Bloganuary Day 14: Write about a challenge you faced and overcame

I am currently on my second marriage, but you never know how things will work out, so feel free to send me a resume to have on hand in case the day comes that I am shopping for a 3rd husband…always good to be prepared…

But to the more serious question:

getting divorced was not easy.

Let’s start with the feeling of failure. I picked a crappy guy. I failed at what should have been easy- loving someone who loved me. When I was younger, I was very afraid of making mistakes, and I did not have much resiliency. I was not so great at bouncing back. So admitting to myself that I have erred so badly…it was a lot for me to take. I stayed in the marriage way longer than I should have because I couldn’t accept that I made a mistake.

Of course, my Mother was scandalized. To this day I think she still carries a veil of shame that both her daughters are divorced- she’s actually said “How bad was I as a mother that both my daughters be divorced.” For those paying attention, my divorce became all about my Mother.

Then, there was my Mother telling me to try counseling. To give him another go. to try to work it out. And while I know that many do jump out of marriages too quickly without putting in the work, this was not the case. My Mother was just couldn’t accept the divorce- her daughter was not supposed to get divorced. The worst part was, she knew he was a piece of crap. But my Mother is overly ruled by appearances- she doesn’t like the way divorce looks- and if you know my Mother you will know that she’s always right- in fact- she will make sure she tells you how right she is about everything and how she is the smartest person in the room, and one day I will appreciate how smart she is…

So the challenge became not only divorcing my ex husband, but getting over my Mother’s disappointment at my life choices.

With much self reflection and a ton of books from the personal growth section at Barnes and Noble, I was able to become a mainly functioning person. When I had a child my number one goal was to help her become a resilient, confident person. And my personal note to self was to never make her feel guilty if she makes a mistake, just be there to support her in whatever way she needs.

Anything Can Happen Friday: The Kitchen Issue

I like to make things in my slow cooker. It’s easy. I throw a bunch of stuff in, turn the dial, and then go about my day.

The other day I made a chicken stew type of thing: thighs, carrots, celery, onions…thyme, rosemary, blah blah blah…

After dinner was over, I went to put the remaining stew into freezer bags so that my husband would have leftovers for lunch.

Here’s where the problem begins. I shut off the slow cooker, but after the infamous “This is Us” episode I am clearly a little over cautious about my slow cooker, so I always unplug it right away.

This is a good thing.

Except,

I need a crock of cooking utensils on the counter, and they sit right in front of the electric outlet. As I use some non stick cookware, most of my utensils are plastic. Except for the big fork. (which, btw I don’t normally keep in the crock because I don’t use it while cooking but when your family helps and puts things in the wrong spot, how much grief do you give them?)

So the big fork leaned up against the outlet.

And I unplugged the crock pot, not realizing that the fork was against the outlet,

And everything started sparking.

Spark spark spark

And all I could think was let me grab the fire extinguisher…

Then I though OMG did I ever make sure that the fire extinguisher is still operational as we’ve never actually used the fire extinguisher and I have no idea how old it is and I know they have expiration dates and I recently yelled at my Mother who thinks her twenty five year old extinguisher is still good…

One spark and you rethink your entire life trajectory…

Two sparks and you’re cursing yourself about your lack of fire safety preparedness, because you think your taping fire safety rules to the back of your apartment door is really going to help in the event of an actual fire…

And then nothing.

No more sparks.

The fuse did blow though, so the side of my kitchen that also houses my stove and fridge is now de-electrified…

And I’m afraid to reset the fuse…

Because you know: spark spark spark

So I call the super…

and he comes down and assures me that everything worked like it should. The socket shut itself off. Which it’s supposed to do in this case (you know- where you have to push the reset button and all) and the fuse blew, which it’s supposed to do…

And he resets the fuse for me…

The digital panel on my stove starts blinking 1200, and my fridge hums back to life…

and no sparks…

Of course, I threw out the slow cooker- I was too afraid to use it once it scared the ^%$#%$ out of me…

And I did purchase a new slow cooker, a much better one than the recently departed one I got at Target for 10$ on a super sale…

Because if I don’t jump on the slow cooker horse again, I’ll be too scared to try again.

Sometimes things scare us…but we have to push through.

Bloganuary: What does your ideal day look like?

Remember when I wrote a blog about the “ABOUT” page for you blog? Remember I likened it to a summary that someone would use on a dating app? And I asked, based on my about page if you would date my blog?

Well, after looking at my 13th prompt, I I sort of feel like I’m answering dating app questions… I mean, look at today’s prompt- isn’t that a question you would ask someone you were interested in romantically? Is WordPress being bought out by a dating app and are they going to combine forces, and this is the way to see if the algorithm can multitask?

But anyway…

My ideal day would include the following, and would preferably start early:

  1. 15 minutes of morning wake up activities including listening to a song with intent, journal, one page of my daily book and a big glass of water
  2. 30 minutes on exercise bike listening to music
  3. Writing for an hour or two- with first cup of properly brewed tea
  4. 20 minute walk with dog
  5. Shower and morning pamper with aromatherapy
  6. finish crossword from night before if not done second cup of properly brewed tea
  7. Brunch, at a pretty place with a bellini and most probably an egg dish, but will not also consider pancakes or french toast. Bacon a plus.
  8. Something culturalish- movie/live performance/museum/botanic garden
  9. walk home if not too far
  10. nap on the couch with HGTV or Food network humming in the background
  11. one hour of reading a book that I really enjoy with of course 3rd cup of properly brewed tea
  12. Dinner is some sort of leftover that I unearthed in fridge- or a salad if leftovers are scarce
  13. Bath- with a face mask and hair mask and any other part of my body that can be masked except for N95 mask
  14. Not too taxing TV show for about 45 minutes
  15. Evening journaling while I have my final cup of tea
  16. Read till sleepy, which if I’ve done everything correctly, shouldn’t take too long

Morals

The Book: The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

The Quote: “I know he thinks people only have morals when it comes to judging the behavior of others, and they’ll always be able to reconfigure them when considering their own.”

I know. Third quote from this book. A book I didn’t even like all that much…A book I called thinly veiled fluff and accused the author of trying too hard to be literary instead of accepting the fact that it’s basically a light, trite novel. And yes, it’s very easy to downplay a book that I did not write and call it fluff. And it’s easy for me to look at my own fluffy writing and think it’s breathtaking in its depth on life and the human condition…and tell you that in no uncertain terms…(and even sometimes use way fancy verbage and language…)

But anyway…

Do we judge others on things we ourselves are guilty of doing?

Are our morals stronger when it comes to the actions of others, and less when it comes to the actions of ourselves?

When we do something we have previously scoffed at others for doing, do we look for loopholes to explain why our behavior is different and therefore acceptable?

I knew someone once. They talked a lot of hate regarding a certain group of people for their alleged intolerance. When I said to this person that they were showing the same level of intolerance, they responded “Well it’s OK if I do it because I am clearly right.” (for the record we were not talking about Nazi’s, which is the way too tired pull of people who are more righteous than right) FYI- take notice that I said I knew this person once, as in, after this conversation I decided that they were not someone I wanted in my life in any way, shape or form.

Are we too hard on others, and perhaps not hard enough on ourselves?

Discuss.

Bloganuary Day 12: What emoji(s) do you like to use?

I hate emojis.

Do you know what I hate even more about emojis? I hate that I actually use them in my day to day. It is my biggest cross to bear, the greatest oxymoron of my little life. For one who prides herself on her love of words, this is where I bow my head in shame and admit that sometimes it’s easier to add a smiley face instead of actually saying “That’s great”.

Lazy I tell you. Lazy. I’m taking the easy way out.

I also know that I am not going to break the emoji addiction. That’s how they get you , you know…One day you’re just texting- using whole words and writing in complete. grammatical sentences.

Then, before you’re very eyes, you notice that you are writing

R U here

because those pesky vowels and sometimes y are just too much to thumb out.

It’s a very short hop to LOL.

Then, the gateway-

๐Ÿ™‚

I mean- who knew that a colon and a parenthesis could lead one down the road to literary ruin…

I’m LA. I used to be a word girl. Now I’m addicted to emojis. I know I should stop but I can’t. I love my pink hearts, my crying laughing and the ubiquitous thumbs up.

There. I said it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Author or Reader

How many of you journal?

How many of you reread your journals?

If you reread your journals, do you read them as an author or as a reader?

I guess I’m trying to ask, how do you look at your own work? Are you critiquing yourself? Or are you wondering how you could write something so stupid? Or are you wondering how you could have written something so brilliant?

I never reread my journals. The closest I come is by having those “Five Year Question A Day” journals, and I look back at my answers to the prior years- I just started a new one this year, so I have nothing to look back on at the present, and to be fair, I rarely notice any real epiphanies when looking over my answers. Mostly these books bring back memories, both good and bad.

But I know I revisit my past as the author of those moments, those thoughts, those feelings…I am very attached to my moments and I own them.

But what if I looked at my transcriptions of years past as a reader? Would I look at them differently?

What is the difference between looking at things as an author and as a reader?

Are readers able to take a detached air? Are authors as readers too involved in the story?

or

Am I making something out of nothing and do people read things that exact same way, neither as a reader nor a writer but just as an individual?

How do you read your own writing?

Bloganuary Day 11: What does it mean to live boldly?

What does it mean to live boldly?

  1. To say yes in a roomful of no’s
  2. To wear red in a roomful of blue
  3. To not follow a trend
  4. To not jump on a bandwagon
  5. To not use clichรฉ’s
  6. To read things and come up with your own conclusion instead of what is being told to you
  7. to follow you heart instead of anything else
  8. to keep trying when others have stopped
  9. to own who you are and not care what others think
  10. to live on your terms

More or Less

The Book: Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

The Quote: “He’s not even been gone twelve hours, it can’t be that. It had better not be, it’s dangerous to become too attached to people. I think about Paul McCartney. He and Linda never spent a night apart during their marriage, except for the time he got arrested in Japan. Did that make it easier, I wonder, when she died, or much harder?”

This is a question that has always stymied me: if you see someone often, does that make their passing less or more difficult?

As I deal with my Father’s illness, and the fact that my Mother is also older with her share of health problems, I have contemplated this question a lot. Will I feel better about their passing if I were to spend more time with them?

I have no good answer.

I know some people tell me I will feel better if I see them more. I know other people tell me it won’t make me feel any better if I see them more. The only consistent is that everyone says it sucks when your parents pass…and that everyone’s journey is different.

Is there a set amount of time to spend with the people you love? To spend with your immediate family? Or is any time spent too much and too little at the same time? Is this something that can be balanced out?

Spending too much time with family can mean not spending enough time on yourself- I think my Mother sacrificed an actual life by doing the every Sunday at the parents thing her whole life. I think her over devotion didn’t help her with her own issues. Conversely, my Dad was distant from his parents and I don’t think that helped him emotionally, even though it enabled him to do well at a career. Two different approaches- neither was quite right.

If it seems like I’m floundering here, it’s because I am. I really don’t think there’s an answer to this question, yet I desperately want a How To guide as to How To Deal With Grief. Yet, I know there is no one size fits all approach to anything- there’s only suggestions and tips.

But for now, I will continue on the path that I think is right, and hope that I make peace with whatever route I choose.

Bloganuary Day 10: What five things are you grateful for today?

As you know, at the end of every day I write down my best moment of the day, my worst moment, and something I am grateful for. I started this grateful shindig a few years ago and I think it’s the most effective way I’ve found to concentrate on the little things, and how wonderful life actually is. I truly believe that it’s the little moments that make us.

So right this very minute I am grateful for:

  1. dog clothes so that I don’t have to look at my dog’s really pale, lightly furry body
  2. E books so that I can find a book to match my mood even if I end up not liking my choice and reconsider ever browsing in a book shop again because I continually browse and buy sub par fiction (for the record, I have never once regretted a non fiction organizing, personal growth or coffee table book that I browsed in a store- those in particular are always my faves.
  3. My new pink cart which I am using as a quasi self care station and it’s just a delight to wheel it from room to room and know that fuzzy socks are right there if my feet get cold
  4. Fuzzy socks
  5. my little hot plate like device that keeps my tea warm as I write

Where the Money Is:

So I was out with my friend M. We were at the subway station at Grand Central Train Station and M had to refill her metrocard. Now, I may have mentioned that sometimes people loiter around train stations…with a varying degree of intentions…

So M did not really want to take her wallet out. But as she has no Iwatch, nor set up her phone with any sort of payment tap, in order to put money on the metro card she must take out a credit card or cash so that she can up the value…

Her dilemna?

She was leery of some of the people hanging out at the machines.

Her thought was: why isn’t there more security at places where it is known that you will be opening one’s wallet.

So, as we add to my whole train station thing…should train stations be required to have additional security to protect people?

What say the group?