Revisiting Labels…

It continues to confuse me, after I don’t know, for sure, HOW long, how me being me is labeled as either good/bad – as succeeding/failing – as blessed savior on this front or that or ‘what is wrong with the world’ on other fronts –

Want an example?

Here ya go –

In my world? My life?

Me being me is seen/labeled by many, all at once – the following:

  • Humble/Low Self Esteem
  • Leader/Bossy
  • Empathetic/Projecting onto others

Same shit, same audience, different labels –

Thus, as always, it occurs to me, every durn day results in reminding meself,

“Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder”

and there just isn’t much I can do about that – overall – 😀

Ta-da! There’s the short version of the previous 2,000 word post filled with memories, lessons learned, context, sarcasm, quiet truths, etc….

In short….

😀

Acronyms Tell Tales

Acronyms and industry lingo memories have recently come back on my radar and I find myself musing over tales of the past….

The second website I ever built, was a campaign website for a local sheriff’s election candidate.

We had discussed colors, I had about info, backstory, the timeline of his careers etc.

Mission statement, main campaign platform points, pictures and the logo his friend had made for him.

Then he sent me his ‘tagline’ his team of supporters had come up with.

Leadership, integrity & experience –

Sounded good and sounded true for what I knew of the man.

Just about until I put it in the heading, with Title Case in the selected font that would portray tradition and strength – –

All I saw upon ‘previewing’ the header look the first time, was

LIE

Oh, No, no no no! That simply won’t do….

I immediately called him and told him to go back to his think tank and come up with something different, but they were adamant about the words.

So I simply changed it to Leadership, Experience & Integrity

LEI

I chuckled and said to him, “well, if others see the world as I often do, all they’ll think of is being welcomed to Hawaii and it’ll give them warm fuzzies in the emotional part OR maybe, subconsciously, they’ll vote for you in hopes they win a trip to Hawaii, don’t ya think??”

Yes, I have a weird way of entertaining myself – but, such thoughts have been a part of me for so long, are often the only things left that carry me through hard times, I’m loathe to straighten up, be serious, mature and professional… in short, give up such ways of being..

Industry Lingo

Between career changes, side jobs, periods spent in temporary labor force, contract jobs and various things I must learn in order to properly understand the world my clients live in and build their website for them, I have picked up lingo and acronyms from many industries, hobbies, software tools and causes.

Sometimes, for a new job, I would cart home Policies, Rules and Procedures 3 inches thick with attendant appendices filled with short hand descriptions, acronyms and definitions, to memorize so I could do my job properly and keep myself out of trouble.

Sometimes, I worked so hard at memorizing them, in order to get up to speed, pass my probationary period, etc., it took me awhile to figure out that many of my co-workers, both new and old hats, hadn’t done the same….and when they were silent after I spouted off some idea in a meeting, using all the lingo, it wasn’t because they either hated or were considering my proposal as possibility…

They simply had no idea what I just said….

Let the Fun Begin

Once I did grasp what the issue was, I just couldn’t help myself.

I started making up my own acronyms, and kept pushing the hilarity further and further, all while waiting with baited breath, to see who would finally be brave enough to call me out on it and ask, “What does that stand for? Not familiar with that….”

Took nearly 6 months, after 7 project proposals had been approved, completed and did in fact, quickly deliver the ROI I had projected, before I got ‘caught’.

ROI – Return on Investment

Not in spectacular fashion – wasn’t fired, wasn’t humiliated in front of the top managers or bigwig clientele….

It was rather not what I expected at all –

Just a quiet question from my boss, in the confines of his office, after so many others had gone home and he and I both had uninterrupted time to discuss strategy, project time lines and create the schedule for the upcoming projects risk management profile – –

All which sounds really important and sophisticated….

Until I tell you the truth about quiet early morning or late night sessions.

All they really entailed was me educating him on what all the various project points, sticky notes with numbers on them and lines drawn between various points on the butcher paper that was strung all the way around my cubicle walls, full of words, acronyms, my own version of handwriting/short hand notes, really meant, so he could put them into the fancy project management software to make a pretty report and manage the management of it all, for the upcoming phases I and another temp were building.

She and I saw clearly what we were building, and how to approach it, but in vast companies with huge budgets, several layers of management and important folks needed to be continually reported to and assured all was proceeding as planned, or, alternatively, given really important sounding alternatives to why there were delays, challenges or obstacles.

Side note*. Most of my creative writing education was learned on the job, compiling reports for people so far removed from daily operations, they really had no clue what they were actually in charge of managing OR putting together training for daily operational folks so they could grasp what the higher ups were really trying to achieve in the 100 page manifesto they had just put out to the teeming plebian masses.

The moment of Truth

He and I had finished up with him re-adjusting two later phases because the numbered sticky notes of what phase to do when, had been changed in my cubicle, after I learned more about the reality of the process steps, during a random conversation with a minor department head, down in the smoker’s area.

I’ve often discovered, there is the PRP (Policy, Rule & Procedures) version of how work gets done, and then there is the BOG (Boots on Ground) version of how it actually, everyday, gets done…..

What is FFMS?

“Hmmm?” I replied distractedly, as I was preparing to launch into the next list of steps once he quit typing and I was struggling to get on the track his train of thought had jumped over to.

“FFMS – you know, you often refer to it in your proposal presentations. I finally looked it up in our list, it isn’t there, what does it stand for? Is it a database or tech thing?”

I smiled. Then I tried to put on a straight face, failed and finally laughed.

The List to which he referred was a two-sided, standard letter sized sheet of paper with margins set at .5″ all around, three columns on each side, filled with with Acronyms listed front and back in size 10 pt font.

It was a bear – took me almost a week to memorize fully – even longer to figure out what portion of the project/process line all those things even fell in. Some I never did track down and about 1/3 of them were left over from the ‘old days’ and were only useful when talking to a war horse who had worked there for 15 or 20 years.

Fat Finger Mistakes Syndrome

I then told him I was surprised no one had asked me before – were they all too scared to admit they didn’t know? Weren’t listening? Figured I was a tech geek, which I’m not and still ain’t, but well….

And they simply didn’t expect to understand anything other than my promise if such and such were done, it would improve quality, timeliness and save money?

He frowned….then he smiled, then he looked serious….

“Tone it down some – one of the clients asked me today and I used the ‘geek speak’ excuse for you, but if you get caught by a client, makes me look like an idiot for hiring you – you’re doing good work, so don’t fuck it up.”

Then he smiled and said, “That is a good one though! Now what about HUA?”

I hadn’t used that one in client meetings.

It was only trucked out when, in pure frustration with what appeared to me to be pure obliviousness, or pure territorial reactions/fears, various folks decided to dig in their heels and say no, to anything and everything, even the things that would have made their work day way less stressful were proposed, or, were on a quest to display how politically powerful they were in the office.

“You don’t want to know and I don’t use it with any but the most stubborn who can’t listen…..(he raises an eyebrow, and waits….)

FINE! Since you asked and I figure you will understand, it means “Head Up Arse” and I promise not to use it again…”

He really did laugh then and said, “Nope, when you’re talking to Mr. X when he drags out meetings trying to look important? You have my full backing to use it. No problems there…”

See? I often fall in a manure pile of my own making and somehow am seen as top of the line fertilizer.

and…I still have my ‘framed goodbye card’ signed by my co-workers and him, when I gave notice and resigned from that position, on which, his bold writing displays a quote from Wizard of Oz, “I shall miss you the most, scarecrow”. And sometimes I dig it out of the memory box, read it and think of that wonderful boss, I once worked for…..even though he never let me forget he could never remember just why he hired me instead of the really smart gal with a Masters degree in technology…. I still miss working with him…often…and how I learned to see the reminder as early warning I was skirting on the perimeter of violating some hard lines in his world….

I suppose, really, I’ll never get over my desire to bring the ludicrous to the places where folks take themselves so seriously, they end up being nothing but pompous arse-wipes.

There is just too much to be gained by continuing and too much to lose if I let go of such things, to my continued way of thinking.

Most arrogantly and simply because in the end, it is, all about me.

I have no wish to follow a leader into this field of battle or another, who wishes only to surround themselves with “Yes, boss, whatever you say boss, aren’t you brilliant! boss…” people.

I understand following orders in military and high possibility of injury/death on some fronts – I get that – and yet, so many other things that fill modern world? That are treated as if they are life/death matters? I fail to see anything other than feeding of this or that other ego….

The ‘surround themselves by “Yes Puppets” leaders? Often do massive destruction and I, for one, have no wish to aide and abet them in their conquests.

And all it takes is me making up stories or acronyms, waiting to be caught, to learn fully, just what kind of leader they really are.

Dicey and risky to me, overall, I guess – on the other hand?

Quickest easiest way to separate the chaff from the grain, to my mind – and I learn a lot, all along the way – sometimes quickly and easily and sometimes the hard way – and well – in the end – the fields of battle I now play in?

Just aren’t a matter of life and death – they are simply a step by step matter of building a castle and then defending the ground that surrounds it – that is the only project management I personally know and it is strewn with hopes and desires, attacks and gains, disappointments and achievements – gains and losses….

In short, I, like everyone else, wades through the game of Life – sometimes on the perimeters, sometimes in the thick of things and sometimes, we hide from it….

P.S. – Yes, I secretly have a LOT of FUN and get a lot of chuckling to meself fun out of closing out a long arse post by including “In short” at the end of it – Those who read to the bottom and comment upon the incongruity of such a line?

P.S.S. – Yup, entertaining meself – because I’m arrogant and it’s all about me and my blog….

AWESOME! Spell check FINALLY doesn’t mark incongruity as a ‘misspelled word”. FINALLY! Been waiting years since I first learned that word didn’t exist in online dictionaries!!!

My work here, is done – at least on the ‘incongruity’ front…..

First Cars

My mind has been musing upon my first car, since awhile back, after watching two young children get their motorized tot-car out of a muddy section of back yard pasture land.

At first viewing, I was tempted to comment on the cute video, shared by a family member, with the question, “didn’t they have burlap bags in the vehicle for such emergencies??” followed promptly by the thought, “now, where did that come from??

1977 VW Scirocco

I knew why – my first car. 1977 VW Scirocco.

Long ago, a local friend of the family ran a used car business, my mom and I had been juggling work schedules in order to share the family van to get to work and we had both had enough of that.

Neither of us had saved up enough $ to simply purchase outright, vehicle of our own. The panel van was purchased for back up vehicle for my Dad’s Plumbing business – and, when not needed, was free to be used on other fronts, such as providing Mom with vehicle that gave her space and grace to take her elderly neighbors and club members all to town for shopping needs.

One extra vehicle, pressed into serve on many needed fronts, in the recession of the 1980s that hard hit construction and rural areas and grocery prices, etc.

(see? It’s not just COVID that wrecks things – It’s just more in the news for some than others – please don’t forget this – I remember well, the 1980s recession….)

My mom worked freelance, I had steady weekly paychecks.

Thus, with my mom as a co-signer, we figured out the amount which was prudent/doable to finance, and off we went to Charlie’s lot.

There were two cars in the lot in our figured out and possible price range for me to meet and not destroy her good name.

One was a rear-wheel drive, automatic, with a prettier outer shell of no dings from hail or oopsies. A classic car of graceful lines and pristine interior.

The other was the front-wheel drive, manual transmission, with some dings in the body, a fading paint job and interior areas that showed threadbare in spots.

One was a Ford Mustang and one was a VW Scirocco.

One had better MPG fuel rates than the other.

One was ‘cooler’ than the other.

Driving a ‘cool’ car in high school is rather important, ya know…and yet…..

I had to have hard conversations about resale value, looks, foreign vs. domestic, maintenance costs, performance, etc….

But I succeeded in bringing home the ‘ugly duckling foreigner’, in the end.

Yup, I chose the Scirocco.

To me, it was the only choice given what I was going to depend upon it to do – traverse muddy, slickery, icy or snow drifted roadways.

80 miles round trip on county dirt roads and paved state roads to traverse to school, then work, then back home, often late at night in areas where a helping hand most likely wouldn’t just be ‘passing by’.

Needed good enough gas mileage to not decimate my weekly paycheck just to get to work and back home, in order to earn that paycheck.

Rural Living means no mass transportation and/or easy to get employment within walking distance.

Maintenance?

Well….. I had been dating a mechanic who owned a VW Rabbit. Had learned some things during that time.

I had friends with classic cars and though the model year of the Mustang wouldn’t be seen as a classic or ‘awesome car!” on any of their fronts – It did occur to me they would set about urging and hounding me to make the affordable dream go sour by trying to talk me into trickin’ it out and upgrading some parts in order to be a ‘hot rod’. Cuz, afterall, one of them owned a Mustang that WAS a hot rod, and afterall, I was their friend and didn’t know as much on such matters as they did…It would be their ‘friend job’ to steer me into making the Mustang everything it COULD be –

I could only see huge bills for engine, transmission, hood scoops to either provide actual air influx to run the souped up parts below the hood, or just to look ‘hot’ as the case would be, long nights of wet sanding modifications cut in to ‘be cool’ and then painting them over – etc., etc., etc.

I never regretted my choice.

Even after, at times, I learned roadside mechanic ‘get er done’ skills here and there along the way.

A friend at work, who was building up a side business for custom paint jobs smoothed out her lines and dressed her up in metallic burgundy, with metallic pin stripping and “Free Spirit” hand lettered on her rear end, for cost of paint, just to have free reign to make my car his canvas.

Some of my guy friends said he was doing it for a date. I figured my car had become free advertisement for his artistry….

Turned out, my friends were right, but also turned out he got business from my cost of paint job only, and it all turned out okay….

A $9 purchase of an 8-track to Cassette converter allowed her stereo system to play the music I had invested in.

Along our way together, I learned out to switch out a fuel pump in a Napa parking lot, how bad it would blister and burn to use a rag dipped in solvent tank to remove asphalt from my arm….and also learned, when you mess up when you are young and cause damage to a brand new laid parking lot area, there are folks who forgive you for your stupidity of youth – and are befuddled when Goop and Lava soap offerings don’t work to remove asphalt from a youngn’s arm….and send ya across the street with introduction, because, hey! Solvent will get that stuff right OFF!

And you learn that your drafting teacher at school the next day is really, a coach at heart that cues in on weird, careful movements of a child athlete in their field of vision – who has a full first aid kit on hand and chews you out for being so silly as to do such things, but patches it up and promises not to tell your parents how silly you were – no sense worrying them….

Hot Rodding Benefits and Consequences

I learned how to do ‘donuts’ in reverse and how much easier they were to do in a spring snow in an abandoned lot that resembled pasture….

I learned that when you were in a hurry, she would get up and go faster than you thought she was capable of…..

….and that sometimes, law enforcement are really nice folks – who don’t write the ticket for the mileage they actually clocked you at and ALSO believe you when you tell them you were hurrying over to pick up the top cable for the speedometer you had to order in and get back to hometown in time for senior play practice.

Instead, they write a ticket you can gulp at, but afford to pay and now?

Ya only gotta keep your nose real clean cuz you are driving on 0 points license and have 5 months to go before more points bestowed , instead of losing your job because you no longer have a valid license due to ticket that was more points than you had.

In short, they believed me when, in answer to their question, “Do you know why I stopped you?” – and I replied, “Not for sure, but was I speeding? Sorry, my speedometer not currently working but on my way to pick up the part to fix it!”

Football players are really Great!

I also learned that football players were more than happy to just, one to a corner, lift my car out of a muddy ditch I had slid down into, (during which I lost the Saturday night in small town, cat and mouse game we loved to play) all while I stood aside and watched in awe, and thinking to myself, “Good purchase decision! They couldn’t have done that with a bigger car or a van….”

I learned how to tighten the stripped bolt that held the alternator assembly and belt pulley (thingee!) to keep the battery charging as I drove back and forth to work, to keep it going until my days off from work arrived and I had time to visit a friend who had the tools and know-how to help me fix it correctly.

I learned how to install new disc brake shoes and to stand up to mechanics who assured me any issue was the carburetor, when I knew my car was fuel injected and they would have known too, if they had taken time to gaze at the bling on her back end that was installed at the factory.

I also learned that having empty burlap bags, a bag of sand and a small shovel in your trunk could often get you unstuck all by yourself, in adverse conditions on the main roadway.

I learned the hard way, to pay more attention to how I used the jack, and to have it well seated into it’s base, but didn’t lose a foot over it – merely broke a lot of small bones in my foot and learned to wrap my foot, and work on it too, without permanently crippling myself for life.

I watched an antelope run right into my passenger door as I slowed to make a turn and either he was in full flight from predator and thought he could beat me, or the lights confused him, or I forget to use my turn signal in the back of beyond.

Wrecked the door all to heck it did. No body to be found, so either the predator took care of it, or the antelope had shook off his concussion and limped off before Dad and I arrived back at the scene to take care of the damage I had left behind because I had worked late and needed to make my way home over 40 miles before any home front worriers thought they ought to wake Dad up in middle of the night to go look for me.

I learned miracles do happen

God watches out for Fools and Children, because I limped into town to pick up a new air filter to replace the one that had been ruined with dead winter stalks of prairie grass

(remember the doing donuts in snow in abandoned pasture? Oh yeah, clogged that air filter right up – could see the seeds and chaffe in the air filter as I shook it out……)

And then? hauled out my ’emergency jug of water’ from the trunk and used that to ‘rinse it out’, and stood flapping that air filter in the Colorado wind until it wasn’t soggy wet, put it in, started her up and made it the last 5 miles to the Napa store – only to learn….

GASP! You NEVER put WATER on an Air Filter! You probably ruined your engine….hmmm…well….all seems okay…..what the hell were you thinking putting WATER on an AIR filter?

See? God watches over fools! 😀

I drove in her through roadside sobriety checkpoints, did a cartwheel in high heels on the line that ran by her side, one New Year’s Eve, just to quickly prove I had not been drinking, and my offer to save me time and fulfill obligations for them, in their job, actually worked!

I needed to make my way to my graveyard job early enough to change out of the costume for going out with my friends in one place into practical shoes and costume for manning the 24/7 convenience gas station 70 miles away –

I had moved and was working a lot and hadn’t made many new friends in the new area – thus, I extended my visit back home, to go out with my friends, knowing durn well, I had to leave my old home by 10pm, dead sober and drive all that way to start another 2 weeks of no days off at my new home & jobs…

I just forgot to allow time for multiple roadside sobriety checks…and by the third one of the journey, I was starting to fret over being late and thought, what the heck? Why not just say so and ask, “If I can do this in a dress and high heels, would you believe I haven’t been drinking???”

Sometimes, you just get a “Yes” to your Ask….

But I also remember that earlier time….

When I did roadside sobriety tests in front of 3 of her 4 lights because I was stupid enough to drench myself in perfume about 4 blocks away from the local bar, where the current guy I was dating was out with his friends, and I, recently off shift, in my nurses aide, baggy uniform, wanted to drop by and say hi before going home, to put get up early and replace her eye beams before a long weekend of work and traveling….

All while certain I wished to smell of something other than Vicks vapor rub, disinfectant and the other not so pleasant things one must clean up when caring for those who can’t do for themselves, before ‘dropping in on the boyfriend’ out having fun…

I wonder now, why I cared? I dropped him long before I dropped perfume wearing…..

I learned that night, that for some law enforcement personages?

The lingering smell of alcohol in perfume sprays overdone all over one, in a car, with windows up to keep out the winter cold, will put them on high alert, and they really don’t like ‘sass’ when you do the back and forth with them….

“Yes, I know I have a headlight out. Special order in and dad picked it up on his way home tonight and I’ll have it installed by tomorrow morning. No, I haven’t been drinking. I just got off shift from work”

“Are you sure?” as the flashlight blinds me.

“Yes, I am sure, you can drive over to the nursing home and check my timecard, I just clocked out.”

“Don’t get sassy with me, missy. If you haven’t been drinking, you won’t mind doing some tests to prove it! Get out of the car and stand in front of it.”

And I did the tests. I mean, taking tests are just part of being a child in school, right?

Did them in my baggy pants, big shirt and nursing approved non-skid, easy on the feet shoes and was totally humiliated because, I saw my friends and community neighbors looking out of the plate glass window of the bar, a few yards away, as I touched my nose, stood on one foot, etc., and knew, the news would most likely arrive to my parents before I drove home 10 miles away….

He let me ‘go’, but from that day forward, I had a portion of my brain and heart that spouted off warnings here and there –

“Not all folks who wear a uniform or have authority are smart or good.”

I also learned how to limp into safety of town when the thermostat froze up without overheating and blowing her engine.

And then I learned how to switch out a thermostat, do a full radiator flush and get all put back together for what would work.

I’ve owned many used cars

In fact, I only purchased a new car, once, and I will refrain from naming it, just because that POS (piece of s**t) doesn’t merit any further free advertisement on my part…

And I boycotted the company who made it, marketed that which they didn’t stand by and totally screwed the pooch on earning trust from me, long ago over that one purchase.

Over my life time? ALL the $ spent on purchase, insurance, maintenance, tow fees, etc., for all the second hand, used, POSs I could afford at the time, and drove until it cost me more to fix it than purchase yet another used, POS?

ALL of them put together, didn’t had up to the costs of owning that brand new car for just 5 years.

5 years vs…now? About 5 years out of 37 years – and that little stint cost way more than all the rest added together?

Preservation of my soft spots

I have a soft spot in my heart for ugly ducklings, salvaged, used hard and not taken care of vehicles and living things, too.

I find them much more dependable, affordable regarding the resources I have to spend and well – –

I learn so very much from them- especially when I see the possibilities and I also gain delight in proving all the status quo, marketing agencies and hoarding masses who dislike me by judging my car…..Wrong!

The quiet beauty, gifts, stalwart loyalty and dependability a soul like me needs, often comes in packages overlooked, by others.

The proving others wrong on some fronts is just icing on the cake, gravy on the potatoes or side-fringe-benefit.

This post may someday have a featured image of my car. I’ll have to wait to visit my mom and scan the picture of an old Polaroid or Kodak picture to show you.

And yes, I did LOOK for a picture of that make/model/year of car on various websites- – but none available to share, did her full justice.

Not for her – and Danny? I always loved the name you bestowed upon her, during your paint job,

“Free Spirit”.

That was her name and she defied all the ‘experts advice’ over and over while carting me from A to B and never, leaving me alone and walking alongside the deserted roadway.

Label it, name it, diagnosis, here and there…

I’ve been accused of resembling this or that…Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 22 became lupus or chronic fatigue, mercury poisoning from past dental care, over-fluordiation of care & water supplies (again, past dental care, my parents sacrificed mightily to pay for and provide for me what they never had as kids and public works/infrastructure fronts), fibromylagia, endometriosis, fall out from youthful treatments of hormones, working women’s syndrome from one who GASP! Started child bearing too late or too early (first child born about 3 months before my 22nd birthday) …

I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, High functioning ADD, Bipolar, PTSD, workaholism, alchoholism because I had a beer or water wine every damn day, poor diet, poor, lower class status, essential minimum wage worker and/or one who never recedved or earned higher education past 12th grade public education certificates & the stressors determined by those who had PhDs in their fields, were CERTAIN, was the cause of my laziness, heritage of laziness and short-life span doom.

Have been given medicine to get well and go to work when some time off to rest and heal would have less fall out of ‘issues’ later….

Also given prescription only versions for pain, depression and/or lost will to live, for a time, when time and space to just ‘check out’ of the rat race for a bit would have served me better…

Have been accused of lack of religion, too much religion, failure to acclimate to professional environments or meet social norms for traditional environments -all at the same time.

Have been here and there, given what is seen as preferential treatment or survived not fair treatment, all because I’m female, white, raised Christian, self learner sans any front on most places that ever, really, rewarded me here and there for simple fact of, “I fight and work for me and mine – this is what it looks like, for today” – and was born/raised on the cusp of time where the American, Betty Homemaker standard of Strong Womanhood, wife and mother, was being tossed out of norm, and many fought for me to believe I too, should I dream and wish to do, could be a warrior, a soldier, a leader and vote on it well or slave 16-18 hours a day, 7 days a week and arrive home to someone who kept the house clean, had a meal ready and fetched my fave drink, pipe and slippers and didn’t bother me about their day and struggles, but merely made sure they took care of me and my little needs, always –

I have been mentored and enriched by crusty ole male farts, and male warriors that just chuckle when I argue with them, but teach me when I ask…

I’ve received lessons from wife and mothers who never earned a wage working for anyone but their own family, household and future generations, as well as women who had PhDs and were given the opportunity to get an education and work their career just as long of days, and sometimes more, for the outside world, by husbands and family members who filled in for them when they couldn’t be there to attend to hearth and home.

I’ve spent times where insurance and ‘responsible parent/healthcare’ trends demanded I cart myself or mine off to the Dr’s office or ER or Urgent care ….

All to often sit and wait for 7-8 hours until our ‘worries’ were deemed not important enough – but fall out if I DIDN’T Do, risked going to jail or worse, losing a child, for being a ‘neglectful parent’ –

Broken collar bones of young folks who required 5 different interviews with various folks to determine if the break happened due to child hood play or if me/my spouse were actually child abusers who needed put in jail….

I’ve sat beside the home bedside of loved ones who faded ever more from this life, frustrated in my ignorance of how to bring them comfort and relief from pain, all while told ‘no, nothing else to do, your only job is to provide comfort for them as they die, but we won’t help you when what we promise will give comfort, if you do in in this amount, on this schedule” fails, hour in, hour out, over and over….

I’ve done rescue breathing and CPR all while chewing out the voice on the other end of the line, saying, “LISTEN! YOU ARE ON THE WRONG CARD for Emergency Medical Dispatching help! There is a pulse but no respiration – They are breathing, heart is beating but they are unresponsive….” etc.,

Sheesh!!

I’ve yearned for and reached towards the space where I will slip the ‘surly bonds of earth’ only to discover, the ‘answer’ is, over and over, from both heaven and warriors who serve to preserve life, here, ‘not quite yet, you can’t go yet, we’ll not allow you to give up yet……but do not forget what you learned while you reached for the heavens….’

And, in the end – it all compiles and comes together to leave me more and more understanding when folks say, “lived through this, survived that, was diagnosed with this, I suffer from that” all while I personally, for me, say the same things, all while ALSO saying,

“Not an excuse, just head’s up on where I am, right about now….”

And over and over, where I’m at, just now, forges into to new territory, revisits old territory of the past and sometimes? Just frustrates me on the repeating cycles that so many seem to think is ‘brand new” and to me?

It’s not new – just another cycle coming around again – for me, my country, my world, Life itself – or Death calling on other fronts….

But often?

I whisper to myself and whatever God may be out there listening to my whisper, too….

“I’m all of these labels and diagnosis, and also, none of them….Until I know more – either take me out or give me the strength to carry on…”

For, the older I get?

Take me out or Give me Strength to Hold on, are the only two absolutes I cling to –

But I have that luxury of not dying young and still having a mind that doesn’t forget my past –

Thus, for today – no matter how badly my knees hurt, no matter how much my mind continues to race on this front or another, or how much it struggles to find a way through on this or that front –

No matter what my heart celebrates or mourns –

Cries out for or lauds –

It just doesn’t, in the end, matter much, for one more day – other than – will I wake up tomorrow to do it again? Or will I be gone and somewhere, perhaps, assessing whether, for one day, I told the truth as I see it, have lived it, for good or ill – for help to others, or in damage of many?

What, for now, is the NOW? of me and those around me?

I’m both blessed and cursed by the never ending repeat of ‘wake up tomorrow to stay tuned and find out….”

:D.

And yet, Knowing it, is Owning It and well, makes it easier for me to live with it all – or die, to leave it all behind….

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