Friday, August 26, 2011

Fill In the Blank Friday

1. One of life's most simple pleasures is time alone .

2. People who pull out suddenly ... and then go 25 MPH makes me want to punch someone.

3. I like the smell in the air as it is raining because, I have no idea why, but I do like it .

4. Barnacle is a funny word.

5. If I had to choose one beauty product to use for the rest of eternity it would be the little cucumber-scented facial cleansing wipes that I use ..... love 'em!

6. I'm happy that some of the things I wished for most didn't come to fruition, because I'm pretty happy with the way my life is now :) .

7. I would never get a tattoo, not because I think they're tacky or anything like that. I have a medical condition which makes tats very risky for me (slower healing process). So no ink .... which is fine because I'm not a needle person anyway!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's a Good Kind of Tired

I am tired, but it's a good kind of tired. There's the kind of tired where you're physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually tired -- and you are just exhausted in every way, and that's usually when everyone wants more out of you than you can possibly give. I've been there more often than I care to admit, and it is the most horrid kind of tired.

Then there's the tired that comes from knowing you've done a lot, done the best you could, given it everything you had and a little more, and you walk away feeling good, maybe even a little energized. Lately, that's been more my kind of tired.....

And I think for me, it comes from getting back to a lost love: acting. Performing on stage just for the pure joy of it. Right now, my calves are killing me from the dance rehearsals, my swiss-cheese brain has gotten a few more holes from trying to remember which move or which line comes next .... but I'm coming home from rehearsals feeling pretty dang good. I've been blessed to never have stage fright or any fear of being out in the spotlight in front of people. No qualms at all, no fear. There's something freeing about being on stage, something wonderful about transforming yourself into a character and being that person for a while.

So this morning, I'm two cups of coffee in. I have a full plate waiting on me at the office, I have choir practice tonight, and I will have to pack a gym bag and a lunch when I get home so that I'm ready to hit the door tomorrow morning to get in a workout. And when I get home tomorrow night around 10, I'll still be able to look back and say, "Oh yeah, it was a good day!"

In college, I felt the same way on days when we had awesome service projects, like cleaning the homeless shelter or doing National Service Day cleanups. The kind of day where you looked back and said, "WOW! I did all that? Huh, funny I don't 'feel' it....."

It's tired without being soul-tired. The best kind of tired there is.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fill In the Blank Friday

1. My idea of pure perfection would be sitting on the back deck of my beach house, overlooking the waves with a soft breeze going through my hair, eyes closed and just drinking in the environment.

2. Laughter is as essential to life as air and water.

3. If it weren't for work and bills I'd pursue a full-time career in health/wellness/fitness.

4. Bloggers are people who understand that the written word is still important, and the power that words have to change the world.

5. If I had a winning Powerball ticket I'd buy you a motorhome and a gas card where the bill comes to me, so that you can enjoy your golden years in style -- love you, Mom & Dad!

6. I'm glad it's Friday because I will have my massage tonight and simply revel in being pampered.

7. Something I'm excited about is our production of Godspell -- it's going to be magnificent!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Completely unfair....

A few weeks ago, a friend in Oregon told me about a couple of Facebook groups for two children in their area who were both battling cancer. I signed aboard to be their friends and to keep up with their progress.

Those who know me are quite aware of how much I detest cancer. It has taken way too many people I knew and loved. When I was a child, I knew people who had cancer, but it didn't seem to be quite so prevalent. I daresay it would be quite difficult to find anyone today who hasn't been affected by cancer, whether personally, in their families or circle of friends, or from someone else they know.

And sadly, it strikes regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or any other factor. It strikes without fear or mercy. It cares not what your station in life is, what your hopes and plans for the future may be. It does not care. Period.

It hit two beautiful children, separated by an entire continent from me, but my heart and prayers went out to them from afar. Both their cancers were in advanced stages, but I could always hope and pray for a miracle, right?

Then I learned of two other children, close friends of my friend, also battling cancer (in one case) and a heart condition (in another). Cancer and heart condition -- aren't those diseases of the elderly or at least something that no child should think about? But sure enough, there they were.

My parish has a beautiful tradition: a prayer book out front in which to write the names of those who have asked for our prayers. Then as the gifts are brought forward at the offertory, the book is brought forward as well, and placed on the altar as well. So our prayers are placed there in a very visual manner before God. Four new names went into the prayer book: Ethan, Faith, Keilah, Tyler .... in addition to the other names I regularly place in there and any special needs as well.

Earlier this week, Ethan lost his battle to cancer at age 9. His parents are establishing a foundation in his memory to help other children battling cancer with toys or other things to help them weather the long hospital stays -- to bring some momentary relief and reminders that they are children, kids who just want to be kids.

And yesterday, news broke that Faith's cancer is ever-worsening, and that hospice has been called in. Today, her mother posted that they had "the conversation" with her .... the one where they have told her that their options have run out, and the time she has left is what she has.

There is so much about this that is completely unfair..... two children dealing with things that no child should even have to think about or worry over. Two lives shortened unnecessarily. Two sets of parents and siblings left to grieve, to mourn what might have been, to rejoice in what was, to always have people go "oh, yeah... they lost a child." Their fraternity is one that no one wants to join: parents who have buried a child. And it doesn't matter whether that child was 8, 28, 48 -- all way too soon for their parents' liking.

But the one nice thing I read from both set of parents is a good strong faith that somehow, none of this has been entirely in vain..... that their children are/will be waiting for them in the great beyond, that their pain has ceased, their health and wholeness restored, and that there is something good that can come from all this pain and suffering. If nothing else, it has made people around the nation and around the world take a few moments and think of someone else, to not be so self-absorbed.

And to end on good news, Miss Keilah, the young girl from the East Coast, seems to be responding well to her first treatments. Her prognosis is good right now. Haven't heard an update on young Tyler, but I am hoping the news will be just as good for him.

Let's hope our prayers give them a chance to be kids just a little longer -- and on into a long, happy life!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Strolls Down Memory Lane

It seems as if the Hoover Dam broke and unleashed upon Facebook a whole slew of "You Know You're From (Wherever) When......" We don't have that one but we do have "Do You Remember At Hometown High...." and posting tons of high school memories. I'm always of two minds about high school days. I enjoy when I get to meet up with classmates or share some memories..... but at the time, high school wasn't the most pleasant of experiences.

High school was one of those times of my life that I'd never want to repeat. Living through it once was more than enough. College? Completely different story. And yet I enjoy seeing my high school classmates out and about. We did a meet-and-eat earlier this summer, and it was a blast. But back in the day, it was a different story.

I couldn't wait to get out of my hometown. Once I was gone, I tried to distance myself from the people, places, etc. of those first 17 years. Angry? Perhaps. Coming home was never even a consideration. But so it happened. I still kept a distance. I needed that wall, that angry-young-girl facade. I suppose you could say I felt so ashamed of coming home on my shield instead of carrying it. Weird wounded pride.

It has only been in the last few years, as I have become more at ease with myself and my place in the world, have I begun to attempt to make peace with having grown up here, and my HS days. We were all silly and immature, and as I see it, we've all gotten so much better. The distancing came with a price: I'll never be as close to my hometown friends as I am to the ones from college and my adult life. They are the people who really watched me come into my own, and who have been there for me in my very darkest hours. But there's also a joy in knowing people who will not look at you funny when you mention certain people, places, events. If you're from here and from a certain era, "The Fooder" will bring instant recall, as would Mrs. O'Dell or "the 100 Building." It's a good thing.

Sometimes, remembering isn't such a bad thing after all......