Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lessons Learned in 2014

2014 has been a year for lessons. Most of them have not been particularly easy to learn, but I HAVE learned. Now, the trick is to REMEMBER what I have learned, and put this knowledge into use for 2015 and beyond.

1. Hip replacements are harder to recover from than I thought.

2. I hope God takes me home before I ever have to go into a nursing home. 

3. I can't function with constant noise. 

4. I need to be much more careful where I put my time and energy. 

5. I really CAN'T please everyone.

6. I need to make more decisions with my head than with my heart.

7. I spend too much time reading articles that all say the same thing. Unsubscribing is good.

8. I have got to set even better boundaries if I am to stay mentally and physically healthy.



Monday, December 22, 2014

Books I read in 2014

A few days ago, I received an email from Goodreads containing a link to a collage of the books that I had read this year. I was a bit dismayed to find that I had only ready 18 books! That may be an all time low for me.

I am blaming some of my lack of focus on "anesthesia brain" from multiple surgeries and tests requiring sedation. My attention span seems to be decreasing as I get older. I have read articles that blame this on things like Facebook and other social media. I don't think this is true. I am just interested in so many things that I tend to read more articles than books. I want to know what is going on in the world now. Not the soundbites that pass for TV news, but in-depth articles about current events. I like to keep up with what research is being done in psychological fields. I like to read about art. I like to read about religious and spiritual things.

My taste in reading has changed over the years. I no longer seem to have the patience to read the complicated fantasy stories that I once devoured. I still keep up with some series and writers, but I can't seem to get into new ones. I love to read biographies, memoirs and "behind the scenes" books. I have discovered some wonderful "young adult" writers such as John Green, Gayle Forman, and Lisa McMann. I wait, eagerly, sometimes years, for the latest Diana Galbaldon "Outlander" novel. And I will read ANYTHING written by Roland Merullo. 

I admit that there tend to be fewer books out there, in general, that I want to read. I find much of the writing in modern novels quite atrocious. I don't like excessive violence. I have enough trouble staying "up" without reading a lot of depressing things. I enjoy a plot that does not have as many holes as a Swiss cheese. And who on Earth edits books these days?

These are the books I HAVE read and enjoyed this year. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Missing Parents

'Tis the season...to miss my parents. 

Tomorrow, my sweet father-in-law will have been gone 2 years. On the 15th, my Daddy will have been in Heaven for 3 years. And Christmas night, my mother will have been dead 24 years. My mother always hated the way people tiptoed around, saying the words "died" or "dead." She told me to say she DIED, not that she had "passed", "gone away", etc.

So often I hear adult "children" being just plain rude to their parents. Don't get me wrong, I was not always a paragon where mine were concerned. But, I can't imagine talking to mine (as a grownup) this way. By the way, I am not talking about parents who have been severely abusive, drug or alcohol addicted, neglectful, etc. I am talking about parents who were "there." Who sacrificed for their children and tried hard to be good parents.

Now that all my parent and in-laws are gone, I just want to shake these people (yes, I admit it, sometimes I want to do more than just shake them!!) and tell these "kids" how much they are going to regret some of the things they said and did to their parents when these parents are gone. I want to tell them to be kinder and treasure the time they still have left. We tend to think that our parents are going to be here forever, but my mom was only 57 when she died. Two years older than I am now. 

It also would not hurt for parents to refuse to allow themselves to be disrespected. There is a popular meme that states "If I had talked to my parents the way some kids do now, I would not be around to share this status." Whoever said this must have known my mama!

Disagree. Express feelings. But, do it with civility, kindness, and, if possible, love.






Mystery Meat

I have recently become reacquainted with a substance I have not voluntarily encountered since my school years.  Mystery Meat  I brought ...