February 6th, 2016 | No Comments »

Put your dreams away for now, I won’t see you for some time…
I am lost in my mind, I get lost in my mind…
Mama once told me “you’re already home where you feel loved”
I am lost in my mind, I get lost in my mind…

Oh my brother, your wisdom is older than me.  Oh my brother, don’t you worry about me!
Don’t you worry, don’t you worry, don’t worry about me…

all you need is love ... love is all you need

all you need is love … love is all you need

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Again.  I’m making a serious effort to understand myself and the way I form my thoughts and the channels that I follow… I’m very conscious of time these days. I’m very aware of the years. I’ve arrived at this place called mid-life. My indentured servitude spans nearly 30 years. I have two young children. It’s up to me to shape them, form them and prepare them for life. And how can I do that, if I don’t have it figured out myself?! There’s a whole new generation of young people in my life, looking to me for guidance, and what can I give them? I’m fumbling along under a facade waving the fake it till you make it flag and hoping that nobody notices that I really don’t have it all going on. (To be fair to myself, I do actually have almost everything going on –I’m just trying to wrangle this emotional thangggggg…..)

I’ve been thinking about human behaviors. I’ve been observing the way insecurity manifests in people and myself. I’ve been thinking about self destructive thoughts a lot lately, and wondering where they come from, why they’re there, how to obliterate them, etc… It occurs to me that they are entirely manufactured! Not that that is any big news. I’ve known that all along, but somehow I am beginning to let it sink in, that any negative thoughts originate within myself. So if they’re coming from me, I can change my mind, and turn that ship around.  Easily enough said.

Certain thought streams tend to short circuit to emotionally unattractive destinations.  I intend to repair my mother board so that my thought streams lead to healthy destinations.

One of the show stoppers is that dangerous zone of caring what others think.  Why so much concern?  Why ANY concern?  Judgment…   It’s such a slippery slope!  The reality of the matter is that I don’t know what another person thinks or feels. Those thoughts are entirely theirs. Am I spending my time passing judgment on the people in my sphere?  Or  do I simply love them?  Ummm.  I simply love them.  So, uhhhh, hello?  Stands to reason, doesn’t it, in the most simplistic way, that not too many, if any for that matter, are spending time passing judgment on me.  Why would I bother to waste any brain space on wondering or dreading what others might think of me?  Good grief! And even if I were to play the devil’s advocate, what kind of ugliness might someone dredge up on me?  Her.  Yeah her.  She goes to work every day.  Yeah.  Imagine that.  She pays her bills.  Amazing. She lives within her means.  Unbelievable.  She takes care of her family.  Whoa.  She saves for a rainy day.  What the what?  She tries to make people smile.  Crazy.  Oh sure, she gets emo once in a while. She’s a sensitive creature with an empathetic nature, so of course the travails of others can take their toll if she’s not careful, but she’s wicked smart and kind of funny, so hey.  She’s all right.  Mmmmm hmmmmm, yes ma’am.  She’s all right.

Seriously.  It’s ridiculous to waste time and life energy on wondering what others think, and worse yet, assuming what they think.  That’s a one-man-band, honey.  It’s ALL IN YOUR HEAD!!!!  SMH…

Okay.  Sure.  I have issues.  Daddy issues.  I’ve written about it before.  WHY DIDN’T HE CARE ABOUT ME?  WHY DIDN’T I MATTER TO HIM?  etc etc etc.  The thing is, I did matter to him.  I just didn’t recognize it.  Where he could display his love, affection and admiration to and for my sisters, somehow he was unable to convey it to me.  Maybe, all along, I’ve felt irrelevant only because I’m not the charming vivacious spitfires that my sisters are.  Maybe it was difficult for him to find a way to reach me.  Who knows?!  But the fact is that I’ve carried an invalid assumption along with me for most of my life, that I somehow just don’t quite measure up to what I should.  And don’t you see?  That’s the comparison game!  Comparing myself to my sisters!  We are apples and oranges (as well as peas in a pod).  Oh how I love my sisters!!!  They are amazing people!  And we are beautiful in our differences and in our similarities.  As beautiful and amazing as they are, I am as well!  I just wasn’t tuned in to the same bat channel.  So I didn’t get the message.  That is SO tragic!!!  Fifty years old and only now just dawning.

Anyway.

One way or another, this post was meant to be about love, and how you’re home where you feel loved.  All this blah blah blah about the great “why am I the way I am?” question, but the crux of the matter and the bottom line is that happiness is that place where we feel home, where we are home.

I feel home.

This.

This is what life and love are all about.  This is everything.  Now is now. I’m living it. Now! I laugh, I smile, I hug my children. I listen.  I act silly.  I cook. I eat. I work. I take care of business. I keep up my home. I do laundry. I do dishes. I love.

I am happy.

September 14th, 2015 | No Comments »
cherish is the word I use to describe...

cherish is the word I use to describe…

The word popped into my head a few minutes ago, and I had a train of thought I planned to explore, but have since forgotten.  Still, I will hold the title and keep on writing. Maybe it will come back to me.

There are so many interesting thoughts of late that I want to capture and ponder.  My boys spent three weeks with their dad.  Unprecedented.  During that time, I had the opportunity to take a grown up camping vacation.  I haven’t had so much grown up time in YEARS!

It was hard, to be separated from my boys for so long.  I had a few tearful moments.  I sort of wished that I had been able to plan ahead for that particular window of time.  I might have spent it differently, rather than work through the first two weeks.  I was ecstatic to be able to go camping, though.  It was important to me on so many levels.

When I picked up my boys, the early evening sun was shining and the color of their eyes in the sunlight was dazzling and mesmerizing.  Their eyes are a grey green rainbow of sparkling color.  They are so beautiful — they take my breath away.  I wanted to take a picture and capture those colors and that beauty, but my phone camera skills are lacking.  The emotion of the moment was pure joy.  Reuniting with my boys.  Oh how I lufffffff them.

~*~*~*~

While camping, I experienced a plethora of thoughts, sensations, and emotions.  Granted, it was likely due to a mixture of erratic blood sugar control, substance consumption, and the heat.  One day, I had a series of out of body thoughts that I found perplexing and worthy of further exploration.  It was almost as though I had a starkly defined split personality.  On the one hand, I was so peacefully content that I had found my way to this stage in life where I have the most amazing, comfortable relationship with a truly decent, kind, loving, capable, intelligent, fun and interesting man, with whom I can clearly imagine growing old with and loving deeply until the end of time.  On the other hand, there was this nearly over powering persona that I’d call Doom, who stood by, authoritatively looking down on me, telling me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t live like this, that it couldn’t be real, that I should just walk away and spend my life alone where I belong.  It was such a strong and defeating sensation, so physical, in fact, that I could almost feel myself being compelled to stand up, start walking, and just leave it all behind.  All the while, the other persona (who I will call the real me) looked on with disbelief and horror, saying, good grief, you’re not buying into this bullshit, are you?

In the end, I reasoned with myself that I have no control over another’s thoughts or feelings, nor do I wish for such control.  He’ll never purposefully hurt me.  If he loves me, he loves me.  If he wants to be with me, he will be with me.  If he decides we don’t fit after all, he will say so, and we will part on kind terms.  There is no need for fear or anxiety or second guessing or anything at all.  And the converse holds true in all cases.  I will never purposefully hurt him.  If I love him, I love him.  If I want to be with him, I’ll be with him.  If I decide we don’t fit after all, I will say so, and we will part on kind terms.  He isn’t worried or concerned about us.  It’s all very simple for him.  He loves me, he respects me, and that’s that.  Similarly, I love him, respect him, and that’s that.  So why does this nemesis of a personality emerge?  I suppose it’s a manifestation of fear, and it’s not welcome here!  I have to acknowledge that it tried to grip me, though.  I’m also grateful that he’s not saddled with these ridiculous emotions.  He is so very steady.  Unflinching.  Unwavering.  I truly admire that in him.  He is solid.

~*~*~*~

I wrote this ages ago, and it’s been hanging out in my drafts, along with the 200+ spam comments attached to my Presence and Life post that I can’t for the life of me figure out.  Search engines are blocked.  Somehow there must be a thread or fragment somewhere that the bots have found.  I don’t find it when I inspect my code, so I am perplexed.  Maddening.  Anyway.  Even though the moment is long over, and my emotions haven’t taken too much of a dark turn (in general) since then, I think it’s good to be able to preserve some of these thoughts for further exploration, should they ever resurface.

The photo is taken from the cover of this year’s journal.  I was diligent until mid-July, and not a word since.  Interestingly enough, that time frame seems to coincide with the time frame when my kids were away.  I’ve either been too busy, too stressed, or having too much fun to bother with daily summaries.  Certainly, life overall has been wonderful, as evidenced by the lack of lengthy self-psychoanalyzing posts (since June, at any rate).  One of these days I may find my way back to blogging about the beauties of this simple life I’m leading.  Facebook and Snapchat, while fun, are nowhere near as fulfilling, and the seeming constant monotony of working through difficult emotions makes for a very lopsided blog.  So.  Posts of alpaca adventures, tree felling, trail blazing, carburetor rebuilding, farmer’s markets, fantastical Lego creations, gorgeous grey-eyed kids, road trips, country vistas, water sport shenanigans, and such may be on the horizon.  Or not.

June 2nd, 2015 | 1 Comment »

I’m glad that I wrote about exploitation the other day.  It helped me process thoughts more productively.

Exploitation suggests an offender –the one exploiting, and a victim –the one exploited.  It absolves, somewhat, the one exploited from the responsibility of the situation.  Not that I am advocating transferring responsibility for a situation to someone, anyone, or anything other than myself….

Now that some thoughts have had a chance to mill about outside of the coulda woulda shoulda trap, I’ve finally been able to get somewhere.  Now I can and do reclaim responsibility for all of it.  Maybe I was a victim, maybe not.  Well, that man on the train had no right to invade my space, and that Iranian dude had no right to amuse himself with me in the manner that he did…    ….and that ex boyfriend really had no right to do me while I was asleep.  Had I woken up and gotten involved, well hello, that would be a different matter altogether (what’s better than barely waking and reaching for the one you love, and moving together in union and harmony in a semi conscious state?  How sexy and amazing is that?!), but I did not (wake up or respond in any way), and he proceeded, so yeah, he had no right to do that.  I was curious, truth be told.  Curious as to whether he would proceed or not.  It was a test, I suppose, and he failed….    Anyway.  I am not a victim.  I don’t know why or even how some things happen the way they do.  I am no longer hungry for an explanation for any of it.  I’ve decided to let it all go.  It’s something from the past, and the minute that it became history, it lost its power over me.  I don’t know why it took me almost 25  years to figure that out, though.

I’m learning the value of the now.  The only moment for which I have complete control is the moment that I’m experiencing now.  Now!  I am who I am.  I am who I choose to be.  I am who I want to be.  I can draw from the wisdom that has accumulated through the years and the experiences of other times, and I can choose to let all of the experiences be just that.  Wisdom.  Nothing else.  They can’t bring me down.  They aren’t an anchor, holding me down or holding me back.  I don’t want to be sad.  I don’t want to be angry.  I don’t want to be depressed.  I don’t want to be gloomy.  I don’t want to be hurt.  I have no desire for vengeance.  Besides all that, I’m a firm believer that good things come, always, always, always, somehow, from the ashes and anguish and sorrows and tears.  Always, good things come.  So in addition to that certainty, I now have this revelation, this added bonus, this wellspring of effervescent joy.  This is my moment, my life, this time that I am breathing, this instant.  This is mine!  This is my life!  I’m not going to be duped into allowing the past to steal my present.  No more!! And I’m not going to let the future steal my present either.  While I may have some input as to what my future holds, there is absolutely nothing that is certain.  Nothing except for the now.  My now.  My present.  This is what I have.  It’s all that any of  us has.  I’m claiming it.  Owning it.  It’s MINE!  This is life!  THIS.  IS.  LIFE.

brown eyed girl

I am exactly who, what, and how I want to be in this very moment.  I am good!  I am kind!  I am loving!  I am gentle!  I am strong!  I am smart!  I am capable!  I am resourceful!  I am responsible!  I am lovely!  I am fun!  I am creative!  I am happy!  I am healthy!  I am joyful!  I am alive!

Hello world.  It’s me.

Me!

January 12th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

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.

January 4th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

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

November 28th, 2014 | No Comments »

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

September 29th, 2014 | 1 Comment »

I’ve written about ripples before, how one thing impacts another and waves move ever outward, the whispering breath of my spirit carried out into the world, brushing gently against all in its path.  A kiss on the horizon that finds its way back to me.

There is a song that moves my heart.  When I hear it, the strains fill me, move me, cover me, and touch my very soul.  Everything about it speaks to me, as though it was written just for me.  Not long ago, I mentioned this song in conversation, and remarked that it’s one of my favorites.  It comes up on my Pandora mix every once in a while, and it almost always makes me cry.  It just takes me to that place.  The other day, a friend shared this very song on Facebook, especially for me.  That ripple had made its way back to me.

Late at night, after the kids had gone to sleep, I sat cradled in the hammock swing on my porch, breathed in the crisp autumn air, and listened.  Over and again, I played that song.  Tears fell.  I went inside the music, and sobbed, from the very core of me, releasing my self from myself.  I thought about my life, and who I am.  I thought about what I want.  I thought about love, what it is, and where it comes from.  I thought about my place in this earth, the mother I am, the life I lead, the responsibilities I shoulder.  All the while, the music played, and tears rolled down my face.

I sobbed my heart out, and decided that it really doesn’t matter if the man who fits ever appears, because I’m beautiful through and through, in my heart of hearts where beauty matters.  In that place, I am pure and innocent, and in that place I am love.  It’s not about all the men who have gone before.  It’s not about anything but me.  In that place, I see my self.  I see someone who is worthy of my love.  I stood naked in front of my mirror, while the music played.  I touched myself.  I moved my hands all over my body, slowly, looking at the curves and the shadows, looking through unveiled eyes at something beautiful, as tears rolled down.

I must have listened to that song thirty times or more.  I cried my heart out, and touched myself, looked at myself with respect and regard, all the while loving myself.  I know who I am.  I saw myself, maybe for the first time, for the beautiful woman that I am.  I saw myself, perhaps, as those who love me see me.

A small spark flickered inside of me; a glimmer of life reborn.  Tears streamed down my face and I knew.

when oceans rise

I am healing.  I can heal.

Lead me where my trust is without borders.

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.

I will call upon your name.

Keep my eyes above the waves.

My soul will rest in your embrace.

I am yours and you are mine.

When oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace.

Fifteen, twenty, twenty five years, or more –scars from so very long ago.  I am healing.  God is speaking to me in ways that most people wouldn’t understand, in ripples and waves that make their way back to me.  I see where I am, and where I am going.  It likely won’t make sense to anybody but me, but it doesn’t have to.  This is my journey.  I am going to walk down this healing path for a while.

I am not afraid.

I am not alone.

April 28th, 2014 | 3 Comments »

I took my boys to visit my mom over spring break.  We had a lovely time.  As we prepared to leave for the airport, my mom, her husband, and I were loading the bags into her car.  I was leaning over the open trunk with my suitcase, and suddenly the trunk hatch dropped and hit my neck.  I say suddenly, but time seemed to slow down in those moments, and there seemed nothing sudden about it.  I saw the hatch descending.  I knew what was happening and I knew that there was no time to avoid it.  The corner of the lid came down directly on my jugular vein.  In those few seconds, so very many things happened, and so very many thoughts crossed over and through my mind.

There was some commotion as my mom and her husband realized what had happened.  Her husband felt somehow responsible, when there was no cause for blame or fault.  I’m not sure if they understood the gravity of what was taking place, though.  Meanwhile, I placed my hand on my neck, feeling for blood.  At the same time, I assessed the corner of the lid, to determine whether it was a sharp corner or a smooth corner, and whether it was ragged, jagged or rusty.  It was a slightly smooth corner, which increased my odds of survival.  A sharp corner could have made a more acute injury.  I was still feeling for blood, and I considered all my first aid training.  I renewed my CPR and first aid certification last month, so the information was relatively fresh.  How long does it take to bleed out?  How long does it take to call 911?  How long would it take for responders to arrive?

I concluded that if the vein had been pierced, I had roughly three minutes left to live.  I also concluded that it would be pointless to call 911 (yet) and that my mom and her husband would be overly traumatized by any action they would need to take.  I took it calmly.  I thought about my boys.  I thought, what a shame for it to happen this way.  A freak accident, and that’s that.  That’s the thing about freak accidents.  They happen unexpectedly.  I wasn’t afraid of the dying process.  If I had three minutes, how would I spend those three minutes?  I had a deep sense of peace and calm.  No regret.  Nothing at all mattered.  At least, none of the things that I would have thought would matter, mattered –whether my house was in order, whether my paperwork was in order, whether my finances were in order, whether my work was in order.  There are so many details about dying that one can burden oneself with.  The thing is, if life is over, none of that stuff matters.  Of course it would be sad and difficult for those who survived me, to have to go through my things and sort out my business.  But none of that went through my mind in those moments.   Those things were of no concern to me.  If those were my last three minutes, I was glad that I was with my mom and my boys.  There was no time for anything other than to just love them for the moments remaining.

Calm acceptance.  I think that best describes the moment.  Calm acceptance, peace, and a wash of love.  I’m surprised that I didn’t feel horror that my boys would witness their mother’s tragic demise.  After the fact, when I think about this sort of thing, I am terribly horrified that my boys would ever see or experience such a thing.  But at that moment, it wasn’t in the realm of things that mattered.

I had a sudden, deep appreciation for the fragility of life, and the gift of life.  It’s truly a gift, to be given the opportunity to spend a lifetime, however short or long, on this planet.  There are so many things that distract me from savoring the joy of every breathing moment.  The stresses of life.  It’s such a crime to be overtaken by these stresses and allow them to rob me of my joy.

…shaking my head…

So.  No blood.  At least, no gushing wound.  Phew.  I was deeply relieved, but still concerned.  I wondered if the vein had been bruised or otherwise structurally damaged.  I was about to fly home, and wondered about the effect of pressure changes on a compromised artery.  I know that deep vein thrombosis is a concern for some, when flying.  I wondered if there was a chance that something catastrophic would happen, and thought to myself, “I’m not out of the woods yet.”

Thankfully, no puncture, no rupture, no clot (that I’m aware of).  It’s only a surface wound.  Thank God.

Close, but no cigar.

close, but no cigar

As always, I wish that I could cling to the epiphanies that I have and not allow the daily struggles to cloud my perspective.  I want my boys to grow up well and safe.  I want to raise them.  *I* want to.  Me!  I want to live life and value life.  I want to treasure every moment.

Now that the frightful moment is passed, I am grateful, GRATEFUL, that there was no tragedy, that my mother and her husband and my children were spared a traumatic and gruesome experience.  I am glad that I get to live another day.  I also wonder how many chances we get.  How many close calls do we experience that we are not even aware of?

Life is a gift –a beautiful, glorious privilege.

I am so very glad for it.

November 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
  1. Maybe it’s because of the weather.
  2. Maybe it’s because the holidays are approaching.
  3. Maybe it’s because of life changes.
  4. Maybe it’s because of shifting hormones.
  5. Maybe it’s because of the commute.
  6. Maybe it’s because of the job.
  7. Maybe it’s because of politics.
  8. Maybe it’s because of other people’s children.
  9. Maybe it’s because of my children.
  10. Maybe it’s because of school.
  11. Maybe it’s because of the economy.
  12. Maybe it’s because of the struggles my friends are going through.
  13. Maybe it’s because of the struggles that I am going through.
  14. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older.
  15. Maybe it’s because October 27th came and went and I’m missing my brother.
  16. Maybe it’s because I see my brother in my nephew.
  17. Maybe it’s because I wonder how my nephew is, without his dad.
  18. Maybe it’s because I’m missing my family.
  19. Maybe it’s because my kids have been sick.
  20. Maybe it’s because I’m sick now.
  21. Maybe it’s because I didn’t offer work to any of the people waiting outside Home Depot, hoping for some work.
  22. Maybe it’s because I said I wouldn’t help the guy standing outside the grocery store who asked me for food.
  23. Maybe it’s because he walked away while I scrounged through my groceries for things I could give him.
  24. Maybe it’s because I didn’t follow him and give them to him because I was late to pick up my kids.
  25. Maybe it’s because I wonder why a healthy looking young adult is standing outside a store asking for food.
  26. Maybe it’s because I wonder about the young couple who are working the intersection near my office.
  27. Maybe it’s because I wonder why they have decent clothes and a different outfit every day.
  28. Maybe it’s because I feel guilty for being judgmental.
  29. Maybe it’s because there was a dead mouse in the toilet.
  30. Maybe it’s because there were mouse droppings in the house.
  31. Maybe it’s because I heard some scraping sounds near a heater vent.
  32. Maybe it’s because it’s dark when I go to work.
  33. Maybe it’s because it’s dark when I get home.
  34. Maybe it’s because I miss my mom.
  35. Maybe it’s because I miss my sisters.
  36. Maybe it’s because I miss our family get-togethers.
  37. Maybe it’s because so many of my nephews and nieces are already grown.
  38. Maybe it’s because some of my nephews and nieces have kids of their own whom I’ve never met.
  39. Maybe it’s because so many of my friends are retiring.
  40. Maybe it’s because my kids melt down frequently.
  41. Maybe it’s because of the struggles I see other parents  have with their kids.
  42. Maybe it’s because I’m weary.
  43. Maybe it’s because of the daily homework struggle.
  44. Maybe it’s because of the challenge of managing childhood defiance.
  45. Maybe it’s because I’m healing.
  46. Maybe it’s because of technology overload.
  47. Maybe it’s because of sensory overload.
  48. Maybe it’s because the house is never clean for longer than 3 minutes.
  49. Maybe it’s because the laundry never ends.
  50. Maybe it’s just because I’m me, living the normal life that I live, and pretty much everyone is going through something similar.

shades of blue

Posted in depression, health, me
November 10th, 2013 | No Comments »

Poppy held to her decision and severed all ties with George.  One day, when she’s had sufficient time to heal, she may mourn him properly, but at this stage, she just doesn’t have the mental or emotional capacity.  Steve arrived abruptly, with George’s sudden departure.  It’s all been quite a shock, really.  Poppy and Steve have been getting to know one another, as cohabitants do.  I wouldn’t call it a romance, by any stretch of any imagination.  It’s more like an arrangement. Of necessity.  Oh sure, she did jump into forever with him.  And she really does want to have a long and comfortable relationship with him.  Happily ever after, in fact.   Right now, however, it’s either sink or swim, and sinking is hardly an option.

In one sense, Poppy’s been very stable.  Oh, occasionally something will happen and she will have a momentary lapse of sanity in which she behaves erratically, but those moments are few and generally last no more than an hour. In general, she’s been feeling very good.

That being said, life with Steve has been a cautious, tip-toeing dance, for the first few weeks.  Steve seems to be a sensitive sort, and has his own idiosyncrasies.  For instance, he does not like to be rushed.  How can I say that, in such a way as to express it properly?  He.  Does.  NOT.  Like.  To.  Be.  Rushed.  And he’s a bit of a moody, broody sort.  So he likes to handle certain things on his own terms, and as long as one complies with his terms, there is harmony in the land.  Okay, so be it.  This is part of learning to live together.  Everyone’s got their own personal boundaries that need to be respected.  Steve, bless  his soul, is very clear about expressing his boundaries.  Poppy could stand to take a page from that book.

As the weeks progress, Poppy has also begun to notice that there may be some areas in which Steve and George are very similar.  She’s choosing not to overreact to this knowledge, but to take heed and reflect on it.  The last thing she wants is to encourage any of these tendencies.  So she’s keeping a close watch on this Steve character.  Watching him like a hawk, even.

~*~*~*~

Installment 2 of the Poppy Saga.

Characters:
Poppy the pancreas.
George who likes to gorge.
Steve the sleeve.

~*~*~*~

It’s been just about 4 weeks since surgery, and I’m doing very well.  The first 2 weeks are liquids only, and the next two weeks are soft foods.  It’s a bit challenging, learning to eat anew.  It’s probably similar to what babies go through, as they are learning to eat.  Things like the size of  each bite and how much it must be chewed before swallowing are critically important.  The steri-strips have finally worn off the incision sites, and the scars remaining are slight.  I’ve had a bit of a struggle with waves of depression, off and on.  I also notice that I tire easily, and I’ve been respecting this by allowing myself to rest when I need it.

I will say this much.  I loathe (ab.so.lute.ly loaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaathe) protein powder.  When I’ve finished the tub that I have, I will never buy another.  Ever.  EVER.

That being said, it’s such a relief, not to be hungry!  It’s also a tremendous delight to look at a small portion of food and know that it can and will be filling and fulfilling (although obtaining sufficient nutritional intake is definitely a challenge).  All in all, it’s a very exciting journey.  I feel liberated, and I am looking forward to finding and restoring bits and pieces of myself that have been lost through the years, as I progress through this excavation.

I hope to do a better job than all the king’s horses and all the king’s men did with Humpty Dumpty.

Posted in health, me, VSG, weight loss