I Think I’m Cursed When It Comes to Plans

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I’ve been told my whole life to have a plan. There should be a plan for the next ten years, five years, twelve months, next week, and today. I do try to do this. I try to be good and make a plan. Then the curse descends.

I think I call on it by writing out my plan for the day or the week. So I plan it in my head. Nope! The curse still appears. I can never do what I plan to do.

I can plan to get the dishes done today. Oh, that won’t happen. Something will interfere. I know it will because it always does. An event will be sprung upon me by my daughter. My husband will be sick and have to go to the ER. It never fails.

Once, I was told that I exaggerated the chaos in my life. Then they spent an afternoon and evening with us and were shocked. I couldn’t get anything accomplished. All I did was put out fires. By the end of the night, I couldn’t do the things I knew needed to be done.

Today, I can plan to get an article written, do the dishes, and fold laundry. When I get home, we will have to run an errand, husband will be sick, daughter will need help with homework. Then I develop a headache. Nothing gets done.

My planning has a curse on it. I’m not sure who put it on me. I’d like for them to lift it. I’d like to get things done. As I’m writing this, I am getting work done online but nothing else. That is only because I’m home sick with the stomach flu. Not what I had planned.

I’m still told that success comes from planning. What they don’t ever talk about is what to do when the planning is interfered with. That is what I need advice for.

What do you feel cursed about? What seems to always go wrong for you?

I Thought I Knew What Scared Me

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Too often, we think we know ourselves pretty well. After all, we are the only ones in our minds. Then we discover that we can even fool ourselves.

Snakes scare me to death. Even writing that sentence gave me the shivers. But now I find something that scares me more. Fear of not accomplishing everything I want before I die.

I’m middle-aged now. Suddenly, I see myself sliding down the hill instead of trudging upwards. There is no unlimited future in front of me. I see a time limit now. I fear not getting it all done.

I literally have a hundred or more story ideas to write. I have hundreds of crochet and knitting projects to attempt. Can I get them all done before I die?

I know it sounds crazy, but now that I’m nearly fifty, I wonder. I fear it. I don’t necessarily fear dying. I fear not doing everything I want to get done.

Have you ever had a deadline that was fast approaching? Panic usually accompanies that. I guess you could say that is similar to what I’m experiencing.

So, snakes still scare me. I can’t stand them, but I can avoid them. Time is something that nobody can avoid. What am I going to do? Make the best of it and get things done. Wish me luck.

Alone in a Sea of People

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Have you ever heard that you can be alone in a crowd? I heard that phrase and thought it was poetic sounding and meant to be discussed in a philosophy class. That can be true, but it can be a very literal saying that I have learned from personal experience. You can be alone with a hundred people around you.

A crowd does not mean you are connected. That is what it comes down to. Connections. A crowd is just people. They are bodies, many times with no interest in you.

Think of it this way. You are sitting at a family gathering. You are troubled about an issue at work or are having marital problems. It could be depression haunting you. Those around you have no idea about what is hurting you inside. You are alone because no one else can connect with you.

Being alone can be physical and emotional. Alone can be no one around or no one who can understand and connect to you. I’ve felt it way too often.

Hurt is familiar to all of us. Not everyone knows about it. Your pain eats at you, but no one else can see it. It’s like seeing a ghost no one else can. Those around you cannot understand your reaction nor your feelings. You are alone in a crowd.

Most of the time, people don’t want to discuss such issues. To expose our inner feelings, makes us more vulnerable. That is dangerous and uncomfortable to us. We want to avoid those feelings.

I have found that writing scenes that require a character to feel alone in a character can be enjoyable because I have been there and felt that way. An author writes the best scenes if they have experienced the characters’ feelings. The author can make the scene real.

I wrote a novel for my master’s thesis. It turned out to be a very emotional piece of writing as I put so many real events from my life in it. The Black Sheep is a story of a middle-aged woman facing the death of her mother. Not only does she have to deal with the intense feelings within her, she has to deal with family drama which everyone faces at one time or another. The emotions of her mother dying, tension with siblings, and the fear and questions of the past are all from me. That made the scenes harder to write and more real.

Being alone in a crowd is very real. Connection of emotions is what it means. We can’t do it with everyone. Don’t feel bad if you have these feelings. Admit them. You can deal with them better if you do.

Do Some People Have a Chance for a Good Life?

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This was a question I was given during some research recently. At first, it was an easy answer. Then I paused. Maybe it wasn’t so easy. It really got me to thinking.

What is a Good Life?

Everyone’s defintion of a good life is different. For some, it is making it big and leaving their mark on the world. For others, it is having a ton of money and not want for anything. Then there are those who only want to be happy.

Before the main question can really be answered, the understanding of what is a good life is important. For this piece which is my answer to the question, I think of the good life as having food on the table, a roof over my head, and the ability to work.

Food on the Table

Every human should be able to eat each day and not go to bed hungry. Inadequate diet can lead to health issues and a shorter lifespan. A good life is being able to have a full belly.

Roof Over My Head

I have been homeless for a short spell. It is not fun. You have to move around a lot to avoid getting in trouble. You can’t have many necessities in life because you have to be mobile.

Ability to Work

Not being able to work can deeply impact a person. It prevents them from paying for food and a roof over their heads. It also gives a person a sense of value. Work is good for us.

The Key is the “Chance” for a Good Life

Not everyone gets these three things. Some don’t want them for one reason or another. The key here is the chance for that good life. If they have the chance, then they have the choice which makes it more valuable to us.

I think everyone should have this chance presented to them. They should have the chance to have food to eat each day. This is important for survival. They should have the chance to have a roof over their head. They should have the chance to work. No one should be excluded from any of these.

The “Other” Good Life

To many the good life is having money and not worrying how to pay the bills. I completely agree that this is a good interpretation of the good life. I have food everyday. I have a roof over my head, and I have the ability to work. It would be a very good life to not have to worry about paying the bills. Do I have a chance for that? Yes. I just have to work harder and smarter. The chance is there for anyone to have a good life no matter what the reasonable definition is.

Who Has That Voodoo Doll On Me?

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Ever have that feeling that the deck is stacked against you? Nothing seems to go right. Murphy’s Law is dictator. Trust me, I know this for a fact. If it can go wrong in my life, it typically does.

Yes, I know this sounds fatalistic. But I do feel that way at times. I had someone tell me that I exaggerated things. Well, they sat through an evening of my day and saw it first hand. I have the worst luck.

If it can go wrong, it typically does. That makes those few times things go right very precious. I just wish they came around a little more often.

Why do I use the term voodoo doll? Well, I began using that about 18 years ago when everything in our lives began to go wrong. My husband developed pneumonia. A few months later right before I gave birth to our last child, he ended up in the hospital for reasons doctors could not determine. Right after my daughter was born, I was told I might have cancer. Scared me to death as my father was already dying from that very unprejudiced disease. I had surgery that changed my life. It wasn’t cancer, but it was a lifelong issue I had to face. Dad died. My husband went into the hospital and discoverd that all his problems were symptoms of Chrons. He then lost his job due to being out sick too much. Credit fraud happened right after that. We moved in hopes of getting a fresh start. Medical problems only got worse as did our financial issues. Seemed we couldn’t trust anyone. Everyone went wrong year after year.

Each New Year, we toast that it will be better than the year before. Each year, we have to swallow those words. Things just don’t get better, no matter what we do. Oh, well.

Each New Year, I am determined to keep hope alive. You thought this was going to be an entirely depressing pieces, didn’t ya? I couldn’t let that happen. There has to be some fun in life.

Yep, the cards seem stacked against me, but I know how to play a few games such as poker. I will lose a few hands here and there. Okay, I will lose way more than I will win. But the important part is that I’m still in the game.

Bring it on!

No, I really didn’t mean that. Fates, just kidding.

I Need a Vacation From Life

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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?

A Lesson Chiggers Taught Me

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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.