Tag Archives: family

Missing You [fff]


[Originally posted on May 26, 2022, and reposted today for Fandango’s Flashback Friday.]

Every day I miss you more,
As if you’d left just hours before,
Your voice still green in my mind.
But silly movies make me cry,
And loss lingers close behind—
I touch it like a purpled bruise;
I just can’t shake these blues.
Every day I miss you more.
Pain hasn’t passed with time,
For as the years roll on I find
Your face comes in sharper focus,
And memories are turning golden.
Grey days blur into each other
Like a monochromic watercolor.
Every day I miss you more.

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for the Skeptic’s Kaddish W3-4 and the Wednesday Challenge.

Finding My Balance

AI colorful balance scale

Maggie is back from her lovely “vacation” to help with a new grandchild, and she has returned to her Tranquil Thursday series. Note that from now on it is my official policy to clean up any typos in quoted material, and I’m not indicating so each time because these are blog posts not scholarly articles.

1. We have all heard of the need of work/life balance. If you are still working, what percentage of time do you dedicate to work? If you are retired, how have you achieved balance outside of managing a work life?

I am old-school and work an old-fashioned 7.5 hour day (with an hour for lunch) in an office away from home. I do not bring work home with me or go in on weekends. The rest of my time is for me (I am not going to say “life” because work is also a part of life, and I enjoy going to work). Most of my me time is spent blogging and reading, with cleaning and shopping chores thrown in the mix. Sometimes I paint. Sometimes I work on my half-finished stories. Sometimes I watch movies. Occasionally I take a walk. I do make time for family and friend social events, but not on a daily basis (except for texting).

Remember teeter totters? Life is like a teeter totter. When lives enter or leave us, we are thrown off balance. When there is too much on one side of the fulcrum, the other side is left dangling in the air while the heavy side is stuck in the sand. How is the current balance in your life?

Except for my physical balance, which can be a bit shaky because of vertigo, etc., I would say I have the perfect balance of work, family, friends, and hobbies in my life. I wouldn’t want things to be all work or all family or all painting, etc. The only area in which I am out of balance is exercise, but that’s very difficult for me to engage in regularly because of my chronic pain issues. It’s hard for people who don’t have these issues to understand. It’s not only the actual hours of pain that stop me, but also when I’m feeling relatively OK, my first thought is not “time to run around and get all sweaty.” My thought is… savor this moment while it lasts. Also, exercise can trigger more pain (unfortunate truth).

Fantasy reading romance novel book
Image credit to Jim Warren

If things get too hectic, what tools do you use to regain balance?

Very simple. I ruthlessly cut out activities, at least temporarily, so that I have only work and me time. I have a limited amount of energy for socializing to begin with, and it doesn’t take much to deplete the stores. Family time is usually OK, but I have to deal with driving/traffic to get that, so it isn’t a no brainer to see my loved ones. Friends just have to understand that I will occasionally cancel at the last minute, and if they don’t understand? Pffft.

Sometimes we self-sabotage the balance in our lives by letting too much in, or giving away too much of ourselves. How do you control the flow in and out of your life?

I am a control FREAK. I refuse to do things I don’t want to do or that I think will hurt me in any way.

Life Pie – if you ever completed The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, you may recall the exercise to determine how fulfilled your life is by dividing it into six areas. I will post her instruction below. Draw your life pie. Were you surprised with the results? “Draw a circle. Divide it into six pieces of pie. Label one piece Spirituality, another Exercise, another Play, and so on with Work, Friends, and Romance/Adventure. Place a dot in each slice at the degree to which you are fulfilled in that area (outer rim indicates great; inner circle, not so great). Connect the dots. This will show where you are lopsided.” ~ Julia Cameron

I don’t need a pie to show I’m unbalanced according to someone else’s idea of how things “should be,” though I would like a pie because pie is delicious. There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, which according to old-school math is 168 hours. Let’s break that down.

Pillsbury cherry pie

Each week, on average, I spend about 50 hours working and commuting, 49 hours sleeping (or lying in bed hoping to sleep), 7 hours on personal care (showering, etc.), 7 hours on household chores (shopping, cleaning, “cooking”), 21 hours on hobbies and texting and reading the news, and 10 hours on social events. These 10 include planning and driving, and the hours vary widely from week to week, but when I do an event, it’s a multi-hour commitment, such as a 3-hour book club meetup or a 6-hour game night.

We are at 144 hours, which theoretically leaves 24 remaining for exercise, spirituality, and romance. Thankfully, we can knock romance out of the equation because I hate dating, and we can also jettison spirituality because I’m an atheist. That leaves 24 hours for exercise. Wow, I could spend a whole day exercising!

Yeah. I’ll let you know when that happens.

laughing smiling funny

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Childhood Share [syw]


Di @ Pensitivity101 continues her Share Your World series today with a nostalgic set of questions.

Growing up, were you closer to your mother or father, or was it a balance of both depending on the circumstances?

Usually I felt closer to my mother, though there were some times as a teenager when my father was my confidant. Neither one truly understood me though, and that’s OK. They loved me and did their best.

What was your favourite toy as a child, and do you still have it?

I’ve mentioned this before: my favorite toy was Super Spirograph. I would spend hours and hours getting the designs perfect, using various colored pens. They no longer make this toy the same way, with pins that hold the pieces onto your paper, since you could poke your eye out, I guess. I’ve tried the new versions without pins, and they’re terrible. You literally cannot get a perfect design, no matter how hard you try.

Did you have any secrets?

I didn’t share how often I was mocked and bullied because I was ashamed of it.

What did you want to be when you grew up, and are you anywhere close?

I didn’t think about this much, though I’m sure I should have. Sometimes I fantasized about becoming a research scientist, but then I began college level chemistry, so no. I’m sure I occasionally thought about being a writer, but I ended up on the secretarial path, which has worked out OK.

Gratitude: I’m thankful I had parents who expressed their feelings.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Daily Tech

Phone text time hand

Sadje continues her Sunday Poser series by asking: Do you prefer old ways or new technology in your day to day life?

I vastly prefer the new ways, up to a point, though as I mentioned yesterday, I still use “sticky notes” to jot down some reminders, mostly at work. My work is almost entirely via “the cloud” now, and very rarely do I mail an actual letter or get piles of filing like we had in the old days. It’s much more efficient and less wasteful, plus peeps can often work at home if they wish, saving on gas and commute time.

I have a gorgeous gold (not real gold) wristwatch, from 1947, engraved with other people’s initials. I wear it sometimes, but only as jewelry, for I would need to spend a couple hundred bucks to get it working again, and that hasn’t been a priority. I used to think it might bring me good luck in the romance department, as it appears to be a Christmas gift from a husband to a wife, but that didn’t happen, and now I simply appreciate it as a lovely piece of jewelry. My mom found it at an estate sale ages ago.

All my personal appointments and reminders are kept on my iPhone, which is super efficient. I have a calendar in the kitchen, but that’s just for decoration, as my insurance agent sends one every year with great nature photos. I think it’s important for children to learn to tell time on a real clock, or else they aren’t going to get a mental picture of how it all actually ticks along. I just realized something though: at some point “time” quit appearing in my mind as a clock, and now when I read it digitally it stays in my mind as numbers sans a picture. Interesting! Maybe clocks don’t matter after all.

Despite not being that technically adept, I am a fan of tech. My usual way of “fixing” any glitch is to curse at it profusely. This seems to have worked for my Roku, as it stopped being weird, and last night I watched half the Leonard Cohen special I’m Your Man on Prime. My iPhone and iPad generally behave properly, so no cursing necessary. Laptops, well, you know. Glitchy buggers. I love writing in Word, and if it weren’t for a laptop, I’d have no books for sale because I edit my stuff a ton and it would be too annoying to keep restarting a story on a typewriter (BTDT), not to mention a horrendous waste of paper. I’m a huge fan of the Roomba my daughters bought me for my last birthday as well as the microwave, heating, A/C, indoor plumbing, showers, clean running water, and all manner of newfangled stuffs. I still keep a list of groceries on a piece of paper though.

As far as communication, I’ll be forever grateful for texting because it keeps me in daily contact with my daughters. I would be sad if I only heard from them during the traditional once a week phone call (we do this too). Plus we can send instant photos and funnies to each other. My friends and I keep in touch and make plans through Messenger chat and Facebook events, which is more convenient than telephone calls. I prefer a text/message or email to a phone call in almost all cases because then I can respond in my own time, which is almost always quickly, but it doesn’t have to be. Telephone calls, except from my children, are intrusive and generally irritating.

Where I draw the tech line is at the ubiquitous audio/video. I’m a written-word person. I want to READ the news, not listen to a talking head. I want to READ books with my eyeballs, not have them jabbered into my ear. I want to READ blogs, not play a podcast. To me, audio is for music and video is for cute animal antics. Sure, I like photos, but I don’t need to see a million pics of people’s hikes and lunches, so I am not on Instagram. I don’t need to see underage girls (or anyone) twerking at the camera, so I am not on TikTok. Give me a page of words, long beautiful words, shining, gleaming, streaming, etc.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Sticky Post

laptop computer sticky notes to-do list

I’m a big fan of sticky notes, whether at work or at home. They’re just so convenient for jotting down reminders ~ though like most people I’m doing a lot of that on my phone these days. When I make notes, I’m more apt to stick to the tasks I’ve set for myself.

I’m not a fan of sticky fingers though (except for some tracks on the Sticky Fingers Rolling Stones album), so I generally avoid messy foods, such as spareribs and popsicles. The idiomatic phrase of someone having “sticky fingers” means they are likely to steal. That makes sense, as opposed to many idioms which don’t ~ because we can imagine a pickpocket having things stuck to his fingers.

I also try to avoid sticky situations, which in my mind are ones that involve drama. Hate drama! Some people seem to carry it around with them everywhere they go. Maybe it’s not always their fault, but even so I try to stay away from them. If you get involved in someone else’s drama, you run the risk of getting the short end of the stick when it’s all over.

I don’t actually know why the short end of the stick is a bad thing … maybe it’s like a wishbone and your wish only comes true if you get the long end. There’s a notion that people used to say the sh!t end of the stick, which makes more sense since no one wants that (ewwww), but over time it has become “short” for politeness sake. Some people are sticklers about not using profanity.

When my girls were little we went to Del Taco frequently, and they’d always want to share the chicken soft tacos meal with fries and colas. Every time, samey same. I told them they were sticks in the mud, and soon we began a shorthand. What do you want from Del Taco? Sticks in the mud! OK then.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

TGIF ~ Unburied Treasure

AI Sparkling Treasure Chest
AI Sparkling Treasure Chest

Happy Friday. I’ve had another week of ups and downs, so I’m looking forward to getting myself sorted out over the weekend. Well, that’s the plan anyway. Dunno why some mornings I wake up in agonizing neck and head pain, while other mornings greet me with just the “normal” amount of achiness. Maybe I should film myself sleeping so I can see what the eff is going on. I’ve been gulping the NSAIDS like mad, so now my tummy is unhappy. On the upside, I’ve created some fab AI art, if I do say so myself. Sparkles and glitter for the win!

Trickster Rory buried some questions in a post full of flowers, but I dug them out, yay me. Without further ado…

What Personality Trait Has Gotten You In The Most Trouble?

OCD, in all kinds of situations, from eating disorders to school to relationships, has been my albatross. It’s also been beneficial. All these recent years I’ve spent obsessing over blogging, writing, games, etc., might have been focused on trying to date again. Gahhh!

Do you trust Google – it is always reliable and accurate with all your searches, and what are your top five regular searches?

It’s accurate enough for my purposes ~ I’m not building an airplane. My top searches are for song lyrics, movie info, symptoms of whatever fatal disease I think I might have currently, restaurant menus, and stalking people. In general though, I put less and less trust in ALL forms of media, from people’s filtered and photoshopped profile pics to celebrity gossip columns to political event reporting. What’s really sad is ordinary people taking sides over this crap and having nasty arguments when we really do not know anything other than what we’ve been told from one biased source or another. The people who yell the loudest about how much they really know what’s going on are the most suspect to me. Most of us do not have any direct experience with political leaders, the British Royals, what really happened in Wuhan, or whatever thing.

Please do not put links to “the real truth about…” or other garbage in my comments.

What’s been your greatest challenge?

Dealing with my mother’s death, and I’m still not over it after 15 years. The depression I went through in 2017/2018 was a further reaction to that immeasurable loss, plus my final realization that I was never going to have romantic love. I overcame that despair by focusing on family, friends, work, writing, etc., and simply giving myself a break from my lifelong OCD quest for perfection.

Are you someone that wants to be or needs to be heard and seen, or are you content to be found behind the scenes?

It depends. I have no need or desire to be a leader in a work environment and am much happier in the background as a follower, but when I am in the mood to be social, I do enjoy being seen and heard, else what’s the point? Sometimes I can even be a little extroverted and lead the way… to a new game. Naturally, I want my writing to be seen, otherwise I’d keep it tucked away in a secret journal.

This weekend I plan to attend a book club meetup, a beach art walk, and an outdoor jazz concert, plus work on Sidewalk Noodles. How about you?

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Party Share [syw]

AI otter birthday party
AI Otter Birthday Party

Di @ Pensitivity100 continues her Share Your World series with a set of celebration questions today.

1. Children aside, do you celebrate your birthday/anniversary or is it just a normal day for you?

I like to buy something special for myself around my birthday time, though it’s usually not anything expensive. I also am in favor of having cake before, during, and after my birthday. It’s nice when other people remember my day, and this year was fabulous. I had birthday celebrations with friends, family, and coworkers for three (3) separate festivities. Yay me!

When I was married, we generally did not do anything special for our anniversary or my birthday or Mother’s Day, etc. That’s just the way things were, and I had more important issues to focus on. After my daughters were old enough to do things on their own, they made sure to acknowledge my special days and still do, just as I have always done for them. Planning and executing super fun birthdays for my little girls was one of the great joys of motherhood for me. The parties I had for them were pretty wonderful, if I do say so myself (and I do). Two of my grandchildren have birthdays coming up, and my daughter (and son-in-law) are planning fun celebrations for them. Can’t wait!

Here’s the thing. It’s not that any particular birthday is so important, especially when, like me, you’ve already had so many. What is important is to celebrate with loved ones on ANY occasion that comes up because it’s simply so nice to be together. Theoretically, you could choose a random day for a celebration, but most of us are too busy to do that, so we use birthdays as excuses to hang out and have cake.

2. Do/did you always give your child a birthday party when they were young?

Whoops, answered above. My party planning skills are top-notch ~ maybe that should have been my career! Here are some of the themed celebrations I had for my girls: Barbie (all pink) birthday with a “real” Barbie surprise character, ice skating birthday, luau birthday, magic show birthday, M&M sleepover party, bowling birthday, ceramics-painting birthday, Halloween-pirate party, and everyone’s favorite ~ the upside down, backwards birthday party. We had cake first in upside down ice cream cones, then we made upside down art with the sky on the bottom, then we did reverse-freeze dancing, etc., and finally we ended with lunch. This one was actually the least expensive, and everyone just loved it!

3. If your child was born on Christmas Day (or a few days either side of the 25th), did they have a ‘half birthday’ in June, two presents/celebrations, or something else?

Not relevant for us, though for a long time my girls thought half-birthdays were important. Idk where they got that from because it wasn’t me. I didn’t do anything for half-birthdays, pffft. Their real birthdays were knockouts though!

4. Would you prefer to give your child a party, or take them and a few friends on a special outing?

PARTY! Special outings with friends were done anyway at other times.

Gratitude: I’m thankful for whoever invented frosted cake. Brilliant!

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Wildflower explosion
AI Wildflower Explosion

All the wildflower explosion images generated by Bing’s AI came out so great it was hard to choose the one to post. I am kind of obsessed with creating new ones and have several more ready to go. Obviously, I’m not really “creating” anything, just coming up with sets of keywords that result in images I like. I thought this one was perfect for Mom’s Day. Hope you are having a good one, mom readers!

Previously, I said I had no Mother’s Day plans and would spend the day hibernating and painting, but that turns out to be wrong. I am meeting my eldest daughter for brunch, going to Barnes & Noble to use my gift certificate, and stopping at the drugstore and the grocery store. By the time I get home, it’ll be after 3PM, which is too late to start painting. That’s not because of the light; it’s because I’ll be tired. Heck, I’m already tired and haven’t done anything yet! Yesterday was a long day of events with friends, and I didn’t get to sleep until 1:30AM. I never am able to compensate by sleeping a couple hours later, so I was up at 6:00AM.


©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

From This Side of the Pond

1. Did you watch the coronation of King Charles III? Share some of your thoughts about that, or about the royal family in general.

I watched bits and pieces of it here in the US (Southern California). With all the problems we have, I don’t feel it appropriate to opine on the British monarchy as an institution. I will say that it was impressive there was no mass shooting during the ceremony. As with all celebrity type events, I loved seeing pics of everyone all glammed up ~ Kate looked utterly gorgeous throughout the festivities, and the matching headpiece with Charlotte was so sweet.

I will comment on the Royals as a family. I’m in the Harry and Meghan camp now after reading his book Spare and watching their documentary on Netflix. I believe that they have been treated very unfairly by the press with no rebuttals from senior Royals. That is not the behavior of a supportive family, and I feel that under the circumstances H&M made the right choice to leave for the sake of their own well-being. Meghan wasn’t even allowed to get counseling over there. It’s very interesting that the hit pieces on H&M mysteriously coincided with the point at which they became more popular than the other Royals. It’s almost as if someone plants negative (false) stuff on H&M deliberately!

shrug woman

2. What are you the uncrowned queen of?

Nothing. I’m just a mere pawn moving one square at a time on the chessboard of life.

3. In a box of chocolates which one do you usually go for?

Anything coconut, caramel, or mocha.

4. Something learned at your mother’s knee?

Mom transmitted her love of Johnny Cash, crafting, baking, being super organized, and playing board games. I miss her every day.

If love could have saved you

5. ‘Like mother, like daughter’…in what way is this saying true for you?

I can get a bit… obsessed with rearranging my stuff. I also love themes.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I want some chocolate now!

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Thank you to From This Side of the Pond for hosting the Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Childhood Songs [socs]

Kids sitting in chair

This is my first boyfriend back in Queens, NY ~ note how he is ignoring me. Ah, some things never changed. But there’s always music to soothe a broken heart, then and now. I had quite an eclectic mix of songs and soundtracks to savor because of my parents’ varied tastes, and I still love much of the same stuff today. In no particular order…

Johnny Cash! My mom played his albums all the time, and my favorite song back in the day was “A Boy Named Sue.” Still love it, but “Folsom Prison Blues” is my favorite now. She also played a lot of Glen Campbell, and my favorites from him are “Galveston” and “Wichita Lineman.”

My dad loved Bette Midler (“Do You Wanna Dance”), Jefferson Airplane (“White Rabbit”), and the Doors (“People Are Strange”). He preferred songs where there was one lead singer, as opposed to what he called “choral singing.” Both my parents also enjoyed the soundtracks to favorite movies: Zorba the Greek, Hair, Fiddler on the Roof, Sound of Music, Swan Lake, etc. I too like all that! What an amazing coincidence, lol.

Although my parents were clean-cut, corporate types and would never have dreamt of attending a wild music festival or political protest (neither would I), they adored their Woodstock album. They played that a lot, along with the Beatles, the Supremes, and the Rolling Stones, despite the choral singing. Neil Diamond was in the mix as well as Gordon Lightfoot (RIP).

Here is a beautiful song for children from Gordon I loved then and still love now…

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday.