partly: (Perk)
I was once described as being "aggressively optimistic". It seems an accurate description of me. I like to see the positive side of things. I enjoy the silver-lining and I will fight to find it.

Don't misunderstand this. I know that bad things happen in this world. I know this because they have happened to me. They have happened to people I know. People I love. The world can be a hard and cruel place. Wil suffers from depression, so I know well how dark the world can become. I don't pretend these things don't happen, I don't ignore the bad or the evil.

But I always come back to a quote by Victor Frankl, holocaust survivor: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”

My response is always, ALWAYS to try and surround myself with the positive. To fight until I can see some sign of good. Until I can BE some sign of good.

I don't succeed all the time. It's damn hard work to be positive in the morass that life can become. I'm easily influenced by the emotional context around me. I tend to self-doubt and self-recriminate. I am both stubborn and fearful. My fight/flight response is equally balanced and rarely makes my first reaction in any bad situation a good or positive one. I am very, very good at running through scenarios in my mind and thinking dark and dangerous thoughts.

But while I have no control over my initial reaction -- over my fear, over my inadequacies, over my overwhelming desire to just pretend that it didn't happen or to obliterate the problem utterly -- I have complete control over my response. As Victor Frankl says therein lies my growth and freedom.

So yes, I fight to be positive. I fight to do good. I volunteer with the youth of my community. I donate what I can to the local food pantry and HAVEN. I work for my Church. I praise good when I see it. I comment on it to those around me.

I fight to see the good. I am sure to note the number of good, hard-working teenagers I see at the store. I appreciate the neighbor who snowblows my front walk without being asked or being thanked. I admire the group of children who can play quietly (more or less) at a table while their parent waitresses a night shift and I greatly admire a business that allows them to do that.

I fight not to fall into the "It's all about me" mentality that seems to be all the rage these days. I try not to indulge in sarcasm or the belittling of those I disagree with or don't like. I remind myself that it's petty and often cruel to get pleasure out of the misfortunes of others.

It doesn't always work. A brief check of my journal will demonstrate that. But at the same time, I don't write done every slight or injury done to me. In two months -- hell, in two days -- I won't remember the small annoyances of the day, why should I record them here where they lurk waiting to reinfest my life at some point?

Which, in the end, probably makes me a lousy journalist. I know the thought is to write it down and get it out. Only I've always thought that written words were permanent and thoughts are fleeting. In my half-full world view, I'd rather let the bad thoughts flit right away. Of course, if I would take the time to mark down the good ones more often, life would be even better.
partly: (Lassiter)
I haven't posted here for a while. The holidays do that to me!

Life has been stressful.

I'm still jobless. Don't really have anything to say on that front, except if I hear one more person say that the reason people are out of work is because they don't want to work, I'm just going to hit them. I think I have that right. And, for the record, immediately saying to me, "I know that's not true for you", won't help you any.

We went down to visit Wil's mom in the middle of last week. It was the only real time off Wil had and we pulled Myr out of school to do it. Kathy has a brain tumor and we don't know how much time she has. My family isn't big on "talking things through" -- hell, I'm not big on talking things through. This isn't a problem, we're not walking bundles of unresolved issues, we just work things out internally before verbalizing them. Or we try to. Mostly, personally, I hate talking about things until I know what I want to talk about.

All of this, though, has triggered Wil's depression. After doing so well these past few months, it's a bad(ish) spell. I hate the feeling of helplessness this brings. There's nothing I can do to help, I know this, and yet I feel that there are a thousand things I can do to make things worse. *headdesk*

Myr is swamped with school. And all the stuff she's doing with school. It's all good, really. But she is a senior and that means that next year is college. And me without a job -- I mentioned that, right? She only wants to go to the UW-Madison, or the UW-Marathon Center if we can't get her to Madtown (which is a frighteningly real possibility). Still, she's having a great senior year, more fun than I ever had in High School. And all the things she's doing outside school proper. She'll do well, whatever happens, I just hate to think that its me who is holding her back.

As for me, I'm having a hard time focusing. I can't seem to motivate myself. Being out of work isn't exactly confidence building. There's only so many "sorry not interested" replies you can get for jobs that you're overqualified for before it starts to eat at you. Yeah, I know, whine, whine. There's a million people who have it worse -- probably including people reading this. So I will stop feeling sorry for myself now.

I have done some writing lately. I was booted off the SPN_LAS, but I did well in both the FOX_LAS and USAnetwork_LAS. I have a bit of fic to post. I've been hanging on to it for no real reason. I'll post some tomorrow.

Christmas is on the verge of happening. The tree is up but the decorations are still in boxes. Tomorrow may be a good time to do that, too. I do focus better when the sun is rising.

There's fandom posts to be made, too. And a Yuletide story to be written. Plus I'm trying to consolidate all our digital media to Wayne Industries (the new external hard drive I have). Then there's a bit of sewing that I haven't been able to get over to my moms to do. Somewhere in there perhaps I find something of real value that I can do.

So is the status of Partly's life.
partly: (Badgers)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] stickers83

If only because she's Minnesotan!

1. Go to Google (or Yahoo) and type, "You know you're from (your state) when..."
2. Cut and paste the list.
3. Bold the items that apply to you.


I just nabbed one of the many out there.

Subject: You know you're from Wisconsin if...

The town you grew up in had a bar called Ma's Place. No but as a child I did eat chili at a bar called "Shorty's"
You know how to polka. Doesn't everyone?
The FFA was the most popular club in high school.
You know what knee-high by the Fourth of July means. And it's only up here North of the 45th that it really means something.
You know it's traditional for the bride and groom to go bar hopping between the ceremony and the reception. It is. I didn't but a lot of people do. Free drinks to the wedding party, usually.
You know that there is no "r" in Wausau.
You were delighted to get a miniature snow shovel for your 3rd birthday. I got a set of mounted antlers for my 3rd birthday and still love them.
You can recognize someone from Illinois by their driving. Duh.
You buy Christmas presents at Fleet Farm. Of course, why wouldn't you?
You are a connoisseur of cheese curds and find anyone unfamiliar with them to be frighteningly foreign. Very frightening.
You get irritated at sports announcers that pronounce it "Wes-con-sin."
You own at least one cheese head.
You spent more on beer than you did on food at your wedding. Actually this wasn't true for us.
You know that Kaukauna is NOT an Hawaiian Island.
You hear someone use the word "oof-dah" and you don't immediately break into uncontrollable laughter.
You think fast food is hitting a deer at 65 mph.
You or someone you know was a "Dairy Princess" at a county fair.
You know that "combine" is a noun.
You know what a FIB is. Ha!
You know that pasties are not articles of clothing. I have some of these in my freezer right now. Homemade.
You let your older siblings talk you into putting your tongue on a steel post in the middle of winter. I was much smarter than this.
You think Lutheran and Catholic are THE major religions. As I was neither Lutheran nor Catholic, this wasn't true for me.
You can tell the difference between "real Wisconsin cheese" and "that Illinois stuff."
You know that creek rhymes with pick. Doesn't everyone?
Your class took a field trip to a brewery...in second grade, Borden's in third and the cheese factory in fourth.Never did the brewery, but I have toured a cheese factory or two in my life. Still buy most of my cheese directly from one.
Football schedules are checked before wedding dates are set. They are checked before any big event, along with hunting, fishing and trapping seasons.
You can visit Luxemburg, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Berlin, and Poland all in one afternoon.
A Friday night date consists of taking you girlfriend shining for deer. Saturday you go the local bowling ally.
At least one kid in your class had to help with morning chores. I had to help with morning chores.
You have driven your car on a lake.
You can make sense out of the word "upnort" and "batree." And it's often "upnort" that the "batree" fails.
The Packers will always be better than the Vikings, no matter what the standings are. Damn straight.
You know that De Pere is not a wooden structure extending into "Da Lake."
You can leave your ice cream in the car while you go into Fleet Farm, and it won't melt. Well, not in summer. (Usually)
You always believed that vacation meant "going up North."
At every wedding you have been to, you've had to dance the hokey poky & the chicken dance.
You know what a bubbler is.
Your definition of a small town is one that only has one bar. Goodrich!
Your local gas station sells live bait. - As do some of the drug stores and the liquor stores.
At least twice a year, the kitchen doubles as a meat processing plant.
You laugh aloud every time you see a news report about a blizzard shutting down the entire east coast.
Your mom asks, "Were you born in a barn?" and you know exactly what she means.
You include beer as one of the major food groups.
You know which leaves make good toilet paper.
Your sexy lingerie is tube socks and a flannel nightgown.
You are a member of the Polar Bear Club and proud of it.
You think that the start of deer season is a national holiday.
You learned to drive a tractor before the training wheels were off your bike.
Your bank has the name of your town included in its name.

There is usually a comment in these things about the difference between "pop" and "soda". It actually varies across the state, in my little neck of the woods, it's 'soda' or 'soda pop' but rarely pop alone. But we're smart enough to understand both.
partly: (Perk)
Well, actually not. But I've friended some new people as of late and thought I could do a little "get to know me post". However, since I'm incredibly lazy about such things, I'm really just going to end up linking to posts that let you know about me.

I updated my Bio at my User Profile page not to long ago and I really think that it's the best summary of who I am. So, if you haven't already, start there.

For more detail I did a list of "100 things about me" many years ago. They are still all true, more or less. You can read it in parts one and two.

Things that may help understand my current state of mind.

  • I'm currently unemployed. I have been since January 1st. Life is squeezing me very hard, right now. My more recent posts illustrate the frayedness I'm feeling. I'm a positive person, though. So we'll see how it goes.

  • My daughter, Myr, is currently a junior is high school. She is still the coolest person I know. I think teenagers are awesome. She is handling this incredibly stressful time of life really, really well. I don't brag about her enough, and I'm not sure if that is possible. She's an artist, a musician, and a scholar. She is kind, thoughtful and self-aware. I love her more than a little and like her more than a lot.

  • My husband, Wil, is also very cool. We'll be married 21 years this October. He currently works at Sears, which is wonderful. What's not so wonderful is that he is an artist and while he's good at his job, it's not what he'd love to be doing. He sacrifices, though, especially with me being out of a job. Life is tough all over, right? We do alright.

  • I like to fancy myself a writer. Not sure I can do that. I've written more in the past week than I have for months and I'm happy with that.

  • I'd love to find a way to earn money at home. While I'm sure that everyone's dream, bringing in a few extra dollars right now would ease the stress. Yes. The not working thing is eating my brain! I am, however, looking at starting an etsy account. I'm rather crafty, my daughter even more so. We'll see how it goes. I'll let you all know when the account is set up.

That's more than enough useless info about me.
partly: (Battle)
The day is turning out okay. I should start there.

It's one of those good news/bad news intros. Kinda like when you call someone and the first thing you say to them is "Just know we're all okay". That's the good news, you see. After you share that bit of info, you go back and fill in all the problems/bad news that happened.

The bad news. )
partly: (Christmas Cow)
there was scheduled to be silence.

Wil had to work, so he was going to be gone from 9 until 4. Myr was having two friends over, but they were going to leave at 9 and spend the day filming their little horror movie for English class. As for me? I was going to be writing because I have fic due in, ah, five days.

My plan: wave goodbye to husband and daughter, drink lots of coffee and write, write, write. Oh, there was cleaning the kitchen, making chicken soup and jello jigglers in there, too, but they are minor things that can be done around writing.

After a day of good writing and food making, we were going to go see Holmes at the local theatre

What really happened (so far) )

So goes life when you're a mom. I'm just glad that the roads are better, all the kids are having a good time, Myr has her ring and the movie is actually getting filmed.

Life is pretty good. It just never goes as planned.

Play day!

Nov. 7th, 2009 05:34 pm
partly: (Bliss)
Just got back from the musical 1776, as put on by the Wausau Community Theatre. It was totally awesome and I now have a mad crush on the character of John Adams. This information I'm not sharing with my daughter because he was played by her music teacher. *grin* It is a completely wonderful musical and everyone did a terrific job in it.

Now, in just under an hour I get to head out to the Merrill High School production of "Curse of the Bard". Myr didn't try out for any parts, but she is backstage crew. Today is the final performance and I better see one of them.

It's been a very artsy day.

Life rocks.

Ah, crap.

Oct. 10th, 2009 02:01 pm
partly: (Desolate)
My daughter needs a new computer. We've tried limping along with older models but both Wil's and mine aren't up to snuff when it comes to some of the things she needs to do. So today I ordered her a new one. An expensive one -- a macbook pro. I looked at the cheaper window laptops, but by the time you figure in that she has to be able to do graphics and work with the full version of photoshop and the hassle of all the anti-virus and the complete insanity of the windows OS (that you can pay extra to have stripped down to just being the OS and not all the extra evil stuff they put in) the Mac is not that much more expensive. And it's a hell of a lot more reliable. My ibook is over 10 years old and runs OSX. There isn't a windows machine that can match that.

I did mention that I'm losing my job in December, right? We can't afford this type of purchase, not really, and not having a job in two months means I should be saving money. But she needs this. She does. She's got an online Latin class that she has to get moving on and our computers just aren't up to snuff. And hell, in two months, I'm back to not knowing if I can afford rent, right? Not chance of getting her anything she needs then.

The worst is, after two-and-a-half years of working at a solid job with reasonable money, I thought that we'd finally turned that corner and I'd be able to provide what we need. And I know I have no right to complain. I know that. Everyone tells me that. It could be so much worse. I've got it better than most everyone. I know I'm whining and everything. I know that I have no right to feel sorry for myself.

I was just so close. And it hurts.
partly: (Home)
I had a wonderful weekend. It started a day early, as I had off on Friday!

Myr and I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop, drinking lattes and reading. The evening was spent watching all the shows that we've been DVRing in the past weeks. Perfectly lovely.

Saturday we slept in and then headed over to my folks to help with the Easter Feast that we always have. In between making roasts and ham and potatoes and salads, I also helped set up the new digital picture frame that my mom just bought and help install drivers in her new computer. Just before we left we made a large batch of doughnuts. See, for some reason lost to time, we always make doughnuts on Easter. "Danish doughnuts" from a recipe that my grandmother used. They are a raised doughnuts, that you make the day before and let raise overnight.

Myr was doing the children's message at the 10:30 service, so we headed out to the folks early to cut out the doughnuts and let them raise. Then it was Church and back out to the folks to get dinner ready. Then we made a absolute ton of doughnuts. There was good food, good company and a beautiful Easter Day!

Now we are home, watching Man From U.N.C.L.E. and have enough food to last us this upcoming week.

Life is good.
partly: (*glee*)
As it's my birthday, I thought is only right to post my Birthday Wishes here.

All I wish for on my birthday:

I wish for you all to have a wonderful day.

I wish for you to hear birds singing in the trees so that you know whether it be 20 below or 60 above (both of which have happened on this day), spring is just around the corner.

I wish for you have a conversation with a complete stranger -- be it the person who sells you coffee or the one who is waiting in line with you. I wish that you would share something that will make you both smile and that you will walk away thinking good thoughts of someone you may never see again.

I wish for you to give the person who cuts you off the benefit of the doubt and think good thoughts about him/her rather than swear and fill your space with negative energy.

I wish for you to hear your favorite song at the perfect time for you to sing along with it and I wish that everyone who hears you share in your joy.

I wish for you to find that favorite item that you thought lost forever -- be it a pen, book or penny.

I wish for you this day the ability fight the prevailing negative images in the press and wish for you to see that most people are good and just, that they are all trying their best and that they want the best, not only for themselves, but for everyone.

I wish for you a warm word from a loving friend and a fond memory of a lost loved one.

Most of all I wish for you a day full of win because that is how life should be.
partly: (Grow)
I am at the little coffee shop here in town. We had just been to the library and have nothing scheduled for the rest of the day. Myr is reading a book and I'm working on the computer. Every so often we stop and chat with each other or with people who happen to be walking through. The coffee is good and refills are free. The scones are de-lish and only a buck fifty. They don't mind if I plug in my computer and the wifi is open.

An elderly couple (the Ws) from our church came in for lunch and when I went for a refill I stopped by their table and we had a nice chat about writing and memoirs and genealogy. As is the norm in a small town, they wanted to know how Myr was doing (she waved at them from where she was sitting) and then we talked a bit about my folks and taking continuing ed courses at the UW-Marathon County (in Wausau). As I left, Mrs. W said "Say 'Hi" to your mom for me. She's one of my very, very favorite-ist people."

Hee. I totally love that. I thanked her, assured her that I would do that and told her that my mom was one of my "favorite-ist" people, too. I get back to my table and Myr grins at me. "Very, very favorite-ist" she whispers to me, her eyes dancing.

I know there are drawbacks for living in this small northern town. There are things that I need to work on in my life. Problems and concerns that I need to address.

But I get to spend an hour or two with my daughter. Drinking coffee, people watching and being social. I may always have more week left at the end of the money, but I can buy a coffee once in a while.

All in all, life is damn good.
partly: (Broken)
At the end of last week, Wil unexpectedly learned that he would have the entire weekend off. Which considering it's the weekend before Thanksgiving and Wil works at Sears... well, you get the picture. We decided, on the spur of the moment, to head down to Madison and spend a great weekend relaxing.

However the trip was both much shorted and much more exciting than planned. Also to add: not very much relaxing happened.

Wil worked until 9:30 on Friday, so Myr and I drove down to pick him up and head out. Myr, who just got her driver's learning permit two weeks ago, drove all the way down and through Wausau to pick him up. Then she was going to drive for the next couple of hours until we made it to Portage.

So, you ask, when did it get exciting??

Shortly outside of Stevens Point we were passed. That car edged slightly into our lane just as Myr edged slightly into theirs. Myr corrected, then corrected again, but the car was sluggish and then went into a spin. we ended up backwards in the ditch. We didn't flip and the car was still running fine when we stopped. It turns out, however that a lengthy skid on pavement and into the frozen ditch is very hard on tires. The rear tire was off the rim and the front one was chewed up pretty badly. Yeah. There were a whole lot of things that could make spinning off the road at 60 mph a whole lot less happy.

By the time we got out and decided that we were all fine and took inventory of the car and tired, the gal who was passing us when we spun out circled back to see how we were (very nice of her). She had already called 911 (even nicer of her) and she said she would wait until help came (can't get much nicer than that). A sheriff's deputy should up about a minute later. She called a tow and she checked everything out and made sure we were fine.

All told we were towed out of the ditch and in the tow garage in under an hour. We had been hoping to be able to change the rear tire and drive home, but the front tire had also decided to go flat, so we opted to have it towed to a near by garage. They could fix the tires and put it on the lift to make sure there wasn't anything else wrong with it.

Turns out that the ball joints were bad. They could have sustained some damage in the spin out, but most likely they were going bad before. Since the ball joints, I'm told, deal with the steering, they could have contributed to the wipe out. I have noticed that the steering seemed a little spongy lately, but was putting off getting it looked at. Yeah, I know, dumb move.

Anyhow, the only damage from the wipe out was two tires. Since that was way under the $1000 needed to report an accident. So YAY. Of course, that means no serious looking into what caused the accident. We will never know exactly what happened. But since no one was hurt and we still have a car, it really doesn't matter.

Myr is much better today than she was yesterday. She did drive us to the movie theatre on Thursday, so that horse has been rode. She is also dealing with what might have happened very well, although she did say to me "You are being awfully nice to me considering I almost killed you and Dad." I told her that that type of thing is true, but that it didn't bear thinking too much about.

In any case, life isn't bad, despite the cost of repairs. (OK, I really want to whine about the cost of the repairs and the fact that I really can't afford them. But I will just leave it at that.) The biggest drawback to all of this was that we didn't get to visit [livejournal.com profile] finabair. *pout*
partly: (Elf)
Life is better when viewed in the morning after a night's sleep.

Myr practiced her clarinet this morning and pronounced that she felt she no longer would be banned from band for her bad playing. She felt better and thought that the play would be good. Machiavelli was still boring, but she thought she had enough information to get a decent grade. She even managed to get a shirt for the play. All before 7:45.

I managed to scrape together enough change to buy a coffee (the cheap but good Kwik Trip kind). I got play tickets for both tonight (with my mom) and tomorrow (with my hubby). I paid all the pay now bills that I need to send off today. I also got gas at the only place in town that still didn’t do the 10 cent jump to $3.05. I still made it to work on time.

Score one for my “It will be better tomorrow” promise. Yay!
partly: (Dayslikethis)
Actually this qualifies as a week like this.

Life is rough all over. )

Stress

Nov. 2nd, 2001 09:50 am
partly: (Prayer)
Dad went in for some tests today. Went in at 7:30. Should be out by now.

No ones home.

*sigh*

I'm trying not to worry, but its a worrisome world as of late.

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partly: (Default)
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