February 25, 2016

Hi friends.  I am writing to you today from a place of gratitude and peace.  It is so nice to be able to say that.  Aaah. Sigh*** (good sigh!) As you may have been reading, I have been super duper in search of quiet and peace, internally and externally.

I am currently standing in this place.  I feel as though maybe its a reward for having searched so hard for so long.  I don’t care how long it lasts, I am just so grateful to be here.  I have been reading books, and articles, and blogs that fill me up.  That help me to fill whole.  I may sound like I was really broken, and that may be surprising to those who know me, but I was really feeling broken.  I was functioning, and doing, and driving, and listening.  But I was also drowning in sadness, and grief.  One of the things that my best friend and author,  Breńe Brown says (hehe, She doesn’t know she’s my best friend!- I have never met her!) is that you have to decide on the things that you MUST DO without question, so on the days that you feel you can’t do them, you do them anyway without questioning it.  And often, the things you must do, are the things that are the most difficult to do…working out, eating healthy, praying, getting quiet, etc. I feel like having carried on- despite not always having the energy, and doing the things you MUST DO, you can sometimes be carried by habit and routine to the next place.  That has transpired.  I’m glad to see that works.  funny, it’s like taking meds.  Sometimes, you aren’t sure if they are working, and then you realize you haven’t had a head ache for a few hours or minutes or whatever.  Know what I mean?

Let’s chat highlights.  I am excited to tell you that I just turned 43 years old on the 23rd. It was a great day.  I wanted to mostly be in jammies, I wanted quiet.  I had coffee (in my jammies) with my mil.  It was nice.  She brought me (my husband) my father-in-law’s spelling bee trophy from when he was 16.  I love this beautiful relic. It felt nice to have it at my house.  My neighbor, who I literally never see, came and had coffee with me.  We had decided to meet several nights earlier at the Gratitude party my MIL threw for everyone that was a support to her while she and my father-in-law were going through his health struggles, and then his passing.  We just sat and caught up for several hours. Also, so nice.  I was supposed to have lunch out with my hubby, but as you can see, I was still in my jammies!  He brought home Thai food, and we just chatted and noshed.  It was perfect.  I spent the rest of the day running around a bit (I had to put real clothes on – ugh, the injustice! :)), but I felt at peace doing it.  I also got to sew and paint.  Wow, that felt good!  I have been redoing vignettes in my house, and I am so happy about it.  It feels like me again.  It feels like the best place I want to be.  My new fave place- again. Both the house and me, myself. Nice.

Beautiful, and sweet friends sent me sweet cards, and dropped off thoughtful gifts, and my family sent me Las Mañanitas through social media.  It’s the Mexican version of Happy Birthday.  My grandmother on my mom’s side had always lived in Mexico, and she used to call me on my birthday, and play me las mañanitas first thing.  It was sweet and made me cry (still)after all these years.  My sweet cousins, aunts, uncles, and parents called me, sang to me, and just plain ole’ loved me.  I received my normal check in the mail from my dad… 43 dollars… see what happened there?  Last year, 42 dollars…etc, etc.  It was sweet.  All of this commotion, and yet, meanwhile, I received peace.  Funny how that works out. Last night, we celebrated with a close circle of friends and family.  It was special.  I feel very loved.  Another set of friends is hosting a dinner for me tonight.  I feel overly fussed over, but grateful for the love.  Crazy enough (as everything always is in this family),the good times aren’t over.  Mark and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary together on the 1st of March.  We are flying to New York (first time for both of us) for some down time and R&R.  We are looking forward to it so much.  I am not good at asking for assistance – as I have told you, but my sister in law offered to fly down here and walk in our shoes for several days, which is no small task!  So many meals, practices, laundry, pets, etc.  She not only offered, but insisted.  I am grateful.  My husband is the best person I have ever met.  I still feel that way after 20 years of marriage.  I still think he is gorgeous.  I recognize daily, the blessings I was given in him.  The 21st was one year since his dad passed away. That was such a strange day for everyone – I’m sure, but speaking solely for myself, it affected me so strangely.  I think that there are always so many things at any one given time going on, it is often difficult trying to figure out how I am feeling or what to make of certain things.  There is just no time between one thing and the next 10 things.  I went to yoga in the morning, feeling like I needed the assistance of a slowing down, an unwind, a deep stretch.  I went into it thankful and glad to be there.  I cried all the way through it.  Isn’t that always the damnedest thing.  I didn’t realize what all I was holding back, holding on to.  Put me in a restorative or supportive pose, and the tears just flow.  I left feeling like I did something to really help myself that day.  I teetered all day between happiness, and sadness.  Gratefulness and gloominess.  But then I sewed, and painted and dzjoozjed (not sure how to spell the way it sounds in my head… seems to have z’s in it though) in my house, and got back to peace.

So here I sit.  A balanced peace that I have to keep working to get to, but am thankful I have a say in that at the moment.  Crazy is happening all around me, in my family, in the world, everywhere, but restoration is happening too, and today, I am choosing peace.  I am having to make conscious choices and decisions as to who I let in to my sacred spaces, and what I will let them bring with them and take away. I get to choose that for me too.

On that note, time to head to a sacred space, full of supporting and loving friends, who are my angels on this earth.

Peace friends.


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”! 😉 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!