Regrets and reprieves

Ever wonder about what might have been?  I don’t very often but in the last few weeks have indulged in a romanticized trip down memory lane.

A friend from college recently mentioned via Facebook that a mutual friend from back then wasn’t doing very well. You see, the mutual friend was tucked way back in a cubbyhole in my brain as “the one that got away.” It’s a really long story and I won’t torture you with the details except to say that I always thought it was my own fault. I’ve carried around regret for years and, from time to time, wondered what might have been—until my friend and I took our conversation offline (yes, people do still have conversations outside of Facebook) and I learned more.

You see, I’ve always believed in fate, that things happen for a reason. Maybe not the things I want, much less the reason I want them, or when for that matter, but there is always a reason. As a result, I’ve pretty much strolled through life going with gut instinct. I learned early on that over-thinking big decisions leads me down the wrong path. Doesn’t matter what the decision is about. Whether it’s to pick up and move across the country or what color car to buy, if I over think it, it does not work out well for me. (I still, to this day, can’t fathom why I bought that gray car. I hated it. I hate gray. Yet, it seemed like such a good idea at the time.)

I digress.

Hearing more about our friend, and how he’s conducted his life, brought an end to my little excursion down memory lane. You see, it turns out that if the “one that got away” hadn’t, I would have gotten what I wanted at the time, but would have regretted it year after year after year. That regretful reality would have been so much worse that my regretful “what might have been” illusion.

Which leads me to reprieve.

From where I sit now, it looks like that fateful day, regretful though it was at the time, was my reprieve from a lifetime of disillusion.

Moving forward

This happy camper’s big decision today is whether to go with dusting first or running the vacuum. H-m-m-m, my gut says read my new book.



Life is weird sometimes …

Out of the blue

There you are, wandering along having a good day and, wham, right into your email inbox comes a message from someone in your past. Someone you never expected to hear from again. Ever.

So, what do you do? Do you respond? Do you want to reconnect with that person?

If not, why? Did he or she do you wrong?

If you do want to reconnect, why? Has time faded your memory of the reality of the past relationship? Was it a positive relationship? If so, why did it expire? Was it just an “all good things must come to and end” kind of deal?

Was it a personal relationship? Or, was it a business contact? A former coworker, teacher, mentor, neighbor, friend?

Whatever it was, there is a reason for why it ended, and it was probably a pretty good one.

So, why stir it up again?

What’s in it for you?

Is it just curiosity?

The chance to see how that person has changed? Is he/she still as interesting, as thought-provoking, as entertaining, as relevant?

Won’t know until you click “reply.” Go ahead. You know you want to.

Today’s question

Is there someone from your past that you’d like an opportunity to reconnect with? Who is it? Why do you want that chance? How will you use it if you get it?

Stumbled Upon Friday

I was at my sister’s house for dinner Friday evening, keeping her company in the kitchen while she made chicken tacos. Great recipe, by the way. Anyhow, she was yammering on about something or other and I decided to see if I could surreptitiously check my blog stats for the day.

So, I pulled out my iPhone and, while it was tucked ever so slightly under the table, checked my blog.  Hmmm, 43 views. Well now!

My average day runs anywhere from 0 to about 15 views so 43 in one day is pretty spectacular. Now, before you start thinking I’d hit the Freshly Pressed jackpot, let me set the record straight. That did not happen. (Not that I haven’t had a wishful think about it from time to time.)

But something very odd did happen, and it took me the better part of the weekend to finally get a clue, but more about that in a sec. By the time I got home Friday evening, my total views for the day was pushing up-up-up. To cut to the chase, the total views for Friday was 133, Saturday was 166, and the total so far today is 269. (Is it after midnight? If it is, then I mean yesterday.)

Dashboard data

I finally got curious this evening about what was causing my views to soar and started poking around my dashboard. Turns out all those extra views were coming from one place. I clicked on that link in the list of referrers and it took me to a page that said, “A member of the StumbleUpon user community added your page to StumbleUpon’s index of high-quality, human-curated content.”  Say what!?!

The first thing that popped into my pea brain was (stealing from Sally Field here) they like me, they really like me! The second thing was that my sister is going to be s-o-o-o ticked about this.

You see, my sister has been blogging for a couple of years now and switched her blog to WordPress about six months ago. If you haven’t read her blog you should. You can find it here. She writes from the heart about things that are important like family and faith. I, on the other hand, write about silly things like light bulbs and my eyeballs.

She talked about blogging so much that I finally decided to try it and, well, I enjoy it. I didn’t expect to but I do. Anyway, we’ve had this unofficial contest going ever since I started blogging to see if my views could catch up with hers. When I started, she was ahead of me by about a thousand views.  Today, though, my views caught up — then skipped on ahead.

Back to topic

I have to say, though it’s nice and all, that I’m not too sure I’m thrilled about this sudden spike in views. You see, I looked at my dashboard under the top posts & pages  section and it revealed that practically all of the views are to just to one post. That means all those folks who stumbled upon my blog also stumbled right back off of it without looking at a single other page.

I don’t know about you, but I find that kind of disheartening. I mean, did they even stay on that post long enough to actually read it? Or, did they see it was just a recipe for Quiche and zip right outa there lickety split?

I’m a bit concerned that all those views may be hollow. No substance. No heart. Empty.

Real people blog

In the short time that I’ve been blogging, I’ve come across a lot of folks who, like my sister, write about things that are close to their hearts and, in doing so, they touch other hearts and bring helpful information to their readers. They encourage other writers and photographers and artists. They honor and support other bloggers with awards and recognition. And, sometimes they share parts of themselves that the rest of us really have no right to. Blogging is a community and I’m tickled to be a part of it.

I owe my sister a debt of gratitude for sharing with me her passion for blogging and for getting me off my duff and my fingers onto my keyboard. (Actually, since I sit when I type I guess I’m still on my duff. But, I’m doing something productive as well, so it’s all good.)

Thank you sweet Rosie, for being my inspiration.

And, thank you to all the other bloggers who have opened up their worlds to me and made me feel welcome in this community. Your “likes” and “comments” on my posts are more meaningful to me than all the views I’ve received the last three days times a gazillion.

Okay now, enough with the mushy stuff.

Let’s be real

Just because I value “actual” views way more than the “empty” views, it doesn’t mean I want the empty ones to stop. I am after all still in a contest with my sister for the most views — so keep ’em coming!

273 and counting — that puts me about 200 ahead of you sweetie!  🙂

A few of my favorite …

In case you’re interested, below are just a few of my favorite blogs. I encourage you to visit them often and read them well!

The definition of goofy stuff!

I really hate it when I can’t get my goofy brain to shut down long enough to get to sleep. Especially when it’s 2:00 a.m. and I’m “too pooped to pop.” Somebody used to say that when I was a kid. Can’t remember who. Pity. Maybe trying to remember who said it will make me sleepy.

Maybe not.

What is it that makes a brain think about goofy stuff when it should be winding down, shutting off, lights out, nobody home, go away, come back tomorrow? I don’t know but I learned a long time ago to just go with it and try to do something constructive til I get sleepy enough to actually, you know, sleep.

I usually read my book but I finished it this morning and I don’t really want to start another one because, if I do, I’ll get caught up in the story and stay awake even longer. And then I’ll be too pooped to get my patio cleaned up tomorrow. It’s a real mess and, well actually, it’s an embarrassing mess and I’m surprised one of the busybodies from the condo board hasn’t already sent me a letter telling me that I’m violating some sacrosanct rule from on high. Oh yeah, and that it’s also a disgrace to the community.

I put a bench on my carport a few years ago and got a letter because we’re not allowed to put anything on the carport except vehicles that are in operating condition. Also, I made a neat bird house plaque for my unit numbers once and got a letter telling me that it didn’t conform and that I had to take it down. Being the trouble-maker that I am, I walked around the complex and saw no less than 5 different kinds of unit numbers so I wrote back and let them know about that. They (the all-powerful condo board) sent a notice to all condo owners specifying the exact kind of numbers we were supposed to have. By the time they got around to doing that, though, I’d already taken my neat bird house numbers down and put the old numbers back up.  Funnily enough, my old numbers didn’t conform to the policy. What did I do? I let them puppies stay right where they were … and they are still there.

As a general rule, I’m okay with having rules. Rules are mostly good. They help stave off chaos. But, some rules are just made to be broken.

In fact, I think when I finish my patio clean-up tomorrow (or, I guess it’ll be today) I’ll put my bench on my carport — right up next to the fence that separates it from my patio. I might even put a plant on it and sit my rusted-tin cat sculpture right next to it!

Ya-a-a-wn …

I think I can go to sleep now.


PS: Goofy stuff — going outside at 2:00 am in your pyjamas when it’s 40 degrees to take a pic of your house numbers … and the cat.

z-z-z-z-z …

Button Pushers! (AKA: Sisters)

What is it about family that makes us push each others’ buttons?

Is it that we feel safe in the belief that no matter how or why we hurt each others’ feelings we’ll still be family — that old chestnut, blood is thicker than water?


Family is what anchors us. It’s the foundation for all other relationships. I recognize that not everyone has a loving supportive family and that can create unbridgeable distance between family members. But even in families where there is love and encouragement, there still may be contention and rivalry. (Sibling rivalry for example.)

Familial competition is such a waste of time and energy, not to mention emotion. It crates anguish, heartache, and bitterness that, for some, never ends. But what causes it?

Is it that parents aren’t always able to balance the needs of all their children all the time? And, unfortunately, don’t know how to help their children understand that they shouldn’t have to. That sometimes one child’s needs outweigh the needs of his or her siblings? What if it’s the same child who is perceived by the parents as being needy all the time? What about the children that are perceived by their parents as strong, self-sufficient, do they get the short end of the stick for being capable?

What causes one child to be a trouble maker and another to be everyone’s little darling? Is it something in our wiring or just the luck of the draw. What makes one child the caretaker and another the dictator? What makes one child meek and another a force to be reckoned with? Is it all tied to birth order? Is it in our genetic makeup or is it a conditioned response to our surroundings?

I’m not a psychologist or sociologist or any kind of oligist, except maybe a chocolatologist (is that in the dictionary!?!) so I know I don’t have all, or any, of the answers. Heck, I’m doing good this late on a Friday night to even be able to articulate a few questions. But I do know that families should be more understanding of one another than we are of other people. We should be more kind to each other than we are to other people.

We don’t have to blindly condone each others’ bad behavior but we should at least be as forgiving, if not more so, of our family members than we are of other people. We don’t have to like each other every minute of every day but we shouldn’t let a difference of opinion or a perceived lapse in judgment diminish our love for one another.

Family is irreplaceable. A friend can’t really be our sister or brother, our mother or father, our child or spouse. Friends are good to have for sure, but they come and go throughout our lives. Family is constant but it must be nurtured, protected, cherished, or it will be lost.

We’re family. When it comes right down to it, we’re all we have that is truly valuable.