Tag Archives: reflections

February Fun and a Bit of Sadness

Jillian here.  I was going to get this post done on the 6th and set it to go off on the 9th like I am supposed to but since I wanted to write about what I had going on the weekend of the 7-9, I figured I’d wait until I got home and share what happened. When I got home, I posted a picture on FaceBook and then was hurt and sad and lost all motivation to post about what had been a wonderful weekend.  Back to that in a second.

Friday night, I was happy to serve as a judge for the Regional session of the National Moot Court competition. It’s hosted by my law school and since I’d already committed to a book signing on Saturday with some friends in Alabama, it made sense to volunteer to do this as well as I’d be in the area (about a 3.5 hour drive from home).

It was a great competition and seeing these law students be so passionate and competent about the fact scenario they were assigned was wonderful. The law schools are doing an excellent job teaching advocacy. When I was in law school (In the dark ages) we didn’t do moot court until our last semester. Some of these students were second year and very well-versed in how to try a case. Makes me proud of the changes in legal education.

The next day was the book signing. It was the last event I’ll be part of in RWA. My membership expires in March and I won’t be renewing. I’d have resigned but I had this event with ladies I love and treasure so I stayed for it. I hate to leave the Birmingham, Ala chapter but I can’t countenance what is going on in the national organization.

I sold some books, met some new readers, someone who used to work for me here in Pensacola who moved up there, and also some old friends. My sister-in-law and her daughter live up that way and they came to see me as well. It was lovely for them to be there and supportive and buy a copy of each book I had.

Here comes the sad part:

One of the other authors took a photo of my sis-in-law, my niece and me.  I usually don’t allow pictures of myself as I am embarrassed about my weight. I never had an issue until my second child was born and no matter what I do, I can’t seem to lose. It’s even worse since I had my hysterectomy. I beat myself up every day about it. I am hungry a lot of the time- I don’t snack- I eat my three meals – even my son says he can’t figure out the issue since I don’t eat a lot.

Against my better judgment, I posted that picture on FaceBook. A woman I’ve known since I was a little kid commented with a rose emoji at first.  Then she must’ve thought about it a minute and came back with “You’re still pretty even though you’re fluffy.”

I can’t even imagine saying that to someone. Believe me, I know I’m fat. I see myself in the mirror every day- I am always beating myself up about it. I sure don’t need her pointing it out. I was so hurt, I couldn’t even think the rest of the day. I cried off and on- silently – and even almost didn’t eat dinner- which was just grilled pork and a cob of corn. I am still sad today. I’m embarrassed enough without someone calling me out on it. I want to hide. All the time.

I’ve always been a happy person with a love of laughter. I hate that she stole my joy. I can’t get her words out of my head.  All I keep hearing is, “You’re fat but still pretty.”

Guess what? I don’t feel very pretty.

 

Words: Misused & Misheard

Jillian here. Hope everyone is having a good April so far. Mine has already had some ups and downs but rather than focus on the downs, I thought I’d talk about word usage and misheard words that lead to some interesting conversations.

The reason I have this on my mind was a phone conversation this week with 7 people on the line. We were discussing selling some property. One guy kept saying he was “weary” of a certain kind of sale. It was clear to me he meant “leery” but he kept saying the wrong thing. He couldn’t be weary of the type of sale as no sale took place for him to be tired.

Anyway, the conversation stayed with me and I started thinking about other times I’d heard wrong choices. Lots were with children which is to be expected and lots are people singing wrong words to songs.

Both of my kids used to say “just appeared” for “disappeared”

My husband would sing “the gypsy with the gold “tattoo” instead of gold “capped tooth” – love potion song

One friend used to sing “A shy best man” instead of “a sharp-dressed man” – ZZ Top song

When I was a kid, I’d sing that walking in a winter wonderland song as “later on we’ll perspire as we dream by the fire” – instead of “conspire” – but it made sense, right? Lol

When I went to college, I was stunned to hear some people say “onliest” instead of “only”

Also in college, where I went to school, they pronounced “Jordan” as “Jerden” -thank goodness that wasn’t my last name or I’d be absent always. It took me months to realize what they meant.

You English ladies will appreciate this one. I know a guy here who is named Beauchamp. He pronounces it “Bo-champ” not “Bee-chum”

I could go on but I’d like to hear from you guys. What are some misused or misheard words/lyrics you’ve come in contact with?

Season’s Greetings!

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is all but over now and we’re nudging another new year. Where did December go? Let alone the whole year? But it’s once again the time for reviewing what has gone before and for planning what will be. To take stock of goals, aspirations, and what we hope to achieve in the coming year. Some of my goals seem to get transferred from one year to another, with not much in the way of progress being made on them. So this coming year I’ll be tweaking my approach to achieving them in the hope that next year they’ll be off the list! After all, didn’t someone once say that “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”? 🙂

I know that 2016 has been a tough year for many of my friends here at the Fence, as well as a challenging year for the world at large, so I wish everyone a Healthy, Happy, Prosperous and Peaceful New Year. I’ll end this short post with my favourite TV Christmas Advert this year, which is a reminder that despite adversity it is always possible to emerge triumphant and find our way back home.

Turkey Stuffing Makes Me Cry by Valerie J. Patterson

Who knew?  I mean it’s not something that’s ever happened before.  I had no idea that stuffing and I were so close it could make me cry.  But it did.  In a very big way.  And I was caught unaware right there in the aisle of the grocery store.  Unaware and unprepared for the force of emotions that washed over me and left me sobbing and left my husband bewildered.

It was a very innocent trip to the store to stock up for Thanksgiving dinner.  Had everything in the cart and turned down the aisle with the bread crumbs and the premixed stuffing selections and the seasonings.  I looked up at the canister of bread crumbs and instantly, tears began to stream down my face as I choked back sobs.  Steve came beside me, placed a hand on my back and rubbed gentle little circles between my shoulder blades.

“What’s wrong?”

“S-s-stuffing…”

“I don’t understand.  What happened?”

“I saw the bread crumbs and it reminded me of my mom.”

“Okay…”

My mom passed away October 20th, and I’m in that phase of mourning where just seeing something or hearing something brings a flood of tears.  Mornings are the worst for me.  I’ll be getting ready for work, see the time on the clock and break down.  But stuffing caught me off guard.

From the time I was old enough to wield a knife, I sat in the kitchen with my mom and dad and–while they did other things–I chopped onion and celery into microscopic slivers for my mom’s homemade turkey stuffing.  Mom liked the flavor of both in her stuffing but hated biting into chunks of either one.  After I got married and moved away, my dad took over my dicing duties unless by some stroke of luck we arrived early enough for me to do the honor.

It’s been many years since I last chopped any onion or celery in my mom’s kitchen, which is why I was taken aback when, right there in the aisle, I was overtaken with emotion.  I guess I just never expected a canister of bread crumbs to affect me in quite a personal way.

Mom was an excellent cook.  She was the best friend I never expected, but was blessed to have.  She was strength and grace and beauty and charm.  She was warm and funny and loving and tough.  She was heart and soul and faith and light.  She was generous and giving and sympathetic and compassionate.  She and my dad were active participants in my life and I have equal parts of both of them inside of me–of the person I am.  And because of all of that, stuffing can make me cry!

I miss my mom.  I will miss her for the rest of my life, but we will meet again, and what a reunion that will be!

2016 has been a year of hard knocks and loss, but it has also been a year of great blessing, and I have much to be thankful for.  And I am indeed thankful.

Until next time, may you always be able to see the blessings in your life and may the memories you share add flavor to your days!

Being Bored is… Boring

While walking Vivvy last week, I met a woman who told me with great relish that walking her dog was the most interesting part of her day and if she didn’t have her pooch her life would be so boring that she feared for her sanity. Yes, she actually used the word sanity. It shocked me, particularly because this woman seemed fairly intelligent, had all her faculties, appeared in good health and was very attractive, having taken care with her clothes, hair and make-up. Don’t get me wrong, I love walking my girl and it’s a very special part of my day. But is the rest of my day boring? No way.

Cambridge Dictionary Online defines bored as: feeling unhappy because something is not interesting or because you have nothing to do. Okay, maybe I’ve bordered on boredom, especially when I was at work and involved in achingly dull meetings, but I’ll use the time to think about something more stimulating, and for the writer in me that iusually means pondering over a story plot point, trying to figure out my latest characters, or what new marketing technique I could access that would make my latest release a bestseller (well, better to dream big than be bored, right 😉 )

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I simply don’t understand the concept of being bored. Being bored is…well, boring.

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Dreaming of walkies, biscuits, and playing with my frisbee. Life’s too short to be bored.

There just isn’t enough hours in the day to explore, indulge and discover so many of life’s wonders – big and small. For me, there is too much to read for a start. I’ve got books on my shelves and on kindle, both fiction and non-fiction, that I fear I’ll never get around to reading because there is always a new book to add. There are projects around the home and garden that have been waiting for years to be tackled. Places to visit – near and far, histories to explore, cultures to discover, hobbies to try… I could go on forever.

Interestingly enough, the Guardian Online printed an article just last week asking “Why are we so bored?” According to this article, part of the problem is due to overstimulation. “The more entertained we are the more entertainment we need in order to feel satisfied . The more we fill our world with fast-moving, high-intensity, ever-changing stimulation, the more we get used to that and the less tolerant we become of lower levels.” Apparently, slower-paced activities tend to bore us because we are accustomed to these faster-paced amusements.

It’s an interesting article, but I still find myself with little patience for people who declare they are bored. Maybe I need to grow some tolerance. Guess I’ll just have to add it to the list of things to do 😉

Out with the old…

Hmm, well here we are on the cusp of a New Year and as always it finds me in reflective mode. 2011 has been a good year for me with loads of good times, much laughter and, okay, a few tears, but on balance it’s been pretty great. I have a lot to be grateful for as the old year ebbs away.

As the clock ticks toward 2012, I find myself reflecting on what I’ve achieved during the past twelve months: whether goals have been reached and objectives met. Looking back at my list I see that some of my goals haven’t been achieved and they’ll need to be reviewed and reevaluated before I pop them on the list for 2012. This is an important step as goals that were relevant twelve months ago might now be inconsequential as needs and desires can change so much in the course of a year. It’s easy to continue pursuing something that we may have outgrown and no longer holds value to us. For me, this means accepting that if certain goals remain unmet, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve failed, but that perhaps I’ve changed along the way and those goals are no longer relevant or important to me.

So, I’ll take some time between now and when the clock strikes midnight on the 31st December, and reflect and evaluate on the goals that have strong personal meaning to me. Then I’ll write them down because I believe that the act of writing them down makes them concrete and that in turn allows them to seep into the subconscious mind where they’ll simmer and grow toward fruition. Then I’ll make a promise to myself to do everything in my power to achieve those goals as long as they remain meaningful to me.

So along with my good wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful 2012, I hope you achieve your own goals and desires and that their achievement brings you light and love and everything you hope for.

I’ll finish my last post of 2011 with my favourite quote about success from the wonderful Ralph Waldo Emerson, which seems very appropriate as we reflect on the old and look forward to the new:


To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.