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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Perfect is in the eye of the beholder....

Is your home decked out for Christmas?  Presents all wrapped perfectly every year?  You wouldn't think of serving store bought cookies--the horror, they have to be rolled and cut and perfectly decorated.  Christmas cards---done in calligraphy and out before the 1st of December to people you don't even talk to but once a year. Perfect goody bags and treats for your kids classmates and teachers. You have presents and homemade gifts for every person who you come in contact with, from the mailman to the receptionist at your Drs. office don't you?  Yea---that was me!  And guess what?  I was miserable every stinkin' year.   By the time I got to my sister's tree trimming party I was grouchy and tired and not very much fun.   There was always an emptiness inside of me that I thought came because I didn't get any surprises.  Yea, that's right I said it. 

 I LOVE Christmas!  When I was a kid my brother and I would unwrap our presents from "Santa" and play with them and then wrap them back up with no one the wiser.  (he taught me all his tricks so when he was old enough to buy me presents he would booby trap his room so I couldn't touch them).  I would always feel that bit of disappointment on Christmas morning that I ruined some of the magic.  Then as I got older my brother and sister would spoil me crazy rotten!  I got so many amazing gifts from them and it was so much fun waiting for the time to open them.  Then my boyfriends used to spoil me after that and the Christmas magic continued.  It wasn't greed, in my defense, it was the excitement of not knowing what was in those boxes.  It didn't matter what it was it was that anticipation.  Almost like the having your first kiss every year--.

My family consists of thoughtful and loving people.  We are always thinking about how to make other's lives happy or easier.  It became almost a contest to see who could get me the most excited at Christmas.  I was spoiled.  Things changed when I met my ex husband.  Christmas for him was more about getting things you need and not things you wanted.  Luckily my sister kept my magic alive every year and once my nephew and niece came along the magic became making them the most excited on Christmas morning.  That was magic for me in a whole different way.  Then, my son was born.  I converted my ex husband to the "dark side" of Christmas of want and not need.   Luckily for my kids.  They had and still have magical Christmases.  Every single item on their list was checked off no matter what had to be done to do it.  Seeing them on Christmas morning was my happiness.  But all the extra stuff--the stuff I did for appearances (decorations, cards, cookies, gifts, goody bags) did not bring me joy.  It only brought me stress.

I realized this year that when my daughter was born in 2003 was when I stopped getting everything done before Christmas.  I just realized this year that it is because I wait until after her birthday to start Christmas stuff because I never want her birthday to be mixed in with Christmas. So instead of it all getting done Thanksgiving weekend (the decorating, tree, Christmas card pics) it was getting pushed off until after December 8th.  So every year less and less got done.  This year I did nothing.  That's right, you heard me---nothing!  Not one Christmas decoration is up in my house.  No lights outside.  No cards done.  No presents for anyone except my family and my daughter's teacher (which I must admit I threw together the night before the last day of school).  But guess what?  I am FULL of joy and excitement about Christmas.  Cookies were baked this year.  Snuggling and movie watching occurs almost nightly.  We went out looking at lights. I decided no full blown turkey dinner this year--it's BBQd steak, mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole (I promised my 16 year old), the tree decorating was the most fun I can remember us having doing the task...EVER.  And guess what?  I'm sure they will never say "hey remember that Christmas when mom didn't send out cards or decorate?"  I bet it will be, "remember that year when Mom just relaxed and enjoyed Christmas?"  And isn't that what it's all about?

So, next year when you are stressing away trying to get it all done I want you to stop and think about it.  Who is this for anyway?  Is it really that important to anyone if the crooked wreath gets hung?  If it is that important to someone then by all means do it!  But don't rob your joy for things that you *think* are important just because you've always done it that way.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours <3 

Monday, December 8, 2014

When in doubt, look up!

Remember a few entries back I said I was different.  That I didn't feel things as deeply.  Well0I'm back to feeling.  Not sure if I like it or not.  Army commercials, FB posts etc are hitting me hard.  Tears streaming down my face in the middle of a college baseball recruiting speech.  Crying at Christmas Carols at my daughter's sing a long.  I'm definitely back to my old self.  What's changed?  A lot!

First, I've been praying a lot more.  Asking God to keep me in the present and let the future take care of itself.  I've been mindful and being present in the current moment and that helps me be happier and grateful.  I have a good life and so much to be grateful for.  Interestingly enough, a stroll down memory lane preparing for my daughter's 11th birthday made me realize that my kids and I are very blessed.  I realized that while I'm a very optimistic person, I have a nasty tendency to pick out the negative in any given situation and that's what changes my perception of past events.  I'm working hard on fixing that and it's making me feel joy again.  I missed joy!  I was very focused on future destinations and was failing to smell the tulips along the way.

The college coach was telling the boys that they wouldn't be seeing their families much because summers would be spent doing camps in different parts of the country.  The tears started flowing.  Chances are that within the next 18 months it will just be me and my daughter at home.  Where will home be?  Will we stay here?  Will we move closer to my boys?  Who knows!  Then I realized it's been 30 years since I lived in the same state as my parents and 10 years since I've lived near my siblings and precious nieces and godsons/nephews and I still consider myself to have a very close bond with them.  Looking back over pictures from the last 11 years they are there through it all.  So, in actuality, distance doesn't really matter--what matters is making an effort to remain in each other's hearts and minds and lives.  Will my kids do that????  I pray they will. This is all part of my lessons.  The not needing a timeline or guarantee of what's coming next.  

It's times like these that I wish I had a partner.  Someone to take charge when I'm feeling weak, someone to hold me when I'm crying, someone who will allow me to do the same for them.  Then I realize that I do.  He's just a prayer away and He knows how it's all going to turn out anyway.  I'm just along for the ride.  And what a ride it is <3

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

It's the holiday season.  Some love it, others loathe it.  Are you a grinch, scrooge or are you Santa himself?  Have you ever given any thought as to why you feel the way you do about the holidays? I have run the gamut of emotions towards this time of the year.   I always looked forward to Thanksgiving because there were foods I didn't get any other time of the year.  I always anticipated the day with such joy, I'm not sure why. I would get so excited when people would be coming over and the smells in the house and the preparation.  It was all so out of the ordinary and I loved that.  Looking back, I spent a great deal of time alone during those holiday celebrations.  I never had anyone my age and back then children were seen and not heard.  My uncle Tommy was someone that I just loved being around.  He rarely paid attention to me looking back, but there was something about him that I just adored!  And he was funny, he would tell stories that had everyone laughing (they of course went over my head but I was enthralled with him nonetheless).  My mother never sat.  Looking back I never remember her enjoying the actual company at Thanksgiving, she was always in the kitchen and as years passed my sister was in there with her.  Did they enjoy the day?  Not sure.  My dad did, that's for sure.  He loved it.  Having everyone over, playing host---that's his thing.  I remember him at the head of the table and my Uncle Tommy at the other.  It was safe for me, and comforting.

As the years passed our Thanksgiving turned into less extended family and our family friends came over.  Those were memories I loved!  It's funny, but now that I'm older the family dynamics of the fact that my aunts and uncles were also my dad's siblings gives me a lot of aha moments that I didn't have back then.  The family dynamics that can make or break a holiday.  Once the holiday became quieter and it was our closest family friends over I definitely enjoyed it more, was included more.  The children should be seen and not heard dynamic was gone more or less because we weren't little anymore.  The stories didn't go as far over my head as they used to.  It was more fun for me.

Then it became a day for just our immediate family and our significant others.  Those were more ordinary (like a regular dinner) a little more stressful (who had to leave at what time to get to their boyfriend/girlfriends family) ---the times had changed.  Then my parents moved to Florida and for a few years it was very lost during Thanksgiving.  My brother would go to his in laws and my sister and I would go to my Aunts.  It was odd.  It felt strange.  I'll never forget the first year I didn't see anyone in my family on Thanksgiving and the food was so much different than I grew up with. I can feel it like it was this morning---it was awful.  That's when I decided I would cook Thanksgiving dinner until the day came that I was physically unable to do it again.

So, in 1988 I started making Thanksgiving dinner and it was hosted at my home every year since.  I've missed a few (one the year I moved and once when I was back in NY for Thanksgiving) but other than that Thanksgiving is MY holiday. When Richie turned 5 I started a tradition of giving him a nutcracker every year on Thanksgiving and Danny got a snowman.  My goal was that when they moved out of my home they would have their own set of Christmas decorations for their own home.  Emily came along and I started her on angels. They look forward to that every year and they each have a nice collection already!   Some years it bothers me that my kids don't have a lot of family coming over or anyone other than us.  But whenever I suggest inviting anyone or doing something different they look at me like I'm nuts.  They love it just being the 4 of us.  We started a new tradition of going and seeing a movie after dinner (I started that knowing I would be getting divorced and I didn't want that first Thanksgiving after the divorce to be weird--I worried for nothing!) Last year nothing was playing so we had a Santa Clause 1 2 and 3 marathon.  They have great memories.  No stress, no strife, nothing but food and football, family and fun.  And the food?  I have it down to a science--I even get to sit and watch the parade <3 I'm typing this my daughter came into the room and said "It's almost Thanksgiving mama.  I can't wait for the food!  You always make the best food!"   And with THAT I am very very Thankful xoxoxo

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Letting go and moving on...

If the movie Frozen has taught the world anything it's to "Let it Go".  Now, over the years I have learned to let go of lots of things.  Anger.  Bitterness.  Frustration.  Insecurities. Fear.  People. Perfectionism. Judgements. Critical attitudes.  The list goes on.  I was thinking, I am rocking this releasing and letting go stuff.  I've got it all under control.  Oh. Control. riiiiigggghhhhttt...Yea, I haven't actually mastered letting go of that yet!  I thought I had. However, there is one part of my life that I just can't seem to let go of control.

When my kids were little I was a control freak mom.  They had to look perfect.  Matching outfits for the whole family for holidays.  I was over the top.  I used to stress myself out so much tending to the details of birthday parties and wrapping and just every flipping detail.  And I am NOT a detail oriented person.  As I got older I realized it wasn't worth the struggle.  I was trying to impress people that quite frankly I didn't even like.  Trying to portray the perfect family.  Yeaaahhhh, that was a load of crap.  I became so much happier when I stopped doing that!  So were my kids. OK, so I got this right?  I was cooking with gas.

When my oldest started driving I was a crazy control freak---I made him check in constantly and it was just over the top.  I didn't know how to be the mother of a teenager.  We finally worked that out and I let go of the reins a bit.  I kept telling myself when he's in college I won't know what he's doing.  And I was OK with it (felt guilty for being okay with it actually, but I learned).  Now that the middle one is out with his friends all the time and driving I'm OK.  I'm letting go and it's easy peasy.  I've got this right?  I only offer my advice when it's asked for (which luckily my boys DO still ask) and I don't get all pissy if they don't take it.  That's a huge step for me!  So, what else do I need to learn for cryin' out loud.

Relationships.  Yes,  That's my problem.  And I've gotten better with that for sure!  I have had a lot of people come and go in my life and I used to struggle with walking away from relationships.  It's gotten easier as I've realized that some people come into your life for a reason, a season and very few for a lifetime.  Some people are a blessing and others are a lesson.  Usually I can tell the difference.  My intuition guides me in the right direction and when I trust it I can guarantee my decision will be the right one.  The problem is, sometimes I doubt that intuition and that's when the trouble ensues.  When I was younger I would get all angry at certain things and fly off the handle when I felt I was being treated unfairly.  I am a very all or nothing person.  I don't like to waste time with things or people that are bringing me sadness or stress.  I'm also a loving and caring person.  When I love you, I love you with everything I am.  I'm a loyal, loving and I'll give you whatever I have and do whatever I can to help you.  The flip side of my personality is that if you treat me badly and show yourself to not be deserving of my devotion and you betray me well I can write you off and never look back.  I don't have guilt about it either, because up until that time I have given everything I could to the relationship.  I have had pretty much every person that I have left behind in my life come back at some point and want to reconnect.  I am forgiving to a fault and I will forgive and move on.  So, I have the let it go stuff pretty much under control right?  Maybe.

There is one relationship in my life that I just can't seem to let go of.  I don't want to, that's probably it.  It's the first time in my life I can't just walk away with a clean break.  It's frustrating me.  It's not benefiting me in any way.  It's breaking my heart and stressing me out actually.  So why can't I just let it go?  My intuition is saying that I'm not supposed to.  But how do I know that it's not just wishful thinking?  How am I supposed to move forward in my life? When everything I see is pointing one way so obviously, why does my heart say no, that's not how it is.  This has never happened to me before and quite frankly it's left me very sad and frustrated.  I've spent the last nearly 20 years learning to let go of that which is bringing more negative than positive into my life yet I can't seem to get past this one.  Some days I do great and feel like it's all good, I'm moving on and past it and yet others it's as fresh as it was on day 1.  I know that whatever I am supposed to take from this will come to me and help me be better and stronger in the long run.  I just wish the long run wasn't taking so long.  In the meantime, I will practice letting go and call on my angels and God to help me through it and take each day as it comes.  After's just a day in the life <3

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Popping my Bubble

With all the changes I've gone through in the past 3-5 years it is only natural that new people and places come into my life.  I don't like change.  I don't like new.  But, the next half of my life is calling and I need to answer it.  So many people and things have told me I need to let go of the past.  I need to be open to new experiences and new people and whatever life has in store for me.  I'm trying.  That doesn't mean I have to like it.  I used to be able to have a conversation with just about anyone.  I used to be able to make new friends quickly and easily.  I don't like that anymore.  Of course, if you ask any of my friends who have been out with me in public they will tell you that I still have that "gift", I do still strike up conversations with people but I'm not as comfortable doing it as I used to be.  I enjoy living in my little bubble.  I'm kinda pissed that it keeps getting popped.

I'm sort of up in arms this year about my son having to work on Thanksgiving.  It's the first year ever we won't eat dinner as a family.  If you've been reading my blog all along you will know that family dinner is kinda a big deal to me.  I've adjusted to only having it once or twice a week.  I don't like it, but I've put on my big girl panties and I've adjusted.  But THANKSGIVING?  Really?  That's like the biggest family dinner day of the year, just sayin'.  It's an entire day dedicated to dinner.  And this year, there will be one chair empty at our table.  But as my snarky 20 year old informed me today "You know what's great about holidays Ma?  As long as we don't die we get another one next year!"    Yes, I did want to smack him (just kidding, kinda) but he's right.  It's just one.  But its the FIRST one.  And this has opened up a whole new world for me.

I have never considered the many, many people who have to work on holidays.  I have been up in arms about the whole Black Friday running into Thanksgiving fiasco, but I never thought about the people that work at restaurants or movie theaters or grocery stores that have to work too!  I remember one year when I still lived in New York and I hosted Thanksgiving for my family every year I forgot to get heavy cream for the mashed potatoes.  Now, this is not the end of the world by any means.  But, since 7-11 was open 24 hrs a day anyway I did send my ex out to get it from 7-11.  I specifically told him under no circumstances to go to the grocery store.  I wanted creamy potatoes, but I still had standards after all :)  Then a few years back we got a bad turkey.  I knew it smelled funky, but I cooked it anyway.  Ohhhh MMMMM  GGGGG!  The smell in the house was rancid!  Thanksgiving was ruined!  Well, I figured the grocery store people were there anyway so I went over and picked up a small turkey breast to save Thanksgiving.  I felt guilty about it though, not going to lie, and if they weren't open oh well, we wouldn't have had turkey that year.  Not a travesty!  Anyway, where was I ?  Oh right--my bubble being popped!

Last night I went out with some friends for a late night snack and the manager of the restaurant was chatting with us when we said how empty the restaurant was.  I asked about Christmas and Thanksgiving (I'm obsessed I tell you!  This outrage is not ok with me) and he told me they are packed from open to close on both holidays.  My jaw dropped open.  I said "There are that many people with no where to go and have to eat alone?"  (tears were brimming...I was ready to hang a sign up on my door to take them in) he said, "Oh no! There are families packing this place"....WHAT????  People don't stay home or go to family on holidays?  Seriously?  I felt like Alice in Wonderland when she fell down the rabbit hole.  Now I went from feeling bad for the workers to feeling bad for these families.  No home cooked meal on a holiday?  No smells in the kitchen? No pretty table decorations?  No LEFTOVERS? Pop went my bubble.  There is a whole other world that goes on outside my door I tell you and I wasn't sure I liked it.  No, I definitely didn't like it!  Being the obsessed, crazed woman I am I mulled it over before bed, and then again today--a lot.  Then I realized....maybe these people ENJOY their traditions.  Maybe the people that work on the holidays don't all mind it.  Maybe it's not a huge deal to them, kinda like I despise New Years Eve (I'd love to work on New Years eve I tell ya!).  Who says my way is the right way?  There is a whole other way of doing things out there obviously.  None that I think I prefer, but out there nonetheless.  

Now that my bubble is popped I am eager to see what else I've been missing.  Who knows?  2015 might bring a whole new me <3

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Watching boys become men.....

My sons are the loves of my life.  Don't get me wrong I ADORE my daughter but my boys...well they are my boys.

When they were little I spent practically every waking moment with them.  I think I lived my life in a bubble.  I never thought about what they'd be like when they were adults, I just relished in their childhood and their presence no matter what age they were.  Thinking about the future for me back then entailed the current year we were in.  I never thought about them growing up and not needing me every second.  When they would drive, or work or date or grow up and leave our home.  So, each milestone hit me like a ton of bricks once they reached high school age.  When my oldest left for college I thought I would have to be committed.  I was devastated.  But, it became the new normal and we all adjusted.  It became the next stage of life.  And it was all OK.  He came home this year and decided not to go back to school, another adjustment---we did it, all of us.  It's again the new normal. Then my younger son got his license and that was it---I never see him.  Now, he's working---the nights that we can have family dinner are dwindling down to maybe 1 a week.  It's OK, I adjusted it's a new normal.  Yesterday he said to me, "Wow, mom I haven't been alone with you in the car in forever!"  It was nice to chat with him in depth without interruption.  I had the same thing with my oldest this week a few times, things I used to take for granted, just talking to my boys is now a cherished happening.  It's nice to know they cherish it too.  I'm blessed.  Most kids their age take their parents for granted and don't really WANT to spend any time with them.  That's how I was at that age.  Which leads me to my thoughts today.....

Most parents want certain things from and for their kids.  I always ALWAYS only wanted them to be happy.  Do I relish when they succeed?  Absolutely!  I love when their grades are high and they are given an award, do well during a baseball game---all of that.  But that's my ego, not my heart.  My heart---it just wants them to be happy.  I realize that most of my childhood and most people I know are superficial.  It's all about how it looks to people. The status of their jobs, their cars, their bank accounts.   I don't give a shit about any of that anymore.  I get annoyed when I talk to those who are in that mindset---actually, I think I've cut out pretty much everyone who does for the most part.  Maybe occasionally interacting on Face book, that's about all I can handle.  Life is so much more than that!

I had a conversation with my oldest yesterday about how people take their jobs so seriously it's ridiculous.  Unless you are saving lives, really?  Does your job mean THAT much?  People put their entire worth into what they do for a living.  It's sad to me.  You are supposed to work to live not live to work.  Life is about relationships and family and food and fun and enjoying---not the bottom line!  However, with that being said, my family has an amazing work ethic.  We do the best at whatever we are given to do.  I am proud of that.  My nieces, nephews, siblings and my own children all have that ethic.  My parents are amazing role models in this behavior.  No matter what task they undertook they did it to the best of their ability (which, not gonna lie, is better than most people's abilities, just sayin').

I have always babied my kids.  I did everything for them.  Never asking them to so much as empty the garbage when they were younger.  Never made their beds, put laundry away, did dishes, hell didn't even prepare their own breakfast until they were like 14.  When my oldest went off to school he accused me of making him unable to care for himself.  Wow-slap in the face---but he had a point!  So, with that I started making them do certain things for themselves.  It made me worry that I had raised spoiled, inept human beings who had a sense of entitlement.  Crap.  That would suck. Then my oldest got a job---that kid busted his ass every day in 115 degree heat with rarely a complaint.  Never called in, never left early, never took a day off.  Thank God, he has it!  He has the work ethic.  Do whatever you do to the best of your ability.  He told me the other day that when he's put in charge at work he's very fair.  He even gave me credit for teaching him how to be fair, that was a nice plus :)

Now his younger brother has joined the work force.   He's got the same attitude.  He didn't love not getting home until midnight the other night when he was supposed to be finished at 9 and had to leave the house at 8 am for baseball.  But he did it.  Kept a positive attitude about it.  He makes me so proud!  These boys were raised in an environment that depicted work as something to complain about....something to make you miserable, but something that had to be done and in effect defined who you were.  I'm so glad they didn't take any of that into their personalities.  I'm so happy that their genetics won out where that was concerned.  My dad is a HUGE role model for my boys.  They take their cues from him and they couldn't ask for a better example.  I'd like to think that my influence has given them the ability to see what's important in life and how to find balance.   I love that they look forward to time spent together as a family at this stage in their lives.

Being in this phase of life, with my boys branching off and starting their own lives and my role in those lives being reduced to a supporting cast member, it's hard to remember what it was like when we spent 24/7 together and life was just us and the only outside influence was when and who I chose.  This just seems normal and right.  I truly thought when I got to this stage I'd be devastated and living in the past and melancholy---but I'm happy and excited to see what this stage brings.  Just like every other stage with my kids---I never rushed it, just enjoyed it and learned from it.  After all----it's just a day in the life <3

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Is it worth it? Or is single better?

This is going to be an all over the place kind of entry.  I am warning you ahead of time, but I've been toying with these thoughts for a while and I am not sure I can tie it all up in a nice neat bow but here goes.

I've been divorced nearly 3 years.  I haven't regretted it for a split second.  That being said, I have had the easiest divorce probably in history.  My kids, for the most part have adjusted in a way most people dream of.  It's all part of the plan I know.  That doesn't mean I am an advocate for divorce in any way, shape or form.  I tell everyone that comes to me asking about divorce that if there is a smidgen of love left in your marriage then fight for it!  Don't give up. Where there is love, there is hope.  However, if there isn't any love then by all means do what you need to do for everyone concerned.

I never knew divorced couples until I became one.  I'm sure there were plenty around me, but they didn't come into my direct circle until I started thinking seriously about divorce.  Coincidence?  No such thing.  It was God's way of guiding me, helping me and I was bringing these people into my life through my thoughts and the Law of Attraction.  Now that I am divorced, holy shit, left and right everyone around me is getting divorced!  Is it our age?  The 20 something year mark for marriage?  Maybe.  However, if a relationship isn't working all along I guess that's the time when enough is enough.  There are still those people who stay together for the rest of their lives being miserable too.

Since I got divorced whenever anyone is unhappy in their relationship they are drawn to talk to me about it.  I understand that.  I'm the woman with the Scarlet letter so obviously their sins are safe with me.  They also must figure that I won't be shocked by anything they say---they are right.  I am also not a judgemental person so that makes me easy to confide in. Every body's stories are similar.  I can see both sides in most situations.  It's never one persons fault--in MOST cases.  Which leads me to my it worth it?

We all come into relationships with expectations and our own baggage.  Most of us start our marriages in our teens or  20s when we truly don't know who the hell we are.   While we are trying to figure that out we can be selfish.  Mean.  Controlling.  Jealous.  And patterns are formed.  "Well I'm not going to do A because she doesn't let me do B."  "No, you can't go out with your friends, I never get to go out with MY friends" people are afraid to give in too frequently for fear of being taking advantage of and communication breaks down.  Feelings are hurt, egos are bruised and walls are built.  After years of these behaviors, relationships become broken and sometimes irreparable.   Someone asked me "so how do you fix it?"  I said well one of you has to love enough to put their own feelings aside and check their ego at the door.  It's important to explain to your partner that you understand where they are coming from.  Tell them you know what you've done wrong.  It's not going to happen overnight, but eventually the change can happen.  But the other party has to be willing too.

It's possible.  It can happen.  But it takes a lot of work, a lot of prayer and a lot of work (yes, I know I said that already).  I feel like everyone is afraid to be alone.  So, people stay together for fear of being alone.  They stay together for "the kids".  The list goes on.  It's all bullshit.  And it makes for very unhappy people.  How is that good for the kids?  The day I realized I was finally going to get divorced was when I looked at my daughter and thought - "What kind of example is she getting?  What is she going to think a marriage looks like?"  That did it for me.  My sons have confirmed that life is much more peaceful and happy since the divorce.  I'm happy.  That makes my kids happy.  

People afraid to be alone.  Why?  If you don't like your own company, you have bigger issues than an unhappy relationship. OR maybe that's why your relationship is unhappy--you are looking for someone else to fulfill your every need---not gonna happen. Is it scary to do things alone after a lifetime of being with someone?  Yea it can be.  I was never not in a relationship since I was 16 years old.  It is weird.  But it's peaceful.  It makes me wonder if being single is better.  I do what I want, when I want with who I want.  I don't have to hear any crap from anyone about it.  It's nice.  A lot of my friends who are divorced are in new relationships.  Some are engaged to be married again.  At the beginning of the new relationship it was all sunshine and roses (literally, the roses--damn they all got a lot of flowers), being wined and dined and all the beautiful new beginnings that relationships bring.  And then reality sets in.  Old patterns are repeated.  Both people react to each other anticipating that the new partner is going to behave like their ex---it's just exhausting.  Is it worth it?  I don't think so.  At the risk of sounding like a bitter, cynical woman I will admit that maybe it's just because for the first time in my life I am not putting anyone else's feelings before my own.  I am learning to find my voice.  I am figuring out what I like and what I don't.  It's about damn time.  I am also learning how to say no without guilt.  It's an amazing feeling of freedom.  I think the longer I am alone the harder it will be to be with someone. Or maybe, I will figure out why all my past relationships have failed and I'll find the magic mix of loving someone so deeply yet not repeating the mistakes.  I'm realizing all the things that I did wrong in relationships---and trying to fix them.  So maybe, just maybe, one day I will feel differently.  Maybe I will feel that it IS worth it.   But in the meantime, I'm enjoying being alone (as alone as a woman with 3 kids can be lol) 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This too shall pass....sometimes WAY too quickly!

I'm at a crossroads in my life.  I have spent the better part of 20 years being a mommy.  It started with the sleepless nights (and days, my oldest literally never slept!), then the days where my entire day was scheduled around naptime.  I used to have maybe 2 hours a day that I could leave my house when someone wasn't napping.  Then there were the playdates, those were some of the best days of my life, meeting my friends and their kids either at each other's houses or the park or Chuck E Cheese, or Discovery Zone.  I loved that time in my life.  Then I had baby number 2 and it started all over again.  Only adding to that was preschool and all of that fun stuff.  I also added baseball, soccer, scouts, Religious Education classes that I taught, PTA positions,volunteering non stop at school, coordinating the Altar Servers at church, the list is endless!  Then I home schooled for 7 years.  In those years I added baby #3 and moved across the country.  I then added dance classes, more baseball and eventually school again.  I never had a moment to myself during that time.  There were days when I would have to sit in the parking lot of the grocery store for 2 hours on the phone to get some privacy.  My kids wondered how it could take 2 hours to get butter.  

While I still don't have any privacy (my kids question all my comings and goings) I have so much free time lately it's culture shock!  No more travel baseball (due to injury and school ball), no more dance (for now, it will be back) and my oldest 2 drive now so I don't have to take them anywhere.  It was shocking enough to be able to go out without worrying about a babysitter when they got old enough to watch their sister, but this freedom is crazy.  I'd be lying if I didn't say it freaked me out at first.  I felt lost.  I didn't know what to do with myself.  I spent a lot of time puttering around the house.  I was bored.  I HATE that word and I never thought in a MILLION years I'd EVER be bored. See, a lot of my friends are still in the throws of mommyhood that I was in not too long ago (six months to be exact) so I have a lot of time to myself.  Now would be the time to rekindle the romance in my marriage, only THIS is a big reason why I ended my marriage--the thought of having all this time with JUST my ex sent me into a dry heaving cold panic.  I'd rather be alone.  In fact I needed to have this time to myself.  I've since joined a bunch of groups of people that are in the same stage in their life in hopes of meeting some kindred spirits.  It's just taken me a bit of time to adjust to the fact that it's okay to think about myself :)

I see all these parents complaining and stressing and going through the motions of what I went through the last 20 years.  They seem so harried and can't find a free minute to themselves.  I wish I had know then what I know now.  I would have enjoyed it more.  I did enjoy it for the most part, I'm not gonna lie.  It was only the times when 3 things hit on 1 day that I would stress.  I enjoyed spending time with my kids when they were little and truth be told I still prefer their company to anyone elses.  Dinners together have now become like gold, because with the older ones working and their social stuff it's not that easy.  What I love is that my boys treasure it too.  They know when it's possible to have family time we take it.  Although I'm not as much a part of the details of their lives anymore I know that this is just another phase of my life and of theirs.  They are in the spring and summers and I am in the autumn.  I'm still reminding myself to enjoy each and every stage and finally not taking it all too seriously.  After all.....this too shall pass <3

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Grateful for music....

I love technology.  I know people say it’s a curse, double edged sword and all that jazz but I am a technology junkie.  I am especially grateful for my IPOD.  I was in the car for 6 ½ hours yesterday and with my IPOD as my companion the hours flew.  I didn’t have to listen to the same song twice, there were no commercials, no channel flipping, no songs I didn’t like-it was bliss!  I remember taking trips as a family when I was a child.  They were never long trips, usually just to visit one of my Aunts, but the 5 of us in a sedan with no air conditioning and only the radio with my father in control of the channels- oy vey!  One trip in particular stood out.  My sister got my dad to put on “normal” music and she was singing along and my brother burst out laughing and said to her “Please, Deb!  Stop singing, you couldn’t carry a tune if it had a handle!”  I was sitting in between them, on the dreaded hump in the back seat.  I cracked up laughing and then felt bad a few seconds later---how mean!  But dear God, so true!  I love my sister like no other, but the girl can’t sing—what I would have given for an IPOD or a Walkman or even just earplugs back then!
           My kids have always been good on car trips.  Hell, we drove across the country when Emily was almost a year old and it was cake.  We are not big on talking in the car on long trips.  We all pretty much settle in with our respective IPods’ or video games (not me, clearly I’m driving, remember lol) and have a quiet, contented ride.  Yesterday I felt such a range of emotions.  Those songs transported me to so many different times in my life.  The words and melodies brought memories of different people and my mind was flooded with all kinds of feelings.  I sang happily along with Katy Perry, Pink, and Lady Gaga.  I was reminded of my sister when “Beach Baby” came on and reminded of how we used to sing along with the Carpenters in her blue dodge swinger when “Top of the World” came on.  Boz Scaggs and Billy Joel remind me of the summer of 1980 spent in my brother’s truck driving all over Long Island.  Erasure conjures up memories of driving around in my friend Kim’s black Jetta on our lunch hour in the early 90s.  I cried when “Right Here” by Miley Cyrus came on, reminded of my niece Jessie when she left after a visit and told Danny that was their song.  “The Nearness of You” will always make me think of my parents dancing cheek to cheek at whatever wedding or party we would be at and my dad would request that song for my mother.  “Club Can’t Handle me”---my niece Katey’s sweet 16 party, lighting her candle and driving Danny to baseball-he had to listen to that song before every game!  “Babe” “Greased Lightening” “After the Loving”, -my first love. 

           Music has the ability to invoke so many emotions in me.  Yesterday, I felt the full spectrum of emotions during the day.  My IPOD certainly helped that along.  I remembered singing to my babies when they were little, I was brought back to heartbreaks I’ve had through my life, happy times dancing in the kitchen with the boys when they were little-which made me laugh and cry.  I’ll never forget when I realized that music had a huge impact on me emotionally.  I took a quiz that was about your senses and what soothes you.  I never realized that sounds and smells were so effective at soothing my soul.  How sad is that, that I was so removed from what made ME happy that I needed a quiz to make me realize that lighting a candle and playing certain music could put me in a happy place almost instantly.  And luckily, with my IPOD on hand, I have 1200 hand selected songs that can take me wherever I want to go.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

How can I be sure?

Is it something I've said?  I've been so in the vortex lately---feeling good, staying positive, and yet this weekend I've had a huge dose of negative reality smack me in the face.  What gives?

I've finally become comfortable explaining to myself why I am the way I am....why I think the thoughts I do, why I feel the way I feel.  I finally GET me.  (only took 49 years, but I'm a slow learner apparently--better late than never I always say) Now all of a sudden everyone around me is demanding to know why I do the things I do and why I feel the way I feel and why I am behaving the way I am.  I don't want to argue.  I'm over arguing.  I truly can't do it anymore.  I surrender.  Waving the white flag and going peacefully into my hut.  But unfortunately, the people around me are not taking that for an answer.  I don't know what to do.  I can only cut so many people out of my life (and I have and I do!) there are certain people who are related to me or too important to me for me to do that.  So what can I do?  I don't know.  I'm trying so hard to keep my feelings to myself, not spew every thought that comes into my head out loud or on paper or in text---but some people take that as an insult.  I can't help that.  This is a case where "it's not you it's me" is truly real!  But no one will take it as an answer.  How about none of your damn business, is that a better response?  Somehow I don't think that would go over well at all!

My family is dealing with some pretty serious stuff at the moment.  Un-chartered territory, murky waters, sadness, reality checks, and possibly some devastation coming on the horizon.  Luckily, my siblings and I are bonding together in this time of crisis---thank GOD.  I hear so many horror stories and I always knew deep down we wouldn't be one of them, but it's such a great feeling to know that my sister and brother and I are, at the core, connected in a way that we aren't with any other people on the planet.  But that makes me wonder----have I instilled the same in my children?   In the face of adversity and sorrow and grief and devastation, would they band together?  Would they support me the way my siblings and I are supporting my parents?  Whether we agree with them or not?  This is weighing on me.

My sister posted something on her face book wall yesterday ---- A letter from mom and dad to their kids about growing older and please have patience.  I know I'm a good daughter.  I have no doubts about that.  What I got from it was---will my kids look at me when I'm old and say that I was a good mom?  Was I patient?  Will they remember the good times we've had, the times I was there for them and all the things I have lovingly done for them?  Or will they only remember the times I was having a bad day?  Or the times I said "Not now!" or shouted because I was overwhelmed?  I hope it's a blend.  I don't want them to think of me as perfect, but damn, I hope they remember the good things outweighed the bad.  My oldest son is in a phase of life right now where he looks at me like I'm pathetic.  He doesn't agree with anything I say and when I get annoyed at his constant argumentative behavior he gets so upset with me.  I went from having the greatest relationship with my kids to feeling like I can't do anything right.  Will it always be this way?  Is THIS the time that they will remember?   When their mom was going through a huge transformation in her life?  According to my oldest I was a horrible mother.  All the times I set up legos or Power Rangers or painted or baked cookies or kissed boo boos, or woke him up to see a meteor shower or slept on the couch with him when he was sick or arranged the first ever YuGiOh tournament at my house complete with prizes for his friends is forgotten.  All he remembers are the times I punished him "unfairly" or the times I was too strict and the fact that his siblings have a kinder, gentler, less stressed mommy.  It makes me frozen in fear to parent sometimes.  When I was growing up I wouldn't dare call my parents out on such things.  But then again, when I was his age my parents had moved 2500 miles away from me, so I don't know what would have happened if we still lived together.

My middle son is going through changes now, and we are navigating our relationship through the twists and turns.  I don't know how many more changes I can take, to be honest.  I just want peace and to be a good mom and maybe someday to have someone to share my golden days with.  I am distancing myself from everyone around me to a degree.  And my son is taking it personally.  He is afraid I am changing because of things my older one said.  I am to a degree but why can't I just BE who I am and not answer to anyone?  I'm not asking for anyone else to change why do people always expect so much from me?  I'm tired.  I'm spent.  I'm emotionally vacant sometimes.  I'm living in the moment and it's making life so much easier for me.  Unfortunately, I can't make everyone else live that way so their demands and questions and plans do affect me.  It seems to me every time the seasons change I am faced with a challenge.  When spring changed to summer I was so overwhelmed I couldn't breathe.  Summer brought me a happy, joyful, peaceful time.  Now summer is turning to autumn and I want to run away again.  I want to go back to a time when I lived at home with MY siblings and I want to be with them again on a daily basis and witness life as just a sister and a daughter and enjoy it fully knowing it doesn't last forever.  Then maybe I can come back to THIS time in my life and realize the same thing......or maybe I just did <3

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sometimes you just need to say...... is the middle of September already---where has this year gone?  Today was a great day.  I've had a lot of those lately.  It's all in the change in my perspective.   I've had a lot of walks down memory lane recently, all phases and stages of my life and I have realized that I've spent too much of my life by looking at what could be wrong, or anticipating something going wrong and forgetting to enjoy the good stuff.  And there is a lot of good stuff in my life. On September 1st I started a 30 day gratitude challenge.  It turns out it's not a challenge at all---my only challenge is what to choose for that day, I always have more than 1 thing to post.  Some are kept to myself for lots of reasons but they are still things I'm grateful for.

My new philosophy has changed a lot in my life.  I always wind up exactly where I want to be, not always exactly WHEN I want to be there and that used to cause me stress.  I've slowly, painfully and slowly lol decided to let go of the stupid time frames in my head.  Not going to lie, the fact that I'm turning 50 in January has been stressing me out a bit.  I am not where I thought I'd be in my life at 50 but then again, divorce and cancer and moving across the country and all the crap in between wasn't really in my future plans so how could I be?  The other morning I was in the gastroenterologist's office filling out the 75 pages of paperwork and when it came to my emergency contact information I froze.  I don't HAVE one of those anymore--- I'm single....and alone....2500 miles away from my family, what good would THEY do as an emergency contact.  I felt tears well up in my eyes (I know right?  What a friggin baby!)  I decided to put my sons down.  My oldest wouldn't answer the phone if God called (yes, yes, he IS my child) and my middle son is underage but they didn't ask for their ages so that's what I chose.  Moving on I got over myself (kinda, sorta, I was still upset, not gonna lie) but I still felt so alone!  Then I go into the Dr. and find out I have to have a procedure and they need to put me under---and I need someone to drive me home.  CRAP!  Here we go again!  So I think about it.  All my friends either work or have kids to pick up from school so that's not gonna work.  My oldest works overnights and I didn't even want to venture there to be honest.  So---my middle son is the lucky winner--poor kid.  I'm so glad he drives now or I really would have been in a pickle.  Yes, I had options (my friends that are reading this I KNOW I just had to ask, I know lol) but I don't like putting people out.  Anywho, I, the old me might have let that alone feeling, pathetic loser feeling, OMG how did my life turn out like this feeling overwhelm me.  Not the new and improved almost 50 year old me!  She felt wishy washy for a little bit but by the time I picked the kids up from school I was back to having the world on a string.  Why?  Because I chose to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty.  Because being in this situation is way better than still being married and being unhappy and never have moved to this beautiful state. And because I could work it out and I DID have options.  And THAT is what makes life so amazing!

In the past I allowed my pride, stubbornness and what was "fair" to keep me from speaking what I felt.  I often had a "kiss my ass" attitude or the thoughts of looking weak or being taken advantage of and that kept me from coming from my heart and a place of love.  I have worked really hard to not allow that to happen anymore.  I speak my truth from my heart and if someone takes it the wrong way, that's their issue not mine. If I get rejected or ignored, oh well, at least I was true to myself. That being said, I also don't allow myself to feel guilty for saying no to someone or not compromising my feelings or desires to do something because someone else wants me to.  It's like a JOB some days, a true balancing act, but I'm getting there.  Little by little, bit by bit.  It's not a race, it's an endurance challenge.

Every day we have the option to choose what kind of day we are going to have!  Yes shit happens and stuff might be less than ideal in your life, but what are your alternatives?  EXACTLY :)  So put a smile on your face, a song in your heart (or on your Ipod) and dance like no one is watching! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Letter to my younger self...

26 years ago today I walked down the aisle and lived out every little girls fantasy.  Big white dress, long veil,my daddy walking me down the aisle, limos, huge bridal party, gorgeous flowers, big cake, photographer, video guy---you know the works.  I don't remember anything positive about that day.  I only remember the negative things.  Is that strange?  I realize I'm divorced but that was supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life--I was only 23!  I had signs, I had feelings, I knew I shouldn't have gotten married.  But it was what was supposed to come next right?  I had so little self esteem that I thought no one would ever ask me again, I imagine.   I was only 23!  My sister tried to tell dad tried to tell me.....I was not hearing any of it.  Now, 26 years later this day means absolutely nothing to me.  I wouldn't even realize it was today except tomorrow is September 11th and that is always important.

If I could go back in time I would give that 23 year old girl a good swift kick in the ass!  I have no regrets, that's not how I live my life, but I wish I knew then what I know now!   Here is the advice I'd give her

1.  SLOW DOWN!  It doesn't all have to happen RIGHT NOW!  Life is about the journey not the destination.  Throw the 5 year plan out the damn window and enjoy your life!  Branch out from what you were raised with.  There is a huge world out there and you aren't experiencing any of it.  Do it now!  Find the joy in every day and stop being so serious!  

2. BE ALONE!   You were in a relationship from the time you were 15 with only maybe a few months in between the early ones--stop revolving your life around someone else.  Be alone, it's not the end of the world!  It's nice to not have to answer to anyone and do what you want without worrying about someone else's happiness.  And that's another thing---stop allowing your happiness to be contingent on someone else.  You are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for!  Wait for the right one---stop settling.  Don't allow anyone to treat you like an option.  If they can't put you first like you do them, they aren't worth it---move on!  The jealousy thing?  Stop it, dear God it's annoying!  If they want to be with someone else then LET THEM!  Don't be so afraid of losing something that isn't meant to be in the first place.  And as far as their jealousy?  It's not flattering, it's controlling---don't let it happen.  Don't alter your personality for anyone, but don't expect someone to alter theirs for you either---if you do what's the purpose?  You're supposed to love someone unconditionally---learn to accept it both ways.  And drop the expectations. No one is inside of your head and can't read your thoughts...if you want something ASK for it!  Don't get all pissed off because he can't just KNOW what you want!  With that being said if you ask and he's still a jerk don't marry him or date him or whatever.  

3. YOU DO MARRY THE FAMILY--- don't care what anyone says you do!  They will always be there and hey, face it, some day you are going to have your own family and would you like your kids to just ditch you for their spouse?  No!  So think about that.  If you can't get along with the family then you need to think long and hard about the future of this relationship.  Not saying you have to live next door and spend every holiday and weekend with them, but if they obviously don't like you and you don't like them ---that's a problem girl!

4. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FRIENDS - Girls guys.  Travel!  Go on girls weekends.  It's important!  Don't just give it all up because you are in a relationship.  You always encouraged him to go out with his friends, yet you never went out with yours.  Why?  Damn girl I wanna shake you! Everyone always thought you were so brave, turns out you were a little chicken.  Afraid if you let distance between you he'd leave you, move on.  Guess what?  Who cares!  If he leaves hold the door, you don't need someone who doesn't want to be with you.  Being with your friends doesn't mean you love him any less.  

5. DON'T BE SUCH A CONTROL FREAK! - do I need to go further?  You want everything "perfect"...girl there is no such thing!  Stop caring what other people think and figure out what makes YOU happy and do it!  Stop trying to tie everything up in a neat little bow, not gonna happen.  Well, yes it will, but then 26 years from now you will be writing this and wil just be realizing all of this when instead you could have lived the last 26 years so much happier.  You don't have to fix everything for everyone you know.  Here's a thought---how about you let someone fix something for you every once in a while---novel idea huh sweet pea?

6.  TRAVEL - go out and do what makes you happy!  Don't sit around because someone else doesn't want to go!  Go alone!  That's right---GO ALONE!  It's ok, you're pretty cool company and no one understands you better than me :)  See different places, try different things.  Explore the world!  And don't take everything so damn seriously (ooops I said that already huh?  well it bears repeating hon.  You are stubborn.

7. WHEN CHOSING A MATE.....stop making excuses for his behavior.  Oh, he's tired, oh, he's busy, oh he doesn't mean it....oh, he loves me but....No BUTS!  Expect him to be honest, and loving and kind and romantic and chivalrous and totally crazy in love with you.  You DESERVE that!  You give it don't you?  You give 100% all the time!  Yes, sometimes it's not about you---you have to realize that, he has his own thoughts just like you do.  But if you're giving more than you're getting all the time---it's time to end it.  There will be others.  He's not the only fish in the sea (yes, you hated when your mother said that but it's damn true!)  and somewhere out there is the perfect man for you---not the perfect man, but the perfect one for you!  And when you find him---then don't ever let him go!   Don't let pride, or ego or any of the other shit I mentioned about stop you from being with him.  But until we find him---it's ok to go back to #2---you will get used to it 

Now put on your big girl panties and go live your life!  And have fun!  Send me a post card from any place you go <3

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Why I love to hate Facebook

Facebook....gotta love it right?  Wrong!  Or, right...depends on the day!  I have found reasons to both love and hate that site and I find myself taking periodic breaks from it for my own sanity (and if I'm being totally honest--which I always am--- for the protection of my "friends")  I was having a conversation with my oldest son this morning about the perils of social media.  He is vehemently against anything mainstream, he's become a minimalist and anti pretty much everything society stands for.  I can't say I disagree.  I'm just older and I realize the benefits of some of societies ways.  He is at a point in his life where he feels the need to take a strong stance one way or another.  I admire his will and his strength.  

Facebook, I feel becomes addictive to people.  It's a way of proving to the rest of the world how amazing your life is.  My sister and I had a conversation the other day about how some people's lives seem so interesting and fun and just plain better than ours.  I pointed out to my sister that I call bullshit on that.  If your life is so fabulous why the hell aren't you just living it, why feel the need to FB it?  Because you want people to be envious of you---ummm then something HUGE is missing from your life my dear.  I told my sister that I get wistful reading people's posts in the summer (most of the people I am friends with on FB are from the East Coast) because everyone is having barbeques and are at the Beach (sigh...the beach...can't help it--that's my happy place) and here in Arizona the summers are more like the rest of the country's winters---dull and boring.   I realize that and honestly?  I am not an envious person.  I am happy with my life and if I wasn't, I would change it.  Simple as that.  However, I know I am a minority.  So FB makes some people feel sad and depressed that their lives aren't as good as someone else's (facebook life, who knows what their real life is like--let's be honest) ---#1 reason for not liking FB.

I also hate that some people misinterpret my FB posts and think it's about them.  I'm not 12 years can damn well believe that if I have something to say to you I will do just that.  Say it TO you (jeez have you met me?)...sometimes I find something funny or inspiring or insightful and I share it on FB.  My wall, my choice---there's a little unfollow or unfriend button---feel free to use it at any time if you don't like what you see.  In my older years (oh hell, who am I kidding in the last 2 months) I've learned that my response to people's rants or disagreements with me and my thinking are really not necessary.  I've learned to say "I'm not having this conversation" and leave it at that.  Why?  Because in the past I've been hell bent on getting someone else to see my point of validate that I am right.  To SEE where I'm coming from.  The beautiful part about being 49 1/2 is that I just don't care about that anymore :)   I can agree to disagree and move on with my peaceful existence. feels wonderful!   #2 reason for not liking FB

I used to follow a lot of people and pages and get all these notifications on my phone and jeez, it could take up my whole day just catching up on FB.  I also had a ton of "friends" that made me censor what I posted.  Yea, that wasn't working for me.  So when I got divorced I deleted my FB account and started fresh---with only my close family and friends and I blocked a TON of people so they couldn't find me.  I even went with just my first and middle name to make myself even more invisible.  It was awesome.  I loved it!  Only the people I was closest to were part of my FB world.  Then I opened my business page last year and "met" a lot of amazing women that I was drawn to become friends with.  There are a few that I've friended on my personal page as well---loved it, love them.  All is right with the world.  Then I wrote my book.  I added that to my personal page and then I finally shared my blog on my personal page....ehhhhh maybe not such a great idea.  But last month I did a stupid thing.  I changed my name to my real name and unblocked the ton of people all in the name of freedom and figuring why hide?  Dummy.  I became friends with a few people from High School that were truly people I liked.  Now every day FB decides to show me a million people I didn't like, didn't know or didn't care about as possible people I would want to be friends with--- no Thank you !  Just because I have 8 friends from high school doesn't mean the other 1492 people I graduated with are people I want to reconnect with.  I have 6 friend requests from people I don't even remember!  Number 3 reason not to like FB

So, I took a break from FB deactivated my account, then I got a free shipping special on my book so I reactivated it to share that but I'm not doing anything else on there.  I feel wonderful!  I love it, BUT here's what I'll miss about FB---

Seeing my family across the country and keeping up with their children and lives.  Most of them keep in contact with me via text so it's not too bad.  And honestly, if people mean enough to you then you'll find a way to keep in touch.

There are certain people that I've reconnected with that I don't think I would have been able to connect with if it wasn't for FB---so for that I will always be grateful to Mark Zuckerberg for his brilliant invention.  Somethings are best left in the past...but some things belong in your future even if they were left behind for reasons and seasons.

So, for the most part- thank you FB for what you've done for me, professionally and also personally but I think (for now) we will have to part ways <3  Nothing personal but everything has it's season.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Letter to my future daughter in law...Danny's wife

Dear Daughter in love....

Regardless of what people might tell you I do love you and welcome you into my family.  If my son has chosen you, you must be pretty amazing.  All I ask of you is that you treat my son like the gem that he is and you don't ever try to come between him and his siblings.  They will love you, because they love him, so it shouldn't be difficult.  As long as you love him we should be good.

I want to tell you a little bit about the man you have married....things you don't know because you haven't been around since he was born.  He's been through a LOT and I want you to always remember how blessed you are to have him!  Yes, even when he's annoying the bejeezus out of you ---he's a gift.  Believe me, I will tell him often that he is blessed to have you too, I don't play favorites :)

Danny is an amazing person, but you already know that or you wouldn't have married him.  Today he is recovering from shoulder surgery at the age of 16.  He is a champion.  Most people who have been through what he has would be cranky and jaded and have a woe is me attitude.  Not your husband.  He just takes it all with a smile and a great attitude.  He keeps apologizing to me for me having to do everything for him---little does he know (between me and you) I love it!  I love taking care of him.  I love the fact that he LETS me.  Some "patients" will whine and complain or try to play the hero and do everything themselves, then make it worse and wind up making everyone around them miserable.  Not Danny.  He sweetly says, mom can you help me.  Mom do you think you could ___fill in the blank.  That ALONE is reason to marry him.  Trust me, not all men are such good patients or as appreciative as the love of your life.  He's amazing.  (you will hear that a lot from me, sorry but he is)

You know that he had cancer at the age of've probably been told the stories a million times...I apologize.  It's a huge part of who he has become and how our relationship became what it is.  Hopefully when you are reading this my son and I are still as close as ever.  Of course YOU will be the main woman in his life and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I raised him to love you and to treat you well.  Ask him....he'll tell you that even when he was in his car seat I would turn around in the car and tell him---"don't ever treat your wife that way" after seeing or hearing something that I felt might influence him otherwise.  He is sweet and loving and thoughtful and kind and you are a very very lucky young lady.  He will treat you like gold as long as you don't give him a reason not to.  My son will give his whole heart and soul to you---don't take it for granted!  You are probably in your 20s and even though you don't realize it you don't know everything.  I've prayed about you since before he was born and I know God did not disappoint.  Whenever you are tempted to get angry at him or hurt him in any way I want you to stop and read this letter first.  Then I want you to read it's not worth it!  Trust is the only thing that matters.  If you talk to him in a calm, loving tone he will listen and understand (trust me---we've had a lot of arguments....I know ).     

Last but not least...treat his heart with gentle, loving care.  He will do the same for you, I can promise you that.  Make sure you two make time for date nights after you have children ----- don't ever feel awkward asking me to babysit or talking to me about anything.  I'm a good listener and well, I'm a pretty great mom because after all---look at the man I gave you to be your husband. <3



Monday, August 18, 2014

If you believe in forever....then life is just a one night stand

I took the title from the song "Rock and Roll Heaven".  I've been thinking a lot lately about life...and death...and struggles and what IS important and what isn't.  I've realized that almost everything we worry and stress over is really just a transition to the next phase.  Even death is just a transition to the next phase...Heaven and then life everlasting, whether you believe your soul gets reincarnated or you just live peacefully for eternity in heaven---we never truly die.

That being said, living can be hard enough.  I see so many people that are so unhappy and so frustrated all the time.  They are living in fear.  And living in ego (ego being your earthly mind--- love being your higher self).  I am not having as much patience as I probably should with people who just dont get it.  After all, I'm a spiritual advisor and my job is to teach people about such things.  However, God has been sending me lots of stubborn ones.  These people hold a mirror up to my face and make me see how far I've come and how far I still have to go.  They make me see how pissed off MY mentors must have gotten/still get with me when I just don't get it.  When I see it so clearly and I tell people (who ASK me for guidance, I'm not randomly spewing advice to unwilling participants) what spirit shows me so clearly and they insist that they are either doing what I suggest already or they deny that they are doing it at all.  So I nod and say alright.  And to myself I say, I guess they're not ready for that challenge yet, but soon enough they will be.  Or maybe not....maybe they will continue beating the dead horse or trying desperately to break down the wall in front of them instead of just walking around it. It's their path to find.  We all have our own path to find and to walk.

My newest mission is to just let go.  Let it all go.  My issues, my kids issues, my family's issues ---just release it.  It doesn't really matter.  If you look back on your life have you overcome and gotten through everything that's come your way?'re still standing right?  So, then what does it matter?  Why worry?  Why stress?  It just makes life harder.  I know you're thinking "but....but....I want THIS to happen and if THIS doesn't happen it will be the end of the world!" it won't.  Trust me.  Life will go on.  Will it be difficult at the time?  Maybe.  Will it FEEL like the world is coming to an end?  Possibly.  But guess what?  It's just another day.  Even the death that we all fear so much is simply a transition to the next great thing.  Is it horrible for those remaining?  Absolutely, but it's not the end of the world.  You will get through it and maybe, if you're lucky and in tuned to your angels and God's voice and your intuition, someday you will figure out why.  Why it had to happen that way.  Maybe you will see that YOU caused it to happen that way, that it didn't have to BE so difficult, you were forcing something that wasn't meant to be.  Maybe you will never hold the mirror up to you and see your part in anything, maybe you will continue to fight what's meant to be and your life will be a constant uphill battle.  Either way, what's meant to be will always find a way despite you and your ego and your trying to control the outcome.  So isn't it just easier to let it go?  Whisper a prayer to God and say "Please let this turn out such and such a way, but if not YOUR will be done"  and simply release it.  Trust gives such a sense of peace!

The Beatles song is on replay for me on such days where I can't just release it.....Paul McCartney was inspired by his Mother Mary who died when he was only 14.  His mom came to him in a dream, speaking words of wisdom.  So you see...even after death, we are never really gone from those we love.

Let it Be
by Paul McCartney
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Yeah there will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Ah let it be, yeah let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music,
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Yeah let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah let it be
Oh there will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah let it be
Oh there will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Ah let it be, yeah let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Friday, August 1, 2014

We are all growing up!

Today my second born got his driver's license.  It seems like yesterday that he was sitting in his car seat with a pretend steering wheel on the front of it.  He just pulled out of the driveway with my youngest in tow.  It's a tradition.  When my oldest got his license he took my middle guy out for his first drive solo.  Now, my middle is doing the same with the youngest.  I have amazing kids.  I love them more than I can express---but why do they have to keep getting older?

Seriously, though, when they were little I would cry when people sang happy birthday to them.  It was so emotional for me, knowing that another year went by so quickly.  Every year on the first day of school I would bawl my eyes out watching them go.  Knowing that there was just that more time that I was missing and they were living their days not needing mommy every minute.  I don't know what happened to that woman----I miss her sometimes.  I just don't FEEL things as deeply as I used to.  Sometimes I miss her, sometimes I am glad she's gone.  Depends on the day and the emotion I'm feeling.  I wish I could feel joy the way she used to.  The littlest thing would send her into tears of joy---people would make fun of her because she was guaranteed to cry at weddings, graduations, first steps, Halloween, Christmas, you name it.  Somewhere along the way she died.  It's a blessing and a curse.  Let me explain.

I think her/my heart could only take so much and then it finally started blocking the emotion.  Or, I/she finally realized it's all ok and "this too shall pass", or I/she learned that everyone has their own path to walk and making everything my/her issue was just exhausting and didn't help anyone and made me/her stress more than she needed to.

My oldest child bitches constantly about being the "crash dummy" in the family.  In other words, everything was tested on him, I was stricter, tougher punishments were doled out, I was "all up in his business" and I yelled a lot when he was younger.  I am a "much different parent to the other two".  He's right.  I am.  I grew up.  I learned what was important and what wasn't.  I also don't have an unhappy marriage stressing me out, nor do I have a husband that I need to work around when disciplining or running my household.  I am in a better place.  I also think that my younger two know what is expected after watching the "crash dummy" be raised.  Who knows.  It is what it is (my mantra at this point in life).  What he doesn't realize is that he got the mommy that experienced everything for the first time and felt everything SO deeply it crippled her.  His first day of preschool---I couldn't BREATHE, how could I live without him for 2 hours twice a week?  I survived.  First day of Kindergarten---omg 5 days a week?  No way, I can't do it!  I survived.  I home-schooled him so a lot of the other firsts were given to my second son, who decided to go to school in 6th grade, but his (my oldest's) permit test, his driver's license, the first time he went out with friends driving, etc. was a HUGE deal to heart ached with each milestone.  Because someday (cue menacing music) he would leave for college!  The year before he went to college I cried every day.  I could not IMAGINE that I would survive not seeing his face every day.  My 2nd born graduated middle school the day before my oldest graduated high school.  I sobbed during the middle school graduation and then for the next 24 hours until the high school graduation.  The middle school graduation was my first time experiencing that emotion---so it was fresh and my second son got to be the one I experienced it with first. Then the first time I left on a plane and my oldest was left behind---I cried for the first 3 hours of the flight, just sat there silently with tears streaming down my face.  Now, I left this summer and the tears were minimal.  I sometimes feel guilty for not feeling so deeply.  I don't feel anything as deeply anymore.  But maybe I am just growing up.  Maybe my heart is guarded after too many breaks.  It bothers me.  I so badly want to feel deeply again.  Is this what it's like as you get older?  Things don't affect you as much anymore?  I feel badly for my daughter sometimes, will I have any emotion left for her?  Is that why she's so detached from things?  I don't know.  I can't change it, I won't fake it.  But maybe I'm not becoming a hardened person, maybe it's just that after I experience something for the first time I realize it's not the end of the world and I will survive so I don't feel the emotions so deeply?  I miss feeling the joy though...the happiness....the love.  I used to be such a passionate person and now I still go through the motions, I just don't feel it deep in my heart.  Maybe I am just growing up....or maybe I've been exhausted by that woman I used to be.  Time will tell.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The times they are a changin'.....

Last night I went to see the movie “Mom’s Night Out”…I wasn’t expecting much but I figured a couple of laughs would be a good thing.  I didn’t expect to be laughing and crying during the whole movie!  It really made me think!
One line that hit me most was when she said “All I ever wanted was to be a mom and a wife and I’m living my dream but I’m not happy”  See, that’s the thing—-that’s ALL I ever wanted and I was happy doing it when my kids were little (not the wife part but hey can’t have everything).  Yes I had days where I wanted to hide but for the most part that was exactly what I wanted.  I thrived in that environment, being a mommy and a caregiver—then those little buggers grew up.  And I had to face the fact that although my future plans included the four of us (me and my 3 kids) their futures awaited and only included me as a supporting role.  Crap.  Now what the hell do I do with my life?
I am proactive.   I’m a planner.  So, I planned.  I realized my marriage was NOT what I wanted forever and the thought of being with my ex husband after my kids were grown threw me into a panic that I knew wasn’t going to work  So, I got divorced.  That was not part of the plan.  Never in my thoughts did being divorced seem ok.  Being 2 years divorced I am happier than I have been in a looooonnnnnng time.  But every once in a while I look around and think wow it would be nice to share this with someone.  I have never been alone in my life, I’ve always had a man by my side—-this is a necessary time for me to grow, I get it.  Just a new kinda normal.
I moved to Arizona almost 10 years ago and never looked back.  I love it here.  I always felt such a comfort and peace here.  I came home from vacation in Florida last week and realized——I’m not sure I want to live here forever.  That shook me to my core—what is HAPPENING to me?  I thought, well I’m here for 2 more years until my son graduates high school and then who knows?  I always wanted my kids to have a childhood home that they would return to—-that got lost many years ago—but that’s okay.  It’s just a new kinda normal.
2 years ago my oldest son went away to college.  I cried for 6 months leading up to that moment—-how was I going to stand not seeing his face every day?  Not hearing his voice, not hugging him?  I was a shell of my former self, I would break down in tears at the drop of a hat!  I came home from dropping him at college and cried in his pillow.  Now?  It’s normal for me to know that he will not be living with me permanently ever again and guess what?  I’m ok with that….I’ve adjusted.  It’s a new kinda normal.
My middle guy is going to get his license in 2 weeks—-he will not need me to chauffeur him around anymore and before I know it HE will be leaving for college.  I still get that shaky feeling in my heart and a lump in my throat thinking about it—-he is my buddy and I doubt his college will be 3 hrs away driving…but it will be okay.  It’s just a new kinda normal.
I don’t make family dinners every night anymore.  It just seems pointless sometimes, there is always someone gone or somewhere we have to be.  I worry about my daughter and how that will affect her.  She’s happy as a lark—-it’s just a new kinda normal.
I think the hardest thing for me to accept and deal with is that it’s not at all what I planned, or how I envisioned my life ummm EVER.  But it’s all okay.  I will be okay.  They will be okay.  Change is hard, but staying stuck in a place of unhappiness is way harder.  So I will embrace the changes, roll with the punches and wake up every morning and smile at the new me I see and realize——-
It’s just a new kinda normal <3