Tag Archives: reflections

On love

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It seems much of my life I have spent questioning my decisions.   I’m sometimes afraid to make decisions for fear that I’ll regret them, rarely has anything to do with the consequences.   I guess, in short, I lack self confidence, in some things, and then in others, I stand strong, tall, stoic to criticism with the ability to see clearly and fully that my decisions are just, sound, right.     Why the variance?

I had some crap dreams last night.   I will include that Trump was in one of them.  Rolling my eyes.    I don’t normally dream about our 45th President!   So why now?

When I access the parts of my life that include pain, disappointment (and we all have it), I weaken and have a tendency to “feel it” emotionally.

I’m reminded of a poem I came across at the young, ripe age of 15 that finds its way back in my life on occasion, and when I need it most.   The woman who wrote it was young at the time, and I remember reading something she had written on it saying she has never understood the depth of interest and popularity of it.     I found that interesting, because for me, this poem helped me stand up after assaults to my being or character.   I’ve shared this poem with many people during challenging parts of their life.   So why would it mean so little to her and so much to those of us who used to it carry us through difficulties?

She wrote about specific things that I have experienced, and I suppose, love and youth, or youth and love.   Earlier times in my life when love was defined differently than it is today (Thank God!).    “Kisses aren’t contracts”, we all “get this” when we experience the end of relationship, of death or loved one and we find ourselves alone.    The most important part for me was and still is ” So we begin to bring ourselves flowers”.    Hence, what I still continue to learn, to love and take care of myself versus others.

Of course I still lend a hand and my heart to others, but I’ve learned to first make sure I’ve filled my own needs.    I’ve also learned that it’s okay to have needs, it’s not selfish to take care of yourself, or put yourself first.    So perhaps, the answer to the author of the poem not understanding how or why her early poem was so popular is because, she learned with only one lesson to give to herself, or to love without losing herself.  And then there are many people like myself, who only after heartache and discord, learn, and even after that, continue the cycle until we finally “get it”.    Our hearts want one they want, but what if our idea of love is whacked?    I’m reminded that the “definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for different results”.

For whatever the reasons, I still love this poem, and while I no longer cling to it like I did as an innocent 15 year old girl, as a 55 year old woman, I reminisce and bathe in the memories of “love”, and how over the years I’ve learned to accept self love!

Here is the poem by Veronica Shoffstall

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With every goodbye, we learn

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Saturday night.  I’m painting, with music in the background.  Finally got to town to get a few groceries, as we’re going to get another 12-18″ snow tomorrow.  The scraping of the windshield is old.

Have been reflecting today on many things.  For one, how the gift of age brings you knowledge.  Important knowledge.  Unfortunately our bodies wear out as we become brilliant!  But seriously, I’ve been through enough in my life to know, it may be dark now, but it won’t last forever.  One day I will feel better, and before you know it, that which caused me angst or grief becomes background flack.  Nothing you really miss over time, but you always remember the lessons.   Pain is a great motivator for change.   Pain is much of the reason why people change themselves, their lives.

I’ve also been thinking how grateful I am that I have good, sound, (well, somedays!) intelligent parents.   I’m grateful for the upbringing I had, and while I’ve skated in dangerous territory, I have the strength of my parents morals and standards, to hold strong too, as they are now, mine.

But youth, and I’m talking in your teens or twenty’s, depending on what you’ve been through, you don’t necessarily know at that age that things will fade, things will improve.  That doesn’t mean you stay laying in “wait” of it.  Because I think we were granted “free will”, and that gift can destroy us, if we let it.    But the strength of experience, that can sustain you for much.  It’s so unfortunate that at the toughest parts of your life you learn who is and isn’t your friend, who is loyal, who is worthy of being sent out to sea, but this, too, strengthens us.  We come wise.   The trick is not to become bitter.

I also see how things were prepared for me, to “get strong”.  What I mean by that, a divorce that I didn’t want but that a couple decades later I AM SO GRATEFUL it happened.  My life has been so much better than it was then.  But I was afraid, and I was young.   And while I didn’t know if I would get through it, I did, and I met someone else, and I worked on myself, and worked through the crap of it all.  I became a better person for it.  A person who at that time learned, I CAN accept, I CAN get beyond, I CAN grow, and learn, and start anew.  Then, when cancer starting ravaging my family, and the loss of my kid sister, that was so much larger than any divorce for me.  But I saw how going through the divorce years before had strengthened me.  So when my sister took ill, I could be there for her, and I was.     And then months later, her passing, the strength and wisdom I gained from that helped me, once again, start over, and say goodbye to someone I needed to say goodbye too.  And it took every bit of me to do that.

This is not to downplay loss.  Not at all.   In the end I had to accept the loss of this person, not just to booze but to death.  So, I can look back and see the times that brought the most growth for me.    And I’m a pretty strong chick!  Gotta tell ya!   But even in this, there are days I could easily fold into the arms of a trusted, and surrender myself in tears.

I’m thinking all of this because of a place where someone I care about is.   Man, he’s getting thrown a lot of lessons, and pain.   But I believe he will make it.   Once he starts building HIS life again.  I will be praying for him, and asking my faithful prayer friends to do the same.  He is a survivor of sorts already, freed from people that the average person would not even know exist, and trust me, I hope you never do.   But there are some pretty sick, ignorant people whose very ignorance is a bit scary to someone who follows rules and works for a living, and for everything they have.

So, that’s it for tonight.  I need to get back and finish the fifth rooster I’ve painted this week.   It’s been enjoyable, and I’ve regained some confidence with the brush.  Just have to do it, and say no to the negative.

Happy night!  Hope yours is, too.

My dad

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In a couple of months my father will turn 81.  My father, a Navy vet who served his country, sent home money to his parents to help raise his younger siblings.  He is one of six children, the second oldest.

He and my mother had five children together.  Their oldest, my sister Karen, took ill at the age of six with meningitis. From that diagnosis she spent months in a coma, came out of it with the ability to only move her eyes. Intensive rehab brought her back from that, but she started seizing, (Seizure disorder) having numerous grand mal seizures a day, which reared her paralyzed on her left side, unable to speak, walk. The seizures slowly and continually kept taking from her.

My father became an apprentice, and learned to be an incredible carpenter.  He did this so that he could build a home for us.  He (and my mother) built two beautiful homes. He worked more hours in one week then I’ve probably ever put into a job in a month, and I don’t consider myself lazy.  A very meticulous carpenter, and a house filled with four other children, weekend runs to pick up my sister and bring her home and back, proved difficult for everyone, including Karen.  The more seizures my sister had, the more it took from her.   I cannot imagine having a child and having such an awful thing happen to her.  I cannot imagine what it must have been like having made the decision to turn your very ill and medically needy daughter over to the ward of the state.   I remember judging my parents.  Asking them “If I get sick, will you send me away, too?”   Now I cringe at the very thought of asking that.  I cringe at the slightest thought that they could have chosen better.  Who the hell am I to ask such a question?   How much their hearts must have hurt.  But responsibility of four other children, and having worked night and day to pay off medical bills that today would have been covered by insurance, my parents made a difficult choice.  A choice that I believe was right for Karen.  A choice that I now believe gave me and my siblings, a more “normal” life.  If you can define normal.

My father has a wonderful sense of humor.  My whole family does, really.    And no matter whose company I am in, it is with my family that the laughter is the strongest, loudest.   I learned at a very young age that laughter heals.

My father became a plumbers apprentice and then went on to work for a company who sent him (foreman) and his crew many hours away, which they drove back and forth each day.  My father made a good living.  We always had a balanced nutritious meal on the table, a warm bed to sleep in and even “space” of our own.  We never needed for anything, and were taught that it was because of my fathers hard work, that we had the good life we had.    We also were taught that we lived in the best country in the world, and that our freedom is due to the many men (and now women) who served our country, many whom never made it home.  It’s sort of ironic how the man who gave most of his life to a job for his family, had at one point became invisible, absent.  But working for this company enabled him to give his children a good life, a good start.   His absence was only because he was working to give us this.  The company didn’t appreciate him.  They offered his little for pension.  But he kept going, day after day, for his family.  I know not how to live so selflessly.

He was our loudest fan at softball games, my brothers hockey games.   I always knew I was loved, and while I didn’t agree or like some decisions he made, including ending a 27 year marriage to my mother, I humbly have long since realized, I have no right to judge him or her on that, either.  What do I know about

He and my youngest sister, Darlene, were particularly close.   He admitted to the three of us remaining children last year “Okay, okay, Darlene was my favorite!”   He looked at us like it was an awful thing to say, only to find the three of us bent over laughing.   No shit, Sherlock!   The truth is, they were great buds.  They fished together, they did so much together.  It is nice to look at pictures of the two of them together.   The way Dad looked at her, she was “it”!   And this is not to imply he doesn’t love us, or look at us with swelling pride.   They had something very special.     I remember sitting next to my sister when she made the phone call to dad to tell him that her cancer treatment wasn’t working.  She said “I’m so sorry dad”.    I recall a conversation she and I had, one of our last and she said “You know Donna, he came to every ball game of mine”.  She was talking about after my parents split.  “He would get there late from work, but he always came”.   I am teary eyed thinking about her smile when she said that.  For whatever he didn’t do right (you know what I mean), being her loyal, faithful fan made it ALL right.  My sister was an old soul.  There was and would never be any jealousy there.  She was ALL OF OUR favorite.

I’ve spent a lot of time reminiscing of late.     I do not know what it is like to be my dad.    I know what it is like to watch him age, lose physical and mental strength.  I sometimes have to look away so he doesn’t see my tears.  And yet, I know how very fortunate I am that at the age of 53, I still have both my parents.

I always thought I knew it all.   And for a long time I chased “his approval” foolishly.   That ended about a decade ago when I was unpacking my van, having been travel teaching.  He was helping me.  I pulled out a new painting and he looked at it, didn’t say anything, just looked.    I was tired, disappointed that he didn’t respond the way I wanted him to.  “Am I EVER going to do anything that makes you proud?”  I said with the sharpness of a razor.  I will never forget his expression.   His jaw lay on his chest.  It was that very moment I learned, my dad would probably never shower me with the compliments the way I once wanted him to, but he was proud of me.  And the chip I had on MY shoulder that day, hurt my dad.   “Of course I’m proud of you, Donna.  I love your artwork, I think you are very talented and I’m proud of all of my children.”   I have not, nor will I ever again question his pride for me.     I am SO over judging my parents on anything.  Thank God!   And now, I am working on doing the same for myself.   The crap we get into our heads!  It’s static!    It’s all just frigan static!

It’s funny as I age and realize just what an ass I have been in my life.  I’ve put my parents through some major worry, particularly when it comes to depression and mental illness.  I remember my second hospitalization.  My sister was with me at the phone.  She had brought me a teddy bear, I named him “Arthur”.  I think I was 24.   “Dad, I need to tell you that I’m in the Brattleboro Retreat.   I am getting help for my depression”.   “You have to pull yourself up by your boot straps Donna!”.   Of course I took that wrong, and he, being the age group that he was, wasn’t as educated on mental illness as he is now, 30 years later.     I was so hurt and angry.   Now I know, in HIS head and heart he was fearful.   My father “pulled himself up by his boot straps” over and over and over his entire life, to give to his children.    His heart, his head spoke from his experience in life, to hide the fear he had of what I would or have done to myself.  He wasn’t judging.  He was saying the only thing he knew to do!

I’m not sure why it’s taken me all these years to figure out how intelligent both my parents were and are.  And as I watch them losing ground, I am fearful of losing them.    I’ve been single for over a decade now.   My dad has always been there for me, to help me in any and all ways he can.   “I’m sorry, Donna, that I was focused on your brother’s education, and not yours.   I ignorantly thought that you girls would be taken care of, in marriage”.      There was once a time, and probably too long a period of time, that it angered me that I was raised with this mentality.  That the only way I would have a home is to have a husband.   But that has long since passed.   I am responsible for my choices.  I am responsible for marrying children, two of them!  I am responsible for where I am in my life.   If I had to do it all over again, I would have sought out college.   I know I could have made better choices for myself, could be financially secure, but I’ve also come to realize that even that isn’t as important as being a good person.   Doing my best, day in and day out, and living within the morals that I was raised and were taught.    The day I bought my house out from my ex-husband was one of the proudest days of my life.  I AM responsible.   I AM who I am because of the stable childhood I was blessed with, I learned the importance of family, and while I have no children or even husband of my own, I sometimes think about how difficult it is to keep my head above water.   I take pride in caring for and giving my animals a wonderful home.   And that is NOTHING compared to what my dad gave.    I am the strong woman I am today BECAUSE of my experiences.    I understand, now, why at the age of 30 when my 10 year marriage ended, how come that was so hard for me.  Because I felt like I was nothing without someone.    Oh my god have I grown.  Thank God!    And for all the things I thought my mom or dad did wrong, they did TWENTY TIMES that right!

I’ve watched my parents bury two daughters, their oldest and their youngest.  No parent should have to bury a child, but sadly, well, too many do.  I’ve watched both my parents battle cancer, and seen the anguish and hell it brought them to watch their three remaining children battle it too.     My dad has not had an easy life.  Like all of us if he had it to do over again, I’m sure he would have made some different choices, but my dad?  He’s only human.   My dad has led a good, honest life.  He knows what it is like to work hard for your family, to start over, and he will always remain “our father” in worry for his children.  My dad, what a great human he is!  He is visiting with my sister right now in NC.  I know he chose fathers day visit to mask the fact that I am his new favorite!   🙂

I have been blessed in life with an honorable man as my dad.  He really is my hero.    I am very grateful that I have had 53 years with my dad.   I am the good person I am today largely due to the good person my dad is.  Thank you dad.  I love you and you will always be my hero, and I, your little girl.

“Why’s” are meant for children…..

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For the most part I’ve been doing very well.  Have been under the weather for a couple weeks, and this wreaks havoc for me.  Still, I’ve managed to keep a positive attitude and focus on all the good in my life, and there is much to be grateful for.

Today I’ve been thinking about someone I loved very much.   We were very close to a decade when things progressed with his drinking, I chose to say goodbye and I learned 4 months after he passed that he had passed the day after he turned 46.  To be perfectly honest, I think of him everyday, typically I can smile when I think about something he did, but today?  Today my heart is wrapped around questions that will never be answered.  I know better than to ask the infamous “WHY?”.   It only leads to more pain, endless tears and a heart that hurts so much, callousing seems to be the only relief.   That is no way to live.  At times I think it’s necessary to block off our heart until we heal, but to be longstanding, I don’t think it’s healthy.   In some instances, in most, asking “why” serves to push myself into a pit of pain, to which coming back from is harder each time I go there.   I have done this.  I am not living this way, I do not feel this way everyday, but today?  Today it’s a challenge to not go back to the second to last letter in the alphabet!

Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, doesn’t it?   I remember going through divorce, feeling hopeless, helpless, and comically (now) that my life was over…My feelings and thoughts were FAR from the truth.  My life began again.   My life got better, I got healthier, I was able to expand my horizons and open my heart again.   “We’ll make new memories”, he said to me as I worked through the crap.  And we did.  We made some wonderful memories.  Little did I know that they would have to sustain me the for the rest of my life without him.  Plans, yah, I’m here to tell you that plans have a way of falling down in midflight.  If you believe that everything has a reason, a purpose, then it does make the whole grief process easier, once you can get past the initial suffocation.   “Just don’t think about it”, I’ve been told repeatedly over the years.  I nod, sometimes I silently walk away pissed off, sometimes I turn my head and cry.   Sometimes it’s okay to think about painful parts of our past.  For me, it serves as a progress report of where I came from.   In sharing with a friend today I said “I know my life has gotten progressively better, I know this, I should feel nothing but gratitude”…True, I should.

The thing is, I never thought it would be forever.  I thought our lives together had come to a halt, but would eventually turn the corner and back around again.  Yet this is foolish thinking.  How many psychiatrists tell you “If it doesn’t work the first time it surely won’t the second”.  But what if?  What if?  On and on and on.    My life changed the day we parted ways and it changed further the day I learned of his death, a mere 4 years after we split.   To his parents I guess I was far gone.   For me, I sadly realized I had never left.  Still, life goes on.

Was watching an episode of 24 the other night and Jack (my hero) was asked by a very distraught agent “How do I live with this?” having acquired information that sent her into sadness and guilt.  “You just do” he said.   I nodded.  Yeah “you just do”.

Today my mother was told she was “legally blind”.   She can see things, but not well.  She shouldn’t be driving.  Fortunately they believe it’s all cataract related and she will do fine after surgery(ies).  Her first being next Thursday.   My comment to her “Well no wonder you haven’t been telling me how beautiful I am!”   Where would I be without a sense of humor?

For those who have and think there is nothing to mourn.  An alcoholic, an addict drinks himself to death, what’s to feel sorry for?   Having gotten in touch with the severity of my own addiction, learn more everyday how deeply rooted it is, all I can say is “You’ve apparently never lost someone you love to such an awful disease”.    Yet who am I to say that?  Perhaps they have?  Perhaps that is why they feel this way?  Still, it will always serve as a solid oak tree covering part of my heart.  Protection.   If that’s what you can call it.

Letting go, accepting doesn’t mean you never revisit the past.  A very intelligent man said something to this effect the other day, and it has stayed with me…”Every step you take, your past changes too because you see things differently than you did the day before.   Every step you take your future changes, because again, you see things differently than you did the day before.  Life is about a series of steps, not leaps, bounds, steps…”  I find that profound.  I can look back now without the intensity it once had, seeing things differently, and sadly having more compassion now for what I could not tolerate then.  That doesn’t mean anything would have changed with us, that the chapter of us wouldn’t have closed, but to see things differently means growth, perspective.

I’m off to get ready for a fun day tomorrow in Boston.  Am very excited about this.  Spending time with girlfriends, meeting new friends and getting reenergized to dive into my new business.    Very excited about this.   The decision to do this changed everything for me.  My situation hadn’t changed, but my perspective did and has.  Hope, it’s called hope and it’s a wonderful thing!   Life isn’t always fair, it isn’t always easy.  It is, however, worth living.  It’s about reaching out to others when you need encouragement, help.  It’s about helping others when they need it.   I’m starting a new chapter in my life, a fun one, one that I know is good for me and one that I know I will succeed at.  I need this.  I need this challenge, I need this newness.  I am grateful for this opportunity, and more grateful that I’m open minded and willing to go on this ride! ♥♥♥

Exercising the left side of my brain….

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Have been working diligently on organizing the piles of paperwork that make up the last 10 years of my life.    My career, somehow made it through these beehive shaped piles.   I have another 3 or 4 weeks, 40 hours a week, to go to get it in shining mode.   I must admit, it has felt good, actually great, working on it, making progress, using that left side of brain!

Part of my organizing is a portfolio of sort, photos of my work.    I sometimes, particularly in the winter when I am able to double up on isolation, I wonder why I  do this.  Why do I sit in my house and paint, work, paint… I feel discouraged, my confidence level goes down.  Well, in putting together this ‘photo portfolio’ I was in awe of what I have accomplished, created!   Pretty darn cool!   I sat back tonight, looked at the partially completed album and could see my art change.  Organizing by year, and I can pretty much remember what year I designed what in, I could see the difference in my colors, in my work or lack of work during difficult years.  The first year I split with my ex I barely designed at all.  I was busy remodeling my home to accommodate a studio/classroom.   I was also busy travel teaching, conventions, and more.   As I was getting the paperwork in order I couldn’t believe how many years have gone by.   Honestly they were all challenging years, but where did they go?   Also the year I was diagnosed with and started treatment for breast cancer(s) that was a light paper weight year.     It’s been interesting studying the work I did, when I did it, and seeing how it relates to how I was feeling…  well yah… it’s art!

I sell pattern packets which are individual instructional “lessons” for decorative artists.   I also publish in magazines.  Another surprise for me in my hoeing out are the amount of packets I have, and the amount I have online.  I have over 150 packets and only 48 on line in only one place.   I’m working on that.   Perhaps?  Perhaps if I get my shit together I can actually starting making money???

The girls and I are headed to bed early tonight.  It’s been a busy week, but a good tired.    Hope you have a great evening!   Hope someone makes you smile, laugh, and I hope that you feel loved!  We all need to feel that!  ♥

The warmest glow

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I have just spent the past few hours painting the UGLIEST ornaments ever.   I kept hanging in there “keep going, you’ll be glad they’re done tomorrow”…..  Honestly, it has been like a Lifetime Movie….. I hang in there, it’s got to get better… and then it suddenly ends and you realize you were bamboosed!    We are talking UGLY!

This evening I went out with Lilly.    I looked around me, houses filled with lights, smoke pouring out chimneys.   Outside it is blistery cold, and looking into a home at night, lit, always makes me feel better.    I used to look into the windows and think “What is their story?  Are they happy?”  Always envisioning the perfect life.   I still love to look into windows as I drive by (I promise you, I’m not a peeping Tomette nor am I a stalker) and look at how the walls are decorated.  Soon there will be Christmas trees, lights in the windows.   I will once again e envision perfect lives as I drive by, wondering what that feels like?  Only the thought will only last a few seconds long, and I remind myself that everyone is subject to pain, to disappointment, to sickness.   No one is exempt, no one flies through life with only sugar sprinkled on their souls.   My life is normal, like everyone else’s.  Every family has their cross to bear, in my family it is cancer.  Other families have been torn apart and beaten by alcoholism, addiction, gambling, abuse.    No matter how perfect the houses look on the outside, how beautifully groomed the windows, the yard, hard times have, at some point, have fallen on the residents of each home. 

Some hide their challenges well, others, like me, lay it all out there… if you only KNEW what I didn’t share with you! 🙂   Some will mask their emotions, their feelings with a fancy car, pretty smile, beautiful clothes.  Some will be focused externally, thinking that will bring them serenity, wholeness, happiness.  And then there is some who, in spite of all the difficulties that life dumped on them, they will smile, genuinely, their joyous attitudes will shine like the brightest star.  This is the family, the people, the persons who have lived through the most difficulties.   They understand the preciousness of today, this second, they understand that there is so much that has or will happen that is out of their control.  In spite of their frustration, they will get the most out of the day, relinquishing any desire to try to change that which they cannot.   They have learned not to pound their head against the wall in frustration.  They have learned to not kiss off this moment because of what happened yesterday, or worried about what tomorrow will bring.  They have learned to put things in proper perspective, to let the small things go, and the majority of things are insignificant.   They live life fully, they handle their challenges, probably on their knees, surrendering.  Perhaps they will cry, fall down for a few days, but they are smart enough, strong enough to let it go, to forgive, to love, to be one with their God.   They have learned that some days feel mundane, but what a gift that is, to have the freedom to laugh, to sit, to just be.

Me?   I have learned so much in my life, and I have a long ways to go.   I do not trip on my future, but I do at times cling to my past.   I am usually able to have perspective on that which is insignificant, that which is vital, that to which I am able to make a choice…. Do I let whatever is troubling in front of me… go?   Or do I grab onto it, do I take the bait and go on that emotional turbulent carpet ride?

As I looked back at my own home, the lights that were on in my living room, I noticed how warm my lights appeared, the warm yellow glow that was visible from the outside.    My walls are warm gold, so what reflects will emulate the warm in the room.  How beautiful, I thought.  How beautiful!    To passerby’s this may look like the perfect room.  I suppose some will go by and think that whoever lives here has the perfect life, or if nothing else, better than theirs.   One day something will happen that will change their looking for happiness outside of themselves.  The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it is just how we view it.

Walking back into the house I was immediately comforted with the warmth of a fire, the heat from the furnace.  How lucky I am, I thought to myself.  How rich I am to have a home, a place to call my own, shelter from the storms of life.  How perfectly imperfect my life is.   In days ahead I will remind myself of the reflection that was coming from my own window, one of warmth, one of beauty.   I will smile at the choice of colors I have decorated my home with, they reflect what I want in my life..

I liked the reflection from my home.  I was and am happy with what was visually pleasing, but more importantly, I love what is inside of it…reminding me to forfeit the external distractions that take my focus away from what is most important to me, and that is, what exists inside of me.  

 

My life as a gypsy….

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As I was driving home tonight from Rhode Island (or as Barbara Walters would say, Wode Iwand) with my car packed to the ceiling I was reflecting on my busy week and feeling grateful and joyful that this was my last convention and trade show of the year.  Both my body and my mind need rest.   

It makes me chuckle when I hear (quite often) how glamorous my life is.   On many occasions in the past few months I have thought that the manner in which I now live and make a living is much like that of a gypsy, peddler, vagabond,or a nomad …leading a vagrant life.  I travel much, I do what I love, I do what I want to do…. this is all good, indeed.  I do love my untraditional life though I would not define it as “glamorous”.   Would glamorous involve working frantically around the clock preparing for a convention, packing your car, driving for hours, and then unloading in pouring rain?  Unpacking your boxes, collecting shipments from the hotel, setting up a booth for 4-5 hours followed by teaching a class til 10pm on your first day?  Then the next morning though you are in a noisy city and did not get a full nights sleep, it’s up and at em bright and early for an 8am six hour class followed by finishing booth set up? Would glamorous involve standing on concrete floors for 10 hours or more at a time, tag teaming with your cohorts for cover so you each can take 15 or 20 minutes to inhale a $6 vendor hotdog?   I am not complaining, I am describing one aspect of how I make a living, one of many.

I would be lying if I said I did not entertain the idea of getting a traditional job where I would work 9-5 Monday thru Friday.  I would have a regular weekly paycheck,  paid holidays & sick pay, benefits and more.   I could feel more “normal” and back in touch with the world I used to know, the home life I once loved, and now wonder… am I ever capable of going back there and being happy again?    These thoughts typically come after I am over exhausted or stressed and in need of r&r. 

With only a few miles left on my journey home I found myself glancing into the windows of homes of people I knew.    It was dust, their lights were on, some had fires lit, evident by the smoke bellowing out their chimney.   I saw no one outside working or playing, hmmmm.  It occurred to me that it was Sunday night, the eve before starting a new work week.  People are in preparing for their week perhaps catching some last minute r&r before their work week starts tomorrow, and me?  My work week just ended, in fact, a hard “semester” if you will, just ended entering a new one filled with new and entirely different ways in which to generate income.

As I write this I am smiling.  Both my body and my mind need rest.   I do love my untraditional life though I would not define it as “glamorous”.    As most of my friends alarms will soon be  going off signifying the start of their busy work week, mine has just ended. 

My life as a gypsy can truly be a lot of fun.  I am smiling as I am thinking about the new friends I have met, the friends I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with, my students who were so pleased with not only the outcome of their project, but with the class itself.  I think about the new products I saw, the good food I ate, the breast cancer rally I attended, on and on I could go.    I really do enjoy it.    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go back to sleep for say… another 10 hours?