I’m Afraid of Going Insane

Now that you have read that title, you have ideas about what I actually mean. Your mind has already raced ahead to assume what this is about. You think maybe I’m hearing voices in my head. Well, maybe that is accurate since I’m a writer. Bad example.

If I have agateophobia (the fear of insanity), it is because the world makes me feel that way. Seriously, those around me act like part of the All About Eve story. You know that movie that stared Betty Davis. She has a dark past that has many questioning her sanity. When her niece comes to visit her, strange things begin to happen. Eve thinks she is loosing it only discover… Spoiler alert! She discovers that her relative is making her appear mad to obtain Eve’s wealth. In the end, Eve becomes what everyone thought of her in an attempt to administer justice.

Yes, I have an imagination. I love to think of “what if” scenarios, but I do know the difference between reality and imagination. I’m beginning to think some people do not. They create a world that doesn’t exist and pretend that it does.

I have seen this first hand. Someone recounts an event and everyone listening has their mouths hanging open. That wasn’t how anyone else remembers it! Were they all at the same event?

I’m very serious. I was told once how I was screaming over an accident with another member of the family. A frown quickly appeared on my face because I wasn’t even at the scene. Others tried to correct the person who had told the tale of my hysterics, but she would hear none of it. I was there and completely lost it. Oh, the things I do that I am not even aware of.

There seems to be quite a few things that happen that I was directly involved in but have no recollection. Seriously! People recount an event and swear I was there, I said something, or I did something. What? I wasn’t even in the state at the time. Well, it seems I can be in two places at once. I even say things that I would never even think of. It’s truly amazing.

I had one person recounting an event in which I was completely wasted. Funny how I have never been drunk and I wasn’t at the event the person swears I was at. But the story persists.

There is even the story of me nearly punching someone out. Neither me or one other person with me at the time recall anything close to that, but someone I was able to nearly get into my first physical fight.

Do you have that problem? I mean, surely I’m not alone in this crazy world! Don’t you have it where others tell you things you have said or done but you don’t remember them at all? Yes, I know there are some people who just rewrite history so they look better or others look bad. If you are one of those, I’m not talking to you. You’re not going, you are already there.

Oh, well. Guess I have to live with the created realities. Maybe we all create them. We all change what really happened to be what we want it to be! Could that be it? Then we are all insane.

Note: This is just sarcasm. I’m not making fun of those with issues. It’s just sometimes we have people telling us we have issues that we don’t have and we have no idea how to deal with them.

Angels Walk Among Us

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Many of us can testify to having met angels at sometime in our lives. They might be literal angels or they are people sent to us during our times of need. I have met them and I think you have too.

What is an Angel?

An angel is a supernatural creature that mostly does good for those they encounter. That is the traditional definition. But that is not the type of angel I’m talking about here. Well maybe I am, but most of them I encounter are just special people who make a difference in my life.

These angels come in all forms and make us stop and think. They remind us to appreciate the little things in our lives.

Seeing the Angels Around Us

Believe it or not, angels are all around us. They come in forms from a butterfly passing by to the people who are there one moment and gone the next. I have met angels for no more than five minutes, but their impact has lasted decades.

Once about eighteen years ago, I decided that I would go to the grocery store with the children. Now, I managed to do grocery shopping with one child and then another. Yes, it was harder with two, but surely I could handle three. Boy, was I wrong! It was miserable. I tried to manage a cart with a baby in a car seat while keeping two toddlers in tow. I managed it out of the store, but that is when it fell apart. I couldn’t push the heavy cart with precious cargo and keep the kids from running in front of a car. A wonderful woman, my angel, was walking to the store from her car. She was sympathetic.

It wasn’t an easy decision to allow a stranger to help me with my children. But something told me that it was alright. She pushed the cart while I held onto the hands of my two older children. I still kept her in my sights in case my gut feeling was wrong, but she took the cart and my baby right to my car I had indicated. She stood by my cart as I got the children into their car seats. Then she helped me load my groceries into the trunk. Then she took the cart back into the store for me.

That was an angel. She didn’t have actual wings, but there were virtual ones there. I know it for a fact.

Other people can recount similar instances where they have met angels. They appear anywhere when we need them the most.

Watch For Angels

Life can be hard. We are caught up in the day to day struggles which can blind us to all the blessings life gives to us. How often do we miss the peaceful butterfly just a few feet away or the peeking rainbow after a dreary day? Good things are there, but we are ignore them. Even angels walk among us.

Keep an eye out for those angels. Notice who lifts your spirits even a tiny bit. They might be stranger. They might be someone you have known for years. Angels take many forms. Be thankful for them, and take their blessings with you to cherish in the years to come.

I’m Only Known for Loving to Read

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When you think of specific people, usually one or two things come to mind first. My brother brings to mind hunting and laughter. My cousin makes me think of anything Irish. My oldest daughter makes me think of music. This got me to thinking. What do people think of when I cross their mind.

Okay, there are a few things they think of we won’t mention here for those with delicate eyes and ears. But for those who don’t go directly there, what do they think of? Reading.

Yes, I love books. I always have. So on social media, people see funny things about books and share them with me. I do love those. But that is only what I’m known for. I am so much than that.

Think of more than my reading love!

I have a mind!

Seriously, there is more to me than books (not much but that’s not the point!).

I enjoy learning. That can come in so many forms. Documentaries are fun for me. Going to historical sites is a pleasure. I would attend school again if I could afford it. I search out anything I can learn and absorb. I’m just not a genius.

I love to crochet. Watching something beautiful (at least I hope it will) be created before my very eyes is amazing. To know that I am doing it is a miracle!

I want to feel wanted. It thrills me when someone asks me to make them something or just to spend time with me. It’s not that I have to be the center of attention, but I need to feel that my life is not wasted.

Ah, but I am an avid reader. I guess you could blame my mother for that. She loved to read though she really didn’t do a lot of it, mainly at night before she fell asleep. The farm work called to her sun up to past sun down along with the family she had ot take care of. But she made sure I was exposed to books early on. She read to me constantly. When we travelled, she bought me a book.

I remember one night when a vicious storm came through the area where we lived in an old farm house. The storm knocked the electricity out. Mom lit a hurrican lamp and sat it on the old coal stove we had in the living room for heating. She pulled out my box of books and read through the whole thing before tucking me into bed. I think I memorized those books.

I read every Nancy Drew book. It got to the point that I didn’t care what genre it was, I read it. That caused me to learn a few things early in life that I probably shouldn’t have. But I’ve enjoyed all the worlds I have explored because of books.

Okay, thinking of reading when you think of me might not be such a bad thing. I could be addicted to much worse things out there like reality shows.

My Favorite Childhood Toy

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When this prompt came up, I didn’t hesitate or need to think. I knew straight away what my favorite childhood toy was. It was Molly Moo Cow.

Oh, how I loved that cow! My mother said I took her everywhere. I mean everywhere…even the bathroom.

Yes, I said the bathroom. I wish I could find the picture my mother took of this scene so you could fully understand how much I loved this toy.

When my mother was potty-training me, she had this smaller version of a toilet she put in the bathroom for my little legs to use. To help me go, she’d take me into the bathroom, sit me on the child toilet, and read to me. Well, when you love someone, you like to share your experiences. Do you see where I’m going with this?

I took Molly Moo Cow, who was a hard plastic toy that was pulled by a plastic rope, and sat her on my child toilet. I then picked up on of my favorite books and sat upon the adult toilet. Seat was down, of course. I proceeded to read to my cow who I was potty-training.

Here I want to point out that at this age, I could not read a single word. But I knew that story by heart. You’d have thought me a child prodigy if you had stumbled upon this awkward scene.

My mother thought this was such a cute sight that she took a picture and gave me a memory I would have forgotten otherwise. That cow was a wonderful companion.

We all have a favorite toy. My son’s was a stuffed whale. These toys gave us comfort and fond memories. What your favorite childhood toy?

I Thought I Knew What Scared Me

Source: https://www.freeimages.com/photo/face-scared-1511398

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.

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

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.

When a Writer Learns to Knit

Hobbies can help a writer relax. They are meant to give inspiration and clear the mind. Unless you are learning to knit. Then you find that it drives you insane and sends you cussing worse than a sailor.

I’ve been crocheting for years. It is easy for me. I can crochet as I watch TV and with others around me talking. Not much distracts me. How much different could knitting be once I broke through the language of it and actually learned the basics.

Boy, was I wrong!

I have found that knitting is very foreign to me. I cannot count the stitches as easily as I can with crocheting. That means that when I am interrupted, I struggle finding where I was. That is just the beginning of my frustrations.

Knitting calls for my complete attention. I mean complete! I try to knit. I’m reading the instructions and trying to get it right. Then I’m interrupted.

“Mom….”

“Honey….”

ARGH!!!!!!! Leave me alone! I’m trying to get this one row done. I can’t get this pattern done. Shoot, I can’t even get the next row complete.

I thought this was supposed to relax me! It’s not!!!!!

I’m not too inspired. I don’t want to be creative. I want to get the hang of knitting. Maybe I need to go back to crocheting.

I will go back to knitting. I want to make items that are only knit, but I’m going to have to do it when I’m doing nothing else and no one else is around. That may never happen now that I think about it. Then again, I find time to write. Maybe I need to create the writing environment but for knitting. Or hire killers to take out family members who interrupt me. Both sounds pretty good.