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BY JJ

01/01 Direct Link
Happy New Year! Thatís the first thing I feel like I need to say to people I see today. Whatís it really mean? And why is there so much excitement? This year, I will try to put myself first. It sounds really selfish and if I were in a church that I used to be in, it would be practically sinful to say! But Iím not, so itís all about me! Itís just that I am going to make sure I take care of my needs, so that I can then take care of the needs of those around me.
01/02 Direct Link
January is my birthday month. Usually, I make a big deal of itÖannouncing it, talking about it, writing emails, etc. But for some reason, this yearÖIím lying low. Iím sure I will have others over and enjoy the day, but I feel different. I donít like to be the center of attention. Many years ago, I described myself as a bright star in the sky, but not the brightest. I see myself as a star that helps create the constellation. I like that. I canít remember the exact question, but Iíll never forget my answer. I will celebrate my life!
01/03 Direct Link
My family is always an interesting thing to write about. For now, I will focus on my sister-in-law. I canít even explain it, but there is something that draws me in and something that makes me cautious. There are times when I think, yesÖI want to be friends and talk and share, but then I take a step back and realize no, thatís not what it is. I know there are other people in my life like that, too. It must be me and Iím not sure whatís going on inside my head or heart. Iíll just sit with it.
01/04 Direct Link
Thereís someone else that I just donít like. Is that okay to even write? For some reason I feel bad for writing it. I am married to a psychologist, so the next question isÖwhat is it that you donít like and then maybe itís that quality in yourself that you donít like. So, maybe it is, but stillÖI donít like this person. Sight, sound, thinking about, etc. Name it, I donít like it! As I sit here and re-read, I am laughing out loud. Itís as if I am 12 years old. Oh, wellÖmaybe itís okay to not like everyone.
01/05 Direct Link
I have too much stuff. Thereís stuff in drawers, on the shelves, in the kitchen, in the bedroom, in the storage room, everywhere. Sometimes I look around and almost gasp for a breath. Is it possible to suffocate under stuff? I have recently cleaned out some of it and it felt wonderful. I think the only way to not feel this way is to continue to take a breath and know that I didnít get it all in one day and I wonít be able to get rid of it all in one day, either. One thing at a time.
01/06 Direct Link
I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. I have great kids. Once just wasnít enough!
01/07 Direct Link
Iíve decided to write again. I donít have anything important to say and I donít have any new information, but Iím writing. The month I actually finished all my writings, I felt good. I felt like I had put my mind to something and did it. I was excited about my days, I was aware of my life. For the past few months, I think my life has passed me by. Thatís not to say every minute or every day, but reallyÖits gone too fast. For some reason, I think that if I write each day, I might notice more.
01/08 Direct Link
I cannot even imagine the death of one of my children. A friend of mine lost her son 2 years ago in a car accident. It seems to me that the pain is always there. I wish I could comfort her or let her know she can cry anytime she wants. I think I would begin to cry and never stop. I wonder if that happens to her. When my grandmother died, it took getting into the shower and then I broke down. She lived to be 84! My friend's son was 5...that's it...5! I cry just thinking about him.
01/09 Direct Link
Today is my grandfatherís birthday. I donít even know how old he would be. He died from Emphysema. I remember him always hooked up to an oxygen tube. The tube was long enough to go all the way around his house. The oxygen tank stayed in his bedroom. He smoked all of his life, even when he was hooked up to oxygen. The last weeks of his life, he weighed 96 pounds. He was 6í3Ē. He would cough up stuff into a tissue. He was the man that I have to thank for sharing love and hugs with my grandmother.
01/10 Direct Link
I love the way water runs down my head and onto my body while I shower. It amazes me to watch the drops from my belly form into lines as they begin to touch one another. I have tried to think of a really impressive analogy for the connection between the drops. Sometimes I think of being alone and taking my own path, but then running into other people that show me a new and different way. I think thatís the best one, so far. I like that idea of meeting people that show and take me on new paths.
01/11 Direct Link
I stayed the night by myself for the first time since the robbery. I checked all the doors and locks. I left lights on. I turned on the alarm. I checked every room, closet, and bathroom. I brought the dog in, let the cat out. I put the kids in a room together. I touched the gun to make sure I knew where it was. I kept the phone beside my bed. I said, ďI feel safe and protected,Ē over and over again. And still I had a hard time falling asleep; however, I did it. And I will again.
01/12 Direct Link
As I sit here in the warm comfort of my own home thinking of what I might want for dessert, my friend is wondering if her 25-week-old baby will survive. I feel so helpless and so lame for being so helpless. She gave birth to a baby that was only 24 weeks and 6 days gestation. I think that is the medical term or something. I can sit and ponder, but for her, that is her life. She will never be the same. She lost a baby 2 and a half years ago when she was only 20 weeks pregnant.
01/13 Direct Link
January seems to be a month of significant birthdays to me. Today is the birthday of one of my first friends. The neighbors were building a house and Cindy fell down and scrapped her knees. She and her dad came over to get a paper towel and a band-aid. We were 5 years old. I still remember her hair in pigtails. We would jump on her trampoline, run in the backyards, ride bikes, and play football with the boys. I miss Cindy. Her high school years were hard and now one of her sons has Autism. I hope sheís okay.
01/14 Direct Link
My parents came to stay for a few days. I think I revert back to a teenager when they are around. I donít mean to and I donít know how to stop. I feel like I have to hide whomever I am becoming, maybe knowing who I am or who I want to be would help. I still act the same, talking, laughing, having a nice time, but there is something inside that holds back. I see things in my parents that I want to change in myself and when I am around them, I am not able to change.
01/15 Direct Link
My birthday was great. Friends, family, cake, ice cream, pizza, flowers from my husband, phone calls, emails, cards in the mail. The one day that is all mine is now over. Itís sad that I must wait another year for my special day. I think I should start a special day each month. Life seems too short for just once a year. I will celebrate my life this 33rd year. Who knows what it will bring, but I am just thankful again to be alive. May I live each day to the fullest, knowing that it might be my last.
01/16 Direct Link
I went to the hospital to visit the baby that was born very, very early. Tiny doesnít even begin to describe him. His legs are as thick as one of my fingers, his feet are the size of my thumbs, his head was smaller than an apple, his eyes are covered, he has tubes all over, yet, his heart continues to beat and his lungs continue to fill with air. His parents were told he will probably have brain damage; however, he is their son and they will do whatever it takes to keep him alive. And I would, too.
01/17 Direct Link
I feel lonely. I have been with my children all day, but I havenít really been here. I have been more away than ever. I donít know why and I wish I could put this feeling into words. I wan to know why this happens, how it happens, and most of all how I can make it not happen. As I write these words, I say to myselfÖjust sit with it, be okay with this feeling, donít try to ignore, deny, write off, or figure it out. So, for these moments, I will sit with the loneliness and be okay.
01/18 Direct Link
The pre-term baby I have written about died today. He had a major brain hemorrhage. Chances are, he would have had brain damage and other problems. His parents made the choice to take him off of life support. I cannot begin to think of how they were able to do that. I wonder if they held their breath hoping he would take one of his own. I wonder if they will ever question their decision. I wonder what I will say to my friend when I see her. There are absolutely no words. There is nothing that will help her.
01/19 Direct Link
I love my stomach and bellybutton. There have been times when I havenít loved it. The two times I was pregnant, I was in love with it. Now I just think it looks great. I used to have a mole above it and to the side, but I had it removed. Now I have a scar. I think I will eventually get it pierced, but I donít want to deface it. Itís not perfect, but I like it. When I slouch, there is a roll. That reminds me that I should continue to workout. Maybe someday Iíll have a 6-pack.
01/20 Direct Link
What a day! The first African American President was sworn in today. And two men that robbed my friends and me, will now spend the next 17 and a half years in prison. One is 29, the other is 36. They both have children. They both have prior convictions. They both have made very bad choices, at what cost? How does someone come up with a certain number of years that will make up for the choice they made that one night? My hope is that somehow, someway they will change. Do I believe they can change in prison? No.
01/21 Direct Link
My daughter is a Daisy Scout and itís cookie selling time. Really, this means that I will guilt my friends into buying boxes of cookies that they donít want. There is something about all of the fundraising that seems so wrong. Money after money is asked for. I think itís ridiculous. The same people get hit up each time itís fundraiser time. Hereís my thinking on the whole thing: stop buying stuff. Maybe the troop doesnít need to make 6 crafts that will eventually be thrown away. Maybe the schools donít need the top of the line media center. Ugh!
01/22 Direct Link
When I lived in Pennsylvania, I was determined to see Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day. February in Pennsylvania is very cold. Seeing the groundhog would entail standing out in the cold for many hours with thousands of other crazy people. None of my friends wanted to go! However, somehow I persuaded a few of them to go with me. Long story short, I got very sick and no one went. It saddens me to this day that I was so close, yet so far away! Someday, I will plan a family vacation to see a groundhog look for his shadow.
01/23 Direct Link
How do I like my eggs cooked? Itís a question I have been asking myself since Julia Roberts starred in that one movie. Iím pretty sure the movie is Runaway Bride. Iím bad with names, so I hope thatís right. The part I think of every time is when her character is asked by the reporter, ďwhat kind of eggs do you like?Ē Whatís interesting is that each time she changes boyfriends she changes her egg preference. Growing up, I always ate eggs over easy. My grandmother made them the best. I now choose scramble and Iím not sure why.
01/24 Direct Link
Someone called me an activist. And it made me proud. I would have never thought of myself that way. I was able to get the city to put a crosswalk at my daughterís school. Each day I walk across the paint of the street and I smile. Itís a small thing and who knows if it will really save someone from being run over, but I did it. I would like to be more active. I have ideas, but I donít have a good track record of following through. Life seems to take over and activism falls to the side.
01/25 Direct Link
Love is interesting. I have figured out that there are many types of love. Love for oneself, love for a partner, love for children, love for pets, love for friends, love for family. I love many people and many things in my life. Each one different, but still its love. I know in the Bible, there are many words for love. I wish I could come up with other words for the love I feel. It would be nice to express my true feelings to those around me. I know that I am loved and I am thankful for that.
01/26 Direct Link
I remember catching snowflakes on a black piece of construction paper; I think I was in Kindergarten. To this day, I am amazed. Each one was unique and beautiful. I drove my daughter to school last week and rolled down the window in order for her to catch snowflakes on her tongue. As we walked to the car, I showed her some snowflakes falling on my black coat and told her my story. It is wonderful to pass along something so small, yet so miraculous. Of course, I added that snowflakes are as unique as peopleÖnone are exactly the same.
01/27 Direct Link
My hometown was a great place to grow up. I don't think I will ever live there again. I want to make this town my children's hometown. I want them to have wonderful memories of a place they lived for many years. I want them to have friends that they met in Kindergarten still be their friends when they are adults. I want them to have fond memories of life in one place. I can't imagine moving around and uprooting something so precious. Will my children feel the same way in 30 years? Maybe, maybe not, but I hope so.
01/28 Direct Link
Snow here is wonderful and rare. No school, no work, no plan. I like that! Itís nice to stay in a warm house with the people I love. The kids can play with one another, I can read, knit, or bake. I was able to take the dog on a run in the snow. As we ran, I remembered the days of my running group in Pennsylvania meeting in the middle of town through all the snow. No cars zooming byÖonly the crunch of the freshly fallen snow under our running shoes. I miss those days. I miss those snowfalls.
01/29 Direct Link
I wish I were an introvert. I wish I lived in Colorado. Sometimes, I wish I had short hair. I wish my nose were pierced. I wish my grandmother was still alive. I wish family wasnít so important to me. I wish I were a hippie. I wish I could write a book. I wish everyone could have health insurance. I wish I didnít worry so much. I wish I could have more children, but not all the work that came with it. I wish I could see inside peopleís minds and really know what they are thinking. I wishÖ
01/30 Direct Link
What a day! Sometimes the days are nice and smooth, other times, the days are total insanity. Today was a total insanity day. Nothing specific happened, but nothing specific was wonderful. It is sad to think that if I died tomorrow, this total insane day would be my last. I know, itís morbid to think that way, but I canít help it. There is nothing I can do now about today. I will wake up tomorrow and hope the day will be different. I was calm, I was patient, I even remembered to breathe, but today, none of that mattered.
01/31 Direct Link
Itís hard to not check email 500 times a day. I come to the computer to connect. I open the Inbox and get excited if there are new messages and depressed if there are none. I check blogs, facebook, and other random things. It seems important, however, there are many times when I think to myself, ďwhy are you here, again?Ē The times I am bored, I come more often. I should be doing something else, but what? Playing with the kids? Cleaning the house? Washing the dishes or clothes? I donít want to do that. I want to connect.