Tag Archives: changes

“Signs”

Standard

This past week I spent a few days in Maine, York to be exact.   Being around water is super wonderful for me, it helps ease the binds that chain me.   The ocean?  Makes me realize how small my problems are.  That is not to say that my problems aren’t important to me, they are, and I’m facing life with zest and experience, knowing a higher power has always had my back, and I highly doubt he’ll abandon me now.    But just as anytime something bad happens to you and you never really have to look real far for someone who has it not only worse than you, but much worse, and they handle it gracefully, the ocean reminds me that the reaches of self importance in extreme can be like a tital wave, gushing in here, there, everywhere until you are no longer focused on that which needs work.

I was thinking about what it’s like when you lose your identity.  For me, I was a art teacher.  I travel taught, and published in magazines, self published, even authoring a book many moons ago now.   So when that seized to exist, who am I?  What am I accomplishing?  Am I worthy of life?    So now, just these questions you probably are saying “Lighten the hell up, Donna!”.    This is where my brain goes.    I felt purpose when I taught.   I remember when I cut way back on travel teaching, a battle five years ago with depression and anxiety so high I don’t care to even think about it.    I couldn’t function.   I had all I could do to take care of myself, physically, mentally.    So teaching was cast aside and so were many “friends” who didn’t accept “the new me”.    Maybe it’s in my head, but maybe not.  When you are no longer supplying people with what they want, or need, does your existence go away?   Because if it does?   I’m here to tell you, these people are not your friends.   Friend’s stick with you through the challenges of life, and there are MANY challenges in life.  And those who don’t?   Doesn’t mean they weren’t your friend, or that they don’t care.  Perhaps they don’t.  But It’s okay.  It really is.   Because new, good, fun, meaningful things are new people are awaiting your arrival!

I’m about to embark on a “come back” if you will.   But not really a come back, but a new chapter in the life and times of Donna Scully.   Not really sure what will work for me, but I know I loved to teach, and if I went into a class in a bad mood, when I left it, I was singing and smiling.  (Insert Rocky Balboa theme song here).   KIDDING!  Have a lot of things going on, excited and happy about that.  Stay tuned!

I’ve been thinking about how painful and disappointing it can be when you are treated differently because for what ever reason, you are no longer offering what you once did.  Who is not to say that you aren’t better then you ever were?  Seriously?

I have a friend who was unfriended by many “friends” because of his political view.   A “star” to them at one time, now, forgotten.   It has to hurt.  It did when long time friends did that to me, but I’ve long since made peace with all that.    I really have.   I believe when doors close, windows open, and new adventures will reveal themselves.

I’m a creative soul, a good soul.  I am kind, honest, caring, and I love fiercely.   But age and experience has taught me that not everyone is worthy of time (and likewise, I’m sure).   So I’m rather excited about “new beginnings” that will define itself mid term.   I look for signs, pray for guidance, and am never disappointed with what comes to replace the old.    The problem I have is hanging onto what once was.    I white knuckle it until I’ve made the step of acceptance, and USUALLY when I can’t decide what is next for me, it is because it hasn’t yet been revealed.

I remember a day when I was on my way to a Michael’s, probably 30 miles from my home.  On my way there I was asking my higher power “Should I start designing in needlecraft again?”    Not five minutes later, upon entering Michael’s and heading back to the yarn department a woman I hadn’t known said my name.  “Donna Scully?”  Oh boy, how do they know me?   Anyway.  She introduced herself as a couple of my students mom.  Had recognized me from magazine pics, I guess.    (Miracle there).   Anyway, she said “Guess what I’m doing here?”  I look down at her basket which was full of this one beautiful colored yarn.   “Making a sweater?” I asked?   With that, she pulled out one of my Leisure Art booklets that has long since been retired, it was an instructional pamphlet with 5 of my sweater designs in it.  “Nice!” I said!    “Thanks for sharing!”

As I walked back to the department after our conversation I looked up, smiled and said “Thank you!”    The experience justified spending more money than I was planning on!  (I’m good at justifying when it comes to my creative efforts).

I had an epiphany a few weeks ago… alas, direction, I know what I’m doing, and the direction I’m supposed to head in.  But all eyes are not on the prize, but on what presents itself because things rarely ever turn out the way I think they are going to.   I have endless stories of this type of event happening with me.   Like one time thinking maybe I’d sell my house and move away.  To where?  Was in CT with a close friend, we were on a Craigslist adventure.     During our conversation I said I didn’t yet “feel it”.  I didn’t know where I should be, I just know I felt disheveled.   Just as I say that a sign (town sign) showed up on our right.  “Vernon” (which is also the Town in which I live in another state!”   We both laughed.  I guess I’m supposed to stay put!

Do you get these signs?  Are you listening and open to them?   I bet signs are all around you, are you open to seeing or hearing about them?

Advertisements

Resistence

Standard

I remember a couple of years ago I saw a famous self improvement guru talking on resistance.   His basic message was, the more you resist something, the more important it is that you fight the resistance and DO whatever it is that has created this unsettling, displaced feeling.  Well, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching, making some choices, which I am recognizing, for me, it’s harder to have choices than to just trudge along the beaten road you “think” you’re destined to.

I also struggle with commitment, certainly when it comes to relationships, hence why I’ve been single for over a decade.   If I stay away from intimate relationships, I’m safe!  But we all know the truth in that, don’t we?  Love is one of the most beautiful things we are blessed with.  Committing to someone you love, and they you, is pretty special BUT NOT EASY stuff!

So I have been slowly, actively studying my likes, my dislikes, my desires, needs, and am sitting on an opportunity to make major changes in my life.   I believe this.   So as exciting as it can be, it is also frightening to me.   And believe me, when you struggle with anxiety and all that wonderful stuff, it’s VERY REAL to the person going through it.  It can become VERY REAL to those who are close to them, because, well, I call them “demons”.   The demons are real to me.

I have been focusing on that guru’s message, because one thing that I am considering changing is something that in past I HAVE LOVED.   Trying to come out of a severe clinical depression (I wish that were the case for all.  I wish we could just come out of it, and leave it behind, shed it like a snake does skin, but it doesn’t work that way, does it?)  In the hardest times of this I lost a couple friends, and while it hurt, I realize, they haven’t a clue what I live with day in, day out.   The sometimes constant need to correct the thoughts that automatically spew from my brain, it can be exhausting.  But I’m doing it.  And I’m doing as well as I think I can.  Not without some unhealthy coping skills.

Anyway, I want to go back to this resistance I’m feeling about this one thing I’ve had in my life, 1/3 of my life, and have enjoyed, loved.  It would be very easy for me to say “I don’t want to do this anymore”, and chalk the negative feelings I’m having onto that, but I know myself, and I know deep down, it’s not that simple.  I am resisting it because it’s important, albeit, very important to me.

So I’ve been doing the usual things that I know to do, mostly prayer, meditation, seeking help with an answer.  Tonight an unexpected message actually helped me see how much I am truly pushing this away.   If I am being true to myself, and 4-5 years ago I committed to being true to myself, first, then I need to either dissect my reasoning, or even harder, jump in, get my feet wet, and defeat these restricting feelings, fears.

So I decided to write about it, to put it “out there” for myself to look at.  I do this with my artwork too.  I will take a picture and study it on my computer or telephone screen.  This way I am detached from it, and can see where my painting needs honing, correcting.   Whatever works, right?

So, how about you?  Is there something you are resisting?  Something that is important to you but your inner demons have got a grip on your decision making?

 

Blah Blah Blah

Standard

I watched President Donald J Trump get sworn in yesterday.   I didn’t see him grab anyones whowho, nor did I see anything improper go on, but I DID catch a glimpse (and watched it several times) of the perverted former president who was ogling someone other than his tyrant wife, who was caught and given the “dead stare” that I have given before!   I found it funny.

I do not understand the marches.  Yes, I said it.   I am a woman (looks down, Yup!)    I am for womens rights.    But I do not agree with the vagina hats or very crude signs that some were holding up, many.  I know good women who marched.  I support them, because it was important to them.  But really, I’m very confused at to what this was about.  Who has lost rights?  He hasn’t been in for more than 24 hours and he’s already destroying lives and families!

I don’t profess to agree with everything he has said or done, but I have heard men share (and women, for that matter) talk locker talk in front of others.   And I’ve been called a racist for years, since I decided I didn’t like the politics of Obama.  But I was respectful.   I lived through his presidency, and was mistreated by others because I didn’t like him.

You know, it’s getting really old to me.   The country voted (oh yes, we ALL KNOW CLINTON won the popular vote) but Trump won the electoral.   HE WON.   He is our President.  For those of you who say “he’s not my president” I say, go live in another country and see how well you have it.   And take those self professed important movie stars and comedians who have been threatening to go if he got elected!

If you want to march, march.  If you want to protest, protest, but destroying property that doesn’t belong to you, throwing things on those who attended the Inaugural Ball, is NOT right.  Frankly, it’s violence, and it’s a crime and they should be arrested.  Let me further add that bullying a child (The Trump son) on SNL skits or whathaveyou (and yes, you too Rosie!  I’ve lost all respect for you, calling him austistic)   How is this okay?  How is this okay and acceptable to ANY OF YOU?   Or Ashley Judd, really?  Referring to his wet dream of his daughter?   How is this ANY LESS nasty than what Trump said in the presence of other drunk men?  How?

I read last night that there is already an impeachment started.   This is so sad.   What happened to democracy?   I will tell you, I’m a registered democrat.  I haven’t voted that way in a long time because I’m appalled at what the party has become.  That doesn’t mean I jumped ship and joined the republican party, although I will say, I voted for Trump! gasp!  I know, how dare I?

Here’s what has happened.  You have college students who are being excused because they are emotionally unequipped to accept Trump was elected.  My God, we watched the Space Shuttle blow up and still had to go back to school or work!   Get a grip!  But I have found humor in much of this.   The over inflated  egos of actors and actresses who haven’t a clue what “reality” is, or what it means to be a working class single woman trying to make ends meet.   I think the election was a blow to all of them who realized their “importance” didn’t make a difference in the election!   Get over yourselves!   And what a shame (but nonetheless the same as we’ve been living, for those of you who join me in NOT liking St. Obama!) that you would punish a peer, because they don’t agree with you.  Really?  I will say this for the Obama’s, there were no scandals!

When Trump was elected I had put his picture on my fb page as President Elect.  “An old friend” who is gay, and whom I defended his rights since his early teens (I think he’s in his 40’s now) told me he couldn’t be my friend anymore because I stood for hate!   And then he private messaged me and told me to f*(* off.   When I blocked him, he kindly went to my business page and wrote that I’m …..  all the names we’ve all seen and heard TOO MANY TIMES.    On my business page!  “And don’t you contact my family again!”.  Well, that’s funny, because his aunt (who he treats well, depending on what he needs) is a good friend of mine.  He speaks for her?  NOT!    This is the thanks I get because I have a different view on politics?  How is this behavior helping your cause???????????

If rights are being stripped, I will stand up for what I believe in.  I believe in womens rights, and a right to choose whether they want an abortion or not, I will stand up for my gay friends (who have not unfriended me in the very manner in which they wrongfully unfriended me!   But I’m not going to jump on anyone’s bandwagon against President Donald J. Trump.  Why?   Because like it or not (and apparently a large majority do not) he is The President of the United States.  I live here, you live here.    Adjust, like many of us had to do with Obama.

And yes, we know, Obama was better than sliced bread.  I’m just waiting to hear how Trump (in his 24 hours of service) has caused this divide in our country.   And for those of you who are brave enough to do extensive research on the “dead pool” associated with the Clinton’s, because in my view, she was no prize! I think of her what many of you thinking no of Trump, at least he’s right out there. I am not impressed with the dual personalities that Clinton has “for the public” and private,NOT AT ALL!

I want a woman President.  I do.  But I want one who is worthy, not one who has been bought and sold one hundred times over, who has stayed in a repulsive “marriage” for power.

If you want to bitch and moan, go ahead, but do not do it on my blog, and do not do it on my facebook page, because I’ve had enough.     For you Clinton lovers, I’m so glad you can believe in the fairytale, but there are many of us who know differently.  And as I watched Bill ogle over whoever it was, rumored to be Ivanka or Melania, I took great pleasure in knowing, there would be no more scandals of the Clinton’s.   Remember?  The ones who left the White House broke and stole all that stuff they had to bring back?   Yes, it was a while ago, so I supposed we aren’t supposed to talk about that!

I support President Trump, even though I despise his tweets and his need for attention.  I support the men and women he appointed to positions to help our country.  And if you want to unfriend me, please do so. I’ve reached a point in my life where other peoples opinions of me do not effect who I am, my purpose in life, nor does it define me as good or bad.   My view may be different from yours, if you are a true friend, you’d respect my views, you don’t have to agree with them, but certainly mistreating me…..  How is that helping your cause?  I don’t want anymore fair weather friends.  I want friends who know me, and may disagree with me, but see value in me as a person, as a woman, as an artist, a daughter, sister, aunt, friend…  If you aren’t one of them, I can live with that. But I ask you, exactly what do you expect from those of us who support you, but not this long drawn out dramatic tale that has yet to happen?  Are you strong enough, is there enough courage in your convictions to give this guy a try? Are you brave enough to accept that you MAY not be the most important priority right now? What are you willing to do for  your country?

I leave you with the words of one very popular President.  “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy   

Happy Birthday, my friend

Standard

We were so young when we met.  My God, were we ever that young?   The first time I met her she came to my house with my brother.  Dressed classy, wearing a very wide brim hat, my brother introduced her as his date.   I laugh when I think of this, because I know her very well know.  She has this one look where she puts her head up in the air, as if daring fate to come get her.    At first I thought she was a snob.  I suppose that is why I laugh when I think of that face.

A disastrous marriage to my only brother, two sons that have brought so much joy to my life.  A friendship that has spanned over broken relationships, deaths, 30 years.    She was more than my sister-in-law, she was my friend through so much.   The laughter, the tears, the fears.   We have helped each other walk through some very painful parts of life.   And more important than that, we have LAUGHED our way through it.   Things that you never thought you could joke about, become humorous with someone who knows you like a book.

As years came to be, and she shared of her childhood, struggles, I grew to respect her more each passing year.   It isn’t easy for someone who has been walked over, to stand up and fight back.   But she has.   Stereotypic essential relationships that should have gifted her with confidence, esteem, and overall sense of self respect delivered exact opposite, or was meant to.   I witnessed things over the years that made me so sad for her.   But also, made me love her all the more.

After the divorce, and a bitchy evil “step mother” stepping into the scenario, I was summoned more than once to cease my relationship with her, after all, we were no longer related!    But that only served to set my heels in deeper.  Why would I sever a relationship that was essential to me?  Why would I sever a relationship based on lies that were being told about her?   More than once, more than a handful, I got into shouting matches with my family.   I was the bad one, for keeping up the relationship.   Shaking my head.    Yet it was this woman who stayed up with me ALL night, for months on end, playing Literati, helping me walk through some of the hardest times of my life.  No, I guess we were no longer related, but we were friends.  I know we will always be friends.

I have seen her shape from a broken uncertain soul, into an amazing woman.   Now a grandmother, she and her husband took a plunge and moved across country.  I encouraged her.  It was time.  Always a mother, she would still be available as she was when near, and this day and age of technology, a phone call can now be face to face, expressions inclusive.   But it was time for them to do for themselves.   I don’t think it was an easy decision, given the level of family commitment they have, but it was a good decision, for all.

I’ve watched my nephews mature.  They are GOOD human beings.  I’m proud of them.   Was she a perfect mother?  Why YES ( 🙂 )…. who EVER is perfect?   It’s impossible.  We are designed to be perfectly imperfect, she, no exception.    For whatever she would do differently today, she taught her children to NEVER GIVE UP.   It is okay to take a couple day sabbatical, but then?  Then you get up, and you start over.   Defy the powerful forces that had great potential to tear flesh, break your spirit.   Put your head up high, and walk however you must towards self love, acceptance, success.   Stick that nose up in the air if it helps you walk through fire, whatever it takes!    This is why I smiled at the beginning of the blog.  That snobbish look she can give, I know what’s behind it.

She has walked through fire.   She has taken my hand and walked with me, through fire.   I am in awe of her strength, and the person she has become.   I’m proud of her and what she has done with her life.  She is courageous, intelligent TO A FAULT.   I don’t care if her last name has changed, or where she is in the world, she will ALWAYS be my sister-in-law, and she will ALWAYS be the mother of two beautiful souls that I love dearly.   I am grateful for her existence in my life.

As typical, I sit here with a sign from above.   I am laughing, because I smell birthday candles.  I have actually gotten up and looked around my house to make sure there is no flame anywhere.   I bet you I know who is sending you birthday wishes from the other side!   The same person you drove 3-4 hours in bad weather to say goodbye, who adored your boys, too.  Or maybe?   It’s the person who I know loved you deeply.  The woman who I know you loved dearly.   I know when she died you were broken, felt like the truest form of love you had ever experienced had all been lost.  But it wasn’t!   You passed on what she taught you to your boys, and I know will, your grandchildren.   She exists in you, and no doubt, is very proud of you.

Thank you for all your love, support, friendship, hours spent listening to me.  Thank you for loving my art, for caring about my family in spite of all the difficulties in the past.   Thank you for sharing some of the BEST belly laughs I’ve ever had.    I am grateful for your existence in my life.  I am grateful for you.

On this day I want to wish you a very happy birthday.  You deserve the best.  You have fought your way through much, and you are still standing, as beautiful as ever, with the best looking legs I have ever seen on a real person!    Have an awesome day!   I love you, and I look forward to many more years with you and our “boys”.

My dad

Standard

In a couple of months my father will turn 81.  My father, a Navy vet who served his country, sent home money to his parents to help raise his younger siblings.  He is one of six children, the second oldest.

He and my mother had five children together.  Their oldest, my sister Karen, took ill at the age of six with meningitis. From that diagnosis she spent months in a coma, came out of it with the ability to only move her eyes. Intensive rehab brought her back from that, but she started seizing, (Seizure disorder) having numerous grand mal seizures a day, which reared her paralyzed on her left side, unable to speak, walk. The seizures slowly and continually kept taking from her.

My father became an apprentice, and learned to be an incredible carpenter.  He did this so that he could build a home for us.  He (and my mother) built two beautiful homes. He worked more hours in one week then I’ve probably ever put into a job in a month, and I don’t consider myself lazy.  A very meticulous carpenter, and a house filled with four other children, weekend runs to pick up my sister and bring her home and back, proved difficult for everyone, including Karen.  The more seizures my sister had, the more it took from her.   I cannot imagine having a child and having such an awful thing happen to her.  I cannot imagine what it must have been like having made the decision to turn your very ill and medically needy daughter over to the ward of the state.   I remember judging my parents.  Asking them “If I get sick, will you send me away, too?”   Now I cringe at the very thought of asking that.  I cringe at the slightest thought that they could have chosen better.  Who the hell am I to ask such a question?   How much their hearts must have hurt.  But responsibility of four other children, and having worked night and day to pay off medical bills that today would have been covered by insurance, my parents made a difficult choice.  A choice that I believe was right for Karen.  A choice that I now believe gave me and my siblings, a more “normal” life.  If you can define normal.

My father has a wonderful sense of humor.  My whole family does, really.    And no matter whose company I am in, it is with my family that the laughter is the strongest, loudest.   I learned at a very young age that laughter heals.

My father became a plumbers apprentice and then went on to work for a company who sent him (foreman) and his crew many hours away, which they drove back and forth each day.  My father made a good living.  We always had a balanced nutritious meal on the table, a warm bed to sleep in and even “space” of our own.  We never needed for anything, and were taught that it was because of my fathers hard work, that we had the good life we had.    We also were taught that we lived in the best country in the world, and that our freedom is due to the many men (and now women) who served our country, many whom never made it home.  It’s sort of ironic how the man who gave most of his life to a job for his family, had at one point became invisible, absent.  But working for this company enabled him to give his children a good life, a good start.   His absence was only because he was working to give us this.  The company didn’t appreciate him.  They offered his little for pension.  But he kept going, day after day, for his family.  I know not how to live so selflessly.

He was our loudest fan at softball games, my brothers hockey games.   I always knew I was loved, and while I didn’t agree or like some decisions he made, including ending a 27 year marriage to my mother, I humbly have long since realized, I have no right to judge him or her on that, either.  What do I know about

He and my youngest sister, Darlene, were particularly close.   He admitted to the three of us remaining children last year “Okay, okay, Darlene was my favorite!”   He looked at us like it was an awful thing to say, only to find the three of us bent over laughing.   No shit, Sherlock!   The truth is, they were great buds.  They fished together, they did so much together.  It is nice to look at pictures of the two of them together.   The way Dad looked at her, she was “it”!   And this is not to imply he doesn’t love us, or look at us with swelling pride.   They had something very special.     I remember sitting next to my sister when she made the phone call to dad to tell him that her cancer treatment wasn’t working.  She said “I’m so sorry dad”.    I recall a conversation she and I had, one of our last and she said “You know Donna, he came to every ball game of mine”.  She was talking about after my parents split.  “He would get there late from work, but he always came”.   I am teary eyed thinking about her smile when she said that.  For whatever he didn’t do right (you know what I mean), being her loyal, faithful fan made it ALL right.  My sister was an old soul.  There was and would never be any jealousy there.  She was ALL OF OUR favorite.

I’ve spent a lot of time reminiscing of late.     I do not know what it is like to be my dad.    I know what it is like to watch him age, lose physical and mental strength.  I sometimes have to look away so he doesn’t see my tears.  And yet, I know how very fortunate I am that at the age of 53, I still have both my parents.

I always thought I knew it all.   And for a long time I chased “his approval” foolishly.   That ended about a decade ago when I was unpacking my van, having been travel teaching.  He was helping me.  I pulled out a new painting and he looked at it, didn’t say anything, just looked.    I was tired, disappointed that he didn’t respond the way I wanted him to.  “Am I EVER going to do anything that makes you proud?”  I said with the sharpness of a razor.  I will never forget his expression.   His jaw lay on his chest.  It was that very moment I learned, my dad would probably never shower me with the compliments the way I once wanted him to, but he was proud of me.  And the chip I had on MY shoulder that day, hurt my dad.   “Of course I’m proud of you, Donna.  I love your artwork, I think you are very talented and I’m proud of all of my children.”   I have not, nor will I ever again question his pride for me.     I am SO over judging my parents on anything.  Thank God!   And now, I am working on doing the same for myself.   The crap we get into our heads!  It’s static!    It’s all just frigan static!

It’s funny as I age and realize just what an ass I have been in my life.  I’ve put my parents through some major worry, particularly when it comes to depression and mental illness.  I remember my second hospitalization.  My sister was with me at the phone.  She had brought me a teddy bear, I named him “Arthur”.  I think I was 24.   “Dad, I need to tell you that I’m in the Brattleboro Retreat.   I am getting help for my depression”.   “You have to pull yourself up by your boot straps Donna!”.   Of course I took that wrong, and he, being the age group that he was, wasn’t as educated on mental illness as he is now, 30 years later.     I was so hurt and angry.   Now I know, in HIS head and heart he was fearful.   My father “pulled himself up by his boot straps” over and over and over his entire life, to give to his children.    His heart, his head spoke from his experience in life, to hide the fear he had of what I would or have done to myself.  He wasn’t judging.  He was saying the only thing he knew to do!

I’m not sure why it’s taken me all these years to figure out how intelligent both my parents were and are.  And as I watch them losing ground, I am fearful of losing them.    I’ve been single for over a decade now.   My dad has always been there for me, to help me in any and all ways he can.   “I’m sorry, Donna, that I was focused on your brother’s education, and not yours.   I ignorantly thought that you girls would be taken care of, in marriage”.      There was once a time, and probably too long a period of time, that it angered me that I was raised with this mentality.  That the only way I would have a home is to have a husband.   But that has long since passed.   I am responsible for my choices.  I am responsible for marrying children, two of them!  I am responsible for where I am in my life.   If I had to do it all over again, I would have sought out college.   I know I could have made better choices for myself, could be financially secure, but I’ve also come to realize that even that isn’t as important as being a good person.   Doing my best, day in and day out, and living within the morals that I was raised and were taught.    The day I bought my house out from my ex-husband was one of the proudest days of my life.  I AM responsible.   I AM who I am because of the stable childhood I was blessed with, I learned the importance of family, and while I have no children or even husband of my own, I sometimes think about how difficult it is to keep my head above water.   I take pride in caring for and giving my animals a wonderful home.   And that is NOTHING compared to what my dad gave.    I am the strong woman I am today BECAUSE of my experiences.    I understand, now, why at the age of 30 when my 10 year marriage ended, how come that was so hard for me.  Because I felt like I was nothing without someone.    Oh my god have I grown.  Thank God!    And for all the things I thought my mom or dad did wrong, they did TWENTY TIMES that right!

I’ve watched my parents bury two daughters, their oldest and their youngest.  No parent should have to bury a child, but sadly, well, too many do.  I’ve watched both my parents battle cancer, and seen the anguish and hell it brought them to watch their three remaining children battle it too.     My dad has not had an easy life.  Like all of us if he had it to do over again, I’m sure he would have made some different choices, but my dad?  He’s only human.   My dad has led a good, honest life.  He knows what it is like to work hard for your family, to start over, and he will always remain “our father” in worry for his children.  My dad, what a great human he is!  He is visiting with my sister right now in NC.  I know he chose fathers day visit to mask the fact that I am his new favorite!   🙂

I have been blessed in life with an honorable man as my dad.  He really is my hero.    I am very grateful that I have had 53 years with my dad.   I am the good person I am today largely due to the good person my dad is.  Thank you dad.  I love you and you will always be my hero, and I, your little girl.

Daring to dream…

Standard

I realized something today that was probably obvious to everyone else. I can’t make, nor do I ever want that control or power over another, I can’t make them see the vision I see, or want the journey.

I want good for all of us, and for the first time in a very long time, I’m not afraid to grab onto hope. I know my dreams are achievable, not without hard work and devotion, and while I want my favorite people on this journey with me, no doubt I will meet new people, new friends who see what I see, who will walk this with me. Perhaps others will join in later, perhaps not. We are all at different places in our lives, we are where we are supposed to be. Everyone’s paths, purposes, desires are different, just as they are supposed to be.

Hope is a funny thing. If you’ve been dropped to your knees in pain, disappointment, if you’ve experienced loss on a magnitude basis, if you’ve known sadness and had to fight your way back, hope can be scary. Hope can be debilitating. Why? Because fear takes over, fear of grabbing onto it, riding it, and then losing that, too. Oh how many of us live “waiting for the other shoe to drop”. But today? Today I see it differently. I see all the tragedy that has happened in my life, the loss, the pain as a driving force pushing me towards my dreams. The more I’m told it can’t be done, the stronger I feel it is. Stubborn? Yeah, but I’m also an intelligent woman who has walked through much in my life, and yet, I’m still standing. I’m not only standing, I’m chasing my dreams and dreaming larger than ever.

I’ve been going about my new business so wrong. I’ve wanted my loved ones to join me because I wanted to do this together, but today I get it. This is not for everybody. I’m so glad that it is for me.

I’ve accomplished what I set out to accomplish in my arts career. I am proud of that. It meant and means all the more that I did it on my own. And my new endeavor will mean all the more because I am doing this, too, on my own. I need and want to give credit to my mother, my friends who helped me get established. Friends who encouraged me when the road got rocky and the electricity was always in disconnect. Truth is, it’s not that much different right now, but my attitude is, and my perspective is. My life is brilliant. All I need to do is be me and committed to being the best me! The rest will fall into place…people, places, things. I am aligning with my life.

I’ve fallen into the next phase of my life. I’m daring to hope, I’m making new friends, getting reacquainted with old, and excited about my future, about my now! I prayed today for something I’ve never prayed for before. Always a believer to pray only for God’s will for me and the courage, strength to carry that through. I prayed that I be blessed with life until I reach my dreams. I have some mighty tall things planned! I smile. I am also well aware that if this is God’s plan, it will come to fruition. Thing is…. it already has. I love the space I am in emotionally, spiritually, and I’m working hard every day to get my physical back to the place I feel best about myself. I want to know what it feels like to have balance between all three for the rest of my life. I am throwing out fear and replacing it with faith.

I am grateful for where I am. I am grateful for where I have been, and every tear shed as it’s helped mold me into who I am today and will undoubtedly help me in all aspects of my tomorrows, that is, if I am blessed with them. I am grateful for where I see myself going, and I am grateful once again for hope. I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Yes, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I am also dead tired, so I shall now say goodnight! Good things planned tomorrow! Sweet sheeps my friends, sweet sheeps. As you rise and shine tomorrow, I hope you are able to greet the day with a smile on your face, gratitude in your heart and hope for today. I hope you, too, find yourself chasing your dreams! xoxo

The “What if’s” ?

Standard

Like any other behavioral change, the decision to make positive changes is much easier than the follow through.    I am working on, or some might suggest I say “I am” practicing positive thinking.

For years I lived with a death grip to the laces on the infamous impending “shoe to drop”.  I became accepting that this was how to live your life… cautiously.   But then again, there is a difference between being cautious and being negative.  This borders on both!

I’ve done enough behavioral therapy to understand the concept.    The last behavioral therapy I did was “ACT”  which stands for Acceptance Commitment Therapy.   I have found this to be the most effective, but there again there is never anything that’s cut and dry.  It depends on the space one is in, mentally, physically, “readiness”…    I learned this therapy 2 years ago.   In short, it is effective with me because of the visual I have.  On the left, what is the behavior?  On the right, my values, my morals, my dreams…   Is this behavior or choice walking me towards what I desire or opposite?    Cognitive changes are hard to do but possible.

I do not believe that anyone has only good days and consistently sees the good, the positive, the beautiful.   Even someone like Joel Olsteen, one of the most positive people in spotlight, has his bad days.    He’s human!  But I would bet his good days far outweigh the bad because of his attitude, the choices he has made to “be happy, be positive”.   I am seeing it today as a choice.

On my long ride home last night in 5pm Boston traffic I had plenty of time to think.  For some reason I didn’t want the radio on because I wanted quiet.   This is something fairly new to me.   It’s comical to hear my friends and family say “You are unusually quiet”.   It’s a good thing.   I’m internalizing, in a healthy way, my thoughts, making decisions based solely on what I feel is best.  Perhaps it is because I’m learning to trust myself?  Perhaps I am listening to my inner voice and sharing it only with God?  I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter.  Truth is, I’m in unfamiliar territory.   I’m paving new ground for me to walk on, and this will eventually become comfortable ground.  It’s not going to happen overnight, but I am determined and have made a decision to do so.  But I digress…

The thought that came to mind is “Failure is not an option”.    This is my new mantra.  I can do anything I want to do if I’m willing to be consistent.   Making my way a little everyday, not going hog wild left or right winged and petering out.   A little bit everyday.   This is how I will achieve success.  This is how I will learn to sit with things, to deal with things, to walk through things.  This is how I am and will feel good about myself.   The days of “Tomorrow is another day” need to cease, or at least the percentage of.   Today, just a little bit today.

But this thinking is perfectionism.  I have to do it ALL, NOW, & PERFECTLY!   I’m not perfect.  I will never BE perfect.  Get over it already!  I am capable of change, I am capable of changing behaviors however small or large this may be.  But I will not be successful doing it all at once.  Motivation?  Momentum?  Important… but this perfectionism I am identifying, this black or white thinking, and this instant gratification crap that I reach out to needs to stop.  One step, one day at a time.

So now I’m asking myself…. What if?   What IF I could be successful?  (that is a loaded statement there, how am I determining my success or failure?)  What IF I could get everything I want?   What IF I could realize my dreams?   Ultimately these questions should be spoken in terms of “I have all that I want.  I am successful, I am enough just as I am, I am, I am, I am…  I am a work in progress, and I am right where I am supposed to be.  Well, this is true if I’m doing my best, right?  If I’m not doing my best, is this statement true?  Hmmm, perhaps.  I know when I’m in a bad place I am the only one who can pull myself out of it.  No one can do this work for me, I have to do it myself and I WANT and AM committed to doing it.    I am becoming a vessel of positivity, peace, the glass half filled and power of now.  THANK GOD!

And now?  Within the scope of this beautiful day we are having, I am happy, I am hungry, so now I am going to eat a pb&j!   How am I going to eat the pb&j?   One bite at a time!!!!!!!!   ♥

 

Try

Standard

I find myself in unfamiliar territory.  I think it was easier when I felt like I didn’t have choices in my life (to my detriment).  Now I realize I have more than enough choices but the decisions aren’t coming easy.  I realize some of it is taking responsibility for my actions, my choices.  It really is easier on one level to just take what is given you.    It is also defeating.

Even with that I believe I have been given what I need.   One of the most obscure challenges (?) I have found in life is self will.    I know that this uncertainty will pass, clarity shall fall upon my restless soul and I shall walk in the direction that I am supposed to…I will be given what I need, I will be guided.  Right now I need to sit with these thoughts, these feelings, as they are important and will serve as an important part of my acceptance…Yes, we have choices, yes we can do just about anything we want to do.  I do feel peaceful, serene when I believe I am walking in the direction that God wants me to walk.   I call it “in alignment”.

I have also learned that I sometimes confuse anxiety with excitement.  That same feeling.   Sound nuts?  Well, yeah, I suppose I am!.

I said to a close friend the other day “I know I am supposed to write, I have known since I was an adolescent that this is what I’m supposed to do”…so, I want to pursue this.   He said “Donna, you ARE a writer!”   My eyebrows rose as my head fell forward a bit.   I guess, I guess I am!

There is a song that I heard on the radio the other day, have added it to my favorites list on Spotify, it is “Try”, by Pink.   Yep, it is a song that resonated and continues to throughout my daily thoughts.  Try….try.   Success isn’t necessarily in the outcome, but on the journey, the trying, the doing…..

Tomorrow I am going to try harder…. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Accepting myself…and others

Standard

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit insecure.   Strangely enough I have also been energetic, happy, focused and motivated…so why am I feeling insecure?

I was thinking this morning about personal growth.  20 years ago it would bother me if someone didn’t like me.  I would actually lose sleep over it.  Today I am not nearly as affected by someone disliking me.  I do not like everyone, why would everyone like me?  Is this something to feel insecure about? 

Taking things personally is something I really need to stop doing.   First of all, it’s narcissistic to think that the world, another persons world revolves around me.  Secondly, time and time again I have learned that 95% of the time what I think is about me is not.  I do not know what is going on with another persons thoughts, heart, life.   I am one to wear my heart on my sleeve, I share what is going on in my life openly, this is not how everyone lives, in fact, I think I am the minority here.

My bluntness, openness, the unguarded manner in which I live my life is uncomfortable for some.  That I took personally too!    Should I?   As I sit here typing this, and shaking my head no I am very grateful for my life experiences that have taught me “to thine own self be true”.  I try to be aware of others feelings, needs, and I am more than willing to help others.  I have been criticized (that’s a strong word but I’m not sure what other word to use here) since I was a young child about being the “emotional personal” that I am.   comically all that did was make me more emotional!   Seriously!

It’s interesting how my train of thoughts have brought me here.  I started with feeling insecure because of another persons decision, and ending with validating myself that, I can only be myself and be the best person I can be.  I do not expect everyone to like me and sadly I have come to expect ill will from some people, experience has a way of doing that.   But I have worked very hard to be the person I am, to become the person that I am.  I am imperfect, have many areas in which to grow, and given time and experience I will.  I was told yesterday by a friend that everyone goes through periods of insecurity, it is a time that we do some self examination and that’s not a bad thing.  It is if we do self bludgeoning of our souls and selves that is bad.

I know I will find peace with all of this eventually.  True to what I have also learned about life, the irony of life is things will change again right after I’ve accepted how they are!

And by the way?  I know I’m very open about my life, it is who I am.  But there REALLY are many things that I do not talk about… so given what I DO share with you, you can only imagine what I keep to myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Accepting changes with grace

Standard

Have you ever been going so fast that when you actually slow down or stop it is hard to believe all that you have gone through or survived?  I had one of these moments tonight.  I had a good day, painting, working, preparing for my next convention, and then spending time with two close friends.   We were sitting in a pub having a great time, enjoying the tunes, ambiance, drinks, food when Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” came on.  It came over me quickly, the tears fell down my cheeks as I asked my girlfriend the question that has been lingering and looming inside of me for weeks.  “Do you think that Jim would still be alive if I hadn’t asked him to leave?”    We discussed it briefly, in which her answer was No, he was heading there Donna, he was not going to stop, and we discussed the nature and power of the disease of addiction for a couple minutes, I wiped my tears, composed myself and we moved onto the next topic, as if moving with the beat to the next song.

On my drive home I thought about how much my life has changed.  I enjoyed my evening out with my friends.   I am no longer isolating or abstaining from a social life.  I am doing my best to enjoy this day, all that it entails and brings.

If someone were to say to me a few years ago that I were going to lose the two people I was closest to in this world within a few years of each other, I would probably have layed down and given up.  Life is to be lived one day at a time, this I am certain.  If we look too far into tomorrow we are probably trying to control outcomes, or seeking salvation in the proverbial “when this happens, or when that happens”.  And if we live in yesterday, or hold onto the past, it can become so heavy that we cannot physically or mentally walk firmly in today. 

But as I have stated in many of my prior blogs, I believe the true art of life is in Balance.  Finding balance in all that we do is key to living a happy, healthy, fulfilling life.   I believe I am learning how to do this.   As with all things in life, there are times, places for all.  A time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to dance, a time to die….   I suppose this is where our Faith comes in, to trust in the process, to brave the emotions and feelings that sail in and out with our experiences, and to be open and willing to learn, to grow, to accept change, sometimes radical changes on a daily basis. I have noticed that in my life it seems that nothing ever changes and then everything changes.   It can be such a whirlwind.  I remember in my younger years when I would embrace such times with a bit of fear but more feelings of excitement of how much I was going to learn from the new experiences.  It seems to me that the older I get the more I have to use the old pry bar to hold open my heart to change, and yet on the flip side of that is this peaceful calmness that takes over, a soul that has known change is inevitable and simplicity is desirable.  A surrendering that comes with much more grace than my spirit or body has ever known.

Oh how complicated and yet how simple we humans can be, when we learn that acceptance is key!