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
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
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
So, I posted yesterday’s post and a bunch of peeps contacted me today wondering if and why I had a broken heart.
Just to clarify…no…I am not currently experiencing Broken Heart Syndrome.
Yes, I have experienced it many times in the course of my life, with 2009 being a record-breaking year in the relationship department since being single. Contrary to popular belief, a broken heart doesn’t get easier to deal with as one gets older. I think it gets worse. I don’t know why this is.
As for last night’s post, I just wrote and what came out is what came out. Were there any events that triggered that post? That’s a great question!
In all honesty, I’d have to say yes there were incidents that led up to me writing a post on the broken hearted, but it wasn’t my broken heart that started me down that path.
Nor was it the sense of any dying dream that I was coming to grips with having to give up.
In reality, I was just tired.
I was bone weary tired to be exact. It’s been a long, grueling, exhilarating six weeks. The adventure of doing new things, the excitement of opportunity, the hope of what can be possible is both energizing and exhausting. The most difficult element is that when the demanding pace slows, and the seeds that were planted lay momentarily dormant before bursting into full bloom, there is a season of waiting. This waiting can be somewhat anticlimactic.
I know this because I’ve been there in that place of let down after a great experience.
I am not there now. I don’t feel any let down or disappointment or anything other than a sense that something really exciting is just around the corner. Even if the most exciting thing that is around the corner is Spring Break, I still am feeling nowhere near sad, lovelorn or despairing because things somewhere in my life are less than I desire.
The reality is that some things in my life are less than I desire (except where the scale is concerned and then…well…let’s not go there in this post), but I’m not broken up over them. Well, at least, not today. The reality is also that some things in my life are better than I ever could have imagined at this point. It’s also true that there are many, many things in my life that are still unwritten, untold, unimagined. These are the things yet to be which are not now. It’s life. It’s my life. It’s everyone’s life to some degree, I think. The good, the bad, the becoming, the yet to be. The happy, the sad, the exciting, the disappointing…the ever so daily.
Life is just moving along and I like it…at least most of it, most of the time.
No broken heart here, though I’ve had my share of experiences with the Broken Heart Syndrome. No thwarted dreams, though I have a few of those too. The reason I wrote what I wrote yesterday is simply because I sat down to write last night and that post is what came out.
I liked it.
I posted it.
There are some things that have never been a draw for me. Soap operas, Harlequin romance novels and heavy drugs (or even really mild ones, for that matter) have never posed any particular temptation for me. Even so, I remember the words from one of the soaps my mother, or maybe it was the babysitter, used to watch: “As sands through the hour glass, so are the Days of Our Lives”.
Sand, hours, days, lives, soaps, romances and heavy drugs. It’s an impressive lineup don’t you think?
Most of my childhood occurred during the seventies when there was a real emphasis on educating children about the dangers of drug use. Fat lot of good that did any of us! Sadly, all that well intentioned tax money was wasted on me. I had, after all, the very best, real life, hands on drug awareness experience a child could have. I had someone in my own home overdose, get hauled out on a stretcher (yes, picture three wide-eyed children under the age of eight, two bewildered and alarmed parents, large medical emergency vehicles with lights flashing, watching the live-in babysitter get hauled off on a stretcher). Take one wild guess which of those three children was tasked with trying to awaken the body that had already slipped into a drug induced coma. That’d be me.
This is easy. Force something on a child all the years they are growing up and, well, chances are they will either acquiesce and adopt the thing or they will rebel. I had soap operas and TV and noise going on all throughout my childhood. I think this had something to do with having an aging father and two other siblings and living in a home where conversation and opinions and even dissension were not only tolerated, but welcomed. I rebelled against the TV and noise but retained a love for all things passionate and articulate especially if they tend toward the nonconformist. After leaving home, I never watched an episode of any of the daytime or nighttime soaps, I loathe TV except for the express and planned purpose of vegging out because I am so overwhelmed and just need to turn my mind off. If given the choice to stay in and watch a movie or something on television, I will opt to read a book, do something in the yard, surf the net, take my dog for a walk, invent cryptic status updates to annoy all my friends on Facebook (who haven’t yet hidden me) with, or write. But, lately, I don’t have time for even that. Lies! I’ll always make time for the status update messages, because, well, now I has iPhone!
This is a bit more convoluted because I love romance. I love the idea of it. I love the feel of it. I love the hope and passion it can inspire. But really? If you’ve read one Harlequin romance novel, you’ve read them all. Give me something along the lines of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, or Dumas’ The Man in the Iron Mask, or even the much more recent and sadly deceased, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy and I’m all in, but a Harlequin romance. Ugh. Yawn. Not a draw for me.
A Rehabilitated Internet Dating Junkie
In posts past, I’ve alluded to the fact, correction, I point blank declared, that I was an internet dating junkie. I was. I admit it. I was successful with it too, if you consider being able to get dates with attractive, intelligent, employed men by merely posting a profile successful. If the truth be told, I am still meeting and getting to know people that I “met” and began corresponding with online, over two years ago. My social calendar is exceptionally full these days and I haven’t had an online profile anywhere for months. Okay, I lied, I tried out OKCupid.com and Zoosk on Facebook because I have several friends on Facebook that are dating coaches and, well, curiosity killed the cat. They suggested, I bit. I’m over it now. I was on each of those for two weeks, met one person in person who is fabulously interesting, but I could quickly ascertain that I neither have the interest or desire or energy to get back into the online dating thing. Screening profiles, deleting winks, and wading through thousands of misspelled, poorly punctuated and horribly written profiles is, well, a lot like reading a Harlequin romance. When you’ve read one…
Temptations and Time~Living Life in Face to Face World
The days of our lives can slip away from us like sand pouring through the narrowest portion of the hourglass. The sand at the top appears untouched, but the sand at the bottom is fighting desperately to comply with gravity’s demands. Eventually, the entire lot of it cascades into the bottom portion of the hourglass. This seems an appropriate analogy for much of life.
For me, spending time in fantasy land like soap opera world, internet dating, drug use or reading Harlequin’s is just not something I want to do. The false and superficial have never attracted me. Give me an authentic disagreement (done respectfully, I hope) over a false veneer of cheery friendship any day. When it comes to internet anything, it is so easy to hide, to disguise, to pretend, to escape. This, I’m learning, is a temptation that can be very deceptive. After all the internet comfortably keeps people at a distance. You can connect, without really ever having to connect. Don’t want to talk to someone, just show up in stealth mode or “unfriend” them. It’s the convenience of digital relationship. Besides, who wouldn’t love to recreate themselves (if even for a few minutes) into something that only mildly portends a resemblance to the reality, or disappear into a relationship that holds the promise of the upside (fun, flirty, romantic and non-invasive) of relationship without any of the downside (how the heck are we going to decide which side of the bed you’ll be sleeping on? And why do I have to make room in my closet for you?).
I’m also learning that this kind of relating, while useful for providing some entertainment value and escapist fun, does not really work for me. I’m not twenty something anymore. A few years back, I had to renew my driver’s license. My picture, is awful, as most of them are. Mine was especially bad, because as I was going through the renewal process I was crying. I was aging, caught in a nightmare at that time I felt I could not escape and I truly thought my life was over. My outlook is so different today.
I’m still aging. I can’t do much about that. I ended the nightmare the best way I could, but I ended it. The fallout from that has not been easy but life is good. I’m meeting many fabulous new people through the adventures I’m having with the friends I already know in my face-to-face world. Some of the digital relationships have bridged the gap from being merely digital to actually tangible, and, while romance isn’t running rampant in my life like weedy vines overtaking my garden, some very valuable and wonderful friendships have developed. I’m busier than ever with work opportunities in an area where people are struggling to hold onto their homes after losing their jobs. I’m meeting people in my community that I enjoy spending time with and who, while very different from me, are a source of friendship and camaraderie. I’m healthier than I was at the start of the year, in every sense of that word, and I like it. I’m busier than I’ve ever been and yet, less stressed and more content. I find all of this slightly ironic, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth by over-analyzing it.
After all, life is short. Far too short and far too valuable to allow it to disappear into the meaningless, the shallow, the pain-dulling fantasy escapes that come in so many forms whether, digitally digested, inhaled, injected or imbibed.