Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

The Demise of Written Correspondence

July 6, 2009

I am a writer. I can best express myself through words on paper, rather than in conversation. Yet I am somewhat of a dinosaur. Few people care to write to one another, preferring instead the ubiquitous cell phone for chatting or texting, using shortcut terminology and coded phrases. (C U later. I M here 4 U – 24/7.)

Saddened by the loss of beautiful and colorful exposition, I refuse to succumb to that way of communicating. You will not hear me say that someone is busy 24/7; you won’t see me texting a friend on a handheld device. I prefer words, lengthy, beautiful, expressive words, to share my feelings. I send cards, I write letters, and yes, I e-mail. I love words and what they can do. I can send cheer, or sympathy, or concern, or congratulations, all with words on a piece of paper. I can celebrate with you, or cry with you, hopefully make you laugh, all with a pen or pencil.

You’re too busy. I know. I hear this all the time. It’s easier to call. Yup. Yet have you ever received a correspondence that you read over and over, just for the joy of it? Have you smiled to know that someone thought of you enough to take the time to write, or choose a card just for you?

I like, too, the permanence of the written word. Years later, someone can pull out a letter, reread it, and relive the joy or sorrow or pleasure it presented the first time.  Birthday cards with a handwritten note inside, letters from a child at camp, love letters from a sixteen year old boy, a note from a long gone grandparent – all of these are items to be cherished! Even sympathy cards, arriving at a time of great sorrow, bring a smile to the face of the recipient, knowing they are thought of, and cared for.

So next time you pick up the phone to call a friend, maybe you should think about writing a letter instead. Share what’s on your mind and in your heart in a more permanent way. Give the recipient a gift that they can hold on to.

Don’t let the art of correspondence disappear.

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What Is The Meaning of Life?

May 14, 2009

Oh, yeah, I know. Every writer wants to find the meaning of life.  But I really want to to find the meaning of life.  Really.  I want to know what is the point of all this foolishness.  We get up in the morning, go to work, blah, blah, blah, go home, make dinner, veg a little, then to bed.  Before you know it, we’re up again with the chance to do it all over! And over, and over, and over…

And the worst of it is, we’re tired all the time.

Is this pointless, or what?

Yes, there are weekends.  We count down all week to them. Then they flip by in a minute, and we’re back at the grind waiting for another one.  I just don’t get it.

Anyone?

On Being Tired. On Lack of Sleep.

February 2, 2009

I am having a lot of trouble sleeping. I often fall asleep fairly quickly, but then the slightest thing wakes me. They I lie awake, staring at the ceiling, or toss and turn trying to get comfortable. I tend to have a lot of pain in my neck, and headaches, which may or may not be related. Getting comfortable is not easy.

Generally, after 10 or 15 minutes of this, I get up. I go into the living room to read or go online. Sometimes I stand at the slider and stare out at the stars. If it’s not too freezing, I like to go out on the deck and look at the sky. I can usually see Orion, and the Little Dipper.

Often I am awake until midnight or later. I can sometimes play a game on the computer until my eyes want to close. Then I go back to bed, and either fall asleep, or not. It’s the “not” that is most frustrating. I sometimes have to get up a second time, and that is tough, because I have to be at work at 8 a.m..

Many days I struggle to keep my eyes open. Today is one of those days. I am so tired I want to cry. I realize this is a common issue for women in “the middle years”, but it is very hard to deal with. It does not seem to matter what I eat/drink in the evening. It doesn’t matter if I spray my sheets with lavender, or meditate before going to bed. It is what it is what it is, and I am sick, sick, sick of it.

It’s A (Wonderful?) Life

January 21, 2009

I’m feeling a bit like George Bailey these days, wondering what the world would be like if I’d never been born.  Last night, I lied awake thinking about what would be different.

There is the obvious, of course, that my three children would not have been born, but aside from that I can’t think of anything.  I’ve not saved anyone’s life, or cured any diseases. I haven’t been the deciding vote in any contest of importance. My only creations include some not terribly meaningful blog posts and some unfinished manuscripts.  Lots of poetry that no one reads but me.

Perhaps someday, one of my kids will do something phenomenal, and in their biography I will be listed as the mother. But that is them, not me, and it would be retrospection.

So what does this mean? Am I not real? Am I only alive in my own consciousness?  If I were to suddenly disappear, would their be a void in the world, or simply open space?

Hmmm…..

New Year’s Resolutions? No, Thanks.

January 5, 2009

Every year millions of people promise to lose weight, eat right, start exercising, quit smoking, etc..  Yet how soon do those lofty intentions go down the tubes?  My guess:  maximum of two weeks later.  And that’s only for the most persistent.

This year, I decided to quit drinking wine.  Well, on New Year’s Day, I had to have at least one glass (well, three, actually.)    I mean, come on! It’s New Year’s!  So, Friday, January 2nd…  Well, it was Friday.  Saturday?  You’re kidding, right?

You may be seeing a pattern here.  I guess when it comes right down to it, I don’t really want to give up wine.  I was trying to do the right thing, to be noble.  I feel like I should be drinking less, losing weight, exercising more.

Ah, the hell with it.  I’m going home and have a nice glass of wine.

Madonna’s Millions v. My Lack Thereof

December 15, 2008

Okay, here’s the thing.  Madonna and Guy Ritchie have reached a settlement in their divorce. He is getting 75 million dollars, and she gets her freedom.  Now, I understand that it is not cheap maintaining a luxurious lifestyle in this day and age, but I have a question: Can I have just a little teeny tiny piece of it?  Seriously, a simple 1 million would solve a lot of problems, and possibly nullify the disheartening effects of the damage to my 401k.

One million dollars is only 1.33% of that settlement. I can’t believe he’d miss such a tiny morsel, and yet, for me, it would be huge.  I could pay off my mortgage and my car, and my kids’ student loans, and have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life. I’d also take a lovely trip to Disney World.

I promise, it would not change me. I would still donate to the food banks, and the homeless shelters, and support my little girl in India.  I would still clean my own bathrooms, and do my own grocery shopping and cooking.  Yet the burden that has been weighing on me for the past 14 months would be lifted.

So, Guy, whattaya think?  1.33%.  No biggie, hmm?

In Defense of Being a Loner

December 11, 2008

I recently read the book Party of One: The Loner’s Manifesto, by Anneli Rufus, and I must say, it struck a chord with me.  I am a loner, and not only am I okay with it, I prefer it this way.

Cell phones are a marvelous thing, and I am so grateful to have one with me when I travel, or pick someone up at the airport, or drive home alone at night.  But don’t call me, please, unless you have something to say.  And even then, say it, then let me go.  I won’t be offended. Really.

Ancillary to my love of my aloneness is my love of silence.  I don’t need a radio or other device playing when I am home alone, or when I am in the car. I enjoy music, especially this time of the year, but often I find myself in need of quiet to calm my mind after a busy day at work.

Ms. Rufus makes the case that being a loner is  not the equivalent of being weird, or a freak, as is so commonly believed.  Nor is it abnormal.    Numerous artists and great thinkers have been loners: Emily Dickinson, Descartes, Greta Garbo, J.D. Salinger, Einstein, Michelangelo, Isaac Newton……

Yet much of our society insists upon telling us to get out more, socialize more, make friends, get a hobby.

I have hobbies, lots of them. I read, I play on the computer, I do scrapbooking and crafts.  I cook. I write.  And I never ever feel the need to have someone join me in those activities.  I am comfortable with this.  I do not need to join clubs or do volunteer work or have a busy career to feel fulfilled.  I enjoy my own company.

Going home at the end of the day is my greatest joy, and when a co-worker asks what I have planned for a weekend, I gleefully say, “nothing”.

If you think about it, this is an ideal way to live.  I have friends, both real and virtual. I love my family.  I enjoy being with all of them, but when I am alone, I am happy, too.

So please don’t feel sorry for me. Don’t feel you need to invite me to dinner if my husband is out of town.  I’m good.