Monday, June 1, 2009

Only the name has changed

I think I've done this right. I didn't want to start a whole new one, so I decided to change the name of this journal(blog). It's got the old address still, so don't be confused. In a way it's very appropriate, it incorporates both the new outlook and the original concept. And I didn't really want to lose the previous posts and the lessons therein.

It's the first day of a brand new month. If you could have one wish come true this month, what would it be?


In all the reading I've done lately that is the central basis. The foundation to build up from. And an idea that I struggle with. When I look in the mirror, I am disappointed in the woman I see before me. Even when I look beyond the outer shell to the true self. I see a woman who has very little self worth. This is who I have to learn to accept.

I have let fears and insecurity set up roadblocks on the path I wish to travel for the rest of my life. I find myself in a limbo of hesitance, to the point that I don't believe in myself enough to do the things in my life that would bring me joy, fulfillment, happiness. I hide, even from myself, that which makes me unique and loved by the universe.

My wish for self-acceptance is in seeing all the flaws and scars for what they are, as lessons not to be forgotten. Looking at myself in the mirror with the knowledge and hope that all is not lost, but only paused while I heal the scars, while I look at the flaws and devise ways to improve and learn from them.

My wish for self-acceptance is for seeing that I am not "less than", just "different than". That I am worthy of self-care, self-love. That I can't base my life on what I think others think of me, or what would please others, but what I think of myself-that if I don't like what I see in myself, I am the only one whose opinion matters, the only one with the power to change it.

::deep breath:: I may not be able to, or maybe shouldn't want to, remove the battlescars of a life not lived well enough or honored enough by myself. I need them to remind me of where I come from, who I am now, and who I desire to mold myself into in the future.

My wish for self-acceptance comes with some painful truths, truths that cannot be altered for the past, but are the lessons of self-respect and determination to grow from for my future.

When I look in the mirror today, I see a woman who has not taken care of her body, her mental health, her spirit as well as she should have. A woman who can only take the misshapen clay and slowly begin to remold it into the vision that rests in the deep recesses of my mind.

In a Tarot reading I did the other day, I asked "What do I need to know right now?" The first card drawn represents my present circumstances in my quest for knowledge. I drew the 6 of Cups reversed(upside down). In short, the divinatory meaning is that "when the 6 of Cups appears reversed, it indicates that you absolutely refuse to let go of the past. You try to cling to old customs and habits when they no longer have any meaning or benefit."

It's time to leave those habits and beliefs that no longer serve me behind. It's going to be a long month of honest self evaluation and acceptance of who I am now. And of who I can become.

Tomorrow I'll tell you why I've chosen the dragonfly to represent who I am, my life.


Monday, May 11, 2009

A forgotten find.

While I was rummaging through my car trunk the other day, cleaning things out a bit, I found a book that I had picked up at the thrift store, and forgotten about. I took it to the lake with me today.

There's something so relaxing about sitting by the lake, reading, with only the sound of the waves and birdsong for background music. One of my favorite summer pastimes.

Anyway, this book couldn't have shown up at a better time. It's titled "Wherever You Go, There You Are. Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life." by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The first lines in the introduction blew me away.

"Guess what? When it comes right down to it, wherever yo go, there you are. Whatever you wind up doing, that's what you've wound up doing. Whatever you are thinking right nowm, that's what's on your mind. Whatever has happened to you, it has already happened. The important question is, who are you going to handle it? In other words, "Now what?" "

"In every moment, we find ourselves at the crossroad of here and now." ....

And it goes on to explain what mindfulness is, and how meditation helps to be more aware of that here and now.

This has just become my main lakeside reading material for the start of the summer. Ill be practicing the mindfulness meditations, as well. I'm really looking forward to getting into this book. It's another one of those cosmic smacks on the forehead for me. Have book and notebook, will travel....


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Overcoming Negativity

This an interesting topic on a message board I'm a member of. It's asking members for the ways that they(we) handle negative thinking.

This is one of my most serious issues. I really do know how to wallow in negative thinking. And of course I know better...

Anyway, one of the replies really intrigues me. The poster said that the negative emotions hold a purpose. They serve as an impetus to examine what is going on in her life more closely as there is something going on that creates these emotions. Her goal in life is to be a happy person for the most part, and when she's not, she asks herself why.

"Why do I want to feel negative. Why do I want to feel pissed. Why do I want to feel depressed. When I take ownership for my emotions...reminding myself I feel the way I do because it is my CHOICE to feel that way, it spins the perspective a bit. I examine why I feel the way I do and it forces me to be much more honest with myself."

I'll be looking at my emotions more closely and from a whole different angle from now on. The trick is to "do" something with/about those emotions.

My lesson for the day-well, one of them anyway...


Saturday, May 9, 2009


I don't remember mine. It's strange. I know I must dream at night, but I can never remember anything when I wake up in the morning. And it bothers me.

Maybe I should count myself lucky. That also means no nightmares. I just think it's odd.

I can't blame sleep problems, I sleep well at night. I rarely wake in the middle of the night, except for the occasional trip to the bathroom. I don't toss and turn, usually waking on the same side I fall asleep on. I wake naturally in the morning. The only days I have to set the alarm is when I work an early shift, then I get up at 4:30am, giving myself plenty of time for coffee before that early shift. That's only 2 mornings out of the month.

I generally sleep about 6 or 7 hours, and don't feel the need for a nap during the day, so I'm getting enough sleep.

When I was a child, I would talk in my sleep, and for a few years, had some sleepwalking incidents. According to my father, I would get up and turn on the lights and TV, making enough noise to wake him. He'd lead me back to bed and turn everything off. Now, this was back in the 1960's when the only thing on in the middle of the night was static or a test pattern.

So why can't I remember anything when I wake up? It's disappointing, and puzzling.

The last dream I remember was over 7 years ago. I was napping with my head on my arms on the kitchen table. Back then I did suffer from not getting enough sleep, and had long stressful days. The only reason I remember the dream is because I was riding a bicycle in Traverse City. Up and down hills, lost and trying to find my way among all the one way streets that this city was notorious for. A real driving nightmare(no pun intended). I have no idea where I was going or why, and I was alone. That's it.

It would be interesting to set up a noise activated tape recorder to see if anything does happen and what exactly. Maybe I snore. I don't think so. No one has ever accused me of snoring.

If you have any theories, leave me a comment.....

I'm befuddled!


Friday, May 8, 2009

Link, Schmink Sorry!

I'm trying the link for the Poteskey Stone this way:

ETA: Yay It Worked!


It's a good thing I unplugged last night when I did. 10 minutes later a lightening strike caused the power to go off for a few seconds. Just enough to send my clock back to flashing 12:ooam. My laptop was safely unplugged just in the nick of time. ::whew::

In working out things to do posts on for this journal, I started thinking about the things to be proud of myself for-some of my personal positives. It sounds like a good topic to work on. A way to push the negative self-critic into the background for a while, so I started a basic list of points to include.

Pause for some drawer cleaning out-the dreaded "junk" drawer we all have, somewhere. Mine is the small top drawer of one of those plastic storage units. Most often filled with odds and ends that get tossed on top of my desk-when I need to clean it off. An odd earring, spare reading glasses, padlock key, a necklace that I picked up at the thrift store to tear apart and reuse the beads from, a receipt, a note to myself, just stuff.

In there, I found a Petoskey Stone that I had picked up on one of my walks. I want to learn how to polish it. That got me thinking about things I'd like to do or learn to do. More things to add to my list.

Getting distracted, I stop to go online, forget that I want to look up the Poteskey Stone and go to Google Reader, to check out some of the blogs I read periodically. In one of them(I don't remember which one) this web site was mentioned. 43 Things. I wrote it down. I haven't really gone to read the whole concept of the site, yet. But basically, it's about making lists of things you want to do, want to learn, can do, etc.

Talk about smacking me in the forehead with a sign! The Goddess is saying, "Hey, look here for some answers." That's some pretty positive energy coming at me. I'm not going to ignore it, I promise.

I know that I need to concentrate on good things in my life, and there are many. Good qualities in my personality, talents, accomplishments. These are not often acknowledged by me.

It's so much easier to listen to that little negative critic. Especially on days when I'm feeling sorry for myself. Those days when I think of all the things that I can't do because of finances right now. Plans that I've made for 3 summers, that won't happen this year, either. I could be irresponsible and enjoy myself, but the consequences could really hurt me. So summer doesn't look like it's going to be much fun.

Anyway, I'm going to check this site out, maybe do a list or 2, and I'll share the results here.

11:55pm on Day 8. ::whew::


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Some Ponderings

After the last couple entries, I've considered dropping this journal from the 31/31 challenge. I may have taken on too much. Trying to come up with material for 2 blogs on a daily basis is more of a challenge than I had pictured.

I don't want my posts to be just empty rambling. Yet, when I sit down to compose my entries in this blog, the words freeze up. Refuse to come together in an understandable fashion. Stubborn words...and I'm having a difficult time sorting out the feelings that I'm trying to express. I'm even having trouble right now with just getting this much out. There's a thunderstorm close by, and I had to post this before I have to shut down and unplug. Just a little more pressure to complete my mission. I don't do my best work when I have to hurry.

So, with apologies on giving up for tonight, I'll just close by saying...


Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Last night, when I was struggling to compose my entry, I was feeling like a misfit. I've felt that way for most of my life.

Humans are, by nature, social creatures. Most everywhere you go there are groups of 2 or more people with common interests or goals, doing things together, having fun.

I don't really have anyone in my life to share my interests with. I've settled(for lack of a better term) on solitary pursuits. I do like my alone time, don't get me wrong. A good book, walking in nature-with just those creatures that are at home there, are just a few of the things that I crave to stimulate my mind and soothe my soul.

I think that is part of the reason I don't seem to be able to define who I am. I can't really attach myself to any particular group label. I don't fit in anywhere.

Does this make any more sense than what I was trying to convey last night?

Well, you say, just go out and find others with the same interests. There are many things that hold me back. Shyness and financial issues, are just a few of the main things.

I've got some time today to ponder on this some more. I need to get ready to leave for work, now. I'll come back with my thoughts this evening.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finding Me

Your challenge, should you decide to accept it, is to learn how to be yourself. Be authentic.

There haven't been very many times in my life when I've been confident enough in myself to do this. I've spent so much of my life trying to be what others expected, and felt that I just didn't measure up, that I've lost my sense of true self. The search has been a difficult one.

Even now, when I'm single with no real responsibility for anyone else's well-being, I'm looking to others for my cues.

When I first moved back to Michigan, I had spent so many years alone-as in no real friendships or relationships with my husbands family or even my husband-that I was dying inside of loneliness. I thought I could find a way to be included, if I could just be what others were. That hasn't worked out so well.

I wanted to be part of the gang, included in things, conversations, plans. Yet, when I was included, it's like I wasn't really there, a peripheral part of the scene, an extra in a movie. Conversations would center around people and events that I had no knowledge of, so I couldn't participate.

My work schedule usually precluded me from being involved in holiday activites or parties, to the point that they(the people I'm surrounded by) don't even inform me of their plans anymore. The few times I've tried to make friends, asked someone to coffee or whatever, just haven't happened. I've just quit trying.

So, where do I go from here? If I don't fit in, and I have no one else's expectations to guide my behavior, what's left? Okay, I'm having trouble explaining this.

What does this have to do with being authentic? Well, I don't know who I'm supposed to be now.

This is one of those entries that I need to work on some more. I'm wearing out the backspace key, because things just aren't coming out to make much sense. I'm having a real problem expressing this in terms that don't just sound pathetic.

I will try this again at a later date, when I've scribbled and erased several pages of scattered thoughts into some sort of coherency. I just couldn't delete this-I wouldn't have an entry for today if I did.


Monday, May 4, 2009


There are days I just don't know what to talk about. This is one of them. And to be honest, I didn't take the time to prepare anything.

I've got some topic ideas for this blog, but I need to organize my thoughts, and make some notes, before I share. I feel like I've got homework.

All kidding aside, I think I'm going to enjoy the challenge of writing every day, and for me, it will be just that. I've got to develop the habit of working on fleshing out entries-oh oh, another habit to work on....

I just don't find my life all that interesting. Or maybe eventful would be a better description. I don't have a career that I can discuss, which also limits the people I can talk about. No kids at home to share anecdotes about. Son has even been kind of quiet lately, but I know he's in the final days of classes and has alot of work to do. No vacations, or boyfriends, or dramas unfolding...I don't know, that may be a good thing... I'm just pretty boring.

And that's where the challenge comes into play. How do I fill the page with the type of things that will peak a reader's curiosity to return...tune in tomorrow for the current bird sightings...

But in a way, those are the things that are most important to me. Living a quiet life that allows me to stand at a window and gaze at the antics of the birds, squirrels and chipmunks for a few minutes. Noticing that the lily-of-the-valley are finally starting to sprout, I can't wait to smell the delicate fragrance of those little bells. Hanging clothes out on the line, how blue the sky was today, and simple things that often escape notice.

At this point, even if no one came here to read, I've got to prove to myself that I can do this. Now that I'm 4 days in, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for making it this far. And over the next 27 days, who knows what changes we'll see in my style, my thought processes, my skills at taking "not much" and turning it into an entry. It's early days, yet!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

A New Habit

No, not nuns habits, forming a better way of living your life, like exercising every day, or shaking the procrastination demon.

They-I don't remember who they are exactly-say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Changing the way you do something, or doing something new, so that it becomes a natural part of your routine.

I am trying to break my procrastination tendencies. Sending the storage payment before the last minute, leaving for work early enough so that when I get behind 30-mile-an-hour-granny it doesn't make me 5 minutes late. Which seems to be the norm for me. That 5 minutes.

Nope, don't tell me to set my clock ahead 5 minutes, I'll know and subtract that 5 minutes off the time shown-I've tried that. I really have to force myself to plan to be ready 5 minutes earlier. I have a bad habit of waiting till the last minute to make my lunch, or fix my to-go coffee, or find my shoes. Little things that create that 5 minute gap.

One of my problems is that I don't wear a watch(it gets in the way at work), and I'm not real swift at keeping an eye on the clock. Even when I'm working. I'll be doing something and look up and see that an hour has vanished, or I'm past sign out time.

Hmm...see what all I just wrote? This isn't "just" about procrastination, it's about awareness of time, too. Making this more complex. Would that be one habit or two? lol

Take last Wednesday for example. My Wednesday morning client is the only one I have that is a stickler about my being there on time. I did leave for work on time to drive the 20 minutes to arrive at 9am. Till I got up to the county truck that was working on road patching, so I slowed down for him. Thankfully! A couple hundred yards past him, while I was speeding back up, there were 3 deer. One crossing the road and 2 well off to my right side yet. I began to brake, watching the 2 off to the side. They weren't the problem, the one that was on the other side came back across and "bumped" my right front fender. She wasn't hurt, barely missed a step, didn't even leave a hair on my fender. I had to stop for a couple minutes and regain my composure. Poof-5 minutes late. I did call ahead to let them know I'd be a few minutes late, but that 5 minutes has become the bane of my existence!

I am now working on being on time, watching the clock closer, and not waiting for the last minute to do things like scrape the frost off my windshield-yeah, we had frost this morning.

I just hope that I don't have to start the 21 day countdown over every time I mess up-I'll never reach that new habit nirvana......

I think the procrastination is going to be a little tougher. I've penciled in deadlines for things a couple days ahead of time on my purse planner and the calendar in my room. I do consult these most everyday, so this should help. I carry a notepad around so that I can jot things down, like calling to schedule my TB test-but I haven't managed to get that in my calendar and the few times I've remembered it on my own are times the health dept. is closed. (I just now wrote it down for tomorrow morning)

I may have to add getting myself more organized to the time/procrastination habit situation, which just complicates things that much more. I think I'll just stop before I scare myself....


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tick, Tick, Tick!

Nothing like waiting till the last minute. I had a fairly long entry planned for tonight, but have to retire early. I'll be up before the rooster for a 6:30am shift in the morning, and if I don't get at least 6 hours of sleep, I'm kind of cranky. So, I'm just going to wing it.

I had a discussion yesterday, that left me feeling a bit unsettled. This person I know is going through some tough medical issues. Facing possible dangerous surgery, but a good future if the treatments and surgery are successful. Has a friend that wants to develop a more serious romantic relationship. Is wanting to push this friend away, to avoid the friend from being hurt, should things take a turn for the worst. Asked my opinion. Wants my advice.

Wow, how do you respond to that? I know that the friend is well aware of all the medical issues, all the factors, the dangers of the surgery, possible disabilities. And wants to pursue a relationship anyway. I also know that the friend is a strong, logical, compassionate person.

Truthfully, this medical situation will, most likely, have a very positive outcome. I can understand wanting to spare someone from the pain and heartache of finding love and losing it too soon. But is it right to make that kind of decision for someone else? Is it selfish? Noble?

When I married my husband, I knew that he had Multiple Sclerosis. I did my homework, learned all I could about the disease, what the worst case scenario could be. I made the decision to commit to a very uncertain future. For love. I think that's why my opinion was requested.

The only advice I gave was to give it some more consideration. To talk openly and honestly about all the fears and doubts, before making any final decisions. Why do you want to go through this alone? Would having a relationship make a difference in your ability to continue to fight for life? If you reject this possible love, and things turn out for the best, what then? It'll be too late for this relationship.

It stirred up some painful memories and regrets for me. Brought some of my demons back to the forefront. I'll be doing battle with them again.

It's bedtime. Oh, and by the way, the ice cream is awesome-I love brown sugar.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Day #1

I've noticed that in my life when things bother me, when I'm faced with some of my deeper feelings, I tend to stop writing, stop acknowledging those feelings on an outer level.

Taking up the challenge of writing a blog post every day for 30(31for May) days will grant me the opportunity to examine some of those issues here. Even in my paper journal, I manage to gloss over some of these feeling, just leaving them out, or hiding them from even myself.

When I first started this particular journal, this was my intention. To get some of those feelings out into the open. I haven't exactly been successful at doing that. In fact, I stopped writing here and in my other blog completely.

My paper journal has gaps in what is usually a daily habit of recording little odds and ends, events, or whatever. Having some of the deeper feelings leak out, when I wanted them tucked safely away in my deeper psyshe, lead to abandonment of writing about anything.

Lately, I've felt very inadequate-in many areas of my life. I've let procrastination, and an aversion of failure dominate my activities. If I don't try, I can't fail-right?

I've spent the last couple of months just marking time, wanting to begin projects, making plans for doing things, yet just not beginning. The disappointment and shame of this lack of motivation on my part has created a withdrawal from living life. I go out to work each day with a countdown in my head of how many hours till I can just return home-back to my safe little haven of not having to prove anything to anyone, least of all myself.

Watching the changes of the seasons, the beginnings of another spring, the greening and warming of the earth, has me yearning for the energy to move forward. With the months of cold and darkness finally behind me, it's time to shake off the lethargic hibernation and renew myself.

Committing to a daily journal entry or two, is one way for me to start looking closely at why I've allowed myself to stop believing in what I want. I have allowed myself to become complacent and accepting of having given up before the start.

The first day of the month is always a good starting point for new projects, the formation of new habits, the hope of beginnings. Today, being the first day of May, seems like the perfect day to commit myself to stepping out of my winter den of inactivity, of my hole of self-doubt.

I need to go for a walk. I've been putting off putting on my walking shoes and seeing how far I need to go to get myself back physically-I did spend the winter in self-indulgent eating and sitting. So I'm off for now. The fresh air may even blow some of the dust out of my brain cells-I've got alot of writing to do, ya know!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Living in Passion


I seem to lack the ability to foster either of those emotions. At least my idealized notion of what they would feel like/or be. Why?

Have I read too many romance novels? Have I created an unrealistic expectation for the intensity of emotion? Have I formed faulty impressions while watching a hockey game, or football game? Have I oversimplified the thought processes? Am I wrong about the motivation behind creating artworks of any form? About the desire to devote the majority of ones waking life to a singular activity, in all its intricacies and variables?

What inner spark drives the fan/aficionado/patron to follow? Knowing they lack the talent/skill to perform the music, place the defining brush stroke on the canvas, don the uniform, they still devote untold amounts of life energy to the appreciation of the passions of others.

What seed is planted and nurtured within, that flourishes and grows into a passion/love of any activity? Or person?

There are times when I question that ability. Knowing that the words on the pages are created to paint the picture of a fictionalized love-does that love, that desire, truly exist in that intensity? That totality of feeling, for whatever that passion exists for? That commitment of self?

The month of February has perennially been a time of introspection for me. It is what I've come to think of as a pause in forward movement for examining my life, playing the what-ifs that don't have a place in my reality. For questioning what I've done, felt, experienced.

February is the month that I was set adrift on the sea of living, without enough knowledge or skills to competently sail ahead.

In 1968, it was a month of tragedy for me. It was my first experience of fate's ability to change the game on a whim, to shake up the status quot. On February 9th, my 8 year old cousin Jeanne was crossing the road to wait for the school bus. She was hit by a car-killed instantly.

I remember the principle's secretary coming into my first period music class to fetch me to the office. My mother had been terminally ill with cancer, had come home to spend her final hours. My thoughts were that she had died after I'd kissed her good-bye and left for school.

The shock and grief that overwhelmed me when I learned of Jeanne's death, were only the beginning. One week later, on February 16th, my mother died. I was as prepared as a 12 year old living with a terminal parent, can be. I was basically left to deal with all of this by myself. I withdrew-my tiny boat had sailed.

I look on that month in that year, and wonder if the ability to love wholly, to believe in something totally, to live passionately, was left behind as unneeded, in my processes to survive, to simply get through life, never to be regained.

Is it at that point I gave away the right to deserve the best in life, to accept "less than" as my only option, to doubt that I was worthy of those emotions, that love, that passion for life?

I know that I've accepted that I've taken life's leftovers, the second or third best, as all I'm due. All I'm capable of finding. I've never really given up totally. Those dreams are tucked back in a corner of memory, to bring out, examine, feel a sense of loss over, and then quietly placed back in that corner, as the realities of my life intrude once again.

There are times however, when I glimpse that passion, that love of life, and feel just the tiniest bit envious.

Why not just change that attitude, that way of viewing life? I don't know how. I don't know how to believe in myself enough to see the other side, to reach forward to the other side of the fence. How, when I look in the mirror, to see something other(better) than what I already am. To imagine anything different. Even though I don't admire the face(or what lies beneath) that looks back at me, I can't reach for enough self-respect, self-caring, to do anything about it.

They say that having self-esteem, self-love, is essential, a prerequisite, before others can see you in that light, before you can truly love others, I imagine that applies to doing things, finding those passions in life.