Follow this blog

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Alone again....naturally

During this time of such huge change I've felt very alone.  Which is so bizarre because in the last week while Florida was being hit with such extreme weather my phone was blowing up with people checking up on me.  I think the alone feeling comes from me dealing with every emotional situation and daily activities on my own for so long.  And lets face it, at the end of the day I'm the one who has to lay my head on the pillow, alone, and the things that I think and feel are in my head and heart and only I truly understand those things.

Last night I couldn't sleep, I turned on my light at 2:00 am and almost instantly there was a knock on my door.  My oldest wanted to make sure I was ok.  He was insistent when I told him I didn't want to talk about it.  Why can't I just BE?  I finally had to get nasty and tell him to leave.  Having an adult child living in the house is difficult.  He seems to forget that we are NOT equals.  Yes, I respect him as an adult and allow him to make his own decisions (even though they aren't decisions I would make) and I don't interfere for the most part in his life.  He comes and goes as he pleases and I'm here if he needs me.  I've mentioned before that he and I have had a rocky road the past 4 years and truth be told I am not sure if I will ever get over that completely.  I forgive, but I can't forget.  And once I put a guard up around my heart it's insanely difficult to take down.  He told me once that I share too much with my children....so now?  I share very little with him.  Practically nothing actually.  It's none of his business, what I do with my life.  Unlike my younger son, my oldest is headstrong and refuses to see anyone else's opinion easily.  So why would I open up to that? It's sad to me because we were so close for so many years and now?  I have no desire to share any part of my life with him.  I divorced his father I certainly don't need to have my son telling me what to do.  Those days are over.  It's a constant balancing act between my children.  My son's are adults now and although I have never and WILL never play favorites with them, I also feel that as adults I WILL make my relationship with them based upon the way they treat me and relate to me.  I know they think there are favorites and that's on them, quite honestly.  As a mother, I will be there for them whenever they need me.  As a person?  I will base my relationship with them on the relationship they have with me.  I am an open book with my younger son.  He is an open book with me.  We think the same, we react the same.  I trust him not to break our trust.  I'm trying to build my relationship with my daughter as she is entering those difficult teen years.  It's a whole different ball game with her.  For one, the boys aren't part of the equation most of the time so there isn't that conflict.  Secondly, she's a girl.  I can relate to her in different ways than I did with her brothers.  I'm trying to help her with the things I struggled with growing up to hopefully help her to avoid that.  She's an incredible young lady and I just hope I can do right by her.  She's so different than I was and am.  She keeps everything close to her chest, she doesn't share her emotions freely.  I'm an open book, always have been, sometimes to a fault.  She's so graceful and almost elegant at times, while my mother used to call me a "bull in a china shop".  I worry sometimes that she and I won't be as close as I want us to be. She's said recently that she feels she can never measure up to my youngest son.  I just wish she'd understand that she doesn't have to.  My relationship with each of them is unique and special in it's own way!

In my life actions speak louder than words.  I have difficulty trusting people's words when their actions just don't match up.  I've been burned my entire life by being sucked in by empty promises and people telling me what I wanted to hear.  I'm trying to be more open and not be so suspicious of people's motives, but it's difficult.  I wish I could open up to my son again the way I used to but I don't trust him not to hurt me again.  He has used the phrase "I'm paying for the sins of my father" but what he doesn't realize is that his actions have made me cautious, it has nothing to do with how alike or different he is from his father.  I base my actions on individuals not as groups.  I don't do blanket assessments, like "men are pigs" "women are bitches", I am a case by case basis kind of person.

I had saved this entry as a draft.  I guess it was a bit too intense for me to finish at the time.  Today, as I reread it my oldest and I have come to a new crossroads.  He's told me so many times in the past two weeks that he's grateful for me, and for how I've always been there for him.  He's out in the world more and different from his college experience he's meeting almost 30 somethings that haven't been blessed with family like he has.  He's old enough to realize that now.  We are slowly rebuilding what will be our relationship going forward.  But we are definitely on the right track.

My younger son was home for 2 weeks recently from college due to the Hurricane.  I realized yet again how much I rely on his friendship.  He brought me back to a happy place just by being home.  He has made some serious life decisions in the past month and he shocks me with his maturity and focus on the future.  He has changed his entire plan for his future and he seems more settled than he has been in a long time.

My daughter did my make up and organized my make up for me today.  We're spending the day doing "girl things" and I think we're going to be okay.

So in the blink of an eye it can all change.....it's just a day in the life.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

All I needed was the love you gave...And all I ever knew... Only you

I've been spending a lot of time at Disney World lately....you know, fairy tales....happily ever after....princes....you know the score.  I used to watch it all and think yea...nice story.  How about the real world.  Well......I don't think that anymore.  Because my life.....it's better than the movies.  It's better than the fairy tale....it's the Notebook on steroids.  I've kept it in for long enough it's time to let it out.  Yes, I've mentioned snippets here and there but at the risk of making someone else feel bad I've kept a lot of it to myself....I don't want to be the reason someone else looks at their relationship as less than.  I've been on the other side most of my life and it sucks.  But then my love made me look at it in a different way (he always does!  he's brilliant, I need to preface this with that tidbit)  I told him the other day that I felt like I was becoming a relationship snob.  I am having trouble watching people struggle when we feel a relationship should be as easy as breathing, and if it's not then it should be.  He said, "we're not snobs, we just want everyone to be as happy as we are.  I think that makes us humanitarians".  See what I mean?  He's brilliant.

I'm writing this not to brag or make anyone feel badly.  I'm writing this so that you never stop believing it's possible!  I'm a big believer in positive thinking, so is he.  That's a huge bonus in the easy as breathing department.  No resistance from either party.  No naysayer, no negative Nelly.  Another big plus was that we were friends first.  There was no pressure to impress each other or play games or manipulate.  We were just loving the fact that we found another person who was like minded and we enjoyed talking to.  A lot.  We talked for hours and hours....we still do.  Communication with us is like breathing.  I am the one who still has work to do....I'm unlearning behaviors from the past and he is patiently helping me do it.  We have had our share of "moments" but we are always stronger and closer after them.  That's a huge part of it.  Disagreements and issues should bring you closer and to a better understanding of your partner afterwards.  It's not about who's right or wrong it's about working out the issue in the best interest of the partnership.  I could go on and on about that but let's be honest.....most people that are in unhappy or difficult relationships won't see themselves in any of this and most likely think I'm full of shit.  So be it.

Here's my wish for every person alive.....that they have this feeling.....every minute of the day for the rest of their lives.  This overwhelming love bursting out of them that brings such joy that sometimes (a lot) tears run down their face from pure joy and gratitude for this person who inspires this love.  The feeling that they are with you even when they're not.  That they are right beside you with every step you take and you know they love you back with the same intensity and passion.  You have this partner that you truly (I swear on my kids!) love more every single minute that goes by.  And just when you think it's not possible to love another human being any more than you love them....it happens!  You do, you love them more!  How amazing is that?  And better yet, you know they feel the same.  That everyone around you sees the difference this person has brought into your life.  You're brighter, different in an intangible way.  You're peaceful, happy....it's indescribable.  Even when stress and illness and exhaustion and sadness touch your life deep inside you are joyful and blissful because of this person and the partnership you have.  You have a gift you get to open every single day and it's like nothing you've ever experienced.  I want that for everyone! And I'm living proof that it's possible.

I was struggling a few weeks ago about my purpose...my reason for being alive.  With the help of my cousin I realized that my purpose in this world is to be the best partner I can be for him....to support him and to love him and to always be his safe haven.  To make our home the happiest place for everyone who lives here.  To some people that might not seem like enough...but to me?  It's the most important job in the world and I will make sure that I follow through with it every day of my life.  I'm blessed far more than I deserve with this day in the life.....

Sunday, October 23, 2016

If I could save time in a bottle...the first thing that I'd like to do


I spent 4 of the last 7 days in Disney World.  So many observations during that time, for sure, but I think the biggest one was how much time people spend capturing memories instead of living the moment.  Disney actually banned selfie sticks so that people would be present instead of focusing on "capturing the moment".  It didn't stop people though.  Walking down Main Street videoing every thing in front of them.  What were they NOT paying attention to?  Their family and loved ones that they came to the Magic Kingdom with!  As a resident of Florida and someone who can go there pretty much every day it afforded me the luxury of observing this practice without being part of it.  It allowed me to see how I myself have progressed where this is concerned.  My first visit to Walt's world was when I was 7 years old, so I had no control of picture taking, I do remember my parents taking a lot of photos of the scenery. The next trip was when I was 20 and then 22 and I admit I took a lot of scenery pictures.  Those have since been thrown out.  My next visit was when my kids were little. I did take a lot more photographs of them, but I didn't take any of the scenery...I was already realizing what was important when capturing memories.  Now, besides an occasional picture of my kids during a downtime moment my phone/camera stayed in my backpack.  I wanted to enjoy the time with my kids instead of capturing it.

I know it sounds like I'm judging, and I'm not!  My sister is the family photographer and any time anyone needs a picture for something they ask Aunt Debbie.  Living in Arizona for 12 years I often wished she was there to photograph my kids parties or events because that's her thing and she's damn good at it. And she seems to be able to be present AND take pictures.  I don't think that's a skill a lot of people have.

What the picture taking at Disney led me to realize was that people aren't just preoccupied taking pictures they are busy posting them for the world to see.  Look, look at me, look at what a GREAT time I'm having......WHY?  Why do people care if others see the fun, why aren't they more absorbed IN the fun instead of posting it?  I do post pictures of my family enjoying life....but I post it AFTER the fact 98% of the time.  I think that's the part that gets me.  Looking around so many people were on their phone, checking social media....why?  You are with people I'm assuming you love, because you've chosen to spend this time with them, so why are you checking out what everyone else is doing?  This social media addiction is causing people to be so discontented with their own lives it's become an epidemic.  I know, I got caught up in it many times.  Summer's that were so hot in Arizona that we were inside most of the time and everyone else was having bbqs and beach outings, I felt dismayed with my life.  Everything I post on social media is authentic and positive.  If it's a stressful or not fun experience I don't post about it.  I've had people tell me so many times (after I commented about something they posted) that they were miserable and it wasn't any fun at all, yet to the rest of the world it looks like they are having the time of their life.  WHY?  Why do you CARE what everyone thinks first of all and secondly, why try to fake it?  Anyway, I digress, this is not what this post started for.

Being present.  Yes, that's the ticket.  As my kids and I waited on line after line we made memories.  We relived memories, we laughed and just connected.  My son said to me a few times, Jeez ma everyone looks so miserable.  I tried to explain it away and say "well, they're trying to cram it all into a short period of time and we have all the time in the world, so it's different", but it made me think.  I think most people are searching for the next shiny toy, the next feel good moment, the next high.  I've come to realize that MOST moments are those moments if you look at it from a different perspective.  We were in Target the other night on the way home from Disney to pick up a few things and we literally were laughing so hard we cried.  I stopped in the middle of an aisle, doubled over in laughter and my kids were too.  We had just as much fun at Target as we had in Disney World. Why?  Because we were together and we have fun everywhere.  That's not to say we are never upset or less than happy, of course we are, we're human!  But, we try to look at the good in everything, even waiting on a long, sweaty line at Disney World.

My kids tease me a lot about how in love I am with my Prince Charming.  They imitate my facial expression when I talk about him or talk to him and my sister simply says "eye roll" when I gush about him.  They are all happy for me and they know how long I've waited for this happiness that surrounds me now.  On one of our very first dates we were sitting having coffee and there was a family of 3 sitting at the next table and they were each engaged in their own electronic device.  I looked at him and I said "Promise me we will never be like that!"  He immediately said "Absolutely not! No way will that happen."  And it won't....because we've made a conscious choice to make sure that it doesn't.  And it IS a choice.  Everyone has the option of focusing on what they choose to focus on, whether it be social media, television, a book, music or the people they're with.  No one else can make that choice for them.

Sometimes I just feel that everyone is looking for something to fill a void in their life, that empty spot that keeps them searching for more.  Sometimes it's because they are looking for something they think someone else has or sometimes they are just in the wrong relationships and they need to move out of their comfort zone to find what they seek.  Other times they need to look in the mirror to change something to fill that empty spot.  But a lot of times I think it's like Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz....."Everything you were looking for was right there with you all along."  You just have to put your phone down and SEE it.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The moment I wake up....I say a little prayer for you

Answered prayers.....we've all had them right?  When I opened my spiritual page Chat with Your Angels in 2013 probably one of the most non-psychic questions I was asked was "Why doesn't God answer my prayers".....well, I would say He does answer your prayers, but sometimes the answer is no or not right now.  I always felt like God answered my prayers positively so I did struggle with having to tell people that.  Whenever I truly put my mind to praying for something the answer almost always came swiftly.  Was I blessed?  Did God like me better?  I used to struggle with that a lot.  When the darkest times of my life would loom I always knew that God had me.  I didn't worry I just trusted.  I think that was a huge difference.  Lately, being where I am on my spiritual journey I get SO irritated and annoyed and let's be honest, PISSED OFF when people come to me with worry.  Not concern, mind you or occasional nervousness or doubt-I'm talking anxiety and worry.  Especially if these are people that are devout religious people claiming to honor and love God.  Wellllllll then why do you worry?  That's like telling God you don't believe He's got you.  Right?  Think about it!  During my son's entire bout with cancer I only let myself think negatively once----and it wasn't that I didn't trust God, it was that I thought...what if God's plan and my plan didn't necessarily jive in this situation?  But I quickly was reassured that we were on the same page.  When my mother became sick in 2014 I knew it was her time.  I prepared everyone in my family as best as I could that this "was not going to end well".  My prayers were that God's will be done and that my mother was not to suffer.  There's the key.....its the way you pray.  Let me explain further using the most poignant example I have.....receiving my prince charming.

I was in Church yesterday and the Deacon was discussing how we need to pray without ceasing, not to become weary in our prayer.  He discussed the author of "Footprints in the Sand" Mary Stevenson.  I love the poem.  I struggle with the constant praying about the same thing, because I feel like God knows my heart and He heard me the first time I prayed and continuously praying for the same thing is similar to worry.  Not trusting that He will do what is needed.  The Deacon was discussing how prayer doesn't have to be spoken, God hears the prayers you utter in your heart.  Tears began to flow down my face.  I was so moved and so emotional I almost got up to leave.  I felt this peace and this knowing and my angels surrounding me at that very moment.  That was the answer.

I'm a very how and why oriented person.  My love often says to me "does it matter why?"  (Usually when he doesn't have the answer and the answer is "it JUST is").  I finally realized how God brought me the other half of my soul, the perfect match for me.  I am convinced that my mother was up in heaven in His ear petitioning for me and she finally got through to me in a way that she couldn't in the physical world.  She got me to relinquish my control so God could go to work.  I remember the day I finally gave it to God and said "Your will NOT mine be done.  I am open to whatever you lead me to do"  and I finally, after 50 years, MEANT it!  I felt this peace come over me and I could almost physically feel the swift current start moving, as if the dam had been broken.

Over the years I was never satisfied in romantic relationships.  There was always something missing, I was often disappointed and sad and there was an emptiness that could never quite be filled.  I was accused of watching too many romance movies or reading too many Danielle Steele novels, too much Young and the Restless...my expectations were too high I was told over and over.  I never really pinpointed what it was I wanted or needed I just knew I wasn't getting it.  I prayed for things to get better.  I prayed for my partner to change.  I prayed for patience.  I never asked for what it was I needed, probably because I didn't know what it was.  My heart knew, but it never told my head the specifics.  I never saw any couples that had what I was looking for (other than my parents) and that further solidified the fact that my expectations were too high in my mind.  I wanted the Fairy Tale.  The man who looked at me like I hung the moon and the man that I felt the same way about. I knew I wanted someone that made me feel whole and at peace and cherished.  Someone that would always be there for me no matter what and would understand my craziness and love me in spite of it.

When I became a mom my focus turned to my children and that fulfilled something in me that pushed the loneliness and sadness away for the most part.  It was still there, lingering under the surface.  When I decided that I needed to end my marriage formally it was because I realized that someday soon the kids would be gone and I wanted that partner I dreamed of my whole life to be by my side, the one I was told didn't exist.  The springtime day in 2015 that I released that control to God was the day that every prayer my heart never said out loud was able to come true.  God worked in ways that no one would ever believe to bring me the one true love of my life.  My very own Prince Charming. (honestly, Prince Charming could learn some things from my love.  He NEVER would have to walk around with a shoe, he'd recognize me if he was blindfolded, just sayin').

From the first moment he changed my life.  We were just friends at first.  We talked about everything and anything all day every day.  He became my go to guy.  I knew that I could tell him anything and he would understand and always know the right thing to say.  I've NEVER had that before with anyone in my life.  He seemed too good to be true, but we were just friends so what purpose would he have to hide anything?  Days turned into weeks and into a month and we decided to finally express the feelings that were building over that month.  He made a promise to me on that day and he has kept it every single day since.  I have often said that he is the answer to every prayer I've ever had spoken and unspoken and that is why those words in church yesterday hit me so hard.  He is my gift from God.  I am by far the luckiest woman in the world and I will devote my life to making sure that he knows it.  I will continue to thank God every day for this miracle and I will pray for the same relationship for each of our children, all 5 of them.
So, the next time you think that your prayers aren't being answered consider this.....are you praying for something that isn't in your best interest?  Perhaps give it all to God and let Him decide....He knows what's best!  I'm living proof....it's just a day in the life. <3 p="">

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind.....

Well once again I'm going to be all over the place.  I've written this in my head about 50 times.  Every time it goes in a different direction.  So, here goes.

Hurricane Matthew is brewing.  Everyone and their mother is freaking out.  I am calm.  I am me.  I am looking at the good stuff, the fact that my daughter has no school.  I'm stuck in the house with my kids and nothing pressing is calling my name.  Some may call me delusional, I consider myself a woman of great faith.  Last week I took my daughter to church.  I haven't been in a long time and it was a magical experience.  The priest spoke about having faith "the size of a mustard seed" and the magical things that result from that.  My faith is so much bigger than that.  Does that mean I don't believe anything bad will ever happen to me?  Of course not, I'm not stupid enough to believe that, and hellooooooo my son had cancer at the age of 10!  My mother died of the same disease....I've had my share of trials in life.  However, I DO believe that nothing will ever happen to me that God and I together cannot handle.

 I have removed myself so much from any negativity in my life that this whole storm nightmare is making me physically sick.  I have a knot in my stomach and I'm jittery and anxious.  Not because of fear but because everyone I know is FREAKING out!  All across the country I have people contacting me, checking on me. It is very very sweet that everyone is thinking about me.  The problem lies in the alarmist mentality that everyone is spreading.  It is upsetting my spiritual balance.  I'm on the phone, answering texts and emails and messages and the more power I'm giving to these thoughts the more it's affecting me.  I need to remove myself from it all.  I went into meditation for an hour today to remove all the negativity.
I don't miss Arizona, however I DO miss the sunshine EVERY day and the fact that all this weather trauma was a distant memory for 12 years.  12 blissful years.  I've thought a lot lately about why the hell I moved to Florida.  But then my daughter gets in the car after school and says "I'm so happy we moved here and I LOVE the rain!"  My oldest son is enjoying his life more than he has in the longest time.  My middle son told me today "I DO love this weather mom".  Ok, maybe I'm the weirdo.  I miss never having to have a conversation with ANYONE about anything but how damn hot it was in AZ.  I miss my friends.  I miss knowing where EVERYTHING is and where to find information.  I miss feeling settled and a part of something.  Then all this hurricane hullabaloo and I'm ready to pack my ass up and run!

Then I think about all the good things about living here.  Someday I'll be able to go to the beach whenever I want (as soon as it stops RAINING!).  I'm closer to my family and I've seen more of them since I've been here than I have in 12 years in AZ.  I'm close to my daddy (but that also means shopping at Publix and being reduced to tears every time because I think of shopping with my mommy for the last 30 years)....I like not feeling like a freak of nature because I'm a New Yorker.  People are friendlier here for sure!  The restaurants are incredible.  We are now season pass holders for the Happiest Place on Earth and that means I can take my daughter there all the time.....lets discuss that shall we?

Last night I took her there for the first time in her life.  We had so much fun even though it rained (shocker) and it was packed and sooooo hot and humid.  It was so nice to know that we didn't have to try to cram it all into one day or two days, we could just relax and enjoy the day.  I thought, hmmm this is worth living here alone!  My son is going to attend college here next year for a fraction of what it cost him in NC as a Florida resident.  He always wanted to go to college in Florida and now he will be living his dream and I will have him only 90 minutes away.  Not gonna lie, I'm doing a little dance with that decision.

Ok, so was moving here a mistake?  No.  I know it wasn't.  I was guided to move here the same way I was led to move to Arizona without ever stepping foot in the state.  I know this is part of God's plan.  And I refuse to worry about any of it.  I know that everything happens the way it's supposed to.  If what I want in life doesn't come to me than I know that God has something bigger and better in store for me.  I realized that I was waiting for the next step to happen in my life.  Spending so much of my time preparing for the next phase, the next good thing, that I was missing what was happening in the current moment.  I refuse to do that anymore.  I've started to live my life again.  I feel like I've spent 2016 preparing for the move, preparing for my son going to college, preparing for other events that have yet to happen and may not happen for a long time.  I need to be okay with being here, in this moment, by myself and know that if that's the way the future is supposed to be than I'll be okay.  God has me and I am blessed far more than I deserve.
So, I'll leave you with this......when you worry it's like telling God that you don't have faith in His timing....in His love for us and in His design for our lives.  Do terrible things happen, such as the devastation brought on by Hurricane Matthew....yes of course it does!  God never promised our lives would be perfect, he just promised we wouldn't have to face it alone.  Trust in Him and please stop feeding into the frenzy and panic that is commonplace in this day and age. (and that INCLUDES the presidential election---oy vey)  Turn you eyes and your heart and your prayers upward and God will provide!




Monday, September 19, 2016

The times they are a changing....

I spent the weekend at my dad's with my daughter and my dogs.  Part of the pull to Florida, for me, was to be able to check in on my dad...cook for him...just be close enough to be able to do exactly what I did this weekend.  Besides the incredible sadness I felt at missing my mother's presence in the home they used to share, I learned a lot this weekend about my daughter, my childhood, and my parenting style.

I grew up in the age where sensitivity was frowned upon and being told to "toughen up" was common place.  I was determined not to do that with my own children.  I wanted them to be allowed to be who they are.  My childhood was also full of...ummm how do I put this nicely....sterotypes about different cultures and people.  My dad is still the same, and I love and accept him that way.  However, I realize that I am not that person.  The things that were so common place growing up feel like a smack in the face now.  Especially when they're said in front of my children.  My boys have developed their own opinions about people and  cultures, but my daughter is still the open book I raised her to be.  She's loving and accepting of everyone and everything...unless they cross her or her family.  Then they are dead to her lol (like mother like daughter).  My daughter's first sleepover in Florida was surrounded by a blended family including transgender people.  She didn't blink.  I am proud of that, that I raised her to accept people even if she doesn't necessarily agree with their choices. And she has DEFINITE opinions on these matters. She's such a strong little ....sorry young woman.  She is what I wish I was at her age!  Hell, I'd like some of her qualities now!

Yesterday she woke up and was all groggy and disheveled...she's a cracker jack in the morning.  I hugged and kissed her and then she went to kiss her grandfather.  He laughed and said "you look like the wreck of the hesperus".  I froze....she didn't react.  She has no clue what he meant most likely and she probably didn't even hear him.  I felt like I was smacked.  I spoke to my sister later in the day and I told her about it.  I said "I remember that being said to me ALL the time ...if my outfit wasn't to my parent's liking....if my hair was a mess...the list goes on.  I don't remember it bothering me, but now?  OMG I would never say that to my kids.  Those tiny little negative criticisms were part of my every day life....is that why my self esteem is less than stellar? There were a lot of other ones that went on this weekend alone and I was transported back to being my daughter's age and remembering that I felt hurt by them.  Luckily she just let it roll off her back, but had I said it to her, or her brothers?  She would have been crushed! My boys are the same.  Their father is very much like my parents (and his parents and probably that entire generation) and I spent SO many moments shooting him a look of death when he would say something like that to the kids.  He would catch it and try to fix it, but a lot of the times it was too late.  My daughter hasn't spent enough time around him to be affected....again, maybe why she has the self esteem and confidence that she does.  I couldn't be happier about those qualities!

Eyebrows are all the rage these days....just like big butts...2 things I had when I was a teenager, unfortunately back then thin eyebrows and no butts were in....story of my life a day late and a dollar short ;)   Anyway, my daughter "did" my eyebrows yesterday.  She researched You tube and took her time tweezing them and shaping them....then penciling them in (getting older sucks, and all those years of waxing them didn't help lol) and she was SO proud of herself.  Her eyebrows apparently are a big hit at school (she thanked me for her genes ) and she took a picture of mine to send her friend.  She told her brothers and anyone who would listen that she did my brows.  I fought back the tears while she did them.  I remembered when I was my daughter's age and I had the eyebrows that she has now....only they weren't the rage.  I felt ugly.  I asked my mom to teach me how to tweeze them and she told me I was too young.  Sooooo....(oy vey) I decided to do it myself.  I plucked the top instead of the bottom and then (because it was so painful) I decided to take the shortcut and shave them!  DEAR LORD!  I wound up with groucho marx's mustache on top of my eye!  I was in 7th grade and the thought of going to school like that was just too much, but worse was having to face my mom and admit that I went behind her back and took matters into my own hands.  I remember when I wanted to shave my legs the same issue happened and I came home from school in tears quite a few times before my sister finally convinced my mom to let me shave them.  (My daughter was 5 when I started doing her legs for her.....she felt uncomfortable in her dance tights so...Nair to the rescue!).  The point of all this is that my mom never realized that she could have made my life so much easier by just understanding my feelings and embracing my sensitivity.  Instead she just did what she was raised with I suppose.  I don't know.  Maybe it was my dad in her ear, quite possibly.  But whatever the reason it deeply affected me.

The whole episode just made me realize how much the times have changed.  I often wonder what that generation would have done with the knowledge we have now?  All the feel good stuff, the let's do better than our parents did etc.  Back then nobody thought about the future, they just did as they were taught or what they thought was right in the moment.  And admitting they were wrong?  Heavens no!  Never!  Apologizing to a child?  Are you crazy?  Yet, my mom often watched me with my kids with tears in her eyes and told me what a phenomenal mom I was and that makes me think that she would have done things differently if she knew she could have.

With that being said, I've made my fair share of mistakes.  I've apologized for them and tried my best to make up for them, but someday I'm sure my kids will be telling a story similar to this one about some way I hurt them or affected them in a not so positive way....and they will do their best to do better with their own children.  Because after all....it's just a day in the life!~

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Wake me up when September ends.....

During this time of such huge change I've felt very alone.  Which is so bizarre because in the last month while Florida was being hit with such extreme weather my phone was blowing up with people checking up on me.  I think the alone feeling comes from me dealing with every emotional situation and daily activities on my own for so long.  And lets face it, at the end of the day I'm the one who has to lay my head on the pillow, alone, and the things that I think and feel are in my head and heart and only I truly understand those things.

I'm still confused when I think about what state I'm in....where I'm from....this adjustment is still happening.  It's frustrating to me.  I don't like limbo.  I don't like feeling uneasy or unsettled.  But there's a lesson in this I'm sure.  I'm tired of trying to figure it all out, to be quite honest.  I told my sister the other day that I feel like a worn out security blanket that they keep putting back into the washing machine to get another use out of.  You know what I'm talking about...the one that's in tattered shreds and is barely held together?  Yea, that one.  My kids have been really good about understanding that I'm hanging by a thread.  Their compassion for how much I've been through in the past year and a half is really a testament to the type of people I've raised.  It makes me so happy to see.  They love me, no matter what frazzled state I'm in.  I'm sure they are looking forward to the time when their mom is back in full force....and stays that way.  Guess what?  So am I!  I don't like feeling weak.  I don't like being unhappy and I hate complaining.  So I shut down.  It's the only way I know how to cope with all of this.  I trick my mind into believing things that my heart might not agree with.  This has helped me throughout my life to avoid feeling pain or sadness.  I think that mechanism is malfunctioning because at this point in my life it's making me feel weak.  Like I should just face it and move on.  But I just can't do it.  I tried.  I let that wall down for a while and allowed myself to try to work through pain and sadness and anxiety (yes, that's a new one for me) but I just can't do it anymore.  Not when I don't have an end in sight.  Whenever my kids and I would say good bye to our family we would always be fine when we knew when we would see them again---even if that time was almost a year away---we were ok, we knew there was an end to the time apart.  At this moment in time I have no end in sight to these feelings, so the only way to stop them is to shut them off.

I took my first road trip with my daughter yesterday to see my dad.  I would love to say it was the fun exciting trip I think she wanted but it wasn't.  We have the dogs with us and Roxie cried for the first hour of the trip, I slipped and fell at the rest stop, we hit a horrific rain storm.....you get the drift.  Then I walked into my dad's home and it hit me yet again.  She's not here.  He rearranged the furniture when my brother was here last week and I felt angry. NO! mommy put it that way it has to stay!  A far cry from where I was earlier this year thinking it was good that my dad was wanting to change things.  He has a shrine set up to her.....I lost it.  I had to go into the bathroom because I didn't want him or my daughter to see it.  That was a big mistake because all the memories of my the times I spend in front of that mirror with my mom.  I had to shut it down.  I put on the mask and joined them in the living room.  Then my daughter was talking to her brother at college and the tears came again.  I miss him.  I talk to him every day most of the time texting all day too but I miss him. Then I got a text from my oldest son checking on me.  He asked if there was anything I wanted him to do before I got home.  I told him one thing.  He sent me a picture showing me it was already done.  Tears.  Again.  I want so badly to be my usual happy self.  I miss crying happy tears.  I miss being able to deal with whatever life throws me without skipping a beat.  September sucks.  My spiritual friends keep telling me there's a weird energy, mercury retrograde blah blah blah. I'm sure they're right but I don't like to place blame on anything but me.  I'm in control of my actions and feelings.  People telling me that I've been through so much is getting old, I just want to feel better and be happy.

So, today I begin going to back to my meditation schedule, my morning and evening gratitude and living in the moment and enjoying it for what it is.  Tomorrow isn't promised, I know this, so every day I want to be able to say if it was my last one on earth that I would be satisfied with it.  And after all.....it's just a day in the life.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

See you....in September!

Well it's been a hell of a summer.  I knew it would be crazy but I didn't really anticipate how difficult it would be.  Actually it wasn't too bad while we were going through it, but now looking back?  It kicked my ass.  Packing up all of your worldly belongings and moving them across the country along with a caravan of 3 cars, 4 people and 2 dogs was a trip.  It was what I wanted....the 4 of us together for one last hurrah.  And it was a huge success.  We bonded and made memories that will never leave us.  Good, bad and ugly the memories are there.  We made the best of it, we always do.  My kids are troopers, and I just am so proud of them!  I honestly don't know many people that could do what we did with smiles and laughter through it all.  And even the tense times, we found a way to make them funny.  Someone commented before we left Arizona that my kids and I say I love you to each other more than most people---like ALL the time.  Hmmm.  I hadn't noticed that, but once it was brought to my attention I did.  Even driving across the country every time we called each other to update the next move with a quick phone call it was ended with I love you.....love you too....I truly thought everyone did that.  Apparently not.  It was a trip that we will talk about for a lifetime.  The imitations of each other and people we met will be part of our interactions for all time.  Then we finally arrived.  It wasn't bad because we had people I love here to greet us and help us get settled for the first few days. Staying with them was like being home and being with family.  I felt really happy. Then we moved into our new home and it hit me.  Wow.  I am really truly all alone here.  I didn't realize how many options I had in Arizona if I needed someone.  The home we're living in is much smaller than the house in Arizona (only 250 square feet, but storage wise?  oy vey! And it's one story as opposed to 2) and a lot more work for me.  My kids LOVE it here.  They just adjusted immediately and love it!  My younger son didn't want to leave to go to college because he loved it so much.

Then, we go to the next huge change....taking my son to college.  I had to leave my daughter and oldest son in Florida while I took my son to North Carolina for school.  I was gone for 5 days.  That was a rough one.  Feeling torn...knowing I had to leave my son at the end of it.  But, we made the best of it.  I made a lot of realizations on that trip.  I realized I'm codependent on my children.  I take all of their problems on myself long after they've released them.  I'm done with that.  I haven't done that with my oldest in a while and now I'm not doing it with my cream filling son.  My daughter?  She doesn't get rattled too much, so we'll see how that goes.  She's almost 13 I'm a bit frightened about the next 5 years with her to be honest.  She's a bit of a wild card.  Leaving my son was too hard to put into words.  On the way to the airport I literally felt like I was going to have a panic attack.  I tricked myself into pretending it was for a short visit.  It worked.  I talk to him all day pretty much, so although I miss his face and his hugs and (I'm crying now) having his company I still have that contact with him whenever I want to.  My oldest son says that his brother will be like Ray Barone in everybody loves Raymond and never live too far from me.  I'm not sure about that but I AM sure that our relationship will always be this way.  And I'm thankful for our connection.  My oldest talks a big game but whenever I'm sitting down alone and he's around?  He pulls up a chair and hangs out with me too.  So why are my children handling this move better than I am?  Why are they doing what I usually do?  Hopefully they've learned from me.  And that even though I'm struggling they've seen me rise to the occasion enough times to have it be part of them.

I just realized that the weather is probably not helping the cause.  It's been rainy and cloudy A LOT.  Twelve years of straight sunshine was very very good for my soul.  But this too shall pass.  And apparently I'm not done learning my lessons and growing into the me I'm meant to be.  I've been told by a few people that I am being WAY too hard on myself.  That I need to just relax and take a breath.  That's not me, that's not who I am.  I expect certain things from myself and I don't like when I'm feeling this way.  Lazy, whiny, sad---I just hate sad-  and alone.  I'm never alone, at least physically, so I don't know where this is coming from.  Actually I do, but there's nothing I can do about it at the present time.

So, as I prepare to kiss the summer of 2016 goodbye this weekend (Labor day will always be the end of summer to me I don't care what the calendar says) I look forward to the rest of 2016 with great anticipation and a sense of peace that I haven't had in a while.  I will continue to adjust to my new home and force myself to venture outside of my bubble.  I will enjoy my new supporting role in my children's lives and listen to my daddy's advice and take at least an hour a day just for ME and not feel guilty about it, because after all.....it's just a day in the life ;)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Feels like the first time

I looked around my home today with a feeling of satisfaction.  I'm ahead of schedule for the moving van this week.  I'm not a newbie when it comes to moving so I know after that van leaves is when the real work begins and the time will run out very very quickly by Friday morning when we roll out of
Arizona for most likely the last time.  I didn't expect to shed tears about this move.  I am ready to move forward with my life, this next chapter for all of us.  However, when I looked at the front door this morning my eye caught the make shift growth chart I made on the kitchen wall.  It hit me then that we have had A LOT of life in this house.  The last 4 1/2 years contained 2 high school graduations, a middle school graduation, a communion and confirmation, sending a son to college and preparing to send a second one, the death of both of my children's grandmothers, the beginning and then ending of so many things.  When I chose this house and we moved it in was the beginning of my life on my own, for the first time in my life.  That's pretty huge.  This was the first time I had ever lived without another adult sharing the load with me or for me.  I look back and I don't even recognize that woman.  She had so much to learn.....and she did it.....in this house.  I wiped down the makeshift growth chart with tears in my eyes and I saw the shadow of a wax stain on the wall to my left.  That happened the first time my oldest son came home for Thanksgiving and I was so excited I jumped on him and we hit the scentsy warmer that was plugged into the wall.  More tears.  My kids grew up in this house.  When we left the house in New York I shed tears because my two youngest kids had come home to that house and taken their first steps their as well.  But I was so excited about moving to Arizona and the prospect of all the new memories we would make I wasn't sad for long.  When we left the home I shared with my ex husband I didn't shed any tears.  Cancer was fought in that house, so many bad memories had taken place there.  Even though that house was built to my every specification it held no sentimental value to me, I was thrilled to move on to the next phase as a single mom.  But leaving THIS home?  This will be tougher than I thought.  WE grew up in this house, my kids and me.  We became the unit that we are right now and that is priceless to me.  We have overcome some of life's biggest challenges and we did it together.  Those memories will stay with me forever and they will be associated with this house, the house I will always consider MY first home.  Even though I've owned 2 homes before and I don't actually own this one, it's mine...ours....

Here's some of the important things I've learned over the last 4 years.

I can really do anything.
God provides.  ALWAYS. (I knew this, it was just reinforced)
Things change all the time, people change all the time, love is born and love dies, and in the end it is all okay.
I will never put my life on hold for anyone ever again.
Death affects everyone differently.
Sometimes the things that you think are meant to be....aren't.
I am blessed FAR more than I deserve.
Friendships come and go and you have to let them.
Never say never, or forever and always....the only thing that is guaranteed is change.
Plans change, people change and the only thing you can count on is the moment you are in right now.
The hardest part about being a mom is knowing when to step aside and let them go.
Your children will sometimes forget all the good things and only remember the bad.  And their recollection could be completely different than yours.  Don't take it personally.
Things that you think are unimportant might become some of your children's fondest memories.

I'm sure there is more but those are the biggies.

My oldest, youngest and I can not WAIT to leave Arizona.  We have been counting the days.  My younger son is conflicted.  His girlfriend is here....he will only be living in Florida for 2 weeks before it's time to go to college. He has a lot of emotion going on.  The next month will be....challenging?  amazing? scary? exhausting?  exhilarating?  happy?  sad? overwhelming? YES....all of the above.  But just like when I walked through the front door of this home 4 1/2 years ago I am certain that the best days of our lives haven't happened yet.  And when it's said and done, this is just a day in the life <3 p="">

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small

Today was an ordinary day....yet it was so special.  I had a really rough night.  I was up tossing and turning and fear was gripping my thoughts.  Tears were brimming and I just couldn't make it go away.  I tried desperately to go back to sleep and when I did finally fall asleep around 7 am I had some pretty bad dreams.  I was not looking forward to facing the day.  My sons were both up early and being that I sold our kitchen table we all sat on the floor and the stairs and started one of our infamous conversations.  It started with my creme filling son and me discussing a situation that's been ongoing.  Then my oldest asked to be caught up on the conversation so he could help.  It was a magical time.   We just discussed so many things about relationships, love, plans, time passing, I couldn't even begin to tell you what we covered.  What I can tell you is that I have raised incredible men.  I enjoy their company pretty much more than anyone else in the world.  My mood turned around pretty quickly.  I realized that no matter what life throws at me in the future I will always have them and I'm so blessed!  The time for all of us being together all the time is coming to a quick end....this summer is so bittersweet.  We are taking full advantage of this time together and I'm just so grateful.

It wasn't long before my daughter joined the party.  She's too young for the deep conversation we were having so we decided to work on putting together a playhouse that she had outgrown.  The four of us were laughing so hard I literally couldn't breathe!  It's rare that all three of my kids are on the same page at the same time.  Usually two are clicking and the third isn't on that wave.  Today they were like a rainbow spreading their colorful joy throughout the house and I got the pot of gold.
I feel so lucky. I'm so grateful for these blessings.  I'm so grateful that my dreams of being a mother were fulfilled, that I was able to plan each one of these children and raise them exactly how I wanted.  I got to spend every moment of their childhoods with them, never missing a beat.  I got to home school them until they chose not to be home schooled anymore. They all love me unconditionally....I can count on one hand how many times they have looked at me with distaste or anger.  They discuss all of life's challenges with me.  I know the not so perfect things they've done, because they've told me.  The relationship that I have with my children is pretty spectacular.  I find myself saying frequently that my children never behaved this way or that way.  I realize how very lucky I am.  When selling my kitchen table I realized there was not a scratch on it.  It is 14 years old! My kids were never destructive, wild or disrespectful.   I home schooled my kids at that table, served 14 Thanksgiving dinners, countless dinners, lunches, breakfasts....colored Easter eggs there for 13 years.  The memories are embedded in all of our minds.  I know a lot of people get emotional or melancholy when they feel those moments are over.  But instead I feel happy.  I feel excited.  I feel eager to see what the future holds for the four of us.  Our family will grow and add new memories to the already large treasure trove of happy ones we have.  And when you think about it....it's just a day in the life <3 p="">

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I don't wanna miss a thing

My godson graduated High School tonight.  I wasn't there.  My sister was so good about sending me pictures all day.  It made me cry.  I've missed my two nieces High School graduations and now my Godsons.....it doesn't get easier.  I do my best to get back for every important event in my nieces and godsons lives, but unfortunately sometimes it's just not possible.  This year is a rough one.  My son's graduation, moving, college, the list is endless.  I was planning to be there for his graduation, but tickets were an issue.  At the last minute my sister was able to get more....makes it worse.  My Godson is a sweetheart, he understood, but seeing him in his cap and gown and dressed for prom last night is just a bit too much for my emotions right now.  I don't know why time has to pass so quickly.  It feels like yesterday I was rushing to the hospital to see him in the NICU.  My 6 foot Godson was only 3 lbs 7 oz at birth, 13 weeks premature.  I fell in love with him instantly.  I saw the beautiful soul he would become.  It was difficult to spend a lot of one on one time with him while he was growing up because I had a four year old and a four month old when he was born.  Plus, he and my younger son were inseparable so neither one of them wanted to spend time with anyone but each other.

I did my best to get to know him the way I did with my oldest Godson and niece.  It was difficult when the kids all just wanted to be together.  Last year I was in New York and my son wasn't there for a few days at the beginning and the end of my trip.  I got one on one time with him a lot!  I got to see a side of him that not a lot of people get to see.  He's hilarious, first of all.  He's so smart and so grounded.  He's an only child and yet he has none of the stigmas associated with only children.  And he loves being an only child.  He's comfortable in his own skin in a way that a lot of teenagers aren't.  He's laid back, yet he observes everything around him and has really good instincts about people.  He's wise beyond his years.  He's very similar to my oldest son in that he does things his way, not really caring what anyone else thinks about it (in a good way!).  Those moments spent sitting on the floor with him one on one will forever be etched in my mind.  For him it probably wasn't that memorable, he's known how much I adore him from birth.  But for me?  It was beyond magical.  It was like time stood still and I got to make up for all those years that I lived so far away and the time spent together was too crazy for times like this.  I remember I told him I wished everyone could see this side of him.  He told me (in almost the exact words my oldest used) "Nah.  Not everybody is worth showing this side to. If they don't want to get to know me then why bother?  They will think what they want anyway"  Damn it took me 40 years to figure that out!  Smart kid.

My kids are used to seeing me cry on days like today.  They know how much I love my Godsons and nieces.  They are upset too, family is important to them.  So tonight as I wipe the tears that have been flowing today as I remember the boy he was and the man he is becoming, I celebrate him.  I applaud him and the choices he's making and I silently whisper a prayer for God to continue to watch over my Pickolas and guide him and keep him safe.  And I send him love from across all the miles and I hope he knows how very much I love him and how proud I am of him.  And I pray that he and my son don't graduate college on the same weekend because I want a front row seat to watch that milestone <3 p="">

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Changes....turn.and face the strange.....

My life is blowing full steam ahead.  My faith is carrying me.  My stomach and brain are having difficulty on certain days realizing that.  I find myself riding the roller coaster of emotions on a daily basis.  Normally I keep it all to myself and work through it so that it doesn't seem so crazy, however I have someone in my life now that picks up on my every voice change and I can't hide it.  It's an incredible feeling to have someone love you that much.  It's also scary as hell because I run this risk of tainting that love by being such a whiner.  And then of course because it's already out there I decide to write about it.  It really helps to get it all out there, and maybe, someone reading this needs to hear it too.

I know that everything will fall into place perfectly.  It always does. Maybe it's just the changes that have me reeling.  Within the next two months I will be moving across the country and taking my son to college, sending my daughter to middle school and starting life all over.....again.  It's all exciting, it's all things I want to happen, but all at once?  Of course...I can handle it.  With God on my side I can handle anything.

I booked my hotel rooms for my son's orientation and for Parents weekend.  I truly feel like I'm in denial about the whole thing.  Maybe God is protecting me by giving me all the other stuff to think about.....moving, packing, finding a house, getting my daughter registered at school, physicals, the list goes on.  Because, truth be told, when I think about leaving my son at college I can't breathe.  Four years ago when my oldest went away to school I was going through a divorce and moving and packing .....again being protected from too much time to think.  He told me something recently about when we left him in his dorm room.  I can't get the vision out of my mind and when I think about leaving my younger son and I feel sick.  I am realizing that he has been....everything for me these last 4 years.  He is a protector, a confidant....he's just been so much more than just my son.  When my oldest turned 17 he began to separate from me, in preparation for him becoming an adult.  My younger son hasn't done that AT ALL.   I have found myself separating from him to try to make it easier on both of us.  He won't let me.  So, what do I do?  Continue to have this bond be so close and have both of us deal with the shock of not having each other right there all at once, like ripping off a band aid?  I'm not sure.

I don't normally miss people, or things or places.  I am an out of site out of mind person.  I live in the moment and missing someone requires living in the past.  My oldest used to come home every other weekend during his first semester of college and then once a month the second semester.  Our relationship was less than stellar during his sophomore year of college so the fact that he didn't come home wasn't a big deal to me.  It made for peace in the house.  I adjusted quickly to not seeing his face every day.  Now that he's back and things between us are back to the incredible relationship we had before it makes me realize that things with my younger son will be fine.  But I'm realizing lately that he is my go to kid.  He's the one I ask to do everything for me or with me.  He's the first one to go out of his way to make my life easier.  He's the one that needs my advice and opinion the most.  He's the one that reminds me of how I used to be and how much I've changed.  He's the most like me in a lot of ways.  He's the one that knows what to say when I'm upset, or happy or stressed.  What am I going to do without him?  The thought of saying goodbye to him makes my heart ache.  I can't see the words I'm typing because the tears are streaming down my face.  I won't hear his keys in the door or his "Hi mommy, how's your day" when he comes through the door with his arms stretched out for a hug, with that smile on his face, no matter what kind of day he's having.  Our mommy/son dates that started out as his birthday present a few years ago and have become more frequent this past year....I'll miss those so much.  How will I be able to comfort him over the phone and calm him down when he's upset?  What if he tries to not bother me and I don't know he's upset because I can't see his face?  It's all part of the next phase of our lives, it will all be fine, this I know.  But that knot in my stomach is all of this and more.

We are all leaving behind a dozen years of our lives, not just physically but emotionally.  My oldest is so ready.  He will drive away from this place without looking back.  On the contrary, when we left New York HE was the one that was the most upset, so at least this time he'll be great.  My creme filling child will be the most emotional.  He's leaving behind his girlfriend, so many memories of baseball and school and his childhood.  College is a whole different world.  The home we will be living in will only be a pit stop for him for the next 4 years.  My daughter....well this is the only place she remembers.  She's ready for the new, but I know she will be upset too.  Me?  I'm ready!  When I'm done, I'm done.  I've said before that when I move on I don't look back.  I just wish I could stop feeling all of these emotions. I wish I could fast forward to when it's all settled and good. Especially, because the future is so bright I've gotta wear shades....it's just a day in the life.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Don't You Forget About Me....

I went to see the Breakfast Club last week....on the big screen.  Fabulous...I don't think I ever saw it on the big screen before.  One of my all time favorite movies.  It got me thinking about High School, and labels, and how you really don't know the struggles people carry within them until you get to know them.  I was, if I have to put a label on it, a loner in High School.  I always had one best friend and a boyfriend and that was enough for me.  It still is, if I'm being honest, only my best friend and my boyfriend are the same person finally.  With that being said there is always room for quality people in my life.

When I was in High School I remember feeling like no one really liked me very much.  Maybe because I didn't like myself very much or maybe because I was so self absorbed I thought everything was about me.   Maybe a bit of both.  But regardless I didn't have a good high school experience.  My high school years were okay, it was my time physically IN school that I didn't enjoy. Freshman and Sophomore year were fun but by the time I was a senior I left school at 10:45 am for the day. My friends were made at work, my part time job that was my high school and a place that I felt like I belonged! So, in a class of 1559 students (yes, that's one thousand five hundred and fifty nine)  I didn't get to know very many of them, and that was okay with me at the time.  I didn't keep in touch with ANYONE from High School.  I moved out of the area when I was 20 and I left that part of my life behind and didn't look back.

Through the years I ran into a few classmates.  My hairdresser was one of the most popular girls in school.  She and I became pretty close.  Our boys had play dates and she was very similar to me, she didn't really keep in touch with anyone from school.  I worked with another classmate in the early 90's.  In 1997 I moved back to the area and ran into a few more classmates, but never a lot. Fast forward 30 years and the face book days.  I reconnected with a few high school friends.  In 2010 I saw an elementary school/high school friend here in Arizona.  It was so good to reconnect with her.  I realized that even though we never really knew each other in high school she was an incredible person and I was so happy we reconnected.  We've kept in touch and have seen each other whenever she comes here or I go back to New York.  I asked her how she viewed herself in high school and she said, in one word....invisible.  Yes!  I related to that!  She's certainly not invisible now, she's reconnected with a lot of people from the class of 83 and she's such a kind, loving, fun and fantastic woman.

Reconnecting with her made me realize that some friendships are best left until later in life.  I also realized that growing up in the same neighborhood and attending elementary school together bonds you in a strange sort of way.  It was so nice to be able to mention a place and have her know exactly what I was talking about!  In 2015 I had the pleasure of seeing another elementary/high school friend here in Phoenix.  Her son was attending college here and I spent the day with her and her husband and her other son. She happens to be the same friend I worked with and ran into when I moved back to the area. It was like no time had passed.  And the great part is we didn't dwell on the past stuff we talked about our current lives.  Her family is beyond amazing, her husband made sure to get my son Yankee Tickets when we went to NY in May....just all good things.  I've gotten to see her a few more times both here and in New York and her sons (both live in Phoenix now) and I have had numerous fb conversations---she's a great mom to have raised such phenomenal sons-- I ADORE them!  What a waste that we never hung out in High School....I could have watched those boys grow up.  When I asked her how she described herself in high school she said "determined"...makes sense.  That one I'll agree with, and she still is!

Last winter I reconnected with another friend when I was in NY.  We had spoken via face book over the summer.  She helped me through my mom's death and we just developed a great friendship.  She has married a great guy that we went to High School with after years of friendship. While we had lunch I got to talk to another friend that I knew from my brother's hockey days.  Her hubby pulled some strings while my dad was in the hospital and it was just so nice to realize that it's never too late to discover what amazing people you went to high school with.  I asked her how she saw herself in high school and she said "serious, way too serious"  She's certainly has lifted that label, she's so much fun to be around and she has an incredible view on life!

Here's a real twist, I've reconnected with another classmate that I don't remember ever meeting in School.  She said we were in a business class together, I never paid attention to anything around me (don't tell anyone but I still don't ;) )  I'm moving this summer and I'll be about 40 minutes or so from her.  We've had several lengthy conversations.  We both lost parents to cancer in the last year and we've bonded over that as well.  During the week she was at her father's house when he passed she came across some old pictures from graduation.  Keep in mind there were 1559 people there.  She sent me one and said "Is this you?"  I was like ummmm yup.  Where the hell did you get that?  She sent me the whole picture.  She was sitting right next to me!!!!  What were the odds?  Our friendship was CLEARLY meant to be.  How she described herself?  A Floater....I identify with that too!  I still do!

Last week I got to reconnect with another classmate here in Phoenix.  She was here on a business conference and reached out to me to get together.  I was so happy!  And a bit shocked, I confessed to her that I didn't think she liked me very much in high school.  Truth is we did hang out in Middle School and in High School she became a Cheerleader.  I am pretty sure I let my assumptions of cheerleaders taint my view of her.  She was and is such a sweetheart!  We had a great dinner and bonded over our children and our faith and I felt like I met a new friend instead of reconnecting with an old one.

So, with all of my reunion stories I've learned 1 main thing....everyone has their own stuff.  Not just in High School, but in life! By looking at all of these ladies in High School it was easy to think they had it all together.  That they had happy home lives and easy friendships and relationships.  It was easy to think I was the only one with insecurities and that my intentions and thoughts were obvious to those around me.  I just assumed that people knew my thoughts and feelings without my speaking them.  How many times have you done that?  How many relationships were fractured because of that?  I can't count.  Or by snap judgements of someone?  Oh they're geeks, stuck up, weird, mean, out of my league - the list goes on. To think of the many magical moments I've missed out on by not being open to them.  Not gonna happen again.  I will look at people from the inside out and never assume to know what I haven't been told.  I had such an easy childhood.  I assumed everyone else's was the same.  There was no yelling in my home, my parents were deeply in love with one another, my siblings teased me, but loved me and took care of me always.  I thought everyone had that.  Honestly?  In all my dealings with people I have NEVER found anyone who had that.  If only I knew then what I know now......but I didn't.  So, the best I can do is carry this information forward and allow it to touch my relationships now.  After all....it's just a day in the life.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Love is all you need......

My last few posts have been confused and sad and just awful.  I barely hit post yesterday and everything turned around.  I had a conversation with the man who has changed my life....with the wave of his hand.  A few weeks ago when I first started feeling that sadness and frustration I told him that I needed to go within and find the answer...that God was telling me to fix it myself.  He disagreed (not gonna lie, it's rare...we pretty much agree on everything---always).  He said he thought God was trying to tell me to rely on us...on our love...on him.  It hit my heart and I knew he was right, but I was afraid to listen to it.

I'm writing this to show what happens when you don't listen to that voice...when you fight it because of fear, or disbelief that things can change, or that the guidance you are receiving is really guidance and not just your imagination.  If I had listened to him and to my intuition after he said it I could have saved myself two weeks of torture.  Yesterday I gave in to that knowledge and it all went away.  I feel like myself again and all it took was a wave of his hand and my allowing it to change me.

My friend Jill and I had a conversation about this the other day and she said to me "I find when people aren't moving forward in their lives they are removed from mine"....genius!  That's the answer!  That's why at times I have always felt the need to go within and shut down.  When I took the wall down there were always new people in my life and the people who were causing me to stress or didn't fit in my life were removed.  Sometimes people come back, sometimes they don't.  But I always felt like it was me, something was wrong with me.  But if I believe in positive drawing positive then Jill's statement made perfect sense.

But, for the first time in my life there is one person who I can't shut down from and I truly don't want to.  By fighting that it made me miserable.  Turning TO him instead of FROM him brought me right back to my joyful place.  The joy that he has brought to my life since the moment he said hello.  It sounds hokey...it sounds cliche....it sounds like make believe....but it's not.  It's real.  He proves it to me EVERY day.  The problem comes when I doubt. He is my safe haven.  He is the answer to every prayer I've ever uttered...and I need to realize that it's like nothing else I've ever experienced and believe it.

It's difficult because I have a few people that are close to me that just refuse to take the next step....or they are but like a snail.  They are in my life to teach me patience.  Patience in the fact that everyone takes those steps in their own time at their own pace.  Even if it's clear as day to me what they are being guided to do....it may not be clear to them.  I'm sure my Prince Charming felt that way when he told me I needed to rely on him..

Here's what I've learned....just when you think you have it all figured out and you've evolved as much as you think you can....that's when you will go up to the next level. I guess I felt like I was the happiest I'd ever been so I had succeeded, I got to where I needed to be.  I did it!  But, it's never done.  Life will give you new challenges and new guidance and new people and experiences.  If we stop growing, we die.  The good news is I'm here to tell you that you can always be happier....you can always love more, you can have more fun....just don't be afraid to take that next step.  Don't be afraid to believe that all your dreams CAN come true and don't hold back from taking the necessary steps to make it happen!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

I'm hot and I'm cold, I'm yes and I'm no......

This might be one of the entries that gets deleted at some point.  I don't like my ugliness in print, but I always strive to maybe help someone else who might be going through something similar and comes across this.  So be it.  I'm not all sunshine and roses, I have an ugly side too.

I'm sad lately.  Not like depressed sad, just heartbreaking sad.  My stomach has that pit in it and my heart feels broken.  I can't shake it.  I am really trying my best.  I'm trying everything that normally makes me feel better and it's not working.  I want to shut down away from everyone and everything, but no one seems to be letting me do that.  Maybe I'm not supposed to use that to fix things anymore, I don't know.  But I use it as self protection, because I don't like feeling this way.

I'ts 8 am and I've already had an argument with my 22 year old.  It's way too early in the morning to cry, it really is.  Especially when you went to sleep crying.  I'm sick of the tears, really, I'm sick of whining about these feelings I'm having.  THIS is why I shut down.  Because I don't like this side of me.  This side that isn't in check, that doesn't have the answers, that needs someone.  She's a hot mess.  I handle life pretty well on my own.  I have for as long as I can remember.  I used to be like my 22 year old and think I had all the answers.  I used to turn everything someone said around on them and make my point regardless.  Then I grew up.  I learned that my way isn't the only way and that everyone deserves to be heard and understood.  So I became a listener.  I became the person who everyone goes to because I don't judge.  I love that role.  I like helping others feel safe and understood.  My own opinions and feelings didn't need to be expressed because I learned that it really didn't matter what anyone else thought, they were my feelings and opinions and I stood by them. I learned not to argue about them or need to defend them.  It brought me a lot of peace.  But this past week I have had to argue and defend them 4 different times and I'm exhausted.  I don't like having to explain WHY I feel the way I feel.  What flipping difference does it make?  I'm not going to try to sway anyone to feel the same way.  They're my feelings and I don't expect anyone to get it.  But I've been pushed to explain myself this week and only 1 person really got it and got it quickly and we moved on without incident.  One person is now out of my life....for the 4th time.  I don't think I will be letting that door open again.  The other two, well they are two of the closest people in the world to me so it will work itself out, hopefully with minimal damage to the relationships.  But I'm left feeling like I just want to crawl up and cry for a week.

I've spent a great deal of my life swallowing my feelings.  I always felt like the other person was entitled and right and I was being difficult and was wrong.  I've been able to overcome A LOT of past crap but this particular thing I just can't overcome.  I STILL feel like that.  I always feel like I'm wrong.  I'm not sure how I went from that young girl who felt like her opinions and feelings were the ONLY one to this woman who thinks her feelings are wrong always.  I used to always be able to get my point across and have the other person understand, I just can't seem to do that anymore.  I feel selfish and petty and whiny when I express my needs.  I just never feel understood.  And If I do get my point across, at what cost?  I've been accused of being viscous, controlling, dumping whatever I'm upset about on the wrong person....I've worked SO HARD not to be or do any of those things and as soon as someone says those things to me I shut down.  Obviously I haven't learned anything if people still think that.   Obviously I'm not the evolved person I thought I was.

My son just came to me and said he was too exhausted to interrupt me so if I wanted to get my feelings out he would listen.  No thanks.  Not worth it.  I am really getting tired of seeking first to understand and then not being understood.  I'm tired of people uttering words and their actions not matching up.  I'm tired of feeling this anxiousness and nervousness and sadness that I've been carrying around the past 2 weeks.
 I've tried praying, meditating, listening to my inner guidance (great time to shut up guidance!) going out with a friend, taking a nap, making a to do list and sticking to it, spending time with my kids....everything that normally makes this feeling pass and none of it is working.  I've even tried putting up the wall that I normally put up to keep everything at bay while I heal my heart...I can't even do that.  So what's the answer?  How do I escape these awful feelings? I don't know.  I suppose with the extreme and utter joy and happiness I've had in the last 6 months it's only natural to experience the opposite side as well.  What goes up, must come down they say right?  Well at least I know this won't last forever.....it's just a day in the life.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The answer lies within.....

At this moment in time I'm not sure I should be putting my thoughts on paper.  Mostly because they sound a bit like 2 different people.  Maybe because I am once again shedding a layer of who I used to be to become who I am supposed to be.   Usually when I get like this that is what is happening. I am being forced to change things about myself in order to become a better version.  Hopefully it will be quick and painless ....too late for that.  I've been crying for days, maybe weeks.  But, in the end it always works out the way it should.

My youngest son graduated high school last week.  It was a fantastic few days.  My family flew in from NY, my dad from Florida---my son (I believe) had a great weekend.  My brother and sister (as always) had my back.  Made sure that I didn't have any stress on me.  It was just a reminder of how much I do enjoy my family.  With that being said, it also was a reminder of how much I've changed since I've left New York.  My priorities aren't the same.  I don't stress over the things I used to.  I actually rarely stress at all.  I realized that it's so much more enjoyable to be with my family when we are anywhere but New York.

I also realized how isolated I am out here.  When my kids were in school in New York I was class mom, PTA president, Religion teacher blah blah blah.  I couldn't go to the gas station without running into someone I knew.  Here?  I don't know anyone.  I have very few acquaintances and fewer friends.  This is by choice.  I have changed so much in the last 12 years.  I don't let EVERYONE into my life.  (You're probably thinking, she writes a damn blog what the hell is she talking about?)  I keep my deepest thoughts and feelings to myself.  I have very few people I share them with.  My love.....my kids.....my sister......and there were a few close friends that see the real me.  The friends thing?  Yea, I'm realizing that doesn't last.  I have begun to keep things to myself so much that the friendships I am cultivating aren't deep.  I have trusted a few people that have hurt me by either throwing what I've told them in my face to prove a point, or by showing me that I am not a priority in their lives. Most people don't find the time for me.  I hear "Oh I miss you!  I need to see you!" but making the actual time?  doesn't always happen.

I have A LOT going on in my life right now.  I am usually pretty strong and can handle it on my own.  Actually, I'm always able to handle it on my own.  Lately though my thoughts and feelings have been so conflicted I just need to sort them out with someone who can help me figure it all out.  I've realized that no one is really available to me as much as I am to them.  I drop everything when someone needs me...calls me....texts me...If it is at ALL possible I will rearrange my schedule to make time for someone I care about.  In fact, if I can't I feel badly and guilty about it.  I realize my life is more flexible than most peoples, but in today's day and age, with technology at your fingertips there really is no excuse not to be there when someone really needs you, except that they aren't important enough.

I am not a needy person.  I'm not that friend who calls or texts just to whine or bitch all the time.  But sometimes, I need someone to be there for me the way I am for them.  That's when I realized that I DO have that person.  She's typing this right now.  God is deliberately keeping those I rely on away from me at the moment so that I learn to rely on myself again.  The person to help me figure out my shit is me!  I shouldn't rely on anyone else to listen or sort things out, I need to listen to myself.  Every time I've gone through this it's because I've ignored my intuition and looked outside of myself for the answers.  So, situations force me to turn within again for those answers and validation.  I heard the voice a few weeks ago telling me to figure it out on my own, and I didn't listen.  Then I found myself frustrated because no one seemed to understand what I needed.  But what I needed was to go within and shut myself off and spend time alone and figure it out.  At that first feeling of loneliness I become like someone drowning and reaching for that life raft.  I'm grasping for someone to save me from that feeling.  What I need to do is welcome it.  Embrace the loneliness and sadness and let it cleanse my soul of whatever needs to be erased.  Instead I immerse myself in busyness.  I find things to keep me busy, but ultimately the loneliness and sadness overcome me and I have to stop.  I have to go within and figure out how to make it stop and what needs to change in my life.  I have to let go and let God and realize I DON'T have all the answers and the things I thought I had figured out aren't necessarily right.  I can't do that if I don't face it.

There's a reason why my deepest thoughts and feelings aren't shared with everyone anymore.  I think I'm finally learning that.  Not everyone deserves a seat at my table of life and that's okay.  Because ultimately.....it's just a day in the life.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Here, There and Everywhere

I've spent most of my life being disappointed in relationships.  All relationships, not just romantic ones, but mostly romantic ones.  As I've mentioned before I was always told I was expecting too much.  I wanted the movie/book/soap opera love story.  No man would ever be able to live up to what I wanted them to be.  I believed them.  I lowered my expectations, but my heart and soul still ached.  I wanted to be understood.  I wanted someone who would be like me!  I gave all I had to all relationships in my life, and I didn't expect it back.  However, when I started to feel taken advantage of, taken for granted and just well mistreated I would move on from those relationships after giving everything that I could have and I never looked back.  Some people (friendship/family relationships) came back at a later date.  Even a few romantic relationships from the past have resurfaced as friendships.  I don't ever initiate those reconciliations, but I do forgive people and believe that everyone deserves a second chance, sometimes a third.  But I've never been completely fulfilled in a relationship in my life, there was always this whole inside of me....I assumed it was my high expectations.

A few years ago I learned about the Law of Attraction and manifesting and how you can bring certain things to your life just by believing they are already there and by becoming the type of person that would attract these things.  I made lists, stating what I wanted in a partner.  Some would read the list and think, wow, she's nuts.  There is no human being on earth that fits all those things.  That's not REAL.  But it's what I wanted.  What I NEEDED.  What my soul craved.  Today, I found two different notebooks with two different lists in them.  One was from 2014 and one I was 6 months later in 2015.  I fell in love in 2015.  I mean real, honest to goodness movie/book/fairy tale love.  Love like I have never experienced before.  It shook my core.  I tried to fight it.  I was scared to death.  It was too good to be true.  It was as easy as.....breathing!  This man was everything I had ever hoped for and more.  Things I never even knew I needed....he provides.  Bliss.  Sheer and utter bliss.  Every single day.  How did this happen?  How am I so lucky?  He insists it doesn't matter why or how....it just IS.

We are like two pieces of a puzzle that fit together so perfectly, so easily....it's like nothing I've ever experienced before with anyone in my life.  I can be totally and completely myself and he adores me anyway...or maybe because of it.  Today I was weepy and wishy washy.  I tried my best to hide it.  There's a lot going on right now and the last thing he needed was to deal with that!  He knew...he asked....I told...he listened.  I mean REALLY listened (as always) and he just knew exactly what I needed to make me feel better.  He always does.  This man loves me in a way that I've waited for my whole life.  He makes me feel treasured, and adored and important and loved every minute of the day.  Even when my mind pushes that aside and tries to convince me that he couldn't possibly feel the way about me that I feel about him, he quiets my fears and doubts without judgment.  He does it with love and compassion, every SINGLE time, no matter how exhausted he is or how stupid my fears are, he reassures me.  He never gets tired of it.  He just knows.  I am truly, by far, the luckiest woman alive.  Everyone sees the difference in me.  My kids have a mom who is happy all the time, they know why.  My friends see it, they are thrilled for me.

I wake up every morning with an excitement that I never thought was possible.  I get to spend my life loving this man.  This man who defies all odds and is everything I've ever wanted.  He is kind, and gentle yet tough and strong.  He is loving and sweet, yet masculine and rugged.  He's BRILLIANT yet never ever makes me feel less than or ignorant for asking questions or doing things the hard way, when he could definitely give me an easier way to do it.  He seems to think it's cute that I have these quirks.  I never have to remind him of things I've told him before, he remembers, because if it's important to me then it's important to him.  He never plays the blame game, he never compares things that I do versus things that he does.  It is the most freeing feeling in the world to find a soul that you connect with on EVERY level....it is my mission in life to make this man feel loved and adored and appreciated and treasured every day of his life, because he deserves nothing less.  He is the answer to my prayers, my prince charming, my heart.....and my home.  Wherever he is....that will always be home to me.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day.....not just a day in the life

Mother's day.....as a child I remember it was a day that my dad bought my mom flowers to plant.  Mums, azaleas, tulips....those kind of plants.  Then they spent the day planting them.  Uneventful in my memory.  Then one year my dad surprised my mom with a new car.  That one went down in the record books.  He pulled into the driveway with a HUGE red bow on top of it.  My mom was so excited she wasn't even angry that she had to come outside in her robe and curlers.  No one EVER saw my mom that way.  One year my brother and sister and I had portraits taken to surprise her for mother's day.  You see a pattern here?  I never really took initiative in mother's day celebrations for my mom.  My dad and sister did it most of the time and I went along for the ride.  My parents moved when I was 20 so I didn't spend mother's day with my mom a lot over the years so it really didn't matter much to me, to be honest.  And then I became a mom.

My first mother's day went down in the history books as a horrific day.  I was in tears, it was spent doing something I despised doing and I was still postpartum and completely sleep deprived. All I EVER wanted to do for mother's day was to get deli egg sandwiches and go to the beach.  Every year it either rained or we had other commitments. I usually felt disappointed on days like Mother's day or my birthday.  I always felt let down, like I was supposed to feel something I never did.  I'm not about material things so it wasn't about presents.  I don't know.  I was always told that I expected too much from people.  I have been told that the world revolves around me and the sun rises and sets on me--I'm assuming they meant in my mind.  Couldn't be further from the truth.  And I have realized that I don't expect too much because now....at this time in my life....I am receiving more from the people I love than I could ever imagine.  And I have't lowered my expectations at all.

I was going to write this blog about the fact that I miss my mom and I feel weird not buying any mom or grandma cards again this year.  But after this morning my focus changed from lack to abundance.  I am so lucky and I am so happy and fulfilled today I can't write about the sadness.  Instead, I'm taking the good things from my relationship with my mother and duplicating it with my daughter.  I'm sharing things with her that my mom and I enjoyed.  It's better than last mother's day when I was so sad I couldn't function.

First of all the man in my life brings me more joy and appreciation and love than I could have ever hoped for.  I wish with all my heart that we had found...well connected in this way many many years ago, but this was the way it was intended apparently.  I'm so grateful that he gives me every thing I've ever wanted, loves me completely and totally for who I am and not who he wishes I was.  I am (for the first time in my life) completely and totally able to be myself and I never have to worry about any repercussions of that.  Every day of my life feels like a holiday, complete with the anticipation of what comes next and the excitement of what each day will hold.  How lucky am I????  His presence alone in my life makes today and every day beyond perfect.  I feel adored and treasured every single day and that is something I never thought I'd feel.

As if that isn't enough I have 3 incredible kids!  More and more I have people telling me how lucky I am to have this bond with my children.  I know it.  I woke up this morning to a card from my oldest with money and the threat of punishment if I did any "mom things" today.  He said he was taking care of dinner.  That is something I've ALWAYS wanted on mother's day.  Someone to let me know that I didn't have to DO anything I didn't want to.

I missed my youngest son before work today, but I found a note from him next to my head when I woke up. He, out of all my kids, tells me more than anyone every day how much I mean to him.  He makes sure we have time together one on one all the time.  He's always celebrating mother's day.  I got a text and I already told you about his amazing gift to me.....so thoughtful.

And my daughter...oh my daughter!  She arranged the best gift I've ever received in my life!  She and her brothers wrote 51 things they love about me.  I spent a delicious amount of time savoring each one and relishing their individual personalities in their notes.  The fact that they appreciate me without anyone teaching them how to blows me away!  They remember things that I don't and it makes me so happy that they do.  I wish I could share every one here....but I will respect their privacy.  I've attached pictures of a few. She was SO excited because she made me cry on Mother's day.  Apparently my kids are a bit competitive when it comes to who can melt my heart. She's so used to her brother's doing it, it's her turn now.  I will treasure this gift for the rest of my life.  My daughter also made me a few paintings that were just BEYOND perfect....her thoughtfulness shows me that I'm doing a good job raising the type of woman I want her to be!

I feel treasured by my kids today.  I'm not going to lie, I'm blown away by how special they made me feel.  I know they appreciate me.  They are always telling me that.  But today?  Their thoughtfulness is beyond my wildest dreams.  I feel so happy and at peace it's beyond incredible.  Maybe I AM doing ok with this motherhood thing.  Perhaps this next phase of my life will be filled with every holiday being like this.  I'm so excited and so blessed I'm overflowing with hope and happiness and just pure love.  It's more than just a day in the life......