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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......

Whew...it 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 digress....so, 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 me....my 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 only...no 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 old....you 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 view...to 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.  Ahhhh...it 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.