Karla's Blog

This is my maiden voyage on the sea of blogging. Friends assure me that this is yet another way to become a published writer. I hope so!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Where does the time go, anyway?

This will be one of my last (and all too-few) entries for this blog site. I've been communicating with some other writer/bloggers, who have suggested other sites within which to post my blog. No offense to "Blogger" intended. These are some seasoned writers, many of whom are published, and I am happy to take their advice. Now, to convince my husband that we need to pay for the time I spend sitting at the computer! Ah, well. These sites have the flexibility and exposure that I need as a yet-to-be-published writer. I will be signing off shortly.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Let's Put the Fun Back in Dysfunctional, Ya'll!

Sigh. Thanksgiving is over, and I am overjoyed. I think it's the dry run holiday that gets your feet wet for that special brand of Hell called Christmas with family. While being with family has its enjoyable moments, it is still a source of pain for most people. Well, for me anyway, and for many of my friends, and sisters too - read on.

I have 4 sisters - one who lives nearby-ish in my state, one in Ohio, one in Tennessee, and one in North Carolina. We are all in our 40's. ONE day spent with my parents can launch us right back into the same childhood dynamics that applied when we all lived in the same house. It's as if we simply transmogrify into the 5 little girls we once were. The same "fight" for approval from our parents, the same struggles for attention, the same issues of self-worth - they all come back like a scorching case of herpes. (thank you Ferris' sister)

We all know this too, and try as hard as we can NOT to be carried away by the old behaviors and feelings. But, it is an inexorable path - and we seem not to be able to escape its grip. We dance around it, feigning closeness and warmth, when all of us are ready at a moment's notice to dash away, grateful if we are unscathed - or as we like to call it, dodging familial bullets.

I end up feeling like I've run a marathon; I am tired, weak, and depressed. I try to look back at the time spent together, to see where I may have shared too much, or was just too vulnerable; what was it I said when I was summarily stomped upon and left a quivering mass?

Most of these feelings largely come from unresolved issues (what an over used phrase!) of our collective past. It's hard in a large family for anyone to have their needs fully met. It's interesting to note here, that while I was visiting over this holiday, I managed to read "Pecking Order" by Dalton Conley. The premise of this book is that it is not birth order that counts, as much as it is the number of children in the family. His exhaustive studies, interviews and surveys indicate that more than 3 children drain the two most critical family resources - money and time - to the point at which no child or parent seems to get what they need. This dearth of needs is what creates the leader, the loser, the lost child, etc., according to the dynamics of the family each child experienced. Great book, depressing as hell, and I do recommend reading it, for several reasons. First, Dalton puts to rest the notion that the success of a child is heavily weighted upon the child's birth order. Secondly, the author discloses to the reader that anyone can change his path in life, no matter the circumstances of his/her life as a child. He cites more than enough examples of this. In other words, sometimes a crappy childhood can be the catalyst for success.

I can see that having 5 daughters, in 6 years, would have put unbelievable pressure on my parents, especially my mom. What I remember from my childhood (and this varies only a little from sister to sister) is that she was tired, bitter, cranky and cold. Since I am a mother of only one (by choice) I can certainly understand why she was so tired and cranky. The simple logistics of caring for that many children equates to more daily work than any one person could bear. I could barely handle one toddler - she had 5 at one time. Blecch.

My mom's life for years was cooking, cleaning, and meeting the needs of 5 mewling children. We all looked over the edge of her well, expecting it to be full, dammit, so that we could scoop our cup and fill up. The fantasy we sisters shared, (but were never aware of in each other) is that we would each get what we needed - by mere want of it. This is the egocentricity inherent in most children. No one else's needs were important to us, except our own.

The fantasy now, is that we still may get what we most desperately need and want from our parents - mostly approval (love was conditional in our house - my parents will vehemently deny this today - and perhaps today this is not true - but it was then) without having to perform for them. In other words, unconditional love.

Yes, the real issues lie within each of us - my parents' job was done long ago - there is nothing to be gained from blathering on to them of their real or perceived transgressions as parents when we were small children. This hurts their feelings beyond words, and only creates discord in the family.

Time to grow up, and move on.

Monday, November 22, 2004

More on Kundalini Yoga

I'm tired of green font.

Last week's yoga class focused on the second chakra, commonly referred to as the womb/sacral chakra. This chakra is associated with blame and guilt, money and sex, power and control. It also, obviously, controls the reproductive organs.

The thought to think on any "in" breath was "I am free to be me." The thought to think on any "out" breath was "I am worthy of love." Again, a lot to try to remember when I was doing each posture - or move - and not let my mind wander, or concentrate on the intense pain the move was causing my hands and wrists. Since I am a massage therapist by day, my hands and wrists are always a little sore, or at the least, more sensitive than usual. Many of the yoga moves require me to hold myself up, perched on my wrists and feet. NOT A NORMAL THING. So, I do the best I can, focus on the words, thoughts and breathing, and move on.

So far, other than getting me out of the house for 2 hours, I can't say that doing yoga has changed anything in me, yet. I sleep slightly better on Wednesday nights, and that's about it. I think maybe I'll have more luck with the third chakra next week; this one is associated with fear, sensitivity to criticism (a HUGE issue for me - and my fragile writer's ego) and self confidence. Maybe I'll have a melt down.

Just one of many reasons to get published!

I am not a morning person. Yes, I will get up with the alarm, am awake and fairly civil immediately, and will get ready and go to work. I JUST DON'T LIKE IT. I like mornings at home, sipping coffee, working on the computer and puttering around the house.

I've worked "outside the home" since I was 14 years old. Gee, since I am 43, that makes 29 years in the work force. Sigh. Having to get up, get ready, battle traffic, and then battle corporate America for 8 or more hours a day just sucked the life right out of me. Somewhere along the way, my drive, dedication and work ethic just disappeared. Vanished. I was the type of bright-eyed employee who gave 110% (was) and wanted to please my superiors. (oh, gag) My last few years in corporate America saw me shirking as much work as possible, coming into work as late as possible, taking long LONG lunches, and leaving work early. My department was on forced overtime for YEARS, and it was no secret that I LOATHED it, despised it, and resented it. There were those in my department who loved the overtime - loved the money, loved not having to be home, I suppose.

NOT ME. If I NEVER had to leave my house, I would be supremely happy. Once, during those years of forced overtime HELL, I used a grocery service. Order online, and THAT day, or whatever day you wanted, your food was delivered! WOW! Great service - cost a fortune, and like most people, I had the money then, but not the time to shop. So I paid them to do it for me. Had a housekeeper, too. Spent a small fortune on those two services, as well as another fortune on day care for my young son. Being able to be with my son was one of the primary reasons that I left my "cushy" (yeah, right) job of 20 years.

Now I am able to take my son to school, pick him up, take him to his orthodontist appointments and other appointments, all without having to consult (beg) the mighty oracle (my supervisor du jour) to take the time off, or leave early.

HOWEVER, the job I have now is only a means to an end. I make some money, not enough, and work for a Type-A personality doctor, who encourages NO independent thought. Sigh. The end being a published-making-money-so-I-don't-have-to-leave-the-house-writer. Now THAT is what I want. Why is it, though, that when I tell anyone that I AM a writer, and working to be published, they have an at-the-ready fire hose to douse my dreams/plans, hmm? Is it jealousy? Is it that I view the world through a different set of perspectives - like - POSSIBILITIES? "Oh, a writer? THAT takes YEARS." "Oh, a writer? MOST people NEVER break through or make ANY money."

Those kinds of statements really piss me off - and remind me not to cast my pearls before swine. I have finished a book that I have been writing for over a year. It's called "Clueless in the Left Lane." It's a book about manners and common courtesy. NO, not the pinky-extended, fussy mussy types of manners, but the kind of manners that oil and smooth out relationships. I will be posting segments of it to my blog. I have ordered how-to-get-published-from-your-blog-books from my local library (I would leave the house to go there, and ONLY there) and am looking forward to learning what it takes to get published. I ordered the 2004 65-pound Writer's Market book to learn what it takes to get published. Gee, I don't HAVE 5 years to read it.

So, I will use my anger, my job ennui, and my desire to NEVER leave the house as the catalysts to become published. Just you watch!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Ever the student.

I attended my very first yoga class last night. It was taught by a very stretchy woman, who'd just finished teaching a belly dancing class. (the critic in me winced, took a step back, but went ahead anyway - this critic is usually just fear rearing its ugly head) This particular session (8 weeks) will focus on balancing the energy centers in the body, commonly referred to as chakras.

The term chakra has its origins in ancient India - it is the Hindu word for spinning wheel. There are 7 to 10 different chakras, depending on which wisdom you choose to follow. The chakras correlate to landmarks on the body, beginning with the base of the spine, in ascending number order. Each is said to vibrate (spin, like a wheel) above the body with a measurable frequency, depending on the health of the particular system each governs. They are said to influence all systems of the body, especially the endocrine system, as well as all emotions, current and past.

The root chakra, or the first chakra, is where we began last night. This chakra has many emotional issues associated with it: survival, grounding, safety, and security. The physical aspects of this chakra are: adrenal glands and kidneys. During the session, whenever we would be instructed to breathe in and out deeply (this was often) on the in breath, we were to hear "I am here." On the out breath we were to hear, "I am safe." We went through a series of poses that are designed to reinforce, support and balance this particular chakra. Some of these poses were physically difficult - trying to breathe, hold the pose, and think the thoughts, all with your eyes closed - a lot for the brain and the body to manage, mine, anyway.

The basic function of these exercises was to set up a foundation - a strong "root" system, from which to work up toward the other chakras. The general theory of the paths of the chakras is that you should start at the base, and work your way up to the top, as each are connected to, and affected by the chakra next to it. We ended the session by relaxing on the floor, lights out, covered with blankets for a few minutes. A few women fell asleep during this part - they were so completely relaxed by then. I was not relaxed - even on a pad and a blanket the floor is still hard. I imagine that over time this will become less of an issue, as I learn to focus more.

The instructor spoke often during the class of focusing the mind, and not allowing the mind to wander. The focus is on the breathing and the positions. This, I must admit, was difficult for me as my mind seems to have its own pell mell speed and wild direction. It seems, too, that many of the women attending this class have learned to meditate as well. This is something I have tried in the past, without much success. Perhaps I wasn't ready at the time. Our instructor said that focus and quiet are manifestations of practice, and a mature mind. Hmm.

Instead of wasting my energies, having them spill all over everywhere, leaving little for the important things, learning to focus and quiet my mind may have positive results by culling any unnecessary expense of energy. I will be observant - now, and in the weeks that follow - to see what influence this class will have on me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Oops, still learning.

Oops - I hit the enter key, and published just the title. Apparently I am not the only one who hasn't heard of blogs; my very computer literate sister didn't know what they were either. She's had alot of experience, too, using the Internet; her husband has written a book that is sold on Amazon called, "Building Pro Audio Loudspeaker Enclosures," by Jeffrey Forsburg. Both of them toiled long hours to get this book written, published and sold on Amazon. Maybe I should tell him to create a blog......

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I am not alone!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Larry - thanks for the inspiration!

An e-mail response from a high school classmate prompted me to start my own blog. He had asked me in his response if I had a blog - I admitted to him that I didn't even know what one was, and of what use they could be! So, I started poking around on the internet, found "Blogger" and just started reading. It didn't take much to convince me that this method of communication was so much more efficient than e-mail. Firstly, I have a large family, and each of them have e-mail with various and sundry file size restrictions, filters, etc., so sending recent photographs, or trying to send internet links was sometimes frustratingly stymied. It looks like I can post all sorts of things to my blog that anyone in my family will be able to access. Secondly, I am an aspiring writer, and from the quick reading that I did, it looks like blogging can be as profitable, if not more so, than hiring an agent! Wow! My fragile writer's ego aside, I need to help feed my family, ensure their future security, and to feel that I am using my talents for which I have been preparing all my life. I want so much more than to just show up for work.

The high school classmate who asked about my blog is living the life that he was destined to live - with passion, direction and a solid future. I knew then, in high school, that he would never, ever just show up for work. He penned a short paragraph in my senior year book that I have never forgotten - I've clung to his words in times of my worst angst: "...you represent light in a world of damp wood. I know you will "be" and I am glad for that."

Larry - thank you so much for being the light - whether you knew it then or not, and for turning me on to the world of blogging!

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