Marjorie Writes…

Everyday Musings of an Extraordinary Woman

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Jobs Jobs Jobs

I hate job hunting. And I especially hate job hunting in a bad job market. Both times I’ve had to find a job, you got it, bad job markets. The first time was oh, probably 20 years ago, give or take. A couple of years out of college. And now is the second time. Mind you, while performing a job search is not my forte, working definitely is. I tend to be a very stable, hard-working employee who makes my employer very happy. I have an incredible work ethic – which also continued when I was self-employed. I find a great deal of satisfaction in a job very well done.

I live in a great area – I really love where I live (for the most part). I live on a small island outside a resort town. The beach is only a mile and a half from my front door, and the bay is just a block over; it’s a very peaceful place to raise kids, with an active, small community. However, it seems the only real industry in the area is the service industry. And while that wouldn’t be my first choice, I am not above doing whatever I have to in order to support my family. However, those types of jobs generally require you to work nights and weekends, and since I’m a single mom with no family nearby, I would be spending the better part of my paycheck on childcare if I had to work nights and weekends, if I could even find reliable childcare at those times. Therefore, it wouldn’t be cost-effective. Worse, it would take me away from my kids. And I can’t do that to them – leave them to be raised by a stranger. I can’t and I won’t do that to them.

So it seems there are a plethora of jobs you can do online – such as copy-editing and writing jobs. At least that is what I’m told. There are at least 2 sites (that I know of) on which you can register to be a contract employee and bid for jobs. One of them seems to have a site problem for I tried to register on it and never received the email from them to verify my account. A friend had the same issue. We both emailed them multiple times, with no response. On the other one, I’ve been actively perusing the listings and bidding on jobs. However, it seems that I’m competing with people all over the world, many of whom are happy to work for well below minimum wage, or write 300 word articles for 10 to 30 cents each. Now, 300 words is not much and doesn’t take much time. My present word count for this piece is 345 words. Piece of cake. But when you add in research, it takes longer. Not to mention that honestly, 30 cents for anything taking even 15 minutes is not worth my time. I am worth way more than $1.20/hour. The sad thing is I would be willing to take a lot less than I’m worth in order to have steady work. I have no problem working much more than 40 hours a week, especially if I’m doing it from home. Heck, for the last probably 14 or 15 years a 60 – 80 hour work week was the norm – from the time my daughter was born I was running a business, and even when I wasn’t there I was handling all of the administrative work from home, after she and then my son went to bed. So I’m not afraid of hard work or long hours. I just have to find it.

Oh, and that doesn’t even touch on the jobs I wouldn’t touch on there. I was looking under virtual assistant positions – I am a jack of many trades who can handle almost any task out there. I came across one such job in which the gentleman (and I use that term very loosely) was looking for someone to write flirtatious texts to send to his girlfriends. The interview process involved texting him in a flirtatious way, to see if he liked your style. His cell number was included in the text of the “job” listing, with instructions to start flirting with him if you wanted the job. While I had no interest in a job like this, I will say I was tempted to text just to see what he would say. Of course, my sense was firmly in place and I didn’t do it, for numerous reasons. But I did consider texting him just for the entertainment value. If I had an untraceable cell phone, it may have happened. There was also another person who was looking for females to send him naked pictures because his “client” required one new one per day. Um, no, not gonna happen. But it also made me question the professionalism of the site. However most of the jobs on the site seemed legit (even the ones looking for people to write erotic short stories). Just one more example of the ludicrousness were the people looking for someone to pen their novels (ghost writers) – 60,000 words for $50. Now, if I’m going to spend as much time as it takes to write a novel, I’m going to try to publish it under my name. I have respect for ghost writers. However, I’m sure the serious ones make more than pennies an hour for their work.

If it was just me in this position, I might chalk it up to my not being good at job searches. However, I have a number of friends in the same position – either not working at all but wanting and needing to, or under employed, some working freelance or contract jobs with no benefits and no security. And these people are also well-educated, intelligent professionals. I have friends cleaning houses, working in stores, running their own businesses but also working in retail or for other companies in order to support their families. All of this is fine, everyone does what they have to do to provide. It’s just not right.

Anyhow, there seem to be so many job listings out there, but when you take the time to respond and put thought into a well-written, articulate cover letter and do background research on the company to be thorough, it’s frustrating to almost never receive a response. I have a resume posted on Monster, and have received several calls from companies wanting to bring me in for an interview. However, when asked what position I would be interviewing for, they cannot tell me, as there are always a range of positions available there. After talking to others and asking many questions of the people trying to set up the interviews, I’ve ascertained it’s for insurance sales positions. I have nothing but respect for service professionals of any type, however, I don’t want to sell insurance and I certainly don’t want to drive an hour to interview for a position under false pretenses, as a friend of mine recently did.

So I’ll be going to sleep shortly, since it’s now late at night, so I can get rest to be energetic tomorrow to entertain my kids, do the laundry, cook dinner, and continue my online quest for employment. If you have any good ideas for those searching for jobs today, please leave a comment – I will be happy to hear them and pass them onto my friends who are in the same boat as I am.

Live, love, laugh – it’s what makes it worthwhile!

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When counting sheep doesn’t work

I really hate not being able to sleep. This seems to have become a regular issue for me. In fact, I’m routinely staying up really late until I feel like I’m going to just pass out over my laptop or in front of the tv just so when I go to bed, I will fall right asleep. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

Now, I can’t stand just lying in bed for hours, not being able to sleep. Half the time, at that point, I’m so tired it’s almost impossible for me to think about getting out of bed and doing anything. I’ve also learned not to pick up a book and read in bed, because when I do that I invariably get into the book and the next thing I know it’s dawn or close to it and I’ve been up reading all night.

Last night was one of those nights. After lying in bed for about an hour and a half, waiting for the blissful feeling of sleep overtaking me, I couldn’t just lie there. So I got up, hoping to be productive. I went over to my desk and to the desktop computer I rarely use anymore, but which houses my iTunes library. One of the cds I’ve been listening to in the car a lot is badly scratched and I’ve been meaning to burn a new copy (I have the whole thing on that computer since I’d put it onto my iPod years ago. Anyhow, after searching around my office, I discovered that my ex-husband had obviously helped himself to the big package of blank cds I had in there. Damn, and I’d been forgetting to burn that new copy for weeks now, guess it would have to wait another day or two.

Next, I decided to look through my filing cabinet to see if I happened to have a newspaper clipping from college in which I appeared on the front with an old friend. Of course, it wasn’t there (as I’d thought), because I hadn’t bothered to save any clips from when I was making the news, I only saved my by-lines. However, it was interesting to go back through those clips and remember some of the stories and what I was doing in my life at that time. That killed a little more time.

Oh, and I found a broken, ceramic envelope I used to store bills and such in, once upon a time. Evidently at some point it had fallen off the side of the desk, between the desk and the wall, and apparently stayed there for who knows how long – I can’t even remember the last time I actually used it, but I do remember painting it. Ironically, I used to do crafty things like that all the time before I had kids. I always thought I would do it as a mom, with my kids, and at some point hope to get back to it. I think I gave up those pursuits when my children were little – I used to always hand make Chanukah cards to send out to friends and family. I want to say I used to send out 60-70 cards every year. The last time I made them was when my kids were little (as I just said) and I traced their little fingers, one hand on either side of the front of the card, to make menorahs. That was when I gave that stuff up – it was just too hard to do with them, and they were too little to really do it themselves.  My kids are old enough now that I should start doing those things again – I always got a lot of pleasure from it.

I’ve always been a night owl, well, at least since my kids were young but sleeping through the night – as a mom, it’s really the only time I get for me. I’ve spent countless nights up way too late of my own accord – chatting with friends online, chatting with friends on the phone, watching movies, reading, knitting, taking care of the books for the business I used to own, you name it, I’ve done it late at night. And I’ve always enjoyed it. If I was really tired the next day, it was ok, it was my fault. Besides, back then when I slept, I slept well so even if it wasn’t enough, the sleep was always restful. I’ve always been lucky that once I go to bed, even if I decide to go to bed early, I could fall asleep quickly. I still don’t lie in bed plagued by unwanted thoughts and worries (not routinely, of course that happens once in a blue moon). However, lying in bed trying to sleep but failing drives me crazy!

Does anyone have any tips for overcoming insomnia? I don’t like taking any kind of medicine to help me sleep. I don’t watch tv in my bedroom when I’m going to bed, keep my laptop in the other room so I won’t be tempted to sit up and go back online, etc. I’m trying to keep my bedroom a room for sleeping, as they say to do. So far not helping.

Well, I think it’s about that time – time to go to bed and hope sleep comes easily tonight. I really have to beat this insomnia thing soon – school is starting next week, so I won’t be able to ever sleep past 7am after that. Not that I sleep too late now, but don’t have to get up that early and if I’m groggy, it’s ok because don’t have anything pressing I have to do most mornings too early. So off I go to hopefully sleep – I’ve been tired all day since I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night and had to get up and go this morning, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that will all help tonight.

Live, laugh love – it makes it all worthwhile!

What a Turn-On!

I just watched the season finale of The Newsroom and I have to say one thing: that show seriously turns me on!

Wait, please, before you click away. I am absolutely not crazy, I promise. I have never felt this way from a tv show, no matter how much I may have liked it. This show is just so incredible – if you haven’t watched it, you have to. It’s on HBO on Sunday nights (well, I guess not for a little while now since that was the finale – but you can find it in your On Demand or whatever your cable company calls that section). Seriously, you know how NBC used the ad campaign “Must See TV”? Yea, that should have been written for this show. (Reading through this paragraph, I realized it sounded like an ad – I guess I should add a disclaimer that I have not been paid or offered any sort of compensation for this blog post, but of course, if they’d like to offer anything, I’d be happy to consider accepting it.)

I have a background in both journalism and politics. One of the biggest common threads I found in both were the people who work in those fields (for the most part, especially in the beginning) do it because they truly believe in what they are doing, they want to make a positive difference in the world. I remember feeling incredible passion for what I was doing, in both jobs. Both jobs made me feel incredible – like I was going to make a difference, like I was doing something good. The media often gets a bad rap for being one sided or pushing an agenda, but I still believe that most of those who devote themselves to those endeavors do so because they believe in what they are doing. Same with people in politics – both those in the limelight and behind the scenes. Sure, some people do what they do to make a name for themselves or to push their own agendas, but I do not believe that is the case across the board. I knew too many truly good people who worked very hard in both fields, and for very little money at that (at least starting out, the pay in both industries is awful).

Anyhow, The Newsroom is a very high-brow show. It is not for those completely uninterested in politics or important issues. In fact, in the show the issues tackled are those very issues facing us in this country today, or in days not too far past. In my opinion, to really be able to appreciate the show, you have to be able to understand those issues, which the show does a great job of explaining.

When you watch the show, you get caught up in the energy and the passion of those on-screen. They are working so hard for what they believe in, to change perceptions and bring the truth to the people. Their energy is contagious even to many of those watching. I get energized, I get excited. It’s amazing writing and acting – otherwise its viewers wouldn’t feel that way.

For most of my life, I negated my intelligence. I knew I was smart but I didn’t fully appreciate how smart. I’m not writing that to sound conceited, just a statement of fact which I was reminded of the other day by a friend from my political days. He said I never gave myself enough credit in that and another area. Thankfully, now I do, in both areas. Anyhow, now I embrace my intelligence, I appreciate it; and I completely appreciate it in others. I’ve discovered about myself that really intelligent guys turn me on, too, just like the show. Ok, not all intelligent guys, I mean, obviously there has to be something else there. That’s what I think it is about the show that just really turns me on – it inspires me, makes me think, I love the sarcasm and humor, and it gets me excited every episode.

When I realized that the show turned me on, it made me start what will likely now be an ongoing thought process inside my head. It turned me on because of the passion. Often, we think of passion as something sexual, but it’s much more than that. Those most successful at what they do are successful because of the passion driving their work. Passion, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, is an “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction” and “a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept”, in addition to being defined as a sexual desire.

So maybe to find true professional happiness and satisfaction, I need to think completely outside the box. Instead of trying to plan my life as a 42 year old, I need to try to think like an 18 year old, or a 21 year old. I need to think about what intellectually excites me (turns me on, if you will) and go in that direction. For the record, this could be challenging since I find so much of business and technology so fascinating this could really take me anywhere.

Live, love, laugh…it makes it all worthwhile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Road Not Taken

How often do you stop and think about the choices you’ve made in your life? I mean the big ones, not the small ones. We’ve all made a lot of choices in our lives, both large and small. Life is a never-ending series of choices, if you want to look at it that way. Some of the simple ones are just daily decisions of what to wear or what to eat, that don’t really impact our lives in a big way (ok, overall eating patterns do, but I’m talking about just the decision about what to eat for breakfast, etc, assuming you have normal eating habits).

What about the big decisions? Do you ever wonder what your life would have been like if…? If you hadn’t broken up with your high school boyfriend, if you had gone to your first choice college, what would your life been like now? What about if you’d pursued one passion over another when it came to starting your career? Where might you be now?

We all have so many choices in our lives. So much time to take a different path if we so desire. Recently, I had a conversation with a friend in which I related a comment my father had made years ago. Sadly, my father passed away from lung cancer 3 1/2 years ago. During his illness, from dealing with all of the related medical issues, doctors, procedures, etc, I realized that I had a good understanding of that which goes into the field of medicine.  In fact, at one point, one of his doctors asked me what my specialty was. My father used to tell his oncologist that when he got better he was going to send me to medical school. Now, for you to realize how amazing a statement this was, you have to understand a little bit about me. For most of my life, I always thought I was not good at math and science. As a “grown-up” I realize that I do have a good grasp of these subjects, and a good head for them. I have a degree in journalism and have coursework done toward an MBA. I was also probably around 37 at the time he said this. So the other day, I related this all to my friend, and he actually encouraged me to go back to school to become a doctor – only a 10 year commitment to more schooling. I asked how I would support my family during this time. Student loans, he suggested. Now, I was very flattered at this encouragement, but this is not the path that I am going to choose. Yes, there is a part of me that thinks it would be amazing to be a doctor – I find it so interesting. However, as I’ve said, I’m a single mom with an 8 and 10 year old. If I were to go back to school, assuming I could get the background undergrad courses taken as well as the MCATs during the next year, both of my children would be in or going into college by the time I was a full doctor. In addition to taking my concentration off my kids’ childhoods, it would also leave me with an incredible amount of debt in my early 50s, while I’m currently debt-free. I really don’t want to have my children inherit my student loan debt. (I paid off my undergrad loans years ago) But it was wonderful to feel that someone I admire so much thought it was such a good idea, as well as that my father thought so.

Sometimes we make decisions without realizing we are making them. Or without consciously realizing why we are making them. Years back I made such a decision, not realizing at the time I was even making one.

Occasionally, an opportunity comes along at a time in your life when you’re not ready to take it, for reasons that have nothing to do with the opportunity. Or you might not realize it as an opportunity because of other things going on in your life. At these times, it’s easy to miss seeing what is in front of you. Sometimes, you might go down the road of your life without ever realizing you missed a special chance. Then there are times where circumstances change and that same opportunity is in front of you again – are you going to recognize it for what it is this time?

I am at a very interesting, exciting and frightening crossroads of my life right now. I am changing careers at 42. I have to decide what I want to do with my life now that I’m grown up. I feel like, as with many people, I’ve already reinvented myself several times to date during my adult life. During the past year or so, I’ve done a lot of soul searching and was able to put myself back together after a painful, traumatic period. Recently, all of those pieces came together and I realized I was finally “whole” again – myself again. There’s nothing better than the feeling of falling in love – especially if you are falling back in love with life, with the possibilities and potentials that the future holds.

Coming back to my point above, I have recently done a lot of thinking and I realized that I had an opportunity years back and avoided it because I wasn’t ready for it. It was the wrong time in my life – I had just gotten divorced from my first husband. The idea of getting involved in something serious at the time was a foreign concept – I had just come out of an 11 year marriage – a 13 year relationship. I had 2 very young children and was embarking on life as a single mother. I had to see what that was and figure it out for myself. So I didn’t even recognize something great right in front of me. As I said, if we are not open to it, the right thing can come right in front of our faces and we can fail to see them for what they are.

So now I see what it was I ran away from last time, I chickened out on taking a chance and I never viewed it as such until I started thinking of it recently. I chickened out because it was everything I should have been looking for, but I wasn’t looking for it, so I didn’t see it right in front of me.

Now? Who knows? Was that blown chance five years ago never meant to be? Or may it come back around and this time I will be ready and waiting for it?

Something to think about. Can we change course and take the road not taken if it comes up in front of us again and this time we are paying attention to where we are going in our lives?

Live, love, laugh…it makes it worthwhile!

Is it really only Saturday night?

As I mentioned, I’m a single mom with two terrific kids. I absolutely adore my children, and anyone who knows me knows that my life often revolves around theirs. For the most part, I have no problem being a single mom, despite the challenges it presents at times. But then again, I’ve rarely been known to walk away from a challenge, so it all works.

My daughter is my mini-me, as I’m discovering more and more as she gets older. When she was little, she was my mom, pure and simple. Others even commented that she looked like her, acted like her. As she’s heading toward adolescence, she’s becoming me. This is both good and bad. It’s amazing because I also still see my mom in her, which also means I see more of my mom in myself (other than simply hearing her in the words that sometimes come out of my mouth). This is a true blessing because my mom passed away when I was 18. It’s bad, her being mini-me, because I so want to keep her from making the same mistakes I’ve made and I see some of them in action and she won’t listen to me in changing her behavior. Mind you, nothing is terrible or earth shattering, I just want to save her some of the issues I had to grapple with.

As for my son, I’m not quite sure who he is, other than himself. I see my dad in his stubbornness. But he is a serious type A personality, has to excel at everything he does, often seemingly without trying. Somehow, despite my complete lack of athleticism, he is a good athlete. He recently started playing pee-wee football. This scares the hell out of me – they tackle each other hard! Anyhow, apparently he’s good at tackling and resisting being tackled. After practice the other day, the coaches changed his position from linebacker to center, and after watching him I decided I did not have to worry quite so much about his sustaining a concussion or a traumatic brain injury because he could hold his own out there. (See, the stubbornness is finally a good trait somewhere!)  So now I can relax and enjoy watching him play (instead of being a nervous mother watching).

So my kids are the lights of my life, completely. They are wonderful, amazing, incredible little people (too quickly maturing into bigger little people!) – I’m in awe of the fact that they are both so smart and so kind and so loving. That said, they are still kids. They have their moments. And this weekend has been one of those times when their moments have worn me out. Of course, it didn’t help that I have had a headache for the past three days.

So I’m sitting here thinking about the fact that they’ve both been grounded. We have another week and a half to go until school starts – NOT a good time to ground them. Those of you with kids know why; when my kids are grounded, my life is infinitely more work. When I’ve taken away the computer, the video games, tv, playdates, etc, I have to entertain them. Sure, they can read (my daughter still has some reading to do before school starts anyhow), play games, take the dogs for a walk, and do anything else they want to do, within reason. However, while they are usually very independent, I have to stay on top of them to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to. Also, they tend to have a lot more fights when they are not allowed any electronics or friends.

Tonight my son got mad at me and stopped talking to me, because I wouldn’t go to Target to get him a new Monopoly game. We’d had a quiet day (I took a nap this afternoon trying to get rid of the above mentioned headache. This was after I ordered pizza for lunch because I didn’t get to the grocery store yesterday because of my headache. Mind you, I have plenty of food in my house – no one could ever starve in here. However, everything required cooking or more than simple preparation, which was seemingly beyond my abilities the way my head felt. So after they ate their share of pizza, I took a nap to try to feel better. When I got up, we went to play mini-golf, which I’d promised them yesterday. We had a great time playing and I won, and was teasing my son because he always wins at everything (and he’s old enough that it’s not that I let him).

I had been talking to someone there and telling her how my son even always wins at Monopoly – he buys up every property he lands on, builds them up, and makes everyone else go broke. So my son heard this and decided he wanted to play Monopoly when we got home (he just got it for Chanukah). I reminded him he no longer had it. While the kids were away visiting their father this summer, I cleaned their rooms. His room was a disaster. His Monopoly game was spread out everywhere, out of the box. I had warned him multiple times that if he didn’t pick it up and put it away, it was going to disappear. So when I went to pick it up and found pieces and the paper money all over his room, in her room, etc, I just picked it up and put it in the trash. Then he got upset because he wanted me to replace it, which will happen eventually because I like the game, but not anytime too soon because he needs to learn his lesson about taking care of his things. (We go through some form of this every few years, when he gets lazy. Hopefully it will get better with age.)

The plan had been to stop at the grocery store after mini-golf for some basic groceries. I was going to make grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner and needed cheese and bread. At the grocery store, my son wouldn’t get out of the car, so we stopped at Wawa (local convenience store that has a deli) where I could leave him in the car while I ran into the store. When we got home, he went into his room and wouldn’t talk to me. When I put out their plates of sandwiches and chips and cups of soup, he would whisper to my daughter what he wanted. Eventually, once he’d eaten his fill, he was back to talking to me. And then as we sat watching a tv show together, he made several comments about wanting to be able to go on “his” laptop (my spare). This actually encouraged me, since it showed me how much he’s grown up. Instead of throwing a full out tantrum, as he has in the past, he just sulked and wouldn’t talk to me. And then, instead of trying to take the laptop back and use it, he was dropping obvious hints that he wanted to use it. In the past, he would have taken it when I wasn’t looking and fought with me when I took it back. My baby’s growing up!

So while I really should stick to them being grounded, I think it will only be for tomorrow. I will make them do some extra chores and help me around the house, I’ll make my daughter finish up her summer reading before she starts middle school in the next couple weeks. And then I’ll try to plan some fun stuff for us to do together so we can enjoy the end of the summer. As I watch them growing up and maturing in front of my eyes, it encourages me that even when they’re not behaving, it’s not as bad as it once was, and maybe, just maybe, I’m doing something really right in raising these two members of the future of our country.

Sorry if this is disjointed and rambling – maybe I should change the blog description from everyday musings to everyday ramblings? Nah, just one of those days where my mind is everywhere.

Live, laugh, love…it’s what makes it all worthwhile!

….some are silver, some are gold…

Anyone get the title reference? I’ll give you a hint – it’s a song I first learned in Girl Scouts, years and years and years ago (I think I was a Brownie for one year, maybe two). Anyhow, it’s very true. It’s actually a whole song or poem or whatever, but I just remember singing the first stanza, didn’t even know there was more until I just now googled the lyrics. Here are the ones that go through my mind at times: “Make new friends/but keep the old/one is silver/and the other’s gold.”

It is my belief that friends, real, true, good friends are the family we choose. I don’t know where I would be without my friends – wouldn’t even want to begin to think about it. I may not see all of them often, hell, I have good friends I haven’t seen in 20+ years, but I know they are there for me. And I know that, most importantly, they will keep my secrets. And I will keep theirs. Like the friend I haven’t seen in 20+ years but am still close to – I know that he’ll never tell people what it was that I shouted out to him the very first time I met him (thankfully there weren’t a lot of other people there who knew me  who heard me, and those that were, were probably as drunk as I was at the time and either won’t remember or won’t share for fear I’ll tell on them too).

Technology makes it so much easier to keep in touch with our friends, to chat with them regularly, to share our lives with them. And to reconnect with them. I love technology! I have friends whom I now love (I love my friends and I’m not afraid to admit it) who were more like acquaintances when I knew them way back when, who years and years later became actual friends after we reconnected online. And I have friends, true friends, whom I met online but have never met in person, whom I still consider real friends because we share our lives and details and talk on the phone and laugh and cry together. We share our everyday struggles with life and kids and boyfriends/spouses and friends and we share our hopes and dreams and secrets. We tell each other things we don’t tell everyone.

I love my friends, as I said before. I can’t say that enough. I love that they help me with little and big dilemmas and decisions. We share our triumphs and tragedies, big and small. I love that I can look back at my life and say, that idea came from this person, and that idea was made better by this person, and this person encouraged me to do this, etc. They encourage me to follow my dreams. I love that my friends encourage me and I encourage them.

Sometimes I tend to share a lot of little details on Facebook. But I share the big ones only with my friends. And then they remember and text me and ask how the date I was so excited about was, or can’t wait until the date is over to text me because they’re dying to know, or they ask if I’ve remembered to take time for me lately.

I’ve always been very outgoing, for the most part. People thought I had tons of friends, but really I had tons of acquaintances and a few people I considered “real” friends. I remember in college, in the dorm cafeteria, being called over to a table of guys. One of them said, “We see you going from table to table every night, talking to everyone, and we want you to be our friend too.” I’ll never forget that. Those guys were such a hoot – they always made me laugh so hard – and they introduced me to the fun of going dancing in gay clubs. They were so much fun, so complimentary, always a blast. But, alas, they were not true friends. I don’t think I could name one of them, even with a gun to my head (please, don’t try that – it’s not a challenge).

I recently was lucky enough to spend time with someone I now consider a friend. We hadn’t seen each other since college. Back then, we knew each other – lived in the same dorms, our activities had us regularly crossing paths. But we weren’t friends back then. Now, though, I consider myself lucky to have him in my life. Of course, only time will show how it plays out – how close our friendship will grow.  But having him in my life right now makes me happy. I know I said it’s quality and not quantity of friends that count, and I truly still believe that. But that doesn’t mean that expanding my circle here and there can hurt.

Of course, we always also have friends we’re really close with whom we drift away from. But that’s ok. Usually when they drift away, it’s not painful. It’s like that saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. All are good.  I can look back and think fondly of people I was once really close with who for one reason or another have drifted out of my life. But they left their footprints on my heart, and I can always reach in and touch those memories.

I’ve been through hell and back several times in my life. I’ve had a lot of tragedy. But I’ve also had triumphs. And my friends have been there every step of the way, making me laugh when I wanted to cry, giving me encouragement when times seemed so bleak. And laughing with me and having fun with me when things are good or even when it’s just normal life.

So call your friends, text them, IM them. Tell them hi, tell them a joke, tell them you love them. Life is too short not to let them know you love them.

Live, laugh, love…it’s what makes it all worthwhile!

Hello world!

Hi! I’m starting this blog to voice my thoughts, my musings, my dreams, and my deepest desires. Ok, honestly, all of the above except the last (sorry!).

I’m a single mom with two fantastic, energetic kids. My latest theory on their energy levels is that they somehow tap into their mother’s energy stores without her knowing, kind of like they do when they’re still in utero and are taking whatever nutrients they need directly from your body. However, somehow they do it without an umbilical cord. I have no clue how it happens, but I’m pretty sure it must because on those days I have the least amount of energy, they seem to have it in abundance. I’ve often wished I could have just a little bit of their energy, but after this summer, I’m pretty sure they’re just taking mine.

The past few years have been a wild ride with many times I wanted to get off, but I survived it and came back even stronger. So now as I embark on the next chapter of my life,  I thought it might be nice to start it off by picking up one of my old favorite pastimes – writing. However, instead of writing it and hiding it so my father doesn’t find it again (that didn’t go so well), I’m doing it in plain view of the world. Well, at least that portion of the world that has found and chosen to read my blog. Oh yea, and I’ve learned not to write down anywhere those things you absolutely don’t want your boyfriend to find (yea, that REALLY didn’t go so well). So, half a lifetime older and infinitely wiser, I start this blog.

I tend toward sarcasm if you couldn’t tell, and black humor at times (the worse the times, the worse the jokes), so keep that in mind as you read. I’ve found that a light-hearted attitude helps you through the toughest times in life, of which I’ve had more than my share. I’m terribly addicted to caffeine (why I ever picked it up again after my last child was weaned is beyond me) and I’m trying to break my addiction to cigarettes, so bear with me.

Life is too short to not embrace it fully and be open to new experiences and paths. We never know how much time we have left, so we should make our moments count. And don’t forget, it is those special moments that count. And those ordinary, plain, happy moments. We have to open ourselves to enjoying them, not waiting until tomorrow to remember. I find myself taking many fewer pictures in favor of enjoying what’s in front of me. Sure, I have fewer memories on film (ok, on a memory card), but trust me, they’re all stored in my heart.

I’m very choosy about whom I let into my life, but those who’ve I have let in, I cherish. With friends, it’s about quality, not quantity, like with everything else worthwhile in life. Ok, sure, I’ll admit I have a lot of Facebook friends, but as far as the ones I’ve really let into my life, not with just a glimpse, they’re in my heart and I’m fiercely loyal to them, as they are to me.

Ok, I’ll end this now. But you’ll be hearing more from me soon.

Live, love, laugh……it’s what makes it all worthwhile!

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