Friday, December 4, 2015

Hearing You Loud and Clear

Thursday Blog Project Topic compliments of Denise: Write about advice you give to others people and follow yourself AND/OR advice you give to other people but which you struggle to follow.

 Honestly, It's hard for me to think of either right now.  So I'm amending the topic, slightly.... I'm going to talk about someone who gives me advice, but not in a direct way.

The person I'm referring is my brother, A.  One time stands out the most for me in terms of advice A has given me without directly giving it to me.  It was a few years back when we were discussing running (one of our shared passions).  A was telling me about the moment he decided to start taking better care of himself.  Now, before I go on, I feel the need to say that A is 30 years older than me - if I haven't mentions this before.  While we were talking he mentioned how in his 30s he made a decision that he needed to take better care of himself.  He made it his goal to combat any unfavorable health genetics that may run in the family.  This got me thinking about my health and genetics.  I started to think of all the things I'd like to try to combat.  It also made me realize I wasn't getting any younger and I really needed to take control of my health more.

Earlier this week I was telling someone that besides the fact that I actually enjoy working out (running) and being active one of the things that motivates me is having a clear understanding of my family's health genetics.  After that conversation I decided I was going to going to do my part in fighting these things vs. just resigning to the fact that it was in my future.  I'm not sure if A purposely told me that story as a way to make sure I took better care of myself, but that is the message I heard loud and clear.

Now that I've talked about advice I've gotten that had a vast impact on me, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say about this week's topic:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Going Back In Time

October 21, 2015 was Back to the Future Day.  It's the day that the fictional characters Back to the Future, took a trip through time to 2015.  There purpose of this trip wasn't to see what had changed, but for Marty to correct his son's behavior so it didn't impact his future.  However, surely there was no denying the fact that they would notice things that had changed since 1985.
Marty McFly, Jennifer and Doc from the movie,

The Thursday Blog Project group was: How does your blogging differ from when you first started blogging?

First, I'd like to note that I did not purposely choose this topic because Back to the Future day fell during this week.  I choose the topic because as I get into blogging on a weekly basis, again, I've been thinking a lot about how my writing and writing habits (which includes blogging) have changed over the years.

My blogging started on a different blog which I called "Froggie Knits Like Crazy."  I intended to make it a knitting specific blog, however it didn't take log for it to evolve into a place for my to express my thoughts and feeling.  I laugh when I say it was a place for me to express my thoughts and feeling as I wasn't as forthcoming with those things as one would expect, but given what was going on in my life at the time the blog was started what I was putting out there was a lot for me. At the time I tried to blog almost every day.  Part of me thought it was more about quantity than it was quality.  There are some posts I just shake my head at now and wish I had never sent into cyberspace.

I wrote on this blog for a few years - three to be exact.  In November 2011, I decided I needed a fresh start.  This wasn't surprising to me.  Things in my life were changing in many ways.  Among those ways was the fact that I didn't  "knit like crazy" anymore and I wanted the being of my blog to reflect who I was and not just one small part of my life.  (Yes, this is way too deep for an entry about a blog.)  So I transitioned to this blog.  Beside not writing about knitting (or at least not a lot about knitting), the other thing that changed when I moved to this blog is I no longer blogged as often as I once had.  I was plotting and preparing for my next life adventures which took time away from writing.  Also, I wanted this blog to contain thoughtful content which wasn't the case with my other blog... or I at least don't feel it was the case.

I do have to admit I miss the bullet point post I use to do on my other blog.  Those were fun to put together.  Especially when there were inside jokes that only a few people understood.  The only problem with those is now when I look back at them (which I do from time to time) I don't always understand all the references.  Or, maybe it's a good thing I don't get the references.  The jury is still out on this one.

I'm sure there is more that has changed about my blogging because I have changed as a person.  My writing is basically still focused on me and my life so I would expect as I evolve so would my thought processes.

Now that I've taken a look back at my blogging from the past to the present, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say about their blogging:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)


Sunday, October 18, 2015

PT

The Thursday Blog Project topic this past week was: Nostalgia

Lately I've been de-cluttering my life.  As one might imagine in the process of all this I've come across numerous items from the past which have sparked much nostalgia.  Thankfully, my friend who is helping me with the project (who I just happen to know since my freshman year in high school) has been very understanding when I begin to start getting nostalgic about the things I'm finding.  Who wouldn't be when they come upon items from the past that have good memories.

Among the items, I've found several with my dad's handwriting on it.  Though I've also found many pictures of my dad, seeing his handwriting is always a treat.  I've never seen anyone write the way he does - especial not a man.  All this has gotten me thinking of him more than normal.

The other thing that seems to have made an impact on me is a Hanukkah card I received from an ex-boyfriend of mine.  We haven't communicated in a few years, but for some reason I'm compelled to email him just to let him know I hope he's doing well.  I haven't done this, nor will I.  In my heart, I know silence is the best course of action.  However, a part of me wonders how he is doing.  Note: This is not me pining over the past.  (He's SOOO wrong for me.)  It's simply me remembering someone who I cared about and hope is living a good life.

As I continue to de-clutter, I'm sure more things will surface that will make me nostalgic.  It will be interesting to see what will be next.


Now that I've talked a bit about Notalgia, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say on the topic:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Work In Progress

Happy Thursday! This week for the Thursday Blog Project, Sara asked us to write about: Creative Writing. Let's share an excerpt from something we're currently working on, something we've worked on in the past, or ideas of projects we either have in the works or want to have in the works.
Confession Time: I haven't be working on anything in a long time. I haven't touched my manuscript in a long time. I think about, at the very least, starting to edit it some, but I haven't done that in a long time as well.
Among the many reasons I am saddened by the fact that I haven't worked on my manuscript is that I always intended once it was done that I would get my brother A to work with me on the editing portion of the project. A isn't, nor has he ever been, a book editor; however, he is a master at grammar. He'd also probably help me structure sentences better... when needed. So, at the very least, he is the first person I'd have read it so it would be "cleaner" when it got into the hands of someone editing it for content.. But alas, that can't happen unless I have a manuscript - which I don't have in my possession.
Though I don't have a completed manuscript, yet, I am in the processes of working with my brother A on an unlikely project. He's going to be conducting a 4-week writing workshop for professional purposes. It all came about from the fact that I needed someone with outstanding grammar skills, outstanding writing abilities who just happens to also be a good teacher. My brother:
  • Has outstanding grammar skills (CHECK!)
  • Is an outstanding writer. (CHECK!)
  • Taught writing courses to people whose second language was English his whole career who happens to have a string of successful textbooks on the topic of composition. (CHECK!) (CHECK!)
In short, my brother is the trifecta I was seeking. Thankfully, he agreed to do this class even though he is very happily retired. To say I am beyond grateful is an understatement.
Another confession: Though I'm not working with A, yet, on my fine tuning my manuscript working on this writing workshop has been fun and (somewhat) fulfills my dream of working with him.
Now that I've shared with you what I'm working on writing wise, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers are working on:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Missing The Mark?

This week for the Thursday Blog Project, Denise asked us to write about: Those jobs or paths you now realize might have been good choices, and why.

***Big Sigh***

As I approach 40, my list of things I wish I had done differently is definitely ever present.  I'd like to say it's not super long because I feel all my experiences have shaped me into who I am, which is a person I'm very happy being.  It's that reason I have a hard time with today's topic.

Are there decisions I wish I could "redo"? Absolutely!  However, when I sit and really think about it I realize that my belief that things happen for a reason is ever present.  Even with the most awful of mistakes I've made I know changing my path doesn't guarantee me a better outcome, more contentment with parts of my life or any of the those "the grass is greener on the other side" things we'd like to think would happen if we had taken a different path.  All it guarantees is a different outcome; not necessarily a better one.  

The other thing that comes to mind is the idea that it's never too late to pursue your dreams and passions, reinvent yourself or make your way back to the path you feel you missed.  Is starting in a new direction later in life harder?  Sure, it could be, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's impossible.

So, instead of talking about the jobs or paths I now realize may have been good choices, I'll let my fellow blogger share with you their thoughts on the topic:


Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Planting Roots

For the Thursday blog project, I choose the topic of: I would have never imagined . . .

For me, this topic is at the heart of things going on in my life.  

As I've probably mentioned many times, moving to the city changed my life in so many positive ways.  What I deemed "the worst decision EVER," turned out to be amazing.  So much so, that I've been longing to put down more permanent roots here.  I'll admit, there is a part of me that still longs to live in the burbs one day; however, I can't see that happening anytime soon.  

Everyone I've told who knows me well has laughed at me.  They all have to mention how I swore up and down and around that I wasn't a city person.  I'm smiled while they give me shit about it because I know it was my stubborn ways that stalled my move to the city in the first place and my skepticism that had me thinking I made a horrible decision once I did make the big leap .  Once the commenting is done, I tell them I'm just as shocked as they are about the decision. 

Also, just the act of "planting roots" is amazing to me.  It's something I never thought I'd do... or at least something I thought would take much longer to do.... but alas, it's here and as scary as it is I'm doing it.  Whenever my skeptical side begins to rear its ugly head I recall how things have worked out over the past two and half years.  Also, it makes me think of all things that could be with just a little time, and a lot of faith.

Now that I've talked about something I would have never imagined, please take a moment to read what my fellow bloggers have to say:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)


Friday, September 18, 2015

No Need for a Remake

This week, for the Thursday Blog Project Melissa asked us to write about: What are FIVE movies that should never, ever, EVER be re-made?  Talk about why for each of them.

Before I get into what movies are on my list, the reason for all of them is simple - it was perfect the first time.  It goes back to the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Now for my list:

  • Grease: Okay, so there was a sequel to this movie that could be seen as a remake.  Though I admit to watching this "sequel" more than once, it doesn't mean it was good or right to make.  Just sayin'... 
  • Shawshank Redemption: If you saw this movie then you know why it could never be remade. 
  • Dirty Dancing:  This movie will always have a special place in my heart.  I almost had a Dirty Dancing theme for my Bat Mitzvah party (FACT!).  Redoing this movies is so, so wrong... on many, many, many levels!
  • Hairspray: Yes, I am aware this movie has already been remade.  If you've seen the remake you will understand why it shouldn't have been. That is all I have to say about this matter.
  • Funny Girl, The Way We Were, Yentl and The Prince of Tides:  Okay, okay, okay... I realized I just name four movies.  Sue me!  I like Barbara Streisand movies.  Anyhow, it would be a sad day if any of these movies were remade.
On a side note, I found this list of movies that were actually remakes of other movies.  It was an interesting read.


Now that I've shared the five movies I think shouldn't be remade, please take a moment to read my fellow bloggers lists:


Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)



Thursday, September 10, 2015

Back In The Saddle

This summer, the Thursday Blog Project took a bit of a hiatus.  Considering I hadn't written on a regular basis in quite a while I figure that those that read this blog would have assumed I was on some sort of hiatus in general.  All that said, I'm "back in the saddle," and so is the Thursday Blog Project.

For the Thursday Blog Project, Sara wants us to share what we've been up to while we were on break.

I'd like to say my personal blogging hiatus was uber exciting, but I can't really say that.  Life in general got busy and thus I stopped having the time to blog.  

As for the summer hiatus, the thing I did the most this summer was take care of myself.  As I wrote about a few months ago, I was injured.  As with any injury, the recovery process takes time.  My situation wasn't an exception.  With that in mind, it was kind of a miracle.  Or at least that is how my doctor's made me feel.  When I saw them in August they were amazed by how well I was doing.  Truth be told, I was amazed how well I was doing.  So well, a mere 3 months later and I had forgotten how miserable I was when everything began.  I had forgotten the pain.  I had forgotten how I feared I'd never run again, even though every time I run now I am reminded that I have to build up again to where I was when this all started.  

Okay, so I say all I did all summer was recovering from my injury, but that isn't the ONLY thing I did... and I'm not talking about working.  (Isn't that a given?)  Once I was able to move comfortably again, I was out and about as much as I could be.  Taking long walks became the new running.  I also took time to do things I hadn't had time for because I was running.  This included learning to read Hebrew.  Learning to read Hebrew is something I've wanted to do for a long time, but knew it would be a commitment to do so.  Thankfully, an affordable program came along just at the right time.  In a mere 5 weeks I learned how to read Hebrew - believe it or not.  I'm not a speed reader by any mean, but I can read Hebrew now and am progressing daily.  It feels good to do so.  Over the years, I've been praying in English, and though even observant people do this I've always felt compelled to learn Hebrew.  My learning hasn't stopped.  I'm planning on moving forward with learning this language by enrolling in another class.  

The most important thing I did over the past months is spend more time with those I love and care about the most in this world.  Spending time with friends and family was great.  In July I got to see my BFF and her family which was priceless! Under unfortunate circumstance I got to see my BFF a second time later in the summer.  It was bittersweet.  I was thankful for the time, but wish it was better circumstance which brought us together.  I can say, I'm lucky because I get to see her a third time this year.... we just need to determine the exact date.  I also got to spend time with my great nephew and great niece (a.k.a. - my birthday twin as of this past November).

Another important thing that happened this summer was that I got to figure out what I wanted next in my life.  It's so easy to live life on autopilot, but I don't like living that way.  The fact that I had to slow life down, a lot, this summer gave me time to plot and plan my next moves.  Though I'm very nervous about what I see as being next, I'm excited as well.  Stay tuned for more on that stuff!

ALSO, this summer I returned to knitting.  It started when I went to a free class at Stitches Midwest in early August and shopping at the market a few days later.  After that I started making mitered squares again... if you have been reading my blog for an extended period of time you know where I am heading with this.  Though I swore I would never make another sock yarn blankie, it turns out I was wrong.  I decided to make one as a Bat Mitzvah gift for my youngest niece.  

Sure it would have been nice to go on a trip or train for another marathon, but I can do those things in the future.


Now that I've talked about how I spent my summer blogging hiatus, please see how my fellow bloggers spent theirs:


Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)



Thursday, July 9, 2015

Perspective

I've read my last post, (Stoic), a few times recently. It's been about a month and a half since I wrote the post and I've definitely been interesting period of time in my life.

First and foremost, I haven't been able to run or workout since you don't just bounce-back from what happened to me.  This has, without a doubt, been difficult for me. I knew these things were in my blood (especially running), but not being able to participate in these activities just emphasized the fact even more. I'm also not allowed to go on roller coasters, sky dive, try (again) to learn to ride a motorcycle... All things I wanted to do this summer. Also, I'm at the point in my recovery where I am no longer in pain (for the most part) so doing any of the above (especially running) is tempting. However, I haven't been cleared to do anyof these things. Not even something like yoga. Frustrated. The word that describes how this makes me feel. This has all caused me to wonder which is worse situation to be in, be in so much pain that you know doing any of the above is just not a possibility or be in the place your in very little or no pain at all so your mind thinks your body should be able to do at least one of the above listed activities. After contemplating this for awhile I'll stick with the former. I am definitely THRILLED to be where I am in such a short period of time.

With that in mind comes the great perspective I've been given over the past month and a half. I've gotten a glimpse into what it is like to be (to a degree) disabled. Let me just say, I was shocked to learn my train platform wasn't required to conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because it was located so close to a bus and el stop. To say the least this made me angered. At first for me because climbing stairs was hard, and tiring. Like the elderly man my heart went out to (more than normal) climbing the stairs one morning with a cane.(I pray when I am there that more stations are complaint because I can only imagine how that man feels each time he has to climb stairs.) However, then for those that can climb stairs comfortably all the time. Or, for those that don't have the luxury of taking my train into downtown (the new outbound train platform is ADA complainant as of this past April) because they're not able to climb stairs at all.


This experience has also given me the opportunity to rediscover what wonderful people I call friends. Since I'm on restricted movement there are things I can't do, even though I feel like I can totally do them. These things are basic things that make me feel like such a fool to have to get someone to help with, but have been lucky enough to find people to help. There is a handful of folks who have volunteered to help.. they are truly angels. I knew I had good people in my life, but didn't know the extent of how great they were. This experience has also shown me the true colors of others. Colors that aren't so pretty and make me want to take a step back so I can reevaluate my relationship with these individuals. I don't profess that my colors are always pretty, but when I do turn a ugly one it's not beyond me to apologize for my actions.

I've learned the ugly side of side effects. Medications help us get better, but sometimes the side effects aren't worth the gains... just sayin'...

Faith. Faith, it a big part of me. Even though I'm not totally observant, I've without a doubt become more observant since I moved to the city. However, during times like the past month and a half my faith has waivered. Thankfully, I have those who are even more observant to remind me that everyone, even super observant people, have moments where they lose and/or struggle with faith. It was super comforting to hear this, especially since I truly believe that everything that happens to us happens for a reason - even the ugly crap. I believe this even when I believe I don't believe things happen for a reason. I still belief in the saying that hangs up on my place, "Faith makes things possible, not easy" (or something like that). I'm glad it didn't take long for my faith to come back to me. I didn't feel as alive when it wasn't present.

All in all, my heart is filled more than ever with gratitude for so many things. This isn't my ideal situation, but I can honestly say more often than not I'm looking at the silver lining. Yes, I can't run or be active, but it's given me more time to pursue things I haven't because of lack of time. Surely, a gift. It's given me the opportunity to hear about the experience of others who have gone through what I am right now and find out how they handled the situation. It's amazing the things I've learned about others through these conversations. It's shown me that I can take a difficult time and turn it around so it's more positive and enjoyable.

Not that I ever want to go through what I am ever again, but I can honestly say I feel like a better person for what I've been through.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stoic

As I type of this post, I'm experiencing pain.  Thankfully, the pain isn't as bad as it was almost a week ago when I hobbled into an emergency room because I could barely walk - thus the hobbling.  Sadly, the pain I was experiencing was a pain I had lived with for 5 weeks prior.  Over the course of the 5 weeks I was convince it was getting better because I sincerely felt like I was getting better.  I saw no need to seek medical treatment, however my body sent me a great big F-U message last week that I was wrong. 

Over the course of my lifetime I have turn into a very strong person.  I like to think this strength is a good thing.  It's given me the ability to over come adversity and eventually thrive.  It's help the hurt (internal as well as external) hurt less.  It's helped me grow and mature as a person. 

On the flip side, being a strong person isn't a good thing.  Being strong shields others from really getting to know me.  In many ways I've felt I HAD to be strong or others wouldn't like me.  This is not something I'm making up, but more something I've learned by the folks who cast me aside when I wasn't strong.  The ultimate lesson had seemed to be, if you're not strong people will not want to be around you.  Weakness and vulnerability is BAD.

I struggle with the fact that my strength is both a good thing AND a bad thing.  It's a constant tug of war game going on inside of me.  Weighing situations to determine whether showing my vulnerable side is the best course of action or is it smarter to keep the wall up.

At one point, as I laid in the emergency room bed my doctor said something to the effect of, "I realize you're stoic, but you're gonna have to learn to take it easy if you're going to heal." 

STOIC...

A painless shock went up my body with the great sensation hitting my brain so hard I'm positive my face reflected some sort of expression that clearly showed how surprised, and disturbed, I was that this dude knew me so well so quickly.  I looked at my family, who had been keeping me company, with the same expression wondering if they were reveling (just like I had been) that there was no better word to describe me. 

My family... who loved me so much, they basically told me they were heading to the ER not only to keep me company, but also so I could get a shot of the really good pain medication...  you know... the kind that you only get if you either have a designated driver or that you get admitted to the hospital overnight for "pain maintenance." 

My family.... the ones whom insisted they hangout at the ER with me even though I insisted I'd be "fine" without them.  The family who I couldn't admit I wanted (needed) there.

I am stoic, which I see as strength and a weakness. And even though there will still be a tug 'o war game going on inside of me as to whether or not this is a good thing, I take comfort in the fact that I recognize the good and the bad in this quality of mine and not only own it, but embrace it.

Today's blog project topic - suggested by me: Great strengths that are also great weaknesses.  Now that I've written my thoughts on this topic, please see what my fellow bloggers have to say about the topic:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Darwin Shrugged (Denise)