Sometimes the message is all about the perception of the receiver.


Well, it’s been awhile since I blogged, and the least I can say about it is that life kind of got derailed for a bit.

As you may remember, I had experienced a kitchen accident leaving me with a good sized chunk missing from my dominant index finger. That’s all healed up now, but typing was a real bummer for a few months. Sometimes you just have to stop, rest, and take stock of what’s important.  As such, I just needed to take a blog break for a bit.

As part of a break from blogging, which I’ve missed, I’ve been thinking about the types of things I write, and the sorts of things I post on other social media. 

What prompted me to do a deep think about these things is that I’ve been forced to check myself, to make sure I wasn’t posting things that may be generally offensive to others. You see, a friend said something to me that was kind of mean, said in spiteful, sarcastic kind of tone, about some things I post. These things were general posts about stuff that I do, or places I go, and I couldn’t figure out what was it that I did that was so offensive.

I began to stew on this quite a lot, to the point where I felt compelled to ask my mother, and several trusted friends, what it could be. Being familiar with my postings they had no answer for me, and were equally as puzzled. 

In thinking this through, I remember something from a college communications course I took. The instructor looked us all in the eye one day and stated emphatically that how information is received is a product of the receiver, of their life experiences, and many times you can’t do anything about that. Our perception will color everything we see and hear, and sometimes the intent of the speaker/poster is lost getting through all of that.  I see how that is true in my life sometimes, especially with political and social issues. 

Sometimes there is no intent other than sharing your joy in doing something that makes you happy, but it can get caught up and discolored in the filter of others’ unhappiness.  It’s painful to hear. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t fix that because it won’t make these people happier to see me unhappy… at least I hope not. I’ve made an effort to try not to post when I’m sad or super angry about something. It gives the effect that my life looks super rosy on Facebook, and that is an unintended result. I have a regular life with ups and downs, just like everyone else.

Blogging is quite different for me than regular social media. This is the space I use to help myself work through some things I struggle with sometimes. I like to keep it as positive as I can but once in awhile you will see things here that aren’t as happy, like today. Thanks for your patience while I work through this.  It was hard to write about, and I spent more time than normal editing this post.

Having said that, I always do my best to end my blog posts on a positive beat. I want you to know that it really is ok to be happy. It’s ok to share what you find joy in doing. Rock on, happy campers, and many blessings to you all!

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Day 14 – Writing when my brain is empty


Some days I get out of bed with my head almost bursting full of things I want to write about. Other days, like today, I’ve got nothing. Absolutely nothing upstairs to write about.

I could tell you all sorts of things about what my house sounds like today, and that it’s surprising to see Older Son up so early. Now he is sitting across the room looking at me and asking questions. It’s hard to write meaningfully when someone’s looking at you, and you know they wish you’d put down what you’re doing and talk to them.

Clock is ticking, kiddo… Tick, Tock…gotta get this blog written, run through the shower, throw on some clothes and get down the road to work.

When I started this 100 day challenge, it not only meant 100 straight days of exercise, but also 100 straight days of blogging. I love to blog, and so that was the stick and carrot in front of my face to get me going on this 100 day challenge. So that means I have to write something, and on days when my brain is absolutely devoid of anything really meaningful, I will have to resort to blathering.

Yes, that’s my big weapon in my blogging arsenal – Blather. And now you all know the ancient North Dakota Norwegian secret to life and small talk. I’m not doing too badly today, as I haven’t resorted to talking about the weather.

Older Son ventured into the kitchen to make some coffee, and is now back in the living room asking me questions about my blog, and talking about the new King Kong movie. I think the lesson here for today is that it’s a better thing to pay attention to a person than a screen, so I will go do that.

Here’s hoping that you all have someone close by who is really interested in conversing with you. No matter how interesting blogging might be, life is too short to ignore the people in it. Blessings all!

 

Day 5 – Making use of Nooks and Crannies


Another day downtime-1-28-17, and I am struck by how quickly time passes. I am completely unaware of how much time has gone by until I look up and am astonished what the time is.

I seem to be perpetually astonished this way.

Yesterday, I only experienced fail once with the treadmill stopping on me. Not terrible, but in fussing with it, I seem to have lost 6 minutes of my 30 minute walk. Well, at least according to my Fit Bit. That doesn’t take away from the fact that I did spend 30 minutes walking, but I don’t get whole credit for it. If I am to be able to track my progress, I will need to find some ways around all of this tomfoolery. Or do I need to? I’d like to, because I want to be able to look back and see just how much work I had to do in order to lose the weight and get healthy.

So, who says I don’t get credit for how much I walked? The company who makes Fit Bit? Face Book? My peers? Me?  All of the above, but that is easily fixed. I’m only the real one that matters, because I know. My body knows, because it’s stiff from the morning assault of exercise, where before there wasn’t any. I’m in constant recalculate mode to make sure I am on time in the morning. Time is everything in my daily life. Keeping track of time, and what I do in a given span of time,  is the top thing that seems to matter. It feels like I need to cram in what’s important to me in between work and other responsibilities.

I’m more than a little sick of it, no lie.

I crave to be able to just get up and not worry about how much I can get done in a day. I want to just sit at my computer and write some days, and not have to care about anything else. I’ve missed blogging, and by now you have undoubtedly noticed that my 100 Day Challenge is just as much about blogging as it is exercise. Getting healthy isn’t just about the body, it’s about the mind too, and I needed to make time for it.

I have been fretting about what I would have to chop out of my life in order to “make time” for a healthier lifestyle, and for blogging.  I think the answer isn’t to chop anything out, but to just rearrange things when the opportunity presents itself, or fill up the space with something positive where there is an empty nook or cranny available.

You may have noticed that I have a tendency towards verbosity. Part of this 100 Day Challenge is that I am trying to learn how to blog meaningfully, crammed between exercise and running to work,  while throwing back my morning smoothie. I want to learn how to cram more and better meaning into a smaller amount of verbiage because time does get away from me.  There have been so many times I had something to write about, but felt like I couldn’t do it in whatever sliver of time I had available to me. Today is awesome, because it’s Saturday, and I don’t have to be anywhere for quite a while, and I can write to my heart’s content. It feels REALLY good to write again.

Here’s hoping you find all kinds of lovely opportunities in the nooks and crannies of every day life. Make them count, even if your goal is just a really awesome nap. Blessings!

Sweet sounds, and some not so sweet


So a little update from my little nest on the High Plains: I finished my meditation class, went back to my part-time job for the holiday season (and saw my fifth anniversary) at the Big Red Box Store, made it through all of the holidays, managed to make it through three big blizzards, had a nice visit from Younger Son over New Years, and am approaching my first anniversary at my new job.

Yes, there are a lot of small details left out, but suffice it to say that it was never a dull moment at the end of 2016. In fact, I have found myself running and breathless in trying to keep up with everything that goes on. I am really thinking about what it is I need to chop out of my life so I can have more life, if that makes any sense.  How do I not chop out anyone, in order to make room for everyone? How to I make more room for ME?

In the few quiet moments I have, I try to retreat to what the smallest common denominator in my life has been: What is the blessing here? Today that is sound.

There are so many sounds that are sweet to the ears. Today’s sweet sound is that of my neighbor clearing out my driveway. Mother Nature has gifted my little corner of the High Plains with close to 60 inches of snow. It’s so much that we just don’t have room to put it anywhere. Driving down some roads is much like driving through frozen canyons, with corners so high you can’t see the oncoming traffic. The blessing here is that Spring is coming. It always does. Until then, it helps to have awesome neighbors with some kick ass machinery that makes short work of tall mounds of snow. He gets $50 bucks, I get the snow cleared away from my house and driveway in about 20 minutes. Everyone is happy!

I love the sound of my heater kicking on, which means I don’t have to tinker with it to make it go.

I really enjoy the sound of my parents fussing over their new dog. They adopted an older dog with some health issues, She’s a real sweetie, and makes them really happy.

I enjoy the “ping” of my Facebook messenger, which opens the door to a lovely conversation with one of my very favorite people, asking me if I have given up blogging. Thanks for the kick in the butt, “H”… I think that blogging is the big thing I will chop something else out to make room for.

I like the sounds of laughter coming from my boss and me, because humor helps us float on bad days. There have been a bunch of those at work  lately, but working with good people makes all the difference.

I really like the sound of my Flirt texting me to ask if I have strung my fishing poles yet. We will be going ice fishing in our new ice house tomorrow, and the line on my poles is super old. I need to put the new line on tonight, and he has volunteered to help.

These are all genuine sounds that come from real sources. The sound I don’t find real or genuine is Trump’s inaugural speech. I listened to it today, and I felt like someone was saying all the right things to get me to buy into what he is selling. I don’t believe a word of it.  Used car anyone?

It’s my wish that he ends up being a better president than I could ever give him credit for. I’m not holding my breath, but there’s always hope. If nothing else, at the end of 4 years we get another crack at a voting in someone else.

Here’s hoping that your ears are filled with lovely sounds that give you much happiness. If the sounds you hear make you feel like someone is selling you a lemon, dig deep and grab on to hope for the future. Nothing is new under the sun, and this will pass too.

 

 

Ok, I’ve arrived! Now what?!


Greetings to you, my Faithful Readers…

I know it’s been a while, and I have been away for a long time. To say that I have been busy would be a bit of an understatement. Not only did Younger Son graduate from high school and then join the military after a nice long summer, but I have also been occupied with my two jobs, as well as trying to have a semblance of a personal life. I have also been caught up in shenanigans from my ex husband. All in all, it’s been quite a wild ride this year, most especially this last half.

Recently, the thing that has struck me the most is my inability to “get it together”, as it were. I’ve kind of floated through life this last year half freaked out, and half numb, not quite understanding what my problem is. I’ve felt a general sense of being paralyzed in my thoughts and ability to function. It’s a little like walking through life where there’s no color, no passion, no real living…there’s been a whole lot of existing.

In the last couple of months I’ve had some epiphanies, and just now I’ve been able to piece together in my head what my heart has been hollering at me for quite a while: I’ve really had the terrible feeling of not having a purpose.

What?! How can one not have a purpose? Well, let’s define that a little better. I can’t find a meaningful purpose for my daily existence. I haven’t had a goal of what I want to do, or be, or where I want to go. My sole purpose for the last 5 years has been to get my children through school, and launched into the world as productive, self-sufficient human beings. Older Son is working, has successfully financed his first vehicle by himself, and really doesn’t need me so much any more. Younger Son, as I earlier mentioned, is off learning about the world via the military. He will learn a skill that is marketable in civilian life, and is pretty self-sufficient. I miss him terribly, but I don’t worry for him. At least not yet. In short, I’m here…now what?

What about my work? Do I not find a purpose, or a reason to get up in the morning for that alone? Yes. Just barely. In the last month, I have been able to get a new position at the Cube Farm. It did come with a little bit of a raise and the people I work with are nice, with the exception of my Ex. Yes, he also got promoted to this new department. It’s been more than a little stressful having him in close proximity, especially now that he is dragging me through court…again. Even though that makes it uncomfortable, the work is so boring and overwhelming at the same time… so much coming at me at once. It’s a little like trying to take a sip out of a wide open fire hydrant, and not terribly inspiring. At least my last position was something I believed in. I loved the people I worked for, and therefore worked harder.

Between some pretty awful changes at work locally, and at a Corporate level, and my lack on anyone to take care of, I feel cut loose and rudderless. I don’t feel like I have a stable platform to stand on every day where I know what I am about, and what I need to do, other than just to go through the motions of getting through the day.

Quite frankly, I feel a little as though I’m on a big highway to Nowhere.empty-highway-road

How about my love life? I’m ok with it. However, I know that it can be better. This brings me to my first epiphany. I think I might be ready to move in with my Flirt. It will take some sacrifice on both sides because we are both somewhat set in our ways, but I think we’ll do ok once we get there.

Younger Son said something to me this Summer, just before he left, that inspired me. He encouraged me to move away, and get a fresh start. My brother is busy trying to get me and my parents to move closer to his family. We’ve missed out on a lot of each other’s lives being so far away, and I’m ready to have more family around again. Second epiphany: I’m done with this place, and I would dearly love to have a clean break from it and go somewhere new and interesting.

How do I get those two ideas (moving in with my Flirt, and moving away) together and moving in the same direction? It helps that my Flirt was present for that conversation with Younger Son and promptly agreed, saying “yeah, let’s go“. No hesitation, no worry about what to do when we get to wherever it is that we are going. That’s one of the things I love about him. He brings a spontaneous sense of adventure to my life.

dancing-flamesJust this last few months, I’ve felt a fire growing in my belly that I’ve not had in a long time. I’ve spoken about having a fire in one’s belly before. This fire isn’t so much the comfy campfire kind. It’s more like a conflagration, raging out of control underneath everything else that is stressing me out. It’s not something I built consciously, but it just kind of sprang up out of left field. I can see in my head what I want, and where I want to be, and when I want to get there, but I don’t have a clear path yet and it’s frustrating. As such, I’ve almost avoided thinking about it, while still getting ate up by it.  This is the sense of purpose that I have been missing, and I need to get a choke hold on it and not fear it, or worry over it, or obsess on it. I need to prepare to be ready to jump on a good opportunity when it becomes available.

So, what’s the plan? Good question. There’s a lot to consider, and it’s more than a little overwhelming. I have a tendency to get lost in the weeds, so I have narrowed my goals down to a few items to try to keep it manageable:

1. Get my house ready for sale.

That’s right. I’m ready to dump my happy little fixer upper. First, I have a little fixing up to do. Hopefully most of it will just be cosmetic, and stuff I can do over the next year.

2. Get my finances under control.

During the last two years, my Ex decided that he didn’t want to pay what the court ordered him to pay me, and I have been robbing Peter to pay Paul. As a result, I’m trying to dig out, and get my suffering credit score out of the dumper.

3. Get healthy

I back-slid something fierce in the health department, having gained 25 lbs in the last year. I know most of it has to do with stress, because there’s nothing like the crunchy fabulousness of chips and dip, or the velvety goodness of ice cream, when the world is falling down around your ears. I’m pretty miserable carrying all of this extra weight, and I want to feel good again.

4. Get the situation with my Ex under control for good.

I’m tired of him thumbing his nose at me, and at the court system. They command him to do something, “or else”, and then he just does what he wants anyway without repercussion. I’m hopeful that this will be the last go-round with him in the court system, and that it will be done by the time March rolls around.

5. I need to get my spiritual life active again

What does this entail? All sorts of things that I just haven’t engaged in for a very long time. At this time in my life, though, I don’t feel bound by any one religion, or spiritual practice. I’ve come to realize, having been raised a Lutheran, you can take the girl out of the church, but you can’t quite take the Lutheran out of the girl. Much of who I am comes from that upbringing, even though I don’t agree with a bunch of what I was taught. I was also a practicing Wiccan for several years and, though there are some things about that mode of spirituality I don’t agree with anymore, there is much of value I can take comfort in. There’s a whole world of spiritual goodness out there, and I want to get back to being a seeker.

6. I need to learn how to live simply and decrapify (yes, that’s a word. At least in my world)

My house is full of crap I don’t need, and hardly use. My next dwelling will most likely be an apartment, or something I can rent, and I want to be able to pick up and go with as little drama and effort as possible. That means getting rid of things that don’t serve any immediate or lasting purpose.

7. Start writing again

I missed writing, and I missed interaction with you. I have had a habit of thinking in recent times that I didn’t have anything to write about that anyone would be interested in. The truth is, I have loved writing this blog for me. I found healing in it, and it’s something I need and want to get back to.

Well, I think I might have exhausted myself with all of this blather. I guess it’s been pent-up for a while and it feels good to write again. I missed it, and I’ve missed you guys.

I hope you all have that thing that lights a fire in your gut, and that makes you feel like you have a purpose. If you don’t, come walk with me and we’ll find it together. Blessings, all!

Oh what a lovely gift!


Greetings all!

Well, it’s been quite a summer, and apparently I’ve been so active that I haven’t had the time to blog for the last two months. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I will get into more about that in my next post.

For this initial post, getting back in the blog saddle, so to speak, I’d like to acknowledge that I was blessed to have been given not one, but four blogging awards by one of my favorite bloggers, Teresa Silverthorn of Beyond the Pear Tree. If you haven’t stopped by Teresa’s blog, please make sure that you do. She shares some amazing insights and is a wonderful storyteller.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Teresa for bestowing these lovely awards upon my little blog. They are as follows:

                   As part of having received these, I am supposed to tell you ten random things about me. Ok…here goes!

1. I love to blog, but don’t have a lot of time between two jobs, two kids, house, boyfriend, etc… It’s a horse I’m going to make more time to get back up on, though. I sure did miss blogging this summer.

2. I believe in reincarnation. I figure there is just too much to learn and get it all right in the space of one lifetime, so we must be able to come back and keep trying until we get it right. Goodness, I hope I’ve learned several particular lessons well enough that I can learn something else next time around.

3. I think I might be allergic to my cat…I’m hoping between the doctor for me, and the vet for him, we can figure something out so I don’t have to give him away.

4. I just picked the first tomato from my garden…a small golden pear-shaped fruit that will no doubt taste fabulous. I love fresh food from the garden!

5. Having  just got back from vacation to South Dakota, I still have one day off to do whatever I want with. Yay!

6. I’ve reached an age and time in my life where I feel like I have a chance at a new start.

7. My house is an 800 sq. ft. fixer-upper that is pretty crowded for three. It won’t be too long until the boys leave home to start their own lives, and then it will be just right for me and my stuff.

8. Every year I say,  “This is the year I will get a fence to go around my back yard!” Looks like I will be putting one around the front yard too, given that my neighbors have taken to brawling on my front lawn. No kidding…I couldn’t believe it either.

9.  It’s football time again, and I just dropped Younger Son off at practice. It always makes me so paranoid that he will get hurt, but I would be a liar if I didn’t admit that I love to watch him play.

10. This has been a Summer like I’ve not known in many years. I usually don’t make the effort to get out to see and do, but this year I did. I did so many fun things this summer that I feel like I’m starting to make up for lost time. Several items have been checked off my Bucket List, and now I have room for more!

Next I am supposed to nominate 20 people…Holy cow. I’m not sure I want to limit my list, so what I am going to do is reference  you to each and every one of the blogs I have listed in my links at the right. Honestly, I wouldn’t have them in my links if I didn’t find them a worthwhile place to go. I hope you have the time to stop by and visit each and every one…they are all fabulous places to spend time.

Thanks again to Teresa for thinking of me. I sure do appreciate it!

I have a cup of coffee in hand, a list of tasks that need to be accomplished….time to jump back into the real world and get some things done. Even though the list of things I need to do is kind of large, I still feel relaxed and refreshed. Here’s hoping that you are all feeling the same!

Saturday mish-mash


I sure have missed my blog.

Generally, my problem has been that I have a terrible case of writer’s block and can’t write. Recently, though, I’ve just not had the time. Today I have a few precious hours to myself as I don’t work until later this morning, and the boys won’t be reading over my shoulder as Older is still sleeping and Younger is at work. It’s just me, the cat and my coffee….ahhhhh!

I’ve had so much going on that I find I have an over abundance of things to write about, so I will just babble until I run out of stuff, or run out of time. Here goes:

Yesterday I asked my Dad about blogging again. I’ve been pestering him about it recently as I think he’d be really good at it, but he is resisting. I don’t know if he doesn’t think he has anything to say, or if he doesn’t want to be tied to it and feel obligated to keep up with it daily, but he flat refuses. It’s a crying shame as he has a keen intellect and plenty of interesting opinions. Personally, I think he might be a blogging addict once he got started, and I’m going to keep working on him.  I’m going to pester my Mom too. She can be wickedly funny, and I’m betting that she might like blogging too, if I can just get her started.

My Dad recently has begun to tell stories from his youth that I’ve not heard in all of my almost 43 years. Mom has always told me things about from when she was growing up, and I would imagine that she has more to tell. I’d like to get my parents to commit as many of these stories as they can to some form of permanent media, whether it’s paper or digital.

My kids have not read my blog, that I am aware of, and I am hoping that it will serve as a window into my perspective for them when they get to be older. I should take my own good advice and get on the stick and write about my childhood too, and perhaps this blog is the best spot for that.  I should also write about my kids’ childhoods. There will be a lot they don’t remember, or never knew.  I’ve been looking for a direction to take this blog, and perhaps that is it. Mixing the old and the new, comparing the happenings of today with stories from the past? Much food for thought there.

So what’s new in my little corner of The High Plains? Well, I’ve been working at The Red Big Box Store since just before Christmas, and it is a VAST improvement over The Blue Big Box Store. Not only do they have a very good sense of organization and communication, but it’s so much cleaner. Just about the only thing I have to complain about is how they do their scheduling. So far, it hasn’t been enough to make me want to leave, though, so I’ll hang with it. I also got a promotion at the Cube Farm. I’m going to a department that I worked in before, and I’ll be working for a lady who is just the bee’s knees fabulous. The job I have been in since my last one was liquidated is good, and I have amazing people to work with, but I have been feeling stagnant and bored with it. This new job will give me the variety I need and a lot of opportunity for growth. It also has the added bonus of a little extra pay, so I’m hoping to drop down my hours at The Red Box Store, which will give me some more time at home.

Speaking of home, not much has been done in the home improvement department…just not much time, and the weather has been terrible. Tomorrow, I’m going to be a Domestic Goddess and do laundry until my washer and dryer cry for mercy. I’m also going to do some basement organization so that everything is ready for the next phase of the remodel: The Pantry!  I’ve already got some extra non perishables stocked up, just waiting for a place to go. I can’t wait to get my new pantry filled up! Being prepared for emergencies is something that has been weighing heavily on my mind, and something I’ve not been able to do much about. If a person has a well stocked pantry groceries (and other household necessities) are going to be the least of your worries if something catastrophic happens. This is what a lot of people call “prepping”. It’s another topic I will be blogging heavily about in the coming year, and something you can definitely hear more about if you check out Jack Spirko at   The Survival Podcast. Jack is an interesting guy who has a lot of great ideas about how to live a good, and well prepared, life.  More about that topic later.

Well, my coffee has run out, and Older Son has risen from his man cave. Time to get showered and get on with my day!