The Beechnut

According to the Department of Natural Resources:
As the beechnut or American beech tree gets ready for winter, its leaves turn a brownish russet color and the three-sided nuts it produces are borne in prickly burs.
Because the nut is small and covered with a thin, leathery shell, sometimes people don’t take the effort to harvest it. However, they do have a delicate, rich flavor.

Most days I handle being disabled pretty well.  I am good at keeping a positive outlook and realizing just how blessed I am to be alive.  I have the ability to see the blessings in my life and not simply the struggles.

My faith gives me strength.

But there are some days, when it is harder to be the optimist.  Some days I feel like this beechnut I photographed.

Full of potential,
yet held back so much by the prickly confines of my disability.

I watch the world go by,
just like the water whirling past this beechnut.

I see all of the things I want to be doing,
and I watch them float by.

It brings a moment of sadness,
then guilt for the sadness.
I have much to be thankful for.

Perhaps someday I will be released,
and be able to meld my life experiences in a way where I can enjoy the things of my past – yet hold on to the appreciation that I have for those things now.

The beechnut either rots in its prickly shell,
or it makes it out and can go on to live so much more.
Some even become a tree.
Some grow tall and strong.
Some make more beechnuts.

Then it hit me,
perhaps I’m already a tree and I just don’t realize it.

~ ~ ~

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Hubby’s facial hair.

Grown Man wrote a cool blog entry yesterday about facial hair, Get Your Facial Hair Under Control.
And it got me thinking about the nuances of men’s facial hair, particularly my husband’s facial hair.  (In all fairness, I have warned you before that I think too much.)

Generally speaking I agree with Grown Man’s post.  The key being the “under control” part.

So in case you were wondering (which I’m absolutely sure you weren’t) here is Dorky Deb’s thoughts on men’s facial hair:

Generally speaking, I like it.  But it’s not for everyone.  It really depends on the person.  Some men look bizarre with facial hair, some look bizarre without it.

My father falls into the first category.  My husband falls into the latter one.

These are the types of facial hair that I find “acceptable”:
(Doesn’t that sound prissy? As if I am the queen of all male appearances – “I dub thee acceptable”…LOL)
– full beard
– mustache (depends heavily on the person)
– goatee

All need to be kept clean and under control.

No varying lengths.  No food.  No grime.  No woolly mammoth stuff.

Creative artistry with facial hair?  No.  Seriously – that dives WAY too far into metro-sexual land for me.   I would never want a man who spent more time in front of a mirror than I do.  And I am for the most part, a shower and go kinda gal.  So…  the idea of any man sitting in front of a mirror daily carving out little designs down his jaw bone…. No.  Just no.

Now let’s get personal, at the expense of my husband of course.  Poor guy.

We’ll travel back to a time to when I first met my husband.  You know that saying about how when men meet a woman they want her to stay the same forever, and how when women meet a man they want to “improve” him.  Well…  I must plead a little guilty to that one, at least on two counts.  (Dorky Deb hangs head in shame.)

My husband is 10, almost 11, years older than I.  When I met him there were two things I wasn’t too crazy about.  One, he had positively hideous glasses.  Dude was still rocking the glasses he got when he left the Army.  And let’s just say the Army wasn’t into looks.  And when you combined his big beefy build, excellent posture, flat-top haircut, and a big thick mustache – the overall look was one that screamed, “I am a cop!”  and made me picture him standing outside my driver’s window saying, “Mam, do you know how fast you were going back there?”

I actually didn’t know what he did for a living or what his past work experience was when I first saw him – but let’s just say I wasn’t far off.

Someday I’ll tell you the story of what happened to the glasses.  It’s actually pretty funny, I think.  He doesn’t think it’s funny at all.  But right now I’m talking about facial hair, so I’ll make an effort to stay on topic.

I didn’t mind the stache, it was just too thick.  WAY too thick.  It wasn’t long or unkempt or anything.  It was just WAY too thick.  I thought, “I could fix that.”   hehehe (yep there’s that pesky theory again.)

Later in the relationship I talked him into whacking down that stache a bunch and later on trying a goatee.  The result was something we were both happy with.  I guess that statement makes me sound vain, but honestly there is just no reason for a man to wear a facial hair style that ages him.  Seriously.

Don’t believe me?  Take a look.  I wish I had better, close up photos.  It took some serious digging just to come up with these photos because my own Grown man is very anti-photo.  Grrrr  Anyway… I give you example #1:

Note big thick stache, and the style of glasses that I hated.

~

Example #2:
See how much better?  I rest my case.

Personally I like the goatee even more.  But again, my grown man is difficult when it comes to photos, so you’ll have to take my word for that one.  Over the course of our relationship he has on occasion shaved the goatee.  But typically he keeps it.

Once (for reasons I will never understand) he went into the bathroom and gave himself a clean shave. Clean. His entire face.  We were all traumatized.  You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.  My big beefy guy had somehow morphed himself into a soft-looking government type.  He hates that description, but I don’t know how else to describe it.  In a matter of minutes he warped from being my big strong veteran, into looking like he belonged in Washington D.C. wearing a blue suit and a red tie.  It was bad.

When he exited the bathroom he said, “Um, Deb…  I think I..I.. … um… did something bad.”

The kids mouths gaped open, then they ran (seriously).  The baby cried.  (No joke.)  She cried every time he picked her up for 2 days.  And she is a total Daddy’s girl.  He looked that different.

I got a horrible case of the giggles every time he tried to kiss me.  To the point that I think I started to hurt his feelings and I felt absolutely awful about it.  I would try soooooooooooooo hard not to giggle.  But, as anyone who knows me knows, I am not good at suppressing giggles.

We all rejoiced when it grew back in enough that he was recognizable again.

The clean shave is not a good fit for everyone.  But under control?  Absolutely.

I think too much #1

How do you reconcile the life you want, with the life that you have?

I am certain that everyone has to do this on some level.   Because no matter who you are or how perfect your life is from another’s view, there is something you wanted that differs from what you have.  So how do you reconcile these two worlds?

I think it is really important to be happy where you are.  I think it is really important to try to find joy in every day, regardless of circumstances.  I think it is important to be grateful for what you have.

If you spend your time worrying about what someone else has, that you do not have, you will be unhappy for sure.  But I think you can also become too complacent.  If you get too stuck in a rut, so to speak, then you don’t push yourself for anything better and you risk loosing opportunities to improve your life.

So how do you reconcile the two?

How do you balance being grateful and happy where you are, with reaching for more out of life?