If you could have the ability to see into the future, to see how things are going to turn out as the result of any given choice, would you want to? Would you want the ability to predict the future? This could be a handy skill, preventing you from taking that one route thereby avoiding that accident that resulted in your car being totaled. It could be a terrifying skill, particularly if you were unable to alter the future events by what you did in the present. I’m not sure I’d like having this ability. I think part of the growth as an individual comes from experiencing the struggle without knowing the outcomes. If we knew for sure everything would be okay or would not be, we might have a tendency to give up completely. Continue reading
My Facebook feed is flooded with Back to the Future memes showing Marty McFly and the October 26/October 21 dates in the time machine. Tonight my husband and I (what?!) watched the first movie in the Back to the Future series. It was showing here in Lithuania (Double what?! Wait! Whoa! Back up!).
Okay, looks like I need to start over, rewind, back up a bit. If you read my last post and paid attention to the date, you noticed it was written over three years ago. If you checked out this blog at all, you found that I started writing here in 2008. If you spent any time perusing posts, or if you’ve been a follower of this blog, you know that The Wild Mind is not married. And she does NOT live in Lithuania, instead she lives in a small rural city in the southern part of the Pacific Northwest. In fact, if you know anything about The Wild Mind at all in real life you know that there is no way she would ever be able to get out of her small rural location to travel the world. Not with her expenses. Not with her situation. Not with her job. Not with her kids. Continue reading
Ever notice how we human beings have ways of marking the passage of time? Sure, we have our calendars, our reminders, our clocks and gizmos. I’m talking about the not-so-obvious ways of marking time. The ways that mark time in subtle ways that leave you realizing after the fact how time has passed rather than noting it up front.
I am not a winter person. I like cool weather but I’m really a sunny, summer person. I mark my years mostly by noting the passage of the seasons. The months from January to the end of March are dreadful for me. In the region where I live winters are relatively mild, but temperatures can vary from a balmy 60 degrees one day to snowing and freezing levels the next. I find this pretty tough on my system. I’m always glad when Daylight Saving Time arrives. Even though I lose an hour, I can see that summer is on the way, and with it, some more consistent temperatures. Continue reading
Just yesterday,it seems, I was three, toddling around my grandparents’ property in Idaho; following my grandfather everywhere and chasing the neighbors chickens from across the road. These were happy, carefree days. I was surrounded by people I loved, in a location I loved, doing the things I loved, whatever that is at three, and nothing in my world was amiss. I looked forward to each moment. In fact, I was too busy enjoying each moment I had no concern for the next. My old mind now recalls those happy times as the endless days of summer. There were no rainy days both literally and figuratively.
Fast forward 50 years and the landscape dramatically shifts. I’m no longer three, no longer quite so carefree. My free-spirited happy-go-lucky three-year-old self morphed into a middle-aged woman with worries. There are wonderful summer days aplenty in my 50-year-old life. There are also many, many overcast and rainy days too.
When did I grow up? When did I take on the responsibilities and cares that fill my days? How and when did I lose that sense of existing only for the moment without worrying about or anticipating the next? Continue reading
An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow.
I’ve recently been thinking about birthdays, anniversaries and other events that commemorate the existence or longevity of relationships, lives, and important activities. This year, as with every year, is filled with several such markers which will recognize the presence of something or someone my life. I will celebrate the birthdays of my children; once again taking time to reflect on how quickly the time has passed since they each decided to depart my womb and enter the world as individuals in their own right. I will celebrate the birthdays of other loved ones as I give thanks for their existence.
In some cases, these anniversaries recognize the time since something ended instead of marking a beginning. This year marks the eleventh year since my first marriage ended and the fifth year since the end of my second one. It will be two years since I gave up dating. I’ll also celebrate one year in my new home, which is also one year since I decided to give up the battle I was fighting trying to keep up an old ranch-style home that I could not maintain nor adequately afford. Continue reading
Hello? Anyone out there? I know it’s been a while since we’ve talked. I’ll totally understand if what I have to say floats out there like a balloon freed from the wrist of a toddler. It floats freely, lazily, disappearing eventually. None notice and none remember.
I’m okay with that.
After all, since my very long digital silence, I’ve come to one conclusion: I must write for me and only for me. Anything else is pandering to a crowd that likely doesn’t exist.
I’m okay with that.
I watched the movie, Invictus, last night…for the second time. No, I’m not going to review the movie, nor am I here to wax political about Nelson Mandela. The poem, and the movie, resonated with me on deeper levels, more personal levels, for reasons of my own which are far removed from the movie.
Here is the poem:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
~ William Ernest Henley
How does one look back on a year such as mine? Three years ago, I ventured out into one of the scariest places I think I’ve ever been. Post divorce, 40-something, straddled with debt that wasn’t all mine, looking forward to fewer years to earn back the losses than I had behind me. While many would say I look good for my age, the fact that they had to add the phrase “for my age” said it all. I was divorced, single with more children than most, struggling to avoid bankruptcy, and wondering how I was going to pay the bills and put food on the table. I was frightened. I was destitute. I was humiliated and ashamed. I was alone. To make things better, I blew an engine on one car, and dropped the rear differential out of another. I had no credit, no cash, no clue what an engine or a rear differential was, and nowhere to turn. I was terrified. I wondered, often, how and if I was going to survive. I was also 40-something and it was only a matter of time before the aging process we all must eventually succumb to, became no longer disguisable. Further, I still had children at home, lots of them, and would probably retire (if that was still even a possibility for me) with them at home. Not exactly the formula for finding someone to spend your golden years with before you actually get to your golden years. Continue reading
Note or disclaimer or preface or something: I wrote this article, several months ago, long before the class reunion occurred. I was going to post it, in advance of the reunion, but I hesitated, intending to go back and edit and re-work it. Call me chicken. Now that I’ve actually attended my class reunion, reacquainted myself with people I’d lost contact with, and heard some of their feelings about our 30-year reunion, I’m posting this, even though it is after the fact. I looked forward to this reunion with hopeful anticipation, but also with a great deal of dread and anxiety. I now know I wasn’t entirely alone in that experience.
I do know this for certain, after having attended the reunion: We are no longer in high school anymore. I also know my classmates and I have grown and matured into respectful, decent, thoughtful people. Because of that, I know that my thoughts here will be treated respectfully and sensitively. It is in celebration of all our successes over the last 30 years that I offer this series of posts as a humble treatise of gratitude for the part each of you have played in making me the person I am today. Thank you.
My 30-year-high school reunion takes place this summer in a small dusty town in eastern Oregon. Though there is likely more pavement there now than when I packed my bags and hustled out of there without looking back, the place is still rather small and somewhat dusty in comparison to the lush green venues of Western Oregon and other areas in the Pacific Northwest. This is not to criticize the place where I spent most of my childhood. The high desert definitely has a solitary rugged beauty all its own. It is just that I am a mountains, rivers, oceans and trees kind of girl. I’ll take forest over sagebrush, and beaches over buttes, any day of the week. Though, admittedly, wild antelope effortlessly bounding across the Oregon outback is certainly a breathtaking sight. Even so, unable to fully appreciate it at the time that I lived there, I did make haste to get out of that part of Oregon as soon as I could do so and, as I mentioned before, I never looked back. I subsequently lost all contact with friends and classmates from my high school years. Continue reading
Some people, like books, grip you from the minute you, after noticing the engaging and artistically designed cover, open to the first page and begin reading. You are instantly drawn in to the enchantment, the story, the drama. You read these people books hungrily, passionately, from cover to cover without so much as a break for food till the story is over. When the end ultimately arrives as you knew it would, as you knew it must, you read the last pages and the last words with a bittersweet sentiment. These are the people books that bid farewell when you wish they could stay forever, yet you understand they cannot. What’s more, you understand why they cannot.
Other people, like other books, fail to capture your imagination or ignite your passion , yet they provide valuable information and knowledge that you need. These books you keep on the shelves of your life at the ready should you need to refer to them for the wisdom and knowledge they contain hidden among the pages of their past. These books you don’t give up, nor do they ever make it to the book exchange box. Instead, they inhabit a familiar and handy place on your bookshelf, ready and willing at any moment to be of service. These solidly familiar and resourceful books are always present though only occasionally does one take advantage of the vast store of knowledge contained inside the worn cover. The value in these people books is knowing they are there and knowing them well enough and long enough and closely enough, to feel comfortable tapping into their knowledge when the need in your life arises.
Still other people, like other books, are divided into segments and must be read in parts. Some short inspiring bit here to begin with, then later, possibly the opportunity to read a longer, more heart wrenching piece later. These are the books you rarely read from beginning to end, feeling free enough with them that you can move around in any particular order not caring, if, or when you read the entire book. These people books might sit in your life for years only being read a segment at a time as the opportunity or mutual interest arises.
Still, other people, like that rare book, are magical somehow. That outside cover, while certainly attractive enough, doesn’t jump out at you right away, but something about it won’t leave you till you’ve picked that book up off the shelf. Cautiously, hesitantly, you study the cover more closely. Internally, maybe, you even dare the book to interest you. After all, you just finished up with the best passionate read of your life and you are tired of looking for another story. You’re tired of reading. You dare this magical book, which you do not yet know is magical, to interest you. You look at the front cover, you look at the back cover. It looks interesting enough, as though it might be a good read, but you’re just not interested. You put the book back on the shelf. You mosey on your way. Except now, you cannot leave that book. You must return to it and glance at the first page. You begin, ever so cautiously and carefully to read. The first few paragraphs and pages certainly don’t ignite your passion like throwing a match on a gasoline soaked burn pile, but something about the way the author has crafted this particular story draws you in. You continue reading. With each page you find happiness, you find surprise, you find adventure, and, yes, there buried among the pages you find heartache, sadness, tragedy. You continue reading and find that this book contains plenty of its own passion, plenty of its own wisdom, plenty of its own strength. Before long you realize that you’ve been reading this book for a while and you’ve enjoyed every minute, every chapter, every page. These are the people books that come into your life gradually, and before you know how it quite happened they are an everyday fixture in the landscape of your life while never for a minute being relegated to the mundane-ness of the everyday. Continue reading