Random Memes – 2/21

Once again, I’ve gathered what I think are some really great memes from different social media sites that spoke to me and I hoped might speak to you. Enjoy each of these!

I know many others who, like me, insist on not asking for help! It’s interesting to think about this as why!
And I’m old enough to remember dancing under a disco ball!

Wow! Talk about changing perceptions…!

Why being imperfect is a good thing

This blog writer is only 16 years old and has this figured out already! How old were you when you began to understand imperfection is good enough?

Voltaire, the extraordinary French writer, once claimed: “Perfect is the enemy of good”. Strange, huh?

I agree with him. When I reflect on my life so far, I notice how perfection has never been as interesting as imperfection. My flaws, rough edges, weaknesses, on the other hand, have been… memorable.

I used to think that I could change the entire world if I wanted to, let alone people and their feelings towards me. I wanted to be the best at everything and at every time. For me, 2 + 2 always had to equal 4. I lived my life like a rule book, and anything that went another way would frustrate me to the core. However, overtime I realised that I, nor the world, can ever be perfect. Sometimes others let us down, sometimes we let others down. And that is okay. That is perfectly normal. Leaving the idea of…

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On the Road Again…

As it seems every calendar year, I start my attempt to write more blogs but quickly run out of things to blog about. This won’t be much of an ‘interesting’ blog, but it is good news (for a change) that I’m excited to share.

I have a working vehicle again. Geesh, what a process! Living in Tumbleweed Town, there is one small used car dealership here and nothing else. I’d found a vehicle on their website on a Sunday, before my car had completely broken down, and went there the next day to find out it had gotten sold on Friday but not removed from the web site. The salesperson tried to get me interested in a more expensive vehicle that only met one of my demands for my next vehicle, so I passed. I’d found another one after my car quit running and made contact. My research showed me that the car was overpriced by $2300. I explained in multiple different ways my research, and Mike (my contact) kept giving me excuses why it was priced the way it was. Per his suggestion, I looked at the same vehicle within 60 miles of me and found an identical model except that it had 1000 more miles on it. I told Mike this and he quickly assured me that 1000 miles wasn’t anything to worry about. I then told him that the only other different thing was that theirs was priced $2000 dollars less than he was asking. Again, he started giving me reasons why he couldn’t adjust the rate (testing my intelligence) and insisted that they were not making a lot of profit at the price they were asking. The nail in HIS coffin was when I told him that the last time the car had sales activity was at an auto auction when they bought it, and it wasn’t my problem if they paid too much for it then! Although I wanted to give him some of my excellent sarcasm skills when he was left with no comeback to that, I simply thanked him for his time and said that I was not interested in that vehicle at that price and never would be and hung up.

Meanwhile, since the day my car officially stopped running, I have spent hours and hours and hours and hours and, well, you get the idea, looking at vehicles online that met my criteria. I finally found one I was interested in, about 40 miles away, and contacted the dealership with my interest.

In the meantime, my bestie, Joanne (aka Chella, which is short for Bichella) was graciously taking me to the grocery store as needed and threw in a quick trip to Walmart and Dollar (or, Dollar-and-a-quarter) Tree. I’d asked her if she could take me to this dealership, but it turns out that she wasn’t comfortable with the drive because it involved highways (she avoids them like the plague) and places she’s unfamiliar with. I then had to contact the dealership and explain that I couldn’t come to look at the car because I didn’t have the means to get there.

I was surprised when I received a return email saying that they would be glad to come and get me and take me there. Who does that? I mean, they had no guarantee I was going to purchase!

It was a bit of a hassle getting coordinated with them to get a time scheduled that worked for both of us. Meanwhile, I kept going back to their web site and found other cars I might also be interested in – a total of 3 – so I felt less guilty that I was going to take advantage of them for the travel without making a purchase.

Finally, the day came, and I met the dealership’s owner in the pharmacy parking lot a block from my home (getting to my place is somewhat squirrely and entry isn’t really on the Main Street address that we use). He drove one of the three vehicles I was interested in. He offered me to drive it back as a test drive, but I elected to ride as a passenger. I don’t know how the vehicle handled and was reluctant to almost immediately get on a highway and then not know where I was going, so… We talked about the 3 cars I had interest in, and I think I might have impressed him a little with the amount of research I had done on each. All 3 were the same manufacturer and similar models, but there were differences in each.

Once we got back to their lot, I was pretty sure, based on my study of each of the different vehicles, that this was the right option for me. What had held me back was that the color as it showed online was kind of a robin’s egg blue (I didn’t like it) and the fact that it had a black interior. It turns out that, in person, the blue is much nicer and darker, and I had determined, by the number of vehicles I looked at, that black was a pretty popular interior color.

I took it for a quick test drive, more to make sure that I felt comfortable enough with it to drive back home than any other reason, and then we began the paperwork. This took a while, and the longer it took, the more hyper I became. Positive hyper, but still hyper. I just wanted to get it all done and drive it home and park it! With the 40-minute drive each way, the total time spent was just under 4 hours.

But she’s home and has been mine for 5 days. It’s a Chevrolet Equinox LT so it’s a little bit bigger than my PT Cruiser was. And the dash is full of buttons that I’ve been trying to learn with the help of the owner’s manual. I know the lights, the heat/air, the windshield wipers and the cruise control, and I’ve preset the radio stations. Since most of my trips are under 2 miles from home, I probably won’t use the radio anyhow, and for longer trips, I prefer listening to CDs.

Meanwhile, I’d contacted one of those “cash for cars” places to unload the Cruiser. I felt that, in good conscious, I was not willing to make a trade-in for a non-working vehicle. I’d gotten a price and asked to schedule a pick-up, but I wasn’t emotionally willing to let my beloved Cruiser go until I had other wheels. I’d mentioned this to the dealership owner and he’d asked what was offered for my Cruiser. He then offered me $147 MORE for her than the offer I had received! He has an employee who doesn’t own a car, and he lets that employee take different vehicles from the lot home every night. He seems to think he can get it fixed and that it can then become a “company car” for the dealership, meaning less mileage added to the vehicles he’s selling.

Of course, again, we had scheduling difficulties, and it took several days before we could stop cancelling pick-up and rescheduling for the next day (his problems, not mine), since I live a mile from where it’s parked and can again drive there!

Finally, title was signed over, check received. All of my paperwork is submitted to the state’s DOT for the new car. Insurance has been changed to this car (about double what I had been paying annually on a 2006 vehicle on which I didn’t carry comprehensive or collision because of the known value of the car). But God be willing, this will be the last vehicle purchase I make in my life, and all of the drama is behind me.

I got a little teary-eyed saying goodbye to my beloved Cruiser. She has served me so very well, and she’d made the trips to Florida to visit my dad before he passed away. But, knowing she wasn’t going to the vehicle graveyard but would continue to provide someone else with her service, I found it easier to let her go.

It’s been a bit of an emotional journey – stress of searching for a car, frustration at coordinating getting to see a car I was interested in (by the way, the one I bought is NOT the one I originally looked at online!), taking seemingly so long to get the paperwork done, moving monies around so that I could pay for the car upfront, lack of patience in trying to figure out the buttons, and saying goodbye to the Cruiser. But now, there is only one thing left. I need to decide if I want to call her by using a Ch____ name that goes with Chevy or an E____ name that goes with Equinox.

And yes, I’ve always named my cars! The Cruiser was actually named “Suri” which didn’t go with Chrysler nor Cruiser. However, her name was based on the actual name of the girl that Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise created. She is Suri Cruise and my car was Suri Cruiser!

(Yes, I’m weird!)

Effects of Narcissistic Parents

Dr. Craig Malkin is Lecturer in Psychology for Harvard Medical School and licensed psychologist with over two decades of experience in helping couples, individuals, and families. His research on the role of relationships in psychological growth has been published in peer-reviewed journals and in his book, Rethinking Narcissism.

This article originally appeared on YourTango

NOTE: I see myself in many of the behaviors within this article, though I do not think my parents were narcissists.

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“Character is the trace of relationship,” wrote Christopher Bollas, the brilliant post-Freudian psychoanalyst, in his ominously titled but infinitely hopeful book, The Shadow of the Object.

What he meant was that we all develop in context, gathering bits and pieces of the relationships around us and fixing them, unconsciously, to our temperament — that wired-in biological blueprint that partially determines who we become.

This, he concluded, is how any personality is born. What happens to the development of our personality when we live in the shadow of narcissistic parents?

Here are 8 of the most common effects of having narcissistic parents that can last your entire life.

1. You continually blame yourself.

Narcissistic parents may or may not be openly abusive, but they’re almost certainly emotionally tone deaf, too preoccupied with their own concerns to hear our pain.

Because emotionally sensitive children who long for love can’t simply walk out the door and find a new family, they often nurture hope by sacrificing their self-esteem.

“I’m the problem,” they tell themselves. “If I were quieter, calmer, or happier, my mother wouldn’t yell at me, ignore me, or criticize me all the time. If I fix myself, I’ll finally be loved.” 

Sadly, we often blame ourselves for what’s missing from our lives to preserve a shred of hope.

2. You tolerate narcissism in your other relationships.

If you’re particularly sensitive or empathic by nature, you’re more likely to respond to narcissistic parenting with a stance I call echoism, named after the nymph Echo, who was cursed to repeat back the last few words she heard.

Just as Narcissus fell in love with his reflection, Echo fell in love with Narcissus.

Narcissistic parents who explode without warning, or collapse in tears any time a child dares to express a need, force sensitive children to take up as little room as possible as if having any expectations at all is an act of selfishness.

Like Echo, echoists struggle to have a voice of their own and often end up with extremely narcissistic partners.

3. You become insecure in your own relationships.

Think of secure attachment as our degree of comfort with becoming close to and depending on others in healthy ways.

The neglect, abuse, or emotional absence of a narcissistic parent can make us question how safe we are in other people’s hands.

Roughly speaking, insecure attachment can take two forms: avoidant attachment, in which we manage our fears by shutting people out (I’ll never risk depending on anyone ever again!) and anxious attachment, where we chase after love, pursuing — sometimes angrily — the connection we long for with our loved ones (Why won’t you pay attention to me?).

Whether you become anxious or avoidant depends on a complex combination of temperament and consistency in care and attention, but ongoing neglect tends to create avoidance, and unpredictable attention generally yields anxiety.

4. You become needy.

A related problem is something I call need-panic. Narcissistic parents can make their children terrified of their needs, who bury them by becoming compulsive caretakers or simply falling silent.

They may hum along for a while, seeming to need nothing from their partners or friends.

Then, a crisis hits, and suddenly — in ways they find deeply unsettling — they call their friends incessantly or seek constant reassurance.

The quickest way to eliminate a need, after all, is to get it met immediately; paradoxically, the people most afraid of their needs are apt to seem the most “needy.”

5. You learn to be independent.

Outgoing, adventurous children may respond to narcissistic parenting by abandoning emotional intimacy altogether, believing that no one can be trusted or relied on. 

This is impossible to sustain, naturally, and can easily engender intermittent need panic.

Alternatively, children with more sensitive temperaments may become compulsively selfless caretakers, as if the only way they can enjoy nurturance is vicariously by providing others with the warmth and caring they never enjoyed. 

6. You become a people-pleaser.

Temperamentally sensitive children (who are often gifted empaths) can develop a laser-like focus on their parents’ needs.

They organize their lives around the happiness of others, convinced they have to bolster their parents’ esteem (Of course you’re pretty!) or prevent their next explosion (I’ll get your snack… you’re stressed!) by closely minding their every desire or whim.

The frightened child turned little adult often grows up to worry endlessly about their selfishness.

They may even grow to hate their own needs, viewing them as a burden to others.

7. You become just as narcissistic as your parents (or even more).

The more aggressive a child is by nature, the more likely they are to respond to narcissistic parenting by playing a game of if you can’t beat them, join them: “I’ll just make sure I’m the loudest, prettiest, smartest person in the room.

That way no one can make me feel unimportant again.” 

If you’re born with a stubborn, bombastic temperament and exposed to the kind of neglectful or abusive parenting narcissists often provide, you’re more likely to end up narcissistic yourself.

8. You jeopardize your own health by constantly stressing yourself out.

The more abusive narcissistic parents become, the more likely they are to traumatize their children. That can lead to a fearful approach to life and to PTSD.

Abuse throws us into a state of constant alertness, vigilantly prepared to dodge the next danger.

This typically leads to chronic anxiety, sudden memories of abuse, emotional numbing, and even a foreshortened sense of future, in which people become so fixed on simply surviving that they lose the ability to imagine life beyond the present.

When the Circle Becomes a Dot

When Facebook first became a ‘thing’, most of us quickly reached out to connect ourselves to everyone we knew, from family to school friends to co-workers, past and present, etc. It became bragging rights, almost, to see the number of people you’re connected to be at a large number.

When I first signed up on Facebook, I was eager to connect to people as well, especially those from my past – school mates and past work colleagues. I even gained some new “friends” when a farm game I was playing on Facebook was much more successful when you had these ‘friends’ working your farm as well!

And after less than 3 months, the game began to bore me – you perform the same tasks over and over again to increase your points to buy things to put on your farm. It just didn’t have the luster it held for me when it (and I) was new to me.

I still open Facebook every day and scroll through my news feed. When someone I know makes a post and I see it, it does feel like a connection – a way of knowing what’s going on in the lives of people I know.

For at least the past 6 months – and possibly longer – what I’m posting on Facebook these days are usually memes, photos and new stories of interest that I see on my news feed and “share” so the people I know can see/read it too. I very seldom post anything original – told in my own words – mostly because I got tired of the drama that happened when someone didn’t agree with what I had written and started becoming a bully about it. I posted a photo of Barack and Michelle Obama as they prepared to board the steps of a plane upon leaving the White House (I didn’t say it for political reasons, I said it because I thought that they were a class act). I wrote something about being sorry to see them leave. A friend – someone I actually knew in real life – made a sarcastic response to my post and another friend – also someone I knew in real life – made a sarcastic response to the first response and then several people got involved and I’m told it got pretty nasty (I was at work and not on Facebook at the time). The first person’s response was deleted, as well as any other comments made by this person during the tirade. I ended up getting unfriended by the initial commentor, even though I had done nothing wrong.

Some of the other commentors told me bits and pieces of what was exchanged, and knowing the other ‘players’ as well, I wasn’t quick to jump believing them when they insisted all of the nasty stuff came from the other person and they had no fault at all in the encounter. I was upset, angry and felt betrayed by someone I’d called a “good friend” until this happened.

Shortly after that, I took the time to look down through the list of people whom I had labeled “friend” and some names came off. Most of the deletions were made because I hadn’t had contact with that person for a long while. As a result, my circle grew a little smaller.

I’ve been retired now for 5-1/2 years. I took a look at the people who were still on my friends list and recognized how many of them were related to my days at a career. I’ve also looked at how many of them seldom put a post on Facebook unless it’s a picture of someone or of some event. For a large group of people I know, it seems like we’ve had our time being Facebook addicts and now simply use it to check in on our friends.

Remember the saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”? Sadly, I have two people who are still on my friends list (and who haven’t unfriended me since I still see their posts) whom I would truly like to delete. I’ve hesitated only because unfriending them means it would be wise to unfriend some of the people I know in their circle or are loyal to them, and once I do unfriend the initial two, I’d prefer not to have anything I post in the future to get back to them in any way.

Nonetheless, I did delete a few more names in the meantime. And the circle grew smaller still.

Then, a few months ago, I saw a post of an obituary of someone I have known for a long, long time. He was a neighbor, a classmate and a bandmate during my formative high school years. He and I had a special routine between us that he’d start – and I’d finish – now and again. It was something silly, but with my low self-esteem, it always made me feel like he was doing it just to let me know that I was an okay person in his book. If you read my post about a future school reunion, he was #1 on the list of the 12 people I would love to look up again which made me consider attending the next reunion.

While he was not on Facebook, his passing made me really think about how small my circle of friends is getting.

I rather wish that Facebook would add a category or two indicating how you know the person with whom you wish to connect. “Acquaintance” would be a great one to add, and I can easily guesstimate how many of the people on my list would get moved there. “Colleague” might be another pretty great one and can encompass past and present. And hey, Facebook, while you are at it making changes, how about making a category called “Enemies”????

So, while the circle continues to grow smaller and smaller, I have become much more aware of the people who I do call “friend” with humble honor. I mean, it’s better to have a few good friends than a thousand fake ones, right?

Oh yea, by the way… the person who unfriended me after that drama was all over my Facebook contacted me by private message about 8 months ago to ask if we could talk. As tough as it was on my heart, I had to respond by saying that I’m not willing to open myself up to having that kind of person in my life for my own well-being. It still hurts my heart that we can’t be friends, but I’m proud of myself for putting myself first for a change! And, if I’m totally honest, to ask if “we could talk” without opening with an apology for what happened alerted me to the fact that this person hasn’t changed in the last few years, a reason why it was easier to turn down resuming a friendship.

And that’s all I’m gonna say ’bout that…

sorry.

If this doesn’t affect you in some way, then you have my pity for being unhuman.

I didn't have my glasses on....

this film, an oscar winner, was shot in 30 minutes

though it may not be voiced in your language

 all people will understand it

 at under 4 minutes, it is very short

but will stay with you for a very long time.

Sorry means you feel the pulse of other people’s pain as well as your own, and saying it means you take a share of it. And so it binds us together, makes us trodden and sodden as one another. Sorry is a lot of things. It’s a hole refilled. A debt repaid. Sorry is the wake of misdeed. It’s the crippling ripple of consequence. Sorry is sadness, just as knowing is sadness. Sorry is sometimes self-pity. But Sorry, really, is not about you. It’s theirs to take or leave.

Sorry means you leave yourself open, to embrace or to ridicule or to revenge. Sorry is a…

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Turn the Other Cheek

“Be kind, always. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

I’ve read those words countless times. I’ve heard people speak them countless times. I know at least one person who truly lives life with that mantra always at the top of the priority list.

I think I’m well above average on the “be kind” spectrum. I’ve bitten my tongue more than once when someone has said something to me as a personal attack in a way that was meant to be a personal attack. I’ve aspired to be the bigger person. Sometimes, I can let go of the anger and hurt of a comment hurled at me. Sometimes, I can’t.

At the risk of alienating those readers who are at the top of the “be kind” spectrum, I’m sorry that what I’m about to say will not measure up to you and possibly disappoint what you thought you knew about me, but… here’s how I see it….

I am much more forgiving and willing to turn my cheek for a stranger, a person I don’t know who knows nothing about me. Everyone is entitled to have a bad day (or moment) and everyone who is experiencing that has a breaking point. Having worked in the hotel industry where guests checking in are upset because they got lost, or their kids were yelling for the last hour of their road trip or any other reason will often take out how they feel on the front desk agent responsible for checking them in. That job gave me a lot of experiencing learning how to sympathize, apologize and agree that I’m sure they are glad to finally be at the hotel safe and sound. In effect, we learn how to diffuse their frustration without taking on the blame of it ourselves. I suspect almost every person who has ever worked the front desk of a hotel has, at one time or another, been brought to tears by a guest who is beyond the breaking point of frustration and explodes in that agent’s face. It’s not that they don’t deserve the same type of treatment in our response to them (because usually, they do!), but we know that what is best for us, as well as for them, is to get them checked in and away from the desk towards their room as quickly as possible, so we suck it up. (NOTE: If that kind of guest is you, trust me when I tell you that we will alert every other employee who might come in contact with you about the kind of person you are so that they are prepared!)

But, there are times when, in fact, I have “turned the other cheek” to someone who had no qualm about reaching out and slapping that one as well. The way I see it, you’ve had both of my cheeks, and if you come back at me a third time, all bets are off that I will bite my tongue. That third attempt will show me that you’re not having a bad day, instead, it will show me that you’re a bad person.

And I come back to, yet again, those people who loudly talk the talk about being these great Christians and then walk the walk of someone who has no aspiration to be a true Christian. I’m dealing with one of those people right now, and every day, I need to remind myself to keep my mouth shut and just let Karma do the work from me. I’m dealing with someone who I’ve known for over 50 years, who has been a part of my extended family for those years, and who has been intentionally condescending to me on multiple occasions. I’ve held my tongue each of those times out of respect for other extended family members. Recently, I learned that this person has acted in such a way that could be classified as “theft by deception” and has done so to my immediate family. Now it’s become a legal matter, incurring legal costs in order to get back what is owed to my immediate family. Again, I’m biting my tongue, as I have not been in contact with this person since 2015, and truly don’t wish to be in contact ever again in my lifetime.

Oh, but that I wish I could say just one thing to this person’s face: “Remember when you tartly disciplined me for not saying “in Jesus’ name we pray” before saying “amen” to grace before a meal and assured me that I couldn’t get to heaven except through Jesus? Well, for your sake, I hope that forgiveness is a real thing and that you find the way to be true when asking for forgiveness. Otherwise, my chances of getting into heaven are a whole lot better than yours.”

So, be disappointed with me if you must, according to your own judgement, but there are times I don’t think that “always” being “kind” is advantageous to our own well-being. And I can look at myself in the mirror and be okay with that.

Circuitous

When I’m tired enough to no longer be able to focus mentally, I take a break, get comfortable in my recliner and close my eyes for what I call a “rest period”. I’m lying to myself, of course. My intent is to be in that position long enough to fall asleep – whether for a short nap or for hours. Sleeping has become my favorite way to escape the world and all its (my) problems.

However, more often than not, once I can get my mind to turn away from the practical side of life, it slides into memories that travel in quite a circuitous pattern and route. Recently, I recognized this happening, and actually opened my eyes and wrote down key words so I could remember it and use it as an example:

I was thinking about my friend, Emily, who has a new corgi puppy named “Casper” (often called Caspie). She shares photos and little tidbits about him on social media, and each and every time, my face breaks into a smile because he’s so danged adorable! Well, Emily, who I worked with some years ago, now works at an independent brewing company. It just so happens that Brian, who is married to my friend Dana, is a big wig there and I wondered if she knew him. Thinking of Brian, of course, made me think of Dana. Brian is Dana’s second husband. She shares three adopted siblings with her first husband. Because of timing issues when Dana and husband #1 were building their house, they needed a place to stay for a couple of months. All of them squeezed themselves into the guest apartment that was part of the inn I managed. I got to see quite a bit of the kiddos who were then quite young. Dana took a photo of them with me when they were in their Halloween costumes. That photo came to my mind, and I thought about how fat my face looked in the photo.

And then I wondered if, when a body is cremated, they charge by the pound of the body they have to burn…

The thoughts stopped there, because after the circuitous way my mind traveled, it had finally come to a question it couldn’t answer, so it couldn’t move on…

Welcome to the way my mind often works! And you wonder if I’m weird????

These little munchkins, without my fat face!

Oh, to be an ostrich…

This popular metaphor is believed to have originated with observations of ostriches that appear to bury their heads in the sand to avoid predators. Some people think this behavior results from the fact that ostriches are so stupid that they believe burying their heads will make them invisible to predators. In other words, if they can’t see the predators, then the predators can’t see them.

For humans, it is more the idea that if we hide our heads from the problems we’re facing, they will eventually go away on their own.

Perhaps it’s partly because of my unending lack of patience (it keeps getting worse as I keep getting older), but I’ve always had problems dealing with “ostrich” people. I understand people who are in denial that a problem exists (my mother was sometimes the queen of denial), but if you know there is a problem that needs solved and you choose to ignore it, how does that help?

And yet, for the past several weeks or so, I have been trying to be an “ostrich” person. There is a problem going on in my life that I’m having difficulty in choosing how I want to solve, knowing the logical way that seems the choice to make is 100% different than the emotional choice I want to make. I’ve spent so much of my life ignoring my emotional desires because it’s the way people wanted me to behave. And in my head, I know that my emotions aren’t nearly as important as logic, but the logical solution is a lot of work – and expense – and energy – that I just don’t think I can do in a way that will make me okay with ignoring my emotions about it.

Okay, I’ve been vague about the crux of all of this because I’m pretty sure anyone who reads this will think that my emotions are silly. Rationally, I know that they are, but I can’t stop from feeling them.

I have a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser that I purchased, used, in 2012. At the time, I didn’t need to replace my car, but I was driving a much older car that I wasn’t truly enjoying driving. I saw this car in an ad and my first thought was, “Oh, I like how that car looks.” For the next month, every 5 or so days, I would check to see if that vehicle was still available, and each time, I felt the same way about it. I finally decided to drive to the auto sales place where it was located and looked it over. At six years of age, it had just over 40,000 miles, one owner, no reported accidents or recalls, no scratches, under the hood looked clean, etc. I took it for a short test drive to see how it felt, and then I returned it to the lot. I liked everything about it, but I told the salesperson that I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger that day. For several days, I started looking seriously at other used cars, searching for something to make me feel like this car did. After about a week, I went back to the lot, told the salesperson I was interested if we could make the numbers work, and eventually, I bit the bullet and said “yes” to buying it. I took out a 5-year loan for it and paid it off in 3 years because it was affordable.

Ten years later and I still have a very strong emotional relationship with this car. I’ve put just about another 40,000 miles on the years I’ve owned it, and it’s never needed any service beyond the normal wear and tear service when driving a car. It made several trips to Florida, especially after my mom died, and annual trips until after January, 2015, my dad passing away in March of that year. It’s made a couple of trips to South Carolina to visit friends. It is the most comfortable car I’ve ever owned.

Sadly, it is now on life support. It most likely needs a main fuse panel (dashboard is dead and it no longer starts, but it’s not the battery). However, that part is nowhere to be found! Obviously, the manufacturer doesn’t make parts anymore for vehicles that old, and even contacting junk yards has yet to prove successful. My mechanic suggested taking it to a dealership because maybe someone ‘attached’ to Chrysler may have better luck. That involves getting it towed, and I haven’t read good reviews about the nearest dealerships’ service departments. Plus, what do I do if they can’t find the part or find it within a reasonable amount of time???

Logic tells me that I need to call one of those places that takes cars in any condition for cash and buy something else. And I’ve been looking, but I don’t want to have to ‘settle‘ for something that I won’t be happy driving (my Cruiser has spoiled me!) And at my age, when I travel less than 2000 miles a year (at last inspection, it wasn’t even 1000 miles in a year’s time), I don’t want to buy something expensive, but neither do I want to buy something with super high mileage on it or as old as my Cruiser is. The worst part is that I don’t have my dad to reach out to any more for advice and his opinion. And I’d like to find one within 20 miles, so that my “test drive” can be to my mechanic’s shop, since he did offer to do a quick look under the hood and around the body for any concerns. There is one car dealership nearby, and I’ve been checking it online every day. I did see a vehicle on the site on a Friday and went to the lot to look at it on the following Monday, but it had been sold on that Thursday before and the website just hadn’t been updated.

Meanwhile, I am without a working vehicle. I had to cancel a hair appointment and a nail appointment both for this week. My bestie was fortunately going to the grocery store after work on Tuesday and picked me up to take me along. What I got will get me through two to three weeks, and the Rite-Aid I can walk to is where I can get milk if I need it.

I don’t want to give up on my Cruiser – my hopeful being telling me that I should try every option to see if it can be repaired – my logical side telling me that I’d just be throwing good money after bad. But, I love her!!!

I want to be an ostrich! I want to stick my head in the sand and wait until this problem goes away! Having said that, I’m working towards a solution, but only a little bit each day because it just makes me anxious and sad. Keep me in your good thoughts! And hey, if anyone wants to give me a working car, let me know!

I Am a Sweater

The title is true. I am indeed a sweater.

I’m not made of cotton, wool, cashmere, mohair or any other type of wearable fabric. I am technically neither long-sleeved nor short-sleeved, not even sleeveless. My neck is not shaped into a V, nor is it a turtleneck, mock turtleneck, scooped or rounded in design. I am not a cardigan. In fact, you cannot wear me in any way.

And yet, I am indeed a sweater. As far back as I can remember, there have been times I was a sweater, but there were also times I was not a sweater. About 15 years ago, the transition began to make me a full-time sweater, and in 5 years, the transition started moving faster. Since then, it’s been moving at a rapid rate, and by the summer of 2021, there was no denying that I would spend the rest of my life being a sweater.

Okay, if you haven’t guessed it by now, my perspiration rates are on steroids. I can remember, back even to high school and gym class that I would begin to sweat as soon as I began physical activity. But to me, it wasn’t an issue, nor was I the only one working up a sweat. And yes, living in an area that has high humidity in the summer, it didn’t take me long to start sweating after being outside.

I remember, at the age of 45, that I was walking across a parking lot to go into a building for a sales call. It was a sunny day, I think late September, and I was dressed in business proper. The walk was a bit uphill and had a few steps between levels, and by the time I got up the steps to the last level, less than 20 steps to the entrance, I was soaked. My face was sweating, the back of my neck was sweating, the entire back of my blouse was stuck to me with the sweat. We’re not talking make a few dabs with a tissue and you’ll be fine – it was more like I’d just gotten out of the shower and didn’t bother to towel off before dressing and arriving there. Fortunately, I’d arrived early enough before my appointment to be able to whisk off to a restroom first. I had to use toilet paper to wipe the sweat from my face and neck because they only had the hand dryers that used forced air. And even though that air tended to be warm, I managed to scrunch my body up enough to get most of my back under it to help dry my shirt. My face was flushed, but I couldn’t do anything about that.

I won’t go into detail on how the sweating episodes increased over time. About 10 years ago, after repeatedly mentioning this to my PCP, she finally decided to look into it. I was sent to a kidney specialist since excess sweating is often a sign of a kidney problem. Nope, my kidneys were perfectly healthy after several tests and x-rays. The doctor there then told me that she could send me to a neurologist to see if there was anything in the nerve system to cause the symptom, of she could just go ahead and prescribe what a neurologist would prescribe either way. Apparently, the only drug available was to help the symptoms. I took the prescription but there wasn’t much change after 30 days, so she increased the amount. That helped a little bit – it didn’t stop me from easily sweating, but it did help with the high excess of sweat that was being released.

Fast forward 5 years, and I’m still taking the medicine, even though I’d moved from the area I was living and had to find a new medical practice. Since I was already on a variety of medications, they initially just continued me on what I was already taking. After a couple of years, I asked to be taken off the prescription for the sweating issue, as it was clearly no longer working. I was back to sweating excessively again.

So I lived with it. I started having sweating episodes for no reason at all. I could be sitting in an air-conditioned room and just randomly break out in a sweat once or twice a day a couple of days per week. They would last 5 to 10 minutes and then be gone as quickly as they arrived. This summer, I rearranged furniture in my living room to be able to add a table and bring my laptop out from an un-air-conditioned room. But still, whenever I wasn’t sitting directly in front of the air flow from the window air conditioner, and though I had a clock that told me time, temperature and humidity in that room (humidity was high but temperature was usually at 70), I’d start breaking out in sweats multiple times, almost every day, with episodes that could last up to a half-hour.

My new PCP (if you’ve followed my blog, you know I had issues with the previous one) clearly heard me and made a notation that this was something that needed to be looked at, but there were some other issues that were higher priority so it’s currently on a back burner, so to speak. Meanwhile, I can be sitting directly in front of a fan (I am right now, on its highest speed!), and although it hits my face directly enough to keep it dry, the hair at the back of my neck is damp with sweat. and I can feel a small amount of sweat in the creases of my arms and knees.

So, I spent the summer staying indoors because of the heat and humidity. And normally, I would be spending the winter indoors because of the bitter cold. However, more evenings than not, I open the front door and go outside and stand on the porch – no coat of any kind – to try and cool off my body, or at least dry up the sweat. I can stand out there, even in temperatures less than freezing, for many, many minutes without ever feeling cold.

I wonder if this is God sending me a message about what to expect in hell if I don’t mend my ways? All I know is this:

Happens in the cold weather too!