Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Family Divided

My Grandmother passed away last week. She lived a long life. She would have turned 98 this summer...the day before my birthday. You know, I really felt 'okay' with her passing. I mean, geez. She lived a freakin long life! I held it together pretty well until after the rosary and then completely fell apart after the service. There were so many feelings of sadness. How I will miss my Grandma, let me count the ways.

Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem" will forever have the memory of the funeral procession to the grave site for me. As we drove through the town, all I kept thinking was I will never come here to see her again. All the memories that I have carried with me and thought about over the entire course of my life will have no new ones added. Ever again. I have been so blessed to not have to experience the loss of a loved one that was so close to my heart. I did at age four and somehow managed to callous myself to loss until now. I honestly think I suffered a small amount of PTSD. I couldn't keep my thoughts together. I spent the rest of the time away and through the beginning of the next week to sort through my feelings.

The one thing I was extraordinarily thankful for was that everyone had come together. Even though the one, true commonality we all had was the connection of blood lines, we were all there. It was fantastic to see faces I hadn't seen in far too long. I also actually got to meet relatives I had never known before. Then came another wave of sadness for me.

We were all at the service together, but we weren't together. I know every family has their ups and downs and sometimes it is impossible to all be on the same page. I thought that this one time, to celebrate the life of a woman that we all loved, we would really be together. In one place. At one time. It didn't happen. I always thought that it was just distance that kept us all apart. Was it?

I'm sure there are stories and hurts that I don't even know about but, damn, I didn't really love spending my time there driving from place to place to make sure we at least saw everyone there. Why couldn't we all be in one place? Why couldn't we pull our family together to celebrate this life? Why couldn't love and kindness prevail just this one time?

What I did discover is that we are all more alike than any of us want to admit. Any time I have heard something not so complimentary about anyone over the years, I let it go in one ear and out the other. What I discovered while I was there was that we are all the same to some degree or another. We all hold grudges. We are all judgemental. Maybe I'm just getting wise in my adult age (I somewhat doubt that) but it just seems like even after almost a century of life, life is too short. There is never time to right all the wrongs. There is never time to be all we want to be. There is never time to love everyone we should. So, the lesson I took away from all of this is that life is too short to hold on to anger and resentment. I never want to be that person again. I never want anyone to look at me or talk to me and feel that I have held onto bad feelings. I never want anyone to wonder if I love them when they should KNOW I do.

As I looked at all of the aging faces, mine included, I realized that it was the last time I would ever see many of them. I tried to hug enough. I tried to smile enough. I tried to chat enough. I tried to feel whole even with holes gaping in my soul. It was pretty hard to walk away from this reunion of sorts feeling good about being in a family divided; knowing there is nothing I could ever do to bring them all back together.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Four things I have learned...

Many of you might know that I found myself unemployed at the end of January this year...for the second time. I was let go from the previous position in September of last year as a victim of a decrease in work force. Even during the tumultuous times of our economy, I didn't worry either time. I am actually thankful that I have had the last several months to think and reflect and weigh different options. For the first time in my life, I have had the opportunity to pursue things I really WANT to do. I haven't been so stretched thin, financially, that I had to hurry up and get another job. It has been pretty nice, actually. So, I wanted to share with all of you four things that I have learned over the last, almost, four months.

1. I have learned to NOT worry about money.
This is a very strange concept for me. I have ALWAYS worried about money. This is a subject that has created MANY sleepless nights for me. Am I going to be able to pay the bills? Will I be able to buy groceries? What am I going to do if I don't have enough money? You get it, right? Well, when one finds one's self without a method of earning money, this should be the TOP of the worry list. Strangely, I have learned that expending that energy doesn't accomplish anything. Worry never earned a dollar. What I CAN tell you is that faith and hope is enough to keep you afloat. Not everyone believes in God and I am sensitive to that. However, He is who I thank for the peace of mind and having enough. I have had enough to not give up anything in my life over the last several months because I have enough. I know, with absolute certainty, that the right things happen when the timing is right.

Don't worry about money. Just be smarter with it when you have it!

2. It is possible to teach a mature dog new tricks.
I know. I'm not an "old" dog. The fact remains that it DOES get harder to learn completely new things as you get older. I remember being a smart ass eighteen year old and getting so frustrated with the older generation for not being able to aptly use a computer. It wasn't that I was smarter. I just had a still developing brain and that meant that new concepts weren't lost on me. It is a fact that the brain is completely developed at age 25 and the age of the "sponge" is over. It is also proven that the brain, like other organs, gets older and isn't as strong or responsive as it was. I think it is a terrific accomplishment for adults to change careers and learn an entirely new trade. I've been undergoing exactly that challenge. I have not achieved fully realized success as of yet but I am going to. No, it has not been as easy as it was ten years ago to learn. I have to do all kinds of new things to trick my mind into remembering details. I have calendars galore to remember dates and appointments. I didn't use to have to do that. The point here is, don't sell yourself short, you CAN learn new stuff. You just have to take a different approach to it than you previously have.

You CAN learn; it just takes a new approach.

3. Facebook is therapy for so many.
I have realized that the entertainment provided on Facebook is therapeutic to so many people. There is more to it than just keeping up with people and stalking people. I have had a profile on there for years and never really did much with it. I have discovered over the last several months that it really is a world of it's own. I have found people that created their own pages for entertainment, to vent, to be themselves and they all have a following of fans that relate. How wonderful is that? And to think, the only cost is related to providing yourself an Internet connection. Amazing. I have made a bunch of really awesome friends in the process and introduced them all to each other. It is fun. I feel like I owe it to the people that have taken the time to enjoy my efforts to keep entertaining. I have also found that this is the attitude of the others that have taken on this lifestyle as well. I hope that if one of us offers a smile or a relative story to someone that desperately needs it, we have made a difference.

4. I have learned that I CAN do anything.
I remember being a kid and my Dad always telling me I could be and do whatever I ever wanted. Why did it take me over thirty years to understand this? I was told the other day that "energy is wasted on youth." I tend to agree with this statement. There is so much that I want to do still and now my energy is not what it once was. However, along with this new wisdom, I am better at managing that energy and putting it toward the "right" things. As most of you know, I wrote a book. Yeah. I did. I sat down and wrote a flipping book! I am working on a new career. There is still a lot of work to be done on both but they are progressing....slower than I would like but the completion is up to me. The point is, no matter your age or circumstances, don't sell yourself short. You CAN do anything with the right amount of effort.

On that note, I will tell you farewell for now. I hope that you all take the time to listen to your heart, have faith, keep hoping, keep dreaming, keep working and stop worrying. Remember, worry never earned a dollar. Much love to all of you. If you don't believe in yourself, I will believe in you! That's all for now. Stay tuned....

Monday, May 7, 2012

Who I want to meet....

As you all know, "celebrities" kind of leave a mark on me. No, it isn't like I read all the trash mags and want to live through them. I am always more concerned with what makes people who they are. I want to know people's stories. I've been keeping up with the headlines and reading about E L James. She sounds like the coolest lady. I don't want to meet her with a goofy grin on my face unable to form words nor do I want to interview her like a journalist. I want to sit and have coffee with her and hear her story.

I have requested her book for Mother's Day. You know I can't really spend money on myself for frivolities. Never really been able to do that and now I really can't with a clear conscience because I'd rather spend that "extra" money (on gas!) on my son or to spend time with friends and family. I am not intrigued by the subject matter as much as I want to know her writing voice. 50 Shades of Grey IS the hottest thing out right now in the world of literary works. I am so excited for her even if she isn't just over the moon about all of this wild success. Some of the best things in life are just happy accidents.

For someone that has written a book, I don't read like I should. Everyone keeps telling me to read, read, read. Well, guess what? (I never know whether to punctuate that with a question mark or what. It really isn't a question and it is rhetorical anyway.) Now that I've been told to do it, it is soooo hard for me to want to. I have been this way my entire life. Tell me to do something and I ain't gonna be able to do it. Never tell me I must and it will be done seventy five times over. I really do only want to read this trilogy to see what her writing voice sounds like!

I have learned that you can read into someone just by listening or by reading, whichever may be the case. With this Facebook fan page of mine, I have been afforded the opportunity to get to know so many people that I never would have known otherwise. I find myself trying to figure out their story through the voice I hear in their posts. I probably should have done some sort of psychology work but then it would be what I HAVE to do and not from the heart. At least that's the story I am going to stick to.

Among those people, I have conversed with some great authors. I say they are great because they did it. They stepped out of their comfort zone and published a book which can be one of the most private things...like even more private than the color of your underwear. At any rate. I'm going to move forward with my writing and all the new friends I have made. I just thought I would let y'all know that this woman should definitely be friends with me. Stay tuned.....