorns become trees in some miraculous and heretofore unfathomable process. How such a tiny thing can transform into a tall and expansive growth has many average people baffled. “I just don’t know how it happened. My dad and I planted a little nut like seed a few decades ago and now this huge tree stands here in the backyard,” said one unbelieving and mystified eyewitness.
  6. Things that people found appealing and interesting, in fact, even innovative, over thirty years ago, have become mere artifacts of curiosity and sometimes ridicule. For example eight-track tapes, aerobic dance videos, pagers and MC Hammer pants. Somehow, these things and many others find themselves relegated to the same area as golden oldies, fifties memorabilia and blue eye shadow.
  7. Unsure of the relationship, but seeing a correlation nonetheless, not doing regular chores leads to a messy house.
  8. Likewise, the phenomenon of groceries needing to be purchased more than once seems to be part of the, dare we say it, conspiracy!
  9. And sadly, scientists have finally concluded after years of extensive research that toilet paper cannot be successfully recycled for multiple uses. Some think this, too, somehow relates to the above mentioned realizations.
  10. This last curiosity no one can explain, but, brace yourself: clothing wears out eventually.
  11. In a completely unrelated, but still shocking development, being nice feels better than being mean and, surprisingly, sharing makes other people feel good.
  12. Most baffling of all, these things remain consistent across the globe. From Japan to Iceland, from South America to Russia, from Antarctica to Alaska, the phenomenon holds true. The only exception was found in the person of George Hamilton and a few former Disney starlets refusing to act their age. The president deployed the Secret Service several years ago to investigate. Results were still pending.
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“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” – Groucho Marx

Can anything be done? Many have been searching for answers for years and years. Sadly, scientists reveal they have no clue as to how to repair, prevent or treat this slowly developing and ongoing process. They fear that side-effects of a cure would lead to malaise, boredom and stagnation. They have considered that some of Einstein’s theories might be related somehow, but they don’t have time or space to figure it out.

~~*~*~~

“They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!” ~ Dr. Seuss

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Ain’t No Sunshine

It’s Gratituesday! Variety and consistency. Yup. That’s what I’m grateful for today. I know those two things seem to contradict each other but you’ll get over it and so will I.

I love knowing that if I get myself out the door before sunrise everything else will work out somehow.

I keep telling myself I’ll change where I go walking, but I crave the solitude and the surroundings. I take different paths, from different directions, I change it up in small ways and that’s all it takes.

sunshineThe predictability of the sun coming up each day keeps the world on track. The unpredictability of the colors, the clouds, the angle of light, the shift in shadow all make each morning a pallet of infinite variety. A paradox of consistency and change all in one for you to ponder every twenty-four hours.

Studies show that predictability and consistency contribute to productivity and contentment. But we also know that such things contribute to boredom and dissatisfaction.

And then other studies show that happiness more often manifests itself when change is a constant. What? Not major change, just variety, tiny differences make all the difference in happiness levels.

Some days, weeks and months in my life at least, it feels as if nothing is consistent or predictable except change. I can tell you from my own completely unscientific experience that such situations lead to feelings of high anxiety and unhealthy levels of stress.

I’m trying to embrace the variety and unpredictable state of my life. I’ve worked at that for a while now. Hence my daily gratitude journaling and weekly Gratituesday posts.

I’m also rather desperately trying to incorporate consistency and a regular schedule and other nice things like that into a chaotic life.

I’m having more luck embracing change than instilling predictability.

Balance seems the key word. And the most elusive quality. Gratitude sounds elusive today as well.

Let me take a different angle.

cloudy

Cloudy.

The sun shines here a zillion days a year. Okay, something like 287 days out of 365. That, my friends, adds up to a heckuva lotta sunlight. A glorious thing in the winter if you don’t like the cold. An unending series of boredom and heat in the summer if you don’t find some variety.

Sure we desert dwellers love the rain for its moisture and life-giving sustenance, but we also love it for the sheer difference in weather. Not sunny equals a nice change.

I’ve also lived in the Northwest where clouds and rain sang the same song every single day. Or so it seemed. Unending blue sky and sunlight, when it rarely occurred, felt heavenly for the sheer change in melody.

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and ordered the same thing you got last time because you know you’ll like it? Of course! But that can get so boring! Try something new next time and appreciate the difference even if you like the same old thing better.

A PBJ for lunch every single day might give you a sense of security, of all’s right with the world, but that, dear reader, is an illusion.

Or maybe that’s just my life.

Maybe your life consists of predictable, on time, on schedule, knowing what’s ahead for the next year wonderfulness. I’m incredibly jealous happy for you. If that’s the case this whole post must come off as the strangest bunch of rambling you’ve ever read in your life and it’s a wonder that you’re even still reading. The following statement won’t even register on your reality meter.

Change is inevitable.

Change is the only constant. We’ve had this conversation before, I’m sure of it.

Sunrise.

Sunrise.

I’m glad and grateful for differences, variety, something new, unpredictability, the wonder of what’s around the corner. Really I am. Really.

I’m also ready for some stability, some unmoving earth beneath my feet, a calendar with a schedule I can count on, a checkbook with reasonable numbers, a sun I know will rise in the east every single morning.

I just got done texting my cousin the following message: “Variety is the spice of life, or so I’ve heard. Unless variety is all you ever have.”

I’m just aiming for a little balance. Call me crazy. Call me nuts. Call me weird. I don’t care.

I’m still grateful for the whole mixed up mess of it all.

Not buying it huh? Well, then just listen to this song. Enjoy a classic.

~~~~~

Here’s Bill Withers from way back in 1971 totally getting it and giving it. His song says more in two minutes than anything I’ve managed to write today.

 

“Variety may be the spice of life, but consistency pays the bills.” ~ Doug Cooper

 

 

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Happiness | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Cat Tuner Changes his Tune

I didn’t plan this, but a year ago today I wrote this post about my Dad, the cat tuner extraordinaire. Strange, sometimes, how life circles back around.

Dad brought their cat inside the house (it’s definitely an outdoor cat) shortly after I arrived here and told me a story.

A week or two ago Dad says their cat went missing. When Lulu finally showed up her back right leg was dragging behind her and she acted out of sorts. Dad looked for obvious injuries and found none. No bleeding, no cuts, no scrapes, no missing fur. After a bit of thinking it over and talking with Mom, he decided to take the cat to the a local vet. The estimated wait time seemed too long, so Dad headed to another vet in the next town or two over who could see the cat right away.

After an exam and some tests and X-rays the vet determined the cat’s ligaments and tendons in that back leg had torn somehow. He could repair it with some surgery. After talking it over with Mom, (who is not a cat person, nor a pet person of any kind) Dad agreed to the surgery.

What?

Who are you and what did you do with my real Dad? 

So for the past week he’s been giving doses of antibiotic to Lulu and babying her like I’ve never seen before. Even Mom has let the cat sit on her lap and rubs its soft gray head until the purring vibrates some inner chord of contentment. That purr soothes Mom in return. And voila, a calmer Mom makes for a calmer Dad.

The stitches came out yesterday. The vet’s assistant commented that she’d never worked with a calmer, more well-behaved cat. No hissing, no scratching, no meowing, just Dad and Mom holding the trembling mass of fur while the stitches got snipped.

Not enjoying the car ride.

Not happy about the car ride.

The three of them make an interesting group.

  • Long haired Lulu with her back leg shaved, limps along like every movement hurts beyond contemplation, and yet she can carefully jump up on a chair or climb the stairs.
  • Mom who’s got the usual aches and pains of her age along with the effects of her stroke and seizures, sitting on the porch swing with Dad.
  • And Dad who last year didn’t like the porch swing swinging, but now doesn’t seem to mind it, who used to hobble about like an old man just for laughs, now hobbling about like an old man, but taking on some of Mom’s tasks, and keeping up with his own.

It’s almost as if the cat’s injury endeared them to it and made them all feel more connected. They’ve had to slow down and become content to stay put a bit more.

I asked Dad if his cat-tuning ways had changed tune. He denied it. He said something akin to, I’ve still got plenty of other cats to tune, or something like that. He’s just a mischievous twelve-year old at heart. But he’s also become more tender-hearted this past year, more attentive to Mom, more in tune with her and what she needs. It’s as if her injuries, and consequently her dependence on him, have endeared her to him more.

And Dad’s ministrations and attention to Mom have made her more affectionate and appreciative toward him.

Interesting turn of events, wouldn’t you say?

I think so.

None of them are the same as they were a year ago. In big, drastic ways. Mostly for the better in spite of, or maybe because of, the tough road. Who would have thought?

Sounds like a harmonious song to me.

 

 (For Twitch, who went to kitty heaven yesterday.)

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Categories: Family, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Excuse Me, Do You Have Change for a Dollar?

Occasionally, we really want some change.

When the soda machine isn’t accepting bills and you’re due for a serious caffeine fix. All that stands between you and that Diet Coke is a thin piece of glass and a few quarters. Makes you crazy if you can’t scrounge some coins.

Our change jar.

Our change jar.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve raided my change jar, or MSH’s change jar because his has more quarters in it than mine. Usually it’s cause I’m headed to the car wash. Sometimes it’s for the lemonade stand some kid has set up across the street at the park. Rare occasions it’s for the laundromat. Unfortunately, sometimes I’ve raided the coin jar just to buy a gallon of milk. That’s a bit awkward at the checkout stand, but hey, real life happens, right?

The change I’m thinking about runs with a different crowd. We don’t often want or go looking for this kind of change.

Today I’m talking the change we often get when things have been running along nice and smooth. Then BAM! some new twist propels itself into our lives. An illness, a job loss, new responsibilities at work, a child moves out, a relative moves in, a new school year begins, we go back to college, a death in the family or a close friend,  an accident, mental illness, aging.

This favorite saying of MSH used to drive me crazy.

“The only constant in life…is change.” ~ Heraclitus, a Greek Philosopher

(Lately, I’ve added and gravity. And the sun rising and setting, unless you live in Alaska. But that’s off the topic.)

Why did this quote drive me bonkers? Lots of reasons. The main one? Because we moved almost as often as those herds of water buffalo that populate nature shows. Seventeen moves in thirty years. One was across the street, literally. Four were within one mile of each other. From one coast to another coast once. We did stay put for about four years in several places. Almost enough time to feel secure and settled. Mostly I resisted putting up curtains, making the rental place feel like my own, because it wasn’t going to last. Nope, we weren’t in the military, just migratory.

Only thing, it wasn’t predictable like the annual migrations of bovines. Add a couple kids to the mix and predictability and a schedule seemed impossible. Add a couple more and you learn to roll, and weave and ride the waves of whatever comes your way.

Spontaneous and flexible became my new middle names. Easygoing rode shotgun everywhere we went. It had to, or I’d have lost my mind. Oh wait, I guess I did once or twice, early on.

Wouldn’t I love to own a home and live in the same house for the next thirty or forty years? Absolutely!

I envy anyone with roots like that like you wouldn’t believe. But I don’t let it bother me, or I’d go bonkers.

That’s the key to survival. Not letting things bother me.

The winds of change?

The winds of change?

Whether you’ve lived in the same place your entire adult life, or you move often, change catches up to you and happens anyway. Big changes, little changes, it doesn’t matter, life will change and whether you like it or not it will change you along the way.

Sometimes I’ve whined and cried about changes I’ve had to deal with. Honestly, a lot of times I’ve wailed and complained. Did it change the change? No. Did I feel better? Maybe for a second, but continuing to feel whiney only made things miserable.

Sometimes the change excites and tantalizes and I tentatively embrace it. Even then, the change can still pinch or sting a bit.

Do I have any great wisdom to share about change and how to deal with it? Not really. I’ve had some experience with it. It happens. I can initiate changes, I can accept them, I can roll with them, I can stomp around and yell about changes. In the end it’s simply me dealing with life.

I hope I’m changing for the better. I’d like to think others are, too.

What and when the next change waiting on the horizon happens I hope I’m ready. Eye on the ball, alert, attentive, awake, and definitely with my game face on.

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” ~ C.S. Lewis
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Flummoxed

The sun rose from the southern sky this morning. Okay, maybe it leaned a bit to the east, but not by much. I wondered if winter solstice got ignored, or the axis of the earth shifted a bit over the past few days. I wouldn’t have noticed with how sidetracked and discombobulated I’ve felt.

So yeah, apparently, we’ve bypassed winter solstice and moved into a new phase of the earth/sun cycle.

I suppose it’s possible that the sun has risen further south every day for months and I’ve only just today noticed. In fact, that’s the more likely explanation isn’t it?

Reason flew out the window, though.

Barometer Glass

Barometer Glass (Photo credit: cobalt123)

It feels to me like the other way around. A change in the cosmic mechanisms of the universe feels more likely. Cogs slipping, everything off kilter just a bit. At least in my heart and in my head that’s what’s happening. So if the sun chose to follow along, I’d completely understand.

There’s more to it than the angle of the sunlight, lower and more southern than normal. My wildflowers pushed up through the rocky soil of the front yard four weeks ago. Normally those tenacious little seedlings wait until after December and sometimes into late January to show off their leaflets.

But not this year. Nope. My front yard’s awash in a carpet of green. African Daisies cover the majority of the area, but even the California Poppies have spread out and filled in normally barren areas. Odd.

I blame it on the ridiculous three-day rainfall we experienced around Thanksgiving time. Our winter rains, traditionally a December thing, showed up early and often.

As further proof that nature’s off-balance, the trees are dropping bright orange leaves as if we live in New England in the fall. That usually happens in a much less colorful way in January, when we have a freeze, the leaves turn brown overnight and then a windstorm rips them from the branches a week or two later.  But not this year.

There’s frost covering the lawn at the park every morning as well. There’s a solid white sheet draped over the whole expanse of green, giving it an aged patina with a bite of cold. As the sun inches up, (from the south) a kind of steamy fog lifts off the surface of the grass and gives the area a Middle Earth feel. If Hobbits and Trolls and Elves start tromping about the earth’s surface around here I won’t startle one tiny bit.

We’ve even had some unseasonably warm temperatures. High seventies, flirting with eighties, in December! Kids run barefoot in the grass that hours earlier wore an icy film. How is that possible?

Because, as I’ve been trying to tell you, everything’s flummoxed.

flum·moxed 
adjective
1. bewildered or perplexed.

Confusion abounds here in the desert this year.

It all matches my internal environment, that tundra in my mind and heart. A little lost, uncertain, trying to leaf and bloom, drenched in sweat and rain, changing colors and moods in a confusing array of signals about what life is or is not going to do next.

Aneroid barometer

Aneroid barometer (Photo credit: explainthatstuff)

If the sun decides to rise from the north or even from the west tomorrow I’d just nod and say, “of course, that stands to reason.” If snow decides to fall from a desert sky and settle in among the cactus needles, I’d not wonder at such a rarity.

Honestly the most appropriate weather, to match my internal barometer, would rain down in torrents a cold, soaking waterfall of heaven’s tears to mingle with my own.

Any day now a dam will burst and earth will fill with sorrow.

At least for a while.

Categories: Cancer, Death, Nature, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Making Change

My first job as a teenager, aside from babysitting, was at McDonald’s.  I learned a heckuva lot at that job, and not just about work ethic or stuff like that. I learned to appreciate what it’s like behind that counter trying to work with a diverse and strange group of people. I recognized that turning over the running of a restaurant to a group of teens and twenties had potential for disaster as well as for leadership and growth.

We used a preprinted pad of paper for the orders. A customer would tell us what they wanted and we’d write as fast as we could, then figure out the math on the paper, then key in the total on the cash register. Sounds so archaic now, doesn’t it? Seriously, it wasn’t that many years ago. Some places still do it that way, amazingly. (The fabric store I worked at ten years ago did it that way, too.) I’m not sure how the till ever balanced out at the end of the day using that method. Boggles my mind.

photo-17 copy 15I used to take great pride in my ability to figure out change. Nothing quite matched the satisfaction of reverse counting in my head and then forward counting the customer’s change into their hand. Occasionally, I’d catch myself in an error as I counted it out to them. I’d apologize and make the correction, glad for the process that double checked my math.

Even now, when I make a purchase using cash I have the change figured out almost before the computerized cash register does. And I double-check the money in my hand since the cashiers rarely do that counting back thing anymore. In fact, I’m not sure most of them even understand that concept or could figure the change without looking at what the computer tells them.

So why would I bring this up today?

I’m talking around a topic I don’t want to address directly.

Change.

Making change in the monetary sense is easy. Always has been.

Making change in my life. Not so much.

Cash Register

Yes, this is an actual cash register. (Photo credit: tarale)

It’s Monday and I just had one of those weeks where every flaw I possess seemed highlighted by neon markers and flashing red and blue lights in the rearview mirror. I’m not just talking physical flaws, but also bad habits, misplaced priorities, skewed ideas, and misaligned ways of thinking. I found myself wondering how often I justify dumb decisions and behavior with little lies I tell myself.

Went to bed last night weighed down by it all.

Woke up this morning determined to do something about it.

Almost noon and I’m feeling buried.

Maybe I need to slow down and figure out the balance owing and what change is due. Y’know, get a handle on things. Stop acting like an emotional tornado.

It’s tough to be objective about your own life. It’s easy to see all the crap and garbage and think that’s reality. Others see only what you allow them to see and you know they just don’t really know the real you. I know that somewhere between the two perspectives reality sits, waiting for me to acknowledge it and get my groove on.

Does reverse counting change exist for making change in my life? Can I forward count the change somehow to see my way out of the weighed down math-challenged thinking I’m stuck in?

Piggy Bank

Piggy Bank (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

It’s awfully tempting right now to swing by that drive-up window and get an order of fries and a coke. Throw in a Big Mac while I’m at it. Throw in an apple pie, make that two because they’re cheaper that way. Eat away my sorrows. Forget the math. Tell the cashier to keep the change.

But I won’t. Not today.

Today I keep the change and the whole wad of cash. Today I begin to make change happen.

Categories: Hope, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

What’s for Lunch?

Coconut cream pie.

Photo of a slice of coconut cream pie. Taken a...

An ice-filled glass of coke, or two.

(Not the diet stuff, but the real live sugar saturated elixir.)

That was lunch today.

I feel better emotionally now. Not so much in the tummy. My heart has a little bit of zippiness going, y’know, that extra little beat occasionally?

Honestly, I stayed up too late watching a couple of episodes from season six of “Burn Notice” that just made it onto Netflix. It’s my nightly decompression fix lately. So, sleep deprivation might factor in to the heart fluttery thing and the craving for caffeine and sugar.

Stress could be part of it. Just possibly.

It’s not fun seeing your parents have to rewrite and reorder and realign their lives as illness throws obstacles in their path. I want to fix it all. I want to make everything better, dial back the clock five weeks and somehow circumnavigate the whole stroke thing. I want to move in permanently and be a cushion, bubble wrap, the go-to guy, backup, a wingman.

Obviously, I can’t.

I know, I know. They’re going to be just fine. More than fine. I hope. Between the two of them they outnumber my experience and wisdom by a good one hundred years. Do I sound like I’m trying to convince myself? I’m a lousy motivational speaker.

pink miniature rose against blue sky background

(Photo credit: Vanessa Pike-Russell)

Didn’t I just suggest a day or two ago on this very blog that I ought to “worry less.” Yeah, I did. I’m not so good at following my own advice. I suppose I need to post something about getting enough sleep. Maybe I’d be better at following that advice. Or not.

Life isn’t always roses and blue skies. Sometimes it hurts.

So.

The pie. And the Coke.

It’s probably a really good thing I’m not a drinking woman.

Categories: Family, Food | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mason Jars Filled with Do Overs

“If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do, is to save every day ’til eternity passes away just to spend them with you.”

– Jim Croce

MSH thinks going back in time and reliving his life sounds wonderful.  Many people I’ve asked agree with him. Give them a second chance at life, they’d take it!

Me? No, thank you! End of discussion. No way.

Well, one way, maybe.  If I could remember everything from my first time through, then sure, I’d be willing to face my childhood, puberty, early marriage, and every other stage of my life with confidence.  But without my memories, my hard-earned learning curve intact, there’s no way I’d have a do over.

Too many regrets, that’s why.

A Kerr mason jar

A Kerr mason jar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For instance. Instead of letting my eighteen month old son cry himself to sleep laying next to his bedroom door, I’d let him fall asleep snuggled in my arms on the couch every single night until he decided he preferred his bed.  Call me foolish.  I don’t care. I can still see his little tear streaked sleeping face peeking out under the gap between the floor and the door.

I’d have bought those Wizard of Oz sparkly red shoes for my youngest. I wouldn’t have put off getting that sailor dress my daughter wanted. I would have asked more questions, assumed less, pried more, talked directly, been less afraid.

Instead of anxiously awaiting the day my kids would start school I’d clean the house less and play with them more.

My own teenage years were a horror story of stupid decisions, bad behavior, rebellion and embarrassment.  I’d just completely remake myself.  I’d be friendly and outgoing instead of trembling and introverted.  I’d care less about what everyone else thought about me and wonder more about how they felt and how I could help. I’d complain less to my mom and help out more.  No, really, I would.  I’d soak in every moment of being young and healthy and energetic.  I’d run with more abandon, sing louder, laugh longer, smile more often, tell jokes, be nicer to my sisters and tell my brothers that I thought they were cool.

If I could have time in a bottle…pretty much everything that happened from day one until now would be different.  I’d be different.  In fact, I wouldn’t even be me anymore, would I?

That’s a scary thought. A hopeful thought. A weird thought.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

Or I’d change everything.

After harvest - jars of glass filled with honey

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categories: Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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