Tag Archive | daily musings

Don’t Worry, I’m Alive!

I’m here!  I’m not dead!  I know I’ve been quiet for the last few weeks, but I’m alive!

I’m in the middle of a stressful, trying time at work, and getting towards the end of a big project in my personal life.  It’s been a lot of work on both fronts, and I just haven’t had much time to sit down at a computer in my off hours.  But I’m here, and I’m ok, I promise! 

I’ve been neglecting my friends, and I haven’t even had the time to do my evening walks, so you know things are intense!

I’m trying to stay focused on the end goal amid the exhaustion and stress.  Soon, soon, soon, things will settle down a bit and I will have more time.  I’m looking forward to it! 

Meanwhile check out this beautiful sunset I caught last week from a park close to home. So pretty!

I hope you all are doing well! 

Daily Musings: Someday

I saw this meme the other day and it stuck with me.  You can “someday” your way out of a life.  Let that sink in – I’ll wait.

I’m sure we are all guilty of this.  I am.  You end up focusing on the “shoulds.”  I should work those extra hours at work.  I should put in the extra time and effort for that promotion.  You end up chasing the dreams of others, and not making time for your own.   

And then there are the, “I wish I had time” moments.  The vacations you never take because you don’t have time.  The Sunday Funday with friends you don’t do because you are supposed to be cleaning out the closet.  Insert the things that you forego and the excuses you make for it here.  We all have different ones.  I once told a friend, “you make time for the things you want to do.”  And then I’ve said the same thing periodically to the same friend for the last 22 years.  But the fact that I’m still saying it, obviously means it’s so hard to do it.  I’m not immune.

What are those things that you want to do?  What are those things you have been putting off until “someday”?  When is your someday?  Are you letting someday pass you by, getting further and further out of reach as you chase the here and now?

And if you are, and almost all of us are, why?  What’s your motivation?  Is it fear of change?  It is the desire to please someone else whose dreams don’t align with yours?  Is it a feeling that you aren’t good enough to make it happen?  What is holding you back?

I want to slow down.  I want more time for travel.  I want more time with family.  I want more time to read and look for rocks and wander.  And I want it to be someday already.

What’s the life you are “somedaying” your way out of?  And what are you going to do about it?

Daily Musings: The Ides of March

Beware the Ides of March, they say. Yes, I know I’m a couple days off, but stay with me here…

Two of my friends have posted in the last two days about the trials of mid-March.  Both found themselves in past years facing a broken marriage, and painful divorce in the middle of March.  Both have found a more joyful, satisfying life in the years since.  These are both strong, beautiful, successful women who I have known since childhood, and admired for their tenacity, spunk, intelligence and drive.  It makes me happy that they have found partnerships where they feel valued and appreciated.

My own marriage came to an end on this day in 2016.  My husband agreed to marriage counseling, only so he wouldn’t have to tell me by himself that he didn’t want to be married anymore.  He had no interest in working on our marriage.  He merely pretended.  Afterwards, I went home alone to a corned beef brisket dinner in the crockpot, and started my next chapter.

Me feeling pensive at the Streetsboro KOA

In the years since, I’ve been through a roller coaster of grief, losing many loved ones and other traumas.  I’ve had some very dark days.  It’s been ugly, and messy and hard. I didn’t really talk about it for a long time.  Why is that we don’t talk about it?  Why are we women so hell bent on protecting those who didn’t protect us? 

But I’ve also had joy.  Moments where I felt fully at peace with my choices and my life.  I have learned that life is far too short to stay with what (or who) doesn’t bring you joy.  And God has a way of showing you over and over, as many times as you need, that you best be moving along and seeking something better for yourself.  Maybe you aren’t sure it is a sign, or a message, or maybe you think things will change for the better.  Maybe they will.  But how many chances do you give before you honor yourself? 

At any rate, St. Patrick’s Day was the day it finally sunk in.  He just said it first.  My husband wouldn’t change.  He didn’t want to.  He didn’t care.  And I was tired of doing the caring for both of us. 

God has been sending me those messages lately.  Just as I start to settle back into the routine, there is a jolt.  That uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, just underneath your sternum (at least that’s where it is for me).  That place where your body reacts when something just isn’t sitting well in your heart.  Sometimes I’m not the best listener.  I’m stubborn.  I don’t necessarily want to do the work.  I’ve been learning to listen to it, knowing that if I don’t, there will be another jolt coming in a few days or a week.  That feeling that says, don’t settle in.  Don’t get too comfortable.  This is no longer for you… 

Good changes are coming.  I have to work for it and not get complacent.

I just hope that my story, the story of another strong, beautiful and successful woman, will inspire someone the way that others have for me.

COVID Diaries: Day 723

Hopefully, with any luck, this is the final post in the COVID Diaries series!  Tomorrow is Ditch Your Mask Day here in Washington, and I can’t wait to see everybody’s bare faces!  We have been through a lot this last two years, and I’m ready to move forward.

Spring is creeping up on us in the Pacific Northwest, the robins are arriving, and the birds are singing their morning songs.  My morning commute on days I’m in the office is finally not mostly in the dark.  The early spring flowers are popping up.  And we are getting some sunny days between the cloudy and rainy ones.  New life and the signs of winter fading away do so much for my spirits!

I had planned to get up early this morning on my Friday off and head down south a bit to check out a new beach – I want to do some agate hunting!  But my car had other ideas.  It started having some issues with the door locks last weekend, and the CD player, so I dropped it off at the shop on Tuesday morning hoping they could do some quick diagnostics and figure out what the problem is.  Unfortunately, they are backed up, just like every other business, so here it is Friday and they still haven’t had a chance to look at it.  Sigh…  Hopefully today will be the day.

Thankfully I was easily able to just work an extra day from home this week, so I really didn’t need my car for much.  My mom took me over to the chiropractor yesterday.  Seeing that I’m stuck around home for another day, I’ll try to make the most of it and get into another day of purging and cleaning. 

Wish me luck!  It’s hard to stay motivated, but when you have an end goal in mind, I guess it gets a little easier. 

I hope you all have a great weekend! 

COVID Diaries: Day 718

It was a beautiful weekend here!  It was sunny and warm, and the first time this year that I tied my sweatshirt around my waist during a late morning walk!

It was also a weekend of chores.  Yesterday, between a long walk with girlfriends, and an hour of yard work, I hit 20,000 steps for the day!

I have committed to work on purging the house for 5 hours per week.  My purge-weeks go from Saturday to Friday and so far I’m at 3.25 hours.  That doesn’t seem like a lot but it is!  There’s plenty to go through, but hopefully I can keep up my motivation.  I went through a bunch of old travel brochures, greeting cards from my wedding (don’t need those!), a couple of random drawers, part of the pantry and a little bit of the garage.  I probably should stick to a room at a time, but my brain doesn’t really stay engaged that way.  I’m more a root around and see what I find type of person.

The real challenge will be when I get to the books.  Because books “bring me joy”!  But I know I need to pass along some. I’ve been doing well passing along audiobooks that I’ve already listened to, but with actual physical books it will be harder.  And the clutter in the garage.  UGH.  Wish me luck.  

Our Governor bumped up “Ditch your Mask Day”, so we only have one more week of this.  Yay!

I hope you all have a great work week!

Irreconcilable Differences

“Irretrievably broken.”  A phrase intended to describe a relationship that cannot be repaired.  But the thing is, it sometimes takes only one party to a relationship to send it down this path.  Sure, it can be a romantic relationship, and I’ve had my fair share of those.  But every relationship requires nurturing and care.  Professional relationships.  Family ties.  Friendships.  Even acquaintanceships. 

The last two years have seen so, so many examples of irretrievably broken.  People shouting at strangers in the supermarket.  Violent workplace interactions.  People attacking others in the street.  Don’t get me started on politics.  It takes so little to treat someone with kindness and respect, so why is this a dying art form?  Is it really so difficult to not be a jerk to someone whose opinion is different than yours?  Because if you think you are right, I’ve got something to share with you.  In my 21 years of Human Resources work, I’ve learned the truth is ALWAYS somewhere in the middle. 

But it doesn’t have to be so dramatic.  It can be simple neglect.  It can be death by a thousand cuts.  It can be the snarky comments, the constant interruptions. It can be dismissing someone’s advice or expertise.  It can be digging in when really, maybe you ought to just apologize. 

A little advice for you if you find yourself on this path.  Stop talking.  Start listening.  Ask genuine questions.  And by genuine, no fair trying to bait the other person; that’s just juvenile.  Consider that maybe you aren’t right after all.  Consider that someone may have another perspective.  It may not fix things, because there is always the other party who might still be intent on napalming the bridge.  But at least you can rest easier knowing that you did what you could… 

As for me, I feel I’m on a path of irretrievably broken, despite my best efforts.  And no, I’m not talking about a romantic relationship.  I’m a Virgo, and damn I’m stubborn, so I haven’t wanted to admit defeat.  But I find myself feeling like there’s not much more I can do.  It makes me sad, and frustrated, and more than a little bit tired (that stupid insomnia certainly doesn’t help).  I don’t feel like listening.  I feel like shouting.  But in the end, my own behavior is the only thing I can control.  So I try not to do something rash (maybe no promises).  And I wish I still had some of my mentors to talk through it with. 

In the end, I feel that things are gaining momentum, but who knows which way it will go.  Thanks for listening. 

COVID Diaries: Day 711

I did a whole workweek upon my return from vacation.  Thankfully it was a super short week, as Monday was a holiday and Friday was my regular Friday off.  Even three days was a long week!  Sometimes things at work just have a way of weighing me down; it was that kind of week. 

It seems I brought the cold weather home, as we got a dusting of snow on Tuesday morning and then a couple of inches on Thursday.  It is gone now, with the last of the snow washed away by heavy rain on Saturday afternoon.  This picture doesn’t show as much snow as I got, as the big fir trees block most of the snow in that part of the yard.

Good thing I got my yard work done in the morning, before the rain started, but my next chore will be to tackle the parts of the yard that were still covered in snow yesterday.  That’s the thing about the Pacific Northwest; it never gets cold enough or snowy enough for the yard work to stop, especially if you have a lot of trees in the yard like I do.

Other than the yard work, I’ve had a pretty lazy weekend; I finished a puzzle yesterday afternoon.  This beauty! 

Cora enjoyed “helping” with the puzzle, and both Cora and Yellow have enjoyed having lots of time to snuggle now that I’m home! 

I need to get some laundry done – why do the chores never stop!  Some purging…  And get the house cleaned up in anticipation of the work week.  A five day work week this time! 

I am signing up for a 15K – the Hot Chocolate Run that I have done several years in a row.  So far, one of my girlfriends will be doing it with me; I’m hoping more will sign up!  I need to get back into shape, and there’s nothing like a little incentive. 

Hopefully the spring weather and warmer temperatures will be here soon!  I can’t wait! 

COVID Diaries: Day 661

Ugh… So far 2022 isn’t looking any better than 2021 left us.

I gotta say I have winter fatigue.  After three snowstorms, a treacherous commute over black ice, multiple experiences with freezing rain, and then a big rainstorm to wash it all away, I’m really just ready for summer.  The plus side was the snow kept me from having to work from the office a few days, and I just got to stay wrapped up all cozy and working from home.  I managed to avoid any freezing pipes despite the frigid temperatures, so that was a positive.  But my skin is suffering from the dry air…

One evening I walked downtown through the snow to get out of the house and have dinner at one of my favorite restaurants.  It was pretty quiet when I got there, and I had a chance to just sit at the bar and read my book while sipping my wine.  The mussels and pork belly poutine hit the spot!

My cousin was going through old photos and texted me this one.  My brother, my dad and me – probably 1978.  I don’t know who got cut out over on the left…  I miss my dad so much still.  It’s been almost three years, and it still feels like yesterday.

New Year’s was quiet, because my friend who was going to come over couldn’t.  But I got treated to three days of her in the last snowstorm this week because I live within walking distance of her work, so she stayed with me to make sure she could get there.  We started a new puzzle.  And we walked to dinner and I got fajitas!  Oh boy, how I love steak fajitas…

 

Now I’m just trying to get motivated to clean the house.  Meh…

In other good news I have a four day work week next week and a four day holiday weekend!  I live for the long weekends!  I have a couple of friends coming up too, so I’m looking forward to that.  Maybe the year will start to turn around!

 

Goodbye 2021: Another Year in COVID

I had such high hopes for 2021 at the beginning.  Surely it had to be better than 2020, which basically delivered a whole steaming pile of death, destruction and mayhem (and some significant savings on commuting).  But in fact, 2021 has given us a crazy roller-coaster of whiplash moments that frequently left me feeling like I was a cat watching a game of ping-pong, quietly muttering to myself, “make it make sense…”

There were some silver linings in 2021 though, mixed in with some heartaches.

In May my heart broke when a long-time friend and ex-boyfriend died of a massive heart attack after spending ten days on life support.  Although we were no longer that close, there was a time when he meant the world to me and it was so hard to see him taken so soon.

I also caught Yellow in May, a stray cat who my old neighbor had been feeding, and brought him inside.  Over the last seven months, he has decided that the indoor life is really pretty good.  He sits on my lap, sleeps on the bed curled up with me and doesn’t even mind Cora.

In June, I took a vacation to parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and even a bit of Wisconsin.  The weather was hot and sunny, and good company made for a great trip.  The lakes are warm enough that you feel like you are swimming in lukewarm bathwater!  And the little sunfish come up and nibble on your legs…  

I worked almost exclusively remotely until July, when we all spent 2 months back in the office on a full-time basis.  Now, I’m back working two days a week from home, which is nice as gas prices are crazy with inflation lately.

In August a girlfriend and I got away to the Oregon Coast for a week of agate hunting, trying new restaurants and breweries, and sightseeing.  It wasn’t that warm, but it was still glorious!  We had such a good time!

I took two weekend getaways to the Washington Coast, one in May by myself and another in early December with a girlfriend.  Beach-combing and sightseeing were on the agenda, and were good for the soul.

I did several Sunday Fundays with girlfriends, weather permitting, and found new places close to home to explore.

Sadly, 2021 saw people be viciously mean to others.  A lot of people have stopped living by the Golden Rule, and somehow feel that they now have a right to judge others they don’t agree with.  Unfortunately, the internet helps with this, as people feel more comfortable sitting behind their keyboards and expelling their verbal diarrhea on others.  It has been hard to see.  In the end, we will all be judged by God and him alone, so I hope people take a step back and move back into kindness in 2022.  I have had to step back from people like that, as it just isn’t worth my sanity.

With so much time at home, I finished 11 puzzles and read 38 books! 

We are closing out the year with two big snowstorms and frigidly cold temperatures.  As I write this, the 23 degree temperature is warmer than it has been all week!  Which isn’t a big deal other places, but it is rare that we deal with the threat of frozen pipes and black ice here.  It really is pretty though when you aren’t out in it…

Given that 2021 did not indeed turn out to be the comeback year that I was hoping for, I must now cast my gaze towards 2022 and sternly notify it that it must, indeed be better.  May 2022 bring you blessings…

COVID Diaries: Day 634

Well, after three atmospheric rivers, and a lot of flooding all over the county, the weather systems are calmed down for a little while.  One man died, many farmers lost a lot of their livestock, and thousands of homes and businesses will need to be gutted and rebuilt.  The county is dotted with sinkholes and roads that are eroded away from the rushing water.  

The flooding finally made it to my hillside street, in the form of a blocked culvert that started overflowing into the street, and sending a lot of gravel out of the neighbors’ parking areas and into the street.  Fortunately, it didn’t erode underneath the street.  Really, since that is all that happened near me, I have nothing to complain about.

Then we moved onto snow.  I woke up Monday morning to a dusting of the white stuff, but it didn’t create any issues for my morning commute.  It snowed again a little on Thursday morning, but not enough to even stick.  Friday night brought a new storm of wind and rain, and plenty of snow in the mountains.  It made a mess of my yard, bringing down a couple of big branches that I’ll need to cut up and get rid of.  The yard work never ends this time of year!

I really get tired of the constant battering of wind and rain on the coast this time of year.  But given the tornadoes in the Midwest, I probably still have nothing to complain about here. 

Last weekend my friend Shelley and I took a long weekend and went to the coast.  We rented a room in a little motel, then got upgraded to a two bedroom suite with a full kitchen because the TV wasn’t working.  We beach combed,  and checked out the sights along the coast.  It was a nice getaway, despite the rain and cold.  We bundled up and managed to do ok. 

I’m not ready for Christmas, but I did manage to get my ornaments made for my family’s homemade ornament exchange; for me, who has no crafting skills whatsoever, this is a big accomplishment each year!  I’ll try to remember to share them all once I receive the ones from my aunt and my cousin. 
 
2021 has been a brutal year.  Our insurance broker at work always says that you are bound to have one or two bad years out of every five.  I’m hoping I can apply that to life as well.  I hope you all are hanging in there; there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  Just a few more weeks; 2022 is bound to bring something better! 
 
I hope you are all well.