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Eyes wide open.
Staring at the world
Taking it all in
Enjoying the good things
Surviving the bad
Questioning it all.
I started this blog several years ago to share my thoughts. I think I often have an interesting perspective on life and wanted to share that with others. I have a voice and I wanted to be heard.
Everyone has a story. A tale to tell.
For whatever reason, I’ve often felt like I’m on the outside looking in. Even when I’m in the middle of it, part of me is watching from a distance.
I’ve started dozens of posts over the past year and a half– with a hundred more ideas locked in my brain. Aside from my travel posts and those about my furry children– most have gone unpublished. Unread. Silenced or self-censored.
I became completely obsessed with Presidential election, cable news and the expansive concerns that have divided America. At times, it could be so overwhelming that it was paralyzing. It seemed to invade every waking moment of my day.
The lines between broadcast news, journalism, social media, advertising and ‘fake news’ have become so blurred many people don’t know what to believe. Unfortunately, to the detriment of society, too many people will believe anything they hear. Anything they want to believe, that is.
Well, I’m over it. My silence is about to be broken. If I can help or at least entertain with my words, so be it. I may hurt or anger a few people. If I can educate or open a few people’s minds along the way, then I’ll be achieving my goal.
I may not be an expert on some topics but I also won’t post blindly. I believe that even posting an opinion requires some research and justification. We can’t help who we are or what we believe; though helping others understand the backstory can make the picture more clear. Truth? Fantasy or fiction? In today’s burgeoning mecca of information it’s often difficult to tell.
I don’t want to write about just one topic because that’s not who I am. Theatre, Film, Animal-Lover, Writer…. Nature, Politics, Travel, Equality… History, Restoration, Photography, Reading, Cooking and Gardening… the Human Experience… these are the things that contribute to my psyche and make me a whole person. In daily life, my mind can jump from topic to topic in an instant. I want to share just some of what I see and what I feel. We may not agree– but by communicating there is a place where we can connect. We all have a common ground though many are afraid to approach it.
I’m going to write about it. I’ve been guilty of posting things on Facebook that require more than a one sentence proclamation or allegation. People have become too sensitive and judgemental and often aren’t willing to accept other people’s right to self expression. They aren’t afraid to tell you, you are wrong– yet refuse to defend or debate in a respectful manner.
Some of my posts may be short and hopefully, to the point. I think this blog may be a better platform to express myself. Besides, more than likely, those people that want their Facebook feed to be nothing but ‘cute’ memes and puppy dogs won’t bother to read it anyway.
I just don’t get it. It is easier than ever to communicate with the world. So why are so few people willing to listen?
Sunday when I took Cash up for his nap -okay, our nap- I gave him his treat but didn’t throw a few of his toys on the bed like usual. Not that he actual played with them– more than anything I think he just liked having them around him. Seeing this, Cash took matters into his own hands (paws) and somehow managed to open the door to Belle’s crate and took her bone. With it hanging out of his mouth like an oversized, cartoon cigar he climbed up on the bed, turned around in circles and laid down– pressed against me– to go to sleep. Michael had Belle and Dudley in the other room, so this time was just about us.
I have a lot of memories like this- simple, not profound but beautiful.
Cashman. Boogey. Boogers. Boog. Goofy. Goof. Son. Brother. Big Brother. Baby Boy. Old Man. My Cash.
Yesterday, I had to say goodbye. Time simply ran out.
Twelve years and nine months. He outlived his sister by just over two years and has been my constant companion since then.
But it was time.
I thought I was losing him twice earlier in the day but Cash always was a fighter. He hung in there. He hung in through the ride to vet, where they were able to give him medication to make sure he was comfortable and he hung in until Michael could get there.
Nose to nose and staring into his eyes I told him I loved him. I told him it was okay to let go. I whispered it was time for him to run and find his sister. Nose to nose I felt him take his last breath.
Through it all I tried to stay calm, to not cry, to reassure him. When he was finally gone– through the sadness and grief– more than anything I felt lucky.
Cash was a gift. The last two years when I really got to know him and bond with him on a different level were the greatest gift.
I’ll miss his smell. I’ll miss the upturned corners of his mouth–that I call a smile when I’d kiss him or stroke his fur.
I’ll miss him pretending to sleep, one ear flipped up so he can hear what’s going on and not miss anything.
I’ll miss Michael getting out of bed every night when it was time to go to sleep and kneeling at the end, scratching his ears and covering him in kisses.
I’ll miss Cash waiting for me at the door, begging for treats, snuggling with me on the couch and in bed… his guilty looks… his playfulness.
And most of all– those eyes. I’d swear looking into his eyes connected our souls.
So very Lucky.
Before posting on Facebook, I posted the following:
I want everyone reading this to stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, take a deep breath– and be grateful for all the good things you have to be thankful for. Life comes with no guarantees. The only thing certain– is this moment.
I wanted to share– but not make this all about me. Grief and loss is something we all experience throughout our lives. So many times we get caught up and forget the important things.
Earlier this month, it seemed a lot of friends were experiencing grief and loss. I found and posted this:
When we got home from the vet, we let the babies out and I had to plug my drained phone into the charger… next to Cash’s empty food bowl. A while later, I opened the refrigerator to find his half can of dog food, covered in foil, staring me in the face. Little moments of grief and remembrance. There will be a lot of those moments over the coming weeks. The empty space on the couch, toys only he played with, tags in drawers forgotten long ago. It’s all part of the process.
Within hours of posting on Facebook, over a hundred people has expressed their condolences. Reminding me once again that I am so Lucky.
At bedtime, there wasn’t even any discussion. Belle and Dudley got their peanut butter, their crates were left open and they both climbed up on the bed. They played a little before settling down and going to sleep. I didn’t sleep well– but mostly because it’s hard to sleep with a sixty-pound boxer pushing me to the edge and snuggling with her head on my chest– snoring softly. I was blissfully uncomfortable.
So very, very lucky.
From the time we are children, it is drilled into our head that nothing in life is free. Everything has a price. You get what you pay for and vice versa. This is supposed to to teach us appreciation for things, as well as the importance of hard work (to get what we want) and success. If you want something bad enough, you’ll work for it. While this is true, it also places so much emphasis on material things and status that I think many people miss the really best things.
Ask yourself: what’s your favorite thing in the world? Most of the time, the things we come up with are free.
Reading a book, sleeping in late on the weekend, a walk on the beach, hugs or affection from children or pets….. these are things I think of and hear most often. Sure, you may have to buy the book, sleeping in may come with a sacrifice of time, if you don’t live near a beach– you have to get there, and children and pets are expensive to care for. That’s not the real point. When you look at it that way, you buy into a negative world view.
I find the things I appreciate the most; and are the most memorable to me, may be what you’d consider residuals.
I hate even using that word because depending on your comprehension of it, it may sound like I’m trivializing it.
Take going on a vacation, for example. Michael and I have found we really like to travel and have dream destinations and vacations we’d like to take in the future. Well, that’s certainly not free, you may be saying to yourself; but after it’s said and done, what was the best part of the vacation? What do you remember the most?
Yes, you probably remember: I went here, I went there; I did this, I saw that– What was really the most memorable part? Was it the plane ticket or hotel? Was it really the location or what you did? For me, I remember the planning and anticipation, and no matter how great or how bad the actual trip is; the very best part of it is time and connection Michael and I have. The experience is great but it’s the shared experience that’s the most memorable.
When the vacation is over, I always hate going back to the routine because then I feel this big disconnect… I crave that time together experiencing new things, connecting and not being easily distracted from the daily routine of life. I go through Michael withdrawal.
Our dogs have always had a good life but we really try to make it even better. Since we got Belle, our daily routine has changed, less time in front of the TV and more play time with Belle. Since I get so much time with her during the day, Michael usually plays with her while I’m writing or spending time with the boys. I’ll come down for awhile too and we play with her together. You can’t buy that quality time. Those are memories you don’t forget.
I love my quiet time too. An early morning cup of coffee before anyone else is up; feels so good and helps me start the day right. That’s free.
Those unexpected expressions of love from companions, children, pets and friends are also priceless and free.
Belle can be a real handful– then out of the blue, she calms down and crawls in my lap or licks my face. Free and priceless.
A friend messages on Facebook, calls or stops by unexpectedly— free and priceless too.
There are so many things to appreciate and cherish. The residual effects of life can be the most rewarding.
Sometimes we just have to stop, look and listen.
The best things….the free things are right there under our noses.
No, I’m not going to say the big “C” word, although it is coming quick. And, no, I haven’t started decorating the house either.
It’s beginning to look a lot like… Here’s your chance to fill in the blanks!
I am participating in National November Writing Month and I’m hoping I can get at least 30 people to help! Be my muse!
I’m actually participating on two levels this year. I’ll be attempting to write a blog post every day for the month of November and writing a complete novel in a month.
Pretty crazy, huh?
What I Need
I’m looking for at least 30 people (30 days in November) to act as my muse and contribute a person, place and a thing that I will have to incorporate in my story as it develops. You can contribute either by leaving your suggestions here in the comment section, or on Facebook in the comment section linking to this post.
Person– This could be a first name or full fictional name. Help me name my characters!
Place– This is pretty open, be creative. Avoid countries. Fictional businesses, towns, rooms, settings, etc.
Thing– Could be an item, emotion or an action (i.e.- a saw, insanity or kidnapping). No Brand names of items please.
I’ll use everything that is submitted, some way, some how in the story. This will be a work of fiction but not fantasy or Sci Fi so avoid suggestions that might only work in those genres.
I’ll also accept suggestions of topics for future blog posts.
What It Is
National Writing Month was created as a way to challenge writers to complete a project, to network, and to publicize their work.
In a nutshell, the goal is to write every day for the whole month of November.
In the novel challenge, you should have a complete novel by the end of the month; and for the blog challenge, you should have published 30 new blog posts.
If you are interested in participating (writing) yourself, you can find out more at NaNoWriMo for writing a novel; and NaBloPoMo for the blogging challenge. It’s free to sign up and there are plenty of resources to get the creative juices flowing.
Watch It Grow
1) My Blog: Watch for new blog posts each day during the month of November. I’ll write about a wide variety of topics, maybe post photos, and share some of my favorite things. The best way to follow my progress is to sign up to follow me using the link in the right column of this blog.
2) The Novel: I’m totally relying on you to steer the direction of my novel. I haven’t decided if I’m going to post updates daily through my blog– but in the end, I’ll be sharing my finished product that you can help me create. It will not be SCI-FI or Fantasy, I’m just not familiar enough with those genres. I’m going to start with general fiction and see where it goes… could be a mystery or even a romance. Maybe both. We’ll have to wait and see how you inspire me!
Priority for inclusion will go to people that submit to me by November 1st. Let’s get started!