Category Archives: wellness

July 31…really???

How is this possible? Could a month and a half passed since writing you? Crazy! Time flies! Whether you are having fun or not…gratefully, I am mostly having fun! I love summer. I do. I love it. Lack of schedule, lack of mandatory running around (mostly), swimming, the beach, sleeping in late, road trips, hanging out with your kids all the time, sleepovers. I know some parents are excited for the kids to go back to school, and I am too at times, but mostly, I just love this time together. I feel the changes happening, the shifts occurring, and soon my babies are going to move on, as they are supposed to do. I am not trying to be dramatic, but I AM trying to be present. This summer has not been our typical summer. My oldest has been away for 4 weeks this summer- three consecutively. We have been trying to sell our home, lots of cleaning up and lots of showings, as well as preparing to move into our new home. We picked our son up from the course he was taking at Emory University, and then proceeded to do our son’s college tour from there. It was so great having him back and having all of my people in the car with me. Lots of conversation, restaurants, different playlists from different kids, and lots of cool destinations. We have a better handle now on what we are looking for in re:to schools, and re: what won’t serve our son so well. It was a great trip, and we are glad to now be home.
My middle babe turned 15 yesterday. What is that about! It is crazy that this can be true. But it is. She is gorgeous inside and out and I am grateful she is my baby. We had about 15 of her friends over yesterday beginning at 4 to swim, have a cook out, they played giant yard Jenga, had a water balloon fight, made s’mores, and watched an outdoor movie while hanging out in the pool. It was a great evening. Her friends are just as nice as she is…and we are so grateful. They were so thoughtful in their gift giving, it was awesome to see her open up truly thoughtful presents. She is so thoughtful in her gift giving, and it was nice those sentiments returned. This was our first coed party too, mind you. But they truly enjoyed one another. Initially, it was awkward like a middle school dance – boys on one side, girls on the other, but then our pastor and his family arrived, to have their 5 year old little girl give Grace the gift she bought her. That little girl wrangled all those boys up and girls and had them all eating out of her hands at the same time! The boys were sweet to her and were high fiving her and letting her put flash tattoos all over them. By the end of the visit with our pastor and his family, all the boys and girls were swimming together, playing games together, having water balloon fights, etc. It was adoreable! It also really showed the true nature of all of these 15 & 16 year old kids. They were tender and sweet and not too cool to be nice to a couple of adorable little kids.
Mom is still mom. She is consistently loosing things, obsessing about them for a few weeks, and then finding them. She and dad are busy filling their days with movies, and the theatre, and lots of tacos from San Julians in Ft. Myers! We talk nearly daily and she is sweet and funny. My dad has been taking her for trips to get her nails done, her hair done, or a massage. It is making him happy to do this for her and it also buys him a little alone time I think. The other day they called me and she had just come back from getting her hair cut and colored along with a manicure. I asked her to tell me about it and she said she was really happy with everything but they did a terrible job on her toes. She said she was going to go back in tomorrow and have them redo them because they looked terrible. Meanwhile, in the background my dad says” they didn’t do your toes today…they did your hair and your fingernails.” She said…”Oooh, really? Hmm. Well, I am going to go back there and have them fix them up anyway, they look terrible.” Bless her heart. I am not sure where they are still re: the new house. If nothing else, we are providing an option for them. It doesn’t appear as though my dad is on the same page as us, still. We will see. I think this will change, but in the meantime, I will not say anything except that it will be there for them should they need it. We are creating an option.
My brother and I texted recently. That is unusual, but not entirely unpleasant. He let me know through text that he and his family have moved to New Hampshire. Hmm. They needed a change. Ok. He wrote to give me his new number. Near the end of our text exchange, he asked about my mom. Asked how she was. She would feel very betrayed if I were to give up her personal info to someone who she feels has abandoned her so I simply said that she was well, but that life is tougher these days, than in days past. He stated that he has written them countless letters, sent them photos, and his various addresses, but they never get in touch with him. He said he feels they are screening his calls to because he hasn’t been able to reach them.
If my parents knew how to use their phones or technology, I might see his point of view, but my parents went to Mexico in April, and my dad just 3 days ago figured out how to turn off airplane mode!!! Again…bless his heart! They are trying. For this I am grateful. All I could say to my sibling was, I am sorry that you all are in this place. I left it at that. I am done having this discussion. He is too obviously. He said that he is done reaching out to them. I hope his son looks at life with a little more love and humility, and doesn’t do to his parents what my sibling has done to my parents. My parents will never get over the heart ache, I don’t believe. Especially my mom. He was her everything. Having said that, Oh well, not my bed & I won’t be sleeping in it. I will love her through it though, and try not to say anything bad or negative about anyone either. I choose to Love them all right where they are.

Quite a nutshell right? I think this is all my norm. I do not think that things will ever settle, just shift. We shall see. Once again, I am grateful. God is good to me and the people I love and those around me. Please keep us in your prayers to sell this beautiful house so that we can move into the next one with a sense of peace and tranquility. We close on August 31 – a month from today. Hard to believe. Onward and upward!
Peace, Love and Light.

Momma’s sad June 14, 2016

Hi friends. It is Tuesday afternoon, summer has begun, as evidenced by the 100 degree days, the laying around, the constant gathering of friends, the endless sleepovers. My children have rediscovered the Wii. How funny is that!?! They haven’t played the Wii in years. My daughter was excited a few hours ago that Hagrid, from Harry Potter, was on her baseball team. Funny. My son is a camp counselor currently and I feel like that is a super place for him to be. The world has gone crazy yet again, with a massacre shooting in Orlando -my back yard. I feel so sad that this is where we are in the world today. I have decided though, that all I have control of is what I say and do, and I am not going to put a bunch of negative stuff out there. I am tired of talking about things like this. I am tired of having no control over this type of stuff. I am tired of losing beautiful people for no reason. None. I support religion, organized and nonconventional, I support your right to speech, your preference on who you want to love and marry, if you choose to marry. I support your right to decide what happens within your own body, I do also believe then you have to take responsibility when things happen to your body due to the habits you have, the drugs you intake, the sex you have, the cigarettes you smoke. I think we all need to start taking more responsibility for what we all say and do. And finally, I think we need to be nice. Period. Nice. Kind. Show love – to people we know and whom we have never met. Despite who they love, or if they go to church, what kind of clothes they wear, or whatever. I am not sure why we need to own automatic weapons. I get that people don’t want their second amendment rights taken away, but can’t we just agree that no good comes from a crazy person with an automatic weapon…ever! Are we supposed to put TSA type people everywhere to monitor metal detectors? Can we not go to the movies without being scared, or to the library, or to buy an ice cream? When is enough, enough. I do not want to live my life afraid. I don’t want my kids to be afraid. I want to travel, I want my kids to feel safe at school, and abroad, and hanging out with their friends. I feel sad about this whole new level of hate, and political correctness, and disingenuousness, and fear. I don’t want people to feel like they have to be political correct based on what someone might say to us, but because if it is said with a mean spirt or mal-intent, then it shouldn’t be said. No more about that. It just feels like there is no end in sight, and our political candidates I don’t believe speak for the majority of the people. It seems futile.

Anyway, lets talk about Momma. I have been trying to touch base with her daily. She tells my dad that she thinks I have forgotten about her if I don’t speak with her daily. I sometimes call her up to 5 times daily, on all the phones, but no one answers. Bless her heart though, she doesn’t know how to tell if I called, she just knows we haven’t spoken, and she has lost the sense of time. This causes great confusion, anxiety and depression for my mom, as one hour = one day=one month=years. We spoke today and she told me she was really depressed. She has realized she hasn’t done laundry in a while – she was overwhelmed by all there was to do. She went to stick a load in the machine – and she had forgotten how to use it. She did the best she could, she said, to load the washer and eventually the dryer, but isn’t sure if she did it right. She hoped she didn’t break her appliances. Bless her heart. She told me she wanted to move, I reminded her she was moving, up here with me. She was so excited. Then, she sheepishly asked if I was moving her to my basement. Funny enough, I haven’t had a basement since I was a child and lived up north, but the house we are buying – has a basement – so she remembered that. I told her of course she wasn’t moving into my basement, that she was going to have a beautiful new home of her own approximately 200 feet away from my house. She screamed, she was so happy. She asked again if I was sure we weren’t putting her where we might put canned goods in the cellar…:( I assured her that no. That was not now, nor would it ever be, the plan. I told her we could get some new furniture to fit in her new house, or pots and pans, whatever she needed, and she could leave the other stuff back home, and she could use it when she vacationed there. It would be her “vacation home”. Again, she squealed with delight, as I had just solved a huge dilemma for her. This isn’t the first time we have spoken of these things, but it is the first time it sunk in. She kept telling me how smart I was. ***sigh*** She is so excited to take the kids to school with me, and pick oranges, and can jams and jellies, and watch my kids grow. Oh, …and she wants us to throw some parties… because we are “party girls” she said. Bless her. Yes we are. We come from a long line of people that like to have fun, and celebrate life. That is what we will do. Anyway. Just so you know, I won’t be keeping my mom in the basement…and we will be having parties! I am blessed. She still knows who I am, and we still have joy. Life is good. This is something I can control – how I view the time I have with my momma.
Peace and happiness to you all on this hot, hot, Tuesday!

June 1, 2016

Good morning! I am still here. Life is crazy as always. I don’t believe that will ever change! I think when we are done with one particular thing, it just gets replaced with something else. It’s all good. I am not complaining. So, I currently have 3 painters at my current house. I think they are amazing…such ethic and integrity. AAA Master Painting. Anyhow. My house is all kinds of torn up as my daughter’s bedroom, 3 hallways, kitchen, living room, dining room and mud room are stages of being painted. The guys also tore down paper from my bathroom, and are getting ready to paint that. Pretty much all of my stuff is floating in the middle of every room! Landscapers are coming shortly to take a look at our plan again, and we start that this upcoming week. Whomever moves here, is going to be set. Beautiful landscaping, beautiful quality paint, crisp clean spaces, and a beautiful neighborhood. It is so bittersweet. I am now excited and anxious as there is so much to do. Everything costs so much money. At my core, I’m still a poor kid whose parents are struggling to make it. I am not sure that ever changes. I am generally quite frugal. Anyway. We are working towards our closing date of August 31. Our new house is gorgeous and it is turn key. It is not to my taste decor wise, but that is the fun in getting into something new (or old in this matter). We just had our home inspection at the new house. Those poor guys were crawling around in attics and crawl spaces for 8 hours! They were amazing! Overall, it was a good report. There of course is “stuff” we need to deal with as the house is 80 plus years old. But is super manageable.
It is graduation time here. So exciting! Many of our family friends are graduating. We have one more year until my oldest graduates, gratefully. We attended several parties this past weekend and there are still a few more in the near future. I remember this time. Don’t you? Everything seemed so new and fresh. Scary too. So many unknowns…what will you study, where, how will you pay for it all, friends leaving, leaving your home and your family, should you travel first, the status of your current relationships. So much. But it is so exciting too. The world is open to you. Anything and everything is a possibility. Anyway. I digress! ūüôā
So my folks were just here this weekend. My dad was insistent, which is super interesting as my dad never really wants to “visit”. Not often anyway. He said he needed to talk and tell me about was has been happening. He has been on a vacation for one month (post office), and he took my mom to Mexico to visit her family. She described it as so fun, really great, etc. My dad told me stories that I am embarrassed to repeat. My mother acted like a defiant 2 year old. She acted very badly and did some pretty awful things. I can’t help but feel embarrassed, even though I am aware that she has lost her ability to have judgement and logic. I keep thinking she isn’t “bad” yet in re: to her dementia, but it is actually getting pretty bad. It makes me sad for her and my dad. I am sad for me too. She asked me in private the other day, very quietly if the man in the other room was actually my real dad. I said that yes he was. She said that he is very nice to her, and she likes him, but she doesn’t think he is my real dad. She didn’t want me to share this with him. I didn’t. Many times, she thinks he is my brother. She mostly refers to him as my brother. My sweet momma. She misses my brother. He chooses not to have anything to do with any of us at this point. So sad for him. My sister in law contacted my middle daughter recently and let her know that they were moving at the end of this school year again. That is how they communicate with us. Through my middle child – their favorite of my children?!? Weird. Anyway. Enough about things I can’t control, and don’t have time or energy to think about.
I went to the dentist yesterday to have 2 teeth filled. Normal, no big deal. I have a really high pain tolerance – always have. I couldn’t unfurl my hands yesterday, I couldn’t “relax” if you will. Transference is my gift – it is how I am able to get through this crazy life of mine at times, but I could not do it yesterday. My sweet dentist (who has earned my business for life), asked me if I was alright. I said yes, no worries, keep going. He asked me if I was feeling any pain, I said no. No worries, keep going. He asked me again a few minutes later if I was sure I was ok. I told him I was feeling really anxious, He said no worries, he gave me a shot to calm me down, and then after my procedure, he had 2 of his staff bring me home. Isn’t that amazing? I love quality people who truly care about others. I want to be surrounded by people like this. I am actually surrounded by people like this. God is so good to me and my family. I am blessed.
It continues. It all continues. Packing, moving, painting, planting, celebrating the end of the year, the end of sports with friends and teammates, the end of plays with cast members, the end of sweet high school times with friends that are moving on. The end of some semblance of sanity and the beginnings of a life where people take care of you almost solely- speaking of my momma of course. We rejoice though, as there is a time for everything.

sweet Lionessess!
sweet Lionessess!

The next class of IB seniors!
The next class of IB seniors!
Momma and Paigy
Momma and Paigy
BFF's graduation party
BFF’s graduation party
Paigy and her Pop
Paigy and her Pop
"I'm your favorite cousin"
“I’m your favorite cousin”
Nana and Lily
Nana and Lily
Joe's Graduation party
Joe’s Graduation party
Painters paradise
Painters paradise

Momma & Pop

Feeling heavy today. (Monday when I began this post…now it is Wednesday) Today is my first day with no one around in 2 weeks. I am definitely a person who needs quite and down time, and although I have it today, I am processing, and the quiet seems almost deafening. I appreciate it though, and am re-accustoming myself to the quiet. The beginning of mom being here was tough…getting used to her non-schedule, constant talking, wandering constantly, mumbling, etc. It’s strange having another presence in your house in general, I think. But after a bit, it was normal-ish. She misses my dad so much when they aren’t together. She blames him unabashedly too for EVERYTHING that has gone wrong, is missing, or doesn’t work. Bless his heart. Pop was thrilled to have had some time to himself to work on his yard. He is a gardner. He loves cactus and various exotic trees. He mulched, and cleaned up, and pruned back and enjoyed some alone time being grounded in the dirt. He came up Saturday night, and he was tired. He had worked beginning at 1 am at the post office on Sanibel Island. He worked until 11, came home, grabbed his stuff, a bite to eat, then headed this way. We vegged a bit, ate dinner, then went downtown for a bit to hear my sweet surrogate(ish) daughter sing at restaurant, then headed to our local brewery where we welcomed home our sweet friend and singer Mic the Prophet. Deland was hopping this night as there was a Fireman Pub Crawl going on and the town was just out. The local farmers market was just wrapping up, and an author Peter Rollins was in town giving a talk. My parents had a great time, meeting new friends, enjoying the local brews, and listening to some great music. We came home and passed out…we were all exhausted! The next morning, we had coffee on the porch and watched the gorgeous morning unfold as the hummingbirds were eating at my porch, cardinals were talking to one another, and some noisy crows were building their next in my mother in laws tree. It was sunny, breezy and cool, and the type of day that we as Floridians live for. We helped mom pack up after breakfast, got her bike in dad’s truck and headed for the house we were looking at, to see if was a good fit for everyone. My girls hadn’t been inside yet, and neither had my parents. My parents thought the bungalow was too small (808 square feet) and later I found out too dark. I truly feel it would have been perfect for them, but dad just wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. I feel disappointed because I feel like he made a poor decision based on him, not her, but I also realize, it is THEIR lives. They have to be happy. I am disappointed and relieved at the same time. Interestingly enough, the kids all said the same thing. They said they were getting used to the idea of moving and being in a new house, near their grandparents, and they were disappointed it wasn’t going to happen. I appreciate their flexibility on all of this and their willingness to take on something so major. They showed true love, support, and empathy. And my sweet husband…there are no words to express the love and gratitude I feel for him. Thanks Babe. So, we are carrying on with our plans here at home, and continuing with our building plans as we had begun this process several months ago, paused, and are restarting. I have broached the issue of mom’s long term care and the ideas of caregivers while dad is at work again and we are moving towards that again – dad and I. I feel at peace with what has transpired, and sad because I think she will decompensate quickly with no support down there, and with a lot of time on her own for her mind to wander. Ultimately, they are a team, a couple, and they will figure out their journey, and I will be here to continue to support them. For now, I am relishing the quiet, the sunshine, sweet friends who have come out of the woodwork to support me on my journey, coffee on the porch in the morning, and wine on the porch at night. I am grateful for my family, friends, and my faith. God is good.IMG_4568


Hey friends. ¬†It’s me Tash. I am currently enjoying a small break at Bahamma Breeze in Daytona as I wait for the 6 volleyball players that I just dropped off at their practice. ¬†I have 4 hours u til I need to pick them all up. ¬† Monday’s are my night to drop off and pick up. ¬†I love hearing these girls laugh, sing chit chat about the events of their days and the various people on their lives. ¬†I feel blessed to get a glimpse into their world. ¬†I can’t believe it’s been so long since I was 15, chit chatting with my “girls”. ¬†It is fun to watch how things really, actually never change ! ¬†It’s still fun to show off your dance moves, sing at the top of your lungs, listen to the latest tunes and chat about people that you are interested in, or who annoy you.? ¬†I feel priveleged to ¬†get to watch this right of passage happen to all these amazing young ladies.

Meanwhile, another right of passage is happening, mine I think. I left my kids during their spring break to assist my parents with this next phase of dementia. ¬†My mom is misplacing most of her important ¬†documents and jewelry and pretty much anything else. ¬†She is aware they are bring misplaced, and sometimes she recognizes she misplaced…whatever, but she also feels people are hiding things from her, or stealing from her, or giving her super special, personal items away. ¬†My dad is elevating status wise in my eyes from a fairly narcissistic person to a fairly patient and kind care-giver…I never thought I’d see the day. ¬†I’m so proud of him.

I spent 3 days going through mom’s closets, my old room, the dining room, living room and searching under drawers, lamp base, ¬†under her collection of Baby dolls and whatever else. ¬†In the end, my dad and I found her purse, passports, ID’s, insurances cards, LOTS of Jewelery…some costume, and some fine jewelry. ¬†I threw away hundreds of empty pill bottles, tic tac containers, and various other vessels. ¬†We also met with a social worker and discussed some necessary topics as well as some options. ¬†We adopted some of those recommendations while I was there too. I brought my mom home with me for Easter and I’m grateful, but tired. ¬†My dad is getting some much needed respite-and I’m glad. ¬†He asked me today if I’d watch after her for an additional week, and I kindly declined. ¬†I feel a bit bad about that, but I feel like I have to keep pushing back my own stuff to assist all the various parents. ¬†My mom is full time and I still have 3 kids. Our other thing we have going that we are putting on hold, is an art studio. ¬†We are nearly ready to build. ¬†We have the plans, the surveys the various people in place, and we just stopped ( partly due to the contractor taking liberties with our time) but also because my mom really is declining rapidly, and I think some of this can be slowed down with more interaction with friends and family. ¬†We are considering selling our beautiful home and buying a property that is larger with a 2/1 bungalow on it, so that my mother can live more fully with and near us and her friends, and our nearby Hispanic community. ¬†My dad will have to have some skin in this game, ultimately, this is “their life”. Their existence. ¬†I am able to make things better, but we are going to have to figure out boundaries, and how we are able to support each other. ¬†I’m confused at this minute. ¬†I love my folks. ¬†I adore my mom. ¬†I’m just not sure if this is me still giving too much, or if you just “do” these things for your mom. ¬†I know for a fact she would do this for me, my dad…ehhh, I am positive he wouldn’t. ¬†But this is about my mom. ¬†Hmm? ¬†I’m going to tell you, the house we are looking at is amazing. ¬†It’s a historic home. ¬†5 bedrooms 3 baths. ¬†There is a seperate house on the property that is small ish for my folks, but super doable. ¬†There is an orange grove on the property and it’s fully fenced in…oh yeah, and it has an art studio on the property…I forgot to mention that! ¬†With all of that, I’m still not sure I want to move,or that my dad is as invested as I am. ¬†It just makes me sad to think he wouldn’t be. ¬†Btw, my husband (who’s a Saint) is the one who suggested all of this! ¬†I don’t know how I attracted this Godly man. ¬†I’m grateful I did though. ¬†Thoughts? ¬†I’m a little stuck-ish. ¬†Especially today as I’m a little overwhelmed. ¬†Sigh* ¬† Thanks for listening friends.


March16, 2016

Hi. ¬†So, it’s Wednesday already??? How is this possible? ¬†Time sure does zip on by doesn’t it? ¬†My kids are on spring break as of this Thursday after school.Hard to believe, it was just Christmas! ¬†We have been tossing around what to do for break. ¬†Don’t you feel like we as parents are currently fostering an attitude or entitlement that we must always be “doing something”? ¬†I get tired of always doing something. ¬†Sometimes I want to do nothing – at my house! ¬†I want to wake up late, read books, watch movies until late, drink cocktails by the pool with other moms while my kids swim and hang out with their friends. ¬†I think this sounds like a pretty good life. I am not sure if we just have more money than our parents had, or if we are ¬†more frivolous with our money, but I just don’t feel like my parents “entertained” my brother and I the way we “entertain” our kids. ¬†I feel like they were definitely around, and watching us, they sometimes played with us, but Spring break just meant it was Easter, and that meant church, and Easter baskets, and painted eggs, ¬†and going to your aunts’ houses for Easter dinner and such. ¬†Weird how in 25 years, Spring Break¬†means we need to stay in various hotels, go to the beach, take our kids out to eat, or to the movies, or whatever, but it also might include handfuls of teenagers. Don’t get me wrong, I love vacationing with my kids, I love the beach, and movies, and their friends for that matter, it just seems like we need to be moving and “doing” ALL THE TIME!

We had a little “Come to Jesus” meeting at our house last night. ¬†Never good. ¬†There is never a good time either. ¬†Who wants to be the wet blanket on the fun? ¬†Not me! ¬†And let’s face it, it is ALWAYS ME! ¬†I have 3 beautiful, amazing, talented kids who are involved in all sorts of stuff, which is awesome. ¬† The issue is that I run around like crazy getting them places, and their friends, paying for all their whatevers, feeding everyone, but at the end of the night, no one can give me a few minutes of their time to assist in the chores that are already theirs, and undone. ¬†They sing, “I have so much work to do, I’m in the middle of …whatever, I don’t feel well, That’s not my job, It’s (fill in the blank) turn to do that, I have been going all day, I’m exhausted, & the favorite -it’s not fair.” ¬†So yesterday, I prepared a list that wasn’t to be put off, that needed attention now and it wasn’t up for discussion. Car washes were included in this list, trash removal and recycling, bathrooms, laundry, bedrooms, vacuuming, and cleaning out the “empties” in the pantry. ¬†We were met with understanding, irritance, some tears, anger, attitude, indifference, ¬†and a little insolence. ¬†My son (whom I love and adore)said, “I’m at church a lot, I just think it is funny that you are making me feel bad about that.” ¬†My response was “and I am so glad, but you still have things you are responsible for around here, so I don’t care if you are assisting the blind, you’ll have to do it after you have made time for your family and your chores.” ¬†I was the same type of kid. ¬†I remember being super involved with my youth group and feeling like I was glad to be out of my house, and I was “helping” others. ¬†I wasn’t bothering anyone, so what was the big deal. ¬†Why was I getting in trouble for doing “good things”? ¬†Well, I get it now Mom and Dad. ¬†Sorry! In a year, my child will be in process of leaving my home. ¬†I know that when I left, I never returned home in any similar capacity. ¬†My parents did a good job, I am responsible, caring, I know how to feed myself, take care of myself, financially and otherwise, I have a huge ability to forgive and to love. ¬†I see good in others. ¬†My son is my spitting image. ¬†***sigh***It’s a good thing, it just is.

Anyway. I feel blessed these days, broke, but blessed!  We have been living life high on the hog, time to bring it down a little!  I feel thrilled with how far I have come in the last 6 months time.  It is nice to look at things with gratitude and feel happy at the same time.  It feels great to have developed boundaries for myself and others and to respect them myself first before expecting others to respect them.  And lastly, if feels so good to just be kind to myself.  I bought jeans a size larger recently.  That is acknowledgment of the fact that you are ok with where you are, and that you want to feel good, and look good and be comfortable in that exact moment.  That is a big deal.  No one loves me less or thinks less of me because my jeans are bigger!  If they do, that is on them and not me! I am happy, I am good, and I am grateful.

Peace my friends.

March 11, 2016

Good morning! ¬†It is a gorgeous day here in sunny Florida. ¬†I think we are getting into the low 80’s, and it just feels like spring – pollen and all! ¬†My husband and I just returned from New York, celebrating our 20 year wedding anniversary, and the warmth in Florida is much appreciated! ¬†It is so wonderful leaving for just a bit, and then it is even more wonderful coming home! ¬†Don’t you agree? ¬†Even when you know you have a ton of stuff to do when you get back, or you have major stuff in front of you, extracting yourself from your life once in a while is necessary.

It was so tough to leave…so many deadlines, the kids have all kinds of things going on, work is crazy and demanding, but 20 years! ¬†Wow! ¬†That deserves a pause and proper acknowledgment of a life well lived, despite the insane sometimes! ¬†We have been getting away (as often as possible)for our anniversaries since our 7 year anniversary. ¬†It helps us to remember the reasons we decided to be¬†together in the first place, the things we love(d) about one another, and enables us to build new memories together just the 2 of us. ¬†It is nice that we still really want to be together. We are still romantic towards one another, and despite the ways we have physically changed and developed, we are still very physically and sexually attracted to each other. ¬†Its beautiful. ¬†We walked all over the city, rode the Big Red Bus, the subway & the yellow cabs. ¬†We ate & drank our way through New York, experiencing a culinary experience like no other. ¬†The cocktails were exquisite as well. You almost feel as though you are missing out if you opt for a glass of wine, or go for a beer. ¬†We are not into plays, or musicals, or things of this nature, which puts us in the category of “freaks” in NYC! ¬†But that is ok with us. ¬†One of the highlights of our trip was going to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. ¬†It is so majestic. ¬†It takes your breath away and makes you feel so proud that we live in this beautiful country. ¬†I didn’t know I would feel so moved, but it was really touching. ¬†I found both of my grandparents names in the ship manifests when they came over from Sweden back in the early 1900’s. ¬†That was really emotional. ¬†It allowed me to sort of see the world from their eyes, not as my grandparents, but as young adults, making a huge decision about the rest of their lives, and changing everything about their lives. ¬†They met here in this country, but were both from Sweden. ¬†I have work to do now, to figure out more of their story. ¬†They were older grandparents when I was born. ¬†My grandfather was 50 when my father was born, so he was nearly 75 when I was born. ¬†I would like to know more about he and my grandmother as children, young adults, and in their courting relationships.

We are home now and back in the swing of things. I have a renewed sense of purpose, strength, and drive.  I am looking forward to all things that I normally have to do.  Some are still really challenging, namely parenting sometimes & dealing with the failing health of parents.  But, I have had a rest, a break, and I can do all this again.  Life is good.  What a nice thing to be able to say and mean.

February 9, 2016

Hi. It’s been forever! I come to you today humbly and with a happy heart. I am grateful to be able to say that. It has been a super rough road, and I choose to no longer dwell on that. I can honestly say, I am on purpose, intentionally sitting here today in a good state of mind. So much work has gone into this. Funny really, because as you are going through all kinds of crazy stuff, and then you start mindfully doing whatever it is that seems like the “right” thing for you at that moment, it doesn’t always make sense. Sometimes it seems harsh as you cut things and activities, and people out of your life, because they are no longer doing you good or making you feel good. Often, people around you don’t understand, you may not either…really, it just seems right, and necessary. Looking back though, it is like plotting a map that leads to right here, right now. Wellness. Peace. Space. Time. Health. Wellness. Having said that, I am not 100%, but are we truly ever? I have reduced my drinking, random socializing with people that do not bring me joy, I am more internal, and I am listening to my internal dialog. I have taken a little break from my exercising regiment, and am using that time differently. I am doing more things intentionally that bring me satisfaction and joy. I am enjoying my family so much more.
One day it just sort of clicked. I wanted to rearrange things a bit in my house. Then I started cleaning things out of my various spaces. Closets, drawers, bedrooms, cabinets, garage, etc. I started feeling free, and lighter. You manage all this you know, in between carpools, and making dinner, and in between other tasks. But amazingly, it gets done. I got it done!!! My garage is clean, I can park 2 cars in the garage!!! Woohoo! I made over $1000.00 selling stuff in a 2 day garage sale and on an online selling community. That is huge. I had so much stuff, It made more sense to sell it than to haul it off. I gave tons away too, and if someone couldn’t afford something they needed and I had it to give, I gave it away. I feel such huge relief, and accomplishment. I feel so much lighter too. It is amazing. In doing all these things, I started playing in the dirt again. I have discovered air plants (so much love for these little lovelies). I went on a binge! anything that can be used as a “container” or habitat, I have turned into a air plant habitat. This has brought me simple and sweet joy. In doing this, and clearing out my space of clutter, I have ended up repurposing old things that have “lived” here forever. Things I have loved. Paints and brushes came out. Creativity came out. I have been metamorphosing, and I like what is happening and what I am becoming. I love that. My house is looking more like me again, and I am looking more like me again. I love that TOO! Life is still super busy. But I am accepting of it now. My girls have practices of their individual sports 30 minutes apart on the same day 35 miles from one another…obviously, that is nearly impossible to do and stay sane, and without speeding tickets! I am learning to accept assistance from others (still hard, but necessary), to stop when I need to stop, to be still when I need to be still, to stop caring as much what others think of me, and to find joy in the little things. I am practicing the art of finding “art” in the things I do as a mom. Truly listening – without my cell phone in hand, and trying to ask questions that are relevant, finding happiness and joy in a beautiful healthy meal that I make. I love cooking- and when I start chopping and all the good smells reach my nose, and the colors of all my ingredients become art to my eyes, and the smells of everything meld together, and then taste beautiful and savory, or light and fulfilling…it makes me happy knowing I created that, and that it was beautiful, and I sustained my family. I know this sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s true. It has been tough at times to not feel resentful about not making money, to drive around 6 hours a day at times – and not really “go” anywhere. To sometimes be the dumping ground for all the bad moods, sicknesses, broken hearts, anger, disappointment, etc, to 4 people in my immediate family, and countless others that are important to me. I got lost in all the calamities, and sadness, and anger, and well, I think you know how this goes and what I mean. It is hard. But I started seeing joy again in that my babies still want to talk to me about the things that matter to them, and they were still listening to me. My mom is not doing great mentally, but she is still my mom and is still here. My dad is trying hard to do right by her. He isn’t perfect, but he is trying, and that makes me love him more. I also realize that I can’t do everything, and It is not all mine to do something with/or about. I realize sometimes that I want to do more for my mom and dad, but this is their life. They have created a lot of these things, and circumstances, and it isn’t MINE to fix. On top of which, they still get to decide how they choose to live their lives. I just get to listen sometimes, and try not to say a whole lot, or weigh in. It isn’t my place or my role. They just need someone to listen. That’s the deal. Here is where I am. And it is good. I am going to try harder at writing again. It also brings me joy. Thanks for being on the other side of this. I appreciate you.

Btw, as you look at my pictures, you will be able to see I had access to a small can of gold spray paint…all my kids old toys got “transformed”! ūüėČ A bowling ball too, a cheap cast off camera that was pink and in my daughter’s room got a coat of gray spray paint, and many old action figures came out to play…in the plants! Honestly…True Joy!