Tag Archives: DPchallenge

Love Letter to My Life

From Therapy Room on Facebook
From Therapy Room on Facebook

Dear Life of Mine,

I don’t know what I’d do without you.  Well, I guess deep down I do know that without you there would simply be no me.  That would suck.  I know sometimes I say that YOU suck, but of course I don’t mean it.  Not really.

Mostly I love you to pieces.

I love you when you’re busy and crazy and tell me to hurry up, but I love you more when you’re laid back and mellow and lazy. I love how you make me breathe the air, see and touch and hear and know the incredible beauty of all the other lives around me.

I love that you are funny and strange and complicated.  I love your ups and downs and detours.  I love your crazy joy.  I even love your sadness.  Your bad bits teach me to embrace and appreciate your happy side and all the good things that fill you up and make you so worth living.

I love that you are beautiful and good.  Sometimes I think you’re hard, but then I look around and see others who are not so lucky and not so blessed.

I am so very grateful to have you. I know how fragile you are, and I try every day to do the right things so that you’ll be around for a long, long time.

I know one day we’ll have to part.  But let’s not let fear and worry kill the fun we’re having in each small moment, okay?  I know you will always give me a kick in the ass when I need it and that’s okay. I will still love you with all my heart.  And all my might. For however long we have together.

I love you, my wonderful life, no matter how you may change in the blink of an eye; right here, right now, just the way you are.

********************************************

Prompts For The Promptless:  Sometimes called a billet-doux, or a love letter, a love note is a personal letter to a loved one expressing affection.  The loved one does not necessarily have to be animate, human, alive, or known.

Weekly Writing Challenge:  Blogging Events

Going Listy in the Moonlight

Moon
Moon (Photo credit: shahbasharat)

Daily Prompt:  The Satisfaction of a List

Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Go silly or go deep, just go list-y.

Ten Songs I Like About the Moon

1.  It’s Only a Paper Moon  Ella Fitzgerald http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gapCK5_rMuY

2.  Bad Moon Rising  Creedence Clearwater Revival  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YlTUDnsWMo

3.  Moon River  Andy Williams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QaFd59bjCE

4.  Harvest Moon  Neil Young  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj6xkMl0yyg

5.  Fly Me To the Moon  Rod Stewart http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfd9z968CbY

6.  How High the Moon  Emmy Lou Harris   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2cgpNr-dpo

7.  Dancing in the Moonlight  King Harvest  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5JqPxmYhlo

8.  Moondance  Van Morrison  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy25lRydw6A

9.  Blue Moon  Dean Martin  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC3gFEkgrT0

10.  Yellow Moon  Neville Brothers  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTJyExd4dmw

Honorable mention as well to Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig Van Beethoven, a piece I would like more if I had not been forced to mutilate it on the piano as a child.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQVeaIHWWck

Moon and Saturn / Maan en Saturnus
Moon and Saturn / Maan en Saturnus (Photo credit: Arjan Almekinders)

 

 

History Repeats Itself

Daily Prompt: Do-over!

Go back to a blog post you always thought could be better, or were unsatisfied with — now, fix it.

I’ve always thought every blog post I’ve ever written could be better, but what I’ve written is HISTORY, baby!  You can’t fix that.  So I’ve decided just to go back three years for this one lonely April post – the one and only post for April of that year.  Times have changed if you consider how blabby I’ve become on a daily basis in comparing then to now, but here we are in April of 2013 going through a similar sort of crisis at work being short-staffed and over worked.  Laura has left us to work elsewhere.  There’s a long sad story related to that, which oddly enough started right about here in 2010.  Suffice it to say I miss her like crazy.  And reading this has made me look SO forward to retiring in a year that I can almost taste it.

Anyway, with a few minor revisions, here’s what I had to say three years ago.

April is...
April is… (Photo credit: nataliesap)

 

Holy crap, I knew I was away from here for quite a while, but thankfully it appears there is still time to get in that April blog so my little list of months looks to be intact.  I’ve had pneumonia.  Not for all of March and April, although it kind of feels that way.  So that’s a pretty damned good excuse for staying mysteriously silent, wouldn’t you say?   Being sick did not stop me from sitting at the computer playing Facebook games while hacking my brains out, or from reading on my kindle until my eye’s wandered aimlessly all on their own and closed for hours at a time.

It’s been a long hard haul at work (when somebody shows up and we’re actually open).  Our manager had her knee surgery 3 months ago and is just now (next week in fact) coming back  part-time, short hours.  Laura’s dad passed away before Easter and it’s been a hard and stressful time for her.  We tried to keep things going, but consider this.  A couple of months ago we had two full-time and two part-time licensed opticians and two CSA’s on staff.  That’s six people.  Suddenly we were down to one full-time, one part-time (moi) and one VERY part-time CSA.  That’s like two and a half people.  Got a little help from other stores, but in the grand scheme of things, not enough.  Many times one or the other of us was there alone, trying to stay sane.  So now I know exhaustion makes you sick.  Doh.  Had to give my head a few shakes to stop caring about the stupid job long enough to focus on my health instead.

So now I’m on the last couple of days of monster pill antibiotics, still using my heavy-duty cortisone infused nasal spray and inhaler.  Next week I’ll  make a trip back to the doctor to make sure things are clear.  Like my lungs and my nasal passages.  I’ve been back to work doing as little as humanly possible because things like walking from one end of the store to the other to swipe my badge on the time clock can leave me feeling short of breath and drained of energy.  I have had MANY days off.  Like today.  Then I work two days in a row, and then I’m off again for two.  W. has been doing the grocery shopping and making me eat.

Nothing I looked up about pneumonia mentioned anything about it destroying brain cells, but I’m wondering if that’s a side effect.  The doctor asked me if there was any family history of asthma before he sent me off for a chest x-ray.  I said no, not that I was aware of.  Then he said he was going to give me an inhaler and I said ‘Oh!  my daughter had one of those!’  I don’t remember what it was for.  Allergies or something.  So I didn’t offer any further information because I’m pretty sure he prescribed it to her so he could look that up if he really needed to know.  It was a long time ago.  Mother’s can’t remember every little detail.  After a short confused-face pause he popped into the next room and  returned with the little puffer thing and began explaining how to use it.  ‘Oh!’ I interrupted him.  ‘My MOM had one of those!  But I don’t know why.’  Poor man.  He didn’t ask me to expand on that thought, perhaps realizing the futility of such a request.  He  just explained slowly and patiently and in minute detail what he wanted me to do next, probably hoping I would retain the information at the very least all the way back to my car and at most, all the way to the x-ray lab.  I got there.  They told me to take a deep breath.  Then they repeated the request.  I told them I DID take a deep breath.  And that’s when it dawned on me that lately I’d been quite incapable of doing any such thing.

But I can do it now!  I can INHALE, baby!  It’s a heady feeling, being able to breathe.  Not hearing rattle-y chest noises is good too.  I’m very thankful for these things.  You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.  W. is headed east in a couple of weeks.  He threatened to stick around until I was completely better so I’ve been acting completely better for his benefit.  His brother has just been moved into an extended care facility, and W. needs to get down there to deal with some things.  Staying here to look after me seemed like an excellent excuse for not going, but I’m not going to co-operate.  Time to face the things that need to be faced.

On a pleasant note, my fish, Phineas, is still alive.  He seems a little neurotic for a Beta, since they’re supposed to just hover and laze around.  Nobody told him that, apparently,  so he flits around like a demented little spaz most of the time.  In and out of the three-holed pottery thing and into the leaves and up to the water filter tube into which he is too large to be sucked up I hope.  He attacks his food.  Let’s face it, there’s a limited number of ways to amuse yourself in a 2.5 litre fish tank.    But, like I said, he’s alive.

And so am I!  Life is good.

Life is Not a Sack of Shit

My Shit
My Shit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daily Prompt:  Escape!  Describe your ultimate escape plan (and tell us what you’re escaping from).

Warning – this post contains the word shit, a whole lot of times.

People have shit on my life, and shit has happened to me in my lifetime.  I have gathered up a lot of shit and have been dragging it around with me for way too long.  I would like to escape all this shit I’m carrying, so I’m going to tie up the big sack it’s in, drop it right here, right now, and turn around and just walk away and leave it behind.

I’m tired of looking in the bag and feeling sad and angry about all the shit that’s happened.   I’m tired of occasionally wallowing in it.  Frankly, it really stinks.  And I don’t want to have to deal with anyone elses shit, either.  Maybe I can help someone put theirs down for a bit and forget about it for awhile, but ultimately that someone has to deal with his or her own shit.  I’ll try not to add to theirs, but I won’t take any off their hands either.  So do not hand me any shit.  I’ve been one of those people who has always felt responsible for the happiness of others.  I seem to have passed that trait on to at least one of my children (maybe both) and at least one of my grandchildren (maybe more).  It’s a terrible shitty burden to carry.  I don’t want to do it anymore.

When we go off on a vacation we never take loads of shit with us.  That’s the whole point of going somewhere wonderful and different, to get away from it all.  So I think I’d like to go on a sort of permanent vacation from life’s shit.

I’m going to meditate more, breathe more deeply, eat better, get seriously back into yoga.  I’m going to make every shit-less moment I have left in my life count.  I am going to be happy and at peace with today and all the wonders and surprises it has in store for me.  I know shit will still happen, and I will still have to deal with it, but I vow to do it only once.  I will not cart it around with me and let it make me feel bad over and over and over.  I will let it go.  I think a lot of the stress and worry and fear that gets stuck to all the shit will disappear with it.

Sounds like a great escape plan to me.  And now here’s a nice picture to take your mind off all the preceding shit.

Meditation
Meditation (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Judgement Day at the Bookstore

I probably would not buy this book. It sounds unbearably sad.

 

Daily Prompt:  If you were to judge your favorite book by its cover, would you still read it?

GAH!  It’s that stupid favourite word again!  By the way, I learned to spell it with a ‘u’ and I see no reason to stop doing so.  But I still hate it.  It is maybe my favourite word to hate.   Because picking favourites seems to be beyond my scope of abilities.

There is no single book I prefer above all others.  I would have a huge problem choosing a dozen books I love because how do you stop at some finite number?  I would keep adding to the pile until it fell over and killed me, putting both of us out of our misery.romance cover

Other than that nit-picking little point, I can see the beauty of this prompt.  Book cover art is no doubt a big hook in getting people to pick up a book and look at it more closely.   Sometimes the genre is easily identifiable by taking a quick glance at the cover.  For instance, if there’s a bare breasted woman with her head flung back and her eyes closed being ravished by an unbelievably handsome chisel featured body builder, you can be fairly certain it’s not a cook book or a travel guide.  Although if it’s in the self-help section, who knows.

I like bright colours and pretty pictures and great art work as much as the next guy, and recognizing an author’s name is always a big plus.  But mostly it’s the brilliance or the weirdness of a book’s title that gets me every time.  The Cheese Monkeys (Chip Kidd), Ella Minnow Pea (Mark Dunn), When God Was a Rabbit (Sarah Winman) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Mark Haddon) come to mind.

And did you know there’s a prize for thinking up weird book titles?  You can read about it here.  And then you just might find yourself wanting to do some further research on Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop among other things.

So I guess my advice to all you book writers out there is to think long and hard about your book title because even if your book is complete crap, a catchy and crazy title will be enough to get someone like me to buy it.  Although I might draw the line at Bombproof Your Horse (Rick Pelicano and Lauren Tjaden) simply because I don’t own a horse.

Otherwise, it sounds pretty good.

Inconceivable!

Easter postcard circa early 20th century
Easter postcard circa early 20th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daily Prompt:

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – the White Queen, Alice in Wonderland.

What are the six impossible things you believe in? (If you can only manage one or two, that’s also okay.)

No problem, I can probably manage a dozen.  And all before breakfast as well.  The White Queen’s got nothing on me. But as impossible as this might sound, I am going to limit myself to six, because breakfast cannot be put off forever.

My guidelines will be the six definitions of impossible.
1.  not possible; unable to be, exist, happen, etc.  Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Cupid and the Tooth Fairy.  They are all out there.  I’ve seen the results of their existence.  That’s good enough for me

2. unable to be done, performed, effected, etc.: an impossible assignment.  I believe in miracles.  They happen all the time.  You will never get there in time, you will never walk again, you will never beat this disease, you will never be truly happy – all pessimistic lies.  Never, NEVER say never.

3.  incapable of being true, as a rumor.  Here’s the thing about rumors and gossip – what you hear is no doubt true about somebody, and that somebody is quite possibly the person spreading the misery.  We see in others what we most despise in ourselves.  You may think it’s impossible to stop the rumors or to shut some one up, but see number 2 above.  Miracles happen when gossip is important only to the gossip-er and not the gossip-ee.

4.  not to be done, endured, etc., with any degree of reason or propriety: an impossible situation.  Perfect example – High School.  Raise your hand if you thought you’d never make it out of there alive.  And yet, here you are.  You endured.  It’s kind of amazing the impossible situations that can in fact be endured and lived through and written about later with a great deal of humor which was totally inconceivable at the time it was actually happening to you.

5.  utterly impracticable: an impossible plan.  I believe I am going to live forever in some form or other.  I believe there is life on other planets, life after death, life in other dimensions.   One day I believe we will all understand and know everything there is to know about our universe and the cosmos and everything in it,  because we are all part of some great connection and learning process and yes, crazy huge master plan.  I will HAVE to live forever to get all this figured out properly.

6 . synonyms:  unbearable, intolerable, unmanageable.  Hmmmph.  We can bear, tolerate and manage tiny moments in time. We’re doing it right now. We string these tiny moments together, and voila!  There are no impossibilities at all.

So, to sum up, it would appear that I believe in Santa Claus, miracles, gossip, high school, eternal life and living in the moment.  What a bizarre list.

I also believe in breakfast and more coffee.  And in having an inconceivably miraculous day

Everything Will Be All Right in the End

…if it is not all right, then it is not yet the end. (Sonny, Dev Patel)

Daily Prompt:  Silver Screen – Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!

the-best-exotic-marigold-hotel

I really have come to loathe the word “favorite” because it is so limiting.  There is no one single movie that is my favorite, but there are many that I like for a lot of very different reasons.  The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the movie I watched most recently, which was last night on Netflix.  It stars Judi Dench.  That in itself is reason enough to see it.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of British retirees who decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past. (from Rotten Tomatoes)

Evelyn (pronounced Eve’ -lin) has so many quotable lines it was impossible to choose only one.  So here’s a few of the best.

The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment, as we all must.

Initially you’re overwhelmed. But gradually you realize it’s like a wave. Resist, and you’ll be knocked over. Dive into it, and you’ll swim out the other side.

There is no past that we can bring back by longing for it. Only a present that builds and creates itself as the past withdraws.

Great acting, beautiful scenes of India, some funny stuff and some wonderful ah-hah moments for several of the characters.  Predictable?  I suppose so.  But thoroughly enjoyable anyway.

All Grown Up And Wondering What Happened

All Grown Up
All Grown Up (Photo credit: Sandie Edwards)

Daily Prompt:  All Grown Up  When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?

Strangely enough, I can remember as plain as day telling my mother on my sixth birthday how happy I was to be the wonderful age of six and all grown up at last.  Too bad I don’t recall what her reaction was to that.  But six to me was such a magical number, so incredibly more mature than 4 or 5.  I would soon be going off to school with my big brother. I would learn how to read what the people in comic books were actually saying to eachother without making any of it up.  How could life possibly get any better than that?

My daughter had a similar epiphany at an even earlier age.  She made a simple announcement one day.  “I can tie my own shoes, and I can blow bubbles with my gum, and when I get some hair in my nose I will be all growed up.”  Who was I to argue with her criteria?  These things are different for everyone.

I don’t remember my son ever making any such great declaration about adulthood, so maybe it’s just a girl thing.  Whenever W talks about his own childhood we’re left with the impression that he was born grown up, since he vows he never did bad or childish things and never once, even as a teenager, disappointed his parents.  I’m certainly glad he got a little more interesting later in life.

The funny thing about having felt grown up so soon is that it has given me more time than most to realize I might have been wrong about it that first time, and just as mistaken at all the different stages in my life where I’ve believed (however briefly) the very same thing.  Graduating highschool, going to college, getting a real job, being in a serious relationship, getting married, having children, and asking myself with every new experience, now have I learned everything there is to know?  Have I left childish things behind?  Am I living my very best grown up life?

The older I get the less I care.  Growing up is no longer one of my lofty aspirations.  There are days when being a grown up really bites and I think how much fun it was to be that deluded little six-year-old.  With less visible nose hair.  Age and wisdom and maturity are not always all they’re cracked up to be.  It’s silly to be in such a hurry to grow up and take on all the hard stuff that life is going to hand you.

For some reason or other, growing older is what has finally taught me how amazing it is to see the world through the eyes of a child.  And the older I get, the more I want to act like one.  I don’t mean the crying, foot stomping, temper tantrum moments (although every once in a while those can be wonderfully therapeutic).  I mean experiencing moments of pure delight and wonder and joy, being happy with the simplest pleasures, playing and laughing and loving and holding nothing back.

So if some serious stick in the mud adult rolls his eyes at your antics and tells you to grow up, don’t do it.  Just say no.  You don’t have to stick your tongue out for real, but imagine in your head how great actually doing it would make you feel.  And then go ahead and feel exactly like that.

A Gutsy and Daring Fish Story

Daily Prompt:  There are 26 letters in the English language, and we need every single one of them. Want proof? Choose a letter and write a blog post without using it. (Feeling really brave? Make it a vowel.) 

With an air of foolhardy spunk, I pick what’s missing in AIOU.  I am tardy and a day past prompt, but still I think this is worth a look. 

Foggy Fish
Foggy Fish (Photo cr_dit v_rsag__k)

Al says, “I want to go fishing. How about you, my darling girl?”

“No way”, says Anna. “I’ll pass.

You won’t catch anything at all in this soup of a fog.

That’s a full day thrown away.”

“I’ll catch a galloping goliath!  Word of honor! Just you wait.”

“Crazy old coot”, says Anna. “All right, go! Shoo!”

So Al is on his own. Off and away in his half ton truck.

Stops in a foggy mist at a babbling brook.

And now it’s all about sitting for hours and hours in his old half worn out boat,

rod in hand, watching and waiting, nodding off.

Was Anna right? Damn.

But wait – what’s this?

Whoa ho!  What a hit!

A crazy fight, a long-haul skirmish, and at long last,

Following much ado and many a splash,

Blissful, joyous victory!

Man oh man!

Just look at this colossal monstrous trout!

Al is truly jubilant and can hardly wait

to put his catch into a sizzling hot frying pan

and scoff and laugh at Anna’s words.

“HAHA! I told you so!” says Al.  “And you said I couldn’t do it.”

“Stubborn old fool”, snorts Anna,

 hiding a happy grin.

fish & chips
fish & chips (Photo cr_dit: David Asch_r)

Twenty Five Cent Caribou

Daily Prompt:  Buffalo Nickel

Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

I live in the land of Beaver Nickels and Sailboat Dimes.  Here is the first coin I came across this morning (and what do you know, it was in the zippered change purse of my wallet, no scrounging around on the dirty floor mats of the car for me).

1977 quarterSo what was I up to in 1977?  Well, probably my ears in toys.  My son turned one year old in February of 1977, and my daughter had her third birthday in July.  We were living in Cambridge Bay, Northwest Territories, land of bleak and frozen treeless tundra.  It’s the year we moved to Inuvik, NWT, land of bugs and mud and utilidors.

It’s the year my sister got married, and we came south that June to thaw out and delight in all things green and sunny for a couple of weeks.

We went canoeing on the Saugeen River with the soon to be newly weds and our brother and sister-in-law.  I wore long sleeves so my pasty white winter skin wouldn’t burn and look ridiculous with the peach colored bridesmaid dress.  Unfortunately my hands were the only thing that got too much sun, so they stood out rather nicely in some of the photos.  Such a silly thing to remember.

It’s the year we cut off my sons beautiful blond curls so that he looked more like a little boy and less like an angelic cherub.  We moved in to an end unit in a row house amidst a sea of similar row houses.  We let our daughter ride her tricycle on the board walk but only as far as the hospital and back.  She recounted her adventures to everyone who would listen – I rode my bike-a-dose to the hos-pi-dose!  Impressive story.

1977 was the beginning of our four-year stay in Inuvik.  It was where the kids started school, where I played baseball, drove a beat up old blue Volkswagen, went down the MacKenzie River to a real whaling camp, worked as an enumerator for a federal election, made friends and watched them move away, and then lost touch and made new ones.

In 1977 I was just busy being a wife and a mom, living with the most gawd-awful looking furniture ever issued by a government to a federal employee.  The kids did not appear to be bothered much by this at all.

inuvik popsicles 001
Inuvik, 1977 When you see faces like this, you know you must be doing something right.