I read a thought-provoking poem today. It made me wonder.
I pitied him in his blindness;
But can I boast, I see?
Perhaps there walks a spirit
Close by, who pities me.
Despite all the words that tell us “All You Need Is Love,” “Love makes the world go around,” It honestly isn’t the glue that holds the world together. True love, beautiful as it is, is an extremely elusive reality.
Those of us who are adult children of alcoholics often reach for the wrong love pot. We think being needed signifies being loved. It isn’t. We know that now, but I didn’t know that for a very long time. In fact, not until I met the Babe did I finally learn about all the different aspects of love. None of them involve paying someone’s bills, buying them clothes, listening over and over to the wrong that was done them. Love doesn’t hurt. Not like that. Not because of that.
A grown up man or woman takes care of themselves, their bills, their children, their obligations. They are courteous to their fellow citizens. And are polite. And kind. They respect their prospective partner. Too often, I surrounded myself with those who needed me. And the hurt far outweighed the benefit. Grown up love isn’t needy. Or needing to be needed.
Love and pity are not the same thing. Desperate people cannot love us. They can only grasp at what we offer and strip it and our self-respect away. We feel hurt, are reeling, and building our walls higher to keep ourselves safe. All that does is isolate us. We are not our loved ones’ saviors.
I am grateful to have learned this very important lesson about loving others before I met the Babe. Learning what love isn’t helped me experience what it really is. It’s opened my eyes, heart, mind, and freed my soul. It’s been a gift. And no one stands next to me now, feeling bad for me because I cannot see.
Thank you for reading. We will see each other tomorrow.
No, I’m not telling you to hurry and buy something. This isn’t about that part of Christmas. It’s about a subtle yet important part of the holiday for music lovers. I believe the backgrounds of all our lives has the same commonality; some of the most beautiful music of the world.
When I grew up in the late 1950s and 1960s, public schools still sang religious songs; God was present in all schools. Of course, we parochial school kids had more of the religious singing, but we all knew the songs we heard on television, radio, and retail stores since the 1950s. Yes, Muzak was around then. They also used it in work environments to increase productivity.
Maybe I brainwash myself when I write, I do so much better while listening to music. Today’s music to blog by is Ray Scott. He is a country artist, and I love his storytelling. You want to hear a dominant voice, a funny story, listen to Ray. He will have a new album soon, I’m in. And, as an old lady I knew once said, “He’s easy on the eyes, too.” She was a riot, so prim and proper, yet there she was, making observations you’d expect to hear from a 20 something.
So while cleaning the bathroom this morning, I was listening to one of my favorite traditions on Christmas; which sadly doesn’t happen anymore. I’ll save that one for later, but I sat down and listed some songs I think of at Christmas. They may not be on everyone’s list, but they’re around us. Too early (like before Halloween). One of them is “Deck the Halls,” by Omaha’s own Mannheim Steamroller. Chip Davis came out with this unique sound in the 80s, and is world-known for his trademark sound. I believe he doesn’t play concerts anymore, years of playing drums have caused some orthopedic issues in his cervical spine; I empathise with him. It must be so hard to give up what you love.
What is up for your Saturday? The Babe and I have a major cleaning of the house scheduled as soon as he gets home. I miss the cleaning ladies, but I don’t miss having a little extra money in my pocket. I’m using it for my online writing classes and tutorials. It’s all about compromise and imposing limits on yourself.
We’re cooking a bunch of chicken pieces to eat on salads over the next few days. The diet’s going pretty well. We both want to stay on it, and it’s easier with a buddy who cooperates with the plan. My ex husband was a thin wiry guy. Even before I was overweight, he made comments about my weight, a “should you eat this?” kind of guy. He ate constantly and just burned it up. The Babe’s not been like that in all the time I’ve known him. What a kind man he is. I always tell him, “You’re my favorite husband.”
I read in my “Days of Healing Days of Joy: Daily Meditations of Adult Children of Alcoholics,” how we all make a difference. We can be an example of positivity in someone’s life; or we can be agents of hurt. There are four ways to do that. I’ve lived through all four, folks. And it’s so good to recognize those aren’t the way to treat people; and it for darned sure isn’t the way to treat yourself. Let’s work on these things the last seven days until Christmas. Make your world brighter. And some else’s, too.
Criticizing: It’s our not our business nor our place to judge other people. If you make rude comments in public about morbidly obese people, you’re wrong. Keep quiet. You can be totally wrong about “how they got like that.”
Insulting: Snide comments rob people of their dignity. Nothing gives you the right to blurt out things to another, especially in front of other people. It damages their self-esteem.
Name-Calling: You’re not “only kidding.” This is abuse. And you’re abusive. Knock it off.
Ignoring: Why be indifferent to someone? Why give someone reason to doubt their value? Who put you in charge? Ignoring people can lead them to question their own value. If you say, “Good morning,” to a homeless person gives them value and dignity. Try it.
Our thoughtlessness and bad habits have more effect on people than we think. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Especially during this time of Love and Joy. Be Safe, Wash Up, Masks Where They Belong; I’m looking forward to 2021, and I’d like all of you in it, too. See you tomorrow.
I’m concluding I’m tired with football. It seems endless, and I read a book or anything else to pass the time. Maybe too much being cooped up, not sure. Last night, though, we watched “Hillbilly Elegy.” It takes some understanding before you can see how good it is.
Why? It’s a very hard subject. While I’m told the book is much better with essential backstory, the story absorbed me. I know families led by adult children of alcoholics/addicts. As the sister says in the movie, “It didn’t start with Mom.” I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, I have seen the damage and destruction by these inherited traumas/dysfunction. People just don’t know any better. It seems normal to them. They don’t know there is another way.
There can be one person in the lineage who changes those dynamics for their life. This is what the young man did. He had to set boundaries and enforce them. He knew he could not help his mother. He knew he had to make his own way. It is a very lonely path to follow. I’ve been there. I also had an aunt who knew my struggle, and she was good company on that path. None of that means you don’t love the people. You just cannot help them. Do for yourself. It ends enabling, which is what they want from you. It stops here, folks.
I’ve always liked Ron Howard’s directorial work. I hear the book has many more parts of the story about Grandma, played by Glenn Close. She was superb. I think he did a great job with showing how families can pull a person back and forth, defying set boundaries to achieve their own agenda. It happens, people. It’s called life. It could trigger some people, for sure. Those at a certain level of recovery will see it for what it’s worth, a true story of an overcomer. And they leave you with the impression he succeeds. And for that, I was so happy. It can be done, folks.
The pic above is of our Roxie (RIP) and Lexie as puppies, probably seven years ago. They were so cute as puppies. Especially sleeping! Just lightening up the mood here a bit. And who doesn’t love puppies?
Won’t be doing any writing today, still working my way through the pile of papers I may want, and need to scan a bunch of papers for the VFW Website. Just stuff like that, takes up an item on the to do list, yet easily accomplished. Helps you feel successful on a freezing but sunny day. The wind is shaking a bunch of stuff outside. I’m glad I have a spot by the fireplace reserved for the afternoon with the Kansas City football game on. I just love Patrick Mahomes, he is an outstanding young man, quarterback, and citizen.
I remember my Grandma referring to people as “young man,” or “young lady,” and it’s funny to hear myself, probably at her same age, referring to people that way, too. Age is a funny, fickle thing. First you don’t feel any differently as you did at age thirty until you move or get up from a chair. When did all that happen? You just can’t place an exact time, you were busy living when it happened, and now, boy, do you notice it.
With that age and creakiness, you earn a different point of view about life. It just goes by so fast. No one has invented something to slow it all down. When you stop, you’re an age you never imagined you could be. I’m older now than Dad was when he died. That’s hard to believe. Yet, time keeps going on, and I’m so grateful for that.
One thing which stays the same is the touch of the person you love. In a lifetime together (or even 22 years), you sometimes don’t hug as much or even hold hands. As things change with age, it’s a beautiful thing to just hold hands. I like to hold the Babe’s hand while I fall asleep. Of course, he’s already asleep, but he still holds on to my hand. It’s nice. A simple yet beautiful thing.
A touch, a glance, our minds can spark a memory that can excite your soul. Sometimes, it catches me by surprise after all these years, but then I remember our first years together. You never forget the love of your life, and the Babe is mine. And now, as he would say, enough mushy stuff.
Let’s all finish out this Sunday with gratitude and humility. God has been so good to all of us, and we are so blessed He loves us all. Even at our worst. Thanks for reading, I’ll see you tomorrow. Be Safe, Be Courteous, Be Kind. Be careful out there and make it a great day!
You won’t believe what I just did. After about 45 minutes of working on a pretty good blog (if I must say so myself!), I hit the wrong key and exited from the 700 word masterpiece I was nearly finished with. Much to my dismay. Wow. It’s vanished in cyberspace. Do I have any idea how to reconstruct it? Heck, now. So for now, it’s:
Take Two Tuesday and Other Truths
There is a reason anyone who uses a computer will always tell you: Save Often! Save Before Printing! Save After Changing! So I just committed the #1 mishap in computer use history. I hadn’t saved. So now, upwards and onwards, while saving often.
Today is another Gavin day for the Babe and I. We will pick him up and he’ll be contented to play with the dogs all afternoon. They like him, too. He has loved many of our dogs through his eight years, some he remembers, some not. But we have photos, and he asks questions about their personalities and quirks. He tells me, “Grandma, all dogs deserve love.”
I tell him back, “Yes, Gavin. And all kids deserve love, too.” And he agrees with me. A long time ago, a good friend of mine told me how kids do listen to what you tell them, even though it seems as if they have no idea you exist. They listen and you can see they did when you observe them growing up and being a leader with others. And she was right.
My friend passed away several years ago, and it was sad for everyone who knew her. She was a good lady, always there to help. Always there if you needed to talk. She had several types of cancer in her lifetime, which eventually took her. She was so strong, but what choice did she have? I’m so glad to have good memories of many talks with her. I still consult my mental pages of the Joyce Cross Alexander Book of Hope, Faith, and Love.
Confidence is a great asset if you have it. It is so eluding if you can’t stand up for yourself, either not caring to or by not knowing how. My lack was in not knowing how. There was a fine line between confidence and vanity, according to our elders in the 1950s and 1960s. Especially if you were a girl. I believe this is why many Moms lived lives through their children. Their children’s successes became theirs. Their children’s failures became theirs, also. (The term, “I have failed as a Mother,”) that TV character Beverly Goldberg uses is used for humor, but I believe there were a lot of Mom’s who felt they were failures. It’s a shame it took women so long to find their worth in additional areas besides motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood is wonderful and fulfilling, as long as you raise those children to leave you. Your job is to teach them so they can leave you, as it should be.
I have to say, it’s harder to let go when you’re a single parent, in my opinion. I struggled for a long time trying to figure out, “So, what’s next?” I still had a good relationship with my three kids, but I hadn’t a clue what to do with all that time, despite all my hobbies. I finished college for me. I was happy to have earned a promotion at work, so I would finally have a great income. (Mom always said when you don’t need money anymore is when it comes your way.)
I became ill after that, and within six years could no longer work. At the age of 49. That was a blow to me. I turned it into gratitude, though, but being grateful I was well and working until my kids could go out on their own. After that I met the Babe. By the time I couldn’t work, we were married and my time was filled. I’ve picked up on a lot of my old interests and some new ones, too. Filling my time is no longer a problem.
So with all that, thank you for reading today. Keep good thoughts in your heart today. Be positive. Wash up, wipe down, wear masks. We’ll all come out on the other side of all this in a better place. I’ll see you tomorrow. And by then, maybe I’ll remember what I wrote about in the blog that is now forever lost, out there floating in the wasteland of the Internet, unfinished.
Back in the 70s, I remember the tv character Maude (Bea Arthur) had a saying. “God will get you for that!” How funny that was, but it was true. God gives us a rap on the head now and again to get right with him and ourselves when we need to. My dad would say, “They’ll get theirs.” Quietly. With conviction. He knew what he was talking about. But he didn’t dwell on a person, their evil acts, or their bad mouthing him. He knew that wasn’t the way to be. My mom, on the other hand, carried grudges. I think her sisters were capable of the same thing to a degree. Mom had more and carried them longer. She still does today. That is a classic adult child move. (Adult child of an alcoholic). We may be doing the same thing and not even realize it. Sometimes, I listen to mom talk about people and I wonder if there is anyone who she really likes. Cousins, let’s not be this way!
So called “sinful” behavior has been around ever since Adam and Eve fell and were evicted from Eden. It’s in our lives, too. I read my daily meditations today, and it was, “Never find delight in another’s misfortune.” Pubililius Syrus, a Latin writer. He was a Syrian, who was brought as a slave to Rome, Italy. His master educated him. He was known for his philosophical sayings, many of which are quoted today. Shakespeare quoted ideas of his often. Muddy Waters did when singing, “A Rolling Stone” (Gathers No Moss) in 1950.
We all have been guilty of wishing wrong on people who hurt us directly or indirectly. It is an unattractive habit, and being human, we all have many unattractive habits. I’ve wished hurt on people who have hurt me, my kids, or my family. I may not wish physical hurt on them, but I know they will get theirs. Then I can let go of it. I just don’t trust them as I may have before. The German word Schadenfreude means “delight in the troubles of another.” That’s a big word for it. The older I get, the more I am in favor of letting God sort it out. He’s the final judge, not me. Too late smart, too soon old!
We are often quick to judge. At the beginning of the Coronavirus, the VFW Post 2503 we support was on alert due to the first patient being on the premises for an hour the last time we were open. At first there was a lot of condemning of this poor woman because no one knew her story. Her identity remains private, but we know who she is. She is a special needs woman who was adopted as a small child whose parents could not care for her. Her family now consists of a half brother and two loving parents. They traveled to Britain to celebrate a grandparent’s 100th birthday. While coming home, the woman became ill. Because of the nature of special needs people’s frequent respiratory infections, this was deemed to be that. She made more than five ER trips and was sent away each time. She was not really ill. Just like a cold.
And being human, even I was among the ones who wondered why the heck she did not stay home. Red-faced embarrassed, I have now changed my tune. I didn’t have the information about the person or the virus to make an educated assessment. I had neither all the facts nor a sense of what anyone deserves to have happen to them. Quick to judge, we humans must take a step back. Assess. Don’t judge, you could make a totally wrong diagnosis of what the problem is. Schadenfreude is “a canker of the heart. If we find it there, we must root it out at once.” Once again, my handy Days of Healing, Days of Joy daily meditations has given me much food for thought. And it goes with a lot of what my dad taught us, too. They’ll get theirs. Not by our judgement, by God’s.
In the spirit of reaping what we sow, may all of our conclusions about others be kind and gentle. Let’s give others what we would like to have ourselves. Let’s just slow down and not be so quick to criticize. Let’s be kinder and gentler with each other, and especially with ourselves. It will help these times be much less harsh on our beings. Thank you for reading, I hope to see you right here again tomorrow. Go enjoy the beautiful day, in your own yard or deck, or patio!
Wow, it’s tepid in my studio this morning! No, it’s COLD! Our home faces west and the two bedrooms at the front of the house are freezing when it’s this frigid outside. We are in Nebraska, and it’s January. We no longer dress as Ralphie’s little brother in A Christmas Story, but maybe we should. When we trudged to school in four feet of sleet, eight feet of snow, and no provisions, we never thought about being chilled. If you were unfortunate enough to be female during that era, you had to wear a dress, a uniform skirt, or uniform jumper. It was cold! Wait, I remember in kindergarten and first grade I had leggings. They were not the skin tight clingy kind we wear now that are fashionable not serviceable to wear. They were more like snowsuit coveralls. Wool. Lined and warm. Hot. But while you wore them to school, you had to shed them once you removed overshoes, hat, sweater, muffler, mittens held in by elasticized clips. If you were a cool kid whose Mom didn’t care about your health, you had earmuffs. We refrained from outdoor recess on those days. We would have to get dressed almost after we undressed, to leave by the bell. The good old days. Nope. Oh, and since I went to Catholic school grades one through twelve, first grade saw me and countless others sit through an hour Mass every morning with all those clothes on in Church. I swear it wasn’t heated for that hour, because it never felt that hot, unless you were coming down with something.
Have you known someone who seems to get angry a lot? Very riled up over the slightest little thing? I know of quite a few. It is unnerving for the bystanders. The angry ones usually throw temper tantrums of sorts. They may slam items down on a table. They may slam doors, windows, items, or anything they might get their hands on. Or cuss a blue streak. Or kick a dog, or hit another human. None of this is acceptable behavior. I am so glad to be away from this behavior now. It rattles me when I experience it. Intimidating people is never ok. All you do is make them glad they’re not around you when you behave like this all the time.
What good does this do those who have outbursts? They think they are just venting. Just venting is discussing what made you angry, not making people around you jump and hope you can’t see them should your anger spew any further. Letting of steam is liable to burn those you love. You have no right to affect other people with your tantrum. Period.
A tirade cannot solve a problem. You cannot rain on other people because you want a storm. Be kind. Be patient. Be gentle. And learn to deal with anger rather than spew it.
On a brighter note, how does it go when you and your partner/spouse/friend/whoever lives with you pick out paint colors? First, my referral to Raabe Ranch is a joke. We live in a neighborhood but our lot is probably twice the size of our old house, in a newer neighborhood. We have a beautiful treeline behind us and a little creek. I joke it’s Raabe Ranch because the dogs have so much room to run in. And play in. And get tired in. Like a corral. We loved the house and adored the yard. Even though it’s large, when we can’t take care of it anymore, we’ll hire it done.
Back to selecting paint colors. The Babe and I always talk things out first. He did some painting three years ago when we first moved in here and did the master bath last summer after the big remodel by Re-Bath. He can officially retire from doing so again. Unless you love painting, by the time a guy is nearly seventy, he can hire it done. This will be the first time we hired a company, so I’ll let you know how it goes. The price was great so we’ll proceed. The colors are bright and happy. We seem to favor that type. The blues are for the master bedroom. Above the blue will be the laundry room. Left of the blue is gentle grape for the main bath. I can just see deep purple towels or even black ones in there. Luxurious! We will get the woodwork repainted in both bathrooms, too. It always seems to show wear and tear because of the water, humidity, and steam. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
I am off to do more reading and hopefully some note taking or outlining for this re-write. Writing and publishing the blog in the morning opens up my afternoon so I can spend more time doing creative things. Might consider hand quilting a quilt my grandma hand pieced early one hundred years ago. By the fire, where it’s warm. Or even crochet on a project I’d like to do. By the fire. Or read a book for pleasure. By the fire. Are you sensing a theme here?
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this morning/afternoon. I’m grateful you did. Hope you stop by again tomorrow. I’ll be here, cold or not!
Yesterday, I mentioned this book for when I’m out of sorts, not feeling my best because of overthinking or just a pick me up.
The wisdom in this little book sort of dovetails well with the memes, topics, and exercises in my I Create Daily Facebook Group. It’s amazing to see when it happens.
January 9th, for instance, the saying is:
“A life without discipline is a life without joy”. – Muriel B.
The folks at I Create Daily encourage us to write goals, write steps to achieve them, write if we achieve them, do what it takes, then report back. Tomorrow, start all over again. I believe we need discipline to accomplish our goals, especially when writing a novel, a daily blog, or a children’s book. My 90 day goal planner is near me almost constantly. This week is booked with appointments for my mom, so the goals for the week had to transform a lot.
Discipline isn’t easy or fun. But it’s the best friend we can have. We won’t achieve anything if we don’t have a plan, moxie to stick with the plan, to say no when we do not have the time to chat or to do something unnecessary that would severely impact you, your schedule, or your state of mind. It’s hard to say no or enforce boundaries if we have never had them.
There are definitely a lot of things to learn while writing. Discipline gives us structure, all art needs structure. Structure does not limit creativity but helps increase it. It is a challenge I hope I’m up for.
This evening, I’m reading more in “Structuring Your Novel”. Setting, Character Introduction, Plot Points. I never heard of all these things before. Or maybe I have. Haven’t used them lately, but I will now. All while showing, not telling. It’ll come to me.
Thank you for reading today. Remember to return tomorrow, I’ll be here. I hope you will be.
I’m excited we are together on this frosty Nebraska morning (no relation to our new football coach, but it could happen, someday). It’s another sunny day here. In the eastern part of the state has reported some mysterious drone sightings last night. I think it has something to do with our defense system and am not worried. I grew up in South Omaha, in the shadows of StratCom, Offutt Air Force Base. Since about the age of ten I knew the “Underground” of our nation existed. What is it? Anything our great United States needs to conduct business, be it war or peace, is here in Nebraska.
George HW Bush came here during the 9/11 attacks. It amazed me at the time many young news reporters/talking heads did not understand why he ended up here. I have always felt very safe living so close. If something ever happened, it would make no difference, I would not live long enough to know of it. As I get older, that is a comfort of sorts. No sense worrying about it until it may be close to happening. I just believe God will be good to us.
Welcome to my one hundred and thirtieth post! I’m excited to write another blog post about my journey as a writer. As I’ve stated before, each day of research and reading I do, it seems I learn some cool stuff to use in my writing. “How can you find something to write about every day?” some people ask me. I have learned the days I write of happenings around the house it’s not as good as days I write of ideas, actual activity about writing, or even a news headline or two. The creativity ebbs and flows. I keep writing to stay in the habit of doing it. I have discovered three very full place to extract writing ideas.
Ideas are everywhere around us. Wall art, memes, and books are full of ideas. The book I picture here is for Adult Children of Alcoholics. I am an adult child of an alcoholic. My mother is the alcoholic, not my father. I have siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, old boyfriends, and friends who are all alcoholics. I am not. Their alcoholism affected my life in a negative way. I do not say this for pity or sympathy. I say it to let others know there is help for everyone who wants it. I have never attended Al-Anon meetings, but could have. This Adult Child book of meditations taught me many things were not my fault. It was not my responsibility to make life better for Mom, a brother, aunt, boyfriend, husband, or child.
A group of ladies I worked with in 1982 told me about Al-Anon. I listened to them when they talked about their alcoholic ex-husbands, physical abuse, verbal abuse, child abuse, and a whole gambit of things I had never seen in my life. I’m grateful for that.
This tattered book has had water spilled on it, and has a part of the index missing. I bought a new copy and still use the tattered one. It reminds me of what I’ve been through to get to where I am today. Learning, growth, and change for the better has been a long journey. If you are on that long journey, please know it is worth it. You will need to examine yourself and a lot of things to deal with everything but it is worth it. Trust me it is. Even after all these years, sometimes I still need to refer to my daily guide and sure enough, the words and lesson are exactly what I need that day. Sometimes, if I leave the readings alone for a long time, you can bet a situation will arise, and I’m looking for the lesson of the day.
As always, I thank you for reading today. I appreciate it so much. I will return tomorrow and hope to find you right here, too.