Sunday, April 20, 2014

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time...

but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Oh, isn't this the truth? I think as I've gotten older, I've learned that it just doesn't pay to truly speak your mind unless it's absolutely necessary. I have friends who are free to offer advice, but I've learned the hard way that unless my advice is asked for, it often isn't welcomed.

This is true in many things, but I've seen it most in play around gardening. It's too easy to look at someone's landscape and think, "if they did this then ..." The sure way to keep me from speaking my mind is to remember my own landscape mistakes. Once I filter what I see through those memories, I get a much clearer idea of what might be going on.

A goal in life is to avoid foot-in-mouth disease. An admirable goal, eh?


Monday, January 20, 2014

Good luck...

... is the result of good planning.

[start rant]

You know, nothing is more irksome than when somebody says "You're lucky. Your husband is so supportive." Or "You're lucky. Your job pays so well." Or...

You get the idea.

That isn't luck. That's planning and hard work and communication. I have 5 -- count them -- 5 college degrees, and I did by working full time and going to school at night. I worked at colleges so they paid the tuition, but I did the coursework. Those degrees got me interviews, but my skills got me the jobs.

I get paid well for what I do (in my Day Job. My fiction job: not so well). And the reason I get paid well is because I do my job well. I do what's expected of me and I try to provide leadership and expertise in all I do. It's not good luck. It's hard work. It doesn't just happen.

As to my husband ... I left an abusive marriage long ago. If your husband isn't supportive or if he infringes on your time too much--deal with it. Leave him or talk to him or get help, but don't pin your failures on him. They are Your Failures. I am SO tired of hearing people say, "Oh, the kids keep me so busy" or "my husband doesn't like that so I don't ...."

This is *your* life. Quit using other people as an excuse for what you failed to do.

[end rant]

There. I feel better now ☺

Monday, March 26, 2012

The older we get...

...the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

This bring me to The Hunger Games, of course. I saw pictures of people lined up to get into the film and I thought, "Gee, must be a Beatles reunion. Oh, wait. Can't happen. Hmm."

Seriously. I love seeing fans who can't wait to enjoy something -- a book, a concert, a movie. I waited in line once. I think it was in 1970 and I wanted Eric Clapton's debut album so bad I slept out overnight with some other kids to buy it at a record store. It was worth it.

And I have waited in line when I had to enter items in the Minnesota State Fair, but that was minor. Just a few minutes chatting with other folks carrying jams, wood carvings, quilts, and oddments. Interesting.

Other than that, I do not wait in line unless I am the 2nd or 3rd person there. I have been known to leave restaurants rather than wait 20 minutes (unless they have a bar. I will make exceptions to my rules when alcohol is involved). I am a charter member of the Short Attention Span Theater. I can't sit still long enough for a cat to get comfortable on my lap (unless I'm dozing).

So may it's not "the older we get" that's the rule here. Maybe some of us are just born that way.

But you know, if the Beatles did reunite (with George and John coming back to play a gig), I'd probably wait in line for that.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I wish the buck stopped here ...

since I could use a few.

Seriously: I'm not hurting for money. Yep, I could use more. Anyone can (except maybe Bill Gates and some movie stars). But I can balance my budget adequately without strain. I was able to buy Christmas presents without concern and give gifts that I really wanted to get for people.

Note that I also save on a regular basis and I always have. I'm frugal with my cash, and when I consider a major purchase (like a car for example), I really think and think and think about it. I'm impulsive, up to a point.

Christmas is a great time to re-examine your priorities and shake them up a bit. Just seeing all the hype was an eye-opener. Stepping back and looking, really looking at ads, is interesting. And then there's the excess: Rose Bowl parade, college football bowls, parties ...

Yep. Nothing like a new year to give you a new perspective, isn't there?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A clear conscience...


... is usually a sign of a bad memory.

Take a minute and read this blog:

http://zenhabits.net/scarce/

Sounds great, doesn't it?

Now take a minute and read this (or skim it: there's a lot of ranting there):

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/13/1016557/-That-was-my-brothers-death-you-were-cheering,-you-a$$holes

It's a different view of scarcity, isn't it?

I think that's what annoys me the most about the so-called "Simple Living" people. They are making a deliberate choice to do without. But so many people are FORCED to do without. So the Simpler Livers coming off sounding sanctimonious. I know that's not the intent, but it's what happens.

::shaking my head:: I can understand making a virtue out of adversity, but let it be a choice, okay?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Good judgment comes from experience,

... and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

I'm in the process of house hunting with my husband. We are doing this from 250 miles away, so we're house hunting on the Internet (oh, what an interesting process that is!)

Through a long story best told over a drink in a bar, we somehow ended up talking with a person whose house is for sale. In a long, long conversation we found out it's in foreclosure, the man & his wife don't know if they'll be evicted, the house has 'a few cosmetic problems but it's in a great location' and...

The story continues. My initial response was 'how can someone let themselves get stuck in a situation like that.' Then I took a step back and realized, 'hmm. that can easily happen. Look at us. For a time, we'll carry two mortgages until we sell our current house. What if...'


Yep. It's important to keep it in perspective. There but for the grace of God (and a bit of good judgment) go I...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It is better to be pleasantly absent...

...than miserably present.

Yep, I've been absent, and for a while it was unpleasant, but lately it's been pleasantly so.

The unpleasant was dealing with my mother's death in November. That's a black hole of time and emotion. Her death was expected -- she was ill and her death was, I think, a blessing to her -- but her loss is still grievous to me. We were very close and I miss her dearly. But she would hate for me to dwell on it, so I'm trying not to.

Then Christmas rolled around and, lo and behold, I discovered a few days before Christmas that I had no web site -- the host company decided to un-host me. So I had to scramble to put together a new web site. Along the way I decided I didn't want a 'regular' web site (one that required me to use special software in order to update it). So that led me think about Cloud Computing (yes, my mind wanders in odd and strange ways), and voila, I have a slog -- a web site blog.

Is it perfect? Nope. But it's Okay. And that led me to think about perfection. Why do we strive for what we perceive to be "just right"? The world is not trampling a path to my web site. It's okay if it's not perfect. It's okay if some people go, 'ew. How odd. Why not have a Real Web Site." The new site does what I want: it lets me update it easily, I can get out word about my books, and I can add content whenever I feel like it.

Win-win-win as far as I'm concerned.

You know, the older I get, the more I think it's not the Hokey-Pokey ("that's what it's all about"). It's about time and how we manage it and our absences.