Saturday, February 28, 2004

My Friends

Just got back from a short road trip with the husband, to explore a possible venue for my business.   Over the last two days, I've spent seven plus hours one on one with one other human.  I tend to get chatty during these trips, on a myriad of topics--ancient and recent.  We explore all aspects of his job.  (I give him advice that he ignores...  But I figure, if he wants to talk about it, I'm entitled to an opinion.)  I bring up old old OLD stuff, like old girlfriends (boyfriends) and our parents' reactions to our marriage.  I CAN go on...

This morning, I found myself waxing philosophical about some of the aol journallers, as if they were people I KNOW.  This one and her husband, some other one worried about her kids doing so-and-so...  Like they were actually my friends.  And it occurred to me, that I DO know these women, probably better than I have known many people I've called "friends" in my life.  (It's kind of pitiful, because journals constitute 95% of my social life at the moment.)  I'm afraid I'm assigning a little more emotional weight to my "relationship" with other journallers than is intended.

Reading Angela's (readmereadyou) farewell (for now) entry the other day, I started thinking that perhaps I needed to follow her in that direction.  Back gracefully away from the journal scene and "get a life."  That old spectre that has always kept me from getting too close to anyone---the fear of looking foolish---is raising its head, howling and flailing at me.  But, I don't can caring for people be bad, even if they don't know or care?  There are worse ways to invest one's emotional energy, I think.  

So, please forgive me if I leave comments that seem like I'm taking for granted a relationship that doesn't exist.   I like you ladies.  I find you interesting.  You inspire me, you make me laugh, you bring tears to my eyes...  Sometimes you make me want to don my super-heroine suit and fly through the phone wires to come to your aid.  Sometimes you dry my tears and stiffen my backbone.  Is it all right if I keep thinking of you as my friends? 

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Very Old Poetry

Poring over the old journals, of course I came across the old poetry.  There was a time when my journals were filled with more poetry than prose.  A LONG time ago. 

But when I go back and read it, I still like it.  Most of it was melancholy, since most of my writing comes from an empty, confused, or hurting place inside me.  But I'll share one here that wasn't quite as sad as the rest.  I like the "weaving" metaphor.  I used to weave...In fact I still have a loom up in the rafters of my garage that I can't bring myself to throw away...

It is past time to choose

a dream to weave

through time’s prickly warp

          The colored yarns of fancy

          each warm, rich, and promising

          are set high on the merchant’s shelf,

          within inches of a stretch…

Where is the stepstool to the dreams?


Backing Up The Memories

After writing that last entry, I had to go back to my old journals to see what I had recorded about the year I wrote about. This is so funny! Here I am, almost thirty years later, waxing nostalgic about how this was the best time of my life…. But apparently it didn’t look like it back then:

7/26/75 (One week after my twentieth birthday) "…Since I’ve been out of school, things have gone from bad to worse to awful to unbearable, with varying degrees of disaster in between." I was referring to my initial forays into the male-female relationship market, most of which were total disasters. (At this time I was only about a month past the disastrous finish of the latest contest.) And the fact that I had been fired from my job.

10/3/75 (Six weeks into our "wonderful" eight week trip) "…And so my observations and experiences of the past six weeks and a day have brought me to a conclusion—I want to go home. Or, at least, I want to have the things that home offers. I [want] the rest of my clothes, my own bed, my records…roots, familiarity, a sense of belonging… It’s an adjustment I can’t make, to immerse myself in someone else’s lifestyle because there isn’t the space or the opportunity to exercise my own…" (We were staying at my grandfather’s house at the time.. Though he was a sweet old man, he WAS an old man…)

Oy, could I whine back then! I had refined it to an art! I realize that it is the perspective of the years that makes me understand the pure value of those months, and those trips. It was the "free-est" time of my life. Even though I kept screwing up, in the love department and the "getting along with others" department, and suffering for my screw-ups. And, now that it’s been twenty years since the last time we drove across country, I know that I would be in the car, seatbelt on and map in hand, before you could say "road trip." If only we had the time. If only…

Sunday, February 22, 2004

My Year of Living Dangerously

What year of your youth was your favorite and why? Remember?

July of 1974 through November of 1975.

Worked in a restaurant that closed at 2 am, stayed after hours, sometimes all night, drinking beer, playing strip poker. Home at 6am, sleep for three hours, back to work by 11, eyes feeling like sandpaper. Got fired from the job (which became a recurring thread in my life!)…NOT for hanging around drinking beer after hours, though, hard as that is to believe.

Made THREE cross-country road trips. The first one was in August of 1974, with my sister and her jerk of a boyfriend, when she moved to Oregon. (Heard about Nixon’s resignation on a car radio somewhere on the back roads of Arizona, and wondered in a detached sort of way if the world was going to end.) I left Chris in Medford, living in a tent, and flew home to resume my life.

Then in May of 1975, I drove to California with a guy from work…to this day I don’t know why the hell I decided to do this. It wasn’t meant to be a romance, and turned out NOT to be one after all, though it sort of almost kind of was for a few days. The highlights of this trip were sleeping under the stars at a forty-five degree downhill angle, on a mountainside above Salt Lake City, with patches of snow within arm’s reach. And getting a speeding ticket, also in Utah. I hate Utah.

In September, my sister Donna decided she needed to move to Oregon, too. So three of us---Donna, Lauren, and I—planned a "grand tour" road trip that would land us in Oregon so Donna could check out the possibilities. We left Illinois in September, and were on the road for eight weeks. Three girls, three sleeping bags, a tent, a Coleman stove and lantern, and my guitar. Crosby, Stills & Nash…Dan Fogelberg…John Denver. Drove to California through Kansas, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona (the Grand Canyon!), then up the coast of California, through Big Sur, Carmel (sigh!) Landed in Eugene in early November, then rode the train home just before Thanksgiving. (Donna left her car in Oregon to bolster her resolve to return.) The greatest time of my (unfortunately NOT misspent) youth.

About two weeks after our return home, this good-looking guy who worked at Kmart with my sister Lauren, started calling me on the phone… And so ended my days of footloose wandering!

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Flowers and Mountains and Dogs (Oh my!)

Well, that picture is pretty huge, isn't it?

Remember about a month ago when I was complaining about the horrid ice, snow and cold we were having?  I went outside and took a picture of the  brave little Japanese Iris shoots coming up in my fountain garden, despite (or in defiance of) the hideous weather.  They are blooming now, along with some little purple crocuses I have planted.  And there are buds on all the daffodils...they'll be bright and cheery in a couple more weeks.

Just got back from taking Lucy for a walk up the hill behind the house.  We went up a road we've never taken before.  Would have been a beautiful view of Mt. Hood, but for the clouds in the east.  Only a small bright spike of it was glowing above the clouds in the evening sun.  When the slanting light shines on the mountains, they look like they are lit from within.  It never fails to take my breath away.

One thing I DO find irritating around here when I go walking...  People out in the country often feel it unnecessary to control their dogs.  Other dogs hear the jingle of Lucy's tags from a mile away, it seems, and they know exactly what it is.  We'll be striding along, minding our own business, and some fierce, slobbering wolf-like creature is suddenly tearing down a driveway toward us.  And my dog...she hides behind me. It's my job to scream like a banshee to try to scare the damn things away...or get eaten, I guess.  I've seriously considered carrying peppper spray when we walk...but I'd probably end up macing my own dog. 

But that only put a little damper on the enjoyment of the walk.  I feel a little better now than I did yesterday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Retirement Stinks

It’s been an odd last couple of days. Been suffering a bit of depression over returning from a too-short vacation. Why would I need a vacation? It’s not exactly like I’ve been working too hard. In fact, that’s part of what’s bothering me.

It’s funny to read other women telling how busy they are…how there aren’t enough hours in a day to do all they need to do. My problem is quite the opposite. I can’t keep busy. Actually, it’s not that I couldn’t tear my whole house apart and clean it from top to bottom. Or get back to work on the decorating projects I suspended last spring in order to get outside and get some yard work done before my season started. I have a whole litany of things I could be doing. But I’m just not inclined.

I have this way of jerking along in life… Things will be rolling smoothly on oiled wheels, and I’ll start to think I’ve finally got this "life" thing figured out. And then I just….lose it. One of the wheels falls off, or something. I lose interest, I get overwhelmed with my inability to really accomplish anything. And then, suddenly, I can’t do anything. I can spend hours these days drifting from task to task, not inspired to finish anything…so I don’t. I never used to be like this when I was working. I was so high energy, I was always doing something…there was always something TO do.

I think it’s the lack of urgency that kills it for me. For the most part, the only person who is affected, negatively or positively, by anything I do or don’t do, is ME. This doesn’t seem to be enough incentive to get me excited about anything. I wonder, is this the kind of thing that retired people go through?

I joke about being semi-retired.  Like it's a good thing. I’m sure there are people who think they envy me. But I’m too young to feel this useless.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Postcard from the Grapes

Well, this is what the vineyards will look like in a few months.  The picture below is what they looked like this past weekend.  Doesn't matter that the vines are embryonic...the view from the vineyards is always spectacular.  Wish this was a better picture...didn't have quite enough sun.  But at least it wasn't pouring rain....

We spent most of our time in tasting rooms, not out trekking around the fields.  The tasting rooms are always beautifully turned out, and usually have seating that spills out onto a patio or deck, for when the weather is fine.  The weather wasn't was kind of chilly and a little on-and-off rainy...  but we checked out the outdoor seating anyway.

Yes, it was the quintessential Oregon yuppie weekend. But we really did have fun

(Seems my stinkin' pictures STILL aren't working.  Let's see what I can do about this.)

(Okay....look at the above entry to see the pictures I'm talking about here.  And shoot me if I ever try to copy and paste pictures into a journal entry again!)

We're back...

I just spent a very unsatisfactory hour trying to post pictures from our mini-vacation.  Copy and paste doesn't seem to be working, and I can't get into my AOL webpage to download the pictures onto it.  And the "Live Technical Help" website is not responding.  Could it be that a million other AOL users are experiencing technical problems?

I'll have to try a different method...the one I used for my "walk" montage below.  This involves creating a page in my greeting card program, downloading it to my website, and then adding it to the journal.  With all the problems going on today, I don't know if that will work, either.  And it takes a long time to do...I don't know if I have enough time to get involved in it right now.

Anyway, to all you visitors who expressed a dislike for camping...  You know, it's hard to call it camping, anymore.  I have a better microwave in my trailer than I do at home.  We have a built in CD system, a three-burner stove with an oven, a big fridge with a freezer.  Also the whole toilet/shower thing.  And a furnace that keeps us cozy at night.  I find it much superior to staying in cheap motels (that aren't cheap and you never know who's been in the bed...)  And there's the added bonus of being out there among the wildlife. 

Living in Oregon, camping is the best way to take advantage of all the natural beauty that surrounds us.  If we drive an hour east, we're in the Cascades, among peaks such as Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood.  A couple hours west, and we're at the spectacular Oregon Coast.  State Park campgrounds are well-kept, open year-round, and relatively $18 a night for camping to $75-$100 a night for the cheapest motel rooms or cabins.  It doesn't pay NOT to own a trailer!

Thursday, February 12, 2004

See You Monday

Well, we're off to a "romantic" weekend...camping with my sister and her husband.  (How the view of romance changes as you reach middle age!)

Actually, we plan to have a grand time. We're going to do a winery tour on Saturday (husband will be designated driver...he doesn't drink.)  Then out to a nice dinner at a restaurant promising romantic piano music for the evening.    Throwing the WW points counter out the window for the weekend!  Also leaving the laptop at home (sigh) man deserves my full attention for a couple of days!

Happy Valentine's Day to all, and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

A Beautiful Day

It was an absolutely gorgeous day up here in the Northwest.  Sunny (almost unheard of this time of year), and the temperature must have ultimately nudged 60 degrees.  Lucy and I geared up and went for a walk up the hill behind the neighborhood.  I took along the digital camera so I could share some images of the beginning of spring with those of you who won't be seeing it for awhile yet.

The sounds were really better thant the sights.  All the birds chattering...chickadees, stellar and scrub jays, song sparrows and crows.  There is an old walnut orchard down the block...the crows gather there by the dozens, collect nuts, and then fly over the streets and drop them to the pavement to crack them open.  When I'm walking, I try to help them out by stepping on any uncracked nuts I come across!  And the smells...many die-hards around here still heat with wood. On chilly mornings, the air is always redolent with woodsmoke.

The mountains were out today...Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens were beaming, in their coats of brilliant white snow against the bright blue sky.  I tried to get a picture, but the digital camera couldn't capture it.  Don't know if the problem is with me or the camera... 

I wish everyone could plan a visit to Oregon in spring.  It's absolutely the best time of year! 

A Chain Email I Actually LIKED

Today is International Very Good Looking Damn Smart People Day, so please send this message to someone you think fits this description.

Please do not send it back to me as I have already received it over fifty thousand times and my inbox is jammed full!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004


I was at the pool yesterday, beating the crap out of myself once again.  (The other day, a lady in the next lane said, "My, you sure work hard with all those weights and things."  My reply was, "Sometimes I win, sometimes they win."  Cracked up the lifeguard.)

One of the young women who works out at the pool is missing her right leg from about five inches below her knee joint.  She doesn't let it stop her, though...  She looks a lot better in her bathing suit than I do in mine!   She's completely unselfconscious about her leg.  Yesterday, on the way back to the locker room after her swim, she stopped to talk to a little guy in the kids' pool.  She was congratulating him on how far he could swim...said pretty soon he'd be swimming in the big pool.  

"Where's your leg?"  he asked, as kids will inevitably do.

"It's in there (the locker room) waiting for me.  It's a fake one, so I can't get it wet.  I have to take it off when I swim."

She took it right in her stride, as if it was the most natural thing in the world to be missing a leg.  What grace in the face of adversity!  It made me wonder what I would be doing if the same thing happened to me.  I probably wouldn't be seen in a swimsuit in public, much  less stopping to talk to little kids in the shallow pool.  I KNOW I wouldn't have been able to deal with the questions.  This girl deserves a medal or something.  What an ambassador for people with disabilites...and you know, I bet she doesn't think of herself as disabled at all.

Just goes to show that the challenges really do go to those who can handle them the best.  Or that a heaping helping of grace goes along with them.     

Monday, February 9, 2004

Shoes (1 of 2)

This is my first pair of three-inch spike heels. My ankles wobbled worse than a 12-year-old's. (And Ginger Rogers danced backwards in these??) But they sure looked hot.Too bad all that glamour (read PAIN) was wasted...

Shoes (2 of 2)

How do I explain Columbia County to people who live in places where there are actually...people? Just under 44,000 souls inhabit the entire county. Cattle, horses, sheep, and llamas probably outnumber the people by about 5 to 1. So when we decided to go to a dance at the Columbia County Fairgrounds (home of the Columbia County Fair and Rodeo) I'm sure I wasn't expecting an evening at the Ritz. When I donned my silly sexy shoes and velvet skirt and sequined top, I knew there was a chance that I might be a tad overdressed.

When we drove up, other attendees were jumping down from their 4 x 4's, wearing their cleanest jeans and cowboy boots. Some of the more decked-out women had velvet or glitter on their tee-shirts. You could tell a man was really out to impress if he had worn his leather jacket instead of his denim.

The evening had been touted as "A Taste of Columbia County." The county's best restaurants were to be represented, serving gourmet tidbits. Well, let's see, one table featured five boxes of cold pizza from Scappoose's premier pizza parlor. Our local three-star family restaurant offered five crock-pots full of luke-warm soup, served in pink paper cups. There was cold Mexican food, more cold pizza, a guy trying to cook "gourmet" sausages on a George Foreman grill...

So there I sat, trying to look inconspicuous (wrapped in my gold satin shawl), sipping champagne from a plastic "Jack Daniels" cup and gnawing on a barbecued rib that was like chewing on my dog's rawhide bone. (Hey, the champagne was Korbel, they charged $2 for that big honkin' went a long way toward easing my discomfort about my wardrobe choice.)

The band. Um...the lead singer wore...a yellow leisure suit jacket? LOUD, and the acoustics were so bad, conversation was impossible. Dancing? I don't think so. Not in those shoes. We finished eating…and hit the door. Went to a bar, had a quiet glass of wine, and talked (now that we could.) Then home. And that was when the evening really picked up...


Friday, February 6, 2004

On Lying Well

I have a problem with lying. I can’t do it, or at least, I can’t do it well. The little stupid lies that most people don’t think twice about, I worry and fret over, and am convinced I’ll get busted. It’s hardly worth the ulcer.

This is a problem, you ask? Actually, YES. For one thing, during my thirty years in the workforce, I would have benefited from being able to tell a good lie. The people who can spew the best bullshit are the ones who climb the ladder the quickest. Those of us not gifted with that ability usually end up crouched at the bottom of the ladder, and the silver-tongued fibbers use us as the first step. I could never brown-nose or butt-kiss…it’s just another form of lying. (And a particularly gross one, judging by the terminology alone…) It wasn’t that I didn’t do it because I had some huge moral objection to it. It just never occurred to me. I have not a smidgen of natural talent for it.

This total inability to lie convincingly has also kept me honest in my personal finances. There’s no way I could ever hope to schmooze my way out of a bad debt situation…."The check is in the mail…" I always swore they could hear my nose growing over the telephone.

Honest people are probably the biggest suckers in the world. You have an expectation that when someone says something, it’s true…since that’s the way it works for YOU. I wish I had a nickel for every line of bullshit I have swallowed hook, line, and sinker. It’s terrible to try and be a boss when you’re saddled with this affliction. Your employees learn quickly that any half-baked story will do to get them out of trouble. Somebody could have the missing $20 from the till sticking out of their pocket, and if they told me they didn’t take it, I’d probably believe them. God knows what would have happened if I had kids.

Well, you can’t say I never learn. At this advanced age, I’m finally able to recognize bull when I hear it. The other day, one of my sisters told me a real whopper. I wanted to believe her so badly that I made up a whole scenario in my head that explained what happened as an honest mistake. When it turned out she really WASN’T telling the truth, I was of two minds about the whole thing. I felt somehow victorious that I had sniffed out this lie (after the equivalent of being hit in the head with a baseball bat.) But, knowing my sister had lied to me did NOT make me happy. Sometimes it felt better just being a sucker.

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Election Rant

Oregon has what is known as the "Initiative System." Any group with an axe to grind and enough signatures on a petition can get a measure put on the ballot. If it passes, it becomes law. Things like the anti-gay legislation in Springfield and Canby became law in this way, when voters who thought the measures hateful but frivolous DIDN’T vote, and the local homophobes DID. Once in a while, something worthwhile will come out of this process, like Oregon’s ground-breaking "Right-to-Die" law. The system is also used by the taxpayers to micro-manage Oregon’s tax system. Yesterday’s election was an embarrassing example of this.

Oregon suffered in the eighties. The major timber companies had cut down all the trees they could reach, and left in droves to find greener pastures. We scrambled for living wage jobs. Eventually, we hitched our wagon to the high-tech train, which gave us a helluva ride through the nineties. But when high-tech tanked a couple of years ago, we went with it.

During the high-flying days of the high-tech boom, the state of Oregon spent like drunken sailors. They instituted programs, like the Oregon Health Plan, that were compassionate, admirable, and expensive. Never gave a moment’s thought to what would happen if the money suddenly went away. And, here’s the clincher. In Oregon, if the state collects more money than it needs, it gives it back. This is called the "kicker." The checks go out right before Christmas, so we can all buy a couple hundred dollars more worth of things we don’t need. I would get the check, and think, Why don’t they just put this away somewhere for a rainy day?

It’s raining now. The legislature worked months past their adjournment date last fall to hammer out a package that would balance the fat budget. They came up with a "tax surcharge," at a cost to the average taxpayer of about $100 a year…half the money given back with those stupid "kicker" checks. But…welcome to the "Initiative System." As the ink dried on the legislature’s hard-won bi-partisan agreement, they KNEW it was doomed.

So, the Oregon Health Plan, not to mention schools, Medicaid, police, and other vital services, get screwed...because Oregon voters are too stingy to give up $100 a year they might spend on five cases of beer. And because our legislature is too stupid to figure out that the gravy train occasionally runs out of gas.

Monday, February 2, 2004

Remembering Dad

Things I remember about Dad that make me smile:

When he decided to propose to my mother, he asked a co-worker at the Merchandise Mart where there was "a good jewelry store" in town (Chicago.) My mother received a registered blue-white diamond from C.D. Peacock. It cost him a month’s pay.

He loved to tend his veggie garden. At one home, we had the worst impermeable clay soil you could imagine. He managed to coax tomatoes, corn, beans (tons of beans), and cute little stunted carrots that could only push so far down into the clay.

Fishing was his major hobby. Going through old photos to make up a montage for his memorial, we found about 50% of pictures we had of Dad also featured some quantity of dead fish.

He was a voracious reader, and he remembered just about everything he read. He was a bottomless font of knowledge. When we had questions, he ALWAYS had answers. We thought he was the smartest man in the world.

Dad was the family cook. He had his successes and his failures. Many foods that made me gag when I was a kid, I later found out were quite tasty…as long as Dad wasn’t cooking them. But he could barbecue a heck of a Thanksgiving turkey (picture this in Illinois in November.) Every square inch of counter and cupboard space in his kitchen was crammed with gadgets of every size and description. And when he cooked, it never occurred to him that he should use something, clean it off, and use it again. He had enough back-ups available to grab a clean whatever-it-was. He made a mountain of dishes for even the simplest meal, then he’d get up from the table and relax in front of the TV with a book, while someone ELSE cleaned up.

When I was about 10, he brought home a huge, incredibly heavy blue canvas tent, a Coleman lantern and camp stove, and that was the start of our family camping experience. We made trips to see the grandparents in Oregon, visited Yellowstone and Glacier Parks in the west, did the New England coast one year. He was never happier than when we were out in the woods somewhere, or sampling a bit of the local history of some distant part of the country.

When I was in high school, I knitted him a scarf. He wore that scarf through many subsequent Chicago winters. After several years, I asked him why he still wore that ridiculous ugly scarf I’d made. He said, "It’s warm." It now hangs on the hall tree in my family room. It still smells like him.

Sunday, February 1, 2004

I Still Miss You, Dad

Super Bowl Sunday brings me mixed emotions these days. Five years ago, we were watching the Super Bowl with my dad, and waiting for him to die. He had esophageal cancer that had spread through his digestive system…he’d had 90% of his stomach removed four months earlier to try to delay the inevitable. His 79-year-old body just never recovered from the surgery, and succumbed to the cancer faster than he would have without it, in my opinion. Don’t get me started on the wonders of modern medicine when it comes to geriatric patients….

I think about him today. I still miss him so much…I can’t believe it’s been five years since he was here with us. I wrote this the day he died. I thought I would share it here:

February 2, 1999

It is on this date that I must record the death of my father. He died at about 9:45 this morning. A rainy, blustery, Oregon winter Tuesday morning.

…Even an hour before he died, you could tell he was still fighting. He was too weak to even be conscious, but you could see his lips moving and his face twitching, his head shaking…whether he was trying to "shake off" the encroaching darkness of death, or arguing with those on the other side who were urging him to cross over, I don’t know. But I could tell he wanted none of it.

Luckily, we had a good hospice nurse with us who told him what we couldn’t find it in our hearts to tell him: That his body was trying to die, and that we loved him, but that he needed to find peace now. He needed that permission to die, and I was unable to give it. I knew how hard he had been fighting, and how much he didn’t want to die. … I knew Dad was struggling with it, and I just couldn’t be the one to tell him he’d lost.

Hospice told us that we had done a good job. That we should be proud of ourselves. That we carried out his wish to die at home…the wish that he never really voiced in so many words. ..But we did make it happen, and we didn’t kill each other. I think that can be credited to him. To dad, who was everything good about our family. Who inspired us to be moral, caring people, people who love each other because we are family, and look past each others’ flaws.

I love him so much. And I can’t for the life of me imagine the world without him. …he was my dad…I have never known life without him. And at this moment, I just feel like a lost little girl.

Swimming Pool Philosophy

Somebody wrote this on, of all places, the chalkboard at the pool: "Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think." Pretty heady stuff for a bunch of soggy jocks! It made me think though. Would that "thinkers" and "feelers" were so easily categorized. I’m certainly not one or the other. Sometimes I think I’m the worst of both worlds.

I’m a very inward person. I live 97% of my life inside my head. I’ve always been that way. I’m too sensitive, and when I’m hurt, I don’t fight…I just retreat into myself. I have bat-like hearing for anything negative. When it comes to compliments, strokes, admiration, atta-boys….I’m deaf as a post. I wish I knew why. If there were some horrible childhood experience that would explain this quirk, maybe I could work it out. But it just seems to be an essential part of the way I AM. Like I was born this way. So, am I one of those "feelers" for whom life is a tragedy? Maybe.

But I believe I’ve got a little bit of the "thinker" in me, too. Despite my magnetic attraction for negative energy, I still have the ability to stand outside myself and analyze things. When I start to slide too quickly or too deeply into that pit, I can yell, "Hold it!" and just stop for a second and get my bearings. Look at the situation with as little emotion as possible, and judge whether it really merits that headlong flight into myself. Laugh if I need to, or just say, "Whoa…this isn’t that important." It’s a good thing, really, that I have this ability. If I didn’t, they probably would have tossed me into the loony bin years ago. That doesn’t really make me a "thinker", though does it? Just a "feeler" with enough sense of self-preservation to know when to stop feeling.

I started this journal entry with the intention of proving that one is not either a thinker or a feeler, and using myself as an example that we are all both. What I’ve actually done is make a pretty strong case for myself being a card-carrying "feeler." But I sure don’t want to think of my life as a tragedy. So let’s just put that quote in the circular file….