Reflections not Resolutions

Night time, that time between awake and dreams, is when resolve is at its strongest. The calendar plays no role. Thoughts of weight loss and exercise and structured journal time and life goals and business dreams, and relationship complexities fill my consciousness along with resolve to follow through – this time. The New Year, for me, is not a time for resolutions but for reflection.

It’s nighttime, not a specific date, when I ponder life questions; queries which, to others, become catalysts for New Year’s resolutions: Where have I failed? Am I a success? Where do you find strength and stamina to follow through on resolve to accomplish goals and ambitions? When did I get so fat?

I used to make New Year’s Resolutions – earlier in my life when I was more of a follower. I’d write them down – alphabetically, not in an order of most importance – in a new journal purchased especially for the year’s resolutions. I’d keep track of actions, write notes of accomplishments, and even jot down occasional failures. But by late-February or early March, the journal would get stuffed into a desk drawer (out of sight, out of mind) or the spoiled pages would be ripped out and shredded leaving a relatively new journal with blank pages ready for new thoughts vacant of resolve.

As I aged, I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps because of maturity. Maybe because of failures. Probably because I’m lazy. I do reflect on m life when a new year begins. But I now believe life changes and success occur because we turn our intentions into actions and not because of promises made when turning the page on a new calendar.


Another Saturday...

Staying in bed another hour seemed like such a luxury when in my 20s and 30s. No longer. Now it feels wrong, wasteful, crime-like. The older I get the faster time flies and to spend time in bed without accomplishing anything but feed my own selfishness must be a crime against productivity, creativity, the future ... something. And yet, another Saturday pulling the covers up even further, laying on my good ear so the sounds of the world are muffled through the one that doesn't work so well. Aging and hating growing older. Changes, subtle and sensational, are apparently smothering my ability to enjoy a little luxury in my day...


Strangely Enough

No one really blogs anymore.... unless, apparently, you're a chef wanting to post recipes or a celebrity disclosing latest escapades.

I too find myself ignoring the blogging world and gravitating more toward the use of an actual pen and paper and journals. One disadvantage? I forget to date my writing, something blogging would never let happen (changing the date, yes; ignoring? No, not unless one takes the extra steps to address html or settings or options... more work than its worth).

Advantages? Stop me when I've bored you: rewarding to take a blank page and fill it, even with shotgun writing or nonsense phrases, completely transforming the personality of the page; the feeling of accomplishment which doesn't require someone else's like or comment; self-expression with personalization while improving writing skills; gratification through the action of erasing and crossing out (versus hitting a backspace or delete key, a self-described psychological cleansing which is oddly therapeutic); creating an emotional outlet, knowing you're revealing a little bit of your soul. Ok, I'm stretching.

And yet, strangely enough, here I am. Today. Blogging. Typing out my thoughts in instead of creatively writing in a journal (leather bound, vinyl, or cardboard). Using that delete key, erasing by highlighting. Refining random thoughts while attempting to connect each to another, making a whole instead of a part. Key-stroking instead of picking up a favorite fountain pen to write feverishly in a journal or hastily jot down a thought on a 3x5 index card before it evaporates or lands in someone else's head.

Admittedly, I gain some sense of satisfaction seeing the uniformity of letters which generate words while creating paragraphs, and I ask myself: Is typing synonymous with writing when attempting to creep past the less intellectual limits of shotgun writing? Is attempting to write deep, prolific thoughts (even if deep, prolific thoughts are defined by the author) really blogging?

Based upon the evolution of blogging, one would venture to answer no.


It's one of those days ...

I like to sit and think. Or take a pencil (Ticonderoga 2.5) and paper and write unformatted, disjointed thoughts and words finding twists and turns and meanings out of nothing (which really might be something upon further scrutiny). I like to take words and structure phrases which, when structured correctly (because brilliantly is regularly out of reach and correctly is all I can hope for at this juncture) cause in-depth thought processes to fill every crevasse of the brain cavity as they fill up every space and line on sheet after sheet of notebook paper - college-ruled - because there has to be room for add-ins.

This is a day to think: dark clouds keep rooms shaded, bird songs creep through screened windows allowing the mood to balance, the Bose spins smooth jazz via saxaphone (though it would be so much richer through the spins of a turntable) and thoughts ramble from the brain and out to the fingers. Thoughts. Not many connections and practically zero direction. Till the rains come. And melancholy melts into itself and brilliance feels oh so close .... elusive, but close. 

It's one of those days when I wish I could go back and periodically choose different life paths though I do not regret where or who I am. When thoughts nearly close the doors on creativity because they come so fast, so full that writing or typing can't happen fast enough. And I wish again I had learned to set goals instead of being reactionary to circumstances and situations. Interesting connection.

Is there still time to learn? How to set goals, that is. Perhaps. Unfortunately, time has become the enemy of fulfillment realized, and life pages (on which to turn and write) have become too few.

It's one of those days .... And maybe I'll find words again when the rain stops.


Wasting or Spending Time

"I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it." ~William Shakespeare

"You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by." ~James M. Barrie

"Lost time is never found again." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life." ~Michael LeBoeuf

"Day, n. A period of twenty-four house, mostly misspent." ~Ambrose Bierce


The Promise of Pens

I grew up in a time when cursive writing was still taught in schools. I loved learning cursive, even the required squiggles and sharp points others thought were a waste of time I struggled to keep evenly spaced. The reward for learning and meeting the 'neatness' and 'form' requirements was the permission to use a fountain pen, blue ink only, cartridge provided by my teacher, in class; not only during English and penmanship but Social Studies and Science as well. I remember being the second student in class to achieve that pinnacle, so disappointed not to be the first. Still, I've been hooked ever since. Though my 'collection' only numbers 21 it includes an old Waterman which belonged to my father-in-law, a Waterford gifted to me by my best friend, and a Sheaffer formerly owned by my father. Pens represent potential and a promise of success one hopes to achieve even when recording only mediocre thoughts and less than eloquent lines ...



There's one commonality
among the living
     whether old or young
     feeble or spry
     fearful or fearless
     conservative or not
    open-minded or not
and that is all will eventually
succumb to the finite reality of life.


2013 ... Really?

So where does the time go? Or do we just continue to skip through activities without noticing? Does time actually get away from us' and does it fly only when you're having fun? The last entry in my journal was July 15, 2012. I'm surprised to see a 2013 entry on this blog, actually. Time - also known as a stretch, a period, a spell ....  However defined, time doesn't go anywhere. We go ... and go, and go, and go and pretty soon we look at our children or grandchildren and years has passed instead of days.

When my oldest was 3 months old, I remember my dad helping me feed her solid foods for the first time (yes, things were different back then). He looked at her and said, "Before you know it, this little one will be graduating from college." That little graduated from college years ago. I'm telling her the same thing about her children.

Where does time go? Like sands through the hourglass ... it only moves slowly when we watch every grain.


Odd Sensation

Sitting here doing what I want to do instead of what I have to do with Aaron Neville's "Bring It On Home ... The Soul Classics" providing encouragement


A Quote

"In life, you choose to sing a rainbow or you don't."
Chasing Rainbows, by Kathleen Long


Questions to Ponder In Quiet Moments

  • Does good become great only through adversity?
  • Is reality a figment of our imagination?
  • How long does it take for people to believe they truly have a voice?
  • How much truth exists when life is lived through observation versus existence?
  • What is it about a rainy, cold morning which promotes contemplation?
  • Does our attempt to organize actually create our chaos?
  • Do we fail by not believing enough?
  • Is it enough to know we are more than ordinary?
  • Does wishing for difference effectively impact reality?
  • How can we avoid being reluctant when self-discipline is so elusive?
  • Is routine really as mundane as we make it out to be?
  • Every experience that comes before us is necessary; how long before clarity?
  • Why do we evaluate life by the intensity of our failures?


Wish I Understood

It's hard for me to understand the actions I exhibit as a thousand things sit on my desk demanding my attention and why I end up choosing to ignore them all to sit here and write ... I don't understand this obvious character flaw which ultimately sparks panic at the end of the day knowing tomorrow the same workload will be staring me in the face. I don't understand the blinders which compel me to sit here and write frivolous nothings like...

       Life is a vast array of
       new and old,
       of learning and relearning,
       of first-time smiles and
       repeat grins.
       Don't let your day close without
       first recalling a smile so
       tomorrow dawns just a little bit brighter.

...than to actually accomplish something concrete. And yet here I sit, nearing another end to the day and my desk is still heaped full. What's a wanna-be-writer to do...


Lost Chances

Finding time for reflection which isn't influenced by momentary chaos, making notes of musings, is challenging and difficult at best. Periodically throughout my day, my brain wanders; and with the wandering, elaborate thoughts creep into consciousness, begging for definition and expansion. And I vow to develop the cogitation via journal or blog or poetic ramblings ... just as soon as I finish my current project. Resulting, of course, in the disappearance of creeping thoughts, exceptional as they may have been, now lost in my brain's recesses right next to the potential for Robert Frost brilliance.


Hoping for Change

New years always bring change. I never thought change was a difficult animal to tame, but apparently I was wrong. Change by it's basic nature is chaotic and lacking in structure which does not sit well with my basic nature.

Attempting to change how I deal with change had always been a little bit like a New Year's resolution to lose weight: I'd hope things would be different and that my one-time stop at the gymn or one-mile walk would somehow magically be enough to impose weight loss... You'd think I'd learn hoping wihout a substantive plan coupled with necessary action items and a consistent determined mindset is not very productive.

I'm hoping to change that this year.


I Resolve....

To heed the words of Benjamin Franklin:
"Be at war with your vices
at peace with your neighbors
and let every new year
find you a better person."

And maybe i will throw in a resolve to journal and/or blog daily.
Happy New Year.


Time To Say Goodbye

I'm not a politician. I've never pretended to be during my run as 4th Ward Council Member. I was publicly elected to office, true; but it's always been my contention that politicians care only about themselves, how to win the next election, and how to get that next bigger and better elected position or appointment. Politicians are ego-driven and short on sincerety. That's why I said 'no' 37 times before saying 'yes' when asked to run for city council in 2001. That was ten years ago. After an unsuccessful request to be appointed to a vacant council chair. After being told a woman's place was in the kitchen not the council chambers. I said yes. Ten years ago. And now it's time to say goodbye.

Being a publicly elected official means many things: : running to the grocery store for a few things takes over an hour instead of 10 minutes because constituents want to talk; everyone believes you can fix their problems, lower taxes, repair the potholes (on their street first, please); the big picture sometimes gets lost in the emotion of the issue; and the press remembers a lot.

December 20, 2011 that all changed for me with my last official council meeting. Now I get asked what I'm going to do with y spare time ...as if the concern for the big picture and the future of the community just magically went away. It all changed and I'm out of the loop and no one seems interested in my opinion.

I sometimes think people don't get it though. Or maybe they do and I'm the one with blinders on thinking I can make difference. But its done now and time to say goodbye to the council seat and hello to Monday evenings....... I think I'm playing the 'second guessing' or 'what if' game because the continuum somehow feels just a bit off.


It's beginning to....

The holiday favorite, "It's beginning to look a lot like Chrisstmas" isn't exactly the case today with the sun shining and the grass (now that the leaves have been raked) are still a rather vivid shade of green for November 29. But what does come to mind is 'it's beginning to Feel a bit chaotic' as I start to think about holiday gatherings and gift giving how many days until the children come to visit. I really envy those who skate through the holiday season unscathed, full of glee, avoiding tears, depression, nd panic attacks.....


A Rare Moment

I don't remember the last time my sister, brother, Mother and I posed for a photo together... it was literally years until this past September when we all gathered in Kansas City.

It's an interesting life phenomenon that events which usually bring people physically together are usually times of emotional stress, unlike the rare occurrence pictured here. No one died. No one was sick. The stress involved was getting four individual schedules to cooperate so we all occupied the same space at the same time.

It's sad, really, that living so often gets in the way of appreciating life and those we care about. At some point during each day I think I'll be better and act smarter and care more and prove that I do.

But at the end of the day when darkness closes in, the reality of follow-through hits hard. The only thing that was really addressed was more of the same.


To Much Technology

Between the blog and web albums and web sites and how I'm currently employed, I feel like I'm a victim of too much technology and not enough time which is why this blog usually suffers.



It's becoming increasingly difficult to find my balance. There are too many requests and too many deadlines and too many mandates mingling with a selfishness to choose how to divide my time and what to label as Priority 1A. I want to spend hours with fountain pen in hand allowing images to manifest themselves on journal pages through my inked words. I don't care if the end result is of publishing caliber. But the pages remain silent and the ink encapsulated, because it's not to be, at least not today or maybe not even this week, this month. Instead I'm stealing this minute for self-gratification and blogging this single paragraph .... a poor substitute at best.