Joan's Jottings


I’ve Come to Realize……
September 20, 2009, 7:42 pm
Filed under: life

Recently, I began to follow the blog, sixuntilme.com, written by Kerri Morrone Sparling. Kerri maintains an online journal of sorts, documenting her life with Type 1 Diabetes.  She recently posted a list of answers to several questions that began, “I’ve Come to Realize ……?” Her list consisted of responses to various prompts, such as “I’ve Come to Realize that when I’m driving…….,” or “I’ve Come to Realize that certain people……” I decided to utilize this concept, however, I used free association to develop my list. Here is a sample of my impromptu realizations, in no particular order:

1. I’ve come to realize that I am stronger than I think.

2. I’ve come to realize that opportunities for personal growth most likely present themselves for as long as we continue to breathe (and are willing to learn).

3. I’ve come to realize that everything is not black or white.

4. I’ve come to realize that most people are good, and the rest are just baby souls.

5. I’ve come to realize that being a parent is the most challenging job I have ever had, especially doing it alone.

6. I’ve come to realize that little bullies grow up to be big bullies.

7. I’ve come to realize that my vision will never again be 20/20, but that if I continue to remain open and aware, I will see the perfection that is the universe.

8. I’ve come to realize that dogs are woman’s best friend, too.

9. I’ve come to realize that everything happens for a reason, but the reason is not always crystal clear.

10. I’ve come to realize that exercise is as vital to my day as a shower and brushed teeth.

11. I’ve come to realize that old friends are truly my best friends.

12. I’ve come to realize that I must continually focus my energy inward, because the only thing I can change is myself.

13. I’ve come to realize that the world seems to be caught up in a competition centered around money, power and greed.

14. I’ve come to realize that peanut butter is just as good without jelly.

15. I’ve come to realize that I have met some truly amazing people in my lifetime to-date, and I hope that more are on their way.

16. I’ve come to realize that I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

17. I’ve come to realize that I am grateful to have fallen in love with books decades ago, and that thanks to great writers, there is always a “next one” begging to be read.

18. I’ve come to realize that some relationships are toxic, and that I must be able to recognize such pairings and end them.

19. I’ve come to realize that life is short, so eat as much chocolate as you can.

20. I’ve come to realize that my son is an amazing soul who came here as my child and my teacher.

How would you answer, “I’ve Come to Realize?” Try it and see what answers rise to the top.



House of Hormones
September 19, 2009, 10:22 pm
Filed under: life

It is quite possible that our home has become a House of Hormones. With Halloween quickly approaching, it is likely that our cozy little ranch might be confused with a House of Horrors. A recent check-up with the pediatrician confirmed that Junior is in the early stages of puberty. This would explain certain physical changes, including a sometimes rebellious, tart little tongue. While his hormones have begun their awakening in an effort to transform boy into man, Mom’s biological ticker is chiming menopause, or most definitely peri-menopause. Like many businesses that have fallen victim to tough economic times, Joan’s Factory is shuttin’ down!

According to my lady friends whose cakes have more candles than mine, I may begin looking forward to night sweats (have already had some pajama-soaking events to-date), hot flashes, and sleepless nights. Geez, thanks for the positive feedback. It isn’t possible that thirty-five years of monthly cycles, headaches, cramps and acne have been enough? There is more fun to be had?

Consider yourself forewarned when approaching a particular taupe-colored one-story in the burbs. Inside lurks a boy ravaged by hormones as he morphs into man, and a sweating, insomniac prone to either tears or tirades, all within a matter of seconds. Be afraid. Be VERY afraid……..



Junior’s Jottings
September 10, 2009, 4:11 pm
Filed under: family

My son is three weeks into his sixth grade experience.  In his Language Arts class, he was instructed to write a poem entitled, “Where I’m From.” I always get excited when he has a writing assignment. I can’t wait to see how he reveals himself with words. I enjoyed reading his work of self-disclosure, and hope that you might, too.

Where I’m From

I’m from the warm, cozy one-story house on the street.

I’m from photographs, circa 1998 to 2009.

I’m from the dewy morning air, the wakening of the day, the smell of a new start.

I’m from Germans and Russians.

I’m from living with a dog, going on walks, and playing a game of fetch.

I’m from summer vacation and having fun, traveling from Florida to Canada.

I’m from the Streets of West Chester, PF Changs and Bravo, ordering the same meal every time I go.

I’m from television land, NCIS to Chuck.

I’m from music, genres like pop and rock.

I’m from guitar,classical to heavy metal.

I’m from football, Penn State to the Philadelphia Eagles.

I’m from pasta and bread, a vegetarian not a carnivore.

I’m from great novels, the adventures of Artemis Fowl, Luke, Peter and Harry Potter.

I’m from nonfiction, astronomy to history.

Most importantly, I’m from my family, Grandma and Grandpa and Mom and Dad.



Out of the Mouth of Babes
September 6, 2009, 7:26 pm
Filed under: family

The other night, my son mentioned that several classmates were planning to attend a local high school football game.  (This particular high school is the one my son will eventually attend, provided he passes grades six through nine.) I replied that I do not recall attending high school football games while still in elementary school. However, I do remember attending many Friday night events all through my secondary years, especially tenth through twelfth grades, when I was a member of the drill team. Junior then asked, “What is a drill team?” Big mistake! Grasping this opportunity to share a glimpse of my past, I began a twenty minute lecture on the definition of a drill team and its second class status to the “cheerleader.” I hauled out old photo albums and yearbooks, which provided the necessary proof and documentation that such a “team” actually existed, and that I was a full-fledged member.

When the lesson was complete, my son replied, “You are more like a drill sergeant than a drill team member!” Ouch! You gotta love kids. Their ability to tell it like they see it is remarkable. I better channel that “kinder, gentler Joan” more often.