Category Archives: Random

Ode to a Dear Friend Who Lives in a Bottle


Photo source: Unsplash.com/Carli Jean

Photo source: Unsplash.com/Carli Jean

 

You became my best friend

Though I didn’t know you for long

A mutual acquaintance introduced us,

          thought we’d work well together.

You comforted me through my illness

          made it more endurable.

I spent as much time with you as I could

          while careful to avoid accusations of “forgetting old friends.”

 

And then one day without warning you were

          GONE!

I was bewildered and hurt; was it something I had done, something I said?

I went to all your old haunts

          You weren’t there; left no forwarding address.

Asked those I thought would know where to find you; they didn’t.

I was desperate; the illness

          was unbearable without you

So I turned to other assistance

          Anything to stop the pain; but it wasn’t the same

For months, I felt lost without you

          Nowhere I looked, could I find you

 

Then yesterday, I revisited one of your old spots

and looked for you, on a whim.

          There you were!

Your beloved features beaming at me.

I laughed and cried and greeted you with a grin

 

At last! We’re together again

My dear, beloved,

          Excedrin Migraine!

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Filed under Anxiety, Life, Mental Health, Musings, Poetry, Random, Thankful, Writing

New Year Challenges (Goals for an Improved, Better Me)


Photo source: Unsplash.com/Carli Jean

Photo source: Unsplash.com/Carli Jean

New Year’s Resolutions are a tradition I usually avoid. I’ve tried making them before, but often lose the willpower about mid-February (my birthday month…I wonder if there’s a correlation…) to keep up momentum. However, THIS New Year, I’m determined to continue some of the successes I experienced last year and improve upon my willpower in 2016. After all, the biggest hindrance (and sometimes the ONLY hindrance) to reaching my goals, is ME.

Someone I greatly admire and trust (my pastor) recently said it this way, “One day at a time. We don’t need a successful life, we need a successful DAY. We don’t live year by year, or month by month, or even week by week. We live day by day.”

Mind. BLOWN.

For all of my smarts, I never thought of it quite like that before. It’s rather refreshing and stress-relieving to think of my life – another year in the life of – in 1-day chunks, in which everything is new all over again, instead of as a 365-bunch and we’re cycling downhill from day one.

So, here is my list of “resolutions” for 2016, to be worked on one day at a time:

  1. Be a more consistent parent. People are always telling me I’m a good mother. Sometimes I believe them. But I know that I’ve been lacking in true consistency with my son – a regular, fun, “mother & son” day/time; consequences for negative behavior; teaching him how to be responsible; how to be kind and thoughtful; how to clean (but that’s not really a mystery – I HATE cleaning. Except for laundry. I don’t mind doing the laundry); how to be a man…I may not REALLY know how to be a man, but I DO know what a WOMAN looks for in a friend, husband and father. That’s my gift to all the other women currently in his life and those in his future. You’re welcome.
  2. Become a better writer. I’m not sure if it’s ironic, but the more I edit other authors’ works, the more conscientious I become of my own writing, and I think it’s making me a better writer. My editor should be able to tell me for sure when I finally send him my second novel. 😉One day at a time2
  3. Be more empathetic. I see myself as a pretty tolerant person, but not as compassionate as I could be. There’s a difference, I think, because while I’m TOLERANT of cultures, ideas, lifestyles and beliefs different from mine, I don’t always have EMPATHY for them. Immigrants, for example, who aren’t native English speakers. I’m fine with them keeping their own languages and cultures, but PLEASE, PEOPLE, learn ENGLISH. The USA is an ENGLISH-speaking country. Try to assimilate. If I move to YOUR non-English-speaking native country, I’m going to work to learn YOUR language, not expect you to adapt to mine. See what I mean? Not very empathetic…
  4. Replace my vehicle. I’m tired of having things go wrong with my vehicle. Every time I have a slight financial cushion, something ELSE needs to be fixed or replaced. 😦 Now I just have to do more research whether it’ll be more cost-effective to lease or purchase and how much of a monthly payment my budget can handle. *gulp*
  5. Save more of my income. I like having a cushion of cash in the bank. But I’m a free-spirit when it comes to money. Somehow, I need to bridge the gap between my – as my mother calls it – “champagne taste on a beer budget.” (Vehicle repairs notwithstanding.)
  6. Nurture my Faith. As much as I need my medication and my therapist, I need my Faith more. The three together (with my Faith taking the biggest chunk of the pie) help balance the days of depression and anxiety with sanity. I think I’ve found a balance I can live with, and need to maintain and strengthen it.

    Texas, May 2000 (age 26). Right about the time I got pregnant. I was about a size 14 and soooo slender.

    Texas, May 2000 (age 26). Right about the time I got pregnant. I was a size 14 and sooo slender.

  7. Lose 20 pounds. That’s about 1-2 pounds a month, give or take. I’ve done it before & feel better physically, mentally, emotionally when I’m a bit…less…of me than there is currently. I’m overweight. I know I don’t look it ’cause I’m almost 6ft tall, but trust me, I am. I never had much weight angst in my teens and 20s. Not until I became preggers and my doctor told me to PUT ON weight, did I begin the Dance with the Scale. I put on 60+ pounds. And then more poundage AFTER I had my son. I’m curvy and big-boned (go ahead and laugh, but it’s true), so I’ll never be smaller than say, a size 12. A size 10 would be pushing the anorexia look. I love food too much to be anorexic, and hate puking too much to be bulimic (I know neither of those illnesses are that simple, but those are the side effects/symptoms that make the greatest impression on me). This year, instead of stressing myself out with a drastic goal (such as losing 60 lbs), I’ve decided to start off with something I can handle – 20 lbs. For the whole year. This I can do, because I’ve done it before. I just have to have the willpower to do it and maintain it. I’d love to magically wake tomorrow looking like and weighing what I did in 2000 before my pregnancy, but I’ll settle for dropping 20 lbs. 🙂

    Copenhagen, Denmark, September 2014 (age 40). Not so slender anymore.

    Copenhagen, Denmark, September 2014 (age 40). Not so slender anymore. 😦

  8. Be a better friend. I think I’m a pretty decent friend, but COULD take more time to spend and talk with friends who are on the fringes and outside of my inner circle, which, admittedly, is quite small. Quality is most important, but you can never have too many friends. At least, I don’t THINK you can…I’ll let you know…
  9. Travel to Europe. Again. I inherited the nomadic spirit of my Jewish ancestors (I realize this was thrust upon them in many cases, but still…), which was fostered by my father when I was a kid. We – my parents, younger brother and I (before the “accident” joined our family in 1985 😉 ) – spent several summers crisscrossing the US in my dad’s little Datsun. Visiting family, historical sites and antique shops. Good times. 🙂 I love to travel, seek out adventures in new and interesting places, soak up the cultures and languages of lands other than my own. And Europe – all of it – is my favorite. Even the places I’ve not yet visited. I need to work for National Geographic as a photojournalist. Or just become independently wealthy and visit book fairs worldwide, all year long.
  10. Attend at least 3 Author Events. I’ve registered to attend 2 this year as an Author, and a 3rd as Assistant to another author. Looking forward to the networking, rubbing shoulders with other readers, making contacts. Selling copies of my book(s) would be a bonus. 🙂
  11. Increase my author/writer/person brand. Write more blog posts for my own site and as a guest on other sites, virtually host more book tours, submit my writing to various publications and contests. This is on-going. I’ve gained momentum this past year, working with my awesome Gravity peeps, and Rachel Thompson, our director and social media queen. Now if I can just find a way to keep up. 😉
  12. Buy more books. Support my author friends. I’ve been doing this a bit over the past year. Hope to increase my collection this year. My bookcases groan in pleasure under the weight of these written treasures. 🙂 Hopefully my budget won’t groan in pain with the strain. *pours over the bank account*

So these are the things at the top of my “resolutions” list for 2016. What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

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Filed under Anxiety, Blogging, Bucketlist, Depression, Family, Life, Mental Health, Musings, Random, Stuff, Writing

my creed…(trigger warning: sarcasm)


I'm delightfultreat others the way you want to be treated; this is the best rule to live by (i.e.: the golden rule). even if you’re an athiest, or an agnostic, or any other type of -est, -ic, or -ist.

don’t say you will do something and then back out without warning or explanation.

if you’re wrong, if you make a mistake, apologize and do your best to make it right.

those we love the most often bear the brunt of our fears, guilt and frustration, whether or not they are actually to blame; be mature enough to ask their forgiveness when you take it out on them.

grow up and take responsibility for your actions.

as a good friend constantly reminds me: you ARE NOT Atlas; so stop trying to carry the world on your shoulders. it will end up crushing you.

if you have child(ren), hug them everyday and tell them you love and are proud of them. if your job or school demands you be away from them for any length of time (i.e.: overnight), call them. our children are our greatest responsibilities… and our greatest achievements. they represent immortality and the best part of life.

you’re never too big or too old for Mama to take you down. she brought you into this world, and she can darn sure take you out. at any time. always respect Mama.

yes, we mothers DO have eyes in the backs of our heads, and no, we will not show them to you.

if you fight with your sibling(s), be sure to make up quickly. they’re some of the best friends you’ll ever have, and if they’re not, maybe you should sit down together and talk about what each of you is doing wrong. fix it. these misunderstandings are wounds that can fester if not lanced right away.

please remember that i’m an individual; if one of my brothers does something stupid or one of my parents offend you, please remember i’m NOT them; don’t blame me. i make enough of my own stupid mistakes and offend enough people; i don’t need to take someone else’s credit. the only two people i’ll accept blame – and praise for – are myself and my son. otherwise, go to the source.

i’m an open book. i’ve been told this before. along with that other cliche, that i wear my heart on my sleeve. if you don’t like to read and you like guessing games rather than the refreshing change of someone who prefers to tell it like they see it, then feel free to leave.

AttentionALWAYS keep open lines of communication with your significant other – or the one you want to BE your significant other. if you want the relationship to last, to work, YOU must work – both of you. and you can’t keep secrets from each other (unless it’s what you’re getting him or her for their birthday, Christmas, or other special days), or go to bed angry.

no cheating. ever. unless writing a book and that’s the character. then it’s okay. sometimes.

i have trust issues. i’m working on them. but if i trust you, don’t lie to me. i’ll do my best to hold myself to the same standard. if i lie to you or you think i have, please tell me so i can make it right if the fault lies with me.

if you need help, ASK FOR IT. but by the same token, don’t expect someone else to solve your problem(s) for you. it’s still your problem; we’ll help if we can, but don’t get lazy.

i don’t want your drama. i have enough of my own. (especially when my characters start taking control of their stories.)  i’m always willing to listen and offer comfort, advice, compassion, a shoulder to cry on/lean on, or assistance, whenever possible, but please remember to take your drama home with you. don’t dump it on me; i’m not your personal landfill. i’m raising a child who lives with ADHD & Asperger’s, and additionally, have my own problems with OCD, adult ADHD, anxiety and depression. i’ll try to extend the same courtesy to you.

i’m willing to listen to your side of the matter, as long as you’ll then listen to mine. (yes, i’ll let you go first.) we may not either succeed in changing the other’s opinion, but we can be satisfied by free, open dialogue. you may not like or agree with everything i have to say, and vise versa. but let’s talk anyway. different points of view are part of what makes life interesting. ignorance begets war. if you don’t believe me, then you need to brush up on your world – or American – history.

Healthy brainyes, i’m sarcastic, and often blunt, with a wacky sense of humor, and likely to stay that way; i’m a writer. it comes with the territory. if you can’t handle that, then maybe our friendship isn’t as strong as i thought it was.

i don’t like to play games. (except when my characters dictate that i do so.) i’m pretty up front with how i feel about people, situations, and life in general; i expect the same courtesy in return. (yes, i said this before, worded differently. somethings are worthy of repetition.)

i take great strides to avoid lying to myself or anyone else (omitting or evading with my son doesn’t count as lying); i expect the same courtesy in return. (also worthy of repetition).

i’m harder to offend than you might think; you disagreeing with me is rarely something worth being offended over. and if i do get offended, i’ll get over it. it’s called maturity.

i’m not stupid. sometimes my learning curve is way out in left field, but eventually i’ll get the picture. though sometimes not until i get smacked in the face with it.

Pretend to be normali’m an open-minded moderate conservative, and quite proud of it. the “open-minded” part means (among other things) that i’m happy to listen to your side of the story, and might even agree with you. the “moderate” part means i’m probably not as “right-wing” as you think i am. the “conservative” part means (among other things) that i don’t like to hear God’s name (or titles) cursed. why are you blaming Him for your problems? ever heard of a little thing called “free will?” everybody has it, and unfortunately, sometimes my free will infringes on your free will, so on and so forth. don’t blame the devil(s) either; free will still applies. if you make bad decisions, it’s your own fault; if you make good decisions, you can pat yourself on the back. good and bad happen to us all.

why do people always say “God****?” why not “Satan****?” or (insert parent’s name here)**** or (insert ex-spouse’s name here)****? etcetera, etcetera. i’m sure if you try it, those expressions will “flow off the tongue” just as easily as God’s name, who probably ALSO wonders why you’re cursing Him.

if i offend you, don’t expect me to know it if you don’t tell me. contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, i DON’T have esp (except for where my son is concerned). i may not apologize for offending you (especially if it wasn’t deliberate), but at least i’ll know the borders of your thin skin before our next interaction.

if you have a problem with me, i’d appreciate it if you tell ME rather than the grapevine. nobody likes a tattle tale.

yes, i’m assertive (aka, pushy). it’s all part of my charm.

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Filed under ADHD, Anxiety, Blogging, Depression, Family, Life, Musings, Random, Sarcasm, Stuff, Writing