Happy Thanksgiving

Well, it seems I have a hard time holding up my end of the bargain; I have not kept up with my own Thanksgiving Project, not NaBloPoMo. Started off with good intentions but… well, you know what they say about good intentions. It’s all good; I think there tends to be seasons in a person’s life when then have to do essentially what is put in front of them to do, even if it squeezes out room for other things. I am not the type of high energy person who completes everything on her “to do” list; I am very ambitious on paper (or iPad, in this case), but start off slowly when the gate is opened.

But I never give up; I may come in last but I always try to finish the race.

Which leads me, on Thanksgiving Day, to say that one of the things I am thankful for are second chances… and third, and fourth ones… and so on.

I’m thankful for my family, friends, my health, that our needs are met, and all the usual stuff.

I’m thankful that God never gives up on me either.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Daily Prompt: I Have Confidence in Me

I would like to have complete confidence in everything I do… or at least just one thing. It seems like I’ve rarely ever stood out in anything; I get busy meeting every demand, putting out every fire… it’s bound to take a toll on my sense of competence, as well as my sanity.

I am practically anxious to prove my usefulness to myself and everyone around me. Wish I could just be quietly content to know it is there and will manifest when it is needed.

What is Playtime?

The Daily Prompt, which I have been following VERY loosely lately, asked me if I have a playtime and what playtime constitutes for me.

Regarding the first part of the question… I think not.

I cannot recall the last time I’ve had a “playtime”. Not sure I would know what it looks like anymore even if I did. I don’t work a full-time job, in the traditional sense. I help my husband work his business as much as I can, and my responsibilities are increasing as he is grooming me to become the office manager. I am eager to take on this role. When I am not working, however, I am studying.

I have been studying online for a business degree for over a year. Sometimes it is ridiculous the time I have to spending on reading assignments, online presentations, papers, and discussion boards. I’m very happy and proud to be working toward something worthwhile like finishing my degree. I won’t lie, though… it’s a lot of work.

So… what constitutes playtime for me? Taking a bike ride, I guess. Writing a song and making music. Watching a movie. Those things seem to be rare luxuries, now.

There Are Times…

I would like to create some kind of support group or non-profit agency to certain people who find many aspects of the work force unbearable. Especially for those with a more sensitive nature, so many work environments are so toxic that they cause a lot of psychic damage to otherwise talented, motivated, and loyal workers. Most of us only wish to do our best and be given a fair shot; but so many work situations almost seem set up for our demise (and, sometimes, with perverse delight. Reminds me of the ancient Romans who thought that watching lions devour Christians was great entertainment).

I sound dramatic about this, but I don’t doubt there are many who would agree with me.

Most of us cannot avoid difficult work environments, but there are some of us who, as it were, need a unique kind of mental and emotional armor to wrap themselves up in… some means for becoming more and more psychically “untouchable” while we seek to make our livings. There has to be more than just “coping skills”… there must be a new way of looking at oneself from the inside-out so that missteps and mistreatment from bosses, coworkers and others are seen as happening on the outside of us; exclusive from us and not a part of us.

I think that each individual should have every chance to find out the unique way he or she blesses others and is given every opportunity to show the world what they are made of. They need to be rewarded for trying, not punished. Everyone needs encouragement.

Thankfulness Project: Purpose

I’m very thankful that my husband’s electrical business has been doing well, which enables me to keep working for him and not have to torture myself by seeking other employment. I hope and pray it continues; I enjoy the work I’m doing as I learn to manage my husband’s office.

It’s a harsh world out there, and I don’t take this work for granted. Most of us, at one point or another, have had no choice but to take jobs that, frankly, suck. We work hard to prove ourselves to people who don’t understand us and care even less to try. It can be very soul-stealing. I have a good friend who works at a place that breaks her heart in a new way every day. To those of you who also have this experience… I feel for you. I’ve been there many times.

As I ponder these things, I recall a conversation I had with a certain person years ago. She basically said that my perfect work was going to have to be “created for me”. Sounds cryptic, but as I went through some failures in the work force, I began to realize that her comment was likely a viable observation. At any rate, the thought of having my own, special work that was specifically suited to my needs, abilities, and personality, was beginning to appeal to me the more I worked with others whose sole purpose seemed to be to gnash me between their teeth.

There have been many times, throughout my work experience, that I have exclaimed how nice it would be to work by myself. I don’t mind the work; it’s just the people I can’t stand sometimes.

Granted, I will have to take on more of my husband’s phone calls and, probably, deal with some wack jobs, but I will still be working in the office by myself, with no one hanging over what I do but my husband (which is fine because I’m not intimidated by him). Working as an office manager for my husband’s electrical company could very well be the career of my dreams. I am free and encouraged to grow with the company and take initiative where I feel leadership is needed. I feel like my efforts and desire to take the helm are appreciated instead of misunderstood. There are no office politics to deal with (yes!). I would only be limited by myself and I’m not going to allow that to happen!

So, I am thankful for this newfound work, which helps me to have a sense of purpose and meaning. For once in my life, I am excited about work.

The Non-Stop Day

I kept going all day… my battery is finally wearing out.

Today I had an “holiday open house” party, which means I invited people over, showed my products to them, and allowed them an option to purchase products from me (I do direct sales as a side job). I also had one of my best friends, a massage therapist, give massages to the guests and another friend set up a table and sold her homemade soaps, chocolate, and potpourri. It was fun, but exhausting. I worked on cleaning the house, baking cookies, getting everything ready before the party and picking up another friend to bring her to the party (her husband had the car). I was racing around up until the last minute. After the open house party finished, my massage-therapist friend and I raced to another party… open mic style. I had not seen all our musician friends in a while. At first I didn’t really want to go; I was just wanting some downtime. Once I saw all my old friends, though, I was happy. And, of course, I got to play a few songs for the heck of it.

I used to be crazy busy all the time; I worked full-time, did gigs and open mics, socialized, went to bed late, then got up early and did it all again the next day. All before I got married. Then I forgot all that and settled in. Now that I am just getting into the music and socializing again, I wonder how I ever did all that before. I’m just not used to all that anymore!

Because of all I’ve had to do, I’ve not had time to study for the past two days. Tomorrow afternoon and all day Monday will be “cram days”. I even had a charity even I was going to participate in tomorrow night; I’ll have to bow out of that to make time to study. No one’s going to see my face for the next one-and-a-half days until I get it done.

And NaBloPoMo? I may as well forget about it; I’ve not been able to keep up with the challenge. I’ll do it when and if I can, but I can just forget about doing it with regularity. Sometimes it requires deeper thinking than I have had time for lately… I’m so tired.

I’ll be delighted when a Christmas break from my studies occurs. I want to have a RELAXED Christmas, not a hectic one. I want a fully decorated Douglas fir, a blustery winter evening (since it’s Florida, I’ll settle for blustery instead of snowy), the fireplace blazing (we still get some cold nights here), soft Christmas music playing in the background, and a good book. And I don’t want to be running around hither, thither, and yon. I don’t care about presents, either; I just want the people that I care about around me.

On that note… what are YOUR thoughts about how you like to spend the holidays… or any time that you have that is completely your own?

Hey, Y’all!

Today’s NaBloMoPo daily prompt is tellin’ me to write this blog like I’m speakin’ in my regional dialect. Sometimes I have a slight accent from livin’ in the South, and I remember my daddy taking me with him to the shootin’ range when I was near high to a grasshopper. Lots o’ rednecks ’round there, so I guess I learned to sound like them a lil’. Now I don’t usually talk like this; I was raised to have good grammar. For the purposes of this post, though, I exaggerate so y’all get an idea where I’m comin’ from, know whut I mean? I’m fixin’ to quit this blog post already ’cause it hurts my head to try to talk and write this way. Good night, y’all.

Durango, Part II

We ended up in the bustling commerce district of Durango; there were lots of trendy specialty stores, some exotic restaurants, and other novelties there. Husband and I boarded a historic train which traveled all the way to a quaint old mining town called Silverton. This train wrapped progressively up and around a mountain laced with clear, rocky streams. Most of us who boarded the train caught sight of a bear trying to climb up the mountain as the train approached (guess he wanted to see what he could see). The air began to chill as we approached Silverton and, when we pulled in, there wasn’t a whole lot to see. The town was so eerily quiet, and plain, and gray from the wintry air. It resembled a ghost town, though there were some signs of life there. There were a few shops with nice things for tourists, and a decent restaurant where husband and I lunched.

We were there about ninety minutes before it was time to board for Durango. About halfway back, a huge rock tumbled down, stubbornly lodging itself in front of our train so we could not move. We were all very fortunate, of course, that the rock did not fall on the train and that the train was able to halt its course before approaching the rock. It must have been a boulder, because word got back to us passengers that a bunch of men had to get out of the train to break down the rock as best they could and get it off the track. This process must have taken about two or three hours. After this, we arrived back in Durango unscathed, although regrettably late to arrive my husband’s mother’s friend’s house a few miles away from the station. Apparently she had guests over to meet us upon our arrival and hear us play our music (husband and I brought guitars on the trip). Unfortunately we were so late the guests had to leave before we arrived.

Our nerves a little ragged, husband and I were happy to set up camp at our friend’s house for the night. She and her husband had dinner on the stove for us and, once we were properly sated, took us sightseeing around town. Our friend drove us to an old neighborhood where she grew up with my husband’s mother and went to high school with her. We saw the little old house where my mother-in-law grew up, which was interesting. As we drove along, we passed through other neighborhoods that seemed more high-end. The houses were old and stony-looking, yet beautiful and well-kept. Like the Rockefellers lived there.

After staying the night with our gracious hosts, we decided to hang our hats in Durango for a few more days and relax (this time boarding a hotel as husband was developing a sensitivity to the cat dander). We looked around the town countless times and shopped a bit, enjoyed lovely restaurants (my favorite being an Indian/Thai fusion place), and enjoyed the scenery.

At another point in our journey, husband and I went to Mesa Verde, an historic native mountainous region which housed the Pueblo and also currently possesses a museum with various native artifacts and histories. We climbed much of the steep terrain with a tour guide, until we approached the cliffs where the Pueblo made their home.

I didn’t want to leave Colorado when it was time to go home. I fell in love with it and hope we will be able to visit there again one day.