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 of 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 (https://myspace.com/kathy.booker/music/songs). 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?

Finally, and All About Floundering

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Patience. It took a lot of patience, but I finally got a picture of the bluejay in the backyard. Only took over a year.

Getting this picture was also a catalyst for blogging. Write is a verb, and it’s an action word that sits in the back of my mind poking at me, prodding me to take action. I hesitate far too often. Why? Because even though I am constantly thinking about writing, I never seem to “find” the time to do it. I’m learning it is not about finding the time, but rather making the time.

Just like the bluejays, I fly away the instant something distracts me or jars me from my thoughts. Elusive, those thoughts that run together creating a cohesive twist of words describing what is on my mind at any given moment. I need to capture them just like the photo of the bluejay. Snag them, make them hold still for just a few moments while I use them to paint the picture in my head.

Say what?

I flounder.

Mr. Sociopath

I read a newsletter written by one of our salesmen, and he mentioned a book titled, “Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight”. I immediately thought about the guy who almost ruined my life. PEOPLE, listen to me … if you think, even for a split second, that you may be in the company of a sociopath, RUN!

My Dad is the only person besides the sociopath and me who knows all of the ugly details of what my life was like between 2002 and 2005. My Dad was the only one I could turn to for help in sorting out what was real and what was a lie. It took months and months of visiting that guy in prison and reading through many, many letters he sent me before he finally starting admitting all the deception, all the manipulation. He was a puppet master, and I was his unknowing marionette.

I have written several times over the years about a book EVERYONE should read. It’s called “The Sociopath Next Door”. If you haven’t read it, at least consider reading it. It could save you a lot of grief at some point in your life.

It’s truly amazing how, when you’re in a relationship with someone, your mind will make excuses for the odd things going on even when your gut says something is amiss. I did that countless times, and in hindsight, I kick myself in the butt for not listening to my gut. I listened when people told me what a great guy he was. I was amazed by all the things I read in old newspapers about him, a good businessman with brilliant ideas. I met many people he knew, friends and coworkers alike. On the surface he was a great guy. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why things happened the way they did. But things unfolded, and my life unraveled.

Lessons learned the hard way.

Anyway, I don’t know that I’ll pickup the book our sales guy mentioned because I think it will remind me of too many things I’ve tried over the years to forget. But that doesn’t mean you should skip reading it. At least pick up a copy of “The Sociopath Next Door”. Please.

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Two Things

I went to my favorite mall last Friday to shop for my Dad’s Fathers Day present and to pickup a navy colored blouse. Two things.

And two things I noticed.

One, that it is ridiculously impossible to find a simple short sleeve navy blouse. Oh sure, you can find navy prints, navy t-shirts, dark blue pullovers, royal blue sweaters, and navy Polos … but good luck finding a simple dress blouse in navy. I don’t know if it’s because it’s summer or what, but I had to settle for a crew neck pullover. Not what I had in mind.

Two, there were no scents. I mean, except for the hair salon odors of hair spray, nail polish, and perms, I didn’t smell anything as I walked about the mall. No heavy perfumes on the females, no overwhelming deodorant smells, no baby powder scents on the babies. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Odd, don’t you think?

The department stores offer passer-bys the opportunity to try the latest craze in perfumes. Nothing noticeable as I wander through them! Surely someone has just come from a beauty salon or a diaper change? Nothing!

I didn’t know what to make of it and then finally decided that it must have been coincidental given the time of day I was meandering through the mall and the mix of people wandering around. Surely, it couldn’t be the start of a trend!

I purchased my Dad’s present and walked happily out of the mall with both items still pondering the lack of odors. And then I merged into the traffic on the Beltway, and all thoughts mingled with the awareness of everything going on around me. The cars, the exhaust, the road work. The mindlessness of having to drive further than you’d like to just to pickup a couple of things.

I’d rather be at home, in my backyard, smelling fresh cut grass and honeysuckle in the air. Noticing the things around me through their scents and chilling in my swinging chair. The perfect end to a summer day.

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Learning

Life is an endless cycle of learning. Whether we realize it or not, we are always learning something. It could be something as simple as a new recipe or a new way to apply make-up or wear a scarf. It could be something as grand as writing a new song, coming up with an idea for a book or invention – or even realizing that something we’ve been hoping for has just been dropped on our front door.

Don’t ignore the signs. Don’t miss your opportunity to soar.

Mission

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!

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The Way to Spend New Year’s Day

It’s New Year’s Day, and it has been a good one so far. I’m grateful that I didn’t have to work today and thankful that I got several things accomplished. I like being productive regardless of which day of the week it is and whether I accomplished something big or small.

I drove to Frederick to visit Davidus Cigars to pick up a particular cigar the Westminster store didn’t have and also to look at humidors. I paid a couple of bills and started serious editing on the novel I wrote during National Novel Writing Month. I put together a crock pot of pot roast to cook for dinner tomorrow. I did a load of my dog’s bedding. And I ironed. See? Productive!

The drive to Frederick was great. There was hardly anyone on the roads outside of Westminster and Frederick, so I had some quality driving time to bask in the solitude of the drive. I love to think, to ponder things. It was my “me” time today.

It’s going to be a very busy year at work. Tomorrow kicks off the new year and a multitude of studies and analyses that we already know we will be doing. Excellent; it’s great to have a plan.

So now as I write this I know the remaining hours of this day will be spent relaxing with a nice cup of tea from Teavana with my feet sprawled on the ottoman as we watch something (to be determined) on the TV. A nice ending to a peaceful New Year’s Day.

I hope we all have a great 2013!

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Holiday Shopping Notes

I went shopping for stocking stuffers and shoes on Saturday.  I was truly in the Christmas spirit as I walked through Towson Town Center.  I found something at Macy’s that I wasn’t sure to pull the trigger on, and after four times of trying on the item the sales clerk told me she could give me an additional 25% off the already 40% sale price, and I told her with a huge smile that she made my day.

Every store is having great sales.  Harry and David had exactly what I needed plus a pepperoni stick from Vermont!  Yeah!

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Things were going well.  Everything that I went to the mall for was getting checked off my list.  And then I had an encounter with a sales person that could have really dovetailed my day.

I went to Teavana for the first time.  They had a couple of sample teas to try at the entrance to the store, and I fell in love with one of them.  I figured it wasn’t going to be cheap, but the tea was phenomenal.  I walked around the small store looking at their tea pots and cups.  When it was my turn, the girl behind the counter couldn’t have been less interested in the fact that it was my first time in the store and that I didn’t have a clue how the bulk tea was sold.  She seemed exasperated as she explained the difference in the large tin container versus purchasing the smaller decorative tins which cost more.  Then she told me the price for an ounce, and I know my eyes popped as I said, “Wow.”  She of course followed with the information that I could buy less than an ounce.  Which I did.

I handed her my credit card and she rang up the purchase.  Before the receipt printed for my signature, I asked her if I could see the peach tea in the upper right hand corner behind the counter.  The look she gave me was like, “Really?  You’re going to ask me that NOW after I’ve already rung up your purchase?”

I smiled and said thanks after she let me smell the peach tea.  I signed for my purchase and left the store determined to not let her attitude interfere with the rest of my day.  However, I made a conscious decision to not let that girl wait on me the next time I decide to buy tea there.  Or maybe, since I don’t get to Towson that often, I’ll just buy the tea online (although I won’t have the benefit of smelling the teas prior to purchase).

I understand that everyone is entitled to have a bad day now and then, but when you’re a sales clerk trying to make a sale, you have to put your best attitude forward regardless of how crappy you might feel inside.  And seriously, if a customer tells you that it’s the first time they’re in your store, you should go all out to make sure their experience is top notch – that’s the way to get them back into the store.

I’m adding this note on Dec. 9 – I went back to Teavana today.  Would you believe the same person waited on me today too?  She did!  And she was great – helpful, providing the information I needed.  What a difference time makes, huh?  Well, I just want to let everyone know she was a totally different person, and I hope whatever soured her day previously doesn’t happen again for a very long time.

Happy holiday shopping everyone!

National Novel Writing Month

Wow, are my fingers tired! For the first time, I decided to take a shot at writing a novel during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) which is November. On and off during the past 25 days, I have put together a story that has been stirring inside of me for years. The goal for being titled a “winner” for NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words, and the sites’ verification process counted 50,550 words in my novel. Whew! That’s a lot of words!

I have to thank Jamie, Josh, and Buddy for putting up with me during these past several weeks because, except for the week I was gone for training in Chicago, I have been consumed with writing this novel. I have to admit that I feel a sense of peace right now that the story is final out there.

What comes next, I don’t really know.

Happy day, everyone! 🙂