What word defines you?

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Tenacious is a word that I have come to love.  It sums up so much of my personality and my desire to succeed.   It gives me an excuse to fall back on when I seem like that proverbial bull in a china shop.  But when you know what you want, why should you not use everything in your arsenal to get it?

Words continue to fuel my fire and the roaring blaze is only intensified by my yearning.  I want to write.  I want more than anything to support my lifestyle by putting my thoughts and images into words, and I want people to get lost in the spectral portraits that I create with language. That tenacity is what keeps me going.  My stubborn refusal to accept my current station in life is evident by the passion I seek to create in the many fables I wish to share.

words

There are many adjectives to choose from when someone asks you to define yourself.   Honest, trustworthy and loyal are among the top words that people will use to exemplify the traits they find most honorable in themselves.  I embody all of those things, but my tenacity is what sets me apart from those benign words.  My ferrous belief that my writing will allow me to have a career by incessantly tapping at this keyboard is the light that beckons me through these dark nights.  It dangles that rabbit that I continue to chase in circles around that unending track.  It gives me hope that my dreams may come to fruition.

Some say words are only words. But words are unique.  Each word that is chosen in a story is selected because of the way it truly reflects the emotion and meaning of the sentence in which it is written.  And just perhaps, those words will lead me through the current reality of my days and into a world I had only once dreamed of – a world in which I was not just a fairy tale character, but the writer of that story.

Tenacious = determined, obstinate, persistent.  Tenacious is the word that defines me.

If you had to choose only one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

Childhood revisited – The memory that won’t go away

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This is not the first memory I have from my childhood, but this is one that stands out in my mind and helped to define the relationship with my brother that would continue for years to come.

I still recall the most minor of details that day and I was all of five years old.  Oakville was a seemingly small city in 1974 and the streets were safe enough that my brother and I could walk ourselves to and from school without parental supervision.  The day was crisp, the sun filtered through the autumn leaves and reflected jagged pieces of warm light onto the lawns and sidewalks.  School had been fun that day and I was anxious to regale my brother with tales of arts and crafts and have him dispel the myth of why some kids eat paste.  He was nine – he would surely be more privy to that information than a mere five year old girl.

The two of us began our journey home, and as I skipped along beside him I expounded about my day.  I had become quite ensconced in my own story and somewhere along the way I realized he was not beside me any longer.  I slowed my pace and heard him behind me, fiddling with a wrapper on what I had assumed was a stashed piece of candy from my beloved Shoreline Variety Store.  The sound of the wrapper immediately piqued my attention and halted the story I had become so engrossed in telling.

oh henry

I turned to find him holding out a piece of candy and remember thinking how generous it was for him to share.  It was surely a treat that would have been frowned on by my parents, but that made it all the more intriguing.  I gladly took the candy, and as I began to bring the treasured morsel to my lips, he stood stoic, waiting for me to take the first bite.

As my teeth sank into the delicacy that my brother had so graciously shared, his laughter pierced my eardrums before the pungent flavor assaulted my taste-buds.  His gales of laughter floated through the autumn winds as I tried frantically to remove every shrapnel of excrement from my mouth.  My brother had fed me a piece of dog shit.

I don’t think even Forrest Gump would have outrun me on the way home that day.  I sprinted past the crossing guard and could barely see the sidewalk for the tears.  I could hear my brother panting behind me, trying to catch up to me before I was able to cross the threshold of our home and explain to my mother how my taste-buds had been violated by a heinous act of terrorism.  I’m sure my words were not nearly as eloquent as I would like to think they were, but she got the point, and he got the spanking.

This simple act of cruelty led to years of pranks and retribution, usually always at my expense.  Not so many years later, because I seemingly still adored him, emulated him and worshipped the ground he walked on, I was easily swayed into helping knock a beehive from the side of our garage with a hockey stick.  Forrest Gump, again, would have been proud of my speed and agility getting to the old station wagon.  Long story short, there was a lot of baking soda required that afternoon to cover all of the puncture wounds those bees left in my body.

Thankfully my days of naiveté are over and I am perpetually careful around my dear brother.  And he may not know this, unless he reads this post, but I am still plotting my revenge!!

Written in response to the Daily Post Challenge.

The Christmas spirit is alive and well……at least in my house

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I generally live every day, 365 days a year, with the Christmas spirit, and being a big believer in Karma, that tends to bode well for me.  I’m always positive and trying to infect others with that same energy.  I’ve been asked by several people why I”m always smiling or laughing.  I will usually quote Will Ferrell from the movie ‘Elf’ and simply say, “I like smiling, it’s my favorite”.

This morning my smile was weakened a little by the blatant display of Grinch-like behavior from two strangers who have obviously not been dusted with the shimmering particles of the Christmas spirit.   A local TV station has been running a contest for the last four weeks.  Each week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they put a jumbled word on the screen and viewers must unscramble the letters and send both words in for a chance to win the weekly prize of $10,000.00.

I woke up late Thursday morning, and mistakenly forgot to set the PVR, so I missed the scrambled letters.  Apparently I was not the only one as the mad flurry of Facebook posts echoed my lament.  There were a few comments about missing the Tuesday letters, so I thought I would harness the Christmas spirit and send the word from Tuesday and ask them for the Thursday letters in return.  I sent that word to both women this morning………and got no response from either of them.  Merry Christmas you selfish women.  I don’t think Karma will be picking either of your names from the hat on Monday!!

karma

Thankfully, the news station replays its morning show online and I was able to find the segment of the show that I missed.  And to ensure that those two women’s names get lost in a bigger pile of entries, I put the link to that portion of the morning show on the Twitter feed so more people could enter.  I even went so far as to up the Karmic ante and tweeted that if my name is drawn, I want them to draw a second name so we can split the prize and share that Christmas gift. (which was my plan, regardless of my spirit being temporarily derailed by these two women)

Wouldn’t it be terribly ironic if I did win and the other name that was pulled was one of those two women to whom I gave those scrambled letters??  Their complete lack of decency should negate their entry into the contest.  Wish me luck, and while I put an extra pin in the voodoo dolls of those Christmas-spiritless women who really don’t deserve to have their names in the pot in the first place, let Lady Luck roll her magical dice!!

Okay, so that is  not how I’m ending this post – if one of their names is pulled from that Karmic hat, it just solidifies the fact that they were meant to win one way or another.  Regardless of the outcome, I know I did a good deed today and perhaps that feeling is worth the $5,000.00 that could have been.

What would you have done if you were in the same Karmic boat?

Stalking….without any harmful intent.

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cat-stalking-prey

(photo courtesy of Google)

Let me preface this post by assuaging any negative connotations about the subject line.  I am not a dangerous person.  I do not hide in bushes and make a mental note of people’s habits and movements.  But when something strikes my fancy or my funny bone, I can be tenacious and become extremely enthusiastic.

I work at a large resort, and often people have difficulty finding time in their busy days to call us during business hours. Many messages are left and returned.  On the odd occasion, a game of phone tag ensues until we finally connect voice to voice.

I had the good fortune of returning messages on a particular day and it was serendipity at its finest.  When the recorded voice message first began, I thought that I had dialed the number in error.  But the further I got into the message, the funnier it became and I began to giggle.  By the end of the comedic rhetoric on the other end of the phone, I was in hysterics.  I phoned back immediately to listen to it again, and the message became even funnier.  My co-workers were concerned that I may be slightly losing my grip on reality, but when I called the number a third time and put the message on speaker phone, they were laughing just as hard as I was.

The crowd continued to swell in the office and in response to the demand to hear what was so funny, I kept calling back.  After the mayhem died down and I collected myself, I called another four or five times to write down, verbatim, what the message was so I could steal it.  I’m sure the poor gentleman that called for rates was marginally alarmed at how many times the resort had tried to return his call.  Although we were apparently desperate for his business, he surprisingly did not call back.

I have since modified the message to fit the time allotted on my cell phone.  I have thought of changing it to something a little more professional since the cell is my only phone, but what would be the fun in that?  Here is the gist of how the original message sounded.   I hope none of these apply to you!

 Hello, and welcome to the Mental Health Hotline.

  • If you are obsessive or compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.
  • If you are co-dependant, please ask someone to press 2 for you.
  • If you have multiple personalities, please press 3,4,5 and 6
  • If you are paranoid, we already know who you are and what you want, but stay on the line while we trace your call.
  • If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a small voice will tell you which number to press.
  • If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be transferred to the mother ship.
  • If you have short-term memory loss, press 9, if you have short-term memory loss, press 9, if you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
  • If you have a nervous disorder, please fidget with the # key until a representative comes on the line.
  • If you are dyslexic, press 696969696969.
  • If you have amnesia, press 8 and state your name, address, phone, date of birth, social security number and your mother’s maiden name.
  • If you are menopausal, hang up, turn on the fan, lie down & cry. You won’t be crazy forever.
  • If you have a masochistic complex, please press “0” for the operator. There are 200 calls ahead of you.
  • If you have low self-esteem, please hang up. All our operators are too busy to talk to you.

You’re laughing now too, aren’t you??

Do you prefer worm or cheese?

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We’ve all heard the expression “The early bird always gets the worm”,  but if we put that thought into a much different perspective, it’s the second mouse that usually gets the cheese.

mousetrap

Being successful is not all about winning and being first at everything.  Success may be born from patience as much as it is from tenacity.  Even the bible tells us that there is a time to every purpose under the Heaven.  (Having not studied the bible, and admittedly taken this line from the movie Footloose, it still holds as much meaning regardless of my source of third-party information.  Don’t judge me!!)  Success should come from just being in the race and not the place in which you cross the finish line.

Accomplishment comes to those who prepare well and put in the effort.  But the benefit of that accomplishment is not defined by the place in which you finish.  The fruition of your efforts should be marked by the honesty, integrity and perseverance you put forth while striving to procure that triumph.  Seeing a goal through to the end should be the greatest achievement.

In some respects, coming in anything other than first may teach us a lot more about ourselves and how we are able to see the race through to its finish line, regardless of what place we cross that line.  We gain a great deal of insight into who we really are and how we handle the fact that we are just shy of first place.  That second place finish, or any other place for that matter, may be just the accolade that we were seeking to make us realize our potential, and will only fuel our attempt to get closer to being that early bird next time.

If you come up short of your original goal and you miss the worm, look for the cheese.  There is still greatness in every place that you finish, because the reward lies in finishing.  If you get the worm, great, but if you fall short of savoring that burrowing invertebrate,  relish in the delight of the cheese.  The reward you get by being that second mouse may be much tastier than the being the early bird that has to choke down that pungent worm.

Every moment is important

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I was reading the new posts on Freshly Pressed and came across this post from grieftastic about Watching a Friend Die on Facebook.  It was heart wrenching and, in reading all of the moments so poignantly described, it really made me realize that every moment is important.  Every smile, every laugh and every argument combine to define a relationship.   And if we take any of those moments for granted, we are missing the true meaning of that relationship.

I posted yesterday about my best friend who was tragically taken from us far too soon.  She didn’t have a debilitating disease, we didn’t get to mentally prepare for her passing – she was just gone in an instant, and we didn’t get to say goodbye.  But every moment I had with her was precious, every moment is now a treasured memory and every moment was time I will never get back.

I was in the hospital when my dad took his last breath, but that is not the moment I remember.  The moments I cherish, much to my surprise, were the 6:00 am wake up calls on Christmas day.  For the years he was alive, I dreaded the thought of the phone ringing at that ungodly hour, but now, those are the moments with him that I miss the most.

Life is unpredictable and life is callous.  Often the things that we think will last forever can be taken in a second and the things we think should be easy are the biggest challenges.  I have a sadness for people who will never admit to making mistakes.  It is through my mistakes that I have learned more about myself and realized how truly important those moments were.  They helped to shape the person I have become and they will forever be a reminder of the person I could have been and not the person I am now.  They were important moments that gave me time to choose which person I wanted to be.

Every moment in our lives gives us a choice, but that moment will never again present itself in the same way.  It is a singular time in our lives – no two moments will be exactly the same.  You may watch the sun rise every morning for a week, but there will something unique in each moment of each day that will define that sunrise.

Sunrise

Every moment is important.  Knowing that, and truly embracing that, will help us take the time to ingest those precious seconds.  The things that you say cannot be taken back.  The things that you do will leave lasting memories.  And the things you experience will be a part of your history.  Choose wisely in your actions, for they will be the things that people will remember when you’re gone.

Audience of one – I wish it were you

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