Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On the Verge

Dear Diary,
I'm on the verge.

There are many things right now that I am on the brink of resolving.  Things that are half-done, waiting for completion.  The trouble is, they are out of my control to resolve.  So I remain on the verge.....
Two job interviews (for the same job) and still waiting for THE phone call.
With a 2-hour nap this morning and some (more) Advil down my throat, I am a cold (or something worse) waiting to happen. 
Phone calls to a couple of friends, unreturned. 
Painstakingly researching rentals (darn dog), finally committing to a condo on the Gulf Coast in December, and praying no one gets it booked before we send in our lease.
Planning and prepping for a church function, which is a month away, for which I rely on others' participation for its success. [Nativity Walk, Immanuel Lutheran in E. Dundee, December 1! Come one and come all!]

Piles of yarn ready for my crochet hook, books waiting to be devoured, and movies waiting to be viewed, but time must be managed well to partake in these offerings.

It's unsettling - -maybe even SCARY (thank you for indulging me on that Halloween reference) -- to have things hanging in the air, especially too many things.  I derive satisfaction, and sometimes even happiness, from resolution.  Who doesn't?  Give me heaven, not purgatory! 

Time to find my Vitamin C lozenges,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Killing Time or Filling Time?

Dear Diary,
I walked a new path yesterday morning.

We moms have the pleasure of dealing with down time.  That 20-40 minutes of time spent between dropping one kid off at soccer, bringing another to piano lessons, and waiting that half-hour or more until said children need to be picked up again.  It's not long enough to go home and come back, and if we are lucky, we can run to a store to pick up milk or other needed item.  We can feel really efficient on those days-- when we've put our down time to "good use."

But sometimes the stores aren't open at 8:00 a.m., or they aren't within 5 minutes of the drop-off point.  That's when we need our office or our library in our car.

Oooh, I got 20 minutes.  Did I leave my book at home? 
Rats, I left the mail on the counter; could've run to the post office. 
Where's my iPad car charger, I can't finish my game of Solitaire!

We moms are masters of efficiency, even in our down time.

Take yesterday.  Probably our last 75-degree day of the season.  I had 30 minutes of  time to kill, er, down time, after dropping the kids at school, and before going to the dentist.  The library isn't open then, but there is an area behind it I have been curious about.  I decided to use that time to go see it.  It's a designated open space called Library Springs.  Here is my mini photo album.

These boots were made for walkin'. 
After a couple of days of rain, and going into uncharted territory, I wasn't taking any chances!
A few paces into the woods and I found this growing out of a tree. Can you see it?

When I walked around the tree to get a better shot, I found another!  There were more, even higher, in other trees.  Cool!

OK, that's not my photo. 
But imagine seeing six deer high-tail it across your path.  That is what happened! 

I saw a few springs along the way.  This is just one I happened to take a pic of.
Hard to tell, but I was up high, looking down onto the spring in the distance.
All this (and my other undocumented sightings) was just a 20-minute walk through the forest behind one local library.  Not a bad way to  kill -- I mean fill -- those minutes!
Fleetingly Yours,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

That Thing I Can't Have

Dear Diary,

Have you ever wanted what you couldn't have?  That thing that remains elusive, perhaps always in sight, but never grasped?

As children, the things we want are usually in the form of a present.  Didn't matter if a birthday or Christmas was coming, a present received any time was awesome

As teens, its usually the relational things.  Good looks.  A boy/girl friend.  A zit-free face.  A bff.

As adults it gets more serious.  A job.  A job interview.  A place of your own that is NOT in your parents' basement.  A husband or wife.  A family.  Financial stability.

Though at times these things feel unobtainable, people do eventually get some of their desires.

Dear Diary, do you know what I want?

A vibrato. 

That little waver in your voice that all the good singers have.  I've tried to get one of those, but I can't figure out how.  I've tried relaxing my throat.  I've tried tensing my throat.  I've tried singing real loud to give it a chance to come shining through.  I've tried pushing through my diaphragm (please, you know what I mean).  And, yes, I've tried doing the fake vibrato, but it's, well, fake.

At this point in my life I fear I shall never grasp the secret to a vibrato-filled singing voice.   I've tried and failed. I'm vibrato-less. (OK, I admit I may keep trying in the privacy of my shower stall.)

So I will have to pursue some other dangling carrot just out of my reach.  I wonder if anyone has tried to break the sound barrier with their body?  Hmmmmm.

Until next time,

Monday, October 22, 2012

Got Feelings? There's a Descriptor for That!

Dear Diary,

I have one of those blessed relationships with my parents.  I actually enjoy being with them.  But since they are retired beach-combers and I am a mid-western soccer mom  ("soccer" is used loosely btw), I can only be in their presence a couple of times a year due to the distance between us.  Which means while we anticipate those joyous "hellos," we also have the teary "goodbyes."  Today was a goodbye day, and I will continue my day with a lump in my throat and an unusually sensitive nature.

This brings me to my thought process for the day.
I was thinking about feelings, and how we describe our physical bodies (especially our hearts) when we feel them.  Take two obvious opposites:  happy and sad.

If I were to use any of the following words -- empty, broken, drained, heavy, down -- I would be describing sadness.

Likewise, these words (which happen to be completely opposite) -- full, whole, overflowing, light, high -- would convey happiness.  I don't think anyone would describe an emptiness or hollowness as being a happy emotion. 

There are universal descriptors to describe universal feelings.    Am I the only one who finds this cool?  (I am in such a philosophical mood. Tomorrow I'll be, like, who cares?)

I'm glad to know that others know what I am feeling. 

OK, let me qualify that.  I'm glad to know that other people who get along with their parents know what I am feeling today.

Funkily yours,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Would You Rather...?

Dear Diary,
I hope that I'm not the only one who plays silly mind games.  There is one that is now at a retailer near you called "Would You Rather?"  It is a game of annoying (and many times gross) questions that have no relevance to my life but are amusing or bothersome enough to discuss for entertainment purposes.  (At least my children think so.)

Here is an example.
Would you rather paint a wall with a cotton swab or would you rather paint a wall with your tongue?  Irrelevant, yes; thought-provoking but senseless, sure.  Here's another one.

Would you rather be deaf or blind?

While taking a walk this morning, I had this thought:
There is no language to describe God's creation. 
I was walking in silence (mainly because I forgot my ipod shuffle) and taking in my surroundings at the time this popped up. Could I describe what I saw to a blind person? No way. And I'm just talking about trees and leaves here, not beaches, mountains, gardens, or other wonders of the world.
I have only scratched the surface of deaf culture and language.  As a hearing person, I know what beautiful sounds they are missing.  But they are not missing it-- many having never heard it in the first place.  Despite my misguided thoughts on how much deaf people are missing, here is the bottom line.  People without hearing have the advantage of both communication and the ability to see their surroundings.

Can I describe color, birds flitting, flowers blooming, leaves falling, waves crashing, or a child's face to someone who can't see?  I can talk myself blue in the face but they still won't "see" what I do.

My visual world is so important to me.  I take my cues on how to act, where to go, and what to do or say next based on what I see. My emotions are often ignited by what I see. That is why I believe there is no language to describe this world to someone who can't see it.  

[I'll take this a step further:  What about heaven?  I can't see it, and in Revelation poor John has tried to describe it in terms humans can understand.  As God-inspired as the Bible is, I'm sure John's attempt is still a poor representation of what is really waiting for me there.]

Although it is an irrelevant question, my mind still plays those silly games, and I have to answer it so that I can get on with more productive thoughts.  I guess now I have my answer.

If you have any thoughts to share, I'm all ears,


Monday, October 15, 2012

Take Note

Dear Diary,

Today I have many scraps of paper littering the surface of the computer desk. 
  • A calendar I printed out specifically to help me prepare (and therefore not stress out about) for the upcoming Nativity Walk that I organize at my church. Volunteers, ahem?
  • A post-it displaying in pink highlighter the function key that needs to be pressed every time we start this computer.  I don't understand the reason, I just know if I don't heed it, the mouse won't work.
  • A list of friends' prayer requests, ones I usually glean from Facebook, emails and blogs.
  • A recipe for eggless, edible cookie dough my daughter wrote out from the internet -- probably Pinterest.  BTW am I the only one thoroughly confused by Pinterest?
  • Two scrap pages of research on pet-friendly gulf coast accommodations for Christmas break.  I love VRBO and Trip Advisor!
  • And a budget sheet I worked up this morning.  We are exactly half way through the month and my budget money is exactly 80% gone.  It's time for a raise.  No, no, less spending is NOT the answer I am looking for, so don't even think about putting that in the comments, Aunt Katybelle!
I read Jon Acuff's blog today and I identify with what he said, which includes in part:
"Make sure, as you chase a dream, you give your family and your friends and your faith the best of your time and creativity, not just the rest of your time and creativity."
I will add that it's not just in the chasing of dreams but in everyday life as well.  I see that in my household too much; family members getting "the rest" of each other's time.  I indict myself too.

I think that I shall write another note for my desktop that reads:

Right now, since no other human is presently at home, my fill-in-the-blank is "Flash."  That is our goldfish currently on hospice.  Seriously, he has been on his death bed for three days.  Just when we think its over he moves a fin or tail.  It has been hard to watch him lie there, pale and helpless, but is it more compassionate to let nature slowly take him or to send him ever-so-slightly prematurely down the porcelain waterslide to his final resting place?  Where is PETA when you need them?  It is a quandary. 

Well, I have been a little random today, but this IS a diary after all.  Who is your fill-in-the-blank today?  A phone call to a friend?  A chat with a family member?  (Or visitation with a pet?)

RIP Flash,

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Did I Happen to Mention...?

Dear Diary,
These days I seem to be just flyin' by the seat of my pants, and that includes the topic for today.  I don't know what thoughts will be flying off these typing fingers.....

I could mention the leaky windows we have yet to replace, one of which I am sitting near on this breezy, 50 degree day. 

I could mention that I took the bird to the vet today, for which he received a steroid shot to somehow possibly heal his lame foot, and I received a nice little bill.

I could mention how intensely heated the political realm is and what an idiot a certain presidential candidate is, but I think I vowed not to talk politics here (reference the definition of "pleasant" in my last post).  Plus the language gets too racy for decent folk.

I could mention that I got contacted for a job interview tomorrow, and yes, I have done a few Happy Dances as a result.

I could mention how great my kids and husband are, and that behind all great kids and husbands is a great mom and wife.

I could mention that I still think about a moment after my third daughter was born almost 12 weeks premature, with two preschoolers at home, and me still recovering from a physically and mentally traumatic birth experience.  I was at Walmart at 10:00 at night and just wanted to get home to crash (a ten 'oclock trip to Walmart is no leisure shopping trip).  I finished unloading my cart and put it aside the car, rather than heft it to the cart corral.  Suddenly, out of the cold darkness comes the holler of some lady (some random lady, my kids would say) in the parking lot, reaming me out for being lazy with the cart.  Really?  Is your life so bad that you need to get your cheap power kicks off some poor, unsuspecting, random stranger who is living close to a nightmare?

Did I mention that that was over 9 years ago?  That tells you what kind of person I am. 
I need to let it go.   As much as I was hurt and offended by this person, and as much as I needed to attend to my own needs, I do believe I went home and prayed for her.  It was my only defense.

Note to self:  A helping hand is much better than a sharp word.

Helping hand?  Sharp word?  I know which act I would want a stranger or friend to remember me for, especially if it's remembered more than 9 years later!

Letting go,

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What's It All About?

Dear Diary,

From my window I can watch it burn.
Well, more like smolder. 
No, I'm not talking about passion or anger. 
It's the leaves.

I have spent a lovely Fall morning, gray though it is, getting Leaf Layer #1 bagged and burned.  Perfect sweatshirt weather.  And with the energy spent, perhaps it's a little too warm for a cup of steamy, sinus pleasing tea.  Nope, for me refueling only requires a glass of water and a cookie.

The farmers are harvesting across the street.  I like living this close to the country and also this close to the convenience of the burbs.  If I have to live in the Midwest, this is okay.

To the point, this is not a day where I want to be aggressively looking for a job. This is a pleasant day to be "working at home."   While watching the smoldering leaves, I was thinking about this blog.  What's it all about?

I don't read many blogs.  I've not been exposed to many and haven't sought any out either.  [If you have a blog, tell me!  I would love to see it!]  I know someone who started blogging about 10 years ago.  Yes, before Facebook and iPads.  I didn't "get it" at the time. 

Now blogging is commonplace.  You've got bloggers who love a hobby and want to share their love and expertise:  cooking, home decorating, travel, antiques, books, you name it.  You've got bloggers who have certain opinions and want to share their politics and advice:  education, social welfare, democracy, religion.  You've got bloggers who have had certain experiences and want to share their story and (hopefully) provide hope:  depression, substance abuse, adoption, divorce, parenting.

Where does my Not So Secret Diary fit in?  I'm not a hobby-ist.  I avoid politics except on debate and voting day.  And though I've had my experiences, I would bore you with the details. 

Let's go back to the word pleasant.  Here are its synonyms.  (Thank you,!)
affable, agreeable, amiable, amusing, bland, charming, cheerful, civil, civilized, congenial, convivial, cool, copacetic, cordial, delectable, delightful, diplomatic, enchanting, engaging, enjoyable, fine, fun, genial, good-humored, gracious, gratifying, homey, jolly, jovial, kindly, likable, lovely, mild, mild-mannered, nice, obliging, pleasing, pleasurable, polite, refreshing, satisfying, social, soft, sweet, sympathetic, urbane, welcome

Who knew there could be so many?
Here are its antonyms.
bothersome, disagreeable, hateful, nasty, troubling, unacceptable, unfriendly, unhappy, unpleasant, worrisome
So while I don't have the desire to write soley about the virtues of dusting the top of the fridge, or converting you to Christianity (specifically Lutheranism, feel free to look it up), or why bugs are important to our ecosystem,
I DO want to be pleasant. 
Don't you?
Copacetic-ly yours,