Tag Archives: Does this strike you fuzzy?

Happy New Year!

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Shortly we, on the East Coast, will ring in 2014.   2013 has been a good year for me.   Every year brings an assortment of experiences, some that we deem good, some that we deem bad.   One commonality with both is that we have the opportunity to learn, to grow.  Some of the most difficult times of my life have brought much character growth.   Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we are never given more than we can handle, but we are continually given the opportunity to help others, thus becoming part of their healing, their coping.   I hope I will not pass on an opportunity to be compassionate with another, to offer a hand when one is needed, to bring a smile to not only my family and friends, but a stranger.

I have pondered at times, when loss, when difficulties have knocked on my door and tomorrow seemed impossible to hope for, let alone the next hour, that perhaps we are given our pain to teach another, to help another, after all, isn’t that what life is all about?  Is there any better feeling than knowing you have somehow helped another in need?  And better yet, to keep these things between yourself and God?

It isn’t about the possessions (okay, brushes, paint & canvas can be exempt here! ♥) but the love we bring to one another.    Priceless are the moments in time that we shall never forget, that fill our palette with the most beautiful colors, softening the gray.   The gift of youth, the innocence, the beauty, the joy….their little antics, and those of our furry children who bring to us unconditional love.  Wow.  Unconditional love.

2013 came with a gift for me to take better care of myself, to be kinder to myself.    I hope 2014 brings this to all of us.

I have no New Years Resolutions, I am on a constant journey of growth, of change.   I aspire to become the best person I can possibly be.   I’m very aware that this does not happen purely through joy, but through the difficult treks of life.   I aspire to not be so judgmental of others, including myself, but offer a tender smile and quiet moment to find patience, understanding.   To treat others the way I want to be treated, and to treat myself the way I do those I love.

Bringing in a New Year typically brings some anxiety with it for me.   The uncertainties, the unknowns, and what IS known.   But I remind myself that all we have, all any of us have is this moment right now.  Overrated are tomorrows plans when today, in its shine or unpolished existence, is a wonderful gift.   On the rare occasion I listen to my phone messages, I sometimes will not delete those from loved ones, remembering too well past ones long gone, in which I would love the opportunity to hear once more.   I remind myself, this is just hyper vigilance, for all I really need to do is go to a quiet loving place, and the voices, eyes and smiles of those I long for are right there.  Even if my heart is breaking, I can put my hand over my heart and know, there within they reside

Wishing you all, love, peace and a very happy, healthy, human New Year!      ♥♥♥

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Lord, make me a channel of thy peace! 

That where there is hatred, I may bring love

That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness

That where there is discord, I may bring harmony

That where there is error, I may bring truth

That where there is doubt, I may bring faith

That where there is despair, I may bring hope

That where there are shadows, I may bring light

That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather

To comfort than to be comforted

To understand, than to be understood.

To love, than to be loved.

For

It is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

Accept tents …… where does my peace reside?

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What constitutes friendship?  How do you define and filter people in your life?   Close friends, good friends, friends, acquaintance, pain in the ass but with a good heart?   Who are the people in your life who inspire you, or are aspiring to you?   Longevity wise, how far back does your oldest friend go?  

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship the past few days.   I’ve been thinking about how I haven’t felt “loved” as much as I used to, so I started to examine my friendships, what has changed?   Some are just enmeshed in their own lives, location can also be a factor, you just can’t pick up the phone and say “Hey, frozen custard?”   Or show up, unshowered, in your crap clothes wanting to connect with someone.   Life can be insanely busy.    I remember Jim’s Nana saying something one day, probably 15 years ago now, that “You young people don’t ever sit, you are always on the go, far too busy to just sit in quiet and enjoy your surroundings”.   Or something close to that.   

Age, maturity has taught me the difference between consciously sitting by oneself, quiet, taking in all that surrounds me, and laying on the couch, one sock on, one sock off, hair up in a ponytail affixed to the couch like a cushion.  I call the first “participating, being conscious”, I call the second relaxation, but as with anything, the pendulum swings both ways, the flip side of that becomes laziness, self loathing.

Have you ever thought about something you really like about a person?  Perhaps that they are fun, carefree, enjoyable to be with because of this?    I’d much prefer to hang with people like this than a human jack-in-the-box waiting to spring out of its skin.    Okay, let’s look at the black or white, the left or right of the pendulum….   Fun, carefree…. the extreme becomes irresponsibility, non committal.     We know that the art of life is to find balance.  Balance with our characteristics, our behavior, our relationships, our time….and so much more.   I have very good balance with some things in my life, and are severely off balance in others.  Add to that, sometimes what I am severely off balance in today was balanced for years, decades.  Ying, Yang. 

As a child, discipline teaches us right from wrong, acceptable and unacceptable.   The temper tantrums that I see children having in stores today, the parents who are “bargaining” with them to behave always amaze me.  There is NO WAY I would have acted that way in a store, not without consequences.   This is not to imply I think the earlier are poor parents.  I have never had children, I only married them, so who am I to say what is right or wrong, but I can surely appreciate the difference.

Acceptance, for me, is the key to serenity, to happiness, to peace.   If I am not peaceful, frolicking around in dissention, depression, sadness, then something in my life is out of balance.  This almost always proves, for me, to be something in my life that I have yet to accept.   As stated earlier, these can change, without our knowledge, unconscious things that have triggered something, something that instills negative.    Some things I have accepted years ago comes back around to chew a hole, deflate my peace.    Does this mean I really never accepted it in the first place?  Who knows, I don’t think so, and most importantly who cares?   I have spent so much time reverting to my past.   I believe that history repeats itself if you don’t recognize it.  I also know that I have lost valuable precious time living in the past.

Grief, grief sucks.   We are told that “time heals all wounds”.    I don’t really believe that.  I believe that time teaches us how to coexist with our wounds, our losses, but it doesn’t heal.    If healing is true with others, I think that is awesome, tell me how you accomplished this?  Tell me how much time it took to heal your broken heart?  Clearly my acceptance, my reaction to the loss of my kid sister is much more balanced now, years later, than when it first happened.    I share a lot about loss, because that is a weight I carry daily.   I have had a lot of loss.   I am trying to lighten the load, to cast the weights into the lagoon of the past and fly over the hills and trees of this difficult place, this vortex, and get beyond, to new, to acceptance.

I want to go back to my not feeling “loved” as much as I used to.   Ironically, after much deliberation, I realize, it has nothing to do with my family, friends (close, good, friends, et all) but how I feel about myself.   I am not happy with myself.   What is it I am not happy with?   Well, there is a list, not a very long list, but a list of things that I am upset with myself about, one or two which actually promote self loathing.  This can throw a wet blanket over my self worth, self esteem, self confidence.    I can pick up any self help book, I can go to therapy, but unless I am doing the work, it’s lost time.  Perhaps pieces of what I am learning today will help me a year or two down the road, but if I am not doing the work, if I am not consciously trying to correct, to find balance to whatever it is in my life that is causing me imbalance then I will never experience long term self worth, love, peace.

I tend to be a black or white thinker, to my detriment.   If I owe a bill that I cannot pay, I don’t pay it unless I have it all.   Um, this doesn’t work!   Or, unless I can achieve and correct whatever it is bothering me, quickly, then, I accept and roll in crap, a couple times, to reassure myself that this part of my life sucks and will always suck.  But that is an example of my thinking, my thinking that I am trying very hard to change.  As stated above, if there is something in my life that I having accepted, there will be no peace.

Throughout my life I tried to find happiness in many places.   Laughing as I think about Garth Brooks “I have friends in low places” even though that isn’t what I am referring to.   If I was feeling low, not liking myself, the attention of the opposite sex could and would make me feel better.  I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about approval, kudos from others.    This escalating when I was in a marriage with an emotionally unavailable husband…shopping, spending…  then this stopped working.    Thankfully as we age we mature, we learn and have learned, we have the knowledge to make better decisions, make better choices for ourselves.  Unfortunately this also comes with loss of bladder control, ability to read a newspaper unless you have on 2.75 readers, and a memory that resides in a colander! 

Bottom line, through all of this.   I have to be happy with myself.  If I am looking to others for approval, if I am looking outside of myself for the answer, for acceptance, for happiness, it will only be a temporary fix.   The only way to happiness is to choose it. 

I am grateful that this evening I am feeling much better about myself than I was this morning.  I gifted myself with a visit to a friend who has inspired me, encouraged me.  Someone I consider to be a good friend.

I feel like this blog has been all over the place, with little correlation or flow, though I hope not.   Remembering the words of my father the second time I went in-patient for depression.   “You just have to pull yourself up by your boot straps”.   I cried, and cried.  Why didn’t he understand that I was doing my best?   Did he think I haven’t tried?      Today I think about the extreme, the black of the white, the right or left of the pendulum   “I care, I don’t know how to help you, I can’t do this for you, I’m frustrated, please get better, I love you!”

We are designed to be perfectly imperfect.   My parents generation you didn’t “air your dirty laundry in public”, you just “keep going”.  The extreme of this is self preservation, perseverance.     

Is there someone you are reacting negatively to what they are saying?  Is it possible to look at the extreme, to see if there is perhaps a message there that the person is not able to convey via words?    And not to leave this for last purposely, because it exists in my every day life, breathing, exhaling, movement, thoughts…. my spirituality.   I just cannot live a full life or happy existence without God leading my way.   I cannot live a full life or happy existence if I am not accepting myself as I am today.   I don’t have to “like” something to accept it. 

Acceptance, for me, is the key to serenity, to happiness, to peace.   If I am not peaceful, frolicking around in dissention, depression, sadness, then something in my life is out of balance. 

The past few days as I rolled around in my crap, I was shown what it was I need to change about myself.  It will not be done overnight, it will be achieved by stepping in that direction, the direction in which happiness lies for me, a little amount, a bit everyday.  Some days will be sprints forward, others a step or two backwards, but I don’t have to look at it as negative, I can look at it that it is just giving me a running start… 

 

Happy “day after” Christmas

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Okay, so my mood is better than it was last night, but far from stellar.   I have corn bread casserole in the oven, perhaps comfort food, sitting by a warm fire, watching it snow outside and knowing I don’t have to go out in it, will lift my spirits even more.

The day after Christmas.  So much less stressful, calling than the day after Thanksgiving.   One more holiday to go and the holiday season is behind us….. woot woot!  I actually feel bad feeling this way!   It is what it is, what it is, what it is.

Did you see pictures of the pile up on the PA Turnpike?  Yowser.   Thankfully no deaths were reported, though some of the vehicles looked pretty hairy.   Sending prayers that all will recovery fully.  Cars can be replaced…   Let’s see, how many cars have I owned?   By order of ownership:       1974 Subaru Coupe, 1981 Subaru Coupe (new), ????Renault,  Pontiac Fiero (new),  Toyota Corolla, Subaru Wagon, Honda Prelude (new), 1986 VW Jetta, 1995 VW Jetta, Honda Odyssey, Subaru Legacy Wagon, Jeep Liberty……………….. and your list?  Next week we’ll talk about how many people we have had…….for tea!  Yah, that’s it…. had over for tea! 🙂 

How long do you think the line is, currently, at your local Walmart’s customer service (return) counter?   I don’t plan to find out!   I do have returns, but not today…

That’s all for today folks……….  Happy day after Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Alas, goodnight, goodnight, goodnight, goodnight!

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I am so grateful that this day is almost over.  I’ve taken my evening meds and I’m hoping they work slick and quick.   Merry Christmas all, Merry Christmas.  Now let’s dump the television commercials with perfectly unflawed skin, dressed to the nines in velvet, sparkling diamonds and happy times. Let us return to normalcy, the murders, the kidnapping, the dead bodies thrown in for an added bonus.  Okay, Okay, so I’m trying my hand at dark humor, give me a break!

It has been an extremely long day for me.   I didn’t expect this as I thought I was doing so well prior to Christmas Eve.    It is almost over, it is almost over, it is almost over.  Today I could not escape the sadness, the loneliness, the emptiness.   Tomorrow will surely be better.

Today my mind has been drifting to a friendship which I thought was genuine.  While other friends warned me of this, that I was being used by an opportunist, I dismissed their concerns, they obviously did not know this person.  Yet the proof is always in the pudding.  The only time I would hear from them is if they wanted or needed something from me.   Even this I dismissed for a long time because friend’s help each other out, right?  Anyway, live and learn.  I wish sometimes I were cold and callous not caring about things like this.   Instead of feeling hurt, to just brush it off and move on, but that is so, not me.    One would think in my 50′s I could spot this early on.   Live and learn I say, live and learn.

I have oodles of paperwork and details to take care of tomorrow and Friday.  I’m hoping that it goes smoothly.  With the sour mood I am in today, I cannot believe that this will change by daybreak! I can’t even stand myself today! .

Today I looked at local adoptions for dogs.  My Lilly really misses her brother and she is happiest when she is around another dog.   I also think it might help me with my loneliness.  You know, like those people who get pregnant to get more government money?  Or the couple who has children because they think it’s going to cure whatever is ailing their marriage?   Man, we are talking one ugly woman tonight, eh?

With Christmas behind it’s now time to review this year, which I started doing last month, and think about what I aspire to do in 2014.   I aspire to be in a better mood!  It’s a defense mechanism.   I know I’m not alone with the difficulties of this holiday.  It doesn’t help that I’ve been having nose bleeds, 3 today, and my cheeks feel like they’ve been hit by a baseball!   On goes the vaporizer tonight.

Wherever you are, whoever you were or weren’t with, I hope you had a nice day, and if not, I hope you have hung in there, as today is almost past.   I do not care to wish my life away, just the bee sting of this day.

Off to bed where I will say my prayers of gratitude, ask for help for those in need and perhaps include myself on that list tonight.

God speed……………

I am grateful for….

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I am grateful for

 

My family:    I am most “home” when I am with my family, physically, mentally, spiritually.   I am so grateful for all.    Parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, great nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, in laws…

My friends:  The most diverse and loyal people in my life.   My friends never cease to amaze me with their abilities, their strives, successes, their love, their encouragement, dependability, willingness to help

My animals:  The joys of children without the fear of drugs, alcohol…..college tuition

My health:   Cancer free, remission

My home:  My humble womb

My jeep:   Wheels, dependable transportation, great snow vehicle…and from a generous friend

My abilities:  My ability to write, paint, design, empathize with others, feel, comprehend, love, cry, reach out

My creativity:  My livelihood, my love, my essentials

Food, clothing, shelter covered:   Essentials for all, and gratefully I have all three

Memories:  Internal movies and pictures, moments in time that I can fall back to, open up, and treasure.

My therapist, my psychiatrist, oncologist, pcp:  I depend on each, they have all helped me enormously, have provided good care. 

Medications:   I can smile, laugh, feel happiness.  I can get up in the morning without biting someone’s head off, for the ability to think clearly, have my brain off the adhd hampsters wheel and the depression in check

E-Service people:   Police, firemen, paramedics, doctors, nurses, aides…. The unsung heroes that keep us safe and come to our rescue.  Who put their lives at risk every day.

Veterans:  For all who have and are serving our country, protecting us, our land, putting their life on the line, and their family and personal lives on hold to do so.  

Art:  For the many artists, forms of art that richen my and others lives.  For music which is my muse, for painting, designing, for every form of art and all artists who share their God given talents with us.

Creativity:   This right brained artist lives and functions by creating….

Decorative Painting:  The people I have met, the art, the sharing.  I have never met a decorative painting student who hasn’t been willing to help another, lend their brushes, etc.,   And when I see the looks on my students faces, or all students really, at conventions, seeing their excitement, their happiness, delight, being proud of what they just painted….it touches my heart.

Beads:   Necklaces, earrings, sun catchers, bracelets, anklets…. Must I go on?

Computers (well, sometimes!):   What would life be like without the internet?????

Sewing machines, fabric:   Enjoy this and can create beautiful embellishments for my home

Love:  It doesn’t get any better than this

My brain:  Even when I have brain farts

My body:  Ability to move around, function, ability in general!

My neighbors:  They help me with my yard, my walkways….  Enormous help

Joy:  Who wouldn’t be grateful for this?  

Challenges and Difficulties:  Because they strengthen my character and ability to withstand the difficulties of life.

For my life:   It has been one incredible journey, one of growth, one of love, one of accomplishments, set backs, disappointments, conquers, strides, achievements

And so this is Christmas… and what have we done?

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src=”https://donnascullyblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/house-015.jpg?w=225″ alt=”My favorite Santa I painted” width=”225″ height=”300″ class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-6006″ />Darlene's last ChristmasTwas the night before christmas....Santa on old Ironing BoardMy sister Darlene.... with our nephewsSiblings. Doug, Karla & DarSense of humor still in tactJim & BrodyMy sister Karen...

Home from a gig... he's so happy to see his momma

Home from a gig… he’s so happy to see his momma

many many moons ago

many many moons ago

Jim...My sister Darlene

Another year older, and new year just begun… Hopefully next year I will learn how to arrange pictures.

Not sure whether I should be writing this blog, I suppose it will help me, and I don’t have to publish or delete it. 

Christmas, I feel so alone.  I am alone.   I was doing very well Christmas Eve, then again, after I did what minimally needed to be done I slept.  I just called my oldest friend, swore I wasn’t going to cry, but I failed.   I think I’m being a baby, and I need to pull myself together.

I have stayed away from pictures of happier Christmas’s because I have enough in my mind but I finally gave in, and I feel so much better since doing so.   I can close my eyes and vividly picture those that I have loved and lost.   I remember a time when there was someone to kiss me goodnight and hug me good morning…  I remember a time when my family would get together and we would open and share gifts.  That hasn’t happened in a long time.   My father says he can’t afford it, he does do for his grandchildren and great grandchildren which is wonderful.  My mother is financially challenged and hasn’t really celebrated the holidays in decades.   My brother will probably call me today and see if I want to come over, maybe not.  Christmas used to be such a fun and happy time.    Gifts are fun, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t the gifts, it’s the love, the gathering of family, the sharing of memories, the excitement of someone opening the gift you got them and they were so happy.   Of course I miss opening a present and being surprised and happy with what someone got me and of course, I would be lying if I didn’t say… receiving.     I am alone. For those who know my history with depression, this is not a cry for help, nor is this a cry for pity….this is my thoughts, my feelings at this very moment.

I pray for others, less fortunate, and truly there are many, who are in dire straights, who are in the hospital, whose child are in Iraq, those whom have lost a loved one, particularly new, but then again, I’m not sure that really matters.   I’m crying tonight over loved ones I lost a decade ago, or 4 years ago, or this being the first Christmas in 14 years that I don’t have my Brody boy.   Perhaps crying is a good thing, perhaps in some strange sort of way, mourning and missing them makes them present.  The tears will eventually help me to sleep, and perhaps wash the face that I should take a hot wash cloth to.

Holidays alone are hard.   I didn’t expect this.  This certainly isn’t the first holiday I have been alone.   A message from my sister on her death bed, she was afraid I would end up alone, end up like my mother echo through my head, I take a deep breath and let the pain flow out through out in exhale.  My mother, she is a good person.  She is an intelligent person, she is a funny person.   When my parents divorced, which was not just between them but a third person as well which always makes things more painful, my mother hasn’t really celebrated the holidays since.  It has been 3 decades.   Christmas’s with my dad went by the wayside years ago.   The best of holidays were with my sister, my Jim.   We were “staples” in each others lives.   Not having them hurts to my core, to my core.

I know I will survive this, Lord this is nothing when I think of others who are alone for the same reason, or worse.  This is just a hard day, and it will pass, I will get beyond this and ultimately will become stronger.  What I hope I do not become is cold, or uncaring.  You know those people you meet who are just miserable?  They grunt when you talk to them, their eyes offer no spark or shine, they look off into the deep yonder and you think “What the hell happened to this person?”    Is that how my sister thought I would end up?  Is that how I am?  Good God I hope not.  I truly hope not.  

I am alone by choice.  I am alone not just because I have lost those closest to me, but because I will not open my heart to try again.  Self preservation, is that a bad thing?   If the right person were to come around I would hope I would open my heart.   I was also alone Christmas Eve because I didn’t go to either invitation I had for dinner.  I really wanted to, but with the funk I was in and the messed up sleep pattern that has presented itself in my life, I woke up just minutes before I was to meet them.    I remind myself, I am alone by choice.

If I post this blog I will feel naked, exposed.   Will I do so?   Then again I have shared so much, so many details of my life, my challenges, struggles because I want others to know who I am and what I stand or stood for in my life, and on top of that list is to help others.  If my words can help one other person going through similar, then what is happening to me is not in vain.    Perhaps someone reading this will know they are not alone in their sadness, their loneliness.    I can’t imagine any of these words encouraging or cheery, but you never know.

I wish you all a very MERRY Christmas.   May you breath in and hold deep in your heart the Christmas spirit.  May you enjoy good health, surrounded with loved ones, and for those of you alone, may you find some peace, some happiness in the memories of Christmas past.  May you know you are loved, thought of, and cared for, even if right now you don’t feel that.   This holiday will soon pass.   If your pain is immense, perhaps escaping to sleep will help ease the pain.  Wherever you are, whatever you are doing or who you are with or not, Merry Christmas.  A very merry Christmas.

xo

Christmas’s with my nephews every year when they were little, precious precious times for me.   I rarely see them now.  Of course they are grown and have their own lives, and thankfully are healthy and doing well.

The past is only a chapter, it doesn’t define me

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Last night, well the wee hours of the morning, I started working on my book.    I have steered clear of writing about things that I really feel need to be shared, if only to help another because  some of the things I would like to share would reflect badly on others.   Some things are better left unsaid sort of thing, but last night that changed.    I will not post names, I will not defame another, but I will share my experiences and some…some???   Clearly are by the harsh hand of others.    Perhaps it’s maturity, perhaps it’s part of my healing, perhaps I’m just a frigan bitch who wants to expose them!   🙂  Nah, I decided last night, however, that my loyalty should be to myself.  And if I keep the things that harmed me quiet, untold, that empowers them.  I am totally wanting to extinguish all!   But that cannot be done.   I can, and am, however, finding a proper place for it all.

Anyways, words flowed last night like a trout swimming downstream.   It was great.   I shared some in a blog, but in the contents of my draft I am really digging deep and wrote about some of the trenches I’ve been in.   Not for sympathy, not even for empathy, not for any other reason than to celebrate surviving, celebrate learning, knowledge, celebrate where I am today.   

I recall a moment in an Alanon Chatroom where someone was venting about their  “spouse the souse”, as he called her.   I sat back, listening, many were there listening, just validating his feelings, his thoughts, his frustrations.   I met some incredible people in the confines of that room.  I am still in touch with probably a dozen, and I consider them true friends.    Anyway, I was having a fairly good day, surprisingly but pleasantly.   But I digress….   When he was through venting, he thanked us all, and he felt better, we always feel better to blow off steam.     You know how God gives us what we need?  And when we feel bad, or sorry for ourselves someone is put in our path to help us understand that there are a lot worse off than you?   This is how it works for me anyway.  So a friend asked me how I was feeling, I shared.  The gentlemen who vented asked what I was sick with.  I explained to him that I was going through treatment, radical surgeries, for breast cancer(s).  And that my brother simultaneously was going through treatment for colon and rectal cancers.     I laugh at this now, I actually laughed at it at the time, the gentlemen venter was really quiet for a few minutes and then he writes “I have absolutely nothing to complain about, Thank you for sharing.     Hey, I didn’t want to invalidate his feelings or anyone else’s.  We all have struggles, we all have days where we would like to kill someone but where and how would we hide the body?   I realized that, after hearing what I was going through, it helped him compartmentalize his difficulties….   Oh my god!  I was the one that was worse off and that helped people move forward.  I say this because I found it comical then, and I still do.   Yah, things were pretty difficult then, but I was going through the motions, doing what needed to be done, not having the time nor energy to take it all in.   When in survival mode, it takes everything you have, every ounce of energy to get through the day.    There was no time for self pity, no room for bullshit, and no interest in sharing it with another, things were happening way too fast to conceivably share all that was happening.  I suppose some of it was also denial.  I am one woman who is very grateful for the gift of denial, if it is short term, that is.   When something traumatic happens, that numb period, tears, pain, but numbness I think is a gift.  We aren’t equipped nor can we consume excruciating pain for long periods of time.  Our bodies, our minds protect us from this.   A life of denial, well, that’s another topic entirely, and one that I’m not particularly keen on.   

So I wrote and wrote, the words flew off the tips of my fingers.  I wrote about things that I have rarely if ever revealed.   I wrote about a husband who physically abused me, and the next who verbally abused me.  I wrote about how little I thought of myself, and the feelings of self loathing then.    had and some still have to, forgive myself for.     When my head hit the pillow this morning around 6;30am I slept like a log, solid, uninterrupted for 6 hours.  Apparently it was cathartic!    Today I shared with my therapist some very violent parts of my past.  I have been seeing her for almost 2 years now, and I trust her, I like her, she is helping me.   I shared about what I had written about, the thoughts the memories that came flooding through me while writing, and I was sharing all of this pragmatically, without emotion, without feelings, I was sharing my truth.    How POWERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     Then she said “I have time open tomorrow, I think we should meet tomorrow because with the holiday we are missing our next session.   I laughed, okay okay….  “We don’t want to lose momentum, Donna”…. so true, so true.   I found this funny.   “LoOk at me, LoOk at all my progress”….. “Yes, now come back tomorrow!”

Following therapy I reluctantly had to go to the Walmart.    I was dreading it, but I knew it would be much worse tomorrow if I put it off.   So in I went.   When I grabbed a cart one of the wheels was really messed up, it was sideways and not working.   A woman and her daughter came in behind me and said “Are there any dry carts?”  I replied “No, and don’t use that one, it’s retarded…”    The minute that word came out of my mouth I knew it was improper and inappropriate.  Seldom do I use this word.   My oldest sister was mentally retarded, I meant no harm, nor disrespect to anyone.  She said to me “What did you say?”  I said “I’m sorry, I was wrong in choosing and speaking those words”.   She said “Well, don’t think I’m lecturing you or upset with you.  Ironically I had just corrected my daughter for using that phrase when we were in the car, and then we walk in and you are using it.”   Between the three of us we decided the best way to describe the cart was a pain in the butt, broken, and unusable!

$180 later, and 10 bags lugged in and put away, I poured some eggnog and decided to read my mail.   The eggnog, settling like a gut bomb has me upset with myself that I chose this when I had healthy juice I could have opted for!   Live and learn, live and learn.

There were a few screaming kids in Walmart.   I always call this “birth control awareness day”.   But for the most part, I roamed around, got what I needed without interruption.   I did run into a neighbor whose husband was just diagnosed with Stage 4 Leukemia.   Ouch.   Cancer really does suck, ya know?

So, what is my message today?  Good question!  I think it is to embrace who we once were, the difficulties, the joyfulness that we have experienced, appreciate who we are today, at this very moment.    Forgiveness is the key to freedom.   I forgive others quickly, I learned years ago that doing so set ME free.  It was forgiving myself that I have had and still do have problems with.   Hey, I made some bad choices, I took some wrong roads, I have sat in shit and swam with stingrays…. I am who I am…  I am more than those experiences.  I am more than my name.  I am a result of 52 years of life, learning, lessons, good times, bad….

The older I get the less I feel the need to impress anyone, and the less I care about what others think of me.    The old adage “Walk a mile in my shoes” rings true, still, today.    Sometimes I forget that I don’t know what another person is going through.   I lose patience with them, if they cut me off in traffic or snap at me on the phone.   I need gentle reminders that we all have our crosses to bear.  We are all trying to find and make our way here, and it surely isn’t all roses.  By the way, I’m allergic to them, so let’s say “sunflowers!”

Today I am forgiving myself for putting myself in harms way.  I am forgiving myself for being in bad relationships, for allowing others to beat me down.   Today I am one with myself, the person I was then is unrecognizable to me now.   That is not a bad thing.  Of course that/those experiences are a chapter in my life, but no longer do they define me, rule me, or are part of my present.   They are compartmentalized, acknowledged but not dwelled upon.   Doing this work is rewarding.  When I can come home from grocery shopping, and still be humming?   Rewarding!  I am participating in making my life better, fuller, richer.   I am participating not only in my own life now, but in the world!

 

 

 

No longer is there a sense of hopelessness…..

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As U2’s “With or without you” is playing in the background, I am thinking about a conversation I had with a friend earlier.    It takes incredible courage (in my opinion) to open up your heart to love.   As with anything, there are absolutely no guarantees, and I have learned the hard way that there is no security in a relationship, in a marriage.   I remember when that “trust”, that “innocence” was broken with me.   10+ years into a marriage for him to end it with a woman 16 years his junior.   Today I could not care less, he did me a huge favor, but at the time I dramatically felt like my life was over…. far from it.

Sometimes when I am lonely I think about what it would be like to meet someone, to fall in love, after all, single life has it’s ups and downs.   I remember a line out of “When Harry Met Sally”…..forgive me if I don’t get this correctly, I’m rusty…  Sally and her (old) boyfriend don’t want children or commitment because they could have sex wherever they wanted… in the kitchen…etc., and then one point in the movie she said “But the thing is, we never DID have sex in the kitchen, or any of the places we said we could!”   Ultimately learning that he didn’t want to marry her and her probably not being fully honest with herself.   At any rate, single life, I can do whatever I want, when I want.  I can paint until the wee hours of the morning, I can leave messes and clean them up later, on and on and on.  While these things are true, and I enjoy the freedom of such, it doesn’t make up for someone holding your hand, sharing time together. 

One seminar I taught this year I asked a group of approximately 20-25 women how many were single and lived alone, and was shocked to find 3/4’s of the room raise their hands.  I guess there is nothing special about my singlehood!  

In a conversation with a friend recently I shared about loneliness.   I shared how I have to keep myself busy, or my mind heads to dark places, places in which I shouldn’t nor can allow myself to go.   Just like years, decades ago when I thought my life was over when my marriage ended, today I shake my head and laugh at that.   Of course it didn’t help that he was threatening to sell the house on me…believe it or not, I was a sliver of the person I am today, experience gave me that.   But then I would sit in my spot, like a good wife, waiting for him to decide if he was coming home or not.   My girlfriend, Janice said to me one day “How long are you going to do this, Donna?”   My answer?  “As long as I need to do this”.  It was only a couple months after that when I stood up for myself, realized he couldn’t sell the house out from under me because my name was on it!   Fuck you!   I started to fight back, to fight for my life, I didn’t know which direction I was or wanted to go, but I had valuable knowledge.   I knew where I DIDN’T want to go!   I was done being a door mat.   I remember very well the day I went to my ex-husband’s employment where both he and his girlfriend worked.  I asked to speak to him.  He came out, looked at me with anger, an attitude of “how dare I come to his place of employment?”   The only words I had to say to him were…. “I want a divorce!”   Man did that feel good!    Well, after that for several weeks he started finding excuses to stop by the house, etc., but it was too late.  Go with your little girl, go away, leave me be.   I started to be proactive with my life, I quit my job with reasonably good pay, went to a job at minimum wage which was $6 an hour.  I didn’t care.  I was starting over and I wanted to entertain, to try my hand at living a creative existence, believing in the talents that time allowed me only to do a few hours a week, or month.  After all, married life is different from singles life.   Now I eat when I want, then that wasn’t “allowed”.   Yes, when I think about how controlled I was, allowed myself to be I can no longer identify with that person.   As I started to break outside of his “safe circle” the marriage started to disintegrate.   I started to design in needlecraft for Leisure Arts & McCall’s and because I was working full time, too, and the majority of our marriage carried the insurance, I was tired of being told that I didn’t need television, although when he wanted to watch a football game I can remember how he went out of his way to fix the antenna so it came through for him.   My first royalty check was $2,400.  I took it upon myself to go and order, buy, a large satellite dish.  (Remember them?)   Eight years living without cable surely wasn’t the end of the world, but it was something I wanted….. so I got it!  This, however, was the beginning to the end.

When I think back on that time I cringe.   Poor Jim, the next and last serious relationship I had, paid the piper for the “sins” of his predecessor.    No one, particularly a man, was going to tell me what I could or couldn’t do!   He caught on quickly though and now as I look back on that, with a smile on my face, I realize he used reverse psychology on me.  Too funny.

I used to worry about what would become of me?  Where would I end up as I age?   I am already feeling physical limitations on what I once was able to do in taking care of my house.   I never planned to be single in my 50s, but hey, there are much worse things that could happen.   I think about the Golden Girls, when they first started the series I believe they were in their 50’s.    My best friend and I have a pact that we will live together, perhaps her sister, and whomever else.  The plan is to get a house big enough where each of us have our own bedroom, sitting room, bathroom, and we would share kitchen quarters.    Hey, futures have a way of falling down in midflight, perhaps that will never happen but I do know, wherever I end up, I will be okay.    I have “started over” a couple times in my life, I can take care of myself.  That doesn’t mean I am anti men.  Truly not, but I believe in myself today in ways I never thought I could or would ever. I pursued a career in teaching decorative painting.  While I cannot and will never be able to say I am the most paid, or the most popular, that is okay.  I have accomplished what I had set out to do and that was to be a national teacher.  I knew I could do it, and I did it.   I am not only a strong woman, a survivor, but I am a determined one!    I will be okay!

One positive about having some crappy painful things happen is that you learn what is and isn’t important in life.   I no longer live in the fear that I once did.  I no longer worry about what tomorrow will bring, as I know I will do my best, and what will be, will be….. Okay, sing with me “The futures not ours to see….”     I will be okay.

So, the point of this share today I guess is to start believing in ourselves.   Drop the fear, the nervousness about the unknown, pick one thing you want to do for yourself and do it.    I have chosen my next journey which I will begin in January with a girlfriend and frankly, I’m excited about it.

Hey, I may have a small home, drive an older jeep, but I love my jeep!  And I love my home!   I also love (for the most part) what I do for work, when I am able to work.  I’m a pretty fortunate woman.  God has been good to me, but it didn’t come easily, nor without hard work.   This year I started to look at my accomplishments and realized… Wow!   I did what I wanted to do!  When exactly did that happen?  It just happens with perseverance, baby steps.   Jeff Olson speaks of consistency, this man has made companies trillions and trillions of dollars with that one principal.  Keep showing up!  

I shall now retire to the warmth of my bed, fight with my animals for a comfortable spot to sleep.   I hope I get a good nights sleep, but if I don’t, I will survive.  Tomorrow I will get up and do the best I can of what is in front of me, that is all anyone can ask of me, that is all I can ask of myself.    It will be more than good enough because I will give it my all one more day.   Gratitude, that I can, mentally, physically, gratitude that I am where I am and unlike many New Englander’s tonight, I have power, heat.   Many are without due to an ice storm.  Gratitude, gratitude, it truly is an attitude!

Sweet sheeps!

Peace to all….

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Well, the Postmaster really wasn’t upset when I piled my many packages on the counter.   I was surprised that I only had to wait in line about 5 minutes.   I was thankful there was no one behind me, at least for the first couple minutes.   Then I felt daggers going into the back of my head, my body.  Suddenly there was 5 people in line and they didn’t appreciate how long they had to wait.    Made me think of when I do that.  I am leering at the person in front of the line (anywhere) who has a zillion things.  Guess I should be a little bit more patient, eh?  

This holiday season isn’t painful for me, sure I miss those I love and have lost, but I have a dear friend who recently lost her mom.  My heart goes out to her.  I know, from experience, there isn’t anything I can do or say that will take her pain away.   I know the “firsts” of everything after losing someone are so difficult.  That is an understatement.  Being that her passing was only several weeks ago, it must hurt like hell.   Normally she loves the holidays.  She is a giver, and enjoys buying gifts (on non holidays too) for others, is always mailing out cards.  She is a thoughtful person.  Her words went right to my heart and tears flowed down my face when she stated she hasn’t decorated, bought any presents, etc.   Her house is always decked out with red poinsettias this time of year.    I’m sure she will do some decorating, and I know she can’t not buy her beautiful granddaughters presents, I just wish Santa would bring her a little bit of peace, relief.

I was thinking about last year at this time, Sandy Hook.  How frigan awful was that.   No doubt all the parents, siblings are in the “anniversary mode” where the only thing you can think of is the trauma of last year, the trauma and the travesty that took place.  My prayers go out to all of these people.

A facebook friend posted last night that her granddaughter went to heaven.   There were no details, some pictures however of this beautiful newborn baby.  One with her sister holding her.   Tears fell down my face with this one, too.

The point I am trying to make is not that life sucks.  Frankly, sometimes it does.  But it cannot hurt to offer prayers for those less fortunate, those in emotional of physical pain, those who are alone this holiday season.   Whenever I am sad, someone is always put in my path to help me gain perspective, that things aren’t as bad as they could be.  Still, this doesn’t nor should it invalidate whatever I am going through.   This year I am doing well.   I have only minimally decorated, I don’t have a tree, but for the most part, my heart is filled with memories and love and the spirit of Christmas is within my heart.  I am grateful for this.  I am grateful that I am not in the throws of grief.

I have a friend coming over to look at my wares, looking for a gift.    There is clean laundry piled high in a chair and dirty laundry scattered all over my kitchen floor, the dishes aren’t done, the place hasn’t been vacuumed in days….and I?  I have yet to shower.  May the force be with them.

And peace to all…….and to all a good night.

 

My elf self

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My elf self

Today I discovered my inner elf. I feel good because I did get a lot done, and tomorrow all my Christmas presents will be out in the mail… Well, mine will too if you’re buying me something from Amazon! 🙂 Seriously, I am mailing about 24 packages tomorrow. The postmaster will cuss under his breath at me…. Happy Holidays!

We had another snowstorm today. It’s light snow, sticky, but light and created havoc for traveling in New England. Because it is light the wind gets a hold of it and without a thought, you are in the middle of a snow squal. I didn’t go anywhere today. All I did was move my jeep so the plow could come visit me again.

My little Lilly (terrier mix that I rescued a couple years ago, someone had apparently dropped her off :() will not go out in the snow. The walk has to be clean of snow or debris of any. So at midnight tonight I’m out shoveling so the little Princess can go do her business! Oh boy, this is going to be a long winter.

Short post tonight, have too much to do. I am grateful that today I felt good, mentally and physically, and was able to get some sleep this morning. It certainly helps.

I’m off to see the Wizard…………………….