Aren’t happy? Maybe you need to look in the mirror!

I am almost 55 years old and I have learned a lot in those years. Especially the last 30 years. The hardest lesson I learned is that I am responsible for my own happiness. What I really hope is that while I was learning this difficult life lesson, I wasn’t a whiner.

Nothing is much worse than listening to someone bitch about how unfair their life has turned out. One of the other things I’ve learned is to just walk away, keep my mouth shut. The whiner only wants to whine. They don’t want the truth or even help.

Just about every unhappy situation I’ve found myself in, I had a hand in putting myself there. Sometimes unhappiness is simply moodiness. So I wait a few hours (not days or weeks) and the feeling wanes.

But when the unhappiness is like a dark cloud following you everywhere you turn, it may be time to take a real look at your life choices.

I’ve worked jobs I hated because I needed a roof over my head and food in my belly. I’ve selected where I needed to live because I didn’t have a car and I need to walk to work. I’ve been fiercely lonely and scared when I made the decision to leave my drug addicted husband whom I loved with all my heart.

4e4352343c790636da374976dceca636What I’ve learned is if I’m truly unhappy I need to look inward and ask myself some hard questions. Every difficult, unhappy situation I have found myself in was a direct result of choices that I made. Other people may have been involved. Other people may have made me promises. But life is a two way street. It all boils down to choices.

If you’re unhappy and you think “If only,” it may be time to put your big girl panties on and start making better decisions. If you’re unhappy take a long hard look in the mirror and then decide you are going to be happy. Make the changes that need to be made by YOU!

Being a Grownup

I think from time to time we need to hear a story of a real hero. Not necessarily someone who risked life and limb to save a child from a burning building, but just your regular day to day hero. The kind of person who just goes about doing their thing each day. They just keep putting one foot in front on another, hoping for a better day.

Hero may be a word that is used loosely, but according to one of the definitions of hero is a person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal.

One of my day to day heroes is my sister. When she was about 24 or 25 she was married and had three small children. At that time they were 4, 3, and 1. She was a stay at home mom and homemaker. Other than being an excellent waitress, she really had no job experience. All of her immediate family lived about 3 hours away. It was during this time that she realized that her husband was not who or what she thought he was and that her children, their children were in physical danger.

She did not make excuses. She did not immediately run three hours back to her parents. But she did get her children to safety. Did she cry? Yes. Did she scream to god in her desolation? Probably. Did she give up? No she did not. Was she perfect? No she was not. Did she feel sorry for herself? Not that I’m aware of. Did she think anyone “owed” her anything? No she did not.

Her main concern at that time in her life was the safety and well-being of three small children. She worked the lowliest jobs, simply to put a roof over the heads of her children and put food on the table. She was not alone. She did have the support of her family and of her friends. But the basic day to day stuff she did 100% on her own.

Eventually she moved back to her birthplace, remarried and had another child. Last year her second marriage ended. Once again she is on her own. This time her children are grown. Her work skills are better. She still doesn’t whine and complain. She simply lives her life and is actually following her dreams. Unfettered by the bonds of marriage and child rearing, she is finally doing what she enjoys. She does it to suit herself.

Yet she still serves. She serves her mother. She is our mother’s main caretaker. She sees that she has her medicine, food, gets to the doctor, and is happy. She gets frustrated, I’m sure. We’ve had talks about the future and we both know that at some point our mother may need more then my sister’s care taking. She has told me that she sees taking care of our mother as a beautiful gift. She has told me that she feels honored to be able to do the things that she does for our mom.

That may not sound like much, condensed as it is to the preceding paragraphs. But if you knew the details and all the crap she has put up with over the last thirty years you would understand. She isn’t alone. I know the world is filled with women like her. Women that have had to put their wants and desires aside while providing the very basic necessities for their families.

The next time you hear an adult whining about the hand that life has dealt them, you might tell them to look around for their own “day to day” hero. We all have to take ownership of our choices and our decisions in life.

I’m sure there were lots of times she would have loved to just get in her car and run away, far, far away. But she knew what her responsibilities were. What makes her a hero to me is not the fact that she did what was right for her children, but the fact that she did it without complaining.

We live in a world filled with people that think the world owes them something. We live in a world where some people think that the problems that they create for themselves are everyone else’s fault. We live in a world where some people leave a trail of disaster and wonder why.

I’m glad that my nephews and nieces had my sister as a mother. She may not have been perfect. But she did try and she didn’t make excuses. She didn’t blame anyone. She simply got up each morning, put both feet on the floor, and kept trying.

I hope all of her dreams come true.


Go Your Own Way

Where are the #@*%$ pickles!!!Politics and religion, the old saying goes you never discuss these two subjects among “friends”. Friends use to be the people you work with; you worshipped with, your neighbors, extended family members. Now, thanks to social media, our “friends” have extended way beyond what were normal years ago.

Most of us have people who we follow or follow us that we really have no real connection with. Maybe they are former co-workers, former classmates, friends of friends, and even distant family members. Whoever they are, they are people we have no interaction with. For the most part we don’t value their opinions or their feelings on subjects that may be important to us.

Gone are the days when we would sit across from someone, face to face, and have a serious, maybe even a valuable conversation about world events or our own personal belief system. We could smile at each other after this “deep” conversation and agree to disagree.

Now if someone has a different opinion or outlook than you, you are given labels. You are uneducated, uninformed, you have blinders on, you are drinking the Kool-Aid, you are stupid, you are hell bound, Jesus doesn’t love you, you are un-American, you are pond scum, you are the problem, you are a fucktard!!

I do not care if you call yourself Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Wiccan, Atheist, Mormon, Scientologist, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, Left Wing, Right Wing, or Chicken Wing. Whoever you are or whatever you call yourself, you do not own the path to justice, truth, fairness, or respectability. There is nothing that you can post or say on social media that is going to change anyone else’s thought processes.

I don’t mind someone throwing out a thought or reposting an article with a “consider this” type of attitude. There is a fine line between sharing information and shoving it down my throat.

I don’t know where we are headed as a country. But what I do know is that if Donald J Trump is elected we are not going to hell in a handbasket. Neither will we if Hillary Clinton is elected. It amazes me that everyone gets all wound up about the Presidential election, but no one turns out for school board elections, city council elections, state senators or congressmen. These elections matter too, sometimes more so than a Presidential election.

Why do we keep sending the same senators and congress people to Washington? Why do the same old “good ol’ boys” keep running our cities, counties, and states? That’s where the revolution needs to start. The President of the United States enacts no laws, until it ends up on his desk.

What is getting me aggravated these days is the presumption of “friends” to tell me that voting for who I want to vote for is actually a vote for Donald Trump. I will probably do one of three things this election. I will either vote Green, Libertarian, or Independent. I don’t need a lecture. I don’t need to be informed or educated. If you think your pick has all the answers, just know that you are mistaken.

In last night’s slumber……

fcb81aacbd6d8f2e842115ba367642e8What odd dreams I’ve been having. Last time it was birds, bird’s nests, and hatchlings in a house. Last night it was something else rather odd. I’m sure it means something, but what.

Last night as I slept, I was at first outside in a grove of trees and at other times in a building. Sometimes this building seemed to be my mother’s house. At other times it seemed to be a rather large house that was filled with boxes and things. When I wasn’t there, I was in a grove or an orchard filled with trees at times and with shrubs at other times.

I was gathering the fruit from the trees. There was a man in the distance. He seemed to be in charge of the trees. In my mind he was a horticulturist. As I gathered the fruit he moved just beyond my field of vision.

I had a basket in which I was placing the fruit. The fruit was actually a nut. The nut was about the size of a small apple. It was shaped somewhat like a walnut. But it was very large. As I gathered the nuts, I would occasionally crack one open. They were easy to open, much like a walnut is. When I opened them each piece of the walnut like nut it was large, to match the small apple size of the whole nut fruit. But each piece of the nut was not back to back as usual. But faced each other in the shell.

But occasionally when I opened one of the nuts I found a surprise. It was a walnut AND a pecan. I would rush to try to catch the man, the manager of the trees, but he was always just a little too far ahead of me for me to catch. I laid these special nuts aside to show him when I could.

At last I round a bunch of trees and found the man asleep on a very nice couch that sat beneath the branches.

What a weird one!

$_35I go days, weeks, and sometimes months without remembering any dreams that I might have. And then, WHAM! I’ve gone to sleep and find myself in bizzaro land!

I think your dreams is your subconscious trying to tell you something. Maybe warn you or steer you in the right direction. Sometimes, maybe it’s just stress that has built up over time and it spills over and is released in your dreams.

I once had a dream about an elephant in a parking lot that only I could see. The meaning of that is pretty obvious. We’ve all heard the expression “The elephant in the room.” I was able to figure that one out because of some changes I was going through in my basic belief system.

Last night I dreamed I was standing in some sort of line with my coworkers. There was a Ficus tree with a Cardinal’s nest in it. The bird was sitting on an egg. I could even see her little butt cheeks spread out over the egg. We all pointed at and admired the bird sitting on the egg. Later with my coworkers and now also some family members, there were two baby chicks that had hatched from the eggs.

In my dream the Cardinal was a regular sized bird. Just the size you would see in your backyard. But when the chicks hatched they were about two feet tall, tan with darker spots and very fluffy and vocal. I walked over and picked up one of the chirping chicks and it immediately became a shriveled up, gooey mess in my hand and died. Before I could stop myself I picked up the other chick and the same thing happened.

Hmmmm……..I’m not sure what that means. But it doesn’t sound good.

and I’m okay with that.

7b514a8fcf19a2e36ec72620e636c4f3I use to be nice. I use to be sweet. I use to make excuses for people. I use to see only the positive. Then after a little life experience, I took off my rose colored glasses, looked at the world, and became a bitch.

I think most of my real, truly life changing conversion happened after I turned 50. Maybe that’s just part of growing old. Your tolerance for unadulterated bullshit drops to a level where you just aren’t going to stand it any more.

I use to make excuses for others – now I let them speak for themselves.

I use to ignore the ugly, and play up the pretty – now I let ugly just be ugly.

I use to reach out to help without being asked – now I worry only about myself and my family. I have to live with my choices, so does everyone else.

I use to be the peacemaker – now I will bring the war right into your living room and take no prisoners and call no truce.

Once you realize you’ve been betrayed, it’s easy to wipe entire groups out of your life without a second thought. It’s really quite liberating not to feel the need to explain yourself. Just simply sit and be quiet and wait for the disorderly, loud mouthed crowd to pass you by and move on to their next dispute.

Keeping quiet is the hard part. I guess we all want understanding. That’s why we feel the need for discussion, endless discussion with everyone shouting about their “feelings”. I’ve finally reached the age where I don’t really care about anyone’s feelings and will try to keep mine to myself as well.

Occasionally I feel that nice, sweet, girl trying to rise up out of me and make excuses for someone. But I punch her in the face and the bitch wins again.

I’m a nice, mind my own business, kind of bitch.


Witnessing a Memory

At work we have several volunteers that help us in the office. This week we had someone on vacation so we used volunteers to sit at her desk and answer phone calls. All of these sweethearts are happy to help and I love having them in the office. It breaks up the monotony of the day to day work week. I find myself drawn to these golden agers.

This afternoon we had an 80 plus year old helping. She had walked into my office and spotted my computer wall paper. “Oh what a beautiful bird. That picture is just lovely!!” She said all of this with her trace of New York accent. She has lived here for years, but the accent lingers.

The picture was a bird sitting on a apple tree branch. The tree was blossoming. She just stood there for a moment really taking in the photo and really appreciating the beauty captured.


Then she closed her eyes, smiled, and tilted her head back. The sun was shining though my floor to ceiling window and fell across her 80ish year old face and she began to recall:

“When I was a very young girl in New York my father would take us out into the country. It was out along an old dirt lane, that just rolled on. It curved and went up and down. We passed old fences that were falling down along the side of the rode. Then we would round the bend and there it was!” She opened her eyes and looked at me and said “The most beautiful apple orchard. Just rows and rows and rows. They seemed to go on forever. My father would ask the farmer, May we come in? The farmer would open the gate and let us in. My father allowed no running and screaming. There was no fooling around.”

She closed her eyes again and said, “When I close my eyes it all comes back to me. The beautiful canopy of flowers. Just a sea of beautiful pinkish white blooms. The chartreuse leaves, the golden sun spilling down through the branches. AND THE SMELL! Very pungent, but lovely.”

“We would walk quietly among the trees. A gentle breeze would come and the petals from the trees would fall like snow. It really was something. But you only had a short time to catch it. Some years we would ask, Can we go to the apple orchard? and my father would say, It’s too late. At the time I never realized how that memory would stay with me.”

She’s talked to me about her father before. He was a very hard working man that provided for his family. But there didn’t seem a lot of affection from him towards her or her sister. But the apple orchard was special to him and he passed that on to her.

Before she left my office, I told her “How wonderful that your father shared that with you!”

Sometimes it hurts

eAt my age I’ve learned some of life’s hard lessons. But I’m still learning and I’ve got the scars currently healing on my heart to prove it. Life would be a lot easier if I could just turn off the rest of the world and lock myself away here on this hill in the middle of nowhere. If it was just me and Doug forever and ever, I think I could be content with that.

But alas, there are other relationships in my life. Sometimes they are difficult to navigate no matter how long you have been doing it. I cry over relationships that seem to be fizzling out. I wish I could fix them. But I can reach out only so many times. Silence and indifference speaks volumes. I won’t beg. I won’t force my way in.

I’m not perfect. I know that. There are things I wish I could change. But you can’t turn back time. Although imperfect, I think I do make an effort. I do tend to sometimes read to much into things. One thing that I have found is that usually these things tend to work themselves out.

Our intimacy ebbs and flows over the years. I sometimes think of relationship like rivers running across the country. Raging rapids followed by calm streams. Intense busyness followed by quiet stillness. Or the ocean. Raging, dark waves followed by calm, glassy seas.

We are each occupied with our day to day life. So I try to chalk it up to that. But it still makes me sad.