Autumn- The Most Favored Season

I find it very interesting that most people I meet say that their favorite season is autumn. I wonder if this is a New England thing where people here can’t help but love this season. Being a complete fall lover I understand why they love the season so much. Yet I would think there would still be more variation given that there are four seasons.

I only know of two people who I remember saying a different season for their favorite. One person I know told me they loved summer. Given their sunny and active personality I totally understood why they would love that season. A friend of mine from high school told me her favorite season was winter. I asked her why and she said she loved winter sports like sledding and playing in the snow. She even would hold a sledding party every winter.

Going back to autumn coming out as a top for favorite season, I think there are a few reason for this. One reason is that I tend to talk to people with similar interests and maybe people with certain interests tend to like certain seasons. It would make sense I would encounter more fall loving people since I love the season myself. Another reason, however, is that the climate during fall is most temperate for a lot of people. It’s not too humid or hot like summer. It is not too rainy or muggy like spring. It is not bitter cold and messy like winter. Instead the roads are in good condition, it is neither too cold nor too hot, and there is the added bonus on the holiday season starting with Halloween and then Thanksgiving. The fall leaves are beautiful as well so much so that people all over the country come to see the leaf-changing. Plus nice warm comfort food starts to be in the forefront with pie, pumpkin, soups, oven-roasted meats, mashed potato, ect.

I suppose my point is that autumn is definitely New England’s season.

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Romance and Love: What Heck Is It?

I have no idea how a person is supposed to be romantic or flirt or anything. I mean I have a boyfriend and yet still don’t know. I feel like a baby giraffe trying to transverse a muddy slope. I’m awkward, ungraceful, and overall have no idea what I’m doing. I know what personality traits I like in a person and what I like in a relationship but how to sustain a healthy relationship is something I’m still figuring out.

I’ll be honest that I did not exactly grow up with the best role models for a healthy relationship. I mostly have seen what hurts a relationship rather than what a good relationship is supposed to be like. I worry that this will either leave me on edge in relationships waiting for the bottom to drop out from under me or that it will cause me to need the relationship to work so badly that I’m not willing to let go.

My boyfriend and I have a pretty healthy one but I feel like this is almost by accident. My main worry is that if the relationship is too one-sided or someone feels like they are sacrificing too much. I also worry that my desire to make things work and investment might cause me to ignore bad parts of the relationship and therefore be blind when a relationship isn’t good for me. When does a person make the decision to let go and what exactly is a good reason to do this? Again, I must restate that I love my boyfriend and things are going well. It’s more my home life which makes me ask these questions right now.

When people get a divorce is it because the people have changed or given up or what? At what moment is enough enough? But also when things are going well, how do you prevent it from going bad? How do you maintain a relationship? The heart is a mystery to man and I don’t expect anyone to know the answers. I don’t think any answers will be in a book or anything like that but rather through experience or hopefully through my observations of other relationships which work well.

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My Grandmother was a Cat

There was a joke in my family that my Grandmother had nine lives. This past Friday, October 17th, was the anniversary of when she broke her neck. My cousin Nina found her and my Grandmother told her to call 911. She had to wear a neck brace for a long time. That happened before I was born.

My Grandmother also happened to have hurt her back once when he worked in a Nursing home. That was when she was a young woman. I never really heard a full story for this occurrence. I doubt my mom really knows the full story.

She also started having awful nose bleeds for some reason. I remember my mother holding a bucket under her nose to catch all of the blood. She went to a nose and head doctor and had surgery. My mother was so thankful since she lost so much blood during the nose bleeds.

Another time my Grandma fell and “split her head open” which meant she needed stitches for the wound on her head. This wasn’t something too terrible. After all, anyone can fall and hit their head. However, it was a sign of something else which later would almost claim her life.

One reason she fell was that her leg gave out underneath her. Soon after we found out that she had a clot in her leg the size of a quarter. If it wasn’t found the time it was, it could have burst and she could have bled out internally. After the surgery, she was fine but the doctor said her arteries and veins were so hard to work on because they were stiff.

This of course was because of years of smoking. After that it seemed that my Grandmother never really got her health back. She frequently had pneumonia and she got very easily winded from walking too much.

Later we discovered that she had cancer in her lung. She was in her mid-70s when she got the news. It was devastating for all of us and none of us imagined she’d find a way out of that one. The cancer finally got the best of her and she passed away soon after the diagnosis.

With everything my Grandmother went through she was always positive and her mind was always sharp. I hope to be half as positive and lucky at cheating death.

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On Sleep

I know more about sleep than any ordinary person should (anyone who doesn’t study it for a living of course). This may be due to the fact that I had frequent nightmares as a child leaving me to not want to go back to sleep. My parents would put on Cinderella for me on the old VCR we had which I suppose at that time wasn’t that old. In all seriousness, without my anxiety medicine it takes me at least a half-hour or so to get to sleep. An average person needs about only fourteen minutes to get to sleep. While on my medicine, however, it takes me even longer. I estimate it takes at least an hour for me to get to sleep.

Sometimes there are obvious factors as to why I’m having difficulty. One such factor is what I call “racing brain syndrome” (catchy no?) where my brain either has too much creative energy or too many worries going through it. Often I also seem to want to recount the day or even random events from my past. Sometimes it’s like my brain missed a memo from my tired body and the late time on the clock that I am supposed to be sleeping. I have read that people have written in a journal to help with this so they can get all the ideas out and finally have their brain rest. I’ve tried this before, especially if I have creative ideas, and it has helped a bit.

Sometimes the room is either too hot or too cold. I’m either curled up in a ball trying to warm myself up enough or I’m stretched out with my legs search for the cool places at the sides of my bed. I have read before that the best temperature for sleep is in the mid-sixties. Other physical factors can be aches and pains (often due to my scoliosis) but if this happens at least that can be quickly fixed by taking an Advil.

And before you ask, yes I have taken Benadryl and melatonin before for my issues getting to sleep. They don’t really help me much. One positive is how much I have learned about sleep because of my problems. And even though I still struggle sometimes, at least I know I have a lot of knowledge in my back pocket to try out if I need it.

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Happiness and Being a Student

Lately I have been thinking a lot about Happiness. Yes, Happiness with a capital “H”. I often wonder if I am really happy with what I am doing. Right now everything is just a means to an end; the end being a career so I can support myself in this world. It’s not so much that I hate college specifically as that I am disillusioned that my life has become school. In fact everyone’s life is school until they are at least 18 years old and since I chose to go to college it is longer. Don’t get me wrong. I love education and I love being in school and learning new things. I just have a lot of problems with how much time students (including myself) actually have for themselves.

Despite my Education teachers preaching about and having us read about better practices and how to include students in learning, I still feel all of us are missing a major piece of the problem. Kids are being allowed to be kids. I’m not being allowed to be a young adult to some extent. Instead of spending time with friends and doing fun activities during the week, I am spending my time hitting the books struggling to read about how to best teach. What if we made education about happiness instead of anything else? I mean..isn’t that everyone’s end goal here; to be happy?

I don’t really have an answer as to how we can still be intelligent human beings and also have enough free time to be happy. Maybe, the key is to make learning more fun and therefore a happy experience across all levels (this means college too), instead of something which is a means to an end. It puzzles me that I truly enjoy the subjects I am studying yet find myself restless to have social interaction beyond schoolwork related talk. Overall, I think people need to slow down and not put too many responsibilities on each other. Relaxation time is important too.

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Wishing to be an Artist/The Perfect Woman

I’m a writer only because I can’t be an artist. There are so many pictures in my mind that are just waiting to be drawn or painted. Yet, when I put pencil to paper, all that comes out are words. Don’t get me wrong; they are wonderful words which taste so delicate on my tongue when read out loud. But there is no color in them. There is no immediate reaction to them of “Wow. That is beautiful”. Instead you need to spend time with the words letting them sit there on the paper streaming into your eyes before you can see how lovely they can be. This is why I have always preferred reading words out loud because at least then they are akin to music.

But oh how I long to be able to draw and paint the portraits in my mind. For example, I have had this image constantly in my brain since Freshman year of high school. I read a story in English class about a man who sees a woman and proceeds to have a daydream about her. To make a poem or piece of writing about it seems trivial. After all, it has already been put well in words. However, this short story has left me with this image which repeats itself in my brain every September.

The image is this: A pale woman wearing a grey wool pencil skirt with a white blouse. She has her hair pulled back in a bun and is wearing a red hat. She has delicate makeup besides red lipstick. In my mind her hair is always either blonde or brunette (my mind seems unable to decide which is more appropriate). She is always reading a book and leaning against a tree. There is a granite brick wall behind her with dark green ivy crawling on it. Sometimes she is eating an apple or there is an apple somewhere in the image.

For some reason this image sticks with me throughout the years. I think it is because it’s my ideal for me. It is as if I see her as this perfect woman. This is really why I would love to be an artist; In order to give this woman (this snapshot) I created in my mind a true form.

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Dogs: The Best People

I often marvel at dogs. What they can accomplish when working with humans is astounding as well as their loyalty and compassion. There was one episode of Dogs 101 on the channel Animal Planet on TV, where a police officer from New York City describes his black lab who worked with him after the twin towers fell to help the rescue effort. He said that the dog would go into places where he wasn’t sure he would come out again. Dogs can be so brave. Recently before the interview the dog had to be put to sleep having served a full life of working with his human partner. It was hard to watch such a dignified man get teary eyed talking about it.

My Aunt's Dogs Olive (front) and Maizie (back).

My Aunt’s Dogs Olive (front) and Maizie (back).

There was another account I think I saw on the internet of a dog in Japan who waited for his owner days after his owner died. Can you imagine giving up food, water, and your own general comfort just out of loyalty for one person? Dogs are so selfless it is mind-boggling. There was also recently a picture online of Marines saluting an old German Shepard who was going into the Vet to be put to sleep. Who better to have this honor than a dog? The dog was in the service and being a dog worked his tail off (pun totally intended) selflessly just to please his master and be affirmed as a member of the pack. If more people did something just to make other people happy, the world would be a better place.

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My Family’s Previous Dog Ace. He passed away in 2012.

Adding to that idea, there are a lot of life lessons people can learn from dogs. I often see dogs portraying the best emotions and qualities of human kind; Then again dog backwards is God. Coincidence; I think not. Dogs are self-less, compassionate, loyal, brave, and above all know how to appreciate the small things (like a tennis ball). So how about we become a bit more like them in our daily lives.

My Family's Current Puppy Remus. He is a sweetie.

My Family’s Current Puppy Remus. He is a sweetie.