Thursday, August 29, 2013

I Don't Believe, But...

My friends - male and female - are trying to attack every other problem in my life by trying to toss me back into the dating pool. One problem with is that I am still (legally) married. Another problem is, I hate, hate, hate dating. I kind of think the reason I've married is that it puts dating out of the picture. Being married but separated doesn't keep my friends from trying to get rid of that safety net. Bless them all, they just have the wrong idea of what I want in a man. One friend  wanted to me to go on one of those dating websites. Her suggested profile wording made me sound like a retired show dog:

Fun, unpredictable and mature - yet youthful at heart. Smart, sweet, adventurous and still in fine shape.

Really, bitch?

Another (better) girlfriend has come close to getting my attention, but she did it with astrology, which I don't really want to believe in. (Although, I think that when Linda Goodman wrote her books, she used me as her model for the Cancer woman. It shouldn't even be called the sign of Cancer. Everyone should just call it by my name.)

All kidding aside, I pretended not to be interested when my buddy, T.L., kept throwing stuff from this website at me. If I have to tell the truth though, I almost wanted to go hunting for the nearest available Taurus male when I read what a match with one could be like. I swear, I think I went into heat or something. Or maybe it was just a hot flash. Either way, hormones were involved.

Here's the thing about being 50, female and single: guys I like are not single (or always sane). Guys I don't like are pushy and rude in approaching me. Guys I know nothing about act either scared to approach or they are so busy looking at their own reflections to notice anyone else. I guess I haven't run into an eligible Taurus (or Virgo or Scorpio or, possibly, Pisces) yet. Not that I want to have to go through the entire zodiac line-up to find happiness, but... It's either start selecting guys by their birthdays or I might be single forever. I thought once of trying women, but, with my luck, I'd get the  one who'd want to beat my ass or ruin what's left of my credit. Besides, I'm pretty much strictly dickly, to put it crudely.

Apparently, the Cancer woman is a real pain in the ass for most men! I've always known that that's probably true, but... It's not like I don't hope that there is at least one man out there who thinks I'm worth the trouble. (My guy friend, Perry, explained that if I were a car, I'd I'd be worth the price, but he's not that rich. Is he trying to say I'm high maintenance? Smart ass.)


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

If I Moved Like This...

Now, y'all know me well enough to know that my wild-a**ed dancing days are behind me. Even when I could dance my butt off, I never moved like these guys. I don't even think they have bones.

And, if you noticed them in the first video, my favorites are the Les Twins. I lost a couple of pounds just watching them work it out.

Next to them M.J. & Astaire look like amatuers

(By the way, I've been hibernating and working with the great folks at our state's Voc Rehab center. I hope to feel more sociable in the next couple of weeks.)


Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Don't Know What I'm Listening For

There has been a lot of stuff going on in my circle of family and friends lately. I lost my brother, one of my aunts lost a great-grandchild and another of my aunts passed away. On his birthday, my estranged husband lost a son of his in a car accident.

Last night, my sister and I were calling other family members with the news of the accident. When we finished, I looked at her with that "What next?" question in my eyes. "Don't ask," is what she told me. "Leave the future to the One who created it." She sounded so much like my mother.

Whenever any one of us went through tough times, Mom would tell us to listen for what God had to say. She didn't mean what elders meant when they'd say, "God is trying tell you something." Mom meant that we need to hold still all our own thoughts and just listen to God. Sometimes, I will tell myself that things aren't going to get better while God is telling me to stand strong. Whatever the message, I usually "hear" Him. Lately, I don't know what to listen for.

Maybe I should be listening for some way to get my discipline back. I started back smoking when my brother died. For two weeks of the hell that happens in a family during mourning, I smoked, drank and popped Valium and Xanax. When things calmed down a little, I didn't miss the alcohol or pills, but I renewed a friendship with the cigarettes. I came clean (ha. ha.) to my doctor and I am back on the Chantix. That will help with the smoking, but it won't do a damn thing for restlessness in my heart. So I'm going to keep listening for whatever God has to say.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Chasing After vs Resting In

I am struck by the idea that so many of us are busy chasing after things: money, relationships, possessions, etc. I am guilty of the same. We all have dreams and hopes that we pursue. What I want is to learn to stop more often and just rest in the space where I am. To rest in the peace I have been given.

When does a person today get a chance to just be whatever or whoever they are?

About five years ago, a long-time acquaintance of mine died. She was young - just over 50 - and I assumed she had been in an accident. When someone told me that she was a suicide, I was stunned. As far as I was aware, she didn't have anything to be so desperately unhappy about. She had a job she seemed to like, she had kids and plenty of friends. People who knew her better than I said that she had been fighting bouts of restlessness and depression. She had tried buying a bigger house, a nicer car, getting a complete physical makeover - like she was trying to become someone different. They remarked that she had seemed so discontented.

In the grocery store not long ago, I got chatting with a fellow shopper (because we Alaskans will stop and talk to almost anyone, stranger or not) after she commented on my handbag. This was a really nice-looking woman. Everything about her showed that she put a lot of thought into her appearance. Her clothes and accessories, her  great haircut and perfectly applied makeup - it was all so casually glamorous. She smelled great and had  what seemed like a real sweet personality. She was one of those people who, when you've talked with them for just a few minutes, you think you'd want to be friends with them. The only thing that seemed "off" were her eyes. Her eyes, even when she was smiling, seemed sad and tired. I've seen eyes like that in my mirror when I've been depressed or grieving or heartbroken.

I'm ashamed and sorry to say that I didn't connect further with the lady in the store. I couldn't find a way to ask if she was okay. I hope that, wherever she is, she is happy.

My point, if I truly have one, is that we are, some of us, walking around in a cloak of despair and sadness. That cloak might look good, cost a lot of money or take a lot of upkeep, but it's still only covering who and what we really are.

I am so glad for my faith in God. When I realize that I can chase. but won't ever catch up to, the things that the world tells me are worthy, I still have the love of God. In the middle of every fear and worry and doubt, I have the promise of a love that is stronger than all that. It's what I rest in.

From the minute we wake up to the minute we sleep, we are pounded with messages telling us to be richer, busier, better-looking, more driven. And we run, run, run to do that, or to catch up to those who seem to be doing that better. Then, when we are all run out, we don't know why we are so worn and tired.

I guess I just want to say that we all need to take time to stop and be thankful and hopeful and joyful for what we have. Stop being so sad and broken over what we don't have. I learned a long time ago that, without the peace I have inside me, I won't enjoy anything the world has to give.

Hopefully, my sarc didn't ruin this post. If nothing else, I hope you got the message that we need to not only find peace for ourselves, but we need to share it.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Flashback Talent

Trying to figure out who these dancers are. Some years back, my little brother and a friend of his got into the whole Pop-lock dance craze. They were good. Wonder if, not that they are businessmen and entrepreneurs (and parents of teenagers), they ever remember they moved like this?

                                (starts at mark 1:08)

Good times.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

(Who's) Reality TV.

My guilty pleasure: The Real Housewives. Of Orange County, of Atlanta, of New York...

So trashy.

My occasional treat is a peek at Couples Therapy. But I do have my criticisms.

First off, Couples Therapy is, in my eyes, like Dr. Drew and his shows: bad for taking a serious subject and turning it into a joke. Shame on Jen Berman and Drew Pinsky. Shame, shame, shame.

With the Housewives, they are so comedic, with the bad acting and over-made-up facades, that it's just plain fun. Now, Couples Therapy? Rehab With Dr. Drew? The "patients" might be seriously looking for help, but it seems that the doctors are just looking for living out a fame fantasy. (In the case of Couples Therapy, I think that even those couples are just addicted to "fame" and will get the attention in any way it comes. How the heck else can someone explain Courtney Stodden?)

If someone wanted to be serious, the Housewives would all be housewives and living a more mainstream idea of life as a housewife. (Don't tell me there isn't anything interesting about real people coping with real life while wearing their real clothing and makeup.) All I've learned from watching those ladies from the Housewives franchise is how ridiculous grown-ups look while trying to look and dress half their age. Oh, and I have learned how to trash friends and look really "sexy" while doing so.

I'm a person who, when I watch movies and dramatic televisions shows, I have to work hard not to think about the folks on-screen pretending to be someone else. It's tough for me to forget that the emotions being shown are not the emotions of the people displaying them. I sometimes think that acting should be limited to bedroom role-play. Seriously.

As far as the shows that seem to be truly trying to help people, I have occasional doubts about their function. I mean, I've watched quite a few episodes of "Intervention." After the first several shows, I started wondering just how surprised the participants were by their actual "intervention." I don't watch anymore, so I don't know if anyone ever admitted to knowing about the trap being set for them by the supposed meeting with the producers. I got to the point where when the narrator announced that "Jay" (or whoever) thought he was going to the motel to meet with the producers. I'd want to scream at the TV: "Really, Jay? After 2 seasons of this show, you have no idea you're being sent to an intervention?" Wow.

What's really sad is that, despite my disdain at the idea of reality shows, I still watch. Of course, it's all a sort of therapy for me. I figure that, no matter what my problems might be, I cannot be as bad off as people wanting attention so much they'd play the reality game.

But I rant. I need to close out this post so that I can get over to and see what those crazy bitches in Orange County are up to.


Monday, August 12, 2013

My Rant on the Twitterverse

I haven't been over there in ages, so when I finally signed into my Twitter, I was irritated by the dreck I've been following.

Just spent too much free time Un-following the (put them all in quote marks): experts, life coaches, church planters, DJs, blog-or-book-or-club-or-casino promoters. I am beginning to think that some invisible internet fairy has been adding who I Follow.

Does anyone tweet just to share a joke, some wisdom or personal anything?

Don't get me wrong when I say this, but I am most annoyed with the Christians. I love Jesus, yes, I do, but I don't use my social media as a platform to promote my ministry. How about just living what you teach? How about talking about what you teach along with sharing other tweets?

Yeah, so, the church-planting groups are going to hate me for deleting them, but... Them and the folks who want to tell me how to "align my spirit" or "pray effectively" (as if they have a secret guide for that).

So, yeah. Twitterverse, tweetnation, I'm hunting for people who tweet for tweet-sake.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Death and Guilt

One of my aunts passed away last night. She died in her sleep after a peaceful day of smiles and conversation with one of her daughters. Because of a difference in our beliefs, I don't know how peacefully her eternal life will be, but I know that, like in my brother's case, there are some people left behind who won't be peaceful.

 There is a saying my mother had about deaths in a family bringing out either the best or worst in the survivors. From my brother's death (and now my aunt) I am seeing both.

My family knows that, after I die, I wish to have no funeral, no floral arrangements and no formal memorials. I want to be cremated and have my ashes scattered into the wind - it doesn't matter where, just someplace pretty and peaceful. I don't even really care too much if that is done. I am a believer in showing love to the living.

I have noticed that the more mournful someone is at a funeral, the more they seem to be mourning themselves and their actions than they are the loss of the loved one. It's always the person who was most disrespectful and disregarding who sobs the loudest, drops the biggest tears. It's the woman who caused the deepest pain who plays the best widow; the children who weren't there day to day who fight for the most control. The grief we see is so often not from loss but from guilt.

It's only the living who need our love and compassion and care.

The best way to memorialize someone is to love them while they live. Once they are gone, your tears mean nothing. You can't apologize to the dead, you can't do the right thing to them, for them, with them. If you don't love someone right in their lifetime, your grief at their death is only a show of selfishness. Everything you do at a funeral is only for the witnesses who know your motives because, to the dead, your actions are like something that never existed.

And now I am done talking about death and dying, at least for a while.


A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. Ecclesiastes 7:1

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Monday, Monday

You know how, sometimes, when something important happens in your life - like you meet someone special or something awful and life-changing happens - and later on, you can't forget how you were made to feel, but you can't remember the day of the week that it happened on? I've had that a lot in my life.

I can remember meeting my first serious lover and I can remember being asked for my hand in marriage, but I can never remember the day of the week it happened on. Of course, that's what calendars and diaries and old cards are for.

I won't ever forget, though, that it was on a Monday that my big brother died.

Saturday is my day to do laundry and change my bedding. It was on last Saturday that I was putting in my second load of clothes when my phone rang. I had a strange feeling. My stomach fluttered and hot saliva filled my mouth.

My sister was calling to tell me that I needed to get to the hospital. My brother, Chubby, was doing way worse than he had been the night before.

For some reason, I took the few minutes to finish setting up the washer for the second load of clothes - my whites - and putting the first set into the dryer. When my jeans were tumbling and my whites were suds-ing, I ran around to get my purse and keys. I drove like a crazy woman to the hospital.

I don't remember much about that Saturday or Sunday except that I was irritated by everything.

Monday, when we all had to realize that Chubby wasn't going to get better and that he was in a lot of pain, I left his room and took a walk around the parking lot. I got into my car and went home. Two hours later, someone called to see where the hell I was at. I was home, finishing my laundry.

It seems like a crazy thing to do, to go and change clothes from the dryer to hangars and drawers, from the washer to dryer, from hamper to washer. It seems crazy, but it was soothing and normal and like everyday living.

When I did get back to the hospital, I only stayed long enough to go and tell Chubby, once again, that I loved him. This time, he didn't squeeze my hand or look at me like he knew what I was saying. This time, he just slept or dreamed or was already breathing his way home to After.

I left and went over to my niece's house and held my great-nephew.

DJ didn't know that something was happening that was hurting so many hearts. He was tired and wanted to cuddle while refusing to actually go to sleep. He just lay in my lap with the back of his head against my chest, reaching back to put on of  his warm toddler-hands to my face while he sucked a bottle of milk. He didn't see the tears I was trying to hold back.

Some friends came by to bring cold drinks and paper plates and stuff for sandwiches and salads. They stayed long enough to let me know they cared.

My sister called and told me that Chubby was gone. She said that he had been given enough medicine so that he wasn't in pain when he left. She didn't cry - not then - because my sister is very, very strong and knew that I couldn't have taken her crying just then.

That was on Monday. I won't ever forget that my brother died on a Monday.


“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” 
― Anne Lamott

“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” 
― John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent