The other night I was sound asleep in a very deep sleep. A strong noise, maybe a thud or a bang, woke me to a stir. Wasn’t quite sure if I heard something or if I was dreaming, but now I was awake either way. And to be honest I was a bit annoyed because I was enjoying the solid rest.
Next thing I see is my phone lighting up. It was on mute without a vibrate, by the time I got to it I missed a call. This late at night? Who? What?
My Mother had called. She left a message which I listened to and she said it was no big deal, it was 11:30 and she couldn’t sleep. I looked at the time of the message and it wasn’t 11:30PM at all, it was about 2:30 in the morning.
I returned her call immediately, and before I could even think I was dressed and driving on the freeway. I was going to pick her up to take her to ER, just to be on the safe side. We found out she was suffering from congestive heart failure. We had no idea.
Today we are a few days out, and she is back home on several new medications.
But what was it? A noise or a different kind of something? What awoke me in time not miss her call? I don’t know. I may never know, but whatever it was it saved my Mother’s life.
So I thank you “it.”
Have you ever felt like you were ready to change, to start something to better you life but you felt restricted by people around you? It’s like trying to change life long patterns that no longer fit your dreams, and people around you take every chance to mock or dismiss your ideas.
I have felt that way for several years now. And I believe I allowed those outside influences to make my attempts at changing terribly difficult.
Face it, we all know there are productive methods for example, get yourself out of a rut. But when you talk about it, there seems someone is always more than ready to tell you how it won’t work, or you’ll never stick with it. Then they might go as far to point out several of your past failed attempts to change. That is the sort of thing that crushes me.
Even changing my eating habit is still to this day met with sideways glances and grimacing faces. Usually from people who are closest to me. “You eat that?! Gross.” They may even mock where I read about it and challenge it’s validity. In any case, the negative responses really effect me. I wish they didn’t do this , but they do.
Some say you have to ignore them, easier said then done. Others say you have to remove them from your life, and surround your self with more like-minded people. Again easier said then done.
So today, I have to ignore them. And tomorrow I have to ignore them, and for the rest of my life I have to ignore them. I have to look past what they say, and stay on my path. This is going to be hard, because my auto-pilot reactions is to self doubt. My thoughts race to: ” They are right, I do fail all the time. I will never be able to change.” And the words I hear, plus the word I then tell myself reinforce constant failures as my truth.
I am going to try. Again. I know that this will all be on me. If I fail one day, I will have to get back up. It all sounds so cliche, but I have no other options. I have to gather every once of encouragement no matter if I find it.
Right now this is my guide: A book: May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein
I’ll blog about my 40 day journey. Cheers.
Today I am heading outside to work on a project that has nothing to do with “unpacking” any rat. I have already spent an hour freezing my butt off at the dog park, and as if that wasn’t enough, I am heading back to the woods to work with my camera.
I have to leave it behind. “It” being all the external stuff that isn’t me.
I had a particularity bad day yesterday.
I believed ( for the bazilllionth time) that people could overcome past hurts and heal. Now, I know that belief only holds true for me. Why? Because it is my belief - mine not theirs – and that makes all the difference in the world. They do not want to change anything. And no matter what I do, say, or try, no matter how much I care, I can not, and will not, see my desires come to fruition.
These people are no longer worth my efforts, energy or thoughts. I will never have what I want with them. I should know, because I have spent my entire life trying. Really trying.
On top of realizing that whole “belief” issue, it has taken me a long time to also understand that I get to choose what that bad day will do to me next. If I choose to stay in it, (dwell on negativity) I will be hurting myself and every single moment of today.
Today- I am here to say, “I get it.”
It’s a beautiful day, the sun is out, and I am okay.
I am taking control of my thoughts and focusing on my real life and how I want to shape it. It feels good but it is a constant effort.
I am off walk in the sunshine, feel the crisp breeze, and let each fresh moment fill me with love and gratitude.
Thanks for reading. Cheers!
What a difference a year can make. Last year at this time I was highly stressed over everything. I was dreading the holidays, and looking for answers to my dysfunctional family of origin. I was burdened without knowing where my next home might be and uncertain as to our future regarding EVERYTHING.
I carried my disappointments front and center all the while trying to make sense out of things that had no answers. This practice lead me to intense sadness, and counter-productive thoughts. Even though I logically was writing about solutions which contained numerous rationalizations, I wasn’t really seeing positive results.
I used to describe my living condition as a sort of limbo hell both physically and emotionally. In essence that was what it was; limbo hell.
I wrote. I read. I planned. I learned. I tried everything, nothing worked.
You know why nothing worked?
Nothing worked because I thought writing the ideas, reading them, and believing I knew something would be enough to make things better. I am going to tell you right here and now….”knowing” anything is worthless without “doing.”
And that is where I am now. I am in the “doing phase.” I am, once and for all, dropping all the slights and the hurts that I perceived over the past several years of my life. Seriously, in order to get anywhere you have to stop “feeling” the past. I use the word ” feeling” the past instead of living, or thinking about the past because it’s how you feel that squashes out your light.
Very soon after I started this “journey to living better with less” I broke down and cried when told I had too many framed photos. That scene made me well aware that my journey was about much more than just “stuff.” I know why I cried. Inside all those frames I saw photos of better times. I cried because I was forced to acknowledge time had vanished into thin air faster than a blink. It all hit me at once like a ton of bricks. I was without. I was in limbo.
Fast forward to now:
This year I am hosting Thanksgiving for my entire family, including my family of origin and I am doing it with an open heart. That’s right, for those people who I have said terrible things about and who I saw as a problem. Those who I shut out and avoided. I am kind of shocked about this myself, but I have thought about this for a awhile and it feels right.
They say time heals, but I don’t think it is time. I think we heal by our own choice. I am not saying it’s easy, but at some point in time you have to move on and you have to let go. You need to live in the present, and see the here and now and you have to eliminate feeling the past. The past is gone.
So now, maybe now, I can say I have grown. Maybe I am capable of putting everything I have learned to work. I’ll tell you this much, it feels like a huge heavy boulder has been remove from my soul, and that is a good thing. I don’t plan on ever holding on to emotional garbage again. From my experience emotional clutter is far more destructive than any of the items collecting dust in my storage unit.
Time to carry on. Cheers!
I know I have been missing from this blog, I have been working super hard on our renovation Project 1923. I have been without a kitchen and a real bed for quite some time now, and I think it has help to change my perspective. Simpler is better and easier for me. Oh, and we no longer watch TV……that’s huge.
If you want to get the trash out of your head, turning the TV off is essential. Try it for a week…. I dare you. For serious down time, too tired to move or think down time, I have Netflix. Not the greatest selection, but the documentaries seem to suit me well at the moment.
Bit by bit, I am applying what I preach to my own life. I have tamed the old wild-ass-consumer I used to be. Curbed the hoarder I became as a result my shopping and now I think more clearly. Literally I pause before each buying decision. This solidifies my desire to use less, have less, and want less. Not buying is incredibly empowering. It truly is.
Just recently I’ve caught myself walking away from negative conversations. That’s right, just walking away…..I don’t care if someone thinks I am a weirdo. Who cares what anyone thinks anyway? ( you never know what is in their mind, so quit thinking about it. It’s trash thinking, a waste of your own time and mind power.) Be yourself, be kind, and do your best. It is that simple.
As far as politics go, I have to turn it WAY off. I am very opiniated about my political beliefs, however, I am never going to change a right-winged mentality. I have learned that lesson and want no part of it. It’s all trash- doesn’t accomplish a thing. I am liberal at heart, and I have no problems with that. ( good thing I have a handful of political friends on line – or on-demand if you will – it’s nice to touch base without all the drama. )
Life is still hectic.
Our move has proven to be a great decision. We love our new town and our neighborhood. It’s diverse, interesting and people are super friendly. The house was a bargain, and the work we are doing to it is rewarding. I have learned many skills and am stretching my imagination. The satisfaction from a completed project is HUGE.
We are appreciating the good and actually ” living with less” is much more awesome than I ever thought possible.
I heard a friend say one day, ” My goal is to live well below my means.” That stuck with me and I have chosen it as one of my many goals. It’s fun.
Mini Update: I have weeded out my pottery, and actually am parting with some of my children’s art work. The storage unit is less crowded, we hope to move to a smaller unit by September first. Currently my focus is on our renovation, 29 days of giving, real work and family. Soon I will be paining ( art) again, it’s nice to even feel like painting again.
Whatever you want to change, you can – even if it takes forever – you have the power. Until next time. Cheers!
Remember when you were young, and the future felt like some distant place that would never really happen. You felt light, and easy, optimistic and somewhat care free and in love?
Well we have reached the future and even with all our burdens, and all my processing of issues, I feel like everything is new and possible again.
So I am dedicating the following to the love of my life, my handsome husband.
Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhere alone
It’s been too long since we took the time
No-one’s to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It’s like we both are falling in love again
It’ll be just like starting over, starting over
With our new fixer-upper home, we have a lot of work in front of us, but I see this and everything else, as a brand new start. It is a wonderful adventure that we will take together every step of the way. Who ever thought we would be here now? It’s feakin’ awesome.
I love you Ray. xo
Take a listen to this…..”No one ca get in the way of what I am feeling…”
A person can only be pushed so far.
I really do not know how people do it. How do people continue on peacefully when the world around them is crumbling?
Last week a young mother was shot dead in the middle of the afternoon. From what I understand there was a fight going on between two groups of girls. Someone pulled out a gun, shots were fired, and people ran away. This young mother was running away, to save her life. It didn’t work.
This was in a neighborhood of housing. People live there, sleep there, laugh there, feed their children and sing lullabies. Yet outside at any given moment someone can be shot dead in the middle of the afternoon.
I am so touched by this story, and so entirely confused as to why this violence is allowed to continue. Is it because these people are poor? Is it our cities failing to make security and safety a priority? Is it the crumbling school system, or the rarely existence family support? Is it caused by the onset of the gun culture? Or is it really because the rest of the city and surrounding suburbs just don’t give a sh*t?
We need to take a moment and wake the f*ck up.
Since writing this many months ago, a terrible shooting happened in a small quaint town of about 5000 named Chardon, not too far from Cleveland. One morning before classes started, three students were shot dead. A 4th student is recovering in the hospital and the fifth shooting victim is recovering at home. Three young people shot dead in cold blood by a 17 year old student.
I have pondered the effects of the school shooting and nothing I come up with makes any sense except that we the people have to start caring about each other. We need to teach kindness, and tolerance. We need to teach the basics of right from wrong in our homes. We need to be reminded that people can be cruel and bitter, but usually because they are in a painful place, and they need help. We need to do all we can to build bridges in stead of walls.
We need schools that are safe. And if that means we need police there, then put police there. If it means we need metal detectors then place the detectors are the door ways. We need to take bullying seriously, and we need to listen to our children, especially if they are saying something that sounds off-base or unusual.
We need to wake up to the fact that there are drugs in every school. It’s a fact kids drink and drive, and they have parties and drink their parents booze. Students cheat on test and make trades for homework, and just like always they have unprotected sex.
Parents need to get their heads out of the sand. School administrators need to be fair and consistent when enforcing the school codes. No more hiding the dirty little secrets.
We need to recognize that all students are not the same, some are gay and some students are homophobic. Students are every race and racism is alive and well in America. These are issues that continuously harm our society as a whole. And if we want it to change, each one of us has to personally stand up and say enough is enough.
Regardless of differences each child deserves an education in an environment that is safe physically and emotionally no matter what it takes. And they are not going to get it unless we demand it. They need us now, not later.
Start a conversation, let your voices be heard.
I was very kind to my self one day. I did a very simple exercise. I complimented myself. I told myself I was a good mother in the way I raised my children. I can’t tell you how incredible that felt.
Usually I would worry about all the things I would have done differently. Like not fight with their father, and not turn weekends into a cleaning marathons. I would beat my self up for making my children sad because I yelled. I constantly saw my errors instead of any of the wins.
One day it stopped, I stopped making chores a priority. I stopped expecting things I really deep inside didn’t care about. I learned that perfection was never going to exist in our home. I let that go along with all the other unrealistic goals.
I went a bit overboard, seriously, we had a messy house most every day of the year. But the kid’s friends would come over, and it was relaxed. I told them they never had to knock, come over any time, need dinner, then please join us. It was awesome. I sold my self short, I never knew how my children loved having the house where everyone was welcome and virtually nothing mattered.
I would drink wine, get silly and they would laugh at me. They would take over the living room to watch scarey gross movies. It was all that I always wanted; an open house.
We never even locked our doors until my one son bought his own computer, then he asked that we start locking the door. Probably a good idea, seeing my car was broken into twice, while in the drive.
Even with all this success, I still would focused on my mistakes. For so long I didn’t know how to make it up to them. I wasn’t perfect.
All three are in college now, living and learning and growing into fine human beings. They make me proud everyday.
I am a good Mom. Finally I believe that even with all the errors and the growing pains. I believe life teaches you what you need to learn, that is- if you are aware and open to the endless possibilities.
Tip: Never beat your self up – it does no good.
Inspiration: “The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” ~Honoré de Balzac
(so, mothers forgive yourselves, we aren’t perfect)
One-day one-thing: If something doesn’t bring joy into your home – change it..
Are there reasons for everything?
I think there must be, because that is the only thing that makes sense out of a senseless situation. I am not going to whine about what happened today, but I will quote words that were spoken to me in the most hateful tone.
“I don’t need you.”
What do I learn from this, well the first thing I learned is that I better ask if that is really what she said to make sure I didn’t misinterpret anything. “Did you just say ‘you don’t need me’ ?” Well that is what she said. She hasn’t said a word to me since, and I have no plans in speaking to anyone who said such a hateful thing to their own child.
What I have learned from this is the following:
1. Not everyone has the same understanding of love and family.
2. Not everyone is cut out to be a mother.
3. Some people are actually sociopaths, they really do exist, and it’s possible to be related to one.
The mere thought of telling any of my children that, “I don’t need them” would never ever even enter my mind. It is a completely foreign thought to me.
I would literally stand in front of a bullet for my children. I would, and have, done everything in my limited power to protect them, support them, and to help them and love them. I would die for them. I would die without them. I need them like I need oxygen. They are most amazing blessings and loves in my life.
Needless to say I am blown away- blown away.
I realize now how uniquely special true love is. I am fortunate to have a loving husband and three wonderful children. I recognize just how solid, even with our many faults, my family is. Even through rough, super rough times, we are still a “loving” family and I believe we will be for many years to come.
It makes me sad to think that some people live in such a loveless manner. But it’s no longer something I will seek to change or even try to understand. I don’t have the time for such nonsense.
I have a life to live.
Tip: If you give up on yourself once in awhile, that’s okay, it’s only temporary. You decide when to stop giving up on yourself. Work through your issues and you’ll find out everything is going to be okay.
Inspiration: ” Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi
One-day one-thing: Let it go – for real this time -breathe in freedom.
Don’t get me wrong , it’s about money to some extent but not the way you’d think.
It’s about assholes, and the people who raise them. Doesn’t matter whether we are rich or if we are down on our luck the treatment we receive is no different. And be aware that it’s not just me, and my family, who is on the receiving end of the non-compassionate, lack of caring mocking bullshit. Anyone they see as beneath them or who challenges them is fair game. I won’t even repeat what they think of poor people in the inner city, or even worse liberals.
(I am very liberal, therefore I am basically unintelligent scum of the earth.)
One of them put up a news clipping on my mother’s refrigerator that was photo-copied from an ancient article. It explains “Smart.” It’s important for these people to see themselves as smart. It also lists the percentages of people who are “retarded.” Retarded! That word hasn’t been used for decades. And this is what they think is important enough to put on their refrigerator.
It’s been there for a couple years and it’s right next to our family photo. Nice.
I’d like to believe that they are all sociopaths, because then it would provide a concrete explanation as to why these people show zero empathy and zero compassion for anyone but themselves. When dealing with outsiders they make everything look wonderful, like Dexter (on SHO),exactly like Dexter (without the killing).
I don’t interact with them any longer. Bare minimum of conversations, if any. Not every ridiculous comment they make warrants a response. At first when I stopped responding, it got a little worse, now there’s just underlying seething. Which isn’t pleasant, but it’s temporary.
There is something so deeply wrong that I can not begin to understand it. But I did what every child does, I went overboard in kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness to try to win love.
This year I stopped. Mind you I am a grown up with children of my own, yet it took me this long to catch on.
This is my last post on this, (even though may prove difficult for me but I am going to try.) I know they are never going to change.
I really have to let it go-0r I will go completely mad.
Tip: Let it go.
Inspiration: ” Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.” ~ Lillian Dickson
One-day one-thing: Let it go