A Want With No Name

Cleaning the dishes

Suds dripping down my hands

Trying to maintain a sense of normal.

It’s hard.

I feel as empty as this old cup

Needing to be washed.

A want with no name crashes over me

As the water fills to the brim.

I’m a bit of a philosopher and at times my thoughts and their accompanying feelings overpower my very mortal body. Grief is hard work.  I’m grieving right now.  It’s exhausting.  I’m grieving the loss of marriage, my home and the dreams I expected to achieve. I’m starting to see and accept the difficult things related to my former marriage.  I’m grieving that knowledge. It was so much easier to remain in the confusing fog, and believe that things would ultimately get better if I just tried harder.  I know that’s a little cryptic, but this is a public blog. The details aren’t as important as the acknowledgement that I’m grieving.

I miss my neighbors and friends from my old life. I still have their friendships, but it’s not the same. Things feel different. It’s no one’s fault. It can happen when you move to a different part of town. You drift apart. The times you do see your old neighbors and friends are sweet. It’s just not the same as before because you don’t see them every week.  I’m old enough to know it’s not personal. It’s just how life works at times. People come and go in your life. You move on. You change. They change. Sometimes people stay in your life for a season and sometimes they remain your lifelong companion. That’s part of life. It’s just hard to accept all the changes.

It’s a want with no name.

person washing his hand
Photo by Burst on Pexels.com   (I love this image of the water overflowing the cupped hands. You could view it as abundance with more than enough or as feeling completely overwhelmed with the pain. It can be both, and that is what is so cool about this photo. Isn’t art great? I love art. It touches my soul and fills me in ways that normal life never does.  A HUGE THANK YOU to the photographer so I could have a photo for my poem. A HUGE THANK YOU to artists and creators everywhere who enrich the human experience. Go artists! Go creators! We need more of you in the world and less politicians who divide us. I will get off my soap box now.) 

 

 

 

The Worst Valentine’s Day Ever (no, it’s not this year)

It’s a strange thing to be single again after years of being part of a couple. It defiantly brings up a lot of feelings. This morning, while putting on my makeup, I had the thought that this was the worst Valentine’s Day of my entire life.

Luckily, I remembered my actual worst Valentine’s Day. It happened when I was six.

The night before my school Valentine’s Day party I discovered small, red bumps all over my stomach. They itched. They seemed to multiply every time I looked at them. I debated if I should tell my mother about the funny looking bumps.  I was afraid she would say I was sick. I was really afraid she wouldn’t let me go to school the next day.

She didn’t let me go to school the next day.  I had the Chickenpox.

No matter how hard I cried, Mom said no school. I even told her that no one would notice I had Chickenpox. My plan was to wear a hat and a mask all day.  Mom still said no school.

  I spent Valentine’s Day at home watching more of those itchy, burning bumps pop up all over my skin. I didn’t get to make the heart wreath, watch the Valentine’s Day movie, do math problems with candy hearts or participate in any of the other fun activities. It was very tragic for a six-year-old.

My brother David did not help the situation. He came home from school, and promptly told me his class party was the best day of his life. I was filled with righteous 6-year-old anger. It wasn’t fair. I thought about yelling at David, but then I had a better idea. My little plan made perfect sense at the time. Mom had told me the Chickenpox were contagious. My brother was annoying me. So, I gave him the longest, hardest hug I could. David wiggled away from my grasp and ran down the hallway. He was screaming the whole time. “Amee touched me. I’m going to get the Chickenpox.”

David got the Chickenpox.

Unfortunately, my plan backfired on me.  David had the Chickenpox over my birthday.  It impacted who could come to my party.

The Chickenpox Valentine’s Day was the worst Valentine’s Day of my entire life.  In between itching my bumps, I cried a lot that day. I somehow survived it.  I’m sure that I will somehow survive this Valentine’s Day too.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone.

heart-picture

 

Joyful Moment

When I was nine, I decided I wanted to be smart. I didn’t know how to be smart, so I asked the smartest person I knew for advice.  Grandmas know everything when you’re a kid.

Grandma told me to get a library card and read one book a month.

My library card

I’m happy to report that I’ve followed her advice with a monthly trip to the library. My library card has brought me a lot of joy over the years.

Thanks, Grandma.

Grandma Adams

My life has been blessed by listening to you. What advice have you been given that has blessed your life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Date for Christmas movie and a poem about helping others

Hand printsMy high school choir decided to create an alumni wall for former members. The first thing that popped in my mind when I heard about the alumni wall was “Hallmark movie”. It really does have all the trappings for a movie. I can just imagine the plot right now.

The Plot

Jane is a beautiful, strong, intelligent woman. She hasn’t thought about her high school choir years for a long time. She’s been busy working as a computer programmer, a volunteer at her local Boys and Girls Club and a poet who writes really long sonnets every weekend.  Jane is home visiting her parents for Christmas when she hears about the choir alumni wall.  She’s not going to do it, but a conversation with a department store Santa changes her mind. Santa tells her she will get a date for Christmas if she goes to her old high school and places her handprint on the wall.

Jane goes and places her hand in the purple paint. She has to wait 2 minutes with her hand on the wall until it dries.  There’s a kind, handsome, engineer who is also waiting for his  handprint to dry.  You only need 2 minutes in a movie to cement a relationship. Let’s call this man Peter. Peter is a scientist who is creating a devise that will make clean water a reality for everyone in the world. There are greedy corporations and corrupt politicians who are trying to stop Peter from his work.

 After several hours of deep conversation while eating organic, locally-sourced food they decide this clean water device needs to get out now. Jane builds Peter a website so he can publish the directions for how to make the clean water devise. The movie then shows people all around the world using the directions. The world is a better place.

The movie ends with Peter and Jane standing by a doorstep.  He gives her a kiss goodnight. It’s a sweet kiss as the snow starts to fall.  Jane gets her date for Christmas.  The End.

The Reality

In case you are wondering, I went down to my high school and placed my handprint on the alumni choir wall.  I did not meet a handsome engineer, save the world, get a date or a goodnight kiss out of it. There was also no snow. It was fun though to walk around campus and think about younger me.

The whole silly Hallmark movie idea did make me think about water.

According to the United Nations, nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrhea diseases every single day (Source).

That’s horrible. It breaks my heart to hear that people are suffering. I try to do what I can to love my neighbor. I try to support organizations that help make the world better. I wish I could do more.

There’s so much need in this world. It’s easy for me to get discouraged when I hear about another problem that my fellow brothers and sisters here on planet Earth are experiencing.  I think I could spend the next 50 years of my life helping others and still not be able to fix all the problems of this world. (Yes, you read that right. This 40-something year-old is planning to die in her youthful 90’s.)

I wrote a little poem to make me feel better. It helps me accept that my small efforts are enough. If we all helped one, the world would be better. I hope the poem makes you think. I really hope that the poem inspires you to serve.

The Poem   (because there’s not enough poetry in the world)

I may not be able

to stop all wars

But I can bring peace

to one child’s heart.

I may not be able to

call back the storm

But I can warn the one

who live in the valley below.

I may not be able

to do it all.

But I can give my all

For One.

 

 

 

 

 

Majoring in Myself

I have been cleaning out my storage unit the last few days. As I’ve sorted through boxes of mostly junk, I ran across a poem I wrote as a college student. I was lamenting the question. “What do you want to do with your life?”  The poem made me laugh. I found myself asking that very same question this week. Let’s let 21-year old Amee tell 40-something-year-old Amee what to do with the rest of her life.

People often ask me

What do you want to do

When you grown up.

I smile.

I’m twenty-one.

Am I not grown up?

But the question lingers on

Festering in my mind until

I am forced to answer it.

The people want an answer.

A one-word answer

But I refused to be limited by a

One-word profession.

I want more.

I feel more.

I want to

run through the sprinklers

slide down hills

read good books

argue about politics

kiss under the stars

help people

and travel the world.

I want more.

I feel more.

I want to

teach children

write a great novel

sing in the church choir

look up at the sky

and know God loves me.

I want to

buy whatever I want.

I just want to be me.

Is that too much to ask?

And so dear people,

That will be my profession.

I am majoring in myself.

cropped-amee-on-the-path1.jpg

 

The Sky Was Empty

chalk board

The professor pointed to me. “ The man looked at the sky. It was empty. What does that mean?”

I smiled. This was my chance to shine in my English 101 class.  “There are no helicopters or clouds in the sky. It’s a great day for a picnic.”

The room erupted into laughter as my professor sighed, gave me a controlled smile and then asked for another interpretation.

“The sky is empty, because the man is having an affair,” said the student sitting next to me. “The sky represents his belief in God and how there are no consequences for his behavior.”

The other students enthusiastically shook their heads and mumbled yes in agreement.

The professor asked, “Miss Shelley, have your thoughts changed about the meaning of these sentences?”

“Nope.  That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say. Affairs are wrong. Picnics are much better.”

It’s been years since I was a college freshman, yet I’ve thought about this experience many times. How can two people read the same sentences and see completely different scenarios? It’s one of the great mysteries of life and of literature.

Since that time, I’ve learned a few things about analyzing literature the “English class way”.  I’ve also learned how to disagree with someone without resorting to calling ideas or the people who say them names. The latter has been an important skill that has served me well in life. We really can disagree civilly, engage in meaningful conversations with other people and still maintain our own beliefs and thoughts.

In case you are wondering, forty-something-year-old me still believes this sentence.

Picnics are defiantly better than affairs.

The End of Gratitude

My gratitude 2019 challenge has ended. I don’t have be thankful for another year. That’s a joke and to prove it I did a bonus thankful day.

Thankful day#29: I’m thankful for my apartment. It’s good to have a place to live.

Race picture

Thankful day #30: I’m thankful for my sister Jenny and her willingness to have fun with me. We froze but we finished the Thanksgiving Leftovers 5k  this morning. Don’t we look cold? I have no idea how people were racing in shorts.

Bonus Thankful Day–December 1

TP

I am so thankful for toilet paper. It’s one of the best inventions ever created. It also makes a great present.  I once had a friend give me  24 rolls of toilet paper as a Christmas gift.  I was so excited when I opened my box and realized I wouldn’t have to add toilet paper to my grocery list for weeks.   I gave my friend a BIG HUG.  So thoughtful!

I guess you could say I’m pretty easy to please in terms of Christmas presents.

 

 

 

Gratitude Days 10-28

Reno

Thankful day #10: l am thankful for my legs and the ability to walk.

Thankful day #11: l am thankful for veterans and their families for sacrificing so much for me.

Thankful day #12: l am grateful for my legs. I took a walk around a park today. I’m glad l have legs that can take me places.
Thankful day :13: l am grateful for music.

Thankful day #14: I’m thankful l can laugh. Yesterday, l had a bird drop a present on me. I looked at my arm covered in bird droppings and then at the culprit sitting in the tree. I pointed at him and told him he was a very naughty bird. The little bird looked at me, started loudly chirping, spread out its wings and strutted back and forth on the tree limb. At that point, l started laughing. Well played little bird. You win.

Thankful day #15: I’m thankful for cars, airplanes, trains and buses. Modern transportation makes it possible for me to see my siblings who live far away from me. I’m grateful and so excited to see my brother David and his family. Hello Nevada! I’ll be there soon.

Thankful day #16: I’m thankful l was able to attend Jonah’s baptism. It was a special day for my nephew and his family.
Thankful day #17: I’m thankful for the Earth. I saw some beautiful views this weekend. This one made me want to sing All Creatures of our God and King. Nevada is quite lovely.

Thankful Days #16-24 It’s been a crazy week at work. The students really need a vacation. I got a little behind on posting something I’m grateful for each day. I’m thankful there is no perfect way to do this thankful challenge. You’ll notice that I made this one count for tomorrow and Saturday as well. I’m very thankful there is no right way to do this challenge.

Thankful day #25: Last week we got a lot rain. I don’t like driving in rain, but l was thankful we got some. It was needed.

Thankful day #26: I’m thankful for my coworkers. They brighten my day!

Thankful Day #27: I’m thankful for audiobooks. It’s so much fun to listen to books while l drive, exercise and go about my life. I love it.

Thankful Day #28: I’m thankful for parents, siblings, my cousins and dear friends who are like family to me. I’m thankful to God and his Son Jesus. I’m also thankful for the delicious meal I’m going to eat soon.

Poetry at Midnight

6:02

The me

Before

6:03

My life

will never be the same.

Last night,  I couldn’t sleep. My mind kept reliving and analyzing the moments in my life that changed my life forever. I don’t know why my brain decided that 10:00 at night was the best time to do this.  I then started thinking about a dear friend. There are moments in her life that aren’t fair and changed her life forever. Life is still good for both of us, but it’s different than what either of us expected. My little brain didn’t stop there though. Bless my 11:00 p.m. mind. It then jumped to trying to understand why the actions of a few powerful individuals can influence the lives of millions. I thought about all the suffering endured  in this world.  I ended up with a pounding headache and a bunch of tears.

I finally gave up trying to sleep. I wrote poetry until midnight trying to sort out the various thoughts that plagued my mind. The poem at the start of this blog post was one of the poems I wrote last night. I was tired today from the lack of sleep. I can understand that.

What moments have changed you forever?

cropped-photo-i-like.jpg

 

Gratitude Challenge Days 1-9

During November, I have a tradition. I think of one thing I’m thankful for every day. I then post my thankful messages on social media. It’s a good tradition. I’ve done it for  6 years now.  Here’s what I’ve written so far this year.

Thankful day#1: Clean water.

Thankful Day #2: My family and friends.

Thankful day #3: Employment. It’s good to have a job.

Thankful #4: I’m grateful for my parents for encouraging me to keep working on my goals.

Thankful day #5: I’m thankful for delicious food like salmon.

Dinner

 

Thankful Day #6: I’m thankful for my Ricks family. (Yes, that also includes my former spouse.) I’m never going to be one of those people who stand up at Church and announce to everybody that they are grateful for their trials and it was the best thing that ever happened to them. Nope. It really  hurts to get divorced and anyone who says otherwise is selling you some thing. (Can you name that movie line?) I did wake up today though with a thankful thought. I am thankful that when I go grocery shopping and run into a Ricks that I can say hello and feel peace in my heart. That is a heaven sent blessing. I can praise God for peace.

Thankful day #7: Bowling was fun last night. I’m thankful for my bowling family. I’ve seen some league friends every Wednesday for 6 years. They’ve become adopted cousins to me.

Thankful day #8: Sunsets are beautiful. I took this photo a few days ago.

Thankful day #9: I’m thankful for flowers. I buy flowers for myself a couple of times a year and put them on my dresser.  Flowers brighten up a room. It’s fun to wake up and see beautiful flowers smiling at me.

20191109_205157_HDR

What are you grateful for today?