My Life-Bucket List

We’ve all heard of a Bucket List.
With another birthday looming, I can’t help but look at mine and say
Aw Crap! Another year gone and the bucket’s about where it was last year.”

But, that’s just one bucket right?
We have more than one bucket surely.
I know I do.
I probably have more buckets than I have lists!

But this did get me thinking…do I have a Life-Bucket?
A Life-Bucket List?
Never heard of it?
That’s okay, it’s nothing official, just a easy way to visualize it.

Being a list person to the nth degree, I find I actually DO have one.
I draw from it; this life-bucket; and drink from it to nourish the virtues, qualities, lessons, reminders, etc., of and for, the person I’m working to be

I also choke on it once in a while, but that’s all part of it isn’t it? Learning to drink without choking?

You may agree with all, or some, or none at all.

And that’s okay.

Do you have one? Would you share it if you did?

I think of it as a resource – a life resource.
A very personal gift from me to myself.

Still, it’s one I am happy to share.

Now, just because it’s on my list, doesn’t mean I follow it perfectly.
I believe in it perfectly, drink from it religiously, but it is a fluid work in progress.

And this is one bucket whose contents will remain fluid.
I fill it; I kick it over; I shoot it full of holes.
What matters is that I re-fill it.
What matters is that I remember it’s there so I can draw from it.
It may never be perfectly filled, at least until I am no more.

But, what is left in it is where those who know and love me, will see me reflected.
So I fill it with care.

Always…I fill it with care.

My Life-Bucket List:

The most destructive habit……………………………………..Worry
The greatest Joy…………………………………………………….Giving
The greatest Loss……………………………………………………Self Respect
The most satisfying work…………………………………………Helping Others
The ugliest personality trait……………………………………..Selfishness
The most endangered species…………………………………Dedicated Leaders
Our greatest natural resource………………………………….Our Youth and Our Elderly
The greatest ‘shot in the arm’…………………………………..Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome…………………………..Fear
The most effective sleeping pill………………………………..Peace of Mind
The most crippling failure disease…………………………….Excuses
The most powerful force in life…………………………………Love
The most dangerous outcast……………………………………A Gossip
The most incredible computer………………………………….The Brain
The worst thing to be without…………………………………..Hope
The deadliest weapon………………………………………………The Tongue
The two most power-filled words………………………………I Can
The greatest asset……………………………………………………..Faith
The most worthless emotion……………………………………..Self Pity
The most beautiful attire……………………………………………A Smile
The most prize possession…………………………………………Integrity
The most powerful channel of communication…………..Prayer
The most contagious spirit………………………………………..Enthusiasm
Our greatest teacher…………………………………………………Experience

Now get out there and fill your buckets!

Cheers ūüôā
R

Size Matters ~ It’s a Matter of Size

¬†– SIZE MATTERS ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†IS IT A MATTER OF SIZE? –¬†


A recent dream discussion led me down this path

I have this dream discussion often

The caricatures characters change

Then again, they really don’t

They are always me, myself, and I female

There are always wailing tears


When I met the man I was to marry – I was in my prime at a svelte size 12

(He rocked a 30″ waist with a rock hard shame on you chest and bulging ¬† ¬† ¬†stop it arms)


When we married РI was an even svelter size 10

(He maintained his inches in all respects)


When we accidentally made the decision to get pregnant – I rocketed to a “Dayum! Do they even make clothes that big?” size Who Gives a Shit, I’m Pregnant

(Again, he maintained his inches and bulged in all the right places ūüėĮ¬†)


Post first born and Pre second born – I regained my pre-marriage svelteness at size 12 with only a slight shift in distribution

(Somewhere around here, he upsized to 32″ despite developing noassatol syndrome)


Post second born – Let’s just say, svelte was forever in the rearview. ¬†I was proud to have achieved a 14 with zero qualms of how I looked cuzzzzzzzz I looked good and behaved like I believed it!

(This is 6 years in and he’s effortlessly sporting that 32″)

[These were the days of meeting him at the door in one of his t-shirts that went ‘just’ down to there, or one of his dress shirts buttoned ‘just’ up to there. ¬†Ya know?]


Now…fast forward 25 years, 7 states, 16 or more, I’m too tired to count addresses, later – I’m coming in at a fluffier size 18 to his 34″ and questioning a severely intimacy challenged marriage of 30 years

A challenge to my desirability and to his commitment

A challenge we both decided we didn’t want to engage in anymore

A challenge we both walked away from; me leaving, him allowing me to

A challenge that was one stroke of the pen away from no longer being a challenge but a divorce


We each fought our demons

We each made the decision to try again

We each found our way back to the love that was always there but had been taken for granted

We each found our way back to loving each other in all ways and knowing we’d made the right decision

And. It. Was. Good.

Even though were I to have met¬†him at the door in one of his t-shirts then, he’d have asked when I’d bought a new sports bra…we’d have laughed because

We. Were. Good.


Fast forward again…three years later, to the here and now the last place I want to or thought I’d be, again

This time in our lives when we’ve made big decisions to show each other that WE are what’s important

Decisions that took us off one road and put our feet on another, for all the right reasons or so I thought

Decisions that I see now, perhaps only delayed the inevitable


It hurts worse now…after the trying and the changes

It hurts worse now because what is there left to do besides try to become something I’m not, thin, but even if I was or could be again, I’d never trust him for loving that me and not this¬†me

It hurts worse now because there is nothing in the way; nothing to blame…

But myself for becoming something he didn’t bargain for


The honest truth is…it’s harder to live with the fact that he says he loves you, shows you he does in lots of little ways, but can’t in the way he would if you were even close¬†to¬†who or what¬†you used to be, or at least, not what you are¬†today, which is a hefty bag size 20 who’s food intake is far less than the average 10 year old

It’s harder to live with knowing you’re loved so much that he can’t imagine living without you, yet can’t show you that he knows and sees you are still the woman he married somewhere in there under all that life the way you can see him as the man you married under the gray hair, age spots, saggy butt, and not too bulging arms because…

the outside only drew you in…it was the inside that knocked you out


I know we are no longer teenagers

I also know, this is the time we were both working toward and looking forward to

We grow in our lives and in our love

We change our minds and change our outlooks

We transcend some things and put up with others

We shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations

But we shouldn’t settle for less than we deserve need either


So…I find myself at a crossroad once again

I’ve found this way of living and loving leaves me feeling at a loss lost


Self Esteem –¬†Self-esteem is what we think and feel and believe about ourselves

Self Worth –¬†Self-worth is recognizing ‚ÄúI am greater than all of those things‚ÄĚ


What does this mean to me?

Well…there’s no question that my self esteem has taken a huge hit through all of this. ¬†As the esteem comes from those things that make us feel good about ourselves

Nothing about the last year adds shit to mine

So…that leaves my feelings of self worth

Self worth is a deep knowing of your worth.  An honest belief that you are valuable, worth loving, and necessary

This has very little, if anything, to do with your self esteem

Surprising to me, is that I KNOW my worth.  Through it all, for the first time ever maybe, I KNOW my self worth

I know I’m valuable – I know I’m lovable – I know I’m necessary

Which leaves me with this…I know I’m worthy of complete love, so why am I accepting less?


Is it really such a bad thing that I have all but become a hermit…not leaving the house unless I absolutely¬†have to, because if someone who LOVES me sees me this way, how the hell does the rest of the world see me?

Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things that the best I can hope for is an “I love you” as he rolls over to go to sleep?

Am I over reacting when he reaches to hold my hand and I pull it away because my thoughts immediately go to “I don’t want to give you the impression that I’ll settle for that” so I’ll give you nothing instead?


The worst part is…

I love kissing hello and kissing goodbye

I have always loved walking hand in hand, knowing the hand I’m holding wants to hold mine and let the world know I’m his and he’s mine

But I find I no longer want to be offered those things, as I see them as a consollation prize to the big show

The worst part is…how fucked up is that?

The worst part is…I deny the simple things I truly love because I can’t have it all.

AND it confuses me

Am I crazy?

Am I, at 54, supposed to let all of that go?

Did I go through Menopause for this?

Should I be telling myself that all people our age are giving it up without a fight?

Should I be content with what I have and piss off what I don’t? ¬†There’s nothing wrong with companionship if companionship is what you want.

Even though I take the blame because I’m not a size 10 or 12 anymore?


I don’t know

I. Just. Don’t. Know.


Sorry…this was a shit filled ass post

An exercise in self pity if there ever was one and yes, it’s disgusting

I didn’t have to write this here, but it’s my page so I did

I just want to know…why can’t I let it go?

I want to let it go

I want to

I want

Shit…how selfish is that?

No Comments Needed…I’ll figure it out.

xo

The Epilogue

The service is done

The tears shed

Ashes stowed

His final bed

Pride in my family

Not the least of which, Mom

Who honored my father

With dignified Calm

Standing Room Only

His life well represented

Laughter the keystone

Not a life lamented

Notes to be written

Soups to be made

We dreaded the after

But we’re no longer afraid

Of the space that is empty

His body departed

‘Cause his spirit is present

We are each lighter hearted

Remember my laughter

Remember my smile…

Remember my loving

Remember my style

I’ll forever be with you

To navigate the way

As you journey forward

I will help lead the way

You’ll never be alone

Nor should you feel sorrow

I’m forever in today

As I’ll always be tomorrow

Okay Dad…we’ll remember

“Misogynistic MINI Mechanics” or “WHOA…Them Dudes Make a Shit-ton of Dough!

After 3 weeks, I leave the Great Frozen North (a.k.a. The Northeast Kingdom) Friday, on the journey south to reclaim Mini Me and head home to Virginia on Saturday.

The hotel room near the dealership is booked so I can arrive at the service door bright and early Saturday morning to pick her up.

Speaking of the dealership…I was in contact with them today, as I had asked them to do an ‘extended’ test drive to make sure she was sound, knowing I was leaving for Virginia directly from picking her up.

Word back from the Wrench Wench was…

“The test drive went really well, the Mini’s purring, but one of her high beams is out.”

“Which one?” I ask

“Driver’s side high beam” she replies

“Really? I had that replaced in July” I remind her, since she has all the service records.

“Maybe the other dealership used an aftermarket bulb” suggested she.

“Not sure what you mean by aftermarket bulb Marissa. Last I checked, the bulbs were not MINI specific. As far as I can tell from the receipt, they installed a Sylvania 9008, which seems to be the standard.”

“Do you want us to fix it? If you do, I can order the bulb today and it will be here tomorrow.”

“Order it? ¬†You don’t HAVE one? ¬†What would that cost me Marissa?”

“$78.96”

“To replace a bulb????”

“The cost of the bulb is $13.96 plus tax. Labor to install is $69.13. And, if you had it replaced at a dealership last time, maybe they would offer a warranty on the bulb?”

“Marissa, the cost to replace that same bulb in July was $36 complete. I think charging $69 just to install a bulb is MORE than UNREASONABLE! I’m not sure why your quote is so high, but would appreciate if you could work with me on the price (not to mention, between me and the warranty company, you just got paid 8,600 bucks!”

” I can‚Äôt really speak for other dealer‚Äôs pricing. All dealerships vary around the country usually because of state differences.”

“Well, I think I’ll pass on your installing a replacement bulb and I’ll take care of it when I get home.”


Sing along with me?

I dream of Mini with the bright gold lights

Yeah, you’d think so wouldn’t you?

I’m really not convinced this entire scenario would have played out the same way had I, been a bloke and not a sheila.

Even a sheila as mouthy as me.

Who’s to know for sure.

All I do know, is that come Saturday morning…I’m back behind the wheel, headed home.

And depending on how fast I dare to drive until I know Mini Me is with me or against me…

14 or so hours later (I’m taking the road less traveled home), I’ll be in my own bed, snugglin’ with my Sadie, and scratching my husband.

Really?

Really?

Oh wait…In my own bed, scratching my Sadie and snugglin’ my husband.

Either way…I’ll be at a Ford dealership the day after.

Depend on it!

I’ll let ya know how it goes.

ūüôā

Raise a glass with me?

Today is my one year anniversary with 50 Shades of Gray Hair.
And they said it wouldn’t last…HA!

Well, actually, I do have a history…
Remember Help Me Rhonda?

So, it’s actually my second anniversary, but I’m trying to forget deleting myself.

But, all I can say¬†now is “WOW”
A lot has changed (and thank God for hormone therapy!)

So, to celebrate my second chance, and to show my appreciation for all the love and support you have so generously and willingly shown me here these last two years, I’d like to spread some words of wisdom.

I know…I’m better at spreading ‘da poo’ and I will again, but for today…a slight change in tone and texture (eew)

The words may not be mine, but all the same…the photos and the sentiments are, and the lessons are very real.

tandum

holding hands

3-men-and-a-tractor-136-800x450

morning moon

164422_10200718193788093_1281701548_n[1]

And finally…

love

Cheers and thank you all for the love
xo
R

Proverbs or The Beatles ~ Let it Be

Four friends, who hadn’t seen each other in 30 years, reunited at a¬†party. After several drinks, one of the men had to use the rest room.

Those who remained talked about their kids.

The first guy said

‚ÄúMy son is my pride and joy. He started working at a successful company at the bottom of the barrel. He¬†¬†studied Economics and Business Administration and soon began to climb the corporate ladder and now he’s¬†the president of the company. He became so rich, that he gave his best friend a top of the line Mercedes for¬†his birthday.‚ÄĚ

 The second guy said

‚ÄúDarn, that’s terrific! My son is also my pride and joy. He started working for a big airline, and then went to¬†flight school to become a pilot. Eventually he became a partner in the company, where he owns the majority¬†of its assets, he’s so rich that he gave his best friend a brand new jet for his birthday.‚ÄĚ

The third man said

‚ÄúWell, that’s terrific! My son studied in the best universities and became an engineer. Then he started his own¬†construction company and is now a multimillionaire. He also gave away something very nice and expensive to¬†his best friend for his¬†birthday, a 30,000 square foot mansion.‚ÄĚ

The three friends congratulated each other just as the fourth returned from the restroom and asked

‚ÄúWhat are all the congratulations for?‚ÄĚ

One of the three said

‚ÄúWe were talking about the pride we feel for the successes of our sons. …What about your son?‚ÄĚ

The fourth man replied

‚ÄúMy son is gay and makes a living dancing as a stripper at a nightclub.‚ÄĚ

The three friends said

‚ÄúWhat a shame… What a disappointment.‚ÄĚ

The fourth man replied

‚ÄúNo, I’m not ashamed. He’s my son and I love him. He hasn’t done too badly either. His¬†birthday was two¬†weeks ago and he received a beautiful 30,000 square foot mansion,¬†a brand new jet and a top of the line Mercedes from his three boyfriends.‚ÄĚ

For some, you may be thinking “Ah Ha…Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

For others not so biblically inclined, perhaps this…

London Bus advert that caught my eye

For myself…Let it Be

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Yeah there will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

It’s Electric

Thunder claps.

The only alarm that ever could, wake me.

I could sleep (provided I am sleeping) through the most annoying man-made alarm out there.

But give me a good clap of thunder and awake, out of bed, and standing at the wide-open front door I am.

In a flash.

One thing I do not do is waste a good thunderstorm.

Even as we speak, the noise rolls across the sky; it sounds miles away before it fades.

Lightning on its tail.

One, two, three…you know the drill.

I don’t question this fascination and love (yup, love) of the great God of Thunder.

It just is, and always has been.

A family tradition even.

As a teen, I recall being on the front porch with my father and one of my brothers during a storm.

It was  e l e c t r i c !!

The porch was long, flat, ground level, and concrete.

The rain was coming so fast the ground could not absorb it fast enough.

The puddles began to form on this electrifying porch, during this electrifying storm.

One sound I recall hearing on that particular evening was a clap so loud I had to cover my ears while I shouted my delight.

The sound that followed was as loud a boom as any you’d hear on the fourth of July.

Drawing not the oohs and ahs of appreciation.  No.

But screams, yelps, and moans of the three of us on the porch.

The only thing louder was primal screams as my Mother ran out of the house onto the porch seconds after the sound that woke the devil and the moans that followed.

Some noise came from the direction where my brother had sat in an aluminum lawn chair.

A chair which now lay on its side, empty, in the puddle that had formed under it.

He was now flat on the ground, still shocked.

The other chair’s occupant, my Father, came¬†out of his like his ass was on fire, releasing a sound no one would mistake as an exclamation of happy surprise.

For myself, I danced the dance of the mouse in an electrified cage, as I was standing barefoot in my puddle of what began strictly as rain before I added my own brand of yellow dew drops.

The porch had become my own Skinner Box.

The humming inside my head so loud it’s a wonder I heard anything else at all.

Confused, being pushed and pulled, seemingly in all directions at once, we finally managed to get inside.

A lesson Р One for a lifetime.

Go inside, close the windows, pull the shades, hide under the bed during a thunderstorm?

Hell no…

Don’t use aluminum lawn chairs or stand in puddles barefooted on a flat, ground level, concrete porch of course!

Now please excuse while I return to the chair I’ve placed center stage to enjoy the show.

A chair made of wood, on dry ground, INSIDE.

ūüėĮ