Monday, May 28, 2012

monday motivation - memorial

All gave some. Some gave all. For those who gave their lives for our freedom, thank you.

About 21 years ago, I stood in Arlington cemetery with my family watching the guard change at the tomb of the unknown soldier. It's breathtaking and you should see it for yourself if you can.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

a few thoughts on writing this blog

Sometimes I wonder who is reading the words I write – I know a couple of you, but not many. I'm always surprised when I look at the stat counter and see how many people have read different posts. I really haven’t told many of my friends and family about this blog. I know that seems counterproductive to growing readership, but so far I think it’s for the best. I haven't hidden it, but I haven't gone out on a self-promotion campaign either.

Someone told me the other day that I am wise. And they weren’t being sarcastic. The best part is that this someone is new in my life. It’s not someone who knows firsthand the heartache I’ve lived with, the pain that’s made me who I am. It’s sweet and flattering to know that he appreciates my perspective on life. And it’s reaffirming to know that my stories have touched someone else’s heart, that the lessons I’ve learned are helpful for someone else.

In general, I’ve found it easier not being aware of who is reading – because I don’t feel the pressure to edit or censor myself. I want to allow myself to be completely honest. I know my own self well enough to know I’d choose different words or filter my stories if I knew certain friends or family members were reading this. I also know that those closest to me would be supportive, they’d comment and encourage and be my cheerleaders, but they do that no matter what I do. I do try not to be disrespectful to those who could someday read my words and recognize themselves here, but my goal is for this blog to reach people who need it. I’m writing from my heart, and I hope it touches yours. Whether you’re someone I already know or not – I’m glad you are here, and I hope you say hi!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

and now for something totally different: wordsmithing

Today I was having a conversation with a coworker about how amazing we both are at our jobs. Well, sort of. It was a meeting of the mutual admiration society. A "gosh you're so smart to know how to do that" and a "well look at how well you did with that beasty project last week" kind of meeting. We're very similar in personality and communication style, and I'm sure it's because we're both Sagittarius, so when we start bantering like this, we usually end up laughing till someone cries. It's also these moments when we often come up with new phrases and buzzwords that should win awards. That is, if there were was such a thing as buzzword awards. What would they be called? A Buzzy?

Whatever. I think the new term we came up with today would totally win a Buzzy.

The topic turned to procrastination. And how sometimes when I put off starting a project, it actually saves my bacon because the project either gets canceled or changes in such a way that I'd have to start over anyway. It doesn't always happen, or else I'd never do anything. Besides, while I pride myself on doing my work efficiently so that I don't have to re-do anything, I also am very proactive and anticipate what my clients will need/want.

But the word procrastination has such a negative tone to it. It's one of those things that I see as a flaw in myself. It's not something I'm proud of. But when my procrastination saves me from extra work and stress, I think "Booya! I totally knew there was a reason I wasn't starting that yet!" So when procrastination is effective, there should be a better word for it, right? Well there is now.

Delayed productivity.

My kitchen remodel has been through a few periods of delayed productivity while I was in decision making, research, and get some cash saved up mode. But as each little project gets done, my kitchen is slowly shaping up and I'm glad I didn't rush in and do the first thing I'd thought of for this space, because this version of it is so much more ME. And I needed that delay, that time of simmering on the back burner before I could start the next project to plan, consider my options, research, shop for bargains and allow space for inspiration to breathe.

I may never procrastinate again. I'll be too busy delaying my productivity.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

by and by

After spending a couple hours with a close friend a few evenings ago, I left for home feeling more content and peaceful than I had in days. I'd had a rough couple of days and my heart was feeling a little torn up, so it was comforting to just sit and be with my friend for a little while.  Back at home, as I was settling in for the night, I put on one of my favorite albums and it wasn't long before my favorite song came up to the plate. As I nodded off with these words in the background, I couldn't help but think of how true this is for our friendship. And for that I am ever thankful.

By and By

~Brett Dennen

Listen close, as close as I am to you
like the bell of liberty I'll ring a sound that's true
days go by and seasons too
in time our love may digress with the words we can renew

I tell you that I
I love you by and by
I don't know if I'd survive
without a friend like you in my life

and I know words can be the worst to purvey
how it is I feel for you it's hard for me to say
but if we keep it simple I think it's better that way
tangled words tend to lead my messages astray

I tell you that I
I love you by and by
and I don't know if I'd survive
without a friend like you in my life

this web we weave holds us hand in hand
and if we loosen our grips we may weaken these strands
so let us reinforce our love and let it echo through the land
if we don't we may find ourselves washed up with the sand

I tell you that I
I love you by and by
and I don't know if I'd survive
without a friend like you in my life

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

unconditional love

Today, I can't help but think about the one who loves me like no one else ever will. There is never any judgment in his eyes. He is always happy to see me, he sits with me when I need a snuggle, and he is goofy when I want a giggle. He'll do just about anything to make me smile. He is simply the best thing that has ever happened to me. He's the reason I had to put a child proof lock on the fridge and I don't even have children. He's insanely smart and stubborn and I love him more than life sometimes.

I'm taking my boy Porter in for a surgery he shouldn't have to have. A month ago, I took him in to have two tumors/growths removed. One on his eye, and the other on his right shoulder. There was an error, and they took off a growth on his left shoulder instead. I'm a little nervous about putting him under anesthesia again, since he's an old boy now. But they've assured me he is healthy and strong enough, and there is still that weird tumor on his right shoulder, so here we go.

UPDATE - Mr. Porter is home. It was a rough night though. He wasn't eating or drinking, and is moving pretty slow. He's eaten breakfast now, so that's good, but I feel so bad for the poor baby.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


A few days ago, I read this post. Apparently, it was just what I needed at the time too. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, trying to figure out why I'm feeling "stuck" again in this path through grief so I can do something about it. I tend to get insomnia when I'm stressed or working through a tough spot, and my sleep pattern has been completely shot lately.

When Holly died last fall, I knew it was ripping open the wounds that had started to heal over Rochelle's passing. It sucked. There's no way of sugar coating it. I wasn't just grieving one loss, I was re-grieving an older one at the same time. Even when you understand grief, when you've walked this road, and you know what to expect, it can still send you for a spin.

As I read Jennifer's story and insights, I had a few new insights myself. Perhaps that was all I needed, a little sample of someone else's perspective, to help me realize fully that I have more grief work ahead of me and I'd better get to it if I want my life to keep moving in the direction I've chosen. Not that I haven't been doing any, but in some respects I have been trying to just move on instead of moving through. And it's those things that I need to pay attention to.

Since the day I read this, something has shifted. I'm feeling a little raw, a little sensitive, and at the same time hopeful and grateful. Spending time with a dear friend yesterday helped tremendously. A little laughter, serious discussions, tears and some hugs, and I slept like a dream last night. Thank you Tammy - you are just as amazing and strong as you think I am. Here's to many more years of cookie butter and smiles!