the ups and downs of life

Archive for the tag “living”

No Promises

We aren’t promised a tomorrow…of any sort. I have learned that all too well throughout my life. Half of my life I have felt like I have death constantly looming in the background. It’s not a scary thing for me anymore. It is just a fact of life. If you live, you die.

But as we live, we need to live with the realization that nothing is promised or guaranteed. Nothing. You don’t know if you have a tomorrow. You don’t know if someone will love you. You don’t know if you will live your dreams. You have no clue.

All you have in this life is the moment you are living. I have been working toward living intentionally for the last few years. I have always mostly said what was on my mind. But many times fear held me back. As I have gotten older, though, I realize even more that my days are numbered and so are my chances for happiness, love, etc. Because of this, I pretty much say what I want and do what I want. I don’t want to miss opportunities that I would regret. I have no promise of another chance. Tomorrow may not come. I could die in the blink of an eye.

This really hit me today when I spoke with an elderly man. He is working desperately to ensure that when he passes that he leaves things in order for his wife. First, if that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is! But secondly, he knows he isn’t promised tomorrow. He is doing everything he can today in order to be prepared. This man truly touched my heart because he sounded like my daddy who has been dead for 21 years. After our conversation I had to take a break and just go cry. My heart still aches for this man who is so filled with love and goodness.

The moral of the story is to not miss opportunities in life that are presented to you. There are no promises that you’ll have another chance.



It’s funny how people make assumptions. Recently an assumption was made about me. It was frustrating. So this person thinks they know me quite well. He knows a few things about me that no one else knows. A few. He does know some pieces of my heart. What I allow to show. I am guarded with it. I tell things that are pretty common knowledge. I keep other things to myself. Why? I have been hurt by people I care about and by strangers as well. I don’t care to be hurt anymore than I have to be in this crazy life. I have had more than my share.

So the assumption that was made hurt me and angered me. After the initial slap of the words, I retaliated with my verbal tirade of anger and frustration. I’ll admit there was a little tequila backing up my flying fingers on the letters on the phone. I left some things out of what I said. I wish I had said a few more things than I did. I used words I rarely use and dropped some like I was fresh off a Navy boat.

But something that bothered me about the assumptions was that this person assumed all I ever did was pine over him. He never once asked me what I was doing around here. Never. It showed his very little interest in my life and also the presumption that I had nothing better to do. I was actually seeing someone for a bit. It didn’t work out, but not everything in life does. It’s ok to try and to fail. I have done that many times. I don’t stop trying because something is difficult, though.

When I was talking to the presumptive man, I did it because I enjoyed his conversation, intelligence and many other things. I don’t like his know-it-all attitude, evasiveness or his view of obstacles. He writes about fate, life, living, love, etc. I am no longer playing it safe in life. I did that too much when I was younger and found that I can miss out on things that I regret now. I dare to live and try and hope and dream. I dare to want it all and to strive for it. The thing is that this goes completely against my nature. I won’t go into the details, but life should have taught me to hide from everything. I don’t. I look it straight in the eyes and keep pushing onward.

I am tired of living other people’s version of life. I can only do my best. And if that doesn’t measure up to what someone feels it should be, then they can just kiss my ass. I’m tired of feeling like I am not enough or too much. I am me. I am worth the inconvenience, the fight, love and ridiculousness. And if someone doesn’t realize how fucking wonderful that is, then they have lost out on something amazing. In whatever capacity I would have held a place in their life. They don’t have to exit my life, but they don’t necessarily get the sparkle that is me either.

So before you make your assumptions about who or what I am or anyone else for that matter, why not ask? Why not really try to get to know who someone really is? Personally, I am quite something. I am resilient, strong, delicate, angelic and devilish all at the same time.

Now I have no clue as to whether we’re friends or not. Why? Assumptions. And the thought of losing him as a friend is painful. But it would have also hurt to hold in those words. I care about this person and actually like him enough to want to remain friends. I don’t know what he thinks. Maybe his silence is the answer? We’ll see.

Counting Down

I have been a bit emotional today. Today marks the countdown to the upcoming holidays. While most people view them with delight, I don’t. In fact, quite the opposite. I dread them. I would like to skip to January 7th. It would be a lot easier emotionally.
While most people have families to celebrate with, I don’t. I have my extended family. And that’s all well and good. But while they’re family, they’re not mine. They try. Bless them. They try. And I try. But it isn’t the same. Since everyone died 22 years ago, it’s never been the same. I’m still just me and they’re their own unit.

I know that I am loved. I used to question that. But I no longer do. I may not have the love I want, but I have the love I need. I have friends who love me like family. I have family who have missed me for 20 years. I stayed away for a variety of reasons. Often it was monetary. But it was also because I couldn’t deal with being around the place that I called home without the people who made it home. This year I moved back home. It’s hitting hard. I have wanted to be home for years. Years. I love Alabama. But I have had a hard time adjusting. Thomas Wolfe talked about going home. I have had troubles. I miss people and things in North Carolina and there are days my heart and mind are more there than here. There are people who have large pieces of my heart there. I don’t love easily so when I give that, it’s hard to let it go.

But this year I am trying to do something for the holidays other than hole up and hide. I am working on making ornaments for a Christmas tree. I haven’t had a tree in 20 years. Yeah…20 years. How weird is that? I am a Christian and celebrate the event of Christmas. But no tree. Weird. For the first few years of the 20 it was because I had a male dog who thought a tree in the house made perfect sense! Indoor plumbing for him! Then I got cats later. I was used to not having a tree and the thought of cats climbing a tree just didn’t sound appealing. But the cats are older and hopefully will stay out of a tree. Hopefully. I am going to attempt it anyway. We’ll see how it goes. It’s my way of trying to get over being the Grinch.

I have also been invited to one of my local aunt’s house for Thanksgiving. I have seen her a few times since being home. I haven’t seen her kids in probably 30 years. That should be interesting. She knows I am quiet most of the time at home and warned me there will be several people there. I told her I could handle it. It’s funny that I used to go to my mother’s mother’s house every year and we’d have 40+ people there and it didn’t bother me. Now I am much more introverted and quieter and that many people make me cringe—even if they are family. I swore I would never be like my father and yet here I am. I like being home and I like quiet. I love my friends but recharging at home makes me feel so much better.

I still don’t know what I am doing for Christmas. I can go anywhere. I have open invitations to wherever I want. I don’t have to wait on an invitation. All I have to do is throw a post up on my social media and ask, “Where am I having Christmas dinner?” I’ll get a ton of responses. But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to feel tugged. I have done that before. I feel so much guilt for turning down invitations. I can only do so much. And my emotions can only handle so much as well. Most times I spend time alone relaxing in my jammies, eating junk and watching movies. It’s one of my favorite things to do on Christmas. Pure relaxation. But then there’s the guilt of having turned people down. So, I am going to do something…I just don’t know what yet.

Thankfully New Years isn’t a big deal to me. It never has been. Maybe that’s my problem. I never prospered because I didn’t eat my stupid hog jowls, greens or black-eyed peas. Hmmm…it’s a possibility. But 2/3 of those things make me gag so no thanks.
The next big day is my birthday. January 6. Birthdays are supposed to be special. And mine is so special. It is also my mother’s birthday. I miss her so much on that day. I only had 25 birthdays with her. And I needed 25 more at least. But I have survived this long without her. It’s hard, though. So, I try to celebrate for both of us. I have a feeling my Huntsville crew won’t celebrate like my Asheville crew did. My tradition was Mexican food and lots of tequila. But no flan, please. Thanks, but no. Blech. Usually I would eat very little and mostly have a liquid dinner. Whatever works, right? 😊

Then when January 7th rolled around, I was good to go! I was over that painful period. It was time to really get the new year going. It was great to be past it.

The countdown has begun. I am trying to look forward to things. My friends and family are looking forward to them so I will just fake it for them. Fake it until you make it, right? Something like that…

If only

There are so many if onlys in our lives. Or maybe it’s just my life. I reflect quite a bit. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. Maybe it’s because that’s just who I am. I appreciate things now. And I did appreciate things in the past.

I try to to live a life now with much more purpose. I don’t want to be in the future looking back at this point in time saying “if only.” There are way too many if onlys in my life.

If only I’d been more adventurous.

If only I’d said what I felt.

If only I’d trusted my heart.

If only I’d let go sooner.

If only I’d taken that ring off.

If only I’d never left.

If only I’d dreamed bigger.

If only I’d done more.

If only I’d taken better care of them.

If only I’d read between the lines.

If only I’d reached out.

If only I’d be been stronger.

If only I’d stood up for myself.

If only I’d fought back.

If only I had not trusted.

If only I saw the truth.

If only I smiled.

If only I’d said the right thing.

If only I didn’t care.

If only I could do more.

If only I was braver.

If only I hadn’t jumped.

If only I had hoped.

If only I quit worrying.

If only I’d closed my eyes.

If only I’d breathed.

If only I forgave myself.

If only I opened my heart to the world that awaits.

If only…

Rainy Thoughts

I am lying in my bed listening to the Rain. It’s one of my favorite sounds. I should try to sleep right now but I love the sound. It’s like Nature’s music. It’s almost hypnotic.

I’ve been stressed lately and it’s been hard to think about certain things. This soothing sound allows my brain to just kind of relax for a change. You would think that sleep would be relaxing. It’s not always relaxing for me. This sound is so relaxing.

I can think about whether or not I should make a trip to Asheville in the next few weeks. I want to go before the weather gets bad. I miss my friends. And I just miss Asheville.

I can think about the upcoming holidays. Typically I spend them alone. And that’s usually by choice. I’ve avoided the holidays for years. I love my family and friends but the holidays are not the easiest time for me. And this time of year is really not the easiest time for me because it’s the precursor to the holidays. But this year I am home–in Alabama. I spoke to one of my aunts the other day and she is so excited about Thanksgiving that she’s already planning it. And she invited me to come. I haven’t had a holiday with blood relatives in 21 years. That’s a long damn time. So the thought of the holidays has been a little bit overwhelming. But tonight I can think about it without having a panic attack. I can think about the fact that I’m going to spend time with people who are part of me. And that is such a foreign concept. It’s a little bit scary to.

And I can think about Christmas. I haven’t had a Christmas tree and all those years either. I was thinking about it and I’m going to have to really get going so that I can have ornaments for a tree. Thank goodness I’m crafty and artistic. And a friend of mine sent me some great ideas. So I’m going to start working on those. So that is something quite interesting. Amy with a Christmas tree. I just pray the cats will not climb the tree or knock the ornaments off. But it will be a learning experience for all of us.

So these are the things that I’ve been thinking about while lying in the bed listening to the rain. I know that they are scattered thoughts. But they’ve been things that I pushed to the side because they are difficult to think about under normal circumstances. They normally worry me and cause me to be anxious. And now I can just think about the whole thing and it’s going to be okay. And if not well we’ll just do the best we can.

I’m so thankful for the rain.

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