Monday, October 24, 2011

intentional soul

A guy asked me the other day: with your busy schedule, how do you see yourself making time for someone else?

It’s been two days and I haven’t responded.

The truth is that I don’t have a reason to make time for someone else. Perhaps most importantly, I don’t want to right now.

I am still learning how to walk my own journey.

While my peers were training themselves for marriage and Bible school, I was building brick walls around my heart and setting out with steely defense to take care of myself.

I’ll be damned if I ever depend on him…whoever him was.

So I pursued my calling and through the course of this incredible life, the bricks and the mortar holding them together have been knocked off and I’ve learned how to live me.

In my newsroom, I tell our reporters often, “We are producing newspapers that are not an accident; we are practicing intentional journalism.”

That is how my life is supposed to be lived - intentionally. On purpose.

I’m not single because it’s what happened to me, or it’s how I was predestined to exact an existence on earth.

I happened to it.

The answer to the question would be that I haven’t met the person who I’ve wanted to sacrifice something else in my life for. And if I have, I’ve been too chicken to admit it.

Time is a currency and I don’t want to gamble with it when the risk of losing is too high.

But sometimes the risk is worth the beautiful gamble.

Those moments {small, great, powerful moments} when the story, the journey, the joy, makes it worth the risk…when I’m ready, when the stars and the moon and the sun align and I choose you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

hanging out with the old man

We've been through many seasons of life together, and despite the several seconds it takes him nowadays to get up, he moves as quickly as he can to keep up with me. I like to think that when I walk in the door, his eyes light up.

He's slowing down - I'm not deceiving myself. Last weekend, he got incredibly stiff and I had to help him get up every time he needed to. But he walked it off. This weekend he is slow, careful, but still the boss.

When I sit with him on the floor, the other dogs walk a wide circle. He might not move as swiftly as he once did, but he has a persona of power, and when it comes to my lap, he rules. After nearly 13 years, it's unspoken.

I was 15 when he came into our lives and today's hanging out session is similar to what we did for days on end all that time ago. Sitting, petting, sleeping, resting.

Mainly, being friends.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

when peace like a river

The newsroom was all swirly yesterday. That's code for stressful, which is also code for fun (post-stress.)

But before I worked much longer yesterday than I had planned or anticipated, and before I got all worked up and then decompressed, I took advantage of a quiet morning with my dog. And a river.

It works well.

Swimming is her favorite form of exercise and watching her swim is one of my favorite forms of relaxation.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

creature of habit

I do a lot of the same things.

I eat oatmeal for breakfast nearly every morning.

I always take my lunch to work, except for rare occasions that I have a lunch date.

I can't get my work clothes off fast enough as soon as I walk in the door.

I eat the same snacks.

I typically sweep the kitchen floor every night.

I eat copious amounts of Saltine crackers.

And, I wear a lot of the same clothes.

So it was near crisis point at the beginnging of the week when I realized that I didn't have one of my staples: my black pair of pants. Yes, I only have one. And they are a crucial part of my work wardrobe mostly because of my shoes.

What this tragic error has done is forced me to be creative this week - to actually look in my closet and 1) wear things I don't ever wear and 2) wear certain things with other certain things that I don't ever wear together.

As a result, I left the house this morning doubtful that I matched. Let's face it - my fashion sense is fairly straightforward and doesn't deviate from the standards. Fashion creativity is not my forte.

But I took the fact that I felt great about my style of the day as a good sign that maybe I had it right.

From what I heard today, I did a good job.

So the challenge is working and maybe I should experiment with other things in my life.

Like, maybe the lounge pants that I absolutely love that have holes in them and are bleached, maybe they need to go.

Or maybe not.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

30 things a woman must do

I like lists. A lot. And I like this one because it reminds me of the things I've accomplished, and the things I should probably (maybe) get busy on. :)

By 30, you should have:
1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.
9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
13. The belief that you deserve it.
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know:
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
6. The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town.
7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
8. How to take control of your own birthday.
9. That you can’t change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long.
13. Who you can trust, who you can’t and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
15. Why they say life begins at 30.

Monday, October 17, 2011

because I can and because she can

There aren't a lot of dog rules in our house.

The general rule is that wherever I am, she can be there too.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.

She can follow me on the carpet except after river outings or playing in the hose/mud.

She can get on the bed except after river outings or playing in the hose/mud or when I'm sleeping. She is not a gentle cuddler.

She can jump on me except when I'm leaving for work or just coming home.

She's allowed to put her paws on my desk and lick my face except for when I'm eating.

She's allowed to go to sleep where she wants, and usually it's somewhere near me.

There are absolutes, too, don't get me wrong.

For example, I am always the boss.

She can chase the deer, but only with permission.

She can run ahead of me out of sight, so long as she returns when I call.

She can never jump out of any vehicle without permission.

She should wait for my word before exiting the front door.

She knows my fingers snapping and the direction of my arm movement is as strong a command as any.

All joking and playing aside, a command is a command and with a word, I've got her spotty attention.

I'm the boss, but most days she teaches me more than I could teach her.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid." - Franklin P. Jones

I would say…
I’m never afraid.

But I won’t because I am.

I would say…
I go to sleep every night without a fear or a worry.

But I won’t because I can’t.

I would say…
I never obsessively worry.

But I won’t because I do.

It's a thing with me. I worry.

It's my not-so-secret secret. Its force on my heart is unavoidable - I want to retreat and sometimes I do. I retreat from here, I hide from certain people, I want to run away, and sometimes mentally, emotionally I do.

But I have a choice. There's always a choice. And while I'm excellent at preaching The Choice to people around me, I'm not always good at taking my own advice.

"You have a choice every day," I admonish. "A choice to live your life and make decisions for your life that only you can make."

"Facing the truth and realizing it's actually better than what you're worrying about is a fantastic feeling," I told someone tonight.

I want to say I take my own advice.
But I don't every day.

I want to say I face my own truth.
But most often I run from it.

So, what can I say?

I can say that
I'm getting stronger.

I can say that
I'm getting wiser.

I can say that
these traps that trip me up are losing strength.

I can say that
I choose truth.

And then, the battle raging in my head ceases and peace, like a river, floods in.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

week in review

We ran out of gas (not my fault) on a tipping slope (again, not my fault) and Ev needed a little extra help supporting her head. Mainly, she thought it was a game.

Her and I swang in the hammock and enjoyed rain falling on us.

Skye loves me.

She would also rather I paid more attention to her than my work when I get home.

When peace like a river...

may history teach me, as I write it

In the last 30-some odd hours, I've been taken back 20 years to Oct. 16, 1991, the day of the Luby's massacre.

It was some sort of fate that forced our October 1991 book to open to Oct. 17, 1991 when I cracked it open in our library Wednesday. Story after story after story lined the archaic pages for days, months after chronicling the day's events, the press conferences, the release of the victim's names, the final number of those dead and wounded, the autopsy report of the shooter, the 9-1-1 calls and dispatch communications.

"We're going to need a lot of help," one officer said through his communication device.

Our photo editor brought me a small urn-like box today. "Luby's negatives and prints," was scrawled on the side in permanent marker.

Dozens of pictures, carefully labeled on the back, were in the box and despite the whirlwind of newsroomness swirling around me, it was all shut out as I sifted through the photos. The truck crashed through the window in the dining room, bullet holes in the windows, police officers guarding the door, ambulances, victims being loaded into Army helicopters that landed on the frontage road, an officer tending to a victim and then three frames later covering the man's face with the white cloth draped over his body, an officer carrying a stack of body bags into the building, victims being treated, Luby's employees talking to police, people hugging, crying, a survivor who's parents were shot and killed hugging other victim's family all captured the story of loss and mayhem.

These are moments that stand still for me.

They are also moments that put into perspective the importance of my role as a journalist. It's easy to preach that we are history's record keepers, but until you're immersed in newspapers and photos 20 years old, you don't actually get it.

Today's news is tomorrow's history. How am I doing at preserving it?