Sunday, August 11, 2013

SADH: To Err is Human: Respond with Kindness and Kisses

(Originally from the Surprise and Delight Him blog by Kara as "K. Pendleton". Published December 26, 2011)

Sometimes in a relationship it can be easy to forget that as well as darling husbands know us, they are not mind-readers. It can be equally difficult to always remember that they are not perfect . . . nor are we. This means it is not really reasonable of us to expect our beloved to always say or do the right thing.

One surefire way to nip an argument in the bud is to not let it start. The next time he says or does something that rubs you the wrong way, take a deep breath, remember how much you love him, and respond with kindness. Give him the benefit of the doubt, a chance to clarify, the opportunity to apologize or just "give him a pass."

All the lip action that would have been wasted on fighting words can now be used for some good, thorough kissing: a much better alternative-doncha think? 

Here are two bits of musical inspiration for your enjoyment, along with a simple reminder about what I think is the best way to work out issues:

Shut up and Kiss Me by Orianthi

Shut up and 
Kiss Me by Mary Chapin Carpenter

Come to Bed by Gretchen Wilson

Image: Chance Agrella.

Word of the Week: Mudita

As a writer and avid reader, I love words and language. I came across a new word recently that I just fell in love with. The word: Mudita. It means joy, but more specifically, it means the joy one experiences vicariously for the successes and good fortune of others. It is the opposite of jealousy.

Mudita. Mudita. Mudita. I think we could use a little more [ok, a LOT more] mudita in this world, wouldn't you agree?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Learning to Walk Again

This isn't something I talk about a lot, but after having been convinced it was worth sharing, I have been opening up more about it.

I have mentioned previously that I have RA [retrograde amnesia]. The same thing that caused that also stripped away my ability to walk without an assistive device. I had to use a cane [needed a walker, but stubbornly resisted] in order to barely wobble around my home, a few steps at a time, and a wheelchair or electric mobility scooter when I left my home. My mobility was declining rapidly, as was my overall health. I was told to "accept" it and make plans for my future in an assisted living facility. I was told at the rate I was deteriorating I would shortly be completely unable to walk and be virtually bedridden. I was told that was to be my future. I disagreed.

It wasn't because it was something I didn't want to hear. It was because something inside me told me it was wrong; that my life was not supposed to follow that path-there was something else out there and it did not involve me being an invalid.

I am a prayerful person and though I was not sure if it was just me or if it was really God, the impression I got was that the doctor was wrong and I would walk again . . and see improved health. So, I took another path. I had to rehab my legs myself since I was being "stubborn and stupid" about the whole thing and I stopped all medical treatment [western medicine] in lieu of experimenting with whatever alternative therapies I could find that had something solid or of merit to make them worth trying [i.e. not just hype and a good sales pitch].

 Now, 13 years later, I walk independently and for distances, too. It took a long time, with much of that time spent "eating asphalt" as my legs would wobble and give out from under me as I worked my way up from being able to take only a few steps to now being able to comfortably walk more than 2 miles and with no leg wobbling.

I have had a lot of setbacks along the way; some so devastating I was taken back to virtually square one. It was frustrating, painful, grueling, and oftentimes seemed hopeless. I hit many plateaus that seemed to last forever-plateaus that left me wondering if that was as good as it was gonna get and if perhaps I needed to rein in my tendencies to "dream big" and "push the envelope" in order to just accept the reality that where I was, was where I was going to stay.

Something in me just couldn't "settle". I had to push harder. I had to go further. I had to see just what it was I could really do. Being "stubborn and stupid" is a plus, for that reason, I believe, because I did go further and I keep doing so. Every step is a miracle and every time I go walking [almost daily and 1 mile minimum] I feel overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for something most people take for granted: the ability to put one foot in front of another and not fall down. The ability to have the independence and freedom that being able to walk brings.

I used to do [25 mile] charity walks before I could no longer walk and now, I will be participating in a 5K charity walk in September-my first distance walk and my first charity walk in many years! [I am SO excited!] I am not quite up to 3+ miles yet, but I am working on it and am quite sure I will be there before the walk. Even if I am not; even if I have to drag myself, barrel roll or crawl over the finish line, I will be finishing it. In the Spring I want to to do a 10K [just over 6 miles], so I have a lot of work to do in the months ahead in order to double my distance [from the 3 miles I expect to be able to do in Sept].

Some suggest that is pushing too hard, too fast. As for my thoughts, well, I see no good reason why I can't accomplish the goal. And, there I go, being stubborn and stupid again. ;-)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Free Soloing: Ropeless Rock Climbing with a Fear of Heights

Though I am absolutely terrified of heights [or more specifically, terrified of the painful splat I just know will occur from the inevitable fall from those heights], I have been known from time-to-time to face that fear head-on and completely surprise myself by what I can do. One such occasion was free soloing (ropeless rock climbing) up a 30 ft cliff face.

The back story of my fear is that as a child, I knew no fear of heights. I was part monkey; climbing and jumping off of or out of everything in sight. I am not sure why I sought such adventure or why it abruptly changed from fun to terrifying.

The paralyzing fear of heights hit me suddenly as I ascended the ladder from the stage to the lights above it. I was halfway up and without warning, I froze. I could not physically move. My heart was racing and I was overwhelmed with fear. The friend I was attempting to help switch out the light gels was just below me on the ladder and me, being me, thought I was joking around. He had never known me to be afraid of heights. When he heard the shaking in my voice and then realized I was also physically trembling, he carefully climbed up and behind me, in order to gently guide me back to the stage floor, within the safety of his arms.

When my feet touched ground, I collapsed into a heap, sobbing uncontrollably. I had never felt such complete terror in my life. It physically and emotionally drained me; and embarrassed me beyond description. From that point forward, even small heights of only a few feet filled me with overwhelming fear. It was humiliating.

So, back to free soloing: fast forward some years to a canyon with a 30 ft cliff face, routinely free soloed by many. With a little encouragement from a friend, I was able to scale the cliff face,despite the terror I felt and the physical symptoms I was experiencing of a panic attack. I was determined to win the battle and not allow an irrational fear stop me. That self-talked worked, kind of. I was so proud of myself. I had made it all the way up. Of course, I couldn't go back down, because that required looking down and that was more than I was capable of doing at that time, but nonetheless, I climbed a 30 ft cliff face with no ropes, despite my fear of heights.

One of my bucket list items is to conquer this fear. Part of that includes working with an indoor rock climbing facility on being able to easily climb both up and down their simulated rock walls. Additional parts include zip-lining and a hot air balloon ride.

Even if I never completely rid myself of the fear and panic, if I can learn how to get past it and just "do" anyway, I will be satisfied.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

There's Gotta Be Somebody . . . for Me?

*Warning: Birthday rumination coming.

So, another year has come and gone and I am still . . . single! As a raging introvert, yes, I can be quite comfortable in my solitude; a little *too* comfortable, in fact. Over the years, I have wondered why some people seem to find "the one" so early on in life and others, much later or even [gasp] never at all.

I realize that personal choices and just downright abhorrent behavior on a regular basis can put a damper on things, but then again, even Hitler had a main squeeze, so why don't I and the millions of other singles out there like me?

I try not to think about my singledom and just go about my life. Most of the time I am so busy [or plum worn out] I don't have the time, nor the energy, to fret over it. I have a lot of good things in my life and I am certainly not one who believes everyone should be married or that you are somehow"less" if you aren't. I always dreamed I'd be married at this point in my life, but life doesn't always go according to plan, and that is ok. We adapt and move on. But sometimes, such as when something big comes along, I wish I had someone to mark the occasion with.

This song reminds me of the belief, crazy or no, I have had since childhood that I would just "know" when I met someone I could build a life with; and that someone who just "know" I was their "someone special", too.

It happened with my first love. Even though we didn't end up together for the rest of our lives, we did find that it was "meant to be" for us to find each other and spend the years together that we did. We each grew so much and it benefited both of us in future relationships.

Is there somebody out there, right now, for me? Is there somebody who is wondering if I am really out in the world for him, too? I joke that my "Mister Right" has not come along yet because, like a typical male, he is terrible with asking for directions and won't turn on the darn OnStar. ;-)

But is that it? Did he get hit by a bus or maybe just give up? Is there even just one 'right' person for each of us or are there more possibilities than that? And, if so, and you are still single, what does that mean? Did all of them give up or find someone else?

It can give a person a headache trying to figure this out.

The only conclusion I have been able to come to, based on all I know about couples who have seem to have found their 'happily ever after', is the answer to 'when' you will find your special someone is timing.

Timing. I hate that word. I am not known for my timing and if that is what is in charge of my love life, I am in worse trouble than I thought. ;-)

So, life goes on, time marches on and I'll keep on doing my thing . . .alone or with that someone special if he ever decides to ASK FOR FREAKIN' DIRECTIONS. [*waving and jumping up and down* Hey, baby, I'm right HERE!]

How to Play Country Girl and Navajo Indian

Growing up, I was participant in and witness to a number of "Cowboys and Indians" and "Cops and Robbers" type playing. It was fun to play that type of action-filled, cat-and-mouse game.

Now as an adult, I get to play something similar, which is "Country Girl and Navajo Indian". Yes, I know the PC crowd will be all over the title. Get over it. He calls himself a "Navajo Indian". [So there!]

Here are a few examples of how we play this game:

I have a neighbor who is a widowed, 70+ year old Navajo Indian man. He likes to flirt with me and tease me.

I tend to walk around with a smile on my face and most people who know me in person tend to think I am very sweet [Hold the snickering, please]. Apparently, I appear to be friendly and very "approachable" to strangers. So, bearing this in mind, my neighbor gets a kick out of saying some truly crazy things to me in order to get me to say, almost with a growl, "NO!" in a very firm, kick-butt kinda way, while scowling. He find it-that contrast-as well as that blatant feistiness-hysterically funny. He is always trying to come up with new things to say that will elicit that response from me. It's one of the little "Country Girl and Navajo Indian" games we play.

He built a trailer for his pickup truck and moved it into the shade. As I walked past him, he got that familiar twinkle in his eye and said, "I'm gonna put a cover on this so you can sleep in it at night during the hot summer." He got his "NO!" [Dirty ole man! I know exactly where he was going with that thought!] and he about doubled over with laughter from my response, which was a bit more vehement than usual.

He is quite the character.

Then there was the time he tried to get 'creative' with his garden hose when I walked past him. Chuh. I moved too quickly and it would have been too bad for him anyway-I wasn't wearing white.

On more than one occasion he has made a point of telling me how much he likes "white girls". Yeah, I kinda figured that one out.

He told me one time that I should move in with him because [You will love this] I am not getting any younger! I laughed and told him, "Neither are you."

So that, my friends, is how you play "Country Girl and Navajo Indian".

Why I am "Camera Shy"

I have to say it. Alright, I don't *have* to say it-no one has a gun to my head and even if someone did, I could still opt to not say it. But, me being me, I do indeed have to say it:

What in the name of all that is sacred does what I look like have to do with my work as a writer?  Honestly!

Yes, I am indeed "camera shy", but not because I have an issue with my looks. [I look how I look and if you don't like it, don't look.] It is because I have a phobia [Really, I do] and cameras aren't the main issue, but they are involved. Yeah, I know, I need to "get over it". I'm working on it. But that brings us back to my original point: what does what I look like have to do with my ability, or lack thereof, to write?

I am so beyond tired of the comments about the lack of a plethora of high quality images of me [There are some photos of me "out there" if you know where to look, though even those garner complaints about not being high enough resolution. What, you want an 8x10? ugh] and the outright refusal I make of posting any unless necessary. Why does anyone need to know what I look like?

I write fiction and you use your imagination to fill in the blanks there, so just use it to fill in these blanks. Make me look in your mind however you want-I don't really give a rat's backside. It's your imagination-use it how you see fit. [But if'n ya see me naked in there, I truly do not want to hear about it. ;-) ]

For those who have some insane need to know what I look like and to gaze upon my stunning brunette looks *snort*, here is some "good" news. A photographer friend has offered to do my author shots for my upcoming novel for me as a birthday gift, next time he is up here, which will be *soon*. [He really didn't need to give me anything for my birthday-he is just really sweet that way-plus I think he sees it as a personal challenge to see if he can not only get decent shots of me since I am highly non-photogenic, but also if he can help me overcome my phobia. Good luck, pal. *laugh*]

Yes, you will need to be patient a little longer as I am still working on my novel, but yes, you will also get to see me. [ugh. silly wabbits. Yer gonna wish you stuck with your imagination. ;-)  ]

UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that in fiction, you at least have some information to work with. Touche'.

Here goes:

I am slightly taller than average with long, straight, medium-dark brunette hair. I have color-changing green eyes [based on mood and yes, that is a real thing] and dimples. I have a classic hourglass figure, with generous curves and all the typical things hourglass figures come with [short waist, "meaty thighs", etc]. I have "junk in the trunk" and my bone structure/frame is not "manly" large, but a big larger . . .more solid. . . than the average woman. I have decent muscle mass, though I am not "muscular". I have been compared to an Amazon [ like Xena, Warrior Princess], especially when I wear my 4"-heeled boots. I laugh frequently and with my whole body [and yes, *sigh*, I do "jiggle when I giggle"] and I am almost always smiling. My skin is fair and I have few and very minimal signs of aging, despite being "middle aged" [I credit good genes. No plastic surgery or botox here. Also, a recent heart assessment revealed I have the heart of a 31 year old. Yay me!]. Most people think I look much younger than I am, though I am pretty open about my age. [I am now 46]. I have been called everything from "cute" and "pretty" to "beautiful" and "gorgeous". I tend to think I am fairly average, perhaps leaning a bit on the plain side, but beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. I think all would agree I am no "Miss America" [and I am quite ok with that].

That gives you PLENTY to work with, my chickadees. Carry on.