It’s Another Day

I have been absent from my site for quite a while.  I did not know what to write about.  We’re supposed to be sharing the things we know or think with whomever stumbles upon our sites, and the key is that we KNOW what we are supposed to share.  I have felt like I have been treading water without direction, without buoyancy.  Reading much about Buddhism, spirituality in general, playing with some philosophies and realizing they are not where I am supposed to go, but ultimately developing a newfound respect for nature, for all living things.

Finally have adjusted to life without my parents and without my dog.  Usually.  Sometimes.

Turning my attention at times to healthy eating habits, steering further and further away from daily meat-based meals and dairy, watching the sweets and oils and mindless snacking.  Trying (although not very frequently this year) yoga, but absolutely exercising daily.  I guess it’s true that old dogs can learn new things.

I’m getting back into song writing, playing guitar, and recently learning to play drums.  I find drums to be a great stress reliever after a day at work.

So I am still trying to uncover the path that I am supposed to be on and what wisdom I am supposed to impart here.  But I guess it starts with sitting at the keyboard and typing. Whatever comes to my mind.  And hopefully, someday, setting some type of schedule.


What I Want

Have you ever found yourself assaulted by a random thought about someone you knew years ago? It’s like, once that thought grabs you, it won’t let go until you force yourself to let it go. Or, if you’re like many people, the thought sticks with you until your attention is focused randomly elsewhere. Who knew that a phone ringing with an unsolicited telemarketing call could be a blessing a disguise?

Once in a while, a great while, my mind suddenly wanders away from the present to a time when I was (not literally) someone else.   There was a time many years ago when I jumped into the pool of unknowing, taking a chance that somehow, someway, I would find that one person I was supposed to be with. Ultimately, through many encounters and many mind-blowing missteps, I find myself here, in today, still wondering if that one person exists. I’m getting too old to keep pursuing the thought that magic exists and works in my favor. It does not on so many levels!

After all that happened in 2016 with both of my parents passing away, Ma in March and Dad in September, I find myself feeling horribly guilty for moving from Illinois to Maryland, missing time with them year after year after year, and yet knowing that moving was probably one of the smartest decisions I ever made in my life. When I go back to the Chicago area now, I wonder if I could ever return. I have gotten so use to the area in Maryland where I live, where there is fresh air (except when local farmers are fertilizing), where there is space (at least for the immediate future), and where I feel at home near the mountains.

Conflict. I feel it every minute of every day.

I want to be successful in my career even though it veered off what I thought was the right course. I want to be successful in my family life, being there for my son, my sister, and the rest of my family, knowing that it’s very difficult when my son is in Georgia and the rest of family is in Illinois. I am here in Maryland, family at least eleven hours away, but with them in every non-physical way possible. What else do I want? To someday achieve all of the things that will make me feel I lived life to the fullest extent I could – definition of that still under development.

When MySpace was the thing, I used to post a blog almost every Sunday. Now, MySpace is my space for posting the songs I write ( Though they are few and far between. But the idea of writing at least once a week is a turn-on for me. I love to write, and with 2016 being over and me trying to focus on things that will make me feel more complete, I’m hoping I can create a schedule for me to do the things I like/love to do.

I hope everyone reading this (knowing it’s really maybe one, two, a few people) finds what makes them feel complete – no matter how long it takes. Just remember that life may be shorter than you expect it to be (as I experienced with my parents) and that you need to start focusing on your future TODAY. Pax!

Particles of Wisdom

IMG_0004I don’t know if it’s something to do with getting older or maybe it’s just that time of year, but I find myself searching for something.  I don’t know what that “something” is yet.  So I’m doing my best to be in a mindful state as much as possible, waiting for the universe to reveal particles of wisdom.  I hope I’ll recognize them when they appear.

Writing has always been a passion of mine.  I used to write a blog every Sunday morning back when MySpace was the cool place to be.  I’d write about anything and everything on my mind, including some of the guys I was dating after my divorce.  A few of the guys I wrote of were flattered; others not so much.

Years later I find I don’t know what to write about.  I took an online blogging course to help me find direction and gather tools for posting blogs.  People (like Seth Godin) come along with some very insightful blogs which prompt deep thought.  I find myself wondering what it really is I’m trying to do.  What is my purpose in blogging?  What wisdom am I trying to impart?  And I’m lost – I don’t really know.

I feel like the universe is nudging me along.  Since last summer I have reacquainted myself with things I used to love when I was much younger.  Metaphysical things.  Reading about different religions.  Reminding myself how much I love music and writing.

So maybe my purpose is to write about my journey?  I’m not sure yet.  I’m hoping the universe, and time, will tell.

Until then, I’ll sip my morning coffee on Sundays and work on redeveloping the weekly blog posts.  See you next week?

The Stories Manifesto

It hit me today while I was washing my hair that I am missing out on a tremendous volume of stories. When I called my mom yesterday, a Sunday afternoon routine to stay in touch, I could hear conversation and laughter in the background. Turns out that my sister, my brother-in-law, and my nephew and his girlfriend were spending time with my parents the Sunday after my dad’s birthday. While I felt a touch of sadness while I was on the phone that I wasn’t there to spend that time with them, it really didn’t bother me until today. Distance can be a real drag.

I realized quite some time ago that there would be many things that I would miss by moving almost 800 miles away from my family. I think it’s a factor of getting older that you want to squeeze as much as you can into what you perceive as the time that you have left. The weekly telephone touch-base with my mom and my sister are not doing it for me the way it used to. I’ve relied on Facebook to keep in touch with my nephews so that I can feel a connection, although distant, to what’s going on in their lives. But there is something major lacking. “Liking” a post is in no way as gratifying as a heartfelt hug and speaking words instead of typing them onto a screen. And when your sister and parents aren’t Facebook “friends” it feels like the connection distance is magnified.

It’s evident to me that I am missing way too many stories. I’m missing the stories of what my nephews are doing with their lives because Facebook can only convey so much. I’m missing hearing the old stories of my dad when he was growing up and the wild things he and his buddies used to do. I’m missing the stories of my mom’s childhood and the wonderful and odd things she and her sisters used to do when they were young. Sure, I’ve heard many of those stories in the past, but I think perspective changes as you get older. There might be a little things in the stories, little nuances, that are important – things I may have missed the first time I heard them.

I’m not there for other family events, so it’s rare that I get to see uncles, aunts cousins, etc. thank goodness I saw many of them in June for my mom’s birthday party. Prior to that it had been years. Again, I miss hearing the stories of what’s going on in their lives. Tidbits on Facebook are good, but the reality is that I’ve lost touch with what makes everyone tick.

Maybe it’s just that I miss being surrounded by family sometimes.

Facebook is great. The telephone is wonderful. But nothing can take the place of being there in person to look into the eyes of the people you love and admire.

This is the beginning of my manifesto on Stories.

Full Moon

I walk from the office upstairs down to check on Buddy (my dog).  The deck door is open to let the cool night air in.  As I cross from the hallway to the family room, I do a double take – the full moon is suspended high above the deck, a glowing ecru orb in the sky.  I stop, take a deep breath, and smile.  I love looking at the full moon!

Every night lately when the sky is clear, I find myself seeking out the moon to check what phase it’s in and how bright it is.  I mean, I’ve always looked out to see if the moonlight is shimmering on the little creek of water in my backyard or if the fireflies are competing with the flickering as the leaves on the trees dance in the moonlight.  Recently though, I feel compelled to check the sky before I slip under the covers for the night.  I’m finding some type of comfort in knowing that nature is so beautiful and that it’s right here, all around me.

And to make this post even a little more odd, a couple of weeks ago I went hiking in the Catoctins.  Remember treepocolypse earlier this year when the ice storm took down a lot of trees?  Well, the Catoctins were not spared.  I barely recognized the Hog Rock trail for all the trees toppled over and sawed to make a clear passage.  I actually felt sad as I looked around.  So much devastation!

Is it a “mom” thing that I feel this way – or it is an “age” thing?  Not sure, but either way, I love this connected feeling I’m having lately.

A Blog for Conflicted Women

I feel like something is missing, and I can’t put my finger on it. Do you ever feel that way? So I’m considering starting a new blog targeted towards women in their 40’s, 50’s, and beyond – a blog that simply discusses the challenges, thoughts, desires – whatever- that some (if not most) of us experience as we age.

As for me, I feel like there’s a hole I need to plug. I’m looking into meditation, yoga, music, writing – various things to ease that feeling. They go in waves, these odd feelings. Some days they’re wispy, some days they’re an anvil.

Scotch, cigars, pipes, rediscovering Sherlock Holmes, listening to Mozart and Bach … ethereal things I’m enjoying on this journey.

Come join me.


I want 2013 to be the year I figure out what my mission in life is. I’m just like the vast majority of people who have a plan for their lives but encounter various forms of setbacks time after time. I want to pull my feet out of the quicksand called status quo and blaze a more creative path for myself.

Suggestions are always welcome!


Summers of Long Ago

Growing up in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago in the 1960’s was something special.  We played Cowboys and Indians, Army, Statues, or other games in the streets without any worries (well, the kids didn’t worry; can’t speak for the parents).  We ran up and down the creaky wooden stairways and halls of the corner apartment buildings (usually without the apartment residents yelling at us).  We strolled the side streets and hung out in the playgrounds until dusk, oblivious to any concerns of drive-by shootings, child abductions, or pedophilia.  In our realm, our reality, the world was pretty much safe, secure, and (for the most part) revolved around us.

The excitement of summer usually involved running after fire trucks to see what was burning (this time) and watch in awe as the firemen raced to extinguish the flames.  I remember once one of the junkyards (what is today’s politically correct term for them?)not too far from us had a fire, I think it was a mound of tires that time, and you could see the smoke from miles away.  And smell it too.  There were apartment buildings that burned sometimes, and the occasional warehouse fire too.  If we were walking around the neighborhoods and happened to see smoke off in the distance, we took off in that direction and didn’t stop until we got to the scene.

I mean, what else was there to do that was exciting and adventurous for kids during the summer?

We were city kids.  We didn’t know about summer camps or summer enrichment programs.  Most of our moms were stay-at-home moms.  We didn’t need babysitters or daycare – we had each other.  Cousins and neighbors and a few school friends.

There were failed attempts to learn to how swim at Holstein Park.  There was a summer dance that the park’s rec facility one summer Saturday (all I remember is “The Age of Aquarius” playing, the black light posters hanging on the walls, bell bottoms, and a lack of kids in attendance).

There were bike rides to Logan Square and very long walks to Downtown Chicago where we’d sometimes ride the subway and el back home.

There were hours spent sitting at the Clybourn station doing nothing but talking with my girlfriends and watching train after train come in and go (okay, I admit that we’d sometimes put those purple and white quartz rocks on the rails to watch them get obliterated when the train’s wheel attacked it).

Shopping for the latest Ray Bradbury (I will miss you) paperback at the downtown bookstore (wasn’t it Cokesbury?).  Buying candy and bottles of Pepsi® at Clem’s, the corner candy store.  Walking across Damen Avenue to the library to pick up something I hadn’t already read.  Falling in love with the mind of Sherlock Holmes and the voices and souls of Elton John; Gordon Lightfoot; Judy Collins; and Peter, Paul & Mary and wishing and wishing for something special to happen if only just one time in my life.

I won’t lie and say I don’t miss those days.  Not the running after fire trucks part, but having someone to hang out with day after day.  Even when we were simply sitting on the concrete stairs that led from our front yard to the sidewalk, frying ants with magnifying glasses, listening to the FM transistor radio, playing with our Barbie® dolls, or creating masterpieces with our colored pencils and crayons – all of those things meant we were spending time with people who mattered.  People, kids actually, who cared about each other and didn’t even realize it.  It was a given.  These were people we wanted – we chose – to spend time with.

Why does growing up and getting older have to mean that the closeness we had with our childhood friends has to evaporate?  Why do relationships and careers steer us so far away from the happiness we knew as kids?  I’m sure this isn’t true for everyone, but I’d bet it is for many, many of us.  Do we ever look back and wonder what we lost along the way?  And is there a way to recapture what we’ve left behind?

What Happened?

What the heck happened? Just the other day I merged onto US Route 4 after leaving Josh on the campus of Castleton State College to start his first semester at the college, teary eyed and dealing with many different emotions as I drove home. Today it’s almost two years later and I feel like I’ve fallen through a time warp. What happened to the last two years?

Many hours spent studying for certification exams, dealing with a host of issues around the house, lost inside vacillating between wanting this and wanting that (relative to many, many things) – yes, many time warps of many degrees. Or is it that age is playing a part in this?

I was driving home from work this evening and all of this hit me upside the head. It’s July 18 – a good part of the summer is already gone and yet I feel like I’ve just stepped into the heat. Maybe it’s the incredibly hot weather; maybe it’s lack of proper sleep (been tossing and turning a lot lately); or perhaps it’s just a midlife crisis (how long do those last anyway?).

Time is driving me crazy. I pump a lot into my days – I get to work before 7:30 am, I rarely take a lunch break, and I’m usually out of the office around 5 or 5:20. I cram a lot into those hours to take advantage of time as much as I can. But then after I get home I usually crash in front of the TV or find myself playing Forty Thieves solitaire or Angry Birds or Gardens of Time when I need to keep the mind exercised. Bit sometimes I get mentally exhausted trying to decide what to do next. I don’t always want to shut down because I like to keep engaged.

Problem is, a lot of the time I’m trying to determine what I really want out of life. I haven’t totally figured that out yet. And it seems like I’m running out of time. After all, I am 55. When does it become too late? Does it ever become too late?


In 1971, at the end of the 8th grade school year, my home room teacher, Sister Mary Barbara, asked me a profound question that haunts me to this day.

She was a tall woman who looked like she bench pressed 100 lbs. every day.  Not masculine, but strapping.  A force to reckon with.  Sister Barbara and I had been discussing my future and what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I told her I was considering becoming a nun.  After all, I had been around nuns for the past eight years, even working in the convent cleaning floors and helping with other chores.

She smiled slightly and said, “Really?  I don’t see that in you.  I figured you say something like, scientist or journalist.  Not a nun.”  She shook her head.

And after a pause, she said, “What will your legacy be?”

To this day, forty years later, I am still trying to figure that out.