Sunday Confessional

These are my confessions.

Confession #1:

I love my parents and sister*, but I can only endure so much family time before I need to check out. Thankfully, I don’t live with them, so I have the luxury of leaving and going back home when I’ve had my fill. Today was one of those days.

Confession #2 (related to #1):

*I actually have two sisters, but I rarely talk to one of them. We don’t get along very well or have much in common other than DNA. She lives in a different state, so it’s been a long time since I’ve seen her.

Confession #3:

It’s such a relief to quit reading a book I’m not enjoying. For the most part, I’m not one of those readers who feels compelled to finish reading something just because I’ve started it. If I’m not enjoying it, I abandon it and move on. I quit three books in the past week or so–separate post about those coming soon.

Get Busy Living

Quote Me

Today’s prompt is from The Daily Post.

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

One of my favorite quotes is from the movie The Shawshank Redemption, which is probably one of my top 10 favorite movies ever.

Get busy living, or get busy dying.

It moves me because it’s such a sparse, simple statement, but it really packs a punch with meaning. Especially when combined with Tim Robbins’s amazing line delivery.

Whenever I stop and think about what the quote is really saying, it makes me feel hopeful.

No Alarms and No Surprises

If I Could Turn Back Time
Today’s prompt is from The Daily Post.

If you could return to the past to relive a part of your life, either to experience the wonderful bits again, or to do something over, which part of your life would you return to? Why?

I’d like to say that I live my life with no regrets, but that’s simply not true. If I could go back into the past and relive something, I would change the moments when I embarrassed myself quite badly, both at work but also in my personal life. There are a few incidents I have in mind, but I’m being purposely vague because just the memory of these events is mortifying! Sometimes when I think about my past mistakes, I just cringe. Suffice it to say that I wish I had the power to go back into the past so that I could undo those moments of stupidity.

Shacking Up

Modern Families

Today’s prompt is from The Daily Post.

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

If my grandparents were still alive and knew that my partner and I were living together without being married, they’d probably be shocked. They were very traditional. While I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t shun us or anything, I think it would bother them that we’re not married.

Michael and I have talked about this a bit over the years. We’ve been together for nine years now. Having both been married and divorced before, at first the idea of marriage just didn’t appeal to either of us. We’ve been really happy with things the way they are, so we see no need to change that. Since we don’t have kids together, I think it’s easier and more socially acceptable that we’re not married. If we had kids together, I wouldn’t want them to have a stigma attached to them about us being unmarried. But we have no plans to have kids, so that makes things kind of easy, all things considered.

I think that my grandparents might be disappointed that we didn’t follow tradition, but more importantly, I think they would’ve liked the person I chose to spend my life with. That thought makes me happy.

The Worst Thing and The Best Thing

Worst Case Scenario
Today’s prompt is from The Daily Post.

Of all the awful possibilities, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you today? Now, what about the best?

I’ve always been a worrywart, but as an adult, the things I worry about are the big things like my loved ones, work, health, and money. Other than the obvious bad things that could happen–like death, major illness, or violent crime–I’m always obsessive about finances and worried about identity theft. I’ve heard so many horror stories from people who’ve been the victims of this type of crime and it’s an enormous nightmare.

Personally, I’ve never had my identity stolen, but I have had several credit card numbers stolen (virtually, as opposed to having the physical cards stolen). That ordeal was a pretty big pain in the ass. I was able to get everything resolved with each credit card company, but I had to file claims with each of them and get replacement card numbers/cards.

On a related note, the best thing that could happen today would be winning the lottery, haha! Last I checked, Powerball was up to $900 million, which is insane. I think we can all agree that would definitely be the best thing.

If Money Were No Object…

Keeping Up With the Joneses
Today’s prompt is from The Daily Post.

Tell us about the one luxury item you wish you could afford, in as much detail as you can. Paint a picture for us.

If money were no object, I’d buy a new house. I’m happy where I’m living now, but the hermit in me wishes I could buy a place somewhat in the middle of nowhere, away from congestion but still within driving distance to a city.

I’d love a house with a huge yard so that our dog, Autumn, could run around and roll in the grass to her heart’s content. Our current yard is very small, especially when we had two dogs. But it’s still pretty small for one.

I dream about having a library for all my books. Right now, they’re taking up two bookcases in the spare room along with a smaller bookcase in the living room. But I would love a main room where I could sit and read and be surrounded by all my books.

You’re on Your Own

Sink or Swim

Today’s prompt is from The Daily Post.

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

Years ago, when I was still married and going through a lot of relationship problems, I was left on my own quite a bit. My then-husband was active duty military and deployed twice during our marriage. Other times, he would go out of town with his friends and leave me behind at home.

Because I had moved across the country after we got married, I didn’t have my family close by. Even more difficult was the fact that I basically had no friends or support system in the small city we lived in. It was really tough for me to meet people and make new friends, so I spent much of my time there alone at home, at work, or in counseling. I also spent the majority of my time there being very depressed.

Now, I can look back at that period and just marvel that I didn’t go insane. I spent some major holidays by myself with no one but my two dogs for company: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day. It was hard to be left on my own in general, but even harder because I didn’t have other people there who I could turn to.

I’m in a much better, happier place since that situation ended. I’m relieved that time in my life is over. I’m also glad to know that I can survive being on my own–at least for a little while–without turning into a complete lunatic. It was ridiculously hard at the time, but I made it through and life is way better now.

Who Are You?

A Brand New You, Effective Tomorrow.

Today’s prompt is from The Daily Post.

Tomorrow you get to become anyone in the world that you wish. Who are you? You can choose to be anyone alive today, or someone gone long ago. If you decide to stay “you” share your rationale.

Hmm, those are deep thoughts. Pretty deep thoughts. In a fantasy world, I’d like to be Mindy Kaling for a day because she is fabulous, minus her obsession with B.J. Novak. I don’t know exactly what it is about that guy, but he seriously gets on my nerves.

In the real world, obviously, I’m staying me. I’ve spent my life being super introverted and introspective and to be honest, I’m kind of tired of analyzing myself. I just want to exist without so much pressure, if that makes sense.

I realize that the older I get, the more cynical I become. To be fair, I think it’s a fine line between realism and cynicism. I’ve definitely always considered myself a pessimist, but in recent years I’ve tried to identify as more of a realist. I just don’t want to lie to myself as much as I did in my younger years. Whereas younger me would have welcomed that forced attempt at optimism, older me simply has no patience for that.

Hopefully, this post doesn’t come across as unhappy. On the contrary, when I look back at 2015 as a whole, I’ve felt far from unhappy–with the exception of a few crappy months directly related to death and other unavoidable things. When I think of younger me–say, 25-year-old me–I cringe because I truly was miserable and depressed all the time back then. And although I don’t think I’ll ever be a true optimist–a real “glass half full” kind of person–I do feel far happier now than I’ve probably ever been.

When I think about it that way, 2015 seems like it’s been a pretty good year: I love my job, and I’ve had some jobs in the past that I’ve hated, so the ability to say that is really quite amazing. My loved ones are healthy. My relationship with my partner is going strong. I did different things this year that I don’t normally get a chance to do, like travel for work: I visited Portland, OR, for the first time and loved it. Another highlight of this year was getting the chance to spend some much-needed time on a fiber festival/girls’ weekend trip that my friends and I took to Swannanoa, NC. I’m hopeful that 2016 will bring more good things.

In short, life is not bad at all. It’s never perfect, but I’m pretty happy with it right now. And I am crossing my fingers that things will only get better in the upcoming year.