Monday, April 1, 2019

The Company of Misery

     When I think of the word misery, several things come to mind. First, I think of one of my favorite authors, Stephen King, and his work Misery as well as the movie and Kathy Bates brilliance is making her author pay for his riddance to her favorite character. I also think of the saying misery enjoys company, though truly most of us do not want to join in and be miserable with another, in fact we may do much to avoid such an entanglement.
     Recently I encountered, yet again, an individual that seems to be miserable much of the time. Due to their proximity to me three days a week, there is little I can do to avoid seeing their misery so much of the time, but I refuse to contribute to it and avoid them as much as humanly possible. Nothing in their world seems to be right, there is always something wrong and someone has always irritated them in some way. They continue to judge others and expect their current situation to be as they wish it to be or else them mutter and sputter to themselves. My observation continues to make me wonder how they live inside their skin each and every day, 365 days a year. I wonder if they ever realize their disdain of others is solely motivated by their need for control as well as attention. This person is younger than I , in good health, physically fit and not ugly in any way, save their personality. Everyone seems to step lightly around them, myself included, and that serves to only keep things as they are. Recently I made a conscious decision to remove myself from situations involving them whenever I am able. My free time will no longer be marred by their diatribes, cupboard slamming and sputtering and muttering under their breath. I find somewhere else to spend my free time and extinguish their audience for the time being.It's as though they need someone to join them in their delight in being miserable.
     I do wonder what occurred in their life that made them this shrewish and unhappy soul. We can be as some as blame our behavior on circumstances and others, or we can do our best to choose our reactions and be a positive influence in the world instead of being hateful and spiteful. When you look at a situation, remember the part you may play to perpetuate it. Kindling a good fire is always something we should do, a raging and senseless blaze is one we do not need to contribute to. I choose consciously not to contribute or join the company of misery.

                                          ~~~~~~~~~~Balance in all things~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Sorting Things Out

Thirty one years, seems like a long time when one thinks about it. Truth is, it passes quicker than you can or will ever believe it could . I have spent that amount of time living in this one home, that sheltered me and three children so very well. When we moved there, Amanda was 5, Thomas 1 and Paul was less than two months old. I organized well when we moved from Midler Avenue to East Genesee. Things were well packed and labeled despite having three children to care for. My then husband had a wonderful job, it afforded us movers for a full day and that was a blessing in itself. Now it is Rick and I packing, as the closing date approaches ever nearer, my sense of motivation improves some, but it was a daunting task. My youngest child, Paul, moves out tomorrow to his first solo apartment. He has lived here with me all this time . I am happy for his independence, but sad to think of my nest truly empty. The empty part makes the home become just a house once again. Gone are the three residents that made life there so worthwhile. Tears are flowing as I put these words down , life is changing, as it always does.

Sorting through things brings memories, but also makes me wonder why I collected things I did. Perhaps I was trying to fool myself that someday I would once again have the large parties and family gatherings we had at the beginning of life here. The sheer size and comfort of that house lends well to events where family and friends gather. Once my children’s Father and I divorced, there was no time for parties, the finances were tight and my friend supply and time dwindled to a few faithful folks. I now realize my collections of dishes and tchotchkes were to fool myself life had not changed much at all. Hindsight being 20/20, I now see that was a futile attempt to rebuild what I thought I had lost forever. I think that is why it is so easily given to folks I know who will use the dishes happily and for gatherings they have now. Reality is they are only things and hold little charm nor value to me any longer.

Starting anew in a smaller and easier space is an adventure to look forward to. Rick and I will put our own twist on it and make it comfortable for us. I doubt there will be too many gatherings, but I do look forward to the few we do have. I love people, do not get me wrong, but large crowds and the like are discomforting to this anxiety riddled woman. Most do not realize I am truly an introvert with extrovert tendencies in my public persona. My busy life of working and raising three children as best I could to adulthood kept me too busy to hold on to or attract many friends. At times I was too needy in trying to forge a new relationship with a man, due to feeling I had failed so miserably. That propelled me into a second failed marriage as well as several so-so relationships with men I met. Thankfully I met Rick over ten years ago, we have had our share of trials in life, but they have served to strengthen the bond we share. In many ways we are polar opposites, but we complement each other well. Without his support through this moving out saga, I fear I might have lost my mind. Those that once would have stood by me in this are either gone from life, moved away, or we have grown apart from one another. My lovely daughter is a newly married wife, and a busy career RN with a great social life. My second born and first son lives in NYC, with his wonderful partner in life and they have a great lifestyle and careers that keep them busy. My third born and youngest son has begun a new career that keeps him busy and has secured his first apartment and will not be far away if needed. Life has been good for me, I was given the gift of three children that have grown to be wonderful young adults. When we are truly successful st parenting, our fledglings grow strong and leave the nest. It’s a daunting day in some ways, but satisfying to realize you have done a decent job after all is said and done. The bottom line of all this is that I stayed here in that house for both myself and my three children. I did not want my life or their’ any more difficult if possible. Without my fledglings as reason, my life would have been meaningless and empty. With a half smile/smirk I tell myself , “you done good Robin, very good...”

Monday, January 15, 2018

Balancing Act

I find sometimes I get my best ideas from reading others posts, blog or otherwise. This morning I read a blog post about balance and what works for this person. It spurred me to compose this blog and is kind of like point/counterpoint in its essence.We all have a balance we like to keep in our lives, for each of us it is different and what works for one might not for the next. Comparing my life to anyone else's life is a silly and futile exercise. I need to be comfortable in MY life, as  YOU need to be comfortable in your life. I have often thought that one of the worst excuses for a sloppy house/life, whatever your surroundings are, is that raising your children is the most important thing and the housework can wait. While I do not disagree with this statement, we need to teach and model a good life for our offspring, helping them find their own individual balance. Part of life is giving children a solid basis for independent life and helping them function well in the "outside" world. My children had chores, and learned to cook, clean and do many basic things that are essential to a decent life. Setting personal boundaries within ones life is a task one needs to do for themselves.While the tidy/clean house should NOT be the most important thing in ones life, it needs to be a balanced part of a balanced life. If you can function and be essentially comfortable in a chaotic surrounding, then go for it. My personal need is orderly, and not as antiseptic as the younger, idealistic me wanted things. Three children, many pets and a single Mom life forced me to let down my OCD home standards to a more plausible level to keep up with. My children have become adults, only one living here with my life partner and myself, so it is three people living in a large and mostly organized space. My biggest mess makers are now my cats, they shed, make litter box dumping essential on a daily basis, and entertain me and comfort me often., as well as provide entertainment and a lot of laughs. I work forty hours a week, and am fortunate to have someone that does much of the cooking, and shares in the laundry and cleaning of our home. He makes sure that the laundry gets washed, I fold and put it away.  We both clean the bathrooms, with him doing the floors.It is a partnership that works, we never had to outline any "rule" per se, it just happened. In a good relationship this is how I think it should work, sharing the tasks and each doing what they are best at. When so few of you reside in a place, if you just put things where they belong and do a minimal amount of upkeep, there is no reason for it to get out of hand, save illness and occurrences that prevent one from the basic maintenance of said domicile. I watch very little television, read only on occasion, I find such solitary past times to not entertain me or calm me at all. I play online games, would prefer board or card games with a few others, I keep abreast of the news via internet channels and contact friends mainly via text and emails. My eight hour work days is spent on the phone and computer dealing with inbound and outbound calls as well as alarms, so multi-tasking at work is a must. The same is true at home for the most part.I despise phone conversations, I would much prefer a chat over coffee or lunch, interpersonal connections flow much better in real life than in the world of phone lines. Many of my acquaintances are voracious readers, and they often are in disbelief that I do not do the same. I do not expect you to fit into my life guidelines, so do not judge me for not having the same system of life as you. As I said earlier in this missive, balance is a very personal thing, and we all need to set the knob where it works for us and our own individual situations.If things are not working the way YOU want them to, time to take stock of your balancing act and make changes if that will make things work better for your life. Balance is different for us all, find your own and run with it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Balance In All Things~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday, December 31, 2017


We are at the end of 2017, it gives many of us time to reflect on what has been this past year, and plan for what will be for the next year. Our deepest hopes and desires can often be what we think about, though sometimes just some simple changes are what we plan to make. In days gone by, I would often plan to lose weight, having been a big girl all of my adult life. I propose to continue to eat as healthily as I can, with the focus being on balance. I would often plan to treat people as I would like to be treated, you all know, that old golden rule most of us were taught growing up. I know that many resolutions I made never made it past the first week of a new year, that is the case for so many of us. As I have gotten older, though not as much wiser as I might have once thought my silver years would bring, I realize that treating each day as the most important one ever is what is needed. Yesterdays errors can be erased to some degree most times, and we can commit  to not letting them occur again. Planning too much in the future can boggle our brains and weight us down with burdens we need not create in the first place. My focus will be to make each day the best one it can be, and to not punish myself when I fall short of any of my daily goals, but rather forgive myself, analyze the situation and move forward. Getting bogged down in past mistakes and missed opportunities is a waste of precious and valuable time. Caveat here, what works for me might not work for you, and vice verse. I have a couple of acquaintances that craft their own blogs, and their purpose is different, far different than mine is. We are different folks, therefore we have different aspirations, goals and life purpose. I need to keep that in mind when I read said blogs, often they are self involved and make me wonder why the person needs to commit to the written word such meanderings. Then I recall, we are ALL different, and we have needs and habits that vary from person to person. One thing I need to practice in a stronger way is accepting people as they are, and making no judgment upon them or their life. I have always classified myself as a giver, and that has often led to my not doing the best for ME that I can. Givers tend to listen more, and not get their own needs met. One of my intrinsic needs is to feel I am assisting someone in some way, no matter how small. Financially, that is not something I have the resources to accomplish if they need to have that kind of assistance. I have other attributes that are as valuable, if not more so, that monetary ones. Giving of time is one of the things so many of us are guilty of being selfish with. Another part of my focus will be to continue to look at what people do right and do my best with avoidance with an obsession of what they do that is wrong, and especially wrong in my eyes. I do not live their life and they do not live mine, I have no right to judge them as they have none to judge me. I also need to continue to bite my tongue when I do not have something positive or good to contribute. Positive statements, actions and deeds make the world a better place, and it begins with me, even if only in a small way. I choose to make each day a beginning, much like a blank sheet of paper with crisp lines and no erasures. A blank canvas to create something all together unique and make a difference even in only a small way. Global change begins with local action and we each can make an important contribution to making change.  Tomorrow is not here yet, I choose to concentrate on this moment, this day and keep life as good as it can possibly be.

Friday, June 23, 2017

TGIF or Mondays are Marvelous

So many people adore Friday, yet disdain Monday. Even when I was a Monday through Friday 9-5 gal, I never lived for Fridays nor the weekend. I love each day, and some more than others, but it has little to do with the day of the week or the name of the day of the week. I chuckle when I see some putting up their TGIF memes and proclaiming hooray for the weekend. For me, each day counts and in a different way each individual day.

Then we have the Monday growlers, oh boo hoo, the weekend is over and they tend to be in a bad mood. Why I say? Contemplating how each day is good can carry one far and lends to the positive mood one can get themselves in. After all, positive deed and word attracts more positive ions to your day, your week, your month, year ad infinitude. Even miserable days contain some modicum of goodness, even if it involves a lesson. The Debbie Downers and Nancy Naysayers of the world get  no positive attention from me. On social media, for example, Facebook, I tend to skip their negative posts, do not acknowledge the dismal mood, and instead wait for their moments of positive posts and lavish attention on those. Sure I have my off days, but for the most part, I find the good in each day, each person and can live each day fully as I possibly am able to.

Try framing your days this way, it cannot hurt. Who knows, you may find yourself enjoying each day and your life just a little more!

                                                          ~~~Balance in all things~~~

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Solstice

Today marks the longest day of the year, as well as the first official day of summer. Summer is my third favorite season, my favorite season is Fall, followed by Spring, then the current season of Summer, and least favorite is Winter. While I enjoy longer days and more sunlight, and warmer temperatures, I am not a fan of the humidity at all. We are famous for overly humid days here in the Syracuse area. I have no tolerance for humidity, it saps my energy, makes me feel nauseous and just makes me feel one hundred pounds heavier.  Some considered summer to have already started once the parks opened  and baseball and Indy 500 took place. That is someone else's definition of summer, and one social media "friend" gave me a litany of words when I said summer's official start was not when they have the Indy 500 and sing the song "Back Home In Indiana". To him, it is, but not me. I tend to be a tried and true died in the wool girl for the beginning of the seasons by calendar dates, though sometimes we have a day that is "summer-like" long before the actual date. Another social media friend loves Summer, is is her favorite season of all,and good for you I say. I like Summer, but indeed it is not my favorite now or ever. I like Summer-time get together s, outdoor concerts, fireworks, festivals and vacations, though I have not had one of those in over 20 years. Summer in my youth meant daily bike excursions to our town pool, crafts, staying out later, games played outside, until dark, and catching fireflies and storing them in a jar.

We love cooking out, but we do that year round. I love eating summer fruits and vegetables, nothing like fresh tomatoes, corn on the cob and all the seasonal treats we have in the summer locally. We adore pasta salad as well as potato and macaroni salad, but we make those year round also. I try not to limit the menu at any time of year, though turning on the oven on a sweltering day is out of the question in my home, no central AC here! To all those that love the Summer, I am happy for you, but my season is next and no one can dissuade me from loving it will all I am. 

Enjoy your summer days and nights, vacations and visits with family for cook-outs, reunions and the like. Do not forget your year 'round friends as well as those you may not have seen in a long time. Reach out and do a few different things, widen your small circle just a small bit you will be surprised at the joy both you and the other person experience, a different kind of summer sunshine all in itself.

                                                     ~~Balance in all things~~

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Different Yet Same

I enjoy social media, it allows me to stay in touch with family that is not nearby. It also allows me to meet new folks, though most times I never meet them in person. It allows me to keep in touch with classmates from high school and college, as well as co-workers from past and current employment. I have met many people playing a few online games I enjoy. At this point in my life, given my work schedule of 4 AM to 12:30 PM, I have little opportunity to meet with those I would like to in person. I hope someday when I have the luxury of retirement, I will be able to see a few more than I currently am able to. Social media has also let me have a sort of insider track on what these people do for a living now, what their hobbies are, and many events that take place in their life. I am thankful for that. I have the pleasure of doing this at a convenient time and place for me.

There are parts of social media I do NOT enjoy. People getting on soapboxes, but it is their right to proclaim their affinity and desire to support such things. I find myself scanning those post quickly and moving on. Politically charged posts also are not favored by this woman. Again, it is your right to put what you believe in on your page, and I am in agreement with this. I also dislike people that spend most of their time online tooting their own horns, as well as whining about their intolerable lives and things that have befallen them. Again, this is their right and it is good they have a place to vent, argue, rant, rave and socialize in a way that may benefit them in some way or another. It has opened my eyes up to see why some former friends, classmates, workers, etcetera have fallen out of my regular"rotation" to spend time with, converse with or even get together with. Selfish and self-centered people have never been my cup of tea, I prefer the company of empathetic social type individuals, those who care about others almost as much as they care for themselves and family members or close/beloved friends.  Many hours are spent enjoying some posts, while I shake my head and wonder what people are thinking in other posts. Human nature and behavior is always interesting to me. The whiners with their myriad of issues just seem to not get finding the good in any given situation. I am no Pollyanna, but life is better when the positives are derived and accentuated in any situation.

Some of the people I have known the longest puzzle me the most. They have made no effort to stay in touch in the real world, despite living less than a 15 minute drive away. There are a few with lives busy like mine that I see one or two times per year, these are the friends that are rare and precious jewels in my crown of life. The rest, well, we just have nothing in common any more, maybe we never did. I do not mourn their absence in my real life, I just remember the good times and hope their lives are good and prosperous. No one is any busier than I am, nor am I less busy than they. It is what it is, and times we once shared are mere memories and will stay embedded in my memory for all time

We are the same, yet we are now different. Our circles revolve around different things, different places, pursuits that are not alike, family that is important to and for us. Having lost both my parents and my eldest brother as well as my nephew and a few other relatives, I cherish their memories and hope they slow down their own activities enough to enjoy those still residing on this short journey we all have on Earth. Make the best and most of your time, today is here, and tomorrow is not promised to any of us. I challenge you that read this to reach out to someone that is important to you, either then or now. You will not be disappointed,nor will they,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Balance in all things~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~