NaBloWriMo 2013 Day 26

487600_10100102522805993_1931938180_nSometimes getting away from it all is the best medicine.  Upon leaving my former employer I began to discover as I job searched that I had more time than I knew what to do with.  I realized that I had allowed myself to get swallowed up in the job.  It happens to the best of us.  We turn into workaholics and while sometimes that is a good quality it is a very bad thing to run at full throttle all the time.  So I find myself out of gas and on a very large desert island.

I found that I now had time to write.  I found that coffee shops were something to visit.  And I found my way back to daily conversations with God.  That last one might need some explanation.

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NaBloWriMo 2013 Day 25

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Day 25. DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? I’ve made it this far and nary a mental writing breakdown in sight. Fall has arrived in a rush of leaves, cold and pumpkin spice here in Denver. I will say that I’m not a particular fan of pumpkin in pretty much any form. Or yams. Or sweet potatoes. Yes, I apparently hate America. Or at least the Pilgrims alleged version of American cuisine.

I deplore Pumpkin Pie. Even a healthy or unhealthy dollop of whipped cream couldn’t get me to eat a slice without having a gag reflex. It’s like eating wet paper soaked in flour. Folks are raving about pumpkin spice this and pumpkin spice that and I very much want to throw them in a vat of the stuff to see how they feel. OK, that escalated quickly. I’m just really not that into pumpkin – no matter the seasonal requirements that culture seems to require.

I’ll get odd looks from people when I turn down pieces of pie or shake my head at a pumpkin spice latte. I have to bring my own pies to parties as I’m the exception to the rule. Is there a support group for this? I might be developing a complex.

Kidding aside, I’m very excited for the holiday season. November rolls around and most of us start feeling like being nicer, kinder and more about family than we have all year. If we have a crazy family we either start medicating in anticipation now or stock up on brews for when the blessings from hell arrive on our doorsteps. Thankfully my family during the holidays doesn’t make me want to put my head through a desk, wall or worst case – a door. For those of you who have to deal with that – I hear my home state has some very good substitutes in adult beverage form.

I’ve got six days left in National Blog Writing Month. I’m going to declare victory early as I’ve found myself enjoying the writing of blogs again. It’s a wonderful feeling that will ebb and flow – as it always does and will continue to do so. The thing I’ve learned is to accept that as a regular thing.

This obviously will be thrown out the window next month as National Novel Writing month gets underway. Next month will simply be PANIC, DOOM and DOOMPANIC. Should be fun.

NaBloWriMo 2013 Day 24

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It’s day 24 of National Blog Writing month and I feel like I’m hitting a stride. It might be a staggering stride and I may have started growling like a hangry undead version of myself but it’s a stride people!

Since leaving my job of nearly five and a half years earlier this month I’ve embarked on doing my devotionals on a daily basis. It’s been a welcome return to something I’ve been missing. And that’s been much of what I’ve been stumbling into as I’ve been job searching and soul searching.

It’s a curious and terrifying feeling looking at your life and knowing full well you’re going to have to get a microscope and a team in there to discover what it is that you’ve been missing all this time.

It’s also important to stay positive. I’ll admit this is something I’m not so good at it when it comes to my own self worth. I take failures beyond seriously and tend to beat myself up like a champ when failure occurs. There’s tearing of ritual sackcloth and gnashing of teeth and maybe even a few metaphorical drops of water from my eyes.

I’m sure there’s more things I’m going to find out about myself. I’m on day four and I still foresee there’s ground to cover. When you take yourself out of the equation for five years and allow something else to dictate your direction – it tend to leave a few indelible marks.

In some ways National Blog Writing Month and my departure from my employer have opened up my eyes and heart to the important things in life. There are things that matter, there are people that are important and an entire world out there just beyond the limited view of our vision.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Quality workmanship takes time. And that’s what I am. I’m a quality creation in Christ – and I’m a constant and consistent work in progress. So I’ll humbly drop kick my ego and open myself up to the entire spectrum of employment. Not because of desperation – but because sometimes having a title and Scrooge McDuck level of money isn’t all that important.

So round me up a Huey, Dewey and Louie and let’s grab a map of Middle Earth.

I’m going on a adventure.

NaBloWriMo 2013 Day 23

It’s day 23 of National Blog Writing Month and I’ve not lost my mind or rage quit.  So there’s that.  As I’m out of ideas to talk about I’m going to write some fiction here and see if it sticks.  So there.

 

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IMG_1430Thomas Dahl stood outside interview room 001 with black coffee in one hand and a clipboard in the other.  The girl inside the room had required his attention.  As a Lieutenant in the Cope Police Department he oversaw the Special Investigations Department and from what he’d been able to overhear in the halls – this was one for him.

The one sheet on the clipboard sealed the deal.  A runaway.  Aged maybe sixteen.  And a biter.  That wasn’t what had pulled him from his office.  The ornate wooden staff she’d been found with along with the absolutely confusing manner of speech she’d been uttering since the officers had found her surrounded by five smoking bodies.

Dahl took a long pull from the coffee and wondered if the city could could any weirder.  Thirty five years had been generally kind to the six foot five Norwegian and the last fifteen in law enforcement had gained him a reputation.  One that had seen him exiled from New York for drier pastures.

A understated flash of red hair entered his peripheral vision with a file folder.  Marie Flannery was every bit Irish as Thomas was Norse.  Her coffee came in a thermos, her eyes were daggers of green and a penchant for getting revenge was giving her a nearly legendary status within the Cope Police department.  She was thirty years old and looked twenty.  Dahl resisted the urge to stare at her for effect.  The five foot two sargent was known to punch guys with eyes that didn’t blink when they should.

“Whatta we got?”  Thomas placed his nearly finished cup on a fire extinguisher and accepted the file.  She crossed her arms and gave him a look, “The five guys she killed?  Interpol has been looking for them since last month.  Professional hitters all of them.  Only way we matched ‘em was the DNA.  Fingertips burned off and dentals are all fake.  There’s more but you’ll be bored by the time I start talking about it.”

The broad shouldered Norwegian shook his head as he continued to read, “They were some of the best they could have thrown at her, at least stateside.  I wouldn’t like to see them send the European dogs our way.”  Flannery nodded to the door, “She’s not very talkative.  You might have to beat up a teenage girl this time.”  She smirked and walked away before her Lieutenant could utter a smart reply.  Dahl looked at the door and shook his head.  Cope Colorado certainly had it’s share of the insane.

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More to come next time.

NaBloWriMo 2013 Day 22

This is “A Unwritten Letter”.  Couple of years back this was a fresh emotion playing upon my heart.  This is me writing a letter to the someone to finally close it out.  I may do more of these for National Blog Writing Month.  We’ll see.  Onwards!

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IMG_1100I wish I could have told you how I felt about you.  I wish you could have heard me describe how when I looked into your eyes I felt as I’d come home finally.  I had hoped you’d see what my heart was doing as you walked away or when you smiled.  Or when you did just about anything.  The laugh, the roll of your eyes when you were annoyed with me.  The way you looked beautiful no matter what kind of day you’d had.  The manner of clothing and colors that never failed to accentuate your beauty.

You were something to me.  You probably realized it and did the smart thing by putting distance between us.  The signals you gave were pretty clear.  You didn’t want me that way.

The truth?  You were the first girl that when I hadn’t seen you I felt a strange tugging in my heart.  I realized the terrifying truth.  I liked you and probably more than you would have been comfortable with at the time.  Or anytime.  I clearly missed you.  And that was scary and wonderful at the same time.

But you didn’t want that.  So I quietly buried those emotions, feelings and hopes.  I had to toss some gasoline on it and let it burn for a bit longer than I anticipated.  It helped clean the wound I’d caused in my heart trying to chase you.  I patched it up and walked on down the line.

I still miss you sometimes.  I guess that scar tissue with those emotions will never truly fade away.

NaBloWriMo 2013 Day 21

IMAG0950I podcast to talk about “When God Kills Me.”  The man I talk about is Mark Harp.  His obit is here and his website is here.

NaBloWriMo 2013 Day 20

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It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. That line comes from the famous tome “A Tale of Two Cities” and it’s a book I confess to never having read. I’m not sure how I escaped it through my high school career and limited college experience, but I did.

I recently ended my employ at a nearby metro hospital. I had worked there for five years serving on day shift, night shift and overnights. There are thousands of moments I observed that seem to fit the quote that I used to open this post. There are amazing moments such as a expectant mother rushed from the waiting room to a critical care room and as they’re about to call upstairs to have her moved – her water breaks. The teams are paged, the pounding of feet fills the hallway and within minutes you can hear the sound of a baby’s first cry.

There are terrible moments when walking past that very same critical care room in the emergency department and witnessing the tears and sadness of a family losing a loved one in that moment.

In the middle of those two goalposts are more moments of hope, cheer, love, and encouragement. The stories would probably fill several volumes. That is life at it’s most basic. It is the best of times and it is the worst of times. How we get through it, how we love those around us and how we eventually leave it – that’s the beauty of life.

Let’s make it the best of times, shall we?

NaBloWriMo 2013- Day 17

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I just got done recording a over five minute video punishing myself for missing so many National Blog Writing days. It’s possibly the most terrifying 5 or so minutes I’ve recorded and that’s saying something. I explain in the video – but the short story is that work, sleep schedules and third shift have all been getting in the way – and that’s just fine. Life isn’t meant to be easy or simple. It’s an adventure.

It feels good to be back in the saddle again. Writing is one of my few passions that when indulged does have calming effect on my life. I get my feelings out on paper and off my chest. It’s cathartic in a sense that I’m exorcising the days stress from my body and mind.

I have so many things that run through my head on a daily basis that it’s a challenge to keep it all straight. Sitting down at a keyboard to find a point in the last 12 hours that makes sense helps.

I thought about doing a “Letters Unwritten” series in which I write those letters I kept meaning to write over the years. I’m still hesitating on it but eventually I’ll come to a conclusion of what that idea will look like in a final draft.

Well – not much groundbreaking stuff today. The government is back, so that’s welcome news. We’ll be back here in February of next year so don’t get too comfortable. Armageddon is still just over the next sunrise.

NaBloWriMo 2013 – Day 8

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Photo taken at the University of Colorado Hospital by Aaron DeLay

Every year.  Every year I do this thinking, “This year I can do it without having to catch up.”  And every year I end up behind the eight ball cursing the keys my fingers run desperately across.  It’s the way of the keyboard and you would think I’d eventually figure this out and accept it.  But you’d be wrong.  I’m still missing day four and the fact that I’m still talking about it means that it’s going to stick in my metaphorical craw until I manage to pound that day out of the keyboard and into the internets.  And so goes the life of a NaBloWriMo lifer.

Today is a day I’m thankful for friends.  And it brings to the forefront something I’ve been marinating on for a week or so.

Let’s pause here as I feel the need to explain marinate.  I usually don’t jump to conclusions or shoot first.  I’m a thinker.  I like to take things apart from all the directions (there’s a one direction joke in here somewhere) and examine the nitty gritty.  I’m always thinking on something and it’s why I use the word, ‘marinate’.  When you’re preppin’ the good meat you have got to let that stuff marinate, soak and sit in the custom made juices.  And so my brain needs to do all those things before I can go forward with something resembling confidence.

So I’ll marinate on things until I can make my call – and it’s usually a very decisive one given that I’ve taken all that time and effort.

Unpausing here – we had a guest speaker at our young adult group last week and as a part of her getting to know us gig went around to some of us before service started and queried what we’d want to know from her or ask her to see if we’d be a good match to be friends.  There were a lot of serious and hilarious questions she pulled as she walked around.

The thing that stuck with me is this.  I’m very picky with my friends.  I either want to spend time with you or I don’t.  I work 50 hours a week on third shift.  My time is precious.  If I make the choice to make time to spend with you – that is a huge thing for me.  Making time for folks in a fairly busy schedule that includes volunteer work and church in the middle of the week – it’s a big deal.

Over the last year I’ve met many new friends and reconnected with a few old ones.  And I’ve found myself paring down the people I spend time with – perhaps subconsciously more than I expected.  I have significant trust issues with friends and I also don’t like losing friends which would explain my reticence.  It was still alarming to realize how I was managing my friends or lack of – and it was amusing to take that apart piece by piece this week.

It’s taken 31 years but I’ve finally begun to understand what a friend is – and how that really looks.  Not like it does on television or movies or even in books – but in the big ugly that is the world out there.  I’m still fine tuning (that is a weird expression) my friendships because people do change and relationships ebb and flow.  But I’d like to think that I’ve come full circle from wanting to be friends with everyone and invited to everything to being ok with sitting on the other side of the pendulum nearer to the middle – for the moment.

And so, one more day of National Blog Writing Month is down and another personal discovery is cross off the list!

To sign up or get more details on this whole project there’s a facebook group heretwitter here and a website here.