Tag Archives: Life

Are You Scared?

I wish I could describe to you all in most perfect words what is going on inside of me. I wish I could explain to myself what is going on inside of me.  Truth is, friends, I don’t know, and I am more than okay with it.

I was doing a thing last week and I was asked a question.  The Person looked me in the eyes and asked me if I was scared.  There was no hesitation in my answer; I gave myself no time to think about it.  “Terrified.” I told them.  I was.  I didn’t think that it wouldn’t be a good answer, because who likes to admit to being afraid.  That question stuck with me and has been replaying often in my mind, over and over.  

I gave the Person some additional information after answering that I was terrified.  I told them my fear is why I was there.  That when I think about things and if they scare me, they are most likely worth doing.  Now that I have had a week to think about it, I think it may have been the answer to everything lately.

I. Am. Terrified.

I watched “The Way” with K yesterday.  It’s a movie about a man who travels Camino de Santiago.  Maybe about a month or so ago, I discovered this and brought it to K.  I told her we should do it; we decided in 7 years because that would be the next holy year and it would give us time to save and prepare.  We watched the movie and there was a line that got me (the whole movie got me, but right in the beginning, I knew it would impact me).  It was simple.  “You don’t chose a life, you live a life.”

The walk could be done for religious reasons, or personal.  It could be none or both, but I hear it changes you.  There have always been things I planned, things that may not have happened, or things that didn’t quite happen the way I had planned them, but this cannot be one of them.  It’s almost like a calling.

I can’t tell you every story of my life, because we don’t have enough time, and I don’t think you would want to know everything, but I know the day that I lost my religion.  I was in a bind, as I usually end up being in, and was faced with one of the most difficult choices of my life.  I knew I was standing at a moment that would pave a road, and I wanted an answer, a sign.  I wanted something to help me make my decision.  I went at night, in the rain, to the closest church.  I wanted to sit in the church, have a conversation with God, ask for help.  The doors were locked.  It’s hard even as I type this, friends.  It’s so hard.  I felt alone, and abandoned.  I felt that my answer was in those locked doors.  God had turned away and told me I couldn’t go into His house anymore.  

I made my choices; I chose my life.  I didn’t walk back into a church for 8 years.  Goodness, I was so afraid.  I was afraid I would be struck down, or that everyone would know.  They would all know that I was turned away on a rainy night and branded.  They would give me looks, and tell me to leave.  I had Girl2 with me.  She was the only thing that could have gotten me back into a church.

They didn’t kick me out, look at me funny, or shun me.  I nervously sat through, waiting for the moment to come where it would happen, but it never did.  

I honestly don’t know where I stand with it all now, but I can tell you that I am having a strong sense of life change moments lately.  The decision to plan this walk is one.  My weekends being spent having more life; it may seem small, like small things, but I am reconnecting out there in nature.  I told K she was the only one who I would be able to make the camino with.  She is the one who would accept my silence, just as she does when we are caching.  I can have my inner moments, and she gets that.  When I have been out there, on the trails, in the woods, I am reconnecting with myself.  I say I am caching, but I really am breathing in the air, seeing the trees, listening to the river.  I am finding peace and myself.

I don’t know what I believe anymore.  I have my logic, and it serves me fine.  I can’t help but think there is something though.  There has to be something out there, that puts us in places, at the right times.  That something silently guides us along, watches our mistakes, lets us learn our lessons.  It puts the people in our lives, and also takes them out of them.  There has been so much lately that seems like things are happening and rather than be a spectator, I need to be in it.  I need to stop choosing my life and start living it.  It may be small things, like spending the morning out in the woods, or taking a weekend for the beach, but it is really me saying that it’s time.  

I am scared.  It’s hard to take those steps, to face your fears.  I remember when I was little and watching The Neverending Story.  Atreyu reached the Southern Oracle and he had to face himself.  I couldn’t understand how that would be such a big deal, how it could be hard to face yourself.  Oh, was I wrong.

K and I were talking to The Boy, and he had made a comment on how he wanted to have his life figured out at 20.  We laughed, not at home, but rather at the fact that we were probably once young and thought we would have everything figured out at 20.  I am less than one week away from 37 and I am nowhere closer to having it figured out than I was 17 and sitting at her kitchen table playing cards. 

I honestly don’t know how this all comes together, friends.  It’s one of those days that I can feel it; the mystical strings pulling me along, the sense that there is more meaning than what I am doing now.  The sense that I need to reconnect to myself and make changes.  I need to be connected, not just to myself, but those I love as well.  It isn’t enough to go through the motions, you have to be present, to make memories.

I am terrified and that’s okay.  I am giving myself permission to make mistakes, to learn, and to live.  I am living my life and giving myself permission to not beat myself up for the things I don’t have control over.  I am going to start mentally and physically preparing for my road ahead.  I may even start to accept the fact that maybe I am not as shunned as I believe myself to be.

 

 

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Chasing Memories

I am going to preface this by saying that this will be all over the place.  I apologize to you for that.  I usually like to have an idea and just write it out and see where it goes.  Tonight though, I have so many things in my head.

Today was somber and beautiful.  It was wonderfully warm, windy, but a warm wind.  Today we laid my Uncle Bob to rest.  Girl1 came with me; she had never been to a military funeral.  Uncle Bob served for over 20 years, so it was no surprise to me that he would be buried with military honors.

There is a beauty to it; a beauty that breaks your heart.  As soon as the guns salute, the bugle plays, you feel it deep inside.  The flag ceremony and presentation is somber.  It seems like such a contradiction that such a beautiful day such sad activities were going on.

It was a beautiful service.  I am honored to have been able to witness it.  I won’t write too much more about that since I have posted my homage.  

While we were there, my immediate family did stop at my Grandparent’s grave on my mother’s side.  They are also buried there.  We set off, and I found it right away.  

Oh, my Grandmother.  A complete force to be reckoned with.  She taught me how to shuffle cards and play Boggle.  I remember countless hours of just playing cards, or games of Boggle and her winning every single time.  I asked her once, “Why won’t you let me win?”.  She just looked at me and put down the cards.  Her answer was this, “I won’t let you win.  One day you will, and when that day comes it will be because you beat me and not because I handed it to you.”  This, I still carry with me to this very day.  If I want something, I will have to work for it.  I did beat her one day and I was so proud of myself because she was untouchable at Rummy or Boggle.  I can also still shuffle a mean deck of cards.

My Grandfather, well, he was also someone who taught me a lot of things.  He taught me that very manly men could get very much into soap operas.  Also, he introduced me to many of the wonders of the game shows.  He loved word searches and crosswords, and though I never picked up the crosswords, I still enjoy word searches.  He made dinner every night, and I remember many times of him helping me with my bike, teaching me to put my chain on.

When we were leaving, we saw one gravestone that had rocks on it, with a card tied around it.  It was a windy day and the card was open.  It said “Happy 55th anniversary, I love you.”  My sister cried, and I held her.  I understood, the overall emotion, the simple beauty of love that would have someone tying a card to a gravestone, because to them it isn’t just a gravestone.  It is their love.  It is their Uncle, it is their Grandparents.  

Tonight, I will unwind after the rest of my day, which involved working.  I had the perfect project for today though.  It involved calling people and connecting.  One woman made me cry (which wasn’t hard today) because she told me that I made the difference for her.  I had an email in my mailbox from an agent who spoke to their Insured and they were so grateful that a large company could have so much compassion.  Today was all about compassion, humanity, and understanding that we are all one.

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image from http://downdogyoga.net/ 

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The Table

Yesterday began with a fight, today with a passing.  Uncle Bob passed away after a long battle and he was one of the most fierce warriors out there.  I remember quite a few times being told that he wasn’t doing well, and the odds were not in his favor, yet he kept going.  I hope I can apply as much strength and fierceness to my battles as he did his. 

A few months ago, maybe around 6 months or so ago, Uncle Bob moved to a facility where he would spend the rest of his days.  He had left behind a fully furnished apartment and bestowed upon me a gift.  He gave me a table.  When I first moved, I had procured myself the Wal-Mart special table.  I remember it was kinda of comical because there were 5 people at the house, but the table only fit 4.  Someone (and yes, it is me) did not think ahead to maybe purchase a table that everyone could sit at together.  So we have a stick out counter, and a stool like chair, and 4 people would sit at the table, while one took the time out chair at the counter.  We rotated positions, so not one person was in time out every day.  

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Seriously, this existed.

He gifted me with his table.

This was a table with an insert.  It had 6 chairs.  That was one more than even needed!  A whole extra chair!  No one had to sit at the time out counter again, or wouldn’t if everyone was home for dinner, which always doesn’t happen.  Still, a whole extra chair!

I never realized the importance of a table.  How one thing can be such a hub of activity.  Especially when it is big enough to fit everyone.  The table has already hosted a Thanksgiving and Christmas, and not just any Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the first ones I have put on in my home.  

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Here is Uncle Sal, at the table, enjoying some quality time at Thanksgiving.  He isn’t in the time out chair.

It has hosted hours of artwork.  Sequins, and glue; flowers and cards.  Girl1 even made news at the table when she made a card for a girl who just needed support.  She made some art, shared her soul, all at the table.

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Girl1 hates this picture and it keeps coming up.  I love this picture because it is love.

This table is not like any other table.  It isn’t just a flat surface.  It has been mountains, villages, dungeons, campfires, as well as many other things when we gather around to play D&D.  People joining us at this table to leave the real life behind for a few hours and go on adventures.  The last adventure we were kidnapped and the table was a gladiator style arena filled with people looking for a good show.  We didn’t disappoint.

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That is 10 Orcs!  10 agressive orcs!

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The elixir made her voice like sunshine rays.  She inspired us to victory!

It is a place for long conversations over cups of coffee.  A place to come home and just fold your arms on it and put your head down after a long day.  It is a gathering spot for all occasions, happy and sad.  Some days it is the place you put on some Pandora and just connect with each other.  It was the spot for puzzle building.

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Still isn’t finished yet.  We’ll get there.

When is a table not a table?  When it is where you connect with your family, friends, and loved ones.

Uncle Bob, you didn’t just bestow upon me a table.  You gave me a spot where everyone has a chair, and there is always an extra one for whomever needs it.  You gave me and the family a place to connect, to laugh, to cry, to be comforted, to be loved.  You gave our home a center for a hub of activities, and it will continue to be so.  Thank you for that gift, and for always being someone who would smile, give a funny sarcastic comment, and teach all that knew you that life deserves laughter.  We will always have a chair ready for you.

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From A to B

Good morning friends!  Actually this should be from A-Z because I have a lot of ground to cover.  Where to begin…

I guess it could begin with a slimmed down version of what has been going on lately with my body.  You see, we are at war.  When I look back, I think we have always been at war.  I would never pick my body and I do to be on the same team for anything as teamwork is not in our nature.

It started a few weeks ago with itchy hands and feet.  This doesn’t sound that bad, but trust me, it was.  We are talking non-stop, swollen, blisters, I went to the Doctors and the battery of tests began.  Ruled out some things, opened the doors for others.  Some more Dr visits, some tests and we ended up with some inflamed , infected, intestines; some ulcers, and Chron’s.  

When I heard this, I was quite happy, because cancer was on the table.  I had been warned that some tests showed some growth and that it was a possibility that this could be happening.

I wish I could say I took this with grace, and optimism, but I didn’t.  I decided to cover it up with “logical thinking” but I couldn’t help but wonder in a worse case scenario, what I would do.  It wasn’t me I was really concerned about, but rather my children.  Girl1 and Boy are with me full time, but Girl2 isn’t.  I thought of what would happen to them if I was gone.  Would they still be together?  Would they grow up together?  Was there the potential that I wouldn’t be there for them?

This led to a lot of bad thinking, and a lot of sad.  I can remember a time when I could list death as my biggest fear, but I can easily say now that my death would not fear me as much as leaving them would.

It got a bit deeper than that, but that is the gist.  Am I happy to have more restrictions?  Not really, however, I am finally going to do what I should have done years ago and actually take care of myself in a fashion that will stop making me sick.  No more hidden gluten, or I don’t care gluten.  I am going to learn what I can and can’t do and actually follow it.  It takes a scare sometimes to make us realize that it isn’t just ourselves we could be hurting.

So, not cancer, yay!

 

My lovely DM will also be coming over Saturday with some new people to fold into our flock.  We are going to start playing again, though I am sure her time will be limited by things like her upcoming wedding!  I am going to learn as much as I can from her so I can start another group here with some of the kid’s friends so we can get a little more playing in.  My lovely DM is so good at it, and I am sure I will struggle through it (maybe painfully), but I think I can do it.  I have some reading and prepping to do, but I have some pretty solid faith that I can get it done.  

Find the silver lining.  It is always there.  As one of my favorite movies would say, “Excelsior!”  I am not apologizing on behalf of Ernest Hemingway either.

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Walking Contradiction

When I was younger I wanted to be a nun.  I’ll give you a few minutes to compose yourself.

Better now?

Seriously, I have always had this fascination with nuns.  I didn’t understand it when I was younger, but I really wanted to be one.  I wanted to belong, and wear the habit, and just give off an aura of peace and love.  I guess I could have also wanted to be a hippie, minus the habit, but I don’t think I knew what a hippie was back then.  Plus, I don’t enjoy the herbal enjoyments.  I would make a really bad hippie.  I also discovered I would make a really bad nun.

Ever since I was little, I have been making life plans for myself.  I always think I have everything in order.  For those that have the grand opportunity of knowing me in the flesh space, they will tell you I am one of the most chaotic people they know.  I thrive in it.  One day I’ll take a picture of my work desk to prove it.  My order is chaos.  I would always plan my days, and sit in my room being grounded planning my big escape, getting older and planning my social activities.  I am a planner.

I have realized that my plans don’t always work out.  In fact, now that I think about it, I can’t remember any ones that have worked out quite like I expected them too.  Which kinda kills my soul.

See, I think of myself as this really logic based person.  I think that is where my grandiose plans of planning come from.  I like logic, and order, and everything that comes with it.  I have been described as cold, unfeeling, standoffish, etc. and my logical side says, “Yes!  That is exactly how you should be, you awesome logical thing!”  I remember back in the day a bunch of us were talking about opening an insurance agency.  My job was to be the one that would give people all the bad news, like some sort of insurance bouncer.  My girl K has told me many times that she does not like to argue with me, because I just get kind of cold and logical.

That’s only half of me though.  The other half is this optimistic, free spirited, emotional, girl who feels way too much and way too hard.  There are no plans, fate will put us right where we need to be.  Somewhere there is a unicorn that I will find, and we will eat snacks in some magical forest.  I envy Girl2 and her ability to just love and smack faces with it.  This side usually comes out when I am really happy or possibly intoxicated.  Contrary to some of my other posts, I don’t get intoxicated that often.  I want to frolic in fields for the rest of my life and express all the emotions I could ever feel as I feel them.

It’s hard to have these two sides; it’s like always a war going constantly.  Things come across your path that one side will try to talk you out of, and the other side will talk you into. You think you can do something because one side will tell you that it’s ok, and even provide reasons why.  The other side will just stand back waiting for the moment to pop up with the “I told you so.”  It’s exhausting.

So what does one do?  Well, in my case, I tend to display the logical, while letting the emotional win.  This attempt at planning has absolutely not worked for me in the past.  It usually leaves you vulnerable, and there is nothing a logical person hates more than vulnerability.  I was thinking of this earlier with Girl1 entering the realm of relationships and love, and being vulnerable tends to leave you with the possibility of having your heart broken.  I can’t warn her though, because honestly, sometimes the best part is knowing that you are opening yourself up to the possibility and letting someone in.  It isn’t usually pretty, at least not as pretty as they make it out to be in the movies, but it is an experience.  One hopes that when you pass your heart to someone that they are as gentle as they can be.

I guess when I look back at some point at my crazy, logical, emotional life, I want it to be about the journey I have taken, the paths I have chosen, and the experiences I have had.  I don’t expect it to be sunshine and rainbows, just like I don’t expect it to be perfectly planned.  I’m sure my heart isn’t done being broken because it just feels too many feels.  I know there are probably even times I will convince myself that it’s okay for it to be broken, because it was planned.  I don’t think I would change it for the world though, because in those moments of incredible feels, I feel so very alive.

I really would have made a horrible nun.

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18 Levels of Tired

Hello, Hello, Hola!  Yes, friends, Vertigo is stuck in my head.  I heard it this morning on the way to work and it is still in my head.  I even listened to it again hoping that it would get out, but no.  It is here to stay.

I have nothing deep or philosophical today.  No rants about big companies being bullies, or craziness surrounding the D&D table.  Today I am just tired.  I don’t know if I ever told you, but I switched up my work schedule a while ago, so instead of working 5 8 hour days, I work 4 10 hour days.  I have Wednesdays off, which means Mondays magically get turned into like a Thursday!  However, I do get a bit wiped.  I am also doing a half day project and half day regular job, so most of the time I am driving around to different offices.  It’s good though, opportunities come in all sizes, and this is a great one to be involved with.

Today, I am just going to tell you a really embarrassing story, that if I were not so tired I most likely wouldn’t tell you.  

This morning was like any other morning.  I stayed up a bit later last night then I usually do, so I guess I was a little more tired.  I did all my normal morning things – make coffee, go outside and check the weather (no internets can beat just going outside), make Girl 2’s lunch (same thing pretty much daily – peanut butter and fluff, crusts cut, then cut in half to make rectangles, juice box, fruit snack, fruit roll up and one surprise item).  She came down, get the breakfast, get her dressed, make sure Boy and Girl 2 have made an appearance, then get myself ready.  I was super proud of myself today!  Everything ran better than I could have hoped for; Girl 2 did not fight about anything, Boy ate without getting food on his face or clothing, Girl 2 was downstairs earlier.  I got myself ready and even remembered it was garbage day AND recycle day.  Not only that, but I managed to go inside and get the rest of the recycling to put in the bin Who is better than this girl on this day?  I thought no one.

I got to work and after drinking my who knows what number of coffee, I decided to run to the bathroom before a meeting.  I realized at that moment, my underwear was on inside out.  Ok, this isn’t a huge deal, it happens.  So I go ahead and fix myself because I knew if I didn’t I would be thinking about my underwear for the entire meeting.  I left the bathroom feeling accomplished.  

You would think that would be the end of it.  I am an adult woman, with three children, who I manage to get out the door daily, fully dressed.  Next time I had to go to the bathroom, it dawned on me that now they were the right way, but they were backwards.  Really?  Tiredness, my friends.  It makes even normal things, like putting on underwear, the most difficult thing in the world.

I have a date this weekend to see The Great Gatsby with my girl K, maybe Sister, but I know for certain Sister will definitely be over for a Flight of the Conchords marathon on Sunday, even if she misses the movie.  Next weekend is adult D&D group, which I am very much looking forward to playing!  We moved Tricksy DM last weekend, so it will be a new environment we are playing in.  I still have the last session to fill you in on.  I was sort of toying with the idea of doing a blog especially for D&D so this one doesn’t get so convoluted with all the different things.  I don’t know about that yet, but we will see what happens.

Until next time, dear friends, just remember the tags go in the back.

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Wall of Love

So, I am getting my papers ready for the inevitable.  I typed up everything I knew how, names, dates, addresses.  Soon we’ll be having the final talk, everything in hand, so there are no real surprises later.  There were murmurs of trying, but you can only fit a square peg in a round hole for so long before you just realize that it isn’t going to happen.  So, I did that this morning.  The certificate is in, and the irony doesn’t escape me of needed the certificate to finalize everything else.

It’s easy to feel alone when you are doing this.  Easy to feel like no one can truly understand what this is like, not even myself.  I have never been here, or done anything like this on this level.  I have never had to go to a court and stand in front of someone telling them how things just fell apart.  Justify why they can’t be fixed.  I’m still scared.  I’m scared he’ll have a lawyer and I won’t.  I’m scared that I’ll lose one of the things most important to me in the world.  When I started this train of thought a couple of years ago, I was scared of many more things.  I was scared of being single with three kids.  I was scared of living on my own with only my income.  I was scared of who I would turn to when I just needed to turn to someone.  I was scared of the backlash from everyone.  As time goes on, I am becoming less and less scared, and more able to know what the right course of action is.  I am taking the steps I need to better myself.  When your boy looks at you and says all they want is for you to be happy, you know you are more transparent rather than not.

Here’s where I turn it around and make this into a love post, because this really is about love.  Love, like plants, need to be nurtured to grow.  They need certain things or they just wither and die.  Moving forward this is for the people who are currently nurturing me.

Growing up, we were poor.  Get this – I had no idea.  My mom, being a single mom at the age of 17, managed to have her own place and provided for me everything I needed so I never knew we weren’t living above the poverty line.  I had government cheese growing up, the big block that came in the cardboard box.  My mom would dress me up and do my hair in pigtails that felt so tight I thought my eyes were bulging, and we would walk to go get it.  Mom didn’t have a car, and I didn’t think that was not normal either.  On the way back we would stop at the fountain in front of the City Hall and I would be mesmerized.  I remember once I made a wish that I would get a white frilly dress with strawberries.  I must have spoken aloud, because soon after my Mom gifted me with a white frilly dress with strawberries that she made.

The thing is, my mom was single, but my grandmother lived in the same apartment building, my grandfather was there, and my great grandmother had her own place there too.  Out of the six family apartment building, three were my family  We all worked together, and they all provided me with maybe what was the happiest years of my life.  I never knew how hard she must have struggled, or how tired she must have been after working third shift and me waking her up to color with me; my great grandmother stopping what she was doing when I knocked on her door so I could go through her books; my grandfather watching daytime Soaps with me or my grandmother letting me help her put together her Avon bags.  None of us were alone.

I still have my mom.  My wonderful mom who will drive to another town to pick up Girl1 at the mall because she didn’t want to walk home, or stop over when I am sick to bring me something gluten free.  She will pick me up to play Bingo every Wednesday even though she has homework to do and wouldn’t normally stay.  I think she likes spending the time as much as I do.

I have my lovely girl K, who maybe thinks I did her a favor by letting her come to us when she needed it, but really she saved me and my household.  She brings an air of love, creativity, understanding, to us all.  She listens when I just need to vent, and on nights where she knows I must really need it makes me a full chicken meal so it’s ready when I come in after my 10 hour days.  She never sighs at me when I forget exactly how to end or start my crochet line and tells me my blankets are beautiful even if they look like tree skirts.

I have my group of friends new, and newer, who have come into my life and for a few hours allow me to be someone else.  They provide me with a fantasy world where I can be anyone I want, and have adventures.  They will pass a bottle, help me clean off a chair, and purposely look for gluten free snacks even though I am the only one who has this requirement.

I have my FB friends who like my statuses and help me feel less alone.  They leave me nice words, uplifting thoughts, and just silent strength so I know I can continue on my path.  They send me messages, attempt to make plans with me (I’m hard to tie down, but know I would love to see each of you).  They make me feel not alone.

I have my children, who love me something fierce.  They will come over and hug me when I need it and stay away when I don’t.  They will tell me a funny story, or talk in a funny voice to see me smile. 

I have my worldly friends, and FFAC, who was willing to get on a plane twice, and put me on one once to show me the world.  He never lets me doubt my worth for a moment, and when I start to tells me to knock it off.  He continually finds ways to make me smile, to make me feel valued, even if he is across the world.  He listens to me complain then asks me how I can fix it.  He helps me brainstorm ideas to fix it. 

I also have my new blogging friends as well, who have liked and commented, and shared their views.  I have put my heart out on some of these posts, and been terrified to come clean about a lot of the things I hide.  You have all been supportive and wonderful.  The reason I will throw these real life posts in here is to not feel alone, and also so maybe someone out there doesn’t have to feel alone either.  We aren’t alone.  It may feel like that at times, but out there, we all have someone who understands.

Thank you all, who have been with me, and will continue to walk this journey with me.  Thank you to ones I have mentioned, for feeding my soul and myself.  I really am so lucky that during this time I have such a wonderful wall of love surrounding me.

Until next time, lovies.  Go hug someone.

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