I choose my own company

“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.”

― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper
For some, especially extroverts, those social butterflies, the very thought of spending time alone reeks of self-pity and depression.
Not for us introverts.  I took the Myers-Briggs personality test (with a 10 year gap in-between) and also overseen by a professional, and the introvert personality results were the same.

PORTRAIT OF AN INFJ

(click here for the remainder of the personality description)

The Protector

 

 

 

As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system. INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types. INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk. INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get “feelings” about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.

But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people’s feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.

Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubborness and tendency to ignore other people’s opinions. They believe that they’re right. On the other hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves – there’s always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don’t often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going. Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don’t believe in compromising their ideals.


I would say it’s true. I do trust my gut instincts, I rather be alone than with individuals who profess friendship but are in the end quite shallow. Not to say I don’t have friends, those I choose, I choose wisely. And…they’ve remained by my side in good times and bad.

 

And…in order to be a writer, a good writer…you have to embrace your solitude.  And it isn’t about being lonely. Far from it. As a writer your mind becomes filled with plots and characters where in true essence….you are never alone.

 

And my penchant for beautiful things…of the natural world…go hand in hand with my love of the written word.  I love being out in nature, when possible….and embracing who and what I am without fear of judgement or reprisals.

 

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“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”
― George Gordon Byron

 

 

 

Reconnecting

Writing isn’t always easy.  Either you feel it or you don’t. And when you’ve suffered from writer’s block (like I have, for years) you don’t.

Really…..what does it take to become inspired?

Well, for me it means really digging deep within myself, sorting out any negative feelings and trying to come up with a way to take those feelings and pen some sort of outlet.

I have read about authors whose brilliance were discovered from some type of catalyst.

When I was a teen it was easy to dig deep and find those feelings. Struck with the usual teenage angst, image issues, you name it….I poured my soul into many a blank page.

Why it’s much more difficult today….perhaps adult problems, a full time job, has cramped my writing style.  I used to be able to pour out each word without much effort….I either felt it or I didn’t but back then…I did.

I need to reconnect with the young aspiring dreamer-bridge the gap of what could have been to what will be.

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
Ray Bradbury

COMPROMISE…WHAT AN UGLY WORD!

Sometimes one the most difficult tasks we can do for others is compromise, especially if we are set in our ways. Compromise to me means sacrifice which means pain.

And pain I tend to shy away from. While others embrace it, I’d much rather do without.

In marriage and any other type of intimate relationship, where we expose our hearts, our faults…to others compromise is a must…depending on the situation.

“Compromise, if not the spice of life, is its solidity. It is what makes nations great and marriages happy”
― Phyllis McGinley

 

If one person in the relationship is always having to “give in” resentment sets in and once resentment sits in and there’s no dialogue things are bound to fail.

“I wish,” he said, “I had known at eighteen what I know now – that there are some things on which one does not compromise.”
― Mary Balogh, Simply Perfect

 

You always here older folks saying:  “I wish I knew then, what I know now.” And it’s true…with foresight we can make better decisions.  With experience, we make better judgement calls and compromise means doing both. And when one person is not “in accord” there is an imbalance within the relationship.

 

“Disagreement is part of being a person who has choices. One of those choices is to respect others and engage in intelligent conversation about differences of opinion without becoming enemies, eventually allowing us to move forward to compromise.”
― Ben Carson, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future
Loving someone, caring about their well-being sometimes means self-sacrifice. Just be wise about it. Don’t let your decision to stand by your partner mask whatever turmoils you may have going on inside.
Just remember:
“Love without sacrifice is like theft”
― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

A unique bond….

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If you’ve never served in the military (or were a police officer or fire fighter) there’s this inexplicable bond which unites each and every one of us because of a shared hardship, because of a commonality of various experiences……why we treasure these memories —–and when a group of veterans come together we share our various “war stories” and it bonds us….and we are one as family.

This is why you’ll see grown men cry when fingering a faded photograph—flooded with memories of youth…..of a different time…remembering those lost—–given to battle.  Tears running down a worn face….various images brought forth of a kinship so few will ever understand or be so lucky to gain.

Why those of us who retire out or who leave the military for one reason or another sincerely miss our military days.

 

There’s really no adequate explanation that fits as beautifully as this quote—–so thanks to all who I served with, you’ll most certainly never be forgotten:

 

 

“One of the things that makes our military the best in the world is the certain knowledge of each soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine that they can always count on their comrades should they need help – that they will never be abandoned.”
Jon Kyl

 

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Diet? Diet????

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I admire my sister’s willpower to lose weight, maintain it and to eat healthy. There are a lot of benefits to eating better, cutting out some carbs, lowering your salt intake, and eating more organic. I just wish supermarkets would sell organic produce and other food stuffs at a reasonable price where the every day man or woman could actually afford it without breaking their pocketbook. WHY is it that the American diet is so chalk full of “bad stuff?”

 

BECAUSE IT’S CHEAPER!

I think about the American obesity rate for adults and for our children and it’s staggering. More than 78 million Americans are obese. Obesity is rated as having a BMI of over 30%. Mine is at 25%. I have gone up 8 dress sizes in almost 4 years. THAT’S a reality check. And when your BP is 145/102 THAT’S a reality check. The key to losing weight is having a little bit of common sense and will power. It’s about breaking down your goals into bite sized bits where you can end up succeeding, living a healthier and BETTER QUALITY of life. It’s having a solid support system for those of us who see food as more than just sustenance but as a way of making ourselves “feel better.” Who is with me?

Change is in the air….

Besides the changing of nature’s pallet, there comes a time when even individuals like myself need to shed our “old skin” and done on a new persona.

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“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

 

WHY is change so difficult?

Could very well be lack of knowledge on the subject matter, lack of will power…or you’ve become accustomed to the status quo and the fear of change is simply too much to think about let alone act upon.

Avoiding change means avoiding pain and we are hard wired to steer clear of anything that might cause the least bit of discomfort.

However, if you look at your present situation, if you feel stress, anxiety, are depressed…isn’t change a good thing? Hmmmmm…….

Perhaps you need to take those baby steps….steps that don’t seem so daunting that when you look at the overall picture you aren’t overwhelmed either emotionally or physically. And…depending on the situation…maybe you simply need to jump right in–with both feet and…wait for it….embrace the unknown.

As we get older, what we do and how we do it defines us.  And when we find that our past and present behaviors are not “cutting it” any longer, there is real fear. Perhaps it’s fear of losing our unique identity, of really tackling something that really is outside of our comfort zone.  Whatever it is many of us Americans seem to be hesitant to review our lifestyle.

But sometimes we have to…for our health both mind and body, for our loved ones…for work. Whatever it is…sometimes sticking to the grind just isn’t conducive to a healthy way of living.

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The deer season widow

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In the Midwest, many American men, and now some women, will hear the call of the wild.  They pick up their bows and guns to hunt down the overpopulated deer.  Here in Missouri we have the White Tailed Deer.  A beautiful and statuesque creature.

Additional info taken from the Missouri Department of Conservation:

 

Life cycle: 

The peak of the mating (rutting) season is in November. Most young are born in late May or early June. A doe usually has twins; each weighs 4–7 pounds at birth. The young accompany the female until they are old enough to breed. About half of the young females in Missouri breed in the year of their birth. Other females and young males breed first at 1½ years of age. Deer are in the prime of life between 2½ and 7½ years of age. Deer can live for 15 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity.

Human connections: 

Deer were essential to Indians and early settlers, providing food, hides, sinews for bowstrings, bones for tools, and much more. Today deer still provide us considerable food, sport and pleasure, as hunting is a major industry in this country. The presence of deer is an asset to vacation sites.

Ecosystem connections: 

As deer nip off buds and branches, they encourage denser growth on the plants they forage on. When deer are overabundant, they can cause serious damage to food-plant populations. Although deer are today chased most commonly by free-running dogs, they also provide food for coyotes and bobcats.

 

One of the reasons we do hunt these animals is to control their growth.  Growing up in Indiana surrounded by corn and soy fields I would typically see them nibbling on the next harvest.  This causes of course damage and loss of income for the farmer.

Then there are the deers who brave the open road and sometimes, unfortunately cause serious accidents. Just the other day one of my coworkers hit a deer near my agency. When the female is in heat, or estrous and it’s rutting season, the deer become more active.  Imagine if this occurred within the human population. Oh my!  :D

While pursuing through Facebook one day, I found a group of women who call themselves the Hunting Widow. Many men will continue hunting through the season (up to January here) and wives will say goodbye to their partner for days or even months at a time (if they are able).

If you fall into this category please check out their page and join:

 

Hunting widow

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The sting of pride and temper

“I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding— certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

 

No one can say I don’t have my fill of both and it sometimes causes me to lash out if I feel slighted in the least. Don’t know if that’s the legendary Puerto Rican in me or my dad’s Irish side since (according to National Geographic) my heaviest DNA influences are Spanish and Irish. My one great flaw, is, as Ms. Austen puts it, bearing grudges….once my good opinion is lost, it’s lost forever. I see a lot of my mother in me when it comes to this.  However, as Ms. Austen states, I have many faults but let it not be a lack of understanding.  I couldn’t bear not having an open mind or unable to embrace compassion.

 

Being a mixture of two volatile ethnic backgrounds is a lethal combo.

 

 

Just ask my husband.