Dare to make a change

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Kayaking with a group of people I’ve never met. I loved it.

I am so pleased with what’s happening in my life right now – and I can’t remember the last time I thought that. My life, like many I imagine, has been harried, rote, glum and unsatisfying and I had guessed/judged that nothing would change. But I took a leap in faith and quit my job last April to take an adventure (that didn’t really pan out the way I had intended) and now I’ve had the time to invest in ME. I’ve been trying to create a social network – which, prior to this time in my life, I didn’t have the energy, patience or even genuine interest. I have been checking out MeetUp groups in my area to find people with similar interests and I also reunited with a small circle of friends. I now look forward to each day because I either have someone to do something with or I alternate my plans around doing things solo or working around my house. With each attempt to meet new people, my circle widens with opportunities and then I am infused with more energy. I will eventually have to return to ‘work’ but I hope that my new found realization that life does not have to be a drudgery that has to be tolerated until I fall over dead will help me find enjoyable work – or at least, more tolerable work with some exciting days off spent doing things that are fun, interesting and with people who I enjoy and who inspire me.

SoCS: guess

It’s all in the delivery (edited)

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I sometimes like to look up the daily prompt word, use a thesaurus or dictionary for words with multiple definitions, for ideas other than the obvious. Today’s word, delivery, was nine pages long in the thesaurus and on page 8 was: “state: verb. declare, assert”, etc. “Articulate” is another synonym; in other words how you say something.

Most parents do all they can to show their love for their children – most put the needs of the children even before their own needs/desires. We juggle jobs and chores with kids school work, sports and transportation and forgo a lot of things we’d like to do, places we’d like to go and otherwise sacrifice much in the interests of our loved ones. So, it’s the source of much pain to be even casually dismissed; to have simple inquiries or short, benign dialogue met with curt and rude replies. Showing interest – still – in the lives of our adult children apparently challenges their patience, it’s an inconvenience on their time for them to even show some small amount of respect or that they still care enough to want us to be a part of their lives. Sad.

 

via Daily Prompt: Delivery

Glaring changes from eliminating the toxic work environment

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I left my job – voluntarily – April…something, 12th maybe, can’t really remember the exact date – to hike the AT (started that on April 23) and had to get off trail June 9th. Anyway, I have not yet returned to ‘work’ at a paying job, most notably I’ve not returned to work at my profession, since then and I have to say – and I’m sure those who “know” me would agree – that not being exposed to the hostile & toxic work environment from which I quit, has agreed with me: mentally, emotionally & spiritually. It is glaringly evident that removing myself (any oneself) from such an environment is HEALTHY. I feel SO much better about life, specifically LIVING, that I cannot even convey (I guess if I was an adept writer I could) how this has changed how I feel. I have energy and optimism. I see “good people” everywhere in place of the a$$holes that I (thought) were ubiquitous. I have something that resembles ‘hope’ for my future (albeit, I don’t take into consideration that I DO need to get back to work soon) and I’ve made some new friends who I spend time with on a weekly basis doing things – in public; a scene I avoided prior lest I be ambushed by above noted a$$holes. I’ve returned to doing some of the things I used to derive pleasure from such as piece-work (quilting) and working on my property.

I have had such a great last month that I have noticed the difference myself (where we, inhabiting our skins, usually don’t notice those subtle changes). The objective now is, find a job that perpetuates this positive feeling.

via Daily Prompt: Glaring

Cleaned out the sun room…again.

 

 

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My ‘three-season’ porch with Colby

Today I reclaimed one of my favorite spaces in my house; the sun porch. Back, before there were three adults plus a grandchild in my home, I used this¬†space most of the year until winters were too cold to stay out there. With multiple grown people sharing the same living space the porch had become (for the last four years) a catch all – I did not take a before photo, too bad. I’m still on my positive-about-my-house high streak that I wrote about here so I tackled this room and then sent photos and texts to my children; aka: the other adults in the house, basically threatening them to keep it this way. Then I took Colby and his sister, Zoey, for a short hike and when I returned to “my space”, I sat there on the ‘love seat’ with a book and a beer.

What does this have to do with ‘carousel’?, you ask. Just this: the days of our lives are like a carousel – we go round and round with the same activities of daily living; sleeping, eating, working, doing chores and having some fun. The cycle of cleaning up, hoeing out, and living only to do the same thing again later.

Besides, I don’t really care much for merry-go-rounds.

Daily Prompt: carousel

Perspective makes all the difference

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Dahlia

 

 

 

“You have a lovely garden!”, said my new friend, refering to my backyard – she’s British. I only have a tiny vegetable garden with a few dahlia plants but my back yard is green, some shade from the remaining maple and oak trees and very, very private.

We had planned to walk around the capital ‘city’ but, after a brief pause on my deck, where she sat on one of my beautiful Adirondack chairs, on a gorgeous, breezy day with temperatures in the seventies, she much prefered the peace of my backyard.

I’d ‘warned’ my friend when I brought her to my house that it’s a ‘fixer-upper’ and I no longer have the energy nor do I care to do any more work after 20 years of – single handedly – trying to maintain, if not improve, my home. I’d said that I intend in the next year to sell it although I have no idea/plans for where or what I want to do next; all I think about is unloading it so I don’t have the headache of upkeep.

My daughter and son-in-law had said they wanted to rent-to-buy when they moved in but very soon after decided that it isn’t modern enough and the cost, as my daughter said, ” to gut it and start all over”, was more than they wanted to invest – they’ll be looking for a new, modern, spacious home next year. Meanwhile, long-story-short, the vibe is that my house, that I bought to raise my children in on my single-parent income, is a piece of shit and even house-cleaning is “a waste of time”.

My friend reframed my perspective for me and this is what she said, not (all) verbatim:

“Your house is lovely. I love it; if you had a master with an en suite, I’d buy it”. I think your daughter’s opinion of your house, that you’ve worked so hard for, has colored your perspective of what you really have – this is wonderful. “If you sell it, you’re a fool”. This is an asset – if you don’t want to live here, rent it for a small income -but keep it.

She now calls it my “mansion” (she’s told me her home in England is called a ‘doll house’ because it’s ‘tiny’ but she loves it and it has a “lovely garden”). I went to bed that night thinking of her words and something began to change for me.

I woke early the next morning and instead of rolling over to go back to sleep, I got up and went into my ‘garden’ and ambled around. I noticed my small vegetable garden and flowers (which I finally took a photo of for the first time), the privacy fence I’d never weather-proofed, the weeds growing between the slate stones off the deck, the evergreens that looked alittle beaten down, the general ‘unkempt’ look of everything and I thought of my friend’s words. I have let my daughter’s (entitled) opinion color my perception of what I have worked so hard to pay for and, thus, I’ve dismissed the gem that is mine for trash, refuse, a headache.

I realized that my house has been a source of warmth, refuge and peace. It is mine. I have neglected something that has always ‘been there for me’ and relegated it to an eyesore because I have not invested any TLC. My friend is right and I sent her a text and told her how much I appreciated her opinion and that I have a whole new outlook about my home.

I took my dogs for a walk and then started weeding my front walkway, refilled my birdfeeders. I have all these ideas of small but fun things to do to make my house a home, to make me feel proud and happy to be here. I have so many amenities and possibilities living where I do, specifically my plot in my neighborhood, that I am energized by my new outlook. It has completely changed my mind about what I am going to do in the future and it has given me some energy that I haven’t felt since I was on the AT.

Daily Prompt: amble

 

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Northern Vermont Lake on a June morning

The heat and humidity of the previous day forgotten after the dark and very cold night. Now morning, wearing a fleece jacket and goose-bumps on my legs, I witness the sun’s determination to burst through the morning’s thick fog and cast it’s shimmer on the lake. After so many days of unbearable heat, I’d forgotten that the nights, especially on the lake, are still cold. I wish I had thought to take a photo earlier when the fog was thicker and the sun a faint glow over the horizon but I captured an essence of it here.

Daily Prompt: shimmer