If We Were Having Coffee: Tequila Would Top Mine

Yes, I know we might be having coffeeimages, tea or even the more refined Wine but honestly this past month deserves the bite of Tequila. Good, strong sipping Tequila. Nothing foofy with umbrellas and silly stuff, just a fresh from the freezer, where I keep it for times like these, sipping Tequila. .

So, if we were having Tequila with or without our coffee, we would be sitting back in my undecorated but praises be, nearly clean to my satisfaction, apartment. From 4,200 square feet to 1,000 square feet is one hell of a downsizing and I honestly didn’t think I could do it, I honestly thought I would lose my mind. Instead what I am finding is a strange peace settling over me as I maneuver through the weird minimalism that is becoming the norm for me. Even after I thought I had shrunk my needs to the bare ‘must have’ I found myself needed to shrink down even more, things I thought were absolute needs became sacrifices to storage in favor of other objects of desire. Amazing what becomes necessity when you shrink your living space.

Would you like another one? Excuse me while I top of my glass.herradura-anejo-tequila-17

You know I have told you about my year, shared with you that I have struggled on many fronts this year. The struggles have tapped me out on many levels, shredded my confidence, my hopefulness at times. Certainly my imagination along with my energy has been drained. I have had to really take out my spirit and examine closely what drives me, what is needful and what is a priority for me. I have had to make choices I never thought I would make, shed myself of what was doing me harm even when this scared the living hell out of me. I have stared into the abyss of my history and torn the curtain away to the future I thought I wanted, sometimes having to set aside people and things so I could begin to truly rebuild.

This has been a work in progress, it started a few years ago when my husband left without good-bye in December 2013. I have struggled to find my footing, to find my heart and my spirit. I have worked to find the independent me under the debris of hurt. People have taken advantage of my vulnerability, I don’t blame them, I put it out there with my need to be seen, to be loved. I put a great big sign over my head, “Here I am…Use me”.

Then after I lost even more confidence along with thousands of dollars, I finally pulled back into myself. Set my need for ‘love’ aside in favor of true healing. Small steps, sometimes backward steps, sometimes no steps at all but instead simply standing still in the space I was and taking a few deep breaths. Focusing on the right then, not trying to force healing but letting the world wash over me, rinse my hurt away in small portions. It wasn’t easy, I wanted everything and right now. There were days when I thought I would miss out on the rest of my life, nothing was working and I was emotionally atrophied; at least I felt like this was the case.

footprints

Early last year I jumped into a relationship to stem the hurt and loneliness. It was an unhealthy relationship. What I learned from it was wonderful though. I learned I would rather be alone than part of an unhealthy relationship. I would rather be alone than part of a relationship that hurts me. I would rather be lonely and alone than lonely within a relationship. I learned I can stand up for myself, I can say no. That is what I learned. It was a good lesson. I learned, I do not have to accept pain as part of being paired. I learned it is better to be uncoupled than unhappy. I also learned what I want in a partner, in a man. I learned what is important. In the ending unfortunately both of us were hurt, it was nevertheless the right thing to do, for both of us. Now I can couple without fear, I know my desires and my limitations. This was a critical step to finding myself, now I am happily settled with myself.

Can I top you off? I could use another splash. I am rambling on about myself, I hope you don’t mind.

This past month has been a challenge. You might have noticed I haven’t been around much, my plate has been full. In truth my bucket has spilled over, leaving me exhausted and exhilarated at one and the same time. I thought I would not make it through the month of May, I did though. Here is what happened and why I find myself sitting here with you sipping Tequila:

  • I moved into my new apartment and nearly finished the unpacking process
  • I finished the downsizing, though I couldn’t have done it without a few well-placed kicks in the ass along the way
  • I performed a wedding for my friend and barrier against the storms of recent years, Red
  • I attended the wedding of one of my younger sisters in Seattle and was reminded of how wonderful family can be, even in large crowds. Yes, my family is big and raucous.
  • I finally met my newest found sister and had a long breakfast with her. We are the odd ones out, part of family but found members (born outside, adopted out and unknown till adulthood).
  • I finally started the real search for my next job, though I know it might be long and harrowing I also know what I want and I am going to hold out for what makes sense
  • I started writing again in my journal and will start to write here and read again because I am giving myself permission and time
  • I stopped holding myself to impossible standards and took a deep breath without crying
  • I read my own posts from a few years ago and realized how far I have come and how some things are still true. I was amazed how far I have climbed out of the void I was in three years ago.

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What I have figured out through all of this?

I can do this. I am enough. I may be scared, it is fine, scared is normal sometimes. I may be sad, it is okay to be sad sometimes, this is normal. I may be lonely now and then, it is fine to be lonely so long as it is the loneliness of waiting not the loneliness of ‘alone’. I can do this, I am enough. I am worth it and I am enough. That is what I have learned.

CoffeeShare2

If We Were Having Coffee: Out of Control

imagesIf we were having coffee we would finally have to find a coffee shop, my house is in chaos as I try to sort thirteen years of ‘hoarding’ in a week. What the hell was I thinking? Order anything you want, really it is on me just for the company.

Saturday, my sister from another mother Red of M3 fame and I, sat out in fabulous Texas sun and conducted the first of what will be three (3) garage sales. We didn’t do too terribly badly though both of us forgot our sun screen and both of us turned a bit pink by the end of the day, her far more than I. It was interesting to see what people bought, fascinating really. I have only one thing to say about this entire garage sale thing, well maybe two; (1) I am not taking a single thing back, what doesn’t sell is either being donated or going into the trash; (2) really people offer me a different price, don’t steal.

Sunburnt

Red’s Sun Burn

If we were having coffee I would tell you about my penchant for order and having things always in place in my surroundings, I might be a little bit OCD. I told someone last night I was not doing well in the chaos, it is the truth, and last night I crawled into my spare bed and cried myself to sleep. There are so many things still to do, so many things still to sort, so many things without a home or needing a decision and I don’t know where to start or how to get it all done by Thursday. If you are wondering why I had to crawl into the spare bed, well I was able to sell the master bedroom suite, bed and all. Sleeping in the new bed makes me realize just how spoiled I have been with all that space.

The other thing I have realized through this process, while I am not really a hoarder, I have amassed an ungodly amount of miscellaneous stuff. Stuff from travels, stuff from wandering through life, mementos; just stuff. Now I am sorting through it all, some of it makes me laugh as I remember where and when I picked it up, other times I just sit down wherever I am and let the memory wash over me.  Then there are the books, every single book I love, years of book collecting. Books of escapism, books for research, antique books, books for words and cookbooks. I am going to store the collection that remains after the purge, but the harder part was letting go, so many books to just let go.

If we were having coffee I would have to tell you about my adventure with Verizon/Frontier Communications. Last week has been special, I will tell you this has pushed me over the edge and came at a time where I really was staring into the abyss already so didn’t need anything else. When I woke up at 4am last Wednesday, I wandered up to my office to check e-mail and wander through social media, hopefully get some blog reading done and see what was going on in the world only to discover I had no internet connectivity. Like any reasonable person would do, I reset my router, then I turned it on and off, then I reset it again and again and again. No luck, nothing worked. So I waited until Verizon/Frontier tech services opened at 7am. You should know, Verizon sold off their businesses to Frontier last month. Just for extra background, you should also know I have a business account, my Service Agreement with Verizon was my account could not have down service time for more than 24 hours, it is why I pay a premium for my services.

Wednesday morning I called. They told me to reset my router. Just for shit and giggles I did, ten (10) more times between 7:30am and 1pm. Yes, that is how long I was on the phone with them the first time, granted most of that time was spent on hold. The second call that day was to customer service, where I finally got someone to agree to a service order for a technician to be sent out the following day. That person mentioned my Service Agreement must be verbal, she couldn’t see the Verizon agreement for 24 hours. Oddly though, when I placed the order to move services to the new apartment and stated I did not want to move my landline she could see the $498 penalty I would have to pay for dropping services but couldn’t see the Service Level Agreement of 24 Hour Down Time, interesting.

FRONTIERSUCKS

Thursday came and went, without a Technician. I called, at noon and they said they couldn’t tell me when because Frontier doesn’t do service windows. I called at 3pm and they told me I would have to call back at 5pm, the last dispatch. I called back at 5pm, the lovely little man at the other end of the phone explained they had never dispatched because the ticket had been turned over to the VOIP department, until that department released the ticket no tech would be dispatched, he couldn’t tell me when that would be. I called Friday, same discussion but now I have been without services which includes both internet and television for three (3) days and am told I will not have services over the weekend either. So I tell the nice little man in Customer Service I intend to cancel all services, can you guess what happens next? Not only can he not find the original order to move those services to the new apartment but he has the unmitigated gall to tell me the penalty for cancellation would be $1,329, really?

Frontier, has cost me five days of potential work, has prevented me from looking for work, has breached their contract with me and actually believes they will charge me a penalty for cancelling services they are unable to deliver…….really? I admit, I lost my temper. I admit what came out of my mouth was impolite. I had finally been pushed over the edge.

If we were having coffee I would tell you, don’t try this alone. Don’t try to move alone. Don’t try to pack alone. Don’t try to do any of this alone. It is too hard. I know it is nearly over, nearly at the end. But honestly? My nerves are so frayed I am snapping, I know I am forgetting things, I know I am going to lose friends before it is all said and done. Clearly, I haven’t been to visit any of you for weeks. It isn’t because I don’t want to, believe me I could use a break and something positive right now. I will be back though, I will get back to you, I will start reading again, commenting again, interacting again and writing again even. Maybe I will even share some more positive stuff happening in my world, things that don’t suck (there are a few).

I really hope you would interrupt me now and then, jump in and tell me what you have been up to. I truly do hope you have had a better time of it than me, I would love to live vicariously through you!

If you pray, pray for me. If you don’t well laugh alongside me while I finish this move. Next week, despite it all I am off to Hot Springs for a few days of R & R.

CoffeeShare2

Weekend Coffee Share: One Down

imagesIf we were having coffee I would be sitting at my table and hoping you would share it with me. If you want tea, I would be sure to show you the slim pickings I have to brew (sorry), or you can share my pot of thick as mud cowboy coffee. Yes, there is plenty of creamer selections, sugars and honey.

Things sure have been up in the air this past week, sometimes I think this is a trial by fire just to see how determined I am to set to rights what is wrong. It has been all I could do not to snap at those I love, not to crawl into my closet and stay there, not to fall to my knees and beg the universe for mercy.

The final appraisal was Good Enough, the buyers have said yes to one stipulation I have said yes too selling for less than I wanted to sell for. We all have agreed to some terms that were not in the original contract, hopefully in the next few hours we will have a final contract to sign and it will be done with a closing date within this month, then I can move on from here. New life, new choices to make. I won’t be entirely happy with the outcome but honestly I will be in better condition than I have been.

I would proudly show you how I have started clearing out cabinets in anticipation of moving. Even with everything in the air and not knowing till just a few hours ago I tried to keep a positive view on this process. Then I would point to the full up baskets of CD’s, well over 1,500 I have already ripped to my IPod. This represents about half my music collection, it is a painful process to get them all onto my IPod finally but I swore this time I wasn’t carrying them with me, not again. I am finally going digital on this one thing at least. Will I get finished before moving day? Surely I do hope so, one less thing to think about, pack and carry.

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There is so much more to do, closet upon closet to clear out. Decisions to make about what to keep, what to sell and what to donate. What will go to a very small apartment with me, meaning what I absolutely cannot live without and what will go to storage until I find my next permanent home. So many things to consider, so many choices to make. I wander through my home today and think there are many things I take for granted in my life, many things of great beauty I hardly see until now that I must actually look at them and remind myself of their stories.

If we were having coffee today I would tell you about my week of introspection. How I have been thinking about family, friends and lovers (past and present). I would try to open my heart to you about how I have too often pushed people away for fear of being hurt even while I loved them. I would tell you about my natural inclination to take care of others within relationships, whether family or otherwise, how I am happier when I am taking care of others than when I am having to be constantly in charge, the boss, the strong one. I would try to explain how difficult it is for me to constantly be on guard, to be in charge, to feel uncared for and not trust others to catch me if I fall. This has been part of my week of introspection, part of what has driven me inside of myself.

I would tell you I recognize my strength, my competency and my ability to take care of myself. I understand I am able to stand up for myself, live alone and be happy alone even. I realize how much I have survived in my lifetime, that in truth it is more than most. I am good with my life as it is. I am good with the decisions and choices I have made. I am good with the person I am, with the outcomes of my life. Being strong, it doesn’t change my inner core, who I am or what makes me happy. It doesn’t change what I want in the future or the type of relationships that work for me. This is what I am discovering. I am also discovering, I will not settle for less than what makes me happy not from family, friends or lovers. It is vital I stand up and ask for what I need or I will continue to not get it.

This is what I would tell you over coffee, that all of us should always ask for what we need and expect to get it.

After I finished my ramble I would hope you would jump in and tell me how your life was going this week, what is happening in your world (beside the terrible of the political season). I am going to hope you world has had some joy. I promise you, I would listen without interruption.

CoffeeShare2

Things I Know

Sleeping BeautyI know we have an infinite well of compassion, empathy and love at our disposal. We are bottomless, we are never tapped out. Not ever in our lifetimes do we run out of ‘good’.

We might retreat.

We might close the spigot.

The truth is though, we remain full up no matter how much we give. Truth be told, I suspect the more we give the more we have within us to give.

I know we learn throughout our lives. We learn every single day and through every relationship. Sometimes we learn how to become better people, other times we learn to love in better ways. Sometimes we learn our capacity for love, other times we learn our capacity for pain.

With experience we change, our world view changes. Who we are changes as our understanding of self and our place within the world grows. As we learn we find our footing, we determine where we are comfortable, what makes us tick, what makes us sing, what makes us dance. We emerge as our true selves, like butterflies from our chrysalises.

I know we all have the innate ability to forgive, ourselves and others. Not the forgiveness many of us are taught in our churches, but something much deeper and more intimate. As children we are quick to let go of hurt, fast to return to those we love. It is only as adults we hang on to our anger, plot revenge or simply wrap ourselves in painful reminders building shields to protect ourselves in the future.

We forget, anger and hate are active emotions requiring our participation. Forgiveness does not mean you give someone, not even yourself, a free pass. It does not mean you have said to anyone they are free to do harm again. Forgiveness doesn’t come easily to most of us, it is a hard fought battle of letting go. Sometimes, even as we forgive we also must say ‘no more’. There are times when we must see our only choice is letting go, lovingly and with great compassion, simply letting go.

I know each of us is unique and wonderfully made. We are, each of us, flawed and perfect at once. We are forged within the furnace of our family and later by the fires of society; whether tragic or magnificent, usually both, we are formed. As we walk through our lives both alone and with others we are formed into something distinctive and entirely individual.

So many of us these days try to fit in, try to hide our light in anonymity primarily because there is a certain safety in numbers and shades of beige and gray. We fall into the common thought that ‘fitting in’ will gain us acceptance, get us further in life or even provide us a more comfortable living. Maybe this is all true, perhaps if we work hard to strip ourselves of what makes us distinctively us we will have an easier time in the world, but then we will also have to wake every single day and force our spirit into boxes of conformity that may not fit as well as we like, that may squeeze every bit of life from us and leave us gasping for breath.

I know we are meant to dance in the rain with abandon and joy.

I know we are designed for pleasure and it is not a thing to be ashamed of or to shame others out of.

I know we are infused with the spirit compassion and forgiveness.

I know we are intended to give and receive love without stinting or judgement.

I know the world has corrupted our vision of ourselves as human and humane, who we are and what we should be. We have too often substituted joy for shame, compassion for weakness and love for sex in our pursuit of anything to fill a hole in our spirit and our heart. Far too many of us look toward others to define a reality that isn’t our own and then we judge ourselves as failures for not living up to impossible standards.

All of these things I know in my heart. As I continue to work through what I need, how to free myself and where to go from here, all these things I know.

14-April-2016

14-April-2016

Weekend Coffee Share: It isn’t that

imagesIf we were having coffee I would have asked you to come to my house, I know odd but it might be the last time I am able to host you here and it is important to me. I would pour you a cuppa of my favorite blend, cut with chicory and strong enough to stand a spoon upright in, offer you a selection of sweet creams and sugars before we settled in. Look out the back window, my Lavender is starting to come in I am truly going to miss that view, I cut them back in January so they would come in heavy this spring.

This past month has seen too many changes, decisions and strange happenings. I am underwater most of the time simply trying to catch my breath or is it hold my breath in between sinking. Having a house on the market, dang it isn’t easy. In fact, it is hard. Add to just the normal, keeping it in ‘show’ ready condition all the time as if I don’t actually live here, is the barrage of strangers walking through my home. It is an uncomfortable feeling, at best it is uncomfortable.

I had a contract, went through inspection fairly unscathed and then the appraisal came in extraordinarily low, specifically $70,000 low. Even the buyers’ bank questioned the competency of the appraiser and they have ordered a new one at their expense. In the meantime, the house is back on the market and I am questioning my sanity. The original buyers are not happy they will have to make a new offer after the new appraisal (on Wednesday), but they are the ones that wanted their earnest money back.

Why, why am I putting myself through this? But then, I look around and realize I simply cannot sustain myself in this house any longer. I cannot maintain this house, without help. It is no longer a home and though there are many things I truly love, I cannot live here alone anymore. Is what I am planning risky? Yes, surely it is. But then, without risk there is no life. I would tell you, if I can do this and come out on the right side of it all in the end maybe I can get some of my life back.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about my current contract and how my hours have been cut from 36 to somewhere in the neighborhood of 12. How I am now looking for my next contract and it will likely force me to travel again, the very last thing I wanted to do. The mantra of ‘getting my life back’ is looking more impossible all the time. Just when I am trying for more normalcy it is looking as if it is slipping away from me.

I would tell you, I am truly tired. Bone tired and scared too. I didn’t think this would be my life at nearly sixty years old. I thought it would be something much different. I would tell you how hard it is to write at this time, though I have so much to say with words bouncing in my head and hurting me sometimes with the need let them fly, I find more solace in my journals than actual writing for consumption. My natural inclination toward isolation has been in the forefront these days and even blogging has seemed to public, too much like giving up space.

I would tell you how difficult love is, all of it. Friends and family worry about me, they don’t see me or hear from me in any of the normal ways I interact, none of the snarky social media daily posts, none of the morning texts to say I love them. I would tell you though, I am trying to sort out my space and my world in a way that makes sense to me. Trying to frame love, all of it in a way that makes sense to me. Sometimes, love is hard. Especially when you aren’t young and innocent anymore, instead you have had a full life and some disappointments and hurts, you can’t approach love with the same wide-eyed wonder. Love is hard, especially when you know yourself, when you know who you are and what you want and need from life. Finding a partner with luggage as battered as your own, who won’t judge your monsters, well that is damned near a miracle. I would tell you, love is a miracle all of its own.

After I had rambled on, likely with tears at some point because my tears seem to come easily lately I would ask you to jump in and tell me what is going on in your world. I would hope you have had a more uplifting week, maybe good news even something silly we could giggle about. I promise you, I would listen throughout.

CoffeeShare2

What Fools We Are

Vote for MeWhen we love, we tend to see the best in people, glossing over their bad habits, their poor performance, vulgarity and indiscretions. We make excuses for them, no matter how terrible their behavior. If someone speaks to our heart, our spirit we find every single justification in the book to disregard their horrible in favor of even the slightest demonstration of ‘good’,  virtuous, noble, ethical, moral, honorable, honest or decent in the person we ‘love’.

This seeking of the ‘good’ and overcoming the glaring terrible is true whether we are discussing personal love relationships or our manic infatuation with public figures, whether they be movie stars, reality show stars or political figures. Here of late, we have seen an increasing obsession with the body politic and the spawn of the latest run for the highest office of the land, to the point where I believe this nation is ready for mob rule and riots in the streets. There is no logic behind the ‘love’, no discussion of what any of these candidates bring to the table. No in-depth vetting of the candidates, on either side frankly. There is simply a passionate ‘love’ and embracing of a candidate to the exclusion of the truly terrible consequences of the possibility any of those left standing might be elected as President of the United States.

I find our options this season frightening, across the board. What I find even more frightening is the absolute obsessiveness of the adherents to the individual candidates. I find the violence erupting in rallies and on the streets, terrifying. I find the language of violence in social media, chilling. Yes, I find the candidacy of Donald Trump, alarming because of the polarization he encourages with his language, but honestly he is only the most blatant he isn’t the only one. I am terrified this year we will end up with a President elect not because we voted, but instead because we didn’t vote.

We are a nation willing to overlook criminal conduct and blatant ‘fixing’, so our vote doesn’t count. On the other hand, we are willing to put a vulgar, narcissist in the most powerful job in the world simply to see what happens, as an experiment; if it serves us. We have, as a nation sat back and watched as our nation failed, as our government failed us and we blamed those we sent to Washington on that failure, despite it was us that sent them there time and again. We watched professional politicians get rich on our backs, we did nothing but whine and complain never once using our Constitutional right to get off our asses and vote them out of office. This, this handful of terrifying candidates for President is what is served up to us for our failure to demand better.

HT_Clinton_Sanders_Turmp_Cruz_MEM_160307_12x5_1600

Hillary, Bernie, Donald & Raphael

How could I forget the spoiler, John Kaisch

How could I forget the spoiler, John Kaisch

Americans are angry?

We are mad? One has to ask, is this mad as in crazy? This is what I am thinking it means.

The result of decades of failed experiments, from Reaganomics to the first Black President. We are a nation that should be angry, we have failed to thrive, failed to live up to our potential. As a nation, we like to blame others, pointing our fingers and saying, ‘look at Washington, they are the problem’. The fact is, they are the result of our failure to be conscious and stand up each and every time we are given the opportunity. We sit on our asses, we stay home, we allow a small minority to set the priorities for an entire nation and then we have the gall to complain when shit doesn’t go the way we want. We are the problem, not them, us.

Have you had enough yet? I know I surely have. The problem is it just might be too late to start taking the country back from the edge, too late for us all too truly be great again. Yet we are still pointing at the buffoons, still making jokes, still protesting at the other guys rallies rather than planning what we are going to do to send the right person to Washington, not just to the White House but to Congress, to the Senate and to the State Houses across this nation.

There are four hundred and sixty-nine (469) Congressional seats in total up for grabs in this election cycle, yes you read that correctly, four hundred and sixty-nine; four hundred and thirty-five Congress Persons are fighting for their useless lives and thirty-four waste of oxygen Senators are begging to be sent back. Well, that isn’t entirely accurate there have been a few announced retirements, in fact six (6) Senators, having served a total of between them of one hundred and thirteen years (113) will be retiring. On the House side, there are twenty-five (25) announced retirements and twelve (12) who will be seeking election to the Senate instead. What does all this mean? It means pay attention, look at who is running, who is challenging and who is being challenged. It means stop sending the same ‘do nothing’ incumbent back to Washington, time and again. It means, if they haven’t done anything since they have been there, why aren’t you up in their face demanding answers.

It means, if you are not voting what the hell are you doing?

Wake the Fuck Up America. No matter what side of the aisle you are on, wake the fuck up.

 

While I Breathe

Girl In The Moonlight Sky

There is hope, while I breathe

Be it the hope of a dreamer

I will continue to dream

Or the hope of the dancer

I will dance on hard floors

While I draw breath

I float on the ether of hope

There is hope, while I breathe

Hope of love returned

Dreamed of, lost and denied

Hope of riches gained

In laughter, joyful tears spent

As I draw breath

I soar on the winds of hope

There is hope, while I breathe

Hope that gold is gold

Hope that silver is silver

Hope that hearts are pure

Hope that spoken words are true

As I draw breath

I drift on warm breezes of hope

While I breathe, I still hope

Always, I remain hopeful

24-March-2016

24-March-2016

Stop Saying That

imagesJust how stupid can you be? Obviously intended as a rhetorical question, clearly all of us agree there is no need for an answer. Right? Yet every single time I ask this specific question I feel as if I have set myself up and then I want to hit my own self in the head with a brick, or a hammer or any handy heavy item.

Truly, I feel as if every single blessed time I ask this specific question I have raised the bar on Stupid, as if it isn’t at all rhetorical but instead as if I am issuing a challenge. What is it that causes people to give me that blank fish eyed stare just before they respond with, “Did I fail the test? Give me another chance, I can do better I can be much stupider.”

I am flabbergasted by the level of stupid alive and well throughout society today. It amazes me every day what people will do and say thoughtlessly. People tend to live in bubbles of entitled ‘me’, heedless of their power to aggravate, annoy, hurt and even at times do great harm to others. Many of us, yes I will admit to my fair share, walk through life with blinders of how our words, actions and even lack of action affect those around us.

Just how stupid can you be?

It is sometimes truly impossible to judge how our actions affect others until after fire rains down on our heads. It might not be our intention to do harm, to hurt but by our inattention to the details we do so nonetheless. Other times, well we simply walk through life with our heads so far up in the clouds, our hearts so encased in the ice of our history we fail to consider the consequences of our words or actions. This is the ‘stupid’ of smart people. We have huge numbers of stupid smart people in the world today, people with intellectual intelligence who utterly fail the emotional ‘smart’ test, for a variety of reasons. albert-einstein-quotes-sayings-wise-stupidity-genius

Then there are the truly stupid, those who simply wake up every day and say to themselves, ‘Val posed the question, issued the challenge and I am going to greet the world with my version of STUPID and then up the ante’. These are the people I truly don’t understand, the people I wonder about. These are the people I drive by on the side of the Texas freeways piled up into each other, the people who during the winter months slam on their brakes across the icy bridges of the Dallas freeways thinking, ‘I have four wheel drive’.

These are the dumb-asses who blow up my phone with, ‘I have a job for you’ but haven’t got a clue what I do, haven’t read my resume and want to pay me $25 an hour less than the market rate for my skills, why you ask? Well because according to them, ‘they can bring someone from (name the country) who would be willing to work for that rate. Yes, I really have had these conversations. Yes, they really do say that to me. Yes, it is insulting. It is especially insulting because this has been going on for years and our rates have already been cut by at least 50% in the past decade for just that reason. download

Then there are those genius asshats who are simply STUPID because they can’t help themselves, they aren’t socially competent enough to exist in the same world as you or I, but they do. These are the people you scratch your head at. I said the other day I am selling my house. I am selling it for a reasonable market price, not expecting a windfall and recognizing there are things that will need to be done by the next owner, because I have lived here for more than a decade. On the other hand, I have also done many upgrades to this house so it is a trade-off. Guess what boys and girls, I am not paying for your desire to ‘upgrade’ or ‘redecorate’.

Don’t be stupid and please don’t insult me. Really I don’t care if you have small children, don’t care if you think you should have ‘better’ carpet than what my offered allowance will pay for, or if you think the fact that I smoke in my office is ‘bad’. The truth is, it is my house, I pay the mortgage here today. I recognize what is required and have offered a significant amount of cash at closing so you can do the necessary painting and carpet replacement, but don’t insult me with an offer of $25K less than the asking price and then give me a sob story and ask for more than double the allowance. images (1)

My answer? Go look at houses in your price range and STFU. Entitled are we? No I would say, ‘Just how stupid can you possibly be?’ Truly, I could go on and on. I could start in on our political landscape and I just might, but not today. I could trip lightly across our ‘reality’ television (oh that might be close to the same thing), but maybe another day. My problem though? Every single time I ask the question, I feel as if I am raising the bar and there are far too many people who want to take up the challenge. What the hell is wrong with people today? Why is it we aren’t celebrating brilliance, reveling in clever? Can anyone tell me why we are tripping wildly down the path of dismal and abject intellectual poverty, please help me understand.

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Alterations

This has been a year of ups, downs, exploration, joy, pain, choices, decisions and change. I have seen my share of sad, okay let me say it outright, my share of down on my knees on the floor and begging for mercy depression. I have spent far too much of my time isolating myself, allowing my introvert free reign, while the rest of my life suffered the consequences. I have spent far too much time, trying to catch up with myself, in too many ways and spent too much of the past year afraid.

 

Afraid of losing all I have fought for.

Afraid of being alone.

Afraid of being hurt.

Afraid of …. Well afraid of far too many things to list.

The funny thing about being afraid, fear absolutely paralyzes you. Fear prevents you from making choices, whether good or bad, fear stops your ability to choose.

I have known for a very long time I needed to make some life altering choices. There were things in my world weighing me down. The first and likely the largest was my house. I don’t know why I have hung onto this monstrosity for so long after my marriage ended. I have spent thirteen years here, longer than anywhere else in my adult life. I do not love it, some days I hate it. It hasn’t been a home in years, if ever. It has been a menace to my health and well-being for at least five of the thirteen years I have been here. It is far too big for one person, by about 2,000 sq. ft., well maybe not quite that much but it is far too big for just me.

So I had to make decisions, for my health mental and otherwise:

Decision #1: My house went on the market 10 days ago.

Decision #2: I am not going to buy right away. Instead I am going to put what I decide to keep in storage and rent for 6 months while I find a new home that pleases me. This will be the first time in my adult life I buy a home with just me in mind, where only my desires, my likes, my wants are taken into account. I am going to take my time.

Decision #3: I am not only going to significantly downsize my home, I am going to downsize my ‘stuff’. This includes letting go of books, CD’s, clothes and other ‘stuff’ I have carried across town, across the state, across the nation and across continents. I will keep what I love, what is meaningful, what belongs in the life I intend to create.

Decision #4: I am paying off 80% of debt (assumes a close to full price offer on house) which will allow me to make different decisions about work and contracts. Only thing that will remain will be 12509264_1549410212015766_3412091072243008118_ncar and student loans (woe is me I will pay these till I die).

So here I sit, in my very clean house. It has been shown a few times since it went on the market. There have been four open houses too. Every morning I wake up and run around like a mad woman, making certain everything is in its place, nothing is hanging out of a drawer and all the animals are in their kennels before I leave the house. Every single day, I hope the odds are with me and someone will like all the upgrades I have made and they will say, ‘Yes, this is the one I want’.

In the meantime, the contract I have been working since last May is hanging by a thread. I am still working but not enough hours. I am looking for the next one and hoping hard it comes soon. I am hoping all the stars align and the house sells, the next contract is one that I have been talking to for a couple of weeks now and will give me a great opportunity to do something really different in a new / old city for 18 months at a great rate. If not this one, well there are a couple of others that might be great also, right here in town. I am hoping all the stars align and maybe one would lead to a full time job where I could maybe, just maybe end my career without any more contracts. Wouldn’t that be better than what I have been doing for far too many years?

So, as I make life altering choices my focus shifts. Some of it hurts. Some of it is simply scary. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and think to myself, ‘what the hell, what are you doing, are you stupid or simply crazy?’ I think all of that, then I simply shrug my shoulders and think, ‘Well, it won’t be the first time you have had to start over’.

Letting Go

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The fire licks at my hips

Climbing higher, burning hotter

The pedestal you set me on

Constructed of kindling

Set aflame by your imagination

By your fury

At unmet demands

Of submission and compliance

Broken by a simple, no more

Never seeing me, hearing me

Begging for simple things

Setting me on a pedestal

Of your expectations

Only to light the hottest fire

Burning to cinders, the me

Of reality, of tarnished wings

Of nightmares, of monsters

Of need and fears

The fire engulfs my heart

You lit your history under my feet

Forgetting I am not them

Your fire of fury has freed me

Unfurled and bound no more

Impossible to stand upon a pedestal

Of kindling and demands

14-March-2016

14-March-2016

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