dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

Words…

I haven’t been on my blog much the past few weeks, but, I have been writing.  I have spent the past couple of months writing, thinking and preparing for a Bible Study that I have shared with a wonderful group of ladies at my church.  It is always an honor to speak and this time was no different.

What I have really thought about these past few weeks is words.  How we say things is as important as what we say. Wording is so very important, isn’t it?

I know I have failed miserably in the past to put thoughts into words and also writing before actually thinking things through.  But, I suppose we are all guilty of saying things to others before thinking of how they may come out and how they may sound to the other person.

We truly do not know what is going on inside another person.  We do not know the pain or anguish or stress they may be carrying, yet are not showing it to the outside world.  How we respond in words can make a person’s day or ruin it.

Several times this past year I have spoken without thinking.  I know it has caused pain, but, even after apologizing, the pain, for me, was still there.  Words can damage a heart if spoken in haste or without thought.  So, for the past few weeks, I have been cautious as to how I am wording conversations.

This experience has revealed several things to me.  First, the adage, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all, should be tattooed in my eyelids so that  I can always see them.  Secondly, don’t expect forgiveness to come easily if you have harmed someone with your words.  I am the type of person who can flare up, but within an hour, I am sorry, and have recognized that I have been wrong.  I have learned not everyone is like me.  Thirdly, lack of words is worse than an abundance of words.  It is a very fine line and I am learning, unfortunately, how to be a tight rope walker.

I have thought in the past that a blog is where you can write things you may be feeling and with that you can release emotions that may not be an easy part of yourself to reveal.  I am rethinking that.  A part of my Bible Study has been to encourage women to be themselves and to not hide behind masks that are so much a part of being a human being, especially a woman.  We tend to hide and only reveal our strength, our firmness, and not allow our fragile side to come out.   Sometimes, in writing words, we reveal a soft side and it can be poked and bruised easily.

I am hoping that through these past few weeks, I have learned much about words and wording and coming out behind masks.    I have always loved words, and putting them together.  I have always loved being able to have a few close friends that I can share spoken words with.  My love of words is still a very present part of me, and I look forward to learning more about how and what to write.    Cathi (DAF)

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The ticking sound of time

Prelude:   This post is by my very talented niece, Beth.  Please take the time to read this, it’s awesome!  But, also visit her blog,  PDA: The Positive Disabled Adult.  Leave some comments for her, she deserves to be read and read often.  She leaves me inspired and encouraged and especially during this season, we need to feel that.  Thank you dear niece for being you!

“You would know the value of time, the day you start counting not the hours, but the seconds they contain, and what you did with them.” -Herman J Steinherr As the holidays quickly appro…

Source: The ticking sound of time

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Life is like a Ferris wheel

“If you’re gonna make a change, you’re gonna have to operate from a belief that says life happens not to me, but for me” -Tony Robbins It’s been said a million …

Source: Life is like a Ferris wheel

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45 years ago…

Forty-five years ago today was the last day I was by myself.  The 17th of September, 1971, I went about my day.  Our teachers were on strike and I was at home most likely doing nothing, but reveling in the extended summer vacation the lower class-men at the high school had.  The seniors continued on in school with teachers who were not union members so they could keep college and military commitments when they graduated.

I was a junior in high school that year, so I was blissfully at home wondering when we would be able to go back to school.  We knew the longer we were out in September the longer we would be in in June.  It was a weird year of school for certain.

Forty-five years ago today I made plans with a friend to go to a dance the 18th.  We would meet and one of us would drive to the fire hall where we would dance and flirt and not really meet anyone, since we were the quiet girls and mostly went unnoticed by most everyone in school.

What I did not know that day was that the following day would change my life.  Literally.    The following day, the 18th of September, 1971, a couple of my guy friends would help the music teacher move some things into his summer cottage.  It took them most of the day and at the end of the day they were paid.

Later that afternoon on the 18th the phone would ring.  I would be getting ready for the dance.  The phone call would be for me.   Heading to answer the phone, my older sister would holler at me, “If it’s a guy and he asks you out… GO!”  It was a guy, he did ask me out, and I accepted.  I was scared of my older sister, and when she said jump, I would jump, hoping it was high enough. (Sorry, Dottie)

That night, forty-five years ago tomorrow, I went bowling with my hubby.  We bowled three games, I won one, he won two.  I confess by the third game I was a bit over bowling, but, what can you do when you are on a date?

Forty five years ago the 18th I had my last first kiss.  I was 16 years old.  I have been with my husband longer than I wasn’t.  We have grown up together, we have fought, we have made up, we have traveled the world, we have raised our family.  I really cannot believe it has been 45 years.

There are times when I look at him and still see that boy who asked me out.  That boy who spent his hard-earned money to take me bowling and put gas in his mother’s car.  We have always marked this day as a special day for us.  Tomorrow will actually be the first time in several years that we will be together on this day.  One of us has been traveling during this time recently.

So, happy anniversary of our first date, honey.  I would say, “here’s to the next 45”, but, I really don’t think we will be around when we are 107!

Thanks for stopping by, Cathi (DAF)

 

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Grateful…

Yesterday I was in a funk.  Big funk.  I was tired and weary.  I spent most of the day chiding myself for feeling that way and yet, I could not get out of it.

Finally, late last night I went to my blog.  I figured that I could possibly write, but knew that if I attempted anything , it would come out wrong.

I have a dear friend who, when we are in that frame of mind, say to one another, “Step away from the computer”.   We have both, on several occasions go online and written something that we regret as soon as we hit the enter key.  I did not want to make that mistake yesterday.

The next best thing is to read.  So, I went to my reader section on my blog and got caught up with others in the blogging community.

I am grateful for being able to read other blogs.  It does help me.  I read blogs from all over and it gives me a glimpse into lives of others.  Soon, the focus goes off of me and onto others.  That is a good thing.

This morning I have had the pleasure to chat with two of the bloggers I read.  One is in London and the other New York City.  These women bless me so very much, and I am grateful for them.  They encourage me to break out of my funk just by their words and their conversations.

It does help to refocus your thoughts.  I can have a tendency to withdraw and just keep myself alone.  We are people who need to be with other people, we need to touch lives and allow ourselves to be touched.

What helps you to get out of funk?  I would love to hear from you.  Thanks for stopping by.  Cathi (DAF)

 

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Memorial Day…

This weekend is the Memorial Day weekend.  A time where there are picnics and sometimes parades.    My Facebook feed has been filled the past few days with memes of Memorial Day.

It is true that this weekend marks the beginning of summer, of course it does, it is the end of May and June is next, the schools are out and the weather is increasingly warmer and the calendar is in order, May, June, July, August, the summer months.

People do use this weekend to mark the time to start the onslaught of potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs and grilling out.  I think they would do this even if it was not a three-day weekend here.

Yes, there are mega-sales in all the stores.  Retailers, given a reason to grab money will use any three-day weekend to draw crowds and move merchandise.  It’s a given.

The notices on my Facebook feed remind everyone that Memorial Day is different from Veteran’s Day, and Armed Forces Day.  A part of me is glad to see that people are aware of the difference, but, there is a part of me that looks at those memes and says, “Well, duh!”.

Maybe this is because as a child we were taught that there was a reason for Memorial Day.  Maybe because we were the generation born after WWII, with our parents still having the memories of that great war fresh in their minds that we knew this day was a somber reminder of those who gave their lives in order for our lives to be secure.

Growing up in the midst of the Viet Nam war made an impression on me.  Each Memorial Day my dad would take us for a walk to a cemetery for the Memorial Day ceremony.  A time where there were old men speaking in hushed tones, a gun salute, bugles playing.    This all crept into my heart and resided there.  There was a reverence for those who had fallen.  This also made me wonder why I felt like the war in Viet Nam was not getting the same rep.  I confess there were often times after seeing the newspaper and television reports that I could agree with the protestors.  The draft was a huge topic growing up.  I had mixed feelings on that until, as a senior and dating my hubby that I realized he could be drafted.

Hubby and I talked about the draft all the time.  His friend had a number that was below number 25, he was certain to be called up.  Hubby’s number was in the 300’s.  About that time, the draft was ended.   His friend stayed home.  Hubby enlisted.

To many people, it appeared that hubby served in peace time.  A time where there was no danger, no difficulties.  But, for the first 15 years of his enlistment, his commanders would recommend that they not wear their uniforms off base, as military was not accepted.  There were still too many harsh feelings concerning the Viet Nam vets.  I was always proud of the uniform he wore.  I was proud of the job he did.

My personal belief is that each generation has a duty to recognize and respect those who have served.  I also think that the term ‘peace-time’ is a fallacy. There is no such thing as peace when each country has a military to defend its borders. The men and women who choose to serve this great country of ours deserve respect.  They are going places and doing things most of us would not do.  The military does not question, they go.

I have a picture of my dad and his brothers all in their uniforms during WWII.  They stand together proudly, it is a wonderful picture.  They were a sampling of the brave men who defended us during that war.  They are all gone now, as many of their generation are.

Now we will begin to see those who served and fought in Viet Nam  start to dwindle in numbers.  Hopefully they will finally get the acknowledgement that they answered a call, they served when it was not popular, and some of them returned to a nation that was not grateful.  I pray that those who were lost in this war get the respect and honor they deserve.

Yes, Memorial Day is a day that raises many questions for many people.  Today, this weekend, there will be families who will receive a phone call or a knock on the door with terrible news that a loved one has been lost in action.  It is for these families, like generations of families before them , that we stop on Monday and remember.  We need to solemnly stop and remember why we can laugh and swim and picnic and eat a full meal in peace.  We can swim and go to the beach and not worry.    We can live in this country because of the men and women who gave their lives for ours.

I know this has been a soap-box post from me, and now, I will step down from it grateful  for what I have because of those who gave the ultimate gift.  DAF

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A brief reflection

This is from my niece who writes @

PDA: The Positive Disabled AdultPDA: The Positive Disabled Adult

I think this post should be read by everyone.  Thank you, DAF

 

Typically I try to write a blog that has a moral, a lesson, or something to think about but today I’m totally abandoning that idea. Most of you have probably seen or heard about the movie Me …

Source: A brief reflection

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Honestly….

Spoiler alert: This is a long post filled with thoughts I have decided to share with the world.

The title to this post was going to be different from what it is.  I was going to title it Little Miss Life Lesson.  In truth, this post will be because of Little Miss.  She is open and honest with her feelings, dissolving into tears instantly and just as suddenly starting a laugh that causes every creature in creation to stop and join in with laughter.    She is honest.  She is 16 months old and as we all know, at 16 months, we can be honest and open with everything because we have not learned over the years to hold back, step aside, keep our thoughts to ourselves and generally put up walls around ourselves.   So, thank you Little Miss for teaching me to be myself.

I am starting my fourth year of blogging.  As I have frequently mentioned, I named my blog what I did so that I could remain hidden and yet write openly and honestly.  At first I told no one that I had a blog.  I wasn’t certain it would continue to exist.  It has.  I have met so many wonderful people through blogging and when I don’t read posts and don’t write, I miss them.  I pray for them and hope they are doing well.

The past year has been a whirlwind of activity and adventure for me.  I have not stopped often to actually write and think and take stock of who I am and what I am doing.  This is generally true, except during church.  That is when I cannot get up to wipe a sink or take the dog out or find something to occupy my time.  I sit and listen and soak in what I am hearing.  I love church for this reason.  It is a time when quietness floods my soul and spirit and I am able to hear that still small voice inside me.

What I have felt this year is that I have a purpose.  There is a plan for my life.  I am here to accomplish something.  What?  That is still forming in my heart.  It may already be there, ready for me to work with it and finally step into it, but, I am timid.

There, I said it, I am timid.  According to Dictionary.com, timid means this:lacking in self-assurance, courage, or bravery; easily alarmed; timorous; shy. 2.characterized by or indicating fear:

I am afraid to open that door in my heart to discover what is behind it.  I know that I know that I know  the Lord would never do anything in my life that He has not already prepared me for or given me the courage to accomplish, but, yet, I hesitate.  I stand staring at that door in my mind.  I touch the doorknob and pull away, not daring to turn the knob for fear that door will fling open and there I will be…. accountable for what I see.
All of these thoughts have come to the surface for a variety of reasons this past week.  This time last week I was chasing after Little Miss, having our usual good time together.  My daughter’s dogs were close behind, jumping and barking and all of us were creating bedlam that only comes when there is a toddler in the home.  I would swoop her up in my arms and whisper to her, “You get to be with your cousin this week.  Grammy will be able to have both of you together.  We will have such fun!”   Yes, Little Man was scheduled to come up and I was going to lock myself in our toy room with my grand kids and not allow anyone admittance to ‘our’ playroom.
On Monday morning  my heart fell for a couple of reasons as I read a message from my youngest daughter.  Little Man had a fever.  I really dislike my babies to be sick, but, it also meant that Little Man would not be coming to play with me.
 So, our schedule changed and my week continued.   Tuesday was the 15th of March.  I woke up thinking of my Mom.  Tuesday would have been her birthday.  She has been gone for almost 50 years now, but, there are times that it hits you hard even after all those years.  This year, for some reason, it hit me hard.
Then, Thursday came.  St. Patrick’s Day.  I have a love/hate relationship with this day.  I love it because, I am Irish.  I am very proud of my heritage.  I am proud that I can point out which relatives emigrated without going back several generations.  I always feel like there is a dormant jig playing in my heart and when I stop and think about it, I smile.  Growing up my sisters and I would sing and dance each year for our parents.  We would giggle and laugh and perform and argue and push each other, but, it was fun.  It was tradition!  When I married and lived on the west coast I would get up at 4:30 a.m. so that I could call my Dad on the east coast to be the first person to wish him a Happy St Patrick’s Day.    This is the part of my memories that I dislike about the day.  So, on Thursday, guess what?  Yes, I really missed my Dad, who has been gone several years.
By Friday, a sort of melancholy had started to rise up in me.  Add to this, a bout of insomnia and you can imagine the parade of thoughts scurrying around my mind.  The only thing missing was a river dyed green!
I knew I was going to write a post this weekend.  As I thought about it a little while ago,  I realized that one of the reasons I had started this blog was to write honestly and openly.  I have not done this. After telling people about my blog, I hesitated to write certain things for fear I would insult them  or offend people.  What I have done is write myself into a box.  This has become a place for me to write surface things.  Nice things.  inoffensive things, not that I like offending anyone, or try to offend anyone anyhow, but, I think you understand what I mean.
So, today, I have decided to tell you about myself.  I will not change the name of my blog, well, because I like the name. But, let me introduce myself to you….
My name is Mary Catherine.  See?  I am Irish…  Friends call me Cathi.    Cat  hi!    It was spelled Cathy until my freshman year of high school and I thought it would be cool to spell my name with an ‘I’ since there was no ‘Y’ in Catherine.  Yes, as a 61-year-old lady, I feel slightly ridiculous spelling my name with an I.  I always feel like I should do a cheer with a name spelled like that.  Can you guess who my favorite SNL character is?
So, now after four years of blogging, you know my name.  I hope with this small step my writing will be different.  I have hesitated in telling my name.  I had a conversation with another blogger who follows me, she said, after we had privately messaged one another that she liked not knowing anything about me as she could imagine I could be someone famous.   The only thing I am famous for is my laugh.  Everyone knows when I am in a room with my laugh.
Well, now that I have done this small step, ask me a question if you feel like it and I will try to answer it.  I am now going to take another bold step for me and post on Facebook that I have a blog.  For, although I have told family members and close friends I have not told many others that I write.   Today, I walk a bit closer to that door in my heart.  I may not grab onto that doorknob yet, but I am closer to doing that.
Thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate it.  DAF

 

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Bucket List…

Our oldest daughter is staying with us while she is in transition to their new place.  We have had her and Little Miss with us for almost two weeks now.  It has been a wonderful visit.

The other day she mentioned my bucket list.  We had been talking about how I turned down seeing Barry Manilow in concert when hubby and I were in Vegas a few years ago.  I actually caught pneumonia on the first day of our visit there and spent almost the entire stay in the hotel room coughing and feeling like I was dying and getting upset because I did not die.  I felt that horrible.  Anyhow, trying to cheer me up, hubby offered to take me to see Barry Manilow.  I felt so horrible I turned him down and continued to hack my lungs out.   I then told my daughter that the following week in Vegas Paul McCartney and Elton John performed and I would have dragged myself to see them no matter what.  We continued to talk about how seeing at least one of the Beatles perform before I die is on my bucket list.

Since then I started to think about my bucket list.  I remember it used to be a long list.  Filled with many things.  Seeing the Kremlin was on the list, as was running a marathon (that will NEVER happen), going to Austria, seeing Ireland and Scotland.  Also on the list was writing that novel (hopefully that will happen), and speaking to conferences of women.

My bucket list now is something I do not think of.  I pondered on this fact on the way home from the grocery store today.  I wondered if I was just lazy and had no drive to do things.  I realized I was content.  Content with my world the way it is.  Yes, it would be wonderful to travel, seeing the sights I have only looked at in pictures.  It would be exhilerating to write that novel and have sell out conferences.  It would be such a blessing to know I had touched lives and possibly helped people make changes in their lives.

The one occurring sight in my mind while thinking of all of this is the feeling I have when I remember holding Little Man’s hand and Little Miss’ hand.  Having them lift thier arms for me to pick them up.  Reading to them books that rhyme and playing cars with them.  Seeing the beauty of my daughters reflected in their children’s faces.  That is contentment and joy.

I am certain the castles of Austria are breath taking.  I know the green of Ireland is something that my heart would rejoice in seeing.  I know having my feet land in Scotland where my grandfather walked would give me a peace I have never known.

But, if I never get there, my life will be fulfilled in knowing that I have laughed with my Little Man and Little Miss and that laughter will echo through eternity in my heart.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF……………

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Resting…

I usually do not sit still.  I wake up with a full agenda and try to keep on task with each thing I have thought about before waking up.  I usually add to the list once I am up and around, but, for the most part I am focused.

Over the weekend, I realized that I was tired.  I was weary.  Motivation left me and I just did not feel like moving.  At first, I was fearful that I was coming down with something, a cold or possibly the flu.

So, on Monday, I ignored everything and dug into putting away Christmas.  Sorting and folding ribbons according to color and dismantling artificial trees and putting them away.  I made great progress, but was grumpy while doing it.

So, yesterday, I did nothing.  I sat and I even took a nap.  Today, the day is half over and I still have not gotten busy.  I woke with no list running through my brain.  It was an odd feeling, but, I am purposely going slow.  I know later this afternoon I will head back to the Christmas decorations and work a bit, but, I will not drive myself to completing the task.

I have reminded myself that in September I started to do a Bible study on resting.  I know I put resting on the back burner and I tend to think (for myself) that when I do not have a list a mile long then I am being lazy.  There is a part of my brain that knows that is just ridiculous, but still, this is me being honest.

I stopped researching rest in October when I allowed myself to become busy to a fault again.  The beginning of a new year brought the usual parade of things in my mind.  Right in the middle of the parade was the topic of rest.  My initial response is, “After I get the Christmas decorations down and packed and put up the Valentine decorations and clean the house and reorganize things from the holidays and so on and so forth”

Over the weekend, feeling void of any motivation the parade started creeping through my brain.  Between each thing I felt the need for rest.  I watched and listened and committed to start, once more, to learn the meaning of rest.

I also have determined to be more open in my blogging this year.  More transparent.  This is my first step at this.  So, as I learn to rest and be more ‘me’, I leave you with a scripture that has been blatantly sitting on my brain.  It is my hope that it will move deeper into my heart and soul.

Matthew 11:28-30New Living Translation (NLT)

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

I have known He is right there with me.  I go to Him often.  This time, I need to allow Him to teach me to rest.    Thanks for stopping by,  DAF

 

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