Conceal And Carry

I normally don’t write about guns or politics because this isn’t what my blog is about, but something happened last week that I was very uncomfortable with and I need to write about it.

Last week when I walked into Kohl’s I was shocked to see the butt of a guy’s gun sticking out of the back waistband of his jeans.  I didn’t feel comfortable nor did I want to stay in the store, but I was looking for things for the new house and I didn’t have the time to come back later.

I’m not a gun person nor have I ever been.  I was taught to respect guns.  My dad hunted deer.  He had two rifles and a pistol in a locked gun cabinet in our basement when I was growing up.  He didn’t touch his guns except for to get ready for deer hunting.  My three siblings and I never touched that cabinet or those guns.  They were my dad’s and they were totally off limits.  I mean, break your arm if you touched them, off limits.  I’ve never been involved in any lifestyle where I have needed to have a gun.  I have never shot a gun, been to a range or anything like that.  I have heard of the NRA, but I don’t know who they represent, what they believe in or anything about them.  Yes, I am very naive when it comes to guns.

The guy in Kohl’s was a big, burly guy.  Probably weighed 250 and was about 5″9.  He could have easily taken care of himself  (without a gun) if anyone was messing with him.  Why he had to show everyone he had a gun I don’t know.  Maybe it was arrogance.  Personally, I don’t see anyone reason to have a gun while you are shopping in Kohl’s.  There were maybe 35 people in the store and that’s counting the employees.  I think it was totally uncalled for.

I don’t know why this bothered me so much.  Maybe it was because he could shoot me for any reason and I could possibly die on the floor.   Or that he could have shot anyone in the store for that matter and I would have had to witness it.  Maybe it was because he put me in a situation that I was uncomfortable with and I was a little pissed off.

I don’t care if someone conceals a gun that they are carrying and they are in the same building as I am.  A coworker asked me, Wouldn’t you rather know?  No, I wouldn’t. I feel better if I don’t know about it.  I feel if they are concealing it they are following the rules and are hopefully respectful people and would only use it if they had to.  I understand that this isn’t always the case.

I feel if you’re name is on the blackboard in the sky and it’s you’re turn to die you are going to die.  No matter if someone has a gun or not.

I can see having a gun in your home to protect yourself from an intruder.  I can see carrying a gun if you live in a big city and have to drive thru a bad part of it every day.

When I checked out, I spoke to a member of management about the guy with the gun and knowing that someone had a gun in their store was a very uncomfortable shopping experience for me.  She thanked me for saying something and went to talk to security.

On my way out I forgot to look whether or not Kohl’s had a “No Firearms Allowed” sign post on the front doors of the store.  Usually stores do.

I truly believe if you don’t have a specific use for a gun then you shouldn’t have it or carry it — plain and simple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mailed out the first 50 pages of my novel and a two page outline Wednesday afternoon.

Yeah!!!

I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I’m going to do it anyway.  I’m extremely proud of myself.  I worked my butt off to get it to the Post Office on Wednesday.  I had some problems and wanted to give up several times.  I wanted to give up because I didn’t know why I was putting so much effort into something I probably I’m not going to even get close to winning.  There were other things I could be doing….like sleeping.  I didn’t know why, but I kept typing.  Then I got a comment from ohnaturalgirl125 on my blog that said I inspire her.  That made my day and inspired me to keep going whether or not I was going to win.

Even though I didn’t want to I kept typing.  I kept thinking of how I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo.    I started strong, but things came up and I didn’t finish.  It bothers me that I didn’t finish.   I didn’t want to admit to people that I didn’t finish this goal either.

I wanted to work on it last weekend, but I hurt pulled my bicep muscle while I was sleeping (don’t ask).  I was out of commission for most of the weekend.  I started typing on Sunday after I took three Ibuprofens.  I continued typing my 50 pages on Sunday night.   I edited my outline on paper at work and came home and edited my outline on my computer.  Monday night I stayed up until 2 am and woke up at 9 am and started typing.  Tuesday night I started typing the last 17 pages I needed and on Tuesday night I finished at 3 am.  On Wednesday I woke up at 8 am and printed the outline, the 50 pages and typed and printed my cover letter and got it ready to mail.  I mailed it at 12:23 it was at the post office.

Yeah!!!

I haven’t posted anything this last week because I’ve been focused on my first 50 pages and outline.

My next goal is to rewrite the whole novel one chapter at a time.  Hopefully, I will be able start this in the middle of April at the campground.

After I finish moving…..

 

 

Figuring Out My Inner Critic

This is what my inner critic was babbling in my ear this morning

 

Who do you think you are trying to write a novel?

That sentence is terrible.

I don’t know why you are editing these fifty pages.  You’re manuscript isn’t going to win anyway.

You must think you are better than everyone else.

I don’t know why you are even trying.

 

It’s snowing outside.  We got about five inches of snow overnight.    I cancelled my annual exam appointment this morning so I could stay home and edit my manuscript while laying in bed in my jammies.  I needed a little TLC and downtime.

As I started editing my inner critic jumped in full force babbling all the crap from above and all my insecurities came to the surface.  I felt my manuscript was kinda of blah.  My sentence structure wasn’t the greatest.  I didn’t have the warm, fuzzy feeling that I normally do when I edit.  I felt like there was a dark rain cloud hanging over manuscript.

Usually my inner critic isn’t this loud or critical or if it is I ignore it, but not this morning.  It was hard to edit this morning, but I kept pushing through.  I edited the pages that I wanted to, but I’m not feeling confident about it.

I know the phrases Who do you think you are trying to write a novel and You must think you are better than everyone else are from my childhood.  I’ve wanted to write since I was little.  I’ve always had lofty dreams.  My two younger brothers were always labeled “Learning Disabled” in school and my mom still uses this reference once in a great while in reference to something.  Maybe this is why I haven’t finished my novel because who am I to go after my dreams when they are learning disabled?  It’s just this old shit from my childhood that I need to sift through and figure out.  My brother’s are far from learning disabled.  My angry brother built a truck from the frame up and I’m sure my other brother could do the same.  So why I am holding myself back?  What if I would publish my romance novel?  Would it make me better than them?  No.  Would it make me better than anyone?  No.

I love it (not really) when this crap from the past comes up and I have to deal with it.  Especially when I thought I already dealt with it.  I know I have dealt with parts of it, but not all of it.  This is something I’m definitely going to have to write about in my journal.  I’m grateful for my inner critic today for showing me another brick that can be taken down from my wall of armor.

What does your inner critic say to you?

 

 

To Prologue Or Not To Prologue

 

Last night I didn’t post because I was working on the outline for my romance novel and watching the Olympics.  This morning I thought I could cut and and paste what I wrote below from Word to WordPress.  I thought it would take ten or fifteen minutes to write my post and I would be done.  That didn’t happen.  I could copy my manuscript in Word but I couldn’t paste it in WordPress so I typed it tonight when I got home from work.  You live and you learn.

What I am sharing with you is the Prologue to my romance novel.  I know some people don’t like a prologue and some people do.  I don’t mind it as long as I can relate to it throughout the book.   What are your thoughts on prologues?

I feel like I’m using someone else’s blog post title.  If I am, I apologize.

My Prologue

“That son of a bitch,” Cindi Reeves stormed into the shipping area.  “He’s the reason you didn’t take the job isn’t he?”

Becky Larsen opened her mouth, but nothing came out.  He, the HE, she is referring to is is Becky’s husband, Tommy.  Tears came to Becky’s eyes as she looked at the wall.  What could she say?  It was true.  She didn’t take the job because of Tommy.  “Women shouldn’t make more money than their husbands” were Tommy’s exact words.

“I’m pissed off,” Cindi kicked an empty box across the room.  “Do you realize how I put myself on the line for you?  Management had another person in mind for the job, but I asked them, several times, to give you a chance.  And they did.  And you turned them down.  Now I look like an idiot.”

“I’m sorry,” Becky tucked a piece of blond hair behind her ear as she felt her cheeks get red.  “I really did want the job.”

“Then why didn’t you?”

Beck shrugged.  She really did want the job.  She wanted to move up in the company.  She was excited.  Being on different shifts would be an adjustment on both of their parts, but she thought they could make it work.  Later on that evening, Tommy didn’t share her excitement or her positive thoughts.  There wasn’t a discussion.  He got pissed and told her she was being selfish. Who would make him lunch and his lunch for work?  Why should she get to work first shift and he be stuck on 2nd?  He deserved it more than she did.  He threw his beer bottle and missed the garbage.  It crashed against the counter, leaving broken glass and puddles of beer on the floor.  “Clean it up,” he hissed and walked out the door.

“Why don’t you just leave him?”

“Leave him?  Wwwhat,” Becky stammered as her head jerked up.  “I can’t do that.”

“Everyone knows you didn’t take the job because Tommy had a fit,” Cindi sighed and sat down next to her.  “You are perfect for the job.  Why do you put up with his shit?”

Becky turned her head away from Cindi as she blinked back tears.

“I can see how unhappy you are,” Cindi said quietly.  “Marriage isn’t suppose to be like that.”

Becky nodded.  She admired Cindi. She was a good leader.  Strong yet flexible.  She wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.  She weighed 110 pounds soaking wet, but she didn’t take shit from anyone.  She was happily married.  She and her husband worked hard and as a team for what they had.  Becky wished she had that.

“Just leave and don’t look back.  He won’t find you.  He’s not that smart.  You deserve so much more.  Go find it.”

I can’t leave, Becky thought to herself as she watched Cindi walk away.  Their marriage wan’t the greatest these last couple of months, but she thought they were just going through a rough spot and it would work itself out.

She loved Tommy and wanted to make it work.  She wasn’t giving up on her marriage even if it meant not taking a promotion she really wanted.

It would work eventually.  Wouldn’t it?

 

I’m not entirely happy with it.  It’s only my 2nd rewrite and I know I’ll probably have 500 more before I get to the end of the novel.  I feel that something is missing.

Please leave a comment.  Good, bad or otherwise.  My skin is tough.  I can take it.  If it sucks, it sucks.  I’ll try again.

Thanks for reading my blog and my prologue.  I appreciate it and you.

 

 

Out Of My Comfort Zone

This morning we put a offer on a house.  I’m scared.  Why is it that we dream of things and when they may happen we get scared?

I know part of the reason why I’m scared.  This house is out in the country and 25 minutes away from where I work.    I have never lived more than 10 minutes away from my job and I have never lived in the country.  It means I will have to rearrange my schedule and leave earlier to get to work on time.   I will get home later.  It will take more time out of my day.  On snowy days in the winter the drive will probably suck.

I’m totally out of my comfort zone.

I know once I get into the flow it will be fine.  I’ll get into a routine.  I’ll get to work on time.  I’ll learn how to drive on the snowy, slippery country roads.  Everything will work out.

It sure is easier to be in my comfort zone.  The only thing that sucks about being in my comfort zone is that I am comfortable, but I don’t change.

I want to let go and let the change happen, but I’ve had a lot of emotions run through me today.   At times today I was sad and at other tiem a voice inside my head was kicking and screaming because things might change.  I tell myself to let go and let the good things come into my life, but it’s hard.

I have a plaque in my office that reads:  Do not be afraid of change.  Be afraid of not changing.   Today I’m on the fence with this one today.  I want to move, but I’m afraid to move.

Kinda silly isn’t it?

Yes it is silly.  The offer hasn’t been accepted yet and I’m scared.

The funny thing is is that my husband has been telling me we should go look at the house for the last couple of months, but I didn’t want to.  It’s too far away.  I didn’t want to drive that far.  He talked me into going to look at it last Thursday.  I really didn’t want to look at it.  On the drive to the house I was bitching in my head about having to get up early and that I had to drive twenty five minutes to look at it, but you know what?   I’m glad I did.  I walked out of the house pleasantly surprised.  It’s a really nice house.  It has all of the old country house character.  The crown molding.  The built in shelves and cabinets.   It’s really neat.  I really can see us living happily there.

Cross your fingers that they accept the offer.

I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

 

What Emotions Are You Bringing/Dragging Into 2018?

At the end of every year I look at my life and examine what is working, what I want to change and what I want to achieve.  I have a mental list in my head and sometimes on paper of what I want to change or achieve.

Why don’t I do this with my emotions?

I have wrote about my anger and my brother’s anger over the last couple of months and that led me to think about the other emotions in my life: sadness, hatred, jealousy, happiness, joy, gratitude, love, etc.

I want to bring all of the happiness, success, and hope I can into 2018.  I want to keep all of the happy times in my pocket and remember them in non happy times.  I want to keep all of my successes on my wall so I can look them and remember why and how I achieved what I did when I feel like a failure.  I always want hope in my life.  I always want to find a glimmer of hope in situations where people may say there isn’t any.   I always want love in my life.  I want to tell my friends and family that I love them.  I want to hear they love me.   I want to get and give hugs.  I want to be grateful every day for everything in my life.  I have a lot to be grateful for.

It’s easy to figure out what positive emotions I want to bring into 2018, but what about the negative emotions?  Sadness, jealousy, hatred, and anger.  I really didn’t think I was carrying any negative emotions into 2018, but I was wrong.  I’m going to share what I feel I’m carrying with you.

I have a little resentment/anger because I don’t like the things going on at work and no matter what is said to management nothing is done to change it.  I try my best to ignore it.  On days that it really gets to me I think of my writing.  What project do I want to work on next?  What characters are speaking to me that day?  I write down little bits of dialog or plot and write more about it on my breaks.  I don’t think my job fits who I am anymore.  I don’t think it ever did.  A different way of life has always whispered to me, but I never listened to it.  Until now.  I’m trying to open that part of me up and explore it.  I know that I have stuffed those feelings down, deep down, so they may take a while to come to the surface, but I have to/want to listen.  I want 2018 to be a year of transformation job wise for me.  I hope to get closer to who I am and what my purpose is on this earth.  I feel it is to write and to help people with my writing.  This is what I would like to explore more.

I’m a little angry/disappointed over how my house deal and the two houses we put offers on didn’t work out.  I really would like my own house to put my own touches on.  I wish I could see the whole picture of why we don’t have a house yet.  In the last couple of days I think I have put my finger on maybe a little of why we don’t have a house yet.  My husband’s ex girlfriend and the mother of my two step children.  (She never wanted to get married because she wanted the money at the end of the year, but this is another post or 500 posts)  I/we have always kept under the radar because we didn’t want to get dragged back into court because she wanted more money.  I’ve always looked over my shoulder wondering what scheme she is concocting to screw us over.  I never wanted to do anything to draw attention to ourselves.  Maybe this is why we don’t have a house.  My youngest step child graduates in June.  June 3rd to be exact.  Yesterday I told one of my coworkers that “we get our lives back on June 3rd.”  Wow!  That’s a big statement.  It’s almost like I’ve been putting my life on hold so I didn’t have to deal with her. This is definitely something to write in my journal about.  She’s a bitch.  She has 4 kids from three different men so she doesn’t have to work.    I’m going to stop now.  Yeah, there is definitely some anger here that I need to deal with.

 

In early January my husband and I took my step daughter to Vegas for a weekend to celebrate her 18th birthday.  Spending the weekend with her brought up a lot of emotions for me.  Our relationship hasn’t been easy and isn’t how I would like it to be because of her mother.   We used to have a great relationship, but then her mother got jealous and ruined it.   I feel my step children will never know the real me because of all the lies their mother told them about me.  It hurts, but that’s the way it is.  You can only take getting screwed over so many times before you give up and say Screw It!  I tried, but nothing I did was ever good enough.   I know I’m dragging negative emotions from all of the things that have happened in the past 13 years into 2018.  Now that she’s an adult and will graduate from high school in June I’m hoping I can deal with some of these negative emotions and move on.   I didn’t realize how heavily my emotions weighed on me until I spent the weekend with her.  We did have a good time, but there is that level of distrust that I feel even though I know that she knows how mother is.  Or is she playing us to get things out of us?

I still am a little angry with my little brother.  You all know that.  It’s an on going thing that may not ever get better.  It’s been good lately.  We’ve been texting.  When I stop by my mom we talk and laugh.  I’m pleasantly surprised.

I’m sad because I miss my dad.  I know it was his time to die, but there is still a big hole in my life because he’s not here.  I know this is will always be here.  I don’t think it gets easier.  I think you get used to it.  I know he is with me.  I can feel him around me, but sometimes that doesn’t make it any easier.

Now that I know what negative emotions I’m probably dragging over into 2018 I can deal with them and let them go.  I was thinking I could visualize myself putting them into a hot air balloon and watch them float away.  Or write them on a piece of paper and rip it up into small pieces and flush it down the toilet.

I wonder what good things will come into my life once I let go of all that old crap.  I’ll let you know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Anger

As I watch/deal with my brother’s anger I have to think about my own anger.  I don’t get angry very often.  Let me rephrase that.  I used to not get angry very often.  I was happy go lucky.  That is until menopause kicked in.  I am a little bit angrier now.  I am a lot less patient and most of the time that leads to me getting angry.

At the campground this summer I couldn’t get the anti gravity chair open and almost threw it.  My anger caught me off guard.  My husband or brother calmly helped me open the chair.  They have seen my quick temper, but my brother and sister in law have not.  I was embarrassed and knew I had to get my anger under control.

At work we have a program called EAP (Employee Assistance Program) where you can get five free counseling sessions a year.  I knew I needed help dealing with my anger so I called and made an appointment.  My counseling session went really well.  She talked to me about how to figure out what my trigger points are, what to do when I hit one of my trigger points and the steps I need to take to control my anger.  I had no idea I had trigger points, but the more we talked the more I realized what a couple of them were.  Stupid people.  People who don’t want to work.  Slow cashiers.   I learned a lot about myself and my anger in that hour.   I even received handouts to take home.  It’s nice to be able to refer to something when I’m having anger issues.   I’m a big believer in counseling.  Knowledge is power.  Sometimes it’s very helpful to talk to someone who doesn’t know you or your situation.  I have gone to counseling to deal with things happening in my life, big and small,  many times over the last twenty years.  The sessions are free so I use them when I need to.

The counseling session helped.  Last week I was putting away parts at work and I could feel myself getting angry because I couldn’t find the drawer they went in.  I knew I had a couple of choices.  I could ask for help.  I could walk away and come back when I calmed down.  Or I could get pissed off.  I walked away for five minutes and then asked for help.  I realized in my time out that getting pissed off over something so simple as not being able to find the parts I needed was really stupid.  I’m glad I went to the counseling session because it really helped put things into perspective.  I knew I was getting pissed off and I knew what to do about it.  It ended calmly.

I often think about what my brother’s anger is doing to his health, but is my anger  doing to my health?  No.  I think if it is it is very minimal, but I have noticed a couple of things.  At the dentist office last week my blood pressure was high.  They were concerned.  I wasn’t.  I was late because I had to stop for a train and there wasn’t any place to turn around so I had to sit and wait.  Instead of using that time wisely and saying positive affirmations or doing something positive the longer I sat there the more I got pissed.  The good thing is that I realized what I was doing.  Not right away, but a half hour later.  It’s an improvement.

I grind my teeth when I’m angry.  I don’t know if this is really a health issue, but I can see on the bottom of my two front teeth where I have grinded them.  I have grinded my teeth since high school and I wear a night guard at night, but in the last couple of years I can see/feel that I grind my teeth during the day — usually at work.  I have a little check mark on my desk at work that reminds me to check my jaw position during the day.  If I am clenching, I take a couple of deep breathes and figure out what is making me mad.  Sometimes it something at work and sometimes it’s not.

I know it’s not possible to never get angry.  I know that people/situations are going to piss me off.   I know that when I do get angry I need to keep it under control, but sometimes that is easier said than done.

I want to get back to being happy go lucky.