Several days ago, a coworker handed me a lovely pair of red corduroy pants to try on as she was trying to size up which of us ladies in the office might best fit into them. She was giving them away! They are a beautiful shade of red and might be perfect for me to wear in November when I get to play Christmas Elf at our local resort where we set up Christmas trees and decorations every year.
The day that she handed me those pants was completely hijacked by my son’s depression and the pants left, forgotten at the office. After visiting my him tonight, I came home and started my bed time routine. The red pants were laying across my bed, as I had brought them home today so they didn’t spend the weekend on my desk. I put them on and was completely overwhelmed with joy as they fit very nicely. There is not a lot that feels worse than finding such a pretty thing and not being able to sausage yourself into it.
Happy with my new red corduroy pants, I went to fold them and put them in my closet for this fall. As I was folding them, I ran my hand on the material and I was taken way back, way back in my memory to as I choose to recall, my first day of school. My dad was a Preacher in a small town in Kentucky. His very first church out of Seminary. We lived in a little house in the middle of no-where, surrounded by farms and cow pastures.
All that we had was supplied by the Church. My parents didn’t have a lot, but they did possess a Sears charge card. I am fairly certain my parents paid monthly on this early debt for most of their adult lives.
I was just listening to NPR this week, as someone was talking about how Sears is desperately struggling in this time of Amazon, Costco and Home Depot and how they sold their “rights” to Land’s End and their Craftsman tool line. Sears built it’s reputation building small stores throughout rural America. Coincidence to hear any news of Sears, but none the less dots, I like to connect the tiny details in my week.
I am a tactile person. I like the feel of a super soft t-shirt, the swish of a taffeta skirt when I walk with purpose, the weight and weave of a big bulky sweater, and the interestingly enough, the tuft of corduroy.
The feeling of these new pants sparked a memory of a pair of burnt orange corduroy pants, Sears Tough Skins to be exact, and my first day of school. I recall my Mom telling me I was very excited for my first day of school, but I believe I have always been an anxious being and the stress of getting on a bus all by myself and traveling into town to school with strangers was very overwhelming. Most of my clothes were homemade, so they were not tight or restrictive. These pants were truly tough and to be honest, I have never truly handled buttons around my belly with ease. For most of my life, I had to wear a belt as I did not have hips and pants slid right off. But synching a belt on tight “enough”, or excessively tight as to prove a point to my Mom (as I am finally willing to concede was probably more the issue than the rigidity of the pants) made my stomach hurt really, really bad. I am certain my Mom had not mentioned to our pediatrician that I was a difficult child who was super difficult about eating, following direction, or handling and maneuvering change and new situations. It just wasn’t talked about 40 years ago.
So, my first day of school as best I can remember went something like this. I didn’t like the ugly, tight, rough orange pants and didn’t want to wear them to school. I am certain the triangle top my Grandmother had sewn me that absolutely did not cover my boobies was much more comfortable, along with the elastic waist band shorts that matched the top. While I feel my Mom’s struggle, to keep me from getting sent home for being inappropriately dressed my very first day of school, she was raising a very strong willed being, who had decided those orange corduroy pants would not be rubbing my belly all day.
It seems I got myself so worked up that I accidentally vomited on my new school pants that I didn’t want to freakin’ wear to school. I have no recollection of what she put in me in at the last moment to push my ass onto that school bus, but I don’t remember being yelled at or made to pay for my defiance.
As a Mom who is struggling with a child who is struggling, I can only imagine what raising me was like.
Tonight, sitting on the floor, across from my son with his big brown eyes telling me about how he has struggled through his day starting with not sleeping well, to his pants slipping down as he doesn’t have a belt to keep them up and having to follow stupid rules, I am very certain that for some of us parents, our job is just to keep them clothed, their bellies full of whatever they will eat on any given day and to help them, sometimes shepherd them into the next day.
For most of my life, my experience with brain chemistry issues, as it is now referred to, has been my own rambling path and without help or guidance due to stigma, I have fumbled around to figure out life as a grown up with anxiety and depression.
The other night I was talking to my Mom and told her that I wasn’t sure how she did it, but I was grateful she had helped me reach adulthood, where a huge amount of the “high school” stress and struggle shed off me. She replied she wasn’t sure what the hell she did, as she was dealing with her own issues and struggling to figure out this grown up shit.
Tonight, as I put away my sweet new red corduroy pants for my future, I am praying for grace and guidance that will allow me to see my children find their own perfect, round about, meandering, by route of the long way and school of hard knocks path into the adulthood.
It always delights me when a touch or smell transports me to memories long since forgotten by the hectic pace of being a parent.
Life can be so random.
A friend texted to get contact information for another friend. Very surface interaction, but I adore this kick ass Mama! It is very easy to lose touch when you are in the middle of living. I wrote her to catch her up that my son has moved in with me full time as of Christmas. Just a simple catch up text session an then I wrote, "I don't think I have allowed myself to really feel how much I have missed my kids when they are gone."
Tears flowed for a good long time for me that night.
There hasn't been time for me to fall apart over the past 6 years and allow myself to feel the depth of sadness of missing half of my children's week. The missed chances for conversation and connection. The waiting until they were settled under my roof again to breathe.
This post is is not intended to belittle their Dad's importance or role in their lives, at all. I just need to honor that for 11 years they were my whole life. Every day, all day.
Then everything changed. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like had I packed them up and left for my sister's house in VA like the Judge approved. Other times I wonder what life would have been like had I stopped fighting up stream and just enrolled them in public school down here in the Springs.
Most nights I answer myself that I am where I am supposed to be. Exactly where I am supposed to be, as are my children.
I remember the drive down from Cripple Creek Courthouse with Theresa by my side. I was defeated. I was overwhelmed with grief. Once we arrived in town, I had to go pick up my son from Cub Scouts. My Co-leader had run the meeting without me as I feared I might be late.
I remember crying and picking up my son and heading back to Theresa's to tell my daughter. I had to tell my daughter who had slept next to me since she was born that I had lost at court and she would have to sleep without me.
To to be fair, and I don't have to be, my ex slept with her for a while, but in the end he deemed her too difficult to sleep with. Me, well I slept with her every night she would let me. I kept my boyfriend at arms length when he wanted to stay over, because that was her spot in my bed. There was never a question that I would sleep with her until she left for college, if that is what she wanted. That being said, I have always known it is my job to prepare them for life on their own. The day did finally come and it was a glorious and bittersweet. I missed hearing her sleep more than I imagined I would.
Back on that fateful court day, I hurt so deeply, but couldn't allow myself to be consumed by that pain. I had to quickly bury my pain, put on a brave face and make everything look and sound exciting for my children.
Six years later, and the pain is making itself known and refusing to be held in. Both of my kids are teenagers now. While I do not want to scare them or worry them, I don't have to hide how I feel anymore. I am choosing not to try and fix their relationship with their Dad. I am not going to spend one more moment trying to help them make sense of who their Dad is or why he is so angry. I have let them know I do not understand why he makes the choices he does.
I have spent the last year and a half forcing my son to stay on our 50/50 schedule with his dad. Forcing him to try to work on things with his dad. Then I woke up one night asking myself why? I know what living in the constant battle with his dad is like. The drills, the non stop questions to explain your self and the pain of knowing that he would never understand my thoughts, needs or who I am.
Every time my son would call, defeated, overwhelmed, and hurt I would relive my own pain of similar battles and I would want to run up and protect him and defend him. Then my own personal battle would begin. I regret that my choice to leave my marriage means I don't get to provide a buffer for my children. My freedom is at their expense. This ugly cycle would churn in my head and heart for days, until I would be faced with no other option than to drop down to my knees and surrender and pray.
I cannot change what I have done. I cannot change that I could not make their father happy. I cannot change that his heart was never mine. I cannot change that we could not find a middle ground.
As part of my brokeness, I still revisit what might have happened if I had stayed. I could have taken on and blocked some of the hurt for them. This is the spiral that plays in my head many nights.
Six years removed and I have not put down this pain.
This year my desire is to stay in this place of emotion. To quit running from it and pushing it down. I want to feel all of the regret and fear, and worry and anger and helplessness of having escaped my marriage, knowing I couldn't take them with me. I need to come to terms with I did what I felt was the best thing to save me. I had to save me.
This year I am watching my son figure out boundaries with people he loves. He has moved home with me full time, for now. I am trying to keep the channels open so he can go back and forth as he needs. I know it has to be his decision and that he may want to try to go back to his dad's to see if he can keep the boundaries in place.
I missed him so much every night I didn't get to tell him I loved him before bed.
I am so glad my son is home.
I worry about being "to"; to big, to strong, to bright, to much. I like to believe I am comfortable in my own skin, but really, I am not.
I heard about a youth Slam Poetry competition here in town and I knew I wanted to take my daughter. I wanted my her to experience a place where kids express the hurt and anger and sadness and rage they are feeling. A place where no one tells them to be quiet or tone it down or make it pretty or palatable. A place where no one tells you to edit out the ugly parts. An outlet where you are encouraged to express what is going on, what you are feeling, how you feel in technicolor and with a blur of demonstrative hands.
I love the build up and fast pace and the escalating volume of power of pushing your words out from that sacred place where our souls resides. I held my breath as I took in each story, unable to really believe that these children could deliver so much emotion and tragedy without doubling over in pain. I wanted to rush the stage each time they finished to wrap them up in all of the love and peace I possess.
I didn't. But their friends and family did.
It was comforting to be in a tiny space full of feelers.
Even having found my tribe of women, I still feel like sometimes, most of the time, I am just "to much." It was energizing to be surrounded by so much accepted and anticipated emotional energy.
On our way home from the Poetry Slam, my daughter selected some sad moody ballads to keep us in that lovely emotional space. I love singing as much as I love writing. I am a loud singer and normally try to keep it under wraps when I sing with my daughter because she hasn't found her voice yet. She is a very timid, uncertain singer.
It was then, that the ugly thought surfaced. I was being too big, stealing the show, taking the lead. I throttled it down to allow us to sing as a complimentary duet, so as not to overpower her. Then I felt it, a flash of memory. When I was a child, my mother helped me find my singing voice. While I should have spent the rest of my childhood singing harmony with my mom and my sister, that is not the hand we were dealt. Adolescence ushered in the big hush or the time of silence in my life. Don't speak about what is going on at home. Don't trust anyone outside of our family. There were so many years where I sang, alone.
I started writing poetry when I was my daughters age. I had so much pain and anger and disappointment and fear and sadness and loneliness that I did everything possible to numb myself so I could get through each day. And as I was never quite certain if I would make it to the next day, I wanted to document my pain. Poetry was a vital emotional outlet for me.
My sister and I would both be grown mother's of our own children before we found our harmony. Now, when I sing with my sister, there is never a moment of holding back, from note one, it is 100 percent pure full on emotion. Everything is left on the stage.
I want my children to see that it is not only acceptable, but beautiful to give all that you are into each day; to live and share every last bit of emotion you can wring out of this one and only lifetime we are given.
So instead of toning it down, I need to remember to show them how much better life is when you live and share your passion. Even if your gift is merely being a story teller.
I get up each morning before the sun and open the the blinds as an offering to the Sun god that if he will allow the sun to shine and spill forth in that too bright, too intense glow, that I will stop in appropriate gratitude and soak in all the warmth.
All winter long, I open the blinds and wait. I stand very still, eyes closed, holding my breath, waiting. Nothing happens day after day. Just me standing in the dark and deathly silence.
There will be a morning, a very sunny morning, where the birds are literally chirping their heads off to get me to notice that spring is arriving. After so many mornings in the dark, one morning, I will look over at the window to fuss at them to be quiet and will notice the streams of sunshine reaching out to me in my chair.
Today was that morning. I opened the blinds and stood still. Through my closed eye lids, I could see the sun shining and I could feel the glow and I then exhaled loudly. I ran outside to feel spring and to take a photo of my favorite tree, the squirrel tree!
Everything happens so fast from here. I will look out the window in just a few days and their will be buds on the lilac bushes that are that marvelous shade of new green and then magically the grass will wake up.
There are so many days when I don't feel like getting out of bed, that I can't bring myself to soldier on in the darkness. Then the morning comes and I am filled with such peace, knowing I have made it through the worst of it, again.
I am an obsessive thinker. I have to work very hard to stop my thoughts and stay present. I worry and overthink things. While I talk a lot, it is amazing how much time I spend in my own head.
More than anything, I want to do right by those I love and to myself. I push, I pull, and boy do I struggle.
I was gifted the opportunity to be a step-parent over 21 years ago. I was only 22 at the time and had no clue what it meant to be a parent. In fact at that point, I was so certain that I would fuck up any child I had, that I swore I would never have children. Then I met a man who I fell in love with, and he had a young son who I came to adore. This child came and went from our life several times a year and was a sweet blessing in my life. The coming and going was very confusing to me. His dad had little contact with him when he wasn't with us, and I had no contact. I would think of him often, but I was just an extra in his life at the time.
But because of him, I found space in my heart to try this parent thing. All I knew was I had a great deal of love to share and it seemed that I was the only one worrying about my future imaginary children and the damage that I would share with them. So I brought two children into this world.
The two I physically pushed into this world will always be mine, as I will always be their mother, I will always count. But when I divorced their father, I found that slowly I lost my step-son. Being a step parent is so weird. I count when I am the only parent around doing the day to day, but I am an extra. At the time I didn't feel like I had a say in how he was raised. Now I sit back and chuckle that I had all the say in the world as the only parent on-site for his high school years. Having him in my life full-time made it painfully obvious that my husband and I had extremely different parenting styles and concepts of what a parent's job is.
This quote hangs in my bathroom and I sit and read it every day, "Our role as parents is not to mold our children but to create enough spaciousness & simplicity around them so that they can stay true to themselves and follow their soul whispers." Hollie Holden wrote this and posted it on Facebook a while ago and when I read it, it resonated with my heart.
I believe children come into the world who they are. "As is," so to speak. I believe that we teach them through being our true selves. They learn what they see and feel in their world. The lectures and endless analogies we feel the need to express are our attempt to guide them through situations where they may not have a good example of how to act. Our words and actions either click with them or they truly go in one ear and out the other.
I have tried not to involve my step-son in the chaos of the divorce. It was hard to not want him to tell the courts all of the meanness he had to endure, especially when I knew his brother and sister would be facing the same problems down the road. I stayed in the same area as their father at my step son's plea. He was right that we needed to stay. I didn't want to. I knew it would be painful for myself and the kids. But I knew he was right.
Then he pulled away and stopped connecting with me. I didn't see that coming. I know my ex's family is very cut and dry, you are either in or out. But I had secretly hoped I was special. I have told myself that in order for him to have a smoother time with his family, that I would not be able to play a major role in his life, but I really didn't think through how much it would hurt to be removed. I am struggling to make sense of this empty space. I have seen this happen to friends and family, but I never imagined a day where I didn't know which state he was living in.
If he finds a partner and decides to settle down, is there a place for me at the wedding? Will someone contact me if he is in an accident? Will I know when he had children? Do I just sit quietly and try and at least keep Facebook open so I get glimmers and glimpses of his life?
Out of left field, he began putting out very public comments on my personal Facebook page. I don't know why he is choosing such a public forum to swipe at me. I keep trying to make sense of what he wants me to feel or know, but I can't.
I heard this song, Burning House and found myself crying on the drive down today. It made me think of my step-son.
I am reliving so much of the parenting struggle I lived when my step son was a teen all over again now with his younger siblings. My ex is bragging about all of the very stern measures he is taking to force change in our unruly, undisciplined children. De ja freakin' vu! His brother said to me the other day after a fight with his dad, that he understands why his brother moved out when he turned 18. I told his, "dude you have no clue how painful that day was for me." I remember sitting on our front porch watching him leave after explaining to his dad that he was moving in with another family until graduation. I remember that as a really powerful experience of having to sit quietly and just watch life play out.
I feel the hardest part of being a parent is when you really come to terms with the fact that your children (or spouse, or parents, or anyone) have their own lives to live and their own lessons to learn through, that they actually have to make some painful and stupid mistakes in order for them to have the history to fulfill their work here on this earth. Our children are creating their history, their story. Their stories, like our own will have some really hard times, some bumpy times and hopefully some grace and ease.
My hope and loose knit plan, is and was to fill my children's lives with interesting people, books, movies, music and places. To feed their imagination and souls with connection. My ego is not and hasn't been tied to what they chose to do or not with their lives. My work is to help them as I can, to stand beside them through their struggles and remind them how wonderful they are when they forget. If I have done my job right, they will always know where to find arms that will embrace them, gentle coo's of love and empathy, and eyes that see's how brilliant and capable they are.
My ex's birthday is on our calendar. I reminded the kids to set aside some time to make him a card. My daughter mentioned that the woman he is seeing's birthday is the day before his. I nod my head and tell her that makes a lot of sense. What I know of her totally agrees with how very similar they are and how much they appear to have in common. Way cool for them.
Over the rest of the night both kids talked about their upcoming weekend.
Grandma is coming in to town to help celebrate their Dad's birthday. She is also going to babysit so that he can go on a date!
My step son is coming down again to see his family. I won't lie, this stings a lot. I know that I am not alone in the sadness of being a "former" step parent. Nothing prepares you for losing a child you accepted as your own and loved, but divorce is very messy and difficult for the children, even the grown ones.
Anyways, I am feeling in a funk. Work is okay, but I am still feeling out where my place is in this new world. I don't want to step on any toes and I don't want to get too ahead of myself. I think it is a good fit for my people skills, but like all things, time will tell.
I need something more. Something to make getting out of bed worth it.
I know that most of us aren't able to have our day job feed our passion. I had always thought I was special and that my passion and how I spent my day would be one in the same. I have been working almost 30 years and the only job I have had that fed my soul was being a mom and homeschooling them. Since that ended 5 years ago, I have just kinda floundered around trying new things to see what fits. It has been more taking what is in front of me than conscious choice. Until this new job. Social media and marketing and sales are things I really enjoy. I am ready to settle into my life, but this takes patience and it seems I am low on that.
I know I need time to myself. I need time to create. I need time to be quiet and listen. I need time to just sit and grow moss and feel the wind blow through my hair and feel the warmth of the late summer sun on my face. I don't want to have to explain or share or do anything other than just be and feel and lay on the sofa. I don't want to have to be up for someone else. I don't want to feel guilty for not being in a good place.
Easier said than done when you have children, a boy friend, friends and family that want to connect with you and need your energy and love.
I can tell I am running a little low right now and I need to figure out how to recharge myself so I can be of service to those I love.
I feel like I am just getting through each day. Like that is all I aiming for, just to get the day done.
My guts rumbled all night. I went through the process of thinking what excuse will I give to not have to go to Girl Scouts if my ex mother in law will be there. I spent the night borrowing trouble. I woke up knowing I didn't want to lie. Before I dropped my daughter off at school, I nervously asked if she knew when her Grandma was getting into town. She said she wasn't sure. I asked if she found out that it was tomorrow and her Grandma was coming to Girl Scouts if she could let me know. She said yes she would let me know and that she understood. It is hard enough to sit under the gaze of my ex. I don't have it in me this week to sit with both of them.
Is this being a chicken shit or self preservation? I know I am really hard on myself, but I am ready for the day when life doesn't feel so damn hard. For the funk I am in, I am choosing to call this self love. Setting boundaries and limits. I do not need to have family time with my ex and his mom.
Self love today is mango smoothie and a chocolate pop tart and good music and listening to Deepak tell me that I am part of the flow of life and making a list at the end of the day of what I am grateful for.
Even it all I write is that I am grateful I made it through another day.
Today I am grateful for my home, my safe haven.
My daughter has spent the afternoon cleaning, organizing & rearranging her room.
My son has spent the afternoon playing video games & chillin' to his music.
Me, well I went to work and am now home sitting on my front porch watching my neighbors come & go.
I want to find a good long hammock stand to put on my front porch. Then I could spend the next few months peacefully swaying & relaxing.
This is year #2 of me forgetting to go to King Soopers & buy me two of the red plastic adirondak chairs. Now they are all gone for the season.
I will put it on my must do list for June 2016.
I will just continue to sit on my front steps until next summer.
I am immensely grateful for my home and the comfort & stability it provides my family.
I love when I am present enough to get lost in the connections and feelings. I had a beautiful morning lacing several different conversations together.
You can only have one favorite color.
I do not have to make snap decisions at anyone's demand anymore.
My favorite color is teal & orange & silver & gold! I am girlie & outdoorsy. I am an extrovert who needs a great deal of quiet to recharge.
I am only a dog lover though!
Some days are a big slap to the forehead. It is astounding how much of my personal power I just give away. No one asking, no one standing with a hand out. Just me dishing it out blindly.
When I told my husband I wanted a divorce, he didn't move out. We shared a house for 10 long months. He wouldn't let me leave with the kids and he wouldn't grant me space. At our first court hearing the judge said I could move out and take the kids with me. I did. After all of the hoops and paperwork I was finally okay to move out. I was not however granted time and space to move out. I left the courthouse with my best friend and under the watchful eye of my husband who had a 9 millimeter gun stuck in his waistband, we grabbed what we could.
A year later, the judge granted me access to my belongings. Again, the system is such a mess. My ex had gone through everything and decided what was mine and what I could have. Four items that I had naively expected to be handed to me were my passport, my 9 millimeter, my 22 pistol and my bullets. Instead I was told they were somewhere, packed in the double garage full of boxes he had ready for me. Later that evening I found the 22 pistol and the bullets, but not the 9 millimeter or my passport.
Finding the gun was urgent as I had moved us into my girlfriends home and we now had a missing gun and a house with 6 children living in it.
Every box was opened and every item was unwrapped and touched. So many boxes, but the next night the gun was found. In a zip lock baggie in pieces. My sorry ex husband had decided that the best way to protect his sweet ass was to disassemble the gun into all of it's many pieces. I was blessed that the man I was dating was able to put it back together and teach me how to put it back together. Gun found, fear of one of the kids finding it was over.
I did not however ever find my passport. I have since moved and opened and touched every item that remains in boxes and have never found my passport.
This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but there are a few items that mean a great deal to me. A driver's license is one of those items. I was at the DMV on my 16th birthday to get my driver's license. I couldn't wait for the freedom driving would provide me. The second item is a library card. Getting a library card is always one of the first things I do when I move to a new area. A library is a safe place to go and be. It is a place where you can sit, safely for hours and let your mind explore. The third item is a valid passport. I received my first passport at 20 and have had a valid one handy and ready ever since, until 2011 when my "disappeared."
When my Dad was in Germany he became very sick twice. Both times I was moments away from purchasing a ticket to fly across the ocean to help him get back on his feet when he would tell me he had it under control. I not only had to have my passport valid, but as a stay at home mom, I had my children's passports updated in 2010 in case we had to go take care of my dad.
I was deemed a flight risk during the divorce and the Judge ordered that the children's passports were to be held in the office of my husband's lawyer. Again, the system is very lazy and no one made sure that ever happened. When I brought it to everyone's attention it was just shrugged off.
I have allowed this to be an irritant of mine for 4 years, instead of getting the photos, printing the paperwork and getting a new passport. Me, who has always prized my ability to say yes and go, let my life be put on hold by my need to hold onto my anger.
I have had the ability to get a new passport for 4 years, but I didn't. I wanted my existing one. I wanted the stamps that show where I have been. I wanted him to do the right thing and suddenly find it.
Part of divorce is forgiving and letting go. Daily I work on forgiving a little more and letting a little more go.
I had passport photos taken and will fill out the paperwork to get a new passport issued. This is a big step at letting go and taking control of my life again. Today, I want my freedom more than I want the comfort and justification of my anger.
Angel card: Wedding.
I hate this card. I hate it every time I pull it. I need a new meaning for this card.
I have zero interest in ever getting married again.
For me, marriage is a trap, a cage, a death.
I put the card back in the deck, reshuffled and fucking pulled it a second time!
If you just got engaged, let me know so I can understand why I pulled this twice.
Fabulous Super Moon night!
We had just a really great end of summer day. We went to the pool one final time, went to the trampoline jump place & grilled burgers.
Then we all wrote our wishes for the coming days and then sent them up in flames to the Universe!
My daughter called me on FaceTime & chatted with me for an hour while we wrote our our wish lists!
As we got ready for bed, my daughter & I ran out for a photo of the big bright full moon.
Beautiful day with truly beautiful girl! She just fills my life with love.
It is good to remind our children that they are artistic and creative. Creativity is for more than art class!
My son had a project to "do" a poster board about himself.
Instead of just drawing on the poster board, he chose non-white poster board and cut his into the shape of a dinosaur. The little white strips are his bits of personal information about what he likes to eat and his favorite movies.
To top it off, he chose a second sheet of poster board to create the contrasting skin on the dino.
It will be interesting to hear about the reaction his creativity receives. I hope it is positive.
Can there be room in your heart to love me even if I am not the smartest woman in the world? Or if I never earn a degree? Or if I find high school math harder to figure out thirty years later than when I first learned it?
Can there be room in your heart to love me and space to get to know me?
Did I fail you by not showing you that love is not earned? Did I fail to tell you that love is best when there are no conditions tied to it. A mother's love is for all time, no matter what.
There is so much you don't remember, so much you were too young to understand. I fear you have heard way too much from someone who is hurt and angry to see me for who I really am.
As an insult last night, you stated that I don't love science, since I don't love graphing like you do. You implied you like science, like your dad. No room for me to love science too. I sometimes forget how very narrowly you view the world. I wish you would apply your fact based knowledge and scientific methodology to really examine your perceptions of who I am.
I love science and have been your science buddy since you were a toddler. I set up experiments for you all day. My favorite times were watching you explore music and sounds and water and dirt. Every day I tried to have something new for you to see and touch and feel, all while you sat in the safety of my lap twirling my hair or holding my hand as we took our walks.
I am the woman who bought you all of those huge science books and read them to you. The first time you heard the scientific names of animals, dinosaurs or plants was from my mouth. I sounded them out for you and then later we sounded them out together.
I am the woman who sat with you for four years trying to get you to read and then would give up and pull you up close to me and read you stories meant for older children to fill your imagination until you could read on your own. I am the body you curled up on while I tried to read books to fill my own brain.
Not once did I tell you that you were not smart. Not once ever, did I yell at you or belittle you for having no interest in something. I fostered your love of science into every day and lesson we had.
I had hoped that I had taught you that everyone is special and everyone is smart and that everyone has something very important to teach you. Some days, for all of your "smarts", I am not sure you get how much you break my heart. You say mean things and then laugh and explain you were just kidding. Your dad did this to me too. I shared with him many times that words spoken can never be taken back and that I believed he meant what he said, he just knew it was mean so he tried to take it back by saying he was just joking.
I grow tired of playing stupid to your father's genius. I am quite certain that even if I do earn a degree, it will not be in an area of any perceived worth.
I grow weary of hearing his derogatory remarks come out of your mouth at me.
I wish you could remember all of the years when he barely noticed you. You don't remember that I had to force him to do science with you and it never turned out well and you didn't really get to enjoy his brilliance because he would be a college instructor droning on in front of an audience. He was incapable of explaining the steps and then stepping back to let you attempt the experiment on your own. It was just easier and faster if he did everything and showed you. That my dear child is not how you learn. You are a toucher, a feeler, a tinkerer, an engineer.
Can there be room in your heart to love me if the only purpose I was put on this earth to fulfill was to be your mom?
Can there be room in your heart to love me if my greatest achievement ever was only to raise you and your sister?
Of all of the things I have done, places I have visited, jobs I have held, the two of you are what I put every ounce of my soul into. I may never have a piece of paper that declares I am smart. I may never make $6,000.00 a month. I may never have a fancy title on my business card, but all that I am and all that makes me so very special is inside you.
I have brought you places where I knew you could experience new ways of thinking and force you to wonder and imagine. I have brought you to the door of every bit of knowledge, even when I could not enter the room with you. I have carried you to the smartest people I could find and watched as you walked off with them talking their ears off. I have never let my lack of knowledge hold you back.
Your love of reading, music, science, art and science were built from my love of you and me wanting to share this whole big ole' world with you.
Each time you think of just the right song for what you are doing, you are pulling from a part of me. I have always known the right music to create a feeling.
Each time you read or hear a phrase that makes you sit back and taste the sweetness or eloquence of the wording, you are pulling from a part of me. I love finding work by an author that really knows how to express themselves.
Each time you lose yourself in book for an afternoon, it is because you grew up making forts from all of the books I was currently reading and that sat on every flat surface in our house.
Each time you push for the independence you so rightly feel is yours for the taking, I salute you and remember when you did this as an infant, a toddler and again as you left preschool. I am not a stranger to your need to do it on your own. I have sat off to the side and watched this behavior since you were born. I was always within hearing distance and my full attention was always on where you were and what your next step was. I never wanted you having to find me to be an additional irritant when you were in the middle of your next breakthrough. I have always been right on hand. All you had to do was look up and your eyes would tell me you were about to give up.
You weren't mean back then to me. You didn't feel you had to be smarter than me to make yourself feel better. Back then you just wanted to accomplish it on your own with as little assistance from me as possible. You didn't feel the need to be superior to me back then. You didn't feel the need to hurt me back then.
I am not certain if you will ever be able to forgive me for breaking up your happy home. You will probably never know that the best thing I ever did was leave your dad. It forced him to become a dad to you.
I am not certain you will ever be able to stand back and acknowledge that you and I are on similar paths with the same family of demons. I had to break free because all I heard was that I was not enough, not as good, not right, too this and not enough that. Living life being made to feel that you are not right is painful. I wonder if you feel the same way?
Oh my sweet child, I need you to know that you are very worthy. The best of everything I am and everything I have learned is inside you.
I pray you will meet friends along your way that help you to understand that all that matters is you, not what you own, not where you live, not where you went to college, not how much money you make. I pray that your life is filled with strong feminist women and emotional men who show you that you are flawed and fabulous and that you can put down your need to judge everyone around you because you are enough, just as you are, you are worthy of achieving every dream you have ever whispered up to the full moon or on a birthday candle.
I can tell you that I am so happy to be free. I have found my own group of friends who know my worth and help me on my weak days to remember I have so much to offer to the world. I have friends who remind me that I am worthy. That I am smart. That I am able to do anything I choose with ease. They remind me that I have already accomplished so much to get to this point. I hope that you get to know the feeling of having people understand you.
My old life was full of explaining myself and then looking into dead, judgmental eyes that could not understand any bit of what I had said or felt. That is a very rare experience for me now. When I speak and connect with people out here in the real world, they are nodding their heads and agreeing and letting me know that the connection has been made. They have felt what I am feeling or can imagine what I am describing.
There is more than one path to success. I need for you to know this because as my child, you are not going to pick the easy road. I imagine you and I will be on this bumpy path for a long while as you figure out that you have to embrace the whole you, to find true happiness. I wish being smart was the way to great success, but it is not. No one likes being with a know-it-all. My only source of comfort is that I am certain you have in you enough of me, to help people see that you are so much more. I imagine you will find your clarity and purpose once you accept and utilize both your head and your heart.
Can you reach back and remember when your feelings of me were your own, before the divorce, before the dark ugliness was allowed to go unchecked. Before you felt you had to choose. Before I had to be wrong to his right?
I am far from perfect and have not hid my mistakes from you. As your mother, I know you need to see that life is not fair and that people are not fair. While I wish it didn't happen so often, I need for you to see me cry. I need for you to know that crying is not weakness, it is being present in a moment. You my son, are a big feeler, and my job is to be the voice in your head that reminds you that life is better when you feel the full spectrum of feelings. Feel the bad feelings with as much attention as riding through the highs of joy! Don't cheat yourself out of being present in each moment. This is what will draw people to you and make them fall in love with you. You have in you the greatness of a leader, not because of your perceived intelligence, but because of your ability to connect with people.
Can you start taking the small steps to be your own man and can you choose to be a good man, a kind man?
Can you make room for me in your heart and learn to draw strength from my love and belief in you? I promise I am strong enough to love you through these very difficult times.
I hope you can find a place for me in your heart, where it is alright for me to just be me.
I have waited all summer for school to start back so I can get back into the routines that I need to focus on work and to write. Today is the first day of school for my kids!
My son starts high school today. I dropped him off and promptly started tearing up. OMG it really feels like just yesterday that they handed him to me and he was 6 pounds and some ounces of warmth. My constant companion for 11 years. I remember his arms stretched up reaching for me to pick him up again. He was always in my arms, snuggled in my lap or curled up next to me. Today marks that our time living together and hanging out on the couch daily is drawing to a close. 14 1/2 incredible years full of first and I am still so grateful everyday that I had the opportunity to be a mom! Without a doubt, being a mom is the greatest thing I have ever done in my life.
I am so excited to hear how their first day of school went!
This is a very strong positive reading for the coming year. I am very excited that I am making this happen!
Last week my ex texted to see what day would be good for us to meet with the school and have our daughter present her presentation on why she should be allowed to stay in school after her "gang" incident at the end of the school year.
I asked how much work she had done at his house and let him know she hadn't done any of the presentation at my house. He said she was mostly done. When I asked her an hour later, she said she hadn't done any of it. Later that night she and I sat down and looked at the journaling we had done this summer and we came up with thoughts to be used in the presentation she would create. We made photo copies that she could take back to her dads to combine with what they would create.
Turns out he didn't let her use anything we had done together, nothing. She was not happy that he had made such a big decision on what was supposed to be her presentation. But time was short and she had to get it completed. I asked if he could send me a copy of the final presentation so I would know what she was saying before we stood in front of the group. That didn't happen. So she didn't get to really read through it and get comfortable with it in the day prior to the meeting.
The night before she picked out two outfits she would be comfortable in. One was basket ball shorts and a t-shirt and the other was a ripped up tight pair of jeans and a short t-shirt. She ultimately chose the basket ball shorts and t-shirt. We went to sleep and surprisingly, we both slept.
Up bright and early the next day to get my son to High School Freshman Orientation, then to the middle school. When my ex arrived, our daughter asked him to see the stuff she had laid out for him to bring. He only had half of it. He brought only what he thought she had laid out. Anyone who knows my girl, knows she is very organized and creates detailed to do list and always gets her stuff packed and ready. The journal she did with the counselor this summer was missing. She started to stress and calmed herself down. As adults this would throw most of us off prior to a meeting. It sucks when you realize you don't have everything you need or prepared.
But she shook it off.
Then he turned to her and started to say something and stopped himself. I felt myself inhale and hold my breath waiting for the fight to start.
A minute later, he turned to her and asked her what she was thinking wearing the outfit she had on. I felt it with her, the shame of having been told you fucked up. She started telling him that she didn't have any nice clothes, that she didn't have any other clothes. He was upset that the t-shirt had skulls on it, day of the dead skulls. Her face was red and she was crying and she walked away to go to the bathroom.
I stood there for a second unsure what to do. I knew where his anger would turn next and it did. How could I let her show up looking like that. There are skulls on the damn shirt.
I told him that she picked out her outfit and it was fine. He said I should have guided her to a more appropriate outfit. I remembered I don't have to listen to his bullshit anymore and I walked away from him to the bathroom and just hugged her while she cried and vented. Then we washed her face and went out.
Eighty percent of the time I have closure and visualize my ex surrounded by loving white light and happiness. I feel the peace it brings my body. I want him happy and I forgive him for what he did to me and I forgive him for what he made me feel. Eighty percent of the time I am at peace with him and other than the guilt I feel for leaving and changing everyone's life, I have moved from hate and anger and fear to peace and closure. However, several times a month he has to make everything so damn hard and he has to hurt me or one of the kids.
I had spent the 24 hours prior and the morning of getting her pumped up for her presentation. Asking questions to get her thinking about what she wanted to express. With a few words, he undid so much forward motion.
Imagine being a grown up having someone challenge and mess with you before an important event. Most of us can't rebound quick enough as grown ups.
The one request I have made to each of the counselors my kids have had over the past 5 years was that they teach the kids how to set boundaries with my ex. How to stand up firm to his need to dominate every choice and thought. How to feel comfortable stating their needs and desires to someone who is going to demand logical explanation and who will argue and tell you that you are wrong. They all just look at me like I have lost my mind. Why are we sending them to professionals if no one will help them learn to set boundaries to protect themselves?
They will lose touch with the feelings their gut provides them. They will start to doubt their ability to make decisions. They will doubt themselves. They will lose trust in knowing who they are. They will think they are broken.
They will be told that they are being unreasonable and over emotional and too sensitive.
It was very difficult to see my daughter get messed with.
The school didn't expect her to come back after two months as a compliant barbie doll, in a dress of pink with pearls.
That was never the point. He is an adult and knew what he was doing to her was wrong. There was no way to change what she had on 3 minutes before her presentation. He knew it would only stress her out and upset her. He has to know her, right? And he did said it anyway, just to be mean.
She did really, really good bouncing back from two big problems before her presentation. I am very proud of her.
Her presentation was fine, but completely missing the element of emotion and feeling that what she and I worked on could have added to round out the facts and nothing but the facts. But it was concise and effectively done in boring government power point. No images, no expressive font, no color. All dad, no mom.
On the way back home she had a great deal of emotion to vent.
Then she said, "I can't wait until I am grown up and can get away and be me." I almost stopped the car, but I didn't want to destroy the moment. I looked at her in the rear view mirror and told her I knew how she felt and that was why I had to leave. I just wanted to be me. I still just want to be me, without someone telling me I am wrong or bad, or stupid. We don't talk a lot about why her dad and I got divorced, but in every example she vented, I saw myself and 16 years with her dad flashing before my eyes. She said she hates how he never apologizes when he is wrong. She said she hates how he doesn't hear her and how he gets so mad when she changes her mind. She went on and on and she was preachin' to the choir. I was reading to start shouting "Amen" and raising my hands up to the Holy Spirit.
I didn't start the hallelujah chorus, but I did tell her that she has the power to be herself now and that she is strong enough to stand up to anyone, anytime.
Divorce moved me 80 percent of the way to freedom, but it left my kids struggling with the same issues that forced me to leave. I got mostly free. My kids didn't. I say this a lot, but it is heavy in my heart and words don't do it justice. Divorce only gets the adult out, there is nothing in place to protect the children.
I had hoped that if I left, I could break the cycle of abuse.That they would see me struggle and grow and heal and learn from my mistakes. It is hard to watch the abuse continue and know that breaking that cycle now rest in my children's tiny little hands. I want to see them learn faster than me. I want to see them stand firmer than me. Even when my son drives me crazy with his verbal explosion of unhappiness, I love that he isn't swallowing his words, yet.
I want to be a good role model of speaking my truth and living my life true to myself. I want them to grow up believing that they are worth it. Worth the fight. That they matter and that they should never just give up and that it is not their job to conform to make other's happy.
It is hard to get closure when the wounds get ripped open so often.
It has been over a year since I wrote this piece. I found I have 50 drafts saved in various states of disarray, that I started, never finished or was not ready to deal with the consequences that would follow.
It is time to begin again.
Originally written August 2, 2015
"When you can't let go of control, chances are it's the time you need to let go the most." Cheryl Richardson
Mass Email Post from Danielle LaPorte on Tuesday July 28, 2015
"Do you know the story of the man who was hitting himself over the head with a hammer? “Why do you keep hitting yourself with that hammer?” a shocked passerby asked him. “Because,” the man replied, “it’s going to feel so good when I stop.”
Examine the evidence. You keep fighting the same fight. You’re losing sleep. You’re sick of hearing yourself complain about the same damn things over and over again (yammer, hammer, hammer). Clearly, wrestling isn’t getting you closer to free. It’s quite possible that…you have no fight left in you."
"When you stop struggling to make something go the way you’ve wanted it to, you shift the energy grid of our life. Facing the facts is liberating (even though it can be wrenching) — and with that truth comes a major power surge.
When you’re done fighting, you’re.done.fighting. It’s a bittersweet relief. Focus on the sweet."
"When you have no fight left in you, you get to stop fighting. This defeat can be a major victory."
To read the entire article by Danielle LaPorte, click here.
I am the man with the hammer hitting my head over and over again.
The past three weeks have been really difficult for me. My kids have been gone with their dad on his vacation time and this throws me for a curve ever summer and every Christmas. I miss them and the energy they create in my home.
When I am overwhelmed, I go inward, get quiet, and think.
My turning inward sent my partner into a tailspin. I played small at home to keep arguments to a minimum and tried to keep the energy around me calm, but honestly my irritation was instant. I didn't want to spend the time sharing my thoughts and feelings with my partner. I just wanted to be alone and sleep. I didn't want to talk about my feelings or be smothered with his. I didn't want to share my hurt and fear.
I didn't want to have conversations. I just wanted to be quiet and let the storm pass and not open any more cans of worms. I didn't want to have conversations with my friends either. When you are starting over or following your dreams, there can be some tender not firmly rooted times when you need to just keep your mouth shut and your thoughts to yourself. Sometimes while you are sowing your dreams, you have to keep it all in and protected.
I didn't want to have relationship conversations with my partner because they always feel like I have to explain who I am and what I want and what I am going through. It makes me feel very selfish. Telling your partner that they are third on this list is hard. I chose me and I chose my kids and I can squeeze you in when time permits. Sounds mean and bitchy, and if I really was mean and bitchy I would just come out and say it. Instead I try to soften the words.
Or it somehow appears like I am asking for help and I am not. I don't want to have these conversations because I don't have time for the fall out, the possible drama, and hurt & tender feelings. It sucks to keep having to tell someone you don't want their help. I have said it many times but I continue to work on speaking my truth. I have decades of swallowing the words and feelings I don't think I can share because I don't want to hurt the people I love.
Instead, I hurt myself.
My partner is a good man who is kind and wants to help, to fix my problems, to rescue me.
The problem is I don't want to be helped, don't need anyone to fix my problems and sure as shit don't want to be rescued. I don't want to be treated as fragile and incapable.
I am recognizing that when I have big lapses between writing, it is because I don't feel I should write what is going on in my life or in my heart or in my head, because it will hurt someone else. So I turn these conversations around inside my head and swallow them down. Then I lay in bed all night replaying the conversations. My kids have been gone for two weeks and I have not written more than twice.
My two kid free weeks were filled with words I didn't want to speak and didn't want to commit to paper. Words with consequences.
My biggest fear is becoming the mom, Bobby, from the movie "Wild" and being told I have a life ending disease and that I only have a few months left to live and realizing I never put myself first, even though I planned to as soon as I could without fucking up anyone else's life. And then fade to black, my time here is up and it is all over. If I found out I was dying next week, I would be a be ole mess of regret for the things I didn't make a priority to do and to say. And yet, here I sit at almost 44 years old, patiently putting my self last.
I have been lying to myself like so many mother's, that I will do all of things I wanted to do and be who I really wanted to be when it is convenient for everybody, aka, when my kids grow up and leave the nest. But the truth is there is never going to be a good or easy time for me to turn everyone's world upside down.
My truth is I want to be alone, to discover who I am when I no longer have to worry about how I might possibly impact those I love. When I am in a relationship I swallow down my fears too often and lose myself. I want to write without fear of my words hurting those I love. I want to spend my days writing and walking away from the computer for a bit and then coming back and writing the rest of the day away. Without hurting anyone's feelings. Without getting irritated that my partner is driving me crazy and being very distracting. Without having to be the bitch again and asking him to sit down and be quiet or go downstairs and watch tv. I am just so tired of being angry.
I have had a boy friend or husband for most of the past 31 years. That is 11,315 of my 16,060 days of my days on this earth spent not being focused on me. I started dating at 12 and while there has been months here or there when I was on my own, I was still out there as part of the swarm, searching and waiting for my soul mate. What lead me to leave my comfy marriage of 16 years was realizing the best part of my marriage was that for 10 of the 16 years my husband was gone Monday through Friday. I just wanted the kids. I just didn't believe I could do it on my own.
I left my marriage, but like most newly divorced people, I tried to recreate the only relationship model I know. I tried to recreate a marriage when I know down deep in my soul this is not where I want to be. I am allowing instead of creating. A creature of habit, I have done the only thing I know, which is to be in a relationship. I know how to be part of team, but the team has never been Team Melissa. So, 5 years out of my marriage and I am all but married again and miserable.
No, not miserable. That is isn't correct. Focusing on everyone and everything but myself. Miserable in my internal struggle. Fighting myself for again choosing the easy comfortable path instead of pushing through my fears and intentionally creating the life I imagine when I lay in bed curled up behind my lover, snuggled up and safe. I want the comfort and the scary lonely space.
I chose a way better partner for myself this time, but the fact is I chose a life partner again. I fell into a relationship and instead of keeping separate households and just enjoying each other when we didn't have our kids, I didn't stand firm against the blending of our families. My anger started when I allowed them to move in because that would be easier on everyone even though it is not what I wanted.
My partner keeps asking me why I am so angry? It breaks my heart to seem him hurting so much. I am angry because I want to be alone. I am angry because I don't want to hurt anyone or make life messy or confusing. I am angry because I am not living my truth.
I am angry because I don't want to upset the man I love. How do you explain to someone that you love them, but you are either leaving now or next year at best. Worse, how do you keep enjoying the comfort of the man you love when you know you will never fully commit to him. I am tired of my aversion to discussing marriage being funny. I love him deeply and completely, but I don't want to be his wife.
I am angry because I am disappointed that I can't stay focused on what matters to me and what I want to do with my life.
I am angry because I have to correct or right what I have wronged, again. Round two of sending everyone's lives into chaos.
I am angry because I fought so hard to break free and I willingly walked right back in to a damn cage again.
I am letting go. I know it is not going to be an instant fix of happiness, but it is the first step towards living the life I am dreaming of.
I had another really wonderful day at work, plenty to do and they assume the best of me, that I can do whatever they ask.
I have had to take a few moments here and there and steady myself and to whisper quietly from my heart to my head that I can do everything and anything they ask. This job fits so well with who I am, that I can't believe I didn't find this earlier. My solace is that I did in fact find it. I am here now. Present & ready to start my new career.
I have just arrived home and drove the final mile listening to Barbara singing "Papa, Can You Hear Me" from my i-phone.
Tonight is just one of those emotional nights when I miss my dad a lot. I couldn't stop the tears on the last bit of the trip home. He was a very mushy emotional guy. Tonight I would have called him to tell him about how happy I am at my new job. He would have listened as I bounced from subject to subject. My work day was fabulous. My evening was rough.
Tonight was Girl Scout night.
I got there a little late, so they had already started. I said my hello's to the mom's sitting chatting upstairs and made my way down to where the girls were. I stood four foot away from my ex and listened to their leader explain what they needed to accomplish tonight. He is always standing there. Stern & attentive & ready to point out to everyone that he will be at the event & that he is a judge at the event. He looms over the room. I just can't breathe around him. I always feel so sick.
These are the moments I hear him in my head and he is never kind to me. Do I stand still and not speak or draw attention to myself. Is he going to correct me if I say something wrong? Is he going to start quoting Girl Scout regulations and singing songs that I never took the time to learn?
I waited until I had heard what the plan was and I walked past him and went back upstairs. I wanted to escape. I was debating just walking on out. I felt very unneeded and unwanted. Instead, I walked over to the mom's at the table upstairs and sat down. They graciously let me sit and join in on their silly conversations about school supplies and their older children wanting driver's licenses. It was very nice and soothing. I felt normal again.
I would love to be involved and helping their leader, but not under his gaze. Not with him following behind me redoing everything I touch.
My plan is to push myself just a little bit each meeting to see if I can forget he is looming and watching. It just isn't me to not help and be involved, but when I get involved in other areas of my kids lives, it doesn't go well. Words he says around the kids make their way back to me.
I believe there will be a day when I will feel so at peace that I just don't even notice him. Unfortunately, I still carry so much guilt for creating my current reality. If I had stayed, just made do, just settled, just put my head down and continued to plow forward I would get to be a part of everything as he had little interest in me or the kids. This is still a hard pill to swallow.
My freedom cost me tucking in my children each night. I made this happen. I created my reality.
When I got out of my car and was walking up to the house, I saw what looked like a piece of trash, possibly a napkin that had become stuck in my flower bed. As I got closer I notice that it wasn't trash, but a lily I hadn't even noticed growing on very thin stalk and was laying almost buried in the mess of greens the iris's and day lilies put up when they bloomed weeks ago. I decided to bring it inside and enjoy it.
As awful as being near him was, I got to put my arms around both of my kids and pull them into my face and smell them and tell them I love them. I will put myself back in this awful head space again next week just for 5 minutes of time with my kids.
Tonight I would be telling my dad that I miss my kids so much. In the past few years, when I would make these late night phone calls, my dad would get real fired up and tell me that he was glad I left my sorry worthless ex and then he would get real calm and tell me that my kids love me and miss me too.
Tonight I miss my kids and I miss my dad.
If you had told me three months ago, or even two years ago that life didn't have to be so freakin' hard, I would not have believed you. I still keep pinching myself to make sure this isn't a dream inside a dream.
Far more often than not, life has been very hard for me. There has been far more lack than plenty.
This is what I grew up knowing. There was mostly enough, mostly when needed, but there was never plenty. There was never ease.
That being said, I grew up knowing how hard my parents worked for every thing we had.
This morning I listened to one designer describing the feel of the new Salon that this floral arrangement will showcase. From big hands wafting words like, "Jet-son like, modern, and organic," the vessel was selected and a creation was brought to life.
This is how my morning started. I leaned back in my chair and giggled. This is what I have dreamed of being a part of and never knew existed.
My boss then asked me to start pulling together a draft proposal for a non-profit benefit. Linens and freakin' sequins baby! High end glitter! Table lines of cream and gold glitter chevrons.
This will be a tented event. A tented event for 280 people. The entrance will be flanked with gorgeous white planters with live greenery.
Then my boss showed me the chandelier that will be center stage.
There will be metallic & glass balls and sequin table linens of silver and gold.
I am sitting at work on Pinterest searching for images to show the client how the designer wants the event to feel.
It is truly crazy when you get a taste of what your life could have been like if you had figured out you are an artist, a feeler, a creater, a dream weaver.
This is the vision of the designer for the Salon. The sofa's at the salon are a spring green. The smaller arrangements will go in areas around the reception area.
This center piece is over 5 foot tall and easily 5 foot wide from tip to tip!
Last week I saw and responded to an employment add on Craigslist for a marketing & office admin position. Today was the much anticipated interview.
I came home after the interview light as a feather & excited. My plan was to go out tonight to get a note card to let them know how much I appreciated the fabulous interview. Even if I didn't get the job, the interview had left me jazzed & confident. It has been a very long time since I felt the time slowing, crispness of being in the perfect moment. This interview had a very special feeling to it, an easiness, a flow.
The feeling eased me into a peaceful state that declares I am on the right path. That I am taking the right steps & risks (and getting back up after being knocked down). I can with great clarity envision working with these people and I see myself being very proud of this company. I really like being part of something. I like being able to feel that what I am doing each day is helping my team.
Of course I missed the phone call from them this afternoon.
I had to do a big ole exhale before calling them back. My mind was trying to figure out what had gone wrong. It was too soon for them to call. They still have interviews this afternoon and Thursday. Maybe, just maybe I was going to be asked to come back for a second interview. Instead, I was told that they wanted to offer me the job.
I had to sit down, and boy was I glad I had been hovering near my desk chair.
Then Maria, the Operations Manager told me such sweet things, that I was an excellent & perfect match, that she and the owner had felt an instant connection with me, that I interviewed so confident that I could do the job and that they felt certain that my enthusiasm would help me as I have no industry experience. Between watching Glee reruns of their production of West Side Story and my deep love for the Sound of Music, I have quite the love story for Maria happening in my head! Oh and they want me to start this week.
Starting Thursday, I will be working at a floral design event company here in the Springs who has a very impressive client list of the premier locations to host a wedding, corporate or social event! I am so excited to get to learn about & be part of a creative industry! I am excited to have found a great match for my personality and love of marketing & social media!
Plus, they said one of the perks of working for a florist is that I get to bring home some of the left over flowers after an event. I could get used to having fresh flowers in my house!
Sending a big ole' loud smacking thank you kiss out to the Universe and to each of you who lifted me up this past week!
"There's a critical difference between 'putting food on the table', and nourishing your life." Danielle LaPorte
I have made the commitment to myself to nourish my life everyday. There have been far too many years of just putting food on my table. I am ready for what I "do" and "who I am" all day to fill my soul as much as how I choose to spend my free time.
I had a great interview today with an event design & floral company. The moment I read their ad on craigslist, I wanted the job. The ad read like colors & flowers & fabric. Walking into the building I wanted the job even more. Pretty things, well placed things, flowers, sparkles and people who use words like foam core, stage props, seamstress, textures & patterns. I want this to be the vocabulary of my days. I want to be a part of this team!
I want the people I spend all day to have vision & dreams & I want to see how they bring them to life!
I have read that you are the sum of the small handful of people you surround yourself with each day. I felt the pop & sizzle & whoosh when they toured me around the building. It was like being at Santa's Workshop, magic happening in every room.
I want to join this mystical gypsy family who create new experiences for life's celebrations!
I have whispered my prayer out into the breeze to be carried out for the Universe to hear.
Boy did I have a crazy beautiful Saturday.
I had a 10 mile hike planned with our Boy Scout Troop as we are working (my son says forcing) on the Hiking Merit Badge. The boys chose this hike which is a beautiful hike, but it is all up hill. We chose to hike 5 miles up and then do the return five miles down.
About a mile into the hike, I couldn't breathe. This is prime allergy season for me, so I had already used my asthma inhaler as a preventative measure. I have walked this trail numerous times without any problems. The boys are way faster hikers than I am, but I finally had to stop and take a break. My pack felt like it had 100 pounds in it. I felt dizzy, nauseous, heartburn, and was sweating profusely. Sitting down felt better than standing up.
Because we had several other parents on this hike, I was able to be honest with myself and decide that I did not need to push myself farther up the mountain. I thought I was experiencing Altitude Sickness and the cure for that is to get back to lower levels. It did cross my mind that I really wasn't all that high up to be experiencing altitude sickness, but that is what the symptoms said to me. I didn't see myself at risk for a heart attack.
My daughter stayed back with me. We sat there on the trail for a while as I rested, then we hiked back down to the trail head. The hike down was fine and I did feel better.
At the shuttle stop while we waited for our bus to pick up us and drive us to the parking lot, we had a snack and water. Again, I was feeling better than I had on the trail. I noticed I was rubbing both of my eyes a lot and dug through my pack to find my allergy eye drops. I doused my eyes with the drops and waited. There is that brief time period where eye drops burn like crazy before they soothe. I was still rubbing my eyes after we got on the shuttle.
It wasn't until I sat down in my car and was looking in the rear view mirror getting ready to back out that I noticed how swollen my left eye was. Holy shit, it was barely open.
I dug back through my pack and found my large stash of Benadryl pills. This is the number one item I always have and always have to share with those around me while hiking.
People underestimate their allergic reaction to things that happen while miles away from a pharmacy. While sitting in the car for a while I posted my photos of my triumphant disappointment of a morning. I had been looking forward to this hike. It was going to be an ass kicker, but the views make it worth the pain.
Feeling like I had handled this little emergency of a morning, we headed home.
Once home, the adrenaline rush of worry about how bad I had felt on the trail was wearing off and the Bendaryl was kicking in so I took a nap. When I woke up an hour later, I had a FB email from a friend who is a local Fire Fighter. He said that the symptoms I had described were very in line with heart attack symptoms for women.
Theresa had texted to see how I was feeling, so I told her about the message. She asked if I wanted her to come get me and take me to the ER? "No," I replied. I felt fine now. Then I saw another message from a friend asking me how my "vascular" health was and my blood pressure. You know you are getting old when people as asking health questions on Facebook!
I have no clue what my vascular health is? I smoked for 22 years and didn't start taking care of my body until about 8 years ago. I called Theresa back and told her I had changed my mind and that I would really appreciate it if she would come get me and take me to the ER. I decided that if this was all just allergy related and they had to give me a shot of epinephrine, that I would be happy someone else was driving my shaky ass home.
It is always weird to show up at an Emergency Room. I told them that I wanted to be checked for maybe having heart attack symptoms. 44 year old female carrying 35 extra pounds around her mid section was whisked in and the first EKG was done. Moved from the triage room to another more permanent room. More sticky pads and blood work drawn. Each new person and new question made it clear that I had made the correct choice to come in to get checked out.
Yes I smoked for 22 years, pack and a half a day.
Yes, I am carrying some extra weight.
Yes, I have had a lot of stress this week. I got fired on Tuesday.
Yes, I have been slightly stressed out for weeks, awful work place.
Yes, I my body loves to yell at me via eczema, allergies, irritable bowel, headaches, inability to sleep and cystic colitis.
Yes, I have neck and shoulder pain. So much so that I started getting acupuncture and now I have a massage therapist who twist and contorts my body into various pretzel shapes while digging her elbows and strong pointy fingers into my muscles.
No, I don't sleep well consistently.
No, I don't exercise regularly. I haven't even been able to walk for the past two months due to my heel now hurting.
No, I don't have an outlet for my stress.
Yes, I know I should be breathing.
While I had a very nice long visit (5 hours) with my girl friend, while we waited for the two hours to pass before they would take more blood and compare it to the first test, I would have preferred to have my girl time pool side with sun warming my skin.
Finally the Doctor came back in and announced that I had not had a heart attack. My x-rays of my heart look great. The numbers that would have spiked a few hours after having a heart attack were non-existent. I was going to be released with a pamphlet about stress and needing to relax.
Stress, lack of sleep, and allergies took me down yesterday.
I was released and brought home.
Now, what do I do with this lesson? This is the tricky part. I am fine. It could be months or years before my body screams at me like this again.
I don't know how to make the changes in my life I need to. I am not sure how to hold myself accountable for the changes I need to make and the effort I need to put into my own life, every single day. Even after having a Doctor tell me two years ago to manage my diet, my stress and my sleep or I could lose my intestines I slipped back into not taking care of myself. I have had enough health scares that should have been big enough events to force me to make the changes that bring my body back to healthy and neutral, but I haven't made any lasting positive changes to my life.
I am grateful to have woken up to another beautiful day full of promise, even with a still slightly swollen eyelid.
How do I commit to living my best life? This is a wake-up call for both my physical body and needing to lose this weight and a call for me to put my emotional and spiritual health at the top of my list every day.
How have you made the changes you needed to in your own life? What tips can you give me? What tools have helped you out the best? How have you committed to making yourself your number one priority? What do you do every day to take care of yourself?