spf ~ a song title

Kristine at Randomandodd has a musical month planned for us. Today’s theme? A song title…I think this picture of one of my dogs and the Beatle’s lyrics that go with it are explanation enough for today! Didja play?

A HARD DAY’S NIGHT

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I been working like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log

 

spf ~ towels

So, Kristine decided that today’s SPF is towels. If you wanna read about towels you really oughta stop by her site and check it out. I cannot find my freakin’ digital camera right now so I used the ol’ cell phone this morning and present to you…towels…and my nearly empty towel closet…ugh…

Do not even get me started on the number of or the condition of the towels or their lack of proper folding or the stupid piece of candy in the lower right corner of the picture…suffice it to say…some days I open that cupboard and close it right up again without yelling…this morning? I’m not sayin’ nothin’. I don’t have the strength…grrr…

Didja play?

just stuff

There is alot going on and yet nothing worth writing here.

I mean, my second daughter is now less that two months from graduating. She is the one who’s anxiety manifests in stomach problems. She’s had lots of stomach problems lately. She applied to and was accepted by an institute of higher learning…across the river from us. It’s a good thing. Except for one thing. Out of state tuition.

Does she understand out of state tuition? I have no clue. She qualified for a scholarship to decrease the tuition and instead of paying 350% of the regular tuition, it’s now only 150%. A significant amount of money. However, she has decided she doesn’t want to study what she originally told them she wants to study. And the scholarship does not apply to her changes. She is bummed. And very pissed off at her mommy for making it clear that she needs to choose between a few alternatives she is not the least bit interested in.

She called me the other day from school with another option. She wants to withdraw from her chosen institute of higher learning and attend the local community college for a year. After that she thinks she will transfer to a different, in state, institute of higher learning. That will have her much further from home than just across the river.

It’s a wise, adult choice for her to make. It makes me sad to think of her so far from home though. This woman-child is trying my last nerve on a daily basis now. I have annoyed her by telling her it is a developmentally appropriate thing for her to be doing. (yes, really! LOL)

I wish I could share my girl with you in a way that would make it clear how captivating she is. I can’t even tell you how many people say that to me after meeting her. She is a special soul who feels things in a way most do not. I love her and want to slap her all at the same time on a regular basis right now. This parenting thing really is not for sissies.

Daughter #2 and daughter #3 are currently in the midst of a killer rehearsal schedule for The Sound of Music which opens in 2 weeks. So, on top of all the normal hoo-ha around our house is the added stress of show time and not getting enough sleep or homework done and crazy schedules reign! It is frustrating and fabulous all at the same time. I know I will miss this craziness when they are all grown and gone. It makes me sad sometimes. It also makes me happy to see them growing and becoming the wonderful young women they are turning into.

I’ve spent their lifetimes saying that I had them young enough so I could devote time to them and still have time to enjoy what comes after once they’re grown. Now the ‘what comes after’ is creeping up on me and I wonder what I will do when it’s here. I’ve always said that I would go back to school. College was not an option for me as a young person. It simply wasn’t done by young Jehovah’s Witnesses at that time.

We were supposed to graduate high school (or get a GED) and spend our time praising Jehovah and witnessing to everyone we could find. We were supposed to work jobs that would allow the most time possible to worship Jehovah and either stay single or marry someone who wanted to serve Jehovah like we did. We were supposed to forgo having children until the “New System” and spend all our time in worship and service to Jehovah. I wanted to go to college and yet was terrified by what would happen if I did. I got married instead. And have spent months writing about the results of that experience here in this very spot.

So, what to do, what to do. I just don’t know. A very dear friend wrote me an email recently telling me I would make an excellent therapist. Oy. I can’t imagine. There are many things I’ve tossed around in my head and have no way of knowing what will happen once the time for a decision is upon me. I trained as a medical assistant years ago and always thought I’d go to nursing school when the girls were grown. Now I don’t know. I’d like to work with women and children escaping from domestic violence but again, I don’t know. I worry about the triggers involved. I’ve also developed an interest in hospice over the past few years. I have learned so much from those who are dealing with grief. Those who’ve lost someone dear to them and those who are attempting to prepare for such a loss. I am intrigued by the lessons we can learn from those who know they are dying. Is that weird? 

There are so many things that interest me. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life pushing paper like I do now. I’m so grateful for this job I have. It’s given me the freedom to leave a bad marriage, live on my own and raise my daughters as a single mother. It’s given me the ability to make choices I’d never have been able to make all those years ago when I was a stay at home mommy with a violent husband. That said, it’s not rocket science and it can be dull in the extreme. I want more in my life. I just don’t know what that ‘more’ looks like yet.

I know I have time. Time to figure it out. Time to explore. It’s still scary. And exciting. And nerve wracking. And I’m glad I don’t have to decide now. I’m grateful I still have a few years to think things over and spend time with my daughters as they continue the adventure that is growing up.

Peace.

spf ~ hero

Stuff Portrait Friday, better known as SPF and brought to us by Kristine, is a cool thing. It’s interesting to take whatever topic is chosen and think about how to apply the idea. Sometimes it’s harder than others. This week’s word, Hero, is a tough one for me. I’ve thought about it for several days and it escapes me. Finally, I decided to check the definition of the word…I searched several online dictionaries.

The definitions varied slightly and there were options! Gaaaa! I really just wanted a concise description but what it comes down to is that a hero (at least for this purpose) is someone we admire; someone that shows courage; someone who fights for a cause perhaps; someone who displays qualities we ourselves wish we had; someone we hope to emulate. Now that is a tall order. Kristine says her heroes are her mom and sister. I can most definitely say that no one in my family of origin is a hero. Not to me. So who qualifies for that distinction in my life? This kept me up last night. Really. It did.

I mean, I have friends. In the real world and in the online world. I had a mentor or two as a younger person. But who would I like to model myself after? Who do I respect enough to consider them a hero? I’ve spent years and years in therapy learning to be like me. Just. Me. I needed to look at this in a different way obviously! What I finally came up with was this…there are a few people who come to mind when I think of qualities I would like to cultivate in myself and for the purposes of this post, that’s what I’m going to use to define hero and I have more than one. So here we go:

There are few famous people who have impressed me in my lifetime. I suppose I could list them but I won’t. I am, however, choosing to highlight the one who has affected my entire life in a positive way.

Fred Rogers

As a very, very young child, I would sit with my grandmother on the sofa and watch Mister Rogers. As long as I was there, with Gramma, I was safe. No one could hurt me. Mister Rogers meant safety to me. He still creates those feelings of safety for me all these years later. As I got older, he really came to embody peacefulness for me. I was blessed to communicate with him several years before his death and his letter still comforts me to this day. I was surprised to learn that he responded personally to each and every letter he received. Fred Rogers spent his lifetime making the world a better place for children. A safer place for them. As far as I’m concerned, that makes him a hero. That makes him my hero.

In my real life, there are people who qualify as heroes to me. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t like it if they knew I’d put their pictures up here though. So, I’ll just write about them for now. The first one who comes to mind is my very first, ok second, but the first one I trusted so it counts to me, therapist. His name was Chris. He literally saved my life. He was the first person in my life (and I didn’t meet him until I was 28 years old) who accepted me just as I was. It made no difference what I would tell him or yell at him or whatever. He accepted it all. He didn’t baby me or coddle me or scold me or do anything but accept me. Lock, stock and barrel and trust me, the barrel was full…of ugly stuff. And it hurt. It was a struggle for me to trust anyone. To believe that I wasn’t at fault for what happened to me. It took years and we eventually parted ways however I know with every single part of my being that if it weren’t for Chris, I’d be dead.

The next person who comes to mind is my foreign language teacher from high school. Her name is Debbie. Of course I didn’t call her that in high school (!) but she still teaches (although in a different state) and she is very, very private. If I were to put her name here and she learned about it, she would feel um, compromised I think. So, Debbie it is. This woman saved me too. I was a sophomore in her french class and was a very good student. Suddenly, I wasn’t a good student anymore. And she wanted to know why. And she invited me to her classroom after school to talk about it. And she listened. And I felt a connection with her that I still feel. She connected with teenagers in a way that few do. It was a gift, a candle in a dark time and it made her my hero. 

While neither one of the people listed above are part of my life now on a daily basis, it doesn’t change their hero status for me. There are regulars in my life now and in their own ways, they are heroes too. So, do I write about the friend who is an ambulatory quadripalegic and talk about her determination to walk and regain her life after a terrible car accident? Or the ex-cousin/friend who adopted me as her sister and lost her 10 year old daughter in a car accident last summer. She carries on every day in the face of unimaginable grief and inspires me with her determination to reclaim her life now that she is a single mother to her son. Or how ’bout the people I’ve met online who touch my heart daily? The ones, like Deb, who fought cancer and won and who now fights every day to raise money, to find a cure, to get people to donate blood; or like Susie, who is battling an illness that has no name. The options are scary and yet she spends her days living to the best of her ability and finding her way through what must be a terrifying maze of uncertainty.

I could go on and on I guess because when I think “hero”, I think determination, caring, love, a desire to make things better somehow. I think “hero” and see hard working folks doing their best to earn a living, support their families and make their lives better. I wonder if we’re not all heroes in a way. That’s a powerful thought isn’t it? What if, simply by living our best life, doing the best we can to be kind, loving, respectful people who attempt to leave the place we are in just a bit better than it was when we got here; what if that is what really makes a hero? That is big. That is life changing. That is an “aha” moment.

At least for me.

So, didja play?

three and a birthday

Three years ago today at 5:50 a.m. my dad died. It seems like so long ago and just last week all at the same time. My dad wasn’t a nice man. I think of his last several weeks quite often. He took care of my mom. That was important to him and it’s made all the difference in the world to how I think of him now.

Thanks for that Dad. It was a gift to me after a lifetime of not so great ‘stuff’. I hope you’ve found peace wherever you are.

On the lighter, brighter news end of things…today is my sweet blog friend, Lynilu‘s, birthday. Happy Birthday sweetie! If I could give you a gift today it would be a huge hug and a whispered “Thank you for the extra light you’ve brought to my life.” I hope your day is as lovely as you are.

spf ~ bad

The spf assignment for today is ‘bad’.

When I first read that, I thought ‘bad’??? How on earth am I gonna show that? My next thought was ‘there are so many interpretations of bad.’ The dilemma is which one to show? I could choose ‘bad’ as in dog and show a picture of my very bad dog next to the trash can he continually wants to get into and spread all over the house. That would be a bit unfair to him since we’ve not beaten him at his own game by locking up the trash can! I could show you how ‘bad’ my house looks because I have a slob for a husband and there is no getting through to him about where things go or don’t go for that matter. I could show you a picture of my daughter’s bedroom as an example of teenager-hood gone ‘bad’ or I could impress all of you with my lack of (ie: ‘bad’) refrigerator cleaning skills. There’s ‘bad’ ass, bad juju, bad hair day…you get the idea…there are soooo, many, many, many ways to show ‘bad’, it’s mind boggling!

So here for your spf viewing pleasure is my ‘bad-ass’ computer monitor at work! It’s 30 wide screen inches of flat panel digital goodness!

 

So, didja play? 

spf ~ triangle

I thought about this triangle thing all day today. The thing that finally hit me was this: the only triangle that I can think of that affects my life in any way, shape or form right now is the flag that rests on my fire place mantle. It is the flag that was handed to me during my mom’s funeral two years ago. Now, I was planning to take a picture of that flag when I get home from work today but after even more thinking about it, I thought I’d find a picture of a flag ceremony instead. That ceremony was the most touching thing about the day we buried my mommy. When the old veteran guy hobbled over to me and handed me that flag, I lost it. As I’m writing the words at this moment, the tears are here again. If you’ve never been a part of a ceremony like that, count yourself lucky. It is a moving moment. I can’t explain it. The photo above is taken from some website I found today and it touched me deeply. Just the like the day I was handed my mom’s flag.

Peace.

Didja play?