Happy Valentines Day!

From the crusty, disillusioned, grumpy ole-no-longer-believes-in-romance gal….

In an unexpected and totally unanticipated way, today, I was reminded –  Love abounds and I am recipient of Valentines even though I’ve ranted about “Valentines is about loving all year long, not one day a year” for so many years, I’ve worn the fiddle out….and alienated so many – –

Thank you to my wonderful Mom and Son who still believe I, too, am worthy of being saved from the abyss of cynicism – – –

:)

Valentines

Happy New Year!

I missed it – – it is now 00:04 in my neck of the woods and by the time I write/edit this post, who knows, we could be into 2016 – —

My “WordPress” year in review tells me:

I’m still popular because I did at least 5 posts since starting here on “How-To” that have staying power – – (what does that mean, really, in the whole cosmic scheme of things?)

That ‘Caulking for Beginners” still helps other folks out –

That no one, or at least, not enough folks, to my way of thinking, properly appreciated my brilliance in  “How To Properly How -To”   :)

May we be a tad kinder this year than last – – May we dream bigger this year than last – – –

May we take set-backs as opportunities a bit more graciously in the months to come  – –

May we love more, forgive quicker, open our minds to other views, a tad more quickly than before – —

May those who never vow any of these things get their cosmic justice this coming year, so we, who still hurt, can let go and trust the balancing mechanism of the Universe will take care of such things without any of us needing to turn to the dark side of the force.  :)

May 00:01 of 2015 mark the first step you take on your journey of 1,ooo miles – – -thanks for walking a portion of my path alongside of me and looking forward to the peek you give me of your journey in 2015!

Life’s not perfect – -It’s fragile and, sometimes, very hard to hold onto – – nevertheless – – the winter solstice, or January 1st or whatever you recognize as the start of the “New Year” feeds the same thing for us all – – –

A time for new beginnings, new goals – – a time to let go of what’s holding us back or keeping us stuck – – – a clean slate, a fresh start, to once more, resolve to do better – – I’ve no doubt we will – – – as long as we don’t try to accomplish a 1,000 steps in one leap – – :)

LUB

Tamrah Jo

For those of you Bewildered….

By the new options/UI of WordPress – my angst got the better of me the other night and I left feedback (in the wrong forum) which was quickly made apparent to me by a fellow blogger (timethief) who navigated me to the proper feed for disgruntled WordPressors – – !

So, if you, too, are still trying to see the goals that were to be reached by the new interface/layout/navigation – If you’ve complained about Bee-Bop-De-Doo (with no cute 20’s flapper dancing to it… I might add) and wish for your voice to be heard – here’s the link to read/comment/interact – – :)

Massive changes to the WP interface

Join the other 232 conversations going on between 39 posters – – – nothing may change, but you no longer need feel alone – and, in the end, isn’t that what the WordPress Community is all about?   :)

Update – – 12/29/14 – – Howdy WordPress and Pressors!   Followed the link in email to view my 2014 stats – – thanks, WordPress, for once again allowing me to do one-click sign out from my own dashboard – – YES!  I noticed that you fixed this!   As for my 2014 roundup stats – well – – My top 5 posts say I’m still the queen of “how-to” even if I wrote how to caulk a bathroom tub 3 years ago – – –

The end of the year stats didn’t say what I know to be true – – –

That I’ve made friendships here, that while the world may arrive here to read my ‘how-to’s’ those who matter read those other, less popular posts –  every visit – – not because they think I know what I’m doing, but because they’ve decided to join take part in my journey – – –

I love that!  And wish you all a very Happy New Year! :)

2014 Wrap-Up Blog Challenge – Present Your Gifts

Litebeing Chronicles has planned a month full of gifts via her 2014 Wrap-Up Blog Challenge – asking us to look back at 2014 and see what we were presented with – – since I tend to do this exercise each December anyways-

(remember? I list my accomplishments, back date it to January 1st and quickly, efficiently tuck another fulfilled New Year’s Resolution list away!)

and, since I enjoy reading the wrap-ups of others, figured I’d best be a part of it all! :)  Thanks litebeing for this wonderful idea!

There are still some dates left – visit 2014 Wrap-Up Blog Challenge to sign up!

What were the Gifts of 2014?

Which lessons did you learn?

Blimey! (is that even how you spell it?) there are so many to choose from – – I learned that by taking steps/actions to care for myself and protect myself, I actually ended up doing a ‘great favor’ for someone else – In July/August time frame, I was frantically busy getting a huge website done, working on extra projects at work and getting extra hours at the library – – I was starting to get overwhelmed and my health started to suffer.

One day, as a long-time volunteer and I were shelving books, I listened as she talked about the direction her life was taking, how’d she’d like to find work nearby, etc.  I, thinking purely of my own overload and how wonderful it would be to not be the only substitute available for call, encouraged her to put in her application to substitute.    And ran the idea by my boss – -

Why not?   Yes, it was a grand idea for me – but wasn’t she already doing the work?  Didn’t she say she’d like to find work locally?   Sounded like a win/win to me -

But honestly, though I was listening to her, liked her and her work ethic, in reality, I was thinking of numero uno when I suggested it – -

Then I got really sick, ended up giving my notice.  I worried somewhat about letting my co-workers down, but I had hit that momentum line in my small business where I could either work myself to death or pick one endeavor to follow – I picked my business.

Last week, I was in the library to research business tax law (yes – I can hear you yawning from here) – As I checked out my tomes and prepared to leave, she leaned over, grabbed my hand and said,

“Thank you so much for getting me this job.  You are the kindest, sweetest person I know and it’s all due to you that I have this job.”

I, surprised, stuttered out,

“It was your good work ethic and performance as a volunteer that got you the job.   But thank you.”

Lesson Learned?  For decades I’ve believed that if I just blindly followed what was best for me, I would leave a path of destruction 5 miles wide behind me – littered with the bodies of the innocent who foolishly got caught in the wake – Having been on the other end of the stick many a time when the actions of others jerked the rug out from under me – Turns out, maybe I don’t have to worry so much about what will happen if I’m good to me first.

Reminds me of a line from the Prayer of Jabez – “Lord, today, bless me first”

The author then clues you in to why – – “…so that I may go forth and help others.”

Oh and though I still haven’t gotten over my tendency to play down any compliment given to me, I did remember to say ‘thank you’ and almost, almost left it at that – – :)

How did you serve others?

I’m always trying to serve others – whether they want me to or not – – this is one of my flaws.  At work, always looking for a way to make their job easier.  As a friend, acquaintance, the person standing in line behind you at the store – I listen to your tale of woes, then respond with one of the following:

  1. Alrighty then, that’s horrible, but why don’t we make up a story that you can believe and serves you better – here, let me tell you one….
  2. You want me to go kick their arse?  Cuz sounds like someone needs to…
  3. What you need is (fill in the blank) – now, let’s go get that problem fixed
  4. Here, let me do that for you – it’s my special talent and you’ve got yours – quit wasting your time on this stuff when you could be off somewhere being brilliant at what you’re good at – – -

:)  So, I’m trying to get better at serving myself, so I’m up to the task of serving others in a more balanced and helpful way.    I know this sounds highly arrogant, but truly, I’m definitely Ms. Fix-It and ya know what?  That’s not always a positive.

It means I often offer advice when someone just needed a friendly ear – – (yes, I’m a very good listener, but at the end of whatever spiel, I’m gung-ho and giving examples on what I did in a similar situation as an option for them to consider – in fact, even in face of my own promises to myself, I’ve once more engaged heavily in this kind of behavior the last 36 hours – but I’m told the dialogue is wanted, so, I continue on – – being me – – ).

It also means that I communicate to others believing they listen to me the same way – and become resentful when I’ve clearly asked for help, but no one realized it – – :)

So, I’m trying to back off on performing ‘unasked services’ for others, getting better at taking care of myself so I don’t have to ask for help and we’ll see what I have to say about it at next year’s wrap-up!

Here’s a quote from a counselor I worked with during my marriage -

“I hear that you think anticipating others’ needs is a way to love them and be a good person, but it’s also highly arrogant – can you let them be adults?  Can you wait for them to ask before helping?”

13 years and still trying to learn that lesson – – :)

What Blessings did you Receive?

Too many to count but here’s the highlights:

  • Work, glorious paid work and, for the most part, a body healed enough to perform it.
  • Friends have arrived in both physical and cyber form who are more in tune with the ‘me’ I am now – not the one I was before.
  • Some of my personal ‘fix me’ projects have been hugely beneficial to some relationships and allowed me to let go of ones that weren’t good for me.
  • A daily routine that allows me to spend more time on activities I enjoy and less time on ‘have to’s’ – which was my M.O. years ago, but financial fears drove me temporarily back to old, bad habits – fortunately, my body clued me in to the need for course corrections – – :)

Was there something you lost that turned out to be a blessing in disguise?

Until the ex announced he was dating again and planning on moving in with her next summer, I didn’t realize that at my core, I was still waiting for him to wake up from what I had dubbed his mid-life crisis and want us to be a family again.   Even while swearing I would never allow someone to hurt me like that again – turns out, if he had followed through on his words (which I thought were indicating a reunion, but in actuality were buttering me up to deliver the news)  I probably would have made the same mistake all over again.

So this summer, instead of years ago during my separation and divorce, I went through the grief stage over my failed marriage.  As I went through the process, different scenes played out from our time together and I realized – I had been lying to myself for a long, long time.

Like Scarlett, who took the perfect suit of a man and draped it over Ashley, I, too, had to admit to myself that the signs reading “Danger – won’t turn out good” had been there from the very start.   That I had believed love, support and a willingness to put my emotional needs to the side would make the space for him to heal his own hurts.

Still can’t see where I’ll ever think it wise or safe to date/have a relationship ever again (I didn’t heal that much this summer! :) – on the other hand, think if the time ever comes, I’ll be less likely to wear rose-colored glasses -

Simply because, I threw them in the trash – – :)

Did you receive any “gifts” in terms of powers or skills?

Technically, I didn’t receive new ones, I’m just finally acknowledging what I do isn’t easy for everyone else.

I like to read, research, experiment – so to me, if someone is interested, can read and determined – they, too, can do what I do and much, much more….

Apparently not.   For some reason, my ‘view’ of the world allows me to see connections/big pictures that others don’t – sometimes, the connections/root causes I see/deduce can’t even be seen by others once I’ve explained it in full – because they are so focused on the details at one level, they have no room to shove in or decipher information from another slice of the universe – -

Which is good – because I hate to live in one slice of the Universe – – or on one level of a business – or be an expert in one field while letting a million other possibilities slip by the wayside – – I need people like them!

I value their expertise – the way they see things – I depend on them to tell me when I missing key information from that level of detail – but I always assumed that while I couldn’t do what they did, they, with time and effort, could do what I do.

Have had so many examples of why this isn’t true, for so many years, and yet, this year is the one when I finally ‘listened’ – – :)

So there you have it – examples for each….but you know what?   They all stem from the same root change in me – the bottom line that if I were truly ‘the kindest, sweetest person in the world’ I would have declared at the beginning of this post and saved you from reading all this – -

“I’m learning to value and take care of myself – without waiting for permission to do so from the external world and you know what?   The world is trucking right along, it hasn’t fallen apart and in many ways, is better because of it.”

Thank you for being a part of my journey this year – – I’ve enjoyed being a part of yours.

***********

Next up in the Present your Gifts Blog Challenge is Leigh!

Calling all Bloggers

In a previous post, I asked for help in tracking down a poem my father often referred to by various lines, but I had never located – – It’s Been Found!

(I couldn’t find it because I mis-remembered the actual lines…sigh)

I’ll share in just a moment, but FIRST…..

Pat over at New Bloggy Cat is who found it for me.   I’ve had the pleasure of being a New Bloggy Cat follower for quite some time now, as well as having a wonderful snail & email pen pal in her.   She never fails to brighten my day with her quips, quotes, cartoons and jokes.

Since I don’t have a “Prize Warehouse” stocked and waiting, I’d like to reward her in another way – -

I’m asking all my blogger friends to visit New Bloggy Cat and shower her with some WordPress Community Love!

(It’s really a reward for you, too, because her posts are always good – for a GOL (Guffaw Out Loud) or Fantabulous! )

Thank you so much, New Bloggy Cat – You’re the Cat’s Pajamas!  :)

And now I present you with….. (drum roll)

The Pessimist

by Ben King (1857-1899)

Nothing to do but work,
Nothing to eat but food,
Nothing to wear but clothes
To keep one from going nude.

Nothing to breathe but air,
Quick as a flash ‘t is gone;
Nowhere to fall but off,
Nowhere to stand but on.

Nothing to comb but hair,
Nowhere to sleep but bed,
Nothing to weep but tears,
Nothing to bury but dead.

Nothing to sing but songs,
Ah, well, alas! alack!
Nowhere to go but out,
Nowhere to come but back.

Nothing to see but sights,
Nothing to quench but thirst,
Nothing to have but what we’ve got;
Thus thro’ life we are cursed.

Nothing to strike but a gait;
Everything moves that goes.
Nothing at all but common sense
Can ever withstand these woes.

Nowhere to Be…

Last post, I quoted from a poem my Dad often referred to in my youth – I’ve searched for years to find the real poem, because I love it so much – – below is a paraphrasing of what I remember and I’m SOOO counting on my WordPress community Poets to help me find the link to the original – so far, all I find are modern song lyrics that aren’t it  – -

Here’s my best memory of what Dad said:

Nowhere to go, but out,

Nowhere to be, but here,

Nothing to eat, but food

Nothing to drink, but beverages

Nothing to forgive, but hurt

Nothing to enjoy, but friends

Nothing to Love, but Life

Perhaps, this was my Dad’s creation – but he was so open about his ‘song writing’ and guitar compositions, I have to believe that somewhere, in the Universe, this poem manifested prior to 1937 and became a favorite of my Dad’s and I would love to read/memorize/give credit to the author.

Thanks for your help.

Update! – My pal over at New Bloggy Cat found the poem – Full Details Here!

Wine Whine

Today I chose to have a free day – what does that mean?  It means interspersing reading/writing here at WordPress with housework….

And mixing my ‘water-wine’ concoction to sip on starting around 10a.m. – – nowhere to be, but here, nothing to do, but this….  :)

For those of you who are new here – I’m a beer girl – but after my stressed induced stroke, I was told “no beer, only dark red wine, 1 glass a day.”

I don’t like wine – but, mix 4 oz of it with 28 oz of water and it’s quite tasty!  Can sip along just fine – – and, on the occasion when Friday/Saturday night looms, and I remember what it was like to be excited about going out with friends, getting ready for a date, etc., and yet, not quite up to or ready to venture into that world again, I do tend to mix it in 2:3 or 1:1 ratios as the night progresses – as I search for YouTube videos of remembered songs, dance through my living room and post them, so you can dance, too – :)

I have my weaknesses I’m okay with not fixing….

So here’s my Wine induced Whine – – -

I will never get caught up here at WordPress – I follow too many people – – too many new and interesting people have started following my blog – – I tend to ‘attract’ as followers highly intelligent and creative people who post such marvelous things I cannot, in all good conscience, read and not be tempted to comment and/or write an entirely new post given what their creation inspired within me.

Having commented, I’m so excited when the ‘exchanged comment chatter’ begins – AWESOME! they are online at the same time I am – – why wait for email?!?

I’m doomed to never being caught up – -

So new rule – when I’m away, I’m going to go 5 posts back in your archive, follow your links within those, etc., but seriously, I have to draw the line somewhere or I’ll be WordPressing for the next millenia just trying to get caught up!

I looked at my “Blogs that I follow” list again – – I already pruned earlier this year and a perusal of the list just doesn’t allow for further pruning – I’d miss you too much!

I have a plan – – I have my list of ‘blogs to write’ – – I have my reconnection via comments chat with so many of you – I have my list of new followers to go check out….

Thank you for your support, your encouragement, your friendship, your introduction – – – I love this community and will find a way to navigate – – -

Thanks for letting me do so while sipping on my water-wine and having a day off….

LUB