Once Upon a Time … Then We Get Old

Once upon a time, I was young and thin and had firm skin.Once upon a time, I was young. When I was young, the Internet as we know it today was in its infancy, cell phones were only for the wealthy, bullying happened in person, and the only writers in the world were journalists and authors.

The building blocks of the Internet as we know it today began taking shape in the 1960s and started to spread like wildfire in the 1990s. The new millennium (after surviving the big Y2K scare) saw a transition from the likes of AOL message boards to social media, where everyone’s business is in your face whether you want to see it or not. Social media also became a place used not only for communicating but also for bragging, cyber-bullying, stalking, scamming, whining, and complaining.

Social and economic status became easier to determine, and comparisons skyrocketed. Feelings of inadequacy, doubts of self-worth, and depression are more common as a result of these comparisons. Yet, we spend more and more time on the Internet reading and believing everything we read. Smart phones, computers, and tablets have taken over our lives. We’ve become out of shape and overweight, too.

Technology has made it easier for us to get more done at a much faster rate than we’ve ever been able to in the past. This is a blessing and a curse. Knowing that we can get things done faster, more is expected of us. We spend more time on our technological devices at the expense of non-technological tasks such as cleaning the house, maintaining the yard, and simply getting out of the house and experiencing real life!

Our minds are packed with so much information now that we tend to forget … a lot! So we’re in a catch-22 here. Thank goodness for our devices with calendars, alarms, and various other reminder capabilities! I rely heavily on these things to keep me organized and on track. I have alarms and reminders for paying bills, appointments, and even for vitamins and medications (along with a pill sorter to make double sure)!

I have to use a pill sorter along with a reminder alarm so I don't forget to take my vitamins and medication. I'm too old to remember.

… and then we get old.

Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop

I’m falling in love with this luscious cup of Chai latte goodness at Legends Coffee in Southlands. Monsoon also has a nice Chai, but right here in this moment, this cup is a little bit of spicy heaven on earth. You know that feeling you get when you try something so delicious and just pause for a moment and literally moan as if having a food-gasm? I’m calling this a Chai-gasm!

Falling in love at a coffee shop. Chai Latte. Legends Coffee Company in Southlands - Aurora, CO.

If you haven’t been to Legend’s yet, you have to go. I mean HAVE TO! I want them to get as much business as possible so they don’t close like the other places did that inhabited this space before them. They are right by the AT&T store and Chipotle.

Falling in love at a coffee shop. Chai Latte. Legends Coffee Company in Southlands - Aurora, CO.

Bonus: You get to see interesting people come and go and listen to conversations. Eavesdropping is always fun.

Denham Springs Flood Recovery

“Denham Springs is estimated to have 240,000 to 260,000 cubic yards of debris within its city limits after the severe storms and flooding devastated the region with an unprecedented amount of rainfall.”
Being such an advocate of recycling, I can’t help but wonder what they will do with all of this debris. Flipping through the slide show at the top of this article made me sad, and it also made me a little mad at myself for putting off projects in our own house simply because they seem overwhelming and like hard work. What these people are going through is OVERWHELMING and HARD WORK! I’m sure they would gladly take my projects over what they are dealing with in a heartbeat.

All wet items had to be removed within a few days to avoid entire homes becoming contaminated. Mold grows fast! Items I didn’t even think about had to go … appliances!

Denham Springs, Louisiana, cleanup and flood recovery.
Source: WAFB News
These homeowners aren’t just sitting back and hiring contractors to come in and do all of the cleanup and rebuilding for them in a few weeks. They are doing a lot of the work themselves, and it’s going to take months to get back to a new normal.

I know someone in Denham Springs who is living this. Picture trying to feed your family when you only have three pots in various sizes, a slow cooker, and a cookie sheet to use (everything else is in storage). The flood happened right after the kids went back to school, and it devastated their high school. One month later, they are finally resuming classes at a neighboring high school on a split shift until their school is cleaned up and rebuilt. Their classes are from 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. with time to practically inhale a packed dinner before heading to band practice from 6:00 – 8:00 and then finally getting home around 8:30 p.m. by bus.

Denham Springs is not considered to be in a flood zone so flood insurance for homeowners in the area was not mandatory. Its average elevation is about 43 feet above sea level. They are about four miles (straight line) from the Amite River that flooded and about 80-85 miles northwest of New Orleans city center, which has an average elevation of between one and two feet below sea level (from as high as 20 feet near the river levee to as low as 7 feet below sea level in Eastern New Orleans).

Being Alone is Okay

As I begin typing this post, I’m sitting in a fairly busy deli where I can just make out the words to the song playing over the blended sounds of people talking and children making silly noises. (The song: “Insensitive” by Jann Arden) I’m alone, and that’s okay. It’s more than okay; it’s kind of great!

I’ve already worked over 42 hours this week, and it’s only Thursday afternoon. I clocked in to attend a conference call meeting this morning that ran about 90 minutes over its scheduled end time. The meeting was hardly productive and bounced all over the place, I wasn’t fully prepared, and I had a hard time focusing because my mind kept wandering to anywhere else I could have been at that very moment. I wanted the words to stop flowing from everyone’s mouths because I didn’t feel we were getting very far, so those words started sounding like background noise – like Charlie Brown’s teacher … “Wah wah wah….

Finally off the phone and clocked out of work, I shut down my work laptop and hit the road. It was already 12:30pm, so half my day was already over. I only have one goal, and that’s to use my Bath & Body Works gift card on my favorite scent, Warm Vanilla Sugar. Where is that gal who promised to bring me a box for the other half of my sandwich???

The music isn’t improving, and now a child is whining/half-crying, and I’m no longer okay with this location. I need to move. Time to flag down that box!

Legends Coffee in SouthlandsNext up: Legends Coffee

I ordered a Vanilla Latte with a little cinnamon steamed in. The latte, in a porcelain cup and saucer, was beautifully topped with a floral … oh, what do you call those fancy artsy things they do with the cream? Latte art! Impressed – both with the presentation and the flavor! There’s a long bar down the center of the coffee shop, but I can’t use it. The stools are too low, and the counter is too high for me even when standing. There are outlets galore here, making it a great place to get some work done, study, or have small meetings. It’s pretty open and bright. I wish it had more small tables or comfy chairs. There are a lot of tables for four, and most only had one person sitting at them.

I’m more than halfway finished with my latte, and the design is still floating on top!

Legends Coffee in Southlands

More alone time is scheduled for tomorrow. Whatever will I find to do with myself?! I’ll be in good company no matter what I find to do. Company that shares my opinions on everything. Company that won’t argue over where we go or how long we’re there. Company that won’t complain that they’re bored.

Please, family and few friends that I have, don’t think that I don’t enjoy your company. I do. I promise! It’s just that my brain … my soul desires and greatly benefits from time alone. You know when we’re together, and I get quiet and seem distant? That’s me on social overload, which doesn’t take a lot. That’s also me trying to keep up with my brain and its many thoughts. During larger social gatherings, I often feel more alone than I do when I’m by myself. I’m not weird. I’m not defective. I’m different. I’m among a small percentage of the population that feels this way.

Being alone is okay!