25 December 2006 Happy Christmas! I found the day to be quite pleasant overall. I slept in and opened my gifts from my friends before leaving my room. Jan sent Lindt Truffles, a favouite of mine. Flo has brought some the night before, along with some Lindt bars, and I am in chocolate heaven! Mary sent Happy Feet toys and a couple of HF towels. LOL! Halyna and her sister sent a little charm with the thought of Arwenís jewel given to Frodo, and a beautiful hand-stitched cross, a lighthouse calendar, and a silk rose for my hair. My friends know me well. I feel very blessed indeed. I read Pride and Prejudice while my parents decided to get around to opening presents. My younger brother had me this year and his daughters gave me Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Manís Chest. Exactly what I wanted, and he and Amy gave me How to Write and Sell Historical Fiction. Also exactly what I wanted. I couldnít resist reading the preface right away. Iím looking forward to what I can learn from this author. The book is only available used and this particular copy is in good condition with some things highlighted. As I glanced through it, I would have highlighted the same things! Ruthís, youngest, Wayne, got to call from Brazil, so her children here in the valley came for that. She has cowboy coffee cake, and I snagged a piece. Yummy! Bill and Amy and the girls stopped by here later. They got a cat for Christmas. Iím trying not to be jealous. I had a pleasant chat with Amy. I did some writing, and worked more on DrRís tape, that still isnít finished, but itís getting there. I also went to the Lance Armstrong Foundation and made a donation in Sandyís dadís name. Even though Iíve not made the 1,000 miles yet, I will.
26 December 2006 823 miles. I try not to think about how much I miss my baby.
27 December 2006 833 miles. It feels good to be cycling. And somehow Iíve managed to become LoreMaster again.
28 December 2006 Woke up to wet stuff this morning, so borrowed Dad and Momís car. On the way home, I stopped at Bicycle Wheelers and picked up some new water bottles and some new gloves, warm gloves. LOL!
29 December 2006 Goodness is was soppy out there this morning, more so than yesterday! No biking again. I do feel it after a while. My back starts to tighten and my ankle starts to ache. Next week...
30 December 2006 I slept late this morning, and it was a blessedly quiet afternoon. I did manage to washing bedding, including blankets. Thereís something about clean sheets, etc, on a bed. Iíve been doing a lot of reading. When Flo brought my Christmas presents, she also brought a box of romance novels to share. Iím enjoying them and also counting them as research, really! Iím learning what I like and what I donít like.
31 December 2006 The goal for the coming year is to finish Sara and Luckís story.
1 January 2007 Happy New Year! Over at the boards, the question was posed as to whether or not one should make resolutions, and the general consensus seemed to be no. This was my reply: I had to change my perspective on resolutions because, let's face it, I'm making them every day. I get up in the morning and do my work and eat and exercise or I don't and feel it later. A herniated disk in one's low back gives one a definite new way of looking at life. This year, I want to finish the romance novel I've been working on for the last several months. I need to finish it, for me. I want to lose weight so I can fit into the clothes I like, but I have to feel safe first, so I'm seeing a really great counselor. I wanted to do a century ride last year, but found my body not up to it, but not like I expected. My hands, that type that book I want to finish and type my work, were unbearably numb and then tingly after only 23 miles of cycling. However, now (since I have to bike to pick up work anyway) every time I reach 1,000 miles I'm going to donate a set amount of money to a charity. I think Iíll put a little money aside every time I feel like I want to give something but I know I canít afford it, like seeing beggars and knowing that a lot of them pull down more money than I do, only itís tax free, but I feel guilty for not being more compassionate. But I can choose a cause and.... hmmm.... maybe a womenís shelter or child crisis center.... Anyway, I'll be reaching my first 1,000 under this new Quest in a few weeks, but I donated on Christmas Day. It just felt right. I feel better when I eat better, but eating right isn't always easy. I'm also allergic to bran, so no whole grains. So I'll try to be more aware of what I eat and continue to try and not do as much emotional eating (stuffing). I'm already improving on that, so I'm going to keep trying. Growing up the way I did, I've learned a lot about seeing things from a different perspective. I don't want to be in this same place this time next year, I want to be a little better, but I'm not going to get there if I don't at least take a few steps in that direction, even if it's sometimes two steps forward and three or even five steps back.
2 January 2007 842 miles. Oh, my goodness, my new gloves are so warm I was sweating! I had no idea I could stay so warm if my hands were warm! Learn something new every day. LOL! Iím feeling considerably better, even on only four hours sleep. Coming right down to it, my goal, resolution, promise, whatever, is to teach myself to feel safe with myself and trust myself to know when Iím not safe and to know what to do. One of the romance novels I was reading had a heroine that was so much like me it was unsettling. She didnít know how to be a girl either. Clothes were a mystery and she didnít know how to flirt or know if a guy was a flirting with her. That is sooooo me! I mean, I know I flirt, because Iíve been told I do, but Iím not conscious of it and I definitely do NOT know when a guy is flirting with me unless it is really overt and uncomfortable. Ack! I wish I could find a mentor for this kind of thing. LOL! I threw away a plaque today that I have owned for years. Iíve not kept it in my room for a very long time because something about its statement bothered me, and today I figured out what it was. The quote is ďHappiness is Self-Made.Ē Itís a cutesy little handpainted type of thing. You canít make happiness. Happiness exists regardless, like love and faith and goodness. God creates, and we either accept it or reject it. Happiness is a matter of choice, to accept or reject. No matter how cluttered and messy my life is, if I allow happiness in, nothing can deny it. Thatís why Iím happier now than ever before in my life. Happiness is easy, from a certain point of view. Thereís no work involved, only simple acceptance, and as I learn to accept myself I am learning to accept what is good and beautiful that God lays before me. It is always there, waiting to be accepted. He does not take it away when I make a mistake, any more than He takes His love away. He cannot take away, only give. If I feel bereft it is because Iím rejecting something. Now to put the thought to the test, being without MissB I feel bereft, but what I feel bereft of is the happiness and love and joy she brought into my life.... so am I actually rejecting anything? Perhaps Iím having trouble accepting Godís loving comfort, partly because Iím not particularly trusting.... I was going to say in that area of my life, but I have to be honest and admit that Iím simply not particularly trusting; Iíve had no reason to be over the years, though I am learning a different choice, slowly but surely. And yet, those moments of deep sorrow, though they come daily, have not squelched the hope that amazingly continues to flicker, despite everything. Someday, Iím going to have a home of my own and a dog, maybe two dogs, and maybe a cat or two as well, and a yard with flowers and a garden, even if theyíre only little gardens, and Iím going to feel safe. Maybe sorrow is as much a gift from God as happiness is.
3 January 2007 852 miles. Maybe sorrow is as much a gift from God as happiness is. And maybe sorrow is merely a pale reflection of the happiness enjoyed, not unlike a personís shadow. In the full light of day, the shadow is there, not as a hindrance but simply part and parcel of the whole. In the dark, the shadow is gone, but so is the light. My saddest times of the day are just before sleep and waking up, but those were also the unchanging routines. Before I went to sleep, I would check MissB one more time, and sometimes she would notice I was looking at her and lift her head to look back at me. Then, as soon as I woke up in the morning, the first thing was to look at MissB. There is a part of me that says that having a dog is really a very selfish thing to do, not for the dog but for me. I was the center of her world. I miss that, but I also miss taking care of her. Coming home is difficult because thereís no enthusiastically wiggling body wondering how long it will take me to hide a treat for her. And then there are simply moments throughout the day, and yet that isnít really a bad thing because it means she truly was a part of my entire day, not just specific moments. Besides, I must admit that the sorrow is always tinged with a deep appreciation that I was blessed with her for so long. Itís sort of a sweet ache...
4 January 2007 875 miles. There are two puppies available at the pound, both of which I would like to adopt. When I have a place of my own, I think Iíll get two dogs. Iíve also been thinking about the men in my life and come to the realization that there are only three that I have trusted absolutely and still do, none of them related and none of whom ever expressed a romantic interest in me. What is it with me? LOL! I have trusted others at times, but not consistently. Kevin is excluded in this, as he is my counselor, and though I trust him in some ways, he would be pleased to know that I do not trust him utterly. LOL!
5 January 2007 No bike ride, today; woke up to rain As much as I donít care for cycling, I hate more how I feel when I donít get to do it. Interesting discussion with Kevin, though this time it has left me feeling ruffled and questioning.... it wouldnít surprise me in the least if Kevin intentionally did it. I did tell him the time before that I generally come in with life pretty much together for the moment. Iím feeling very unsettled and sad.... Usually, after I chat with Kevin, I feel like some things are settled, but this time I feel like there are many more questions... I'm irritated with myself for backing down on my feelings about MissB. Kevin had asked me if I thought MissB would want me to have another dog, and I told him that I did. He wondered if she wouldn't be jealous, and I told him that if she were alive she would be but I also know he does believe animals have feelings so I tossed out that she probably doesn't care because I didn't want him to roll his eyes at me... I feel like I betrayed myself and her, but more importantly myself... I'm tired beyond words. Thereís so much to sort out.
6 January 2007 I find myself faced with an unexpected dilemma. Talking to Kevin has unearthed a lot of memories, about myself, who I am and what Iím able to do. Thinking of Kevinís belief that animals do not have emotions (which is commonly believed, though how they know is a mystery to me), I think it would be unkind of God to inflict embarrassment on a dog and not open other emotions as well. I remember seeing my brotherís dog excited because he could hear the Harley. The dog would jump up and look out the window. One day, he was a few inches off and jumped up onto the bulletin board, a few inches to the left of the window. That dog dropped down so fast, his head down, and his tail tucked. It wasnít until my brother was in the house that the dog finally got over his embarrassment. It isnít as though he had ever been punished for doing that so the behavior was not learned. Or the first time I left MissB overnight. She was so irritated with me she refused to make eye contact with me for three days. Animals may not feel emotions in the same way we do, but they do have them. What separates us from animals? We are Godís children, made in His image. What more do we need? It seems a bit arrogant to imply that anything else is needed. Clearly, itís difficult to contemplate who I am, and what Iím capable of doing. I dream about people and what is going on in their lives. If I seem to dream about my own life, then itís usually a lie. Unfortunately, the dreams I have of others are usually sad. I donít like them. It happened with one of my friends once too often, so I asked the dreams to be taken away. They were, but now heyíre back, though Iím not certain of the identities of those in my dreams, yet. It was easier to think that Iím simply extremely good at reading others, but there have been too many times when I have known not just what is going on in their lives without them telling me but known what was coming. I donít like doing that either, but there you are., or here I am. Itís unsettling. Itís unpredictable and vague. I suppose I consider it a bit dangerous, for Iíve seen the distrust in othersí eyes. Which brings me to another realization that I donít look people in the eye very often. Itís uncomfortable feeling like Iím looking at the surface only and not seeing the soul within and at the same time feeling like I see all too clearly. Perhaps too, I am able to see into the heart of others better if my own heart is not involved... hmmm... i.e., my heart on a romantic basis only. There have been men in my life that I wondered if perhaps they were interested in something more, but Iím so tuned to a different level.... I donít know. Itís a bit of a relief to stop endeavoring to hide from those intangible qualities that make up such a huge portion of my world. Perhaps itís actually about me becoming a whole person. Iíve always wanted that, and felt I could achieve it on my own. I didnít want to be a half joined to another half; Iíve always wanted to be a whole joined to another whole. There are things I need to come to terms with so I can be whole. Iím working on it. Well, I watched ďAlways,Ē my homework assignment from Kevin, and I donít think we see things the same way. In fact, Iím wondering what in the world he was thinking. The quote I think he wanted me to get was ďThe love we hold back is the only pain that follows us (to the hereafter), and the memory of that love shouldnít make you unhappy for the rest of your life.Ē And.... I agree.... so what is Kevin trying to get me to understand? Yes, I grieved Pawn for four years, but it was partly due to guilt, wondering if Iíd done the right thing. Not so MissB, and though I think Iíll grieve a long time, I donít think it will be quite so long. The grieving would be easier if I shared my life with another dog. I suddenly feel like Kevin and I are not communicating at all. And I have to wait a whole month to ask him to explain his perspective. How annoying.
7 January 2007 God is merciful and takes such good care of me. How grateful I am to Him for all Heís given me. His patience is endless, as is His love.