565: Mea culpa maxima

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It’s all my fault.

You would not have it any other way – you cannot possibly bear any responsibility, now, would you?

Things, and people, which cannot be borne are best forgiven, and then assiduously avoided, because pain is…..painful. It is possible to think of you, now, without anger. But not without pain. Yet. When I have achieved that goal, it will be possible to remember you without sadness.

I invested in you. The money is irrelevant – it is only money, no matter how much money it was. I invested myself into you. It is now time to invest in myself, even though I don’t do that very well yet. I have spent so many years investing in others instead of me, that it is difficult to even believe I am worthy of investment.

Working on it.

On all of it.


558: January Audition


Hubs and I went (for the second time) to audition for a local community theater production. What play? Does that matter? Hmmmm……

It was the second time because we had word of the date and time of the scheduled auditions, and went on Tuesday – to find a dark theater, with no humans in sight. So, we called to verify that things had not been called off or rescheduled, or we just made a mistake, and when we finally got a call back, the director made a special effort to include us and told us we could come privately and deliver our minute monologue (and fill out contact paperwork). So we went.

My monologue is about being a schoolteacher in January. Since I got some laughs, I will reproduce it here for you to judge for yourself:

NINE MORE DAYS. It is NINE more days until the end of January – and January has THIRTY-ONE DAYS. Normally, getting to the end of the month is not an issue, even though I am a schoolteacher who gets paid only once a month, on the last working day of the month. But January is a special case, and has been a special case for every one of the twenty-six years that I have been a schoolteacher. You’d think after all that experience, it would get easier, but NO. I actually think is gets exponentially more difficult with added experience.

See – the last paycheck came at the end of teaching in December – about the middle of the month. Then there was Christmas – a money-sucking time if ever there was one, and THEN, there is New Year’s – ditto. And those happen in the first two weeks. After that, there are four weeks – thirty-one days – of sheer endurance.

We are talking peanut butter and crackers, searching in the couch cushions and under the car seats for loose change to buy gas….that sort of thing.  It would be different if there was a way to earn extra money, but unfortunately, nobody, but nobody wants to see me naked, so it just isn’t happening. *sigh*

556: Hope


Every day, I hope.

I hope it will get better, that it won’t hurt so much.

I hope that I will be able to slow down and not be at everyone else’s beck and call.

I hope that I can say no. And mean it.

I hope that I can sleep until I want to get out of bed, instead of rolling out every morning before dawn because I have obligations to meet.

I hope that I make it through the next six weeks of no-money until I get paid again (a yearly problem, and January has thirty-one long, cold, and dark days).

I hope that Christmas will again just pass, without requiring from me efforts to be social that I just do not have the resources for.

I hope and I am chagrined that I still hope.

I hope that the house I currently am spending all my free time remodeling (paint smears in my hair and decorating both my forearms, random punctures, scratches, and broken nails) soon will become a respite and sanctuary – a place of peace and repose.

I hope that it will get better – that it won’t hurt quite so much.

I hope, even when it appears fruitless to hope.Hope-2-570x379

I hope.



536: Endings


Some things end peacefully, easily, smoothly, calmly. *Some* things end that way, but my life (and my luck) don’t usually work out like that. When something ends, quite often, it isn’t nice. Quite often when something ends, it is downright painful. And no, I am not talking about ordinary, everyday things like the ending of a meal, or the ending of a novel (although, truth be told, I’ve had a few of those cause me some angst, too). The endings I am discussing are a little bigger. Things like relationships, jobs, chapters of life, lives themselves (whether human or animal).

When something big ends, it is seldom a smooth, painless process, even when it is a necessary, unavoidable, or even a healing process. There is still some stuff to sort, and some more stuff to deal with. I always said lessons cost you time, money, or both. That’s true, but they also frequently cost you pain in addition to the time and/or money. Some things are so traumatic they trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which by the way, has nothing to do with war. It is any traumatic event that you are unable to process and get beyond, and you relive it in all its horror over and over. Thankfully, for most of us, those events do dull with a reasonable amount of time and we can move on. But an accident, surgery, a rape, a mugging – any event that traumatizes you can cause it.

You’d think I’d get used to it by now, these endings, and it would not be such a big deal every time one of them happens.  As if the process and the maturity of understanding it makes it hurt any less.


485: Cinderella…and her pransome hince


There are a lot of women out there, apparently, who are looking diligently for their handsome prince. He is supposed to sweep her off her feet, and take her to his castle, where she will never work another day in her life, but spend her time instead making herself beautiful to be available to his every beck and call. At least, that is the impression of this particular Cinderella viewpoint that I get from talking to men.

They are, for the most part, a little less than thrilled to be cast in that handsome prince role. First of all, in this modern economy, most men would prefer a woman who does not mind shifting her beautiful butt, getting out there and earning a living, contributing to the bottom line of the couple’s joint income. Christian Grey is FICTION. They call it fiction because somebody made it up in their overly-fertile imagination. Let’s get real here, please.

Secondly, keeping and making yourself beautiful is not a work-free process, ladies. It might mostly be that in your young, high-metabolism and agile youth, but I can tell you from experience that stage does not last long. Pretty much after your teens and for the rest of your life, amen, you gotta actually work at being beautiful, believe me.

Too many women get the idea that a man is going to be their security blanket, and they are going to ride him off into the rosy sunset (forget the white horse) of a secure financial future. Ummmm….. no.

First of all, s…..tuff happens. In life, stuff happens that isn’t in our plans. Sorry about that, but it happens. From bitter personal experience, plus lots of similar stories from most of the other women I know, or have even heard about, I can assure you that life has some whoppers for you, too. No, that is not a tongue-in-cheek guarantee that your prince will be unusually generously endowed, with either cash reserves OR a bigger-than-average penis. Life is patently unfair, ladies, and it loves proving that fact to the unsuspecting. Especially to the unsuspecting.

Your handsome prince could DIE. It happens at some point to everyone, except a rare few that God just took. The rest of us die. Most of us who die have a significant other, whose life is suddenly in some considerable degree of disarray because we quitted this mortal coil. Not every prince kept up his life insurance, or made out his will, or invested well. Your rosy sunset could abruptly sour on the financial side. He could find a younger and more beautiful princess that he prefers over you, no matter how much you have worked to be beautiful. Maybe his finances take a downturn and it was nothing you did or didn’t do. If you are dependent on a man’s money, you forever will be vulnerable, period. Get a job.

Cinderella, provide for your own rosy financial future that you can share with someone, if you so choose. Maybe the one preferring a younger and more beautiful partner will be you, and not him, you just don’t know. But do it on your dime if that is the case, not on his. Be fair. Too many women are not fair. Men are not gold mines for us ladies to go digging around in. That is crass in the extreme, and not something a lady does. Stand on your own high heels. And be proud of yourself because you worked for it, not because you slept for it.

He has feelings, too, believe it or not. I am not claiming that every man is honorable – they can be every bit as crass as we can be. That whole younger and more beautiful partner thing proves that beyond any shadow of doubt. Still, there are honorable men out there, even if they are not too thick on the ground. Be honorable yourself, and thus worthy of honor from him, even if he falls short. Your conscience will be clear.

Since you get to live with yourself, being proud of yourself is important. It’s hard to be proud of yourself if you don’t treat others honorably. Do it for you. THAT makes you a princess, Cinderella.

407: Ruminations on the Start of a New School Year

The start of a new school year is rather like the start of a regular year: New Year’s Eve, only without the party. And with a great deal more trepidation. The two occasions do have one thing in common, though…the resolutions.

Many people start out a new calendar year with resolutions to improve themselves and their situations, and the start of a new school year is no exception. This year, I resolve to think FAR more positively. That should not be difficult. Some days, a single positive thought will put me ahead of last year’s game……..!

As a precursor to positive thinking, I resolved to pay far more attention to my spiritual life, which was neglected during the years I spent in Morocco, and spent unsatisfactorily last year in Panama. The first church I tried had a pastor who was determined that HIS church would be formed in HIS image…not exactly what God, and I, had in mind. The second church had a much more positive Spirit, but contemporary worship. I have an issue with projecting only the words to songs on the wall, and not including music. I understand that many modern people do not read music, but some of us do. I don’t sing when I don’t know the music, because when I make a mistake, my voice takes others off with me, and that is a problem, especially since I LIKE to sing. And I like hymns…not the new stuff. Some of that new stuff is OK, in the same way that some rap is OK (when the lyrics are profound, and that does not happen often). The latest church (I hope the last one) is much more traditional, and I like it, in spite of the fact(s) that it takes two hours to get there, and that I am the only light-skinned face there. I don’t think skin color matters to God, and it certainly does not matter to me, so I hope I have found a home. I just have to get over minding that I have to get up at 5:30 a.m. to go there.

The second resolve is to salt away some actual savings this year. Once again, that should not be hard to improve over last year. Breaking even will be an improvement over last year, much less actually saving anything!

Finally is the resolve to kick back and enjoy life a little. That one will be difficult. Not to accomplish it, because I did little last year but go to work and come home to work some more. Therefore, some time spent constructively in relaxation and personal enjoyment will be an instant success on the personal home front. The trouble will be figuring out how to do it. I am not good at relaxation, and it is high time I learned how to do it.

It is clear to me that nearly every teenager on the face of this planet has mastered the art of complete and total relaxation, and if they can do it, surely I can manage it one or two days a week (end). So there. Maybe I can take lessons??

392: Overwhelmed

HOW COME, in my life, that I cannot have just one part of it go to hell at a time? I can cope if work goes to crap, if the other parts are chugging along OK. I can manage if my family life takes a nosedive, if the other parts are OK. I can make it if the money runs out, so long as  the other stuff is fine. I can deal if my relationships go south, as long as the other parts of my life are running along smoothly. As long as it is only one part at a time, even if it is a significant part, I can handle it. I don’t like it, but I can cope.

WHY, oh, WHY, is it that it never happens that way? When one of those life compartments falls completely apart, all the other parts promptly get jealous about the attention it is getting, and like three-year old toddlers, throw a tantrum and go straight into the crapper as well. It is like your car – it KNOWS when you have an extra hundred dollars in the bank, and it will fall apart to get it. Every time. NEVER congratulate yourself that you have almost made it to the next payday and you still have a couple hundred bucks left…wheeze, gasp, rattle, bang, CLUNK. Oh, crap.

And GOD forbid you make the last payment on the credit card that pays the damn thing off………you will break a tooth, a leg, get pregnant (or get someone ELSE pregnant), the washer will die, a pipe will burst and flood the house, you will find termites, your kid will need an appendectomy or tonsillectomy (or BOTH)……………something will happen to blow that proud accomplishment all to pieces. I guaran-damn-tee it.

It is a good thing that God loves us. Just THINK how much worse it would be if the devil was in charge!