Looking Back and Going Forward

Sometimes I talk like I’m ancient and on deaths door. When I’m gone, before I die, life is short, time to downsize so my kids aren’t left with this colossal mess….stuff like that.  Pretty sure it’s annoying, and not a particularly healthy state of mind to be in for long stretches of time.  Especially considering I’m seventy, not a hundred and ten.

It no doubt comes from a lifetime of worrying about every possible disastrous outcome to even ordinary situations and scenarios.  Unusual ones just raise my anxiety level further.   I like to be ridiculously prepared for everything.  Not a fan of surprises, even if they’re pleasant.  I truly try to live in the moment, breathe deeply, let things go, calm my mind, count my blessings, be grateful for everything I have.  Most of the time I’m really good at that.

But I’m always working on limiting those doom and gloom moments.  One of the biggest reasons for neglecting my writing so much in the last three years or so – people died.  Every time I felt like sitting down to say some profound thing or other, someone much too young to leave this world did just that.  And I was struck dumb and numb, contemplating my own mortality and how fragile we all are, no matter where we are in our lives.  My wonderful father-in-law died in October.  He was 97.  We had a lovely visit with him a couple of weeks prior, and to me it felt like he was just kind of done with it all. Not sad or unhappy, just tired.  So his passing wasn’t unexpected.  Sad of course and he is missed, but I think he had a good life all in all.  It’s the untimely ones that leave me stunned.  They’re the tragedies.  And OMG you just never know!

See how easy that is?  We could all die tomorrow!

Also I have a lot of time on my hands to read the news.  I don’t recommend it actually.  A huge percentage of it is bad and less than truthful.  Misleading and hateful rhetoric is all the rage.  It’s hard not to get sucked in by it all.  But I’m not a fighter.  Passive aggressive for sure, but not a screamer fixing to bash your brains in.  Love and kindness always win in the end, don’t they?  We’re all doomed to hell if they don’t.

And that’s my pep talk for today!  Hope you found it enlightening.  Not totally surprised if you didn’t.  Be kind either way.

Sharing My World 63

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Share Your World January 9,2017

If you lost a bet and had to dye your hair a color of the rainbow for a week, what color would it be?

If the choices were strictly red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet,  I would go with red. Bright fire engine apple red.  So that people would stop and stare and make funny remarks about the crazy old lady with the flaming red hair.  But if it was ok to go with any hue you can come up with, I would much prefer pink, the colour of fluffy cotton candy. And maybe not quite so many startled exclamations from strangers.

If you could choose one word to focus on for 2017, what would it be?

Writing.  Or maybe Living.  I can’t decide. They are both things I am trying to focus on, but so far I’m doing my normal lackadaisical hit and miss break-taking job of both.  Nothing happens.  Then things happen that I don’t want to write about.  I have days where I would rather just obsess over them in silence.

Last week I learned of the death of a 67-year-old man I knew through work.  He died two days before Christmas, halfway through his work day.  I joked with him once about retiring, but he said he tried it briefly and got bored because his wife was still working so he came back.  Stories like this drive me nuts.  It’s like people decide to work themselves to death.  He was too old to be working and much too young to die.  And of course it is absolutely none of my business how anyone else chooses to exist.  Or ceases to exist in this lifetime.  Sometimes it makes me sad, and sometimes I think deceased people are lucky they won’t be around to face whatever happens next.  I know, it’s messed up.  I don’t want to talk about it.

What was one thing you learned last year that you added to your life?

I learned a whole lot about cleaning up and sprucing up and redecorating an old house.  Mostly I learned it’s a lot of work and I don’t ever want to do it again.  I also learned you should do it completely for yourself without trying to please anyone else.  It will just make you sad when the next people move in and decide to gut the place.  So I have added serenity.  I have subtracted mountains of clutter.  I have greatly simplified our next move.  If I die before then there’s way less crap for the living to sort through.

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..?

A peach.  You have to work your way through the fuzzy skin to get to the good stuff.  Obviously I have no clue what this question means.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for my knee recovering from whatever its problem was.  I still walk around being cautious and aware of it, just in case.  And probably looking sneaky and weird in the process.

I am grateful for surviving a back-to-back full moon and Friday the 13th.  Although as many sources predict, next Friday could be infinitely more frightening.

Next week W goes for his one year follow-up on his hip replacement surgery.  Other than that madly exciting event, I’ve got nothing specific to anticipate.

More lists, though.  I’m not done with the lists. I will work on being slightly less morbid.  Yay for that, right?

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Magpie

magpie spirit bird

Mom died.  My heart broke.

A magpie strutted across our backyard, cocked her proud head and looked me straight in the eye.

Her spirit bird.

Delivered a happy memory, then squawked and flew away.

With every visit since,  my sad heart soars.


Yeah Write Gargleblaster # 157 Do you see her much?

What Are We Doing Again?

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These words are so simple, and yet….

I can’t get them out of my head.  What does this mean?  The phrase takes me all the way back to high school English and teachers who analyzed poetry in particular,  but also pretty much every other written thing, to death.  I admit I liked trying to impress them with my twisted take on things.  I expect a lot of authors would have been totally baffled by the garbage we came up with that they never meant at all.

Anyway, I want to know what you think.  Please take my poll.

There are no wrong answers.  Probably there are no right answers either.  Thank you class.  No going home for you until you finish this.  I will mail you your marks.

 

 

Not Playing Favorites

friends

365 Writing Prompts January 6 – My Favorite:  What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person?  Tell us about it.

I’ve got as many different favorite people in my life as there are reasons for having them so it’s not possible to come up with some finite time period to describe to you.  Who keeps track of that kind of stuff anyway?  An hour can feel like forever and years can pass by in the twinkling of an eye.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in this life it’s that everything changes.  A high school teacher once told us, after a train accident (of all things) had taken the life of one of our classmates, that this was the time in our lives when we would start to experience the grief of death and loss, and that it would continue to get worse as we got older.  Imagine that, life being even more depressing after high school.  It starts much sooner for some of us of course, when a beloved grandparent or uncle or simply someone we assumed would always be around is suddenly physically gone.

But here’s the good thing about that.  If we remember them, they never really leave us.  Everyone we’ve ever met becomes a small part of who we are.  I miss the physical presence of my mother but in every other way she is still with me.  I think she will be inside me for eternity, in my head and in my heart.  Maybe my eternity will last eighty years, or maybe it’s already into eons if my soul is as old as I’ve been told. That either matters or it doesn’t.  Does time have to be measured?

Another thing I’ve learned is that the only one who will for certain be with me for the duration is me.  I am the common denominator in this great math problem known as my life.  So that should make me my all time favorite person and either a raging ego maniac or someone simply comfortable in her own skin.  I can’t get away from myself, no matter what role I choose to play. Might as well like who I am with all the labels stripped away.

A casual friend tried to convince me once that the absolute worst and most feared state we face as human beings is to be alone.  She is that person all of us have bumped into at some time or other who asks for our opinion so that she can go on and on at great length explaining to us why it is not only wrong but also stupid.  I think that explains why we’re not really close.  When I was silly enough to mention that I love my alone time, she just said, no, you don’t.  Inconceivable that anyone could be on their own and happy about it.

Being alone was actually preferable to her company right about then, although I think she would have found that idea preposterous.  Just a guess.  But I do like my own company, I like the quiet and the stillness and how relaxed I feel when I’m being perfectly me with no one to impress or entertain or piss off with my dumb opinions.

If you have a favorite person and you hate it when that person goes away, that’s okay, but it’s also not something to get obsessed about.  Things change.  If that person never comes back, you will go on living.  The hole in your life will fill back up and even though it will never be the same, it can still be good.

Well, is that enough blather for today? Enough of me talking to myself and wishing I would shut up already so I can go read a book or something?   I think that’s a yes.  See how agreeable I am?  I love me.

365 writing prompts

Grim Reaper Gallows Humor

It’s another Prompt For The Promptless – Gallows Humor is humor that makes fun of a life-threatening, disastrous, or terrifying situation.

And often to scaredy-cat me, not funny at all.

Except when it’s in cartoon form.  Then it’s funny.

From the book "All My Friends Are Dead"

From the book “All My Friends Are Dead”

texting while drivingdeath works from homefear element

Into the Dark

Happy easy listening Sunday everyone.  I love this guy and his cover of the Death Cab for Cutie song.  Beautiful lyrics, beautiful voice.

“I Will Follow You Into The Dark”

Love of mine some day you will die
But I’ll be close behind
I’ll follow you into the dark
No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs
If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark
In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
And I held my tongue as she told me
“Son fear is the heart of love”
So I never went back
If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs
If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark
You and me have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
It’s nothing to cry about ’cause we’ll hold each other soon
In the blackest of rooms
If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the No’s on their vacancy signs
If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark
Then I’ll follow you into the dark