Forgiveness

Can you ever forgive yourself? Is it even possible to really forgive one of your transgressions and fully move on? Forgiving yourself is harder than forgiving someone else. We can look at another person’s faults and misgivings, come up with a hundred reasons why they did what they did and forgive them for it. It may take a while to move on, but eventually we accept the misdeed or error in judgment by someone else and get on with our lives and relationships. So why is it so hard for us to forgive our own missteps? Do we have higher expectations of our selves than others or is it that we look at a lapse in judgment as an insurmountable failure?

I am not proud of my youth. I have done some really stupid things growing up. I made a lot of bad decisions born out of low self-esteem and when something jogs a memory I still cringe inwardly. I look back into the past with loathing for my actions. Granted I was a stupid teenager then and am well into my fifties now, but something about that time in my life still haunts me. There are so many regrets and a desire for a do over, knowing the outcome would probably still be the same, but that doesn’t stop the wishing.

I didn’t kill anybody or maliciously try to hurt others; my transgressions were all directed at me. I wish I had pushed myself more in school, gone to college, had some direction, instead of going along with the aimless mindset of a self-absorbed teenager. I thought that if a boy paid attention to me it meant he loved me. It took me a few years to figure out what real love was.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, my husband, children and my friends, but I wish I could have been better. I wish I had made smarter decisions and wiser choices, not the bonehead mistakes that I can’t seem to put in the past forever. I know I’m not the person I was then; I don’t need validation from anyone else now. The validation has to come from me and grant me the forgiveness of my past sins.

When I look back over the years of my adulthood there have been many great accomplishments. My husband who I love with all of my heart, my two sons, who are all grown up and have families of their own, a daughter that I didn’t give birth to, but love as much and a few truly special friends that I would walk through fire for. These are all the best part of me, the today me.

So what is it about those short seven years of my life that haunt me more than the thirty plus years since? How do I absolve myself, move on and truly face the future with hope and resolve? I can’t answer that, but I am working on it.

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The Bane of My Existence

Once again modern technology is making me insane. I thought computers and the internet are supposed to make our lives easier, but no, not so. Every day we use the internet to shop, do online banking and surf thousands of search engines for things like more shopping. Almost every place you go out there in cyberspace to do business has you set up a username and a password all in the name of security. And of course all of the IT gurus tell us to create a different unique password with capital and lower case letters with numbers and special characters at least a million characters long for each time we create a password. Some tell us to use a phrase such as, “Mary had a little lamb” but change some of the letters like this, “M2ryh#daLIT*&%-098b” to make it even more secure. Good luck remembering that one.

I don’t know about you but I have a bunch of passwords to remember. There is my work password to sign on to my computer, the password to sign on to my payroll, taxes and vacation, password to sign on to my health insurance benefits, retirement account, bank, and multiple shopping websites. Passwords, so many passwords to remember and of course you only get three tries before the web site locks you out. I bet hackers and identity thieves get more than three tries. So what’s a memory challenged internet user to do? Write down all of my different passwords, but then where do you store them, in a file on the computer? What if you get hacked, can the hacker find the password file and now have access to your whole life? Do you write it down on a piece of paper? If so where you hide it so only you know where it’s at and still have easy access? Or do you use one the password managers that come with your firewall protection software?

But I’m not so sure those are the best option either. I used one of those password managers and it forgot the password for the website I tried to use. Can you believe it, I logged on, my username and password populated perfectly, and evidently it was not the correct password. I even tried the “forgot password” button and it took me to a screen that wanted my phone number, are you kidding me, my phone number, what about my email address? I have no idea what phone number I put down, but I always know what email address I use. After trying every phone number I could think of I got the death message, “Too many tries, contact IT support to access your account”. It was nice enough to give the phone number of a live chat, but these people keep bankers hours, I can only call from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm and whatever you do don’t even think about calling from noon to two, everyone will be at lunch. I have things to do today and sitting around waiting until 8:30 to talk to someone about resetting my password is not on my list. Seriously, the internet is open for business twenty-four seven, why is it that we can’t get technical support the same way?

There goes my blood pressure, perfect the doctor will love that.

Treachery

The treachery of your words
Sweet and soft
Belie your actions
Deception and duplicity.

The look in your eyes
Guileless and loving
Seek to hide the truth
With smoke and mirrors.

Your lies are now exposed
I will not fall victim again
I will become as deceitful
And use your tactics against you.

Cramping My Style

Work is cramping my style. I have been swamped at work lately. So busy, that I have been going in an hour early every day and working through lunch just to keep up. That extra hour of early time means that I don’t get to do any writing and of course when I have no time to spend writing, I have lots of great story ideas. All of these ideas come when I’m either walking the dogs, taking a shower or doing something else that entails my hands being otherwise occupied and there is no paper or pen around so I can at least jot down an idea. Then just like a dog seeing a squirrel, I start something else and totally forget what I wanted to say. I have no idea how many story ideas that I’ve lost and are floating around in the mishmash of my brain among all of the other things I’ve forgotten, like where I put the electric bill.

What I need is a thought activated idea recorder that will record my random thoughts, organize them into complete sentences and write a finished polished story. I could then take my idea recorder, plug it into the computer and download this wonderful story. What a superb product this would be. Every writer I know would have one. Sadly I know of no such gadget or believe me I would be the first to own one.

But back to my original thought, work is definitely getting in the way of my writing. (See what I mean about “squirrel”? One minute I’m focused the next off on another tangent.) The audacity of a company in the business of making a profit through the labor of their employees, said company shows its’ appreciation by paying us a salary and actually expects us to work and earn that salary. Can you believe it? Actually work to receive my paycheck? Oh man, the unfairness of it all. But I really like eating, I’m not the starving artist type, so I go in and work every day giving it my all, so for now I have to squeeze out my writing time when I can, right along with my work out time, which isn’t getting done on a regular basis either.

The Day That Shall Remain Nameless

My Monday started off okay, nothing spectacular one way or the other. The dogs actually behaved themselves on the walk. They did their business sniffing and peeing on everything, but acted like perfect little canine gentlemen. I showered, put on my makeup and tamed my crazy, curly hair. My hair hates me and generally does its’ own thing, but I got it to look presentable. So far so good, no sign of impending doom.

If I had any inkling as to how my day would turn out, I would have crawled back into my bed, pulled the covers up over my head… and I would have stayed there for the rest of the day.

On my drive to work, I apparently forgot to remove the target on the back of my car. I had three different morons think that my lane was their lane too. I try to play nice but I draw the line at sharing an eight foot wide space with an idiot driving a pickup truck who was too busy drinking his coffee AND talking on his phone. I have no idea how he was steering and I’m not sure I want to know. I’m a little protective of my 2002 Pontiac Firebird. Even though it’s eleven years old, it is the first car I bought off the showroom floor. It’s too bad I don’t have a bazooka… I wonder if I can get one online.

Walked into work, climbed the stairs to my Department and sat down at my desk. I poured a cup of coffee from my thermos. I’m all by myself in the mornings, so I get a calm moment before everyone else gets in and the crazy starts.

At nine, my boss called me and asked that I come into his office. A project I had worked on for weeks had become a top priority and was needed for a big meeting in half an hour. Super. The spreadsheets won’t work properly on his computer. Double super. So I did what any sane person would do, I called a friend and coworker for help. Crisis averted with a few minutes to spare, keeping me from spending the morning in ladies room crying.

The meeting was almost two hours of looking at spreadsheets on the big overhead screen. Long meetings are a death knell for me, my eyes glazed over and I started to nod off. I can’t sit still that long without falling asleep. So I sat there scribbling on my note pad, wiggling my feet and fidgeting like a six year old, trying to stay awake.

The final blow to the day was when I slammed the middle finger on my right hand in the door to the ladies room. Granted most bathroom stall doors aren’t very menacing, but the bathrooms were built European style with each stall designed as a sort of closet with floor to ceiling doors, just like a regular interior door with sharp corners. I slammed it so hard that the door cut my finger on one side and produced a giant blood blister on the other side. I stood in the stall squeezing my finger that sent throbbing pain all the up my arm and to the pit of my stomach. I thought I was going to get sick. It took a minute for the finger to start bleeding but when it did I had drips all over the floor. I had a nice blood trail going and, with my loud epitaphs, a body would think that someone had been murdered.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Monday’s suck. No beating around the bush on this, no sugar coating it. Monday’s just suck. So, I have decided that I am no longer going to refer to Monday as Monday. From now on Monday shall be called “The Day That Shall Remain Nameless!”.

To quote Yul Brynner in The King and I, “So shall it be written so shall it be done, etc. etc. etc.,”. Great movie, I bet it wasn’t filmed on a Monday.

Banned Television

The list of television shows that I have been banned from watching has grown. The newest TV show on the no-watch list is the Dr. Oz Show. The reason, I watch part of a segment think what a great idea and try it. The results are never what the show touts. Granted, it’s not the show’s fault that I haven’t seen the complete segment, but nonetheless I am not a responsible adult when watching these shows.

I see some new exercise that looks easy, but in reality I need to be twenty something weigh about ninety pounds and have the bone structure of an octopus. I try but there is no way I will ever be able to twist my body in the pretzel shape that is supposed to relieve back pain and make me more flexible. All I did was help my chiropractor pay for his summer vacation.

I landed on the show one day while channel surfing and caught the end of another segment where a man was espousing the benefits of taking Cayenne supplements to help get the maximum metabolism benefit while exercising. He said that taking the supplement would help speed up more calorie burn even when not exercising. So I rushed to the store and bought a bottle of Cayenne capsules. The directions said to take one three times a day with meals. It didn’t say that you should also drink a gallon of water too. I can’t say that my metabolism has sped up and haven’t lost a pound but I do have the worst case of heart burn ever.

I should also add health magazines to the list of avoiding. I read an article in a small health magazine while waiting in the doctor’s office about a super food, Chia Seeds. The article told about vast health benefits of eating just a tablespoon a day, mixing the seeds in a smoothie, sprinkled on a salad or in baking. The article claimed that the seeds contained omega 3 fatty acids, had more antioxidants than blue berries and fiber. So I figured trying it would give me more energy, helping me get back into shape faster and lose weight. No added energy and I gained three pounds.

My reading selections are now limited to the tabloids and the only television I can watch are crime dramas. Maybe I can figure out whodunit and sell it to the tabloids.

A Bit of Poetry for Friday

Thunderstorm

Lightning flashes across the night sky
Turning darkness into light
Thunder rumbles deep and long
Shaking the ground like an earthquake.

Stiff winds howl through the trees
Branches whipping back and forth
Driving rain pelting the earth
Tiny puddles growing into pools.

Creatures burrow deeper
In their shelters seeking refuge
Grass and tender plants laid flat
From the onslaught of the storm.