Thursday, December 12, 2013

Inspiration

Four months. It has been four months since my last post. Yes, I have been extremely busy moving back to Edmond, starting a new grade teaching, and getting settled into my new house. The truth is, I haven't really had much to say for four months. Writing has been the furthest thing from my mind. Well, that isn't entirely true. Writing books is always lingering around, taunting me. Ideas swirl in my head, begging to be written.

Tonight I spoke with someone who truly awakened the need in me to write. Not only do I need to write here on my blog, but I need to get my butt in gear and start writing my book on Ernest Thompson Seton. The research has been completed for years, just gathering dust, waiting to be compiled into a novel.

I don't know why I haven't written it yet. Yes I do. Fear. How do I start? What if it sucks? What if no one likes it or it never even gets published?

Nothing great ever comes from bowing down to fear. The story of Ernest Thompson Seton and his encounter with the great wolf called Lobo is a story of inspiration, enlightenment, and the delicate balance of nature. It is a story that must be told. I must write it.

No more excuses. No more fear. No more procrastination.

Tonight it begins....

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

FAITH



Faith.

It can be a religious thing, a spiritual thing, or just a personal thing. But it something we all need to get through the toughest of times.

Luckily, the world is full of quotes about faith.

"FAITH - It does not make things easy, it makes things possible."

"Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to."

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

I am a quote junkie and have pinned or shared countless quotes on faith. I do it because many times my faith is waning. Lately, it has been waning a lot.

My forty-seventh birthday is one week from today. Currently, I am living with my ex-step-mother-in-law because I can't afford my own home just yet. I am having to borrow money from my parents because I don't get paid until September 20. I am still single. I am not creating the art, writing, and photography I dream of, nor am I supporting myself financially through my art. My daughter has to live with her father in his toxic household until I can get my own place. Luckily my son is old enough to be on his own.

At times like these, it is hard to keep faith in our hearts, but it is exactly at times like these that we need to hang on tightly to our faith that things ARE going to be alright. Things will get better. This too shall pass. But it gets really hard, doesn't it? Day in and day out and no change seems to be coming. Things either stay the same or they get worse. You've gotta hang in there.

Sometimes when we are so close to just giving up and throwing in the towel, that is when change is about to happen. But if we lose our faith, that change just slips away, never surfacing, never showing you the rewards of having strong, true faith.

I write this to you....whoever is needing a reminder that faith is a strong, powerful force in our lives. Mainly I write it for myself. I write to remind myself that despite all I have been through, regardless of how dim my situation seems right now, good things are coming! Amazing things are coming! And I will cling tightly to that unwavering faith that has permeated my cells for so long now. Because I know not to give up. Ever. And I send that reminder to you too....

Don't you DARE give up!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

16 Ways I Blew by Marriage (By Dan Pearce)

  • One of my friends posted this on Facebook. So I copied it and pasted it onto my blog. I did NOT write this, but I agree with it completely. It is hard to find someone you love and connect with so deeply. With just a little work, that relationship could be truly amazing. But it requires both people making a commitment together. Sometimes it is just the little things that add up over time...little things that could make such a difference.


    16 Ways I Blew My Marriage (By Dan Pearce)
  • You know what blows big time?

    The other night I was sitting with my family, most of whom are very successfully married. We were going in a circle giving our best marriage advice to my little sister on the eve of her wedding. It’s somewhat of a family tradition.

    But that’s not what blows. What really blows is that I realized I don’t have any good marriage advice to give. After all, I’ve never had a successful marriage out of the two marriages I did have.

    And so, when it was my turn, I just made a joke about divorce and how you should always remember why you loved your spouse when you first met her so that when times get tough, you can find someone new that is just like she was.

    There were a couple courtesy giggles, but overall my humor wasn’t welcome in such a beautifully building ring of profunidity.

    They finished round one, and for some reason started into another round. And that’s when I realized. Hey. I don’t have marriage advice to give, but I have plenty of “keep your marriage from ending” advice (two equivocally different things), and that might be almost as good.

    It eventually came to me again, and what I said would have been such great advice if I were a tenth as good at saying things as I was at writing them.

    And so, that night, I sat down and wrote out my “advice list” for my little sister. You know… things I wish I would have known or done differently so that I didn’t end up divorced (twice). After writing it, I thought maybe I’d share it with all of you, too.

    I call it my “Ways I Blew My Marriage” list. Also, for the list’s sake, I am just going to refer to “her” instead of “them” even though they almost all were true in both marriages.


    1. DON’T STOP HOLDING HER HAND

    When I first dated the woman I ended up marrying, I always held her hand. In the car. While walking. At meals. At movies. It didn’t matter where. Over time, I stopped. I made up excuses like my hand was too hot or it made me sweat or I wasn’t comfortable with it in public. Truth was, I stopped holding hands because I stopped wanting to put in the effort to be close to my wife. No other reason.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d hold her hand in the car. I’d hold her hand on a star. I’d hold her hand in a box. I’d hold her hand with a fox. And I’d hold her hand everywhere else, too, even when we didn’t particularly like each other for the moment.

    BONUS! When you hold hands in the winter, they don’t get cold. True story.

    2. Don’t stop trying to be attractive.

    Obviously when I was working to woo her, I would do myself up as attractively as I possibly could every time I saw her. I kept perfectly groomed. I always smelled good. I held in my farts until she wasn’t around. For some reason, marriage made me feel like I could stop doing all that. I would get all properly groomed, smelling good, and dressed up any time we went out somewhere or I went out by myself, but I rarely, if ever, cared about making myself attractive just for her.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d try and put my best foot forward throughout our entire marriage. I’d wait to fart until I was in the bathroom whenever possible. I’d make myself desirable so that she would desire me.

    BONUS! when you trim your man hair, guess what. She returns the favor.

    3. Don’t always point out her weaknesses.

    For some reason, somewhere along the way, I always ended up feeling like it was my place to tell her where she was weak and where she could do better. I sure as heck didn’t do that while we were dating. No, when I dated her I only built her up, only told her how amazing she was, and easily looked past all of her flaws. After we got married though, she sometimes couldn’t even cook eggs without me telling her how she might be able to improve.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I wouldn’t say a damned thing about anything that I thought could use improvement. I’ve learned since my marriage ended that there is more than one right way to do most things, and that the imperfections of others are too beautiful to try and change.

    BONUS! when you tell her what she’s doing right, she’ll tell you what you’re doing right. And she’ll also tell her friends. And her family. And the dentist. And even strangers on the street.

    4. Don’t stop cooking for her.

    I knew how to woo a girl, for sure. And the ticket was usually a night in, cooking a nice meal and having a romantic evening. So why is it then, that I didn’t do that for her after we got married? Sure, I’d throw some canned soup in the microwave or fry up some chimichangas once in a while, but I rarely if ever went out of my way to sweep her off her feet after we were married by steaming crab legs, or making fancy pasta, or setting up a candlelit table.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d make it a priority to cook for her, and only her, something awesome at least every month. And I’d remember that meat in a can is never awesome.

    BONUS! candlelit dinners often lead to candlelit bow chica bow-wow.

    5. Don’t yell at your spouse.

    I’m not talking about the angry kind of yelling. I’m talking about the lazy kind of yelling. The kind of yelling you do when you don’t want to get up from your television show or you don’t want to go ALL THE WAY UPSTAIRS to ask her if she’s seen your keys. It really doesn’t take that much effort to go find her, and yelling (by nature) sounds demanding and authoritative.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d try to go find her anytime I needed something or wanted to know something, and I’d have both gratitude and manners when I did. I always hated when she would yell to me, so why did I always feel it was okay to yell to her?

    BONUS! sometimes you catch her doing something cute that you would have missed otherwise.

    6. Don’t call names.

    I always felt I was the king of not calling names, but I wasn’t. I may not have called her stupid, or idiot, or any of the other names she’d sometimes call me, but I would tell her she was stubborn, or that she was impossible, or that she was so hard to deal with. Names are names, and calling them will drive bigger wedges in communication than just about anything else.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: Any time it got to the point that I wanted to call names, I’d call a time-out and come back to it later. Or better yet, I’d call her names, but they’d be names like “super sexy” or “hotness.

    7. Don’t be stingy with your money.

    As the main bread earner, I was always so stingy with the money. I’d whine about the cost of her shampoo or that she didn’t order water at restaurants, or that she’d spend so much money on things like pedicures or hair dye jobs. But seriously. I always had just as many if not more things that I spent my money on, and in the end, the money was spent, we were just fine, and the only thing my bitching and moaning did was bring undo stress to our relationship.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d tell her I trusted her to buy whatever she wanted, whenever she felt like she needed it. And then, I’d actually trust her to do it.
    BONUS! sometimes she will make bad purchase decisions, which leads to makeup purchase she felt liLike that new gadget you’ve had your eyes on.

    8. Don’t argue in front of the kids.

    There was never any argument that was so important or pressing that we couldn’t wait to have it until the kids weren’t there. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist or super-shrink to know why fighting in front of the kids is a dangerous and selfish way of doing things.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I would never, ever, not even once fight in front of the kids, no matter how big or how small the issue was. I’d maybe make a code word that meant, “not with the kids here.”

    BONUS! when you wait to fight, usually you both realize how stupid or unimportant the fight was and the fight never happens.


    10. Don’t poop with the bathroom door open.

    I don’t know why, but at some point I started thinking it was okay to poop with the bathroom door open, and so did she. First of all, it’s gross. Second of all, it stinks everything up. Third of all, there is literally no way to make pooping attractive, which means that every time she saw me do it, she, at least in some little way, would have thought I was less attractive.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d shut the damn door and poop in private.

    BONUS! when she does think of your naked body, she’s not going to be thinking about it in a grunting/squatting position.

    11. Don’t stop kissing her.

    It always got to a point when I’d more or less stop kissing her. Usually it was because things were stressful and there was tension in our relationship, and so I’d make it worse by refusing to kiss her. This of course would lead to her feeling rejected. Which would of course lead to arguments about it. Other times I had my own issues with germs and whatnot.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d kiss her in the morning when she looked like people do in the morning. I’d kiss her at night when she’s had a long day. I’d kiss her any time I felt like she secretly wanted a kiss. And, I’d kiss her even when my germ issues kicked in.

    BONUS! she feels loved when you kiss her. That’s bonus enough.

    12. Don’t stop having fun together.

    Age shouldn’t matter. Physical ability shouldn’t matter. Couples should never stop having fun with each other, and I really wish I wouldn’t have gotten into so many ruts in which we didn’t really go out and do anything. And, I’ve been around the block enough times to know that when the fun is missing, and the social part of life is missing, so also goes missing the ability to be fully content with each other.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d make a rule with her that we’d never stay home two weekends in a row.

    BONUS! awesome stories and awesome memories come from doing awesome things. And so do cherished embarrassing moments.

    13. Don’t pressure each other.

    Pressuring each other about anything is always a recipe for resentment. I always felt so pressured to make more money. I always felt so pressured to not slip in my religion. I always felt so pressured to feel certain ways about things when I felt the opposite. And I usually carried a lot of resentment. Looking back, I can think of just as many times that I pressured her, so I know it was a two-way street.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d make it a point to celebrate the different views, opinions, and ways that she had of doing things. I’d find the beauty in differentiation, not the threat.

    BONUS! authentic happiness becomes a real possibility. And so do authentic foot rubs.

    14. Don’t label each other with negative labels.

    Sometimes the easiest phrases to say in my marriage started with one of three things. Either, “you should have,” “you aren’t,” or “you didn’t.” Inevitably after each of those seemed to come something negative. And since when have negative labels ever helped anyone? They certainly never helped her. Or me. Instead, they seemed to make the action that sparked the label worsen in big ways.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I would learn to stop myself before saying any of those phrases, and then I’d switch them out for positive labels. Instead of “you should,” I’d say “you are great at.” Instead of saying “you aren’t,” I’d say “you are.” Instead of saying “you didn’t,” I’d say, “you did.” And then I’d follow it up with something positive.

    BONUS! the noblest struggles become far more conquerable. And you don’t think or believe that you’re a schmuck, which is always nice.
    15. Don’t skip out on things that are important to her.

    It was so easy in marriage to veto so many of the things she enjoyed doing. My reasoning, “we can find things we both enjoy.” That’s lame. There will always be things she enjoys that I will never enjoy, and that’s no reason not to support her in them. Sometimes the only thing she needs is to know that I’m there.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d attend many more of the events that she invited me to. I would actively participate and not tell all the reasons why I’d do it differently or how it could be better or more fun or time better spent.

    BONUS! go to something she knows you don’t enjoy and the gratitude gets piled on later that night, like whipped cream on a cheesecake.

    16. Don’t emotionally distance yourself after a fight.

    I never got to experience the power of make-up sex because any time my wife was mean or we got in a fight, I’d completely distance myself from her, usually for several days. Communication would shut down and I’d avoid contact at all cost. This never let things get worked out, and eventually after it had happened enough times I’d explode unnecessarily.

    IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d let myself communicate my emotions and feelings more often, and I’d make sure that she knew I still loved her any time we had an ugly bout. Sure, we’d give each other some distance. But not days of distance.

    BONUS! Fantastic make-up sex. Or at least that’s the theory.

    I had lots more written out, but the list started getting super long so I’ll stop right there and maybe do a part 2. It’s amazing when you’ve had relationships end, just how much you learn and know you could have done differently, isn’t it?

    My sister and her new husband will be amazing. Hopefully she’ll always be giving amazing marriage advice in the future and never have to hand out the “keep your marriage from ending” advice like I get to.
    www.mynucerity.biz/terrylynn
    www.mynucerity.com/terrylynn

Monday, July 15, 2013

Heartstrings

Heartstrings...

Growing up I heard the term "heartstrings" and basically understood the meaning of the word. But it wasn't until I actually felt them, physically, or perhaps emotionally, that I truly knew what the word meant. It actually feels as if you have strings on your heart that are embedded in the very tissue surrounding the heart. Those strings are attached to something outside your body, perhaps to someone you love.

When the love is good, the tugging of those heartstrings is a reminder of the power of your love for that someone. But what do you do when they are yanking and pulling at your heart in a fruitless struggle? How can you cut heartstrings?

I tried ignoring them. They yank on my heart at the strangest times. I tried to visualize slicing them. The pull is still there.

How do you make it go away?

Time?

No. Apparently not.

Keeping busy?

Remember the ignoring bit? Didn't work.

Finding a replacement tugger?

Where?

I need a surgeon...I want the heartstrings severed. The pain of the surgery has to be far better than the pain of having your heartstrings pulled by someone who is no longer there.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Passion on the Prairie

                                                       Oklahoma Prairie

Passion on the Prairie...it sounds like a bad romance novel.

The passion to which I am referring is my own. This isn't a tawdry passion, but just a passion for life in general. The last few days I have been thinking about how different I seem to be from most people in these parts...the "prairie" of northwestern Oklahoma. In a "meat and potatoes, God-fearing" land, I seem to be, yet again, a misfit.

I'm not sure where this passion for life and all its delicious experiences came from. My father is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of man. He is perfectly content to sit at his dining room table, smoking his cigarettes, and watching The Weather Channel. He has people who stop by to "shoot the shit" as they say. They all seem to have a good time, laughing and drinking, telling stories. Although the stories told at that table are entertaining, they are told so many times that they are forever ingrained in my memory.  I think the only thing my dad is passionate about are his Clipper cigar/cigarettes that he smokes every moment he is awake.

My mother doesn't strike me as having a passion other than a recent passion for Christ. She enjoys many things, but I don't see her as a passionate person.

Then there is me. I find that I can be passionate about just about anything. Last night as I was leaving my dad's house, I walked outside and saw an inky sky littered with diamonds.  It took my breath away. I mentioned it to the people still inside and it did nothing for them. They had no desire to walk outside and experience the magnitude of beauty that the sky above held for me. When you see something that beautiful, you want to share it with someone. But there were no takers.

I can find passion in simple things. When the sun is setting, it bathes the landscape in a magnificent blanket of light. There is a perfection to the scene that you want to capture forever. A peacefulness that you want to remain with you always.

A perfect glass of wine can stir the passion in me. When you take that first sip, allowing it to glide over your tongue, giving it a moment to tantalize your taste buds...it is heaven. If you take the time to recognize all of the subtle flavors you will find in just one taste, you will find yourself delighted with the sensations you can experience. You can detect berries, pepper, smoke...just by taking the time to indulge in a moment of time to experience something amazing.

Knowledge is another passion of mine. I can't imagine a world in which I couldn't read, research, ask questions, and learn more. There is so much in this world that I want to know, to understand.  Cultures and rituals so very different from my own. Landscapes never imagined. It is all out there, waiting.

But so many people care so little about anything different from that which they know that they are missing out on the best part of living. They miss out on the connections made between themselves and new people who might think differently than they do. If it wasn't for open-minded people and forward thinking individuals, we wouldn't have the freedoms we do today. If it wasn't for people passionate about a new way of living, who knows where we would be right now.

I understand that some people really enjoy their comfort zones and have no desire and no intention of ever leaving. For me, it would be a prison sentence. There is so much to experience and enjoy in this world, so many senses to be delighted, why wouldn't someone want to embrace that fully? But some people simply don't. They refuse to try anything new. They won't entertain a new idea, or a different opinion. They mock people who try to expand their minds and thinking with books.

People may think I am weird for finding incredible joy in the simple things. They may laugh at me when I am brought to tears by the words in a book. All it does is sadden me that they aren't able to experience what I do. It breaks my heart that their human experience will be so limited when there is so much out there to be passionate about. The human experience is a fleeting one, not to be taken for granted. It is to be treasured and savored, and hopefully shared. That, to me, is the greatest passion...sharing something so beautiful or flavorful with someone else and seeing them experience the same joy as you.

Your time on this earth is limited...enjoy all the beauty in the world. Indulge your senses. They crave it. They want to be used to their full capacity so that you may fully experience this amazing world in which we live.

Slow down today and find something to savor. Find something to be passionate about. It's worth it...I promise.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dream Big

This morning I watched "Super Soul Sunday" on Oprah Winfrey's network.  Pastor Joel Osteen was on discussing dreaming big and praying boldly.  It never ceases to amaze me how things come to you when you most need them.  This show was just what I needed to get over a lot of doubt and frustration I have been feeling lately.

Over the last ten years, I juggled so much that I found it hard to pursue my passions.  My stress level finally hit an all time high last fall.  I knew something had to change...drastically.  When I was offered a job teaching first grade in Vici, two hours away from my home in Edmond, I jumped at the chance.  It was terrifying leaving my comfort zone and my children.  But I saw it as a chance to live a simpler life with less stress, less noise, and less people.  The move would give me the time and energy to pursue my dreams of writing, art, and photography.

The transition to that simpler life wasn't exactly easy.  A broken pelvis one month after moving here, no home of my own, and trying to figure out how to teach first grade all led to a different kind of stress.  Three months later, my pelvis is healed, I have a home, and I feel comfortable teaching.  I am just now finding the time to work on my art.  But the last few times I have worked, I haven't felt the joy of creating because everything I have done has been, in my opinion, mediocre.  Plus, it seems as if nothing has been really taking off for me. People seem interested in my work but no one buys it.  It doesn't go further than that.

Enter doubt.  Enter negative thoughts.  Enter fear.

All of these can destroy a dream.  They can make you feel like giving up, as if there is no way you can ever achieve your dreams.  If you allow those toxins into your life, then you won't realize your dreams.  You won't know the joy of living your life fully with the gifts you have been given.

Pastor Olsteen said to "Dream big and pray boldly".  He also said that if you knew that it would take 32 closed doors to get to that open door, when you got to door number 8, you would just say to yourself, "Ok, there's one more out of the way".  I have to remember all of the amazing success stories that were paved with failures or rejection.  J.K. Rowling's first "Harry Potter" book was turned down 13 times before a publisher accepted it.  Stephen King has rejection letters pinned up above where he writes.

People lovingly make fun of me because I am a dreamer...a big dreamer.  I have been like this since I was a little girl.  My passions have remained true since then.  I always loved to draw, create, and take photographs.  Although I didn't write my stories down, I was always creating them in my head.  So now, at 46 years of age, I know that I was given these wishes and dreams for a reason.  I have the power to achieve them. I have to have the faith and conviction that I wouldn't have been given them without the power to make them come true.  

From this point on, I will no longer allow those toxic thoughts to enter my brain and take me off the path I know I was meant to follow.  Every day will be a step in the right direction.  Every action will bring me closer to the realization of my authentic self.  I will continue to dream big and pray boldly.  And I will have faith.  Lots and lots of faith.

Below is a link to the episode I watched.



http://www.oprah.com/own-supersoulsunday/blogs/This-Sunday-Pastor-Joel-Osteen-on-Dreaming-Big


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