Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Hello! I’m serving up pizza tonight. Eat up.

*****

Today marks the end of the first half of 2012. 

I want you to take a moment and think back to December 31, 2011, when you were reflecting on the year past. Think of what you hoped 2012 would bring for you. Think of the goals you set and the vision board you created. Are you there? Can you see it clearly?

Great.

Now. Fast forward to today. Take a moment to look at that vision board. Look at your list of goals and intentions. Have you met any of the goals you set? All of them? Is the vision you set for the year still relevant to where you are now? 

6 months doesn’t seem that long, but it’s enough time for your life to have had a few realignments. 

Perhaps it might behoove you, us, to review what we wanted and what we have accomplished and to see if these things line up. Or is it time to modify things? Re-evaluate? 

We all want to live our best lives. I’ve written here before that we should treat every day as the start of a new year. Sometimes we need to have milestones that remind us.

Is it time to update your goals?


Hi. Welcome. It’s dinner time. I’m having a little salad. Want some?

*****

Today’s writing prompt is interesting. I wonder if my answers will be based on my mood. And I don’t know if there is anything that you “darn well better know” about me. But, let’s see what I can come up with.

1. Being generous is something I am and something I am always amazed that others’ are not. Doing things for other people makes me happy. Sometimes I think I do too much. But then I look around at people in my life and see them being and doing just for their own benefit. I am, at once, baffled and disgusted. I don’t how they go through life like that. It’s not how I want to live. I like my way better.

2. Based on #1, I tend to get my feelings hurt easily. If the people in my life don’t, I guess, live up to my expectations, my feelings get hurt because I think they are somehow letting me down. Rather than accepting them as they are, I expect more of them and then my feelings get hurt.

3. I am quick to love and slow to forgive. I guess there is a theme to this. I believe the best in others, mostly, so once they are in my life they stay there. Unless I feel betrayed in some way. Then, no. I don’t forget easily either.

4. I am a master of wasting time. Not something to necessarily be proud of, but that wasn’t a requirement.

5. My music choices fall all over the spectrum. I prefer foreign films to mainstream releases. Books are one of my passions. And I like jigsaw puzzles.

Bonus: I love to laugh. It’s one of my favorite things.

*****

There you have it.

What do I need to know about you? Share if you’d like.

UPDATED: Since I posted this, I have been thinking more about #2. Yes, it is true that my feelings get hurt easily. But I think I get disappointed in people. I don’t understand how people can live their lives selfishly.

And then I get to a point where I think “just once, I would like someone to be generous to me. To do something for me. To make an outing all about me. Without being asked.” I spend so much time not being selfish that it rears its ugly head at unexpected times.

There. That feels better. #2 needed something more.

 


Hello! Come in and have lunch. Just sandwiches but help yourself.

*****

The ringing phone roused her from what could not honestly be called sleep. More accurately, it was a night full of tossing and turning while her mind played out every possible negative scenario. She had tried to sneak in a few possible positive thoughts, but they didn’t get far.

A quick glance at the clock told her that it was 4:05am, and it was time to get ready for the daunting task ahead. 

She showered and dressed quickly, all the while avoiding thinking what could be coming. She fed the cats, taking time she didn’t have to sweep up around their bowls. She knew she was delaying the inevitable. It was time to go.

The drive to her first destination, normally a trip that took 10-15 minutes, seemed to take hours. The  torrent of thoughts flooding her brain continued to prevent coherent thought. 

Finally, she arrived to pick up her passenger. He was pacing. Nervous. Anxious. His partner was equally nervous – talking too much. The needed to leave. She hugged the partner, and ushered her passenger out the door. 

The Passenger did his best to keep up a normal conversation, commenting on such mundane things as a trip to the local big-box store, and how hungry he was. She tried to keep present so that he would not notice her unease. She laughed when appropriate and commented on things about which she thought he would be interested. She wanted to keep his mind off things, as well. 

When they were almost at their final destination, they were stopped by a train. The building was visible over the trees and surrounding buildings, but the train cars continued to pass. Slowly. In all actuality, they were only stopped for about 3 minutes, but for the Passenger? It was just one more delay. Finally, the train passed completely and they made their way up the hill to the parking lot, and into the building where the Passenger would be staying. 

She and the Passenger walked in together – she didn’t want to leave his side until she absolutely had to. They looked around uncertainly until they saw where they would check in. They sat in the waiting area in silence. 

The Passenger was taken into a separate room and questioned. It wasn’t long until their escort came to take them into another area, for further questions and preparation. He was weighed and measured, his blood pressure taken, and blood sugar tested. She was taken out of the room when someone came in to do some more personal preparations. As she waited in the room down the hall, the nurse came by to see if she was okay. She was barely holding back the tears or the nerves, but wanted to appear strong for the Passenger. The nurse had an Ativan to give to the Passenger. She wanted the nurse to provide her with one as well. The nurse wouldn’t agree. Understandably.

Finally, it was time. The Passenger was completely prepped, and the gurney was waiting. She waited in the doorway until he was lying down and covered. 

The group of four – the nurse, the orderly, the Passenger, and She – made their way to the elevator, where she and the Passenger would separate. The elevator car stopped one floor down, and she was told that she needed to get off there. She hugged the Passenger one more time and told him she loved him. Then she and the nurse exited the elevator car, while the Passenger and the orderly continued their decent. 

As soon as the elevator doors shut behind her, the ugly cry started. All the anxiety she had felt for the past few weeks erupted. The nurse waited patiently for her to collect herself again. Then they walked to where the Passenger would be after the operation. The nurse kindly talked her through what would happen, what she could expect, and gave her numbers for checking in. Then, the nurse said the nicest thing – “Take care of yourself. The Passenger needs you.”

And with that, she walked from the building. 

Once in the car, she allowed herself one more cry. As she drove toward coffee, she noticed the sky. It was blue – a kind of angry, grey blue that happens before a storm – and pink – a mottled, bright pink that promised hope. The coffee tasted rich and soothing. 

She got home, and tried to sleep. It was no good. She got back in her car and drove to the Partner’s house. They could wait together. 

The call came. The wait was over.

“Dead man walking” stopped going through her head. Things were going to be fine.


Hi!

Happy weekend. I hope your day is going well. I am just putting some burgers on the grill. How would you like yours cooked?

*****

Another writing prompt:

Write about a time somebody silenced you.

*****

I remember very clearly when someone silenced me. 

Growing up as the youngest of 3 kids, there was a good amount of hand-me-downs, and “XX did that, so you need to”. If my sister competed in swimming, I needed to. If my brother ran track, I was encouraged to do so. I took the same classes they did. I was always known as XX’s little sister. 

Then came college. The older 2 both went into the same field. At the same school. When the time came for me to go to school, I ended up at the same college too. I was asked “Are you going to be an ABC, too?” Um, no.

Anyhoo. I went my own way with my college major. After my sister graduated, she decided to get her MBA. That was a big deal back then. Her concentration for her MBA was to be the field of study I was pursuing. I? Was pissed. Why was I pissed? I should be thrilled that she was pursuing post-graduate work, right? 

But the way I saw it? I saw it as this field of study was mine. MINE. It was the first time in my life that I was pursuing something *I* wanted, not something I was being told I *should* do. Childish? Yes. Petty? Yes. 

But I didn’t see it that way at the time. 

I talked to someone about it, explaining why I was angry. The response? “That’s just stupid.”

And with that one phrase, I was silenced. 

That was the first time I can remember that my thoughts and my feelings were completely discounted. (It probably had happened before, but this is one time I can look back on clearly.) I was summarily dismissed and what I heard was that my feelings were not important. I was devastated. 

The person that said that to me probably would have no recollection of the comment or the conversation. If I could replay the scene, the comment was very likely just tossed off without malice or a second thought. 

But for me? It began a lifetime of censoring my own thoughts and words. For years, I stopped myself from expressing that which was important to me at the time. It became a habit. It became a way of being. 

The impact? The impact is that I have been living a life that other people want and expect of me. I have not been living an authentic life for as long as I can remember. The fear of being judged or criticized was too much. 

It’s only been recently that the silence, the sound of silence, has become too much for me. Granted, people who know me would say that I am anything but reticent to speak my mind. But, I think that if they stopped and considered exactly *what* I say when I speak up, they too would realize that I speak my mind when I know it is safe. I am fine being the center of attention if I put myself in that situation. However, if someone else makes me the center of attention, I completely shut down. It all goes back to fear. 

The sound of silence for me is stifling. I now know better. If someone today made the same comment to me, I would either defend my position or brush off their obvious insensitivity as a character flaw on their part. I know now that my feelings have merit. My thoughts are worthy of expression. My personality deserves to shine in the sun. And if the people in my life don’t agree with me? That’s fine. We are all entitled to have our opinions. However, if they openly disregard my feelings and thoughts, or go out of their way to belittle me, then they no longer deserve to be in my life. 

Silence is appropriate in many situations. But silence when you are trying to express your truth is NOT acceptable. The world needs you to be you. It wouldn’t be right without you. 

Have you been silenced?


Hi! Come on in. It’s hot so I’m offering iced tea and shortbread cookies. Enjoy!

*****

I mentioned before that I was doing a writing class this summer. Sadly for me, I’ve not had the energy to do a whole lot with it. I would say not enough time, but that’s not a true statement, right?

So, one of the writing prompts:

“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.”  ~André Berthiaume

I wear a mask. Every day. I’ve worn it for years. I would like to think that I only wear one, but if I’m honest, I think I have many. I have one with my family – it hides the parts of my personality that I don’t think they will understand. I have one at work, although I know it slips frequently. And I have the main one that I show the world.

This is the mask that I have been creating for years. It is the mask that I created to protect myself from hurt. I didn’t realize I was doing it for the longest time. After high school, I gained the “freshman 15” (plus a little more). After college, and after I had been hurt a number of times, I kept gaining.

Now, here I am. I don’t have any excuses or anyone to blame but myself.

But now? I *really* want to shed this mask, but finding the motivation and keeping it is *really* hard. I want to shed this mask.

So what is stopping me?

The second part of the quote – that I cannot remove it without removing some of my own skin – hits home. I know that by shedding this mask, I will be opening myself up for potential hurt. I will be exposing myself, metaphorically, to people who may judge me. Am I strong enough to stand up to the Judgies of the world? Can I shed that skin and leave myself open like that?

I’m not in my twenties anymore. No one has the ability to change me or impact my life or to make me feel lesser other than me. I am the only one who can do these things.

And since I have, in essence, been living only half a life for so many years, I think it may be time to remove that layer of skin and let ME shine through.

Yes, currently, I *am* overweight. But that doesn’t mean that I am not good enough. Not good enough for a promotion. Not good enough for success. Not good enough for love.

I am good enough for ALL of those things. And wearing this mask? Hasn’t worked for me so far. What I thought was “protection” has turned out to be the equivalent of wrapping myself in bubble wrap. It’s hot (and not in the sexy way), and no one ever gets to know *me* – the real me. They get to know the surface that I allow them to see, which, while great, is not the fabulous me that hovers underneath.

Taking this mask off will be hard. It will be scary and I will falter and will become vulnerable and it’s time. I need to do this. I don’t want to live half a life anymore. I want to live a full and exciting life.

That decided it. Let the transformation begin.

How would you comment on that quote?


Oh, hello! Good to see you again. Have some strawberries and other fresh fruit.

*****

True to form, I’ve been M.I.A. for a while. I honestly don’t set out to be so lax. My intention is to come here and write but then life gets in my way.

*****

Work has been crazy busy – 10-12 hour days busy. I don’t like it. At all. By the time I get home from work, I am so physically and mentally exhausted that it’s all I can do to get dinner for myself and The Wonder Twins.

I have a new manager at the Gas ‘n Sip too, so having to break him in is extra work. *heh* So far, he is good. He puts up with my venting and is good about providing solid feedback.

*****

Also going on is that there are several family members that are having surgery in the next 4 weeks. Yes, I said several. It’s been extremely stressful, even though I don’t want to believe it.  One of the surgeries could potentially impact my life significantly, depending on the outcome. Actually, I suppose all of them could impact my life depending on the outcome. I don’t think I want to think about that.

*****

I’ve been asked to help my niece practice driving so that she can get her license. Apparently, the Sister and BIL can’t deal with her attitude when they drive with her. My feeling is that they are hyper-critical. I’ve been out with her a couple of times. She does okay. She just needs practice.

*****

I am currently on 2 weeks holiday from the Gas ‘n Sip. I wish my time off was being spent in Paris or on a safari or something equally fabulous. Alas, I am here, providing transport, moral support, and other assistance as needed for said family members during the pre-op weeks.

I might paint my bathroom though. That’s exciting, right?

*****

So what’s going on in your lives?


Hello! Come on in. I have some lovely Sancerre and cheese for you.

(I was told that people were sad that I stopped offering snacks. I’ll do better.)

It’s June 1st. A whole new month of possibility opening before us. What do you have planned? Have you set your intentions?

*****

I started a writing class today. It’s for a few weeks. We will get prompts and are encouraged to free write on the topic. Then, there is a site where we can post our writing for critique or just sharing.

I checked into the group today and I am immediately intimidated. There are people who have been writing for years, or who write every day, or have at least one novel in the drawer, or do NaNoWriMo every year.

My first instinct is to hide in a corner. Possibly chewing my hair. Possibly rocking back and forth. Turn tail and run.

However.

I also signed up for a self-love workshop. So I will be taking what I learn in the self-love class and will not chicken out. I will continue with this class. I will see it through to completion. My writing will still be “new” and stumbling. But I will learn with each prompt. And I will learn from what others post. And from the critiques. And who knows? By the end of this, I might even screw up enough courage to post an entry into the group.

Now, before you say anything, I know what you might be thinking. I post stuff here. What’s the difference? The difference is that based on the first prompt? Things could get kinda personal. And weepy. Maybe I’ll do all my posts on here. And then you’ll be sorry! *snort*

Either way, I will keep you posted.

I hope June will be good to you.

Mag and Moo have a special comment for their grand-people: Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary! We love when you take care of us. Love and furry kisses, your grand-kittens.