Thursday, September 20, 2012

it's almost fall...

I have been woefully neglectful of my blog recently.  There's been vacation, busy time at work before our annual event, and me trying to get my house organized.  My kitchen is actually looking good and I'm slowly getting my stockpile of beauty- related products organized in the linen closets.  The problem with couponing is that if you don't stay on top of your purchases, you suddenly have bags of shampoo and body wash cluttering your floor.

It's a work in progress, but it's almost done.   And then I will attempt to conquer the sun room.

Maybe by the end of the year, my house will be decluttered and organized and I'll be able to begin 2013 without feeling bogged down with stuff.


Most of my writing has been getting done in notebooks recently as I tend to have computer blahs after a long day at work.  I'm feeling the creative itch though - antsy and overflowing with ideas and just a need to do something.  Hopefully, that will overpower my lack of interest in my computer.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

a bucket list of learning...

Happy Wishcasting Wednesday.  If you're not sure what that is, consider checking it out - You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt above on your blog and then add a direct link to your post in the box below. Support wishes by visiting other participants, leaving a comment saying “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together.

This week Jamie asks us:

courtesy of we heart it

“The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” - T.H. White "The Once and Future King"

I wish to learn to draw and paint and embrace my creative side without my inner critic running amuck.  I wish to learn new languages and how to cook and to continue to learn to be a better writer.  I wish to learn to love myself as I am, but also learn that change is possible if I really want it.  I wish to learn that life is what we make of it and to truly believe that I am capable of whatever I aspire to.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

experiences worth having...

It's Wishcasting Wednesday.  I haven't been as focused on making my weekly wishes recently, but I am going to rectify that situation.  I just have to get myself to believe it's okay to take a few minutes for myself even on the busiest of days.

Today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you." -- Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

I wish to experience freedom from my own trappings.  I want to escape from my head and all the reasons why I shouldn't do certain things - why I shouldn't put myself first - and allow things to happen.  I wish to experience life instead of being so scared of what could happen.  So scared that it paralyzes me from doing anything.  It's not a life I think is worth living.  It definitely won't make me happy, so it's time to work on changing that.

What do you wish for?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

a voice all my own

Tomorrow I will actually remember to do a recap/update on my Row80 progress and goals.  I've actually started meeting my daily requirements, mostly by reminding myself that it's okay to take a little time each day for myself to just write.  I've also had to constantly remind myself that it doesn't have to be great writing on  the first go...I just need to get the words flowing.

What motivated me to actually blog today, aside from the fact that I can finally breathe again at work, is this email I received today.  I've been putting some questions out in the universe lately, a lot to do with my issues/anger/sadness with my mother and letting go of the hurt/forgiving versus whatever I am now (not so forgiving).  And today, I received an email that was just this quote:

"The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice." - Peggy O'Mara

I've come to accept that a lot of the crap my mother put on my shoulders starting at a very young age was all her own issues.  I was just there and accessible and maybe in her own way she was trying to help me, but I grew up always feeling wrong, bad, ugly, stupid and fat.  I remember when I was four years old I was told that I had to switch to skim milk because I was heavy.  And I took that for absolute truth throughout my childhood and teen years and I look back now at pictures and think, "What was she smoking?  I wasn't fat.  I was a cute kid."

My mother's favorite saying with me for the first thirty years of my life was, "I'm your mother.  I have to be brutally honest with you because no one else will."  And here I am, three and a half years after she died, still reeling from all the things that she convinced me of.  It's so hard to undo - I feel guilty when I put myself first. I think I'm being selfish and bad and wrong.  I even feel horrible when I talk about my mother in negative terms in therapy - like I'm a bad daughter who shouldn't say anything and should just suck it up.

The thing is I want to forgive her and accept that she's human.  I know she wasn't out to be malicious with me.  she did love me in her way, whatever that was, and probably didn't even realize that she was taking all of her sadness/anger with her life out on me.  But I'm still not there.  Her voice is still my inner voice and it hates me and her at varying levels on different days.

So I slowly try to replace that voice each day.  I've started to learn to catch myself when I say something irrational and mean about myself.  I've started to reason with my inner voice...and maybe one day I won't automatically think wrong, bad, ugly, stupid and fat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

You wanna be starting something...

It's Wishcasting Wednesday and today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started." - Dawson Trotman

I wish to start writing every day.  I've re-begun my morning pages so I am doing the three handwritten pages a day, but despite signing up for Row80, I haven't been doing any writing beyond that except for the first few days.  Part of it is that work has been busy and I suddenly have a social life of sorts that requires me to stop being a hermit on my time off from writing keeps taking a back seat.  Even when I do have time, I keep choosing to do other things - I need to catch up on my coupons, let me organize my closet, etc.  

I need to create a small niche of time that is just my own for writing.  Even if I end up writing pure drivel that should never cross another person's line of vision.  If I want to be a published author, I can't just wish it into fruition, I have to put in the effort.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Row 80: round three goals

Row 80 is officially underway.  I'm a bit late on stating directly exactly what I hope to accomplish with this challenge.  Maybe not the brightest idea on my part to start a challenge while on vacation through the fourth of July. However, I have been doing my writing, just not on a computer.  I'm currently working a new YA book idea that I had last Friday.  I don't know where it will go at the moment, but I wanted to at least get some of it down before it disappeared into the ether of my brain.

My goals, what I want to accomplish this round:

1) restart my Artist's Way morning pages every morning - this is a habit I miss

2) write at least 250 words a day

3) This one is mostly mental, but I want to allow myself to make mistakes and try to get better with the idea that perfection is highly unlikely, especially in a first draft.  I often spend so much time fussing over one paragraph that I never move on.

I think if I can accomplish these goals, I'll be able to get myself back on track with my writing.  I'm not sure when or how I fell out of practice and just stopped doing it, but it's time to rectify that situation.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Row 80: a newbie try

I heard about Row 80 a little while ago, but between life and the fact that it was already in the middle of a round, I figured it was better to put it off (I know, story of my life and something I'm working on). Round 3 starts on July 2, 2012 and I've decided to take part.  I've done writing challenges before and I do find that the accountability and goal-setting tends to help me more than it harms me.  Over the years, I've learned to keep it challenging but reasonable, based on what is going on in my life and what I can honestly undertake.  I've learned the hard way what unrealistic goals lead to and it's never pretty.

I'm still percolating on the specific goals that I want to accomplish and I have a few days to finalize, but overall I want to:

  • write every day
  • get back to my Artist's Way morning pages (which would be in addition to my write every day word count)
  • write at least two stories

interesting day in the world...

I usually keep politics out of this blog.  It's not that I'm embarrassed of my leanings.  I'm a liberal, Jersey girl, and I'm proud of that, but usually it doesn't affect the things I'm battling in my day-to-day life.  So I keep it out of the blog and leave it to my twitter and such.  

But I have to comment on how happily surprised I am by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, including the mandate.  I definitely did not expect Chief Justice Roberts to be the one to uphold the 5-4 ruling.  Again, pleasantly surprised.  I partially think part of it was that when he was confirmed, he spent a great deal of time talking about the importance of separating politics and the judicial branch.  And it's also been rumored that he's been upset by the views the American public currently have of the Supreme Court (that it is, in fact, majorly political), so I wonder if that affected it?  I'm sure there are many scholars who will talk about this ad nauseam better than I could, so I'll leave that to them.  I'll just say that I'm glad it was upheld and all the crazy tea party people (who I still maintain don't understand history or the real tea party) swearing we now live in a dictatorship sure don't seem to think that way when it comes to a woman controlling her own body.  I think this is good for the country.  It's good for the people to have health care and it's good for the economy.


In other news, building on yesterday's wischasting, I received this daily email as a reminder:

On this day of your life, Mare, I believe God wants you to know...
...that it is never safe to look into the future with eyes
of fear.

Edward H. Harriman said that, and he was right. Nothing
is fearful lest thinking make it so. I can honestly say that
probably 95% of the things I was afraid of, it turned out
I had no reason to be. 

And even if the thing you fear what? Again,
95% of the time your world is not going to fall apart, your
life will not be in danger. So drop fear by the wayside.
Just... let it go. Then make way for a surprising tomorrow.

I'm trying not to let fear reign over my daily life.  I know fear will never completely go away, I think it's just part of the genetic make-up of most of us, but I can learn how not to let it control everything.  It's hard, but I'm working on it. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

holding onto faith

Dear universe:

I'm trying to understand your plans for me.  I'm trying to be optimistic and hopeful and not give up on my dreams.  But I feel like every time I start to get a grip on life and what I need to do and where I need to go, something new happens.  Like ending up in the emergency room with a kidney infection.  What are you trying to teach me?  What am I missing here?  Because, no offense, some days, it's really hard to have faith.

A questioning Mare


It's Wishcasting Wednesday, my friends!  This is always a favorite.

Today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"A dream is a wish your heart makes when you're fast asleep.  In dreams you will lose your heartaches.  Whatever you wish for, you keep.  Have faith in your dreams, and someday, your rainbow will come smiling through.  No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true." - Cinderella (Disney version)

You would think a question like this should be easy enough.  If it's in your heart, it should leap out of the page (or website) and hit you right in the gut, making everything suddenly make sense.  Of course, nothing in life really is so simple, at least not for me, and I've been pondering this question for the better part of twenty minutes.  What is my heart's wish?'s...wish?

To learn to overcome my own fears and worries that I'm just not good enough and just do the things that I know will make me happy.  I'm the queen of second guessing every little thing and I just want to live more in the moment, do what I feel is right and not worry so much about every possible catastrophe.  I feel like I need to remind myself that I'm much stronger than I think to give myself credit for.  I've survived a lot in my life and I'll survive more.  I am capable and deserving.

So I guess, my heart's wish is to stop being afraid of the "what if" all the time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

to be delighted...

It seems that as soon as I feel like "hey, things are ok," I am reminded how sad my state of affairs currently is.  I just had to spend money on a new washer and dryer, only to find out that people who had my house before made some sort of makeshift draining system that confounded my plumber (it's never good to hear, "I'm not sure how your basement hasn't flooded by now") and cost nine hundred dollars to fix.  Seriously, universe, what are you trying to tell me?  What do I need to learn so I can move on from the woe-is-me phase of things?

In good news, I managed to get my room cleaned and decluttered.  Next is the stockpile from couponing.  My sister and I have enough toothpaste to last a few years at this point (and I didn't pay for any of it - viva la coupons!), but it was just all over the place.  I finally had to put my foot down as our house was starting to look like an episode of Hoarders.

Slowly trying to get rid of my mother's stuff.  I have finally let go of any feelings of sentimentality and guilt that I've had about the possibility of selling/donating/trashing her things.  Both her and my father were pack rats and I'm drowning in stuff.  Argh.

Also good - I have been off all soda for 47 days today.  It has not been easy and some days I really want a Coke, but I drink my water and if I need something sweet, I have a glass of Newman's Own Lemonade.  I now want to turn my success with soda into success with snacking.

Even better than good?   Today is wishcasting Wednesday.  I've been neglecting the lovely circle of wishcasters and I resolve to correct that immediately.

Today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"Quit hanging on to the handrails....Let Go.  Surrender.  Go for the ride of your life.  
Do it every day." - Melodie Beattie

Building on what I wrote above, I wish to delight in some sense of stability and organization in my life.  I feel like things are in chaos - emotionally and physically - and I keep having these dreams of just packing up my car with what I need and moving on.  No strings attached.  Nothing to hold me back.  While I'm not quite ready to just abandon my house and job and such, I do think my subconscious wants me to free myself a bit.  

I wish to breathe easily, without fear and what if thoughts bogging me down.  I wish to delight in all the small triumphs I make on my way and to remember them when things are tough and I need proof that I am capable.  I wish to feel like I'm flying or riding in a ferris wheel like the one in the picture, looking out into the distance, wind brushing against my cheeks and the sun giving way to night.  Free and happy.

What do you wish for?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

this house is not a home

I decided that no matter what I am making time for myself today to take part in Wishcasting Wednesday.  It's always a great thing to ponder and focus on and I love the interaction with the other wishcasters.  Things have been busy and I've been feeling woe-is-me lately, but I'm only punishing myself by ignoring the things that I love.

Today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"Until you value yourself, you will not value your time.  Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it." - M. Scott Peck

It's funny and serendipitous that this question comes up after I just finished a therapy session where I spent a large time talking about my house and the things that need to get done that I keep feeling paralyzed by.  I'm so bogged down by resentment about the house situation I'm in (that originally was not of my making, but it's my own doing that I've let it go on) and so overwhelmed by the amount of stuff just taking up the house.  Both my parents were pack rats.  And in the past year, my sister and I have become hardcore couponers with a growing stockpile.  Except it's currently all over the place and unorganized, driving the Virgo in my more than a little insane.  My mother moved all her crap from place to place and now it's sitting in my sun room in boxes out the wazoo because I still haven't gone through it all.  A part of it is just that there is so much and it always falls to me to do this stuff and it's not fair.  Another part of it is that I feel slightly guilty that I feel no sentimental attachment to any of it.  If I could legally do it without destroying the house or hurting someone, I would just set the big pile of crap on fire and call it a day.    Mostly though, I think about everything that has to be done, get overwhelmed and can't focus on doing it in baby steps.  Like with everything else, baby steps are a good thing to remember.  Instead of trying to conquer a lifetime worth of stuff, I should focus on one section of a room at a time.  

There are so many things I'd like to do for my house and not all require a ton of money (which is very tight). So my wish for my home is that it starts to feel more like a house than a prison by me taking things little by little and sorting it out.  And if we could also qualify for a lower mortgage rate by refinancing, that would be great too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

it's wishcasting wednesday & van halen is stuck in my head

It's Wishcasting Wednesday and today Jamie asks:

"So long as you have courage and a sense of humor, it is never too late to start life afresh." - Freeman Dyson

I wish to jump back into my writing.  Since January, I've been very lackadaisical with my writing.  I stopped my morning pages randomly and haven't restarted them (and I definitely feel it).  I don't really allot time in my day/week for writing/creative playing like I should.  I've been focusing on other things - things that did need attention and were driving me crazy - but I need to learn to still allow for my writing.  So it's back to writing and working on my YA novel and sharing stories with friends and taking part in the Indie Ink Challenge.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Close my eyes, jump and fly...

I'm having a bit of a day.  There are things going on with a co-worker that bring up my own bad memories and make me think of less than stellar moments.  I had a tough therapy session, which I logically know is a good thing, but has left me feeling wiped.  And the sun has disappeared behind the clouds and I just wish I could curl up and sleep away the rest of this day.  I'm trying not to steal my own joy, but sometimes I get in my own way so very easily.

It is wishcasting Wednesday though, and that always makes me feel better, contemplate a little bit, and share with other lovely wishers & dreamers.

Today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that frightens us.  We ask ourselves, 'who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn't serve the world.  There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson

I wish to rise above my own limitations, the voice that tells me not to try, to not dream big because it will end in failure and I'm not good enough or deserving enough or whatever-enough that my head thinks up.  I am truly my own worst enemy.  I spent much of my hour of therapy today talking about how I am horrible to myself and I need to stop getting in my own way so much.  I don't let myself enjoy even small victories without a voice in my head telling me, "Yeah, but you didn't do that and this is stupid and..."

I need to stop this.  Even if I can't bring myself to challenge my inner demons at the moment, I can shut them up and stop listening to them.  I can rise above the power they hold on me and let myself jump free.  It will definitely be scary, but if I've learned nothing else from my life it's that I'm a survivor.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

it's a sleepy wishcasting day...

Today was a long, busy day.  It seems that managers in my office sit on work for weeks at a time and then expect it to get done ohmigodrighthtissecondbecauseit'sDUE.  And hey, I'm a huge procrastinator.  If I could make a living at procrastinating, I'd probably become productive just to procrastinate.  However, I don't put off work, especially if other people will need to be involved.  Oh well, what can I do?

Breathe in, breathe out.

I do love Wednesdays though because it's wishcasting time and today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"Our strength grows out of our weaknesses." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wish to be whole.  Healthy, not wasting my life in fear, but grabbing hold of it and flying, and happy.  My weight and health are huge issues for me. I'm not naive enough to think that all my problems will disappear if I wake up healthy and fit, but it would go along way to helping me.  I want to embrace small successes so that one day I can see how far I've come.

I want to grow and stretch and learn and cry and laugh.  I want to try everything instead of putting it on a bucket list that I never touch.  I want to become the me I'm meant to be.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

the universe and self-esteem and a wish or two or three...

Apparently the universe doesn't want to hear me whine.  I had this whole little spiel typed out about my own meanness toward myself and how I don't feel like I'm moving forward in fixing myself and how frustrating it is.  Bah.  It continues to be the great issue of my life.  I have no self esteem and while it began with my mother, I learned to go with it and I'm just so hard on myself.  It's hard to have self esteem when you constantly hate yourself for ridiculous and untrue reasons.  It's the getting it through my head that I'm not this monster I've conjured that is the trouble.  Sometimes it's hard to see how far I've come with therapy over the past three years, but the I am a lot better, just impatient and too hard on myself.

But it's March and the weather here is gorgeous and I'm finally free of the plague and sinus woes and allergic reactions that caused me to break out in hives.  I'm feeling pretty good.  I woke up today feeling like I could conquer the world.  I wish I could bottle that feeling so I'd have it for the not-so-great-days.

Also on the bright side, it's wishcasting wednesday, and today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit." - EE Cummings

I have to admit, on first glance at this question, I didn't really have an immediate answer that popped out of me.  Usually, I just know the answer, but today, I found myself going back and forth and really thinking about this.  What is my spirit wishing for?

And I think it falls in line with my therapy today and all the emotions bogging me down and how I treat myself.  My spirit is wishing for healing and compassion and some acknowledgement that the two are intertwined.  I need to be patient and understanding with myself, the same way I would be with someone else.

So it's actually kind of simple and yet oh-so-hard.

What's your wish?

As you wish for yourself, so I truly wish for you also!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's bound to be a better ride than what you've got planned...

It's Wednesday.  I am still battling illness of doom, but at least it's no longer bronchitis.  It's now a bad sinus infection - I'm not sure why that's better, but my doctor seemed to think it was progress.  Unfortunately the hacking cough and grossness still hasn't gone away.  And this is why, when co-workers come in all sickly in the future, I will wear a mask like I'm a commuter in Japan or something.

My note from the universe today was something I could do with remembering more often:

It may seem a bit backwards for some, Mare, but the first step on might take towards rearranging the present circumstances of their life is to stop dwelling upon the present circumstances of their life.

But for you it's probably a no-brainer.

The Universe

I wish I could say it was a no-brainer, but I do tend to get bogged down by what's going on in the minute.  I also tend to then take that and freak out about possible horrible futures.  It's a strange thing.  I'm actually a pretty optimistic gal, but when it comes to myself, my own well being and my own successes/failures, I can be a horrible pessimist.  I continue to work on that.

One of the great things about Wednesday, aside from the work week being halfway through, is that it's wishcasting Wednesday.  Today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"Oh!  Do not attack me with your watch.  A watch is always too fast or too slow.  I cannot be dictated to by a watch." - Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

I have this nasty habit of making strange deadlines in my own head of where I should be with my life and start to get angry with myself because I'm not there.  It's not productive and usually leads to me wallowing about wondering why I'm bothering - as though thirty-six is so old and beyond accomplishing great things.  It's bizarre and negative and wrong.  I view time as my enemy and it's not.

I wish to spend my time without worry about what should be and focus on what I want and accomplishing it, without fear and hesitation and getting caught up in the too late mantra.

I wish to spend my time exploring myself and the world through those eyes, embracing creativity and spirituality and all those other great -ity words.

I wish to laugh and cry and face my fears with courage.

I wish to remember that each second counts and it's no use to me to spend those precious moments caught up in games of "what if" and "i suck" and "bah! humbug!"

What do you wish for?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

a wish for the world

Turns out I had bronchitis last week.  I'm starting to feel better, though it seems to have moved from my chest to rest in my sinuses and I can currently barely hear.  Dear ears, please drain out.  Love, Me.

It's Wednesday, only two days left to the work week before a long weekend, I'm starting to feel better and I had a good therapy session today.  i can't complain too much.  

And to top it off, it's wishcasting wednesday.  Today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Martin Luther King Jr.

This is a very fitting question given what is going on in the world at the moment.  Syrian citizens are being killed and attacked by their own government.  Israel and Iran are on the verge of war and bombing.  And here in my area, last week, a guy pulled his two little boys into the house with him and set it on fire, killing them all.  The world can be a very scary place.  I wish, just for a moment, that everyone could step back and try to see things from another's point of view.  It can be hard and scary (lordy knows I have issues with it).  I wish that peace could prevail over greed and power.  I wish that people would actually stand up and say, "I see what is going on and I won't tolerate it" instead of thinking there is nothing they can do and/or choosing to do nothing.

Hey wishcasters, who is on Pinterest?  If you are, share your links.  I can be found here.  If you're not on Pinterest, I can send you an invite as it's fun and addictive.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Indie Ink: Another Life Lesson

Note to self:  For future reference, when Megan tells you she has an omg!brilliant idea for how to spend Friday night, do not listen.  Stay home, put on ratty pajamas, and watch Sixteen Candles or one of those other movies about high school kids who were much cooler than self.

I was going to kill someone.  Loud music emanated around the room so loud that I could feel the beat in my chest, but it was nowhere near as shrill as the laughter of the drunk girl sitting next to me.  She kept touching me like we hadn't just met five minutes ago and kept singing the wrong verses to the songs followed by a bout of giggling.

No one told me that the only way to actually enjoy a fraternity party was to be super drunk so the sheer idiocy wouldn't register.  

"I don't know about you, but this is the best party I've ever been to," she slurred.  She tried to stand herself up from her spot on the worn leather couch, but ended up falling onto the floor.  She giggled and added, "Awesome."

I was momentarily torn between helping her out and taking a picture on my iPhone of the stupid drunk girl who molested me to share with the world.  My good nature kicked in, but I was too late.  Random drunk girl had crawled across the shag carpet to random drunk guy in a tie-dyed tee-shirt and draped herself across his lap .  It seemed the natural evolution of a party like this.  There would always be kegs of beer, stupid drinking games, disco balls and random drunks to find one another across a dirty carpet.

It turned out that college parties, like most other things in life, were highly overrated.   I wasn't sure what I had expected when I had agreed to come.  Maybe it was just the idea of being a junior in high school sneaking off to a college party with her ne'er-do-well friends, but I had been intrigued by the thought of hot guys who could talk to you about politics as easily as quote the latest South Park episode.  Unfortunately,  the guys at this party seemed incapable of any conversation beyond a basic grunt for more beer.

This had been a huge mistake.  When Megan texted me with the information, sneaking out to a college party had seemed like a good idea, a way to get myself out of the rut of high school and never feeling quite right in my own skin.  It would be one of those things that I could one day wax philosophical about as I remembered how much fun I had and what I learned about myself.  Maybe it would even be like a scene from a stupid teen movie where I meet the great love of my life over a game of quarters.

Instead, I had nearly been thrown up on twice, my friend had ditched me for the promise of a game of darts, and my father the career military ninja, was going murder me when I came home reeking of pot and beer.

"Jamie, there you are!" Megan squealed as she came down the stairs with a shirtless frat boy in tow.  She stumbled toward me - good thing I didn't believe her when she said she'd be the designated driver - and wrapped her arms around my neck from behind the couch.  She petted my head, god only knew why, and said, "Aren't you glad we came?  I'm glad we came!  This is Travis!"

Shirtless frat boy grinned at me and winked.  "Hey."

I rolled my eyes.  College boys were almost worst than the guys in my class.  I tapped my watch and said, "We need to go or we're going to be in trouble."

Megan continued to pet my head.  "Nah.  It's cool.  We've got time.  And Travis has a friend for you."

Travis winked again and said, "I do."

"Gee, thanks, but we really need to go.  Both Megan and I have really overprotective fathers.  And mine is legally allowed to shoot people."


I stood up and made my way around the couch until I could wrap my arm around Megan.  She giggled and said, "Jamie is always so serious."

"Yep.  That's me," I said.  I began to try to move us toward the door, but Travis-the-loser-frat-boy kept getting in my way.  I glared at him and said, "Move."

"My friend really liked you.  And I like Megs.  We can have fun."

"I feel like I'm trapped in a very special episode of a sitcom," I replied.  I grunted as I pushed past Travis and dragged Megan the remainder of the way out of the frat house.  I wasn't sure how college parties got the reputation for being cool, but this was one experience I could cross off my life list.

Megan waved back toward the house to no one as I guided her down the sidewalk.  She shook her head and said, "Party pooper."

"You're never allowed to talk me into some 'important rite of passage' again.  This sucks."

Megan pried free of my grip and almost crashed to the ground.  I managed to snake my arm back around her before she faceplanted into the concrete and pulled her back up.  Megan laughed and then her face quickly drained of color and she frowned.  "Jamie, why is that tree upside down?"

"Oh man.  The only life lesson I'm getting out of this is a long lecture from my dad when I drag your sorry ass back into my house."

"Your dad is hot.  I'd totally date him."

"That's gross and mentally scarring."

"It's a compliment.  You come from hot stock."

"Please stop talking.  I'm already reconsidering our friendship," I commented.  It felt like we had been walking forever, but we had only gotten a few yards from the house.  I peered down the street to wear Megan's car was parked and cursed under my breath. 

Megan rested her head on my shoulder, putting even more of her weight on me, and said, "Don't be silly.  We've been friends forever.  Nothing can come between us!"

I nodded because there really wasn't anything else to say.  I wanted to hate her, but I mostly hated myself for getting into this situation in the first place.  I used to be smarter than this.

Once we reached her car, there was another ordeal to pull the keys out of her jacket pocket and get Megan situated in the passenger seat.  I slid into the driver's seat and glanced at the dashboard.  I groaned and rested my head against the steering wheel.  This was just not my night.

Note to self #2: Learn how to drive stick shift.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, lisa challenged me with "I don't know about you, but this is the best party I've ever been to! she drunkenly slurred." and I challenged Sir with "she came to and her whole life was how she remembered it"

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

breathing in and out, slowly...

Once again I'm just getting to wishcasting at the end of the day.  The past few days I've been battling an evil cold/sinus infection of doom because people I work with come in sick, spread germs everywhere and then seem perplexed when everyone else catches their shit.  Argh.  I hate colds.  They're evil and I'm a baby.

Onto brighter things...wishcasting.  Today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits." - Thomas Jefferson

This seems fitting on a day when I'm cursing my inability to breathe easily without a fit of coughs.  I wish to attract good health.  I wish to attract the strength to take better care of myself.  I might not be able to avoid every cold that comes along, but I can do my best to limit what happens.  I don't want to end up like my mother.  She didn't take care of herself and she was miserable and died too young.  

What are you wishing for?  

As you wish for yourself, so I truly wish for you also...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Indie Ink: Everything Falls Apart

The apartment started to fall apart around the same time the first cracks in their relationship appeared, Livvie had noticed.  A bad fight about trash and the garbage disposal broke; nights of sleeping on couches and ignoring one another after feelings and egos were hurt matched up with the bathroom’s flooding thanks to a faulty pipe; and almost-indifferent declarations of “what are we even doing?” came about when the coffeemaker had blown up one sullen Sunday morning.  It was no surprise that Steve didn’t want to hear her complaints about their refrigerator. 

What else was left?  What more could they take?

Still, she couldn’t let it go, not quite yet.  She put down her newspaper and held up a spoonful of her breakfast as though she was providing proof in a trial and said, “The milk is warm, Steve.  If the refrigerator was working properly, that wouldn’t happen.”

“Livvie,” he breathed out in an almost-sigh.  There was so much in that one word and yet, none of it mattered.

“I’m serious.  Warm milk is good when you can’t sleep, not so much in Cheerios.”

Steve concentrated his gaze on her and offered up his best placating expression.  “I checked it this morning.  It’s not broken.  It’s just a little hiccup.  It gives it character.”  He said it with the fervor of the pulpit and the agenda of a flimflam man.  Livvie didn’t really believe him – he was a graphic designer, not a handy man – but she found herself acquiescing anyway.

She picked up her paper and swallowed the spoonful of cereal a la gross milk.  She used to enjoy these long silences between the two of them.  It had felt almost romantic in a way, that they could be together doing their own things, and all was right with the world.  Now it was stifling and all she could think about.  Wrong, wrong, wrong…too quiet…wrong.

After her fifth attempt at reading the same line of an article on nuclear disarmament, she gave up and focused her attention on Steve.  He was still handsome to look at, even with bedhead and the wheezing that passed for breathing from his battle with a cold, and a part of her wanted to reach out and touch him.  But she didn’t.  She watched him drawing in his notebook with one hand while he shoveled a bagel into his mouth with the other.  His eyes were shut and she knew he was lost somewhere in his own head.  Sometimes she wished she could visit the places that his imagination traveled to.  Just the two of them, together, lost in between galaxies and dreams and specters only the mind could create.  He would hold her tightly against his chest and she would rest her head on his shoulder just so as she wrapped her arms around his neck.  Things would be the way they were; the way they were meant to be when there wasn't real life and trivial crap to get in the way.

Now it was all flourescent kitchen lights and conversations-that-turned-into-arguments about who was supposed to mail the bills and an apartment that was falling to pieces.   They were battle worn and weary of one another.  They knew each other in ways that proved how much they had loved (or was it loved?  She didn't know any more) each other, but it provided each of them with years' worth of ammo and god, she hated him for it.  She hated it almost as much as she loathed herself for never leaving, but who else was she if not Livvie of Steve-and-Livvie?

After what felt like minutes, but was probably nothing more than a few seconds, Steve opened his eyes and caught her staring at him.  He dropped his pencil and wiped his hand over his face self-consciously.  It created a momentary pang in her chest, seeing how far things had shifted.  Long gone were the enamored gazes and the smiles and blushes that formed when noticed.  If she was staring at Steve, it meant something wasn't quite right.

"It all started with the goddamn garbage disposal, I think," Livvie said. 

"I told you I'd get around to replacing it soon," Steve replied, crossing his arms protectively over his chest.

She hadn't known she had said that out loud.  She hadn't meant to.  But she found herself quickly getting caught up in the moment.  She rolled her eyes at mention of the inevitable soon.

Steve still knew her well.  He shrugged and said, "I need to buy some parts."

Livvie leaned back in her chair.  "It's fine."

"What does that mean?"

"The same thing that soon does, I suppose," she replied.  She picked up her spoon and mindlessly pushed the cereal around in the bowl and let out a low huff of air.  She shook her head, refusing to look at Steve, and tried to clear her brain of the junk bogging her down in hopes of achieving some sort of clarity.  Trying and wishing would be her downfall. 

How was it possible to love someone so much and wish they would fade away at the same time?  And why couldn't she do anything to fix it or put them both out of their misery?

She glanced around the room and couldn't stop her eyes from landing back on the refrigerator, which was buzzing out an off-key tune.  "We need a new refrigerator."

"I told you--"

"--it's broken.  Maybe beyond repair."

"No, it's not."

"It's not working like it should and we can't live like this," she replied.  She ran her hand over her face and added, "Why are we living like this?"

He stared at her and shrugged.  She didn't know if she should kiss him or punch him, so she shoved out of her seat and stormed off.   Nothing was going to change this way and something had to change.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Sarah Sparks challenged me with "Have a broken fridge involved." and I challenged Carrie with "I can no longer stand the guilt and I need to confess"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

right at the end of the day, but still in time to share my wish

It has been a long day.  I still need to finish up my piece for this week's Indie Ink challenge, but I think it's waiting until tomorrow morning as I'm starting to feel the pull of my heated blanket and sleep.  But I didn't want to miss out on Wishcast Wednesday, so right under the gun...

Today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

“To insure good health: Eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” - William Londen

i wish to stop planning and fretting and waiting for tomorrow to get my head and body in order.  I seem to live for the perpetual tomorrow and there is no reason for it.  I do much better with right now on everything else, why wouldn't my health be the same?  

I wish to put as much energy into improving my mental and physical health as I do worrying about the myriad of ways I fail at these things.  

I can do it. 

What do you wish for?

As you wish for yourself, so I truly wish for you also...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Just close your eyes and listen...

It's been a rough couple of weeks emotionally, but focusing on the positive, I have made some progress on decluttering the house and getting rid of things.  It was getting ridiculous and I'm pretty sure it was slowly sapping away my energy.  Today was a tough therapy session that involved a lot of tears shed and I hate crying even if I know it's a way to get out all of this negativity and garbage I've kept stuffed away for so long.  It's not fun while I'm in it, but hopefully soon I realize it was all for the best.

Luckily, it's Wishcasting Wednesday, and today Jamie asks:

courtesy of we heart it

"It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts." ~K.T. Jong

I wish to hear the truth and fears behind my thoughts and reasons for my actions.  I wish to hear the why in my choices that sometimes goes unnoticed in the moment.  I wish to listen to myself more and not feel guilty or selfish for what I need.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

first wishcast of 2012

First day back to work after vacation and things are slightly crazy at the moment.  But how could I miss the first wishcast of 2012?  It's one of my favorite parts of the week and I feel strangely unfocused when I don't take part.  I have to finish preparing my co-worker's gift for tomorrow (part homemade fun/part real gift), so I won't be able to visit each blog until tomorrow, but as always know, as you wish for yourself, so I truly wish for you also.

This week Jamie asks us:

courtesy of we heart it

I wish to make peace with my anger, sadness, and grief toward my mother.  It's hard to carry around this anger for things that happened in my life.  I've come to accept that I'm allowed to be upset, that I'm not marring her memory but being honest about how I perceived things and how I was hurt, but I haven't been able to forgive her yet.  And it's keeping me from really saying goodbye and moving past her death and not being tied down to these crazy ideas she put in my head because she meant well or just didn't know any better.  I know she loved me, but I haven't been able to get past these feelings of resentment I feel.  It's not good to carry this around.  I want to be able to conjure up the good memories of my mother when people ask about her, and there were plenty of good memories, but right now they get lost in this space in my gut.

I wish to finally process these emotions and move past them.  The only person they're hurting is me and I think I've done enough of that already.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

ringing in 2012...

Happy New Year.  I've had all these posts in my head.  I would say, "I want to write about that" and then I would get distracted.  Kinda like the dogs in Up!  "I really want to talk about...BALL!..."  or "I've discovered that I'm rather...SQUIRREL!..."  I have problems.

I'm excited for 2012.  I feel optimistic and hopeful.  I feel like I've come along way in the past few years.  I'm still on the journey, still up to my eyes in working on my own betterment, but I'm feeling good for the most part.

Tomorrow I will do a post on resolutions.  Though I hate that word.  I associate the word with failure and woe.  I'd much rather just focus on goals.

Again, happy new year, everyone!  Here's to a healthy, happy and fun year!