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Electing to Muse before the Laundromat

I tread lightly with this post.  Like a teen on a floor full of squeaky floor boards late at night.

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It has come to pass.

Someone with no military experience is to be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy.

Someone with no political experience holding office is to be Head of State and Head of Government of the United States.

I shudder.

I shudder because someone who has problems editing himself and can’t help but display his racism and misogyny is to communicate with other world leaders.

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I was advised by a friend of many, many years that I have no right to ‘complain’ because I didn’t vote.  That I should become a citizen and do so, THEN I could complain.

I rebutted with the fact that I am here legally and have paid taxes (beginning at 14).

I reminded her that I have a son who is a citizen and worry for his future.

I also mentioned that throughout this entire campaign, I didn’t once comment on her obvious support of a candidate I abhorred.

And let’s face it, if ever there were a time I’d want to become a citizen, it certainly wouldn’t be now.

Besides, now I’m over my fear of flying – perhaps I’ll enjoy a deportation?  Would be nice to see my family and friends in England again.

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But, in all seriousness:

He plans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (which, I JUST signed up for!)  which will effectively increase the premiums out of working class reach.

He plans to change the tax brackets (removing the largest one & increasing the lowest) which will only serve to add to our National Debt.

God only knows what his other plans are – we didn’t hear much about them during his campaign. (I mean, other than the notorious ‘wall’)

But you can be sure that Pence and the Koch brothers have quite an outline for him.

And that is all I will say.

I hope I’m wrong.  I truly do.

Sadly, regardless of any success he may achieve in ‘making America great again’ – the person doing it is still someone who has zero respect for women.   Someone who bullies, spews hate and lies.  Someone who does not apologize or accept responsibility for past indiscretions.

Someone who does not tread lightly.

 

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Is this IT?? (Which is only funny after you read this because, you know “it'” and “IT”

I was walking Butters for the first time this morning (more on that in a bit) and was sleepy, and it was Monday, and had this sudden thought (not for the first time) “Is this it?”

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Every weekday morning.

  • Get up
  • Walk Butters with no results
  • Come inside
  • Feed and water Butters
  • Check Facebook and Email and collect my ‘faux’ chips on a game I like to play
  • Turn on the news
  • Get in the shower
  • Do my hair – put minimal makeup (concealer, a dusting of rice powder, mascara and some color on my lips)
  • Get dressed
  • Take Butters out again (with no results)
  • Watch more news
  • Take Butters out for a THIRD time – with results
  • Make my lunch
  • Leave the house for work

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m glad that:

  1. I woke up
  2. My dog woke up
  3. I have food to give my dog and I
  4. I have a job to go to

But, I’ve got that hamster wheel feeling again!  Ground Hog Day!

Which is also why I don’t feel the least bit guilty about some debauchery this weekend supporting a friend at the Gentleman’s Club she works at.

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I missed her – wasn’t able to attend her wedding since I was holding down my mum’s house as my Nannie passed.  The minute I got wind of her returning to work, I wanted to be there.

Anyway.

Back to the wheel.

Butters and I are standing in the dirt yard – where my rented single wide sits and I just was SO overwhelmed with … “IS THIS IT?”

I used to own a home!  I used to have ‘extra’

Now I’m just creeping up on 50, renting and single.

Not only single, but if the PERFECT man came into my life, I’m such a hot mess that:

  • My pride would interfere with anything he tried to help me with. I won’t take money.  I couldn’t ‘move in’ with him.  I am TOO independent.
  • I’m so used to being alone he’d have to ACTUALLY be ‘Perfect’ to deal with me
  • I put my son before any other relationship and at 21, he’d still have to be part of a ‘package deal’

So, screwed right?

I have no savings – no retirement – no health insurance.

I DO have a car payment (as most of us do, I know) a little bit of debt and health issues.

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Therefore, the retire part of this … Doesn’t seem to be in my future. Lol.

THEN! I went to work.

In a gorgeous new dress.

Let’s talk about this.

I received some gift cards to a local shop for my birthday.

First visit – I’m thinking ‘practical’.

It’s been in the 120’s here in Arizona and I’m DREADING my electric bill.

Yes, I can handle SOME heat – but no, my dog (Butters) can’t.

So, we’re running the A/C and believe me, it’s been RUNNING!

I set it at 82 and we usually don’t get this kind of heat until mid-July.

So! With my birthday gift cards, I bought (drum roll please)

CURTAINS!  Sigh. Darker curtains to block some of the hot desert sun from our little home.

Well, curtains were too long.  (Yes, yes I measured before buying and took said inaccurate measurements with me.)

I returned them the next day and for once, put myself first. With $80 I bought: two dresses, one top, two pairs of earrings, a pair of shoes AND a very unnecessary spritzer that moisturizers while ‘affixing’ your make up. (Pretty ironic as I have just shared with you my make up regime lol). But I put that dress on today, I put those shoes on today, I put those earrings on and I spritzed.

I walked into work feeling like a million dollars, and it was noticed.

Okay, here’s the dress, although, the pic doesn’t accentuate the sheer last inches of it.

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With my pedicured toes (thanks to my mum this weekend) and a new outfit I was invincible!

Which is good – because Monday came with copier crashes – which I was on the phone and online with tech support for a while about.  A website I’m creating for a new agent which had DNS glitches and an urgent need for an owner to get home, who I drove.

A TOTAL Monday.

Some customers came in late in the day and while interacting with their agents, I was introduced.

“Is this the agent that has that house for sale on (such and such) street?”

Me: (I smiled) No, I’m just a minion.

Them: If you weren’t here would the cogs stop turning?

My bosses … The owners … “Yes, they would.”

“This is Amanda.”

And in that moment – I knew I was important there.  I KNOW I’m important at home … And I know I’m important on the planet.

And maybe, just maybe – this isn’t ‘it’.

I have so many friends, but they’re so far away, perhaps someday, when I’ve put in the work – I can be with them, or close to them.  And maybe not retiring is a good thing.

I’ve had my travels, I’ve gone from France to India on a bus already for goodness sake!

Had experiences only a few could dream of!

But right now … Just right now – it’s enough that I work with people I love and live with people I love.  And I get the feeling, ‘this isn’t IT’.

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First Tangent of the Year

Two things resonated with me on Facebook today – one friend got engaged last night (I couldn’t be happier for her!) and another friend wrote something really thought-provoking on ‘Fear’.

Fear + Love = Tangent.

I thought about some of the recent obstacles I’ve overcome.

Being a single parent has not been easy.

And when I say ‘single’ parent I do mean – single.  Solo.  Alone. One.

I have no plan B.  No safety net.  It all comes down to me.

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My fears are usually those of the ‘not being able to provide the basic necessities for my little family’ variety.  My little family now being an 18-year-old son and a dog that adopted us.

It’s nothing short of terrifying.  (And exhilarating when I succeed – if I’m being honest.)

But, I could never be in a relationship born of fear.  Only love.

I don’t understand people who bounce from relationship to relationship because they can’t be alone.

I don’t understand ‘gold diggers’ or those women that have a ‘sugar daddy’ that pays their bills.

I’m not judging them either.  I’m sure there is a reason they don’t feel empowered or lack the drive to go it alone.

Just as there are reasons why I am so stubborn and independent.

It doesn’t make my way right – it’s just my way.

I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I settled for anything less than true love.

And perhaps that’s why I DO live with myself.

Not willing to settle.  Not willing to be in a relationship for the wrong reasons.

But new fears – or, perhaps that’s not the right word … new ‘unknowns’ are to be embarked upon.

My son (God willing) won’t need me in a couple of years.  When he’s learned to juggle achieving a higher education and providing for himself.

He’ll be cutting his own path and I’ll have to look in the mirror and answer to the little girl who used to be me.

She had wanted to be an archeologist, a teacher and a writer.  She had wanted to marry her Prince Charming and live happily ever after.

I never did get that Cinderella to the ball.

But, I can look her in the eye and say ‘but you had a beautiful baby boy – and you turned out to be a good mom.’

She wanted that too.

I feel change coming.

And there is fear.

An electric buzz in the air, foreshadowing that 2014 is going to be a very important year.

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The day when fear asked me to look at it

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Had  unexpected discussions today with two people I respect, about fear.

Both conversations were independent of one another.  So I have to consider that the universe put the topic in my path for a reason.

My truth and understanding is that every negative emotion I’ve had has stemmed from fear.  Envy?  Fear I’m not enough.  Anger?  Fear I am not in control.  Hate?  Fear I possess or am capable of possessing a characteristic of the person or thing I’m hating.  (Although, I haven’t ‘hated’ for a very long time.  Hate is such a strong word.)

I experienced something last week that I processed quickly enough so that I didn’t react – instead I responded.  I was able to understand and diffuse a toxic situation.

I shared something personal with someone I trusted.

That person, in turn, shared it with someone else, accompanied by a derogatory comment … but accidentally sent it to me.

I addressed the issue immediately.  I told this person, “I shared that with you in confidence – had I wanted that other person to know, I would have shared it with them.”  Denial followed.  But, when you have proof in black and white – it’s hard to deny.

I was then treated very cooly by that person.

It’s funny isn’t it?  When we’ve harmed another, we tend to treat them as if they were the perpetrator of the wrong doing.  Out of embarrassment?  Guilt?

Okay, maybe not so funny – but it is a common reaction  to getting caught hurting someone.

I sent this person another message – telling them that I understood the temptation to share the information, as obviously I felt the need to share it.  And ‘Let’s start the day over.’

Of course, it took the rest of that day getting the cold/embarrassed shoulder and half of today – but the latter part of the day, their shame must have dissipated and they forgave themselves enough to warm the shoulder back up.

I forgive them.

I shared this story, because I’ve come to understand a lot about others through understanding myself.

As I said to one of the people I discussed ‘Fear’ with today – “I still have fear.  But I no longer sit in it.  I acknowledge it, examine where it’s coming from and address it.”

And I let it go.

I’ve had moments in the past when I’ve been absolutely crippled with fear.  It’s just a most horrible feeling.

Fear of losing someone – fear of financial insecurity – fear of failure.

But I’ve come through those moments.  Everything worked out.  As long as I looked the situation in the eye – searched for the root of it and did the work to the best of my ability to fix what I could.

Sometimes a situation like losing someone, can’t be fixed. But my attitude about it can be.  I have to believe that nothing happens by mistake.

My fear of financial insecurity?  Probably a healthy fear, especially considering that I am not a material girl.

I feared not being able to provide shelter, food and necessities for my son and myself.   Having almost been homeless – counting out change and selling items to pawn shops for gas money in order to job hunt tends to strike some fear into you.

But, we did not find ourselves homeless, or hungry.  I had faith, kept moving forward and I did find a job.

When I realized that job was not going to afford me the ability to meet our needs,  I took a second job.

As for the fear of failure – as long as I’m doing the next right thing – realizing where my shortcomings stem from and making the effort to change them – I cannot fail.

I combat fear with faith.  And I feed my faith with gratitude.

And the more I am grateful – the more peaceful my heart becomes.  The more peaceful my heart becomes, the better I become at loving others.  The better I love others, the quicker I am to understand and forgive them.

And loving others helps me to understand and love myself. I don’t fear that.

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Musings from the laundromat – Unapologetic edition

A friend asked me what was going on and how was I feeling this morning – he said “Your blog post was a big downer …” 

My first reaction to that was that today’s post needed to be a super upbeat, a “I’m SO grateful, joyous” positive post to make up for yesterdays sad one.

But I am not going to do that.

I get tired of apologizing for being human.

I have said before and I’ll say it again, I really don’t tend to edit myself.  Ask me a question, I’ll answer it.  You know where you stand with me.

This bleeds over to my blog.  I keep identities secret, but not my feelings.  And I’m not about to start now.

I received an instant message from a dear friend of mine last night after I published Dirt and destiny, and we typed back and forth and I sat there, on my porch, and I cried.

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It felt SO good and was just what I needed. 

Not maudlin, not sobbing, not gut wrenching ‘why me’ – ‘poor me’ crying … just, cleansing tears. 

Acknowledging that I was sad and scared and unsure.   Letting a long week out onto my cheeks.

She said just the right things.  Things I needed to hear.  That it was okay to want things for myself sometimes too.  To consider myself.  That I deserve to be happy.

I fight this.

I find myself constantly trying to make amends for my past by not allowing the notion that I could deserve to be happy to blossom.

I should clarify – I AM ‘happy’ … we are speaking of ‘happy-ever-after’ happy.

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Once you have come to the above conclusion – once you have found what and who you want, you recognize that there are only so many tomorrows.  And maybe there isn’t even another ‘tomorrow’. 

I’ve also been taught that if there is nothing you can do – do the next right thing.  So, I’ve been to the laundromat, washed the dog – and after this post I’ll clean and find time to rest. 

I’ll read one of the books I’m currently reading and breath. 

I tend to succeed in pushing through tough times.  And when I’m uncertain or worried, I find the light and grow through it. 

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I also have to remember, that my imagination amplifies every situation.  I have to decide how to feel.  And in the end, I always choose happy.

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