When Home and Work Both Feel Like Home

So here it is the first day of a new week! Sunday is usually around the beginning of my weekend because I have Sundays and Mondays off of work normally. However, this weekend has been different. Yes, I’ve been having a four day weekend! I took vacation days Friday and Saturday.

It’s been a wonderful long weekend thus far. Honestly, I even went to my place of work for a little while yesterday in order to attend a book and music sale. It was great fun in the basement of Morris Library. My brother went with me and we enjoyed the experience. I got to give him a tour of the place. We both commented on what an amazing library it is. It had been many years since he’d experienced the majesty of Morris Library.

Today I attended the local First Presbyterian Church where I’m a member. My father was the scripture reader for the service. He was given a long passage of verses to read and he read them with eloquence. After the service he and I agreed regarding the importance of reading slowly whenever reading before a crowd. From the many times I’ve read my short stories in front of others I know there is wisdom in the slow read.

Tonight will be a good chance to stay home and relax. I’d like to begin a new fiction story and also watch a couple of episodes of Stranger Things. I love that show! It’s set in the eighties and I enjoy it thoroughly. It’s a great thing to stay home and relax from time to time. A rich social life is great also. Sometimes, though, I simply need to chill at home in my basement. A basement is a grand place to hang out and fly solo.

Tomorrow is the final day of this extended weekend. Tuesday it is back to work. And Tuesday will be wonderful because I’ll get to journey back to the majestic library. This former English major and current major in the art of life is at home in Morris Library.

What could be better than having home and work both feel like home?


Friendly Life Travelers

This evening I had a zoom meeting with two dear friends. These friends live a few hours away so zooming is a wonderful way for us to stay in touch. It’s always a great joy to see their smiling faces and share laughter with them. They are two highly cool young ladies.

Video chatting, zooming, is a fun activity that I only began doing a few years ago. Sometimes I like it far better than texting or talking over the phone. It makes me happy to see smiling faces looking back at me while knowing that perhaps I’m bringing them happiness also. Laughter and happiness aren’t always well stocked in our often troubled world. If I can share these miracles with friends then a good think has occurred. Good things are great for my soul.

The friends that zoomed with me earlier tonight are absolutely delightful company. I was looking forward to seeing them all the day long. I knew it would be a highlight of this Sunday. Let’s not take the highlights for granted in our life stories.

Let’s tell our friends how much we care for them!

Make the call, pen the note, send the gift, share the smile, laugh with gusto together and look out for one another. Something I wanted to be when I was way younger was more outgoing. I’m an introvert today, but back then I was incredibly shy. I didn’t know many people growing up that were my age and I did not have many friends. Shyness prevented me from making friends easily. Through perseverance, prayer, a kind heart and life experiences I’ve become more outgoing. Well, now I’m entering into the middle age range of life. And life is beautiful.

Let’s show our friends that we love them!

Talk can be inexpensive and actions can cost us our very lives. Another way of saying the preceding sentence is something about talk being cheap and actions speaking louder. How remarkable it is though to meet a fellow life traveler who has their words and actions united in love and kindness. Keep traveling with those sorts of travelers! They’ll enrich your life.

My friends I zoomed with tonight have enriched my life!

Keep Showing Up

Good friendships are such a special deal. I’ll be turning thirty-nine years of age next month. The friends that have impressed me the most up until this middle age point are the ones that have kept showing up. A smart individual once said that showing up is half of life. I agree. Truly, friendships don’t work like they ought unless both friends keep up the work of putting in the time and effort to stay friends.

It is work, in a way, to keep our friends. How many close friendships have fallen apart due to laziness on one friend’s or both friends apathy? I’m a sentimental soul and I care deeply about the stuff I value. I often discover myself wishing that others valued their friends like I value mine. In a better world maybe folks would care more about keeping and loving their friends.

Put in the effort to hold dear to those dear to you. Hope they do the same. Throughout our existence it can be so tempting to make enemies or live in enmity with our fellow life travelers. To hell with that. I’m a humanity lover and I’ve no time for strife. No, I’m too busy living and loving my journey.

The great and good stuff in our lives is always worth struggling with and fighting for. Fight for a quality life with tons of laughter, kindness, love and good friends. Be a good friend to your neighbors all around the world as you travel and enjoy the results.

A Rebuttal to Rejection

I finished writing a new short story recently. Some of the friends I’ve shared it with have offered positive feedback. The kind words mean so much to me! It means a great deal to creators when someone else states that they in fact enjoyed their creation. In those moments it all seems worth it. The time and perseverance put into the creating seems like time well spent.

Complimentary words are worth more than financial gain to me concerning my stories. A few weeks back a story and poem I authored were accepted for publication in a local university magazine. I was joyful upon hearing the news of acceptance. This world can throw so much rejection and sorrow our way; it’s beautiful to be accepted.

Let’s not let life’s rejections discourage or defeat us! Yes, I absolutely meant that exclamation point. Let’s allow hope to rule our days and evenings. Hope for your heart’s desires. These hopes can apply to anything at all from our dating lives to our greatest pursuits and ambitions. If we try our hardest and fail we can still be proud of ourselves while knowing we gave it our everything.

I’ve had writings that were not accepted before. It was discouraging. Although it wasn’t defeating. I knew I’d authored the best stories I was capable of at that point in time. Just because another soul didn’t much care for it did not mean I should stop loving it. We should all keep on loving what we create and accept our art with joyful enthusiasm.

I finished that new story recently and I feel wonderful about it!

The Fifteen Year Plan

On this day fourteen years ago I received my first full-time job with Southern Illinois University Carbondale. I was ecstatic when offered the position. I’d graduated from SIUC around nine months earlier. This English major didn’t have a five year plan after graduation day. So I was thrilled to be offered a job with a university I loved.

Fourteen years later and I’m working my third job with SIUC. It also just so happens to be my favorite. I’m a Library Specialist for Morris Library on campus. My days are spent at the Circulation Desk checking in and out the books and DVDs and other library materials. It’s a sweet job and I enjoy the company of my coworkers. English majors are made for libraries.

Yes, so I’ve never had a five year plan for much of anything at all. Although a year from now I can state that I’ve accomplished a fifteen year plan by working at my beloved university. Life doesn’t often go as planned. There are a great many plot twists in our stories. I keep my life plans simple and attainable. I plan to keep on rejoicing and being a happy person. That’s one plan I can fulfill.

Whatever your goals or life plans are I hope you keep happiness and joy in the mix of the planned pursuits. Jobs and life itself is what we make of it. Let’s make the best of it by being the best versions of ourselves.

It’s only sixteen years until retirement!

Hopeful Romantic

Around this time every February the lonely might just get a little lonelier and those in love might just feel the need to prove it more than ever before. I’m referring to Valentine’s Day of course. This day should not be a cause for loneliness or sorrow for the single soul. I’m alone, single, but I’m not lonely. There’s more to life than romantic relationships. The single life can be underrated by society in general.

So don’t be lonely on Tuesday if you’re alone currently. Go out anyway! Have lots of fun! Maybe you’ll meet someone or maybe you won’t. Rejoice anyway! Life is beautiful if we have hearts to see it. Loneliness can happen to couples as well as singles. I’d rather be on my own than with the wrong woman. I get along with myself quite well. A bad relationship could seriously disrupt my inner peace. Then there is the hope of a right relationship.

I’ll be honest. After all of these years I’m still looking for the right lady at the right time. I used to think of myself as a hopeless romantic. Truthfully, I am a hopeful romantic. Hope is a great thing! I’ve experienced a lot of hope throughout the story of my life thus far. The women who haven’t been interested in me might’ve done me favors by not liking me as more than a friend. Goodness only knows. What I do know is that neither you nor I should give up on romantic love if that is something we desire.

I might be single my whole life through, but I’ll always be hopeful.

This is How to Make an Adult Act Like a Fifth Grader

I had a snow day yesterday! Although it was truly more of an ice day that shut down Southern Illinois University Carbondale for a day. I was hoping for a two for one deal on the ice day. However today SIUC was open again for business for this Library Specialist. And this library fellow braved the ice and went off to work at 7:00 AM.

Enough about today though. What I’d rather discuss is snow and ice days. Have you ever noticed that grown adults grow as joyful as young children at the thought of a snow day? Seriously! It is as if we are all fifth graders again and the local schoolhouse has closed its doors for the day! Adults love snow days perhaps even more than kids. Is it for some of us that we cannot enjoy our jobs or is it that snow days are magical? I’m placing my quarters for a bet on the magic.

What if every new day had magic to its minutes and hours? Perhaps all new days do have this quality and we grown-ups forget to look and see it clearly. To have the maturity of an adult and the sense of wonder of a child is the only life for me. Bring on the snow day! Bring out the magic! Stay home and play cards and spin records! Or get caught up on your favorite TV show. Author a new story. Live!

I don’t want to live a life void of wonder or common day miracle or magic. Setbacks and sorrows are part of our stories. They are not the whole of the stories though. Pessimism can go sulk by itself ’cause I’m off enjoying a snow day every day.

Place a bet on magic and you might be surprised by the winnings.

Melancholy, Mental Health and Joy

Melancholy is perhaps the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. It feels like a prison without possibility of parole. As a youth it seemed like there was no way out of or away from the negative hopeless feeling of melancholy. The good news is I’ve been hopeful for many years now and I’ll never be the young age of 17 again.

Hopeless is no way to journey through life. People are free to be joyful and happy. Although if we’ve settled for sorrow then it can take some hard work to regain happiness and joy. I don’t lead a sorrowful life and I hope you aren’t either. Let’s be bold and choose gladness.

Growing up I was dealing with undiagnosed monster of bipolar disorder. I had some serious problems to deal with and I fought and dealt with them. My diagnosis of manic depression arrived shortly before I reached the age of 20. College wasn’t easy, but finding out I had mental illness was way harder. I feel like bipolar used to be the monster in the story of my life. However, now I feel as if bipolar is pretty much just a bad dream from the past. Of course I still have this illness which I take medicine for daily. The real bad stuff though is way in the past. I turned away from melancholy long ago and turned toward happiness. I’ve never returned to that particular darkness. I’m too busy enjoying life to go back.

The best stuff in life is worth struggling and fighting over. My number 1 goal whenever I was 17 was to be a happy person. Happiness felt unattainable. It felt like it was off having fun in another universe. Childhood joy was over and I was a teenager who was trying so desperately to become a man. I wanted to be a good man. I still aim toward this goal of goodness. Faith in a controversial carpenter from long ago has helped me along the way. My own perseverance has also helped.

In the daily struggles of our lives I hope we choose to say farewell to melancholy and say good morning to joy.

So Go Write A Poem

I wrote a poem the other day! The reason for the exclamation point is because for many years I have told myself I’m bad at poetry writing. For a long time I’ve stayed in the comfort lane of blog and fiction writing. I feel like these two areas of expression suit me better than poetry. The other night, though, I said To hell with all of that nonsense! So I sat down and authored a short poem.

Why don’t we do stuff that scares us more often? Or why don’t we push ourselves on the regular out of the comfort zone? Because it is terrifying of course! But is it worth it? I believe it is worth it.

With the new poem I am about to do something even braver than writing poetry. I’m going to submit it to the local university literary magazine. Honestly, I might even write one or two more poems and submit them also. Who and what is stopping me?

Fear is not our friend. Fear can keep us from doing that which we love. The fear or false belief that we aren’t any good at something should not keep us from creating. The critics will criticize and the haters will practice hate. We should keep on loving and doing what we love. What is stopping us?

So go write a poem or practice whatever art you love but think you’re not any good at!

Blue Ink on White Paper

Yesterday evening I placed blue ink to white paper and jotted down some new life goals. I enjoy labeling them goals instead of resolutions. Resolutions for a new year makes me think of the word “failure” automatically. I don’t want to fail; I want to see some life changes in daily habits. These changes are possible with hard work.

What about you? Do you have any new goals for 2023? New goals needn’t start at the start of a new year necessarily. The great think about a change in life direction is that the change can begin any new day. Sometimes it will feel like one step of progress forward and ten steps in the wrong direction. Self improvement is a struggle. Is it any great wonder that many of us seem to feel this improvement is impossible?

One of the new goals is to spend less time out socializing and more time at home in the company of books and writing. If I am to write more fiction stories then I have to be home in a quiet space to write them. I am all for socializing with friends, but I don’t need to stay out late every night. New short stories won’t write themselves.

Another goal is to lose around 20 pounds. The method of simply eating less and drinking fewer calories seems to be the best ticket to succeeding in this area. A little exercise via walking could also help.

I’d like to spend way less time on my smart phone this year and all years going forward. I’m tired of the addiction that is the computer in my pocket. It would be awesome to better control technology instead of technology controlling me. Many of us are hooked on our phones and we don’t even stop to think about how much time we have invested in these small devices. Smart phones are a great convenience for sure. I am simply sick of mine controlling so much of my time.

Yes, I am hopeful for positive life changes.