This Is Your Life

In response to the Daily Prompt “This Is Your Life“, If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.

This prompt reminds me of one of my favorite movies, “Stranger Than Fiction.” The story is about a man name Harold Crick who begins hearing narration of his life while an author, Karen Eiffel tries to finish writing her book. Harold tracks down the author and is able to read the draft, which is the story of his life. Harold is supposed to die, and the author is know for creatively ending the life of her main characters. Ultimately, Harold accepts that he will die, though, the author comes up with alternate ending which allows Harold to live. I love this movie and appreciate that it was filmed in Chicago, allowing me to see familiar places. I think it is an underrated movie, and I really like that Will Ferrell is both funny and serious in this movie. Check it out!

courtesy of dvdactive.com
courtesy of dvdactive.com

I would not want to read a book that would detail my whole life, and the movie “Stranger Than Fiction” is as close to this as I would like to be. You are supposed to live life as it happens. No one, except for God, has the ability to predict and know what you will do, where you will go, who you will meet and when you will die. Even when your life seems to be going on a certain path, it is still uncertain because things can change moment to moment. Life is about the ride and is full of unknowns. As someone who likes to have a general idea of what I will do each day, I know that stuff just happens and that I cannot plan for everything, whether it be the weather, traffic, my to-do list, or natural disasters.

The only thing I know for sure is that I love Boyfriend, our cat and my family, and that they love me. I know that Someone great than each of us created this world, and that I can only try to live the best I can each day.

 

Road trip!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Trains, Planes, and Automobiles.”

On my own to one destination across the country, I would likely opt for an airplane as I did for my recent NYC weekend trip. It made sense to keep the travel as concise as possible on a relatively short visit with my Brother and his girlfriend, especially with the real possibility of crazy rain or snow between New York and Texas. Also, for this reason, I fly nonstop, as I don’t which to be stranded at an in-between spot due to bad weather somewhere else.

However, I see the value of a road trip, especially with someone you love AND get along with. this very important when you are driving through the middle of nowhere confined to an enclosed space! Boyfriend and I have taken many road trips, some for fun but also for family reasons and moving to Texas.  Also, it is important to like driving because the trip will not enjoyable if driving is a chore. Taking periodic breaks helps.

Two of our road trips lasted about two weeks and involved multiple states. The Southern Road Trip took us to Louisville, KY;  Lynchburg, TN; Atlanta, GA, Hattiesburg, MS; New Orleans, LA; Houston, TX; San Antonio, TX; and Austin, TX before we headed home. That road trip taught me lessons about planning with friends you haven’t seen in years and involving them integral parts of your trips because this trip should have included Columbus, MS and didn’t because we left Hattiesburg unexpectedly and kept going. The details need a post of their own, enough said. The Mountain Time Zone Road Trip took us to Colorado State University/Fort Collins, CO; The Royal Gorge/Canon City, CO; Billy The Kid/Fort Sumner, NM; Santa Fe, NM; Moab, Arches National Park/ Moab, UT; Utah State University/Antelope Island/Salt Lake City/Ogden/Logan, UT; Bear lake and Idaho State University/Pocatello, ID; Grand Tetons National Park/Jackson, WY; and South Dakota State University/Brookings, SD. Whew!

Two months later, we took a short trip around the Midwest to Mankato, Minneapolis, and Duluth, MN and to Winona, WI. The Mountain Time Zone and the Midwest trips were taken to help Boyfriend and I determine to where we wanted to move but we chose the Great State of Texas over the rest for many reasons. If we had not driven to and around some of these destinations, we have missed out on some really cool things and also the things that would help factor into the decisions we made.

I like having a semi-structured plan on our road trips with room to add destinations we hear about or to re-route if needed, which is easier to do driving than it is with coordinating flights to multiple locations. Boyfriend is very good with a map and he has navigated us through a good portion of our American adventures.  In fact, we have only been lost using printed directions from MapQuest and Google. So much for technology!

We technically took a road time this past summer but it was just to the Chicago area and back to Texas due to Boyfriend’s mother’s death and for him to tie us loose ends. I only hope we can plan another fun road trip for summer 2016, but I know we plan to take a few short trips around Texas to state parks or to Fredericksburg.  We have only lived in Texas for a little more than two years and there is much left to explore!

How do you like to travel?

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

Blogging 101 Day 11 School’s out…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fifteen Credits.” If you’re in school, are you enjoying your classes? If you’re out of school, what do you miss about it — or are you glad those days are over?

I am out of school, and earned my Bachelor’s degree in August 1999. I briefly returned to community college 2011-2012 to take health and fitness classes, which were really interesting but turned out not to be useful for me. The upkeep on a fitness certificate with CEUS, the liability insurance, equipment if you work independently, and low pay if you work at a big-box gym. However, I use some of the knowledge in my current job but didn’t see the payoff for the money I spent.

As I have mentioned in other posts, I have a psychology degree… period. I don’t have a master’s degree, and I am not licensed. To be successful with a psychology, a person likely needs to commit to getting a doctorate or will need to pair their psychology degree with a counseling related master’s degree. They might even want to go in another direction, I’m just sayin’…

I have known many people in the social services/social work/juvenile or criminal justice fields return to school to get a few extra letters after their names at a pretty BIG price, one which I am not willing to pay. Some of these intelligent, hardworking people owe $50,000-$100,000 when they are done to only end up earning $40,000, unless they move into administrative or management rules after putting in their time. Clearly, they made these choices not with the intention of getting rich but of making a difference in the community and in the lives of others. Those that chose to go the counseling route did so as part of a long-term plan to eventually have a private practice.

If I were to go back to school, I would study journalism or something tech-related, possibly programming or coding. Writing has always been with me and a part of me. I like to research things that catch my interest, which a journalist needs to do to build and flesh out a story. I like blogging and would like to know more of the technical side, such as how this blog does what it does, and how to make it show pictures a certain way, change the font, how to position words and pictures in different locations on the page, etc. I like knowledge, information, and news in all forms.. even the news I don’t agree with can teach me something.  Journey through lifeI don’t regret the opportunities I have had to help others and learn about people. I don’t regret all of the youth I was able to listen to, encourage and, hopefully, give the motivation to see past their immediate environment to the future. I don’t regret the lessons I have learned, but I wish I had listened to myself and had confidence in what I thought my path should be rather than taking others’ path and living with what-ifs.  I think that some of the people in my life would have found me all the same because they, especially Boyfriend, were meant to be there. I am starting to listen to myself more and to be myself because life is a journey.  Boyfriend and I have done some travelling and exploring together, which has opened me up to new world. The two pictures that rotate at the top of my blog are from these adventures! My blog, thus far, has also been an adventure and I hope you join me for the ride.

A Dog Named Bob

Daily Prompt from 06/10/15: You have 20 minutes to write a post that includes the words mailbox, bluejay, plate, syrup, and ink. And one more detail… the story must include a dog named Bob

A blue jay flew by my window as I licked syrup from my plate. I had a taste for scrambled eggs, since the two pancakes I ate were not enough. Through my open window, I could see that the sun was shining, the birds were chipping. The temperature, 90 degrees, inspired me to walk down to the mailbox. As I walked back to my apartment empty-handed, a big, black dog crossed my path and sat down. Intrigued, I said hello and asked the owner the dog’s name. Bob, she replied, as she attempted to interest Bob in a treat if he got up and continued their walk. Time to do laundry, I told myself. As I packed up my laundry baskets, I checked all my pockets for pens. I would hate to ruin a favorite shirt with ink!

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

I Walk The Line

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt from 03/27/15: “I Walk the Line.” Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

I am not perfect, and I would never claim to be. I attempt to be a decent human being by exhibiting  honesty, trust-worthiness and the authenticity of  being myself. I am generally liked or disliked because I don’t kiss ass, I don’t do phony very well and I will not embellish or misrepresent myself or my feelings, like many people I know are willing to do. There is no in between. Whatever I don’t say my face will usually say for me. As my dad would tell me when I was younger, “You might as well wear a sign.”  I don’t like to be lied to and, in my work, lying to people gets you in trouble as it does in real life –  people remember what you said or promised and will call you on it, leaving you discredited and untrusted. Over the years as I have matured, I have learned that honesty can be delivered with care, rather than with a sledgehammer, and can help someone hear you with less conflict. Sometimes honesty elicits anger from the other person, but also respect for your candidness.

I try to be considerate of others’ time, space and their peace. It would be easy to let my door slam as I come and go from my apartment, but I tend to be cautious because I noticed how aggravated I become when I listen to my neighbors let their doors slam all day long. One thing I don’t tolerate quite as well, though, is constant dog-barking. This will usually cause me to yell out my window, mostly likely on a nice day when not only do I have my window open, but the annoying dog owner also has his window open. I  try to be considerate of my co-workers, as I work in a room with two, soon to be three, people along a hallway with other offices. I take my personal calls outside and try not to shout when I am on work calls because that is all you can hear, and it is easy to get distracted. I try to park my car in the lines. I try hard to be like Boyfriend, who is thoughtful, considerate, organized and caring, though he has been on the receiving end of complete opposite behavior for a good portion of his life from many people, especially his family. He picks his battles and saves his energy for other things, which I have yet to master. You can’t win against an under-handed narcissist…

If you are a friend in whom I can trust and depend upon, I am loyal until you break that bond. Although I am argumentative at times, I actually don’t like conflict and try to get along with people. This is the result of being a kid in a conflict-ridden household with parents who tried to get you on their side. Even as an adult, this continues today, and I get the what-for if one parent thinks I am on the other parent’s side. However, I have experience doing conflict resolution in my work and with co-workers rather successfully. I am better at solving others’ problems than my own. I believe that you should say what you mean and you should mean what you say, and that you can do it without being mean. I don’t always succeed but I try, and try, and try again, even when giving up would be easier. And I don’t expect others to be perfect either, I just expect them to try to be cautious, or considerate or even conscious that their actions affect other… is that too much to ask?

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell