Thursday, September 30, 2010

OFF TO BOSTON


(for the weekend)

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for all the great memories I have involving Boston and I'm looking forward to adding a few more to that list.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

Monday, September 27, 2010

FOR DENNIS

Earlier today, a friend lost his heroic battle with cancer. Instead of writing something focused on sadness, I wanted to post something that would stand as a tribute to a wonderful man and great friend to all who knew him. So Dennis, I will write about the baseball team you loved and followed right up until the end.

Within each sport, there rises a team to the status of having a dynasty. This dynasty usually lasts a few years and then someone else gets their time in the spotlight. Superstars naturally are part of each dynasty and the team's fans get to enjoy seeing their team win championships and become virtual gods for a period of time. During the dynasty era they become "the team to beat" and the measuring stick for greatness. I can think of no sport nor any other team that has had the success nor the immortality of baseball and the New York Yankees.

Superstars seem to come and go, yet the team itself and just the sheer name conjures thoughts of greatness regardless of what era one thinks of the Yankees as being part of. They certainly have dominated each era and continue to be "the team to beat" year after year. It's almost as if the sheer magic of wearing a Yankees uniform transforms mere mortals into baseball gods. These gods have used curses, talent, huge salaries and team spirit to keep others at bay and it seems as if each year as the baseball season winds down and it comes time for the post season to begin what people always think is "I wonder who the Yankees will play in the World Series this year!"

Love them? Hate them? Regardless of what team holds a person's allegiance, one must at least pay the Yankees the respect they are due for being the greatest baseball team that ever was and probably ever will be. The rest of us, the non-Yankee fans can only hope occasionally they'll have an off season and our teams can play and win the World Series!

Rest in peace, Dennis! You'll be missed by all the people whose lives you touched and although I'm a diehard Red Sox fan, it's okay if the Yankees win this year just for you.

Gratitude statement: I feel fortunate to have been included amongst the people Dennis called a friend and the bond I share with all my Kinsman Hall friends is one that has transcends time and distance.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

COUGH! COUGH! CHOKE! CHOKE!

Can a human being cough up a furball? My attitude has been so positive lately I hardly recognize myself and it feels like this HUGE mass is forming in the back of my throat! Have aliens abducted me and filled my empty pod with the soul of the Dalai Lama? Is the person looking back at me in the mirror really me or is she someone on the verge of singing "Kum bay ya"? Oh no! That can't be! Not me! NOT EVER!!!

Gratitude statement: Just in case, I'm grateful for knowing the words to Kum Bay Ya so when the singing starts I won't look or sound like a fool!

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

LIFE ACCORDING TO MILDRED

As we go through life we learn how to deal with a wide variety of scenarios. Some of us become masters or mistresses at the knack of being a "people" person, while others barely develop enough skills to be deemed socially acceptable. Life along with a few other variables mold us into the people we are. We are born and then like a piece of clay, we are molded. We go through many changes throughout the molding process remaining pliable until the process is complete and the finished product is the person who looks back at us in the mirror. At some point the clay starts to lose its elasticity and starts to harden. I believe the hardening process starts somewhere between adolescence and adulthood as life repetitiously reinforces all the things we have learned. I'm not saying our capacity to learn ceases, but the likelihood for major change decreases over time.

From the time we are born, we have many teachers. Each person we encounter leaves us with some wisdom, some tidbit of knowledge that helps us along our journey. All these encounters are valuable tools that equip us to face life in ways that are unique to us.

What I have learned about life is that the people who are the happiest and find inner peace are those people who have accepted themselves for the person they are. While my standards, preferences and outlook may be viewed with skepticism or some form of negative opposition, I have to say that I like myself and have no desire to be anyone else, but who I am.

As I look around me, I see how society pressures people into feeling inadequate. I see so many people who are unsatisfied or depressed over the people they have become. We're taught many things in life, but the most valuable lesson of all eludes most people. Mysteriously life does not teach us how to love ourselves, accept ourselves and our own limitations and to forgive ourselves for being less than perfect and for making mistakes.

I say mistakes are okay to make as long as we learn from them. I say we either make choices in life or life will make them for us. I say wear who you are as a badge being proud and holding your head high so others can admire your good qualities. Whatever your assets are eagerly display them and use them to get ahead in life and share them with others in ways so that happiness and pleasure can be derived from them. Minimize your deficits and weaknesses by understanding them and protecting yourself against harm. Do not give others the power to bring you down or to control your self-image or destiny. Whatever your actions are do them without regret and take chances along the way, for we only walk this way once.

Gratitude statement: I'm grateful I have few regrets in life and although I still haven't found what my true purpose is yet, I feel as though it may be just around the next bend on the path I'm following.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

MEDICATION TIME

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax", said the night man
We are programmed to receive
You can checkout any time you like
But you can never leave...
(from Hotel California)

Gratitude statement: Although we may be prisoners here of our own device, we are and always shall be captains of our own destiny. We sometimes feel like confused lab rats trying to find our way through this labyrinth we call life. I'm thankful I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

Friday, September 03, 2010

WHY AM I HERE?

It wasn't until I became an adult that I realized not everyone does well in school. You see, even though I was a rebellious hellion, school always came easy for me and I never had to open a book to learn enough to get good grades. I always assumed school was easy for everyone. The oblivion I seemed to be surrounded by held me in its grasp until I became an adult. Slowly, I started to realize everyone, even me had things in which they excel. My problem seemed to be that most people started to develop their talents and academic skills at an early age. Someone usually recognized that a child had an aptitude, skill or talent in a certain area that exceeded the norm. That child was then steered in a particular direction so those areas could be showcased and developed. I never got that tap on the shoulder from anyone telling me "hey you're pretty good at that". I guess I slid through the cracks and my creativity remained a well-guarded secret.

Drawing and writing just seemed to be part of who I was and no big deal was ever made of the fact that I could do both. Maybe my three older brothers stole the spotlight by being jocks or perhaps I was just meant to aimlessly wander with no direction. You see, I lived in a void that kept me from developing any real potential I may have had at an early age. The pats on the back that most people get wasn't something I had experienced. I didn't know what encouragement felt like. Thus, it wasn't until I became an adult and started to see that not everyone functions on the same level that I started to question the basic differences in people.

I've always enjoyed writing since I was a young child, but only felt my skills were adequate at best. While in college, I wrote with ease and enjoyed the classes in which I had to do research and/or put my thoughts in written words. Still I never recognized graduating with high academic honors was any major accomplishment. To be honest, I never felt especially challenged by any of it. It was just something I did!

During the past several years, I've gone through a very difficult period. Often times, I've felt empty, rejected and unappreciated. What I wanted most just wasn't in my reach and I felt a silent despair that drove me further into what I lovingly call being a hermit. Each day I sank a little more and became so isolated that I turned away from most everyone I loved. I know my family just thought my change was caused by the chronic physical pain I feel, but my withdrawal from life wasn't due to physical pain. What held me prisoner was the mental anguish I felt.

One evening several years ago while I was online, I was contacted by a man who had been to my personal website before sending me an instant message. He had gone to my yahoo profile first and then followed the link from it to my website. My website was a work in progress that I had created during a long string of late night insomnia sessions. I purposely kept it from ever being complete because it gave me something to play with when I couldn't sleep. I really felt anyone going there would get a "feel" for who I am because I had put so much thought into every aspect of what was there. After enduring the realm of Karen, this brave soul sent me a message asking me if I am a writer. I found that amusing to say the least. I began chatting with him and before long he introduced me to the world of blogging. He encouraged me to write and talked to me everyday. We developed a fast friendship and went from chatting online to talking on the telephone. In spite of his busy schedule, he read my blog faithfully and always gave me feedback on everything I wrote.

It felt great to get encouragement and have someone show an interest in me. I don't know if I ever thanked him enough for that, but I definitely credit him for me being here in the blogosphere today! After about 2 months of daily contact, it came to a screeching halt. Don't ask me why...it's just one of life's unsolved mysteries. I'm not a pushy person and have never been one to go where I feel I'm not wanted, so I just let it go. I just chalked it up to another one of those strange internet relationships that sometimes happens. The cyber gods ate him and then, I was on my own. So here I am folks! Mildred Ratched in all her glory. Right, wrong or indifferent, I'm here and will always write it like I see it or feel it.

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful that the written word has always been my friend and my loving companion.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

MILDRED EXPOSED!


Picture a person who stands apart from the crowd who sees things not in black or white, but in varying shades of gray. Picture a person who closes their eyes and hears the beat of a different drummer, then marches proudly and eagerly away to do their own thing regardless of the consequences or popular opinion. Picture a person who is not a polished gem, but a diamond in the rough...someone who believes true beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and that the best things in life are free. When you picture this person, who do you see?

Gratitude statement: I'm grateful that when I picture this person, I see myself.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

30 YEARS AGO TODAY



Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play...no, no, no! That was 20 years ago today and pushing a lawnmower had nothing to do with Sgt Pepper or his lonely hearts club band. Thirty years ago yesterday, I stood in blazing heat pushing a lawnmower trying to ready the house I had rented for the move I was about to make after giving birth. As I pushed the lawnmower in record heat, I got more pissed off with every swatch I mowed. My dear husband was in California doing who knows what while I, 9 months pregnant was pushing a lawnmower.

People kept giving me odd looks as they rode by, but not one person stopped to offer any help. I guess doing that would have been the neighborly thing to do and apparently, doing the neighborly thing didn't seem what most people had on their minds. So I mowed and mowed until I was exhausted and the job was finally done. At least my other two children would have a yard to play in while I attended my new bundle of joy.

Early the next morning I awoke to a low backache and a cramping sensation. I laid there several minutes before realizing I was in labor. How appropriate it was to be in labor on Labor Day. I called ahead to the Navy hospital to find out where exactly I needed to go since it was a federal holiday and the normal procedure no longer held true. When I told the person on the other end of the phone my contractions were 4 minutes apart and this was my 3 child, I sensed urgency in their voice as they told me to come to the hospital right away.

So off I went to have my 3rd and final child. After being examined, I was told I wasn't quite ready to admit, BUT they didn't want me to go very far so I was told to go hang out in the waiting room with all the expectant fathers. Ha! Nothing clears a room out faster than putting a woman in labor in the same room as the fathers who opted not to participate in the birthing process.

Thirty years ago today, I gave birth to my youngest son. Those 30 years have sped by faster than I care to admit. Happy birthday, Matthew! You are one of the 3 beacons in my life and I love you dearly. I have a suggestion for the next 30 years....let's slow down how fast they go by!

Gratitude statement: I am truly grateful for the kind of people my 3 children grew into being.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.