Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (?)

Happy Wednesday! I just saw a meme that read:

Make today so fantastic that yesterday gets jealous!”

So, at first read, I didn’t care for it because of the word jealous. Jealousy is the cause of a lot of bad things; mistrust, unhealthy competition, rage, relationships ending, and lots of other bad stuff. As young Catholics, we were taught jealousy is sinful. In a lot of ways, I believe jealousy is unnecessary among well-adjusted adults. Key words: well-adjusted.

In relationships if someone goes to great lengths to make their partner jealous, the whole thing is doomed. Games should not be played there at all. Period. A well-adjusted adult is secure in their knowledge of what they have to offer. Ideally, trust should be paramount in any relationship. Yes, many of us have trust issues. I did, until I met the Babe. He’s pretty much up front about everything. No worries. He has female friends; I have male friends. Not even a second thought about anything inappropriate. We’re lucky to have that with each other. Nothing makes a person feel more confident than absolute trust being placed in your hands by the one you love.

Mom and I went to a luncheon today, and new/old/schoolmate Steve Paschang was present again. It’s weird talking to someone who was in a class two years ahead of you in high school. Once you graduate high school, go through life, and make your place in the world, it’s amazing how we all blend together. It’s funny now we all realize those things we valued as children are not that important. As you get older, nationalities, races, educational levels, all fade. We’re all more the same than we are different. Nothing to disagree about if your take politics out of the equation, which I insist on here and on my FB things. We just don’t need the hassle.

It’s been another different kind of day, didn’t get much done, there is still tomorrow. Oh, I heard back from the DeGroot group; I did not advance for consideration for a grant for writing. It’s ok, though. I entered, did it a little scared, and didn’t make it. No lives lost. I feel by just entering I won. I could never have done this 50 years ago.

Life is a series of steps from one stage to another; many are similar at the stages, many are not. The trick is to keep moving. I’m moving right now out to the couch and pick up my crocheting. And fight the urge for a nap. It’s a comfortable life, this retired life is. I hope you enjoy yours as I do. Let’s see each other again tomorrow.

Group Efforts

We are all on a team of some sort. It doesn’t have to be a sports team, but it could be. If you have a spouse, significant other, and/or children, you have a family team. Your goals are both personal and team oriented. Not all individuals in families are team players. Once children grow up and leave the nest, they form new teams. And so it’s gone for eons of time.

In life, we have to work with many types of people who differ from ourselves. After a career of living in cubicle world, you develop a heightened awareness of people and, well, our oddities. We all have them. Little habits that eventually can drive us crazy. You know it’s true. In fact, even in families, we may have trouble coping with our annoying habits. Some are nail biters, foot tappers, finger drum soloists, lip lickers, or just have their phone volume up to max every time the view a YouTube video, which is super annoying!

I’ve been away from cubicle world for a number of years, so I don’t know what the cell phone protocol is in the workplace now. Whatever it is, I hope people are aware of the fact a great deal of stress is involved in being residents of cubicle world. Some teams I was on were full of weird chaps. Yes, they were. Many programmers/analysts in the 90s were sci-fi lovers. At that time in my life, life was strange enough, I was going to school and raising my kids. We’d have some interesting discussions. It was before politically correct changed the landscape of the workplace. Many of the men I worked with were polite, respected women, and were great guys. Some weren’t. Since I was raised with brothers, I ignored anything inappropriate.

Where I disliked conversations was when higher management said and acted inappropirately and bragged about it. Crossed boundaries. I didn’t have the guts to report it, or tell him to quit. I should have. If I were in that situation today, I would. At that time, I needed my job and benefits. I thought I’d be fired if I spoke up.

Where I support victims of harassment and worse, I abhor when false accusations are made – against men or against women. It’s not right. On either side of the fence. With the progress made in recognizing and protecting gay people from harassment, I’ve thought at times of the anti-gay sentiment I worked in. In the early 90s, I did confront a guy who was such a chauvinist and homophobic by telling him I had a gay son, and I did not appreciate his comments. He had some quirks, combined with a hot temper. He controlled his wife (you hear everyone’s phone calls in cubicle world), and referred to her as “the wife.” I got tired of hearing it. I asked him what her name was. He told me. I told him his the wife reference was insulting to her. Like she was a possession. He said she is. End of conversation.

Didn’t stay in that guy’s cubicle long. I transferred to a different team. Thank goodness. A boss referred to me as “the WOMAN.” I let that slide because he was an exec, laughing it off, but I knew that meant I was not a team member who had any input. I was grateful to go on disability after my 1995 brush with paralysis. The Babe and I married in 1998 and I had such chronic back pain I had to quit work. It was for the best. With the unrelenting pain, there was no way I could go back to being on call for a team, and still expect to make it to work the next day. My life has been full ever since.

I’ve been a part of many a team since then; volunteering, at Church, Stephen Ministries, and VFW groups. I like belonging, and I’ll no longer be part of any group who lack integrity, value, honesty, and cohesiveness. Life, at this point, is too short to not be a part of something good that is larger than oneself. The Facebook Groups I’m part of are all about creativity; Quilting, Crocheting, Writing, Painting, and my favorite is I Create Daily. I don’t stick around groups that have conflict, arguing, or nastiness. No games. No stress.

I’ll be happy to see those FB posts again, and catch up with all the creatives who are “friends” of mine. I’ll feel part of a team again. I’ll be a gear in the group that helps keep it spinning, not derails it’s fuction. Tomorrow, my new BFF from Apple and I will be on the phone straightening out the Apple ID debachle. I’ve missed my phone. I’ll probably over do it on days, but I hope to keep my momentum going towards my kidlit book, my novel, and my other creative endeavors.

You may want to check what groups you’re part of. Find new ones if you need to. If some members of the group say things you disagree with, learn to ignore. If you get more bad than good from a group, leave. Start your own. Just be courteous, kind, and ignore the troublemakers. Try it. On to new adventures, new teams, new groups. Surround yourself with like minded creatives. It makes all the difference in the world. Your work and creations will thrive in the right environment. Think about it. And I’ll see you tomorrow! Take care out there.

The Listening Path

At 5 p.m. CST, I’m joining a free class by Julia Cameron. She is the Godmother of Creativity from what I’ve read about her. She is a best selling author, poet, songwriter, filmmaker, and playwright. She has penned over forty books. It’s an impressive resume. For some reason, I’m late to this party. But glad I’m here, nonetheless.

Sometimes I get bogged down with all the creative interests I have. I don’t know what exactly to work on. I want to do it all. I’ve already put “learning to draw and paint” on the back-burner. In fact, I removed all the new supplies I purchased from my studio office and put into storage in the basement family room. I wanted to do art this year. Maybe later.

Finishing my children’s book became “urgent” to me after New Year’s Day this year. It’s a story about our grandson Gavin and our puppy Roxie. It is full of life lessons and hope. Everyone needs to have hope, and especially children. It’s very exciting to know something Cartney McGuigan and I are creating will help children. It can help children understand some hard things about life. Yes, and give them hope, too.

Ms. Cameron’s new book, “The Listening Path – The Creative Art of Attention” sounds as if it will be very interesting and be sound advice to apply to life itself. It is a free class, you can register on Julia Cameron’s website or Facebook page, I believe. I need to get all of this creativity together and out of my mind, heart, and belly, and get it on pages, canvas, fabric, and wherever else it needs to go. Sharing it with the world gives comfort, joy, peace, and all the things we need as humans. Even if people thing they don’t care for art, they are influenced by it. They like it or hate it, but it evokes feelings.

I know during hard times throughout my life, I need to be creating something. Before I started writing, it was quilting. I really want to get some quilting squeezed into my life. The problem is getting my crooked spine to cooperate with me. It prohibits my sitting very long, either at the desk, writing, or at the sewing machine, stitching. The writing is on the front burner right now, and I will see it through.

Speaking of not sitting very long, my MRI showed nothing I didn’t already know, and feel on a daily basis. The neurosurgeon said if there were to be any surgery, he’s sure he could not do it. It would be stabilizing my spine, and straightening the scoliosis, which would require a lot of hardware. He’s not sure if anyone could rebuild me. And if they could it would be several years regaining strength and stability. The lower spine is compromised from stenosis (moderate to severe), and arthritis in the severe stage, too. I told him at my age it would be foolish to try and have it fixed. He said he agreed. God will help me continue. I pray for a positive attitude every day. I think most days, God blesses me with one.

It’s so hard to pick when you love a lot of things. I just have to keep going, every day do something! It will all settle down. I’ve recently joined a page called, “Rage Against the Manuscript.” Of course, the title piqued my curiosity. Steff Green is an author, and a “call it as I see it” woman. She’s young, tends toward the Gothic look, has numerous tattoos, and is a good author. She hails in New Zealand. I’m not sure how I came across her, but she talks a lot of sense to me. I need to read all her ideas about “Raging Against the Manuscript.” I like her style. You can always learn something from people who are different from you. Your world becomes bigger simply by listening. Thanks, Dad!

For today, it’s going to snow. I’m putting my snowman collection out for fun. I used to put them out at Christmas, but it’s nice for January, too. I have some winter-themed plaques, and they brighten the rooms with optimism. I like that.

Stay warm and safe today. Thank you for reading. We’ll see each other tomorrow, but later in the day. The Babe and I have a meeting at the VFW, so it’ll be later in the day I think. Help someone out today. They’ll be grateful and you’ll feel good. Make our world better. We can all make a difference!

Sunday Reflections

This was a week of incredible learning for me. My sessions with my book coach are getting even more interesting and deep. Some days, I’m not sure I want to discover all these emotions needed to tell the story that is on my heart. Yet I know I need to do it. It won’t rest until it’s on paper. Once it’s there, I can discover more about it, shape it into what my definition of fiction is. I believe it’s a story that may or not happen in real life, one people can learn from. It has a lesson, as does all of life. It should teach a lesson that is relatable. I suppose I was taught at an early age we learn from everything. Seeing, doing, not doing, doing right, doing wrong, and observing others in the same way. The actual definition of fiction is a narrative of people, events, or places that are imaginary. It will be interesting to see how this all develops.

These Books are Extremely Helpful to an Author

I already have “The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (Second Edition).”It’s been a Godsend to me. I placed an order for “The Emotional Wound Thesaurus:A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma,” in which I should find a lot of valuable information for conveying the trauma my main character carries, adding depth and soul to the story. These are humbling sessions. I have a lot to learn, and I’m eager to learn it, and welcome the teaching.

Have you ever heard the word Schadenfreude? I included it in a past blog, and loosely defined, it is malicious enjoyment from the suffering or unhappiness of others. We’ve all known people who delight in others misfortune. This is one step beyond. I’m not sure a person is necessarily “right” to do this to another person. A person who is vengeful enough will do this and be delighted by breaking the other person’s spirit. I’ve had it done to me, and it’s no picnic, believe me. Bullying is a form of this, in my opinion. Passive aggressiveness sets in, and continues to destroy another’s confidence. Not a pretty sight or sound. It is defined quite well in the The Emotion Thesaurus. I just ran across it, and thought it may prove useful in the story. A person delights in tormenting Katie, and this would be a great way to describe one of their evil traits.

Be Careful What You Ask For!

Communication is so important, make sure the tattoo artist knows what you mean exactly! I’d rather be remembered for being kind to people than to appear to have money. As the Babe says, I’ve had it, lost it, had it again. It comes and goes. Isn’t that the truth? Mom always told me, “By the time you have enough money, it doesn’t matter anymore.” I remember lean times as a kid. You got new shoes for school. Maybe new Keds for summer. Nothing extra. We wore uniforms, so that cut down on our clothing immensely. She was right. By the time I completed enough education to afford being a single mom of three, they flew the nest and it didn’t matter anymore. Strange how that happens.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I’m starting a list of little things around the house we need to clean vigorously or re-do in the next month or so. Yes, things like washing the outside windows, stuff like that. I’d like one thorough cleaning of everything (and dispose of unwanted stuff) just as fall sets in. It will take me about 5 – 6 weeks to do it all, but that’s ok. If I get it done once a year it’s good. I used to do it all twice a year. Not anymore. My energy has to be saved for the good stuff. The creative stuff. The stuff dreams are made of, that make you happy. It’s a great place to be in life. May you all get there.

Thank you for reading. I’m grateful you are doing this journey with me. Back again tomorrow, hope to see you then. Be Safe.

Fortunate Friday

This, is what I needed yesterday

Today is already a much better day than yesterday was. For some reason, I was ready to burn all my manuscripts, all of my “how to write” books, and just give up. I tried all my tricks to get out of the funk. Every single one. Except for the most important one. Give into the physical fatigue I was feeling and get a good night’s sleep. Guess what? It worked.

Each and every time I commit this crime of omission, I feel pretty silly. Why? Because I know the best thing for me, when things are out of control, is to just go to sleep. I wake up again and my soul is refreshed, the fight is still in me, and I’ll go slay the dragons of my mind again. Every time. I’ve known this for over forty years. Why did I forget it?

Because the world has gone crazy, the messages are in an out of control feeding frenzy, and I got caught up in the vortex of the tornado. Again. The fact that I’m feeling silly is just because I’m human. Most of us don’t like to admit all humans are flawed. We are all flawed. Being imperfect is something we need to admit. Once we admit it, we can work on it. We’ll never become perfect, at least not in this world, on this earth.

I believe that is for whatever Heaven is. I sometimes think Heaven is whatever is best for us on earth, it is what we have in heaven. Family and friends, kids and grandkids, music and dance, puppies and dogs, flowers and breathtaking scenery, it’s all going to be there. And never end. No one will die. Or fall out of love. No one will be mean. Or bullied. No one will murder the body with objects or the heart with words. We will have never seen anything like it. It sounds pretty incredible.

Whatever you believe, I think belief in something bigger than ourselves is critical to living now. We are not the “it” that exists at the top of the heap. We are simply sharing the middle ground with others we need to get along with. Don’t infringe on others. Share with one another. Don’t hurt or kill each others. Do good. Do be good to each other. Do know you’re all just as lovable in God’s eyes. And your mama’s. You’re equal. Now all of us need to act like it. And stop the insanity. Please. Before it’s all too late for all of us. I have hope it is not too late.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate you returning after a sub-par blog yesterday. I feel it’s necessary to share those to show we all have terrible days we can and do recover from, believe it or not. Show, don’t tell. That’s what authors are supposed to do. Have a beautiful day. Get some rest. Make some progress. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be the change. I’ll see you tomorrow.

My Hope for All of You!