Stressed

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I miss blogging. I really do.

How does everyone manage it?

I’d like to share a thought or two

I am devoid of every bit

I am having problems with stress

Hard work messing with blood pressure

Feels like my life is just a mess

Need a bit of a refresher

Taking care of me needs my time

Need to slow it down a bit more

Less work and school, more fun and rhyme

Life is worth it, and that’s for sure

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Life Experiences

I was inspired by Suzie’s post yesterday about life experiences. You can see her original posting here – http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/06/21/life-experiences/.

I have not been to any of the exotic places she mentions in her post. In fact, I haven’t been anywhere much at all (parts of the United States and Canada). I am not much of a traveler. My life experiences are more basic in nature. Some of you might say they are boring, but I feel very blessed to have experienced them all. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Receiving my first college degree at age 55 and graduating with the highest honors. Walking across that stage 37 years after I graduated from High School was just as exciting as it would have been at age 20. In fact, I am glad that I waited so long. It meant more to me.
  1. Marrying the love of my life on a cold, rainy November day 25 years ago. 25 years this year, people. In today’s world where some marriages don’t even last 25 weeks, 25 years is a big deal. We’ve been through a lot together, but who hasn’t in 25 years’ time? Walking down that aisle I felt such calm and peace come over me. I wasn’t nervous at all. My brother (who gave me away since my Dad had died two years before I got married) was shaking life a leaf. I had no fears or concerns. It felt right (and it was).

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  1. Giving birth not once but twice. I felt the miracle of life twice, and I knew such joy when I heard those first cries. When son # 1 arrived, I was the one who announced, “it’s a boy!” When son # 2 came along, we knew ahead of time that he was a “he”. I had had amniocentesis because at age 36 the doctor declared I was at “advanced maternal age” and he suggested I have testing beforehand to make sure all was well. I would develop pregnancy-induced hypertension with son # 2 and end up out of work 7 weeks before my due date. My delivery with son # 2 was also more difficult (for both me and for the baby). I was not aware of the distress that the baby was under, but Hubby was. He could see the baby’s heart rate monitor; I was blissfully unaware. The doctor would end up using vacuum extraction to coax son # 2 into the world. Today, I am so proud of the handsome young men who call me “Mom”. I couldn’t have asked for better sons. babies
  1. Learning to drive and passing my driving test on the very first try. I learned to drive in a 1976 Oldsmobile Delta ’88 Royale. It was my Father’s car, and it was a boat. I remember the first time my Mom let me drive it on a country road and her cringing when she thought I was too close to the mailboxes on the passenger’s side. I did not take my test in that car. At age 21 I bought my first car – a small hatchback – a 1979 American Motors Spirit. That car was so easy to drive and maneuver.

spirit5.  Spending all major holidays and important celebrations when I was a child with my extended family – parents, brother, grandparents, cousins and aunt. Some of my happiest memories are of those family gatherings and all of us seated around the same table. We didn’t have a lot, but we had each other, and we always celebrated together. We took vacations together, too. We spent summers camping in the Thousand Islands so my Dad and Grandfather could go fishing. I miss so many of them now. Death or distance separates us.

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  1. Having two loving, supportive parents. My folks were always there for me. When I think of my childhood or childhood home, I see my parents. My Mom working in the yard, baking in the kitchen or sitting in her chair, reading. My Dad cutting the grass, painting the house, working on the car, napping in his recliner. My dad worked hard and was home every night. My mom was a stay at home mom who greeted me with a smile every day when I came home from school or work. They were my biggest supporters, and I never felt unloved.

mom-dadWhen I married, I gained a second set of parents.  My in-laws were nothing but supportive.  When we started out, they were always there to lend a hand.  When son # 1 was a baby, Grandma and Grandpa did daycare duties.  I can still see Dad sitting in his chair with my son, patiently reading the same Sesame Street books over and over again.  I remember one book in particular (Big Bird looking for something red). My son started Kindergarten already knowing how to read. When we bought our house, they were there to help us get settled. Over the years they were always there.

mom-dadflorack7.  All the time I spent with my cousin while growing up. We were inseparable. My parents called her “our second daughter”. She spent lots of time at our house. We laughed at the same things. During the summers we’d ride our bikes “to meet each other”, and then we’d either ride back to my house to hang out or ride on to my Grandmother’s house to hang out. It was hard losing her daily presence in my life when she moved from New York State to Texas. Her half of the family went to Texas in the mid 80’s. She’s now in Michigan (having met her Michigan-born husband in Texas). She’s closer but still too far away to see often. We still enjoy each other’s company, and when we do talk it’s as if we’d never been apart. We still laugh at the same things.

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  1. Stolen moments with my trucker husband. He’s only home 34 hours each week. We have to make the most of what we have. We usually try to have a meal out together if we can. It’s nice to go on dates even if it’s just out for a burger or a coffee. If we can’t manage that, we snuggle up together and watch old re-runs on TV.

I would not have had the memories or the life experiences that I have had without the fantastic, loving and supportive family that I have. Family is everything to me.

Sitting and Thinking

When posting becomes a struggle,

Perhaps it’s best to let it go

I have not been here much lately

With work, home and school to juggle

It all becomes too much, you know

Mind goes blank, I struggle greatly

Some nights it’s best to just snuggle

The cat doesn’t care if words flow

She just purrs and sits sedately

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Pensive Squirrel

Here is Sera this morning.  She was eating sunflower seeds out of the bird feeder until I went outside with a bunch of peanuts.  She worked on one of those for a bit while I watched her.  When she finished, I stood there for a few minutes, talking to her, and she sat and listened.  She’s good at that.  It’s nice to have someone to use as a sounding board. That’s what friends do for each other.

1-25Sera1-25Sera-2I’ve been a little pensive myself lately.  I was sick for much of last week, and even I was surprised by how much that took out of me.  I thought since I was too sick to be around folks I’d have time to rest, relax and read.  I read nothing.  My mind was so fuzzy and befuddled, and my head hurt so much that I couldn’t read more than a sentence or two before it got too hard to concentrate. I didn’t get anywhere with my reading.  I slept a lot, stared at a lot of old re-runs on TV, read a few emails and attempted a few posts, but that was about it. I slept more than I have in ages.

I went back to work on Friday, and that wasn’t so bad.  I had a floating secretary at my desk some of the time while I was out (a first for my department!), and she did a great job.  There’s still a mountain of work to do, but a lot of that was there before I got sick.  I have a very busy job.

This morning I worked on getting acclimated to my new school and their online environment.  Everyone I have talked to over the last several months is extremely nice and helpful.  It’s interesting that they all have the same manner of speech and speech pattern.  I haven’t figured out yet if it’s school-specific – maybe there’s some sort of intensive training program they all go through – or if it’s Ohio-specific.  They are located in Columbus, Ohio.  Are people from Ohio nicer than people from New York?  (I don’t mean New York City – I’m from Upstate).  Some of the administrative people from my New York State school were a little clueless.  They could have used an intensive training program or a manual or something!  I think I had 4 or 5 different academic advisors in the 3 years I was there, and every time I called or emailed, I got someone different.  I am hoping the new school is better.  It is different. The way to request financial aid is different, and the way to order textbooks is different.  I do like the online portal so far.  It’s easier to navigate and find things.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this past week.  I was in one of those feeling sorry for myself moods, too.  I realized today that I hadn’t blogged in a couple of days (it kind-of slipped my mind), and I got to wondering whether anyone had even noticed.  I know most people have moments when they wonder if anyone cares, and I don’t mean just blogging.  If you’re quiet like I am, you tend to get overlooked and bypassed.  I don’t often speak up.

School the first time around was good for me.  It proved to me that I wasn’t too old to learn new things and that I’m smarter than I thought I was.  It showed me that I can be more than I am.  It helped my confidence grow, and it made me into a different person (even if it was just on the inside).  I wonder what school the second time around will bring? I am eager to face the challenge of a more advanced degree.  I know I can keep up. I just have to keep practicing speaking up.

For now, I’ll practice on Sera.  I don’t care what the neighbors think, and she seems content to sit and listen.