Re-writing History*

I've noticed through the years this ability of humans to re-write history. Sometimes it becomes very obvious, as in the case of our text books and how researchers delve into the pile and come up with discrepencies. More often than not, however, it is on a much smaller scale. It is the personal history that one re-writes. It can be for many reasons, but the most common is to make life more bearable. Some people do things that are so unspeakable, so horrid, that the only way they can live with themselves is to re-write the events in a different light – painting it with a different brush.

I thought it was only me. I thought maybe I was the only one that had this experience. Because of the things that happened to me, I wanted to make this blog – to write down events before they were colored differently. I know my parents have already done that. I'm hoping I haven't done it, too. I'm hoping the things I put down here have brought the truth with them and I haven't changed history to make myself look better – or worse.

In talking to people, I've found I'm not the only one. My very own husband has had this experience with his mother. She's tried to tell him that "he doesn't remember it correctly" or "he didn't hear her right". Only I was there, too, for some of the things she says she didn't say… She has already re-written history.

What's that old adage? "Those who do not remember history are destined to repeat it"… I'll go one further. "Those who re-write history are destined to repeat it". I'm just trying to get it right.

*Originally published on the Dark Madness

Keeping Up

We've all heard the expression "keeping up with the Joneses" and it seems to be human nature to always been doing just that. We all look "up" the ladder of success and see those who have more than we do. More money. More 'stuff'. Happier families. Sexier spouses. Bigger house. Better job. More. Better. Best.

We drool and we whine and we berate ourselves wondering why can't we have a piece of that?

We forget that there is probably someone 'beneath' us on the ladder saying the exact same thing about us. It is a lesson I work hard to remember and to try and remind my husband and kids of. It isn't that I don't want to strive for better, but why can't you be happy with the blessings you have in your life? We all can count many, if only we take our eyes off the 'what if' visions and focus on the 'what is'…

Next time you're feeling down, try the 'what is' game. I guarentee you'll feel better.

A Bridge to Nowhere

By now you have all heard about the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is not all that far from us and in fact, we've driven across it several times in our trips to the northwoods of Wisconsin snowmobiling, to northern Minnesota vacationing, or when traveling to Minneapolis to the Mall of America. Our son has a friend who lives there that he has not been able to contact, creating much worry.

Our hearts go out to those people who have lost their lives or lost loved ones in this tragedy. How vividly it brings to mind the old adage about telling the ones you love them that you do – today – not to wait. It can all be gone in a blink of an eye. We all know someone who works in a high-risk job. Friends or family who are firefighters or police officers or, in this day and age, I can even count teachers in that category! But how many of us think driving home from work or going to a ballgame is going to be high-risk behaviour? How many of us drive each and every day without thought to the structural soundness of what we are driving on? Yet, we cannot live in fear every second of every day. We have to have faith that structures will hold and lives will be safe or we'd never leave the house.

Be safe. Give your loved ones a hug.

Doubt

This isn't a meme, or a poll exactly. Just curiousity on my part. Please continue to comment on my poll below on sun usage. I'll be back in a few days to expound on both of these. Feel free to discuss. 

So how much do you believe?

  1. Do you believe the red light that is appearing next to the signal strength of my home internet "just does that sometimes" even when everything is aligned and working correctly? (btw – my webmail went down at work because he was working on it at home. I wasn't thinking.)
  2. Do you believe that the internet provider is having email conflicts and has been for a couple of weeks and they are trying to resolve the issue so that Outlook or Outlook express will actually work?
  3. Do you believe a mechanic when he tells you there is work needed above and beyond what you've taken the vehicle in to be serviced for? Does it make a difference if you or a man or a woman or is that not a factor in your belief?
  4. Do you believe in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. Did you ever?
  5. Do you believe there is someone for each of us and they are just waiting to be found – or have you found them?
  6. Do you believe some people are meant to be alone?
  7. Do you believe in miracles?
  8. Do you believe in ESP?
  9. Do you believe "we are not alone"?
  10. Do you believe in rights to privacy? Are there limits?
  11. Do you believe in the war in Iraq?
  12. Do you believe the information your local newspaper prints? How about a national paper, say, The New York Times?
  13. Do you believe in God?

Now I've stirred the can of worms, ala Becky…  let's see some comments, people!

Mother’s Day (bonus post)

I just read what my youngest daughter wrote for Mother's Day. It moved me to tears. It is one thing to throw all these horrors at your children during your lifetime and try to then explain to them how you ended up being the person that you are now. They lived through a lot of it with me, in one form or another, but that doesn't make it any easier. It is such a feeling of overwhelming love to read what she has written and be able to say, "She gets it. She really understands me." I don't think too many parents get that opportunity. So many times we're trying to figure out what makes out kids tick and never think that maybe they are wondering the same thing. I've said it before and will say it again… I am so proud of my children. I am the woman who, as a teenager, never wanted to have children. Now? I can't imagine my life without them. I love them so much… and I am so blessed to have that love returned ten-fold. Thank you, Em, for the most beautiful words.

Disappearing Acts

I'm always intrigued at the ways people can disappear. I've seen the show "Without a Trace" and they always show a "real life" person who has gone missing. One. Just one. Then you hear about statistics of all the men, women and children who disappear every day. We hear about the big ones, Jimmy Hoffa is the all-time classic. He's become such a symbol of missing people that you only have to say someone is "with" Hoffa and we all get that picture in our minds of him being underneath twelve feet of cement under some high-rise in Chicago. For years it was touted he was under the World Trade Center. Guess we've pretty much ruled that out, now.

We have bulletins on the news about Alzheimer's patients who have wandered from home. One recent story in our local news had a man who was bringing in groceries from his van in the middle of Iowa and the next time his wife heard from him he was calling from San Diego – still wearing his pajamas and not knowing where the van was or how he'd gotten there. Not the first time he'd wandered.

We have Amber alerts going off all over the country when children are abducted and there is some information to go on that gives hope of quick solutions. More often than not, those have been working. However, there are still the hundreds, if not thousands of children who are abducted every day that we never hear about. We have the ones from years ago, before the Amber alerts, who their parents have never stopped looking… even though the children are now adults. Occasionally, one gets found after many years and the hope is renewed in the rest of the population that yes… our loved one can come home.

We get Dateline and 20/20 doing extensive stories on "Runaway Brides" and husbands who fall off cruise ships, but what about the hundreds who just vanish day after day and no one knows what or why or how? In a neighboring town, a college student appeared to have walked away and after exensive searching both in our state and his home state, the search was finally called off. Where did he go? No clue. Just as Dateline has their "To Catch a Predator" series showing the endless parade of internet preditors, they could have a show with missing people run twenty-four hours a day and never list all of the people who have gone missing. In. That. One. Day.

It seems strange that with all the technology at our fingertips these days people can just drop off the face of the earth. There are survellance cameras at many street corners, ATM machines, and convenience stores. Computers making DNA and fingerprinting a common thread that can be linked nation-wide to make identifications. I know some of this has been exaggerated by television and movies, but the technology is still out there. It may not be instantaneous or something they can figure out in 47 minutes plus commercials, but it is still a tool. Unfortunately, until a crime has been proven most of these people will never be looked for. They'll be "voluntarily" missing.

It can't make it any easier for the people who have lost them.

Give Me Your 2 Cents Worth – Or More, If You’re Feeling Generous

Here goes.

I've been asked to attend a wedding shower for my eldest son's fiance and her sister, who is getting married in May. The shower is in another state, several hours away. I would need to stay overnight the night before and the night of, and there would be lots of driving involved. I'm thinking a joint shower is a terrific thing for the girls' families and family friends… but I really a.) don't need to be getting a gift for the sister of our son's fiance b.) can't get excited about spending two nights away from home and lots of driving which would also involve much planning for hubby care and critter care c.) most likely will be my normal anti-social-totally-uncomfortable-out-of-place self and d.) am being a tight-ass and don't feel like I have the $$ to spend for all that.

So, my question is this. Am I being wrong to not go?

I love this girl my son is marrying. I think she is the sweetest most lovely young woman. I have some not-so-generous thoughts about her family and the way this wedding was originally approached by her family and their reaction to my son – after, I might add, several months of dating. I'm trying to overcome those feelings and let them all be in the past. I'm trying not to let those feelings affect how I'm approaching this shower situation. Maybe I'm too close to it, though. Maybe I'm just making excuses (that wouldn't be too big of a stretch, especially where (c.) is concerned). I'm thinking I could be over-thinking it, too. Perhaps they just extended the invitation because of the well-bred people they appear to be and as the mother of the groom they feel I should be extended the invitation, but really don't have any expectation of my arrival.

I'm opening this up to you. Discuss.

Self-indulgence and Idiosyncrasy

I've admitted in many a post that I'm not typical. My views on many things are skewed, as are my relationships and tolerences. Yesterday a new kink was discovered. I have decided I must not like to be touched (except by Hubs, of course). I'll explain:

For Christmas my Hubs got me a gift certificate for a local spa. They have many different services – everything as basic as pedicures, to full body massages. I decided to treat youngest daughter (off on spring break) and myself to a couple of facials. Not having had one before, I wasn't sure what to expect. I figured it would be decadent and relaxing and a wonderful tension reliever. Well, silly me…

The woman was extremely nice. She was well-groomed and there was nothing to put me off about her, the room, or the ambiance. I was led into a small, dimly lit room with a massage table and "New Age-y" music swirling around the room. I was asked to partially disrobe and to make myself comfy. I lay on my back, and linked my fingers over my mid-section, patiently awaiting her return. It wasn't long.

She was very good at what she does, I'm sure. I had several layers of goop brushed on my face, hot towels to remove said goop, lots of massaging – including a deep massage that went into my neck and shoulders – right where I carry a lot of my tension. My problem? I'm not sure… I just kept catching myself tensing up. First I noticed the clenching of my jaw. I do this often when I'm stressed. I figure many times my tension-headache-turning-into-migraines start there. It is something I catch and if I catch it, can make myself stop. Unfortunately, I caught myself doing it over and over during the massage. The other thing I caught myself doing was tensing my arms and clenching my hands. You know, the ones that were resting gently across my mid-section. WTF?

This was supposed to be restful. Relaxing. Soothing. FUN, for god's sake.

What the hell is wrong with me? (That's rhetorical, people.)

An Extended Pause

(Sit down. Get comfy. This is gonna be a long one.)

I’ve noticed something in the past couple of years I’ve been doing this “blog-thang”. There seems to be a natural ebb and flow to the collective creativity. Even people who blog with an almost 100 percent productivity rate, that is to say daily, have days when they resort to memes or a pictorial or a one-line blurb about how they are sucking stones trying to get the creative juices flowing again.

Then there are the burn-outs. People who have lost the feeling and just can’t seem to get it back. They write with such an outpouring of emotion that when the end comes it comes with an empathetic thud. One such person that comes to mind is Darrell. Such a prolific poster he filled day after day with sharp observations and thought-provoking images, only to stop abruptly… now only a trickle of words trip across his blog. The “mad murmurer” has become the “shy whisperer”.

Most people give notice they are leaving the blogosphere. We get a short paragraph stating they are “taking a break”, “burnt out”, occasionally “we are getting out while we can” or “found” by some “real world” people they would just as soon not have peeking into their minds. My own child can be held as example. My eldest had a lovely little blog that several of you visited – but because of some actions by a “real world” former high school classmate it made her uncomfortable and she decided she’d rather just read ’em than write ’em. I miss some of the insights I got into my own daughter’s life, but acknowledge her right not to share.

That brings me to the drop outs. The ones who just stop and fall out of sight. They appear to be going along on a normal course of day-to-day living and sharing said life with us when one day – they don’t. Ever again. Leaving us asking “where are you?” “are you okay?” “is everything allright?” in comment sections and possibly even in e-mails. Mr_g comes to mind. He had a pretty prolific blog which increasingly became disturbed as he realized his wife was having an affair. It continued on until he became paranoid that she (and her lawyer) had found his blog wherein he created a new site and continued to let us faithful readers know how he was doing embarking on his new role as ‘single guy’. Oddly enough, his last post was about him getting “visitation” with his dogs. This begs the question, “What happened?!?!” No reponse to e-mails or comments for months. Did his ex kill him and bury the body? Did the dogs eat him? Did the lawyers find him again and he felt the need to “get out of town” cyber-speaking?

I have a valid reason to ask. A few months ago I had a comment from a new person and being the perfect blog hostess I immediately went to visit and say thanks for coming by. Oh, who am I kidding? The truth is, I didn’t notice this person had commmented on an older post so it was a couple of months before I contacted them. Trust me… I learned my lesson. As I am prone to do, I went to their blog and started at the beginning. I like to do that. Go deep into the archives and read chronologically, getting to know the person before I commit myself to opening the door of blog friendship. His blog went back a couple of years and in reading it I found him to be well-written, funny, warm and sensitive. In other words, someone I would like to keep reading. Abruptly, a month after he’d posted on my site, his stopped. I searched frantically to see if there was a clue to why. None. He’d talked about only good things happening in his life and I couldn’t see there was a cause to leave, unless, like some of the rest of us, a busy life just got in the way. In reading over the last comments I started to be alarmed when I started seeing “he’ll be missed” showing up. Stepping bravely into the unknown, I sent a couple of e-mails out to some regular commentors who appeared to know this person in real life. Bless their hearts, they responded. He’d had cancer (which he had never once indicated on his blog) and had died while being operated on for it’s removal. I was stunned. Speechless. Someone that to me I’d just “met” was gone before I even had the chance to thank him for his kinds words on my site. Needless to say, I’m a little quicker on the responses now.

So, what do you find in your blog life? (Don’t kid yourself – it is a whole ‘nother life out here in the blogosphere. We have friends we’ve never met who we become attached to and for whatever reason have bonded over words. Just words.) Have you, too, had experience with people dropping out of sight and wondering “what happened?”. Have you been that person who took an extended break and came back only to find the blogosphere had moved on without you? Am I putting too much thought into this?

…maybe I just need more sleep.