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Sunday, December 30, 2012

The day before the last day

Another year is almost over and I have been thinking about all of the experiences that have come my way. This time last year I was having a serious reaction to an adrenal supplement that my chiropractor insisted I needed. She was out of town so I couldn't talk to her about the situation. Following my intuition and checking the product out online I stopped taking it and the symptoms ceased.

For the first six  months of the year I suffered from severe back pain, partly due to a previous injury. I tried many forms of holistic therapy until the day I said enough! I stopped everything and started believing in my own ability to heal. For the most part it has worked. Admittedly I do still have some days when my body decides to let me know it can still hurt if it chooses to. I hate to admit it, but I suppose this could have something to do with age!

Due to snow and ice build up the ceilings in both bathrooms suffered major damage, which was eventually repaired after I creatively scraped up enough money from various sources. Then my 35 year old furnace decided it was time to stop working in the middle of an extremely cold winter. Trying to keep from freezing for a couple of days without heat was an experience I choose not to ever repeat. I  quickly discovered new furnaces are not cheap. Although it drastically reduced my savings I chose to pay cash for it, rather than charge it.

In the spring came the giant weeds; the result of all that snow. Interestingly, when I began attacking the 3ft. high critters, my back problems gradually got better. The quote, "move it or loose it" did come to mind. Also because of the snow I had an enormous crop of apples this past fall. I hate wasting anything and it became quite a challenge to find recipients for the abundance. Again, picking them was another form of exercise. See how clever the universe is?

Mental exercise has come from the writing group I created back in November of 2011. We are still active and attracting new members and new ideas as we go along. Our newest project involves visiting with the residents at our local nursing home twice a month. We are benefiting from the experience as much as the residents are. I also have the opportunity to write an occasional article for our local newspaper on behalf of our group. Being a columnist has been a good fit, since my first experience back in 2000. Who knew? I certainly didn't! It eventually led to books and the blog you are reading.

On this day before the last day of 2012 I think the most important thing this year has taught me is I can do anything as long as I believe I can. My goal for 2013, some may call it a resolution, is to stop taking responsibility for the problems of everyone else. I know I can do it if I just believe I can. Watch me!

Happy New Year to you all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The best laid plans

Well, I did play hostess last night, but one of my invited guests was missing in action. My son never left Colorado due to a car problem that cannot be fixed until Wednesday. Just a little late for a six hour trip to New Mexico for Christmas. I am disappointed, but I am sure there is a very good reason this happened. Perhaps the expected snow between here and there would have caused him to have an accident if he had come. I will probably never know the reason that my best laid plans went astray, but I am trying really hard to accept what is.

I am happy that my dinner last night went very well. My grandson, who can sometimes be a picky eater, loved my green chile stew and had two helpings. My ex-husband liked my pie and took a piece home with him. We all had a quiet opportunity to exchange gifts. Colin was thrilled with the Air Hog I gave him. In case you are wondering it is a remote control car that can also fly. He gave me a beautiful Hallmark open heart necklace and was especially proud of the inspirational quote that came with it. It read: "Your love has made my world a beautiful place."

The best gift of all was when he asked if he could spend the day with me today as his parents were both working. Of course, I said yes. He had a fun day playing with my new dog Ejay. We even took him to the doggie park. He also brought his new flying car and learned how to make it work. It was a great day.

Even though things did not go exactly as I had planned them it has all worked out. There is also a possibility that my son will be able to come next weekend and spend New Years with me.

Just for fun here is the play dough creation my grandson came up with today. Tiny people riding on  ducks.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'm moving Christmas

This year Christmas at my house is going to be celebrated on Sunday December 23rd. I don't see that it matters as Jesus wasn't even born on December 25th.

I will have a full house no matter what the rest of my wonderful family decides to do. My oldest son and his dog Leia will be coming in from Colorado. I also invited my youngest grandson and his grandfather, my ex-husband, to join in the feast of green chili stew, fruit salad and apple pie a la mode. The other guests, although not eating at the table, are my two cats and my newly rescued puppy, Ejay.

This will be the first time my son has been home since he spent his year in Kuwait. I am sure there will be some interesting experiences shared.

 It is my intention to allow my grandson to open his gift from me tonight. It is the only way I will be able to see his reaction and it will keep my gift separate from everything else he will get on Tuesday. The adults will have the choice of opening their gifts tonight or waiting for the official day. There is one that will not be opened tonight and that is my son's birthday gift. He is going to have to wait until December 25th, his official day of birth.

Unlike the birth of Jesus I know for sure when my son was born because I was there!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dealing with loss

This morning was the last time my writing group, Write On People, will meet until 2013. The chosen topic was, "Dealing with loss". It has been a touchy subject lately and it was difficult for some members to write about. I know I put off writing my piece as long as I could, but I was happy with the finished product and would like to share my thoughts with my readers.

Dealing with loss
Any loss marks the end of something and makes room for the beginning of something else. Because I know that everything in life is temporary I try to enjoy the good for it will not last forever; and if things are going bad I try to remember that they will not last forever either.

To be honest, my first reaction to loss is usually anger, together with the feeling that I didn't deserve the injustice. That's just the ego speaking loud and clear. I am a really nice person and everything is supposed to be perfect in my life- right? Wrong! If everything were perfect I would never learn a thing.

Although I have never experienced devastating loss such as the death of a child or the loss my home due to a fire or natural disaster I can feel compassion for those who have and express gratitude that those experiences were not on my path.

A period of grief is necessary to get past any loss, learn the lesson it brought and move on. When my mother died I never had a chance to speak to her and smooth out any remaining difficulties. She did not want a service of any kind and I followed her wishes. Instead, I cleaned out her apartment and took care of the remaining details of her life. Even though I believe we do not literally die, if I had it to do over I would at least have a memorial service. My daughter, who was 8 at the time, observed, "One day she was here and the next she wasn't."

I think relationship and material losses have most often brought about positive changes in my life. After I got over the anger I usually saw that the loss was for my highest good. Sometimes this took years to happen. The process caused me to realize that the attachment needed to come to an end so that I could believe in myself and my own ability to grow and succeed.

While surfing the Web regarding dealing with loss I found a very simple suggestion that I want to share. While inhaling think let it happen and while exhaling think let it go. I was surprised to find out it really works and can also be used for stress.

As I look back over the last year I can list a number of personal experiences dealing with loss in all
forms. At the time they were happening I didn't believe I had the strength to cope with them and I had nobody to help me, which made things even worse. I not only coped, but I learned that I can handle anything God and the Universe decide to throw at me.

So if the world comes to an end tomorrow, December 21, as some fear, it will not be a great loss for me. I have done my best to live my life and I am happy with the outcome.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas spirit

Lately things including people I haven't talked to in some time keep coming back to me. Because of a Facebook post by one of my friends about what she would do if she won the lottery I was trying to find something I had written several years ago for a writing contest. It was titled, If I had a million dollars. I was interested to see if my thoughts had changed any. Well I didn't find it, but instead I came across a letter to the editor I had written. It was published on December 29, 2006. My thoughts are exactly the same in December 2012. Apparently someone wanted me to reprint the letter so here goes.

Christmas Spirit
Christmas is my least favorite holiday. It causes people  to run around spending money they do not have to impress everyone they know. In the process, truly caring about the needs of others is lost.

There are many lonely people in our own community who would be overjoyed just to have someone check to see if they are alright. A brightly covered package plucked from under the tree has no meaning for them.

Those who really get the meaning of Christmas celebrate it every day. They look for people to help who are honestly doing their best and might simply need a little acknowledgement to restore their faith in humanity.

Christmas day might be over, but we all have the rest of our lives to spread the message.
Think about it!
Merry Christmas 2012!

Monday, December 10, 2012

He can stay

This morning I changed my mind about Ejay the shelter pup I have had since Saturday. I decided the good out ways the bad and he can stay.

The day has been a "D" day for Ejay. At 11:00 a.m. I checked in with the shelter to let them know my decision. My next stop was City Hall where I paid for him, which made him legally mine. I do feel sorry for his previous owner because he is a pretty cool dog. He was at the shelter for 3 weeks and nobody came to claim him.

After paying his fee my next stop was the local veterinary office, where he really became legal and was given his very own rabies tag. I also found out Ejay is about 9-10 months old and is a Poodle/Maltese mix. He will return to be neutered after Christmas.

Since the doctor suggested he badly needed grooming our next stop was the groomers. When I get him back he will not look like the same dog. All of his matted fur will be gone. After I dropped him off I stopped by Walmart to see if I could find appropriate food, since he has hardly touched what I originally purchased. This time I picked one that was better suited for puppies and since he has had a rather stressful day also added a box of milk bones.

I have done my part to make sure his stay is going to be a good one. The rest is up to him. 
The new Ejay enjoying a doggie treat.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lessons on the go

It seems I just experienced another lesson making sure that I have finally learned to put myself first and stop taking responsibility for things that are not my problem.

Lately I have been thinking that I wanted a dog. I even pictured him to be light in color and about the size of a cocker spaniel. My very first dog as a child was a cocker named Skippy because he was the color of peanut butter. He died of some kind of disease he got after being picked up by the dog pound.

Last week after talking with a friend I stopped by the animal shelter and saw the dog I had pictured. He is about a year old and his previous owner had not come to get him in 3 weeks. He is a beautiful little guy and  was the only dog in lock up who caught my attention. I thought about it for awhile and went back the next day to see if he was still there. He was and I was told I could take him home over the weekend to see how he would fit into my life. I was very grateful for the opportunity because the fee for adoption is $69 and is non-refundable.

Generally speaking the dog is lovable, calm and best of all housebroken. My first problem after bringing him home was that I have two cats, 7 and 8 years old, that I have had since they were kittens. Mine is the only home they have ever known. Trouble began with the very first sight of a dog in their house. The female is afraid of him and the dog is afraid of the male who has attacked several times for no apparent reason.

Another major problem is that I have to keep my driveway gate closed whenever the dog is outside. If I need to go to town I have to open and close it before letting the dog out. it is very frustrating. I haven't had to do this since about 2000, when I had another dog.

This afternoon I noticed that I was feeling very stressed and I put my finger on the cause when I realized that every time I moved the dog was under my feet. I  am sure that eventually I will trip over him, fall and probably break a bone or two. As much as I would like to keep him what this little fellow really needs is to be pared with a family who has a kid eager to play with him.

This time I really have to put myself first and return him to the shelter tomorrow. I was beginning to feel guilty until I realized I am through taking responsibility for things that are not my fault. I really hope a nice family looking for an adorable ball of fur will choose him to take home with them.

 EJ, available for adoption from Grants, NM Animal Care Center, 505-285-4012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

These shoes were made for walking

Well, maybe the shoes weren't, but the feet that were inside were made for walking; and they have done just that for 27,375 days!

That's a lot of days to have filled with experiences. I'm not going to figure out the minutes because that would be plain scary!

Today I am not looking so much at the last 75 years since my current human arrival, I am focusing on the next 25, as I do expect to live to be a healthy 100. Why not? Things are just beginning to get interesting. I have finally decided that I am going to focus on everything that makes me happy and leave the rest,especially those negative people who try to bring me down to their level, behind to fend for themselves.  

So today on the first day of the rest of my life I am not wasting another minute on things that do not matter. As my friend, Paul Soluri, said as he stated his new life mission in his blog post, "I will be kind to myself. I will relax."

I will walk on in confidence with my head held high and a big smile on my face. So there world that is my new mission statement!