Skip to content


be here now

Be here now, no other place to be
Or just sit there dreaming of how life would be
If we were somewhere better
Somewhere far away from all all worries
Well, here we are

well, here we are

You are the love of my life

Be here now, no other place to be
All the doubts that linger, just set them free
And let good things happen
And let the future come into each moment
Like a rising sun

You are the love of my life
You are the love of my life
Yeah, you know you are

Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again

And it’s all new today
All we have to say
Is be here now

Be here now, no other place to be
This whole world keeps changing, come change with me
Everything that’s happened, all that’s yet to come
Is here inside this moment, it’s the only one

You are the love of my life
You are the love of my life
Yeah, you know you are

sun comes up and we start again

Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again

It’s all new today
All we have to say
Is be here now

Listen!

Mason Jennings, Be Here Now

…happy….

Unexpected, and fully embraced.  I didn’t fall into this with reckless abandon.  It began with simple friendship, no agenda, no expectations, no machinations.  There is no stress.  No drama.  Just a simple and sweet fit. Comfort.  Freedom.  Peace.  Communication.  Harmony.

Smooth.  Like honey.

Maybe this is the beginning of happily ever after.  I hope so.  Either way, we’re living in the moment (when we have a moment) and for the moment, and the moment is sweet.

I’ve been smiling since the day we met.

…in retrospect…

I have actually already tried to self sabotage this budding relationship.  I almost didn’t believe anything could be so simple, so easy, so effortless, so comfortable.  I looked for reasons to doubt myself, reasons to doubt him, reasons to doubt the ability to have a relationship at all.  My bestie, thank God for her voice of reason, told me to STOP LOOKING FOR REASONS TO FAIL, FOR GOD’S SAKE!!  After due diligence, of course.  She, along with my sisters and all of my friends who are most dear, will always counsel me to be careful with my heart and keep my eyes open.

I don’t want to throw away the possibility of something beautiful, out of fear over the past and all the various relational paths I’ve traversed.  I aim to let  hope prevail.

…this man…

He is kind.  He is gentle.  He is moderate.  He is stable.  He is thoughtful.  He listens.  He is communicative.  He is helpful.  He is fun.  He is funny.  He is smart.  He is hard working.  He is steady.  He is friendly.  He is  his children’s hero.  He is good at what he does.  He is careful with his words.  He doesn’t put others down.  He doesn’t speak harshly of anyone or anything.  He looks for positive and constructive things to say.  He says what he means and means what he says.  He is dependable.  He is reliable.  He is calm.  He is strong.  He is a man of his word.  He shows up.  He’s where he says he’ll be when he says he’ll be there.  He is appreciative.  He is humble.  He is honest.  He is respectful.  He is respectable.  He is courteous.  He is loving.  He is thankful.  He is good.

…we fit…

We are good together.  We are in tune with each other.  It’s a beautiful thing.  I am grateful for the individual journeys that brought us to the place where our paths intersected, here, now.  A lifetime doesn’t seem long enough to do the things that we want to do together.  There are so many joys and experiences we want to share.

Let good things happen.  Let the future come into each moment like a rising sun.

Be here now.

I love him.  He loves me.

We are here, now.

Posted in love, me, men, relationships, thankfulness. Tagged with , , , , , , , , .

up close and personal

up close and personal

Today has been one of those days that catches me off guard.  One of those days in which I fall apart, draw some conclusions, then realize that I’m mood cycling again and that it’s very likely attributed to shifting hormones.  This happened two months ago.  I remember.  I took some antidepressants for a short while and snapped out of it.  Thankfully, this time, the insanity only had its grip on me for part of a day, and I came to my senses in the early afternoon.

Shaking my head…   Seriously.  Shaking.  My.  Head.  You’d think I’d remember, when I start thinking along ridiculously extreme emotional lines, that my thoughts are traversing ridiculously emotional pathways, and that I’m being ridiculously emotional and these thoughts have little to no bearing on real life.

However.  There are some thoughts that surface when I’m in that state that might warrant exploration.

I seem to tend towards thoughts of fear, insecurity, and uncertainty when I get caught up in a hormone induced storm.  It’s truly ridiculous, and if I had my wits about me, I’d know that!  Alas, such is not the nature of storms.

I’ve been thinking quite a lot over the past several months about truth and walls.  I’ve been formulating some theories about the hidden heart of man.  This likely applies to mankind, not just men, and it may well apply to me, but for now I will just say that it is based upon observations of men, gathered over many years.  It goes like this.  The theory is that one can learn quite a lot about the true heart of a man by the way he sleeps.  Yep.  I’m that creepy.  Watching men while they sleep.  And I don’t have all THAT many data points to consider, but I have given this some thought.  I think that when one is sleeping, their defenses are down, and they present themselves in a more honest light. Because they aren’t presenting themselves at all.  They aren’t staged.  They are revealing a glimpse of their true selves.  In retrospect, I’ve not known many men whose sleeping selves are a match of their waking selves, and, alas, even that doesn’t a fit necessarily make.  Awake, one man might be a man among men, strong, powerful, confident, dominant.  Asleep, that same man may be terrified, and actually swat at me if I reach out and touch him.  Defensive.  Afraid.  Lost.  Awake, one man might be gracious and noble, well spoken, measured, open, and confident.  Asleep, that same man may be selfish, frightened, insecure.  His form is minimized and still.  Hiding.  Afraid.  Unreceptive to my touch.  Awake, one man might be all bravado, macho, and confident.  Another man among men.  Big guy.  Tough guy.  Strong guy.  Asleep, he may be an angel.  If I reach out to touch him, he smiles and opens his arms and pulls me close.  All defenses down, he is full of love.  Giving.  Appreciative.  Receptive.  He may never know that he revealed that part of himself, because he was asleep.  And when awake, he hides behind his carefully constructed walls.  I feel sad for all of these men, because they are conflicted.  Awake or asleep, their fears rob them of the beauty and fullness of life.  Imagine the peace and joy that one would know, if one were not conflicted!  And I cannot be with a conflicted man.  I just cannot.

I think that my own sleeping self is likely a fair representation of my awakened self.  Apart from the ultra sexy CPAP breathing apparatus, I think that if a man were to reach out and touch me in the night, that I would respond by moving toward him.  If he were awake, and watching me sleep, and stroked my hair or my face as I slept, I think I would likely smile.  If he were to try to pull me close, I would shut off the CPAP and bury myself in his arms.  I don’t curl up to take as little space as possible when I sleep.  I don’t try to disappear.  I don’t toss and turn.  I position myself on my side, with my CPAP mask in the least obtrusive and least noisy position possible, and drift quickly off to sleep.  I find peace, and I find rest.

I’ve been thinking of writing this post for quite some time!  I had wanted to pose the notion about Mr. RightForMe.  That his sleeping self would align with his waking self.  That awake he would be kind and gracious and manly and secure, and asleep he would be kind and loving and strong and at peace.  If I reach out to touch him, he may not wake, but he moves closer to me, and some part of our bodies connect.  If he reaches out to touch me, I move myself closer to him, and some part of our bodies connect.  I like to think that awake or asleep, we are comfortable and secure with each other and with ourselves.  I like to think that neither one of us is afraid of love, and neither one of us is afraid to love.  And even if we do have carefully constructed walls, we let each other in.

The problem with the hormonal storms is that while I’m under their twisted spell, I tend to despair and think that nobody would or could ever truly love me, know me, or  understand me, and that it’s completely and absolutely impossible.  That being because I can’t recognize myself when I’m spinning through that cyclone, so how could I possibly expect that of another?  I’m glad those moments are few and far between, but I surely wish that they wouldn’t take me by surprise, each and every time.

Seriously.  Each. And. Every. Time.

It helps, believe it or not, to write these things down.  I scour through my blog when I find myself struggling, and I find posts like this that remind me that this happens.  Sometimes that’s all it takes to snap me out.  Then I can shake it off with gusto, the way a dog shakes the water from its body.

Alrighty then.

Onward!

Posted in love, me, men. Tagged with , , , .

presence and life

I can’t sleep. This happens so much.  I fall asleep easily, but invariably I’ll open my eyes, only to find that two hours have passed. I generally don’t panic on the first awakening, because there is still time to capture some rest in the next few hours before I have to jump into the new day.  I usually drift back to sleep, only to find myself awake again in another two hours.  I look at the time, shake my head, and say to myself, “Really?”  I lie there and wonder why my thoughts are spinning.  I try to will myself back to sleep. There is time. At least a little, anyway.  I’ll open my eyes, hoping to learn that I’d drifted off, but see that in fact, time is slipping away, and all that time was lost in the spin.  That is where the anxiety sets in.  Should I get up and make some soothing tea?  Should I make an appointment to see my doctor? Should I meditate?  Oh, wait. Spinning thoughts. Not the easiest thing to do, that.  I’ve almost never been able to meditate.

Today, amidst my spinning thoughts, I was pondering love in the bigger picture. Thinking of past experiences and emotions, of all the ways and times I’ve put my love out there.  Always I’ve loved.  I can’t find it now, but I know I’ve written about an epiphany I’ve had regarding being in love, and how, for all the love I’ve loved, I’ve never truly been in love.  I remember how that surprised me.  But always I’ve loved. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but it’s true.

The extending thought, then, is how will I recognize it, when it presents itself?  The answer is that there is nothing to recognize.  It will just be, because it has always been.  No questions. Only a sense of comfort and peace. A feeling of home.  A fit.

He kneels tentatively before her, glass slipper in hand.  He doesn’t know what she knows. It’s up to her to raise the courage to let him see.  This is my moment, she whispers in her head and her heart, and she realizes she has been holding her breath, looking at the top of this prince’s head as he kneels at her feet.  She knows it will fit.  It’s her slipper, after all.  She knows it fits.  She slides her foot in, and he slowly lifts his face.  He looks into her eyes.  He sees.

The bigger picture.  Recognizing love that’s always been.  Always, because love is in me, and has always been in me.  I have loved from forever.  My heart has always loved, someone, somewhere.

I stumbled across some words written in the sand on an Australian beach, years ago, and these words surfaced in my morning thoughts.  Someone.  Somewhere.

someone somewhere

“Someone somewhere dreams of your smile, and finds your presence and life worthwhile, so when you are lonely remember it’s true, someone somewhere is thinking of you.”

I am that someone.  I have always been here.

I left some of my own thoughts in the sand that day.

hope

dream

love

laugh

forgive

live

Posted in love, me. Tagged with , , , .

worn

I’m tired, I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I’m feeling worn today.  As though the myriad fragments of thoughts of recent sorrows and former sorrows are all pooling together and finding their way to the surface, wanting to break through.  I’m feeling like a meltdown is pending.  Or else in progress.

I know that I’m tired, physically, and that a good long sleep would likely make these feelings go away.  Maybe they’re not so large at all, and would be nothing, if I could rest some more and let them drift off to a safe and peaceful place where they can feed my wisdom, but not hurt my heart.

So many of us are working through such struggles.  Some of monumental proportion. Some, not so much, but in their own estimation, they are monumental.  The struggle exists for us all.  Add to that the burden of misperceptions and misunderstandings.  All these unnecessary emotional struggles!

I think about the role I’ve played in other people’s lives.  The things I’ve done to give a helping hand.  Small things.  Big things.  In some ways and at some times it’s been sort of like helping a child learn to swing or ride a bike.  I give them a push, get them started, explain how to pump the legs or pedal the bike, so that they can go forth on their own.  Sometimes a push is all that’s needed.  And sometimes the push does little at all.  If they just move forward on the original momentum without adding their own force of pumping or peddling, whichever the case may be, inertia eventually wins and all things come to a stop.  In real life, with my own kids, in the same example of trying to teach them to swing or ride, I find myself frustrated when they give up and don’t try to propel themselves.  They want the easy road.  Mama, keep pushing!  But I don’t want to push any more.  I want them to learn and become self-sufficient.

In the adult world, I guess the wise thing to do is acknowledge that when another has allowed inertia to set them back to where they were, the consequential struggle isn’t my responsibility or my concern.  It would also be wise not to conclude that my efforts were ever wasted.  I shouldn’t rue the choices I’ve made, because always, in some manner, something positive and good comes.  Even if it doesn’t look like it, or seem possible.   Always it does.  Always.

It’s hard to watch the struggle.  I don’t know why so many people don’t believe in themselves.  What is there that can’t be done?  So much can be accomplished if one just tries.  Maybe we don’t know where to start, or how to start, but if we just try, we can get somewhere.  Maybe it’s not the right direction.  Then adjust.  And maybe that’s not quite right.  Adjust again.  Just keep on.  Almost anything is possible.

Of course, this only pertains to the struggle of managing our own lives in the realm of things that can be controlled.  It has nothing to do with the struggle of coping with things that are dumped on us from who knows where for who knows why.  Like cancer.  Or mental illness.  It’s an unfair battle.  The only thing I can see there is to do, for those who are caught in this kind of struggle, is to fight, and keep on fighting.  My heart aches and weeps for the unfair battles like these that people are thrown into.

I’m struggling with my own job of single parenting.  Wanting to nip things in the bud, and not knowing how to.  Wanting to impart harmony and peace, cooperation and consideration.  Not knowing how.

I’m struggling with my own sense of self.  I know who I am, but I wonder if anybody else does.  I spill out pages upon pages of words that describe my emotional being.  I have this cloud of emotion I’m swimming in right now, and I can’t fathom anybody else being able to understand it, and therefore understand me.  And that adds a sense of loneliness to the whole mix.  But why would it even matter if anybody understood what I feel and why?  This is just a part of me.  It’s my own journey.  It’s mine.  Why would a sense of loneliness even surface?  By definition it’s supposed to be singular.  Because it’s just me, and I am only one.  And that, by extension, makes me wonder how togetherness is possible, when it’s almost impossible to completely understand one another.  Maybe that’s the crux of it.  I want to understand (everyone, everything).  And I want to be understood.  It seems that I want the impossible, therefore the crushing awareness that what I want I can’t have.

I don’t know.  I’m blathering on about I don’t know what.  Today is my departed brother’s birthday.  Probably that has much to do with what I’m thinking and feeling.  He would be 44 today.  I miss him.

And I’m tired.

Posted in depression, ego, family, friends, health, love, me, mental health, philosophy/religion, relationships, sorrow. Tagged with , .

assurance

All in all, 2014 was beautifully and wonderfully life changing. Today I took a moment to open my gratitude jar, look through all the notes, and relive the joy.

a year of gratitude

I am smiling.

And so the jar, now empty, is ready to capture the joys of 2015.  It’s off to a beautiful start, and with this start, a new word to focus or define the year.  I’ve found my word for 2015.

A S S U R A N C E

Posted in adventures, family, friends, health, love, me, men, mental health, thankfulness.

Protected: rsm part ii

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:


Posted in adventures, me, men, mental health.

root, shoot, marry – the mancapades roundup of 2014

I feel compelled to take some time to sort through and summarize the mancapades of 2014.  My girlfriend lovingly advised that I should take a man break so that I could tune my good guy radar.  Of course I didn’t listen.  Well, I listened, but I didn’t heed.

The rocky road upon which I traversed for so long solemnly and completely reached its end, some time during the summer.  I don’t remember exactly when.  From then until now there has been sporadic socialization and relational pursuits.  I’ve posted three ads to Craigslist, for masochistic entertainment purposes more than anything truly serious.  Two of those posts were simply cut and pasted from this blog:  an affair to remember, and the sum of a life.  One was just a snarky counter offering to the ridiculous expectations described in the majority of the m4w ads posted.  That one hit a nerve because it was flagged and removed within 4 hours!  But it was up long enough to produce quite a flurry of activity, considering I posted it around 1 am and it was removed by 5 am.  Fun times.  If self torture is your thing, that is.  Actually, my ads spawned some reasonably good conversations and banter, so they served their purpose.  I also put a Tinder profile up, which was mostly laughable.  I think that I made about 4 possible matches for over 2000 passes.  Granted, I’m particular, and pass almost everyone.

All told, there were some rootin’ types, some shootin’ types, and even some marrying types.  How many of each?  There has been rootin’ without shootin’ and shootin’ without rootin’, and those who just might be the marrying type are, well, technically still married –so there are boundaries best left untread under such circumstances.  I don’t have any regrets, really, for any of the experiences.  They weren’t necessarily all good or without anguish, but there were some beautiful moments to treasure, and they all contributed in some way to the healing journey.

Cue Marvin Gaye, crooning in the background.  At the end of that long and rocky road this summer, I was told with certainty that intimacy could never be better than what I was walking away from.  I almost believed it.  Maybe his goal was to break me and cause me to doubt.  I don’t know.  But I’ve since learned that that was so very far from the truth.  Happily so.

In fact, I am absolutely positive of the possibility of truly fulfilling intimacy.  Without a doubt in this world.  I still have no idea how to fully relate with another, or how to mingle lives in a positive manner for all involved.  Hope definitely prevails, though.

I still believe in love.

With a capital L.

Posted in love, me, men, mental health.

breaking broken records

I don’t have to peruse through the various categories in this blog to be keenly aware that my life seems to be like a broken record, stuck on repeat, skipping at the same track over and over and over again.  I would rather call this life journey an exercise in perseverance, not failure.  Always looking for the bright spin, you know.  Glass half full.  That sort of thing.  I do learn, bit by bit and here and there.

This blog tends to capture more of my struggles than my victories.  I don’t suppose I feel the need to write when I’m rockin’ my world.  So, to the random reader (ha ha, no such thing as a random reader, considering that search engines are blocked so those who get here arrive because at some point in time I said they could come here), I may seem scattered and a complete and utter wreck of  a person.  Indeed, that’s often the case when I’m drawn to write.  Processing.  This is what I do, to sort through my stuff, for my own mental health.

It’s been a healing journey.  I think that I’ve actually come quite far in the last year or so.  I’ve formed a wonderful new friendship with another single mother, and it’s been so life filling to have a nearby woman friend with whom I can connect.  My dearest women friends are scattered far, far from me, from the East Coast to Australia, so a local friend is a treasure indeed.  I’m also learning how to accept the course and flow of the various relationships, short or long, that I’ve been involved in over the past few years.

I always hope that the next one will be the last one.  Hence the sound of that broken record, because, so far, the next one hasn’t been the last one.  Hope remains, though.  I’ve wondered somewhat if the immersion in the dating pool and recently attempted relationships has only been some form of rebound from the last long relationship.  Perhaps I haven’t been as ready as I’d hoped.  I don’t know.  Definitely there has been need of healing –a need to process through the whys of those three years.  Actually, now that I reflect back on things, I have indeed come a long way down the healing road.  Certain doubts that I had fostered have clearly been resolved.  I’ve mentioned the burden of broken hearts in other posts, and yes, I feel badly for those with whom I’ve walked for a time who have wished that we could continue down that road, but I am comfortable in knowing that any of them are adult enough to accept that the fit is not there and not allow the closure to feel like a stab wound.  I’m gentle but intense in my approach to the possibility of love.  I begin any introduction with any man with a full measure of honesty, respect, and openness.  I give full benefit of any doubt (once I’ve done whatever due diligence I am able to do prior to actually deciding to meet in person) and walk forth under the assumption that he is good, kind, honest, trustworthy, respectable, respectful, responsible, hard working, thoughtful, and intelligent.  I begin with no walls.  Completely open.  Honest, forward, direct, and loving.  I go forth, openly, all the while watching and listening, looking for signs, attitudes, behaviors –things that could begin to reduce that full measure of respect.  I may begin to raise the wall between us, as things reveal themselves, and the full measure begins to diminish.  When I recognize this, there comes a point where I ask to talk about things, and I call an end to the journey.  Sometimes it comes as a surprise, but I suspect that usually it’s no surprise at all.  Not that it feels any better, but it’s necessary.  Life is such a precious gift, and if you know that the path you are on is not on a trajectory that maximizes joy, then it’s so very important to alter that path.

To the outside world, this probably looks like I’m a woman with a bright neon “Commitment Issues!” sign blazing above my head, because that’s the evidence that shows.  Maybe that’s true, but I have no problem committing to my work, or my family.  Maybe what this truly reflects is a commitment to myself.  Life is too precious to squander on a wrong fit.  I’ve gotten so much better at recognizing a poor fit, but I’m at a loss to recognize a good fit.  It’s uncharted territory, really.  I want peace and harmony.  I want kindness and love.  I want comfort and understanding.  I want deep and meaningful intimacy.  I want laughter and silliness.  I want enthusiasm and wit.  I want respect and contentedness.   I have all of these things and more to share with my one and only.  I want us to not only bring these things out in each other, but to amplify them!

I wonder how I will know.   Maybe I will just know.  Maybe he and I will just be, as if we never were anything but who we are, together.

I guess one of the most important things for me to acknowledge at this stage of the journey is that I am truly healed and healing from both the old and the fresh wounds, and I am not in any sort of rebound mode.  I feel strong within my core.  I am at peace with myself, and I am at peace with all the men who I’ve let go.  Not that I know whether they have made their internal peace with me, but I am not harboring guilt or sorrow or fear or concern over the fact that we do not fit.  I never mean harm, and the last thing I ever want to do is hurt another.  I know my heart has been pure.  My intentions have always been good.  This isn’t to say that no harm has ever been done, that no hurt has been experienced.  It’s only to say that my intentions have always been for the best.  And always, always, I hope that the next one will be the last one.

breaking brokenness

Posted in love, me, men. Tagged with , , , .

fragments

Today is a be still kind of day for me.  What a treasure!  Some people want or need to be entertained, or constantly on the go, doing something, going somewhere, being with someone.  I get so few moments to just be still.  I sit in silence in my living room, looking at the ceiling, looking at the sky through the skylights, looking at the colors and placement of the furnishings and decor, breathing deeply and simply being peaceful.  It’s a friendly room.  It’s nice to just be still for a moment.  I have a thousand things I could or should do, but I’m not going to.  I’m just going to sit still for a little while.

I love my cedar ceiling. Love!

~*~*~*~

I find it tragically amusing that I posted in October about not falling apart, when I realized yesterday that I’ve fallen more apart than I had any idea!  I’m glad that I can amuse myself, even if it’s in a tragic manner.  Imagine the amusement I can attain when I’m rockin’ my world!  My core, the essence of me, always wants to find the light and bright side of things.  It may take me a while, but I’m always looking for it.

~*~*~*~

I’ve been thinking about perspective.  It’s so easy (for me) to be caught off guard and lose perspective.   I can get stuck wondering what I did or said that caused a given action or comment, and jump to some conclusion that may or may not be valid.  Or else I can’t come up with an answer at all, and I am completely flummoxed.  In my professional life, when I get stuck trying to solve something, usually if I drop it for a while, rest, and come back again with fresh eyes, I can figure it out.  I will then chastise myself for not dropping it earlier, thus saving myself the time, anguish and frustration of beating my head against the wall.  In my personal life, if I could at least remember to tell myself that problem solving is problem solving, and if I could remember that it always works well to just let it rest for a minute, allow myself to regroup, then clarity will more than likely follow shortly.  If only.  I sure would save myself unnecessary anguish.

~*~*~*~

There has been a lot of passion and agitation floating about regarding Ferguson, and I don’t know anything about the issue, other than some people I love are passionately impacted in one direction and some people I love are passionately impacted in the opposite direction.  I have absolutely no opinion because I don’t know the situation, but my heart aches and strains over the anguish and passion that others are struggling with over this very public issue.  Politics.  I can not abide.  The mere thought causes literal gut wrenching sensations.  It’s visceral.  Absolutely and completely.

~*~*~*~

Loose ends.  I have such a strong desire for conclusions, answers, solutions, closure –understanding.  Maybe that’s the bottom line.  Understanding.  For some reason, loose ends leave me feeling frustrated and incomplete.  It’s probably an OCD thing.  Sort of like writing a sentence and not using a period to punctuate the end.  That would drive me NUTS!  The thing is, it drives me bonkers in almost all elements of my life.  If a conversation just drops off in thin air, with no apparent reason why, I’m left wondering why.  I suppose it boils down to order vs. chaos.  A loose end represents chaos in my world.  A conclusion represents order.  With understanding, closure, conclusion, summary, completion, whatever it is called, I can put whatever it is away, and it will no longer clutter my mind and emotions.

~*~*~*~

Sometimes the accumulation of loose ends and lost perspective cause me to doubt myself, and I get turned around, upside down.  When this happens, I have to somehow retreat and regroup.  It’s so hard to do, when you’re stuck!  Sort of like trying to swim against the current.  I visualize myself, a lone figure, and I visualize myself spinning, arms spread, spinning around and around, sending waves of light, love, comfort, and harmony out from my extended hands, weaving a tornado of protection around me.  I stand in the center of stillness and catch my breath and gather my strength until I can emerge.  As I describe this, it brings to mind a scene from Guardians of the Galaxy in which Groot weaves himself into a cocoon of protection around his friends.  Like that.

~*~*~*~

I really should never doubt myself.  I should be more vigilant and remember, always remember, that I am empathic and absorb the emotions of those around me.  So often I get slammed by other people’s emotions, and it takes me some time to realize those aren’t MY emotions.  Those feels I feel, yes, but those feels aren’t always mine!  Empathy is a beautiful gift, and I truly love my ability to connect with people on such a deep level, but I just need to learn how to distinguish my feels from someone else’s feels.   I suppose that’s the thing about empathy though.  Those feels become my feels.  Oh, the feels.  All the feels!!  I am so often battered by the feels, like ocean waves crashing against a rocky shore.

~*~*~*~

Finding joy.  Gratitude.  It’s the simple things in life that bring me the most joy.  I grew some vegetables this year.  I planted multicolored carrots, and yielded only two.  Two!  The beets did well.  I love beets.  I also grew a mystery vegetable.  At first I thought it was a pumpkin, but it turns out it was an acorn squash.  I don’t even remember ever having squash, because I don’t like squash, but somehow it ended up in the compost, and when I built my garden, I added some compost.  That particular seed sprouted and thrived, so I decided to let it live.  It actually completely overtook the entire garden box, and produced several squash.  The slugs ate most of them, but it yielded one respectable squash.

garden bounty

I decided to take my end of season garden yield and make roasted veggies for my contribution to the Thanksgiving feast.  I roasted garlic and used fresh thyme and rosemary from my herb garden, and made a buttery spread.  I had an inordinately grand time, gathering the veggies from my garden, cleaning, prepping, and cooking them.  It felt so complete!  So wholesome!  And believe it or not, the squash actually tasted good to me.  Wonders shall never cease.

roasted and color coordinated

~*~*~*~

I’ve been struggling quite a lot lately.  I mentioned tragic amusement above…   Anyway, I’ve been thinking of all the various monumental life changes taking place, contributing to the struggle.  Work.  That’s a huge change.  The transitional dust most likely won’t be settled until at least next summer, so there remains quite a long road ahead.  I need to gird up.  Along with that, my niece, sort of the daughter I never had, graduated high school and moved across the country this fall.  This had a much deeper effect on me than I had any idea, and I was completely unprepared for the emotions that would surface.  Closing chapters of a long relationship, opening and closing and trying to navigate the waters of forming a new relationship leave me worn and depleted.  Frustrations over the superficiality of people in the singles world.  I see deep seated fears and insecurities in men manifest in various ways.  They probably have no idea of these things themselves, because they are living only on the surface.  But that’s a whole other probably very long winded post for another time.  Countless hours spent in traffic.  Darkness when I rise, darkness when I return.  Single parenting struggles, wanting my children to grow into gracious, kind, responsible, confident, and respectable men, and not knowing quite how to accomplish that.  The responsibilities of life.  I have a full plate.  It can be daunting and overwhelming if I think about it much.  That’s why I like to slow down and be still.  I get the most joy out of the simple things.  I go outside and feed my alpaca girls, chastise them for fighting each other for the lion’s share, and wander around the pasture, picking up their poop.  It’s therapeutic, really, to trudge about outside, rake and bucket in hand.  The wind in the trees releases the most wonderful cedar scent.  I feel happy.  I am very blessed.  I live a beautiful life.  I am full of love.  I love.  I am loved.

happiness is a rake and a bucket and a pasture full of poop

Posted in food, health, me, men, mental health, politics, relationships, thankfulness, work.

the end of an era

It has been a long time since I’ve written about my work.  I maintain a level of ambiguity, so as not to jeopardize my professional life.  Last spring we underwent a massive restructuring, and the announcement came like a sucker punch to the gut.  Unexpected.

that day cometh like a thief in the night…

A year later, doubled over and trying to catch our breath from the first sucker punch, we took another jab.

moving and shaking…

So there we were, in the ring, so to speak, engaged in a fight that we didn’t ask for and didn’t want.  I wasn’t (yet) personally affected, but I could see the writing on the wall.

carrying the weight of a word on her shoulders…

From my perspective, if I take a step back, it looks like corporate leadership behaves like a bunch of kids playing pick up sticks, only we are the sticks.  Throw the lot up in the air, see where they land, and try to piece things back together.  Who gets the most sticks before the stack collapses?  Winner!!!!  What about the remaining stack?  Yep.  That’s us.  That’s where we are now.  Discarded on a whim.

I don’t remember when they made the announcement, but they did.  And lo it came to pass.  The ax did fall.  I don’t recall the exact date, but there is one (May or June 2015), and on that day, the lights will be shut off.  We shall cease to be.

So it’s been a mad scramble.  The ship is sinking and the rats are jumping.

I thought about looking for other work, but decided not to give in to fear and uncertainty, and not to desert my team.  My specialized team consists of only three people, one of whom is new.  Our young padawan, we call him.  We are training him in the ways of the masters.  Ha!  Seriously, though.  My partner IS the master.  He is literally a world expert in his field.  I am the other master, and I am most decidedly not a world expert in that field, but I bring to the table those proficiencies that make our team a complete, high power unit.  We are a little tiny team of three, serving the entire company of thousands upon thousands.  We could be considered a bottle neck, which in business is not a positive thing, or we could be considered a vital asset.  Both are true.  Single threadedness carries a lot of business risk.  If the thread breaks, the business can be severely impacted.  It brings to mind the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”  Not that the company truly recognizes its vital assets.  I’ve probably blathered on about that elsewhere in this blog.

Even with the leadership making these changes, we are still in business NOW, and we, individually, care about what we do and have a personal sense of responsibility to see things through.  So we have been pressing along, trying to keep afloat amidst the flotsam and jetsam that we are immersed in, simultaneously working on marketing ourselves, making our little niche visible to the echelons so that they will recognize that it would behoove them to preserve our function.  Miraculously, we have succeeded, and we have been given a life raft.  We’ve climbed aboard, soaking wet, and are paddling our way against the current towards the safety of the big ship.

~*~*~*~*~

I am grateful to have a job!  Grateful that I didn’t actually have to hit the streets and look for something different.  At the same time, these many months since the spring of 2013 have been so exhausting.  It’s been like a long and drawn out sickness in which bits of pieces of life connections are dying, and with each loss there is mourning and sorrow.  I’ve spent my life with these people.  This relationship has been thriving for 28 years, and now it’s nearly over.  The goodbyes are so hard.  I walk down the hall and peer into the cubicles and see only a few scattered faces here and there.  It’s empty.  It’s sad.  It’s like gazing upon a hospital ward during a war or a plague, with a few mangled hollow-eyed bedridden people holding on for dear life amidst rows and rows of empty beds left by those who  have departed.

A job is a job, and I can do almost anything, really, so the trauma is not so much about the job itself, other than the huge expectations levied upon us when we are already loaded past most people’s breaking points.  Even so, I’m a performer, and I will perform.  I can do that.  I will do that.

The trauma I am suffering is the loss of life, the life we have spent together for the last 28 years.  There is a lot of life that takes place in that many years.  It’s being forced to say goodbye.  I’ve been dragging my feet, not wanting it to end.  My new desk is thankfully in the next tower, rather than another city, so I’ve had the luxury of dragging my feet over the move.  I’ve been making the transition last as long as possible.  Everything besides my computer itself is moved, but I park my body stubbornly in the spot I’ve inhabited for the last twenty years, just so that I can see the occasional familiar face and hear the occasional familiar voice.  These are my people.  I love them.  Even though we have little to no connection once we leave the office, we are connected in the depths of our selves, from the years upon years upon years of time that we’ve spent together.  But it’s time to cut the cord and it’s time to leave.  I think that next week I will have to occupy the new desk.  I don’t even know how to express how this makes me feel.  It’s the end of an era.  I am a frazzled, emotional mess, and have been for quite some time now.

I’ve done all that I could.  I need to make peace with this and let it go.

It’s been so hard for me, and I don’t really know HOW to make that peace and let it go.  So I’m writing it out, hoping it will help.  Maybe it’s only something that time will ease, the way a scar will ever so slowly fade as it heals.

I don’t know.  But I have to move on and find new joys, rather than remain stuck under this cloud of sorrow.

I am so, so tired.

Posted in depression, me, mental health, work.