I’m Back…365 Consecutive Days…Not This Year

It’s been a process, but I’m back.

We’ve travelled overseas, worked our tails off and I’m officially unemployed. This is all a good thing, but it has taken a toll on my time. Today is the official start of a new life and a happier Mae.  The weight has already been lifted, though it seems very surreal. Having left a stressful and unrewarding career behind, I’m on the hunt to do what makes me happy and somehow find a way for it to pay off in satisfaction and eventually to pay some bills. I’m lucky because I have an incredibly supportive husband who would rather see my smile than my paychecks, at least for a little while.  He’s giving me the chance to do good for others and for us, despite the sacrifices that may lie ahead.

The World Is Your Oyster by Bill Frymire

I have a lot of ideas and wonderful volunteer opportunity that I start at the end of this week.  One that I’m hoping leads me down the road to a career of history and ancestry, and maybe a few other options. I’ll be immersed in the smell of old books and side by side with brainy researchers. It’s the first step toward working toward something that has appealed to me since the fourth grade. Will this be my career or will it just lead me to something else?  Who knows, but if I didn’t take the leap, we’d never ever know. Life is full of chances and I’m about to take a lot of them.

Thanks for following me to my new address; I’m so lucky to have you along for the ride.

Tell me about some of the chances you’ve taken. Was there ever a chance that didn’t pay off or at least bring you some sort of opportunity or happiness that you may have never realized?

 

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Double Your Dad’s

As a child of divorce and an optimist, I found myself always looking for a reason to be satisfied with my family arrangement. My situation is not exactly ideal. It is however, particularly easy now that I’m an adult with a family of my own; well the start of one anyway, by snagging a great husband and a humanistic pug.

I’ve got two dads. I’ve got my paternal “taught me how to ride a bike” dad and my “see, this is how you drill into concrete” step-dad. I’m lucky because they are both wonderful men who have devoted so much of their lives to me, and I to them. Even luckier, they get along. Step-dad has referenced real dad as his “husband-in-law”, which sounds a bit goofy, but we laugh.

 

The cool thing is that, since no one is identical, I find that I always have the right man to help guide me, no matter what the problem is. Both are handy, but in different trades. They are both wise, but from different backgrounds and perspectives. They both can make me laugh and sometimes roll my eyes, but they both have traits that I found to be absolutely required in the man I’d marry; amongst them, respectful, honest, smart, hardworking and loving. I now have three men in my life that mean the world to me daily. I soon look forward to four, as I watch my little brother mature into a man and learn from three elders that care for him as much as I do.

There’s no one in the world without flaws, but their goodness supersedes any negatives, usually. I know this is true because I got nearly weepy at each Father’s Day card I read at Hallmark. I felt so lucky to have people fit the cheesy sentiment, even if I felt entirely lame taking twenty minutes reading through each card option available. If the hardest part of divorce for me is to choose two cards for two dads, I think I won.

I’ll save the stories of skinned knees from my competitive father trying to beat a five year old on her bike for another day.  Who does that?

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands

This is my hand holding my Great-Grandmom’s hand.

By the time I was born, she was already 71. She had already lived a full life and had been retired. She’d be a widow a year later and I only knew her to be one. She would take me to bingo and we would play board games. She’d teach me things about cooking and tried to teach me to crochet. She was one of my favorite people and her hands always fascinated me, even the way she twiddled her thumbs.

Her hands had what she called “liver spots”, though most of us know them as age spots. She had been an avid gardener all of her adult life, so it was likely sun inspired damage. After she ate, I remember how she’d sweep her fingers over the table to gather any crumbs. Her fingers were strong and crooked and her fingernail and tips were oval. I just remember always thinking how unique they were. They weren’t thin and ladylike, though her movements were not harsh; they were the result of lifelong hard work.

I took this picture one morning when I sat alone with her before she passed. She was unable to speak, but she knew I was there as she squeezed my hand in response to my words. I knew I’d never forget her hands, but still I was afraid that I might. I haven’t forgotten, though it’s only been two and half years, but I like to know that I have a picture of one to remind me.

She would’ve been 100 this week. Happy birthday Grandmom.

Finishing Things and Good Deeds

This will be fairly short, as I woke up on the couch and for the life of me, could not think of anything today, that would be worth pouring out for you.  I did find however, a couple posts in my “drafts”.  One of them is called “Following Through”, which I found really hilariously ironic because it appears I started that post on 1/16/2012 – just about three months ago.

This 365 post is one of the few things I’m proud to be sticking to, regardless.  If I’m not writing here, I’ve been writing for a blog called Sprouts and sometimes I end up posting twice a day here to make up for a busy Saturday or something along those lines.  Damn, this is a boring post, but I cannot be defeated by this goal.  Then I got a blogger award about a half hour ago, about how people should really see my page because I’m great.  Jacob, I’m extremely grateful you thought of me and here I am with nothing to say tonight.

So the start of “Following Through” is below.  I wonder if I felt too much pressure to commit myself to good deeds.  No, I try to do those anyway, even when it bites me in the ass.  Funny though, one of our local DJ’s, on a loud rock station no less, mentioned how he found a daily blog about good deeds and urged people to visit it.  I then realized there is nothing solid about my blog to initiate being declared as the “go to” for anything, but random thoughts and odd reasons to post pictures of Ireland, my long lost love.

So why post it now, you ask?  Because I’d like to get to bed.  I will likely come up with a rousing “did you ever notice” post tomorrow and mention how I do something like an old person, and you will hopefully not decide to remove your subscription in the meantime.  So without further ado, here’s my unfinished post about following through:

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Handling the Lottery Win…Mentally

To be honest, I didn’t expect it, so there isn’t any disappointment. Like most offices in the states that participate in this lottery, we had an office pool. It was going to be interesting to split it between 244 people. I felt exhausted thinking about the chaos that would ensue and the way people would then sue like crazy, we’d probably never get paid.  To not play though would be foolish.  Who wants to be that guy on Monday who sits alone when people have already booked a cruise and rolled in with their new car?  What a disaster that would be.

It’s funny to think of the possibilities; not so much on what we’d buy but how it would change us. I figured, if we split the jackpot and won just a simple million, I’d try to be conservative and invest it well so it lasted awhile. But you can’t be anonymous anymore when you win. So of course I’d do some good things for family and close friends, but imagine what it would be like when you go to the pub for a night out. Everyone would expect you to pay, all the time, and if you don’t, you’re a jerk. Continue reading