Big, yet simple

Trying to live big. Trying to live simply. Can we do it? For us, this is what it looks like the past few days. Me with a warm cup of creamy coffee. Jason with a glass of nice dry wine. Emma with a Gatorade, Glacier Freeze. Blankets and pillows loaded up. We drive west a few miles. It doesn’t take long until we find wide, open spaces. There’s no trees. No buildings to block our view. Just a vast expanse of blue sky at dusk. We park, facing west and watch the sunset. Good music coming from the speakers and we just be. We just are. We just observe.

Afterward, EK drives sitting in my lap. It takes a lot of convincing from us. She doesn’t dance near the fire. Mostly, she stands back and watches the flames. But she trusts us and we convince her that she will not be doing it alone. We are right here. We will always be right here. There is nothing to fear. The sunroof is open. Above us, a black abyss of stars. She’s a good driver and keeps us on the road. Music wafts upward and outward and inward to our souls. And we drive on dirt roads in the dark. Living big. Living simply.

Another day instead of blankets, pillows and drinks it’s two very excited wagging, panting dogs we load up. We drive East, it doesn’t take long until we find a small pond. The day is cool. We are wearing jeans and hoodies. The wind is strong and cold. The dogs are panting. Their tongues loll about. We stroll around the water. Ducks swim undisturbed. Clouds sail across the sky. Cows in the next field are curious. They come to the fence. They’re excited. The dogs are excited. Even J-Dub is excited. He walks right to the fence and sits with them reaching through the barbed wire. Their nostrils flare trying to get a better scent of him. They crowd into one another. The dogs whimper and prance wanting to take chase, but knowing better. Every creature is curious of the others. For a little while.

The dogs walk the water’s edge. Dipping their tongue as the walk. Their paws are muddy. Their legs are wet. They venture out further. Then without warning they sink up to their shoulders. EK finds it hilarious. So we all do. Laughter is contagious. We walk a bit more. It is quiet. It is just us. We are still, yet moving.

Afterwards, we have two tired, still panting, sopping wet, and now very smelly dogs to load back up until their next adventure. Everyone likes to go every once in a while. Living big. Living simply.

I sit on my patio in the morning. My coffee is full and hot. The sun is full and hot. It beats down on my face, legs, and arms. Spring is bursting. I only need to look around and observe. Cycles of life continue. The world has not stopped just because the people have. How little we are in control of. The sun does not rise at our command. The birds build nests, not because we say so, but because they know that’s what they were put here to do. The spider weaves his web every day, knowing he’ll have to make repairs. The flowers bloom. The cows calve. The gigantic pink full moon casts its healing light on our planet. We cannot stop it. We can not force it or make it cease. We think we have so much power, we think we are in control. We must only open our eyes to see how foolish we are.

I close mine. I breathe deeply. I feel my body relax. My thoughts slow. I am still. I just be. I just am. I hear the words come to me.

I am right here. I am always right here. There is nothing to fear. I smile. Is God a poet? Of course He is. He is in all things. He is all things. Big. So Big. Yet, so simple.

Living, Loving, Hoping, Healing day 1

It’s spring break here, and quite honestly the first one where I’m not completely relaxing. It’s hard to relax right now. Planet Earth is sick. All we hear about is the C-word. Yes, I hope your mind thought of any number of different C-words; that would reassure me that we are still ourselves. It is also the first spring break where I want to return to work on Monday. Normally, I would be wishing for more time to be home, now I am wishing for things to be normal.

I decided to blog my experience during this pandemic because quite honestly I never dreamed I would live through something like this. I don’t have cable or any form of news. My information comes strictly from facebook, so you can imagine the amount of fear, panic, and misinformation I am receiving. For that reason, I have put myself on a strict limit from that form of social media. Instead of social distancing, I am social media distancing and life has improved. I will enjoy looking back and reading this when all of it is said and done. I wanted to leave something in writing for those in years to come too. Can you imagine my great, great grandchildren reading about this in history books and having a written record from me? Will it come to that? I so often wished I had the experiences of my grandmother during the Great Depression and I don’t, so this will hopefully serve as a reference for later down the line. You know—well maybe you don’t— but I always have book ideas floating around in my head, and one involves the Great Depression era. Her writing would have been valuable. She told me stories and I wish I had remembered better. And cared, but quite honestly I was a twit and didn’t think it mattered.

The sun is shining today and I am sitting on my back patio soaking it up. It feels so good. Rain has been abundant and there are some tulips in the yard that are awaiting their moment of splendor. Birds still sing and as I sit, some are making a nest in a watering can that is hanging from my back patio. I receive great solace from this. Nature has not been interrupted at all. They cycles of the earth continue. The sun rises and sets. Clouds dump their moisture, just to soak it back up again for the next round. Soft green buds are on the trees. The Creator is still in control. It’s a beautiful world.

As of today, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Texas Panhandle. This is the status of my small Texas town. Our schools are on spring break, and are monitoring closely to see if we return on Monday or extend our spring break time. The stores are very busy, with people stocking up. Yes, of course toilet paper is hard to find. Limits have been placed on items such as tp, paper towels, sanitizers, hand soaps etc.  I haven’t been to the store in a few days, but I heard there is a limit now on meat (2 per person I believe). Walmart has cut their hours of operation so that employees can stock at night without interruption. I will continue to believe there is enough in this world.

We are living day to day as normally as possible. J-Dub and EK went to Amarillo yesterday for wine of all things. My husband does love his wine, and is tired of the selection here. He also splurged and picked up filet and lamb chops. It makes me laugh. The Raman noodles are cleared out, but the opportunity for delicious fine food still remains. We shall feast this week! He said some restaurants had closed for take out only and the one they chose to eat in had a limit of 50 people and tables were 3 feet apart. I had lunch out at the coffee shop yesterday here in our town with a friend. It is refreshing to see our town continuing to support business and remaining calm for the most part.

I will take this inconvenience of life and see it as a time of rest and slowing down. Appreciating all that we have and have been given. A time to hope and trust that we can return to “normal”. A time to not take for granted the freedoms we have. A time of an awakening, I hope. I choose to remain steadfast and calm in this time of uncertainty. I realize that the situation is out of my hands, but how I react to it is completely in my power. Ultimately, I know that my trust is in God and in Him alone. Psalm 91 is a great reminder right now. I also am eager to write about life, just the beautiful simplicity of the life we’ve been given. Writing is a salve and helps me heal.

Until next time,

Angel

Ordinary, yet precious


Life is made of moments. Many are magical. Most are merely mundane.

Ordinary life. But within every second of mundane and ordinary, lies the power. The power to be present. The power to choose your words carefully. The opportunity to connect with others. The opportunity to love, show love, and be love. All we really have is this moment.

Life is made of moments. Some day, the moments will only be memories. Time is precious and people are precious and that’s really all we need to know. Treat both as such.

Where It All Began

Can we all just join together in a moment of silence for all the teachers out there? For me and many others, tonight marks the end of our Christmas break. It is back to the grind tomorrow. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t a tiny bit melancholy about this.

The past two weeks, I’ve been super introspective. I’ve allowed myself to slow down enough to listen to my thoughts. To evaluate my life. I’ve truly spent the last three years, since beginning my LuLaRoe business, working my fingers to the bone. Ignoring parts of me that need tending and ignoring people in my life that need nurturing.

Today I found myself in a dusty attic looking for something from nearly 30 years ago. I’m a sentimental old hen and have saved nearly every card, every letter, every personal email that has ever been sent to me. I found what I was looking for. Rummaging through sentiments from the past, sneezing through the dust, took me to a place of serious nostalgia. I let the past collide with my present and I’m not sure about you, but it never fails to leave me worse off than when I began.

I went way back down memory lane today. Far back into dark reaches I haven’t been in a while. I decided I should write my memories while I still can. I began to think of the house that built me. An small orange brick house on the edge of town. I got my journal and I drew out the floor plan. I remembered so many details of that house and the yard. As memories flooded my mind, words began to pour forth, carrying me back to places I have left in the dark.

Did you ever play a game where someone grabbed one of your wrists and one of your ankles, picked you up, and began to spin you around? Maybe it was called airplane. Or maybe that’s what I call it. If you were light enough, they were able to raise you high and lower you down all while they were spinning you around and around. You watched the world go by at dizzying speed, blurring before your eyes, losing all sense of where you were. After what seemed like a really long time, they would put you down and you would stagger around like a drunkard with the world still spinning until you fell into the green fescue grass in childhood laughter and waiting for everything to return to normal.

That’s how my childhood felt. Exhilarating highs. Then being so low it felt like the ground was rising up to meet me. The spinning. The blur. The dizziness. The confused stumbling. Waiting for normal.

I think it’s good advice not to look back. That’s not where we are. It’s not always a pleasant place to visit, but in some mystical way, it’s calling to me. I don’t know why. I don’t know why now. I’m not sure I want to go because of the feelings that come up. But I think there’s healing back there.

I recently read Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63. It’s about a man who finds a portal to the past, and he returns to right some wrongs. I too have discovered a portal to the past. I can’t right the wrongs, but I can look them in they eye now. So I’m going to journey back to a place of long ago, and I’m going to return different than before I left.

Paper or Plastic?

I know you’ve seen that meme floating around facebook that says something along the lines of “I’m so glad it’s Saturday, so I can run errands, clean house, do laundry, grocery shop…..etc. etc. etc.”

How true it is. Funny that my Saturday to-do list matches that meme verbatim. Funny, not funny.
Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I’m beginning to believe a tell-tale sign that you’ve hit a certain age is when you start griping about how the 17-year-old kid is sacking your groceries at the store. I can’t help but wonder if there is a training for this or if they just let them at it.

My dad once said, “Sacking groceries used to be an art form. Now they just throw them in there any old way.” I dismissed this comment and chalked it up to being a grouchy old man remembering days gone by with paper bags and orderly groceries. Fresh faced boys with a little too much Bryl cream gingerly placing eggs in paper bags. We all have those images from sitcoms or movies where ladies walk from the grocery store carrying one paper bag with a loaf of french bread sticking out of the top. Paper bags have a structure and can be artfully filled with great precision. But nowadays we don’t always get the choice for paper or plastic. We get what we get, which around here is plastic.

I went to The Walmarts today and quite almost bought out the store since we literally had NOTHING to eat at our house. We’ve been living on Saltines and grape jelly over here. So my basket was overloaded. You know, to the point I had to change my stance and engage my quads in order to turn the corners. Now, a younger me used to not care about how the groceries were placed in the basket or how they went on the conveyor belt. A younger me put the groceries up and let the checker/sacker who is one in the same, sort it out. But the older me, she has a system. I strategically unpack my cart onto the belt so that items can go together in the sack making it easier on me to
a) fit them all in my basket
b) carry them in from the car
and c) put them away.

Today, didn’t really go so strategically, and as I placed my sacked groceries into my cart, I couldn’t help and think of my dad and his comment. When you have an already overloaded cart, you’re operating on limited space. A large grocery bill ends up being about 976 plastic bags full of groceries that you have to fit in your basket, carry in from the car, and put away.

This is where a little art of sacking would come in handy. I honestly don’t understand why they put one item in a sack. Why? My checker/sacker put every kind of meat that I purchased in its own sack. No need to mix pork and beef. And of course cleaners need their own sack, and then the tiny package of sewing needles go in their own plastic sack on the off-chance they may bust out of their packaging and puncture the OJ. I don’t know. I just don’t know.

So many items in their own sack. Except of course the can goods. They all go together, all 22 of them. Don’t mind this permanent indented red mark on the crook of my elbow from my 70 lb sack of green beans.

I couldn’t help but do a little combining right there in the checkout line. It was that, or have a rigor. It’s okay if bread and eggs go in the same sack, it really is. And paper towels don’t really need their own sack. It’s okay, throw a container or two of yogurt in there. It will be fine.

Even with own combining, I still made a gazillion trips into the house. By this time, my quads were truly burning and of course, I was starving, my Saturday was half gone and the second half will be my date with laundry, and by the time I got all my groceries in my little kitchen, there was no where left to step and I was exhausted. Walmart Grocery Shopping should be the new Olympic Sport, especially when you’re down to nothing but saltines and grape jelly. It’s quite a feat.

But ode to joy! I now have a kitchen stocked to the brim, and Pizza Hut on speed dial. You know the drill.

 

 

 

Desiderata “things desired”

I read the following poem on a stormy afternoon while lying in bed. The window was open and great gusts of wind carried in the smell of an approaching spring thunderstorm. Even as the sky darkened with ominous clouds, I felt at peace. A peace I wish you could know. A peace I wish everyone could know.

I happened upon this poem, not by chance I’m sure. It spoke so loudly to me, so clearly, as if it held all the answers.

I felt it needs to be shared.  It was written by Max Ehrmann in 1927, yet its words are timeless. Read it slow. Take it in. Roll it around in your mind. I personally plan to commit it to memory. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Strive to be happy.

Angel

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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9 lives-1 life= a heart attack

Today I had a heart attack. It’s only an expression; thank goodness I did not have a literal heart attack. If you’re old enough to remember Sanford and Son you’ll know what I mean when I say  I thought it was “the big one”. My heart was beating so fast and fear had me in its claws so deep that I thought my heart was going to beat plumb out of my chest.

Before I began my tale, I should say this blog post needs to be filed in the “things I find under my hood” category—if only I had such a category. After today, I’m beginning to think I might need to create such a category. Usually the things found under a hood are mechanical in nature and not really worth talking about. Unless you’re me of course. Previously you might remember when I found the Rat Bastard and his nest under my hood with all his special possessions he’d hauled under there. Who knew I’d have 2 of these blog posts in as little as 3 months?!??? Well let’s get on with it, shall we?

About mid morning, I left our house with EK in tow in the back seat. She wanted to visit her Grandy across town.  We were driving along, eating gummy worms, talking about colors that match the seasons and looking for budding fruit trees. Our car was filled with smacking and conversation so I don’t know how long the noise had been happening before I actually heard it. By the time it reached my ears, it was of such magnitude and intensity it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It wasn’t the clankety clank of saddle straps being flapped around put there by a dirty Rat Bastard, but rather it was an ear splitting screech. A SCRAWWWWWLLLLLL. The screams of a mountain lion couldn’t compare to the noise. The sound of a woman being murdered in the woods couldn’t compare.

“What is that noise?” I asked out loud. EK quietened her incessant chatter just a beat or two for us to tune our ears. The sound was so loud. It was terrifying. It was obviously an animal in much distress. Not just any animal but a cat. As loud as it was, it was still a far off muffled sound of pain and agony. But it made no sense to me. Why would I be hearing a cat in distress while driving 30 mph down Duncan street? Then the realization hit me.

It was under the hood. There was a cat under my hood. I had driven at least 7 blocks with a cat under my hood. In the  2.78957856748 seconds it took me to pull over and put the car in park, my mind was a racing mess of scenarios. I popped the hood and stepped out of the car. The screech and the scrawl and the screams were so intensely crazy I was struck with a fear of what I was going to discover. I moved as quickly as I could, but of course when you are in the throes of panic and rushing to rescue something that needs rescuing, it seems to take forever. I put my hand under the hood, desperately searching for the latch that releases the hood. From the left to the right more to the left more to the right.  The whole while fearful of what I am about to discover. Will this by my cat Rocky Muffin? Is this a neighborhood cat? The cat obviously was still alive but in what kind of condition? Will it be mangled? Will it be limbless? Will there be blood spattered all over the roof of the hood of my yellow vehicle? Was I going to be able to stomach what I was about to discover?

I’m not mechanically minded a bit, but I’ve heard the stories of people who get caught up in tractors and lose their legs or those awful stories of kittens that spin around in the motors for a few seconds before there’s a thump and a wump and that’s the end of them.  Let’s just say, I was expecting nothing less.

My heart raced for forever, but I finally managed to find the hood release. I opened the hood to find, yes indeed, my very own Rocky Muffin squeezed between the hood and the black tubes and tangles of the underneath of the hood. Her fur was matted and wet on her back. I reached for her and she began to calm some. I took hold and pulled but couldn’t pull her out. Her foot seemed stuck in something, but after careful observation and a little more tugging, she had just deeply imbedded her claws into something holding on for dear life I assume. If I spring a leak later I’ll know she got a good puncture in some hose or some sort. She had all four limbs and a tail in tact, and the wet fur on her back must’ve been from the sweat and fear that had soaked through her skin. I’m sure I looked a bit odd to the passersby pulling a black cat out from under my hood. One truck began to slow, I’m uncertain as to why. Maybe to help out a damsel in distress or maybe to take a second look to see if his eyes were playing tricks on him.

I put RM in the car and she quietened down, hid under the seat, and rode to Grandy’s house in relieved silence. After depositing EK, I got RM back home where she received special treatment after such a traumatizing experience. She curled up on the bed and bathed and licked every bit of axle grease that may have touched her until she is a fine black sheen again. My teenage niece doesn’t even take baths as long as this cat bathed herself. I guess she found herself deserving of quite the pampering.

I’m not sure how many of her lives Rocky Muffin has squandered thus far, but today she certainly used up one of her nine.

And took a few years of my own along with it! Whew, isn’t life a fun adventure?

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Holy Moly! Where Has the Time Gone?

It’s been three months since I’ve blogged. I am partly ashamed and partly surprised. I can’t believe it has been that long and at the same time I can’t believe I have neglected this little corner of my world so badly. I have never ever gone this long before. Needless to say, it has been a busy, hectic summer.
So what in the world has been going on with me?

I have not fallen off the ends of the earth, although I do have a new address. We made a move in the middle of June back home to the wide open spaces, glorious sunsets, and scalding hot summers of the Texas Panhandle. We had an enjoyable couple of years in Ruidoso, got more than spoiled with God’s beauty and mild temperatures, but it was just time to come home.

Boy, was moving a chore. Neither J-Dub nor myself recalled the move to New Mexico as trying, aggravating or long processed as the move back. It took quite a few trips and quite a lot of grit to get it done, but we finally arrived in one piece. After that heinous ordeal, and after searching for a solid four weeks for the iron, I decided that we had too much stuff. I mean, really. I read a little book called “The Magic Art of Tidying Up” and with that new knowledge I have released a lot of my possessions in a serious act of purging. I still have a ways to go, but I at least feel like I have a good handle on it, although we still can not park in the garage yet. All in due time my pretty, all in due time.

What else has happened? In order of events, here’s a quick run through.

1. I joined Stitch Fix! I was so excited to get my first fix, and had every intention of blogging about it, but then I saw the pictures. ACK! EEK! Couldn’t do it, but maybe next time, which is coming up very soon.

2. I spent way too much time and frustration attempting to get my Texas Driver’s License. I will never let it go again. No matter what. I am convinced the government makes things so difficult, that it is easier to just be an outlaw.
Angel the Kid.
Kinda has a nice ring to it.
Or not.

3. We inherited three ducks.

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The only thing I’ve learned about ducks….they’re not chickens.
And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

4. EK is as beautiful, smart, funny, and wonderful as ever. She’s had a summer full of growth. She’s learned how to tell a pretty mean knock-knock joke. She attended a Princess dance camp and was left by herself for the first time with “strangers”, and loved it and wanted to go back. She is getting braver all the time, not peeking out from behind her momma’s skirts as much as before. She went to VBS at church and loved it! She’s been riding horses with her daddy and I couldn’t be prouder of all that she is and all she is accomplishing.

5. I took a job. I think. There’s a bit of hang up with some paperwork, but I think it’s okay to announce it. It’s part-time at the Alternative School working with at-risk teen mothers in the homebound program. Yeah, it’s going to be so different from anything I’ve ever done. If emotions were candy, they would be a bag of Skittles. I have an emotion of every color surrounding this new adventure. Both professionally and personally. I can hardly wrap my mind around the change that this will bring in both me and our family dynamic. As we speak, I am officially finishing up my last week as a SAHM. In everything there is a season, and with the end of one, there is a process of grief for me. It was a good run and I am so thankful and blessed to have had the opportunity to spend these last three years with EK. There is so much I’m going to miss, but I won’t think about that now, I’ll think about that tomorrow.

Well sweet friends, the sun has set, the cicadas are humming and the world is peaceful here. Before I began blogging tonight, I had just finished a really great book “Eleanor and Park”, and I’m itching to open another one up before it gets too terribly late. It felt really good to write to you. I’ve missed it.

Until next time,
Angel

How Facebook Made Me Lose Ground

For the past six months I’ve been off of Facebook.  It has been with its ups and downs.  I’m sometimes out of the loop (not always a bad thing.)  I’m sometimes starved for interaction and attention by people who are over the age of three.  The longer I’ve gone, the easier it has gotten, but some days I miss it like I miss other things I’ve given up.  But missing something doesn’t always mean it was good for you and that you should invite it back in your life.  You can just miss it and that’s okay.

Yesterday evening my husband shared a thread with me on Facebook concerning the Superbowl Half time show.  The comments were entertaining and I felt a longing.  An absence.  A true loss for my friends and family that I rarely if ever talk to anymore.

“Maybe I should get back on,” I said. I tossed the idea around a little while and then before you know it, I logged back into my account.  “I’ll just lurk,” I said.  “No one has to know I’m here.”  Because after all, the addiction for me came with the attention I received from comments or status updates.  I was always wanting to check and see if I had a notification.  Had someone liked something?  Had someone commented?

I began my reintroduction to Facebook by reading my news feed; which was uneventful.  Then I jumped around to different people’s pages to see what they had going in their life.  One thing I saw would make me want to check out something else and I was reading and lurking to my heart’s content. It literally sucked probably two and a half hours of my evening from me.  Two and a half hours where I would be doing something else.  Something, quite frankly, that mattered.

The dishes didn’t get done.  My daughter didn’t get put to bed until way late and was hyped up like no other.  I didn’t write in my gratitude journal.  (something I’ve been diligent about) nor did I read my devotion.)  It seriously wrecked my evening.  I was out of sorts.  Yet I still told myself that it was harmless and I’d just keep my account activated anyway, and try to control it. I wouldn’t let it get out of hand.  I would only be a lurker.  For a while anyway.

Leaving the Facebook story, but I’ll be back:

For the past six weeks I’ve been really trying to retrain my thoughts.  There has been quite a bit of “stuff” going on in my life.  I have been sick since before Christmas and then the day after Christmas, Ashlynn was put in the hospital again, three hours away from home.  I was with her, which meant I was away from my family and it was brutal on me.

During this time, I became mad at God but needed something to help me.  I was feeling lots of toxic emotions that weren’t serving anyone.  I reacquainted myself with Louise Hay, a woman who has helped many with healing and positive philosophy.  If you’re not familiar with her, and are interested in what I’m about to say, I would recommend you look up her website or check out her book You Can Heal Your Life. Basically her ideas follow along with the Law of Attraction; simply what you think, say, and believe is what will be manifested in your life.  She teaches you how to become very aware of your thoughts and to notice how many times you berate yourself or are pessimistic or critical of yourself.   Something I was doing a lot.

A person thinks between 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day and usually they are the same ones over and over, day after day.  Instead of criticizing yourself:  I’m too fat.  I’m lazy.  I never finish what I start.  That will never happen for me.  I never have enough money etc, the idea is to change these negative affirmations to positive affirmations and your life will change, because the Universe will bring you what you say.

So I’ve been doing it y’all.  Diligently.   I tell myself I love myself everyday.  I approve of myself.  I am a capable person.   I speak positive things when I catch myself being negative or critical of myself or others.   My affirmations change daily because what I feel changes daily.  So sometimes I may repeat over and over “I deserve to be happy” and another day it may be “doors are opening for me”.

When I began,  I truly shocked myself by the amount of negative and critical thoughts that rolled through my mind; about myself and others. I can tell you that I believe it has helped me.  It has helped my self-esteem, my attitude, my level of contentment.  It has given me a new perspective.

After delving into Louise Hay, I then started exploring related teachers.  The next one being Wayne Dyer.  His teaching follows along with the same idea of what you put out into the Universe will come back to you, good or bad.   I happened to have his book as well.  From where it came, I do not know, which to me was just a sign that I am heading in the right direction.  The book I currently read of his is called Wisdom of the Ages.  It is a compilation of insightful and enlightened teachers from the history of the world and their writings.  People like Michelangelo, Francis of Assisi, Buddha and Jesus Christ.  It covers topics of the heart:  hope, meditation, wisdom, love and what these teachers from the past had to say about them that is still relevant to us today.

Now, before I go further I want to stop here and say for all those that are concerned about my soul and that I am on the road to hell, may I reassure you I’m okay. I am not lost.  I know that this post may sound a little “out there” and even my sister has gently encouraged me to not turn into a kook and get too weird.  I’m no longer mad at God.  The truth is I couldn’t NOT talk to him.  I love my Lord Jesus. But my spiritual walk is broadening, I like to believe.  I think there may be more out there than what I’ve been brought up to believe.  Not that the Bible is a lie.  No way. But that perhaps denominations have put their focus on rules rather than love.    Scriptures have been taken out of context and too much emphasis has been put on sin and repentance, rather than love and acceptance.  I believe the Bible speaks of the law of attraction as well. Ask and it shall be given, knock and the door shall be opened, seek and ye shall find.  The power of life and death is in the tongue.  You reap what you sow.

Louise Hay compares the process of changing our thoughts to seed planting.  That if you were to plant a tomato seed, you wouldn’t expect it to have tomatoes the next day.   It takes time and you have to tend it.  It’s the same with the thoughts.  Even if you don’t believe the thoughts at first, still say them. They are seeds you are planting. You can’t say a thought once, and fill the rest of your day with toxic thoughts and expect positive changes.   You expect a seed to produce good fruit, and in the same way, your positive thoughts will produce good results.  After planting the tomato seed, when the sprout comes up, you would never go to your garden and stomp on it, you are delighted with what has produced from the seed.  So when good things start happening in your life because of your positive affirmations, don’t stomp on them, don’t let doubt in by saying things like “I can’t believe that worked” or “this will never last”.   Continue in the manner and be grateful for what you have.

Now I return to my Facebook story: There are studies out there claiming Facebook can make us unhappy.  That is causes us to feel worse about ourselves and lowers our level of life satisfaction.  Although I’ve read these studies, I don’t know that I even believed them wholly until I experienced it first hand.

Last night, after I had spent hours wasting time reading about other people’s lives, I finally pulled myself out of the recliner and went to get ready for bed.  As I was changing into my gown, I looked at my body in the mirror and BAM, there was a negative thought.  I noticed it right away because during the last several weeks I have become very aware of the thoughts I have. Following that negative thought of my body image, my mind immediately thought of a picture I had seen on Facebook of someone I barely know doing something I think is remarkable. I immediately felt jealous of this person whom I barely know doing a remarkable thing, a thing I secretly want to do.  I am sure I felt jealousy earlier when I saw it initially, but was too busy scrolling to acknowledge my envy, although I did point it out to my husband.

And then…….to top it off after my negative thought of myself, and my jealousy thought of a practical stranger, I began to criticize her and compare her situation in life to my own.  My thoughts went something like this.  “Well, she’s not stuck at home all day with a 3-year-old.  She doesn’t have a job.  What does she do all day?  If I had the whole day to myself, I could accomplish so much more as well.”

Friends, all of this happened in a very short time.  It wasn’t something I dwelled upon.  In the amount of time it took to put a gown over my head, these thoughts had bombarded my brain.  Taken over.  Reigned supreme.  I went from self-hate, to envy, to criticizing others, to comparison.  None of which was beneficial to me.

“Whoa.” I thought.  This is unreal.  I really couldn’t believe that my time spent on Facebook after six months of not being on Facebook could derail my progress like it did.

After I realized the impact it had on me, I couldn’t deactivate my account fast enough. I am my own case study.  I’m not here to slam Facebook.  I know that it serves a good purpose much of the time, but for me, it is like a sip of whiskey to an alcoholic.  I just don’t want to go there again.  Not that I won’t ever, but I like myself better every day.  I love myself more every day.  And those around me. I miss my Facebook  friends.  I even miss the practical strangers.  But last night, I experienced something profound.   A true learning experience and I would be foolish not to pay attention.

C’ est La Vie

Do you ever have moments in your life when you realize you don’t even know who the hell you are?  Maybe I’m the only one.  But sometimes, I can’t believe the way I behave or the thoughts in my head and I have to pause and say, where did that come from.  That’s not like you.

Case in point:  I’m sick.  I’ve been sick for a while and it’s beginning to get to me.  I’m convinced the house is filled with black mold and it’s slowly killing us all.  Google; it’s a wonderful thing and an awful thing.  Used to, back in my normal, younger years, I would have sucked it up and carried on my wayward son.  But now, it does nothing more than knock me on my butt.  I need chicken soup and NyQuil and two or three days to veg in my bed with tawdry romance novels.  But I’m a momma and an auntie and I have to carry on, despite it all. Back when I had sick days, I never took them.  Now I’d give anything to have a sick day.  You know?

If you don’t really know me, and you only read my blog, you probably think I suffer from clinical depression. My blogs are full of doom, despair, and agony on me.  But life isn’t interesting when it’s happy, is it?  I don’t suffer from clinical depression, it’s just that I like to blog when life is kicking me in the pants. Which is more often than not, seems like.  So maybe I do suffer from clinical depression. Or maybe it just helps me cope.  Complaining is the best medicine.  Or is that laughter?  I get confused.  Especially when I’m sick.  And blue.  And suffering from Clinical Depression.

It’s on days like these, when I want to fast forward life 20 years to see how this all turns out, that I have to remind myself that I’m just having a bad day or maybe a couple of bad days, but not a bad life.  Suck it up, butter cup.

So now that I’ve unloaded my warped mind and feelings on you, I’m feeling better, so let’s discuss a few important things:

1) For starters, remember when my EK loved her silver high heels?  That’s all she would wear.  Dresses and high heels.  One day, after months and months of dresses and silver high heels,  she just decided she was done with all that and would wear pants and shirts and shorts and tenny runners (what my dad would call them).  I thought she had retired the silver high heels.  Until today, when she woke up and decided she wanted to wear them.  With jeggings. And purple socks.  So we did.  Not a battle I’m willing to fight.

2) Speaking of fashion, when is chevron going to go out of style?  It’s probably one of those fashion things I’ve totally gotten wrong.  Like capris.  Twenty years ago or something, people started wearing capris.  You know, they used to be called knickers, then peddle pushers.  I looked down at my then Levi’s 517’s and thought to myself, ‘those peddle pushers are the stupidest looking things, and you won’t catch me dead in them’.  Famous last words.  My whole entire wardrobe consisted (consists) of them for years, maybe it still does.  Wishing I could put myself in some Levi’s nowadays.  Twenty some-odd years passes and suddenly we’re bombarded with chevron.  You know, it used to be called zig-zag.  I said to myself, ‘well, that’s cute, but it won’t last.  It’s a fad’. So I resisted. I own nothing in chevron, and yet it’s still every where I look.  Clothes, walls, furniture, floors.  Pretty soon, someone will paint their car with it.

Have you seen those cute little eyelashes people put on their Volkswagons?  You know, they used to be called slug bugs.  If I had a hippie van, I’d put eyelashes on it.  But I wouldn’t paint it chevron.  But daisies?  Now we’re talking.

3) I’ve been trying to edit a book that I wrote a year ago, and I’ve just decided it sucks.  I suck. And it was a stupid idea to ever think I could write anything life changing or even substantial.  I’m ready to give up on this dream of writing.  Maybe I’ll become a curmudgeon instead, it sounds like a better lifestyle choice and I think I’m more cut out for it instead.

Then I have to give myself a pep talk and say where did that come from?  That is not like you.  Then I get on Pinterest and get some inspiration and then I tell myself not to give up.  That I’m just having a bad day, not a bad life, and to carry on my wayward son.  Then I blog and tell you all my troubles and I feel much better.

4) Ash has started Driver’s Ed.  Yes, this is happening.  She also has a boyfriend.  That’s happening too.  And has had a car date (to a homecoming dance with another couple).  Part of me can’t believe she’s old enough for all this and then part of me is ready to marry her off so I can veg out in my bed for 3 days instead of chauffeuring her around and cooking supper every night.  Then I’m reminded I’ve still got 16 more years with this other one before I get to lie in bed with tawdry romance novels for days on end.

And yes, I hear you all…….Cherish this time, it will be gone before you know it, enjoy your children, you’re going to miss this.. Blah, blah, blah.  I hear ya, I hear ya.  I’m just having a bad day, not a bad life, okay?

5) I’m still off Facebook!  Yea me.  It’s been almost 2 months.  What have I missed?

6) Here’s a couple pictures of my lovelies, in case you’ve been missing them.

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And here’s a picture of me:

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Just having a bad day, not a bad life.