Posts Tagged ‘#life’

So I’ve been clueless, wrapped up in my own world as I tend to get. I haven’t been on Twitter much the past few months but especially the past few days. I went on this morning to see that while I’ve had my head up my ass, one of my Twitter friends has been going through hell. We’re not close friends but we’ve talked a few times on social media and she seems like one of the sweetest people. She’s been battling skin cancer, bravely waging a war against the melanoma that has attacked her body. This is Dawn’s story to tell. You can read her entire ordeal at http://defyingmelanoma.com/ Also during the time I was away from Instagram, a dear friend Tricia Miller lost her unborn baby at 14 weeks. I was late finding out but did make and send her a sympathy card. It gave me pause to know that I can just be going about my life when others I know are having their lives shattered.
Life is like that. I’ve been on both sides of this phenomenon. I’ve been relatively lucky and had few health problems. The ones I’ve been unlucky enough to have were ones that couldn’t be seen from the outside. Unlike a broken leg which is visible to everyone, a lot of health conditions are extremely painful but give no outward signs. I used to walk around thinking about how all around me life was going on when here I was suffering. I didn’t tell people what I had and they can’t read minds so I suffered in silence. It didn’t seem possible that what I was dealing with had no affect on others around me. Now I’ve lived long enough to not be as self-centered and see things from other perspectives. I realize that every day around me people are dealing with issues none of us are aware of. All we can do is try to be sensitive and cut people some slack.
There’s nothing we can do to keep bad things from happening to people we care about. All we can do is be supportive. Sometimes when you’re hurting, just knowing someone else is there and knows what you’re going through is enough. Sometimes the acknowledgement of your pain by another human being means everything. We all want to be seen and accepted. We all want people to notice us, at least the parts of us we like. I just don’t think it’s necessary to wait until someone is near the end of their life or dealing with a tragedy to be generous to others. A kind word is welcome everyday. We need to take the time to remember and reach out to anyone who means something to us. I feel like I can’t say this enough. We don’t know when will be the last conversation or hug we’ll  have with someone so make sure you don’t skip it because you’re busy. More communication can only help and strengthen the bonds between us. Tell people how you feel. Tell them: when they look pretty, when they’ve inspired you, when they made you laugh or cry, that you enjoyed the meal they cooked, that they have beautiful children, that they’re talented, that you’d miss them if they weren’t around, etc. I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, only trying to bring out the words in your heart.

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Life List

It seems to be the latest thing to post a Life List. I asked my hubby what would be on his and he said nothing. He’s done everything he wanted to do. That’s the danger of living long and living well. I’ve done most of what others would include on a Bucket List like learning to scuba dive and traveling from coast to coast. Ideally I’d like to try everthing ONCE except risky things like skydiving & bungee jumping, I’ll pass on those. So here’s my list because it’s easier to make a list than to write a real blog post! 😉
Try Turducken.
Ride in a limosine.
Go to a BlogHer & Blissdom.
Make my own scented soaps.
Make my own scented candles.
Publish a cookbook.
Have the dogs’ pictures taken sitting on Santa’s lap.
Go to Europe.
Sew my own clothes and curtains.
Have “something” named after me. It could be a child, a dog, a perfume, a dress, ANYTHING. I just would like my name to go on after I die.
Have one of my pictures go to the popular page on Instagram or get more than 32 likes (current highest number)!
Ride a camel.
Move to California.
Go clamming.
Go up in a hot air balloon.
Volunteer at a food pantry.
Serve Thanksgiving to the homeless at a shelter.
Participate in a flash mob.
Get a henna tattoo.
Taste Baked Alaska.
Sample a martini & a cosmo.
Win something cool once.
Make my own laundry detergent.
See the Grand Canyon & photograph it.
Have one picture taken of myself that I actually love.
Be on the set of a soap opera (Y&R or B&B) being filmed,
watch & meet the stars.
Watch the Packers play from a skybox at Lambeau Field.
Go to the Football Hall of Fame.
Go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
See the giant Longaberger basket & shop in their outlet store.

Write a Life List so that I can cross something off immediately!

Attend a service in a Jewish synagogue.
Have an entirely Jewish meal somewhere where I can watch how they separate the milk & meat dishes.
Have a birthday card shower for myself cuz if I don’t, who will?!
Catch a halibut & get it mounted.
Go to the Coney Island boardwalk.
Grow a Bonsai tree.
Attend a party on a yacht.
Someday have a walk-in closet and a large kitchen.
Write a children’s book.
Have someone take me under their wing and treat me like family. So I don’t have to worry about being alone in my old age.
Be named a child’s Fairy Godmother.
Give yoga a try.
 Read all the magazines that have piled up for years.
Be featured on an episode of Hoarders.
 (Just checking to see if you’re reading.)
Have everything in my house in perfect order. (This needs to be filed under Things That Will Never Happen.)
Make my own jam from scratch.
Make my own pasta from scratch.
Have a picnic in Central Park.
Try all types of ethnic foods I haven’t tried. (Palestinian, Afghani, etc)
Go to Hawaii.
Go to SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX.
I want to see the beauty of British Columbia and Newfoundland in person.
I want to try making herb infused & fruit infused vodkas.
I must try a bialy. I’ve never even seen one.
I have to go to BadHappyPoutineShop.com and sample their wares. I can’t die without tasting poutine.
Get up enough guts to do karaoke and a stand up comedy routine.

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A day in my life starts the night before. I’m one of those people who worry about everything so I try to make my life easier whenever I can. Which means doing things ahead of time whenever possible so I won’t feel rushed or forget. It also means thinking of every possible scenario and having a backup plan for everything if the original plan doesn’t work out. Of course, being human, I can’t think of everything and things happen daily that I’m unprepared for.
I make my husband’s 2 sandwiches the night before and put them in the fridge. I lay out his fruit (2 apples, orange, banana) and his snack mix (I make it every 2 wks or so and put it in little baggies–pretzels, m&ms, peanuts, almonds, raisins) on the kitchen counter. I make sure there are filled water bottles for him to take in the fridge. Then I place 3 cereal bowls on the counter (for hubby, Mom & me) with our vitamins and meds in them. Only once was I so sleepy that I forget to take them and put cereal and milk on top of them. Talk about nasty taste! I lay out a banana and her coffee cup for my mom, along with spoons. Sometimes I lay out a medicinal patch which I have to put on Mom every 4th day. I keep track of it on the calendar in the kitchen by putting a NP (new patch) on the day she’s supposed to get it.
In the morning, I have a routine I pretty much stick to like Rainman. I get up, get dressed while Elvis plays with some toys on the bed. I take him downstairs and let Ivy and Amber out of their beds. Amber’s bed is stacked on top of Ivy’s so I open her door, kneel down on one knee and have Amber jump out on my other knee and I give her a big hug and kiss. Then I open up Ivy’s bed and she runs out and they all go to the door. I let all the dogs out while I turn the heat up and open all the blinds/curtains. Let the dogs back in and drink water, then take care of my bathroom duties. Then I wake my mother up (sometimes I have to do this up to 3 times before she gets up). I feed the dogs before I feed myself. I have the 2 types of food in different containers that are air tight and I refill them as needed. I mix up more water with Benefiber and drink it during or after my Raisin Bran.
I make a pot of coffee for my mom and a glass container full of tea for hubby which he drinks on ice. I make 2 trays of ice cubes a minimum of once per day, sometimes 3 times a day. Hubby likes to chew ice and he shares it with the dogs as well.
I wash my glasses, then wash my mom’s glasses. Then I use Smooth Away (glorified sandpaper) on my chin hair. While eating my cereal and inbetween other stuff, I’m checking my iphone for the weather, my email, Twitter and Instagram. I’m not always able to read much of it or tweet but do what I can. Meanwhile, Elvis has stolen something that is forbidden and is chewing it up. I proceed to chase him which only serves to make him run away and my temper flares up. He is just delighted to see this big human dodging and weaving as I try to grab either him or the item in question. He also spends the day stealing things off one of the tables or knocking things over as he and his sisters play tag.
By this time I am figuring out what I’m making for dinner. Yes, I try to figure it out by mid-morning. I love cooking but it takes up a big section of my day. Whether I put something in the crockpot, oven or stove, it takes me about 2 hrs to make whatever I plan to serve. I like to have a homecooked meal ready when hubby gets home from work at 7 pm.
I take the dogs for a half hour walk every day, usually around 10 am. I have 2 routes I go (in opposite directions) that are a half hour each so I don’t have to time myself, I know when we get back home, it’s been a half hour. I do this year round unless the temperature is below 16 degrees, then I skip it. The dogs have a fenced in backyard to run in so they get plenty of exercise besides tearing around the house. The walk just gets rid of their excess energy at the beginning of the day and settles them down some so I can do other things. I also used to really enjoy walking in our neighborhood, meeting other dogs and their owners and talking to people. Since we got Elvis, it is really hard to manage the 3 leashs without getting tangled. I’m not loving it like I was but I’m hoping that changes as he gets older.
When I get back, I unload and load the dishwasher or take care of other chores like picking up mountains of dog toys, vacuuming the whole house, etc. Occasionally if I get some free time to myself, I will sit at the dining room table and sign a couple slams. As soon as I sit down, Amber brings me a ball or toy and wants to play. I usually drop everything and humor her since she loves playing fetch so much. Sometimes I go online and comment on a few blogs or I may even write a blog post of my own. I need to go through my email but it is so daunting that I try to get through it only when I can stand it, a few pieces at a time, about once a week. Any type of computer activity takes place with my laptop on the arm of the recliner and Elvis in my lap.
Then there are things I take care of but not daily: I’ll pay bills either online or via paper check, update the checkbook, go in the basement and read the water meter to send in with payment, call in mine or my hubby’s prescriptions to the automated refill at Jewel, order my mom’s prescriptions through Caremark (mail order), take mom to the ENT doctor to get the wax removed from her ears, take mom to the audiologist to get her hearing aid checked, replace battery in wireless mouse or remote control, order dogs’ heartworm medication from 1800PetMeds, etc.
Then there are the interruptions that happen as a matter of course in life: Mom needing a new hearing aid battery (I carry them in my purse), car battery being dead, car tires being low, gas being low, running out of milk or bread, any number of things breaking down around the house, etc. Our lawn mower broke down in early Nov. and hubby had to rent one for $22 to do the grass for the last time that year. We still have to take ours in to be fixed/tuned up. Our vacuum quit working even after all new belts and filters were put on. So we replaced it with a Dyson–so far, so good. Our snowblower quit working in mid-Jan. so hubby took it in to be fixed. That cost $185-it does work but so far no snow. Our 15 yr. old living room tv died so we went hi-tech with a Sony HD tv. We also need a new roof, new furniture, the list goes on.
By this time it is lunchtime (1 pm) and I feed the dogs first. Then I make Mom and I a sandwich or a salad. We watch The Bold & The Beautiful and The Young & The Restless while we eat lunch. The dogs pester us while we eat. Amber is well behaved and lays down next to me and waits for me to give her the crusts off my bread. Ivy stands over grandma and anything that falls she snatches up immediately. Elvis takes turns going from one of us to the other.
After lunch we get the mail which I then sort and put the junkmail into a box to be shredded. The rest of it I file away in a drawer until time to deal with. I may bake a dessert or start some laundry.  I may make some address labels or birthday cards on the computer which leads me to realize we are out of ink and I order more. Then I will deal with customers from our online collectible business. Someone will want to buy something which has me making a trip to either the basement, the shed or the garage to make sure we still have it. After our basement flooding so many times, things have been moved and ruined so we always need to make sure it’s here. Then I need to weigh the item and quote shipping. When they pay, I type up an invoice on the computer and hubby and I wrap it either at night when he gets home or on the weekend.
By this time I am getting the dinner ready to serve. At which point the giant serving spoon I use crumbles as I try to spoon up the casserole. We eat at 7 pm and watch tv afterwards. I put the leftovers away and repeat the whole cycle again. There are dozens of other things I contend with that I don’t mention but you get the idea. Nothing too exciting but it keeps me busy never the less. Now let’s hear about a day in the life of every one of you! 😉

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 Back when I was 21, I fancied myself a writer. I enjoyed writing for the sake of writing. I had a penpal who I’d known since I was 18 and felt especially close to because we both shared a love of groupie-ing. (That’s a whole other blog post.) I suggested we both write our life story and share with the other. Yeah, at 21 I thought I had lived already. So we swapped memoirs and got to know each other even better. Consequently, as time passed and I moved to another state and our basement flooded, I lost track of where my one and only hard copy was. This was before computers, people. The only people who I had let read mine were this penpal, my husband (before we got married) and a psychologist I went to a handful of times. (That’s an entire blog post there as well.) I wasn’t agonizing over the fact that I couldn’t locate it. There’s a chance it’s here somewhere. But I did ask this penpal, who I’m still in touch with via Twitter, if she still had the copy I sent her. Thankfully, she still did and offered to send me a copy just before Christmas. We were out of state for the holiday so I didn’t get a chance to peruse it until Jan. Even then, I could only stomach a bit of it at a time.

Here are some of the revelations I got after I read it:

1) Boy, I was really a good writer. I wish I could write half as good now.
2) I really swore a lot in my writing. I don’t remember starting to swear IRL until I was 25 and started working nights at the Post Office. It was a factory type setting where everyone swore like longshoremen. In this memoir, I was throwing around every cuss word I could think of, just for emphasis.
3) I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic but OMG, I almost can’t stand how melodramatic I was. It makes me realize that I’ve actually toned it down quite a bit.
4) It wasn’t a full life story. I dwelled on a lot of incidents and events but clearly not everyone or everything. A lot of what I mentioned then is unimportant to me now. Some of what I left out was really noticeable to me as well.
5) I don’t remember some things or I remember them differently. Other things are still the same in my memory bank. Weird.
6) A lot of what I told seemed intensely personal at the time but now I would probably air most of it on my blog, a chapter at a time. Mine didn’t consist of chapters. It was one 50 page run on sentence. With punctuation. 🙂
7) I still feel stupid for being so gullible and letting a “friend” take advantage of my trusting nature. I’m no longer as angry about it but I haven’t forgiven her either. I no longer feel a need to protect her and now want the world to know what kind of person she is. The damage from this incident is why I can’t really have friends or don’t have friends. A future blog post will recount word for word how she “played” me.
8) I need to write about the years since I was 21. Those are just as important, if not more. I need to write about all the ups & downs of my adulthood before I forget them. Obviously, some will never be forgotten but plenty will if not documented.
9) I’ve always been a sensitive person but I noticed how much more deeply I felt things. Everything was a huge insult, a criticism, a snub, etc. I was hyper-sensitive and took everything to heart. I’ve outgrown this to a degree just from no longer tolerating being a doormat or taking crap from anyone.
10) I can’t believe how much I used to lie! Not in the memoir, I told the truth about everything in there. I even mentioned how I lied to people and what lies I told. These weren’t things I ever said to impress anyone, it was what I considered self preservation. People would ask me things and I would feel bad so I’d lie. Like if I didn’t have a job, I felt terrible. I wanted to work but didn’t have enough experience so couldn’t get hired. If someone asked me, I would say I worked part -time at such and such. I felt like letting on that I didn’t have a job was admitting I was a failure. I felt like a failure. Another part of my life story was my disappointing 18th birthday which made me feel like my life was ruined. When some of my “friends” asked what I’d done, I lied and said I’d gone out with a friend, instead of what really happened–staying home. When I look at it written in black & white, it looks awful to lie like that. I never lied to make anyone else look bad or feel bad. I hope this is something I’ve outgrown.
11) Possibly the best thing I learned from reading my life story which was titled, “The Heartbreaking Saga of The Life & Times of Chrisor Bowana” was that I need to own my story. I need to bring it out into the light and not keep any of it in darkness any longer. Sometimes I think I know myself very well, too well. Other times I wonder if I’ve even looked deep enough into my being to know for sure.
Stay tuned for excerpts from the first 21 yrs of my life! They will confound you but also make you know a life was lived…

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Since the arrival of 2012 (and probably a few weeks before), people have been blogging their New Year’s Resolutions. They have such high hopes for the New Year, setting goals, making wishes out loud and planning to become “better” by announcing their will to lose weight, save money, read more books, spend more time with loved ones, devote time to relaxing or growing their own vegetables, pampering themselves via spa treatments, etc. The lists go on and on. I have nothing against New Year’s Resolutions for others, aside from being skeptical that they will be long lasting. For myself? I don’t think I’ve made any since I was about 15 years old! I already knew myself well enough to know that a diet I would start on Jan. 1st would not make it to Day 12. It wouldn’t matter what I would resolve to do, I have poor follow-through.
Due to not wanting to set myself up for failure, I decline to set goals or announce any big plans that will more than likely fall through. Ideally, I suppose even the most happy people have something they want to better about themselves or their lives. I shouldn’t say I don’t want to “better myself” but I don’t want to be unrealistic. I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment, to be made worse for not accomplishing something else. Also by broadcasting my resolutions, it just draws attention to my inability to follow through and shows how lacking I am as a human being.
If I had a resolution this year? It would be to blog more. I can’t even make that “promise” since I know deep down, I’d be content if I even blogged as much as I did last year. It’s too easy NOT to do things. A resolution doesn’t really put the right kind of pressure on me. It doesn’t motivate me but it does make me feel like I’m not living up to what I could or should be doing. Hence, to me, it’s a negative thing, not a positive one.
I try to be positive in life as much as I can which seems to have caused me to drop my own expectations for myself. In some ways I have thrown in the towel on things like trying to lose weight, dressing up, keeping a dust-free house, etc. I don’t really push myself beyond trying to be a human being. I don’t know if that makes sense but some days it’s a victory just to survive. Not that my life is so bad or anything of the sort. It’s more a feeling like whatever I get done over and above the basics every day, is a bonus. I get dressed every day, no matter what. I haven’t resorted to laying around at home, expecting others to do things for me. I wonder if I’m letting myself off the hook but not striving for betterment? I don’t know if people are doing those things to impress others or just to make themselves feel better inside. I don’t think setting goals and riding myself hard to complete them would make me feel better inside.
Reading others’ New Year’s Resolutions makes me feel like an underachiever most of the time. The stuff people think up to do is quite ambitious. My favorites are ones like “Smile more at random strangers”.  Now they’re coming up with one word that you’re supposed to choose to define your 2012. I’m not someone who could limit myself to 1 word to describe ANYTHING. I couldn’t even pick several words for this year. If you held a gun to my head, I would come up with one: HELP. Not to get help from others or even to give help to others but to help myself as much as possible. I worry too much. I hold myself to a standard that most couldn’t live up to: expecting my memory to be perfect, expecting myself to be able to think of everything at all times, berating myself when I make mistakes (big or small), etc. I need to help myself cope with life so it’s not such a struggle. Sometimes I feel bad saying my life can be a struggle. Obviously, it’s not–it’s my perception of my life. I am so naive to think that even though life isn’t fair, if I do everything right, life will go smoothly. It doesn’t!! Never has and never will! And yet, I can’t accept that and still think I have some kind of control. Even at my age, I’ve got a lot to learn…

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