Posted July 22, 2014 | Cool Stuff, Daily Gratitude, Lessons I've Learned, Photos & Photo Galleries, Random Observations, Today I'm Grateful for..., Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life | One Comment
The more positive my preparation is, the better things go when I get up in the morning.
I’m grateful that our often gorgeous sunsets act as my reminder to plan an equally lovely day.
Seventeen years ago today Ross met me at the Roanoke County courthouse and, with a combination of law-ya jokes and his belief that I wasn’t a flaming nut-job, persuaded Judge Diane Strickland to sign my name change order without a hearing.
I’ve never forgotten that kindness, Ross, or all the help you gave me with my father’s will and estate.
But the name change thing? That was way above and beyond, and I’m still grateful for it.
I never liked my birth name. My brother was named after my father; my mother and her sister had family names. My mother named me after a girl she knew in high school – Dana Marie – but she changed “Dana” to “Donna” because she liked it better. Everybody else’s name meant something; mine was just from “some girl.”
And, as I’ve written in one of my most popular blog posts, it wasn’t until two years after my mother died that I found out that the girl she named me after – Dana Marie Weaver – was murdered on Mother’s Day in 1949 by a fellow student. (See Today I found out tha my mother named me after a murdered girl for the gory details.)
Parenthetical note: I just realized how grateful I am that my mother didn’t name my brother after the guy who murdered Dana Weaver. It’s strange enough that she named me after her; it would have been positively bizarre if she’d named Charlie after the murderer. * Shiver *
I didn’t like my name, but I figured I was stuck with it.
But no! One day my hair stylist told me that she had legally changed her entire name. Her new name suited her much better than her old one, and she said that the process was neither expensive nor difficult. My brain perked up and stored that little tidbit of information for future reference.
Choosing my new name
Some years passed before the idea of actually changing my name really took hold. Once it did, I realized that the first thing I had to do was find a name I liked better.
Believing in divine guidance (and intervention, as necessary), I went to Google, searched for “meanings of names” and found the Society of Kabalarians website. The Kabalarians believe that numbers have power and that numerology and the association of numbers and letters can help a person choose a name based on her date of birth that will help her actualize her potential.
I ordered the name evaluation for my birth name. It turned out that, as I suspected, my birth name was pretty hopeless. If I kept it, it would pretty much ensure that I was going to be a depressed, but responsible, person for the rest of my life.
I could have told them that.
So I ordered the recommended name report. It came with a list of first names and middle/last names (they don’t believe you have to have a middle name), any combination of which would be better than the name I had.
There were some off-the-wall names – alternative spellings of “real” names, like Hanaah for Hannah – and some “regular” names like Rosemary, Judy, and Dorothy. I contemplated Karie-Marie for a while because Buffy’s mother’s name was Carrye, but that didn’t feel right. Only one of them stuck in my head: Janeson, which I heard in my head as “JAN-a-son,” not JANE-son, the way so many people pronounce it (until I correct them ;-) ).
Choosing my new middle and last names was easier. For some reason, I liked Tyrol as a middle name, and Keeley just felt right. I only found out some years later that “Keeley” had been my favorite grandmother’s nickname in when she was in college. (Her maiden name was Cure. The Keeley Cure was a popular treatment for alcoholism from the late 1800s until 1935 when AA came along.)
Parathetical note: I could have chosen “Bunny Daisey,” but I thought better of it.
The day I decided
Armed and ready with my new name, all I needed was just one compelling reason to go through with it. That reason came in the form of an off-color remark my father made in front of his brother’s eleven year old granddaughter while we were at Waffle House eating breakfast with his brother, my aunt, and Elizabeth before they left to go back to Kentucky. The remark was tacky and gross and so inappropriate, I was embarrassed from head to toe.
Maybe it was a small thing, but it was the culmination of a lot of small things – and some big ones. It was The Final Straw. I didn’t want my father’s last name anymore. I didn’t want to be know as “Dr. Duvall’s daughter.” And I didn’t want to be named after “some girl my mother knew in high school,” either. I wanted to be Janeson Tyrol Keeley.
As soon as I got home from Waffle House, I called the Roanoke County Courthouse and asked what I needed to do to change my name. Two hours later I submitted the necessary forms, filed them with the court, and paid the $27.00 fee. Once reviewed, the judge could either sign the order or request a hearing.
Apparently, my request was just off-the-wall enough to warrant a hearing. Most people change their names from an adopted to a birth name, from a married name to a maiden name, or just change the spelling. In Roanoke County in 1997, wanting to change your entire name to something completely different was reason for the judge to request a hearing. Mine was scheduled for 4 PM on July 21, 1997.
I asked a lawyer friend of mine what to expect at the hearing. He told me to meet him at the courthouse at 2 PM before the afternoon hearings started. I met him there with copies of the forms. He walked into the judge’s chambers, told her a few lawy-yah jokes, convinced her that I wasn’t a flaming nut job, and asked that she sign the order without a hearing. She did. He came out and presented me with the signed name change order, I filed it with the Clerk of Court, and I started my new life with my new name.
As I left the courthouse, the skies opened up. Through a severe thunderstorm and flooding roads I took my name change order to the Social Security Office to get a new card, to the DMV to get a new driver’s license, and to the bank to get the name on my accounts changed. When I got home I mailed a request for a new birth certificate to the Virginia Department of Vital Statistics. A few weeks later, I received proof that I was born again: a certified birth certificate with my new name on it in place of my old one.
Of course it had my original birthday on it, but I added a new holiday to my calendar: Janeson’s birthday was July 21st.
Today Janeson is 17.
Seventeen years later, even though I have to correct the pronunciation of “Janeson” for about half the people I introduce myself to (“JAN-a-son” – like Allison, but different”), I’ve never regretted my decision.
And, being a “Christmas baby,” I have a second birthday that is more convenient for some people to celebrate. Buffy and I call it, “Janeson Day,” but my friend in Mississauga, Ontario, came up with a better name for it: “Name Day.”
Today I celebrate the day I had the courage to become who I wanted to be instead of slogging through life carrying the onus of who my parents wanted me to be.
I even got to change my signature. Not just the name, but the style, too:
Now, that’s something to celebrate!
They help to break up the heat of the summer, allow me to go outside without sweating, and remind me that fall is coming.
I enjoyed all those things today.
And – bonus! – it was a wonderful day to go kayaking and take some photos with my new waterproof camera!
He heard me say (several times) that I’d like to have a waterproof camera to take with me when we go kayaking. He bought one for me and had an excuse to give it to me today – a blue (to match my kayak) Canon PowerShot D20 – waterproof down to 33 feet.
I’m very happy about the camera, which has more features than Carter has pills, but I’m grateful to have a spouse who pays attention when I say something (several times) and remembers it for a special occasion.
Thank you, Buffy – for both the camera and for listening to me and buying me a very nice present. <3
Because of them I have the opportunity to earn a living doing work I enjoy. They give me the opportunity to learn something new every day so I never get bored. They trust me with a significant part of their businesses, and I am honored by that trust. They refer new clients to me so my business continues to flourish.
I’ve worked with a lot of clients over the last 13 and a half years, and I am grateful for each and every one.
- The platypus, the giraffe, and the tendency of cats to lick their personal and private parts in the middle of whatever room in which you’re entertaining company.
- My MP3 player, set on randomize, playing The Spinners’ disco tune, “Rubberband Man” immediately after serenading me with John Denver’s ballad, “The Wings That Fly Us Home.”
- The observation that a person’s greatest strengths in one situation are often her greatest weaknesses in another.
- And a corollary to the previous observation: The very qualities that draw two people into a relationship are often the very traits that drive each other crazy once they’re in one.
Being an aficionado of the absurd, I’m grateful that the Universe provides so much of it for me to find. It keeps life interesting and reminds me not to take myself too seriously.
Posted July 16, 2014 | Cool Stuff, Daily Gratitude, Lessons I've Learned, Today I'm Grateful for..., Web Wisdom, Welcome to My Brain, Welcome to My Life, What Someone Else Said, What Someone Else Said | One Comment
Over the course of my social media involvement, I’ve been sent or run across a number of graphics. Some are funny, some are snarky, and some contain true nuggets of wisdom.
I am so grateful that the Universe uses this medium to send me exactly what I need to be reminded of at exactly the right moment.
Here are some of my favorites, and the ones that had the greatest impact on my life:
In my relationships:
I have a tendency to friend people with my heart and soul. Not everyone reciprocates. It’s never been easy for me to let go, but this has helped me adjust my expectations for relationships based on the reality of the situation rather than on my own feelings.
Being brave…or is that tactless?
I’m different, just like everybody else. And, like everybody else, there are things about my differences that some people don’t approve of: my cattoos, my beloved spouse and I living apart, my tendency to be more…uh…straightforward than some people can deal with.
I’ve always been the one who said in public what other people just whispered about. More than once I’ve been told, “I wish I had had the courage to say that.”
Maybe sometimes people do wish they had the lack of social restraint that I have. Other the other hands, sometimes it gets me in trouble I would have been just as happy to avoid. But both are me, and I accept both sides of that coin.
Having both obsessive-compulsive tendencies and attention and focusing difficulties, I can’t conceive of a Five Year Plan. I can’t always manage a Five Minute Plan. But if I want to achieve my goals, I do have to make plans. For some reason, this quote (any my graphic) help me remember to plan better than any business book or motivational video ever has.
So far I haven’t had occasion to need to get a suit of armour and a rubber chicken at the same time, but if it does, I’ll know what to do: plan.
The Universe uses Facebook….
Actually, I think it’s really cool.
I’ve never had a high tolerance for heat, especially when it’s combined with high humidity.
Air conditioning helps me sleep better and work at home more comfortably.
I’m also grateful that my car has air conditioning. I arrive at my destination looking (and probably smelling!) a lot better than I might otherwise.
I’m pretty sure other people are grateful for that, too.keep looking »