12/29/12 G.L.A.D. Chronicles – Deciding My Course


I’m taking a few days to think about my goals for 2013. This came up yesterday during lunch with friends Tim and Joanne.

Writing is at the top of my list. I want to study and learn how to write fiction. As much as I love to read fiction, it irks the snot out of me that when I try to write it, my mind goes woefully blank. I have a few unconventional study guides to try to rectify this frustrating situation. I can blame it all on Nancy Drew. I passionately read every adventure of hers that existed when I was young. I thought if I couldn’t be her, I’d at least like to write great mysteries. The only mystery I seem to write so far is whether I’ll make any progress with losing weight. As reviewed in Mysteries Weekly: She’s up, she’s down, her roller coaster weight-loss effort reads like the never-ending nightmare of “Will Government Solve The Fiscal Crisis Before We All Go Over The Cliff?” Actually, I probably WILL lose weight and keep it off before government solves anything!

Back to writing, I feel it’s time for quiet and learning. Read, study, homework, whatever it takes to see if there’s an exciting mystery in me willing to come out. In the meantime, I’m reading so many good authors work now. Some of the best I’ve seen are my fellow writers at www.fanstory.com They’re miles better than what I’ve viewed in the bookstores and on my local library shelves. Maybe that’s one reason I’m not so sure ‘being published’ is any true measure of a writer’s worth. I see published books that aren’t worthy of using for toilet tissue and I read unpublished authors’ writing that absolutely blow me away.

Another goal is to continue the work I started in 2012 of putting myself first. That remains an alien and sometimes guilt-producing notion with me. However, as my personal clock ticks and time on Earth grows shorter, I am left with the knowledge that I don’t have forever to get this thing called life right. If I don’t work on it now, who says I’ll be here tomorrow or next year to make it a priority? I may never be a size twelve, calm, rational, island of tranquility… who am I kidding? I’ll NEVER be that! But I can at least move toward a serene nature and away from a squirrel-on-speed self!

Something interesting I’ve noticed since the last blog… I received various responses to last week’s piece about looking at myself without clothes on. Every response came from a woman either: younger, slimmer, prettier, etc. than me. None expressed being ready to look at themselves in this way (in the mirror buck naked). I find this interesting and a statement of the baggage women carry. Compared to them, I am a human who resembles a Caucasian Shrek. Yet I found no judgement. It wasn’t about how I looked cosmetically. It was about acceptance of who I am. The odd thing is, when I put clothes on again that night, the judgement began to seep right in. I’ve decided the only answer for me is to move to one of those “Nekky Colonies”. Not a nudist colony. This would be a “Nekky Shrekkies” oasis. We’d look like animated movie characters, hence we’d all look quite normal! I think I’m on to something. 🙂

wpid-5754027156_1c88c839b8_o_thumb.jpg                                                                                                     shrek

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12/20/12 G.L.A.D. Holiday Smorgasbord


Queen Porkunia, By Bill Seitz

Queen Porkunia, By Bill Seitz (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

So many things are going on in the world lately, one could be forgiven for wondering if the Mayans might be right! If so, I thought I’d post one more post before the big…. what…. what happens if it IS indeed it? I have no clue. I wasn’t too convinced the end might be near until the Twinkie nightmare (normally sensible people everywhere burst through doors of retail establishments to scarf up every Hostess product in sight, except, it seems, for the Blueberry Muffins. I saw a few boxes of the poor muffins sitting lonely as could be on shelves at Remke Biggs, very near their expiration date.) Another sign that the end might be near? I realized, in a most unexpected way, that I don’t hate myself anymore. I always felt I’d learn to like myself: a) when pigs flew (I’m in Cincinnati, pigs fly here. That was a bad choice of markers!), b) when I was pushing up daisies at the cemetery (meaning, I had died), or c) when the world ended. As I said, pigs DO fly in Cincinnati, I’m still upright and breathing, so the world must surely be nearing that apocalyptic day.

I pondered long and hard about whether to share the next bit with you, not sure if it made me a questionable person, or a repressed woman in a world with few limits anymore. The answer to that still eludes me, but a friend said my story might inspire other souls. My life-changing moment came about a few weeks ago. I wanted to recapture a feeling of freedom I got to experience this summer, freedom from a lot of emotional baggage I’d carried most of my life. This desire led me to question my appearance, avoiding mirrors, body image, those things that some women are doggedly pursued by. I wanted to know what I look like, REALLY look like. Not the image I present to the world of a body covered by whatever black, blue or gray fabric gets pulled out of the closet that day. But ME. The naked truth. I thought about this for days. The part of me that felt this was just bad on my part wrestled with the inner person who questioned, “why?” What was I afraid of? I didn’t know.

One night, I screwed up my courage, uncovered down to the skin I was born with, and looked in a mirror. It’s almost as if I were looking at an exhibit in a museum, observing myself from this angle and that view. I made the surprising discovery that I didn’t have a single negative remark to make about myself. WHAT? No slams about the excess pounds making me a loser, lamenting that I wasn’t a size two, no haranguing that someone who looked like me had nothing worthwhile to offer the world? No. I merely commented, “So this is what I look like.” I think the past few years of embracing my inner squirrely self has taken some of the pressure off of me. It’s given me an ability to embrace my squishy softness that huggers and cats everywhere seem to be attracted to. (Or do the cats just think there’s really a squirrel in there?!)  Honestly, it doesn’t get much cuter than my squirrely self, what do you think?

                                               Sue Glamour Squirrel

The interesting result I’ve noticed is that I want to take better care of myself since viewing the real me. It’s not: “Oh, I need to lose a billion pounds, though a loss would be beneficial, I’m sure.” It’s more a case of feeling an acceptance toward myself that I’ve never experienced before and wanting to treat myself like a friend. I go for walks now, eat more sensibly, go to bed earlier, all kind of strange things that people who like themselves do!

The shooting last week in Newtown, Connecticut brought such a sober, harrowing twist to the holiday season. I don’t know why the shooter did it, or why fantastic people meet such an awful fate. I’ve been awed by the acts of heroism the teachers displayed at Sandy Hook Elementary. I’ve been blessed by all of the good that has poured forth in this nation and from around the world in our country’s time of sorrow. I pray that blessings rain down on the people of Newtown.

Christmas is upon us. I’ve had a real mixed bag of thoughts this year. Money is tighter than ever, which rules out giving cash to a variety of good causes. My energy level hasn’t been up to snuff in ages, so giving my time isn’t happening as much. I’ve kept my holiday projects a little closer to home and am focusing on people I hope can use a little love. Sometimes I question if I’m following the right path or not, but my current actions feel right for this day. My goal continues to be to show Jesus’ love to everyone I encounter as I celebrate His birth. Some days I feel as if I do that so poorly, those days when a rabid pit bull is cheerier than I am. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit is pretty amazing about weaving some calming presence into my soul and my attitude straightens out again for another day.

I hope my blog has added a bit of light to your week, a little humor with your coffee or an insight that helps your day. Every single one of you reading this are a warm blessing to me.

Blessings and Peace  🙂

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

12/2/12 G.L.A.D. Chronicles Week 9 – Pondering


Rain Bunny Pondering

Rain Bunny Pondering

It’s hard to explain how realizations – good or bad, tend to rock my squirrely mind. The old saying about ‘hindsight is 20/20’ is sadly true for me. Imagine my mind resembling the interior of a gypsy’s crystal ball: the past swirling about like an old-time London fog. Thoughts about certain persons in my life appear in the haze and begin to make sense. Some of these thoughts are from events that happened five, ten, twenty years ago. They stand out now, with a clarity that escaped me then.

Sometimes I’m a great, compassionate person with a few useful qualities;. Other moments, witness a snarky, anxiety-ridden squirrel who obsesses over thoughts whether I want to or not, because that’s the way I’m wired. Pondering the situation is half the joy for me. Pondering also uses up valuable time that I could actually be DOING something, when I’m in an ‘avoiding’ sort of mood.

In the past, I suppose I thought I was being kind to overlook things a person might have done that really bothered me. At the time, I didn’t have a lot of boundaries. Letting people mow over me and figuring I should ignore controlling, manipulative behavior because that’s what a good Christian did. I’m not sure where in the Bible I thought I read, “Thou shalt imitate a door mat with rude, inconsiderate clods.” I think I’m finally accepting that sometimes you outgrow a relationship: be it a friend, a relative, a coworker. Possibly the relationship worked well enough for a time, but now its season is over. This doesn’t make me a rotten tomato. It does, however, enable me to open the door to a little more peace and serenity. But in the meantime, squirrel sister has to ponder, ponder, ponder…. and usually ingest a Titanic-sized load of empty carbs while I do. Judging from my size, me thinks I ponder just a little too much! It’s okay to ponder, but I need to pick up a new partner for it, maybe: “Thou shalt only ponder endlessly whilst moving one’s bodacious behind.” It’d certainly be a healthier pairing.

The thing is, this blog’s goal is to reflect God’s grace in my life. It is SUCH a fine line between declaring your freedom and behaving like a jerkwad toward someone who’s treated you poorly. I really do want to take the high road and show grace as I decide what’s positive for my life and what’s not. I will so enjoy the day when I discover how to ponder and just feel the feelings. One can hope.