Category Archives: choices

Organization …

is not my strong suit

My desk at work is organized because I would simply fold in upon myself otherwise.  I find it difficult to focus enough to know where I am and what I am doing there, so being disorganized is not an option.

Not if I want to keep getting a steady paycheck (which is imperative to fund my real ambitions of photography, writing and travel).

My photographs are organized.

Brutally so.

With tens of thousands of photographs, literally, there must be organization or I would never be able to lay my hands on a particular photograph when I needed to.

As crazy as it may sound, when I look at an image, I remember the moment it was taken.  It is like a bionic power of some sort that allows me to pull from the brain pan recesses in perfect clarity something that happened on some obscure day in the past though I often have difficulty remembering what I ate for breakfast.

When I remember to eat breakfast, that is.

My house is not organized.

It is jumbled and chaotic, but I know where everything is.

I’m not big into “stuff”.  I have one photograph on my wall and the calendar is still on may of 2011.  To those that know me personally, this will not come as a surprise.  To the rest of you … close your mouths.  It’s not that big of a deal.

I have clothes on the floor, shoes on the floor and junk on the couch.  But my kitchen and bathroom are clean.

I rarely cook anymore, which is a shame because not only do I love to cook, I am very good at it.  That isn’t bragging, just stating the facts.  I am an excellent cook.  I just don’t do it.

But if one day the mood strikes, my kitchen is clean and my butcher knife sharp.

I think I started this whole post with organization. I’m not sure why that was even on my mind since there are only the three areas, work, photographs and kitchen that are organized.

My house, at any given time, looks as though a band of rogue monkeys swept through and had a free-for-all.

I don’t care.  If I’m ok with it, anybody who finds fault is simply a fault-finder.

If you are coming to see me, come ahead, if you are coming to see my house, make an appointment … about one year in advance.

I never understood and still don’t understand people who pretend to be what they aren’t simply to impress someone who likely wouldn’t be impressed even if you levitated while juggling flaming torches.

If being impressed by me is what someone is looking for, they will be sorely disappointed.  I live in my house and clean it when I feel like it, I wear clothes so I don’t get cold or arrested and I work so I can afford to do the things I really want to do.

Organization?  Not if I can possibly avoid it.

I’m much too busy living to worry about the small stuff.

flowersfornini

I have abandoned Facebook …

cut all ties.

Deactivated my account.

Yes, it is true, and in doing so, I find that I have taken my life back.

I no longer debase myself a dozen (OK, that is conservative) times a day to see what is going on with people I don’t even know.

I no longer look for absolution from those I do.

I don’t look to see who has been checking in with me even as I am checking on them while they are checking on me.

It had become a bit like an out of control spy ring where everyone needed to know everything and I wanted to tell things but didn’t want anyone to know what I wanted to tell.

It was pathetic, really, the importance that I had begun to place on seeing who was where and why.

I can’t remember a specific time when I felt so entirely like my life was my own.

Freedom.

In spades.

I have no-one to impress, nobody to account to or, for that matter, to account for.  When I have something to say, I write it in my journal.

My journal is so happy to have me back as a regular contributor that it has congratulated me.

Delusions of grandeur?  Possibly.

Seriously, though, it has been a freeing experience to find that what I think, like, know and experience is my own to think, like, know and experience.

I don’t need anyone’s approval to think thoughts or hear music.

When I am manic, it is OK, when I am feeling low and depressed, it is OK.

I need no validation or congratulation or adulation or any other “ation” for any of my actions.

They are mine and mine alone and the need to have someone else understand them has passed.

I understand them and what anyone else may think or have to add has become irrelevant.

Glory.

And glory again.

The first couple of days felt awkward, but after a week, when I wasn’t missed, I realized that I had begun to think way too much of myself.

Many of the people on my “friends” list have my phone number and could call or text anytime they felt like it.

They haven’t.

Others on my “friends” list have my email address and could send me a message anytime they felt like it.

They haven’t.

It was important for me to realize how little importance, in the grand scheme of things, I really have.

I was beginning feel something that I have never, not in any space of time in my entire life, felt.

Conceited.

Egotistical.

Self-centered.

That is not who I was, who I am nor who I ever want to be.

It was freeing to realize that nobody really thinks about me on a daily basis.

That would be weird.  Seriously weird, if people thought about me all the time.

I will admit that there are ones those that I think about much more often than is good for me, but I have cut those ties as well.

I am a solitary introvert.  I always have been and pretending to be otherwise did not serve me well.

I know what I want, what I hope for and wish for and nobody, other than myself, need to be privy to such privileged information.

During my facebook run, I trusted some people I shouldn’t have, thought about ones I had no right to and was well on my way to becoming obsessed with being liked.

I don’t care about being liked.

That is old news, teenage stuff, high school drama.

I don’t care if people like me or not.

I  like myself and that, in itself, is quite the accomplishment.

Will I go back to Facebook?

I honestly don’t know.

I feel so good not being a part of something that had the distinct capability to make me feel bad about myself that I doubt, quite seriously, that I will go back.

If I do go back, it won’t be in the same frame of mind that I left.

It will be a more confident, self-assured, know where I’m going because I’ve been where I’ve been mentality.

In the meantime, I’m reveling in realizing who I am, who I can trust, who I thought I could trust but can’t and what my purpose is.

It is an adventure that, although daunting at times, has proven to be the ultimate learning experience.

I am happy even when I’m not.

There is power in that realization.  The knowledge that I am happy simply being myself without any extraneous notions.

I can be happy and cry at the same time.

I have set my Sagittarian spirit free.

Mind-boggling in ways I never imagined.

I. Am. Free.

And I find that I like it that way.

solitude

Trust …

a small word and yet it holds an incredible amount of power.

What is trust, anyway?

Mr. Webster defines it as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something”.

Assured reliance.  

What does that mean in reality?

To me, it means being able to take someone at face value, to believe what they say, to know that I can tell them anything and not be judged, betrayed or lied to.

It is one of those things that we all look for in other people.  Things we want to believe about those we hold dear in our lives.

But is it, in reality, something that truly exists?

I suppose that it does, sometimes.

I have trusted people in my lifetime and have, on more than one occasion, learned the hard way that I misread, misconstrued, misunderstood or simply made a bad choice.

Bad choices are not obsolete.  

We all make them.

Some, more often than others.

I’m not, by nature,  a trusting person, so I give it sparingly.  I suppose that is one reason that it hurts so deeply when the confidence is betrayed and the trust destroyed.

The destruction of it leaves a hole that can’t really be filled.  It leaves me vulnerable to further mistrust and, in doing such, I may miss out on relationships that could be to my benefit.

But if I lose the ability to trust because of betrayal, where am I?

Who am I?

When someone I trusted with the innermost secrets of my heart and mind betrays me, what am I left with?

Myself.

I can trust myself and know that I will keep my  own secrets.

I don’t want to be a person who cannot trust, however, over the years, I have learned by experience.

I trust my Lord, for He has never betrayed me.

I have, on occasion, betrayed Him and yet He has stuck by me, even during the worst moments of my life.

I am starting to think that I can, other than Him, trust no-one.

It is a sad state to find oneself in, but one that many people, far too often, find themselves.

When someone can trust themselves to be everything they can be, to stand for what is good, to hold their head up in the midst of adversity and controversy, then they can say they have fought the good fight.

I am still fighting, but I am not depending on anyone to help me.

I can’t do it myself, but with God, all things are possible.

I  have been betrayed, that is true.

But I have not betrayed myself and that is of utmost importance.

What others do, they are accountable for.  I will stand for myself and cling to what I know to be true.

In the end, I will be standing on the rock and as long as I stand on the rock, the uncertainly of the world cannot touch me.

On this certainty, I can rely.

Little else, once all the obstacles are cleared away, matters.

I am who I was created to be and while I am constantly evolving, learning and making strides, I will make mistakes.

That is the beauty of being human that saves us all from the burden of perfection.

Learning the hard lessons is what makes us stronger today than we were before;  without them, we would always be the same and I can’t think of a worse fate than always being what I was.

Be well, dream big, live every moment and know that you are cherished by One who will not let you down, not even when you deserve it.

And be trustworthy.

Be the one that can be trusted and counted on to accept, without judgement or deceit, that which is willingly given to you.

It’s important.

Love is the most powerful of emotions

Love and trust are the most powerful of emotions

In order to gain my support from “Big Business” for worthy causes …

I have to sacrifice my own personal social media information and that of those that I choose interact with?

What kind of racket is this?

Businesses pretend to want to help spread news and articles of import; to support schools, sports, academics, Universities and the like, but there is a catch.

A rather large, bloodletting catch.

They want you to support them as they “give back” but before they allow you to give your support or share their stories, they ask for personal information and information on others who may have no desire whatsoever to support their cause.

I find this abysmal.

Oh, I’m sure their “people” could come up with a hundred good reasons why I should give up the information they ask, but if they really and truly wanted to help the entities they say they want to help, to share the stories they find so important, they wouldn’t have to resort to blackmail to do it.

That’s what it is.

In the end, anyway.

Blackmail.

I call a spade a spade.

Their policy is “I will allow you to engage our help in supporting causes important to you, share stories that may benefit your peers and friends and all you have to do is let us have access to your personal information and the personal information of people you know”.

The only thing missing is a baseball bat to the back of my knees.

I won’t do it.

I won’t give in.

I refuse to be coerced to hand over what they ask simply because I want to help.

I can write a check that will do no more than clear the bank and implicate no-one other than myself.

Target and NBC are two of the offenders that I have had personal interactions with.

I was really bummed to have to give up NBC’s news app because it is one of the best I’ve come accross.  As it stands, there are things I see on there I want to share with my peers … understandable, right?  NBC, however,  won’t let me share unless I give them access to my facebook profile and friends list.

And Target, a store I used to respect, won’t support the schools they say they will support unless I “tell all”.

They go on and on about supporting schools, but they require a blood payment.

I think not.

I’m not going to play along.

I’m not going to “give up” my own personal information or that of others in order to support anything through big business when I am perfectly capable of doing my part to support it however I can.

Which I have.

Many times.

I don’t have much money, but what I do have, I am happy to give away to help worthy causes.

I don’t need big  business, conglomerates and super-store powers who are more interested in trying to trick me into giving them what they want than they are in supporting the entities they pretend to be behind.

They call it tit-for-tat … i call it something else entirely.

I refuse to play their game.

Maybe I am cynical in some ways.  I never thought of myself as that way, and now I wonder.

Maybe I am.

Maybe I am the type of person that doesn’t give up everything just because a big name is willing to support the same thing I do.

I have standards and rules that I live by.

They aren’t written in stone, but they are my guidelines.

What these big companies offer is little better than the gang of thugs that offers to “protect” a business and then beats the crap out of the owner if they don’t accept their protection.

I find that reprehensible and if they don’t, they should.

Shame of them.

I won’t be a part of it.

Asking something in payment for giving freely is not, in any shape or form, giving freely.

I hear my drummer calling … I believe I will go march to it.

A kick in the teeth is a kick in the teeth irregardless of the animal.

A kick in the teeth is a kick in the teeth irregardless of the animal.

Seriously?

Seriously?

It has been so long since I have watched TV …

that I have no earthly idea where the remote to the blasted thing is.  I wouldn’t be looking for it now if it weren’t required to set the menu up for a favored DVD that I was wanting to watch.

I don’t watch the news and have no clue, unless it is on facebook or twitter, what is going on in the world.  My journalist peeps keep me informed on the pressing stuff and the “Oprah, Fox, MSNBC and just happened to be surfing the web  crowd” keeps me informed (and entertained) on the rest of the goings on.

I am perfectly happy with that knowledge (or lack of as the case may be) in my isolated, yet mostly serene, little world.

On the occasions that people I know feel the need to fill me in on the seedier things that are happening, I find myself cringing and saying things like “ewww” … “stop … don’t tell me anything else” … “OMG, you’re not serious?”

It is true.  I am so close to hermit status that if I didn’t have to work for a living, I would be completely and happily oblivious with a backpack in tow and some flint in my pocket …

Thank you Dr. Blackwelder, for teaching me to make a fire with flint and a few dry twigs.

I could, I am relatively certain, live off the land, and thrive on apples, peaches and blackberries … and if that didn’t work out perfectly, I could, irregardless of hunger and thirst, photograph it and then write about it.

I might go hungry, but I would be happy while my belly growled.

I have learned a great deal from my dad, who is like the mountain man extraordinaire, who knows something about everything that has to do with nature and he, kindly, passed it along to me.

I paid attention and took notes.

It isn’t that I don’t care about people and things that are happening.  I do.  But most, in my experience, of what is considered “news” is the misfortune of others exploited well beyond what is necessary.

When my husband was living, I was current on all the happenings.  He was a news junkie and found it oh-so-satisfying to fill me in whether I wanted to know or not.

I see, in the day to day happenings in my life, family and job, plenty of drama.  I don’t need to know who has been in rehab, who is having somebody who isn’t their husband’s baby or what the name of the new Prince will be.

In all honesty, I could care less about that.

If there is a wildfire or other disaster, I find out from my journalist friends on facebook and then, can pray or curse, accordingly, as the event warrants.

There was a time when I was much geekier than was good for me.  Of this, I am certain.  I was a facebook, twitter and google plus junkie.

I have weaned myself, however, to be only a part-time junkie and rely mostly on my friends and family to keep me informed of current events.

I am grateful that my Jim cannot see this transformation from Heaven as he would simply shake his head and say, in that deep, sexy voice of his “Gina … you need to know what is going on in the world in order to live in the world”.

Well, I have little clue about what is going on and I live a relatively normal life.

Yes, there are goats that randomly come onto my porch.

Yes, a possum, nearly nightly, filches cat food from my feed pans.

Yes, my brother-in-law brings me, fresh from the chicken, eggs that I will never eat.

I may have eaten them if he hadn’t said to me “be sure to wash them first”.  Ick.  I took them, washed them with Dawn and placed them in my refrigerator where they will remain until I either give them to some unsuspecting person or throw them away but I know, without a doubt, that I will not be eating them.

Not ever.

But all of this has little to do with the fact that I really want to watch Lord of the Dance and cannot find my TV remote so that I can do so.

Maybe tomorrow … or the next day.

Eventually, it will turn up and when it does, I will have forgotten why I was looking for it in the first place.

Such is the nature of my life.

But it is all good, or mostly so, and it is all part of the whole.  I am who I am and will be who I’ll be.

When every day is like opening Pandora’s box, who, might I ask, needs TV?

Until next time, be well, my friends, be well.

My sweet ride for a couple of hours ... even without the horses, the Jeep was magnificent

My sweet ride for a couple of hours … even without the horses, driving the Jeep on the beach and over the dunes was magnificent

He played like a demon angel ... talent in spades

He played like a demon angel … talent in spades

He looked right at me and I felt his power through the lens of my camera.  I was awestruck.

He looked right at me. I felt his power through the lens of my camera. I was awestruck.

fear and uncertainty …

filled his blue eyes, open wide and full of worry.  At first glance, from the hallway, the only visible things were a single foot protruding from beneath a blanket and a partially filled urinal on the tray table.

I wondered, before walking into the room to speak with him, what I would find.  I was already feeling badly for him simply knowing that a container holding his urine sat on a table where soon, his lunch would be placed.

I felt that surely, had there been family present, that would not have been the case and, not to my surprise, I found him alone.

He was worried.  It was evident in his sad, sad eyes.  They were wide open, showing the incredible blueness, wrinkled at the edges from a lifetime of emotion; laughter, tears, anger.

He was a widower.  He had children, but his voice betrayed his attempt at courage as he spoke of wishing to go home.  His blue eyes became even more sad as he spoke of a home that he knew, in his heart, he would not return to.

I felt a wave of righteous fury toward his children, none of whom had been to visit him during his week-long stay in the hospital, as he spoke of having nobody to care for him.

I thought of my own father.  Thought of his sadness were he to lose my mother and be left to live out his days without the woman that he loved more than life.

Many times, and to my mother I have said such, I have prayed that if my parents cannot die at the same time, I hope my dad goes first.  I cannot bear to even entertain the thought of him trying to cope without my mother.  He is strong in body and spirit, but would be lost without her.

She, on the other hand, is tough as nails.  A survivor full of beauty and strength and would, though with sadness and tears, move on and make the best of a seriously bad situation.

While her tears would cut me deeply, tears shed by my dad shatter me.  I would be of little use to him, not that he would last for long without her as he would soon die of sadness.  I know this as surely as I know the sun rises in the East.

But I digress.  I wasn’t speaking of my parents, but of poor, sad-eyed mister who lay in the hospital bed, dwarfed by the room, confused by the lingo, hurt by the antipathy of his children.

He wanted to go home and held, other than that wish, no other ambition or hope.

It would not come to pass.  He would not go home.  Not to the home where he lived for over fifty years with his wife before she died.  Not to the home where his children, who had now abandoned him, had been raised.

He would not go back to where the garden once thrived with vegetables and a myriad of flowers in the summertime, the trees bursting full and golden in Autumn.

He would not walk the familiar halls that had brought him comfort in his time of need.

He would not sleep in the bed that conformed to his body due to years of use.

He would be a stranger among strangers.

It took all of my strength and everything I could dig from the depths of myself to not burst into tears while speaking to him; seeing him old and broken and alone.

His wide eyes, full of worry, filled me with compassion and empathy.  I, in my mind and heart, brought him home with me.  Though there is an unwritten rule among nurses to not become too attached, he has been here, dancing on the edges of my thoughts, since the day I met him.

I have cried for him, prayed for him and inwardly cursed his children for their inattentiveness.   I want, in these last years of his life, happiness for him.

I try no to get too attached, but I am human and I fall in love with those the world has so blithely displaced.  He will remain in my prayers and though I will likely never see him again, his eyes will haunt me.

They haunt me now as do so many others; young, old, suffering, addicted, betrayed, sickened, world-weary souls who need, more than anything else, to be loved.

I have said it before and I reiterate it now … I am too softhearted to be a  nurse.  I always have been.

violinhands

Leviticus 19:32  ~ Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the Lord.

It’s not easy …

to look over decisions that we’ve made, roads we have taken, choices we have labored over only to find that they weren’t the right decisions, were the wrong turns and were bad choices.  But it is a constant in our lives.  Not every crossroad we come to will have an outcome that is favorable.  Sometimes, the results can be downright devastating.

If the only person such things effected was ourselves, it wouldn’t, I suppose, matter, quite so much.  But our decisions, our outbursts, our tantrums, our misdirects … they, like a long, intricate line of dominoes, fall, one against another, starting a chain reaction that can last for years and through multiple lifetimes.  Purity and innocence can be taken away so quickly that it would seem as though they never existed.

I have a wealth of understanding on making mistakes and living with them; learning from them.  Some of my mistakes have hurt no one but myself, others have touched the people I love the most, causing pain that was never intended, hurt that, though time has surely layered with a cushion, can never, ever, be completely erased.

I understand pain and insecurity.  I have known joy and heartache with equal measure.  I have lain, curled in a ball while sobs wracked my body to the point that I feared my bones would break and didn’t care if they did.  I have known despair and felt the icy fingers of death claw at my mind.  I have thought long and hard about how easy it would be to simply drift away into nothingness where life could no longer kick me senseless.

It is because of these things that I have more understanding than I wish to, that I stand now, with my head up and my spirit intact.  Life did not break me.  It bent me, at times nearly beyond redemption, but it did not break me.  I look around and see others that have been bruised and bent themselves.  They weren’t broken either, but none of us came out of the fire unscathed.  None of us came away from it all whole, but full of holes that left room for the pain and suffering of others to fill.

Because of my broken road, I have found compassion, I have found empathy and I have found beauty that is so stunning that, at times, it nearly breaks my heart.  And along the path strewn with shards of brokenness, I have found others, stumbling along trying to find their way.  And through discouragement, faith and determination, I was encouraged.  We are all, in one way or another, broken and simply knowing that makes me feel less alone.

2-46

Matthew 12:20 ~ A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench