Saturday, January 30, 2010

the moment before the dark...

there was a time
that the worst moment of my day,
was the moment that happened
right before sleep!
That moment when the light goes out,
and for a minute I am aware
of the dark
and my alone-ness.

I for many months
watched TV until I fell asleep!
and left the TV on all night..
then when I moved
and actually started sleeping in a room,
not on a couch..
I would read (I still do!)
until my eyes could not hold themselves open any longer!
so the moment was just that..
a minute before nodding off!

I noticed not so long ago...
that the moment I dreaded
had become one of my favorite moments of the day!
The moment when my eyes are tired!
the lights go out..
and I sigh
and snuggle into the blankets
knowing rest is soon to come!
It does not feel so dark,
nor does it feeling lonely!

It happened when I was not looking,
I stopped being afraid of the dark...
and more importantly, I stopped fearing facing the dark alone!

Friday, January 29, 2010

She's on a journey to find her wings...

I wear this on a pendant around my neck!
OK its more of a dog tag then a pendant!
NOT really prissy BUT really powerful!
I found it on one of my days alone,
wandering in and out of little stores
in a quaint town near by!

I do believe I have found my wings,
and my journey has paid off!
Often when I speak with woman whose wings are still broken,
I encourage them to take the painful steps
of being alone and THRIVING alone!

and it is painful!
I remember well
crying through movies..
driving to the beach alone
with tears falling in my lap;
thinking is this fun and healthy?
because it does not feel fun and healthy!
BUT, I kept going..
each time got easier!
My first vacation alone...
was sad!!!
BUT, I was SO glad I did it!
all these steps paved the way
to the place I am now!
It did not happen overnight!
It was not easy!
And it did not happen without thought becoming action!
but, it happened!

However, I wonder now..
am I hiding behind my wings?
do I place them around my body as a shield to protect me
from the world around me!
The more I enjoy being alone (a healthy thing)
the less I desire company!
I blogged about this not that long ago.
And I believe that being alone is healthy!
BUT, we are not really 'created' to be alone!
So, is desiring ONLY to be alone healthy??

I cannot truly feel free without knowing
that I could remain free
alone or not.....!!!!

still journeying I guess.....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

being the change??

In my last post..
I mentioned the rings my son and I wear!
now for me they are sentimental..
he does not so much care if I wear one,
at least I don't think he cares!
BUT, here is why I got them!

My son has a very literal brain.
Due to who he is,
he sees in only blacks and whites.
Gray is not a possibility for him.
He is highly intelligent and dogmatic in his views.
Social skills are not his gifting,
and his brain and ability to skip grades and cap tests does not help this deficit!
In addition, his strong sense of right and wrong,
sets him apart from many of his middle school peers!
sometimes painfully so!
He will not tolerate cursing, or crude pictures.
He will not allow kids to tell 'dirty' jokes
around him or his sisters..!
Kids don't get him...
and he is isolated.
When I have talked with him about all this,
he feels that by not speaking up
he is compromising his convictions.
He understands and accepts the price he pays!
For this special child..there is no other way!

In many ways,
my son and I are cut from the same cloth.
BUT, I being a people-pleaser
have compromised to make others happy!
He does not have this same need-something I admire deeply!
I can take my stands and because I love people,
they accept me even when they think I am zany!
He takes his stands without sugar coating it
and really does not care if he is accepted or what they think!

He is different!
He is..just who he is!
He does not flow ...
his rhythm is not in step with the rhythm of others!
He is an 'out of sync' child!
and I love him so much for this!..
this quirk that makes him who he is!

I know the road that he is walking is hard..
I know that kids are cruel,
but I am SO proud of him!
HE does not want to save the world,
or join the peace corp like me..
he thinks I am kind of whacky in this area!:)
he is not a vegetarian
like his mom..
in fact he harbors a desire to live off the land
and hunt! *GASP*
He is not a pacifist
again, like me!..
he is republican in this area, ALL THE WAY..
his ideals are different!
BUT equally as strong!

I love his sense of who he is..
and his lack of need to be who others think he should!

and so..when I saw the ring,
I wanted him to be reminded that it starts with him!
It may only be him standing up to cursing,crudeness and offensive behavior!
and I bought one too..
not for me,
I take my radical stands!
It is ingrained in me that it takes ONE..

I wear it,
so that when I glance down..
I think of the journey my child is on!
I remember the path before him..
and my heart is connected with his trial
in spite of having to let him walk this road alone.
as the inscription on our rings say:
be the change you wish to see in the world!

It starts with you!
no WAIT! its starts with me!!

Breathe out..breathe in..move on...

I was so touched by all the great advice
and encouragement yesterday!
I began to realize that
I might just be over thinking this a bit!:)
Yes, I believe part of growing up
is learning and learning again!
I also believe as our children grow,
and our circumstances change,
we have to grow and change with them!

BUT, I see how much I carry on my shoulders!
It amazes me how often women (and maybe men?)
hold ourselves responsible for how it all turns out.

I guess I have have come to understand,
that maybe most of the problem
lies in me..
not them!
Not owning more guilt here:)..
but really...
they are being kids,
and need boundaries!
I don't like the way I react,
or my loss of solution.
so I allow myself to feel overwhelmed.

Like each hurdle we face,
it starts with us!
If my children never change..
and are always good kids with flaws!
(God forbid!!! LOL!!)
then what about me?
do I stay the same!
or do I own my actions and reactions..
and make the change
IN SPITE of the reception!

My son and I wear matching rings..
they say:
be the change you want to see in the world
time to own that!

If I want less ugly tones..
then I need to start with me!
If I want less dragging of heels.. comes first!
if I want my children to feel heard..
I will create opportunity's to hear them!
and in return they will learn to hear me!
not just my words..but my heart!

and above all,
I will accept that life is to be lived,
children are to be loved!
and beyond that we choose the moments,
we choose the way we live them..
and we choose the legacy we leave behind!
Life is ours!
we give it away when we worry
about what we cannot control!

Monday, January 25, 2010

parenting pains....! cry for help?..please!

I am rethinking my parenting style
now that I am a single,working mom!
I have received feedback from bloggers in the past,
that has caused me to do some thinking.
and now as I look at what is not working..
I need to find what will!

I was raised in a strict but loving home.
There was parental authority!
My siblings and I were polite and well behaved.'
I believe in authority in the home.
and the children's father,
while no longer in the home..
seems to still garner their 'fear of consequence'
when he reaches a place of feeling enough is enough!
I, however, sometimes feel like I am talking underwater..
and talking..and talking..and talking...!

When we were in the home together
I was the boundary setter!
But, I don't think I have ever really been the disciplinarian.
I am too inconsistent and soft!
But, I did enforce the boundaries and require respectful behavior..
and then there was always "Its time to talk to dad."
But, I tend to react and then realize that grounding them
until next Christmas might be extreme..
or I know that what is needed is missing out on an event;
but I don't have the heart!
Or, I see the heart behind what they did and understand and therefore
struggle with a consequence as I know they were hurting too..!
In many ways,
their dad and I balanced each other,
he was laid back but they knew when he reached that point,
that he would say what he meant.
I was more tolerant of some things, he of others.
But, together not as much slipped through the cracks.

so, now what??
I know some believe in ultimate authority
and some believe that if you give your children their own choices,
they will ultimately make the right decisions!

I wonder if as a mom..
who is smaller in frame then my son and soon my daughter..
inconsistent... really more reactionary then angry...more soft then strong..
and the only adult presence in the home...
if maybe,
ultimate authority is not the way this whole thing should go..
right now!

Yes, I believe I should be the final say!
and yes, I believe I should define boundaries and enforce consequences..
but what about the way we live?
if they are fighting.
do I punish or let them figure it out?
if their rooms are not clean...
do I punish or leave it, letting them live with the result?
how much leeway do you give them?
what does 'lenient' parenting look like?
how does one learn a 'self governing' style of parenting?
where does one begin?

I take parenting seriously, I do!
BUT, its a lot when you are alone to do it..
when they are with their dad, he is on his own with this as well!
this is what our life now is..

I have many friends with children,
but few who truly are where I am.
As most of my friends are remnants
from a life I once led..
I can admire what they do..
but I can know that our lives are too different
for it to work for me..
right now!

I need to pick my battles!
I need some guidance however...
I feel I spend so much time
dealing with the fighting, the cleaning of the rooms, the chores...
and I wonder how else could I do this?
what are my options?
because this is just not working out so well!

I have good kids..
they are top students, well behaved in school, kind to their friends..
and sometimes nice to each other!:)
They are 'reasonably' responsible, caring for their pets
and helping around the house!
I am often complimented on their behavior....
BUT, sometimes they do not listen!
sometimes they fight.
sometimes they do not clean their rooms,
or pick up after themselves,
sometimes they chase each other in public,
sometimes they use really ugly tones with each other...
and while this may not seem THAT bad..
knowing how to deal with it,
when they are not seeing me as the ULTIMATE end all be all
has me stumped!!

is it time to let them have the reigns a little?
and what does that look like?
I have 3 kids..12,10 and 8.
I have always given my all as a mom!
but my dynamics have changed!
What worked when I was a stay at home mom,
with home schooled children,
and my whole focus could be on them..
does not work now!
Now they spend 8 hours a day in school,
and learn things that require 'un'learning.
I work 40 hours a week,
and come home tired.
They spend every other weekend and a night a week with their dad,
this is his time to be with them
not my time to pour into them...
so time is limited!
Dynamics have changed!!
My dad has a saying he uses;
when the paradigm shifts everything returns to zero!

Well, my paradigm has shifted in a really big way,
I am at zero..
eager to hear and learn..
and knowing that being willing to change
and accept that things could be done better,
is what sets us apart as human beings!
I owe my children the reflection
and I thank you for your thoughts!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

why people leave..and stay left!

So many times someone mentions,
someone they know that left!
and the one they left is saying,
but why? there were no signs?
I have heard others question,
why did they not speak up if they were unhappy?
why just leave??

Having left and been left..
I have come to FINALLY understand!

My take on this is..
I think many people
(my first husband was in this category)
find their life passing them by!
Their spouse is not angry,
their lives not antagonistic..
but it all feels like moving underwater
to the one trapped beneath the layers!
They begin to die inside,
not speaking up..
because they think there is no point!
sometimes they act out
(which there is no justification for)
and sometimes they just keep moving against the current of their hearts..
but for some reason;
maybe a flaw in the foundation,
maybe a flaw in their make up,
maybe a flaw in the matching;
they live a life as a shell and cannot remember whats underneath!
and then they 'wake'..
and they realize they can take this chance,
they can find their center..
and when they break through to the surface the only way up..
seems out!
and they leave!
and they don't look back!
and to those around,
it makes no sense.
and yet, I wonder
if this type of leaving is not the most final leaving of all??
the leaving to live?

and then there is the leaving that happens
when a person is pushed TOO far!
This is the leaving I did
in my second marriage!
I am not sure which straw broke the camels back;
was in the name calling and cursing at me?
was it the unrealistic demands on my time and ability?
was it the accusations and jealousy?
was it the following me and recording my conversations?
was it the fear I was feeling in my own home?
I am sure it was a combination..
for each person our threshold is different!
BUT, we each have one..
I was told I was useless, incapable and inadequate
countless times..I was followed and recorded
countless times..I was cursed at and at yelled at countless times...
I was threatened and punished countless times..I was unfairly accused countless times....I was demeaned and put down countless times...I was bullied and controlled countless times...
but there is a ONE time too many!
and when that time comes,
that moment arrives
when the person pushing us pushes too far..
its too late!
When we leave and run
its forever!
Our threshold was reached,
the die was cast!
The leaving is final!

I think there are many types of leaving that happens..
and many hurts in a marriage!
and I hope and believe that many can be worked through!
BUT, I wonder
if these two types of leaving and ending,
are not the ones that tend to be the hardest
to find your way back from!
There are always exceptions..
and these are just my thoughts.....

Friday, January 22, 2010

such a thing as TOO alone...?

I love being alone!
I really do!
I am not sure when I made the switch
from getting through my alone time,
to thriving on it!
For the first 35 1/2 years of my life..
I hated to be alone!
for the last 6-8 months of my life,
I have come to prefer it!
I would rather see a movie alone, then with a friend!
Its Friday night and I could not wait to get take out and start my new book..
I have many friends!
I have married friends,
who welcome me into their families,
I have single friends
who are always up for dinner or coffee..
yet, I rarely seem to choose this lately!

I wonder,
if its healthy!
Do I like being alone too much??
the things is,
other then every other weekend and a night during the week,
my kids are always with me!
I never get a sitter or go out when they are here,
why would I need to, as I have that time when they are with their dad.
and as they age they are people!
They converse and think and need...
I work with children and have wonderful co-workers!
My best friend is one of my co-workers so we chat daily!!
I go to church on Sundays and visit with friends..
and participate in a small group just for single moms.
I go to church on Wednesday nights and facilitate Divorce Care classes,
after having dinner with my best friend and her family!
My kids have ball practice during the week and I see other people!
I talk to my parents and sisters on a daily basis!

I am not really a hermit!
and I am reasonably social..
so I hope its a good thing
that on my weekends alone,
I plan things to do
that I enjoy,
and only sometimes factor in someone else.

Healthy or not,
its been a long road
to get to the place,
that I am comfortable in my home alone..
comfortable out alone..
and most important, comfortable in my own skin..alone!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

MY obsession with the phantom

For Christmas I got the girls AND me,
tickets to go and see the Phantom of the Opera.
This is my 4th time seeing it;
The previous 3 were with my first husband.

The first time I saw it
I was 20..
and I will never forget the way the music touched me..
it filled every pore in my body,
and reached right through the window to my soul!
I fell in love with the music that night!
I am not artsy..
or cultured,
so this was a new thing for me!

For years I listened to the music while cleaning the house,
feeling it,
and hearing it,
and absorbing it.
Aching perhaps for a love that protected from all,
or did I ache for the love that would do anything for me?
All I know is it connected with my being.

when I saw it was coming again to town,
I was torn.
I have not had anyone in my life for 14 months!
and I knew..even months ago,
I would not at the time of the play.
I wondered would I be sad to go?
I wondered if I dared go alone...

I decided to be a big girl:)
and take my daughters,
who share my love for the music
even at 8 and 10.
So we dressed up!

and we had an amazing night,
and it was not sad!
it was beautiful!
and watching them fall in love with it,
and knowing I was there when it happened
was the best part of all...
and I watched in a different place!
My aching is different!
I don't want to be rescued or obsessed over!
I want normal..and soft..and sweet..and balanced!
I still loved the music..
I still closed my eyes and let it wash over me...
but I not longer crave what it promises!
I crave the reality not the opera!
great night and greater lesson!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

independence day,...

We have a car!
This is a GREAT thing for the kids and I!
For many reasons!
of course, we can finally get places with out bumming a ride!
My friends and their dad have been GREAT!
I am so thankful for the help...
but, its nice to just go and not ask!

then there is the fact that I DID THIS!
on my own!
OK, with the help of a mechanic who did the leg work,
and made sure the car checked out..
but, I paid for it!
and did it!..and that's huge!

Its an older SUV..
but big and sturdy,
and the dog fits..
and the kids all fit!
(also a good thing!)

The biggest thing that has come from this,
is the lesson behind it!
So often we think we CANNOT do without something,
until we learn we can!
Often in my life it feels hard until I add something else!
it seems complicated until something else goes wrong!
If we could live life in reverse we would be so calm..
because as we face a new challenge,
we realize the relative simplicity of what we faced before!
As a single woman and mom,
each challenge is an opportunity to rise above and over come,
and more often then not
it leaves me so relieved when that challenge is over,
that the circumstances that felt overwhelming
one challenge back,
now feel like a piece of cake!
I love that!
so I am enjoying the chaos
of theater for 3, Basket ball for 2, cheer leading for 1, Boy scouts, Church...
leading divorce care classes,
working full time,
and being a mom..
and all I keep thinking is
"what a relief that I can GET all these places now"..
versus how am I going to fit it all in!!:)
lesson learnt..until next time!

Monday, January 18, 2010

My dreams..

Today honors an amazing man..
and I could never do his sentiments justice and shall not try,
but he inspires us to look beyond ourselves and dream big dreams!

so, after seeing something similar on Sherris blog I have written my dreams..

I have a dream that my children will be protected from trauma
and hurt,
that they will learn through the world around them,
and they will honor the lessons they live.
They will know they are loved and understand their worth
in the eyes of their mother and father, and above all, Lord!

I have a dream that woman will learn their worth,
they will stand up when needed
and be OK to sit back when the moment calls for serenity,
not strength.
That they will see the beauty within just because they ARE!
Not because they DO!

I have a dream that men will love, without shame.
They will cherish and accept the woman in their life,
and look for a better together rather then another life
They will pass on the art of being a man to their boys
and teach their girls what real love and respect looks like!

I have a dream that children everywhere will be held close,
and hear whispered words of love and encouragement.
That parents will ask for help and accept that parenting is hard,
its OK to say you don't know how.

I have a dream that people would look to each other as partners
in this world we have been blessed with,
and see the opportunities to share with others,
rather then stomp on those that are weaker.
They will reach out to one another regardless of skin color, social class,
religion or politics.

I have a dream that animals would be safe and cared for,
and treated with decency, compassion and kindness.
They will be seen as living creatures to care for,
not objects for sport and our pleasure!

My dreams are no so far fetched..
I believe they could come to pass..

and I hope that as we look to the moments we have,
we make daily choices to leave the world,
and the people with in it,
better for having known us!
I hope that our footprints
leave traces of love and grace..
and the legacy that is ours to leave
is one that will live on for generations to come!

That is my dream for me....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fun times...

I have been a bit out of the loop..
going on almost 3 weeks without a car..
means (for me) almost 3 weeks with out the radio!
My ex husband
(the 1st..the one I get on with!)
was very kind to lend me his car all weekend!
SO, in this car..
(have I mentioned I am carless..ugh!!)
kids and I had the radio on,
our favorite station..
and heard that OUR favorite christian comedian
(Tim Hawkins)
would be an hour from us,
for a free comedy show to benefit Haiti..
so, we piled in the CAR (wonderful word! hee hee!)
and headed over!
WHAT a blast!!

The best part was watching my son..
My son is 12.
He is an 'out of sync' child.
I will not label him and say why..
but, he is different then his peers;
in wonderful ways!
He is HIGHLY intelligent,
but lacking ALL street smarts!
He is literal, and dogmatic and earnest and sincere!
He is clueless about some things,
and way beyond me in most others!
He is completely unaware and uninterested in how the world sees him,
so when he laughs , its with complete abandon!
and tonight he laughed!
He laughed until he cried!
I loved that!

after wards, we waited around a while..
stalked the comedian, a bit..
until we got autographs and pictures!
so simple..
so huge..
so special!
It was so neat to laugh!

But also so important to remember why we were there..
and for a moment join our hearts with our brothers and sisters in Haiti,
and hope to make a small difference in their mountain of pain!
It makes the laughter that much more special,
and the moments more fragile,
when you remember the next moment is not yet ours..
and if it happens its a gift;
not the guarantee we so often count on!
make those moments count..

Saturday, January 16, 2010

conquering and being conquered

I find it amazing that as a single mom..
working to make ends meet,
keep the house together,
have time with the kids..
that in just one short day I can go from hero to villain,
then back again.... a 12 hour time frame...

I watched my daughter cheer lead her first game!
(she is 8 and she has found her calling...)
I got home and yelled at the kids about their rooms..
I hate to yell! I do..
but ugh! I ask and ask and ask..
and well..yell!
I then take the kids to volunteer at a local nature center for an hour,
pulling weeds!
In return we all get free tickets to Disney!
(hero mom!;)!)
We come home..
we wash the dog...
this takes three of us and TWO leashes..
and we still don't get it done right!
BUT, there was great team work involved!
We WON the battle with the alpha dog!.. a step..
and then I begin the arduous process of stripping, cleaning and resealing all the grout
in the kitchen and bathroom floors...
OK..this made me a hero to me!! first Do it yourself job ever!!LOL!
then...take the kids,
to get Chinese..
on the way we have a conversation
son and 2 daughters..
about a woman's time of the month as my 10 year old brings it up..
gets quite complicated I must say...
and my 8 year old pipes up about what she heard 'sex' was..
and my 12 year old tells me he is HORRIFIED that I will be
having the 'talk' with her on any level..
and we have a wonderful chat as a family..
about not the normal 'on your way to Chinese stuff' for most people,
but pretty normal 'on your way to Chinese stuff' for us!:)..
we get home..
I put another layer of sealant on the floor..
dish up the Chinese..
and watch a GREAT movie with the kids!
(second hand lions!)
We laugh and cry..
I then send them to bed..
been a good, full day..
and as I am putting ANOTHER layer of sealant on ALL this grout..
youngest comes out for water WAY past going to bed..
and I end the day on a 'VILLAIN' note!

and then wonder..
how does one person
do so many different things,
feel so many different ways,
and experience so many different emotions all in ONE day??
No wonder I am ready for bed..
welcome to mommy hood, huh?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


it must happen!
in some form..
I am learning that reconciliation means many things!
Sometimes it means taking another chance at what was,
and starting over!
and Sometimes it means accepting what is
and starting fresh!
But always it is reconciling something
that is not as it was!

The more I accept
how things have changed,
the more reconciled my life has become!
its not all about the loss of relationship,
its about the loss of dreams!

for me it was greatly about the kids..
what I wanted
versus what is...
not really a right or a wrong..
but just different!
the more I reconcile my parenting style and expectations
with what is now;
and the less I dwell on what I thought it should be!

there is also a reconciling that hopefully happens in time
with the people who ended their marriage..
its not a re commitment,
but its a starting over!
and clearing the air..
and accepting who we are now..
and maybe even who we always were!
I know that it does not happen for everyone..
but I wish it would!
because while divorce is fraught with jagged corners,
there is something very healing about connecting
on a different level with the one you used to love.
finding a way..
to meet in the middle..
(or even just agree to visit the middle once in a while)
is a huge part of the path to a peaceful future,
after a tumultuous ending!

looking at the kids,
and seeing them in their reality..
with their new understanding, hurts and acceptance...
and knowing they are growing and learning..
and these experiences are all part of who they are NOW,
allows you to accept them for where they are!

letting go is many layers deep..
it involves the whole family..
and it brings about freedom for all...
and joy in the present when it actually happens!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When you find what you are looking for...

I think it is common
at some point
as a woman..or man..
to begin a search for ourselves;
or start the process of "getting to know who we are"..
But, how do you know when you have reached that destination?
sure, we should keep growing..
but when do we know who we are..
and want we want??

I am sure it is different for each of us..
for me it seems..
that for a year or so...I searched..
and then it seems I found.

I realized I knew;
when being alone was a good thing!
when I began to desire to do things for ME.
When working out or painting my toe nails was appealing..
and NOT because anyone else will know..
or even care!
When I stopped feeling like I was surviving,
and started to look at how to begin living..
when I started to be able to put into words
what I would hope for in a partner,
and what I would not tolerate.
when I accepted my faults!
When I realized that I will never catch up..
and its OK to stop trying,
and live for today.
when I began accept how I live and stopped making excuses!

I procrastinate.
I collect clutter..whether I mean to or not..
I am not great at managing money,
I am almost always late..
and I HATE to read directions.
I don't play Barbies and dress up with my girls
and I never play catch with my son.
I am not 'that' mom..and I accept that!
I yell sometimes and wish I did not.
I get exasperated when my kids fight
and sometimes all I can think of is;
"go to your rooms"...I just don't want to hear it!
I do not always have 'mother of the year moments".
I am not the perfect housekeeper,
or cook,
or car wash detail person:)
or gardener for that matter!
My home will be clean enough,
and tidy enough,...
but if you stopped by unannounced thats on you not me..
and I am OK with that!
In a relationship,
I am strong!
Not demanding,
I don't need to be right,
I don't care about everything or make a big deal about much!
BUT I must be heard and feel accepted and cared for..
I must be part of the whole..
I am strong willed and it will catch those who see me
as 'just sweet'
not because its hidden...
but because I don't feel strongly about everything..
I am easy going..until I am not.
I can be an asset and a support,
but I won't be an appendage..just there is case I come in handy!
I don't like sports, or action movies! I just don't!
I can tolerate them and learn about them..
and compromise..
but that's what it will be;
compromise..and there should always be some of that!!!

I knew I knew me when I can see my strengths NOT just my weaknesses.

I am a good mother..not perfect ... but committed.
I am a good teacher...
I love my little charges and can balance
structure with nurture.
I am a good daughter and sister and friend.
I love people and animals
and like to write and speak and help..
I am a big picture person with lots of passion...
I like to live my life and don't get to caught up in the details of how that will
I like to be spontaneous and try new things..
I have eclectic taste
(some see this as a weakness yet its one of my favorite things about me!)
I love 60s music and Elvis Presley
My deepest hidden regret is that I never joined the peace core.
I love to travel but hate to pack.
I would camp if I did not have to take it all down and put it away after wards.
I smile easily and rarely stay sad or down for very long.
I am perceptive towards hurts in others.
I am earthy and compassionate and earth friendly,
I am not unkind or petty.
I am not all that prissy..if at all..!
I do not hold a grudge,
I forgive easily.
I am not all that funny but I like to have fun..
I like to laugh and can laugh at myself.
I like me!

I finally found me
when I stopped feeling like I was only productive
if I was doing..
and stopped feeling guilty for LIKING to relax on the weekends...
when I stopped trying to BE who I thought I should be
and instead became who I really am...
when all these things came together,
I realized I have found myself..
I have come to know who I am!

I hope to learn more about what that means..
I hope to improve my weaknesses
and continue to grow in my strengths..
I am becoming whole...!
and that is a wonderful feeling...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My youngest is 8...

Happy Birthday Brenna!
8 years old..
where did the time go?
I remember you when you were tiny,
this little bundle of cuddles and tears!
you have grown into such a special little girl.
You have talent and grace!
You see the world differently then I do,
and I am learning from you!
You have an eye for colors and fashion,
You have a sense of who you are,
and confidence and poise!
You have weathered the storms..
You have taken your hurt and grown from it..
You have accepted and embraced what it is!
I am so proud of you!
I am so blessed to be your mom!
I know you want to hurry up and grow..
BUT, honey, as you grow
remember that sometimes you might feel like just being mommy's girl again;
no matter how old you are..
my arms are always open..
my heart is always yours!
You have my support,
my love,
my belief..
You have Me!
I love you- Happy Birthday!

Monday, January 11, 2010

final goodbye

its a new year..
new me..
and last night I wrote a blog,
all about who I am now..
and how I feel about that!
But, it shall have to wait...
because whats left,
is the goodbye I have to say to who I was!

As I start a new chapter in my life,
I have to first close the old one completely!
and as I have gone public with my journey,
I will also be public in my look back..
and my goodbye..
and my regrets..
and the self awareness I have now..
and what that means to then!

I have been married twice!
I have been divorced twice!
why and how?
and why will this chapter be different then those?
I have blogged about my hurt..
I have blogged about my divorce..
but not as much about the years before that..
the years when there was still a chance...

The more I look back..
the more I see how lost I was...
and how much damage a lost person can do...
I was so convicted!
So sure..
so right!
I had so much fear..
I am not sure where that came from..
I had a wonderful childhood, happy parents..
I THINK it came when WAY to young I met and fell in love.
I decided then that my future was set..
and yes, we both played a role..
yes, he proposed..
yes, he participated..
but, I KNEW...I KNEW I needed him and did not want a life without him!
I was 18 years old!!!!!
it started then,
early I knew he had harbored reservations..
we argued sometimes and he said things that hurt..
and I began to DO..
DO more..
LOVE harder..
BE better!
My goal was HIM!
My life was HIM!
and it was not healthy!

And all I can figure, is that I married so young,
and then found myself fighting for love..
and my insecurities and fears became bigger then me.
At some point I started charting my direction...
I did not ask questions,
if I did not want to hear the answer!
I loved!! I loved completely!
And I thought that was enough!
We had kids..
and as passionately as I loved HIM,
I loved them!!
My life was my family..
and MY convictions Of what that should be!
There was NO Gray!!
I was not hurtful or mean..
in fact I gave completely.
But, I gave the way that I thought love should look..
I gave the way that I wanted someone to give to me!
I did not question things that I should have..
or hear completely when things were said that made me fear...
I developed a bubble.
I lived in a world that was perfect and happy..
I lived in a world of rainbows and silver linings..
and I could NOT see or contemplate anything that might ruin that!
I wanted my children to have a childhood like mine..
I wanted to be the perfect mother and wife..
I thought anything less then my complete life
spent with and for my family was failing...
and yet, I never asked! or heard!
I never asked HIM
if this was what he wanted??
why? because I could not handle the fact that it might not be!
I spent most of our marriage feeling like he was one foot in one foot out..
but instead of facing it,
dealing with it,
accepting it if needed...
I lived in my bubble..
my perfect little world!
and HE , well, he was wrong too..
as he will admit!
He checked out..
and stopped trying to tell me..
and went along with the 'game' that I did not even know was being played!
so, I thought we were on the same page..
because I needed to think that!
and its easy at the end..
to look at what came to pass
and place blame!
and there is blame..
some things should not happen , no matter what!
They just should not!
BUT, there were years before that when things started to fall apart!
and one of us gave up and gave in and moved on..
and the other denied, and protected and kept living..
and our lives were parallel
but not as one!

And now, when I look back at me..
I see my intentions!
I loved hard!
BUT I wonder at my convictions!
I wonder at my fear of not doing what I thought was RIGHT?
what if I had been more independent?
what if my kids had gone to school?
what if I had worked?
I don't regret a minute of time I spent with my children..
but I regret my inability to see that sometimes you trade whats RIGHT
for what might be better!
I regret that I was so fearful of loosing HIM,
that I never faced what was!
I never risked hearing..and learning and loosing..
because MAYBE if I had there might have been a chance!
Maybe not..
the layers always run deep..
But, I do know
that by the time I faced it..
by the time I knew...
it really was too late!!
so now I see..
I look back at the person I was,
I don't dislike her..
I feel for her..
I see her heart..
I understand her desires...
but, I wish she had taken a chance,
stepped out of her box..
because no matter the outcome she would have found her self-respect!
as I look back and say goodbye..
its to the person who needed the marriage
more then she needed the relationship.
that person was hurt again,
when she did the same thing
and ignored the signs..
and once again crawled into a bubble..
hoping for the happy ending!
I say goodbye to the past..
the marriage..
and the person I was!
I was hurt!
I hurt him!..
I lived with blinders and its time to say goodbye to those!
I will still hurt in moments;
but accepting not just the end but the beginning..
is a start to letting go
of what is and what was..
and what might have been.

I say goodbye
to a man I loved deeply..
and would have heard differently if I could do it again..
but I would have done some things the same..
I do not regret saying I do
nor do I regret where we are now!
I say goodbye
to the woman
who loved with all she had..
and decided for others what would make them happy!
The woman who feared a life alone,
enough to create the perfect life together!

and I say
to the woman who stands in her place!
and to the man who may one day stand beside her!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

the journey that never ends...

I am working through some courses
as I shall begin co-leading
a divorce recovery class next week.
I can Gage the healing that has happened,
based on the memories of what was!
I know I am not in that hurt place,
I see how much change has come about..
and yet I am reminded how far a heart has to go
to really become whole again!
and how much there is to becoming 'well'.

Lack of faith is not an issue for me!
I love my Lord,
He has carried me and comforted me,
provided, guided and protected me!
and yet..
he did not rescue me..
not the way I hoped!
I realized this in church..
we were singing beautiful songs
and it suddenly hit me,
the deeply hidden, "why"? that I am holding in my heart;
see, I have have faith that can move mountains!
that God could have changed the course of what happened,
but, he did not!
and I do not think that's wrong,
I just realized that I had been holding onto
this little bit of hurt...
because I wish he had!

and as I reflected on what was versus what is...
I began to release the "why?"
My life is so different!
there is no comparison!
But, I like who I am now..
I know who I am!
My children are different..
I wish they were not!
But, they have shown to themselves (and others) their resilience..
they have overcome and grown..
they have learnt forgiveness and acceptance.
My circumstances are not what I would choose..
and I do not find them better..
BUT my reality,
my sense of worth,
my sense of self
and my reliance on God vs Man..
THAT is beyond better then what was!

and above all..
I see the good!
I see the women I am meeting
who are hurting!
I see the needs in this area
that are sometimes ignored!
I know that without the hurt
I would not be in a place to help!
I know that all things work for good..
and I see the good!

and as I sat and contemplated this..
I released that last little "why?"
and accepted the now...
and kept walking..
remembering its one footstep at a time...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

what better off as what was....

I have been thinking..
after being asked about
my goals and hopes...
and then looking at how much they have changed...
what does that mean?
do circumstances change our hearts and souls?
or do we adapt to the now,
with our deep desires still intact:
just not evident on the surface?

and here is what I have come to feel!
when my life changed..
I changed...
On the surface!
I am now many roles
that I never intended to be!
I carry more burdens and pressure
then I ever expected to have!
I see more commitments in the future
that fall to me
then I ever foresaw or predicted.
I understand that raising and providing for my children
is a responsibility
that requires a change of direction!

But, if you ask my 'wishes'..
those are different!
My 'wish'
is to stay home with my children!
My 'goal'
is to provide and get more education to provide better!
My 'wish'
would be to home school my children.
My 'goal'
is to work with them and encourage them and support them to excel in the school they attend.

My wishes and goals are so different!
and yet, I learnt a very hard lesson..
when my wish became my goal
I compromised to make the wish happen!
I 'sold my soul'
to provide the wish for my kids!

This is my life..
My goal is to live it well!
To provide..
to Excel..
and to teach my children
that when life throws us a curve ball
we can sit back and dig in our heels and decide we shall not adapt,
or we can adapt with beauty and strength..
knowing that our goals and circumstances
do not change the deep desires of our souls;
and that the Lord hears our prayers and reads our hearts!

It is not a compromise
it is growing and changing and accepting...
and we keep those wishes..
and we hope..
but we see the beauty in who we are now
and accept that if this is what it always is..
this is OK!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

in or out of control.....

My life has felt a little out of control lately..
mostly a small thing..
OK a big thing:)
HUGE car trouble..
which resulted in NO car!
and I was starting to spin..
and life began to come at me too quickly..
and I began to feel a victim of my circumstances.

When that happens I fall to old patterns..
I tend to not like conflict,
I tend to run from confrontation,
I tend to feel I have to when some one suggests I should...
and then I drown in my own insecurities!
I have been working on this,
doing so much better,
until I wasn't!

after some wise counsel
I was able to stop!
Look at my circumstances!
Understand I was not controlled by them.
they are inconvenient..
but they are not debilitating!
They will irritate me
but not kill me!
then I had to look at my solutions
and decide,
which solution did I choose.
and if I choose that,
how do I choose to go about it..
and once again...
I was FREE!
I was astounded at how quickly I became entrapped by my fear,
but deeply relieved that I could shed it, discard it and move on from it!
Still no car..
but, I have my strength, my power and most of all my faith!
more then enough...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

simplicity in its most stressful form..

I will admit..
Life is a little stressful at the moment.
temporarily car-less...*sigh*

however, even in the stress..
I am enjoying the moment!
No choice but to be home tonight!

and I must also admit,
I enjoy having no-one to answer too...

so as I write,
I am in mismatched pajamas..
I have home baked bread (my new hobby) ready for dinner,
a fire in the fireplace,
a movie to watch.

and I am reminded,
that there is beauty in simplicity,
even if it sometimes takes stress to find it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

through the eyes of a child...

In the middle of the night last night,
I understood why my friends death
has hit me harder in some aspects,
then my friend, Karen, who died 4 years ago...
she (Karen) left such a hole in my heart.
Her children became part of my family,
and certainly it hurt.ALOT!

BUT, here's the thing,
I could not relate nor grasp the depth of her children's pain.
NOW I can...

my children have not lost a parent.
BUT, the trauma they went through
when their father and I divorced was extreme.
Their hurt so deep.
and to be honest,
I have faced every aspect of the divorce
but this.
In the dark of night when I remember their cries,
I block them!
its too hard to face!
But, its there.
I know they don't hurt like that now.
I know they have accepted and moved on..
but, to witness a child's heart breaking in front of your eyes,
in something you never forget.
I remember so many nights
the 4 of us holding each other..
and my little ones sobbing and asking "why mommy, why".
They knew their dad was leaving,
and he had told them that he could not love me like he should..
he had told them, as had I, that it was not them.
But, they were helpless in our adult choice.
They were pulled along with the current of our circumstances
and they did not understand.
My youngest cried out one day " mommy, it hurts so much, I hurt all over."
I have NEVER hurt like I hurt watching my children..
and knowing I could do nothing.
I could hold them , and I did.
I could talk to them, and I did.
I could give them support, and I did.
But, I could not stop the pain,
or change what was happening.
I could not turn the tide...
the choice was made,
their future changed,
the life they longer.

No-one prepared me for their hurt..
how do you expect that?
What I heard was they would be OK.
and you know what, they are!
They really are.
But, I shall never forget..
and shall rarely think back..
because that particular aspect of our journey
left scars that I do not believe will ever heal.

So..when I saw children at a funeral..
with pain in their eyes,
my heart ached.
I now know how hard children fall..
how deeply they can crack...
how devastated they can be.
and yes, they will be OK.
They will get through this..
but in the moment,
the depth of a child's pain can not be cast aside..
their pain reaches to the heavens
and causes angels to catch their breath!

Oh, to never witness a child's broken heart again......

Sunday, January 3, 2010

moments that don't pass in 60 seconds...

loosing my friend hit me hard...
I think the part that left me reeling..
was seeing her children,
and their heartbreak!
It literaly has haunted me..
I could hardly sleep last night.
BUT like all moments that stay with us,
it comes down to what you do about it.

I have stopped before saying no too quickly to my kids...
my girls are her children's age..
all I could think of last night,
is how much she might have given for another day!
so when it was time to turn out lights for bed,
I sat with them and chatted and loved on them instead.
When my girls wanted hot milk before bed,
EVEN though they had already brushed their teeth;
I said "OK".
When my girls wanted to give me a makeover,
even though they are dangerous with eye liner and mascara
I said "OK".
Its not life changing, its a start!
and every lesson in life
is the start or the end.
We either let it beat us and the lesson ends there..
or we let it teach us,
and the lesson is the beginning.

I hope this shall be the beginning,
I hope I do not quickly forget
a little girls tears
and a little boys sadness...
I hope that the lesson in the heartache,
makes it worth having been there to learn it.

and now, as I let go...
I do so knowing that my life has been touched
and changed..

Saturday, January 2, 2010

goals and dreams for the coming year..

as I write this
my perspective is sharp,
my friend died a few days ago and I am attending her funeral today.
I am re-reminded that life is short..
there are no guarantees,
but how we live belongs to us..

so with that in mind..

My goals:
*make time daily for my Lord.
*eat healthy(ier)- I am pretty healthy. BUT shall tweak it.
*exercise 3 times a week- not lofty, but doable.
*help my children help me- teach them to be more apart of our team.
*make time for family exercise 3 times a week- again, doable.
*spend quality family time daily in some form-even dinner as a family works.
*make an effort to spend time with friends new and old- I can enjoy my time alone TOO much.
*reconnect with the children of a friend who passed away 4 years ago- I lost touch 21/2 years ago, time to change that.
*go on a date- not desperate for this one:) but will set the goal to stop running from it and instead be OK if it happens.
*enroll in college come fall.
*get a new (or new to me) car.
*live with integrity.
*live with grace.
*set an example of 'classy' womanhood to my children.
*Be someone people are better off for knowing.
*strive to stay passionate and purposeful about those things that matter to me.
*stand for what matters.
*let go what does not.

I have learnt that simple is better,
that I don't want to reinvent myself every year,
instead I would like to tweak who I already am.
I would like to continue to move forward,
to grow,
remain healthy inside and out,
and continue to maintain my family unit.
I know I cannot predict what shall come,
nor can I control what shall not!
So, simply and steadily
I keep pressing on..
one day, one step, one year at a time.

Friday, January 1, 2010

perfect recipe for New years ..and some drama..

new years eve..
I had so many ideas of what it would look like..
I started with plans for us as a family
to join my best friend and her kids
for lunch..
a treat..
so off we went!
On the way
the kids say
"mom we smell smoke"..
"must be the car next to us"..I say!
" smoke coming from the car."
"ok.." I say.."don't panic, we are almost there!"
"mom..there smoke inside the car!"
"mom, get us out..its gonna blow..get out , get out"..
(little bit of panic!)
I will admit, I did not panic!
I pulled the car over, smoke coming from the front, back and in between..
and all I could do was laugh!
it was a laugh or cry moment!

I let her cool, added oil, added water..
and inched her home until she arrived in the driveway where she now sits!!
BUT, it left the rest of the day not as planned!

I called the kids dad...
who willingly took the kids and I to rent our movie and pick up take out dinner.
he dropped us back home,
with all we needed to continue our night!
(this is the reason its WORTH staying on good terms...
you WILL in moments be allies, with children and their needs and wants in common.)

and so..
the rest..
was EXACTLY as imagined!
We watched a movie together!
My son put on a 'firework' display!
He took the whole thing very seriously
using phrases like"
"excuse me folks".
"please stand by as there are technical difficulties"
"please stand back, I am a professional"..
and many other (serious to him) comments that made the night perfect!!
We made it inside at 10 minutes to midnight..
toasted with grape juice..
ate homemade bread with oil and spice dipping sauces..
kissed and hugged at new years..
(and yes, they wondered if that was all there was to the ball dropping!!)
We pulled out the pullout couch and recliner
and finished the night with a family sleepover in the living room!
most fun I have had on New Years!
(with or without a man in my life..)
hard to top...!:)