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Sometimes our partners in life do and say the most amazing, perfect things. Things we can hold on to, treasure, and weave into the fabric of our lives. Touchstones that sustain us. Sometimes our partners are perfect.

Don’t worry, honey, I’m not expecting it on a daily basis. But it sure helps.

This week’s song is by Jackson Browne.

Please click here to enjoy.

Have a great week, my lovelies. Hug your darlings.

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This post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog. Erika’s debut novel, The Dragon in The Garden can be found at Tirgearr Publishing.

 

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This week’s song is No More Drama by Mary J. Bilge. Not metal, certainly, but an emotion laden, passionate song and I dig passion. Thankfully my day-to-day life contains little drama. As I’ve gotten older I find I have less and less time for it and for those individuals who flock to it—moths to its alluring but exhausting flame. There is too much I wish to do and too many people I’d love to spend my spare time with, time that I find more and more precious as the years slide by.

Years sliding by… that’s an excellent start to a central theme to this week’s post. Midlife crisis. When I was younger the words seemed a bit of a joke. Such a cliché, laden with images of men and women’s thickening middles and thinning hair. The specter of eyes losing their sparkle, and clothing just a bit out of step with the current trends. It brings echoes of ridiculous red sports cars and paramours far too young to be on the arm of their aging suitor… this dynamic applies equally to men and women these days. See, ladies, we’re breaking that glass ceiling bit by bit, even the gross parts.

I’m an optimist so I’m convinced I’m just hitting my midpoint, perhaps not even there yet. *big cheesy grin* This means I’m due to live to ninety-four, but hey, let’s go big, centurion style. You’re all invited to my 100th birthday party. Regardless, if I haven’t past the midpoint then I can see it. What’s more, the people around me can see it, too. A whole generation of crazy kids who can’t shake the feeling that somehow time has almost caught them. Though not old, there is a shared sense that we won’t be young forever.

Most of us are still attractive, we can catch someone’s eye. We feel good. In large part, we are healthy. Yet, looming in the back of our minds is an ugly thought: for how much longer? These are the years when a person needs to seriously take stock of their life. Are we ready for retirement? Have we chosen our friends wisely? Our careers? Our spouses? If there’s a dream to be fulfilled then are we truly chasing it? Or has it slipped beyond our grasp?

At the end of the day these all blend into the one big quandary… If in fact our days are finite then how do we want to spend the time allotted to us?

That’s where the song comes into play. (See how I circled back?) One of the decisions that has the biggest impact on anyone’s potential for happiness is who to spend that time with. For many that decision involves a partner, a spouse. I am both lucky and unlucky in that regard. I married an adorable, loving, hard-working man whom I’m crazy about. When we’re together it’s good, very good. Problem is, he is that hard-working guy and he takes his role as provider very seriously. Translation? He travels… a lot. So, that’s rough. I’m white-knuckling it until I can go with him or his circumstances change (ie retirement).

But I know I picked a good guy.

I’m watching very dear friends wrestle with their home situations. Some have already made the leap, while for others it’s only a matter of time. You can hear it in their voices, grieving for the death of a marriage they don’t even realize they’re leaving yet. In almost every single instance, I’m convinced it’s the right choice for both partners. The drama, the continual bad news, the sadness that permeates these households is not good. Not for the spouses, not for the kids, not even for the pets. Marriage is work. It is commitment. It is compromise and sacrifice. But not this much sacrifice. Not this much ugliness. Not you and your spouse bringing out the very worst in one another.  The road from point A to point B is long and will suck, but I hope it leads to happier times. And there’s that word again. Time.

Time is short and precious. Our days are numbered whether we recognize the fact or not. Make them good days. No more drama, no more pain. Sing it, Mary.

So you’re having a mid-life crisis? Good for you! I hope you are finding a way to make your life worthwhile, a road to happiness for yourself and for those near and dear to you.

Lyrics to No More Drama by Mary J. Blige

So tired, tired of these drama
No more, no more
I wanna be free
I’m so tired, so tired
Broken heart again
Another lesson learn
Better know your friends
Or else you will get burn
Gotta count on me
Cause I can guarantee
That I’ll be fine
No more pain (no more pain)
No more pain (no more pain)
No drama (no more drama in my life)
No one’s gonna make me hurt again
What a player fool
Go through ups and downs
Nowhere and all the time
You wouldn’t be around
Or maybe I like the stress
Cause I was young and restless
But there was long ago
I don’t wanna cry no more
No more pain (no more pain)
No more game (no more game messin with my mind)
No drama (no more drama in my life)
No one’s gonna make me hurt again
No more tears (no more tears, I’m tired of cryin’ every night)
No more
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This post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

Let’s face it. The news has not been good. I wish to be clear on my politics:

  • The news makes me cry. Just about every day now it seems.
  • I support our brave police forces. They lay their lives on the line every day. I thank them and salute them.
  • I believe black lives matter- yes, they all matter, but if I’m a mother of a black child… I’m a little more nervous. And rightly so.
  • I want to be informed, but the information I glean hurts.

This past weekend my sweetie and I went to a wedding. It was the marriage of two people I’d never met. The groom works with my boy. I like the groom. I like the bride. It was a delightful gathering with fun people. We danced. I adore dancing.

Before we go any further… I have to say… these are LOVELY people. I mean really, lovely. And I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, Heather and Brent, for reminding me of what humanity’s greatest defense against hate, intolerance, and flat-out idiocy has always been…

LOVE. KINDNESS. COMPASSION.

Every day people living every day lives… opening a door, giving a hug, smiling while making eye-contact. We survive because of a shared warmth, a community, and desire to better ourselves.

Heather and Brent- As your song, your first dance played, I immediately teared up. I had not yet met you, but I felt a profound connection with you. And that’s our shared connection… that’s humanity. And that is why we’ll get better, we’ll do better. The news has been dark before but we have survived, even thrived. We will do so again… so long as we have someone to Lava

Go… Hug someone…I mean it! Go….listen and find someone to Lava.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh4dTLJ9q9o

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This post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

This was to be another piece.

One on teachers.

Then, later, one, on the importance of immunization.

Then, a note on tolerance.

In the end, it boiled down to one simple fact.  A good man died today. And I do not mean Casey Kasem.

A world leader?  No.  A millionaire magnate? No.  Yet, he was a man who loved well and stood by his friends.  You could count on him.  Will he be on the news?  No.  Will he be remembered? Yes.

What else can any of us ask for?

Casey Morton died today.  He was good.  He was loving.  He was 46.

A friend of of mine wrote me because she was concerned for a mutual friend, Holly, who was very close to Casey.  She asked if we (myself and another high school friend, Amy) remembered Casey?  I mean, he was a year ahead of us.

Are you kidding?  How could you forget Casey?  Joyous, full of life, and full of love?  Of course, of course, I remember Casey.  I knew him in drama.  He ran lines with me.  He made me believe that I COULD in fact survive, even thrive, on stage.  And Amy?  Her first job was at the Bennett Valley Baskin Robbins (which is still there) and Casey helped train her in all her dairy glory.

And the tears flow.

Casey was an epileptic and had a seizure during which he took a bad fall.  That’s all it took to snuff the light of a vibrant, affectionate, beautiful man.

Casey Morton died today.  He was good.  He was loving.  And, I hope, he will be remembered.

My deepest, most heartfelt sympathies for his family and loved ones.  He was amazing- you are blessed.

For all those we’ve lost, here’s your Musical (Almost) Monday… We’ll Burn The Sky by the immortal Scorpions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EZRN_DkN0o

Casey, my friend, I hope there is a love waiting to join you, beyond these mortal realms, flying the sky, burning the horizon.

Those we lose are no longer with us, but that does not mean, it never, ever means, that we forget.

 

Casey Morton, Montgomery High, Class of 1986

Casey Morton, Montgomery High, Class of 1986

 

This post was written by Erika Gardner.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog.  Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.  Check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

 

The good news is that I am no longer behind because of my vacation… It’s been three weeks so I can’t use that excuse anymore.  The bad news is I am still behind.  Ah, well, par for the course, eh?

Somewhere in the craziness of my life I realized that this past weekend actually saw the one year anniversary since I began this blog.  This set me to thinking.  What have I learned from fifty-one posts, two hundred and forty-four comments (approved at least) and three hundred and forty tags?

You’d be surprised, actually.  I was.  It wasn’t what I would have thought.

I have learned we largely take from the Internet that which we bring to it.  In my day-to-day life I value family, friends and a sense of community above all else.  So, it comes as no surprise then that the Internet has helped me reconnect with old friends, strengthen relationships with current ones and make new friends, primarily other bloggers.

Blogging requires consistency.  One needs to keep posting or interest fades.  I am not always consistent in all I undertake, so this is good practice for me.

Hostess once had a character named Chauncey the Chocodile.  Who knew?

Another thing I’m finding I need to practice in regards to my blog is restraint.  A couple of my blogs have generated their fair share of controversy (take the piece on Swankville or the one on home schooling) and I have received my quota of blistering comments.  My general rule of thumb is to put up any comment, even if it rips me to shreds, provided it uses relatively clean language and does not contain too vicious a personal attack.  The temptation to reply to some of these is huge, but it serves no one to engage the true believers.  I am not going to change their mind.  No need to fuel the fire.  Let me assure you, this is very un-Erika.  Usually I have to have the last word.

Speaking of true believers, here’s another something I’ve learned, sometimes the delete button is your friend.

As “American as apple pie” started as a Depression era marketing campaign to aid apple farmers.  I’d say it worked.

Don’t give up on people.  Most people will try to do the right thing most of the time.

I’ve learned a few interesting things about myself.  As outspoken as I have been, I’m not as fearless as I would like to think myself to be.   I’ve had a piece on our local schools sitting in my drafts folder for months now, but I haven’t hit the publish button.  I’m not sure how it would impact my kids.  Prudence or cowardice?  Hard to say.

I realized I could never be a vampire.  Will I ever need this knowledge? Likely not, but it’s good to know anyway.

I have found out I am not alone.  Others out there are just as passionate on topics close to my heart.  Of course, I also know there are lots who as equally passionate in the opposite direction.  Somehow, knowing there are people like me outweighs the thought of those who are not.  This isn’t limited to the big things like women’s reproductive rights, teen bullying or civil liberties; it works on the more mundane.  For instance, other people miss Ronnie James Dio and mark May 16th as a sad day, too.

I like jelly donuts, I never knew that before, and I like the “jelly” in my friends even more.

I never want to stop writing.  I never want to stop running.

Sometimes the life we end up with is not the life we dreamed of as children.  Sometimes, it is even better.

I firmly believe that happiness is a choice and this past year has reaffirmed that for me.  Thank you, my friends, for a wonderful year.

Five reasons to be so happy- the four of them and all of you!

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