Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kitten Krazy

Really, in this economy, where nearly every business is reducing services and staff, or increasing prices to be able to continue them, it impresses me beyond belief that an organization like Kitten Krazy is able to exist -- and thrive.

Kitten Krazy, specifically "Quick Fix" in Medina, is a low-cost spay and neuter clinic, and adoption center, right here on Rt. 42. Kitten Krazy, Inc. is a non-profit organization operated by an all-volunteer staff. Their mission is to help ease the cat overpopulation by fixing, housing, and finding homes for stray, unwanted, and abandoned kittens and cats.

I took our little rescue-kitten Freddles in today for neutering, and could not believe the crowd lined up to bring in their cats for surgery. Thanks to my neighbor Trudy, I learned that this month the clinic is offering a special $20 fee to neuter female cats, and even though Freddles is a boy, they gladly made me an appointment.

Listening to the women in line, it sounded like most of the cats brought in to be spayed were neighborhood strays, and feral cats that they voluntarily decided to help. Not because they owned the cats, but because it was just the right thing to do. What a great organization, and what generous folks in my community!

Back when my daughters and I were going through our Pregnant-Padfoot drama of the summer (male turned out to be a pregnant female, had 6 kittens, only one survived -- Freddles), our extreme effort to save the lives of these animals seemed so minimal when compared to the great loss of life in the Zanesville exotic pet tragedy. I remember thinking how silly it was that we were going through all of that effort to save kittens when rare tigers were gunned down and not even given a chance at survival. Of course, seeing Freddles happy, and his mommy in her wonderful new loving home with the Murphys, was worth every bit of effort after all.

That's why I think it is an amazing thing, having a volunteer organization right here in Medina, offering low-cost options to take care of our little animals. The organization survives on donations, and if you are at all able to support their efforts, please consider reviewing their Wish List or sending in a monetary donation. I love my vet (he is an ultrarunner, after all), and give him my business for sure -- but a low-cost neutering for Freddles is very welcome to me as a single mom to two kids and three pets.

I am sure thankful that even in tough economic times there are organizations and groups of people being able to make a difference in the community. Even if it seems like a small drop in a large ocean to you, they matter to me.

And this, my friends, is a prime example of a woman who listened to her "essential self," to what gave her joy, energized her soul, and pursued her vision. Thank you, Wendy Mirrotto, for going after your dream in 2004 to form Kitten Krazy. You help me to keep faith in dreams coming true, and in the goodness of people.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Only Way Out is Through

A few nights ago I got into reading an intriguing book that has been on my bookshelf for two years now. This is less of a self-help book and more of a finding your divine purpose book, concentrating on getting to your "essential self" -- the authentic you -- through listening to your intuition and looking to where you find joy.

Granted, this book is quite involved and I am totally generalizing here when I say that the author wants us to strip away every pretense and habit that may make us socially acceptable but that which goes directly against our essential selves, in order to uncover what really feeds our energy and aliveness.

This is not an easy course to take -- there is much pain and despair and stripping down of familiarities and comforts, all of which we as humans naturally tend to avoid. No statistics are provided, but I dare say that I doubt many are successful. It is so much easier to take the road well traveled, accepted by others, DIRECTED by others. Following, instead of leading. Denying, instead of feeling.

You see, sometimes the process of following our divine purpose in life takes a total destruction of our foundation in order to set us to rebuilding. And I am not saying that we all purposely set off a bomb in our lives, but perhaps we are living with such discourse from our true course that the bomb goes off by itself. Either way, you are left with nothing.

And I understand that place.

It was not long ago that I lost nearly everything of value to me. The only firm foundation remaining was my job and thank God my daughters. All else had fallen away. I thought that was the stripping down of my life to begin again, only to build what I thought was my future and had it taken away from me again. Perhaps I lost it myself, who knows. What matters is that, like a house of cards, for years I had my life built up and it was knocked down... I rebuilt, a few layers, and it was knocked down, blown down, taken down, whatever. Down. And I am back to square one, re-analyzing my purpose in life, looking at everything with a different slant. Maybe this is the route to my essential self.

It has taken me a lifetime to realize that denying emotions, stuffing them down and hiding them, is actually a longer way of handling loss. The corrosion caused internally can actually manifest in physical ailments, like migraines or back aches. I have learned that per the coined counselors' saying, the only way out is through.

This recent grief I believe is nearly processed. I have finally let go of any hold on what I thought was my destiny, so that I may reach out and grab what is being handed to me. Hopefully by the hand of God.

The purpose of this blog is really not only personal. I truly believe that if I bear my feelings and my experiences to you, that you will identify with some part of it, and perhaps be able to come through and out of grief that has haunted you.

Despair is not "wrong" or bad or something to fear -- it is to be loved as happiness so that we are able to recognize that happiness when we find it. Do you honestly believe that if you deny grief you will be able to grasp happiness? If you do not know how deeply sadness can run, you will not likely reach the heights of joy that are possible in this lifetime.

Change is certain, all is temporary. Sit in the feeling, get through it, and be open to all that you were meant to experience. Life is indeed a grand ride.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Where did my Destiny go?

As a woman and a mother I believe that I have been gifted with intuition. The gift is also a curse, when a realization is made at such a deep gutterral level that it sits as a shadow behind everything seen before you. That despite what you see, there on the surface, another story is hidden deep below -- and you are cursed with knowing it is there. When eventually the truth is revealed, it is a sad confirmation, it looked so promising, but it was not meant to be.

If I really paid attention to my intuitive side, I would likely make far fewer mistakes. How often have I known the shadows were lurking and yet I ignored them because I wanted to believe that I was seeing the truth? I was sure I could control the outcome, the destiny, if I just acted like I believed.

But there are rare times when I have absolute, resolute faith that my judgment is right, that what I see and what I know intuitively match. No one is able to tell me different, I "know" I am right. Just recently I was absolutely so sure of something I would have bet my next paycheck, my house, probably my life on this specific destiny. When it fell away -- okay, was pulled from me -- no one was more surprised than I. Others saw it coming, "well of course that was not ever going to work," they would say, but I just shook my head and said, "but I was so sure it would." I still cannot believe I was so wrong. Accept the reality that no words will be delivered, no voice will call, there is no closure but this is final.

I am thrown back to many years ago, at Sunset Memorial, driving away as I cried, "but he is all alone...", the casket sitting on the hill, after everyone had left its side. THAT was finality. I knew that the cemetery workers were waiting behind the trees for us to go, so that Scott would be lowered and buried. No debating that destiny.

As long as we are still alive, there is a chance to change the course of destiny though, right?

I am told, not likely. Can't make others do what you want them to do. No matter how much you believe in that person.

It is such an incongruity, the tearing of reality out of dreams.

But just as I am throwing up my hands and saying "when, when will it change, when will I accept this is done" someone coincidentally falls back into my life and tells me, *this* is Fate. Is fate my destiny?

How tempting to believe that herein lies the change I asked for. This early-on, what I see before me is not yet meeting with gut-level intuition. Give it time, it just might, if I listen (will I listen?). You see, I have to let go of one destiny to get to the other.

Help me believe. Tell me more, tell me more how this happenstance, this synchronicity or touch of God's hand, tell me where it might lead. I am driving away from the hill side again, "but he is all alone...." Not dead, there still, somewhere, alone... and might come back and I will be gone.

I stand at the fork of a road, not sure which to choose because this one could be the permanent road. I look into eyes I haven't seen in 13 years and hear words that match my own, and see sparks of adventure I had long forgotten.

Who am I to deny Fate?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Made to Last

We all want and look for a guarantee. At some level, generally speaking, when we dedicate our time, our money, our hearts to a specific investment, we want the odds to be in our favor that the item, project or person is going to work correctly. I cannot tell you how frustrating it has been for me that I have gone through three percolators in the past four years -- name brand percolators! So, I use the coffee pot every day at least once, but shouldn't these machines last longer?

And that terribly expensive stacking washer/dryer I purchased in November 2010 that is now broken... really? I suppose if I wanted it to last longer I should have purchased the extended warranty. At least then the washer would have lasted at least three years, probably three years and one week.

Like everything it seems these days, products, people, relationships were made differently when we reflect to the times "back then." Nowadays so many things are breaking down, disposable.

Ebay and other such websites offer "refurbished" items for a fraction of the cost of new, and honestly I have resorted to buying some items that way -- since they are likely to break down anyway, I figure.

Those with broken relationships often look to fix their lives with shiny new partners (or refurbished models, as it were). One such venue is online matching. For a mere $59.95 a month, one is able to expose herself to a virtual hoard of single men, all wanting, well, something. A guarantee perhaps? A guarantee of a life-long partner? Is that even possible?

According to a high ranking "relationship service provider," i.e. online dating service, an average of 542 of their members marry every day in the United States as a result of being matched on the site (equaling roughly 197,830 people per year). An alluring statistic, indeed. (No data available on the number who stay married... and frankly, I don't want to know....)

I personally doubt the odds.

Perhaps, on this purchase, I will require a money-back-guarantee before I invest.

Sure, the site says it matches folks on some 29 different categories, but I want to know exactly which "key personality dimensions" they are analyzing. No where in the mess of questions is there a check-box for "obsessive runner" requiring only a like-minded, fit individual in return. No offense, but riding a Harley is NOT exercise, nor is it defined as "adventurous" at least in my mind.

See, when I picture my ideal partner, I see a runner -- or at least an endurance athlete of some sort who fits in to or is one of our "community of understanding." Only a runner would be okay that my Saturday and Sunday mornings are pretty much booked on the trails, sometimes with other men, and that travel for pleasure will most likely include a race or two.

Oddly enough, there are no check-boxes on the survey for the type of partner I am used to having, either -- a handsome, kind, giving man who is willing to meet me at the finish line of an ultra.

As much as I would like to no longer be single, I will save my money for race entry fees. At least for signing that contract I get a shirt, and a chance to test my limits. Sometimes I even come away with new friends. For now, that will have to do.

There are just no men like the men I know in the ultra community, they are the best. They are the original tough models. Made to last? Well, check back with me in a year. We all want that guarantee.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday, Winter, or Just a Full Moon?

Really trying to believe that Mondays are just Blue Mondays, and that after a weekend packed with running and parties we are all too involved with the work to-do list to respond to texts, emails or phone calls. Perhaps we are all just closed-up and put away for the Winter, in storage, until the weather is warmer and flowers are blooming. Northern Ohio folks are a little grumpier this time of year... but we haven't exactly had that hard of a winter, so maybe it is just the Full Moon. I think my email is down... and my phone, no service?

Where is everyone? Where has everyone been? Are we all just so overloaded with things to do that we cannot find the time to answer the call? You know, the call of a friend.

Communication is vital in every relationship. It is my opinion that lack of communication actually breaks up couples, and separates families.

I feel disconnected.

Despite having well over 600 friends on Facebook, I fear this electronic age is teaching us to not personally contact each other. I miss the days of receiving hand written letters in the US Mail, and greeting cards just for being thought of today.

That knock on the back door? Don't answer it, pretend we aren't home.

When was the last time you received a call just to check on how you are doing?

How many texts have you ignored today because you didn't think it "required" a response?

I am not sure how to fix this lack except to continue reaching out to those I love and hope they return my voicemail.