1980s, Hearing problems, technology

Is it Just Me?

I think the flat calls started in the nineties. Newer, thinner, flatter, and cheaper phones took over from those receivers that hugged the ear, directing the sound of a voice right into the ear. The ringer was adjustable, and the curly cord was useful for winding onto the fist for tense calls or just because nothing felt as neat as puling that cord until it was straight. As time passed, Ma Bell didn’t even rent phones anymore. Anyone could go to the local Walmart and buy one, or a person could get a two-for deal, perhaps three if there are three places to put phones. The features on these new landline phones proved excellent, especially the caller ID and video, plus, plus, plus etc. But the receivers are almost perfectly flat. And we use cells mostly now, so I highly doubt a phone will be anything but flat forevermore. This is progressive technology.

Cells are the thing now, of course. Portable and thin, pretty much weightless. Blue tooth in vehicles, so honest to God, no one needs to miss a call now. But back to the point here: phones are flat. If I’m on my cell and there’s background noise, I can’t hear who I’m talking to; not without making a face, you know, the face like there’s great and sudden pain in the eye or tooth. One eye all winked shut, mouth looks like I’m chewing grizzle as I press that thing to my face. Maybe it’s just my antique Blueberry phone. Maybe it’s everyone’s cell phone or fancy landline phone. Flat. Hard to hear sometimes. Is it just me?

I won’t keep you long. I just want to make my point, which is, in the photo I’m showing you this gadget someone should get massive credit for. I must google it and see if I can send an email of undiluted praise. I found it in a thrift shop. My hubby was with me, so I called his cell. Well, well, look at that. It works. I wiped it down with alcohol and I’m back in the curly cord eighties, only with my ancient Blueberry cell connected. I love it. And yes, ladies and gentlemen, it has the volume control on the side.

Just one itty bitty thing, though. Since I’m an original sixties human myself, I’m trained to hang up a “phone off the hook” as we called it. So I see my eighties receiver on the end table and it sucks me in every time, just for a second, but still— somebody’s gotta hang up that phone.

Thanks for reading.

Advertisements
Standard
ADD, Dyslexia, encouragement, Human Behaviour, Human Nature, information, inspirational

Breaking the “Bound” Barrier

So dead ends lead to new directions? Sounds legit. They say, “Don’t give up. Find the opportunity in loss.” But who are they, anyway? Those who have stabbed a flag in their goal?

It’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Clinging to a goal and hanging on in savage winds while sharp edges of crumpled old leaves fly in our wide open eyes? Is it possible to endure that pain but not become jaded? Sure, only thing is, going against all odds is an arduous journey, which includes our personal barriers, like being bound by time, finances, criticism, learning differences, etcetera, plus the ever present competition also.

I have barriers I needed to accept before I could continue with my project, but I’m not complaining. Not anymore.

As you can see, I write. As you cannot see, I have dyslexia. My spelling errors, which are a lack of ability to retain many word spellings in my brain, and mistakes due to reversals, are seemingly endless to edit. Nonetheless, dyslexia serves me with a mind movie kind of imagination. I constantly think in images, creating story scenes with  ‘people’ you can’t forget in realistic fiction. I also turn things and images in many directions, obviously letters and numbers. But I don’t use a measuring tape to hang pictures or curtain rods because of my spacial ability. I know if a piece of furniture will fit a space, and I’m within an inch just by eyeballing. A three demential view of two dimensions is common. Hence, I don’t complain about dyslexia.

ADD is Another Directional Daydream. My mind flits. I form multifaceted stories with this barrier/ability. While writing, I perceive the present, future and past, quite similar to a movie. In the end, just as any daydreamer does, I come back to the present. This forms my plot, subplots and brings the story to a plausible conclusion.

However, beating the odds to have a manuscript accepted is an ongoing battle. This is my last draft—time to find a publisher! Not so fast. It can never be fast. Haste is waste in my world of dyslexia, and ADD takes the scenic route. Uh oh, so not my last draft. Throw on more coffee.

However, I did my time—I did it! I broke the “bound” barrier by respecting my barriers. Accepting what I’m bound by released me. My novel manuscript is back with my traditional publisher while I wait to see if she is pleased with my edits according to her instruction. This is an exhilarating and nail-biting good time!

I studied dyslexia and ADD and discovered what I should expect, and what I should respect about these gifts. My imagination is rich; I must be patient with the side effects. There sure is opportunity in loss.

 
Thanks for reading.

Standard
encouragement, Human Behaviour, Human Nature

The Gradual Shock

When it first shows, we either deny it, embrace it, or cover it.

The off-white ceramic tile floor held tables, chairs, and persons. New, round tables were dotted with various beverages and paper plates of colourful food. Emotions varied according to each person’s experience, connection and memories. Laughter peeled through the community room; so did sniffles and polite nose blowing.

Unlike family reunions, yet actually similar, are funerals. Saying good-bye isn’t like the hellos of a fam-jam, yet the gathering is similar in the way a lot of people haven’t seen each other for a number of years.

I sat with a coffee, and a rumpled tissue pushed under one eye then the other. The acoustic guitar tribute got me. I noticed not just me. Afterward, I watched mostly well dressed feet going in purposeful directions on the clean floor. Some headed back to food and beverage tables, other strode to greet people who had nearly become strangers.

I recognized many, and the surprise was subdued, because people grow older, I know. Nonetheless, it grows where a once proclaimed illusion of never ending youth is taken for granted. The gradual shock of grey hair.

The shock got the spirals of my long lost friend’s rock and roll pride. The grey strands mingled with intrusiveness in his soft brown length. Bit by bit, some were tentatively welcoming maturity. Others, years behind my age, the gradual shock left them entirely white. Silver graced the crowns of many, working its way to temples and tips. The gradual shock is a respecter of no one.

How did we all get this old? We’re only in our fifties.

I mingled, my silver stripes demoting me from childhood golden locks. My peers silently brought me to a realization this February: it’s okay to look older. It’s all right to let the gradual shock cajole me into aging gracefully.

Funerals are the celebration of lives lived. Weddings, a celebration of lives joined. Both of these events demonstrate how time waits for no one, starting with matrimony; babies, grown children, then funerals of parents, and next our friends….

I observed. I said good-bye. I cried. I viewed photos. I mingled. I hugged. I laughed.

I wondered how it is going to be for me.

Thanks for reading.

Standard
Celestial, Dying

When They Pass, Do They Tell Us?

My writing isn’t to convince any person of anything. I’m merely imparting my observations. Some believe loved ones communicate their parting, and others believe once we pass, that’s it: no more life whatsoever.

When I have had a falling out or simply lost touch with loved ones, something peculiar happens.

Through unfortunate, cruel circumstances, I’d lost touch with my dad. Three days after the funeral I had a dream-like experience and my dad spoke to me. The love permeating my entire being is more than I’ve ever felt. It surpasses human understanding. This love, with absolutely no need to voice, contained no judgement, rather unconditional acceptance.

My dad gave me insightful advice like he always did when he was alive. Peace, profound peace followed the experience. I may expound on it someday, where we were, who was there with us, the significants of the location, and how my dad’s health was restored, and it appeared he was fifteen to twenty years younger, and how I came out of the visit like I was popping up out of deep water, that shooting to the top, buoyed sensation. Another day I’ll take you with words to where I stood with my dad, and why.

Many years ago, a friend who had issues with herself let our friendship go. Time didn’t bring her back. I didn’t think of her much anymore. As the years passed, so did the wound close up. I was sorting files and she abruptly came to mind. Memories started playing like an old film. Vivid recollections of her face and voice engulfed me. I knew this meant I’d never see her in the flesh again. She’d died. I searched Google for an obit for many days, never finding a clue. But I was certain of her passing. Nothing had spurred on recollections of her at the time. No scents, no sights, no emotions. Nothing. I was hyper focused on sorting that day.

Sometime later I was given her obituary by a mutual friend. This confirmed the date of her coming to me with select recollections of notable aspects of our lifelong friendship. We met in grade one and carried our friendship through to our thirties. What changed was her search for a husband, a love of her life. I married first. She was deeply affected that our time together would not be the same since I was raising kids and had a husband to care for. Her letter ended our lifelong connection.

I believe she thought of me during our early years of separation, as I did her. Uncommunicative years passed, yet she came to let me know she abandoned her earthy form. There was no indiction of her after a few days of memories. No more profound thoughts or recurring visions in my head of her appearance. She came to say good-bye, and I don’t know where she is now.

Again this happened, just a week ago. I was engrossed in writing and unexpected memories flooded me about my daughter’s teen years friend. They were besties. It was always purely platonic, and he and I were like a mother and son. I remembered vividly how he thought I looked like Stevie Nicks. He told me this so often, I started examining my reflection, but I’m afraid only he thought so. Words we exchanged on a private walk rang clear. He came from a rough childhood and savoured solid advice.

I was taken back to laughter, tears, and fun shared by him, myself and daughter. We used to crank up Fleetwood Mac and dance our cares away. My husband’s approval of him came to mind during the flood of reminiscences. He never had an objection to my daughter and the good kid being alone in the house at age fifteen. Everyone loved his humour, his honesty, and his compassion.

My daughter called this morning. She just received the news of his passing—last week—February 2. She mentioned she didn’t realize he was saying good-bye last week when she started singing a song they loved together. Memories were hitting her, too. As with me, the going back in time was without reason, nothing caused it.

I should have caught on, and my daughter also since this isn’t the first time someone has called on us one last time.

When they pass, do they tell us? It is definitely real to me, the curious onslaught of recollections with no prompt—loved ones saying good-bye, then confirmation of death. I do believe there is life after death. Where? I don’t know. Heaven? Perhaps. Hell? Could be. A resting place in between? Who really knows? Like you, I’m going to have to wait to find out what the beyond holds as the secret.

Thanks for reading.

Standard
past the season lights, suspicious neighbours, Uncategorized

Seems It’s Never Too Late For Christmas Lights

So many people have the same problem with the cold. Travelling the side streets, resting Christmas lights are common. It’s too friggin’ cold to take them down. They just hang there, unlit, unremarkable, collecting street salt mist since it’s January 29th.

From my back door window, across the street, a blaze continues nightly. It’s not an elaborate scene, but Christmas lights burning nonetheless. One porch railing has white lights, the other golden, soft white. A wrapping of pine needle rope is decorated with blue, green, and red lights. There’s a wreath in the midst of it. It’s lit up, too. Balls hang off the rope—what’s left of them. Looks like a solitary Santa hanging there as well, clinking against lights when the wind blows. The whole lawn is illuminated by this created light fest.

I’m not in the least bothered by this—because I don’t have to take it all down and find a space to cram it, but I’m amused. I’m in the habit now of looking each night to see if they’ve decided it’s too late for Christmas lights. Seems it’s not ever too late. But it’s late  January now… the Christmas ship has sailed so to speak.

When will they take their Christmas lights down? Maybe they won’t. These neighbours are elderly. Not ancient, but grey poking out from their wooly hats says they probably don’t care what others think. We get to an age when the important issues are: did the bran work?; trying not to forget where we just set down a mug of coffee; when’s my kid coming to show me how to manage the latest technology of the snazzy elliptical needed for exercise; where’s the Tylenol, and who ate the last of the damn ice cream. So let the lights burn. It’s too much to remove them in the cold, and why waste a display.  Live for what’s important.

I suppose if the colours are still lit next month, I should ask if they’d like help. But what if they push me off the porch with a broom. What if they call the cops because I’m trepassing? See? This is the thing. Sometimes neighbours we don’t really know are grateful for help, sometimes they’re too suspicious. I could get my ass kicked by a couple married of forty years. Don’t laugh. These people could own cast iron frying pans. I can barely pick, never mind cook with it.

But if I don’t ask, I may be able to amuse myself throughout the summer with the countdown until those lights are valid once again.

Live and let lights burn. I’d post a photo, but I didn’t want to step foot near the lights for fear of a small, fast dog. Those little ones have a good aim. Their bite surely is as bad as their bark. Haha~ Well, that’s it. All I had to say.

Thanks for reading.

Standard
Human Behaviour, Humanity, millennial children, undisciplined grandchildren

The Changes Regarding Parents’ Rights

Baby boomers, both my husband and myself. We grew up with rules, and we didn’t make decisions about what we ate and when, about bedtime, or if we went to school or not. And if we disrespected our parents and other authoritative figures, there were most definitely consequences.

Why did the rules change? Why do little children get to decide so much these days? When did it become all right to show little to no respect? Why are parents giving up the driver’s seat? Why are they surprised when their unmanageable little ones become manipulative, defiant teenagers? And why does everyone have to get a trophy in competitions?

Moreover, why do parents turn to the internet to raise their kids now rather than asking a parent. Grandparents are called grand for a reason. Grand experience, skill, knowledge, understanding, background, maturity. Wisdom.

Why is my daughter teaching her kids to scream it out when they get frustrated? My grandson could’t get his zipper undone. “Just scream… and breathe.” Scream? Are kids no longer being encouraged to cope at five years old? I’m the grandmother of twins and I’m telling you, it’s double mayhem. There seems to be a confusion in this day and age about the difference between discipline and abuse. And we grandparents are to step back and watch the decline of our future adult population. If we offer our opinion, we’re given twenty-five excuses as to why our logic, which has sustained society for  centuries, is terribly wrong.

I’m not the only one who feels this way, yet it’s one of those things we don’t talk about much. Although our grandkids are not our children to raise, isn’t there still an element of shame in our cheeks when we see how those we did raise well are failing at the essential task of being in control of their own kids? Didn’t we teach skills of coping with frustration? Didn’t we teach manners, like being grateful for birthday and Christmas gifts with a thank-you said rather than a gift thrown to the floor in distain? Didn’t we teach about eating proper food before getting dessert? Did we not teach our kids to greet company and say good-bye also? I’m sure I’ve not mentioned it all, but I bet you get the point if you have grandchildren whose parents think we and our ways are old and outdated. Silver hair, invisible being. Wasted wisdom.

Perhaps not. It could be your grandkids are well behaved, and you’re comfortable taking them anywhere. If this is the case, I must say I feel exceedingly glad for you. You have sensible grown children who’ve accepted old-school logic.

What makes the difference? Why are some millennial parents better at getting good results? Well, I can only assume your grandchildren are being raised not by the internet, but instead with your input when needed, and good information in published books by reputable publishers. Good parents these days know how to say no and stick to it. Consistency outshines giving in to fear of children being displeased and not being their parents’ buddy.

I’m genuinely interested to know who out there finds the discipline lacking and tension growing. Who, despite raising your own children to the best of ability, are experiencing the hardship of keeping your mouth shut while watching chaos develop?

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment to agree or disagree. I’m looking for input.

Standard
Bipolar, Human Behaviour, information

Bipolar Season

The disability of the bipolar mind aches for sunshine.

Unaffected people don’t understand how the dim days have such an impact, and even our doctors cannot be empathetic, only sympathetic. But we can understand each other.

We know the reason for trying to stay in bed as long as possible is counterproductive to our condition. But it’s the season. Winter sucks in more ways than one. Everything takes longer in the winter. Clearing snow off cars, driving in slush and snow shaves time off the precious few hours of daylight we have. More layers of clothes take longer to put on. Walking takes longer. Coffee shop lineups take longer, because more people need that hot caffeine—and we with bipolar need more than that.

The problem is, treatment for depression in persons who have bipolar is dicey. Antidepressants can push the brain into mania, and no treatment with medication keeps us in the pit. So we must be carefully monitored by our doctor either way.

It’s bipolar season. We must be prepared each year if we live in areas where winter manifests with gobs of snow and breathtaking frigid temps. It’s cold, the sun makes a rather brief appearance, and the whole world looks grey in our view and in our heads. We need to work on our mood skills. And we can. It’s the middle of January, we have enough winter left for us to work on feeling less like we’ve died and are waiting to be put to rest. We’re alive, our brain needs our efforts. C’mon, let’s get up.

There are things we are able do to help ourselves. Sometimes it dreadfully difficult, but it is not insurmountable. What’s the alternative anyway?

Get up and go to bed around the same time, even on weekends. Our brain needs consistency.

Take medications as near to the same time as possible. Meds work best if the distribution to our bloodstream is regular.

Avoid alcohol. It’s a depressant. A sociable drink or two when you’re well isn’t terrible, but alcohol is easy to become addicted to because of its legal availability and the illusion of remedy.

No one who is depressed wants to go out unless a job pulls us out. If you don’t work outside your home, make yourself go into a mall. The stimulation is more than you’d think. Any reasonable stimulation for our brain is good even though we may not feel it. Go have a coffee or tea somewhere, preferably with a friend. If a friend isn’t available, go anyway. Sit in, finish your coffee or tea while listening to alive sounds of conversation murmurs and dishes clinking in the kitchen. It’s a small step, but it makes a big difference in our human brain, our weary mind.

Play some favourite music. I know it won’t feel like it’s your favourite, nothing really does during depression. So just do it. While it’s playing, go make your bed so you’re less inclined to get back in it. Watch a movie or surf Netflix. It’s helps with mind racing if there’s something to focus on.

Remember to eat properly. It helps to combat fatigue.

Text a friend or two and tell them you feel empty. Ask for a voice conversation. Don’t hide the fact you’re depressed. It shows in your eyes, voice, and body language anyway, so tell a friend you need support.

Accept company even when you’d rather hide in your jammies and mindlessly scroll past Facebook ads. It need not be a long visit, but it’s reassuring to not feel like the last human on earth.

Write yourself a note about how you’re feeling before and after doing something to stimulate your mind. Eventually you’ll see what makes the biggest difference.

Do some housecleaning, especially in the room you spend most of your time. Clear surroundings declutter the mind, too. And colour! Adult colouring books are the best invention ever.

If you’re having racing thoughts, remember it’s just the depression speaking. If you have thoughts about taking your life, call for help. Don’t second guess yourself, call immediately. There are different numbers for various areas, so jump on Google and type in suicide hotline and your city, province or state. Your life is worth way more than you think. No one is going to be better off without you, including you.

If you live with someone, tell them you are depressed. If you live alone, make sure a friend or two knows. It’s a pretty hard secret to keep. It makes us feel very alone.

One of the most important things to do is remember this is temporary. Even a long temporary is still not forever. And you have bipolar, you are not bipolar. Keep your identity with your given name. Remember this always.

We have bipolar. We are creative. We are survivors. We are strong, and we all love it when spring comes—winter is also temporary. We have so much to offer. We have talents and maybe they’re still hidden, but we do have talent; it is a magnificent gift to share. Check out “famous bipolar people” on Google. I could hardly get my fattened head through the door when I saw who I share this big ole bipolar with. We can do this bipolar season. We’re nearing the end of it. Keep your chin up. Give yourself a smile in the mirror. That tricks the brain, believe or not, into thinking we are happier than we feel.

We matter. Bipolar, bipolar, let wellness come over.

Thanks for reading.

Standard