The Three C’s: Cause, Control, Cure

In dealing with other people, I’ve read it’s important to keep these three C’s in mind:

You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it.

Wish I’d known this years ago. In my codependence years, I thought if I was just “better” I could make Mom happier. Then she wouldn’t be so upset at everything all the time. I stayed in my room a lot, to be in the quiet. And through life, there have been those less than good relationships with the same cause (codependency) where I truly believed if I helped them, they would want a better life. Nothing is further from the truth.

I’m talking boyfriends, relatives, friends, many folks who just seem to need something they don’t have. Truth of the matter is, they caused their problems; controlled them; and they were the only ones who could cure them. End of conversation. Nothing was my fault. As a parting shot, many a codependent boyfriend tells a girlfriend like me, “It’s your fault. You’re a nag. Gained weight. You think you’re better than anyone.” Nope. Not buying it. Never again. Their excuses and addictions are the product of their poor decisions. Nothing else.

So, what can I control? Not much, but for my mood, thoughts, actions. You know, the usual. I’ve written I’ve been off all week. Maybe I found a cure. I sewed together 42 beautiful quilt blocks this morning. There are six rows of twelve each. I’m trimming threads and going to press them later. Then, they go up on the design wall downstairs in the “bedroom.” I’ll show you tomorrow. Truth is, I was losing my hope. I could have worried about the grandkids all over the country. Instead, I did something I’ve been missing a lot. Want to re-sharpen those skills up before beginning my grandkids’ quilts for Christmas.

I am doing something positive and my heart feels better; less burdened, more hopeful, and happier. I didn’t cause this. I cannot fix it, nor can I cure it. I can only do what I can do to heal my part of it. It’s really all any of us can do.

Of course, you’re entitled to opinions of what we should do. We’re not entitled to be hostile towards each other because of it. Let’s all work at making our part of the world kinder, at least for a while. Thank you for reading. See you tomorrow!

Friday – Day Two

I dutifully packed my trusty Chromebook in my CUBS backpack this morning. Traffic was much lighter today since there was no fog. When I was still commuting to work at Mutual of Omaha, I lived in northwest Omaha, and traveled down Dodge Street every day. It was about a ten or fifteen minute commute. It was pretty easy. There was not any big disruption except for road construction. They chopped up the asphalt overlay up every year, and it was a mess. Not a big deal. After witnessing the immediate aftermath of a terrible accident yesterday, I’m grateful I didn’t have to do the interstate to work every day during my career.

Today, I’ve listened to speakers about writing a strong heroine; using wise cracks, banter, humorous retorts, and smart assery in dialogue. The presentations have been very good. There was also a session on starting newsletters. Not sure if I need one? Blogging usually covers what a newsletter would. I’ll have to think about that one. I suppose I’d blog less? It would be more time to write on projects. Hmmmm. There are some decisions to make for sure.

This afternoon, I’ll learn about building conflict that captivates the readers; I’ll be able to fix the sagging middle; and learn about the lies characters tell themselves. How enlightening! I went home last night tired and still excited. I just love this stuff.

I’m making space in my life to take part in writing more, and the other creative endeavors I love. Spring always makes me want to get my hands in the potting soil, put the plants out, cut out a hand-sewing project, and sit outside on either on the deck or the patio. It’s time, boys and girls. This summer will have a bunch of creative fun!

With the number of people in our lives who have passed away in the last two years, and the people who have experienced dramatic changes in their health situations, I don’t want to miss my opportunity. No regrets. Let’s see each other again tomorrow. Looking forward to Day 3! Be safe out there.

The Hawk. Insomnia. Messages.

I’ve been awake since probably 3 a.m. Yes. 3 a.m. I am still not tired yet at 7 a.m. A quick nap this afternoon will be in order. I woke when the Babe got up to use the restroom, as dudes in their 70s often need to do at night. Lexie was sleeping between us and she stood to circle around and lie down again. She moves until she bumps into any body part on me, then she sighs. It’s kind of nice.

While lying in bed, willing myself back to sleep, my first conscious thought again was the hawk from a few days ago. Here’s that article. Yes, I feel it was a message to urge me to free up time to do the things I want to do – writing, quilting, creating. The hawk, a symbol of honesty and clear vision, came to me in the very spot my friend Rick Tiger said we’d sit and write a song this summer when he and his wife would travel to Omaha to do another show at the VFW. Sadly, Rick contracted COVID and passed away last October.

In the early morning fog of waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, it occurred to me. The hawk may have been Rick. He encouraged me to write, and that is what I intend to do. I am amazed. It’s what I’m working towards, that very thing. And the hawk appeared above me where we were to write the song we talked about. I’m tagging his wife, Joyce, in this blog. Joyce, Rick is still working, isn’t he? I’m grateful for the prompt he asked God to send to me. It’s a gift! Thanks, Rick!

Tonight, the Babe and I are going to the kick-off meet and greet for the first Bombshell Patriots of Nebraska Conference. I’m proud to be part of this event and am eager to hear the speakers tomorrow. They are all very accomplished women. I cannot wait to learn from them. It should be a great weekend. Check them out on Facebook, Bombshell Patriots. They’re in Colfax, Iowa. Their website is: http://www.bombshellpatriots.org.

Should be a great conference.
It will be an honor to hear these women speak and meet them.

I won’t be able to blog until late tomorrow evening, so we will see each other tomorrow. Thank you for reading, stay safe, and have a beautiful evening.

Sunny Sunday

Today, I’m determined to not nap. I hope I can make it. Been waking up pretty early lately; maybe I’m getting ready to wake early and sit on the deck for coffee with the Babe. Fresh air is always a cure for lots of things. Spring is, too. The weather should be in the 50s and 60s for the next week.

Of all things I’m hearing, there may be a shortage of Corned Beef. Don’t know why yet. I wouldn’t think there would be a supply chain issue; is there? A lot of Irish wannabes may find disappointment. Are they short of Irish Whiskey, too? That would be the genuine tragedy. Growing up at an Irish Catholic parish, we often celebrated St. Patrick’s day on a Friday, when we were to abstain from meat. It was funny. The bishop issued a dispensation from the no meat Friday rule. I never had corned beef until I was an adult. Mom never made it. I don’t know if Dad ever ate it. Interesting.

I’m gathering up some books that need to be put downstairs (already read books), and some that need moving to the to be read area. There are a bunch of them, trust me. I saw in a FB ad yesterday there is another Omaha police officer (retired) who has two books out. I immediately ordered them. I love local authors. The second book written by retired officer Mark Langan is also in my stack. The book Confluence, a book told to an author, is John Gottshalk’s life of serving, leadership, and ethics. He was the CEO of the Omaha World Herald, where my father worked for 37 years. When Dad had cancer, Mr. G. visited him in the hospital. Dad, shocked, told us Mr. G. was a very busy man, and he had better things to do than visit him in the hospital. Dad died a few weeks after that, and each year since, Mom has received a beautiful plant from Mr. G. as a remembrance of Dad. What an incredible man.

I have some things to tend to – such as watering my succulents. I forget about them since they’re downstairs, and I’m not ready to do spring cleanup down there. Hope they’re still living. Last fall, I purchased some medium for re-planting them. Sad to say, I haven’t done that yet. So much to do, so little time!

Tomorrow is an appointment for my aching shoulder. I’ve stretched it, tried to strengthen it, and decided more cortisone is probably the answer. We’ll see. I consider things like this to be modern miracles of medicine. It should help with my issue.

Even if it’s not nice to be outside without a coat, enjoy some fresh air today. It helps us think clearer. I’m all about clearer thinking. Right now, it’s time to update the Post website. Lots of fun stuff coming up. Check it out, http://www.vfwpost2503.org. We are not only having Catfish on Ash Wednesday, but are having a fish fry on Friday. Join us if you’re nearby. See you tomorrow.

“Play Ball!”

Life repeats itself. Since Gavin was born, nearly nine years ago, his sister Addison has competed in dance competitions across the region. This weekend is no exception. Gavin asked if he could hang out with us instead of driving in the van with Addison and her team to Tulsa this weekend. I thought this was fitting.

LEFT: Grandpa giving Gavin his bottle. Note the Baseball!
RIGHT: Gavin having his second bowl of Frosted Flakes. Double header today.


So, eight years later, on the same weekend, we’re hanging out with Gavin. I may work a little around the house, then join the boys after the first game begins. It’ll be a perfect day for it. I get little done when he’s here. I don’t care; what I’m supposed to get done when he’s here is spend the time with him. What a job, I’m lucky to get to do it. Blessings all around.

Last night, he asked me if he could do Word Search on my phone. He’s such a smart kid, it impressed him I was on Level 633. He commented it was harder than it looked. I told him he was solving the grown-up Word Search, not the kid one. He brightened up immediately. I think this game is just as good as reading sometimes. It helps him learn and keeps my brain working. Win/Win for Grandson and Grandma!

I’m a little puzzled by the way I’ve been feeling lately. It appears when I’m in a creative and learning mode, I can have a lot of understanding and enlightenment about my writing, my business, all the marketing involved, and I’m full of energy. I feel like I could slay dragons after those sessions. And then, I may go sit where the heating pad can comfort my twisted muscles and spine. Within twenty minutes or so, I’m exhausted and get nothing done the rest of the day. Do other creatives experience this? If you do, help a girl out and drop me a message or comment here. I’m perplexed why this happens and wonder if it’s from creating?

There is so much talk (and I believe it) creativity is like giving birth. I know that was very tiring and rewarding. I expect publishing my kids’ books will be, too. Right now, I have some house projects that need to be finished. Other things do, too. And yet, I need to have a day or two for a quilt I’m itching to work with. It’ll all work out. It always does.

As I continue along reading the book by musician Ben Folds, “A Dream About Lightning Bugs,” I marvel at the way his creative mind works. He tells of creative visualization and how it resonated with him. Eureka! Maybe that’s what I’m doing. As he says, “results fueled by temporary delusion.” That makes me laugh, but it’s true. He describes visualizing what isn’t currently happening as making you a little crazy. And being crazy zaps energy. Eureka! Could that be why I’m so drained after writing and learning every morning? Working towards what you visualize “scratches the itch.” Makes perfect sense to me. With my birthday in a few weeks, it couldn’t be from age, could it? Hmmmm. Be careful how you answer that!

If you’d like to read Ben Folds’ book, it’s “A Dream About Lightening Bugs,” and is available on Amazon, etc.

As we trek to the ball field again this Saturday, I’m grateful for much warmer weather today. Way better than last week was; no coats today. Shade and sunscreen are the order of the day. Thanks for reading, I hope you have a fabulous day. We will. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Thoughtful. Let’s pay things forward or backward. Do something for someone. You’ll feel great. See you tomorrow.

Self-Assessment

This and next week, I’m taking lots of online classes. A Facebook writer’s group I belong to, Write Without The Fight, has a series this week that will help us blast through those times we just can’t write. There are lots of theories why we “get” Writer’s Block. I might agree we’re procrastinating; and it’s usually out of fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of not writing well, not being liked, etc. stops a lot of people. By my point in life, that doesn’t matter anymore. 

Our questions were twofold; What kind of creative thinker are you?; and what kind of thinker are you? “What,” you say? I say it depends on what I’m doing. Why?

As a retired systems analyst, I received calls to Mutual of Omaha in the middle of the night. There would be a problem over a program ending abnormally. I had to be a divergent thinker (full of ideas). We needed to think fast; get the program going again. I can go back home to sleep.

Working on something I’m unfamiliar with, I had to be a slower thinker. Assessing what the program was doing. And why. Looking where we might make a change. Then test the results before having Operations do their thing.

I’d do some convergent analysis. Work at a slow pace. Think things through. I took a few perfect places to insert the fix. I needed to get home. The kids needed to get up for school. I would get ready to go back to work, in full business work attire – showered, suit, pantyhose, blouse tucked in, hair and makeup done. One memorable night, I went to bed at 11:30 p.m.; they called me at midnight; I went to the office and returned home at 6 a.m. Short night for sure.

As a “retiree,” and now an author, a woman who created her own publishing company, her own daily blog, and soon to release a children’s book, I use my brain in creative endeavors, until it comes to the business part of my life. Then, well, it’s all business.

I can’t wait to hear about today’s class, at 2 p.m.; Name the Unnameable. Thy name is Writer’s Block? My personality kind of shuns the trendy things, writer’s block being one thing I sort of doubt. What keeps me from writing? Time, most of the time. And chronic pain, when I just can’t sit in my office chair anymore. Oh, I can go to the recliner. It’s not isolated from everyone (the dogs, the Babe), and what they’re doing.

I write better when I’m at my seat, feeling the creative vibes of my studio/office. It’s my safe place for sure. Just like the old Beach Boys song, “In My Room.” Being the only girl, I had my own room. My sanctuary. My hurts were left at the door, and I’d enter a world where I drew, designing clothes, wrote plays for my girlfriend Karen and I to act out, and wished all the stuff teenage girls wished.

Now, in the Home Office, my quilting studio, my writing and business office, I dream, design quilts and stories, and get ready to tell the world my stories. There’s always a story. Make yours a good one. I will, too. Thanks for reading today; time to go pick up groceries. The fridge looks like one in a single guy’s apartment. Bare! See you tomorrow!

Creative Souls

While having morning coffee and thinking about my meeting with Cartney McGuigan yesterday, I recalled part of our conversation where she was explaining to me how she does her art. She told me her brain just takes off, and it happens. That’s exactly how it is in my creative zone. Since I do several things besides write, and I know exactly what she means. We couldn’t explain it with words. I know what she’s trying to say. You can’t explain it. But someone else can understand it. So cool, isn’t it? I had such a good time connecting with her over our book. More fun to come!

I have enough information for planning my creative endeavors for the year. I can now make a loose plan for every month. I believe I’ll start at the end and go backwards from there. I need to schedule some “play” too. Before I started writing, I joined a quilters group determined to “bust UFO’s.” Unfinished Objects (quilting projects, to be exact). The idea is, we make a random list of twelve projects we haven’t finished. You see creative minds just kind of wander sometimes. Some say Adult ADHD causes that. I’m not sure of that. 

I could do a UFO sheet for embroidery, quilting, clothing construction, painting, and reading many of the books I want to read. I pray I still have my vision and ability to move both hands. I could still do the things I love to do. Mom’s vision diminished terribly with her strokes, and I see what a struggle that is for her. It’s awful.

So along with eating better, (I’ve lost 25 pounds since October 2020), I’m making a commitment to my creativity by managing my time and projects better. I’ll get more accomplished every day. I will make a dent in my UFO pile. More book ideas are floating in my head. I need to make some notes about. It’s how my brain works. I’m just going to work with it, not fight it.

I absolutely LOVE the Michael Strahan quote above. He is one of the most positive people on earth. I admire how he’s lived his life, devoted to his kids. Not a lot of famous people are. It goes back to how his parents raised their family. He’s continuing that tradition with his family. Great to see. Anyway, one of my imaginary ideas is to have him interview me for GMA when my books are selling like hotcakes! Great idea, eh?

As I’m preparing to do our taxes today and tomorrow, that is the ONLY look backwards I’m taking. I get to deduct a lot this year for my writing expenses. Right now, it’s still considered a hobby, so it’s ok to do that. I’ll be doing a lot of sorting papers, but that allows for your mind to wander. Good ideas can happen then. I look forward to it.

Stay warm if you’re in Nebraska’s deep freeze. It’s terrible. We are going to a Valentines dinner and dance at the Post, but it’s so cold I think staying home sounds better! (Not really, it’ll be nice). Be Safe out there. Wear your masks. Watch out for black ice, too. It can get you even while walking. Thanks for reading, I’ll see you tomorrow!