Wrath of Virginia


Welcome to my blog!

For the month of June, I will be posting Definition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first week is defining moments.

de·fin·ing mo·ment

noun
plural noun: defining moments
          an event that typifies or determines all subsequently related occurrences.

DAY 3- Wrath of Virginia

My mother was a loving, giving, generous soul as long as you weren’t one of her children.

Everyone loved my mother. They would sing praises about Aunt Virginia,  mention her operatic voice and her wonderful talents, and make me feel like I was the worst daughter in the entire history of female children.

Don’t get me wrong,  I loved my mom. I am a lot like her in many ways. Personality wise,  I am the most like her between myself and my two sisters.

My mother had strict German upbringing and was not outwardly affectionate towards her children. We were expected to straighten up, fly right, and act like mini adults. She ruled with an iron hand and my siblings and I  know well the wrath of Virginia.

I hate to admit this but here goes.  I  let my mom control my life until I was 30! IT wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I learned to stand up for myself as an adult, and realize that I wasn’t going to go straight to hell if I got the wrath of Virginia.

Oh, my mother had a mean temper. She let you know in no uncertain terms when she was not pleased. I knew that well as  I often displeased her. Being the youngest of five, I learned at an early age that it was easier to ask forgiveness than it was for permission. Yes, I got into trouble a lot. I wouldn’t wish me as a child on anyone!

One day when my firstborn child was about six months old,  she called and said we needed to come over because my brother was coming in from out of town. Both of my brothers lived out of state and the oldest seldom ever came home.

Well, I couldn’t.  My daughter was sick and I wasn’t about to drag her out in the weather and told her NO.  You’d have thought I had denied my Christian upbringing.

“No? What do you mean NO?”

“I can’t mom. Sarah is sick. IF I go anywhere, it’s going to be to the emergency room. Give my regards to everyone.” 

I cut the call off as quickly as I could, I knew. . .  I mean I KNEW that I was in deep.  I said no to mom. By the way, yes there was hell to pay.

Somewhere though in caring for my sick infant child, juggling phone calls from my sister,  my mother my sister again, my other sister, and a final hateful message from my mother I realized that saying no to mom wasn’t the worst thing I could do.

Things were beginning to click.

My mother was an expert in emotional blackmail. She was expert in creating drama that you HAD to do it her way. Bless her heart,  if she hadn’t been so manipulative,  I think we could have had a better relationship.

She and my father doted on their grandchildren, however.  My sibs and I were like HUH? scratching our heads at the outpouring of affection that wasn’t allowed us.

Virginia was a strongwilled dominant woman. About that operatic voice –  she could have been an opera singer but her father wouldn’t allow it –  keep in mind this was pre-world war II days. She often sang in church and especially at Christmas and Easter.  She sang Ave Maria, Emmanuelle, Jerusalem, O Holy Night, and many other traditional hymns.

In all honesty, I was the rebellious one.  Whatever she liked, I rebelled against it. Can I let you in on a secret?  I miss her.  I wish that we had had a better relationship.

It took a while from that first time of saying no to her, like years, but eventually, she came to terms with the idea that I wasn’t going to jump every time she asked me to.  That first time though was a defining moment.  It was the one that broke the barrier. It was part of learning to become who I am as a fully functional, not dependent adult.

Our family dynamics are weird,  even worse since her passing.  My siblings each have their own issues with mom,  but in the end, we let go of them because she was MOM and she was always there.  She would go to bat for you when no one else would but you better toe the line at home.

Anyway, leave a comment.  Is your Mom living, deceased?  Did/do you have a good relation, bad or somewhere in between?

Write on my friends, write on!

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Office . . .


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You may remember that I work from home. My office is a shared space in my daughter’s room where I have my desk set up.  When she’s home from college, the kitchen table becomes my desk. It’s not ideal by any means but you do what you gotta do!

The countdown has begun for the big move when the semester ends. My mental list is like the stack of continuous feed paper from a track fed dot matrix printer. Anyone remember those? They had the perforated feed strips on either side and connected end to end. You tore the strips off the sides and separated your papers. (Yes, I’m showing my age!)

Track feed paper

Track feed paper

We have definite dates approaching for Prom, baccalaureate, graduation, finals week, and graduation party. One dilemma was solved when we found out that the older daughter will be home for her younger sister’s high school graduation. This was a major relief as I was calculating in my head how I was going to drive the 2 hours to pick her up for the graduation and then get her back down there so she didn’t miss her finals.

 

{[X(C8H10N4O2)]/6Z}4 /[G(m1m2/r2)]∑

The amount of caffeine necessary divided by the hours of sleep I would have to miss to the 4th power, the sum divided by the gravitational pull and tidal state and the sigma of the effects of the moon phase. Or something like that. Ever notice how most of what we worry about and try to figure out in our heads is rarely a real issue?  

Yes, I obsess over little details like that.

I’m a mom – it’s what I do.

Anyway, after checking the calendar (DUH!) my worries were for naught as the timetable works out. I have the party to plan, car maintenance to schedule, home repairs to be completed before the big party date!

planner

I would be lost without my planner. Back in the day, I was never without my Dayrunner. Things are a little less hectic now but the planner is still an essential tool for me. Mine is a compact size that goes everywhere with me. Oh, I have apps on my phone but it’s not the same as my planner.

I get the dates marked on the planner with appropriate color coded highlighter and realize I need to schedule time between now and then to work on some things like party planning and home repairs. (It’s not any major repairs, mostly fresh paint and replace the flooring in our kitchen before we have guests over. Frankly, I’d be embarrassed to have guests over right now with broken tiles on the floor.)

As I look at the planner, I start getting that anxious feeling. The one that says “ you don’t have any time to write”. A few months ago I would have gone into a tailspin, had a cry-fest, wallowed in my excuses of why I couldn’t write – but not today. Today my voice of reason says “schedule time”. I’ll skip the rest of the self talk that went from whining, to the drill Sergeant barking, to the pouting, then finally the calm counselor asking why I never allow my own dreams to have any priority? (Thanks to Aedan, that voice has gotten louder.) The obvious solution then was to schedule the time right? I have my planer out, I’m already blocking off time to get things done why not allow myself a chance?

I’ve been quietly (mostly quietly, I have piped up a few times when I had a really good day here and there.) plugging away on a contemporary romance. My minimal daily word count is only 500. I changed that from a much higher count to cut myself some slack and not beat myself up for failing to meet the higher count. Too many times in the past I spent more time beating myself up for failing to meet my goal for the day and not enough time actually writing. Of course after berating myself I was in no mental state to write. Visious cycle – that!  I figure that if I schedule an hour, even if I stare at a blinking cursor part of that time I can still manage 500 words. At least it’s something.

Each day I made a note on the scene I would be working on based on my outline. Bear in mind, I’ve already deviated from my original outline but based on the planned storyline, I only have fifteen (15!) more days of writing until I type “The End”.

That’s roughly 7500 to 10,000 words. Can I let you in on a secret?

Lean in close!

I already have the bulk of six chapters written I just need to tweak them a bit based on my earlier deviations So I could be typing “The End” even sooner.

On my time line, the fifteen days coincide with the day my eldest will return from college and I have to make the big move to the kitchen table. I’m going to go get a refill on my coffee to let that sink in for a bit.

The reality hit me square in the face . . .

I could be done with this book in 3 weeks! I can be finished with Red Wine & Roses before I have to relocate to the kitchen table as my desk! Do you realize how BIG that is?

While I’m feeling the stress of a hectic schedule with the multiple responsibilities of mother, wife, employee, writer, homemaker I just got a HUGE jolt of excitement that is both intoxicating and exhilarating.

It’s a similar feeling to running the last leg of the mile run.  Rounding the third corner of lap four, on the backside of the track, lungs burning, legs feeling like lead,  and  the runners begin to pass as my energy wanes.

Not this time!

I can almost hear my Chatty Chicks Morning Sprinters encouraging me.

“You can do it!  You’re almost there! Don’t give up now! You got this!”

It’s just the boost I need for that last jolt of adrenaline to kick in and quicken my pace to the finish line.  Finishing has been the hardest part for me. The momentum is there if I can keep up the pace.

Isn’t it odd how  when you focus on something else and stop stressing over a thing,  that is when you often get answers and solutions to the thing you were stressing over? Have you ever gotten weary and felt like you would neer cross the  finish line?  Have you quit running and are walking the back stretch?

It’s funny how things work out. Sometimes we just need to step back and let them work themselves out.

 

Write on my friends, write on!