Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Tag Archives: writing

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?


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.


Apparently, I am supposed to be a writer, will be published in the next year, and will become a motivational speaker.

Huh.

Where did that come from?

I have over-documented love-mostly hate position I currently hold at the Gas ‘n Sip. So I won’t rehash that here. Again. For the billionth time. Last week, I was finally on vacation – first one since the end of 2011. Coworkers were literally begging me to go. True story.

I was done on Friday. Saturday, I went to get my hair did. (It’s lovely, BTW). After that, I wandered around the Port and headed to one of my favorite shops – Leaping Lizards. It is a cute little boutique-y type store that sells crystals and incense and metaphysical books…stuff like that. Even if I don’t buy anything, I feel better going in and playing with stuff.

Anyhoo, I went in, and yadda yadda yadda, I had a reading done with an Angel Reader. I’ve never had an Angel reading before. It’s sort of like Tarot, but she reads your ArchAngels and Goddesses. It was kind of cool. I don’t know how deeply I believe in all that, but I do think there is something to it. She said that I need to find a more creative job (true) and that I need to find something that I love to do that is creative in nature. Okay. I can do that. I asked her if she meant painting or knitting or writing. She said the goddesses were telling her writing – I should take my laptop, go to the beach, and just write.

(Side note: Um… no. If I’m going to write at the beach, it’s going to be with a pen and paper. I don’t need sand all through my laptop. Sure, I know people do it all the time, but with my short-attention span, I would put the computer down, pick it up, put it down, etc. So, no.)

Right before Lois was done, she pulled out her “Ascended Masters” cards. She felt there was one last thing she was being led to tell me. She shuffled, I set the intention, and she drew a card. The card was “WRITE”.

Oh Em Gee, right??

Fast forward to this past weekend. It was my annual Girl Camp weekend. (More about that another time).

A psychic came in on Saturday and for giggles, I went to her too. Bonnie talks with her spirit guide, Henry. I didn’t tell Bonnie anything about my reading from the previous week.  She told me that my grandmother is watching over me and is very proud of me. (This is my mother’s mother – whom I have never met because she died when my mom was 13). But that was cool to hear. She knew my mom has cancer, but said she was going to be okay.

Then Henry, out of the blue, said that I am going to be writing a book and that I will be showing it to Bonnie at next years Girl Camp. I told here I’d be charging her full retail.

(Side note: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m betting that it takes longer than 12 months to write, edit, find a publisher, convince them your book rocks, then get it out to the shelves. But, hey, who am I to argue with Henry?)

 

I just found it interesting that 2 independent parties each told me that I need to write. I would like to think that I have a book in me, but here’s the thing…I don’t have a plot, characters, story line, outline… minor details, I know. And as self-absorbed as I can be, I don’t think I have a memoire-type book in me. There are a few stories, but not a book’s worth.

 

So, if anyone wants to help me out with ideas, or even get me started as a book reviewer, I will take the help. I have been trying to find book-reviewing gigs, but they are sparse in this area. And unless the Wonder Twins decide to start contributing to the household expenses, I cannot afford to move to a larger city without a stable job.

What say you, my Goddesses and Grandmother? Help a sister out?

 


Oh, hello! Come on in. You are just in time for lunch. We’re having mini-pizzas today. And root-beer.

In my never-ending quest to become a better human (as opposed to a better chinchilla, I guess) I have read a lot of “how-to” books. I am neither proud, nor ashamed, to admit that fact. It just is. Perhaps by seeing what worked for someone else, I might get ideas about how best to accomplish this feat. I know that there is no quick-fix to reach nirvana, and no one path works for everyone, but perhaps some combination of everyone’s ideas will help me.

One message that seems to be consistent throughout everything I have seen is to “put it out there”. Which I take to mean that what you put out into the universe as what you want, is what you will get. So if I put out there that I will be an asshat to everyone around me, everyone will be an asshat TO me in return. Or, if I want a million dollars, I put it out there, and I will get it. Somehow.  Either way I’m not sure how valid this theory is, but I thought I would give it a try.

(The other thing that prompted this post is that I am reading, yet again, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love in preparation for her newest book Committed. I love her writing and find her to be very soothing. And despite the fact that they are making a movie of her EPL book, and have effectively ruined it by casting Julia Roberts as the lead, I still love the book. )

So, I am going to put some of my less personal wants out there and see what happens. There are some, not listed here, that are just too personal, too intimate, that I will put out there in another manner. (In other words, MYOB. Although, since I started this, it’s not really MYOB since I’m making it your business. But – – I’m all confused now. Never mind.)

  • I want to learn to speak French. I think it is a lovely language, and would love to be able to speak it.
  • I want to have enough money so that I don’t have to worry, constantly, about it. I don’t need 300 million dollars (but I wouldn’t say no to it!) but, enough to be comfortable and worry free would be delightful.
  • I want a new job. I want to have a job that excites me, that fulfills me, that I can feel like I am making a difference in this world. It would be creative and challenging and allow me to continue to learn and grow as a person. I am convinced that jobs like this exist. And I’m going to find one.
  • I want to be fit and healthy. I want some form of exercise to be a part of my every day life. I want it to be a matter of course, rather than a matter of note.
  • I want to limit the food I eat to that which is fresh, healthy, and as close to its original state as possible. Limiting processed food will allow me to reach goal #4 above, and provided goal #2 above comes to fruition I can do this.
  • I want a string of pearls.
  • I want to be a writer.

That’s the start of my list. I think this is vastly different from my bucket list and yet both lists are important.

So, there it is Universe! I want these things. I don’t care how I get them – I’ll leave that up to you – but I *do* want them. So, bring it on. And, the sooner the better. kthxbai.