Plotting Along…

Hi y’all. As you know, I’ve attempted to be mostly off of social media for a bit. I’m still at that point but I may post to the blog a little more often than I have. I’ve had a few friends ask me about my blog and tell me they were missing it so I’ll schedule in time to post at least once every other week if not once a week. I must admit, I have missed speaking to you guys on a regular basis. I miss our engagement, our connection. Alas, the life of a writer is much a solitary one, and I admit to appreciating that also. Working from home is right up my alley, as I no longer have to deal with fake gossipy drama-mamas in the corporate setting. Thank You, Lord! Plus, it doesn’t hurt to love your job, working from home and the people you do work for.

Lately, I’ve been going through so many mood changes, and I’m presently experiencing a shift – hard to explain but I’ll try. The mood changes are mostly just a roller coaster of emotion, due to my daughter being a senior in high school, her being accepted to her college of choice, choosing her dorm roommate, planning her grad party and trip, her just turning 18. It’s exciting. It’s an adventure. It’s emotionally draining and bittersweet. As most of you know, Hallie and I have always been extremely close. Our nicknames for each other are Lorelai and Rory (you’ll understand if you’ve ever watched Gilmore Girls). And it sickens me to think of her moving to college next year and not living in this house – only to visit on weekends, holidays and summer break. I don’t even want to imagine what it’ll be like because I want to cry, and then, honestly, to throw up. I know I have to let go. I’m just not ready. It hurts my heart too much. I’m used to her going on trips for a week or two. I miss her, of course, but I take comfort in knowing she’ll be home, as I count down the days. Don’t misunderstand. I do have things on my ‘To Do’ list that I take pride in accomplishing while she’s gone and I do appreciate my alone time. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss my little love monkey. Maybe I can’t use the word “little” anymore, but she will always be my little one, my wee one, my baby, even after she’s 40. Thankfully, she doesn’t mind my nicknames for her. She has nicknames for me, too.  😉

The shift I’m undergoing is multi-faceted. I’ve been on a journey of exploration – not just for the self but being more mindful of others and taking in all of the possibilities for connection with others – looking out for like-minded people to associate myself with but also “trying” to be mindful of others in the sense that no matter their mood, I have to take into account they may be going through something I know nothing about. Such as the clerk at the grocery store or the clothing store we normally frequent. Many times, we think these people are there to serve us and be kind and high spirited while they do it. However, we must put ourselves in their shoes, if only for a moment. If we do this, we may consider that perhaps their grandpa that they were raised by just died, or they lost their best friend in a car accident, or it’s that horrid time of the month and they are in great pain. 

You never know what someone is going through. These people are not there to only serve us. We are here to serve them, as well. We can offer a smile, a kind word, something funny to say to maybe lift their spirits. If nothing else, we can offer our gentle understanding. They are just like us. They have to work to pay the bills. They have to work when they are sick because they have a child to feed and have to make the rent. I admit to sometimes being a harsh judge of people when they are hateful or rude and I have been rude as a retaliation. What sense does that make?! That’s easy. Why is it so easy to fight back with hardness and more difficult to reply with love and compassion? This is something I’ve been mindful of lately and I feel it’s changing me. Mind you, I do still have much work to do in this department, as I am still trying to rid myself of anger I strongly hold on to. I have no idea why I hang onto it.

Not only with others but within myself. I’ve always been my toughest critic, being more hard on myself and sabotaging myself rather than romancing myself, appreciating myself and my accomplishments. I tend to beat myself down over everything – every little thing. But lately, I’ve been watchful of my words, noticing how negative I tend to be on myself, trying to change the language I use. If it’s negative, I’m trying not to say it or change the wording I’d normally use. I’m trying to believe in myself, have faith in me and my abilities. I’m writing down all I’ve ever been good at, then and now, and everything I’ve accomplished. Turns out, I truly have been more of a success than a failure. Many of the things I’ve wanted to do and truly made an effort with have come to pass and I’m practicing daily gratitude for each of these things and in everything I have in my life that makes me thankful and happy.

Normally, I have resting-bitch-face – not because I’m feeling bitchy or depressed or irritable, but because I don’t think about how my face is resting. LOL! Often, I’m contemplating something and that’s how my face is – in contemplation mode, or I’m extremely tired because I walked the dog like 10 times during the night, got up at 4am to go to the gym, worked all day, worked on my book after that, had to go to a meeting or event after that and I’m feeling very DONE with the day.

Lately, I’m practicing mindfulness on the muscles in my face. I actually think I may have inherited my grandmother’s facial expressions. She even frowned in her sleep! I don’t want her facial expressions. So I’m focusing on a slight constant smile, just barely there, enough to lighten my forehead muscles. I’m focusing on every blessing I’ve been granted each day and I’m being actively thankful – meaning thanking the Lord daily, telling these special people how much I love them and how amazing they are, hugging and smooching and laughing at my silly dog, appreciating our home and land more, loving working from home and the jobs I do and the income to pay our bills and save for important things, appreciating going to a great gym and getting healthier, and just every special thing and person, even what may sound small to some – sometimes it’s the smallest blessings that make the biggest impact/difference, and I’m thankful for each one.

Another thing I’m trying to learn is to Let Go and Let God. Being a control freak, this is a hard one, but I’m learning little by little. I am letting go of things and people that no longer serve my life in a positive way. I actually just joined a group that I thought would strengthen my character and spirituality as well as offer friendship and connection but learned that group was not the answer so, after 2 meetings, I let that go. I no longer have space or time in my life for what does not assist me or help me grow in some way on my journey. Joining and leaving that group only helped to further teach me that lesson.

Another mood swing is the novel I’ve been working on since 2013. I cannot count the varied emotions I’ve been going through. I birthed this story with great enthusiasm and excitement, only to set it on a shelf because I had too many clients at different times, too many things going on and I did not have any further time to devote to it. I did have to pay the bills and that was more important. As time went on, I got better clients, bigger contracts, but didn’t want to face the book, because I let fear distract me – fear and lack of faith in myself.

So now, I’m happy to say that I am 95% finished with the book. I thought I was actually finished but am reworking chapter 6. I’m thinking I may even interweave it with chapter 5 or 7 or just leave it the smallest chapter in the book. I kept giving myself a deadline, which in many ways is helpful, while at the time was putting an obstacle in my path. The deadline was more stifling my writability and creativity than bolstering my motivation and ambition to get in touch with my muse. My muse heard DEADLINE and ran for cover! So I will work on my book daily, finish when I finish, revise, revise, revise, then query agents and publish. And then become a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

I am learning to have faith in myself. I am learning to trust myself, love myself, believe in my pursuits – my dreams – my goals. I’m learning to lift myself up to new heights and tell myself only good things and reaching, stretching for a higher plane of existence. There is nothing wrong in bettering myself. I have everything I have ever prayed for, except the one. And the one? It’s only a matter of divine timing, inspired action, and persistence.

What have you been up to lately? Share all your joys, your pursuits, your progress, your fears, your expectations, your news. I have missed you greatly and I only wish for you good things, always.

Love you!

Carol

(P.S. Oh, and that picture? I’m just dreaming of cool Fall weather, wishing for long-sock-wearing, gushy-sweater-wearing weather. Please, chilly Fall breezes – come to Mississippi?). And sorry for the very wordy post…

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365 Thank You Letters – Day One

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(WARNING:  A couple of expletives are in this post, so beware… – I’m just bein’ real, people)

Call me crazy. I had an idea last night and thought oh, what a lovely idea to thank different people throughout my life who have helped me in some way (whether directly or indirectly), and post a thank you on my blog, so maybe they’ll see it, maybe they won’t, but I’m putting the energy and positive vibes out there so the thank you is out in the universe. And, if nothing else, it might help you to accept some things that are seemingly negative that have transpired in your life and maybe this will help you see it in a different light, because I believe everything does happen for a reason. I mean, of course, I cannot make sense out of a lot of things, which I won’t even bring up, because I don’t want to get depressed, nor get you down, so…

On with it.  Day One of my 365 Thank You Letters (via blog).

By the way, this is in no certain order of importance. One person is not more important than another, except everyone knows Mama and Hallie are my number 2 people in life.

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Dear Sweet Beloved Heavenly Father (some of you may know him as God),

Hi. It’s me again. I’m sure you know me well from the many times per day I chat it up with you. I can imagine your eyes rolling from the many times I bug you about some of the stupidest, unimportant things I talk about. Or maybe you gently smile, just being happy to hear from me. I’m sure you’re not always happy, because you know this girl can go off and I always seem to direct my anger at you. Sorry about that. Again. Really, really sorry. You know I have anger issues. I’m trying to work on it. But it doesn’t take much sometimes to set me off. You don’t deserve the stuff I say. Again, sorry. Please forgive me. I’ll try to improve.

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I also want to thank you again. For everything. Yes, even the bad stuff. Maybe it seems like bad stuff at the time but sometimes, even years later, it turns out to be a good thing. Like the break up with him, and him, and him, and all those hims. Thank. You. God!!  I am sooooo blessed not to be with those guys anymore. Thank you for the friends I no longer have, too, because I realized what crappy friends they were. Self-serving, never encouraging, never supportive – just neglectful, selfish, angrier people than me. And that’s saying something. So thank you for even the bad stuff.

It seems when something negative is going on, my mind plays tricks on me and for some reason, I think everything is shit in my life, like all I have is bad, bad, bad, and I can’t focus on anything good. I’m really sorry about that. It’s only when I’m angry or depressed but I know my mind is being tricked, because it’s simply untrue. I have more good in my life than bad. I can’t say it’s always been that way (my life was pretty crappy before Hallie was born), but I certainly feel my life is better now than it ever was before. I have so many blessings, I cannot even count them all. No, we don’t have a ton of money and can’t afford to buy a newer car, but I can afford to put food on the table, clothes on our backs and our cars are running.That’s what’s important. And more importantly, we have each other. My girls and I are close, best friends, hang out often with each other and laugh and dance and sing and have such a great time together, we have homes, we have land, we have furbabies, we are healthy, have jobs and a good school, Hallie has a couple of sweet, good quality friends who care about her, and it doesn’t have to get better than that.

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I won’t take up much of your time. I know there are peeps out there who need you more than I do right now. And I know you can do everything and be everywhere at once, but honestly, I’ll cut you a break and let you tend to more important events that need your strong attention. And with that, I’d like to pray for all those lost souls who desperately need you. They are full of hate, anger, piss and venom and there’s probably nothing anyone can say to give them peace. You know they struggle. You know the reasons. I know you love them. Be there for them, Father. Help them. Ease their pain and suffering. Give them comfort. Help their hearts feel love and joy and to know laughter and happiness. And hope and faith. Let them know there is hope. Let your angels whisper in their ears like they do in mine. I used to be that lost soul, Father, as you well remember. I know we are all weak. We all fall. And I pray we all come back to you before all our hope is lost.

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Thank you for listening to me ramblin’ and for loving us and taking such good care of us and for your forgiveness, for the good stuff, the bad and the ugly, because it all helps build our character. I mean, I’m still here, even after I didn’t want to be here anymore. I am. And again, I ask you to use me as you have before. Use me however you wish. I belong to you forever. Even when sometimes I may not act like it, because I get pissed off for 20 minutes or an hour. I always come back, stumbling over my stupidity, but I come back. Thank you for having me, for never turning your back, even though sometimes I accused you of doing just that. I realize, at times, you have to feel a million miles away. I do know you have good reasons. I’m sure part of it is to test my faith. Wow, you’re really good at that. Seems I’m tested daily. Well, some weeks are better than others. Thank you for the good weeks. And I guess thanks for the bad ones, too, because they make me grow in different ways, building strength. I’m still here, so maybe I’m doing something right.

Anywho, I’ll close for now. You go help those peeps who need your shoulder, your ear, your gentle but firm hand. And most of all, your love.

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I love you, Daddy. Thank you for always being the true Daddy I needed.

Love always and forever,

Carol

Illusion of Aliveness

tim“The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head.  There is the illusion of aliveness.”
Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

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That is beautiful.

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So how’s your 2015 going along so far?  No changes here really except perhaps feeling a bit more hopeful.  Still working like a crazy person but feeling a bit differently about it.  I’m feeling more blessed.  Not everyone gets the chance to make their dreams come true.  My first dream came true – having a daughter, the most wonderful daughter in the world.  Yes, that happened and she’s AMAZING!!!!

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I could not have received a better gift.  That was my main dream.  Everything else is secondary.  She and my mom – they are my number ones.  Yes, you can have more than one number ones.  Family is number one.  When you can call them your best friends, that’s another number one.

I started working from home so I could be closer to my child and actually raise her and be here for her when she needs me.  Another dream come true.  Been doing this for a while now.  Sometimes, it’s been great with awesome contracts where I didn’t have to work a ton of hours, got great payments and had weekends off.  Other times, it’s been a real struggle, trying to survive on 4 hours sleep a night,

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but I’ve done it and continue to do it.  I’ve questioned myself at times, asking God if I’m supposed to be doing this or do I need to go out there and get another office job.

Ah, regular set hours not more than 8 or 9 per day, pay per hour/week/year rather than per job, perks, paid holidays, paid sick days, paid vacation, weekends off and it sounds lovely.  Then I remember all the cons of morning and evening rush hour traffic, that lovely commute,

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all the extra money I had to put in my gas tank, working with attorneys, working with harsh personalities (didn’t I just say that?),

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having only 2 hours per evening with my kid which is pretty much set with cooking supper, cleaning the kitchen, helping with school projects or what have you, pat the pets on the head quickly, kiss kid good night, then do it all again the next day, like a robot, oh and try to slurp down a HUGE glass of wine during/after supper to try and help me brush off any negative office poo from the day.

And then I remember all the good things of what I get working from home.  Rather than focusing on all the hours I work and working 7 days a week (this may change shortly to weekends off again):  I get to take my daughter to school, pick her up, walk the dogs when they need to go out, take my mom to any appointments, working in my pjs if I want or sweats, working in a tank and shorts and no shoes during the summer, no makeup if I don’t want it, being here all those hours after school so if she needs to talk, I’m here.  Sure, it can be a struggle with money sometimes and lack of sleep but then I remember, at least I do have work.  At least I do have income.  I can also be here for my family and I don’t mind a little struggle now and again if it means I’m doing it for them and can actually be here for them.  They are my heart.  My mashed potatoes I call ’em.  Everything else in life that’s good is the gravy.

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And when I do get more regular hourly contracts again, I’ll have weekends back, 8 hours sleep per night, and I can dust off some of my creative ambitions and finish my books and start my video series!!  I’m feeling hopeful.  And glad.  And thankful and happy!

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How ’bout you?  Are you feeling hopeful?  I hope so.

I also wanted to take this time to thank you for hangin’ with me.  I appreciate your friendship soooo much and love talkin’ with y’all and getting to know each of you through your blogs and through your comments.  So thanks and I share with you my warm squishy hugs and smooches and wish for you a 2015 that’s filled with more laughter than last year (just don’t chortle with coke in your mouth, ’cause when than crap comes out your nose, it hurts!!), more joy, more happiness, more happy dances (click the link), more love and more hope.

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