family

It (?)

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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.”

Cheers!

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I get it.

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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.

Let-Go

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!

To Do, Doing, Done

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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!

Be kind to yourself.

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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..

Happy Birthday Batman!

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Today is one of my dog’s 9th birthday. Batman is nine. He is a gentle soul, a loyal buddy, and his is big fluffy and hug-able.

He has his faults, as we all do. He has a weakness for cats and not in a good way, but other than that no one could ask for a better dog. I have a photo of him when he was just a puppy with my entire family. Now I can tell how old we are were in the photo, because before I couldn’t quite peg it by sight alone. My children were 10,12, and 13 in that photo, it was taken during spring soccer season, right before my youngest turned 11.

Batman and my youngest son 9 years ago

The photo is somewhere in all my stuff that was shuffled out of our home while we dealt with the nastiness of the recession.

Our “situation”, it doesn’t change quickly because what some people don’t seem to realize is when all the work is done and you are out of the house the rebuilding starts and that takes time, a lot of time. On the contrary, nine years just flew by when I was living a normal life. Now time seem to seep away slowly as if I have a tiny leak in my soul.

I have stopped expecting anything good to ever happen, or even wishing or hoping. Too many tremendous let downs recently. I am making it through each day but I barely feel like I am here, but I know I am here because I can’t get away.

I am thinking about my escape, and I am thinking real hard, because what I am doing right now isn’t cutting it. It may be unconventional, but I am going to fix this so that I can stand the “situation” until we find a house.

Right now we are waiting to hear back on the 5th house that we have bid on. I quit looking at photos of the home, because I have really talked myself into liking this one. It ended up with multiples. Funny how that’s now happen twice with this same lister. Any time there are multiples, someone appears to get an inside tip as to what the amount needs to be offered to win – we never win. I personally think it’s like insider trading and it’s a huge scam.

In any case, one way or another, I am existing in this temporary situation. It’s temporary. It’s temporary. It’s not a healthy living environment for me or my animals. Temporary has now become too long.

Happy Birthday Batman, I love you.

I have left this environment two other times in my lifetime; once when I alone and single, and once with my entire family cutting a holiday visit short. Always because of the same reason.

Why in the world did I think that it would be any different this time?

Tip: Forgive people, but don’t forgive so much that you forget what you had to forgive, or it might just happen again.

Inspiration:

Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.

– Hafiz of Persia

One-day one-thing: Learning what I already knew.

Reasons

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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.

Cheers!

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.

Accepting truth

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I am taking a break because I just can’t think straight right now.

It’s no big deal, this house hunting has been a miserable experience, I don’t know how many we have lost. Oh and the one we were going to close on we found out is loaded with asbestos, disturbed asbestos. So we rescinded that offer and lost that house last week.

I knew it was hard losing our home, but I thought I did okay with that. Getting rid of a bunch of stuff hasn’t been that bad. I don’t miss any of it. (mind you I have a lot left to go) I knew having all my children disappear to college at virtually the same time, and then letting me know they are never moving back to Ohio would be hard, but I manage it. ( I want them to live in many places – that’s how I like to live) I am proud of them and support them. I miss them to pieces, but that’s to be expected.

The economy sent our business for a loop, but we are getting through that, not fun, but so what.

life should be this pretty

The killer issue: living in my mothers house has proven to be more than I can take. Funny, how when you live away from someone you tend to forget their faults. You make excuses for them, you don’t see them for long periods of time. I have faults too, but seriously, the sh*t I hear daily is so disturbing.

I used to bend over backwards in kindness, generosity and consideration, trying to win a measure of love, respect and kindness that just isn’t available in my family of origin. Unfortunately, the way they think is deeply rooted in me, and their beliefs about love lives in my core like a damaged chromosome. I do not want become her/them, but it could be too late. When I see things I have done, behavior just like them, I know it’s alive in me too. I get disgusted and sometime I don’t recognize my behavior until it is way too late.

I fear for the damage I may have done to my own children. I will forever feel guilty for all my mistakes.

For the bulk of my life, I created a different reality-one other than the cold truth, but the truth never hides. Now I have to somehow fix myself. There have been days I have contemplated should I become a drunk or a drug addict. I swear, I never saw this coming, not this late in the game. I really got f*cked up in my upbringing.

A while back, I remember telling someone else, that their mother loved them no matter how it seemed. That may be true, but there are different levels, different definitions and various understandings of what love means for each person. And when those ideals don’t line up or aren’t even close to lining up, it doesn’t work.

I know people really don’t like to hear negative whining. Repeated posts complaining of the same old situation even bores me. Hand me the happy feel good, cheerful smile, inspiration and success stories, please. So I’ll leave you with a beautiful photograph (above), and promise you I will get through this.

Wish me luck, I am very sad broken damaged and I know this will be hard. I am bitter and I regret the years I wasted. And I am unimpressed with my ability to deal with what I know.

Over and over again, I convinced myself to believe it was different, because that’s what I wanted to be true.