Burning the Midnight Oil (and a cookie too!)

Writers ClockThe semester ends December 15th.  I see my Professor for the final time on the 12th.  If I don’t complete the class, I can’t graduate.  Am I ready???

 Hell, yeah.  At this stage of the game, I feel I did my best.  Did I procrastinate?  Yes, well, sort of.  Did you ever get an idea for something you REALLY wanted to write about and once you began, decided you didn’t like the topic after all?  Hence the procrastination.

 I have books and magazines and copies and notes all over my desk.  Organized chaos!  I’ve been sitting at this desk for weeks amidst numerous interruptions. Marys Desk

 I needed a break…just a little one to clear my mind.  All I could see was the clock winding down…tick…tick…tick… What to do???  Bake some cookies, of course!

 cookiesBaking always inspires me!cookie tins

 I did something I normally don’t do, but in an effort to save time, I put two batches into the oven at once.  Halfway through I rotated them, top and bottom, so they would bake more evenly.  Big mistake.  The older pan on the bottom baked the cookies too fast.  So much for inspiration.

 When I removed the pans from the oven, I noticed a third of the cookies on the bottom tray were burned.  I don’t remember the last time I burned a cookie, it’s been THAT long.  And we know who always gets to eat the burned ones, don’t we??  It didn’t matter though because even the burned ones, albeit a little hard, tasted scrumptious.burnt cookie

 With that feat accomplished I was able to get back to the task at hand – finishing my assignments.  Dinner will take care of itself, meaning if my husband is really nice (and hungry), he’ll get take-out for us.  Steamed vegetables sound delightful!

 I’m getting sidetracked.  I have few more paragraphs to write, lots of editing and by midnight (nothing like pushing the envelope) I’m in the home stretch.  My fate will lie in my Professors’ hands.  Here we go!

 “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” ~ John Quincy Adams

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Sunrise, Sunset, Swiftly Fly the Years

It’s a beautiful moment when you see a sweet little girl blossom into a beautiful young woman.  This afternoon, I attended the bridal shower of my best friend’s daughter and realized that time passes much too quickly as we grow older.  Each day should be treasured for what it is. 

Twenty something years ago, I visited with my friend and her little girls at their new home.  Here we were, two best friends, reminiscing about our “younger days” and all the fun we had as single women and now, we were wives with families.  Did those labels define us?  Our previous conversations were filled with discussions of what we were wearing when we ventured into New York City on a Saturday evening, and now we were talking about our favorite dinner recipes or how to take care of a child’s fever. 

We used to be called “hot women” and now we were being labeled “wives” or “mothers.”  What happened?  Did we suddenly become “cold” now that we merged with a life partner?  Were we no longer attractive to the opposite sex just because we had a ring on our finger or pushed a stroller?

What happened is that we no longer defined ourselves as anything besides being part of someone else’s life; whether a spouse or a child.  It was our fault.  We soon learned that deep down inside it was perfectly fine to still think of ourselves as hot young women AND married women.  Our dreams, spirits and ambitions were the same back then and haven’t changed to this day.  The only difference now is that all the love we shared, tears we cried and challenges we conquered over the years now appear on our faces like stars in a summer sky.

My friend’s daughter has grown into an intelligent, lovely, caring young woman.  Her fiancé is kind-hearted, friendly, loving young man.  They complement each other, not define each other.  Each is perfectly able to stand on their own yet together they create a bond that is solid and genuine.  As individuals and as a couple, I wish them all the treasures one lifetime can hold and the strength to endure any adversities that may cross their paths.  “

“I think a man and a woman should choose each other for life, for the simple reason that a long life with all its accidents is barely enough time for a man and a woman to understand each other and. . . to understand – is to love.” ~ William Butler Yeats

“The spaces between your fingers were created so that another’s could fill them in.” ~ Anonymous ~

Daylight Savings: Time for a Change

 

What would you do if you had an “extra hour” in your day, not just today because we turn our clocks back for daylight savings time, but any day?  Time is a precious commodity; one that is often misused or wasted on frivolous matters.  I don’t know about you, but where I live, when daylight hours diminish, I feel I have fewer hours of productivity.  When the summer sun sets near 9pm, I’m still wired and ready to continue working on various tasks for the day.  However, when darkness falls early, before the normal work day ends, it seems my energy fades much sooner.

If I had an extra hour, one where I could do whatever I pleased without limits for those precious 60 minutes, here is a list of things I’d consider:

1.  Visit a wounded veteran, invalid, nursing home, homeless shelter, jail or other person/facility where the most weak, wounded, fearful or downtrodden reside.

2.  Meditate and pray the rosary.

3.  Spend time reminiscing with my brothers and sisters; just the six of us.

4.  Visit my parent’s graves.

5.  Take a hike along the Appalachian Trail.

6.  Get a spa treatment with my best friend.

7.  Dance with all my great-nieces and nephews.

8.  Build a snowman and fort with my daughter.

9.  Visit the Blarney Stone or Wailing Wall. 

10. Go horseback riding on a Hawaiian beach at sunrise.

11.  Take a Tai-Chi class.

12. Sit in the Oval Office and write a Proclamation.

13. Finish a NY Times Sunday crossword puzzle.

14. Cruise in a submarine.

15. Take a hot-air balloon ride.

16. Take a trip down the Nile.

17. Have an all-expense paid shopping spree at Chanel.

18. Care for homeless animals at a shelter.

19. Write a best-selling short story.

20. Take an electrical wiring or woodworking class.

Wow, I could probably go on forever.  Some of the above might actually fall into the “bucket-list” category but it was fun trying to find things I’d like to squeeze into an hour, no matter the location.  Having an extra hour is one thing; having enough money or opportunity to satisfy my desires is another.

The quote surrounding my yearbook picture comes to mind: “Some of the best things in life are free, some are not, but that’s life.”  I’m not sure where I heard or came up with that curious saying but I suppose it has merit.  It is true, for me at least, that some of the best memories I have are of situations that were priceless.  They were times spent alone or with loved ones; reflecting, laughing, playing or merely conversing without expectations.  It’s these times I cherish and don’t want to take for granted.  An hour here or there makes a difference only if you want it to.

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” ~ Henry van Dyke