Question of the Day

**Note I am currently without my laptop so I am writing this on my iPad. It’s not ideal, and really weird to type on, not to mention the formatting is not user friendly.**

It may come as not surprise but I have a weak spot for journals. It’s quite dangerous for me to go into that section at Barnes and Noble because guaranteed I will find some pretty little book with a dragon or fairy on it begging for me to buy it, take it home and deface it’s pages with my chicken scratch. Then there are the journaling books that offer inspiration or suggestions on what to write. Last spring I came upon on of those entities One Question a Day. The journal poses one question per day for a year. When you finish the year, you repeat the process, same questions, for 5 years. I suppose its to see how your answers change over time. The answers are to be short and sweet. Some questions are silly and others a bit more serious. I thought it might be kind of interesting to choose 10 questions randomly and answer them here.

What colors do you wear most often?

Being that blue is my favorite color I tend to lean towards blue clothing. Shocker. I also tend to pick up a lot of green as well.

What is your biggest fear?

I have a couple phobias but generally I can work my way around those, except pigs. They give me the creeps. As for my biggest fear is something awful happening to my daughter. An accident where she gets hurt or even worse, someone harming her. Everything else I can conquer, even nasty pigs, but harm befalling my daughter scares me.

When was the last time you cried?

Yesterday. I was driving home listening to music on shuffle and Blue October’s For My Brother, from their live album Argue With a Tree came on. Like every other time I’ve listened to the song I was wiping away the tears. I think it’s one of the most achingly beautiful songs I have ever heard. I wish I could find words to explain this song, but everything I come up with is woefully inadequate. I’ll include the YouTube link. Please give it a listen to the end and you’ll understand.

https://youtu.be/RC0tIrHjTIM

What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

There is probably lots of advice I could give my younger self. Mostly, I think I’d want to tell myself back then, to stop being afraid of what others think and take some chances. I wonder if I could just take the attitude, knowledge and experience that 48 year old me has and put it in 23 year old me what that would have been like.

What is one item on your bucket list?

There are still many things I want to see which require some travel. But experience wise? This is tough for me. I really can’t say I want to do anything daring like, sky-dive or drive a race car. I just have no desire for that kind of stuff. I might have to put some thought into this later.

What issue do you tend to rant about?

The general stupidity of humans. This can be anything from politics or terrible drivers.

What is your usual breakfast?

Hot tea, green or black varieties are my preference. Scrambled eggs and fruit, or out meal if I’m feeling not very energetic. I’m not a morning person but I do need my breakfast to be a decent human being.

Who are you surprised is still your friend?

I have many good friends and I’m blessed to have several “best” friends that have been with me for decades. I’m very lucky and I’m also quite surprised that we are still friends. No, its not that I think I’m some unlikable person but I’ve moved around a lot and its quite hard to maintain relationships long distance. There have been times, before social media and texting, where I haven’t heard from one of my friends for a very long time. Writing is hard. Phoning for a phone-a-phobic like me, and some of my best friends, is downright scary. I have discovered this weekend and the last few weeks of visiting with old friends that you pick that relationship right back up where it left off.

What is the oldest thing in your home?

I think it would be the portraits of my 3x Great-Grandparents Caroline and Heinrich Biebeshimer. They came to the United States from Germany, settled in New York for sometime before moving to Iowa. Heinrich was brewer and grocer. He also was a musician. As the story goes, he bought a wooden flute soon after getting off the boat. I don’t know too much about Caroline other than the basic biographical facts. As for the portraits, I’m not sure on the exact date, but I can deduce that they probably were painted in New York around the 1860s.

What part of your body do you like to show off?

I was tempted to pick another random question because this one is just so…bleh. Currently, nothing. Except maybe my fingernails. I recently started growing them out and they are kind of pretty. Other than that I’m really kind of self conscious about my looks. When I was younger I still had confidence issues regarding my body (who doesn’t?), but I was told I had nice lips and I felt kind of good wearing a crop top.

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Life is Short. Time is Fast.

It had been a peaceful evening in the household; the daughter was getting ready for bed and I was starting to pack for my trip tomorrow when the doorbell started ringing frantically. It was the neighbor kid. I won’t go into details but something was amiss at her house and I raced over there to take care of what I could. An hour later things were as sorted as they could be and my daughter and I headed home. Needless to say, the adrenaline is pumping and I couldn’t sleep if I tried. I’d try painting or reading to calm my nerves, but the light isn’t good in this house at night and the current trashy romance novel I’m reading, I fear isn’t a HEA (Happily Ever After) and well, that’s just not going to work. So here I am.

I am going to visit my best friend from High School tomorrow. We’ve not been able to see each other for many, many years we’ve been very fortunate to have able to maintain our friendship. We’re planning on going to see Night Ranger. I used to be a freakin’ huge Night Ranger fangirl back in the day and while my enthusiasm has wained a bit for them over the years they will always be a sentimental favorite of mine. Earlier in the day on my friend’s blog she wrote about the concert and her thoughts surrounding music and the event. Of course this in turn prompted my own thoughts.

Some time ago I saw a meme on Facebook that stuck with me, that said “Life is too short, buy the shoes, go to the concert, eat the cake”. Something along that vein anyway. I used to go to shows all the time in my 20’s into my 30’s. I got to see a lot of great bands, experience some pretty epic music. I made friends, had adventures and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Even if I didn’t particularly like a band it was fun being with my people dancing freely or moshing in the pit.

Then I got married, had my daughter and thought I had to make more “grown up” choices. This was by no means my daughter’s or anyone else’s doing, just some silly notion I told myself. Don’t get me wrong I love being a mom and nothing is more important than this, I forgot all about the balance of things.

But then…2 years ago I woke up to the news that my musical idol, Chris Cornell had unexpectedly died. He and Soundgarden had performed near me not 2 days before, and again, I talked myself out of going. The regret still runs deep. This coupled with the recent illnesses and deaths kind of was like an eye opener. Regret is something I don’t want dragging me down anymore. There are a lot of things besides missed concerts and fancy shoes not purchased that I regret.

So when my friend tossed the idea out me driving over for the concert and for a visit, without hesitation I agreed. No more am I going to let things slide, let life happen and wallow in the regrets of things I didn’t do or say.

Tell your people you love them, that you appreciate them.

Buy the fancy shoes, if that’s your thing.

Have your cake and eat it too, frosting and all.

Buy the damn concert tickets.

Go. Do it.

Seeking the Balance

I’ve been wanting to write this for weeks, ever since a talk I had with my friend weeks ago when we took our trip back to our old college town, but life happens.  I can’t recall exactly what it was that directed out conversation onto this topic so perhaps the how’s and why’s aren’t so important.

The topic?  Balance.

In all things…balance.  You’ve got to take the ugly with the beauty.

There cannot be good without evil; order without chaos. 

There is no light without the darkside.  (Yes, that is a Star Wars reference. Apologies to Han, but I kind of have a thing for hokey religions and ancient weapons).

In order for one organism to live another must die.  The balance of nature, the good old Circle of Life that Mufasa kept talking about.  

I’m not an overly religious person. Spiritual, sure, with a heavy dose of agnosticism thrown in.  I believe there is a higher power (for lack of a better word) but I don’t feel that it’s existence can, nor should be, proven.  I was raised in the Catholic faith and while, I still go to mass and find a certain peacefulness in the ritual I feel that my personal beliefs are more in sync with some Native American cultures.  (“God” is more of a force, an energy, that flows and ebbs through all things. Through the rocks, us, all living things…everything, making everything connected). There is a feeling of balance and harmony that I do not find within the confines of my Catholic upbringing.

For quite sometime my life has been way out of whack, the balance has been heavily leaning towards the negative.  Much of it has not been in my control, and I acknowledge those bits I can’t change. Like a bear out of hibernation, I feel like I’ve awoken from a long nap, and I’m going to start finding my balance, my positive again.  

In recent months I’ve lost my Dad, my Uncle and yesterday, a former student.  My husband’s ongoing battle with depression has been stressful and often has left me feeling wilted and unhappy.  These things are all horribly sad. They are also things that are beyond my control and they are not my battles to fight.  It’s been a struggle at times, but through this darkness I have found my light. The balance I was looking for. It has always been there, its light dulled, but it has always been there waiting for me.  I started painting again and it felt so good! I’ve reconnected with old friends that have brought so much joy into my life. Music has returned, bringing with it exciting new artists. I have a smart, fun kid who likes to hang out with me, even though enforcing the rules and boundaries set up for her, has earned me “The Meanest Mom in the World” title.

 In all things…balance.  Let me not forget this.

What’s in a Name?

Months ago when I was rereading my old journals from college I realized just how cathartic writing had been for me. I won’t claim to be great at it or anything but it honestly helped me work out things that crowded my thinking back then. It’s no secret that my life has been far from rosy these last few years and it dawned on me that I ought to pick writing back up again as its something I’ve missed.

The next step was sharing some of my thoughts with, well, anyone who cared to read them, hence this blog, Is Yesterday’s Tomorrow Today. A place for me to share my reflections, musings, and meanderings.

While the meaning behind my blog’s name isn’t exactly the same as Stereophonic’s song Is Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today? it was most defiantly inspired by the song. (Stereophonics are a Welch band that formed in the early 90s. If you haven’t heard of them, by all means go check them out.)

Don’t Blink

I was going to write about Balance and my personal mantra, “in all things, balance”, but it seemed to be too much of a heady topic to tackle at 10:30 at night. So instead I’m going to write about something that had been on my mind of late, that’s a little less serious. Growing old(er).

Aging isn’t something I really ever thought too much about. It never really bothered me when my friends back in college, who were just a year or two younger than I, nicknamed me “Grandma” and gave me all sorts of crap about being older than dirt. I played along and pretended to be annoyed, but in all honesty it was funny. I wasn’t really phased when I turned 30, in fact, I thought it hysterical. Forty didn’t even bother me, though I think that was more due to the fact that I had 18/19 (ack, math) month year old running around and I was too tired to care.

Now I’m sitting here at 48, my 30 year high school reunion is next month and the big 5-0 is less than 2 years away. I’ve got more white hairs on my head than ever and a crazy urge to cover them all up. I’ve never dyed my hair for that purpose before, only when I wanted a different look, you know? Maybe I should have started using those anti-aging creams a decade ago? It bugs me that I’m even thinking this stuff.

Overall, I feel good, besides the weight issue, but I am getting that under control. Sure I might hear some pops and crackles when I stand up, but my knees don’t hurt; my back seems fine. I’m left wondering why is turning 50 bothering me? I mean, I don’t feel like I’m going to be 50. It feels like some cosmic joke.

Me. 50. How did this happen so fast?

Wally and The Beav

Growing up I heard many stories about the adventures my Dad and his younger brother had as boys growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, such as the time they were playing on a trestle train bridge that spanned the river. They were in the middle of the bridge when they realized a train was coming and that the only thing they could do was to climb down and hang on to the trestles as the train rumbled over them. Once they caught a giant snapping turtle at Brooksie’s Lake and brought it home in the basket of my Dad’s bike. Grandma made them get rid of it. They would torment their older sister with garter snakes, once releasing a dozen of them near where she had to hang up the laundry. More than once Dad told the story about how they’d threw rocks at the bums by the river and once one of the men came after them with a knife. I’m not sure how embellished these tales were regardless they were full of mischief and one wonders how those two ever survived to adulthood.

My Uncle’s health hasn’t been good for many years but he always seemed to bounce back from whatever recent setback he had. I do not exaggerate when I say that it seemed like he had nine lives. We were relieved every time he bounced back.

The last two years were incredibly crappy for our clan. We lost my Dad to complications arising from his PSP and Lewy Body Dementia in March. My Uncle had made a miraculous recovery from his most recent health scare and was able to visit my Dad before the end, however shortly after my Dad’s funeral my Uncle health worsened and he could not recover from this most recent bout. He passed away this Friday.

I am sure that there are many, many stories of the adventures of “Wally and The Beav” that we will never know, but it is a comfort knowing that they are together now and probably up to no good.

Back in Time

I’m rewarding myself this upcoming weekend with a road trip with my oldest friend back to the place we went to college. It’s been a trying last couple of years and I deserve this time away to focus on my own happiness. Selfish maybe?

We’ve made some tentative plans with a friend who still live in the area. Other plans may develop, or not. I plan on an early morning walk around campus and see what’s changed. I haven’t been back on campus since the year after I graduated 20 odd years ago and I’d like to see if I can find my old dorm. I think it’d be a trip to visit the painting lab. Maybe we’ll have breakfast at Mike’s Cafe or some late night cheese balls at Perkins. I’d even drive out to Trailways if it was still open.

Also, the agenda is some Chicken Connection. I don’t know how long this place has been around and if I had to guess I’d say its near forever. Its a simple place that serves basic fried chicken with a side of broasted potatoes with the most delicious sour cream/onion dip. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Simple, inexpensive but tasty college fare. I still dream about those broasted potatoes.

Later on our way back we’re planning to stop and visit other college friends (one of my closest friends and her husband) at their home for dinner. It’s been too long since I’ve seen those two beloved people. I hope to stay better connected with them and all the others who mean so much to me.

It will be a good weekend, no matter what’s accomplished.