Stress

I've been pretty stressed out lately. I don't know if it has to do with hormones, or work, or my husband, or the state of the world today, but the stress has been there. Sometimes, I find myself thinking about running away to a tiny house. I mean, I have you seen that show? Tiny house big living? Those people take Little trailers and turn them into houses and go off and live in them. I guess minimalist living at its finest. What I have noticed though, is that most of those people, put their house on their parents property. Now, I in no way want to do that. However, the allure of a tiny house, and pulling it behind a truck is that you would really have very few worries. I mean, you could live a nomadic lifestyle going from place to place and always have your home with you. There's always jobs if you want to work. You could detassel corn, pick berries, work from a laptop, or, find a construction job to pay you cash. The possibilities are limitless. In fact, within the past month I have talked to two people, that want to buy motorcycles and just take off. They say they want to take their motorcycle themselves, a bag, and that's it and just go. I do know of one guy that actually did it.

So, maybe I'm not alone. Maybe the world is getting to be a more stressful place. Maybe we all just want to throw up our hands and say that's it I'm done! But, the responsible thing is to keep going on, and in the end, that is what I'll do. Running away and living in a tiny house is one of those things that you think about when you're really really stressed out. Then, you put your boots on and pull them up and figure out a way to get through it, or at least that's what I do. I do think that each of us needs a little bit of peace. Whether it's wind therapy from a motorcycle, a vacation home where you can go and get away and leave all of your worries behind, or just date night with your significant other. There are scientific studies that say that stress will make you very sick. In fact, stress can actually kill a person. And we live in a very stressful world. I do know that I had a migraine last night, and most likely it was induced by stress. So, that's a wake up call to me that I need to become a little less stressed. And, in 41 days, I will be headed to the place that is like a soothing balm to my stressed-out soul. Can't wait.

So, the photos for today are ones that remind me to not be stressed. To take a minute and take a breath. Sometimes I forget to do that. Sometimes I let my stresses become bigger than they actually are.

I hope each and everyone of you take a minute and breathe. Or maybe two minutes. I don't want to see anything happen to anyone of you, and I know that I don't like the feeling when I'm stressed. It is kind of a gateway to a bunch of other bad things. So, I'm going to take that minute I'm going to breathe, and I'm going to look at these photos and remember that my life is pretty darn good. Not even because I have a vacation home or a home where I have where I live or even the job. It's good just because it is. I woke up this morning. I am able to get out of bed. I can face another day, and no matter what stresses come my way today, I can overcome them. No matter how many times people try to treat me like I'm stupid, or not worthy, or less then, I know I'm worth something. I am a good person, or I try to be. So no matter how many time someone tries to beat you down today just remember that. We are all good people, we are all worth something. And don't let your stress Control you. It will be gone before you know it, one way or the other. I hope everyone has an awesome day today, and I will talk to you again soon

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Letting go

I think I'm going to start approaching this a little differently. I hope you don't mind. I'm still going to tell you my opinion on things, basically this is where I spill my crazy ideas! LOL! I hope they're not too crazy, but I am getting older, and you know they say as people get older they get crazier. And any rate, I think what I'm going to do is pick one photo, and kind of focus on my thoughts that stem from that photo. So, here's the photo for today

This photo is very fitting, because it reminds me to take a breath and just let shit go. In life, we are so often inundated with things that mess up our program. Other peoples stupidity, the way other people perceive us or treat us, the world, and perhaps our own stupidity at times. We're going along, and we have this nice little plan of how our day or year or week or life or whatever should go, and then all of a sudden something happens and our emotions change your course. Maybe you get mad and totally forget what your end goal is supposed to be, or maybe you get sad and go off on this other tangent whatever the reason, we have to let things go.

In a way, we can almost become emotional hoarders. And I mean that in the truest sense of the word. Everybody's watched that show hoarders, I mean it kind of like pulls you in. There you have a person, for whatever reason they have filled their house with belongings. Maybe they're clean and maybe they're not; maybe they have rats, and maybe they don't, but in the end they're all the same. They have floor to ceiling piles of stuff. I think our emotions can kind of work the same way. Someone does something and makes you angry, you store it away somewhere. Someone hurts your feelings, and there you go adding it to another pile. Someone else does something that you perceive as wrong, and it goes in a third pile. After a day, you can have one pile that's already as high as the ceiling of your little room. That's why I say you have to let things go. And don't get me wrong, I am a world-class grudge holder. I believe very firmly that there are things you should and should not do. I believe very firmly that there are certain ways that you should treat people. I guess I have what most people would call a very strict moral code. There's right, and there's wrong. And there are gray areas, but they have to be justified. It's just one of my little quirks. I try my very best to follow the Golden rule to the letter. It doesn't always work, and sometimes I do bad things. But, the thing that we're talking about here, is that when people do things that I don't understand why they would possibly do something like that. I set it off on the pile, and pick it up later and ponder on it. I rub it, and worry it to death, until finally I am ready to let it go. I have gotten so much better at letting things go, I just can't let them go right away.

In the end, I really think that that is one of the keys to a happy life. Letting things go. Here is a truth: People are jerks! People are going to hurt you and not realize why they do it or that they're even doing it. You have to let that go. You can't hold onto it. It can color your whole day. Or perhaps, your whole week or year. And I also believe, That the way we treat other people has a profound impact on their world as well. So, if we follow that logic, if I am holding onto something that someone has done to me and I treat someone in a way that's not as good as it should be, maybe that just adds to whatever problems they're having. On the other hand, if I let go of whatever I have put on my pile, and I treat someone the way I would want to be treated, maybe my smile is the thing that they needed to help them in their life. We never really can't tell how we impact another's life. All I know for sure is that we do. I want my impact on everyone's life to be a good one.

Obviously, I had an incident this morning that I have to let go. And, through this blog I've done that. Different people are at different places on their journeys in their lives. Some people never realize how much their words or actions can hurt others. So, since I seem to be farther along in my journey, I'm going to work harder on letting it go. The picture, from today is a sunset on the shores of Lake Superior when I am having a bad day, that lake never fails to lift my spirits. It is so much larger than I am, it makes me remember that even though I'm a small part I'm still in important part of the world. I hope, that each of you find something that reminds you how important you are. That enables you to let things go that are just piling up in the emotional rooms of your mind. That helps you on the path to leading a happy and fulfilling life, the kind of life that we were really meant to have.

Have a great day, and I'll talk to you all soon!

Spencer

I am sitting here thinking of the past.  I am going to set this to publish in the morning, but tonight, as I write, my mind is taking me back 18 years.  I was getting ready to do one of the most important things that I have ever done…give birth to my oldest son.  That's right.  Tomorrow at 5:24am Spencer will turn 18.

I have so many things that I want to tell him and so many things that I want to keep him from doing.  Yet, I know that I have to let him travel his own road.  Time has taken him toward adulthood faster than I was ready for.  Time is a thief that robs us while we watch.  I am sad, yet I am excited for him.  I am so very proud of him and I know that he will be okay, yet I want so much to hold him close and keep him from being hurt.  I know that I can't.

When he was young, I wrote a poem for both my boys.  I was sitting at the computer next to the bay window watching them as they played outside.  At that moment I knew that before I knew it this moment would be here.  I hope that you will indulge me if I share it with you today, I think it is fitting.  I submitted it to the International Library of Poetry and when the book came out in 2003 it was the very first poem in the book.  It is titled Winds Of Fall

Winds Of Fall

I woke one blustery day that fall to find

Time had turned and I had fallen behind.

Leaves spiraled on winds quite high

Saluting, but once, in their yearly goodbye.

There in the yard, my sons did play

Making the most of the Autumn day.

Small blond heads, bent in play

Making me yearn for another summer day.

Time is a bandit, robbing all it should meet

Making today a memory, a stranger on the street

The winds of fall wipe away my tears

As my children grow further in years.

Tomorrow, their childhood will be no more

As manhood shall be at their door.

Winds of fall, please let them play

Let them remain children for just one day.

Yet my heart knows this can't be so

And like the leaves I will watch them grow

One day to say goodbye, on winds of fall riding high.
And now it has happened.  My baby boy is now an adult in the eyes of the world.  He can vote.  He can get a tattoo, he can make his own way and there is little that I can say about it.  I remember when I met his dad.  I had no idea that I would soon be married and even less of an idea that I would soon want to make my family bigger.  Yet that is exactly what happened.  On August 3, 1999 as I watched the sun rise into the sky, my baby boy came into the world.  Life has been an amazing journey with him.  I have had the privilege of experiencing the world through his eyes.  I learned how to be a mom to a boy and I learned how to be a better mom than before.  I had the distinct honor of watching my son grow into the man he is becoming.  Or has become.  Either way it has been my honor to watch him pull on the mantle of adulthood.

I can truly say that Spencer has made mistakes and has learned from them.  I can say that he is a good man and someday may even be a great man.  I can say that he has a great sense of humor and he embodies the best qualities of his dad.  I know that if I were to leave this world tonight, he would be okay.  I just hope he knows how proud I am of who he is.  I hope he knows that my heart is filled with joy while is breaks just a little.  I hope he knows that I am looking forward to watching this next chapter of his life unfold.  The road is waiting there before him…fresh blacktop and the truck is gassed up…life is calling.  I hope he remembers to look in the rear view mirror from time to time, because that is where I will be.  I will always be his anchor, I will always be his home, he will always have my heart…no matter where his life takes him.

I am full of wishes for my son's 18th birthday.  I wish him all the love he can handle, more laughter than any day can hold, a long life filled with experiences, just a little hardship…so that he can appreciate the good times, and a little heartbreak so that the rest of the days will be that much sweeter.  I wish that, as he stands on the threshold of manhood, that time doesn't pass too quickly for him.  I hope that he remembers to savor the moments.  I know that soon he will leave the nest.  I know that my heart hurts just thinking about that, but I am excited for him.

More than anything, the one thing that I want to say to him on this momentous birthday is a line from a book we used to read.  It became kind of a tradition that we said to each other when the boys were little…"I'll love you forever, like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."  That will always be true.  I have loved him since before he was born and will love him until time ends, and even longer.  Happy Birthday son.

In honor of today, here are pictures of Spencer.  Hope you don't mind.

Drivers

I talked to a man yesterday who worked in law-enforcement and he had traveled all over the place. He said one thing that struck me as rather funny. He said the drivers from the Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan area were among some of the most polite drivers he had ever encountered.  I just think that that is absolutely hilarious, because everyone complains about the way the people drive. And this man, was saying how polite those drivers are.

Perhaps what makes them so polite, is that they actually understand and obey the rules of the road. Now, this is just one man’s experience, however I kind of agree with his assessment. I’m sure there are polite drivers everywhere. We just don’t run into them all that often.  If you were driving in one of those states more than likely when you pull up to a four-way stop the people around you understand that the first person to stop is the one that goes first. And, gasp, this actually happens. So often times I pull up to a four-way stop there is  someone that seems to be racing to get to somewhere, so before they’ve even stopped, they are going through the intersection no matter how long I’ve been sitting there.

 Another thing that must be something that is taught elsewhere and not here, is that if you are turning, use your turn signal. If the person five cars in front of you is turning, do not use your turn signal. I was taught in drivers education class, because we all know I am from that area, that if you signal to let someone behind you know that someone in front of you is turning, the person behind you doesn’t know if you’re turning or someone else’s turning and they may try to go around you. Now, this does not cause a huge problem unless you, who are signaling for the person in front of you, decide to go around that person as well. Then, you have a traffic accident. If you personally are going to turn, Then put your turn signal on. Oh, by the way, for those of you that don’t know:  the turn signal is located on the steering column. It is a blinking indicator that lets people behind and in front of you know that you were going to turn,   Just thought I’d do that public service announcement.

Another thing he said was that if he went speeding through a town chasing someone, in pursuit of someone, the other drivers moved out of the way. I think that one’s kind of common sense. I can tell you that there is common sense lacking in certain drivers today. For example, just the other night I was heading home. I was on the four-lane and I was in the passing lane. I was in the passing lane because I was slowly passing a car. I was going fast enough that I was over the speed limit yet slow enough that I didn’t just whip by them. And at any  rate, a very large truck was coming up very quickly on my rear so I sped up.  Apparently, this gave the car beside me the idea that I wanted to race them because then they sped up. Now I have cars in front of me, a truck coming up on my rear and some idiot in the slow lane trying to race me. Needless to say I got by the car let the truck go by and slowed back down to the proper speed limit. Then the idiot beside me decided that they needed to go in The passing lane and simply ride beside me for awhile. This involved me speeding up again, because riding beside anyone is not a very smart idea. The moral of that little story, is: use common sense when you drive. I’m not sure that they teach that in driver’s ed anymore or if they ever have, and I wish that I could sell common sense to those lacking it. Boy, if I could do that I would be a rich woman indeed. However, somewhere in the brain of the driver there is a modicum of common sense. It’s put they’re just so when you drive, you can access it so you don’t kill other people with sheer stupidity. So, I think it’s a very good idea to use common sense and courtesy when you drive. And it doesn’t really hurt anything to be polite. If someone is going faster than you, let them in. If a police car or an ambulance or something of that nature comes up behind you let them go by. Use your blinkers, don’t drive in the passing lane unless you are passing someone. These are all things that it shouldn’t be hard to do.

And any rate, I am actually having a very good drive to work this morning. I didn’t mean to turn this into a rant, I just thought it was an interesting conversation that brought up some valid points   Enjoy your day today, and enjoy your drives. I hope you are surrounded by drivers that can actually use the common sense that they were born with, and make your drive as pleasant as mine has been. Talk to you soon

Mornings

I am on the way to work as usual, and I just finished up my morning round of phone calls. Since my family is all off working, the only way I can really stay in touch with them is by phone. So every morning I try to make sure and call each one of them, and I try and do the same thing as soon as I get off work each night. Even though they’re together, that way I get to talk to each and everyone of them. Well, except for Sterling because his phone is not the greatest. But, I do try.

I hope, that when they’re bigger and they’re off doing their own thing that this is a tradition that we can continue. I try to talk to my mother at least once or twice a month. I tried to call Lia at least once or twice a month. I wish that I talked to her more, but she’s busy with her life and I understand that. I’m afraid, that that is what’s going to happen with the boys as well. They will get busy with their lives, And I will be stuck with phone calls once or twice a month. I guess that thought makes me think about family more  And how hard it can be to keep everyone close when the world is trying to pull them apart. So often everyone moves and goes their own way, and then they don’t realize how much they’ve missed of one another’s lives until it’s too late. I don’t want my family to be like that.

Yesterday, at work, I met a couple that are kind of like Rod and I. They had three children, one was 25, one had graduated recently from high school, and the other one was a senior this year. They were getting ready to begin the second phase of their lives. The phase that I’m getting ready to begin with Rod, the part where there are no children at home. It’s a scary thing, Because really, that means that I am kind of redefining who I am. I’ll always be a mom, but now I will be a mom in a different way. Luckily for me, I never lost touch with my husband. I see so many people that end up getting a divorce once the kids are grown because they really don’t know who the person is that they are married to. I’m lucky in that way. I know exactly who my husband is. Sometimes he annoys me, sometimes he is sweet as he can be, but he is always Rod, the one that I married 20 some years ago. We still like to do things together, and he still annoys the tar out of me, and I’m sure I annoy the tar out of him. So, When this next phase comes and it’s just he and I in the house I don’t think I’ll have such a hard time transitioning. I will always love and always miss having my children around, however the only thing I can do is hope that we remain as close as we are now. I guess that’s all you can do. I have to let them go so that they can live their own lives and I will begin mine again with just my husband. It’s kind of exciting really. It’s the chance for Rod and I to do the things that we always wanted to do but either we were too young and immature to do them, or we had children to worry about. Well, you never really stop worrying about your kids I don’t think, I just won’t have any living in my house.

As far as new phases go, I think this one’s going to be pretty exciting. I am kind of looking forward to it. I know that I will be sad, and I know that the house will get lonely. But all in all, it’s just life. We go through so many different phases in our lives  Life changes, sometimes by the minute, and the only thing you can do is adapt, roll with the punches, and continue to enjoy this awesome journey that we’re all on. So, I hope each and everyone of you have an amazing day today and continue to enjoy your journey.  Talk to you soon. 

By the way, you know it’s going to be in amazing day when one of your favorite 80s songs comes on the radio as you’re driving into work. 😂😁

Goals

It’s been some time since I’ve written. It’s not that I have not had anything to write about, I guess maybe it’s because I was trying to figure out exactly what direction I want this blog to go. I haven’t even taken any fresh pictures in weeks. It seems like I got back from vacation, and just trying to get back in the swing of things there was always something that seem to come up. And, I guess sometimes that happens in life. You know, that point when you have to decide whether or not you continue down the path that you’re on, or you let things go and just do what you have to do.  I guess for the past couple weeks that’s what I’ve been doing, just what I have to do.  

Today is 3 July. That means it’s a whole new month. And a new month for me means a new start. So, here’s the goals for this month. And these goals, are kind of wide reaching, but I think everybody needs to have goals; it helps people keep on track.  So, my first goal is to take at least one picture a day. And in addition to one picture a day, one blog post every day. It can be anything. It can be just a quick picture saying hey here’s my post for the day. But, that should get me back into habits that I enjoy. Because frankly, these past few weeks it’s just seemed like something has been missing. Now, my family is gone all week long, they’re working in another state, but it’s more than that. So, one picture every day, and one blog post every day.

The second goal has to do with working out. As I have gotten older, and especially since I quit smoking, I have gained weight. I weigh more now than I probably ever have in my life and it really really bothers me. All the time people say, “oh you look great,” but unless you’re happy with yourself, it doesn’t matter really what other people think. And right now, I don’t like my weight. So, goal number two is to lose half a percent to 1 percent of body fat this month.  I’m not going to chronicle how I am getting there, because if you want to see that, you can find my personal Instagram page. This page, is really for my photography and life in general. And I don’t want to bore you with my trials and tribulations as I work out. And right now that’s really not something everybody wants to see probably.  Lol. But, at the end of this month I will let you know whether I met my goal or not. Here’s to hoping that I do.

And I guess my third goal for this month is to not take one day for granted. Every day we live is packed full of experiences, and every day is a gift. I don’t want to waste one gift. So, that means starting to go back on adventures and starting to experience things fully again. There’s plenty of places to experience here in Mississippi just like there is in Michigan, or Iowa, or Arkansas, Louisiana, pretty much any state you live in has plenty of things for you to experience and ways for you to experience your life fully.

So there you have it, simple goals from, a probably crazy person (that’s me by the way :))for this month. Hopefully I’ll get there, and if I don’t it’s not the end of the world. But, gives me something to shoot for and might brighten one person’s day with a picture or two. I hope so.  And really, to give credit where credit is due, my friend Gene wrote me the other day that he has been missing my pictures and my posts. So, there is at least one person out there that did look forward to seeing what I see and hearing what I have to say. So, that makes everything worthwhile. For today, here are a couple of photos that you may or may not have seen before. I hope you like them, and I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Have a great day everyone!