ARoberts208

Buried deep…

…In a book that is. I cannot seem to rid myself of the habit of having a crazy love affair with anything literary. As long as I can remember, I have loved all literature. I read magazines (upside down) as a toddler, begged to read every night as a young child, and the trend continued on unto adulthood. The feeling of cuddling up and just loosing yourself in a good book is my version of a perfect day.

Harry Potter changed my life. There I said it! That book series changed the way I viewed my childhood. It made me believe in magic and different wonders of the world. It made my mind want to know more, need to know more…

Once I start reading a book I cannot get enough. I get sucked into this completely different world, right there in the action and I am completely immersed in everything I am reading. The words jump right off the book and into my head, where I am transported into this whole new, exciting place, where I don’t know what is going to happen next. It is a great and wonderful feeling, somewhat like an adrenaline high. But, as it is with all good things, the feeling can quickly end. And it does…with that very last page. You know it’s there; you know it is coming, but you keep reading with fever to get to it because you NEED to know what happens. It’s a mixture of excitement, knowing how that great tale ends, and dread, knowing that…is the end. There is no more to this story. The world you were just in for hours, days, weeks is just done.

That feeling can be somewhat soothed with another great read. You can be completely transformed into a completely different life with the first word of a new book. Then it starts all over again, that love affair that sucks you in…time after time.

It is the New Year….maybe try something different this year. What could be more fun than to partake in a friendly reading competition (against yourself)? As part of Good Reads “2015 Reading Challenge”. The site offers recommendations on what to read according to genre, what you read previously, or just the most read books currently. If you are an avid book reader like myself, it can be just as dangerous of a website as Pinterest. 🙂

Happy reading!

Is it too late?

I think it finally hit me today: My dad is getting old. 

Now to most people this would start pulling at their heart strings a little, but to me, it is a heart wrenching feeling full of regret and uncertainty. No, I did not have the typical “daddy” issues that most girls end up going to therapy over (I should be in therapy but for many other reasons).

My father and I sort of just had a falling out, except it was me that was doing all the falling out. He had done little things to bother me, as happens with every single child of every single parent. I do have to say, though, that it always did bother me how much he valued money and “saved” while living sparsely. Now, I never went without, but him sending me through a Catholic school was supposed to make up for the fact that I never had an allowance or was allotted any extra chore money, although I did my fair share of chores (I was an only child on his side). He never let me forget that and would always bring it up whenever he could. Off topic, but that is something that will always irk me. My values on money and family are completely opposite. But I cannot hold that against him – everyone has their own set of values and beliefs especially on money.

Back on track — My parents separated when I was younger, and I went through the normal transition of loving each parent “more” than the other and wanting to stay at one house for weeks on end. My parents ended their relationship amicably and are still friends to this day – I honestly value that about both of them. They really looked at the overview of creating a human together and realizing they needed to be a united front for that child, whether they were together or not. And trust me, they were. When I was 16/17 getting into lots of teenager angst and trouble and rebellion, my parents were there. Both of them. I thought having two separate parents in two different houses, I would be able to get away with so much more. I was unquestionably wrong.

Anyways, around the age of 18, I just….didn’t want to talk to my dad. We had problems through my early teen years, but it suddenly hit when I went out into the real world that I just wasn’t worried with spending more time with him. For some reason, it just struck me that I’ve been holding on to this…resentment and distance, while there is no real reason why. I have faced all my demons with any one that has hurt me, I have let it all go. With him, for some reason it just stayed. He tried to call every Sunday and would visit as often as possible – I just wouldn’t answer.

I am not sure if it is all the medical issues I am facing right now, or the fact that I have a two-year-old daughter that is starting to take in the world in such a true, raw way and I want him to be a part of it. Everything hit me today as he was sitting in my living room: my dad is getting old. He is walking like an older man. He is getting out of his chair a little more slowly. Today, he was talking to my daughter, and my fiancé and I were trying to tell her that he was okay (he is a big, burly man with a large beard) and we told her “That’s momma’s daddy”, and he just looked at her and said, “That’s my little girl”. So cliché, right? But it really hit me. That is my dad. Through whatever issues may arise, through the 24 years I’ve been alive, that is and always will be my dad. Why am I still holding onto this? Why do I put him through this? Yet, he’s still there. He still tries.

So, from today forward, I am moving onward to correct the damage and hurt I have caused. I will answer every phone call on Sunday afternoon. I will visit more often and let me daughter become more acquainted with her crazy, goofy grandpa. I will try my best to show my dad that I am still his daughter and my love for him will always be something that is boundless. I just hope it will be enough.

Holiday Volunteering…More opportunities than a soup kitchen.

As the holidays draw near, there are a lot of people that are looking to volunteer for the less fortunate. While donating money is a great way to help those in need, it loses some of the sentiment from actually getting out there and donating your time. There are many places that would appreciate and welcome your time besides a soup kitchen, which can become over-staffed during the holidays. 

  • Fish and Loaves – Taylor, MI: This seems like a wonderful place to start volunteering for someone who always says they are too busy to volunteer or they cannot because of specific time constraints. This organization is willing to work around your schedule and has new volunteer orientation every Monday at 11:30AM. They are working to help end hunger Downriver (Allen Park, Brownstown Township, Dearborn Heights, Romulus, Southgate, Taylor and Woodhaven) and help people get the food that some desperately need. For more information, you can go to http://www.downriverfishandloaves.org/volunteer.asp

 

  • Shelter to Home – Allen Park, MI: This is a great opportunity if you are a true animal lover, like myself. Shelter to Home is a rescue group from southeastern Michigan that saves animals from local shelters/pounds that would otherwise be euthanized due to over population. As a foster “parent” to this pet, you would just provide a loving home while the animal is waiting to be adopted. The rescue group would provide all food, litter (if necessary), and vet care. This helps the animal become adjusted to a home life and all that it includes, and helps make for a happier animal! For more information contact Rhonda, at volunteer@sheltertohome.com

 

  • Grace Hospice – Various Locations: Enhancing the lives of those who may be alone for the holidays, or just in need of a great smile or kind word. This volunteer opportunity is available in many different locations. Training must be done, but it is free of charge, and after completed you are able to volunteer where ever you would like, and as often as you would like. This is a great way to brighten up someone’s day ( and your own! ) For more information, go to http://ghospice.com/opportunities/

 

  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore – Monroe, MI: This offers a different type of volunteering: cleaning/organizing merchandise, answer phones, and assist customers. This organization is based out of Monroe, helping build homes for people of hard times so they are able to take pride in owning a beautiful home while building beautiful friendships. This is a weekend event, if you are unable to volunteer for this portion, they have other open events that are actually helping construct the houses! For more information, go to http://habitatmonroemi.volunteerhub.com/Events/Index

 

  • Road to Recovery – Southfield, MI: This is a great opportunity for those of you who enjoy driving and having a nice conversation. That is basically all this volunteering involves! This helps ambulatory cancer patients to and from cancer treatments, who are unable to drive or do not have proper transportation. This is a great way to help out someone who is truly in need, and you may make a new friend along the way! This is also another opportunity that are you able to use your own schedule for, and can volunteer any time. For more information, go to http://www.cancer.org/treatment/supportprogramsservices/road-to-recovery

 

While these are only a few options, there are also many more! These don’t include things such as local churches or Salvation Army, or Toys for Tots. I was hoping to find different opportunities that may interest different people. These are all awesome opportunities for helping someone (or some little animal) truly in need! While it’s great to volunteer year-round, or as often as possible, I know that during the Holiday season people are more adept to volunteering and the giving spirit. If you have access to read this, whether it’s from your home computer, lap top, cell phone, or tablet – you have so much to be thankful for! Why not share your time with someone who is not as fortunate? 

Should your kids be the center of your whole universe?

Should your kids be the center of your whole universe?

If you have children, are they the center of your universe? Does your whole day revolve around what they are doing or what they want to do? According to this mom, you should not let your kids become the center of your world. When I first read the opening paragraph of this blog entry, I wanted to quit reading. Clearly this lady had no idea what she was talking about, and was too selfish to be a mom…then I kept reading. She goes on to explain that your kids are not the center of any universe, this one or others. She mentions that it is also important to still be who you were before having kids, whether it be a wife, a girlfriend, a friend, just yourself. Not to become so wrapped up in the mom role that you forget what length your hair is because it’s always thrown up in a ponytail or what clothes are in your closet besides something that wouldn’t show puke or spit when running errands. The writer explains how the culture has changed so drastically, how the kids of this generation are going to grow up not able to function normally in society because they were brought up to be self-sufficient (ie: work it out for themselves, let them find their lost toy, cry it out for a while). Now I am all about giving my child whatever she needs, but she is 9 months old, she still relies on me for everything – and I’m definitely okay with that. But, I also know that in a few years I’m going to have to endure the hardship of letting go a little — letting her become her own person. As much as I want to shove her in a bubble, and protect her from this crazy world we live in, I cannot wait to see the person she is going to become, I know it will be wonderful.