writing

Observation

Today, I sat in a room with 10 others, working on a major project. The room was full of people with a variety of technical skills…electricians, networking, engineering… and various managers. (Social distancing and masks were all in play!) As I sat there, contributing like the rest, I couldn’t help but recognize I was the only woman in the room.

I wasn’t uncomfortable, and everyone treated me as an equal. I work with other women as well, but just not in this scenario.

It makes me wonder however, why meetings like this are so unbalanced when it comes to gender. Are women not interested in technology? No, I know that isn’t true. Do men block advancement? Maybe, but that didn’t seem to be the case here!

So, ladies, and girls growing up, go for it. If you like to build or invent, or analyze and plan, or lead, follow that desire! I’d enjoy seeing a few other ladies in the room along the way!

writing

Beach Mornings

I believe the best time to walk the beach is when a sliver of the moon shines brightly. The stars are twinkling remnants of the evening. The waves are crashing on the shore, blowing you a kiss and bringing peace you can only find from within.

Dawn breaks and the sky turns into pinks, blue and purple. The waves magically calm down, the rhythm slows as the sun approaches. Slowly one begins to see the shells scattered along the shore brought in overnight by the tide.

Birds dance along the waters edge looking for their breakfast.

The cafés scattered along the beach turn on their lights waiting for patrons.

Early-morning walkers stroll along the sand gathering their thoughts for the day. One must wonder if they do this every day or if they are on a break from their lives.

The breeze is cool as it hits my face. The sky is getting lighter. Along the shore are shells so beautiful waiting to be taken home by the next person walking by. The day begins.

writing

There’s Just Something about Classic Movies

This afternoon, we sat down to enjoy tea and scones and watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I enjoy watching Audrey Hepburn’s movies. A few weeks ago we watched My Fair Lady. I’ve seen both of these a few times throughout my life. Even though the story lines may not fully hold up in the modern world, they are still entertaining.

Tiffany’s also stars George Peppard, which I had forgotten he was the main actor was over the years. My memories flash back to being a teen watching him on A-Team in the 80s when he was older and grey – “I love it when a plan comes together.” Can’t help but quote that line!

I love the underlying story in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I appreciate the aspect of growth that Paul goes through, as well as Holly’s eye opening at the end. I suspect parts of the story were a little eyebrow raising back in 1961 when it first came out, but that actually makes it feel more current than it is.

It is interesting how you pick up new details when you see a movie for the first time after several years.

Any recommendations of other classic movies?

writing

Chaos in the Quiet

My mind spins at high speed, almost incessantly. There is nothing to distract me in the quiet moments. I have endless conversations with myself, with my dad, with you, and others in my brain.

I hope to find peace in these times, but it is so well hidden. I am changing, and I am unsettled. However, I finally feel I am moving towards something, instead of burying myself with more.

I need to remember to keep some things close, protected, quiet; although I wish to shout out to the world. The world, it does not care. The world will tear it away. I’ve had enough of that.

This time, I do it for me, not for others, not even for just you. I’m thankful to the mirrors other have shown me in these past six months. Some I could clearly see and am respectfully and diligently working on.

This latest one though, it still is covered in a haze. It is the hardest one for me to work through. When this started I thought you might need me. Maybe, then, I thought, I need you.

Have patience with me while I find me and figure this all out. Please, don’t give up on me.

poetry, writing

Night Sky

The flickering flame dances across the fire.

The crackling sound of the wood fills my ears.

The embers float to the heavens,

Gently extinguished by the cool night air.

Mesmerized by the show in our campfire, the evening passes.

I lean back and look up into the night.

Stars upon stars shine in the black sky

With thousands of pin points of light.

Our world is so vast, it makes me feel small,

But full of wonder.

There is so much more than we can ever know.

writing

Learning from Darkness

She walks through the dark forest, gently, listening to the sounds. The dim forest gives way to beams from the full moon overhead as they stream through the branches.

An owl hoots in the distance, then the flap of wings rushes by as he takes flight chasing a late night meal.

She pauses, listening intently. The leaves rustle in the wind. The owl flies back over and lands in the nearby tree.

She spies a clearing in the distance, with a large rounded rock, awash with moonlight. Twigs snap and leaves crunch as she makes her way to the clearing.

She perches onto the rock, looking up towards the sky, taking in the moonbeams and then closing her eyes. The heavens swirl above her as she drifts into her own mind.

She hears her own breathing, slow and steady. Each inhale fills her lungs with cool night air. Each exhale releases the stress from her body. She settles into a half lotus position and calms herself.

She smells the dampness of the forest, it’s mosses and flora aromas fill the air. Her hair curls into ringlets in the humid air, clinging around her face and her neck.

Her shoulders release and lower. She enters a trance like state, aware of her surroundings, but lost in her thoughts at the same time.

Her mind wanders through a myriad of memories. She visits the bright spots, finding comfort and joy.

The darkness is there, but she works hard to prevent it from entering. She dealt with those pains for long enough. However, they begin to take over her mind.

She refocuses on the lessons learned during those dark times…trust your heart, keep up your guard, and reflect on the positive.

More happiness than sorrow fills her life. She knows her life is good. She knows her life can be better and is working towards it. She feels re-energized.

The owl begins to hoot again, bringing her back to reality. She opens her eyes, and smiles. Find the positive, learn from the negative, and appreciate every moment.

writing

Answers?

Perseverance rover landed on Mars today.

Will we find evidence of life, now or in the past?

Does this start the race towards our future or are we looking into our past?

Are we just stardust, assembled and reassembled throughout the ages?

Do we all have past lives, future lives, and entwined existences in the here and now?

Is there such a thing as a soul, a life force?

Do we have a reason for being, a reason for longing, a reason for life?

So many questions; will we ever find the answers?

writing

Finding Who We Are

Interesting thoughts fill my mind. As I age, I find I am removing layers that adulthood has placed on me as a person.

I think back to simpler times, happier times, and although I keep moving forward, I find that the rediscovery of cherished memories help me define where I want to go.

Recently, someone asked if a teenager could even know what they want out of life. It makes me think.

As we go through school, we layer on the expectations, education, and grow.

We move into adulthood and go into service, college, and work. We add on more expectations, more knowledge.

Some marry, some don’t, some have children and we layer on more experience and learn to appreciate other people’s needs in some cases. We take on obligations and make promises as well.

But, are we growing or layering and covering up our true selves?

I hope it is a mix personally. The child who loved to swim and walk in nature can still find peace when in the pool or on the trail as an adult. A person can stand in their home and realize all they have doesn’t really define who they are and can start to shed it all to get to where they want to be. The woman who has struggled her whole life with emotions and self-doubt can grow and learn from them, and appreciate how those same emotions can guide her to find her true self.

Promises and obligations should be kept, especially to children and parents who deserve all of the love and care in the world. Sacrifices still will be made.

But, I look at my parents and grandparents; contrasting their lives. Both sets of my grandparents met in school, married, faced trials and tribulations, but stuck through the rough years and both surpassed 50+ years of marriage.

My parents met at roughly the same age, but as they grew, they changed and needed to go separate paths to find their own ways through life, finding different partners better suited for their vision, even with a child in the mix.

Each person’s path on this journey called life is different. We have to respect that if nothing else.

Here’s to the journey, for it may not be straight, hopefully it isn’t always boring, and may it lead us to better places, whether that life was imagined at age 14 or discovered at 75 or a blend somewhere in between.

About Me, writing

Becoming Routine

Late last year, I set out on a journey for my own health. I am slowly making progress, but I have seen my second wave of good results this past month.

I began first by just tracking what I ate last October. No diet changes. It is eye opening if you’ve never done this before. Nothing was way crazy with my diet, but tracking made some bad habits very apparent.

As a note, I am a middle-aged woman who has fought weight battles since age 5. So, unlike guys who can just think about dieting and lose 5 pounds, I have to work at it!

Next, I straightened up those bad habits. By December, the 5 COVID pounds I had gained were gone. I still let myself enjoy food, just in moderation now.

Christmas Eve, while talking with my mom, a couple harsh realities smacked me in my face…not my Mom, mind you! One was the realization that I had gotten myself to a place I didn’t like….and it was up to me to address it.

I knew I needed to do more, but needed to set a why. Just feeling better should have been a good enough motivator. I found a beautiful location I would like to visit one day, the Jacob Hamblin Arch, in Utah. Now, for me to do that, I need a much smaller body, the ability to hike for two days with a pack, and the ability to use a rope to climb up and down in some spots during the hike. Hey, go big or go home as they say!

So, I decided to tackle the most basic aspect first…walking the walk! I built up my walking from an average of 2,000 steps a day to now over 10,000 steps a day. I have currently dropped another 12 pounds.

I have a long way to go, and there are days I’d still rather sleep or lounge all evening on the sofa, but I keep giving myself no room for that complacency. I’d love any hints and guidance from any hikers on where to go next!

I know I will hit plateaus, but I am going to work like hell to overcome them. I will be my own cheerleader on this journey.

If you are on a similar journey, don’t give up. We can do this!

writing

Crash!

“Stop! Stop! Stop!” She held out her hand towards the oncoming car, as if she alone had the power to stop the one and a half ton gold beast headed her way.

Snap! Thud! Crash! The car hit her in the leg, throwing her up into the air, bouncing her onto the hood of the car and then sliding off the side of the car. The sound like a dying swan filled the air at impact; and now, silence. She fell to the black pavement below.

A crowd gathered around her. She laid on the pavement, her arm flung up and backwards, somehow stopping her head from hitting the pavement directly. A friendly face from work held her hand as she came to. Her boyfriend ran up realizing what had happened. He knelt down beside her.

Sirens wailed in the distance. She tried to sit up, but her co-worker told her to lie still until the paramedics arrived. She reached for her left leg. Pain radiated up, so much she couldn’t feel her lower leg or foot.

The officer and paramedics arrived on scene. The EMT cut open the left leg of her khaki pants to check for any protruding bones or cuts. Gratefully, there were none.

The officer worked through the witnesses and the driver while the paramedics continued to tend to the victim. Her management team came down to check on her. She told her Director that she wouldn’t make her 1:00. She was always focused on her work.

The paramedics helped her up and asked her to put weight on her injured leg. She collapsed and winced in pain. Her leg buckled like a noodle of cooked spaghetti.

As streams of tears soaked her face, her boyfriend paced nearby. She was coming to meet him for a farewell lunch. He planned on leaving, moving to another state, the next day.

The paramedics helped her onto the gurney and into the ambulance. Her boyfriend followed behind.

The emergency room was crowded when they arrived. The nurse looked her over in triage and directed her to another area. The officer took her statement while she waited.

The nurse cleaned gravels from the road out of her right forearm then bandaged it loosely. The medical staff observed her for two hours and told her boyfriend to not let her drift to sleep due to her concussion. X-rays didn’t reveal any major breaks in her leg, but likely she had soft tissue damage. A brace from her hip to her ankle was applied.

Over the following few weeks, her mind blurred details as it healed through the trauma; she struggled with words and figures for months. So much so, she couldn’t tell how bad it really was during this time. Perhaps her mind was protecting her.

She was referred to a orthopedic doctor to further check her leg. The wait was horrendous; 4 weeks later, she finally sat in the doctors office. One MRI later, and the true damage was revealed. 100% torn ACL. The long section of the ACL was stuck under her patella, causing her leg to slip and give way. Her MCL was 80% torn. To top it off, her femur and tibia showed significant bone bruising. Those would need to heal more and she needed to gain strength in her leg before surgery could be attempted.

The doctor explained the mechanics of how the damage was done. Essentially, when the car struck her leg, one section separated from the other and then smacked back into each other. The pull apart was likely the snap she heard, and the pain had caused her to lose consciousness as the rest of the accident happened.

Just under three months later, surgery included three screws along with the center strip of her own patellar tendon to replace the ACL. Two days after, her father died from cardiac arrest. Thank goodness for pain killers to get her through that next week. Her greatest champion was gone and she had much healing to do. Her boyfriend was hundreds of miles away. Her mother helped where she could, but she was dealing with the passing of her greatest love.

She summoned the strength to push through the months of physical therapy and eventually regained function in her leg. She knew her Dad was there, pushing her through those toughest moments, in spirit, in her heart and in her mind.