Ten Years After…

As i procrastinate forge my way into the new year, it occurred to me that it was ten years ago that i wandered into the blogosphere. As a recently divorced woman with an emptying nest, and inspired by a real life friend who was a blogger from the early days, i put a toe into the blogwaters.

10th birthdayFar more disciplined (and less distracted) back then, i generally posted daily – a concept that boggles my mind. That was before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram were available to serve as host platforms for oversharing of the mundane aspects of daily life.  Short blasts, mostly reflecting on my days, i would dig in deep and hoark up something difficult about once a week.

People showed up. i followed a few people, commented regularly, and was honored and astonished when they would stop by my virtual trailer park and leave a comment or two. And they stayed – some of you crazy folks have been hanging around from nearly the start. Others have wandered in for a bit, and wandered off. Even though i’ve been far more sporadic of late, i still see the occasional first timer.

Initially, i expected this to be a somewhat masturbatory activity – spanking my keyboard in solitude. By the end of the first year, i’d made some virtual friends in the blogosphere. In my first year of blogging in 2008, i decided that flying to Europe to meet up with a couple of them was a grand idea – and i did so. Learning much from that trip, i did it again in 2010, meeting up with my two besties from Australia and South Africa and having quite an adventure in Greece for two weeks.

Despite wondering if i would end up abducted, robbed, or skinned, it has all worked out fabulously. The people i’ve found through this blog – and those who have stepped from the realm of the virtual to the real – have been good people, people i am glad to have as part of my world. Those i’ve never managed to meet in person, remain just as real to me.

Somewhere along that path, i stopped considering my blogmates as virtual friends. They are just as real to me as those i see on a regular basis.

From the outset i planned to write for myself, and kept this blog disconnected from my ‘real life’. i do not hump this blog to my friends to drive stats, and it continues to humble me that those who wander in and read are doing so based solely on the words that i spew into the ether…

On this 10th Birthday for The Trailer Park Refugee, i thank you for showing up, commiserating, and taking the time from your day to reach out and connect with a strange woman stranger that may only seem to exist inside of your computer, or tablet, or phone. i assure you, i am real.

The path i’ve wandered for the past decade, documented on this ol’ blog, brought me here… And i’m good – damn good – with where i’ve landed. What will the next 10 bring?

Beats the fuck outta me… but let’s go!

Here’s to a grand year ahead for all of us!

No Regrets

Death.  It is inevitable.  It is closer than we expect.  Always.

My father died many years ago.  He was squared away with his life.  He told me that he had no unfinished business.  Nothing left undone.  “Can’t say I’m looking forward to it, but I’ve done what I wanted and needed to do.”

Go without regrets.  As good as it gets.

Mom?  Not so much.  She fought to the very end — with a ventilator in her throat, she gave a deliberate nod to inform the doctor that she still wanted to be resuscitated should her heart stop during the procedure to unblock her lung.  Three days before she died, she was still calling the shots.  Clearly, she was not ready to go.

i’ve learned a lot while handling her estate.  She did an exceptional job of getting things in order – the big things, anyway.  There are some things i’m discovering that have me scratching my head, but mostly she wasn’t confused about her wishes and had everything in place to make that happen.

i have some work to do… not just regarding the disposition of my estate, but making sure i can go without regret or unfinished business.  This will be a year of mindful attention to that.  Focus on a few items that could potentially be deathbed regrets.

Bridges:  There are people in my life that i have loved, and for whatever reason, discarded or lost.  In some cases, i have no interest in rebuilding the bridge – i feel an urge to nuke it til it glows and strafe it in the dark.  i can count such people on one hand.

There are others… a misunderstanding…  getting angry and closing the door, sometimes without explanation.  My tendency is not always to discuss, argue or sort it out.  i have, on occasion, simply walked away without explanation.  In other cases, it’s just life, distance, and circumstance that has led me away.  People i used to be close to, but our Venn Diagrams no longer intersect on a regular basis.  We’ve just lost touch.

If i were to find myself on my deathbed in the near future?  Suspect i’d have a few regrets about these relationships.  After Mom died, this started to gnaw on me a bit – a couple lost friends bravely reached across the divide to offer condolences. Condolences that were graciously accepted, and appreciated.  i need to work on a few bridges – not to rebuild old relationships in all cases, but to assure that there are no unresolved questions.

Ducks:  i’m over 50.  i have multiple hobbies that are somewhat high risk, i need to get my ducks in a row financially.  Simplify.  Direct assets rather than leave an estate.  No great epiphanies or soul-searching here, i just need to do the work.

This also includes a un-fucking my space.  We still haven’t started excavations on the massive storage locker full of all of Mom’s ‘stuff’.  i do not wish to leave a bunch of useless shit to my children.  The Boy says he’s selling my place fully furnished, all ‘stuff’ in place. Truth is, someone, somewhere, will be stuck going through all of this and i’d like to make it as simple as possible.  So the de-clutter and un-fuckage continues.

Vessel:  Retirement.  The clock is now UNDER three years.  As it looks, i will be able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle without working again.  This is amazing, and i should not squander such good fortune… Travel figures prominently in my future.  More than a week on holiday here and there, there will be months spent on the road.  Chasing the Northern Lights, hiking through the Sun Gate into Machu Picchu, being a volunteer SCUBA diver supporting reef health monitoring in a variety of warm climates….

i must continue to un-fuck my body… the vessel that will carry me forward (with any luck) into some ridiculous adventures ahead.  This is a lifetime thing, not a ‘one year and done’ endeavor.  Having a reasonable exercise schedule ingrained gives me a decent start.

battle cry“Life is short. Death is forever. Nothing left undone. Go joyfully” – Alan Cottrill

This is my charge for the new year.  The quarterly blog updates were helpful – i felt accountable.  i’ll do the same this year – as much for myself as for your entertainment!

 

 

Tao te Drill Sergeant

Digging through digital photographs as i put together my Christmas letter, i was blown away.  It was a spectacular year – one i couldn’t imagine just a few years back.  Adventure, travel, community activism, family, friends and a stunning amount of downright goofy hijinks.  Yes.  Hijinks.  Activities that serve no purpose but to lighten the mood and break the monotony of the daily grind.

Rolling beyond the winter solstice, i am inclined to look forward.  What do i want?  More of this?  Less of that?  Not exactly resolutions… just using the pinning point of a new calendar year to make some gentle course corrections to get me where i want to be…

With the return of The Boy from his first round of Army training, we’ve had fun with “Shit My Drill Sergeant Says”.  My favorite quip is the shortest.  The recruits hustle to get out of bed, shower, shave, and get organized into their uniforms and assemble in formation by 0400.  Taking a look at the congregants one morning, the Drill Sergeant informed them “You have 10 seconds to un-fuck yourselves!”

Un-fuck yourself.

You can blame life, the universe, and everyone else for your woes, but it is entirely up to you to un-fuck yourself.   i am using the Drill Sergeants admonition as my battle cry…

That broken finger from October?  Not healed in December.  Called the doctor, and have an appointment with a hand surgeon.  It’s a ruptured tendon, and can be repaired with surgery.  Time to un-fuck my finger.

Stuff.  i have too much of it.   i’ve made a decent dent in the 30+ year collection of “things”, but not nearly enough.  i hit one closet this week.  The garage is next, where my motorized toys reside.  Too much shit there, too.  With the pending acquisition of a new toy that is 13” longer than my existing vehicle, more space is required.  A little organization of the workbench wouldn’t hurt either.

Time to un-fuck my space.  Give away the unnecessary.  And most of it is unnecessary…

Then there is the matter of my health.  Virtually no exercise, coupled with unbridled gluttony has packed the pounds on this year.  My weight, and general lack of cardio-vascular health, has gotten in the way of living the life i wish to live.  It is well past time to un-fuck myself in that regard as well.  For Christmas, The Boy bought me kettle bells, and will be doing some personal training in my lovely home gym.

It is time to un-fuck my body.

While out on an excursion a couple of years ago, Studley and i found the Alan Cottrill sculpture gallery in Zanesville, Ohio.  We were drawn in by the sight of several bronze sheep seeming to wander down the sidewalk.  One wearing ice skates…

sheep

It was hotter than hell that day, but we toured the gallery.  Climbing to the second floor, we found the bronze sarcophagi the sculptor had crafted for himself and his wife.  Both still living.

sarcophagi

On the side of Mr. Cottrill’s bronze box was the following:

battle cry

It says everything that needs to be said.

“Life is short.  Death is forever.  Nothing left undone.  Go joyfully.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, i’m off to un-fuck myself this year. i shall post a quarterly update on my ‘un-fuckage’.  Happy New Year!

Plus or Minus Five

Five years ago, i first hit the “publish” button on the shiny new blank slate of a WordPress blog.  My stated purpose:

“In a classic sense, i’ve done remarkably well – especially considering i was voted “most likely to be found dead in a gutter” in the ol’ high school popularity poll.

There is, however, a tiny, perhaps moving, boundary i crossed somewhere along the way – averting a likely path into the world of “one bad damn decision after another”.  Part of what i am doing with this forum is to try to understand how that happened…

Parenting two rather extraordinary young adults who share some of my genetics (The Girl, 21, and The Boy, 19), i want to understand how i got out of The Park.  So that i can help keep them out of The Park.”

Those young adults are now 26 and 24, and it is five damn years later.  And still rather extraordinary young adults who probably still share some of my genetics.  And are not in The Park.

Strangely enough, i found myself spending New Year’s Eve doing exactly the same thing i did five years prior.  House dance party, hosted by a friend that i have now known for over 30 years.  Wrote it up in my third damn blog post.

The words i wrote five years ago:  “And my body feels it today… there are certain muscles one only uses for dancing.  Or maybe for…well…horseback riding?  In any case, i was a bit out of shape to survive 4 hours on the floor unwounded.”  Could have been written this morning.  Or afternoon, seeing as i didn’t wake up until after the sun was riding high in the winter sky.

Once again, i danced for fourfuckinghours.  In a smallish costume (due to thermal management interests more than showing of my rack).  And once again, i am feeling it today – in a very good way.

This year, i rang it in with Studley.  Reflecting by the fire pit, it occurred to me that i could pin myself to the exact same place five years prior.  Seven years prior?  i’d met him at a New Year’s Eve party – and it was a casual “drive by” hug that he delivered at midnight that brought us together as friends, and later, as lovers.

Studley:  You know, in five years from now?  You will be retired!  You are planning your last day of work for December 31st, 2017.

daisyfae:  Holy shit!  You’re right!  And i know EXACTLY where i’m gonna be!

Studley:  I’ll plan to be your designated driver.  Pretty sure you’re gonna need a babysitter that night…

And it was off to dance for another couple of hours… Seeing faces i’ve seen for 30 years, and faces i first saw at the November dance party.

i seem to collect good humans in my life – from those amazing childhood friends, to the good people who continue to wander in on a remarkably regular basis, i don’t like to let such people get away from me.  Looking back through the comments?  Some of my regular blog readers have been with me for almost all of that five years – and i am astonished by that fact!

Here’s to old friends – in real life and in the ether of the internet…  And to adventures ahead!  Happy New Year!  Thank you for stopping by – i’m not nearly as sure of what i’m doing out here as i was the day i started, but it feels right.  And so…

and away we go...

Not “resolve” exactly… Not really…

Not resolutions.  It’s more like leaning into the wind.  And a cold fucking wind at that, at this particular moment…  Things on my mind.  Some things that must be dealt with over the next several months…

Books:  “i’m sorry, it’s not you, it’s me”.  i say this nearly every night, to the lonely foot-high stack of bound paper resting at my bedside.  i slyly avert my eyes from the smaller stack that sits beside my comfy chair in the living room.  But this must change.  i’ve nearly completed “The Omnivore’s Dilemma“, which is important reading for anyone who eats. 

Rather than launch directly into “In Defense of Food” (Pollan’s second book, which helps you deal with the problems uncovered in his previous book), i’ve vowed to beat through Dr. James Hansen’s “Storms of My Grandchildren” to get a bead on the science of climate change.  Gonna have to bust this up with some good porn erotica or i’ll be cutting myself by spring…

Body:  Fairly religious in my use of “fitday” last year, i knocked off almost 40 pounds.  But i’m still about 20 pounds short of my goal – which isn’t a weight goal, as much as a body fat* goal.  There is a personal trainer in my near future.  i hate it, and i’ll never be “done”.  Nor will i give up bacon, booze or chocolate.  But onward…

Balance:  i took ‘fucking off’ to an entirely new level last year.  While i need to do something professionally useful, i fully intend to continue my quest to “fart around” as much as possible – But NOW?  With focus and skills development!  Planning a ski trip in February – under the gentle guidance of two professional ski instructors!  Starting “Stress & Rescue” SCUBA classes this week.  Rosetta Stone French is glaring at me from the end table.  Oh, and i never did finish updating my bedroom** when i moved into the new place…  Planning to make new linens.  Yes.  That means “sew”.  Can’t be that hard.  It’s just a bunch of rectangles and squares, right? 

Bed:  My mother is still living on a bed in my niece’s living room – no end in sight.  This is bullshit for all involved.  The war games are underway, and i’ll be infiltrating the Trailer Park this weekend to get the pieces in motion.  And likely come home with a snootful of mildew and cat dander… Mom’s 82.  To say she’s at the “Two Minute Warning” is optimistic.  She deserves a better quality of life than a ward bed in a trailer park flophouse…

Seriously.  These are not resolutions.  i haven’t made a resolution in decades.  Just some thoughts as i lean into the frigid wind.  Suppose it could be worse…. i could be that*** blogger…

It's c-c-c-cold....

image found here

* Due to breast cancer in 2006, when i hit menopause in a few years, i shall go through it without hormone supplements – Commando!  Rather than go to an armored “Menstrual Hut” for three years, i’m going to hit it with everything i’ve got.  Which means muscle.  The best way to weather it is to be strong and lean.  In 2006, i skipped the hormonal chemo, and committed to lose fat.  i’m late.  Should have been there a couple years ago…

** Got the comfy reading chair and fluffy bed.  Need new linens, a dresser, to hang a few items on the walls.  And install the ‘coffee bar’.  Always wanted a coffee bar in my fucking bedroom.  i’m THAT lazy…

*** My blogdaddy.  He’s been working on his graduate studies, amongst other things.  So now he writes about the weather.  But he writes eloquently about it, doesn’t he?