Monday, June 26, 2017

#DailyPrompt ~ Cringe ~#MondayBlogs

I found a terrific writing site (thanks to my friend Sugana) — The Daily Post: Daily Prompts provides a NEW daily prompt every day to give every writer a way to put a spark in her/his creativity. I decided to join this group every so often...

Today's Prompt is CRINGE

 The definition of CRINGE: [verb] cringe/krinj, to bend one's head and body in fear or in a servile manner; such as "he cringed away from the blow"   synonyms: cower, shrink, recoil, shy away, flinch, blench, draw back

As a child I cringed when the doctor pulled out a needle and gave me a shot in the arm. I also cringed when a teacher pulled a surprise quiz on the class. Childhood fears (for most of us) certainly seem like minor inconveniences after we grow into adulthood. Not that getting punished by your parents, or being lost in a huge department store, or facing off a childhood bully weren’t scare-worthy events…

The day my husband and I closed on our house I remember walking into the entryway using MY key and completely cringing as I stared at the stairs leading up thinking “oh my G-d, what did we do? How are we ever going to pay this off? It’s just too much responsibility!” That same house would become a haven to us, raised a family, always had pussycats pretending to be the 4 A.M. express running through the house, and was filled with constant laughter and lots of love. And yes, we were able to pay it off.

When each of our children learned to drive I cringed each time they went out and breathed an enormous sigh of relief when they arrived back home in one piece. There were many other moments through my life that I cringed in anticipation of hearing the phone ring late at night, or opened a hospital bill that I swore just couldn’t be right, or went to bed worried about something or other and woke from a frightening nightmare. Plenty of opportunities to cringe, shake with nervousness, and lose sleep and in the end plenty of time to simply sigh with relief and laugh at myself for all of the worrying.

The thing I have learned through the years is not to allow yourself to be paralyzed with fear wondering and worrying about things that MIGHT happen. While there are indeed upsetting and sometimes even earth-shattering things that can happen in all of our lives, wasting time worrying is just that, a waste of time. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow, but if you don’t take advantage of living fully today because you are too busy cringing then that is 24-hours you will never ever get back.

Allowing fear to make you lose precious time with your loved ones, enjoy a good book, let the sun warm your skin, or simply appreciate the scenery is definitely a loss that is cringe-worthy.

Monday, June 19, 2017

#DailyPrompt ~ RELIEVED ~ #MondayBlogs

I found a terrific writing site (thanks to my friend Sugana) — The Daily Post: Daily Prompts provides a NEW daily prompt every day to give every writer a way to put a spark in her/his creativity. I decided to join this group every so often...

Today's Prompt is RELIEVED

 The definition of RELIEVED: [adjective] no longer feeling distressed or anxious; reassured.

As we get to that “certain age” and the doctor writes out a bunch of scrips for scans, lab tests, diagnostics, and more, we just can’t seem to avoid a growing dread in the pit of our stomachs. Absolutely NOTHING was wrong before! Why am I being subjected to all of this poking and prodding? And what about my dignity when each part of my body is being examined by a different group of people… okay, okay, I know they are professionals, and my common sense does tell me that playing it safe is a heck of a lot better than dealing with some catastrophic illness. But still —

So we act rationally and make our appointments and scheduling isn’t always the easiest, after shifting schedules and arranging for someone to pick us up afterwards (when required) and throwing someone else’s day into disarray we bravely march right up to the reception desk and fill out a myriad of forms with the most minute details… details that would normally fall into the category of TMI. Then you are given a gown that is guaranteed to let in too much of a breeze “somewhere”.

Finally we are in the exam room, hooked up to all kinds of monitors and feeling a bit like a character in some futuristic sci-fi show. The doctor, technician or PA does what they have to do and you are done. Get dressed again and go wait in the next room for someone to come in and discuss preliminary findings, if you are lucky; with some test you’ll have to wait three, ten or fourteen days until you get a phone call from a nurse reading the results to you and telling you the doctor’s next recommendation.

Whew! You get a clean bill of health and this tremendous feeling of relief settles over you. You’re told what they’ll send you a reminder when you have to do it all over again. Until then though, you are celebrating. I’m fine, I’m alive, and things are good. As you wipe your brow feeling so relieved you know that this was the smart thing to do for YOU and for the folks who love and depend on you. And IF, G-d forbid, your results aren’t the most pristine, you’ve probably found out while there is still time to make adjustments. Yeah, definitely smart.

My wish for all of you is Always Great Results and lots of reasons to feel relieved.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What a Sad, Sad World…

 Flag Day June 14, 2017

When I walked into the living room today my husband was watching the news on TV and told me that there had been a shooting in the Capitol,

Me: Oh God, anyone hurt
Him: Yeah, a few, there’s a congressman and a couple of cops
Me: I just hope they will be okay
Him: Yeah

As the time passed there was more and more information about the incident, the victims’ names and eventually the name of the shooter — a short time later there was an announcement that the shooter had died from his injuries.

Today is Flag Day. On June 14, 1777 there was a congressional resolution calling for an OFFICIAL American flag with stars and stripes representing the colonies. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson suggested that June 14 be observed as Flag Day and celebrated with Patriotism. In 1949 President Harry Truman signed that proclamation into law. The American Flag stands today with 50 stars and 13 stripes as a symbol of freedom, liberty and human rights.

“…One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

I typed the deceased shooter’s name into Google and came up with his Facebook page. Curious about what would make a man fire upon others in such an apparent random act of senseless violence I did click on his page to see if he had posted any prior notice. The man was politically charged and not a fan of the current administration and extremely verbal about his feelings. In this country we do have the right of free speech and he did exercise it — but from what I could read he didn’t advocate violence or killing. Whatever reason this man may have justified his deed by, whether mental illness or some “plot”, I cannot condone his actions.

However what did strike me, frighteningly so, were the multitudes of comments filled with vitriol; I wasn’t the only one to have referenced his page. And this was what I find even more abhorrent, the commentary on his page was, almost without exception, celebrating his death as a “lesson” to any others who disagreed with the current administration. The hate didn’t stop there, regardless of the insulting and vile names that many of these people used to label non-Trump supporters, there were actually jokes and comparisons to the ovens of Nazi Germany and the fate of the residents of Hiroshima… these are events that (should) have NO relevance to today’s incident.

The hatred that was spewed on his page included threats, physical threats, to his family and friends. There were also several postings insulting and threatening anyone who had “friended” the man on Facebook. Allegedly several screenshots were made of the friends list and sent to the FBI and other “interested groups”. A plea that had been posted on this man’s page to allow his “shocked family” to mourn was answered with more hate, name-calling, and threats.

Is this what our country has become? I am heartbroken. It doesn’t matter what our political persuasions are, WE ARE AMERICANS. This hatred and divisiveness is not what our country should stand for. We should all be celebrating the principles which our country was founded upon and living up to the ideals that the many who have come before us tried to instill:
Individual Liberty: The principle that each person is born with freedom from arbitrary or unjustified restraint.
Federalism: A system of dual sovereignty. ...
Limited Government: ...
Representative Government: ...
Private Property: ...
“All Men Are Created Equal”: ...
Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances:

Monday, June 12, 2017

Daily Prompt ~ Triumph ~ #MondayBlogs

I found a terrific writing site (thanks to my friend Sugana) — The Daily Post: Daily Prompts provides a NEW daily prompt every day to give every writer a way to put a spark in her/his creativity. I decided to join this group every so often...

Today's Prompt is TRIUMPH

The definition of Triumph: [noun] a great victory or achievement; [verb] achieve a victory; be successful

It’s a hard thing for many of us to acknowledge our successes, our triumphs. So many of us lack the ability to see ourselves as successful and worthy. One of the professions that is often known for wearing our self-doubts is that of a writer. …yours truly is a writer, a novelist and journalist.

When I find myself in a funk and I need encouragement I can nudge people close to me and wrangle compliments from their lips to feed my fragile ego, but then I feel bad that I’ve gone “fishing”. Something else I do, especially late at night when it just wouldn’t be right to telephone someone just for a little ego soothing, is make a list of any and all things I’ve done that I am proud about. Maybe I am just being kind to myself but I often come up with a lengthy list (and no I am not posting it, bragging is not something I am comfortable with).

Now I don’t know if others would agree with the things I feel some success about — I know for a fact that not everyone holds the same values that I do. Surely I would fall flat if someone only looks at a stunning figure or the grand dame of the manor; I really don’t care though because those values don’t impress me. I guess there is a bit of conceit in that I do not do the things I do to impress others, I do something because I feel it is the right thing to do and hopefully benefits those around me.

I see value in family relationships and the respect that a parent gets from his/her children. I see value in a long term marriage. I see value when someone gets up and keeps on going even after being struck down by some misfortune. And most of all I see value when someone has touched other lives to make them, even a little bit, better.

On my list I do have references to my marriage, my children and my writing. While I rarely get satisfaction from extolling my own virtues, I do very much enjoy a bit of bragging about my husband and my children, people that I truly admire and respect. 

My husband has always been determined, never takes the easy way if it isn’t the right way, he has always worked hard whether it’s a job or a personal quest, and he has always put his family first. My offspring have grown into remarkable human beings, both give of themselves to others, they are intelligent and capable.

Collectively as first responders and educators my husband and children have saved lives, comforted those in need, put out fires, and given others the means to do the same. And it always seems whatever these people decide to tackle, they have a can do attitude that always comes through. More than anything each one of them CARES. I can only hope that they take at least a little pride in me, it would truly be only a portion of what I feel for them.

Not every accomplishment is earth shattering, few will be considered newsworthy. But each accomplishment is our own whether we wish to brag or stay quiet

What are you proud of today?


Monday, June 5, 2017

Daily Prompt ~ Distance ~ #MondayBlogs

I found a terrific writing site (thanks to my friend Sugana) — The Daily Post: Daily Prompts provides a NEW daily prompt every day to give every writer a way to put a spark in her/his creativity. I decided to join this group every so often...

Today's Prompt is DISTANT

Definition of Distant: [adjective] far away in space or time, "distant parts of the world". synonyms: faraway, far off, far, far-flung, remote, out of the way, outlying, extrasolar, "distant parts of the world"; long ago, bygone, olden; ancient, prehistoric; literary of yore, olden, "the distant past"; away, off, apart, "half a mile distant".

What does the word DISTANT make me think of? Distant memories come to mind.

There’s the distant memory of a mother’s comforting kisses whenever a boo-boo made my child-self cry, or her comforting embrace when teenage angst seemed like the most tragic thing in the world. There’s also the distant memory of my father being able to fix anything in the world no matter how shattered the toy might be. As I reached my teenage years and entered adulthood my dad always managed to say exactly the things I needed to hear. I was just a newlywed when my parents passed away and I do miss those memories.

Now as an adult reaching my golden years with my own grown offspring I think back to every time I tried to sooth their aches, whether physical or in the heart, and wondered if my hugs and kisses were as magical as my parents’ were. And though they are now adults and more-or-less have no need of mom and dad to fix their problems, they are still my kids and always will be. Every time they make a turn that I want to give some advice about I go back to those distant memories and wonder what my dad would have said. Luckily most times I think at least twice and try to keep my mouth shut. I wonder if my children will one day have distant memories of those times that I didn’t meddle?

Life is made up of distant memories that influence all of our actions today and tomorrow. Distant memories can seem so sweet, some tug at the heart, and others that once felt so monumental now seem so insignificant. Our memories can sustain us and guide us and maybe sometimes embarrass us… but I wouldn’t trade those distant memories, those are my keepsakes forever.