Just in Limbo or I Believe in Myself

Just in Limbo or I Believe in Myself

I open my eyes. Startled I sit up and peer over at the small old-fashioned alarm clock complete with numbers, hands and a built-in light sitting atop Mike’s night table. 6:15. I lay back down. I’m not taking care of my little 2 ½ year old grandson today which means I can write all morning. I moan and bring my hand up to my forehead. I feel groggy. My eyes hurt. I had a restless night tossing and turning. Last night I counted down from ten picturing the numbers in my mind in different colors, first blue then green, hoping to quiet my mind.

At some point I must have succeeded because I eventually feel asleep but I don’t feel refreshed this morning. Sighing I get out of bed and stumble to the computer room to turn on the computer. It takes a while for that sucker to fire up so on my way back to bed I stop and grab my phone off the charger from the living room end table. I unhook it and cradle it in the palm of my hand. I crawl back into bed. I’ll just check my email on my phone, I think, then I won’t have to do that when I go to my computer. Instead I can just sit down and start writing. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. I prop up my pillows and nestle my head down. I bring up my HTC android phone and open my Google mail account. I scan through my in-box.

Farmer’s Almanac, Earth Day Special!
Amazon Deals, Pedi/Mani or Haircut deals

Thought for the Day, How to do Exactly What You Want
Ann Elizabeth-Nagle, Ann’s CD Release Concert
Deliberately Delicious, [Jazzminey Crone Chronicles] Comment: “resurging with spring”

I smile when I see the email from Ann and open it first. I read about her up coming CD release concert and I feel joy inside at her hard-earned and hard-won success. Sighing, I close that and stare at the email from Deliberately Delicious. I feel oddly numb.

Last night I just finished reading the memoir Live Through This: a mother’s memoir of runaway daughters and reclaimed love by Debra Gwartney and tossed the book on the floor when I was done. It felt unsatisfying. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I identified with the story about a single woman raising four daughters and the trouble she had with oldest two. I didn’t have four daughters but I understood dealing with out of control teenagers and feeling helpless. I was hoping to understand how things got better for her and her daughters. I didn’t’ get that understanding and was feeling let down.

I started to think of the memoir I am writing and I hope that I am not going to let readers down but how can I not think that I would. It’s not like I am the greatest writer. However, I have been writing on this memoir for over a year. I produced over 100,000 words. At times I felt the writing was going well. At others I felt it was a mess. I paid to have it reviewed. Show don’t tell is what I got. How can you show everything, I thought, the book could go on forever. After being in the dumps about the critique for a week or two, I finally decided to do something about it. I went to Amazon.com and found writing books and ordered four of them.

Showing and Telling: Learn How to Show and When to Tell for Powerful & Balanced Writing by Laurie Alberts,
The Describers Dictionary by David Grambs
The Emotional Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors and Readers, and Set Up Your Novel for Success by Jeff Gerke

I also checked out from Pauline Haas Public Library the book:
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: the Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction From Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind.

Some of those books I am reading, some I am using as a reference and some I am doing the exercises in. I think its making a difference. I reworked my memoir making a whole new folder for it called “New Version”. I am making use of more scenes and dialogue. Making it more dynamic.  At least that is what I hope.

But the question still remains and the one that rolled around in my head last night, What’s the point? There are tons of memoirs out there.  Everybody and there mother wrote or is writing a memoir.  Who cares about mine? Why bother? My voice is just one in a sea of voices all clamoring to be heard. I know, I know, I need to focus on the writing and not worry about the end result. It’s just that I am a want-it-now kind of woman so that bit of advice is hard to follow.

And now in my email is a message from Ann. Talented beautiful Ann who struggled with finding a place in her life a midst all her responsibilities for her music. But she did it. She found the time. She found her voice. She got a producer and went to Nashville, cut some tracks. I heard one and the sound is amazing. The message is uplifting. When I talked to her on the phone last night before I finished my book, she told me how Nashville is teeming with singer song writers. She didn’t say she felt like she was just one in the crowd. She just reveled in her experience. So what’s wrong with me.

Sometimes I just want to chuck it all. Wave the white flag and say, Okay, life, you win, I give up. Then I get a comment on my long dormant blog. Someone out there remembers me. Is glad I’m back. It’s bitter-sweet. I am touched by being remembered but I’m not really back. In fact my goal was to pull the plug on my blog. Stop paying for the domain, stop paying for the web service. Just yank the whole thing. Yesterday while I was walking the dogs I thought I better get to it and take care of that blog before it is automatically renewed and taken out of my hands.

Here’s the truth. I haven’t written in my blog because I think I need to be uplifting and inspiring. That is what I said I was to do. Most times, I don’t feel uplifting and inspiring. Far from it. If I try to write something up lifting it would be forced and it would show. I just can’t do it. I am left with nothing to say. I told myself I am not writing because I need to spend the time on my memoir. That’s partly true but not the whole of it. The truth is I am struggling with my choice in choosing to write.

By the way, after I checked my mail from my bed in hopes of saving more time for writing I played mahjong on my phone for at least 45 minutes. The only reason I stopped was because the dogs wanted to go out. Some mornings I am playing for an hour or more. Valuable time I could spend writing but I piss away. It’s not the blog that’s keeping me from writing my memoir its my distractions, my resistance.

And where am I with ditching my blog. In limbo. Just in limbo.

So here is a blog post. It is not uplifting. It is not inspiring. It is just me plugging along. It is just me for some reason writing a blog post. Be it good, bad or indifferent.

And for a bit of uplifting, which I am in dire need of,  here is another one of my photos with a message from myself to myself to help get me through.

IMG_3468

resurging with spring

Springtime resurgence

At least, I suspect I may be resurging with spring.  It seems I was dormant like the bear during the winter.   As least as far as writing this blog is concerned.  I haven’t written on my blog in a while and I am wondering what I want to do with it.  I’m thinking of revamping it.  Until I get that worked out, I will post a picture once a week with an affirmation.  I am listening to Bob Griswold’s self-esteem CD.  To make the affirmations I hear on the CD more personal I added an affirmation to a few of the to photo’s I took while out walking.  Here is one such picture

Reflection

 

One Lovely Blog

One lovely blog

I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog award back in September when I came back after my little vacation from blogging.  It was a wonderful surprise to come back to.  I believe that once someone is nominated that means they were awarded the award.   It is sort of an honorary thing.  When researching the Internet like others before me who have received the One Lovely Blog award, The Word on the Net, Janice Heck, Paper – Pencil – Pen,   I found the origin of the award to be lost in the ethers.  My guess is it is a way for bloggers to give their due to blogs they love.  The bottom line I am sure is to promote traffic for each other.  I think that is a marvelous idea.  The rules of the award are as follows:

ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD RULES:

  1. I need to thank the person who nominated me.
  2.  Share 7 things about myself that you still may not know
  3. Nominate 15 bloggers.
  4. Notify the nominees that I have done so.
  5. Put the logo of the award on my blog site.

I will tackle these items in order mentioned.

1.  Thanking my nominator.  I would like to thank Kim from afternoonstorm  for thinking of me by nominating me for this award. I follow Kim’s blog afternoonstorm: seeking calm in stormy waters and enjoy her insightful open and honest sharing. I invite all who read this post to check out her blog.

2.  Seven things about myself. Readers of my blog may know some of these things however I am just going to say them anyway because, heck, I don’t know what to say because I put it all out there in my blog to begin with. So, here goes.

  1. I flunked third grade.  It was a traumatic time because at first I passed third grade.  I was sitting in my fourth grade classroom one day early on in the school year when someone from the principles office came into the room and asked the teacher for me.  When I went to the principles office I found out that I was going to the third grade room.  It was the end of the world for my young 10-year-old self.
  2. I dropped out of high school at 18 to get married and have a baby which ended in divorce shortly after.
  3. I was a mother of three boys by the time I was 21. Of course having twins helped however it wasn’t easy being a baby and having babies and to make matters worse my first husband and I separated during my second pregnancy.
  4. I was a single mother for 7 years raising my three sons and unfortunately my life did not resemble the TV series from the 60’s called “My Three Sons” which btw you can watch episodes of on METV.
  5.  I married again at 29 to Mike who has been with me for eons and decades through thick and through thin, blah blah blah. No, really I am blessed and I have discussed the many ways I am blessed on this blog.  Mike blessed me with two more children when he came into my life.We had a yours and mine, never an ours, but the good news is the seven of us became an ours over the years.
  6. I enrolled in college in 1988 at the age of 38 fulfilling a secret I had locked away in my heart, to get an education, to go to college. I was on cloud nine at the start of my college years and for the final commencement. All I can say is nothing beats getting an education.  It was eye-opening for me. If any one is thinking about going to college I would say go for it no matter what age, you’ll be glad you did, even if you have to pay off a bazillion dollars in loans.
  7. Ok, here is something that is more of an emotional truth than the first six. I am extremely uncomfortable leaving feed back on other people’s blogs, web sites or what have you. For that matter I have a hard time leaving a voice mail when I call someone. I agonize over what to say, pick apart what I did say if I said anything and worry that I did it all wrong, said the wrong thing. I could read a blog post and get an inclination to leave a comment. Maybe I am even excited because what I read was something I really enjoyed or it spoke to me or whatever. Sometimes my inclination doesn’t materialize into a comment. It gets censored even before I begin. But if I do manage to pull it off and actually leave a comment more often than not I have determined that I didn’t say what I was feeling or said it all wrong and I throw up my hands in despair.

So, there it is the seven things. Read em and weep.  :Cry-Out:  Or not. Maybe you would read em and laugh.  :Overjoy:

Now for the fun stuff here are my nominations.  I would encourage you to click on the listed blogs and see for yourself why I think they each are One Lovely Blog.  Please don’t count the blogs I nominated or you might discover that I fall a bit short of the 15 mentioned in the rules.

The blogs I recommend to receive the One Lovely Blog award in no particular order are… drum roll… the envelope please.

Life’s Third Trimester  Life’s third trimester tag line reads: Supporting those who have reached 60 or above in living their lives to the fullest so they can be models for generations to follow.  With that said, if you are in life’s third trimester and would like to have creative conversations with others to live your fullest I would highly recommend this blog. Even if you are not in your third trimester, whatever stage of life you are in, you will find this blog enlightening and informative.

 Life. A New Perspective  This is a relatively new blog that focuses on looking at life from a new perspective.  It is put out by Way of the Willow a certified mental health clinic in Wisconsin.  You will find a new post a couple of times a month but is well worth the wait.  The writing and thought that goes into the posts are excellent.  The blog delves into topics such as depression, addictions and self-esteem to name a few.  The posts are personal and informative.

Matrignosis  A scholarly, informative, eye-opening, psychological blog from a Jungian perspective.  Archetypes.  If you want to understand the importance of and the role archetypes plays in our lives waste no time and head over to Matrignosis.  Jean Raffa takes the mystery out of the mysterious and presents thought-provoking articles to help bring about inner wisdom.

Aging Abundantly Just like the title of the blog implies Dorothy Sander’s blog and website imparts much-needed information and inspiration to help a person do just that, age abundantly.    Dorothy Sander focuses on the gift of aging letting us know that aging can be celebrated not dreaded.

Late Bloomer Debra Eve the author of Late Bloomer does her research when she publishes her articles on famous and not so famous later bloomers to inspire all who read her blog that it is never too late.  When ever I feel like it is too late for me to do something because I am way beyond over the hill an article from Late Bloomers arrives in my inbox lifting my spirits.

Jenna Avery Jenna Avery is a writer, mentor to writers and modern mystic.  Jenna Avery’s blog is all about helping to unleash a person’s creative force.  She address such things as procrastination, dealing with thoughts of failure to open up to success and putting passion to work for you.  She is an invaluable resource for writers or anyone with a creative passion.  She is sensitive to the needs of creative individuals.  She is inspiration at its highest.

A Slice of My Life.  This is a light enjoyable blog where Susan, the author, takes us along on a day in the life story.  I think this blog is good reading. 

Revealed Presence Photography Carla Kimball’s photo journal uses her art of photography to inspire a question that helps open up the deeper meaning in one’s life.  I look forward to the arrival of the latest photo and question.  I invite you to open up to the depth and beauty of an image and a questions.

My Spiritual Sabbatical Eleanor Brown is an inspirational writer and speaker who shares in her blog her personal essays and poetry what she learned when she “thought” she lost everything.  Her thoughts are moving and heartfelt.  The show me how to take a look at my own perceived losses and learn from them.

 Kitty blogger On the lighter side I enjoy Kitty Blogger for all the heart warming, funny, provocative photo’s whose central focus is that of the amazing mysterious feline. This posts make me laugh, sigh and ahh.  Seeing is believing. Check it out for yourself.

Ann Elizabeth Nagel is an exceptionally  gifted singer songwriter whose music is beauty to beholdShe has a blog on her music web site where she discusses the process around her music ideas.  By reading her blog you get a sense of the woman behind the music.  While your there check out the rest of her web site and see what makes Ann’s music so inspiring.

Water OverFire Contemplative spinning of straw into gold.  That tag line is provocative in itself.  The blog is philosophical.  This blogger uses different media, pictures, video’s, stories, analogies to allow the reader to think and go deeper.

RV There Yet?    My sister and her husband took an early retirement and are traveling around the country in their RV.  This blog is a travel log of their adventures.

Stupid Evil Bastard.  I  know that name sounds menacing. I don’t know how I found this blog but I’m glad I did because I think it is really good.  It is humorous, honest, thoughtful yet off the cuff.  Les Jenkins the author of Stupid Evil Bastard is really a big-hearted softy.  He is fearless and I admire that.  I don’t know how he would feel about the description but that is what he feels like to me.  Les puts a disclaimer on his about page that reads, “SEB is not a place for the easily offended as swearing is common and Les pretty much says whatever he’s thinking at the time.”  So if you are not easily offended check out this blog, you might be surprised.  Pleasantly I hope. :Who-s-the-man:

 

 

 

 

 

The Free Fall to Beat All Free Falls (figuratively speaking)

Felix Baumgarner’s unbelievable free fall

Felix Baumgartner’s free fall from the stratosphere. It’s amazing to watch. It’s out of this world to contemplate. It gives me the chills to watch. To just think of the trust he had have in his equipment, in his team, in his self.

I was on the phone talking with a girlfriend Sunday night and she told me about this man who did the free fall from outer space. What??? I thought. But after we hung up I was exhausted from the day so I numbed out in front of the TV watching Johnny O’clock an old film noir movie from 1947 starring Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes and Lee J. Cobb. I never finished that movie I ended up dragging myself off to bed.

When I woke this morning I thought of this man free-falling from outer space and went to the internet to check it out. I sat transfixed as I watched the grainy version of Felix Baumgartner jump off the edge of his little ship and fall through space. This version showed the full free fall clocking his speed playing incredible music by Sabrepulse – Arcanine. It was definitely free fall music only adding to the excitement and mystery of what this man must be experiencing. An added plus with this particular YouTube video is there would be glimpses from the team who assisted him in a control center and of his family and friends watching on some screens in a room.

What went through my head was unbelievablity. To think the idea up that, “Hey, I’m going to free fall from the stratosphere, 24 miles up.” Then to plan it out, find the necessary help and Do It. Some people must have said, “What? Are you crazy.” Granted he does dare-devil free falls for a living but still this one was over the top. Maybe not the first time someone did this but the first since 1960, fifty-two years ago. Amazing.

For me it shows a great sense of self-esteem. I mean anyone who would pull this off has to believe in himself. There must have been opposition somewhere. Supporters too. Of course many supporters. However, I am sure he needed to convince his supporters that this is what he wanted, what he needed to do. He must have had to let them know that he was born to do this awe-inspiring feat. Therein comes the trust. His trust and belief in himself. Trust and belief in the universe, the earth, the atmosphere.  They would support him.  The trust he needed to have in others to help him achieve his dream. The trust that he needed to have in all the complicated and scientific equipment. And of course his trust in his parachute. At any moment once he dove off the edge something could go wrong. But he persisted. He trusted.  He believed.

Makes me think, if Felix Baumgartner can believe in himself to the extent he did to carry out his mission, could I not just trust and believe in myself to carry out my few little dreams and goals, one of which is to write a memoir.

Thank you Felix Baumgartner for your inspiration in such a grand, imaginative and super sonic way, paving the way for meager dreams such as mine.  I’m bolstered.  I’m inspired.  I’m ready to believe and trust.  I’m ready to Do It!

More exciting video’s:

Related Links:
The Washington Post article.

Baumgartner free fall image from the Washington Post article.

Nothing beats the love and support of a good partner.

It is Sunday, September 30th and I am writing this at Governor Dodge State Park campsite 349 in our dark green 1999 Dodge Ram conversion van. I backed up the van to the electrical hookup just like a huge RV instead of this little van and pushed the cord to my lap top out the little pop out window. The back bench seat folds down to create a bed big enough for Mike and I to lay side by side. I am lying here on top of the sleeping bags which are zipped together to create a sleeping bag for two, typing. I am not really comfortable but not uncomfortable either. I’m alone expect for the dogs. One dog, Angie is on the floor by the bed sprawled on her pet bed. Dean-o, the other dog, is up here with me. It was a trip getting here I’ll say that, deciding whether to come here or not. First it was yes, then no, then yes again.

A few days earlier.

The Love and Support of a Good Partner

the support of a good partner“Mike I want to drive up to Governor Dodge and hike. The fall colors are so beautiful. I can leave Sunday. Spend the night and come back Monday. That will give me two days of hiking. What do you think?”

“I think that would be great.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Of course he thinks it would be great. He knows I love to hike. He knows I love Governor Dodge. He knows I am enthralled with the fall colors this year. And most importantly, he wants me to do what gives me joy. We could have come together. We could have left on Saturday and returned on Sunday because he would need to be back for work but since his health issues of arthritis and gout in his big toe he doesn’t enjoy hiking much anymore. Plus he’s not too big on driving even if it is only two hours. So I came up with this big bright idea all on my own for myself.

Saturday night, the night before I was to leave while lying next to Mike who was also reading, I set my book down and looked over at him. I realized I didn’t want to leave him. Yes, I love hiking and Governor Dodge but I don’t like leaving Mike.

“Mike, I’m not going,” I announced out of the blue.

“Why,” he asked turning to me placing his book spread open on his chest.

“Well, this book I’m reading is too scary. It’s about a woman who survives this rapist murderer and she helps get him sent to prison. He is getting out of prison and now he is going to be after her. It’s going to be one of those on-the-edge books where she is on step away from danger. I’m sure she will come out OK but the book is just too dark for me. And it’s scaring me now. Anyway, I don’t want to leave you.”

“You’re an independent woman. You can do this.” Mike picked up right away that the book wasn’t the real reason.

“Maybe, but it’s my choice not to leave you. So, you don’t have to think I’m not going because you are making me.”

“OK,” he said knowing full well it is of little use to argue with me.

With that I toss my book on the floor vowing silently to myself not to finish it and turn off my bedside light.

The next morning at around nine o’clock all of a sudden going to Governor Dodge didn’t seem like a bad idea. The sun was up and the scary thoughts and the sadness about leaving Mike have vanished with the night. After all I have to walk the dogs anyway and the fall colors are not going to be around much longer. All we need is one strong wind storm and they will all be knocked to the ground. What the heck I should go.

“Mike, I think. I’m going to go after all.”

“OK.” and with that he immediately sets out to get things ready for me. He remembered I wanted to take my hiking boots which were out in the shed. He got those and put them in the van. He got together the sleeping bags, a folding chair, flashlights, lighters and fire starters so I could start a fire. The day before when he thought it was a go, he went to the store and bought me some red grapes, pineapple, bananas and strawberries. Now that it’s on again he cut up the pineapple and strawberries, put them in containers along with the grapes and set them in the cooler he dragged out. He packed in some bottles of water.

“Do you want your salsa and chips,” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said not giving them a thought till he mentioned it.

“What about a Coke.” I looked at him quizzically wondering, should I?. I don’t drink soda at all but once a week we have a Coca Cola in little glass bottles made in Mexico with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. They are more expensive than regular Coke but worth it.

“Go ahead. Treat yourself.” I grinned.

“OK.”

I gathered together some clothes and put them in a backpack. I packed up my laptop and some books. Mike got the dogs food, their bowls and leashes. He put all this in the van. We were rushing around in a flurry to get me on my way. Within the hour I was draped over him in an embracing hug saying good-bye.

“I don’t like leaving you,” I said into his neck.

“You’ll be fine. You’ll be hiking,” he said squeezing me tighter.

As long as I thought I was just going for a hike it felt OK, but camping over night. I don’t know. We broke apart and looked each other in the eye.

“I could always come back after I hike,” I said with a sheepish grin. “Not even stay over night.”

“Just let me know so I can get my girlfriends out of the house,” he said. I punched him in the arm. “No, really, Janice, you’ll have a good time.”

“Well, you know I’ll be calling you.” I said as I got into the van.

So, I drove two hours to go hiking feeling apprehensive, selfish, guilty, silly. Many people do this kind of thing, I thought. They drive hours somewhere to do something they love to do. I don’t know why I should feel like I’m doing something so weird and crazy, so wrong.

About halfway there I smiled to myself thinking about the last-minute running around we both did just so I could go for a little trip out hiking in nature. How blessed I am. I am with a man who goes out of his way to help me get what I want out of life. I feel a fullness in my chest that spreads upward causing my scalp to tingle realizing what Mike did to help me get on my way. This is what a marriage, a partnership, is all about, isn’t it? Being a support, a catalyst for the other to ‘go for it’. Our marriage has had its ups but it is times like this that I understand how truly blessed I am. Nothing beats the love support of a good partner which colors my world as brightly as the fall colors.  My partner, my husband meets the seven qualities of an ideal partner that I found on Psychalive.    I just hope I do the same for him.  I hope I am an ideal partner for him.

And so I hiked for two days, four hours a day. I snapped pictures every step of the way. And, as it turned out, I had cell phone coverage even on the trails and called Mike often sharing little adventures with him. The first thing I did, after hugging Mike, was sit down and show him my pictures. I don’t know if they captured the beauty of what I was seeing. Being there and seeing the colors, inhaling the fall aroma and listening to the birds can’t be totally captured. I put a little slide show together adding some word values to a few of the pictures. Values that being on my hike, admiring the colors and having the support of Mike inspired. It took me quite awhile to put it together which is the reason for the lateness of the post. I hope you enjoy what I put together.