Heroes

We don’t give ourselves enough credit. We should be our own heroes. I grew up in a time when we were discouraged from talking about ourselves, especially as a girl, and not to get too full of ourselves. It’s a whole new way of doing things nowadays. Kids are praised for everything, constantly. Is it too much? Do they grow up thinking they are perfect? Some do, in my opinion.

How do we learn to give more credit to ourselves (the boomers) and raise kids/grandkids who aren’t full of themselves. It’s a definite challenge with the kids. On one hand, they are at all to stand in a gym full of people at the age of six and sing solo, or speak, or act. They need to be prepared though, for the days they’re told no, when things don’t go their ways, and when someone else beats them out of a trophy, or someone else gets a job/promotion/or something else they want more than anything.

Sometimes, I’m glad I didn’t lead a charmed life, and had some of the life disappointments I had. I knew things would not always turn out the way I willed them to do. I also could handle it. I hope kids learn to do that. I hope it wouldn’t immediately throw them into feeling so badly about themselves and their abilities that they may hurt themselves or worse. And I hope their parents can “take it” too. A parent putting pressure and guilt on a child can have devastating consequences on that child.

People who do the simple, everyday, acts of kindness are sometimes bigger heroes than those who run into danger to rescue us from fires and crazies. The people who work everyday to support their families during these times are quiet heroes. I think of my dad when I think of those people. He was always a steady, familiar force while we had him. After we found out about his many medals from the military (two Bronze Stars, from WWII and Korea), His status rose further in our eyes.

When we do what we are supposed to do, instead of simply doing what we want, we should be our own heroes. I’m serious! Saying “NO” to ourselves is brave. It’s how we’ll progress and how our lives will change. Others are not the only ones we should say “NO” to; sometimes, we need to say it to ourselves.

Case in point? I have finally finished taking ornaments off the tree and have them ready to put on the storage shelves. I put it off from last week. I found the couch too comfy. I found the new books I read over the weekend too good. I was not my own hero. I will be when this is all stowed, because I’ll be in much better shape than I was a year ago. Last year, things were haphazardly put away, and now they’re not. It’s all orderly. I’m proud of that small victory.

We practice detachment from the excuses we’ve made previously, and we begin to make way for new habits, new hobbies, new people. And discipline we haven’t had before. We might have weird feelings while we lose the bad habit, the procrastinating gene of our makeup, but in the end, it will feel like normal when we stick to it. We will have a surer sense of mission, purpose, and fulfillment. Great things will happen. Try it. See you tomorrow!

Throrough Thursday

Thorough is such a weird word. It means complete with regard for every detail. Paying attention to details and accuracy. My old career of a Computer Systems Analyst required being thorough. The details were where you would find success or failure. You had to do a lot of analysis before digging in to a project.

Our 50th Class Reunion should have been last year. We are celebrating this year as 50 + 1. Isn’t that great? It’s in August, we need to pay soon and reserve our spots. This morning, as I waited outside of Papillion LaVista South High School, I watched the kids and parents coming and going. It was fun to imagine all sorts of stories for the people before me. Some were learning to drive, and Mom or Dad would get out of the car from the passenger seat, and drive away after sitting in the drivers seat.

It took me back to my kids learning to drive. Those were the days! My rule had to be, they can drive when they can get a car, put gas in it, and pay their own insurance. Sometimes we would barter work for the insurance premium, but they had to understand how it worked. I absolutely could not afford to have car payments more than my own.

As I looked up at the entrance below the name of this school Addison will attend next year, I thought back to my first days in high school. I was a mess. I was a very shy kid, and nervous. I wanted so much to be accepted. I hoped the bullying would stop. I hoped and prayed (what’s a Catholic kid to do?) no one would pick on me. Boys did not seem to find me attractive, and I was always drawn to kids who I thought were “above” me. Out of my league. Often a “bad boy.” The ones that did what they wanted, not what they should do. I was a rule follower. It’s engrained in you if you’re a kid born in the 50s, raised in the 60s, and graduated in 1970.

I was nervous as a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. I didn’t like loud noises, loud voices, and calling attention to myself. I used to joke I wasn’t a wallflower, I was the wall. Sad, looking back. Because of a poor body image, I thought I was morbidly obese. Although I don’t think that term existed back then. Trouble was, women were depicted as thin, Twiggy was the “it” girl, and blondes had more fun. Madison Avenue did a number on all of us.

Of course, I never heard anyone talk about feeling inadequate. Did we do that back then? In my experience, the less someone else knew about my feelings, the less ammunition they had to use against me later on. Lack of trust hurt everyone. It hurt me the most. I believe many other kids, especially girls, felt as I did. We weren’t raised by parents who told us, “Good job!” It was expected. You’d hear if you failed to do a good job, but compliments weren’t given freely. I married right out of high school. It appeared as my only option at the time. I made a bad decision there, but I wouldn’t have my kids without having made it. The marriage didn’t last, but that’s ok.

The question is often posed, if you could go through it again would you? If I could keep the confidence in myself that’s been fought very hard to achieve, yes. It’s been a 50 + 1 year journey to get here. Ups, downs, pitfalls, successes and failures. I am not a quitter. Sometimes I think that comes from having to struggle in life. I never felt smart enough. I never made the Honor Roll. But when I finished college in 1995, I had a perfect 4.0 average at Bellevue University. I did not graduate with honors because my previous hours were not from that institution. I think that kind of stinks, I had a 4.0 average there, too. It doesn’t matter. I know what my average was.

All in all, as I looked at my intelligent, kind, beautiful, talented granddaughter Addison walk away from the car this morning, I felt happy. I’m happy for her, she has confidence. Her parents have instilled good in her heart, love in her soul, and confidence to try everything to see what she likes. And it shows. She made the school dance team as an incoming Freshman. She is that good. Today was an optional weight training class that will strengthen not only her body, but her mind. Good stuff. I cannot wait to see what she does these next four years.

As I’m off to plant more flowers in a couple hanging baskets, know I wish you a beautiful day. I am so grateful for the life I’ve had, even the bumpy roads. Cancer, Divorce, disappointment, bad decisions, fear, and loneliness aside, they all helped chisel the woman I am today. I claim victory, and I’m proud. Of me. And grateful. God has been so good to me. I pray for many more years, doing some good in this world.

Join me! Be kind. I’ll see you tomorrow!

Thursday Thoughts

One of the most impactful things Dad ever taught me is to look at things from every different angle you can before deciding on something. In most things, it is prudent to do so. I like that he would tell me to think of where the other person may come from. It has always served me well. As young kids, they expected us to think things through. They, meaning the parents, teachers, coaches, etc. Maybe we didn’t have a stress-free life as kids, but I think we all can operate as reasonably intelligent adults.

Sometimes, someone may remark, “Gee, I didn’t think of it that way.” That’s a clue you may have opened their eyes to a fresh way of thinking. It’s easier if they’re open to changing their way of doing things. If they’re not, it’s much harder. Consensus is easier to achieve with more open-minded people. Face it. Change is hard. People resist as long as they can.

It gets frustrating when someone digs in and belittles your decision or choice and later claims they supported you all the way. The excuse is “Well, things were different.” With some people, it’s just not worth being right. It’s best to know you are and move on. I’ve had to do that a lot about a lot of things in my life. Moving away to a different neighborhood is a big deal in my family. No more, because I’ve done it. Three times. Mom still lives in the same house she and Dad purchased in 1949. That’s seventy-two years in the same house. It has to be some kind of record.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

We have to learn to be comfortable with our decisions. We need to accept full responsibility for the consequences of our actions. All of them. We have a responsibility to admit if we do something bad. Or good. We sometimes learn more from the poor decisions than the good ones. It’s possible. A balanced person never forgets the lessons they learn from the poor ones. And they know not to beat themselves up over them.

I had another Zoom call with Sam, my book coach today. I’m eager to add more description to my second chapter and flesh out the first scene of the third chapter. Slow and steady wins the race. I read something a couple days ago stating it takes three years to write a book. At first I scoffed at that. *Word of the Day – Scoffed! When I think of starting a year ago, January 2019, it’s not so off the mark. That’s about what I’m looking at now, at the current rate. I do like having smaller sections to rewrite.

I have about 40K written in my first book, These Walls Do Talk. I want to finish it someday I see it as a part of a trilogy. It’s not lost work it was good practice. I think back to a conversation Sam and I had once that touched on having manuscripts that will not be the ones to publish. It’s a very common occurrence among writers. That does not surprise me. Among quilters, there are many projects that never see the quilting and binding added. I have a beautiful example of one. I did not finish the first quilt ever made. I kept it as a reminder of how it was to just start learning the craft. The most important thing I learned was the famous quarter inch seams are to be critical. Otherwise, nothing will align properly. I have some rows that look terrible. You can fudge on a seam while dressmaking (I have frequently), but in quilting its unforgiving. Come to think of it, I should put a binding on it and drape it on my studio chair right here. It will remind me there is a learning curve with everything creative. And to be humble.

Goldie Could Enjoy My “Humility” Quilt.

I think I should dig that quilt out and finish it. Just because. I can look at as a failure. I don’t like the colors. It was a practice piece. I can also use it to help me see how much I’ve learned. All the quilting skills I have are self-taught. There were a few classes I took, but most of it is self-taught. With lots of books and magazines.

I’m glad to know how to look at things differently. It’s helped me be grateful, despite having a body ravaged by some weird ailments. I could have become bitter about what I lost at age 44, but I am grateful for what I can still do independently. I am grateful to have a husband who tells me, “whatever you want to do, honey,” when I have an idea for another quilt, blog, or project. We work well together, he encourages me. It stifles a lot of women to have little support for their creativity. My only problem is finding the time to do all the things I’d like to do!

Have a beautiful day. Enjoy the precipitation we’re having in Gretna, NE. I wish those fires in Colorado would have a gully washer fall on them. The destruction is terrible. Be Open. Think Differently. Love Without Restriction. Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Careful.

Where Do All the People

hang out who left all this dirty laundry in the laundry room? It’s exploded again. Wow. It doesn’t take long to overwhelm itself. So, after all the sorting and wrestling Goldie for the socks she steals from the baskets/piles as I’m sorting, it doesn’t seem so bad. It seems to go from a couple items to six loads in the blink of an eye. Any other retired folks have that same problem? There are two of us, and we haven’t adopted the “wear everything two or three days” like some older folks do.

My mom wears one outfit “out” when she leaves the house, then rushes home to change clothes. That’s a throwback to the days with “school clothes” and “play clothes” and “good clothes.” Of course, my “school clothes” consisted of a uniform, all twelve years. I suppose we saved a lot of laundry that way. I haven’t counted her outfits she can wear again before washing, she’s still in charge of her closet. She does ok.

Isn’t this a beautiful photo? I’m in awe of it, I don’t want to know how to do it, I just want to enjoy it. You know that feeling? It’s from another free site, used by my friends at I Create Daily. And that’s just it. This group on Facebook has given me courage, strength, ideas, and momentum towards creating the goals I now have which I didn’t have three or four years ago. Writing was a “someday” thing.

I know why I waited so long. It was because I wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t strong enough. It has nothing to do with confidence, I don’t think. I learned after the age of 30 I finally had some confidence. It grew, wavered, and grew some more. It was nice to reach the age where I could believe in myself. Some folks never get there. We all have hidden potential. Find out what yours is.

We’ll do a pic tomorrow, but yesterday I actually completed my poppy quilt quilting. Today, I need to square it up, and add binding. I machine sew it on, then hand sew the backing. This one will need a hanging sleeve, since it’ll go right up on the wall. I’m happy to finally finish. My brain still thinks I can do what I used to be able to do at 40 and 50, not taking into account I’m a hair past those decades. Ssshhh! Let me live in denial a bit longer.

See the hanger, up near the top, in the middle, just waiting for the quilt.

Also going to put away all the summery stuff around the house. Tulips, spring towels, etc., will all make way for the vast collection of fall stuff. It’s my favorite time to decorate, until Christmas comes along. And, yes, I will cull the herd of stuff, so that’s a win for the storage room. Great job for today.

So I’m going to be working in and out today, it’s in the upper sixties here (like me!), and very windy, so sitting outside won’t be a calm experience. The skies are dusty not blue, so it might not be a good asthma day. Lots of stuff to do, though.

Thank you for reading today. It’s a little short, but some days are really like that. Tomorrow, I dive headfirst back into my writing. There’ll be more to write about then. Have a beautiful day today. Here’s something good to think on today while you’re enjoying the outside. Or the inside. Keep it inside of you.

Be glad the car started, the water heater worked, the bed was warm.

See you tomorrow, and we’ll make it another good day! Be safe. Be courteous, Be kind. Be you!

Mid Week Risk Taking

Whatever you think you can do, or think you can, begin it. Boldness has a genius, power, and magic with it. – Goethe

One thing I clearly noticed about myself upon going out Monday, after being in quarantine for three weeks, I seemed to be low on confidence. I think it’s (hopefully) normal to feel that way. And it’s going to take awhile to regain all that is ours, and that includes confidence, remembering what day it is, and being more inclined to wear clothes, not pajamas, every day.

That said, I think I need to show myself that I’m still as competent as I was two months ago. And that I can still do any number of things well. Maybe practice some of all of those things this week. Since the annual monkey of filing Income Taxes is off my back, I’m free to do whatever. To begin, I’m going to fill out a Client Intake Q & A to work with a coach on my novel. I need someone to help me focus, and I’d really like to still publish by October 1 at the latest. Big order. The date can certainly wiggle a bit. But the idea is, I want to finish the novel and go further on this road.

My reading and inspiration for today is listed at the top of this post, and I’m applying it to my book. And in applying it to my book project, I’m applying it to my life. Yes, I’m at least beginning to see the end in sight. I need to get myself moving, even if I’m not sure of some of the next steps. They will make themselves known, just as prior steps have. I’m a beginner, and I have enough knowledge to keep going. No, I have no idea what the outcome will be. I know what I want it to be, and it will be that and more. Inertia must be overcome, and that’s what I’m doing by continuing this “finish writing the book” step. The next step cannot come until this one is nearly complete. Makes perfect sense.

At this point, people freeze often and express fear, ineptness, lack of confidence, and other negatives. Do it anyway. Do it afraid. Do it lacking confidence. The fear will subside. The confidence will build. You will be glad you stayed the course. You will succeed. Enjoy the journey. Trust your gut instinct and your judgement. To do that, act boldly. You will find the momentum in the boldness of your actions.

Even if no one is watching, we are. We know we are succeeding. We are doing well with those baby steps towards the goal. Being bold enough to do it afraid gives us the confidence to keep going. Keep stepping towards the goal. You’ll be back to the good place of creativity in no time, you just have to keep going. The confidence builds. The trust in ourselves builds. The work is getting done. The trust gives us more momentum. We are the only ones we can trust with our futures. Our parents don’t know what’s best for us. If they did, we would never leave home. Once the magic of succeeding happens, we can see we do know what we’re talking about. And we know what’s best for us. So go on that journey. Draw, paint, write, create in whatever way you want. You will find yourself along the way.

You may be surprised to meet yourself, all confident, creative, sporting a level of consciousness you never thought possible. You are the best version of yourself. You may have days you doubt, but don’t let them last long. Create some more, that will reinforce your new image of you. Practice improves your abilities. Reinforces your new image of yourself. Helps you go boldly where you have never gone before. Trust me, you will go there again, and again, and again. Look forward to it.

Today’s part of moving to the goal:
Fill out the Intake Q & A and prep the attachments needed.

Part of what I need to do is fill out this paperwork and submitting some of my rewritten novel to the coach I’m working with. I will submit all necessary parts of this by the end of the week. And I’ll dig in to finish the re-write. I’d love to have it finished by May 1. (Another goal, made public!)

Thank you for your time again today. I will be here tomorrow, and will appreciate it if you come back as well. Going to spend the rest of the day practicing creating something beautiful. And something useful. A quilt and some COVID masks. It doesn’t get better than that at the moment!

Joke of the Day