December Came Upon Us So Fast!

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December is here! I can hardly believe it. Where did the year go? I’m sitting here at the office on a Friday morning waiting for the calls to come in. Waiting for someone in crisis to need my help. Thankfully, we haven’t gotten many calls lately. Usually this time of year lends itself to those suffering with depression or other mental illnesses to need counsel.

However, the hotline is quiet. That’s a good thing. December is probably one of the worst – if not the worst – month of the year for many people in this country. I’ve always found that surprising. December is a month of jolly holidays like Christmas, Winter Solstice, and Hanukkah.  It’s filled with Christmas music, tree trimming, candle lighting, presents, and family gatherings.

But there is a darker side to December that most people don’t like to talk about. Having been an adult for the past 22 years, I can say that with each passing year, this month seems to get harder. If not for me, then for someone close to me. In general, I’ve noticed the past 3 years that people actually get quite mean. Isn’t it supposed to be the opposite?

Isn’t this supposed to be the time of year when we are a little nicer to each other? But I understand why it’s not the case for many people. While December is filled with beautiful lights and the wonderful aroma of freshly baked cookies, it is also a stressful time. I get it. There are presents to buy with money you don’t have. You are decorating your house and tree which in itself is stressful (I’m thinking of Clark Griswald). And what about having family over that might not get along?

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In the midst of all of this you still have bills to pay and food to put on the table. Add mental illness in the mix and you’ve got a smorgasbord of different calls coming in about any little thing. It may not be important to most people but it’s important to the caller. December can cause triggers and depression in too many people.

This post isn’t all doom and gloom though readers. I won’t publish my first December post trying to depress you all. I am only wanting to remind you that during your holiday shopping be a bit more mindful of your fellow humans.

A few years back I had gotten triggered. I had just dropped Conner off at school and was planning on doing some Christmas shopping when the driver in front of me stopped at a stop sign, got out of his car, and proceeded to berate me for driving too close to him. I wasn’t but that’s not the point. I get really uneasy when a strange man I don’t know approaches me. When he approaches me in anger, I am immediately in defense mode.

I often questioned myself about that incident and how I could have handled it differently. Upon reflection of it, I recognized that the man’s anger wasn’t about me. It was about him and his own issues. Maybe, had I not yelled back at him and responded with kindness the altercation would have been different.

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I do believe he was having a bad day. Whether we recognize this or not, when we are in a bad mood, we are ready to start arguments with people – regardless of whether they are family, friends, or total strangers. Most of the time we don’t know it until after the fact. We don’t realize it in the moment because in the moment we are only focused on one thing – arguing and arguing is for what purpose? Being heard.

The state of the world today has way too many people up in arms over literally everything. Everyone talks over everyone else. Everyone is so damn angry. At least it seems that way. It doesn’t help that we have leaders and the media constantly showing us just how low our society has fallen. It’s depressing.

So here is where I’m going to challenge all of you.  I challenge you to be kind. I challenge you to walk away from an angry person. Don’t let them affect your day and your mood. Now I know that it is much easier said than done but do it anyway.

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Let’s all be mindful this December and be kinder to each other. I hope this month brings you great things. I hope that when you look back at 2018, you are able to look back with a smile and no regrets. Let’s give a big smile, raise our glasses, bake those cookies, and hug our children a little extra this month. And remember that if you do find yourself in a bad mood or having a bad day, don’t take it out on another.

Here’s to a great month! Happy December all!

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My Fall Playlist and Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! For those of you in the U.S, how was your holiday? Mine was good. I played video games and baked two batches of cookies. I also went to two different Thanksgiving dinners. Thankfully, they weren’t on the same day. I don’t think my stomach could have handled that, haha.

Thanksgiving is a great holiday for me because of family gatherings around delicious food. Oh and Adam and I have a tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade together. I snapped a great photo of him with his cat Davey on the couch while watching the parade.

Isn’t that a great photo!

Adam actually turned 17 the day before Thanksgiving though. So I busied myself with making his birthday cake. Then his dad came over and we celebrated with cake and gifts before taking him to see Wreck it Ralph: Ralph Breaks the Internet. Both boys loved the movie. It was really good.

I didn’t get around to reading a book this month which I’m sad about. I really wanted to read a fantasy novel but quickly realized I had none. Shame! So I’m going to end this month – and my Thanksgiving post – with my fall playlist.

First up:

Adelita’s Way: Something More

I love the lyrics to this song. Listening to this song has helped me stay a bit stronger during some really trying times for me lately. It’s a hopeful and inspiring song.

FYI: The person who put the lyrics up got the chorus wrong and it’s driving me crazy so I’m going to put the correct lyrics here:

I want something more
You could be what I’ve been looking for
Dreaming like this just you and I
Living each moment, passing by
Watching the starlight in the sky
I want something more
I want something more

Marianas Trench: Here’s to the Zeros

This is such and upbeat song with a strong message about not fitting in with society. They use the music industry but it applies to society as a whole. It certainly makes me feel better about my own life that’s for sure. So here’s to the zeros baby!

Fall Out Boy: Grand Theft Autumn

I just love Fall Out Boy. And this song has Autumn in it lol! I just love this song and it’s another upbeat one even though its about unrequited love.

Guns -N- Roses: November Rain

Even though this is a sad song and the video is even sadder I really like this song. I mean, it does mention November Rain. A Lot! And it brings back memories.

Meatloaf: I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)

Now this song has sort of a special place on this list because this is the time of year of homecoming dances and Sadie Hawkins. If you don’t know what Sadie Hawkins is, it basically when the girls ask the boys out. That was the dance.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I dated a boy back in my junior year of high school. He was a sophomore.  He was my first kiss and my first date. I really liked him. We got along so well and every conversation felt natural with him.

Then he broke up with me right before the Sadie Hawkins dance. He said he wasn’t interested in a relationship. However, he showed up at the dance with another girl. I was devastated. This song came on and I watched him dance with her. I began to cry.  I couldn’t help it. I hated that I was crying over a boy. I hated even more that I was crying in public. My friends helped cheer me up but the damage had been done.

Rumor had it that he dumped me for that other girl because she supposedly “put out” and he was eager to lose his virginity. Now I don’t know how true it was. It wasn’t a topic of conversation when we dated. And we talked a lot. However, this song brought on a new meaning for me.

I realized that if that was the case then the girl can have him. I wasn’t going to compromise my morals for any boy no matter how much I liked him. I was pretty proud of myself and rather than bring out heartbreak every time I heard this song – which was a lot – I saw it in a new light. That of empowerment.

Nicki Minaj: Starships

Now I don’t normally listen to Nicki Minaj. In fact, this is the only song I have of hers. I really love it though. It’s so upbeat and makes me feel like a starship! Conner loves this song too. I have the edited Radio version lol.

One Republic: Connection

Ha! I bet you thought I wasn’t going to have a new song on this playlist. I really like this song. The lost connection we seem to have with real people even though we are constantly connected. The lyrics just say it all.

These Days my waves get lost in the ocean

seven million swimmers, man

I’m going through the motions

The very first verse had me hooked.

Imagine Dragons: Zero

This is actually in the New Wreck it Ralph movie and the boys love this song so much. I love the lyrics. You just have to hear the lyrics.

I remember walking in the cold of November

Hoping that I make it to the end of December

I just thought that was sweet for my Fall Playlist haha!

Well that’s it folks. My fall playlist. I hope everyone on this side of the ocean had a great Thanksgiving and not too much family drama! I hope everyone’s holiday was filled with laughter and great food!

Happy Thanksgiving All!

and Thanks for Reading!

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November Happenings and Much Ado About Nothing

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It is November! My oldest son’s favorite month of the year. It is his 17th birthday in two weeks. November is a great month though. Here in Massachusetts the leaves are turning beautiful colors and the wind is blowing them off their trees.

Fair warning, this is going to be a random rambles kind of post.

That is where the Much Ado About Nothing comes in, haha!

November of this year is also the month of the midterm elections. Did you vote? I sure did! I went first thing in the morning and did my civic duty.  It is also my well deserved right to vote. You know, as women had to fight for that right and everything. While I don’t vote in every single election my town holds, I do vote in the big ones and I take it very seriously.

I am attempting to participate in the #NaNoWriMo this year but so far I haven’t done much. November is the month for writing but I haven’t gotten very far. I started out with one story that is over 10 years old but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just not ready to write that one. So I have to start from scratch, beginning with the outline. It’s proving to be more challenging than I was expecting because I’ve been very distracted lately.

The Universe has decided to put some challenges before me lately and I have started to feel tired a lot. Drained is the more appropriate word. Thank God I have some really good friends in my life who have been a huge help to me. And Thank God for my brother, who helped me out with something last weekend.

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Then there is what is going on in the world. The shooting at a Philadelphia synagogue and all the hatred – just pure hatred – that leads to innocent people dying. The bombs sent to Democrats who dare defy our so-called President. What is happening? Then this past week, 12 people lost their lives and many more affected by one person deciding to go shoot random people. For what?

And the Midterm elections didn’t really do much to curve the deep division in this country. I didn’t expect it to though. The Democrats are just as responsible as the Republicans at this point. I’m a Democrat and I’m saying this. No one is really willing to work with each other. They are like a pack of wild dogs just waiting to attack.

Where is all this hate coming from? It’s coming from Fear. Ignorance is also making itself known in the arena of hatred.  Fear and Ignorance lead to hatred and boy does the U.S have that in spades. All we are left with is asking why. Why???

Talking about the leaves falling though: I’m going to take some pictures before Winter comes.

Both my personal life and all of this negativity in the world has been affecting my mental health. I am resorting to binge watching old TV shows and much needed hiking just to keep myself from losing my shit. Just yesterday the bus driver who was supposed to pick my oldest up from his after school program “forgot” to pick him up. This does not bode well with my inner Mama Bear. Did I mention that she sometimes gets a little crazy? “Danger Will Robinson! Danger!”

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Do you ever get to a point where you start to feel overwhelmed by everything? You know that you will keep going. That’s just life. Life has its ups and downs and we mostly roll with the punches. We get back up and do it all over again. But do you ever feel, even for a moment, that you just need a break from your life? From the world?

That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. All these negative vibes in the air has me wanting to do something else. Be somewhere else. Do you ever just want to leave this planet, this solar system and fly to another galaxy? Maybe go to an alternate dimension where you meet a happier, healthier you and say, “Hey, lets switch places for a day. Or two.”

But you can’t pick just any alternate Universe. You have to pick the right one. I would pick one with a me that lives near a beach or in a mystical forest full of fairies and unicorns. Yes! Unicorns! Oh I could surely use a Unicorn right about now. Just for a day. Maybe two.

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The Dream – (A Poem by Me)

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For many years I have had recurring dreams about a person who used to be in my life. The dreams started shortly after high school, when I no longer saw this person. He used to be a friend but I use the word loosely as we weren’t really friends. More acquaintances and classmates than friends. Nevertheless, I had dreams about him.

It took me a long time to figure out why I had these dreams. These dreams come to me when I’m at my lowest mentally and emotionally. When I’m deeply struggling with something or when I feel like I’m losing control over something in my life.

Once I figured that out, I wanted to understand why him? It could be anyone. A lost loved one. My grandmother who passed away when I was thirteen. Any of my closest friends or relatives. But no, it is this one person who I barely know. He barely knows me. It’s ALWAYS him too. It’s never anyone else.

For a long time I thought it meant something more than it was. Maybe I knew him in a past life. I went so far in my mind to think maybe he was my… I can’t even say it now because it’s a ridiculous notion. Long story short, for whatever reason he represents a part of my subconscious that tells me everything is going to be okay.

I had one of these dreams the other night. As you know I’ve been struggling with several things and this past week was one of the shittiest weeks I’ve had in a long time. I woke up inspired and compelled to write this poem. It’s been several years since I’ve had one of these dreams.

The Dream

I dreamt of you last night

I walked ’round and there you stood

Oh you were such a sight!

I knew it was THAT dream

You come to visit me in our woods

To comfort me in my time of need.

 

And though it was only a dream

It was so nice to see you old friend

In the land of dreams where we could just BE

The time we got to spend

Walking and laughing and finally at peace with each other

We chatted about anything BUT the weather.

 

Conversation wasn’t what was needed

As you already knew

But your presence was what I heeded

Because it was you who gave me solace

And your smile gave me the clue.

 

You’re here because I’m in anguish

The world is trying to break me

But you know that’s outlandish.

 

And as the dawn approached

it was time for me to wake

You look at me without reproach

In my dream you say without a word

That everything is going to be okay.

 

He and I are no longer friends. We haven’t been friends for several years now. It’s funny because while I have no desire to have him back in my life, it was nice to see him in my dream. He has become a muse of sorts and for that I am grateful.

Thank you all for reading!

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P.S.  For all Americans reading my blog – Don’t forget to vote this Tuesday! I know I will!

 

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My Book of the Month-October: A History of Witches

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I finally got around to adding books back into my routine. Yay! And A History of Witches was the first book I read. I really wanted to read something supernatural for October. When I read a few other blogs talking about this book, I just had to give it a read.

So What’s This Book About?

A History of Witches is about a young woman, an alchemy expert and historian, who accidentally discovers an ancient text, reputed to be the history of witches, vampires, humans, and daemons (apparently werewolves aren’t important in this book). Her name is Diana Bishop (Bishop is one of the murdered Witches of Salem) and she doesn’t want anything to do with her magic since her parents were murdered when she was a child.

But once she discovers the book, her life is in danger and all sorts of creatures stalk her, including Matthew Clairmont, an ancient vampire. Within a few weeks, the two fall in love – which is against the rules – and the fight for the book and for survival is on.

Before long, everyone is after Diana for her untapped magic, the book she doesn’t possess, and to keep her from Matthew. All the while Diana releases new powers that she can’t control and must learn how if she is going to survive.

What’s my take on the book?

I’ll be honest, A History of Witches didn’t impress me as much as I thought it would. It started out with great potential. I like the character of Diana. She was a strong, independent and intelligent character who I understand very well. Though she wasn’t very confident in herself, I overlooked that because well, this is the hero’s journey. It is meant to watch the evolution of a character unfold.

In fact, in spite of the over written descriptions of every piece of clothing she would change into or the over share of details just to describe every inch of what a room looked and smelled like, the first 9 chapters were pretty good.

But then Diana starts to fall in love with Matthew – a possessive, controlling, ass of a vampire – I’ll talk more about him in a minute – Diana loses some of herself. She starts to depend on him in various ways. They are subtle at first but by chapter 18 Diana is so enraptured by Matthew that her ordinarily independent self falters and she is at his mercy.

Now about Matthew:

Matthew Clairmont definitely brought out my inner feminist. More than that though, I am just so sick of reading the male vampire in this way. First it was Twilight with Edward Cullen constantly telling Bella what to do and breaking her heart. Then the show Vampire Diaries brings in some of those same male vampires (one in particular named Klause). Then other various stories in between. Now Matthew Clairmont.

In A History of Witches, there is an excuse for this behavior. Vampires are naturally possessive and jealous of anyone who gets near their intended partner. Yet, like in Twilight, no other vampire acts that way. Matthew is more than this though. Because he is a leader, he is referenced in the book a few times as the Alpha male and must be “obeyed”. Obeyed? Really? What the hell century are we living in?

By the time Diana learns all of this about him, she is so in love that she becomes weak. The message here is that for women, love makes you weak. What? She is so weak that she literally cannot defend herself. She can’t protect herself when she gets kidnapped. She relies way too much on Matthew and his vampire family to take care of her. It’s like she becomes a different person.

It’s not until chapter 25 of A History of Witches that I finally start to like the book again. But I still don’t like Matthew. At least not until they go to her family home. Then I start to see another side of him. That’s when he finally wises up and helps Diana learn to control her powers, thereby helping her become strong again.

So What’s the final verdict?

I know I just ranted about a fictional character but despite that I still think the book is worth a read. I mean, I made it to the end without throwing the book across the room. That’s more than I can say for a different book called 50 Shades of Grey. I HATED that book! Didn’t even get past chapter 5.

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My point is though that once you get past the obsessive, possessive demeanor of the main male character, you will see his good points and you will be able to read the story rather than focus on this one vampire. The story isn’t all about him after all. It’s about Diana.

It’s also about this world of the supernatural (why are werewolves not a part of this?) that I find fascinating. Putting the love story aside for a moment, it’s original. The world of vampires, daemons, and witches is unique and like nothing I’ve ever read before.

That, to me, is worth reading about. So I will be reading the second book in the trilogy.

Have you read the book? What did you think?

Thanks so much for reading!

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