You can’t have too much of a good thing

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I thought I would have an overwhelming sense of guilt about my day yesterday.  But the truth is, I do not.  I hadn’t deviated from any plan of what I should have been doing but, instead, forged ahead with my original intention and spent the majority of the day on my couch binge-watching the remaining episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix.  There, I said it….I’m out.

I did manage to feed myself the required meals to sustain my ability to swear at the screen and I did tend to my puppy dog, as the job did seem obligatory.  But any task outside of those parameters took a back seat and I was glued to the screen.

As the credits rolled and I waited for the next episode to begin, I had to face the harsh reality as the screen changed to the standard Netflix screen and not the profile of the characters I have come to know so well.  No longer would I be captivated by Walter White and his transformation from meek Chemistry teacher to the tower of greed and felonious intentions that he slowly became.   I had to call it – time of death, 10:39 pm.

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I will slowly acclimate to the reality I once knew.  My blog will learn to recognize me once again.  My Kindle will be dusted off and my vacuum will feel the familiar touch of my hands as I learn to live my old life.  I’m sure my friends will vaguely recall what my voice sounds like once I pick up the phone to re-establish contact.  I just hope I can remember not to call them all “bitch”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeding the right wolf

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I don’t usually reblog my own posts, but this one struck me today. It holds just as much meaning today as it did when I wrote it.

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It never ceases to amaze me when people make gross assumptions about single people and feel that they must be missing something in their lives.  Not all single people are lonely.  Just as not all people who are taken are in love.  Some things we see on our own would completely escape our attention if we were with others.

Single is not a status.  I am forging through this life unattached again by choice.  That decision took some deep soul-searching on my part but in the end it was the best decision I have made in a long time.  My willingness to be on my own again only solidified the fact that I am strong enough to live and thrive without having to depend on another person to perpetuate my happiness.  There were days during my marriage that I felt more alone than I do now that I live on…

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When you don’t want to mince words

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sure_logoIt is no secret that I love words.  I like to articulate my responses in a way that is concise without being too verbose, but I do like to phrase my answers in a meaningful way – especially if I am replying to a significantly valuable question.  I want people to know I have truly ingested the words they have spoken and taken the time to formulate a well-constructed response.

But there are those less wordy than I, those who choose to avoid the commitment of a lengthy answer and spare any unwarranted emotion by responding with a simple, one-word comment.  While that single word may convey the necessary feedback to the initial query, sometimes the person posing the question is left thinking that the responder cannot be bothered to take the time to formulate a proper retort.

Upon chatting with a friend, he told his tale of how he had fallen victim to the easy out of a one-word answer.   He had received a rather detailed text and he simply wrote back “Sure”.  After I had admonished him for his complete avoidance of all other words in the English language, we both had a good laugh.

He was incensed by his own lack of effort and every time he repeated the word ‘sure’, we laughed even more.  After we had expelled all the laughter we could, obviously at his expense, he thought it would make a great idea for a blog post and asked if I would be able to write about it.  I said the only thing I could think of – “sure”.

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Holding on to strength

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worry-zdralea-ioana

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
― Corrie Ten Boom

~~

It is easy to tell someone not to worry.  I am guilty of doing that very thing on an extremely frequent basis and in many different circumstances.  Recently, I have become much more aware of how redundant that statement can be and how little it does to alleviate the concern of the person doing the worrying.

Worry is a big part of the human condition.  We spend countless hours stressing about the things we cannot foresee, cannot control and cannot change.  We are designed to be thinkers, to be problem-solvers, and in those brief moments that we are left without an answer or a contingency plan we submerge under the waves of the unknown.

For as much as I try to not unsettle myself with things out of my control, today was a glaring reminder of how quickly worry can overtake us and truly drain us of our strength.  There is a small path in the carpet in my office where I paced back and forth.  There is an emptiness in my stomach where nourishment should have found its place, but didn’t.  And there is a dull ache in my temple from the inescapable habit of clenching my jaw when I am apprehensive.

Today worry was the cat and I was the feeble mouse.  I was victim to its cunning and could do nothing more than to hide in the metaphorical corner and play dead, hoping that the insidious predator would leave me alone.

Now I sit, writing this post with a slightly more peaceful feeling than I had earlier today.  Worry still beckons, the concerns of tomorrow still evident, but it holds much less power now than it did earlier today.  I have regained some of my tenacity so I can face tomorrow with a new courage.

Worry may be strong but I am stronger.

~~

image credit: Worry by Zdralea Ioana – http://www.fineartamerica.com

When you don’t have to think twice

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I am fortunate to have some truly great friends in my life who just get me.  I never have to worry about saying the wrong thing or having a joke hang in the air like a deflating cartoon balloon.  My sense of humor falls squarely on their ears and is met with an understanding laugh as opposed to the chirping of crickets in an otherwise silent room.

And the same can be said for their comprehension of the range of my emotional scale.  I have never been afraid to cry in front of, or with, those same people.  To me those tears are not a weakness but a genuine representation of my character and I admire that same quality in those with whom I choose to surround myself.  In an ocean as big as this life, it is nice to find another fish from the same school of thought.

There is a great sense of comfort knowing that, when you are with the right people, there is no need to feel guarded.  There is no reason to quell words or feelings because you sense they will be out of place.  There is no second guessing when it comes to telling it like it is because those people expect and appreciate your honesty and your compassion.

With those same friends, I never feel embarrassed if I am not at my best.  They know my good days and my bad days by the timber in my voice and they are just there, with no judgement and no unsolicited advice.  There is only concern and a touching way to express that concern.  Whether it is a solid embrace, a well-timed “I love you” or a simple touch of a hand to a shoulder, they seem to know the solution before I have had a chance to diagnose the problem.

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Those friends, those souls who are so connected to my soul, never make me think twice about being myself.  They cushion my fall.  They wipe my tears.  And they really do take up the biggest part of my heart.

Nothing but flowers

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You cried,

enduring pain for me,

loving me with never having met me

and I felt blessed.

You stood,

hands on your hips,

a whimsical smile on your face

and I felt anchored.

You embraced,

you wiped my tears,

you listened and never interrupted

 and I felt understood.

You watched,

allowing me to make mistakes,

but always there to help me mend

and I felt empowered.

~

I cried

when you left me.

 In a dream I saw you,

and watched you float.

You hovered,

our eyes met, you waved,

blew me a kiss

and fell into nothing but flowers.

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Sometimes you just want to wear your mom’s long johns

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We cleaned out my mom’s house over two years ago.  It was months before she had passed away but it felt just as much about closing a chapter as her actual passing.

There were very few things we kept for various reasons but, of all the memorabilia I could have wanted to keep, her yellow long johns with daisies on them was the item I wanted the most.  Sure, I still have her wedding ring and some other jewelry as well as a few small wood carvings of the birds we loved but this relic, this throwback to the 1970’s, was the thing that I held most dear out of all the items I could have kept.

Had you asked me at the time why it was that particular item that held my attention I don’t think I would have been able to articulate my reasoning.  But now, as I sit on my couch wearing her long johns as I type this post, I get it.

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This simple item of clothing has the ability to teleport me back to a time when life seemed perfect, when our family was happy and healthy and we just enjoyed spending time together.  These long johns held tight to my mother’s skin as we skied up to Swan Lake and they cushioned me in my mom’s lap while I snuck a few sips of wine out of the wine-skin she carried around her neck.

This yellow cotton is the fabric that helped to weave the reflections of my childhood into the memories of my adulthood.  It once clung to my mother as it now clings to me and there is great solace in its embrace.

When someone who can comfort you so much is taken from you, you cling to the things that have the ability to remind you of that person.  You want to find every way possible to emphasize the joy you found in your shared moments.  And even though I find that joy in an old pair of yellow long johns with daisies on it, that cloth helps me to overlook the things in my life that have no value and to focus on the things and the people who truly matter.