Agree to Disagree

Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Why is it that some people get so upset when they disagree with something someone posts on social media? Well, my friends, I’m sick of all the craziness. Why can’t we all just get along and agree to disagree? 

Recently, I did something I never do. I posted something on Facebook that was political. It was something that made me angry. A friend of mine commented and asked me to take it down. I have no idea what happened, but later, I looked and it was gone. What the heck? Indidnt remove it but someone must have complained about it. Regardless, it wasn’t even that bad. I don’t say anything that I wouldn’t say normally in normal company and this had to do with my profession. If it was not a true statement by said candidate then my apologies, but I’m still not impressed by that particular candidate. 

The thing is what makes it alright for everyone else to voice their opinions but not me? Why can’t we just be civil and disagree like adults? If I were saying something negative against the opposite candidate I known for a fact my comment would have been left alone. Again, what the heck? I’m more than a little annoyed by all this but not surprised. I’m simply asking my friends to respect my rights as an American citizen to voice my opinion and leave it alone. Enough said on that subject.

What has become of our nation? It was once perfectly alright to voice your opinion no matter which side of the political fence you were on. Now it seems that unless you are on the correct side of that fence you will offend someone and they will no longer value you in the same way they once did. What a sad state of affairs we have. That being said, I’m really not that enthused by either of the candidates this year but I will vote and let my voice be heard in the ballot box. Not here or on social media ever again. To all my “friends”, my opinion matters just as much as yours does even if I do happen to disagree with you on this one matter. Please let me have my right to share my opinions just as I let you have yours without complaint or comment. Just keep on scrolling if you don’t agree and keep it happy out there.

That Elusive Sleep and Other Short Tales

Oh how I wish I could sleep like normal people. These days it just isn’t happening. Some nights are good, but this isn’t one of them. To top it off, I need the sleep. I’m headed out early in the morning with my brother and my dad to head out of town. 

We are off to a memorial service of a very special woman, my cousin’s wife who lost her battle with cancer recently. She was an exceptionally wonderful and funny person, always so full of life. She fought valiantly to say the least and will be missed by so many. 

As it is, if I were to fall asleep precisely in 3 minutes, I could get up to 4.5 hours of sleep. It’s a good thing I’m not driving, although I am a navigator since we recently were there at the same church for my sweet uncle’s funeral. My brother is driving and was out of town last time. Thank the good Lord above for GPS and Google maps!

I continue to heal these days, but my mind and heart have been rather heavy which is why I haven’t written much. It isn’t anything about my health I’m particular, just that I want so much to be completely back to my old self and I grow so impatient sometimes. There have been a few other issues that burden my heart, but they are mine alone. All I can do is pray for that matter to eventually resolve itself.

We celebrated dear Hubs’ birthday yesterday which was great. The cake that my middle 2 kids made was extraordinary! Bear was the baker and Bug was the sculptor! They even made their own marshmallow fondant! It was delicious too! I have to say, eating a cake so cute and named ‘Beau, the Otter’ is rather hard to do! 

Thursday will mark Hubs and my 10th anniversary. I’m very excited. I can’t say we have anything planned. I’m actually just glad to  not be in a hospital and to be feeling better at this point. Sure, I wish we could do something special, but all I keep thinking is the medical bills will be coming soon. Very soon. I didn’t think we would be where we are at this point in our marriage, in fact, I pictured things quite differently. What I can tell You is this, we have had our own very unique and bumpy journey to get here, but it’s proven that our love is a forever love based on the right values and morals with a foundation of faith. I wouldn’t trade this man in for anything. No one else would or could put up with the highly emotional, sometimes irrational, often overthinking, loud-mouthed, opinionated, but thoroughly lovable me. Thank you Jim from the bottom of my heart, for always supporting me No matter what! I never truly understood love until I married you.

The Drive of Life

My Hubs is a huge car fan.  He particularly loves old, British cars and very expensive, exotic cars.  He isn’t a muscle car kind of guy, but he certainly can appreciate them.  Over the many years I have known this man, I have learned many things about cars and have come to appreciate them myself, not to the extent that he does, of course, but I do appreciate them.  He is known around here as the “Tire Guru”, meaning, if you need any advice on which set of tires you should get for your car, he’s your man.  He can tell which kind of tires are on a car by the marks left in the snow, for heaven’s sake.  He has also been known to leave notes on cars for those poor souls who have low tire pressure, or those who have had the misfortune of having their tires put on backwards.  Yes, for those of you who were not aware, certain types of tires can be put on backwards making their purpose in life, well, impossible.  They can’t whisk away the water for instance if they are on incorrectly.  I have learned this from Hubs.  I am “in the know”!

I promise, though, I won’t write about my very minimal car knowledge, but let’s just say, I have enough to get by.  Actually, the normal routine of cars around here goes something like this.  I ask a question which seems like a simple car question.  What I get instead of a simple answer is a complete dissertation of the mechanical workings of whatever part of the damn car I asked about.  Hubs, in return for his extraordinary effort, gets my “deer in caught in the headlights” look.  He has completely lost me by the second or third sentence most times.  I just wanted the simple answer, but God bless him for trying.  Our son could identify all Ford Mustangs, regardless of year, by the time he was two or three.  He could identify most brands shortly after that, making Daddy one proud papa. Again, I digress.

This post is about what drives us in our lives. For some people it seems to be about success.  For others, it’s about religion, still others, family.  What makes people tick?  What drives us in our lives?  I have met so many people and yet, each person I meet is uniquely different.  I guess because of that, I can only tell you my thoughts and tell you what drives me.  Some days I have to admit, I don’t seem to have any drive at all, but in the end, here I am, so something drives me.

I am and I’ve always been a people pleaser.  I love to make others happy.  My mother always taught me that giving was much better than receiving because you get so much more back.  She also saw in me that I was a giver.  I have to admit that I like to receive, too.  Who doesn’t?  But in my work, I find that giving my time to others is what brings me the most happiness in life.  Selfishness is something that makes me crazy.  I abhor it, yet I find myself being selfish at times.  They always say that the traits you dislike in others are usually the ones you need to work on.  I guess they’re right on that one.  I’m selfish when it comes to time and attention from my Hubs.  He really is the best.  While I have been so ill these last few months, he has been my rock.  I’ve realized that as long as he is there, I’m happy and satisfied.  I won’t say we always get along.  We are human, but we understand each other so well, that just by communicating, all is well in the world.

My faith is also very important to me.  Let me tell you, it’s been tested quite a lot over the years, but no matter what, I always come back, and never once have I questioned God’s existence.  I know that God is a loving and forgiving God.  I know that I am a sinner and I pray every single day for forgiveness for my sins.  I sure hope he hears those prayers.  I have not been a perfect Catholic, but I am a repentant soul just trying to do the best I can and trying to do a little better each day.  I’ll never be perfect.  I don’t get to church everyday or anywhere near it.  In the last month and a half, due to my illness, I haven’t been at all.  I long to get back to the choir.  I miss it.  The point is, regardless of how many times I go to church, I still try my best to live my faith and to teach it to my children.  I often times feel like I have failed doing a good job in that department.  I haven’t lived up to the standards I set for myself.  That being said, my faith still drives me to do better and to try harder.

My family drives me to be successful and to be a good role model.  I don’t always succeed but I keep my head up and keep on going.  Hubs and I have done our best to provide for our family, to create a safe home, to create a happy home.  It’s been a very difficult and rocky struggle throughout the years, but we finally have achieved a home environment that is something that we are proud of.  We have always loved our family very much, but for much of our married life, there were struggles.  This life is a hard one and like I always say, I am a work in progress.  We all are.  Hubs and I used to fight over stupid things that didn’t really matter.  I finally realized that it was me that was instigating the madness.  There was no reason for it.  It was me trying to live in a house where everything was perfect.  The reality was, we needed a home that was lived in and not so perfect.  I had to realize that I was the problem.  That’s really hard to do, but once I did it, our lives began to transform.  Now, our house is a home of love and imperfection and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Now, I’m working on my impatience.  I have the drive to fix it because of the love I have for my family, but the struggle is undeniably difficult at times, especially when I’m tired and not feeling well and dealing with a 9 year old who is also tired and won’t give up the battle. Ugh!

If only I could get in a car, a really nice car, and drive off to be serviced for my own imperfections… Well, nice thought that is, but I will continue to strive to fix me.  Right now, I’m still recovering from that blasted surgery and it’s complications.  I know once I am able to get out and about again, I will get a new outlook too.  I’ve had far too much time in my house this summer, but I’m feeling much better and ready to have some good times.  I’m ready to build up my strength and get back to work again.  So, that’s my story.  What drives you?

There’s a Storm Brewing

Have you ever felt like your mind is a storm brewing? I have. Not for any particular reason either. Sometimes, my mind just feels like a stupendous storm cloud building up energy, ready to release a downpour of torrential emotions instead of rain, for no reason other than not feeling myself, I suppose. Perhaps I’m just having one it “those” days. Usually I’m not feeling well or getting sick and simply don’t know it yet. Regardless, those storms of emotions play havoc in my life.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has emotional storms that brew. If they do come to surface, I inevitably will erupt thunderously with a fury. It isn’t pretty, but what storm that knocks trees down is really considered attractive? I will immediately end up with a downpour of years for several reasons. First, it’s a release of pent up emotion that has been brewing inside, unable to find the proper outlet. Second, I’m ultimately so sorry for anyone that has been caught in my storm’s path. Unfortunately, it’s usually my ever faithful and always trusted husband. I always apologize to him because it is not fair. Luckily for me, however, he is the most forgiving and humble man. He always says it’s his fault even though he hasn’t done anything to deserve my storm. He just happened to be in it’s path. 

I have gotten better over the last year. I’ve learned to understand and recognize that sometimes this will happen and I have to accept my great flaw. I have to see that this is part of my depression and luckily doesn’t happen very often. I’m the work in progress and nothing worth having comes easy. Well, this journey is not easy, but I thank God that I have my husband by my side to get me through and to understand and put up with my storms. Lucky for me that he sees the sunny days that are so worth those storms.

Cowardice

Being courageous is a scarcity in this day and age. I can be courageous but I wish I was more courageous than I am. I’m faced with many challenges these days. Some of them I face head on with grace and dignity. Others, well, I find them very difficult.  I’m just human afterall. I think that’s what it is anyway. A product of all that I have been raised to be mixed with my environment. 

Today’s society scares the heck out of me really. It is so vastly different from the world I knew as a child. Back then, I knew where I stood and times were easier overall. I was also sheltered and naive. But really, times were much simpler with no social media, no mobile phones, no computers. We had landlines and got together with our friends. We went to the movies, went outside, just got together and really talked to each other when we were teenagers. Our fun was listening to music and collecting band posters from magazines. There was the dawn of MTV and music videos.

Today, we are faced with so much violence and negativity and social justice is everywhere. The prejudices remain and seem to be even worse than ever. I worry about this. I worry about the world and the future for my children. How can we be courageous and not be judged harshly by this world? Its not even me I’m concerned for. Its my family.  The written word van be misconstrued so easily and one can read something into the written word that was never intended. We are opinionated and my worry is that if we are courageous and take our stand for the right and just, will we be the persecuted? I can take it, but to see my children suffer? That would kill me.

So then, would it be better to be a coward and taken the easy road and stick to the mainstream way? Is it better to create a world where good prevails and what is right, even if it means a difficult path, is fought for? I say be courageous. Fight for the good and right path. I will fight with my children and for their rights. 

I don’t always see eye to eye with my kids, but what parent does. In the end though, I have raised fighters. Independent and brave warriors for a better world. The future is theirs to make better when I am gone from this world. For now, I will pray for them and for this world that we may find peace. I pray for them that they find and create the world of acceptance and love which they desire and deserve. In my years experience it does me No good to be bitter or cynical thinking that their goals can not be achieved. I want peace as well. I just wish I could find some peace in the news instead of the violence and unrest in this world. So, you ask if I’m a coward? Yes, maybe I am, but I’m working hard to be brave like my children. It gets harder each year, but I won’t give up. I promise.

Alone on My Island

For the first time in my life, I find writing daunting to me. I feel as though I’ve been placed upon a desserted island and I’ll never be rescued. It isn’t that the thoughts aren’t in my head as much as it is the sheer effort of putting it into writing at the moment that is my problem.

I honestly would not wish my last month on anyone.  I’m so tired and each time I think I’m making progress, I’m somehow shut down yet again. Complications arise. It will end. I know it will. But just for today, I’d like to be normal again. Just now, my island is filled with pain, loneliness and some boredom. I feel very isolated which is to be expected, but it has been so long.

My Hubs has taken me out for a drive, but I am exhausted after returning, unable to do much of anything only to return to my island. The simplest things seem so difficult and take so much time to  recover from.  I took my first walk down the street. I made it 4 houses and back. I felt completely done. I was lightheaded yet so proud of my accomplishment. The next day, I was useless once again.

This makes me champion for all those who live like this everyday. They make no big deal over living peacefully in this alternate universe of pain and ultimate boredom. They try to keep busy and interested in the world around them. I know I try, but it is so hard sometimes. I’ve shed so many years just wondering if there is an end to this hell. Of I can escape this, my own private island of hell. Ever? For each positive step forward, it seems to take me back 2 sometimes 3. I feel like one of the lost souls on Gilligan’s Island. My problem is that I was shipwrecked alone. I’m trying my best to remain positive. Perhaps this week will bring positive things. This weekend, well, it’s not over yet.

Struggles Surround Us

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Everyone has something they struggle with be it large or small. For me, I have many small things which amount to very little in the grand scheme of things and a few larger issues that do matter more.  The point is that when you look around, there isn’t a single person that isn’t struggling with something in their life at this very minute.

When we go to the store, we may have great service or we may have very poor service. My advice to you is to see things the way I do if you get the very poor service. Let’s say you are met by a cashier with a sour expression who speaks no more than absolutely necessary.

Most of you will be very put off by her/his behaviour. In my mind, I imagine what might have brought that cashier to have such a sour demeanor. Perhaps, his/her mother died recently. Perhaps her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Whatever I imagine, it explains their demeanor and causes me to consider how I might bring a smile to their face and brighten up there day.

The power of touch and a smile cans help any person feel much better overall and like their job is actually meaningful. Isn’t that what we all want in our life? To have fewer struggles and feel more meaningful. If we view people in a positive light, they will emit positivity and begin to think and feel better. No one knows the struggles another person is going through, but if we stay positive and complain less, the struggles will lessen.

Rebuild Society? Yes, Please!

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Rebuilding society would be so wonderful in this day and age. Of course, I say this with a mother’s heart. Mine is a heart of tolerance and love. I envision a world without these awful atrocities occurring all over the world.

When I look at my children playing with their friends, I see love and fairness. Each is different from the other, very different, but still, ultimately the same. We all are human. We eat, sleep, breathe in the same space and have learned to get along. There is love.

If the world could take a lesson from children, the innocent ones, we could rebuild society. We could have peace and understanding, but ultimately that would take all of us parents to take a stand and make the decision to make it work.
Instead of teaching children how different we are, how about showing and promoting how we really are alike?

We are each unique and beautiful creatures that God has made. He makes no mistakes. We are like snowflakes, all similar to look at but no two being exactly the same. Teach and grow the seeds of love in each other. We can rebuild this world, one step at a time, but it takes a great deal of effort on all of us.

Understanding: Hard But Necessary

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As many of you know, I love prompts. I just happened to notice today’s word prompt is understanding. How very appropriate in so many levels. Of only more people could learn to be understanding of others there would be less violence, intolerance and bullying in this world. Imagine, if you will, a world where others could understand or at least accept the differences that are present between different cultures. Of this was true, there would be so much less violence. It wouldn’t fix everything, of course, because you will forever have the outliers who like to prove everyone wrong, those extremists in every culture, but there would be so many fewer of them. They wouldn’t be taught intolerance and hate, instead, they would be taught love, acceptance and understanding of differences. I have tried to raise my children with this outlook and they are different. They do not hate.

Think of the most recent tragedy in Orlando, Florida. 50 innocent lives. Now there are mothers grieving the losses of their children. Brothers, sisters and fathers all crying over their son or their daughter who just happened to be born gay and decided to go out for a night out. Not everyone in that club was gay, I can almost guarantee it. But the shooter hated gay people so much, he didn’t see these  people as human beings with lives and families. He saw them only as gay. So, will they shoot me because I’m a woman with blonde hair and blue eyes and I am Catholic? No, I would be shot because I “sympathize” with the “gays”. I sympathize with humanity and I weep for the future. If there is no understanding in this world and no tolerance then I weep for the future of this world. What a horrible place I have left to my children. All I can do is pray and that info every day. For my family,  for the victims of these tragedies, and for those who hate.