Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thank you...

It is my sincere hope to express my personal gratitude to each and every one of you who took the time to comment on my previous post.  Your outpouring of compassion and empathy has touched me in a way that I never expected from an "impersonal" online community.

As a very brief possible explanation for the rather depressing post....I had been given a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication to help me face the oral surgery that I had on Tuesday.  I have a true phobia of dentists and I consider myself quite fortunate to have found one who cares as much about my mental well-being as his pocketbook.  However I do wonder whether these drugs contributed to my Debbie Downer Thursday.  I, who never take anything stronger than Excedrin (and only after I have dealt with migraine pain for over four hours) might have experienced a bodily rebellion of this foreign substance in my bloodstream.  Anyway...I don't pretend to think that the issues that bothered me on Thursday are no longer a bother....but hopefully I have managed to put them into better perspective.

But today as I was reading through some photography books and experimenting with Photoshop Elements (which I feel I will never master) I was hit with another revelation, so to speak.  Bear with me.....

On Thursday I was struck with the overwhelming need to write about my emotions.  Not that I thought anyone cared nor that I expected any response - but I needed to write for me.

Lately I have felt the desire to learn photography.  Not because I am seeking another career late-in-life nor that I feel I have any real talent in this area, but I have needed to learn how to slow down and view life around me through a 2.5 inch screen.  And in doing that I have learned that a slight movement in perspective totally changes the image.  What is cluttered in one picture will become a thing of beauty in another.  I am learning that joy in life is entirely up to me -- how I choose to view it.  And if I don't like the view, then it only requires a slight move here or there to change my mental outlook.

And so here is the revelation of this Sunday afternoon in February.  Both writing and photography are creative ways that I can express myself.  I have kept myself bottled up for so long.  I'm not sure why -- but I have not allowed myself to share my inner thoughts or feelings with anyone.  And I guess after two plus decades of being moot, I now desire to find my voice.

Now for an impatient person such as myself, it is rather frustrating that I cannot write nor take pictures to my own satisfaction right out of the shoot -- but I am also learning that some things do not have to be rushed.  Just because I am over 50 does not mean that I have only months left (I have no idea where that thinking has come from).....but the cool thing is that being over 50 means I have more free time than I ever have in the past.  And I plan to use that free time to its fullest!

So thank you....for taking the time to let me know that the past few months have been stressful and I do need to cut myself a break.  Thank you for reassuring me that my love of reading will return.  Thank you for letting me know that I am not past my prime - and there is plenty of good life ahead.  But most importantly, thank you for listening - and reading - and relating to my feeble attempt to find my voice.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Day of Heartache

I apologize in advance for this rather depressing post - but it has been a rather depressing day and I am not sure that I can get through it without writing.  I have come to learn that writing to me is as necessary as air to breathe.

I find myself floundering today.  I'm not sure if it is because my eldest is moving into her own house this weekend -- a house!  Not an apartment, nor a town home.   But rather she and her husband and child - my granddaughter - are becoming full time mortgage owners of a beautiful house.  And I find myself rather jealous of their perfect floor plan - and rather incredulous that I am this old.  No longer will Christmas mornings be celebrated here -- they will be celebrated there.  And that is natural - and upsetting all at the same time.

And I find myself remembering that this time last year Mom was placed on hospice.  And we had no idea what that meant or what form that would take.  But by March 26th she would be gone.  And there was a part of me that was rather relieved.  I would no longer be the primary care giver and I could relax and focus on my own family for a while.  And instantly the guilt set in.  I should never have been relieved at my mother's death.

And here I am nearly 11 months to the day and I have finally allowed myself to grieve that I no longer have a mother to care for me.  I am the sole caregiver.  I am the mother - and the grandmother - of the family.  And don't think I like that pressure-filled role.

And I find myself at odds with school.  I have had three students quit my Brit Lit class in the past week.  I only had 16 students to start.  I think that must be some kind of record - and not a record that brings pride. I love Brit Lit and give my heart and soul to this class and just isn't enough.  I don't reach them all. And I desperately want to.

And I find that I can't find a book to read!  Me -- the lover of all things literary with a nook filled to the brim with unread books of every genre.  But I haven't read a book in nearly a year and that is rather distressing to me.  That is what inspired this blog in the first place.

And I wonder ..... have I passed my prime?  Is it all downhill from here? I sure hope not...but I fear so.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A New Blog...

Well, I am obviously having a difficult time keeping all the balls in the air.  I am hoping that this is a sign of too much stress in life (hence the semi-sabbatical this semester) and not a sign of aging.  I have too many hobbies and interests that I want to maintain to have to slow down now.

However, as I look at the date of my last post - January 29 - it appears that blogging is finding its way to the bottom of the priority list, and I find myself questioning why.  I love the support, encouragement, and friendship that I receive from this online community; I enjoy writing, especially for a select audience; I still enjoy reading, although that has fallen by the wayside as well.  So if I receive so much pleasure from blogging, why do I seem to avoid it?

Without boring you with all the details, I think inattention to this blog is due, in part, to my attention to other journaling endeavors.  I try to write each morning at and this seems to fulfill that daily need;  the 365 Project  encourages me to post daily pictures, with a short caption, on my Flickr photo stream, and I try to continue to improve my academic writing by working on my Paris Vacation photo essay book.

I have decided to maintain My Cozy Book Nook and use it when I wish to post more in-depth essays or book reviews or teaching commentary, and to create another daily blog for my 365 Project entitled:  2012 Photo-a-Day.  It is very simple and designed to make posting easy.  I simply copy and paste what I have posted on Flickr into the blogger template.  My hope is to utilize the Blog2Print website at the end of the year and create a softcover book of this photo adventure.

So I am definitely not giving up this blog, nor this community, nor my love of reading and writing.  I just might be a little absent over the next few months.  If you have any interest in following my daily photo progress, feel free to visit my new blog - otherwise I will be in touch here from time to time.  And I will most definitely be following your posts.
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