Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Keyless and fancy free

It’s been a long week. A good week. A week with some ups to the sucking me downs. That sounds so dismal but I think it might also be accurate.
I am rediscovering the joys of live music. And pubs. And performance oriented companions. They are so full of life and vigour and they bring it out in everyone around them. I used to have that. I probably still do, I just have it locked behind many, many, many chained doors at this point. Working on finding the keys.
I think I may need to start dating again soon. It sounds exhausting. And terrifying. And kind of pointless right now. But soon… It might be a healthy thing to try.

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Family: Who Makes the Cut

Happy Family
Happy Family Taking Self Portrait courtesy photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I write out my Christmas Cards, I can’t help but think of who I consider to be family.

I am part of many families, you see. There’s my mother’s family, and my father’s family with whom I share a common lineage (adoptively speaking), and my father’s created family (those who have standing invitations to our home), and my created family, which includes a few of my friends, and members of each of my other families, and Dashing and a few of his biological family.

It’s a little like this:

FAMILY CHART

FAMILY CHART – BY MISS HAPP

But how do we get there? When you’re little, your family are those people who take care of you, and by extension any whom they call family.

Over years one develops those existing relationships, growing closer to some, learning to tolerate (or not) others… and as one grows and meets new people one adds to the base from which to draw familial relationships.

That’s fairly simple, and common, thinking.

But when is it that someone goes from being a friend, to being family?

For me, it is that line where I would protect them from themselves. I love my friends, yes, but somehow I know they manage without me. I know they can take care of their own stuff, and I trust them to ask for help if they need it. I feel comfortable telling them when I think their behaving poorly, or when they’ve made a poor choice, but if they choose to disagree, well, that’s up to them.

Family though, family is so much more complicated.

Because somehow, in the idea that my life would be truly altered if this person were to leave or be in hardship, there’s the self-protective reaction that says I should do all I can to prevent it.

If a family member has an addiction, it affects me in ways a friend’s addiction might not, and it’s so much harder to tell them “You have a problem, and I need you to get help” because it’s like telling part of yourself that you’ve been let down by it.

If a friend has financial hardship – I might give them some money to help out, but probably not that much, and I might expect it paid back someday. I can understand that a friend might fall on hard times. And I understand that they will get back up on their own eventually.

If I see a family member heading towards financial hardship, I do all I can – lecturing, giving of funds, subtle and not-so-subtle hints about job applications or savings accounts – because underneath it all, I feel responsible for their well-being.

I recognize that, like my friends, my family is mostly full of capable adults, who manage to feed themselves, and clothe themselves, and get to and from work daily without my constant assistance or supervision – but I still feel connected to them in a way where if they fail, I fail. If they succeed, I am proud of their accomplishment, and happy to have helped in any small way. But when family hits a rough spot, for me, it’s an all hands on deck kind of time.

At least, that is the gut, knee-jerk reaction.

But I’ve come to learn that even family, sometimes have to fail on their own.

After all, it’s through failing that we learn our greatest lessons, right?

But even when it’s a hands off – let-em-fall-down kinda time, there’s still that instinct, that basic desire to come between them and the cold, hard ground, because when they hurt, I hurt.

And that’s how I know who’s my family.

Where’s the line for you? Are you more protective of friends, trusting your family to speak up more? What do you think? Let me know below!

The Soundtrack of My Life…

I think acoustic guitar features in my soundtrack

Acoustic Guitar courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So when Dashing and I were just barely thinking about courting, I made him a mixed CD. Full of songs that I liked and was listening to at that point in time.

We’d been friends for awhile, and were both getting out of long-term relationships in pretty messy ways. Mine I spoke of here, and his, well, his marriage was ending.

So I’d been listening to a lot of Matchbox 20 and Dusty Springfield. And I thought some of the songs might speak to him too, so I made him a mixed CD, and instead of labeling the song and artist, I wrote down who or what the song made me think of most.

I think I labelled Matchbox 20’s “Bed of Lies” as You and I labelled Dusty’s “I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten” as either Me or Us, I can’t remember how bold I was feeling at the time.

I made him cry. And then I made him blush.

Music has always been a huge part of our relationship, and a huge part of our individual lives.

For me, I grew up singing motown and rock and roll with my Daddy, and gradually included the Cranberries and Great Big Sea and other assorted artists from the contemporary era.

But I was never the kid who knew what music was in at the time. I didn’t listen to top 40 radio stations, and the songs were usually new-to-me at school dances. It actually took me until university to learn the difference between Prince and Michael Jackson… And they say people don’t learn anything useful at university any longer…

Now, I feel like the media surrounding a person really speaks to and about that person. When I read Lucy Maud Montgomery, I speak and think like Anne Shirley. When I read non-fiction I get introspective and then turn those reflections out onto the world. When I read Sharon Creech, I long for travel, and stories from grandparents. When I read A Practical Wedding, I’m inspired to journal my thoughts and feeling and channel them into cohesive, creative viewpoints for discussion.

When I listen to the ’50s and ’60s, I’m at home. I’m comfortable, and I want to party and reminisce. When I listen to classical, I usually have something on my mind. When I listen to jazz or musicals, I want to perform and invite drama in. And when I listen to modern music that is new to me… well, it does depend on the song, but usually it’s pretty love it or hate it, and mostly, I just want to skip it.

But I’ve been expanding my reading base, going back over classics I’ve wanted to read or to be able to say that I’ve read. So I felt I should expand my music base…

So I bought the Burlesque Soundtrack CD, and two Grey’s Anatomy (Season 1 and 3). Burlesque has Cher, and Grey’s I already enjoy the snippets of music in the episodes, so I figured, baby steps, right?

So while I don’t enjoy every song, I have found Grace Potter and the Nocturnals Falling or Flying to be interesting. I’m looking forward to cultivating more music around me by artists who are still producing, because as much as I love that which is familiar, I, like all people I know, am constantly changing. And the people and things and art we gather to us should reflect that.

So to one who is fighting the stagnation of her radio, what modern or contemporary artists would you recommend?

Student living and me.

Just life. But through the eyes of a Blue-eyed History student.

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