Living Blurry

I swear that if my head was not firmly attached to my shoulders with ligaments, tendons, and bones, I dancing skeleton, organized livingwould lose it or leave it behind somewhere. It's not that I am not capable of organizing.  For fifteen years, I was involved in organizing events for other people. But my own life.....well, not so organized. I've tried calendars and planners and online time management systems.  I've tried notebooks and file systems and reminder apps.  I've tried lists and post-its and memory association tricks.  But my brain always ends up a bit more scattered than aligned. Somehow no matter what system I use, I end up with piles of paperwork that end up in boxes when I get overwhelmed by the sight of them.  I end up with unfinished lists and uncompleted reminders and unused calendars.  I lose things, misplace things, and forget things on an almost daily basis. organized living in disorganized disarrayToday, I ran out of saline solution for my contacts.  And yes, it was on a list somewhere that I needed to buy more.  So I battled the people of Walmart just to grab one bottle of saline solution on the way to pick up Dr. Smooth.  I actually found a short checkout line and was out in record time.  But then I got almost all the way to the high school and realized I didn't grab the bag before leaving the store.

I went into Walmart for one freakin' item and left it behind.

Over the holidays, we went out to a movie and then to dinner.  When I reached in my purse to pay for dinner, no wallet was found.  The last place I had seen it was the movie theater. Luckily, someone had turned it in, and after a detour back to the theater to retrieve it, we made our way home. And yes, that could happen to anyone.  But that is the THIRD time I  have left a wallet or purse at that same theater.  One time it happened at a midnight movie the night before we were to set sail on a cruise....which requires photo ID.  Imagine getting security to open a theater at 4am to search for a  purse under a seat.  Fun, fun. I have lost my keys so many times that I have threatened for years to have a bolt installed into my hip bone with a retractable key ring attached to it.  That way as soon as I let go of my keys, they pop right back to my hip and stay there until I need them again.  (I haven't gone through with that procedure because I am a little nervous about the pain involved and I'm not sure what kind of fashion statement I'd be making with a bolt protruding through whatever I'm wearing.) Then there was the time we drove to Georgia to see our friends get married.  We went up a day ahead of time and got a hotel room so we wouldn't risk getting caught in traffic and being late.  We slept in, had brunch, shopped a bit, and napped.  Then we leisurely got dressed and showed up for the 5:30 ceremony.   Only to find that everyone was standing around taking pictures because the ceremony was had started at 5:00pm. Which was clearly stated on the invitation I brought with me on the trip. I don't get it.  I'm not stupid.  I'm not a complete ditz.  I'm not careless.  I'm actually fairly intelligent and very analytical.  But on any given day, I juggle quite a bit of information, issues, duties, and thoughts.  I think that my brain just gets so full and so crowded that it ceases to focus.  So I'm going through life a bit blurry, I suppose. I wish I knew how to slow down.  To breathe more and stress less.  To remain calm and focused and in control of my day.  I've tried yoga and meditation, but I usually spend the entire time I'm doing that thinking about what I have to get done next. A dear friend that I love and respect told me once that I would be more organized if I had a purse.  Well, organized living with disorganized pursesI've bought big purses and little purses and purses with pockets and all sorts of wallets.  Didn't do the trick. I don't think it's the purse.  Or the calendar.  Or the app.  Or the filing system.  I think it may be just be my brain.  And the amount of life I cram into each day. I know I'm not the only one that struggles with this.  I'm not the only one that washes the same load of clothes more than once because I forgot to put it in the dryer.  I'm not the only one that throws away fresh produce because I didn't get around to making the recipe I bought it for.  I'm not the only one that has to dig through piles of papers to find the form that has to be signed for school today or the doctor bill that was supposed to be paid last week. So to those of you who have it all together and always know where you left it, I applaud you.  I admire you.  I respect you.  I'm not like you. To those of you who are like me, cramming it in, swimming in a sea of papers and lists, and occasionally forgetting your own name, I'm sending you a big shout-out.  I hear you my sisters.  I feel you.  I know where you're coming from.  (And I know that somewhere at home there's a list of what you were supposed to bring and where you're supposed to be.) Here's to living blurry.  Here's to firmly attached heads.  And here's to a life brimming over.  Maybe this is the year that we will simplify and declutter and have it all run smoothly. Yeah.  Probably not.  Happy New Year anyway.  (Oh wait...New Year's was two weeks ago.  Oh well.)

Happy Anniversary to The Goddess Howe!

Happy 1-Year Anniversary to The Goddess Howe blog! Yep, one year ago today I posted my very first blog as I stepped off into this crazy journey of pursuing my dreams. The Goddess Howe flower pictureTo all of you who have subscribed to the blog, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!  Your support means the world to me and has encouraged me on days when I questioned my sanity for doing this.  (And if you haven't subscribed yet, PLEASE DO! It's painless.  You just sign up with your email address and you get an email whenever I do a post.  Which you can read or delete or forward or ignore.) To those of you who have commented on my blog posts, a big huge thank you!  I read once that the difference in a blog and  a website is that a blog is a two-way conversation, so thanks for conversing with me. To all of you who have followed The Goddess Howe on Facebook, thank you!  Your likes, your comments, your shares, and your support have kept me going and inspired me to keep writing and keep posting.  Share it and spread the word whenever you like it!summer fun, beach, 4th of July, swimming And finally, I'd like to thank the Academy.....or more importantly, My Knight and Dr. Smooth, for reading every post, critiquing every post, and for providing so much great material.  We have two new catch phrases in the house.  1- You should blog about this! and 2- Don't you dare blog about this! Blogging is a funny thing.  Putting yourself out there to the entire world (or the portion of the world that will find your posts) and saying, "Here's how I feel.  Here's what I think.  Here's what happened to me."  Sometimes they like it.  They're inspired, or entertained, or encouraged.  Sometimes they don't like it.  They're offended, or infuriated, or bored. But isn't it just the coolest thing?? That I can sit down and write out what I'm thinking, or feeling, or experiencing, and for a brief moment in your and I connect?  No matter how far apart we might be, and whether we are family, close friends, or complete strangers....for that moment we connect.  Our lives bump up against each other in this big ole' world. So here's to another year of bumping into each other!  I'll keep posting; you keep reading and commenting. And now there is a whole new way for us to connect.  Starting today, The Goddess Howe will be featured as a weekly column in the South Lake Tablet.  It's new material, so check it out! I'm gonna celebrate today with a Diet Coke.  And maybe a cupcake.  But we can celebrate together by taking a look back at the most popular posts from this first year based on the stats.  Just click on the title to read that post.  Enjoy! (and seriously, thank you!)

wedding bouquet from wedding planner, The Goddess Howe#10:  Bizarre Things No Wedding Planner Wants to Hear

Spend fifteen years working weddings, and you wouldn't believe some of the crazy stuff you  hear.

#9: And You Thought Your Handy Man Was Hot

My Knight's incident with acid proved I didn't miss my calling by not going into Emergency Management.

chewing gum on folders for The Goddess Howe post#8: Grizzly Bears, Class Size, and Chewing Gum

When people ask why I quit teaching, I tell them penguin eggs and chewing gum.  Here's the gum part.

#7: Perfect Wedding Gone Haywire

Just when you think nothing can go wrong, inevitably it does.  Especially if it's a wedding.

#6: Laundry Lessons Learned

One of my most embarrassing moments.  And I chose to share it online with the world.  And people clicked on it enough to make it in the top ten posts on my blog.  Should I be proud or humiliated???

#5: Known By Love (Why Everyone Should Have An Aunt Zula)

I miss this dear lady so much, but I am so happy that my tribute to her resonated with so many people and made the top ten.  She would have smiled at that.  In fact, she probably is right now.

#4: Tattoos, Pole-Dancing, and Cirque du Soleil

More people get to this post through random Google searches than any other post I have written.  I never knew so many people searched the web for "pole dancing tattoos".  And I can almost guarantee you that this post was not what they were looking for!

snake coming out of the drain in a bath tub#3: Snake in the Tub: An End to All Bubble Baths

This post has definitely caused the most controversy by far.  Many people would not read it based on the title.  Several friends cursed me for posting pics of snakes.  And a few have cursed me because they don't enjoy bubble baths anymore.  And this post garnered my first piece of hate mail.  Some total stranger had very strong opinions on what happened in my bath tub.  To each his own.

#2: Meeting Justin Furstenfeld: Our Blue October Adventure

This is one of those posts that I wrote for me, to get it off my chest and express something I had been unable to express.  I didn't think anyone would relate to it or particularly like it.  But we are never truly alone in our thinking or our feeling.  And it turns out quite a few people could understand admiring someone so much and wanting to express that, and ending up looking like an idiot instead.  Enough to make it #2 on the stats.  (It helped that there are lots of Blue October fans!  #sway)
Blue October Justin Furstenfeld
Me, My Knight, & My Fave Singer

And the #1 post from The Goddess Howe's first year: No Zero Grading Policy

I told my principal when I left teaching that I hoped to do something to help kids on the outside that I was unable to do on the inside.  I am thrilled that this post on a subject I am so passionate about ended up getting more hits than anything else I have written here.  Anytime we can open a dialogue and enlighten others to see a cause, to question an issue, to converse and share information, there is hope for change.  And I firmly believe our public education system needs to change. So there you have it!  The top ten most visited posts from my first year.  I published 80 posts this year.  I am setting a goal to almost double that in the coming year.  I hope you'll keep coming back for more.  And tell your friends. The Goddess Howe Much love, The Goddess Howe      

Embracing the Unknown

Wow.  I haven't posted here in a week.  Life seemed to swirl around me in shifting currents of change and uncertainty lately, and I couldn't find not one humorous little story to convey in the midst of it.  So I chose not to write for a few days, and I miss it.  I miss this.  I miss sharing with all of you and then reading what you share back with me and knowing that on some level, we connected. Some really good friends of mine are moving away, and when they go, they will take a lot of my "normal" with them.  Things that have been routine, parts of my life that were stable and secure, things I was sure of.  And what's left in the dust and remnants of their departure is the unknown. Isn't the unknown a weird concept? Continue reading "Embracing the Unknown"

Could I Get a Blog Roll, Please?

I read blogs every week.  Some make me laugh out loud, and some make me cry.  Some inspire me and make me really look at myself, or challenge me and make me want to live differently.  Others make me cringe and go "Wow, I can't believe she typed that!" ;o) So today, I give you...(drumroll please) blog roll!  To the right of my posts, you will now find a list of people who make me laugh, or cry, or think.  Sometimes more than one or a combination of all three. Please feel free to visit these blogs and check them out.  You may find one you love.  You may one that offends you.  You may find one that inspires you.  We may not like all the same things.  And that's all okay. Because if there is anything I have learned from this incredible blogging community, it is that we all have a story to share.  We all have our own viewpoints and opinions and experiences.  We all have more in common than we ever thought possible, yet we are all very unique individuals. So check 'em out, and then come back and let me know what you think.

My Favorite Blogs:

1.  Left of Plumb:  I adore Irene!  She is funny, she is cool, and I love her outlook.  She hooked me with the first post I read on her blog, Scenes from a Coffice.  I am all about a cool soundtrack!  Check our her About Me page, which she requests that you mentally read in the voice of Morgan Freeman.  How freakin' cool is that? 2.  The Little Big Blog:  If I get to live another life after this one, I want to be as organized as Carrie Anne!  She has the most interesting blog.  Her recipes are easy (and delicious!)  I absolutely LOVE her photography.  She has an incredible eye for finding beauty in the everyday around us.  In both her photos and her blog stories.  She rocks. 3.  Robin's Chicks:  LOVE. THIS. BLOG.  She is funny.  She is realistic.  She is down-to-earth.  She is Southern.  Need I say more? I would love to take this girl out to lunch. Weekly. 4.  The Unconventional Doctor's Wife:  Amber is one of the nicest people I have encountered in blogdom.  She is funny, open, generous, inspiring, and real.  So real that sometimes I can't believe she posted it, but I can ALWAYS relate to it!  And she is creative and talented as well---check out her leather cuffs! 5.  Suburban Jungle:  Jenny from the Blog is the first blog that ever made me laugh out loud to the point of tears while I read it.  Because of her, I know that I am not the only neurotic over-worrying mom out there.  And I love her passion for the 80s!  She even has her own talk show now! 6.  The Extraordinary Ordinary:  Wow.  Just wow.  Heather really makes me think.  She makes me smile.  And she sometimes makes me cry.  Her courage in putting herself out there is so inspiring.  She let me know that I am not alone in my beliefs, and I don't have the words to tell her how much that meant.  Although I did try. ;o) 7.  Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary:  Boy, do I admire her.  And man, do I agree with her on so many points.  I wish I lived closer so I could worship with her and talk with her and be more like her.  She inspires me to stand up and speak.  And to act.  She gives me hope. 8.  People I Want to Punch in the Throat:  Freakin' hilarious.  You have things you have always wanted to say, but she says them.  To the World.  She is outspoken and honest, and really, really funny.  And because of her I attended my very first Twitter party, where I again felt like the new kid in a room full of strangers, but she was welcoming and as nice as can be. 9.  The Bloggess:  She is like the blogger of all bloggers.  Someone described her as our mother ship (I think it was Irene).  I think you are required to have her on your blog roll in order to be a legitimate blog.  ;o)   She was the first blog I started reading.  She is funny, quirky, raunchy, and famous.  But still open and vulnerable and willing to share.  I am in awe of what she has accomplished and how many people hang on her every word. So there you have it!  Nine more time suckers for you to get lost in on the internet!  And just when you thought you may have time to clean your house or organize your closet.  Naaaaaaaah.  Read a blog instead. Let me know if you like any of these, and recommend any favorites you have for me to check out!