Day 16 - Someone or something you definitely could live without.

Photo Credit: Kym Shumsky ( prompts. And yet, like a bad book that leads one to question the merits of the entire publishing industry, I have to know how it will end. 

Snow. I miss our Indian Summer and winter has barely even begun.

Late nights, though they do contribute to my current blogging binge. (Goal for 2013: a little consistency in frequency.)

Paperwork. I can’t think of anything, other than going to the dentist, that I procrastinate on more than paperwork.

My bed. Okay, so I don’t really want to give up my bed entirely, but the current one is not in great shape, due in part to the human sized ruts on either side of it. Supposedly, the non-flipping mattresses are better than the ones that you flip. Could’ve fooled me. 

That’s five things I could live without. I’m off to book a massage for my neck and shoulders now.

Day 15 - Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

Photo Credit: Kym Shumsky (

I’m starting to regret the impulsive decision I made two years ago to do this list. Questions like this one irk me because, apart from the necessities of life, there is nothing and no one I can’t live without. 

There are, however, people I wouldn’t want to live without. Matt is one of them. And yes, I have tried to live without him. I survived, but it wasn’t fun. I’m glad I have him. 

I knew for most of my adult life that I would likely lose my mother early, but losing her at 28 was a shock. It would be too soon at 40 or 50, too. I’ve survived without her and I’ve chosen to find joy in what I have rather than focus on what I’m missing out on. 

I’m not even going to think about the possibility of living without Brandon. 

Life just doesn’t give us the option to choose the path we want. Feeling sorry for not having things a certain way accomplishes nothing. I’ve grieved my losses and I won’t ever forget. I can’t move on and experience the fullness of life if I’m caught up in the past.

Day 14 - A hero that has let you down.

Photo Credit: Kym Shumsky ( I was younger, I was fascinated by made-for-TV movies. There was the one about the brain transplant patient who gets the brain of a tall, svelt, beautiful woman and is confused when she looks in the mirror to see someone fairly average when she expects to see a very different picture.

Then there was the one with the identical twin sisters (played by the same actress, of course). One twin fakes her death and then comes back to impersonate her sister and steal her husband - or something like that. I don’t think I was supposed to be watching that one.

The melodrama in the fictional movies would likely have me splitting my sides laughing these days. (You have to admit the brain transplant one was priceless.) As I got older, and we got cable, I got to see them all on repeat on Lifetime. Made-for-TV movies are great late-night entertainment. (Trust me on this.)

Then there were the movie accounts of real-life people. Fictionalized biographies, I suppose. All of them had plenty of melodrama (or they wouldn’t make the cut on Lifetime). There was one fictionalized biography that affected me pretty deeply. The Karen Carpenter Story aired on CBS in 1989 and I remember my reaction to it as if it was yesterday. And let me just say from the start that I get way too invested in stories like this.

I had some knowledge of The Carpenters’ music before watching this movie. My parents owned several LPs and I listened to them along with The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, and (my personal favorite) Simon and Garfunkel fairly regularly. 

Listening to Karen Carpenter sing was intoxicating. I wanted to be her. She was the first really cool person to share my name and that was pretty exciting.

Until I watched her story.

I got angry when I realized what she did to herself. How could she DO that to herself!? Why didn’t she see how amazing she was and take care of herself? I was only 11 and I didn’t realize how troubled she was. It was years before I was able to listen to her music. I don’t think I had a full awareness of her death before watching the movie.

I’m well aware now (though I wasn’t back then) that the movie doesn’t accurately portray her life and death, but I am still amazed at the disappointment I felt over the fictionalized account of Karen Carpenter’s existence.

Image Source: Facebook | Lost PinupThat kind of childhood disappointment looks very different as you get older and change the lens through which you see the circumstances. I no longer feel the anger and dismay that I remember so well from over 20 years ago. I don’t feel let-down either. But it is terribly sad that Karen Carpenter died so tragically.

I think it’s terribly sad that any person (particularly the female gender) gets to the point that they abuse their body to fulfill an impossible image that is, frankly, not even that attractive.

Day 13 - A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough days. (write a letter.)

Photo Credit: Kym Shumsky (’s been over a year since I started this meme and I’m not even halfway through. Partially because I decided I was going to do as I was inspired to and I think that’s okay. The other part is because there are many prompts after the first few that I’m just not that into.

I can’t tell you why this particular prompt isn’t inspiring me. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel like writing a letter. I don’t. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to detail the tough days. Definitely don’t. The problem isn’t that I don’t have a deep connection to music (at times) that helps me get through my own emotions. I definitely do.

Maybe it’s a fear of vulnerability. Tough times in life that you remember through music can be hard to dredge up. Putting those times out there in a blog post for the world to see allows people to come in to a place I’m not sure I want to invite people.

What if they don’t like the band I mention?

What if the songs that touched me are songs they hate?

What if I can’t handle sharing that part of my self?

My likes and dislikes in music are very personal. I can take teasing about liking certain groups, but one that is connected to an emotional event isn’t something I want to take a chance on. Not now.

So, I’ll share a song that got me through the waiting to move to Canada - a song that Matt (ironically) cannot stand. :) Those were tough days for more reasons than just the pending move. But every time I listened to this CD and heard this song, I danced around my house doing housework, nodding my agreement. I knew it was time to go, but I was truly “weighed by the chains that keep me hangin’ around” (mainly the lack of a permanent resident visa):

Do you have a song that got you through a tough time? Does it feel too personal to share?

Day 12 - Something you never get compliments on.

Photo Credit: Kym Shumsky ( hands.

They are my mom’s hands. I see her mannerisms when I talk with them or go through the motions of my day. 

I was a nail-biter for so many years that I hid my hands as much as possible. I knew they were ugly.

I kicked that habit a very long time ago, but my hands are still fat (large-boned) with short, stubby fingers and I would say they’re incredibly average.

And that just may explain why I don’t get complimented about them.