Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Introvert or Extrovert?

Dear Mom,

My habit in the morning is to call my husband when I get up. We have a little game we play (that we do with the grandkids too) to say, “I love you the mostest.” Whoever says it first is the person who really does love the person the mostest. Well, not really, but in the game that’s how it works.

We had some laughs one morning and I told him I’d be blogging about him. He laughed some more and said, “Just make sure it’s the truth.” Unlike when he tells a story about me. He’ll say, “My wife was screaming at me….” when all I did was up the volume on my vocal cords—just enough to be heard over the television. In my head I picture his friend thinking of me as some ole hag, scowl on my face, shouting, pointing my finger, “Willis!” (That’s my pet name to husband—and it’s his middle name.)

I was telling Willis this morning, “… as an introvert—“

Willis interrupts. “You’re not an introvert.”

I wondered who I was talking to. Is this Willis? Did aliens take over? “Are you serious? Do you even know me?”

“There’s no way you can be an introvert if you give a talk in front of a crowd or if ….”

I quit listening because I realized he really was clueless. He really didn’t think I was an introvert. Willis thinks I’m a social butterfly. Obviously he has no idea that I force myself to go out into the world. Because my mouth runs nonstop the minute Willis walks into the door, I decided to cut him a little slack. I suppose from his point of view, I may look like an extrovert. If he only knew.

I've recently read The Introvert Advantage by Marti Laney Olson, Psy. D. There’s a true and false quiz one can take if you’re unsure what you are. We’re all born with one temperament or another—it’s not something we can change (temperament-wise), but we can learn to deal with and use other means to our advantage.

Back to Willis… I’m always amazed at the new discoveries of this man. I would’ve thought after 15 years, I’d know it all. Remember, 15 years for me is an eternity in terms of being with the same husband. He’s number four. Do all long-term couples discover new things after years and years? I’m just grateful not to discover he’s the new Ted Bundy. I can deal with the fact that he doesn’t think I’m an introvert.

I’m proud to be an introvert, now that I have a clearer understanding, and know that I’m not “weird” and it's part of who I am.

Mom, I’d say you were probably an introvert. What about you?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Little Birdie

Dear Mom,

My daughter Jessica hollered for me to come quick and to bring my camera. I grabbed the camera and ran downstairs, and out the door where she stood. In her hand was a little bird she found.

“What should we do?”

“I’m not sure."

We tried to figure out where and how it fell out of its nest. I thought once you touched animals in the wild, then the mother/father wouldn’t have anything to do with them. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but I didn’t want to say anything to Jessica and make her feel bad. She petted the little bird as if she were the mother.

As she held it, the little bird jumped out of her hand and tried to fly, bobbing up and down like a tiny airplane making an emergency landing. It landed near a rock.

Jessica ran inside and looked on the Internet on what to do. It said if the bird tries to fly out of your hand, leave it be and the mother will come rescue it. Guess what I thought wasn’t true. I told Jessica that we should go inside as the mother is not going to come out with us hovering over the little birdie. We went inside and hoped for the best.

The next morning I saw some larger birds dance around where the little bird had been and I hoped they weren’t conducting a funeral. Later I went out and didn’t see any sign of a little bird, dead or alive. I figured the mother rescued her baby and everyone lived happily ever after.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kind of a Confession

Dear Mom,

Last night I went to Chesterfield Arts to listen to the winners of a writing contest that I had entered. I didn’t make the cut. After submitting, I had used an attitude of being positive, but I’m thinking my ego was so inflated that it ruptured something in my brain. Not only was I sure I was going to win first place, but I had submitted two pieces, and figured I would win second place as well. Just ask any of my friends and family, they’ll tell you. My stomach churns thinking about it.

The folks that read and won deserved to win. No doubt about it. I left humbled. I also left with that silly critic in my head that tells me (most of the time) to give it up—writing.

I know this voice, and struggle constantly to shoo it away. I tell myself, no, you have to keep trying, keep working at it, keep moving forward. I have to remind myself that on the day I was notified that I didn’t place in the contest, I was also notified that my piece, “Geoffrey” was accepted for publication in Storm Country Anthology. I tell myself, it’s okay.

I write because (as all writers know) I can’t NOT write.

The nonsense that rolls around in my head can cause me to cease showing anyone any writing.

After losing you 40 years ago, a piece of me fell off the planet. That missing piece keeps me grounded in a weird sort of way. For whatever reason I know it’s to help me—to always move forward, never give up, know that something good is around the corner no matter what kind of situation I’m in that causes me to change or my situation to change. Just like my friend Peat. Just like the ton of other people I read about. People I know, some I just know of. People I’m inspired by.

What would the world be like if every one gave up?

I’ll win some and I’ll lose some. I’ll struggle and it’ll flow. I'll think it's good and I'll think it stinks. But give up? Never. I'll die trying.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Writing News

Dear Mom,

For some reason, I wouldn’t allow myself to jump up and down when I received the news. Perhaps I was in shock—that and the fact I have a bum foot right now. No worries though, when the reality of it sets in, I’m sure you’ll hear me shouting all the way to heaven.

My story “Geoffrey” was accepted for publication in the Storm Country Anthology. You probably remember my worry over Geoffrey when that massive tornado hit Joplin.

I'm extremely grateful and honored to have my story included in this worthy cause (all proceeds from the anthology go toward buying books for the Joplin School District libraries to replace books lost by the tornado) and to be among top notch writers; friends and those I know of—Donna being one. You can check Donna’s blog that gives more details about this project and the other writers.

Just like Donna stated: special thanks to everyone involved in this awesome project!