The Difficulties of Asking

After reading Shailaja V’s post over at Blog-A-Rhythm about asking for help, I felt compelled to write a post about my own struggles on asking for help. Although Shailaja V’s post is about asking for help with your blog, my post will be more personal in nature.

As a youngster growing up in a house with two other siblings and being the middle child, I heard “no” more often than I care to remember whenever I asked for help. There was never enough money or advice to go around, or at least not the kind of advice *I* needed. My mother lived in her past, my dad worked too hard and too many long hours, my sister was self-absorbed, and my brother was too young to care. I found out way too young that if I needed anything or needed advice, to deal with the situations on my own and in my own way.

Some of my hard earned lessons included asking my dad to buy the neighbor’s car for me. She’d recently passed away and left a great old 70s model car to her grandson and he was only asking $200 for it. I begged dad, he went to mom, she said “no” and I didn’t get the car. Why this hurts so badly is that my sister, a year earlier, received a car when it was time to learn to drive, but was also given that car as a wedding present the next year when it was my time to learn to drive. Years later, my brother was also given a car when it was his time. In fact, over the years, dad helped my brother buy 2 other cars and my sister one other car. They both skipped out on payments and lost the cars as well as affected my dad’s stellar credit rating. He said he would never help any of us with a car again. Well he never helped me with one. I bought my first car with my own money, as well as the following 2 cars.

Another lesson came when I asked my grandfather for money for tuition and books in my first year of college. Grandmother had told him if any of her grandkids needed help with college, he was to help them. This was one of her deathbed wishes. He *did* help the first semester and I was grateful. But the second semester when I asked for money for books, he called my mother ranting and raving about me asking for money for food and rent. In his drunken state, he had confused me with another cousin who *had* asked for those things. I was horrified. He refused me the funds, my mother cursed me out, and I ended up dropping out of school because I didn’t have the money for the books. I went back to college a few years later with grants and loans that  took out on my own. I finished college and although I am still paying off the loans, I did it all on my own.

The only times I *did* receive help was if I was moving from one place to another and my dad and brother helped with the moving a few times. However, the one time I really desperately needed help was when I was living in Oklahoma, my marriage was wreck, I was an emotional and mental wreck and begged my dad to let me come home. I had no income as I could not work because of my mental state, so I was told no because he couldn’t afford to support himself, my brother (who was living with him and not working – and still does live here and not work) and me. I had to stay in my wreck of a marriage for another year until my disability came through. Only then did he say I could come home.

So no, asking for help does not come easy for me, but it has helped me to be an independent woman. I can say that nearly every achievement of my life has been by my own hands. I still harbor some resentment from all of the times I was denied help and others received it, but the older I get, the more I realize that those things don’t matter much anymore. I am still working through the anger, but getting better at it every day.

 

What is the American Dream?

The American Dream is definitely not dead as so well told here. You just have to want and work toward the life you desire.
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Simple Living Over 50

american-dream-001With all of the changes our country is going through many believe that the American Dream is dead. But what exactly is the American Dream?

I believe it all started just years after the beginning of our own Industrial Revolution when jobs where in high demand and employers starting offering more attractive employment packages to attract and retain quality employee’s. As time went by and as worker unions started forming these things became the norm for the American worker even thought it took the time span of two major world wars to get there. TV portrayed the typical American family as both comfortable living in a home they were able to purchase with just one single income.

It seemed to be the good life for many, but as many stories are told sometimes there are parts that are left out. There is and has always been a segment of our…

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Bullying Through The Eyes of a 12 Year Old

Bullying is a despicable act! I should know, I was horribly bullied in High School. This is a well-written piece on how it is affecting lives in other countries besides the US.
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In the old days, fun and pranks were joy of childhood. Teasing means another thing in our age! Bullying, ranging from arguments to assaults, is now a rapidly spreading menace all over our nation and it lurks behind almost every unfortunate childhood.

To start with, a shocking case happened a while ago in our capital, Delhi. A middle school teenager from Modern School Delhi was exposed to some severe and outrageous verbal assault by his peers. Someone recorded the entire incident on a smart phone. When the story hit the newspapers next day, some words were cut out, being too abusive for print.

After being analysed, everyone was appalled at the language used in the assault. There was an outrage among the parents and the general society along with a lot of chaos after which after which the case was finally sorted out.But was a little too late, for the…

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#joyfuljan – Day Thirty-one

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For today’s #joyfuljan, I find joy in completing goals.

Today is the last day of this Joyful January challenge. Except for the four days that I was unable to be online due to a winter mishap with my wifi line, I have posted every single day. I’ve also written small stones and did the JusJoJan each day (except for those 4). It brings me joy to set goals and make plans and be able to complete them.

It wasn’t always the easiest to come up with joyful reasons each day, but I have learned over the course of this month that joy can come in the simplest of things, from a cup of coffee or tea, to chatting with family and friends, and even celebrating happenstance moments in my life.

Thank you to everyone who came here each day and shared these moments with me. You too brought joy to my life!

What are you joyful about today? Let me know in the comments.


Throughout the month of January, I will be celebrating Joyful January with Satya and Kaspa over at Writing Our Way Home

Thoughts on Blogging & Upcoming Events

I’ve been a busy bee the last few days. I have a lot of things going on in the blog’verse these days, so I have to do a lot of planning.

For instance, I’ve been prepping my schedule of Horror stories that I will be writing over at Promptly Written in February. I am 3/4s done and will finish up the last remaining week’s story preps tomorrow.

In April, I will be participating in the A-to-Z Challenge. Last year I completed the challenge okay, but I wasn’t able to read very many other participating blogs, not even during the Road Trip afterwards. It’s time consuming and a lot of the participating blogs are via Blogger. If you’ve never visited many Blogger blogs, you have no idea how aggravating they can be. Here are a few issues I have with them:

  • Many of the blogs there are heavy with content that takes forever to load. I am not talking about their posts either. I am talking about all the crazy things they add to their sidebars. Just because you *can* add things, doesn’t mean you should! It may make your page pretty, but you aren’t thinking about your readers much when you add all of that crap to your sidebars. This bit of advice goes for WordPress users too *winks*
  • A lot of them will add every social media site that they belong to for you to join, but not add a “follow via email” to their sites (I’ve found this on WordPress sites too. So if you want non-WP users to follow your blog, this is a must! Just saying…). This forces me to bookmark their blogs and although I have a special folder for these blogs in my bookmarks, unfortunately, they will also be the last blogs I will read and only when I get a spare moment to read them, which won’t be often in April as I will be doing two challenges that month.
  • And the biggest bummer for me over at Blogger sites – when you go to comment on someone’s blog, Blogger usually (almost always!) won’t accept my WordPress ID so I have to use my Google ID which is linked to Blogger. This means that I have to have a Blogger account and blog which will redirect Blogger users to my WordPress account. That makes for a lot of additional clicking and prevents me from getting as much traffic over at my blog. Yes, that sucks majorly and is anti-productive to doing one of these challenges in the first place.

I have made it my goal to follow every single participant from the Challenge though. So far, there are over 500 participants (I’ve only added 100 so far) and by April that will probably quadruple. So seriously, Blogger people, there is a chance you will end up in the Bookmarked Folder and it may be later in the year before I get around to reading your Challenge posts, which will also make things difficult because a lot of Blogger blogs don’t list ARCHIVES either!

So, what else have I been up to lately? Trying to catch up with the blogs that I already follow, read their posts, leave comments, and try to reblog as often as possible.

I did say that I wanted 2016 to be a year of Abundance and it is already beginning to be quite an abundant year! Okay, time to get to reading some blogs so that in a few hours I can kick back and watch the last few episodes of the last season of True Blood!

#joyfuljan – Day Thirty

For today’s #joyfuljan, I find joy in remembering and honoring my mother.

If she was still with us, my mother would be 71 today. A beautiful blue urn sits upon the TV unit which holds her ashes. A picture of her in her late teens or early 20s sits next to it and angels surround both the picture and the urn. I have lit a candle there that will burn all day to honor her.

I haven’t always had joyous reasons to celebrate my mother. We had a rocky relationship and I had been angry with her for years, before and after her passing. I’d like to think that I’ve grown enough spiritually though to let that anger go and remember her for the gifted and talented woman that she was.

My mother could cook anything. She would whip up concoctions with whatever she had handy. She was also an amazing baker and made the best cakes, rolls, and candies. Later in life, she discovered that she could paint and there are ceramics all over the house that display her gorgeous talent. She was also a great storyteller and I’d like to think that this is where my interest and talent in writing stemmed from.

Happy Birthday, Mother. I miss you and love you and rejoice in you this day!

What are you joyful about today? Let me know in the comments.


Throughout the month of January, I will be celebrating Joyful January with Satya and Kaspa over at Writing Our Way Home

A Melancholy Day

Today has been a melancholy day for me. I was reminded of so many things via reading Calen over at Impromptu Promptlings. She had two posts that sent me into a flood of memories. The first moment came via her post Bittersweet over my cat, Lynx. My gorgeous silvery-grey Birman with blue eyes.

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Lynx

I remember the day he followed Impy into the house when I lived in Roanoke Virginia. He just pranced in like he belonged there. I called him “hey cat” for a couple of days and realized that he was not going away. When Impy went out, he went out. When she came in, he came in. It was obvious that he would be sticking around. So sitting at my desk one afternoon, his name suddenly came to me. I called it out: “Lynx!” and he came running and jumped into my lap and snuggled up to me. It was as though he’d been waiting for someone, somewhere to finally know his name and say it aloud. This began a beautiful kinship with him. I dragged my four beautiful cats all the way from Virginia to Oklahoma in the spring of 2005 – Lynx, Impy, Mystra, and Bandit.

Lynx was my only male cat and when he came into my life, my large orange tabby named Spice disappeared. Prior to that when Spice arrived, I had a big grey cat named Mr. Grey. He disappeared when Spice arrived. Do you notice a pattern here? Apparently one male cat at a time for me. For three years, Lynx came and went at that place in Oklahoma without alarm. And then one cold late October evening, I arrived home from work and found a small black furry kitten outside my home. The kitten was so skinny under all of that fur and its meow was so alluring that I picked the little thing up and brought it into the house. I should have known better. I should have checked its sex before I even brought it in. I’d seen the pattern, I knew the pattern and I ultimately knew what would happen, though I disregarded it that night. The kitten, whom I named Miyu, was male and two weeks later, Lynx was gone. He simply vanished as had Spice and Mr. Grey before him. I was devastated. I am still devastated. No cat had ever responded to me the way Lynx did and none has since.

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Miyu

The next moment of melancholia that swept over me was when Calen had written about closing doors. At the beginning of January this year, I too closed a door on a long time friend.

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Jaime

We’d been separated since 2005 when I moved to Oklahoma, but had maintained some contact for a few years after that. Around 2010, the memories of our friendship flooded me over and over again. I needed her in my life and was desperate to get in touch with her again. All I knew was that she’d moved from Roanoke VA with her partner and was suppose to settle somewhere close to Maryland, perhaps still in Virginia, but I didn’t know where. She didn’t answer her phone. She ignored all of my emails. I was again devastated.

For 5 years, on her birthday in May and on Christmas, I would send her emails to all of the email addresses I had from her. I would give her my email address and my current phone number. Every once in a while I would get a small response from her, but just the one. Once, she found me on my WordPress blog, but when I responded back to her, she didn’t reply back. Finally, this year I’d had enough. Enough of the begging, enough of the heartache from the loss of friendship, enough of missing her. And, I closed that door. It hurts so deeply, like someone split open my heart with a long knife and let all of the love I had for her bleed out. A long, slow bleed. I still miss her, but I can no longer hold on to someone who wants to be set free. And I need to be free as well.

Calen probably has no idea the gift she gave to me today. Melancholy doesn’t always have to be depressing. In fact, it allowed me to take a trip through my photos to find the pictures I posted above. It also reminded me that my life is filled with happenstance.

Bittersweet

Get a tissue ready… this will leave you in tears. Such a beautiful lesson though.
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Impromptu Promptlings

This morning Jane over at Making it write wrote a beautiful story about a stray orange tabby who adopted them once and introduced himself as Ginger. It reminded me of one of my own blog posts from February last year, Gray Guy. But there was a bit more in my journal about Gray Guy about ten days later. Thought I’d post it here today to add to Jane’s tribute to HER tabby…

“…every happening, great or small,
is a parable whereby God speaks to us;
and the art of life is to get the message.”

I ran across this Malcolm Muggeridge quote years ago, and it rang so true to me I wrote it down. Jesus was a master at taking ordinary things and turning them into teaching tools. Things like bread and wine skins, mustard seeds and coins, fish and flowers. Humans are visual creatures. Perhaps that’s…

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#joyfuljan – Day Twenty-nine

For today’s #joyfuljan, I find joy in spending time with my dad.

Not just joy, but I also feel incredibly blessed to have this time with my dad. The older I get, the more I realize just how much I admire him. He is a great dad, the best there is. He has sacrificed for his family by always providing for us and making sure we have what we need. And he is a wonderful storyteller. I can listen to his stories forever and never tire of them. I cherish every moment that I have with him now as he is in his seventies and although I pray he will be around a long time, I know our time together is short. There is no greater joy than to be blessed with an amazing father.

What are you joyful about today? Let me know in the comments.


Throughout the month of January, I will be celebrating Joyful January with Satya and Kaspa over at Writing Our Way Home

#joyfuljan – Day Twenty-eight

For today’s #joyfuljan, I find joy in planning.

I’ve got a lot of writing projects lined up for this year. So today, I am enjoying the whole planning them out process. I am not outlining or mind-mapping. I generally write everything on the fly. What I am doing is working through what I want to write each month and setting up schedules for them on a calendar. So far, I will be spending 10 months writing fiction and two months writing poetry (one of the poetry months will overlap with a fiction month!). I really wanted to do more fiction this year and hone my skills. I tend to get caught up into poetry and disregard fiction. In order to accomplish this, planning is necessary and it is bringing me a lot of joy today!

What are you joyful about today? Let me know in the comments.


Throughout the month of January, I will be celebrating Joyful January with Satya and Kaspa over at Writing Our Way Home