My Word Collection

Theresa Maynard

My words

November 2011
quote marksSometimes.quote marks

Sometimes, I like to just sit.
Unwind.
Decompress.
Chill.
Subside.

Sometimes, I like to just feel.
Sense.
Perceive.
Notice.
Realize.

Sometimes, I like to leave reason behind and just sit still and feel. Sometimes, I like to feel waves of feeling washing away reason. That is when I like to think about you, sometimes.

February 2011

quote marksSometimes, the unspoken word speaks the loudest, learn how to listen.quote marks

Until my mid-20s I was always around horses; riding, showing, caring for, and training. For a time, I worked with two year old colts that were half wild. My job was to train them to halter and get them accustomed to being handled by people. In other words, my job was to convince undisciplined “teens” to trust me. Those colts weighed around 800 pounds and at that time I weighed about 125 pounds, this was not a relationship that I could force. They had to accept that I would not hurt them or frighten them, and to take a leap of faith that I would not take their trust and use it against them in a hurtful way. The strongest tool in my toolbox was patience. I would sit in the paddock and play with the leather parts of the halters, ignoring the colts. I just waited, patiently.

I was able to settle myself, quiet my emotions, and begin to feel the colt’s emotions. I didn’t need an explanation as to why he was holding back or when he might approach; I just tried to feel what he was feeling, so that I could understand when he was ready to accept my handling. No words, no explanations, no discussions were needed, just quiet, patience, and time. Deeper understandings and intense training came later, but I came to understand that people also can express and share between themselves in ways other than verbally.

Sometimes, one wants someone to just sit by them, quietly; no questions, no discussions, and no examination of feelings. Many times I find myself unable to express myself verbally in a manner another can truly understand. Sometimes, I am not sure myself about what I am feeling and words can be so limiting when trying to express a feeling or incomplete thought. I treasure the times when my husband sits quietly beside me, watching a sunset or watching a movie. I love that I can connect with another person quietly, without words. I believe that unspoken communication bonds people tighter than mere words ever can. Whether training a colt or building a relationship between two people, quiet patience can be the strongest cement to build upon.

July 2009

quote marksThere is a passion for hunting something deeply implanted in the human breast.quote marks Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

Today I drove three hours to meet with my nutritionist in downtown Peoria, IL. I routinely take that trip four times per year. After each routine visit, I drive straight home and back into my life. Today was different. After my visit I drove to the Peoria RiverPlex, a large YMCA type complex on steroids that sits along the river, instead of driving straight home. I parked my truck, sat alone for a few minutes, and cried. Then I got out of my truck and took a 45 minute walk along the riverfront; all by myself and just because I felt like walking. For me this was a big deal, an epiphany of sorts. No one knew where I was or what I was doing. It was something I did just for myself. It is hard to explain the freedom I felt in performing such a simple task as walking all alone. The last 25 years of my life have been lived for my family; my husband, my children, my sisters. I always put myself last.

I am the person you can talk to, tell your problems to, and lean on for support. I am reliable, responsible, and ready to help. But I have recently realized that I do not have to come last anymore. It is my personal responsibility to make my own priorities in my life.

One can hunt for many things: knowledge, freedom, self. What do I hunt for? I hunt for my place in this world; a sense of belonging and a sense of freedom.
What do you hunt for?

June 2009

quote marksIn youth we learn; in age we understand.quote marks
Marie Ebner von Eschenbach

Exactly forty-seven hours ago, my daughter came racing out of the school building waving her brand new driver’s instruction permit in the air like a trophy. I had just become a passenger in my own vehicle. Her excitement over her new freedom mirrors my resignation at losing my freedom. I am going to miss taking my solitary drives and being alone with my thoughts. For the next eight months and twenty-eight days I will be chauffeured everywhere I go. I will be driven to Jewel, the gym, and my doctor’s office. My keys have been taken away, both figuratively and literally.

My daughter did offer to have her own set of keys made so that I may have my set back. Thanks, but I will pass on that offer. It will seem odd on Monday morning when I must ask my daughter for my keys so that I may drive myself to work. Is there a subtle abdication of parental authority when the parent must request the vehicle keys from the child?

Or is this just part of a controlled release of the apron strings? She may be gaining some freedoms, but I am gaining eight months and twenty-eight days of precious time spent alone with my daughter. She will be grown and gone from home all too soon and her vehicle takeover may be my last and best chance to spend time alone with her to get to know her as a young lady and not just as my daughter. Perhaps I am not losing any freedom after all.

I have just been informed that it has now been forty-nine hours and eleven minutes since the permit was issued.

May 2009

quote marks"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it."quote marks unknown

I take a hands-on approach to learning. I want to know the how and why of things. I took a graduate course in Writing for the Electronic Media at Northern Illinois University in the Spring of 2009. Why? I knew how to write, it was just a matter of a few taps on a keyboard. What I did not know was the language of electronic media. I wanted to learn that language so that I could speak coherently to others on the World Wide Web. HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, and Dreamweaver became my world. I devoured the source code of well written web pages to see how others wrote in the language I was acquiring.

A semester worth of work culminated in the creation of my first published commercial web site. I have learned to speak the Hypertext Markup Language and the stricter Extensible Hypertext Markup Language. I have learned to use Dreamweaver as a starting point. More importantly, I have learned to hand-code so that I may make web pages look and feel the way I envision those pages. I have unlocked the language for myself, tag by tag. I had to do it to learn it.

Now that the language is unlocked, I will continue to play with it and learn more about it so that I may refine my skills with it.