Friday, February 24, 2006

The Rules

So I like the rules and play by them and things will be fine and as you get older you wonder who ever told you that because really .. are they? fine I mean. Not always and yet you still play by the damned rules and wonder wonder wonder......

So, now that that's clear....Yesterday, at work, I opened the incoming pile of bills to pay. That's basically what I do ... pay bills. I opened a bill which was an overdue parking ticket, three of them actually. I put them to one side and continued on. At the end of the openings I went back to those tickets and checked my old records to see if they might not be paid. Often, things cross in the mail and blah blah then, just as often, bureaucratic hacks sitting in the lofty and job for life positions they hold don't do their jobs but even so they keep their jobs and get raises and fully paid medical and when they retire they get great gobs of pension money BUT I digress......that's a subject for another posting....

I checked those tickets and what do I find? One of the tickets is dated July 1995. Yes. You read me right. Eleven, count them, eleven years old.....the records I keep only go back 9 years...yes, 9 is more than necessary but obviously, I did not count on this particular township keeping their unpaid tickets, or tickets we paid and they never posted or tickets which were never issued but they need extra revenue and what the heck, who can prove they paid something 11 years ago.......

Yes, I had a righteous explosion of outrage about the rules and living by them and doing the right thing and why bother because it seems people can do as they damned well please and after all, that witch Hillary was right about her stupid plantation talk but she meant that we, the foolish tax paying middle class worker bees are the financial slaves and the public sector employees are the overseers and the damned elected politicians are our "massa's". We work and fill the bags with tax moneys and fees and fines and licenses and permits and whatever else they can think of to bleed us dry and when we balk, they threaten to take our property because their high roller friends can make it bigger and better for someone so get back in line and go to work............

Okay. You know where I'm coming from. I exhausted myself with the previous outburst and then called the number on the long long "overdue" ticket to ask if they were really serious about this. The gal who answered said of course they were and I should know there is no statute of limitations on parking tickets and murder. Did I know that? Well the murder part yes but PARKING TICKETS?????? Well, if I did not pay then they would have to impose fines and late fees and interest and penalties the likes of which I could not even imagine. Yikes! Even murderers get an appeal but PARKING OFFENDERS........fuggeddaboudit!!

I hung up feeling bruised and battered by the set for life employed forever never have to worry about a pay raise or paying medical insurance or losing a penny from retirement accounts public serving wench.

I decided to call the town directly and voice my complaint about their policy and being exhausted from my previous outbursts and the tongue lashing I took from the collection clerk, I was rather meek when the Chief of Parking Violations answered. I stated my case, such as it was and to my surprise he told me he would dismiss that ticket.......seeing's how I was so nice and all. Well, maybe the play nice rule worked after all......of course the earlier antics I put myself through probably took a week off my life but you know? That might not be so bad...........Only Kidding...........

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Is it True????

I read a lot of blogs, I have been doing so since the election of 2000. You know that election. Funny but I was reading the blogs because I was losing my mind with the twisting of reality and logic the press was going through as they trumpeted Al Gore's right to the presidency.

I am, as you may have guessed by now, a law and order type of gal. I like clear direction. I like rules to live by. I like regulations. I used to work in a group that dealt with rules and regulations. I liked it when a question arose we could go to the book, read the rule and follow it. If you were following the rule you were right. If you were not following the rule you were wrong. Case closed.

When the election of 2000 was bending every rule in Gore's favor I flipped. The deadline for the count was blah but we can move it. The counting must be done by blah but we will move that date. We can decide what a hanging chad is and means and the rules are not meant to be followed when they are turning the results in a direction we don't approve of. My head was exploding with righteous anger.

I feel the Supreme Court made everyone follow the rules. I don't always feel they do but in this case they did. I would have been equally outraged if the Bush camp were doing what the Gore camp was doing. RULES ARE RULES if you don't want to follow them, change them according to the process for change. DON"T DO AS YOU DAMN PLEASE!!!!

OK now to the point. During the blog reading I found many points of view and dove in. I am also (I think) an addictive type and a sponge. I can't imagine a day without my blog tour. I find that journal type blogs are very attractive and there are a few that I must read, not for the enlightenment but for the soap opera pull on my attention. I wonder how he/she is feeling or doing or blah blah blah. I was hooked on one way back when. It was written by a young boy with cancer and lot's of money and living with a foster family and his real parents were in court to bring him back for the money of course but he wanted to stay where he was. There was drama and hanging chads of an emotional variety. It turned out that the whole thing was a hoax. I forget how it was uncovered but it was true and the site disappeared and even though it was not true, I missed it. I enjoyed it like I enjoyed As the World Turns.

Today I am reading, as I said, a couple of journal type blogs and I read them for the voyeur in me. A peek into someone's life, one they allow you, is very satisfying. One blog lately is making me think that it can't be real. This person has an all consuming job, hundreds of e-mails and conference calls and meetings and weekends devoted to meetings and on and on and yet...........Yoga three times a week, therapy of a regular type, ball room dancing classes, woodworking, a partner with children who visit, long romantic weekends away, in vitro fertilization, buying a house, selling a house, a garden, and family turmoil...Yikes! How could it be. Remember, I haven't been reading blogs for very long and this particular one for less than a year and all of the above is within the past year. Oh also in the past couple of weeks a terrible urinary tract infection which required a home visit from a doctor. All this and HOW????

I'm unable to capture the essence in this paragraph or two but when you combine all of the above and try to figure out when she has time to post all of it for our viewing pleasure it makes me wonder (finally) even with the pictures posted to underscore reality and there are pictures.....................How can it be true?

The Image of God

Yesterday I started a thought. I was onto the we are made in God's image but different. I heard Chuck Colson this morning as he discussed the public's love for cop shows like Law and Order. He said that we loved those shows not because it gave us comfort to know that there is such a thing. People get comfort from shows like those during times of high crime but, Chuck said, crime is down so what's up?

I am so punny sometimes.

Well, said Chuck, the reason we love the Law and Order type shows is due to the fact that planted in our hearts is God's love for justice and truth. We love to see good triumph over evil, the guilty are punished. We are like God in that we are pleased with justice and truth and isn't it amazing, it is to me, that the theme of his show is similar to the theme of my thoughts? I am always so amazed in the radio minister. Some day I will be like my Grandmother and people will think that I really believe there are people in that box rather than acknowledge the wonders of the air waves.

I miss my Grandmother. She taught me the joy of the Bible.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

February Memories

The poor me's are still circling but then, it's winter, I always seem to fall into the grip of the me's in winter. February is the month I married my first husband (I've only had two but when I say my first husband it seems that I should have a string of them to introduce). February is when the blizzard of '78 hit and we decided to move far away out of state and February is when my first husband went to the garage with a bottle of scotch and a cheery hi ho, turned on the car, left the garage door closed and left us all, his wife, his brother, his parents, his cousins, all of his and my friends to wonder what went wrong. We all took a share of the guilts and what if's and if only's. We all still, those of us still above ground, wonder why. I learned there are no answers here to many questions. I learned the only sure and forever thing you can count on is the love of God, the Salvation of Jesus and the redemption He provides. The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts and guides us in our lives if we ask and listen. I learned these things and still ....................

My second and current husband is a wonderful partner and honors my moods and my history. He loves me deeply and is my very best companion. I would rather be with him than anyone else in this world and I have a wonderful circle of friends with whom I love to spend time. Still.............

I wonder and ponder and search my past to find the speck the moat that was there and still is and pray constantly that the Lord will forgive me. I know He has, I wish I could forgive me. I have less and less anxiety over things in the past but they are still there. That, it seems to me is a huge difference between God and us. We are made in His image. I think that means that we are capable of things like forgiveness but the huge difference between us and Him is that He forgives in an instant and totally. We are washed clean in His eyes and He loves us totally but we, although we are capable of forgiveness as well, we forgive in increments. The pain of the offense becomes less acute but it's still there. The vividness of the words or deeds become less clear but are so recognizable. We hold the thought with less emotion each day that passes. Forgiving others is more likely easier than forgiving ourselves because we are always with ourselves. Wherever we go, there we are. If we could take a brief vacation, the process might go more quickly but there's no way to do that. Denial is only a temporary help. When the curtain is pulled back, the event or deed or words are there bigger than life.

Well, now you see what I wrestle with. The past has less power the further away it moves but it is always there. The emotion is dampened and logic, love and time move you through the guilt and help to complete the process of forgiveness. I am so grateful that God moves in ways we cannot understand. Praise God for all His Blessings and His Grace. Thank You Jesus for Your sacrifice.

Have a good day and thank You God for making February the shortest month.......

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I'm having some poor me moments, actually more than moments. I feel like I'm in a bad Russian novel. I'm poor pitiful Pearl, I'm my mother's favorite Christmas story, The Little Matchgirl. Yes, that's right. Her favorite Christmas story was The Little Matchgirl. She loved it when all the kids would cry because that reminded her of her childhood when her father told that story. At least that's the story she told. She would laugh then at the shock of whoever she was telling her story to. That's the way she was. Sound odd to you? Well tough.

That's the way I think we were raised. Tough it out. I think I told you that was the advice my uncle gave me at my mother's wake. Suck it up! No tears! Somehow it's not good to show weakness, ever. Go home alone and deal with it. That's the message we all got from every adult in our vicinity. How then did I cultivate this poor me stuff. I dwell on the how's and why's and never go far. I'm back with the victim crap. I guess I'm looking for someone to help - this most often means someone to do it for me. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. Most often what the poor me stuff brings is aloneness. No one I know will deal with this self pity stuff for more than 10 seconds.

Here I am. Alone.

Okay. I've had enough of this. Life is good and the weather is perfect today. High 40's in February is perfect. I am going to take a walk and shake off this nonsense. I will dive into the comfort of Psalms and ponder the fate of David. Now there was a guy. Talk about a roller coaster of a life. I'll be back and I'll be happy.

Love Ya!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Can't write at night

Yes, the title to this little entry is a poem. And it's true. See you in the morning when maybe the writing will return.

A Quiet Mind

Wow. That post from yesterday seems like a month ago. I barely remember writing it but I did. There are so many things to comment on today but I don't know where to start. People are so amazing aren't they? We are so firmly set on our tracks when we are tiny tots and right or wrong we tend to stay on those tracks for life. Every now and then I break through and realize those tracks may not be accurate to the person I am. Then I think, "Am I the person I am or the person I want to be or the person someone else wanted or wants me to be?"

Then I think, "Somebody stop me please. I am thinking again."

So at the beginning of a Wednesday I am in the middle of a think place. It's so tough to get out of these things. I talked to a dear friend who has had some major life changes and she was saying that her head was buzzing with thoughts and she couldn't quiet it. She was convinced that she was about to die since she was constantly thinking about her life in past years and since they say your life flashes before your eyes as you die then she was dying. Granted, the rate of death was such that it would take quite some time to go. Her life wasn't so much flashing by as wandering. We will talk later today about methods of quieting one's mind. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

OK so it's Happy Valentine's Day ....... 25 years ago this evening with the results showing up on the 15th, my first husband sat in a garage with the car running and a gallon of scotch and ended it all - for him. For me it was just the beginning. I was so deeply in debt and his last desperate throes of credit card spending and medical bills brought me to my knees for years and really is still ringing the gong is many ways. So, today, my husband of many years following that event................He called me, (I'll explain later why we are not together - it's really a very long story) anyway, he called me this morning and very sweetly said "Hello Honey, I Love You --- Happy Thanksgiving"

Ye Gads --- Same to you Big Guy.

To all of you not reading this -------------- Happy Thanksgiving. Love You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I Do.....

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Lies and Liars

I had a very lifelike dream last night, you know the kind I mean. The dream was hard to tell it was one. I thought I was awake but wasn't. Anyhow, the part of the dream I remembered in addition to the fact that I thought I was awake was the part about lying. I was having a discussion with someone about what a lie is. I remember very clearly focusing in on the lie being based on a deliberate decision to make an untrue statement as if it were true. Making an untrue statement without knowing it's untrue is not lying, it's being careless about facts or too lazy to check or too trusting in the source of your information. The liar knows that the information is not true or accurate or complete. The liar knows this and speaks the lie. Are you a liar or lazy or too trusting in the source?? If you keep spreading the information without checking then you are probably a gossip.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Stop the Control

Well, yesterday I spent time thinking about therapeutic events and remembered ALANON. Boy that group got me through some times of my life and now that I have no active alcoholics in my vicinity I tend to put their teachings aside. This morning I heard my radio preachers zero in on, what else ? Peace in your heart. You arrive there by stopping the attempts to control people and things and anything but yourself. It seems to be the theme of the moment. Dr. Phil had difficult brides on his show and one particularly unattractive young woman was astonished that the audience didn't care for her behavior and let her know it through their laughter, hissing applause for Dr. Phil or her mother. She spoke harshly to the audience telling them that they should stop their comments because they didn't know how difficult she had whatever it was she had. Dr. Phil said to her that they would respond as they wished because, surprise, she didn't control them.

I also heard this morning that we can live more peacefully with each other by allowing others the right to be wrong and not impose our views and wishes on them. They will behave as they wish and we can't control them except through the laws of the land of course.

Alanon basically teaches that very thing. You can't control anyone's behavior......Only your own. You allow people the freedom to behave as they will whether you agree with it or not . Of course you express yourself, you let them know that certain actions or behaviors are their choice, not yours and you distance yourself from their acts. They know you love them but you don't condone and won't provide them with support for the actions which you find offensive.

Or something like that....It is a very freeing principle and kind of falls into the next topic which came up....Be still and know God.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Therapeutic events

Funny. I just sneaked a peek at my niece's semi blog. It's really a journal and she said....I almost quote..... this is like therapy for me..... How little does she know that journaling or is it journalling.... is quite definitely therapy..... that was my only salvation when I was far from home and network of supporting friends... my husband was drinking destructively and suicidal and I could go on and on and on........... Yes journals were my therapy and my salvation in addition to Jesus and ALANON...... Thank you God.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Self protection

I have had a week that I am so glad is over. I am facing a week to come that will try me as well. What an expression that is, try me. I guess it fits in with "test me" , "Bring it on", "Oh Yeah?" "Says Who" and so forth. Well, the week that has passed has tried me. I'm not sure I passed the test but I know that I was out of my comfort zone, I had to make some hard decisions, I had to undo a decision that was previously made and I had to reach way down for some back bone . I hope that I will not waver as they say. I'm not used to protecting myself. Somehow it seems selfish. What's that about?

Irish mother, older sons, younger daughter, the sons are the prize and the girls are the goats. The girls run and fetch and give it up to the sons. The biggest portions, the best of the lot, the newest and brightest and shiniest goes to the boys. The girls clean up and serve up and wait on and wait for the boyos to take what they want and then -- there you go, have at it and oh by the way, clean up everything as well and get ready for the next round.

I know I'm making it sound terrible and I guess it is but when you are living it and have always lived it, it's pretty darned normal. The comfort zone is there. Being first and demanding the equal and equally fine portion is just plain selfish. Stand back and wait to be included. That's what I'm used to.

The point of this is that I had to make decisions where I thought of my best interests, I did so and I am so exhausted by it. It took a gargantuan force of will to make those decisions and I hope that I have learned that it is never selfish to demand equality. It is never selfish to deny someone the right to hurt you. How ridiculous that I would have to convince myself of this. I have no problem giving this advice to any one else. I have wrestled with this and have taken the giant step forward. I am exhausted but content.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Stepping along

Well I'm back and disciplined enough to write a blog entry a day. It's something that I am able to do whether or not I say anything. That's a problem. If you have nothing of import to say then say nothing. I worked with people who always had something to say at a meeting. Often the remarks or questions were painfully stupid, in my opinion. Later I am told that if you never say anything you are invisible in the promotion log. It doesn't matter what you say as long as you say something. I am in between on the issue and I will try to say something every day that is at least not painfully stupid. It may be boring or useless but hopefully not stupid. By the way, those people who spoke every day did get promoted, not to spectacular heights but promoted. I, on the other hand, due to circumstances both in and out of my control managed to get promoted, transfer to a new location start over, get promoted, transfer to a new location, start over and get promoted again. The last location, I went up three levels from my start over position. In a just world I would be a highly ranked management person if you count every promotion I received. Rather, my career was more like step aerobics. I climbed that same step over and over.

I never said stupid things at meetings however. On that I remain unanimous.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Thoughts for Lent

I am the laziest in the universe (talk about an ego huh?) Well I have not much to say but thought I should exercise some discipline and say something. February is a horrid month. Thank God it is short. I remember that all sorts of things have happened in February that I have hated and this month this year seems to be holding true. I am putting on my seat belt, as Bette said, and getting ready for a rocky ride.

I eagerly await Spring. This Lent I am going to give things up that are not good for me but that I love. Food stuffs of course. I don't have my list yet but it will amount to a sacrifice. I hear on the radio this morning that a way to overcome temptation is to just say NO! that won't satisfy me.....I will do whatever it takes to conform to the character of Christ. I hope I can remember that.

On to February and my list of sacrifices for Lent....I will post them tomorrow and make it real.