Monday, February 19, 2007

you can start the day without caffeine;
you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains;
you can resist complaining to and boring people with your troubles;
you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time;
you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when, through no fault of your own, something goes wrong;
you can take criticism and blame without resentment;
you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him or her;
you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor one;
you can face the world without lies and deceit;
you can relax without liquor;
you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no prejudice;
Then you have almost reached the same level of development as your cat or dog.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

the inevitable change of life......
Back in my younger and more carefree days (which would be 213 years ago, according to my profile age.... that won't allow for changes), my Mother had "the talk" with me about the change of life that I would soon be experiencing. "It's all part of being a woman", she explained, "The natural process we go through." Not being any smarter than a squirrel, I listened intently, and watched as my Mother dodged most of the bullet on this subject by bringing me to a girl scout meeting that had a movie all about "it". Of course I was full of questions.... and not sure my Mother was prepared for the onslaught of my curiosity. She handled it well, I must admit, and told me to be patient, the change was coming.... it was inevitable just because I was a female. So I was never surprised, and actually rather proud that I became a "woman" at the age of 13..... still as dumb as a squirrel, but with a different set of instructions to go forth with. It was hard to put down the dolls and toys of my youth, but then the discovery of boys was a nice distraction.
Here I am 36 years later, and my Mom isn't around to walk me through the ending process of this "inevitable change". A new change, as it were. Well, lucky for me, technology has progressed a thousand-fold, and I have the internet to gather information, as well as friends, a wonderful comforting Aunt, and my gynocologist. Still doesn't make up for the absence of Mom, but it's nice to know I'm not all alone wading through the information. And is there EVER a plethora of it. I doubt my Mom would have been so well versed on the subject, and probably would have pointed me to the computer, as she did with the movie during my girl scout days.
It seems that there is 35 symptoms to look for. 35????? Holy moley.... there wasn't that many at the beginning of this journey..... and with my memory faltering by the second (one of the classic symptoms), I had to print out the page, along with the check list. At least I had one revelation.... I could at least excuse the memory lapses with normal behavior for this time in my life, and not early onset dementia....... as that runs pretty heavily in my family, too. The other 34 weren't so promising either, a little scary, but informative nonetheless. However, the more I read through the list (over and over and over.......), the other classic symptom of depression comes up...... flashing, in a warning red blare. I am not depressed, and actually have no reason to be; but reading the list makes me a little depressed, and a little forlorn for my youth. That just can't be helped, I guess.
For some reason, one cannot help but want to return to their youth.... it's a human emotion that can bring you back to happier memories if you've led a good life. And I admit, I've had a really good life, and many great memories to reflect back on. The images still run very clear, all the way back to my first ones when I was a wee lass. So it's nice and comforting to know the memory banks are still in working order..... but sad so many years have passed between, and you realize that life happens when you're busy making other plans. John Lennon said it so well, didn't he?
I am fortunate that the rides of my life were enough that I could handle, that being a survivor was more important than chucking the whole experience away. Perhaps it was because I did have good, strict parents who took their job very seriously, and I learned many valuable lessons. Not to say I didn't have a few of my own personal decisions that burned and taught.... but that's all life lessons, along with the instruction booklet you keep about your mental and physical self. Besides, who knows you better than yourself?
So as I pass into the senior moments of my life, not yet 50 and with new instructions within reach, I hope to keep up with my potential of being a survivor, and weathering those symptoms with a pound of grace and humor. Besides, what other choice do I have? Failure is not an option for me. Blame it on the OCD tendencies, blame it on menopause, blame it on the weather..... I didn't come this far to throw it all away. Surviving another change in my life is just a curveball and potential home run if hit just right. Now if I could just quit being such a sissy crybaby at sad news............

Thursday, February 15, 2007

the mayonnaise jar & two cups of coffee........
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar, shaking the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open spaces between the golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes".
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things..... your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions. If everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter.... like your job, your house, and your car.
The sand is everything else..... the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical check-ups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first.... the things that really matter. Set your priorities as the rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

happy heart day ..........

For some reason, I cannot find the time to get over here everyday. Try as I might, it never fails that the phone will ring, and some project I've started will have to sit by the wayside till I can get to it again..... which could take days, or weeks. How can one be so busy, you ask? Easy when ones list never ends, and get checked off so sporadically as mine. Some how more things get added endlessly, and I'm even willing to admit that I may take a snooze on some of those quieter afternoons. Yes, instead of sticking to the list, I allow it to grow on it's own, knowing that I can manage the real important things in a crunch.... and the rest can wait till I've gotten that second wind.

However.... it is Valentines Day, and I really couldn't let this moment pass without telling everyone who stops by here that you have been a great audience of friends, as well as an inspiration in many ways. I've enjoyed our chats through cyberspace, and am in no way ready to give up reading your posts. I may not be able to comment or write as I'd like to more frequently, but your words stick with me, and your stories, musings, and insights have become a grateful part of my day. You are my cup of tea...... my vacation while at work..... my stolen moments of the day when I don't have to be on call.

A very Happy Heart Day to all........

Thursday, February 01, 2007


One of the bravest things you can do if you live in the city of Atlanta, is to learn it's navigation..... the endless and quirky twists of road names, neighborhoods, and construction sites are overlapping and confusing. We are a city on the move....... all the time, and getting bigger everyday. My job forces me to rely on a silly little thing called: mapquest. Ha! Take it from me (and a few people I ran across today) that mapquest has it's issues, and none of these amuse me when I am far past the parameters I am used to driving. This especially isn't a good time when you have a morning like Atlanta experienced today.

We were on the bottom end of a weather mass that came through and took all the nice 60 and 70 degree weather away. The northern end of the state did get snow, and we had slush, rain, and cold temperatures. Not a pleasant way to want to start your day, being in traffic in this city.... and certainly not wonderful thoughts crossing my mind about the delivery I have an hour away...... and in an area I am totally unfamiliar with. Silent prayers to my God, and the Gods of Mapquest, I put on my best face at 4:30 AM, and shoved out the door regardless. There are people to be fed! That is the El-quest in me.... one must never disappoint, for you could lose needed funds. Carry on, El-quest!... and lets hope mapquest got it right.

With map in lap, and reading glasses affixed securely in place, I set out on the road heading south of the city. I could have used the option of going straight through the city on 85 south, but decided I'd concede to mapquest's suggestion of taking 285 west, to circumvent going through the heart of the city. One never knows what a nightmare that could be, so going around the city seemed to make sense at 10AM anyway. Getting me to Fayetteville, some 50+ miles away, mapquest came through with shining colors, until I got to the last street. Turning on some backroad highway that was probably farmland not more than 2 years ago, was now filling itself with new businesses, subdivisions, and very poorly marked address numbers. Following the guide from mapquest, I should have only gone 0.1 miles till I see 1260. Bear in mind, mapquest does not tell you what side of the road number 1260 is on.... only that "you will arrive". Ok, I know what you're thinking here.... just find one number and all that side of the street is either odd or even. Easy to do when everyone remembers to post their numbers, which no one did. I stopped to ask directions, and was told: "Yeah, well, mapquest"ll get ya lost, this is where you need to go." It turned out that the last direction should have read 1.5 miles, and "you will arrive". No biggie, I was there in plenty of time, set up, and almost out the door when I turned around an asked for directions back to 85 north. It seemed to me that I could just shortcut back through without having to go around as I did. When I showed the directions to the office girl, she laughed and said, "Mapquest"ll get ya lost, let me show you a better way". Her directions worked like a charm..... and even the sky cleared to a dull overcast for the ride home. Kissing my pansies on the way in the front door for being such brave troopers through our little ice storm, I kicked off my shoes, and breathed a sigh of relief.
Even if the Gods of Mapquest hadn't risen to the occasion completely, at least my God did for getting me home safely.