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A Gentle Password Reminder

In case you haven’t heard about the Yahoo data breach, there’s been one. A big one.

Whether or not it’s been a while, it’s time to update your passwords. Can’t hurt to do all of them.

One simple trick I use is to incorporate the date in the password either by numbers, letters, or symbols that let me know at a glance when I last changed it. Then all I have to do is update that part of the password for a few changes. Saves having to come up with a new password every single time I change it (considering how often that should be).

Remember: long and nonsensical, containing as many different types of keys as the site allows (not all sites allow symbols, but should).

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Yesterday, I found out an uncle passed away 2 months ago.

As frustrating as it is to learn about it so much later, I understand that this is the price one pays for leaving Facebook. Loss of contact and information.

Except…

The other 3 members of my immediate family all attended the funeral. Not one of them bothered to tell me.

Whether or not I could have attended, I deserved the choice. I deserved the chance to send timely flowers and condolences. I deserved to know. It’s common courtesy.

But this is the type of self-centered thoughtlessness that truly characterizes them. I’ve spent years overlooking these types of things and believing the best of them.

To my own detriment.

But good came from this. I realized that I needed to reach out to others who would love to hear from me.

I called my husband’s aunt, and we talked for a couple of hours. Of course she’d had no idea about all the things we’ve been going through this year. She assured me over and over that she’d be helping in any way she could if we all lived closer.

But she did help. Her listening ear and understanding heart are things I’ve desperately needed. This has been the hardest year of my life, bar none. And it’s been made infinitely more difficult by the callous lack of compassion and care that I’ve encountered.

The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. And it hurts.

I Can Only Care About Me

Kind of a pretentious title, don’t you think? And yet, that’s precisely what one learns in certain circles.

I can only control me; I can only choose my actions, and that’s how I will cope: by choosing me, by focusing on me. I’m “sorry” if you feel differently, but your opinion—you—no longer matter in my world.

No wonder people have become more and more self-centered.

I remember a great man once said, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Whatever happened to the people who checked up on you when you were going through a hard time? Where are the friendly neighbors who cared? When did we decide that helping someone else was a sacrifice we’re no longer willing to make?

We’re so busy looking out for number one that we don’t see the pain we’ve inflicted, the hurts we could heal if we honestly cared.

My sadness is that the person who’s going to come out the other side of this modern view in therapy is a stranger, no longer the one I once knew and loved. It was never about saving someone else; it was always about love.

My Heart Won’t Get the Message

It’s been 3 lifetimes, and yet only just over a month since I died. I’m a walking corpse, a shell of the person I once was.

I wish I really were dead. Then I wouldn’t have this hole inside, a gaping wound that’s swallowed everything. There are no words to describe how deeply I hurt, this soul-crushing pain I face every waking moment.

I hoped that after getting to today, I could start to breathe again. That the permanence of it all would sink in, and I could put you behind me and move on.

But my heart won’t get the message that you’re never coming back.

There are mementos everywhere, memories of the love and laughter we shared, the tears we carried each other through. Even last night, I couldn’t help wishing I could have shared that experience with you, instead of being across town and a million light years from each other.

But it will never be. I know that. There’s not a single question about it.

If only my heart could understand.

Where Characters Come From

This morning, after yet another dental appt, we went to a breakfast café in the upper crust section of town, little imagining the effect it would have on a young woman’s story.

I don’t normally eavesdrop, but the lady at the table next to us caught my ear when she started ordering.

She didn’t like anything on the menu and just wanted a tomato, lettuce, and cheese sandwich. (What? Why not a BLT? Is this a new trend? The CLT! er, I can see why that might be a bad idea…)

When given bread choices, she asked if the rye had seeds and after being told yes, quietly ruminated before settling on the ciabatta. Then she asked if they had sprouts.

“Hoity-toity” came to mind, and I almost wanted to go sit at her table and observe everything about her. She just stuck out, and I knew she’d make a great character.

But I don’t write stories with hoity-toity women in them.

When we got home, I told my husband about my experience, and he mentioned the rom-com idea I’ve been working on. (Charity Girl)

Yes! PERFECT!

A mother who’s an over-bearing health nut would easily drive my heroine into the predicament in which she now finds herself. Sweet!

So, my new character has found a home, and my charming, overweight heroine has a monumental complication.

Flickr Free Use Photos Pool

An Anniversary I Don’t Want to Celebrate

I am my own history buff sometimes, and that means I tend to mark anniversaries and remember what I did on a certain date years before.

For instance, at the end of January ten years ago, I quit the third job I’d worked for over a year (meaning I worked a full and two part time jobs all through 2003—not my third job ever😉 ).
It was turn down service at the Grand Floridian, if you’re curious (the expensive rooms on the top two floors of the main building).

credit: sanctumsolitude on Flickr cc (cropped)

credit: sanctumsolitude on Flickr cc (cropped)

Two years ago, I finished editing chapter 26. Little did I know it would be the last full chapter of forward motion.

I’d like to think I’ve come a long way since then, but it’s still disheartening to realize how much further I have yet to go to get back there.

One day…one day.