letter to readers

Day 27

a letter to your readers

I don’t really have that many “readers”, but here goes!

Dear Readers,

thanks for the time that you have taken to read my posts the past 27 days! I have tried to be honest and interesting!! Who knows if I’ve really accomplished the interesting part, but all I can do is try! I know I should have added more photos, but I did not always have any that related, and I was severely pushed for time for some of the posts!

It should also be noted that I tend to use exclamation points rather excessively. At times I remember that I should tone it down some, at other times I use at least one for every sentence. Perhaps my writing is somewhat similar to my speaking!

I can assure you that I will NOT be posting every day at any time in the near future. I have an increased admiration for people who do this for a living! Although they do not have the outside the home job responsibilities, I am sure they have the ordinary life responsibilities that we all have. Although it does seem a bit tempting to be paid for spending time on the net, I know that the reality would be significantly less glamorous!

To end, here is a photo of grown men playing in a sand pile with remotely operated toy machinery!!
Cabin Fever 2012

Thank you for your support!


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read online

Day 26

Something you read online, leave a link and discuss if you’d like

I spend a lot of time on the internet (probably too much time, but such is life!!) A fair amount of the time is reading blogs, some is spent looking for info for patient care info, therapy ideas etc. I also look for various craft info, inspiration etc. In recent years I have spent time reading about being childless not by choice. I stumbled across this article a while back. The mother who says having these two children is the biggest regret of her life

It is quite intense, at least to me. This woman talks about how she did not want her two children, and how her life would have been so much better without them. I do not have any problem with her feeling that way, and I appreciate her brutal honesty. The thing that I struggle with is that she reveals her identity. I really cannot imagine how difficult it is for her children to hear the things that she has to say. It seems from the article that she was a good mom, although not an expressive or affectionate one. But I would be hurt if my mom said that I took from her and she got nothing in return. I work with children every day, they are not my own children, and I feel that I get positive things from them, so I think it would be magnified if they were your own (although the responsibilities are magnified as well.)

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About myself

Day 25

Something someone told you about yourself that you will never forget (good or bad)

I’m going to go with the something good, being that it is my birthday, I don’t want to talk about something bad about myself!!

I have loved animals ever since I can remember. My Mom has photos of me learning to walk holding onto our Collie dog’s fur. The only time that I have ever been without pets is when I was in college and could not have them in the dorm. As soon as I graduated and got my own apartment, I got two kittens from my parent’s farm, and I have had pets ever since!

A few years back, Garyth, our Australian shepherd became very ill. He was 18.5 years old. He had been having TIAs, but then he had a stroke, and he could no longer stand up on his own, even when I stood him up in the grass which was the place where he had the most traction.

When we took him to the vet, I was in agony that I was being too hasty in deciding that it was the end. Our vet is a wonderful person. He told me not to ever feel that way, that I had given Garyth the best life possible. He told me that he had a lady come in earlier in the week complaining about her geriatric dog having some intermittent problems holding his urine. Dr Russ said to me: I thought of you, and how Garyth has been in diapers for years, and you have never once complained. All you have ever done is look for ways to make life for your pets the best it can possibly be. Your question is always “is there some way to make this better for them?”

He made me feel so much better, that someone who sees many people with their pets, said that he felt like I did a good job.

Here is a photo of my handsome boy! Sorry for the red eyes!

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worst traits

Day 24

Top three worst traits

First of all, let me just say that I am very happy that this topic does not fall on the 25th, as I think a gilr should NOT have to detail her top worst traits on her birthday!!

So, now to the truth of the matter.

1. I procrastinate. I do it entirely too much, and it is something that I hate about myself, but it is so hard to change. It has bitten me in the a$$ more times than I care to admit, and I am sure it will happen again. I have let people down because of it, which makes me very sad.

2. I am disorganized AND messy, a wicked combination for sure! Sometimes I can maintain an organization system if someone else sets it up for me, but my brain works in a “burst” or brainstorming manner, not a linear organized manner. Since I know this about myself, I have learned over the years to attempt to hand tasks that require organization to other people, to depend on their talents to help shore up my weakness. The messy part is harder to come up with an external solution for that, short of hiring someone to walk around behind me and pick up after me!

3. I just asked my husband for a suggestion for the last one and he says “you yell”!! I have to admit I tend to get loud with him when I am upset. I don’t think I do that very much with other people, which is a perfect example of how we sometimes treat the ones we love the worst.

I think that is more than enough of this train of thought!!

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Day 22 – belated

Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell use how you really feel

I have rant in my head, but I can’t get really specific as the info is not mine to share. So I’ll have to dig a little deeper to a rant that waxes and wanes as the situation warrants!

I hate when people drive in a selfish manner. We all make mistakes when driving, and hopefully they do not cause any injury or lasting harm. Mistakes I can understand. What bothers me are the people who are obviously SO much more important than the rest of us that they need to drive down the shoulder of the road during a back up. Or those who find it necessary to drive in the left turn lane as the lane going straight is long, and then at the last minute they cut into the straight lane. There are people in my neighborhood who consistently drive the wrong way down the one way street beside my house because they are too lazy to drive around the block. Grrrrrrr!!

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get real

Day 20

Get Real: Share something you are struggling with right now

Well, this is a bit anticlimactic, as I really shared the biggest struggle here. But in the spirit of completing all of these (yes, I know I am still behind on two of them!), here goes!

I am struggling with work right now. In theory I love my job, I always have. But right now I am DONE with working!! I need some time to “gather” myself. Work on my house, my yard, train my puppy etc. But life keeps on keeping on. Now is not a time I can take off work, as the other therapist is out on maternity leave. So I shall soldier on! Next week we have a holiday on Monday, that will help at least!

I will drag myself off to work, dreaming of being here.

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5 favorite blogs

Day 19

5 favorite blogs and why

These are in no particular order! I follow WAY too many blogs. These are a few that I always check to see if they have a new post!

The Sphors Are Multiplying
This blog is about a family that lives in CA. They had a premature daughter who passed away unexpectedly. They now have a second daughter and are about to have a son. I just like to read their writing, sometimes it is funny, sometimes poignant.

My Favorite Things
This is a papercrafting blog, mostly cardmaking using stamps. I love Dawn’s creativity. She also has a dog she loves that she writes about sometimes. She also loves flowers and posts lovely photos of her yard.

Anne is an amazing knitting designer, as well as an avid gardener. She always has lovely photos on her blog, and seems to be a genuinely kind person.

Yarn Harlot
Stephanie writes knitting humor!! I know it is hard to imagine such a thing, but it does exist. I saw her speak on a book tour, and she was great. She also has a great heart for doing good things in the world.

Confessions of the Chromosomally Enhanced
I found this blog not too long ago. It is about a woman whose older sister has Trisomy 21 (Downs Syndrome). She and her husband adopted a baby with Trisomy 21, and they gave birth to another daughter. She takes great photos, writes humorously and makes cute videos.

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Childhood story

Day 18

Tell a story from your childhood

tractor photo

This is NOT my tractor from when I was a kid, but I have no idea if my mom even has any photos of it! In my mind I recall the tractor as possibly blue, and I seem to recall the the wagon had a hinged rear gate. But who knows!!

Anyway, on to the story! When I was young, we lived in the country, outside of Westminster Maryland. We had a small amount of property along a creek (which turned into a raging river during hurricane Agnes!). I have a memory of sneaking out of the house one day just after dawn. I was in my pajamas and bare feet. I got out my pedal tractor, and rode it up and down the path in the early morning light. I remember it being very quiet, and cool. It was summer, so later in the day it would be hot, but the air was nice early in the morning. the grass was wet under my feet from the dew.

I have no idea if I got back inside without being caught, or if I got in trouble. I just remember the freedom and peacefulness of riding my tractor in the early morning before anyone else was up.

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My daily struggle

Belated Day 16

Be forewarned, this is rather long, and not really at all uplifting! But the topic is “something difficult about your lot in life, and how you’re working to overcome it.”

This post has been in draft status for quite some time. Partly because I waiver about how much I want to put in writing out there on the internet, and partly because it is so difficult to accurately articulate how I feel.

A while back, I took the plunge, and posted something on FB about being Childless Not By Choice. It was hard to do, and I was uncertain what the response would be. I’m glad that I did it, as I received thoughtful and caring responses. Some of them totally resonated with me, others not so much. One concept that I don’t really buy into is the idea that this is how it was “meant to be”. or that “things happen or don’t happen for a reason.” Even in my staunch born again Christian days, I never felt that God caused bad things to happen to people so that people could learn things, or so that others could come to know God through the experiences of the “recipient” of aforementioned bad things. Rather I believed that the bad things happen due to the original “fall from Grace” and that God can use these things in our lives to teach us things, to strengthen us etc.

Now I tend to be more Buddhist in my view of things, believing that there is suffering in the world, as that is the way the world is. I can learn from things that come my way, and I can work to alleviate the suffering of other beings.

That being said, some of the things that people posted in response to my status made me feel like I have managed to utilize my energies and skills in ways that have benefited others. I do think that I have developed my gifts and talents more deeply than I would have if I had been able to have children. Although I am far from happy with the fact that I never had any children of my own, the experience has shaped me into the person I am today, and perhaps I have strengths that I might not have had if my life had taken a different path.

I also know that I do not have a bad life, I actually am very lucky, and have a good life. But it does not change the fact that I grieve every day for the children that I thought I would have. Ever since I can remember I had no doubt that I was going to have children, possibly lots, and probably some adopted. So I struggle with that, and how it has changed who I am, and how I perceive things. Years ago I would have described myself as a happy and optimistic person. Now I feel differently. I know that for the most part I still appear the same, as I think my behavior is such a part of my personality. But I feel sadness every day now, some days more pervasive than others.

Mother’s Day was this past weekend. That day is hands down the worst day of the year. Loribeth calls it Voldemort Day. Voldemort Day = The Day That Shall Not Be Named. That is EXACTLY how I feel about it!! I love my mother dearly, so I call her, text her a photo, and give her a gift. But other than that I prefer to forget it even exists. I stayed away from Facebook most of the day, but I did make the mistake of getting on and seeing someone post about her two children: “Without them I am nothing.” It just made me furious to read that. I know it is not directed at me, and if asked I am assuming that she would not say that women without children are nothing. But things like that, and the total obsession of our society with baby bumps and motherhood gives me twinges of pain most days.

I struggle with the fact that as much as I would like to go back and change the past, I can’t, so I am trying to find ways to rejoice in the life I have, and even to do things that I would not have been able to do if I had children. I participated in an online support group “class” to help find ways to mourn and move forward. I want to have some of the secondary gains (secondary gain: noun (Psychiatry)- any advantage, or release from unpleasant responsibilities, obtained as a result of having an illness) since I have to deal with the harsh fact of being childless not by choice. So early retirement and travel are at the top of my list!!

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You just don’t know how sorry I am

Day 13 delayed : Issue a public apology

I tried to think of a humorous apology, but nothing came to mind. I knew that if I tried too hard at it, the attempt would fall woefully flat. So here is an apology that has been in my heart for a long time.

13.5 years ago, before I met my husband, I had a very close friend who I had met through work, but who became so much more than a work friend. I was very close to her, and her husband. I spent time with them every week, usually several times a week. They were always sure to include me, and I never felt like a third wheel. We had our own special Christmas celebration each year, along with birthdays, karaoke out at the bar etc.

When I met Chris I started to spend a lot of time in Columbia with him, which cut down on our time together. As Chris and I progressed in our relationship, we went out with my friend and her husband a time or two. It did not go well. There are many things that are great about my husband, but he is not a social person. If he does not hit it off with someone right away, he tends to see no purpose in pursuing any further interaction. He did not have any interest in spending any time with my friends. So I spent less and less time with them.

I feel like SUCH a terrible person for this. These were not casual friends, they were like family to me. I had always sworn that a man would never come between me and my girlfriends. But I did not hold to my word. Whenever I think of her, I want to tell her how sorry I am, how wrong I was, and how much she and her husband did not deserve the treatment that I gave to them. I have considered writing a letter to her, but then I think that perhaps that is a selfish thing to do. I might make her think of painful things that are better left alone. I wish that I knew if apologizing to her would make her feel better. If I knew it would, I would do it in a heartbeat. But I would never want to do it to make myself feel better at the expense of her feelings. I did too much wrong in the past to risk doing more now.

So I think of her, and hope that she is happy and well, and has some friends that have been better to her than I was.

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