I Need a Vacation From Life

Pixabay.com

Do you ever have those times when you just need to get away? Just going to the coffee shop won’t help. The stress of life is just minutes away, waiting to pounce on me. It’s not enough.

I need a vacation!!!!! From LIFE!!!!!

Think of all the stresses from life. They come in various forms, twenty-four seven.

Work – This stress takes up most of my days. I go to work and deal with idiots. Okay, not all are idiots, but I think there are a good number. I have to repeat myself over and over because a few people don’t know how to read their emails. Then there are the drama queens and those who try to throw you under the bus every chance they get. That’s not even touching on the lost shipments and computer issues. (I think I need an asprin now.)

Family – Oh, the family. How they make us want to jump off a cliff! They demand your attention and presence at every family event. And that doesn’t include the drama you are drawn into.

Kids – These buggers have to be fed and clothed. If they are older, they have to be at soccer practice or picked up when they are done with after school activities. That doesn’t include when you try to go to the bathroom and they come a knocking.

Husband – When does the husband not stress you out? There is the stress of having to watch that football game and then what is for supper.

House – Cleaning never seems to get done unless we do it ourselves. The magical world of Mickey Mouse doesn’t bring the mop to life when we leave the premises. The dishes can wait, but there comes a time that you need to have clean underwear.

Fun Stuff – Even what you do for fun can be stressful. I love to crochet. Now I’m learning to knit. That is soooo stressful. There are the interruptions from kid and husband as well as from life. Then there are the mistakes I am learning as I go. ARGH!

When can I fit in sanity? Nowhere.

There comes a time when you need to step away from it all. You need to get away from even your cell phone. That thing can drive a saint to cussing. Get away and let the brain relax. Give the nerves a chance to breath and not snap.

My husband gave me a slight one the other week. He dropped me off at Starbucks for 4 hours. That was so productive, but it wasn’t a real vacation. I need to sleep in for a few days straight. I need to not have a single person call my name. I need to be pampered and relaxed.

Maybe one day I’ll have that escape, that vacation from life. I can hope can’t I?

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A Lesson Chiggers Taught Me

TimVickers [Public domain]

I recently visited where I was born in Kentucky. My family’s farm has been sold and the house removed. I hadn’t been there since it was sold three years earlier. For my own closure, I needed to go there.

It was hard to see the empty space where the house had been. I couldn’t stop the tears. I walked the area and pointed out where memories lived. It was a bittersweet moment.

Later that day at my sister’s, a spot on the back of my leg began to itch. A mosquito must have penetrated my jeans. In the middle of the night, I woke up, clawing at my leg. Dozens of spots were on my leg and itching to the point that I would gladly have made them bleed.

Over the next twenty-four hours, dozens more popped up. I had never had so many mosquito bites at one time. Then they got worse. More appeared. Nothing helped. They weren’t mosquito bites. They were chiggers buried in me!!!!

For days, I clawed at my skin. My entire left leg was covered. Then the right joined in. It moved up my body until all by my neck and head were covered in bites that bleed every day. I couldn’t stop scratching. During the night, I’d wake up clawing at them. My husband kept yelling at me to stop before any got infected. While he was right in doing so, I couldn’t stop it.

It’s been a couple of months now. The bites have stopped itches, but they left scars. Every time I look at any part of my body, I am reminded of the agony of that trip. I did not enjoy the trip as I should have all because of the misery. But I also see a lesson from it all.

There are times we can’t control our actions.

I’ve always been told that you can control how you react to things. To a degree, maybe. Yet our body and mind take over at times when we are unable to fight it. I couldn’t stop the itching. I couldn’t stop my nails from scratching while I slept. It was going to happen no matter what. These scars were destined to be a part of me.

I could lament them. I could think of all things I could have done differently. Aside from tying my hands while I slept the headboard, I was going to scratch myself. By choosing to get out of the car and walking my old home, I set in course something I could not change. Do I regret walking the homestead? No, I had to do it for saying goodbye to part of my past. That meant I had to exchange peace and smooth skin with closure.

How many people have to make exchanges like that and don’t even realize that? It gives me a different perspective I hope I can channel into my writing.

The Most Challenging Question I’ve Been Asked

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My daughter asked me a simple question the other day. It was very simple, yet I cannot shake my…answer.

The daughter who has been married for a couple of years asked, “Mom, if work gave you an opportunity to move to France for two years, would you go?” I work for a French owned company who send interns over to work in the States for a specified period of time. So in that aspect, it was a simple question.

Let’s start with the fact that I would never be asked to do that. I’m in not in a position in that company to ever be offerred that, but it still got me thinking. That was even more so after I quickly answered, “No!”

Catherine asked me, “Why not?”

“Well, there are things to consider like my house here, my husband, my….” That’s all I had. She pushed for more concrete answers, and I could not give her a single thing. I couldn’t even use my job as an excuse as it would have been my job sending me there. Therefore I would have income.

She hung up, and I kept hearing that question and my answer in my head. Shame swept over me. I gave a coward’s answer. I would be afraid to move to a different country and have to live in it for more than the time I would have spent if I had gone on vacation. Adventure would have awaited me, and I would have run from it.

I’m boring. It’s just a fact. I’m boring as watching sand fall through an hourglass. Telling anything about my life is blah. No one wants to know anything about me because there is nothing interesting. I read. I write. I work. I crochet. I’m learning to knit. Aren’t you excited to hear more? I’m not even interested.

I want to have my tombstone say, “She lived a hell of a life!” It won’t say that if I kicked the bucket today. I hang my head in shame.

I know why I’m like this. I was raised to be safe, to take the conservative route, to not take risks. My very upbringing prohibits me from enjoying life to its fullest. Only brother dared to break from that. He joined the Navy and has gone on adventures nearly every year of life even after leaving the Navy that took him throughout the Western hemisphere. Even though he moved back to within a few miles of where he had been born, he goes to places like Africa and experiences life. I’m so jealous of him. Note: I am jealous in a good way that only a sister who idolizes him can.

I want to do that. I want to live life. So I have decided to start a real bucket list. I’ll be fifty in a couple of years. My youngest is leaving home next year. I have the chance to live my life in a way like never before. I’m actually going to it.

I’ll share with you my list. I’ll share with you as I prepare for them and actually do them. World, watch out! Who knows what story ideas I’ll get from my adventures.

Should I Be Worried That I Enjoy Writing Evil Characters?

I’ve found a horrible secret that I’ve hid from myself. When I write an evil character, I find myself enjoying it. There! I said it! What a relief to that off my chest.

I hinted at this once and got the impression that I was horrible for feeling that way. Maybe they were right. But it feels so good when I’m in that character’s head.

Let me stop here and clear a few things up. I do not enjoy writing about deception, murder, or anything else horrific. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the challenge to be something I’m not and explore feelings that are taboo.

I discovered this when I wrote my first book, Deep Connections, which is published under my pen name of Shadow Steele. I had sections of my trilogy where I wrote from the point of the view of the evil character. I enjoyed describing this greed and desire for revenge. It wasn’t long before I found his sections were meatier than the others.

Then I wrote a story called Pure Obsession that will be coming out under another pen name before the end of the year. It is a very dark story told from two different POVs. One chapter would be from the female character. The next one would be from the male character who could be classified as the bad guy. When I wrote the chapters for Marcus, I had to be completely alone. My temper was short as I got into his mind and reflected his thoughts and feelings. I mentally became Marcus. But his sections were sooooooo good.

What does that say about me? Maybe I just freed a part of me that had been locked up. Maybe I opened up an exciting new creative world that had yet been untapped by me. It was a challenge for me and one that continues to challenge me.

I’m playing around with the idea of writing a story just from the evil guy’s perspective. Not sure who or the premise, but it’s bouncing around in my head.

What are your thoughts? Got an idea for a story I can play around with?

Remebering Why I Hated High School

I recently went to my 30th high school reunion. Reality hit me hard as I watched the group gathered. Things had not really changed. I still hated high school.

Now, I’m not saying I didn’t like anyone there. You have to understand where I’m coming from.

When I was in high school, I was the extremely introverted nerd. I did not hang out with the popular kids mainly because I was not a party person. I preferred my books. In fact, most others made fun of me because i was so straight-laced. A guy talked to me, and I would blush brightly. I was mocked for attending church regularly. Once at a dance, I overheard my classmates mocking me. It only made me want to hide even more.

Since those days, I’ve opened up a lot. Yet I’m still a scared little girl inside. Large crowds have me in a panic because I just know they are talking about me and condemn how I look and how I act. I just want to cry when I’m around people even if I have known them for years. At that reunion, it all surfaced again a million times.

I felt so out of place. I hadn’t seen any of these people in thirty years. I wasn’t close to them then. I wasn’t close to them now. Few ever interacted with me online where we were connected. They knew nothing about me. Few cared. They walked right by and didn’t say a word.

In many ways, I’m a different person than I was in high school. Yet I’m still the same. Once again, I was alone in the sea of people. I didn’t fit in.

I’m glad I’ve moved on. Not many people want to relive high school. I now remember that. Lessons were learned, but my life is in the here and now.

Inspiration From Teenage Drama

Teenagers can be very dramatic. I mean VERY! Trust me when I say this. I’ve had three. The drama puts TV shows to shame.

It never fails for my seventeen year old daughter to daily give me a run down on the drama in her teenage group. I know who is dating who, who broke up with who, and who did something royally stupid.

I have to admit here that there are times I just want to scream. I get sick of hearing about it all especially since I know most of the drama will be forgotten in a few hours by all involved. Over time, I began to notice ideas taking root in my mind as the drama swirled around me.

After I had dropped the kids off at the coffee shop, I thought on what had been said. What if this happened? What if that happened? Stories begin to form in my mind.

What just happened? Teenage drama penetrated my writing sphere! Yep, I’ve been invaded by the dark side.

I have a young adult story started due to my daughter and her friends talking about a girl asking a guy out to a dance and to only be turned down by the jerk. That was their word for him, not mine.

There are stories present in all that drama. I just have to sift through the ultra-drama, or at least some of it. Even that kind of over the top can be inspiration for me as a writer.

Maybe the pain and suffering of that drama will pay off.

Sometimes You Just Need a Drink

Life is not easy going. It is not a bed of roses. We have heard these sayings and other similar ones. Well, they are all true. That means that sometimes you just need a drink.

I had one of those days at work. When I say work, I mean my day job that pays the bills and supplies health insurance. It also supplies a lot of writing material though sometimes I wish it was not quite so exciting.

I didn’t ask for patience. I didn’t ask to have roughness in my life to smooth my own rough edges. By the end of the day, I needed a drink.

There are times it feels like that every day. I get very stressed when I feel like I’m in a deep pit with others standing around the edge to pelt me with rocks. Do you get that? Do you feel that you have a target on your back or at least all over your body? Please tell me I’m not alone.

It seems that too often I’m on the defensive. Someone is pointing a finger at me because they want to cover up their mistake. Oh, I make plenty of mistakes. They don’t point them out. Maybe because I admit to them. They make up stuff. I just don’t get it.

I do try to turn it around and make it positive. In fact, I think of scenerios I could put in a book where they get payback. Oh, the fun I have in that. It can be funny at times. I don’t have them murdered in my mind. I have in comical situations, embarrassing situations. Then I laugh the next time I see them because I see them with the pie in the face or the monkey licking their face.

The best part? They have no idea what I’m laughing about. I really do get the last laugh then.