Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Seconds of Summer

It is surreal.  For someone who doesn’t usually like to focus on herself or draw much attention to herself, I find myself in the strange position of putting myself out there and pushing something I created.  Then again, I wrote the story so people would read it.  I find myself following authors on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blogs – looking for hints about how they market their books.  It’s fascinating to me and sometimes feels a bit egotistical but I suppose we all have that little streak of ego that helps us move forward.  It is probably a good thing. Listening to that ego only takes a second and sometimes it pays off.

Today is the last day of June. They say we get a whole extra second today.  That extra second could make a world of difference to someone today and I find myself thinking about that second.  So many possibilities in one second.  I know in one second, the second I pushed that button to publish, I made a dream come true.  It takes just one second and a person ready to take that second and make the most of it.

Cape Cod Canal and The Sagamore Bridge

Cape Cod Canal and The Sagamore Bridge

It feels like summer today. So many seconds make up a summer day, roughly 86,400 seconds.  Seconds of laughter. Seconds of hazy heat.  Seconds of cookouts.  Seconds of music playing into the night.  Seconds of splashing in the ocean.  Seconds that make life wonderful.  Take those seconds and try to enjoy them.

As the Daughter and I were getting ready this morning, she was regaling me with stories of her first day at 4-H camp (which was a huge success thankfully and put this worried mother at ease), I took a second to just look at that little 6-year-old face. In that second, I saw her happy and innocent, enjoying life in its simplest form.  Out in the woods, out in the lake, out with people having fun singing camp songs.  No electronics.  No real worries.  Just sunshine and laughter.  Seconds of life that hopefully she will some day remember and smile about.

Go make the most of your extra second today.

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Time Travel? Yes, please!

I suppose I should be thankful I was raised on a steady diet of Star Trek, Star Wars, Quantum Leap, and books that featured all kinds of sci-fi themes.  As I got older, I discovered even more wonderful things hiding in this genre and for a while it was a bit of an obsession. Time travel is probably the coolest idea to me.  The idea of being able to go back to any point in time, past or future, just opens up so many possibilities.

It travels through time AND space.

It travels through time AND space.

Think about going back to any point in history and seeing it, in person.  Obviously, you wouldn’t be able to really do anything because you wouldn’t want to change the course of history but still, let’s think about this for a minute.  Imagine being there when Teddy Roosevelt charges up San Juan Hill or watching Marie Curie work in the laboratory.Think about watching Caesar in Gaul or being there when Annie Oakley was performing.  So many amazing things to witness.

rough riders

Rough Riders Instagramming the moment. #RoughRiders #SanJuanHill #ByebyeSpain

Even in the last 50 years, there is so much to go back and witness.  Then think about going to the future.  I mean if you could ahead and see what happens, what would that do to you?  I love these questions.  I could talk about them for hours.  It’s just one of those things that just fascinates me.  I don’t even know when I would go first.  And then the other major question.  Do I go alone or do I find someone fun to go with?  Or do I find some kind of academic like Doc Brown to come with me so that if something bad happens, I have someone smarter than me to figure things out while I just goof around and explore?  And then the other important question – what if someone wants to come back for a little while do you take them like Bill and Ted took Abe Lincoln and Socrates?  Even more importantly, do you get Napoleon the Ziggy Piggy?

If time travel ever comes into existence, I want to sign up for it.  I don’t care where I go.  Ok, well maybe I care a little since there are a few things in history I really could do without seeing but there are so many other options! I’d even offer to do a time exchange where I spend a year in the time I pick and study it.  See what it was like.  Maybe not a full year.  Maybe more like three months but still, it would be enough time to really see what it was like in that time.  It’s such a cool thing to think about.  Excuse me while I now go make a list of all the places I would want to travel and what I would do when I get there.

This blog post is part of the July NaBloPoMo.  The theme this month is “Decade.” It’s a fun time so you should go see what the other NaBloPoMo bloggers are writing and maybe even think about blogging along!

 

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10 Years From Now

Dear Future Self (I’d say from the “Year 2000” like Conan O’Brien used to but 10 years from now is about 20 years into the year 2000 so – awww who cares….In the year 2000….In the year 2000),

How was that time you were on Jeopardy?  Was it all you hoped and then some?  Did you go for a true daily double?  Did Trebek chuckle at your stories during that mid-game interview?  I’m sure you rocked it and probably cleared a whole category on your own.  It was probably a cool category too like Before & After or Rhyme Time.  Though, if you cleared any category related to literature, language, or science, I’m still impressed.  Hell, the fact that you made it on the show is impressive.

Now that the Daughter is getting ready for her driver’s permit, are you ready for that?  I mean seriously.  Are you ready for her to burn out your clutch? It’s only fair.  You almost burned out Mom’s clutch when you were learning to drive.  God knows you potentially gave her whiplash as you learned how to time the clutch and the gas pedal.  Hopefully you have already bought a neck brace or have invested in a chiropractor.  Just remember to laugh and not yell.  Clutches can be replaced.  Learning to drive only happens once.

The book was cool too. The fact that you have it on Amazon is pretty sweet.  I hear that you did manage to get an agent which is pretty much right up there with Jeopardy.  The fact that they are optimistic about getting at least a limited release is pretty cool.  Keep on writing.  Obviously.

This letter almost sounds like a kids wish list but honestly, over the past ten years, you really stayed focused.  I could list a bunch of clichés here but, thankfully, you haven’t changed that much that clichés make you throw up a little in your mouth.  At any rate, it’s impressive to see where you are at the age of 44.  What’s next? Travel? Living abroad? Whatever it is, keep on going!

Love,

You, ten years younger

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Bookends?

When I turned 10, my youngest brother (Brother 3) was only a few months old.  I remember feeling so much older than him.  When I was in high school, he was in pre-school.  I got my driver’s license when he was in first grade.  It was odd.  He was so little and it seemed like such a big difference in our ages, I thought I would never get to know him.  A ten-year age difference really seemed insurmountable.  I need to take a minute here to pause and just comment on how much I enjoy the word insurmountable – I also love proving the opposite of that word.

Brother 3 - Yukon Cornelius???

Brother 3 – Yukon Cornelius???

As we grew older, Brother 3  started to slowly join the ranks of adults.  That 10 year gap seemed to close.  He had a job.  He had bills. He had responsibilities.  Now that he could have a beer (legally), he seemed to be more like an adult.  We were able to have conversations about adult things.  He slowly discovered Monty Python, Doctor Who, classic movies (that came out when I was a kid I might add), pop culture references finally made sense to him.  It was like he was finally a member of the adult club.  I have to admit, he’s still my baby brother who still has a lot of life lessons to learn but because he’s in his early 20s, he thinks he knows it all.  When those instances come up, the instances where he knows more than I do, I sometimes find it hard to keep my mouth shut.  I have ten more years of experience than him.  I’ve made a few mistakes in life.  I’ve learned from them.  I have some knowledge from those 10 years that could benefit him.  However, because I’m older and he thinks that the three of us (my other two brothers and me) pick on him, he doesn’t always listen to what those ten years have taught me.

At times like that, when he gets a little overly sensitive about advice or I give it a little bluntly (which I will admit I sometimes do), I realize that 10 years is a long time.  There’s a lot that can happen in 10 years.  Looking at the 00’s, the “aughts” if you will, I graduated college; worked a couple of different jobs; I bought a new car and paid it off; I went to Europe; I met my husband; I had my daughter.  I’m sure there’s a lot more, but even those life events are pretty major for a 10 year period.  Think about how much can happen in a 10 year period.  Seeing those things listed makes me realize it was a long time, even if it feels like it was just yesterday.  10 years may go by quickly, but it’s really a long time and if you are living life you won’t realize they have passed until you are looking back on them.  Seriously, writing that sentence where I packed in all that stuff I did in a 10 year period was weird.  I didn’t realize how much happened – which is odd because obviously I know it happened, I lived it.  But it’s just odd that so much happened and I didn’t even blink as the calendar pages kept turning.

Getting back to Brother 3, I guess even though that 10 year gap seems to have shrunk, there still is a lot of time between us.  It’s interesting to watch the differences those ten years really make.  I suppose it’s only if I choose to acknowledge the differences.  I mean, if 1998 was still only about 10 years ago, things can’t be that different, right?

These things are all still things.  Right?

These things are all still things. Right?  Though Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe are a little out there…thanks random Google collage for this strangeness.

 

 

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Writer’s Block, Schmiter’s Block

Yeah.  I’m uninspired.  It’s odd. My head feels empty.  Just random observations to be made which don’t always make for good blog posts, however, I promised myself I was going to write every day again, so here it is.

It’s July 1st.  I have signed up for another NaBloPoMo.  The theme this year is Decades.  Glancing at the prompts for this month.  It should be interesting to explore these ideas.  Today’s prompt thought is a little tough.  I have no idea what I’ve been doing for 10 years straight.  Writing? Perhaps.  Learning? I’d like to think I’m always learning.  Growing? Well that goes hand in hand with learning doesn’t it?  See – it’s a tough question to come up with a genuine answer to.

Because of that and the fact that I’m currently being distracted by the documentary “The History of The Eagles” which, if you haven’t watched it I have to tell you it’s pretty awesome, I’m going to leave it as that.  For the last ten years, I have been listening to music.

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Another Successful Trip Around the Sun

Yesterday was my birthday.  I made it another 365 days.  Hooray!

Birthday cake with candles

It never fails that I have a little alone time on my birthday and honestly, I’ve come to look forward to that alone time. If I don’t get it, I make sure I make it.  Last night, it involved a little drive, blasting music in my car, and singing along as I drove around aimlessly looking at the beautiful houses, the pristine beaches at night, and just reflecting.

First, I realized I don’t know why driving is so cathartic for me.  I don’t know that I care, I just know that it helps clear my mind and I really miss my clutch and stick shift.  I miss it more than I ever realized I would miss it.  This is the first car I have ever had that was an automatic.  It’ s a nice car but it’s not complete.  It’s missing that one element that makes driving fun.  The countdown is now on for when I can get back into a car that has a clutch…roughly 1200 days.

Second, I have been facing down some serious decisions in life.  Like the kind of decisions that keep you up at night wondering if your fairy godmother is hiding in the closet laughing her ass off at you.  Being a grown-up is rough.  It’s even more rough when there are small people, commonly referred to as children, that can be impacted in so many various ways by one [not so small] decision.  Having almost 95% made up my mind, I think that I’m happy with the choice.  No one ever tells you these choices are going to be this hard when you actually have to make them. Though it is possible that my choice is compounded by my obsessive need to think about every possible outcome.  I have stopped and that might be why it’s easier for me to sleep at night with this decision.  Only time will truly tell.

Third, I’m not giving up.  My NaNo novel from 2012 is done…well the third re-write is done.  I think I’m ready to write that query letter.  I’m back into the full swing of WW.  I strayed for a while which was not good but it’s in the past.  I’m one step closer to that Daily Double – something I’m INSANELY proud of.  I have my new list of goals.  I have a new list of ideas.  I have the old list that I’m still chipping away at.  Over the next 365 days, I’m going to cross off at least four things from that list.  Four.

Fourth, I’m lucky.  I’m so incredibly lucky.  I am alive.  I have a family that loves me.  I have a beautiful daughter who amazes me every day.  I live in a beautiful place where I can see the ocean every day.  I have a roof over my head.  I have a job. I am relatively healthy (oddly enough and please knock on wood).  All of these things are so often overlooked yet are the reasons why I am so incredibly lucky.

Another year is in front of me.  Another year full of chances, opportunities, friendships, love, laughter, tears, and whatever else may come my way.  I cannot wait to see what it brings.

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Yellow Dust

I have no idea what the actual pollen count is right now.  I do know that my head feels like it’s about to just pop off because of the scratchy itchy misery that the yellow pollen is currently wreaking on my sinuses.  I know that trees are beautiful and usually I tell the Husband to get over the fact that he has allergies but right now, I am willing to go cut down all the trees with him.  My grey car is yellow.  You can see the dust blowing through the air.  It’s just blowing…into my eyes, my throat, everywhere.  I hate it. Make it stop.

pollen

The past two days, my allergy medicine hasn’t even touched my symptoms.  It’s miserable.  Yes, there are amazing things that come from pollen:

1) Honey

honeyAside from the fact that it is really bee puke, I’m glad that pollen is used to make something so delicious and wonderful.

2) Flowers and Fruits and Trees

Flowers Lilac.Lily

Without pollen, we wouldn’t get to smell lilacs or enjoy fruits like apples, peaches, cherries, and other good things that have flowers that need to be pollinated.

So…that’s two things.  Other than that…I’m all set.  Chop ’em all down.  Or at least make them stop releasing this ridiculous yellow dust!

 

 

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Freedom! Kind of…

I finished.  My first semester of grad school is over.  My time is now free.  Last night, I sat down and felt a little strange because I didn’t have a discussion to respond to, a paper to write, research to do, a chapter or six to read for the first time since January.  I don’t know why this felt so much more intense than before.  It’s possibly because I am at a different place in life right now that it seemed harder.  My focus is more on my daughter than on school.  Damn distraction.

I finished though and so now, it’s time to get back to the real work.  The writing, the sewing, the reading…

It’s funny though because I’m stuck in academic writing mode.  I can’t help but feel like I need to include massive amounts of academic verbiage that exemplifies the fact that I am able to write at the desired level of my recent professors.  It’s a strangely hard habit to break.

Give it time though.  I’m reading the first Castle book…yes the one based on the television show.   I can’t wait to write the review for that one!  I also am back on the WW bandwagon after an abysmal winter.  Not to mention I have other things happening that are going to prove for a fun summer.

It’s good to write about nothing.  It’s good to not have to cite in APA format. It’s good to not worry about whether or not I have included enough references.  It’s good to just write.

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Under Pressure?

There are times when I realize that my self-induced state of procrastination is the cause of my anxiety when it comes to completing projects.  In 2014, I really am trying to approach life with less anxiety.  I have seen some people say that they are choosing a word to visualize and focus on for the year.  Normally, I would view this as some kind of new age mumbo-jumbo that may or may not work.  However, this year, I’m trying to cast aside my cynicism and open my mind to something new because clearly, my cynicism isn’t exactly working out so well for me.

My word is:

happy

Whatever “happy” means, that’s what I’m aiming for.  There are lots of meanings for happy and how it applies to life.  I could just have a happy day.  I could have a happy accident.  I could just try to find happiness in every situation.  Happy.

Where does that leave my procrastination?  Where does that leave my last minute pressure of making something perfect in a less than perfect amount of time?

I think that it leaves my procrastination being tossed out the window.  I used to tell myself that I only worked best under pressure.  Working at the front desk of a busy Cape Cod hotel, I was constantly under some kind of pressure during the summer months, coincidentally my favorite months of work.  There were complaints, room moves, last minute tours…all things that required me think fast, perform quickly, and get nothing wrong.  The pressure pushed me to perform at my personal best.  At least that’s what I thought.

If I’m trying to focus on Happy, doesn’t that mean I should be trying to eliminate stress that I can control?  My brain says “Duh, stress is ridiculous!”; my heart says “But, I like the pressure. It’s a big thrill to see how well I can do in the eleventh hour.”  Well, my heart might not really like the pressure because the pressure can sometimes cause high blood pressure which could ultimately kill me.  If I’m dead, then any goals I may have planned are pretty much null and void.  It’s just that I have become used to that kind of pressure.  I have convinced myself that it’s the only way that I can get things done.

Silly as it may seem, I must get over that mentality.  I have to take one step at a time.  Plan a little, not excessively, to complete goals and not leave them to the last minute and expect to have the results that I really want.  So while I may feel I work best under some kind of pressure, I have to accept that it does not make me happy.  Since happy is my word this year, I have to try to obtain that word and stay focused.  Procrastination – I’m sorry, you are no longer welcome to the party known as my life.

This post is part of the January 2014 NaBloPoMo.  This month’s theme is “Pressure.”  Today’s prompt was “Do you work well under pressure?”

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Adieu 2013!

I wish I could say with absolute certainty that 2013 was the best year ever.  I can’t though, because my mother taught me not to tell lies.  It had its high points and it certainly had its low points.  As I look back, it’s easy to say that I would do some things differently.  I think it’s safe to say that many of us may feel that way at times. That’s why looking back on a thing or event can be easier than looking forward.  It’s certainly much less daunting than looking to the future.  To be honest, the future always has terrified me.  The unknown.  The lack of control of that unknown.  It can be a scary thing.

Looking Out to the Unknown

Looking Out to the Unknown

As the clock gets closer to that midnight hour – that new year – I can’t help but feel a bit of anxiety.  It’s silly really but I dream big and I really get anxious about how I’m going to do everything I want to do.  The main reason for the anxiety is because I think of all the tiny details and let them warp my mind.  I lose sight of how to achieve every one of those goals I so nobly set for myself.

The answer is just as simple.  One step at a time.

So, as I prepare for the dawn of 2014, I realize that my list of goals and things I want to achieve over the next 365 days is truly a list of items that can be done.  I just have to do it one step at a time, just how Melinda Mae ate that whale.

One bite at a time...

One bite at a time…

 

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