Sunday, January 25, 2009

I can't seem to get my mind in a writing mood, of for that matter, in the mood to do much of anything of any value.

This morning I decided I had neglected not only the 'Blogs I Read' folks for too long, more importantly I had been neglecting 'Followers' for too long. I've spend an hour or so visiting here and there and leaving comments to let friends know I haven't forgotten who you are or where you are.

This little ditty was over at Linda's and I thought, "I can do that!" (and then it's off to the gym)

A Fun Thing To Do <---Linda -- I was tagged by my friend Trees in her Garden of Hope blog. What you're supposed to do is go into your fourth folder of pictures and take the fourth picture in that folder and post it. So here goes; this is the fourth picture in my fourth folder~

The fourth picture from the fourth folder .... is one of my lesser photos ... of course.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fast Friends. Fast But Not Loose.

original artwork by Kathy. Please ignore the spelling. That's what makes it so charming. LOL

Fast Friends. Close Knit. Solid. One-of-a-Kind. On-line Buds. Yep. I've got them. You do too.

While I was over at Lisa's she was awarding "Friends Awards" and I was a recipient. That made my day. In particular after my 'dissatisfied post' of an hour or so ago.

Thank you Lisa. <-- You look pretty in pink, by the way. ;)

"The Friends Award isn't about being the most popular blogger or having the most read blog. It is just because you consider the author a friend. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I don't know that I have eight on-line friends who blog, although I have GOOD on-line friends. The number of, matters not. They are the kind of friends who have seen me through the ups and downs in life and on occasion, when most needed, have given me the kick in the arse that my real time, in-my-face, I can see you and hear you friends don't have the, er, gumption, or willingness to do. And sometimes, they provide a simple written line of support or a barely whispered hug.

Thank you friends. Some of you have been here with me since I first started blogging on AOL -- over five years ago now. Wow.

Women On... Girls! (okay Lisa, the Ladies)

Rejected Truth Mary, Mary. Havenwood Vicki!

JUST ME Donna.

and Lisa!

When I began journaling, what I sometimes call a 'social experiment gone out of control', I had no idea why. The temptation was too great to pass up and over the course of five years, the friends have come. Steady Eddies my father would call you all.

I've lost a friend or two along the way. One, sadly, to death. Another to ... who knows? And still others? The little box to the right -> Followers? I could award each of them a Friendship Award because over the course of five years, when you read the same journals/blogs you develop friendships and friendly acquaintances. . We lose each other occasionally when we get busy with life, much like real time life not in the ether land, and when we move from provider to provider, from public to private and back again and when we take a break from blogging.
I don't like the breaks. That means, "I'm not going to do this any more, and I just can't tell you that."

But in the wee hours of the morning, I know where to find all of you
... and oftentimes I do.

I Like To Think I'm Satisfied

I like to think I'm a satisfied person. You know, personally. That life is good. (my life anyway) I tend to be an A-type personality with a little B-type thrown in for good measure. That wasn't always the case. I had to work to find the B-type genes in my genetic pool.

I am fast approaching the loss of all patience with pretty much everything. And nearly everybody I come into contact with daily. I'm going to reclassify myself as a D-type personality. But I promise, I won't go postal.

It's exhausting to have a mind that won't sleep. Ever. It's exhausting to be so discouraged about so many things on a daily basis.

What happened to my rose colored glasses? Where and when did I misplace those?

Is there a lost and found for misplaced satisfaction?

From the worst meal EVER in a restaurant the other day ... hostess, waitress, cook, manager, cleanliness .... EU. A totally free $75.00 tab. I left a tip for a waitress who needs waitressing lessons, but at least she was smiling all the while. And trying. Not successfully, but the effort was there. The manager arrived at the table, looked at us, flipped her long blond tresses back, as if she were eighteen again,waved her hand somewhere in the vicinity of the table and said, "The meal's on me. I'll take care of the tab." Then she promptly stomped off the next dissatisfied group.

Restaurant XYZ won't be seeing me again. I mean it this time.

They'll be no more putting my foot down and then picking it up again. No sirree!

There was the perfectly horrible chocolate shake at Wendy's. "What can you do to a chocolate shake at Wendy's?" you ask. Huh. Do not buy one at the Endicott Street store any time soon.

There are the teachers who are 'in good faith' negotiating a contract with the school committee. Yeah, okay. Let me hear you whine one more time about not getting enough of a raise. Why don't you be me? Or the other umpteen public employees who will be getting no raise next fiscal year and probably the year after that. Been there. Done that. Gonna be doing it again.

1% COLA not enough for you? Stamp your feet.

Tell that to the unemployed teachers who are looking for a job. Wah. Better yet. Resign. Go find another job. One that will put up with your whining and fussing. Really. You won't be missed.

These teachers are better compensated than most. How does $63,000.00 base sound to you? One or two extra duty assignments a year? Slush funds for many departments? A beautiful 54 million dollar building? The best of the best of the best.

That's not good enough for you? Nor is the 85% of your health insurance premium paid by the town while the rest of the public employees have only 66% paid. Oh, and let's not forget when you retire you will maintain that level of insurance cost. 85% town, 15% retiree. The rest of us? 50%/50%. Huh. Whine some more.

And then, when you are done whining about all of that ... tell me ... that you will not involve the students in your negotiations ... after you hand out fliers to them on their way into school. Oh, yes. I'm dissatisfied with that too. When you've finished all your maneuvers and they still haven't worked, throw in that you won't volunteer to work with the senior interns this year.

That's not involving the students at all. You call yourself educators? Let me just throw this out: You aren't educators. You are the new version of terrorist. At the worst possible time ... economic downturn ... be dammed ... you want your money and you want it now.

Get a clue. We'd all like some more money just now.

How about movies? If I see one more let down movie, I'm going to stop going. Romantic comedies with actors that have no idea what romantic comedy is. Oh wait ... that could be the director. Previously good actors, even some great, wasting their time (and mine) on story lines that could be fun and charming and water cooler talk, but aren't ... what is wrong with them?

Me? I'm going back to old black and white films. When actors could act and directors could direct and it didn't take a mortgage payment to go to the theater.

Caroline Kennedy? What a buffoon! Really. What was she thinking? Do I need to say more?

There are two-faced co-workers who might have been friends ... but not in this life time, I'll tell you. Promises made, promises broken. You don't have to talk behind my back about me, but it's okay if you do. I have broad shoulders. But you should never, ever, talk about my family behind my back. You don't even know them. How dare you.

The dentist? The one who charged me an arm, leg and $2000.00 who can't seem to get my gum to heal? Yeah. I'm dissatisfied with that. Big time. I'm tired of brushing, flossing, rinsing to no avail. An appointment a week. Really. What a screw up this has been.

Ah, to hell with it. I like to think I'm a satisfied person, but I can no longer find satisfied. In my mind, my heart, my daily life.

So, I'll just fess up. I'm not satisfied. Not even with the dammed burrito I purchased tonight on my way home ... at my favorite little Mexican place. It just sucked.

Yeah, go ahead folks, call me dissatisfied. Aren't we all sometimes? I'm just afraid this is going to become my permanent me.

Then, on top of it all, I'll be dissatisfied with that.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Addendum -- Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

As I posted my entry last night I thought about how much letting go I have to do. I thought about how valuable these life lessons are. I thought about how I wouldn't want Em to learn bitterness. Her emotions are so pure and sweet and honest.

This morning I read an e-mail from L, which read in part,

At some point, the child needs to have her own life. That is living. She may never be independent from you, in the sense that another child might be... But I don't think you should feel responsible for shielding her from every (non-life-threatening) bump in the road. ((((Hugs)))) ,

and a weight lifted, just a bit. Sometimes I get caught up in the protection of, rather than he education of, Em. I need to remind myself more often that she is a young woman with a life of her own and she will learn, just like we all did, as she goes along.

Worth note here is that after I hit the publish icon last evening, I tidied up my desk and headed down the hall to see what was brewing at that end of the house. I overheard Emily saying, "Okay S. Relax. I love you!" and the distinct click of a cell phone closing. "Mom! S apologized! We're 'agether again!"

This scenario played out in my mind a dozen or more times this weekend -- and so J or I should be in touch via e-mail or phone to determine what occurred on both ends of that conversation, but for now, just for today, I'm going to let sleeping dogs lie.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

It's not so much fun to watch either.

She says, "He'll get over it."
She says, "It's just a joke."
She says, "He's got drama."
She says, "I'll get over it."
She says, "I'm really mad at my boyfriend."
She says, "We'll get back together."
She says, "I'm sad Mom."

Maybe yes. Maybe no. To all of the above. At any point during the day.

She's sad. She's hurt. She's mad. She's worried. She's exhausted.
She's blue.

She's hopeful too.

But I must caution her against being girlfriend and boyfriend again. At least for a while. I must caution her to remain a friend only, for the time being. I have to somehow show her that creating or enabling a cycle of breaking up and getting back together is not a good thing.

This break up is not the first but it has become the worst (for her). I think I [we] may have underestimated the extent of their relationship. The deep, abiding love they carry for each other. I believe that when it's happened in the past it's been so brief as to be 'cute' (forgive me -- it is never cute) or immature or a mimicry of what has gone on in their lives, and I [we] didn't give it enough thought or notice. Or credence?

I must caution that those ups and downs are not emotionally healthy. In fact, they are very bad for her. For anyone. But how to explain that?

I have to remember, I have to feel, and I have to understand that she is a young adult now and she feels the very same emotions that we all feel and that my responsibility is to protect her ... well ... from herself.

I know all of that. I'd just forgotten. [reads as if the forgetting is no big deal -- but it is] In the Sweetness and the Cute-ness and the First Love-ness of their relationship, in the Pure-ness and the Honest-ness, The innocence, this mother dropped the ball. I didn't prepare her for ups and downs, although any small difficulties have been helped along as they occur [from both the moms and sometimes the dads].

I am quite sure if he called her today and asked, "Hey Em, will you be my girlfriend?" She would say, "Oh S. Sure! It's fine." And while I would like to allow that yes, it is fine ... I guess I'm thinking that it is and it isn't.

Note to self: She's more in touch and in tune with things than even I sometimes give her credit for. Knowing. Understanding. Loving. Caring. Hurting. Feeling. Forgiveness.

How do we Moms handle a break up? With as much grace and understanding as is humanly possible. We have special children, now young adults, who have been first pre-schoolers together and then friends and then eventually girlfriend and boyfriend. We must think first of our own child and what is best for each of them. We can't allow this break up or moment or temporary set back to come between us and I've enough faith in our own friendship that we won't.

I've no doubt that Emily will remain a friend for life. Loyalty comes to mind. Acceptance. Love. Kindness. Caring. It's all unconditional on her part. She's made that way. If you are her friend you are wrapped in a cocoon of love and loyalty.

I'm sure it's not healthy for her to feel and hold on the way she does, but her life experiences aren't as broad or varied as [yours and] mine and it's difficult to know if the explanation given actually gets through in the way it's intended.

Keeping a close eye on her in an attempt to gauge her feelings has proven to be something along the lines of unreliable. If I bring up S or the breakup I hear, "oh don't worry about it mom." But if I listen to the quiet I see and hear another story all together.

I see and hear sad.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cold! Cold! Cold!

A little something to remind us that we have a mere few months 'til spring arrives.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Change In The Air

There is a little bit of a 'pain in my butt' in comments this time around and so I am going to change my comment section to require the word verification process to leave a comment.

Apologies ahead of time ... I'll take it off in a while. I just don't want to cope with solicitation here in my blogs and while it has only occurred one time since I've been here, I feel I shouldn't necessarily complain, but I'm not going to welcome it either.

So ... here goes ... a change in the air. Hopefully just for a short while.

Sorry gang. I know it's much easier to just pop in, leave a comment and go.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! 2009 Begins

The year 2008 certainly had its share of interesting, history making and life changing events.

From politics to AOL HELL (and everything in between) 2008 kept us on the edges of our seats.

I was listening to a morning radio show on the way to work the other day and the morning show personalities were discussing 2008, naming the 'big' names of the year, the 'big' stories of the year when one of them comments, "We have to come up with a name for 2008!" The other says, "Bob?" (silly)

I decided I'd name 2008 myself.

Not So Great 2008

Thank goodness it's over.

Keeping a hopeful and watchful eye on 2009 I am looking forward to inauguration day, to a growing economy, to better educational standards, affordable and better health care and to ... you know, all those good things that will raise our taxes but at the same time, hopefully, make our lives better.

Now, before you get yourself all in a tizzy you should know that I don't like taxes any more than you. But I figure it this way, if some CEO can make a bundle for doing crappy work, then we should be able to make good wages (and live within our means) and we should be able to get great health care when needed.

The education of our children ... they are the future of America. They deserve the chance to reach for that American Dream their grandparents have told them about. The one that seems just out of reach to so many of us. The one that seems all but dead to so many.

We all need to take a breath, hitch our pants and get to work.

Happy New Year!