A Day in Little Washington

The littles and I spent a day in Washington, NC a couple of days ago. We got up early, ate breakfast, packed a couple of snacks and jumped into the car. About two hours later we arrived at the waterfront in Little Washington. First we bought hotdogs at Bill’s Hotdogs. Excellent dogs for a good price, I highly recommend it! Then we walked to the waterfront and sat down at a table and ate them. While we were sitting there a lovely four-year old girl with tight black curls and cute little bows sits with us and just smiles. Her smile is like sunshine and I think how wonderful it is that she can just be a child for a time.

There were some folks fishing from the floating dock. I decided to take the kids down there to see and feel the sea a little better. I ask them if they’ve caught anything yet. “Only a few little ones,” they say. Still, a few little ones is better than none and I’m happy for them. The dock is pretty cool, it goes up and down with the tides and the ramp adjusts from the shore. It was peaceful, relaxing, standing there for a few minutes.

Whenever I go to Washington, I have a sense of peace come over me. I find my steps slow along with my heart rate and I just want to take in the beauty of the place. I love the feeling of the breeze on my face and the sounds of the waves splashing along the sides of the boardwalk. My kids race ahead of me some and I continue to walk quietly. I stop to say hi to a boater, a live aboard like I want to be. We talk some of his boat and how he likes living there. He thanks me for saying hello, talks about how he moves his boat to different places and how if he wants to go to the gulf side he has it shipped for him over land. There’s something for me to learn from everyone I speak to.

Further down the boardwalk we gaze at all of the beautiful boats and start to pick and choose which kind we would like. We’re window shopping right now. There are a few on the hook in the river with dingys to come to shore. No sails are up right now and I wonder if the wind is too strong today or if it’s just because it’s a Monday and that’s the way things are. Most owners are either inside of their boats or at work somewhere. It’s an interesting feeling. I yearn for my chance to live like these and yet I am not jealous nor envious, I only see the possibility and am beginning to understand that there’s really no reason I cannot do the same. I look forward to that day more and more.

As we walk we approach the estuary portion that has been protected. The children lean over the rails watching for signs of turtles. Spitting in the water they wait and watch. I taught them a long time ago that it’s not proper to feed them but it’d be OK to spit and have them come and so the two of them are busily trying to hack up some spit to ‘feed’ the turtles. It’s quite a site and I love watching them. The turtles come, dozens of them. We lose count as we watch them. You can see the little heads from a distance and then when they arrive their bodies are of various sizes. One is a snapping turtle and reminds me of the king dragon in ‘How to Train a Dragon’, he’s so big. The kids ooh and awe and we all watch as the turtles vie for attention. Even the little fish jump at the chance to eat some spit. A lady goes by and says, “It’s not fair to spit, they’re not getting anything for their actions!” She laughs, though, and it’s all good.

As we turn around at the end of the boardwalk we go back to watching the boats. I meet a few more people and talk briefly about Washington and how much I love it here. One man says another place is better since it has more to do but he doesn’t understand how much I need the solitude for now. I’m looking to buy a boat not a house and so when the time comes where I can be with the multitudes again, I can do so. My front yard can be where ever I choose.

We went to other docks and finished our day with ice cream from Scoops. We waited for a rainstorm to pass and then finally made it back to my car a little wet and a lot of laughter. Days like this help to give me life while I go back to my town with its land-locked, high traffic, busyness, that tries to drive me insane. Breathing deeply and marking these sites at the waterfront helps me to make it another couple of weeks back at home.

thank you for reading,

me

 

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What’s it like to be me?

What’s it like to be me? What is my ‘normal’ day like? Lately, my day begins when I go to bed at night. As I finally get ready to go to bed exhausted, no matter the time, sometimes 10, sometimes midnight… I always go to bed exhausted. Then my children think it’s a great time to talk. I love this. I cherish this, they are a part of my heart line and I love to know them… but I’m exhausted, couldn’t we have talked a couple of hours ago? Finally after shooing them away with enough love and hugs I settle down to sleep. It used to take me hours to fall asleep while I had so much on my mind but now it’s so much better. Now I fall asleep within minutes. I wake slightly a few times in the night as the dogs I sleep with decide they are cold and want under the covers with me but mostly I sleep well. Sometimes in the early morning I hear my daughter cry because of a nightmare and I climb out of bed and hold her some for a few minutes and then try to go back to bed again. But once I wake after 4 in the morning there’s really no point in sleeping because sleep will not come. If I wake fully after 2 I will likely fall back to sleep but it will take a while.

When morning comes, often before, I wake up and make my way to the table to have a cup of coffee and to write. I love this hour or two before the rest of the world wakes. It’s my time, it’s precious and it builds me up. I write some on my blog or I write in my journal or both. I never dreamed in a thousand years that I’d be a writer some day. If I have to go to my rotation site then I go get my shower and start my day after I’ve written some and had my coffee. If I have the day off then I write or read until the kids wake up, about 8. I love this part of my life. The next several hours are packed full of doing things. Things that have to be done like laundry, or cooking, or studying, or paying bills, or making calls, or finding someone to fix my car or mow my lawn. Then the evening comes and I start all over again…

That’s just the physical world around me… Inside? Inside is different. Inside I worry and think. I pray and I hope. I hear my child ask for a hug and I give it to him or her. I see my kids avoid life on their computers or phones and I make them go outside. I ask about school and see how they are doing. And I dream. I dream of getting my degree and of earning the top spot in my virtual franchise that I’ve been in for years. I dream of living on a boat and of learning to sail. I dream of waking up to the waves and the rain. Of waking to the sounds of birds and of wind. I dream of living a life that I love. I already love my life, though, but I dream of making it less on physical things and more on the things that truly matter. I see myself as a calm spot in the midst of chaos. I see others being able to rely on me for peace and hope. I see myself being able to provide counseling and love to others. I wonder again why I am in this loveless town so far from the water. I can see myself teaching and I know that I can make a difference in other’s lives.

There’s another part of me that I’m just beginning to understand. I love hard. I’ve always loved hard. What I didn’t realize was that when I do I lose a piece of myself. I need the water and the sea to help me find me. As much as I love people and want so much to help them, it drains me. I need space and openness and the outdoors to refuel me. I really do need the quiet and the sea to breathe deeply. I can feel when someone is upset, and when I do I yearn to help them. The problem is sometimes I can’t help. And often times there are many people all at once. One or two or even five or six or heaven forbid ten or more people whose emotions blast me like a fire. Sometimes that’s what it feels like. How do I function when there are so many? This is why I take my escapes like others take medicine. Without my escapes I cannot refuel and I begin to fall into the chaos with the others. What good am I if I cannot breathe?

thank you for reading,

me

Jealousy? Where did you come from?

And yet another emotion… jealousy. Wow. This one kind of surprised me. But recognizing it I understand and I’m OK with it. (Which also surprises me. I seem to be constantly surprised at how my reactions have changed over the last several years.) So rather than hide from it, from this new feeling, I decided to bravely and carefully take a closer look at it. I somehow trusted myself to be able to handle what I found.

What did I find exactly? I decided to call it jealousy but it’s not a green with envy kind. It’s more of another discard to a point. The man is dating someone and honestly that’s what I’ve been hoping for. I’ve wanted him to get his mind off of me and want to get on with his own life so I wouldn’t be a target anymore from his old life. I’m glad that he’s dating, it’s good. And yet, with the realization of it, I still felt the discard. The reminder that I’m not important to him. Why would I be important to him? I never have been, why would leaving him change that? Silly me.

What’s going on inside, then? Where did this emotion come from? It’s my kids. I love my kids and I want them to have amazing lives and I want what’s best for them. The problem is, I want to be enough for them and I’m not. I could never be, either. Kids need both their mother and their father to develop into healthy adults. Preferably neither mother nor father is a complete jerk, though. I’m worried my kids, especially my youngest, will meet his girlfriend and come to love her as she love me. As if she doesn’t have enough love in her to love both of us! Of course she can. I’m just jealous because of fear, because I don’t want to lose someone else. I’m jealous because I love her beyond my own breath. And my fear is unfounded. The future ahead has so much possibility and it can be good.

How can him dating be good? Maybe she could help him be a better dad. Maybe she can help him clean up his mess and make sure my kids don’t come home with lice again. Maybe she can make sure they actually sleep in their own beds in their own rooms for the first time in two years. Another woman could turn that house upside down and make it a home again. And that would be good for my kids.

And yet? I remember how my life was with him and I remember how he lives and how he behaves and how everything is always someone else’s fault and how I could never in my wildest dreams be good enough for him. I remember how I fell for him and how easy that was way back when. I remember how terrified I was just to go home. I feel sorry for her, if she does choose to stay with him. I pity her for I will not warn her of him. She will have to learn for herself. She’s an adult after all. I pity the fact that if she stays she will wonder what happened to her life in twenty years. She will wonder how on earth she let all of her dreams go. That is if she’s able to. I know so many who have given up on their dreams and died internally. It may be that she is no different from him.

It would be nice, though, to not care anymore. But, that is who I am and I am learning that I’d rather feel how I feel than go back to the chaos. I’m in love with living now and having my down moments is just part of life.

thank you for reading,

me

Being Weird

Weird – out of the norm; state of being that allows unique and unfamiliar traits to be represented; not going with the status quo; being true to oneself; living an abundant life…

I like that word, weird. It’s very useful when you experience an emotion you’ve never experienced before. It’s useful when trying to describe something that is good but completely new. Weird.

I have found that I use that word frequently lately to describe where I am. As I come closer to graduation I am confronted with the fact that I get to choose my life. Weird. I get to decide whether to relocate or to stay local, whether to keep in touch with some people or not. I get to decide if I want to work in a hospital, or a clinic, or a store, or on my own. It’s like I have a multiple choice game, a choose my own adventure kind of life ahead of me. I can decide for myself whether I like the ocean or the mountains or the plains or whatever. I don’t have to do what I’ve always done any longer. The only word for it is weird. Weird.

Why is there no word for being able to choose your own life? Why is it that people typically fall into a place and just make the best, or the worst of it, rather than change the place? Why is it that all of the decisions in the past were based on what other people thought, or did, or didn’t do… why did others pave my path instead of myself? Weird. Seems it’s more common than not that we don’t actually choose which direction we go. Why not?

Why is it we are constantly trying to prove ourselves to people we don’t know or don’t like? Why do we try to do things that we know we don’t care for? Why do we work in places we hate, live in cities we can’t stand, and never ever dream? Weird.

Who is it that decided we would grow up and be a doctor, nurse, teacher, lawyer, game designer, architect? Did we decide it? Did we really choose? Or did we ‘take the advice’ of our parents, our teachers, our peers? Did we try something and fail and decide with only one failure to just give up? Did we decide we weren’t good enough? What a terrible loss! How did we decide to give power to others on how we live our own lives? Why didn’t we just do what we felt best? Why didn’t we get out our hatchets and carve our own path instead? Weird.

I love the word weird. I love being weird. I love creating my own life how I feel is best. I love the fear that comes with the unknown, the knowledge that if there’s a twinge of fear that it’s good, that I will be challenged. I can feel the fear, the excitement, physically. Now that I am learning to listen to myself, my own feelings, now that I am doing that I am beginning to use my body as a measure of which way to turn. If there is a crushing feeling in my chest, if I cannot breathe and my heart begins to break, then I know that is the wrong direction. If the fear is there, the anticipation, the opening of my lungs, the breathing deeply and enjoying the breath then I know that that is the better choice, the better path to follow. All of this time has been wasted listening only to my head, listening to the lies others have told me, and not listening to my heart. Weird.

Maybe we could all be a little more weird. Weird in our own individual ways. Maybe we can actually step up and into who we are meant to be. Maybe we can actually tell it like it is, speak truth in love and let others know how we feel. Maybe we have to start with ourselves. Maybe we need to learn to listen to our dreams, our own individual purpose. There is hope, there is peace but to get there you have to believe. Believe in yourself and trust in your power to accomplish more than you’ve ever knew possible. Let fear be your friend and your guide, who knows what’s on the other side of the bend? It may be a life that you love.

thanks for reading,

me

Ambulatory Rotation

Another month of pharmacy school has gone by, this one at a doctor’s office where I was able to work with an amazing team. Each day we had new people come in to ask questions about the meds, to find out how to get healthy again, to find out how to stay healthy… these people, patients, needed time to digest what their doctors have told them. They needed time spent face to face to go over their conditions and to know that someone was listening to them. We would often spend an hour or more talking with them, getting to know them, finding out their likes and their dislikes, finding out how we can help them take charge of their health. It was humbling.

They would look to us because we understood their conditions and because we understood their medicines. They would trust us when we told them they needed to change something because their kidneys were bad, or because if they stayed on it they’d mess up their hearts. We would help them understand how to take their blood thinners and how to measure their sugars. We did all of this and so much more.

One man came in with blood pressure to the roof and we put him directly with a doctor and recommended what would help right away. An hour later his blood pressure was back down and he understood a little better how dangerous that could be.

One lady came in and just happened to mention she felt like an elephant was sitting on her chest a few nights before, she was there to check her blood thinner. We sent her back for an ECG to make certain she would be OK to go home.

Another couple came in because his blood work didn’t look good, they were scared, they thought this must mean the end is coming quicker than they thought. We were able to give them comfort and reassurance that all he needed to do was change his diet some, drink more water, and have an evening walk every night. Simple things that every one can do to prevent the fears they had that day. His wife began to cry she was so relieved that this was something they could handle.

Another man came in to make certain he wasn’t bleeding internally because of his blood thinner. He had started it because of a blood clot of unknown origin. I see him sitting there and I wonder quietly like the rest why it happened and pray to myself it’s not an early sign of cancer.

Real people, real blood, real dreams, real lives. Dozens of them over the last month. And to think a pharmacist does nothing but count pills? Nonsense.

thank you for reading,

me

Life is for living

Live dangerously. Take chances. Dream. We all come into this world the same way. We all leave it the same way too. We are born and we die. We know how it begins and we know how it ends, why not make the middle more interesting? That’s the living part.

I’m tired of living vicariously through others. I want my own adventures, my own chances to fail. I want to live for the sake of living. It’s interesting, coming to the end of my school career. I’ll be a licensed pharmacist by this time next year. So what am I going to do with it? Who am I going to be? How do I want my life to look in ten years? five? three?

It’s easier to know what I don’t want than to know what I want. I don’t want where I’m at. I don’t want to get up, go to work, wish I was off, go home, go to sleep, and get up and do it all over again. I can hear my ‘friends’ saying, “but that’s what growing up is all about”. I can hear them saying, “get over it.” But I don’t care what they say. I don’t want that and so I am not going to put up with that either. I can hear them again, “you’ll learn” and totally discounting me, thinking I’m naive and that I just don’t know anything.

But I do know. I do know a lot. I’m not a kid, I’m in my 40s. I’m not naive, I have an incredible grasp of life. Maybe that’s the problem? Because I have such a grasp of life and because I understand how amazingly fragile it is, maybe that’s why I refuse to let it slip away unnoticed. I refuse to give up or give in. Not ever, never again.

I will not let my life go unnoticed. I will not let the days slip by without recognizing the love and the pain around me. I write. I write to save my memories and to remember my dreams. So what do I want in the next few years? Freedom, peace, adventure, love. I know something others around me don’t realize. I know that people do live lives they love. I’ve met them and I want to be like them. I’m not saying I don’t love my life now, I’m saying that I am not content to let it be this way forever. I am content that today I will go to work to learn and that I will be challenged and tired. I am happy to do that today. Even tomorrow and so on for weeks, months, maybe even years. What I am not content to do is allow my work life to be my only life. I will play and I will live.

thank you for reading,

me

Random Thoughts This Morning

1 – Why do people find the bad in everything? It seems so much easier to find the pitfalls, the mistakes, the ‘it didn’t work’ parts… why can’t we start to see the great things? Why can’t we see the beauty? I posted on Facebook asking if any of my friends sail. I got a lot of positive comments such that they like to but no one really does. I had two who said they would love to go sailing with me but I’m not sure I’d be in the same stadium as them let alone, alone on a boat… then there’s the one comment “the happiest days for boat owners are the day they buy the boat and the day they sell it.” REally? Then why do people keep buying them? Why do people actually live on them sometimes? The downer really got to me. Burst my bubble some. I try hard not to do that to others, I’m sure that I do but I try not to.

2 – I have a friend who is thinking of leaving her marriage. How can I help her? She sounds so much like me but she’s so much earlier in it than I was. I don’t want her to destroy a marriage that could still work yet I don’t want her to stay in it if it will destroy her drive, her love of life. I can only tell her to trust her heart but I want to make everything better. I think often that marriage should be more of a time limited contract. If everyone thought, “if I don’t straighten up then she (or he) won’t renew” then maybe we’d behave better? Let’s say every 5 or 10 years you have to decide whether the other partner has kept his side of the deal. Has he supported her? Helped keep up the house? Has she helped him? I mean, it doesn’t really matter what the role is, so long as they are agreed upon. And a clause that says you can get out if you find you just aren’t compatible? Why would someone stay if they aren’t happy anyway? My ex was never happy, yet he didn’t want a divorce? That just didn’t make sense to me. If he hated me so much then why wouldn’t he leave? Oh well.

3 – So do I get a boat? I still want one. I still imagine the feel of the boat rocking under me day and night. I imagine waking with the sunrise, or with the storm. They both delight me. I imagine living wherever I want to live, leaving and coming as I please and taking my home with me. I imagine being able to still come to land when needed, working for 3 or 4 days a week and still being able to enjoy my home. I imagine I would be the black sheep of the family, because I prefer my own company to theirs. I imagine living a life of adventure, where I can love on others and I can still have my peace and privacy… I know there will be downers but they aren’t me.

4 – I spent the day outside yesterday, the weather was perfect. I laid on my blanket under a tree and studied and read and just rested my soul. It was wonderful. I so much prefer to be outside than inside no matter the weather. I have two weeks left to this rotation and then I have a month off. It’s beginning to feel as if I might actually make it, I might actually graduate in May. The questions remain what will I do then? I have a lot of the what, just looking for how. How can I convince my family that living on a boat is a good idea? How can I learn to sail without having a boat yet? (I will be spending a week on one in south Florida after graduation.) How can I be sure I’m doing the right thing? How do I get a job that will allow my random, crazy ideas? How can I live the life of my dreams? “Trust my heart, it sees things my brain refuses to see.” The more I trust myself, the more excited I become about living. I never knew how much more life was out there when I was in my dungeon!

And so we all begin another week, another day, another morning. May this week be filled with love and passion and dreams that come true.

thank you for reading,

me