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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Not Sleeping Beauty

I don’t know about other little girls but when I was little, my favorite Disney movie was “Sleeping Beauty”. No Cinderella for me, it was Aurora and her prince that I fell in love with. Who needs a glass slipper when you have an evil witch/fairy named Maleficent, who can turn into a dragon.

I don’t know what drew me to this story more so than any of the other princess’, but I loved it from the start.The funny thing is as I was growing up I felt more like the little Cinder girl, waiting for my rescue by my handsome prince. Alas, it never quite happened.

This past year I have resembled Aurora more in her somnolent repose, than in her singing with the animals. Although I have had some musical moments with the cats. I feel like I have slept through the last half of this year. I try to wake up but the urge to sleep is just too strong for me. I cannot function without the sleep, and when I am awake my energy level is nil.

With this sleeping spell, I don’t get to be laid out waiting for my prince to come. I am not a sleeping beauty. I drool too much in my sleep for that.He would find me in a rumpled bed, snoring with my mouth wide open. My hair sticking out every which way except for the portion matted to my head from the aforementioned slobber. I will be half uncovered as to keep from being too hot or too cold. You know the kind of girl every prince wants to see after he has been wrongly imprisoned and fought a dragon for you.

I, myself think I closely resemble the dragon most days. But that’s just my opinion. I knew that being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was not a great thing, but I could still function when I was diagnosed. Nowadays it takes a police siren set as my alarm clock to even wake me up. And don’t expect coherent thought for at least an hour after the alarm bells ring.

I have been trying to remember when was the last time that I could make it through the day without a nap or two. It was sometime around when I was dealing with all of my mother’s move to the nursing home. That was also the same time I was given two new prescriptions. The more I think about it, I wonder if this being sleepy all the time might have something to do with those two small pills.

I began reading up on my medicine, which I always read all of the warnings and fun stuff literature that the pharmacist gives me. I just wanted to refresh my groggy memory to see if they could be the culprits.Guess what? Almost every medication I take causes some form of drowsiness. Oh yippee!! So my ailments are doing great but causing other symptoms. Thanks, big pharma. I am a living testament to the fact that what you take to cure yourself, may indeed kill you.

So now I am left in a quandary, do I keep taking said medication or ask the doctor for something new that may have even worse side effects or just ask to be taken off the stuff and deal with the problems that the medication was prescribed for in the first place. This is where the prince comes in and wakes me from my hundred year sleep, or is this where I prick my finger in the spindle and fall under the curse?

With the new year just weeks away, I have made some decisions regarding my health. The biggest one to go over all my medication with my doctor and any that we don’t think I need to live are going to the wastebasket. I am tired of being in a drug-induced slumber all day and night.

The next thing is I am joining a health club and starting an exercise program to lose some weight and build my strength. I am tired of the doctor’s question about whether I have been exercising. Yeah, doc, I exercise between naps. If I can’t stay awake for important stuff like my writing, why would I stay awake for something that makes me sweat?

Maybe by the time all is said and done, I will look more like the Sleeping Beauty in the story. Minus the handsome prince or evil witch/fairy. Did I mention I loved those good fairy’s although some of their gifts are more curses if you ask me? That is just my opinion.

I think I have finally finished my rambling, I am sorry that I have been absent from blogging and I hope that you will all stick with me as the new year begins. The first draft of my book is just a couple chapters from when I can write “The End”. New things coming in the new year as I begin edits and rewrites. I will even be looking for some people to read the book as betas.

I hope you have a Happy Holiday season. And a very blessed New Year. And remember to love fully and laugh often.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Finishing What You Start

Recently when I was packing up my Mother’s apartment I couldn’t help but notice the number of unfinished projects she had lying around. Projects started with an earnest wish to complete, but something came up of more importance or a better idea came to mind. Whatever the reason that project was set aside for another. Left in a dejected pile.

How many such projects had she started throughout her life and then left them by the wayside. How many good intentions had she had to finish this embroidery project only for it to be set aside so she could crochet another baby blanket for a family member. I wonder how many of those blankets still exist today.

Is that what will be noticed the most; when it is time for someone to lovingly go through my possessions at the end of my life. The boxes of notebooks filled with all of my imaginary worlds. The half finished or barely began stories left to gather dust. What of my own craft projects that I set aside one day and just never got back too. Is that what our life boils down too? Dust covered projects and unfinished dreams.

I found myself packing those projects back inside their boxes, unable to cast them aside permanently. Even though my mother will never finish them, she has begun anew. Now her projects are simple colored pictures in a children’s coloring book. Letters scribbled in an unreadable hand, their contents never understood. A pile of books sits beside her bed, some started. Others never opened. I asked her if she wanted any of the crocheting projects left in small piles throughout her home. She looks at me in bewilderment; their memory was gone.

Now I sit here writing my latest project it would seem. A first draft almost is written, just a few clicks away. I never have reached this moment in all of my years of writing. I sit in shocked silence as I contemplate the achievement. What happened to make me stay the course; to finish this time? What was the change that occurred to make me sit and write each day? The only answer that I can find is those boxes of unfinished projects lined up against the garage wall. I don’t want that to be the only thing I leave in this world.

I find it hard to believe that a year ago I began this adventure of writing my first book. And now I am writing its final pages. I wonder if by turning fifty, my focus changed so drastically. Where before I would have started the project, only to be drawn away by something new, halfway through the writing. I know there are other people who can say the same thing about their own projects. What makes us buckle down one day and say that this is the day I finish what I started. Is it crossing a milestone of some sort, that prompts the action?

I know for me when I made my mind up that I wasn’t getting any younger that I would have to realign my way of thinking. I would have to make a promise to myself that I would see my book in print. I would finish this project, and in doing so it would prompt me to finish the next one and so forth and so on. I made the adjustment in my thinking from “I love to write but I’m not good enough” to “I am a writer and I am good enough.” It is amazing what a simple change in your mindset can accomplish for you. By thinking positively about your dream, that you can actually feel all the possibilities now open to you.

I know as I reach that page where I will write “The End”, that I have only to look through those boxes lining the wall of the garage to find my next book. That is my goal moving forward. To finish all of those half begun projects, so when it comes that time to go through my belongings it will be to decide what to do with all of my books. What to do with all my notes, research, and story planning. And for me, that will be a life worth looking back on. 

What kind of projects sit forgotten, lining your proverbial garage? Why don’t you pick just one today and commit to finishing it? Open up your mind to all the possibilities that are waiting for you. And don’t forget to keep a positive outlook throughout it all. I wish you luck and remember to always love fully and laugh often.   

Monday, October 23, 2017


Did you ever make a decision that has haunted you? A decision that you contemplate for a few days. Working out each case scenario of if I do this; what will be the end result. You weight the pros and cons, trying to see which side of the question will have the most benefit for you and all concerned. Knowing that whatever you decide you will always wonder if you did the right thing for the right reasons.

Those decisions that when you lay down at night to go to sleep causes your mind to refuse to shut down. All of a sudden, a host of memories start bombarding your exhausted brain. The would have, the should have, and the what ifs. They come back to haunt you. Did you make the best decision or did it cause some harm that you are unaware of but subconsciously you feel might have happened?

I am in the process of cementing a decision that has all the earmarks of a future haunting. I have weighed the options and as much as it kills me to do it, I have to go ahead with my plan. Who needs to worry about being haunted down the road. I am already haunted by what I am about to do. It is one of the hardest things I have had to do in awhile. Unfortunately, I have made a similar decision in the past. And yes, it is one of my frequent visitors.

I know at the time it was the best choice I had but my mind still dwells on what I could have done just a bit differently to keep from being put in the spot where I had to make that decision. I think it has been nagging me because the situations are so close. As with the last time, this time I have run out of viable options. There are more people to take into consideration than the last time. This decision will create harmony where at this time there is discord.

The choice I have been led to make has to do with my Mom’s cat. When she was placed in the nursing home, he was left with no home and he lost the only person he had ever lived with. It was decided to try to bring him into our home. A home that is full of energy from two teenagers, one of which is Autistic. He was surrounded by people and animals that he had never had to deal with before. Where he was once the only cat in the house. Now he was the outsider coming in fresh, to a loss of one of our household cats. To say it plainly the four cats that were mourning the loss of a member of their family, one that two of them had been born just months apart from.

To them my Mom’s cat, Gizmo was seen as the reason that Donny was gone. We walked out one day to take Donny to the vet but instead of him coming home, we brought an outsider. This all occurred in May of this year.I would like to say that they finally grew to accept him, but that would be a complete lie. We called the three kittens: Dominic, Donny, and Neko. They were all adopted within days of each other. Dominic and Donny had been cage mates at the shelter. My brother and sister in law refused to split them up. Neko bonded with them very quickly. Gizmo was considered the enemy from day one of his arrival.

What astounded me was that my timid scaredy cat and the only female became a tigress when confronted with this new male. She absolutely despised him. No more running and hiding as she did with the triplets or our older male. No, she would attack him. And the others seeing the queen of their clowder attacking took it as a trigger to attack as well. Gizmo has been attacked, kept from food and water and even not allowed to use the litter box. If he perchance gets a chance to use it, they then trap him inside and refuse to let him out.

We have had to literally risk injury to pull cats apart, who are bent on killing each other. Dominic was injured badly within a week of Gizmo’s arrival. There have been injuries among the others as well. The last major fight was a week ago. In trying to separate Gizmo and Neko, I inadvertently hurt my baby boy. He has had a major personality change as a result. My brave curious boy is now a sulking scaredy cat who shies away from me when I reach for him. It breaks my heart every time he does that. If it were only one of the house cats hating Gizmo we would work something out but with it being four against one. And Gizmo having no front claws in a house of clawed cats, I have been put in a position where I need to make a haunting decision. I don’t want to but I have to, to save his life.

I have had to make a similar decision in the past.Only that decision, as hard as it was to make,  I knew where my beloved cat was going. This time I know where he is going and I hate the idea so much that it has taken me months to make the decision. I will be surrendering Gizmo to an animal shelter at the beginning of next month. Happy Birthday to me. What a way to start my birth month. Giving my mother’s beloved cat to an uncertain future. And as with that old decision to give up my most precious of friends,  I know that when I lay my head down that night the old ghost of decisions past will whirl around in my mind.

I hope by sending Gizmo away, the cats we share our home with will become the loving, generous souls they were when they felt betrayed by the introduction of an interloper in their time of grief. Some of you will say that animals don’t grieve, those of us who have pets will understand what I speak of. You may ask if it is just the decision to give up pets that haunts me at night. And the answer would be Hell No! Those are just some of the most painful.

I wonder have you my reader ever had to make a decision to give up a pet? Do you regret it? Does the not knowing the future of said pet ever haunt you?

 For the next two weeks, I am going to be trying to find a home for Gizmo, I found a site on the Internet that I am trying. It is called Get Your Pet. They let you post your pet's information and help people looking for a pet find one. They help you with aid in finding homes that really want a pet, not someone who only wants pets to do harm too. I am hoping that someone will see Gizmo’s picture and contact me. I am also posting this on my social pages in hopes that someone who lives near me will fall in love with a cat down on his luck.

Here’s hoping that this decision never comes to fruition and Gizmo finds a new forever home. I will give you an update on next weeks post. I hope that October has been treating you better than it has me. Remember love fully and laugh often. Until next week.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Hello October

 I woke up this morning and it took a moment for the reality to set in. Today is the first of October. Where has this year gone? It is just over a month until my birthday, how do I feel about the first year of my fifties? Was anything different from my forties? Why is it the older we get the faster the years seem to fly by? I remember as a kid thinking Christmas would never get here. Now it sneaks up on you and hits you over the head.

October marks the beginning of the new quarter also. I am almost afraid to pull up my goal list for the last three months. Why? Because I know this has been the weakest quarter of the year so far. Illness has plagued me and family issues as well. This quarter saw my mother losing her independence and entering a nursing home. Our whole paradigm shifted. We entered new roles as the old ones fell away. I am still adjusting to the change. It is hard to break habits forged in the line of fire.

I am sitting here glaring at my journal, knowing that the list waiting inside its covers was hardly taken out let alone accomplished. I am almost afraid to even think about making goals for the next three months. Should I just change the heading on the old list and reuse it. Or were my goals too vague making them seem impossible to fulfill? I suppose I’ll never find out if I don’t even peruse the list.

Well, I am glad to say I can mark a completed to the very first goal on my list. It was to have the Tales of The Cat’s Eye Gang near to or finished. I can mark that off as I am to the final confrontation and ending. I am figuring the draft will be finished by the end of October or early November. It is so close to being finished I am getting both anxious and excited. Now to the rest of the list.

I made a total of thirteen goals for the third quarter of the year, I have accomplished six of them. I have to admit I am surprised. I really thought I had failed. Yes, I know that seven were not accomplished but the truth is some of those I have started just not finished, so I can’t mark them as complete. A couple was made ahead of the time. They fit more in line for when the first draft is complete, such as finding someone to design the cover. I did talk to a couple artist but we couldn’t come to an agreement so I will keep on searching as I am editing and doing my re-write.

A big goal was to pay off my car so that my budget would be better for saving for the professional edits and cover work. I make the last payment tomorrow. It has been a long three years, but I will finally hold the title in my hand soon. There were times I wasn’t sure I would ever get it paid off, but I persevered against money shortages and reached this goal. It will be nice to be able to loosen my belt and relax for a bit.

I had three goals garnered towards my health and I accomplished one and a half. The one I did accomplish was to get my gout under control. I also began a new eating plan and I am going slow as not to jeopardize the progress. I still need to exercise more, that is being moved forward to the next goal list. Baby steps.

I also had the goal to become better organized and I did this by re-designing my workspace and getting rid of things that were taking up space and not really needed anymore. I built a new shelving section and it has helped me stay organized. I am one of those people who works best in an orderly environment and the old one was clogging my inspiration. I find I can think clearer when not digging through piles of papers, notebooks, and so much more. It really is amazing how much better you work when you can see the top of your desk.

One of the most important goals I had was to increase my web presence. I accomplished this goal by linking my social sites such as Facebook and Instagram together. It worked as a great marriage because now The Cat’s Eye Gang are being viewed by a larger audience and then re-shared. I increased the number of promotions I ran and it has indeed increased my numbers. I will continue to work on getting my book and the cats that inspired it, out to the public.

I really did think I had not accomplished anything in three months, but I am glad to say that I did. I think somewhere in my sub-conscience I was always working on those goals, even though I was unaware of it at the time. Now comes the fun of sitting down and making a whole new list, well all new except for the ones I am bringing forward with me. I hope on January first I can sit here and write off, even more, accomplishments and even better news going into the new year.

I want to say Happy October to all of my lovely readers. I hope as the leaves turn colors of bright orange, red, and brown, that you find a burst of energy to see you through these final months of the year. As the colors fade and the gray of winter takes hold that you remember to love fully and laugh often. Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mirror, Mirror...

“Mirror, mirror on the wall…” We all know the rest of the line. Unlike the evil queen, I would not like my mirror to tell me the truth. Hell on a good day I never look in a mirror. I usually don’t like the visage looking back at me. On any given day it will either show me as being fat, unkempt or a total mess.

I fought with the reflection in the mirror all of my life. It is for this same reason that I hate to have my picture taken. I don’t like what is reflected back at me. As someone who has fought with my weight my whole life, the mirror is a kind of hell to avoid. I don’t need something else to tell me what I know, what the world tells me and what I feel I can’t change.

I also avoid the looking glass when I am in the throes of a deep depression. No need to see proof that I just haven’t cared to brush my hair or take a bath, you know because why does it all matter? On the flip side when mania is ruling my emotional house, I hate seeing the wild-eyed harridan that can’t seem to slow down. If in fact, I can take the time to stop and look.

Every once in a great while I will catch my reflection out of the corner of my eye as I am leaving the bathroom. Usually, I keep walking, but then there are those days I face my fears and take a glimpse. What grabbed my attention is that on this given day, I study myself and find things that I like about myself. “Hey, today my hair is actually en pointe.” My face seems lit with an inner glow, I think I might go find my makeup back and make an attempt to look human.

As I have grown older, I have found that my old demons don’t seem to bother as much as when I was younger. I have learned to accept that I will never be a size two or probably even a twelve. I have learned to do the best I can and not sweat the stuff I can’t fix. I look at the fifty-year-old woman and see the frown lines around my mouth and between my eyebrows and think of all the ways I could have prevented them. I also know that there is no time machine to take me back to repair the damage. I have to accept that.

I see in that wicked old mirror, a woman who has lived her life. Maybe not easily but she survived. I see the inner strength that got me through the rough times. Mixed in with the frown lines are the fine lines at the corners of my eyes that speak of the smile hidden in my eyes. I like the woman I see most days now. I have finally come to terms with my myriad illness’. I have learned to look for signs in my mirror to give me warning of health issues that are blossoming. I have come to think of my mirror as an impartial second party; A witness to the tolls that illness has taken on my body.

Am I still overweight? Yes. Do I look like hell when Depression has its hooks into me? Yes. Do I look like a wild woman on a rampage when I go manic? Of course, I do. I have learned to accept those facets of myself, and yes, I still avoid the mirror when they appear but I have also learned the answer to the question “who is the fairest of them all?” I may not be the fairest but I am me.

Who do you see in your mirror? Let me know in the comments. Remember no matter the reflection in the mirror, to always love fully and laugh often.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Depression: A Closer Look Into My World

I decided the subject this week will be Depression. To invite you, my reader, into one of the most desolate times in my life. Most people don’t like to talk about suicide. When I was a teenager it was a taboo subject. As taboo as the thought of having a mental illness and admitting that you suffered from it.

When I was a teenager I didn’t think to myself “hey, I have a mental illness.” That was reserved for the adults in my life. As I have mentioned before both of my parents suffered from mental illness. They were too busy dealing with their own demons to recognize that I was battling my own. I had survived being placed in a foster home where I was subjected to mental, physical, and sexual abuse. All on top of feeling abandoned by the parents whose job was to make me feel safe and protected.I was in second grade when all of this came raining down on my head.

What made it worse is I knew there was something wrong with my Dad. I remember the adults whispering in small groups, and on the phone trying to keep me and my brothers from hearing the grown-up talk that was circling around having my dad put into a mental hospital. To this day my mother is in denial of what occurred during that time in my life. She likes to hold this sanitized version of the events that pushed the button to “on” in my own mental issues.

I couldn’t have remembered it correctly as I was only a child at the time. I want to scream at her “I remember! I was there, you weren’t. You signed your own children away after you said that if anything happened to you or dad we would be kept safe with family and friends.” But she had lied. Instead of going to stay with my aunt or my uncle. Even her closest friend, the police came and ripped us away from safety and delivered us into hell. That day marked the beginning of most of my fears. Up to that time, yeah I was afraid of Dad when he would have a schizophrenic episode, but somehow I knew he would never hurt me or my brothers. He turned all his pain onto himself.

You know what is bad. The fact that what occurred during those days became locked away in my child’s brain. I blocked it all out once our family was whole again. I locked all the pain, betrayal, abuse away in a small lightly lidded box and hid it away in my psyche. I lived with this huge fear and couldn’t for the life of me remember why I was so afraid. My whole personality changed after those months of hell. Where once I had been an outgoing friendly girl who dreamed of being an actress up on the stage. I became a secretive, withdrawn fearful shadow of myself. I spooked easily and soon learned to stay to myself. The world overwhelmed me now.

If you go back and read my report cards, the remark made most often was that I was too quiet and needed to come out of my shell. I was better friends with my teachers than my schoolmates. I had friends but I wouldn’t let any of them in to see the real me. I didn’t want them to see my shadow world and hate me for it. I kept to myself to avoid being hurt. I refused to let anyone close, I thought I was tainted by what had happened to me. To my mind, I was dirty. What had happened was all my fault. The thoughts swirling in my head were not appropriate for other kids my age. They were unspoiled. Clean.

Deep inside I felt this evil mixture swirling around me, enveloping me in a cloud of despair. By the time I was in junior high, I had become a proficient actress. I kept everything locked up and went about my day as if I was any normal teenager. Once I got home and behind my bedroom door though my demons ran free. I was basically the mother of my brothers at this time. My mom had checked out. I kept the house clean, I fixed the meals, I was the mom. I didn’t have time to be a kid, a teenager. I didn’t go to sleep-overs, parties, or join any clubs. The only subject in school that made me feel happy was my choir class. For that one hour, I let my voice rise, I sang my heart out.

When the others kids mourned having to sing the Hallelujah Chorus. I loved that I could sing both the soprano and alto parts. The only other class that held my attention was history. I loved learning about the olden days. About what happened before I was born. It was around this time that I made a friend who would become more like a sister to me. The sad thing is even she didn’t know how the darkness was closing in on me. The feeling of desolation, the feeling that if I was dead the pain would go away.

This was a disturbing thought for as I was raised from birth in a very strict religious household. You know the ones. Every time the church doors opened we were there, no music except for spiritual, no TV except for news and a few family shows that my mother deemed safe such as Little House on The Prairie and the Wild Kingdom. When other kids were watching the latest shows and going to the movies, I was busy being “mom”. The church taught if you committed suicide then you would go to hell. Since our religion preached that hell was all fire and brimstone, you were left reliving all your wrongs, my mind swerved away from the thought.

With each year though, my fear of the church’s hell grew less as I lived in my own living hell. All I wanted to do was go to sleep and never wake up. Through all of these morbid thoughts though, I maintained my act that I was happy and the world was great. I learned to lie like a pro. I still find myself doing it to this day when someone asks how I am doing. “I’m fine. No complaints. Everything is coming up roses.Yadda, yadda, yadda.”

When I was fifteen I reached the point where I was done. I started looking for my way out.My dad had booze hidden up in a cupboard in the bathroom. I started sneaking drinks to get through my day at school. The problem was I didn’t like the taste of alcohol, still don’t for that matter, so I started gazing longingly at the medicine cabinet which was filled to the brim with all kinds of bright shiny pills just beckoning me to try them. Who was I to say no? I began experimenting with the drugs trying to find the perfect blend to make me numb. The perfect blend to let me sleep forever.

I began to flunk out of my classes at school. I was just not in the mood to learn anything. Why spend my time learning when I was checking out? When asked why my grades were failing, I would just say that it was the new school. I wasn’t adapting to it. Around this time I also started having health issues. I was out of school for a month with the mumps. And then because I had to walk in the weather in Illinois winter between classes, I caught a cold that would turn into pneumonia. I was miserable. I was done.

One night I gathered my little bundle of stolen pills, a glass of water, and my courage. It was time to see if I had created the perfect mix. I remember staring out my window at the world outside and praying I had gotten it right. I went over to my desk and started popping the pills one at a time. I lost count of how many I took. Once they were all taken I sat at my desk waiting for some sign they were working. I started to feel woozy and a little dizzy. It was time to go to bed. I made my way over to the bed and collapsed on it.I remember fighting with the coverlet to cover my self because I was so cold. That was my last thought.

I woke up. The mix had let me sleep for a day and a half. The real kicker is that no one noticed me not at the dinner table, or doing my “mom” chores. They hadn’t missed my presence. That was the real wake-up call for me. I truly was alone. You know what? I let that build me up instead of knocking me down. I came out stronger. I decided that I was going to do anything I could to break free of this hell I lived in. I stopped caring what my mother thought, what the church thought, what anyone thought. I was a lone wolf without her pack. I have to admit the first few months after the attempt, I wandered in a fog of how I would get stronger but I began the process.

We moved again not long after my journey into awareness. I also moved into a new school. It was here that I found two people who at the time were so left field of everything I knew. They were just what the doctor ordered. They would become the best friends in the world to me. The first was a guy, who had grown up in a broken home with some really messed up family values, who was just figuring out that he was gay. The second was a girl who lived her life wholly. She didn’t care what others thought. She was a force unto herself. They did what no one else could do. They made me laugh.

They made me live. Not in the shadows but out loud and in the open. I was now part of a group. Funny now that I think about it, but we were the kids that really didn’t fit into any clique in high school. We weren’t the jocks, the brains, the rich kids, the poor kids, the outsiders, the weird kids. We were beyond definition. We could easily slip into any of the other groups and fit in, we just chose not too. We would sit in a cluster, off in our corner of the cafeteria and study the drama happening in the other groups. For once I felt like I belonged somewhere.

Did I still fight with my darkness, yeah? Only now I had friends I could call and talk to. They helped me keep the feelings at bay. Did I still think about those bottles of pills in the medicine cabinet? Of course. I had discovered something new though. I had discovered recreational drugs. I found alcohol that I could actually drink without gagging. I could medicate the darkness. Numb it for small bits of time. Did I ever let someone get close enough to know all my secrets? These two people came the closest to breaching my walls, but I hid even from them.

Did I ever try to commit suicide again? No. Thought about it, but something always pulled me away from the edge. Do I still think about it? More than I like to admit but that is part and parcel of Depression. You learn to be a survivor. A fighter. You learn that you are not alone. There is a lot of resources out there to help you. It took me a long time to figure that out. I like to think I can help someone else with letting you into my world. If you feel the need to talk please leave a comment or use one of the links below. Don’t try to do this alone, because you are not alone.

I hope you have stayed with me to the end of this post. When I began it I thought it would just be a short one about my attempt and the aftermath, but my muse guided me in a different way. Remember you are not alone. And above all remember to love fully and laugh often.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline-1-800-273-8255

The Lifeline @800273TALK

International Suicide Hotlines

National Institute of Mental Health

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Monday, September 11, 2017

Never Forgotten

It was a day just like any other day. Well maybe a bit different in the fact that I was looking for a new apartment after separating from my husband. I had moved to the southern part of Illinois at his request, and now I was coming home. Bitter at the betrayal by the one who I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. I just wanted to come home with my tail tucked between my legs, to try and rebuild my life and trust.

I was crashing on my mother’s couch and had just started my new job. I was in search of a safe harbor to lick my wounds and move on. A friend told me that the apartment above them was available. I was in luck. It just happened to be an old landlord. They agreed to meet at nine that morning to show me the place. In my mind, I already knew I would take it just to get out of my mother’s house. I had escaped her once, I did not want to live under her roof any longer than I had too.

I had worked late the night before and ended up crashing on my neighbor’s floor to save me the forty mile drive from my mom’s. It was her son’s thirteenth birthday that day. We sat at the dining room table discussing her plans for his celebration. We both were finding it hard to believe he was thirteen already. I remember there was a movie playing on the TV in the background. Neither of us really paying it any attention. The knock on the door signaled the arrival of the landlady coming to show me my future home.

I went to answer the door knowing who it was since it was just a couple minutes before nine. I never realized how much my world would change in the opening of the back door of my friend’s apartment. I never realized how much the whole world would change that day. The date was September 11,2001.

It was the day before my nephew’s second birthday. Two boys one thirteen and one just hours away from the tender age of two. The days of feeling safe ended that day. The feeling that our country was safe. It was all ripped away in just a few short hours.

The view that was playing on the TV.
I answered that door to find my future landlady looking shell shocked. I asked if she was okay. She asked if we had seen the news. By this time my friend had joined me at the door. She answered for me that no we hadn’t seen any news. She asked why. The answer floored me, “They blew up a building in New York, they say it was the World Trade Center” was her answer. We invited her into the house and rushed into the living room, the movie was gone replaced with the special report about the bombing. The second plane hit as we entered the room. We all looked at each other as it felt surreal. Someone was attacking the United States of America. This couldn’t be happening.

I remember the shock and feeling of numbness. And then the realization that this would lead to war. A war my brother who was in the military would be sent to fight. To be told to make ready on, what was the day before his son’s second birthday. I wanted to call him, find out what he knew but he was stationed in Germany. I remember we all sat and watched as the towers burned and collapsed. We watched as they reported the plane heading towards the Pentagon. We could not fathom who would do this unthinkable act. Who would risk war with our nation? The landlady finally said we should go check out the apartment, there wasn’t anything we could do. Life went on.

I barely saw the apartment my mind still focused on the scenes we had watched on the news. I paid the deposit and got the keys to my new start. I thought it an absurd thought, he I was looking to rebuild my life and the whole world was crashing around me. My day was done yet though. Panic had spread through the streets as people began preparing for the worst. The grocery stores filled with people stocking up on supplies. I thought it had been bad on the previous year when the ball dropped on the new millennium. This was far worse.

I was working at a truck stop on the edge of town that day and as I approached my workplace, the next shock hit me. There were cars lined up at the pumps, trucks circling the lot waiting for a chance to fuel. I almost was hit by another car in both my car and as I walked into the station. The news had caused a gas war and price were being raised. People were trying to get fuel before the next rise in the price occurred. That was one of the most nerve racking nights I have ever worked. We had to break up fist fights and feared being robbed. All clerks were called into work to have eyes on all aspects of the store. As it was we still had a few drive offs and caught several shoplifters. The world was in chaos.

The next few days after the collapse of the twin towers, the world settled into a sense of waiting for the next calamity. We no longer felt safe in our homes, in our towns, in our country. The rescue workers dug through the rubble looking for survivors and the families waited for news. Those with family overseas worried if they would be safe. The military began to prepare for war. The world changed and not for the better that day. Our feeling of security was ripped away and has never returned.

A lot has happened in my life in the last sixteen years. Some of it good, some bad. What remains is that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. The feeling of being safe in our world stripped away in one day. In that one single act of terrorism, the enemy both robbed lives but in the same moment united a nation. For once we all came together to rebuild our world anew. I sometimes wish that we could be united once again as we were then. One nation, one people. As we remember the lives lost today, let’s remember those lives became a symbol of unity in a world gone wrong.

Thanks for reading my remembrance of that fateful day and as always love fully and laugh often.

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Year Goes By

Today I am writing about journeys. What kind of journey, you ask? For this post, I am talking about the journey to becoming a published writer and a successful blogger. I recently was going back through my old post and discovered that this blog has reached its first birthday. Where has the time gone? So I figure I will take you on the journey of the first year of a Glimpse of My World.

My first post was on August 4, 2016. This day is special for another reason besides the start date of my blog. It is the birthday of one of my dearest friends, Fred. What is sad is that I don’t know if he has even read one of my blog posts. Our communication is limited due to his lack of a computer or phone. I hope he has though because he has always been a strong supporter of my writing.

What can happen in a year? So much but not enough, is my answer to this question. This year saw a loss, change, battles, and hope.We lost a special member of the family in the loss of our youngest cat, Donny. He will always be remembered as he plays a role in my upcoming book.He was and is a member of The Cat’s Eye Gang.I still find myself seeking him out while I am writing. He inspired me every day with his perseverance against a life long illness.

I saw a change in many parts of my life. I saw the change in my mother’s health as she struggled to remain independent and living on her own. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t in the cards, and she is now living in a skilled nursing facility. As I watched my mom’s struggle, I also struggled to come to terms with my diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It was nice to finally have a name to what had been affecting my life for so long. I am still trying to discover what other health issues I have. My next battle is to find a way to lose weight, by doing that I hope to alleviate some of my pain.

I have learned to wake up each morning prepared to go into battle. I battle against my health, my financial situation, and life in general. I have adopted the motto that I will keep fighting until I am in the grave, and hell, I will keep fighting from the grave if I must. I am tired of letting circumstance rule my life. I am taking my life back and going to win.

A few short months after I started this blog, I began working on what is now my book in progress. I had thought my first book would be on a totally different subject and genre. Fate had other ideas though and Tales of The Cat’s Eye Gang was born. ?Inspired by the cats I share my life with, it has reached the place where I can see me writing “The End” in sight. I have written over 60,000 words to date on this manuscript. Along with this adventure, I have shared every word written in all of it’s unedited, first draft glory on my sister blog, Tales of The Cat’s Eye Gang. If you want to join the adventure please check it out.

In the last year, I have been fortunate to meet some incredible people. Writers like me as well as artists, actors, and friends.My blogs have been nominated for awards, not once but twice in the last year. To the ones who nominated me, I offer huge thanks. I strive with each new post to improve, to grow stronger as a writer and blogger. Every day I learn something new and try to incorporate it into my writing.

You can’t look at the past without thinking towards the future. With this in mind, I want to let you know what my future plans are for this blog as well as my writing life. As I stated above, I am nearing completion of my first book. Once the first draft is written, that is when the real work begins. I will begin the editing phase, where I take my manuscript and go through it with a fine toothed comb. I will be looking to refine and polish it before sending it out to those lucky enough to be chosen as my beta readers. As I get the input from them I will begin the revision phase. I know it sounds daunting but I am looking forward to the challenge.

This is also the year I start looking for an artist to bring my main characters to life. If you have been following my Tales of The Cat’s Eye Gang Blog, then you see each week a picture of what I think of while writing. I want to bring a visual for each of the gang members that will help my readers as they enter the world of Cameria. I will also be looking for my cover artist and professional editor. With each step, my readers are invited to join me in my journey.

I also will be working on improving my health and finding answers to my concerns about my health. I also want to work on finding where I want to be living. I currently live with my brother, but have dreams of owning my own home. This year I am striving to reach that goal. So as you see I am ready for this next chapter of my life to begin. I hope that you, my reader will take the journey with me as I offer you Glimpses of My World.

Remember to love fully and laugh often.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Here Come The Sun?

The sky in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Photo by the author

Today the sky is matching my mood. One moment bright and sunny, but in the next dark ominous clouds move in to block the beauty of the sun coming up. Off in the distance, I can hear the sound of thunder. To add to the gloom, the wind picks up and the temperature drops. The humidity making my clothes feel clammy against my skin. I can feel my hair as it at once frizzes and falls flat.

Like the sky, for one moment I am happy. A smile playing across my lips as I watch my niece and nephew get ready for their first day back at school. Oh, to be young and carefree again. So many possibilities, so many adventures yet to take. That is when my nemesis, “What could have been”, comes calling. You know the voice. It is the same voice that plagues you with “what if’s and maybe if I had’s”. You know the one. 

Just like that the sunshine on my soul becomes clouded and my eyes feel the gathering of tears, I try to keep them at bay, from falling like the rain that has begun to seep from the clouds above me. I feel as if I am standing next to a whirlpool just waiting to suck me in. My legs weighted with cement, I am unable to run or hide. I turn and walk into the house, time to escape to the cave I find beneath my covers. My joy so short lived as if it has never been.

For anyone who has ever dealt with Depression or Bipolar Disorder, you know what I am talking about. When you throw in chronic pain, the emotions battle with the pain for your focus. People who don’t live with this do not understand just how much it can still your focus. They think you are just being lazy or have no discipline. Those are the people you want to punch in the mouth but to raise your arm and make a fist just hurts too bad to do the punch justice.

It’s as if you are not berating yourself enough for feeling weak and worthless, let’s just have some uneducated, uncaring person open their mouth. Then they have the audacity to ask why you are in such a bad mood. Well duh! What do you expect?

I already feel like crap, and then to have someone treat me like I am faking my tiredness, pain, and mixed up emotions. I would love to be able to reach out and just by touching them, let them feels what I am feeling for a moment.Let them feel the sucking vortex as it drags you under. To a place where you fight for every breath as panic overwhelms you. As blackness seeps into the edges of your vision, and your soul cries out for some relief. Only no relief ever seems to come.

And then like the clouds above blocking the sun, a cool breeze blows and they uncover the bright light. Coating the world in a surreal glow. And you think for one minute that maybe the clouds are gone for good. You take a deep breath and once more a smile plays upon your lips. You lift your eyes to watch as the kids walk down the road towards the school bus. The moment of blackness gone. You turn back towards the house, there is work to be done.

I give thanks that this isn’t an everyday thing, but I also work very hard to control all that ails me. I take my medication religiously. I try to stay away from triggers, I write to let the feelings out that I don’t feel safe enough to say in person. I read about my illness’ and research better treatments. I also read other writers who like me battle each and every day.I take hope in their journeys as if they were my own.

Thanks for stopping and reading about what I have to say. I hope if you are feeling in any way like I do that you are seeking the medical attention needed to help you through your day. By all means, leave me a comment and let me know how you battle your demons. I hope this day finds you in the sunshine with a smile on your face. As always remember to love fully and laugh often.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Rambling On

Happy Monday everyone. I am slowly getting back on schedule with my blogging. This week has been hard because my health issues have caused me some extreme pain. I was supposed to see a new doctor last Monday and I get there only to be told that they don’t take my secondary insurance which covers my co-payments. I then had to call my primary physicians office to find out why they referred me to a doctor that doesn’t accept both and I find out that they no longer have my secondary insurance information in their files. Oh, the joy of dealing with doctors when all you are seeking is the help to alleviate the pain and find out what is wrong.

On top of that my muses were still a no-show as far as moving my book along. I think the pain aided in their staying away. When all you can think about is hoping that parts of your body won’t go into muscle spasms and freeze in a contortion of what they should look like, it is kind of hard to think about writing the integral final chapters of your book.I spent the week instead refurbishing an old dresser that should have taken one day, two at the most to finish. Because of the heat, we are experiencing down here in Hell; oops I meant Texas. I had to work in short spells to keep from overheating. Add in the stupid muscle spasms and it made for some fun trying to hold a paint brush.

I’ve enclosed pictures of the before and after of said project. It wasn’t until I was taking the picture
for the after picture that I realized I missed a panel in the painting process. How did I remedy the situation? I stuffed a basket in the space thus trying to hide the white glaring out at me. As you can see it didn’t do a great job but will suffice until I can find the energy to paint it.

As anyone who has done a renovation on an old piece of furniture, it gives you time to think about stuff. I thought about how a few short years ago, I would have whipped this out and have started a new project within a day or so. Now it took me a whole week. As I thought along those lines I began making a list of stuff that I could do with ease before my health decided to go all wonky. Sure I expected at the ripe “old” age of fifty to have to slow down a bit. I have battled arthritis most of my life. As I aged it spread from just my ankles and knees, up into my back, and eventually to my arms.

 Now I have to add painful spasms that go bone deep, leaving me in a pain that is hard to describe. I hate when the doctor asks me if the pain is a burning, throbbing, or sharp pain. I always catch myself saying yes. This is when the doctor asks “well, which is it?”  I sit there in my paper gown looking at him in confusion. “What do you mean which one? I just said yes to all of the above.” Stupid doctor, it makes me want to poke him in the eye and stomp on his foot. Then I get to ask him what kind of pain he is feeling.

Funny how I didn’t think this post would be about my aches and pains. I started with the idea of talking about my muses gone wild and how I pushed through and got some writing done anyway. Yeah, I know it didn’t happen so why talk about it.

Just now my niece asked to use my phone to take a picture of Gizmo, and as she was scrolling through the contacts to send the picture to herself, I noticed how many doctors I had in my contacts. You know you are getting old when the numbers of doctors on your phone are higher than the number of your friends and family. Out of one hundred ten contacts, more than twenty are doctors or hospitals. True, some are my mom’s doctors but for the most part, they are my current or previous doctors. Which leaves me sitting here wondering when it happened. When did I get old? I want to say I’m not old but when you see a cute guy and instead of thinking “Wow, what a hottie”, you instead are thinking how young he looks. Then you have to consider the fact that age has crept up on you.

I wonder if this is how my Mom and Dad felt when they got older. The scariest thought is that I am only seven years younger than the age my Dad was when he passed away. Now if that doesn't make you think some macabre thoughts, nothing will. But I digress. I have come to an uneasy acceptance of my age and its drawbacks. I know I am going to keep getting up every morning and trying to do what I dream about. The dream of becoming a published writer. No amount of pain or a number are going to slow me down in the completion of that goal. So I guess I can count that as a win.

Well, I think my rambling has come to an end and don’t remind me how old people have a tendency to ramble on. I might whack you with my cane. Until next week remember to love fully and laugh often.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Muses Gone Wild

You have probably wondered where I disappeared to. I can tell you it was no fun being away from my writing or my readers. I haven’t posted in awhile because my computer crashed while doing the latest Windows 10 update. I guess it is like most of us and didn’t like to change, even a little bit.

I took my computer to the shop and knowing it would be awhile before I got it back, I then went in search of a replacement. What I found was a small notebook computer that had no memory and hated my Wi-Fi network. I ended up taking it back to the place I bought it from. I then decided to use my Kindle Fire to do some writing. Yeah, that didn’t work out too well. It ends up that my Kindle has lots of room for books but not much else. At that point of discovery, I had just learned that I would be without my computer until the first of August because I had to wait on payday to rescue it from the shop. I sat wondering what I did to the universe for this form of Karmic payback.

I thought to myself that I hadn’t always had a computer to write so let's do things the old-fashioned way and write longhand. I pick up my pencil to begin to write and it seemed like my muse stood behind me tapping its proverbial foot, agitated at my lack of technology.

So what did my muse do, decided it was going on vacation until my computer was back where it belonged. I thought okay if the muse for my book is gone, maybe I can garner the muse that gave me an idea a few months ago, for a new project. Great time to start character profiles and fleshing out my story. I got started and did get the beginnings of one character, and that was when the current muse got wind that my previous muse went on vacation. You know what happened after that? Yes, sir, Muse Spring Break 2017 had begun.

At that point, I threw in the towel and stopped trying to force something that just wasn’t happening. What did I do instead, you ask? I did as little as possible, no I’m kidding. I took a break from social media for the most part. And picked up a book or two, okay three to read. I had two that I had started and just never got around to finishing because I didn’t want them to influence my book in progress. What books did I finish reading? The first one was written by a nice lady named Jenna Moreci. Jenna is a relatively new author, having published her first book, Eve: The Awakening. She is currently working on her second book. She also runs a great vlog on YouTube, if you are a writer or just want to delve into the mind of a writer this vlog will help you and make you laugh.

The next book was Confessions of a Retail Whore by Jess.E, an author that is in one of my writing groups on Facebook. She hit the nail right on the head in this story about working in retail. If you have ever worked in the world where “the customer is always right”, you need to check it out. I found myself laughing at her observations and shaking my head in agreement with her assessment of the field of retail. You can find her book on Amazon.

The third and final book I read while on my vacation from writing was by one of my all time favorite authors. Karen Marie Moning. Karen has written two series that have kept me enraptured for hours.The first series was “The Highlander Series”. In these books, I fell in love with Dageus, Drustan, Gavrael, Cian, and of course Adam Black. The stories of The MacKeltar clan kept me up into the wee hours and had me immediately picking up the book as soon as I woke up. She then added The Fever series, and as with the MacKeltar’s, I was drawn into the story of Mac, Barrens, Dani, and the Seven. Which is where the book I was reading came from. I finished reading Fever Born, and I can’t wait to read the final book of the series.

So there you have it, folks. How I spent two weeks away from all of you. I am now reading the more mundane material, books gendered toward my work as a writer. You must always keep expanding your universe and education; to stop means you become stagnate and we all know what stagnate water smells like. I hope you check out these books, or read something more your style. Just keep reading. Until next week remember to live life fully and laugh often.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Switching Gears

Here we are once again. Another week has passed and I am a little bit older, and none the wiser. I wasn’t sure that I would do a post this week because the computer gods frowned on me and my computer crashed. Talk about that be a major “Oh, the hell no!” moment. What is worse I was in the middle of writing. I was typing along happily and the call of nature, well called. I go off to take care of business, and on my return, find my computer had decided that it didn’t want to work anymore for the day. I guess it wanted a break from my crazy writer’s life and a vacation at the computer guru’s shop.

I know you are thinking well, what did you do in the event of such a catastrophe, I did what anyone would do. I started looking for some way to finish what I had been doing before everything went sideways. I started thinking how I could get another computer in the middle of the month when I am broke. I started looking through old purses thinking maybe, just maybe I was in such a hurry to change out the old one and start using the new one that I might have left a few dollars hiding away. Yeah, no such luck. So never one to admit defeat I started looking through my credit cards wondering if I could squeak out just a little more money from them. As you may have guessed the credit card gods hate me too.

I know, how am I logging in a post and no I didn’t use my phone? Call me old fashioned but I have trouble writing anything but tweets, and likes. I don’t even use Facebook on my phone. In my mind, my phone is just that a phone, not a mini computer where I can do almost anything I do on my big computer right in the palm of my hand. I have broken down and began to do my banking on my phone and have my insurance cards magically appear on it for when the officer pulls me over to ask me why I was going so fast. He just laughed when I said I have a computer emergency and needed to see Dr. Fix-it. Hey, by making him laugh I got off with just a warning so don’t knock it. After leaving my baby with the computer guru, I was heading down the road to Walmart to see what they had cheap in the way of computers when I remembered the pawn shop. Now I usually forget things like pawn shops and second-hand stores. As cheap as I am, I still always seem to give my money to my home away from home, yes that would be Wally World.

Well, I made a quick right turn into the pawn shop parking lot before I could change my mind, and went inside to see what they had in the way of cheap computers to hold me over until Dr. Guru repaired what was causing my baby’s illness. I walked around until I found where they kept the computer’s and had a look at what they had.  First off, I am picky in the fact that I only will use an HP computer.  Tablets are different, but for laptops or desktops; it must be HP so that meant that half the computers they had were stricken from the list to choose from. Next, as I said before I was broke, I had only so much to spend. That took out half of the remaining list. I was left with two to choose from. When I looked at the prices and what they could do, I opted for the least expensive. After all, I have no idea what it is going to cost me for my baby’s vacation away from me. So here I sit pounding away on an HP Stream Notebook. So far it has taken care of my writing needs, my gaming needs not so much. I shall live without my games, not happily but that’s okay too.

So that is how my week has gone first loading my writing programs on the wee computer and then downloading all my other programs I can’t live without.  Oh, and building my bookmarks from scratch because my list is downloaded on a disk and this computer has no disc drive. Oh, woe is me.  Once I did all of that I finally found time to sit and write.  So, for those readers who are nice enough to read both my blogs, today is a twofer day. You get The Cat’s Eye Chronicles and Glimpses of My World all for the price of one.  I posted both blogs today. One late, the Chronicles usual date for release is Friday’s and this one today instead of Monday. Once I have done all of that, I get to go chase down at least one cat to get a cute picture for my daily photo blog. Here kitty, kitty. I hope to come to you next week from the big computer but either way, I will be back. Ya can’t keep me from writing, it’s what I do. So, I’m off to try to catch some cats doing something picture worthy and I want you to remember to live life fully and laugh often.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Out of Focus

In this busy world of today, it is easy to lose focus on what is important. I find myself losing sight of my goals, and then my focal point is obscured by the daily happenings of everyday life. Do you find you have the same trouble?

This has made me go deeper into why we lose sight of our goals. Why it is so easy to just give into the daily grind. Why we need to fine tune our habits to be able to reach for what we want in life. How we can use practical applications to help us make those goals attainable. 

I thought that it’s a lot like when we are trying to take the perfect picture. We choose our subject, line up where we want that subject in the picture, and then work to bring it into focus to highlight the best feature. Yet when we try to move to capture the perfect shot, the picture goes fuzzy, it has gone out of focus. 

I found this true of myself this week when I realized I had stopped setting my focus. The picture of my future had turned fuzzy because I had been moving along with what life had to throw at me instead of stopping to remember my goals.

What made me thinks of this is that when I began writing my book, I set goals to where in the process I wanted to be. I made the goals of by what date I wanted each step in the process to be done.

I also began making quarterly goals. These I would write down and place in my journal so that each day I opened it to write, my goals were right there in black and white, well in whatever color ink I chose to write them in, but you know what I mean.

As I began researching the ways to accomplish your goals, I found many resources to help you reach your goals. In one I found the person wrote about the concept of making and achieving their goals. In the article, it said that setting goals affected the outcomes in four ways. The four were Choice, Effort, Persistence, and Cognition. So, I decided to take each one and apply it to the goal of finishing my book and getting it published.

First, let’s look at Choice. Goals narrow the attention and direct efforts toward the relevant activities needed to reach the said goal. It gives you a focusing point, where you are less likely to do non-goal oriented activities.

So how did I use choice? I made the conscious choice to become a published author. I made the choice to put it at the forefront of my daily life. To live and breathe my book until I reached the goal of publication.

This leads me to the next concept. Effort. What was I willing to do, what effort was I willing to make to reach the end conclusion? 

The effort of sitting down in front of my computer every day and writing was a habit I had to develop. Before I made the choice to write my book, I wrote whenever the mood struck me. Because I hadn’t made a conscious choice to write my book, I had nothing to make me put the effort into my writing.

What else did I do to show effort? I began to keep track of what I accomplished daily in the form of word count tracking, hours set aside to write, I made it a daily goal that I needed to do every day. By doing this I had a tangible way of seeing that my efforts were showing some sign of completing the writing of my book. That is how I have reached the word count of over fifty thousand words as of this last month.

We have come to an important word in this quadrangle of words. Persistence. Why is it so important? Persistence is important because, without it, you will let everyday life invade your resolve. You must persist in your goals making it less likely that you will have setbacks in pursuing your goal.

How do you persist? How do you remain in focus? I like to think it is my own dogged stubbornness that helps me reach this. I set my mind on the goal when I made the choice to pursue it. I sat down every day and put in the effort it takes to get what I want. My book published and out where the world can read about what I created in a “What If?” moment.

I set not only a goal of finishing the book. I set daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
By using persistence those goals get accomplished.

I had lost focus a bit in that I realized I had not set any quarterly goals for not just one quarter but
two. Here we are just beginning the third quarter of the year and I keep feeling I slacked off. I was
persistent in my goals. I did keep making my daily and weekly goals but in the madness, that is life, I lost focus and who knows what more I could have accomplished if I had persisted in making my
quarterly goals.

The last word is Cognition. I never would have thought of this when applying it to goal setting. Cognition, lets' look at the definition.
a. the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.
b. a result of this; a perception, sensation, notion, or intuition. 

The mental action or process. By making my choice to write a book I began a journey of understanding the process to get it done. I made the conscious effort and persisted in learning how and what I needed to do to reach the conclusion I had set as my goal. 

I looked for ways to change how I did things and in so doing, I gained cognitive awareness of all the aspects I needed. I found that by sticking to a schedule, making those daily, weekly, and quarterly goals that I had formed a habit. Most people think of creating habits as a chore. I never knew by being aware of what I wanted that in doing it my cognition of the idea changed. I learned new behaviors to accomplish what I wanted to do.

Funny how I began the day with the knowledge of what topic I wanted to talk about this week. That of how by missing making my quarterly goal list I lost focus on what I set out to do all those months ago. I never knew that I would be forming new habits, or that the satisfaction I gained each time I struck a goal from my list would in effect make me work harder to doing what I needed to do.

In closing,  I can say that there is a new list of quarterly goals resting in the pages of my journal. And to add a little extra push. I have used the sticky notes app on my computer to post a note with those goals right on my desktop. By doing this as soon as I open my computer that list is waiting for me to accomplish it and strike it off the list.

Do you make goals? Are they daily, weekly, or in some way different? How do you remind yourself of those goals? And do you reward yourself when you accomplish the big goals? Let me know in the comments. Now I’m going to go work on my daily list. Remember live life fully and laugh often.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Living Life to It's Fullness

As I sit here writing this post I think about what I want to write this week. It has been a pretty uneventful week, most of which I spent sleeping thanks to the wonderful pain medicine my doctor prescribed me for an unexpected flare-up of gout. You just have to love walking around feeling fuzzy for almost five days. The good news is that my gout has subsided back to where it came from.

Now comes my next thought, I hate saying I have gout. You’re probably asking me why that is and
for truth,  I don’t have an answer except that it makes me feel old. When I hear the word I always conjure a picture of an old man sitting with his foot up on a stool, a cocker spaniel puppy draped across his lap. His foot is swaddled in bandages, and there is a cane propped up against the wall nearby. He is a jovial old man. One who has spent his life enjoying it in abundance. He is a little pudgy, with a rounded belly that reminds me of Santa laughing with his bowl full of jelly. His eyes are bright and alert, with a wire set of spectacles resting on the bulbous end of his nose. A fire burns merrily away next to him in the fireplace by his chair.

Yes, I know I am a bit crazy, but there you have it. I don’t think of me even at my young age of fifty having gout or for that matter all the other afflictions that hit me as the hands on the clock ticked by, moving the years forward. I don’t want to be thought of as old, even though if you ask my niece, she’ll say I’m older than dirt. When did this happen, did I miss a memo or something?

In my mind, I still feel the same as I did years ago. Sure my body doesn’t move as well as it used to, but whose does. My excuse is that I have lived and worked almost every day of those years, all the long hours, lack of sleep and apathy seem to slow me down after awhile. As each year passes it feels like your body stiffens just a bit more, ready to have some relief that never seems to arrive. Now I have pictures of people bent into grotesquely shaped pretzels as they age, floating across my mind. What was I talking about again? 

Oh, that’s right. Gout and how it makes me feel old. I know you can get this at a young age, it happens due to excess. Too much red meat, wine, and all the stuff that makes life more appealing.
What caused mine you ask? A choice cut of steak cooked over an open fire, grilled to perfection by my dear brother last weekend. The first thing my doctor asked was if I had any red meat recently and I actually felt naughty for admitting that I had. When did it become a crime to enjoy a good steak, with you paying a penalty with your body. Getting old sucks.

So now I am going through a revitalization of my lifestyle. Getting rid of those things that cause more harm than good. I am taking a long hard look at my diet, at my activity level, and even my stress levels. I’m trying to make changes that will extend my walk on this planet we call home. I want to stick around to see my smart ass niece and nephew grow up and realize maybe us grownups weren’t too crazy after all. Most of all I want them to remember me for being alive, not some broken down, worn old woman. I want them to know that I appreciated my life enough to make the changes to ensure that I would be there for them.

I guess the essence of my story today, is that it’s a fact of life that we are all going to get old. What we have to decide is if we are going to accept the mindset of an old person, and grab our rocking chair and cane. Or are we going to live “La Vida Loca” as the song goes? Live the crazy life. I don’t know about you but crazy sounds a whole lot more fun. How about you? Which would you rather do? Let me know in the comments what you do to stay young. Until next week remember always live life fully and laugh often