My mom turns 80 today.
For 56 of her 80 years, she’s been the most important person in my life. That’s a heavy burden to bear at times. I have my issues. Yet she never wavers; her love for me is always first. I know she will be there when I need her. I know she will be there when I just want to chat.
Happiest of birthdays, Mom. All my love, Belinda
Ah, life. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.
I finally figured out what I was going to do with the next ten years, and what do you know, a few other people had some input into those ideas…people whose input matters. So the figuring is starting all over again.
But these are people who love me, so not to worry, right?
Yes, I’ve figured out a few things. Life is going to get you, one way or the other. You’re going to have good times, bad times and a lot of everyday, ordinary times.
You’re going to learn and grow (or not). You’ll think you’ve made it, only to find the rug pulled out from underneath you. You’ll think all is lost, only to have it given back to you again.
Those you think are for you will betray you and those you think could not care less about you will save your life.
It’s not all that mixed up, to be sure, or unexpected. But I made up my mind.. and forgot what I decided. And realized, it’s all a process leading to a destination we can’t imagine.
So here I go again.
Image Credit: (Cat) © geosap — Fotolia
I have what some would call one of the most outdated degrees available today: news journalism, formerly called print journalism. We were groomed to work for newspapers.
I’m guessing current journalism majors get a good dousing of social media education as well, but the reality is, by the time today’s graduates with any sort of journalism degree are my age, their degree will also be outdated.
Which leads to this question: why do we go to college if everything we learn, all the knowledge we gain, becomes yesterday’s news in light of greater innovation, broader (or narrower) thinking, changes in what the workplace values?
Because education in and of itself has value.
I went to college twice. The first time I dropped out before graduating, something, quite frankly, I’ve never really regretted. I got what I wanted out of that experience, and if I had graduated, I never would have gone back and completed my education in a field for which I was far better suited.
It wasn’t easy, however, to go back, and when I dropped out, I had to explain my decision to several people in my life who knew that would be the case. Some understood, some did not. One friend was more upset than most, and when I told him I simply couldn’t pursue a degree in something I had no interest in vocationally, he asked me this: “what about education for the sake of education?”
The fact was, it wasn’t a well rounded learning experience at that college to start with, at least, not for me. Turns out that’s true at many colleges and universities. But he was right about the inherent value of education.
Today I no longer work in any field remotely related to my degree, yet having an education is an essential part of my success. You can tell the college graduates from the rest. Even those self-taught individuals, those who know lots of facts and can win any game of Trivial Pursuit, don’t have the polish that comes from the college experience. It is education; it is the process of learning, of deeper thinking, of using logic and research to reach your own conclusions that changes you.
Education for education’s sake.
Photo Credits: (typewriter) © GraphicStock; (Graduation Day) © carballo — Fotolia
“Caturday Night? I’m all dressed up and ready to go!”
So many of you are such wonderful photographers, I feel a little foolish posting these pictures, but I was challenged by a fellow blogger, Laura, from her blog, The View From My Window, to “bring out the beauty of what nature means to me” through my photography. She caught me at a weak moment, and I’m giving in to the challenge.
Sort of. I’m cheating here, and pulling out some favorite photos from a year or two ago, taken at the bed & breakfast I work at here in Bella Vista, Arkansas. It’s a wildlife preserve in addition to being a great place for a little getaway, and we have birds, oh my, we have birds…
Bill, one of the Inn owners, fills the bird feeders with various forms of gourmet bird meals (I’m sure they’re gourmet, Bill serves nothing but the best) just about everyday. Of course that means there are a number of plump squirrels waddling about, plotting their next move. Despite their girth, those squirrels remain very adept at climbing, leaping, swinging and other acrobatic feats necessary to get The Food.
I sometimes wonder what my cats would think of this wonderland of flight right outside the kitchen window. I’ll never know, since cats are discouraged from the area around the bird feeders. They should be, for their own safety as well as the birds, because coyotes also frequent the neighborhood. Or so I’m told — I’ve never seen one, but I believe I’ve heard a few. (And after all, who brings their cats to work?)
Any of the rest of you interested in taking part in this challenge, check out Laura’s site. My approach admittedly is a little on the, how shall we say, quieter, side, but you avid photographers may want to make a more full-throttled job of it!
(Laura is only one of my blogging buddies whose photography I enjoy, in fact, she’s only one of my blogging buddies named Laura whose photography I look forward to seeing! Thank you all for your work and for bringing your visions to us. I’m so often inspired by your photos.)
I really want to forgive you. Maybe. Frankly, that’s a gift you don’t deserve. You turned a blind eye to even the possibility of the truth, and instead chose to believe weak stories given to you by others, people who had a clear motive to convince you of falsehoods. You used unprofessional conduct and gross abuse of power in an effort to raise your profile before others. You preyed on my weaknesses, and I’ve paid a high price for it.
Who are you to do this to me?
The problem is, all that my anger is doing is making me unhappy. Yes, I revel in the thought of your undoing, but that’s not likely to happen. Is there karma at work in this world? Is it true “what goes around, come around”? As comforting as those thoughts are, I’m not sure the world is that equitable.
And if it is, what did I do to deserve what happened to me?
You’re not worth my thoughts, my passion anymore. Forgiveness isn’t a matter of grace from me, it’s a matter of moving forward. Of course I have constant, in-your-face reminders of what you did. It continues to jolt my life today.
It minimizes my life, and my future. It puts me at risk. That frightens me, and now I’m angry again at your arrogance in thinking you had the right to do this to me. Then I remember the people I respect think the same thing of you I do. They know who I am, and they know who you are.
I hope I’m truly able to forgive you soon, for it’s the best thing for me. It gives me back my power, and I plan to claim it. Soon. But by the same token, I hope you’re held accountable by the ones deemed proper to do so.
Since originally posting this I’ve come a long way. Yes, there’s still some anger, but it’s a tiny pest now, not a hulking monster. Time and a desire to move forward help. I won’t say forgiveness is easy, especially when the unwarranted damage has such serious and long-term consequences. And I stand by my last sentence above.
Image Credits: (lady justice) © Kanvag – Fotolia; (key to forgiveness) © Ksishchenko – Fotolia