Looking Forward


plane in clouds

I have come to the conclusion that I will always need something to look forward to. I was born in Seattle and four years later, my dad was transferred to California, and then Colorado, Missouri and Illinois and then back to California where I grew up in a place called  Palos Verdes. When we moved, my dad promised my mom to always send us “home”. He kept his promise, no matter where we were, every summer, without fail,  we would pack our bags and fly to Seattle. So no matter what, I knew that every summer I had something pretty big to look forward to.

I think that I zeroed in on this particular discovery after my daughter’s wedding. I was so focused on the planning and whatever part I played in the tasks I was given, I didn’t have a lot of time to go to that corner of my mind that is clouded with those things that bring me down. When I was a young mom, I did art shows. I created all year-long and knew that almost half a dozen times a year, I had a place to go. I was a part of a creative group of people who added to my life in ways that I am only just now recognizing.

I have been back in the corporate workforce for over a decade now. (Working for someone else.) My husband has turned my art studio into his office and our indoor office into a guest room slash office that was supposed to be where I was going to write.

Not really the place I had in mind inside my head. But I am there now, writing this. The plan was that I would work part-time and start writing my book. I did write my book. But as I have read and learned, I see the flaws and mistakes in it, and well, at least I have the bones. I know the story. I just need to rewrite it. Easier said then done.

blue house

When I was first married, before kids, I had  the sweetest landlord, Mr. Allen, that was working on the house in front of our apartment. It was an amazing craftsman’s style home and I think that he saw that I loved it as much as he did. Everyday, he would take me on a tour to show me all of the things he’d fixed or installed the day before. Good ole’ Mr. Allen, we were buddies.

We had a little agreement that someday, I would move in there. We even shook on it. But I remember talking to my friend who lived next-door and us agreeing that if he ever finished it, he would probably die. His daughter had a friend that wanted to move in there and so she stepped in and thought she was helping her dad by hiring a carpenter to finish it and sure enough shortly later, he died. I have no doubt that we all have the need to contribute and create and when that seizes, we all seem to falter.

I am not sure if I have a great or profound message here. I guess I just needed to write this out for me. To give myself a kick in the butt so to speak and understand that I am the only one who is in charge here. Regarding my health, both mentally and physically. I can’t wait for anyone to do it for me.  I also know that I am a creative person and I need to create again and look forward to something.

I have not shared my; What I Know For Sure-isms…. for a while so here are a few for those sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for more! (JUST kidding!!!)

  • I must always try to keep myself busy enough so that I don’t pause long enough to allow my mind to wander too far away.
  • Only I can create the version of myself that I want others to see.
  • Success starts when you  believe in yourself.
  • Your own opinion of yourself is what matters first.
  • Telling people your plans does not work as well as showing them.
  • I am my only limit…. people have achieved much more with less.
  • The past is a place of reference, not a place that I need to reside ever again.
  • Sometimes what consumes your mind, can control your life.
  • I can live my life with people but no one can live my life for me.
  • I want to live my life in such a way that someday someone says to me:                        “Because of you I didn’t give up.”

 

 


This is my Musician friend’s blog who surprised me with a melody attached to my book I am still in the process of finishing. At first I wasn’t so sure what he was all about… He is very honest, sometimes painfully so… He came in the backdoor and critiqued my posts from the beginning to almost the end. (I have almost 200 so gotta give the guy a lot of credit and a little break! Smile.) He praised some and constructively shredded others. And oh how I have learned. Some kicking and screaming but I mean when someone just reads one post, it is validating! But several at a time, commenting on each and every one, well that feels amazing! Even when he challenged me to do better! Anywaaay~ now I am positive I have found my very own Mr. Holland! (Remember Mr. Holland’s Opus?)
I don’t think he gets enough recognition for his talent so just wanted to share his blog with you.

No Stolen Cat Pictures

Luddite: a person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology: a small-minded Luddite resisting progress.

DVDPicI try to stay current on technology and how it can benefit me. Before 2006 I had ripped all my audio CDs into digital files and while living in Thailand I gave those physical optical disks away. Why do I need them when I have all the quality and contents in one folder of one drive? Similarly I handled my DVDs of movies, ripping them to standalone computer files and discarding the disks. Years later, very recently, Apple Computer is once again leading the industry in eliminating optical drives from their computers; first they lead the charge to smaller hard-shelled floppy drives, then to optical drives, and finally to getting rid of these optical drives altogether declaring them irrelevant.

View original post 611 more words

Dinner For One


I throw the keys on the table as I walk through the door,

keys3

dropping bags filled with groceries as they fall  on the floor~

grocery bags

Listening to your message you left  when I missed your call,

Telling me that you have to stay one more night after all.

 cell phone in hand

The traffic was bleeping crazy so I missed my run,

traffic best pic

I stand at the freezer choosing my dinner for one~

microwave

Funny, I used to enjoy having the house to myself,

woman reading by the fire

But suddenly I feel things, I haven’t recently felt,

“Hey Beautiful” you say sweetly, as you always do~

And tonight , I realize, I really am missing you!

phone message2

It feels good to realize, I don’t want to be alone,

so I leave you a new message;  “My love, hurry home!”

Diane Reed 2013

Cheater Readers


The first time I noticed it, I was in the shower washing my face. I had purchased a new cleanser. It was a light green package with white writing on it. I was not sure if it was the water in my eyes or the small white print, but I decided that NO ONE could possibly read the instructions on that stupid package! Well, a few days later, I decided to pick up a pair of what my dad called “cheater readers” at the drug store and through those lenses I saw clearly. My heart dropped as I purchased a pair and felt very old. That was the first sign of old age. I had not appreciated my youth as much as I should have.

Today, as I walk down the stairs, I creak, when I get up after sitting for a while, it’s not so easy, my double jointed body is not so flexible and even though I have begun jogging again when no one is looking, I don’t think I will ever jump hurdles again. Nope, not even maybe. And back pain is just not something my mom tells me about. I am old. I am that older lady who gave me advice, once upon a time not too long ago, about appreciating my babies who have since grown up!

Time passes so quickly. I remember hearing about the aches and pains of the older artists that I did shows with, and thinking I would NEVER complain like that. I try not to, but NOW  I know what they were talking about! One decade you are wearing size 8 and the next, you are not! What happened? I have learned that it is life. But what do they say? fifty is the new forty? And sixty is the new fifty? Okay well that puts me in the mid forties! And I know, I know, age is just a number. But I have to admit, I am having trouble getting pumped up again. I have my floods of inspiration from time to time, and get on a roll and then slowly, go backwards again. Due to depression or just the negative way I look at things. But I guess if those cheater readers are going to help me see~ then so be it.

Recently, after going all the way up to 35o in the number on my last pair, I relented and went and got a perscription. I guess I was so bad that my doctor told me that if I had gotten in an accident, they could have sued me! They gave me a pretty blue case with a special cleaning spray and cloth and sent me on my way. And oh my, I must say that cleaning REAL glasses puts a much better slant on my view of things. Those cheater readers never seemed as clean as I can get the glass on my new pair.

Maybe there is a little lesson in that. Sometimes we fight and resist the things we know will help us and keep blindly going along until we just can’t anymore. We have two choices, to remain in the fog or reach out.  Finding God again has done that for me. Every verse has new meaning. Every story, a different lesson. And slowly, sometimes very slowly, I am beginning to see things a little more clearly. Who knew that my drawer full of cheater readers that I had lying all over my house could be replaced with one little pair.

Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.  This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”  For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:  “He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn–and I would heal them.”  Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.  Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;  for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
John 12:37-43

Retrospect


If I could describe my life in one word right now, I would have to say it would be Retrospect.

Retrospect:

A review, survey, or contemplation of things in the past. v. ret·ro·spect·ed, ret·ro·spect·ing, ret·ro·spects. v.intr. 1. To contemplate the …

How totally and utterly perfect, I think as I looked up exact definitions of the word! That describes it to a Tee! My life that is, I am in the constant mode of evaluating where I have been.  Carpe diem on the other hand means to seize the day! And that is my quest! To somehow get past all this focus on yesterday and to move forward. Sounds so easy hey?

Once upon a time, I wondered who I would be when I grew up, what I would do, where I would live, who I would fall in love with, I wondered about my children and how many I would have, if I would be a good mother, wife, friend… successful… and wondered what success would look like to me. In other words, my life was just beginning. My pages of my life’s story were just being filled. I was in such a hurry to know the ending. Now it seems as if I reached the ending way too soon. The book has been filled and I am wondering…. “now what?”

I have a young friend that just messaged me from Germany. She is traveling this summer. Ahh to be young again! It gave me a melancholy retrospective feeling of regret for a moment. Wishing that I had traveled more, or at all!

The other day I was walking to the beach with one of my best friends of about 30 years. I was seizing the day so to speak as I fell kerplop like a klutz. When you fall it usually hurts. When I fall, I tend to spring right back up with the kind of adrenalin rush that comes from shock and embarrassment. This time, not so much, this time, it really hurt. In fact, I am still not sure I didn’t damage something in my arm. It made me realize one thing. I may not be “old” but I am definitely not as young as I used to be.

In retrospect, I think I have gone through a few years of what my Therapist and my family might call depression but I think it is clearly me just being stuck in this place of retrospect as I “contemplate things of my past.” After that fall, I have to admit, I was a little fearful of even WALKING! Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me? I am not going to let that fall get me down! (No pun intended!)

Recently, my in-laws bought me a fitbit. It is this little computer chip that you wear to tell you about your day’s worth of activity. I received 2 notifications that I had already earned two badges! This little contraption has re-motivated me to brush myself off and keep going. My in-laws are amazing through knee replacements and back surgeries and health set backs, they are busier than me on most days! My mother in law’s favorite Uncle played a mean game of tennis well into his 80s!

So in retrospect, my nest may be empty and my hard lean body may need a little work and my attitude a slight adjustment but I know for today. I have switched out the word that describes my life from :Retrospect to Carpe diem! Seize the Day girl! Seize the day! Well, excuse me as I slip on my fitbit and go earn some more badges…. I am off for my morning walk!

Who Is Driving Now?


My last car was a stick shift. My husband predicted that I would be sorry that I got it. But with just a year of payments left on it, I am still loving it. I wanted a sun roof too but that’s okay. I walked past a convertable the other day and my heart skipped a beat. Forget the sunroof! I know what I want next! Smile… and sigh… because I know that is not what I really want. What I really want is my youth back!

I remember once when I was about twenty. My friend’s dad had bought an old refurbished T-bird convertable. He wanted to take me for a spin in his classic car to show it off to me. With a “Kenny Nolan” tape playing in the tape deck we whipped around the hills of Palos Verdes. I remember thinking… he is having an affair. His wife was sick and had not been a wife to him for years. It turned out that I was right. I got some of their furniture out of that divorce for my first little apartment. It was very sad.

I remember thinking how old he was and marvling at the fact that he was listening to songs about new love and feeling that it was all very “creepy” at the time. I look back now and have to laugh. He was younger than I am now and that memory has come back to hit me smack in the face. As I find myself in a legitimate Mid Life Crisis of my own. I am officially grieving my youth.                (I had a 1972 FIAT when I was 18)

Recently I have had the opportunity to go down memory lane with an old friend. And it has felt good. To lose myself in the fantasy of the past and what could have been to help numb the reality of today where all those dreams I had to look forward to were lost like that classic little white T-bird. I play my own love songs now and mourn for something more than just an old love but for the girl I was so many decades ago, driving around the hills of Palos Verdes feeling sorry for the old man in the driver’s seat.

Beginning In The Middle


I think that admitting you are middle aged is like turning the light on. Though, recognizing what a full blown mid life crisis is and that we are having one is a little less easy. Sometimes when we are in the dark for so long, we don’t realize that just turning on a light would help us see things a little better. I think that I have been in the dark for a few years now. I would never have suspected that I would be in the throws of the classic symptoms of a mid life crisis and have missed them all together but now as I turn around and look at where I have been recently and what I have done, I am sure or maybe even positive that I have been experiencing just that.

A young girl with a lot of wisdom and research under her belt spoke to me about hormones and the mixture of menopaus and my experience with my now empty nest mixed in with a bit of being stuck in a marriage that seemed to be on a merry go round of excuses and wah lah you have what we define as a mid life crisis. The problem was just how far I took mine.

Stuck in a job that didn’t leave room for a lot of creativity which is what I crave, lost in regret of many areas of my past, guilt about a divorce, anger about a past relationship even  before my marriage that defined much of who I am now, and pieces of my childhood that seemed fragmented into much pain, my current marriage barely had a chance.

Go forward a thousand years and I found myself right in the middle of a profound place of being stuck…. My dad died when I was twenty six. I thought I would never stop grieving over that. I was not ready to lose a parent yet and was devestated. Even today, I can find uncried tears easily when I think of it too hard. Death is difficult at any age, but when it is cut short so early there is something that just never seems right about it. And even though we were divorced, when my first husband died it was all surreal. It didn’t rock my world as I might have thought. It all happened so fast. And I truly think that I am just afraid to go there. To really feel the pain about losing the father of my children, to wonder what if… and the guilt of the divorce. When he told me he was dying, he said something that made me feel that he thought that maybe if we had stayed together, I may have magically been able to stop this from happening… his dying I mean.  I can’t seem to get it out of my head… what he said when he told me he was dying… I said… “I should have stayed with you to nag you about your smoking.” And he said, “I knew you were going to think that.” I didn’t really think that. I just said it, to have something to say in a moment of having nothing. Maybe he thought that. I never knew.

I don’t think that I have dealt with a lot of pain in my life. I think that I have pushed it all away and at times it comes out in anger and in other times bad judgement, as I look for things to numb it. Alcohol and drugs is a temporary fix. I don’t like the way they make me feel after it has all worn off… and so I must go on the journey to find something opposite to numbing the pain. I need to finally deal with the pain and in turn heal the wounds. I have started on this journey and made mistakes along the way… this blog is my way of sharing that journey, my mistakes and in turn, hoping to find some answers for us all.

Turning Pages


Prologue
Reference to real people, events establishments or places are intended to only provide a sense of authenticity and are used fictitiously.
Once upon a time in an age before cell phones or personal computers, Ipods or even taped messages there lived a girl who had a dream, she wanted to be a writer. It was the summer of her sixteenth year when diaries were still in books with locks on them and the secrets were all just dreams of what might be. Images of houses with families inside, behind white picket fences and the hope of what would come next, danced through her head and found their way onto the pages, she wrote late into the wee hours many nights, pouring out her dreams onto the pages in way of poetry. Such raw and corny words, fell upon the pages as the young girl slowly filled the book, waiting for her innocent prayers to be answered, for her prince charming to rescue her and whisk her away into the life she was meant to have.
That old book was packed away, life happened in-between and recently while going through storage boxes the book was discovered again by the girl, not so young anymore, the one who had packed it away so many decades ago. Now much wiser and much more worn out, the woman held that book close and slowly opened the pages breathing in hints of yesterday, flipping through the pages, now yellowed with age. “What’s that?” Her daughter asked walking in the door, finding her mother deep into whatever it was that she was reading. She hadn’t even looked up when Brynne walked in the door nor had she heard her questions, but just the muffled interruption as she stopped reading for a minute.
The older woman looked up and smiled a melancholy kind of mood seemed to envelope her, Brynne was puzzled. Her mom always had the TV on for background company even if she wasn’t watching it. But today, she sat by the fire in silence with a book. Brynne frowned and sat down next to her mom as her mom began reading a few of the pages aloud to her. She stopped to make sure that she had not lost her daughter’s interest back somewhere at the first page but noted that she looked intrigued. Inspired by the attention she seemed to have captured the woman,Keri, explained to her daughter…”I started writing this book when I was about your age.” Brynne listened interested. “I never told you this part of my story she said.” Maybe it’s time I try to tell it to you now.
Brynne, who was always in a hurry curled her feet up under her and grabbed a throw as she settled in to listen to her mom read. Keri began reading, she read a page and then the next one and paused thinking that Brynne would be bored but Brynne motioned her mom to continue reading.
Aperture
Back in the seventies letter writing and phone calls were about the only means of communicating.  Journals were in bound books and writers still wrote their ideas on napkins and then transferred them onto the pages wound tightly in their typewriters. If addresses or numbers or names were changed, finding them again didn’t hold out much more hope than a message in a bottle might. The inventors of E-mails, Facebook,  twitter and texting were  not yet born. Little did we know what lie ahead. But my dad did.
In 1966, when I was about nine, my dad took me to his office filled with huge computers and disk drives and told me….
“Someday all these computers that fill this room will sit on just one desk … and maybe even in our life time, you will be able to hold one within the palm of your hand.”
 My first love recently found me on Face book. Our story is bittersweet. For over three decades I only allowed myself to remember the ugly part of our love story and basically stayed stuck there for all of these years. This story is about it all. (The ugly and the beautiful.)
  Everyone’s first love should be a sweet memory. Now through today’s technology I have recently,  I have been given that gift back again. The message here is not just about the mistakes made by the ones in love but by the adults in their life, the secrets kept, the sorrow and pain of young love lost.
In the seventies, we learned;  Love means never having to say  you’re sorry. I have to modify that today by saying.  Love is all about forgiveness.