About Me

My photo
A writer by predilection, an aunt by blessing and a friend by choice, Shelley has spent many years journaling before sitting down to draft her first novel. She has a B.A. in English discourse and is currently working on her third romantic-suspense, the title of which will be announced soon pending publication. Shelley is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as her RWA state chapter of the Maryland Romance Writers.
"I love story-telling. It's a way to live an experience through the eyes of a character." - Shelley N. Greene

Sunday, May 10, 2015


First off, let me wish all you wonderful matriarchs a Happy Mother’s Day. That goes for mothers of human babies, fur babies, or as a sweet person said to me last week, “If you’ve ever cared for someone else’s child.”

All nurturers are included in the celebration.

I would go on about my mom but as you could tell from last week’s post, she is awesome personified. The dedication in THE FIRE WALKERS refers to her as my “guiding light and spiritual compass.” I would not be level without her in my life.

“Level” is actually a good way to describe it. Moms encourage us to roam but lovingly catch us by our shirt collar when we’re about to stray too far off the beaten path…

I believe the Universe acts like a mother in that way sometimes, too. To use my sister’s expression, “when you’ve gone too far into left field, [it] kicks you back into play.”

The way I see this manifest is as interference. You know, the delays and detours that block you when you’re trying to go full speed.

The concept reminds me of a New Age book I’d read long ago. It said that “detours” were a stop sign from the Universe. That in the moments where you're stopped the best thing to do is look around. Instead of negatively focusing on the block, look at what else is going on near you, because the Universe is trying to show you something important.

For example, say that you’re late for work when you end up behind a school bus. As humans we get so fixated on control, on getting our aims checked off in rapid, succinct order. When the goal is getting to work on time, you will sit and glare at the flashing lights of the bus, anxiety building, frustration rising, when there could be an event or symbol nearby that you’re meant to see.

 I utilized this principle once, with a cool encounter the result. I was at work on day, many moons ago; the day moving by at a molasses-in-January tempo. Feeling twitchy, I was ready for lunch if for no other reason than to go somewhere, anywhere. While assisting my last client before break, my computer began to go slow, the process so sluggish that it almost felt deliberate. In no mood to make small talk, I stared daggers at the screen until my guest spoke. Surprising me, the lady struck up a conversation. The “stop sign” belief pinged through my head and despite my edginess, I engaged, and I was glad that I did. The lady was an expert on a subject that I happened to be studying at the time, and in the few short minutes we conversed, she was able to give me valuable information about the field. I was in awe. And, as if saying, “I told ya so” my computer miraculously didn’t give me any further grief that afternoon.

I touch back to that experience when I run into interference. I strive to: stop, breathe, and look around. To be receptive even when I’m restless. Which is tough, because contrary to popular belief, I’m not always sweet and easy-going.

Here I can give a shout out to Mom as being one of the few people who can coax me out those pissy moods; usually with a hug, a compassionate ear, and a bowl of ice cream—in any order.

But when the grumpy strikes I take full responsibility for my bad attitude, and I never forget the importance of understanding. There are a lot of people in this world, all of whom are subject to sub-par days. It would be great if everyone followed the rules all the time, especially where common courtesy applies:

·        Keep to the right side of the “road” with your shopping cart
·        Don’t dominate the walking path just because you’re a group and I’m solo
·        If you or your kids affect a stranger, apologize and correct appropriately

But there is a myriad of daily niceties to which we subscribe in order to keep the peace. The good ol’ Golden Rule, especially. I abide by the rules because there are defiantly days where I'm the idiot, and need to be on the receiving end of the goodwill. 

You will get those off kilter times, the periods where the cosmos seems to want to screw with your regular routine.

And the Universe must have realllly wanted my attention because last week was like the seven days o’ detour. I exaggerate not. 

I missed the memo that last Saturday was National Drive at a Snail’s Pace day. 

I don't mean going the speed limit or the random cautious driver. I mean 15 mph while in the fast lane, then swerving when I try to go around. And that was just the beginning. My blood pressure remained kosher by Clueless Driver #3, but it was thirty minutes later with Clueless Driver #4, that I began to question whether the Universe was trying to tell me sumthin’.

I stuck to the drill. I stopped. I breathed. I looked around.

Nothing caught my eye.

Pan to an hour later, I made a pit stop at my house. While rushing to lock up, I tried pulling my key from the door, but the deadbolt wouldn’t let go.

I tugged. I waggled. I yanked. I cursed.

I didn’t have time for that crap.

I heaved a sigh, and breathed. With a bit of cajoling and a finger bruise, I got the key to come out.

It was while exiting the parking lot that Clueless Driver #5 decided to make an appearance, the guy blatantly stopping in the middle of road, ignoring the fact that I was stuck behind him.

I waited. Patiently. While wondering if I was cursed.

I watched, as he stared down at his lap, the newsflash not registering that he was selfishly taking up more asphalt than necessary and thus preventing me from going on my merry way.

I sat some more, a picture from my previous CN post coming to mind, the image sparking a psychology theory—dial up internet. In the 90’s the two and half minutes it took for your computer to ‘speak’ to the dial tone of the phone was considered brief with the convenience of the break-through technology. You simply did something to fill the time while you were waiting; file your nails, flip through a magazine.

The point being that time can be defined in several ways. When you say “a long time” do you mean a million years ago? Seven hours? Five minutes?

With the advent of high-speed and Wi-Fi our expectations have been conditioned. What constitutes a “long time” isin realityless than a minute.

I tried to remember that as I was waylaid by Misuer Oblivious. I also reacted as any mature, conscious adult would in that situation. 

I growled, “Get off your phoooooone!” at the top of my lungs.

The “O” got morphed into the drawn-out, base “moo” sound that cows make—my personal take on “Mooooove your ...!”

I waited two minutes—timed using the dashboard clock, not my own distorted perception—and I then started like I would drive over grass to get around him. *Cue lightbulb*

He noticed me then. And proceeded to move... at 5 mph out of our complex.


I didn’t glean any divine wisdom from the experience other than:

Sometimes the more you push, the further nowhere you get.

          I’m sure everyone has had times like that. Where there are hurdles everywhere, and the more you try to correct it, the worse it gets. The situation is what it is. 

          It’s okay to let go. To just endure the feelsthe frustration, the anger—whatever form they take.

          We run here and run there, buying milk, picking up the kids. We rush from point A to point B to the extent that we fail to see the wonder occurring around us.

          Buddhists call it the art of “staying present” of being in the moment.

          I’m the first to admit, it’s those frazzled moments that make me think that meditation is a bunch a hooey.  

Be silent...be still... Ain't no one got time for that.

          But when you think about it, every second is a beat of our life — it's alive, vital.

          Do you want to waste that moment feeling hassled?

Like my fight with the door lock—I expected the lock to work and fast. That’s the thing's job. When the lock stopped working as it always has, when the set expectation failed, it put a bump in my seamless routine.

I was delayed.

Similar to the high speed internet, waiting that extra minute feels daunting. But a clarity comes when you take that moment. You may be performing a task that is second nature to you, but you’re doing it consciously. There’s no harm in re-learning something, you may notice something that you never have before.

You experience things when you slow down.

And you have a choice: you can be forced to pay attention or be willing to conduct the task with patience.

The next morning I gave myself plenty of time. Pausing at the front door, I turned the key and pulled, anticipating resistance. None came. It clicked and released without issue.

It's a thorough lesson.

Take your time.  


  1. I desperately need to slow down sometimes, and maybe if I do, I'll listen to the universe more. Thanks for the reminder!