Cinco de Mayo!

Good morning friends! Has it really been a month since I have been on here! Yikes! Time flies. I guess I really needed some down time! Ha! Anyway, today is a quick post as I have been working in my husband’s office for the last 3 weeks. It is part time, and they were swamped. It is all good and has been a good change of pace. Funny how doing something out of your ordinary can really help you appreciate your ordinary! Right? Suddenly, I really miss yoga, making beautiful breakfasts, having time to plan various things out, make meals for my family. It also makes you better at planning your time. I know I need to do all of the above, I just don’t have all day, and some stuff, I haven’t fit in yet. All good. Speaking of beautiful and quick breakfasts, I had one of my faves. An avocado smash. Yum. Toast bread, some sort of spread – mine was a lemon mayo type spread, you smash 1/2 an avocado between 2 pieces of toast and lightly sprinkle some sort of salt. Mine was a veggie herb salt…Ugh, so delish!
Anyway. I digress.
Life has been good, kids are wrapping up school. Lots of homework, testing, papers, dioramas, reports, field trips, etc. We are also wrapping up sports. One more volleyball tournament and we are done for the season. It has been a LONG season! and EXPENSIVE! Dear Jesus. This was never an option for me growing up. My parents couldn’t commit to dropping me off and picking me up from a practice, much less spending every weekend away in a different city paying for hotels, food, parking and a sweatshirt from every event. Yikes!Times sure have changed. I am happy that she is having this experience, but I am quite aware of how different our upbringings are, and both are good, just different. Anyway. My youngest just went to Disney on a field trip with her entire 5th grade class. What a treat and luxury. Having grown up in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, that would have been unbelievably amazing! Here in Florida, it is another day! So cool that this a floridians reality. Anyway. It was the hottest day of the year so far…ugh. I am one of those really ugly sweaters… I don’t glisten or glow. I am like a 12 year old boy in PE class. Man, did I sweat! It was a blast though, and fun to experience with a bunch of 11 year old girls. How cool to be able to go to Disney with all your best buds! Grateful.
Mom and Dad update. They are currently in Mexico – Guadalajara. It was a calamity getting them there, maybe I’ll tell you about it later! They are there now though and having a blast. My mom is enjoying time with her niece who we call La Nena (the girl). That is in total how i know her. If I were to have to find my parents, the only info I have is that she is staying with “the girl”. Oh my! I’m sure the authorities could assist me in finding them with that information, right? Haha. Anyway. Mom is confused, but having a great time. I am glad for them. She has learned how to use WhatsApp, which is hysterical really. I am glad Nena has showed her how to use it, although, she keeps calling my husband thinking its me she is calling and leaving super weird random messages. She also called me thinking I was her cousin, and left a LONG rambling message to her. Oh my. Technology and dementia. Yikes! What a combination! Anyway. Chat more later, I am going to be late if I don’t pull myself together. The boss might not be happy! ūüėČ
Chow for now!

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

Momma

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.

Tash

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 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, ¬†BreŇĄe 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 Ma√Īanitas 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 ma√Īanitas 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”! 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!

October 21, 2015

Hi friends.  Quick note.  Things are good.  Really good as a matter of fact.  I feel like I am finally getting over the hump of bad juju, and starting to move on to the rest of my life.  I am so grateful.  I have really been concentrating on taking time to think, to evaluate, and to do some goal setting.  It seems a little more abstract than it ever has before, but I am working on peace.  In my surroundings, in my home, in the relationships that I have with various people that are important to me.  I am grateful to report that I am being mindful again, and that I am living life purposely again.  I feel like I was before also, but I have more direction currently, and feel as though I am moving in a forward direction.  One of the coolest things that has happened is that I have really re-engaged with my youngest child and am really enjoying our time together on a daily basis.  I have always loved and adored her, but she is around the most, and is most like me.  We butt heads often.  I am taking time out more often to see the beauty that she offers and the gifts she has and shares.  I appreciate it more.  I am starting to return to myself in that I am beginning to find my purpose again, where as before, it was for the sake of crisis and emergency purposes.  That was the way it was for 2 years.  I am finally figuring out who I am again.  It is uncomfortable at times, and yet super familiar. I look forward to making plans again, and to do things that I want to do vs. the crisis being put on me.  I am not sure that this all makes sense to you.  It has just been really hard getting out of my own head, redrawing boundaries with those I love as to what I am willing to deal with and handle, and learning to nurture myself again.  I used to be really good at that.  I was kind to myself, and I allowed myself to just be.  I long to do that again.  I am getting close.

All are good here.  Better.  My 2 kids are on 2 feet again, cars are up to par and moving again.  My husband is back to work in full force, and one round of sports has happened and is now over.  It is hard to believe October is almost over, and we are heading into the season of Gratefulness.  I am grateful.  I find it hard to believe I have made it through this time period that was so hard.  The hardest time period possibly ever in my life as an adult.  I am thankful, grateful.

Grateful for my online community.  Thank you for being there.  Chat soon.

October 12, 2015 – Change is coming and I am ready

So, hi! ¬†Sorry it’s been a while. ¬†My streak of luck continued for a bit longer if you can believe it.!? ¬†I am not really sure if I believe in Luck actually, but whatever it was it was definitely making my life very difficult. ¬†I am recovering this week as I had my gall bladder removed last Tuesday. ¬†It happened pretty quick. ¬†I had not been feeling great for about a month. ¬†Initially I wasn’t sure if I had overstretched my back muscles, or somehow slept strange to where it was affecting my posture, and the way I was able to hold myself. ¬†I started having pretty severe pain under the right side of my rib cage on my back, and then I was also experiencing some pain above the right side of my pelvis bone. ¬†I went through the regular channels, dr., testing, different type of dr., different type of testing, to a pretty concrete diagnosis. ¬†It was easy to make the decision to remove it as I was suffering a lot, and my gall bladder¬†was quite sick. ¬†I’m so not “that” kind of girl though normally opting for a surgery. ¬†If there were an option like a life style change, exercise or varied diet, I would choose the latter. ¬†I haven’t had surgery since I was in kindergarten and had my tonsils removed. ¬†As far as this goes though, I am grateful as I am no longer in pain, and the recovery has been fairly quick without too much inconvenience to me or my family. ¬†I am going to have to re-learn a few things as I ate sausage yesterday, and thought I would be sick all night long. Ugh…no more sausage. ¬†It may just be early, and I just wasn’t thinking that my body has changed pretty severely in the last week. ¬†I was excited to have the energy to make dinner for the first time in a week. ¬†It was a quick unplanned one too as we got home late after church and a day being out. ¬†I had these in the refrigerator and it seemed quick and easy. oh well.

I am on the mend in general. ¬†I felt as though I were drowning for a while. ¬†It started to feel as though I wouldn’t be able to find my joy again. ¬†I hate to say that, and I know it sounds clich√©, but I got so worn down by the car troubles, the accidents, the surgeries, the deaths and illnesses, the various relationships that are difficult in general, and I started to feel so run down. ¬†I have a tendency to get sad and depressed at times. ¬†I am not proud of it, but it is who I am. ¬†I used to be embarrassed by it, but honestly, I have to own it. I think when you feel things really big – for the positive or for someone else, you also feel things really big in the negative and sometimes towards yourself. ¬†I normally feel like I can wait it out and do positive things to make it better. ¬†Read positive things, write positive things, be creative – create, sleep well, stop drinking, surround yourself with positive people. ¬†I had been doing a lot of this stuff, and I was still sinking into an abyss that starts getting really scary. ¬†I stop wanting to leave my house, to hang out with anyone, to talk to anyone. ¬†I don’t know what to create, I literally cannot think of anything to create. ¬†I am sad, and everything seems so darn heavy. Everything. ¬†The big difference between feeling this way now vs. earlier in my life, is I have 3 kids looking up to me, needing me to emote. ¬†To love them, to help them, and to make good choices for our family, so we can all deal with all of this stuff collectively.

I have asked for antidepressants from my doctor probably 3 times in the last 16 years, and I have never filled the script.  I did this time, and I am grateful.  It has all been too much.  I have been so overwhelmed, and scared.  I love the Joy I normally feel, and the extent to which I am able to love, but it was feeling voided and starting to feel so distant.  I am happy to say though, that I feel a return to me.  I am starting to put plans in place again.  I am beginning to want to be around my friends again, and watch movies with my family.  I feel as though I can do whatever is asked of me, and my hope is that as the days pass the Joy returns.  I feel like it is slowly.

Mom is still all over the place, but sometimes all I can do for her is love her and listen to her.  She has undergone a series of sad days.  She realizes after the fact, that she has lost something (repeatedly in this case), blames it on my dad, becomes super angry and accusatory, puts herself in isolation/punishing him at the same time by not allowing him her love or attention.  He surprisingly is kind and understanding and feels like this is just a sad IMG_4568
de-escalation and he misses his wife. ¬†After one or two days, she comes out of it, and is sad that it happened and isn’t sure what comes over her. I feel for both of my parents and know that this is the test of a life time. ¬†Sad to see the diminishing of someone you love. ¬†Sweet mamma. ¬†Sweet Pop.

The weather is changing somewhat. ¬†We are in Florida, so it is definitely gradual and generally it goes from super hot to just hot. ¬†Today the temperatures are in the low 80’s, and it is breezy. ¬†It is beautiful. ¬†Change is coming, and I am ready.

Gray day, September 17, 2015

IMG_6742.JPGSo, per last post, I was having a fairly rough go of it. ¬†I have been feeling pretty blue and generally over “it.” ¬†I am in that lethargy phase, where it all just seems like too much. ¬†I decided to give myself one- only one day to wallow in it, and then I would move on. ¬†Let it go, and get back to the business of taking care of everyone else and living my regular life. ¬†So, I watched a movie today – in the middle of the morning…who does that??? ¬†Not me…ever! ¬†I did, and it was a good movie. ¬†Aloha, with Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, and Bradley Cooper. ¬†Total chic flick, but a general feel good movie. ¬†After I was¬†done watching it, I felt like I need to get it together a little bit, (as I am not able to just veg all day in my Jammies) and put some make up on, and clean up a bit, my mom calls me then hangs up??? I call her back and as it turns out, she is having a really bad day. She couldn’t figure out how to properly use her phone. ¬†At first, my thought is “really, even on my really crappy day, my crappy day off, where I am allowing myself a “time-out”, I still have to hear and potentially fix my mom’s bad day???” ¬†I know, that is a bad thought to have. Not kind or merciful or loving. ¬†For sure not going to win me daughter of the year! ¬†I thought it though. ¬†It’s real. I was listening to her, reluctantly at first, because I have already heard all that she is currently telling me, more than once at that. ¬†Sad about her dog, getting old, feeling like he doesn’t have much longer, not knowing how to use their home phones, not knowing how to program the message on their cell phones, dad can’t figure out how to turn up the volume on his cell ringer (he just got his first cell EVER about 3 weeks ago), blah blah dr. appointments, blah blah meds. ¬†She was truly upset, and pinging all over the place, not able to make any sort of sense of any of it. ¬†I started to feel sad for her, for her not being able to take control of her own life, for her feeling of being lost in her own mind, and world and house, and for her feeling like a victim of her own life. ¬†Within a few moments of speaking with her, she apologized for always dumping on me and I said no worries, of course I was here to listen to her and help her however I could. I would always listen to her. This started us out on the most manic series of topics and turned into the most silly fun I have had in days. ¬†It’s so weird to be able to see the silly or fun, out of something that has become so hard, and rarely feels silly and hardly ever fun. ¬† We both needed a laugh. I needed my mom today, to tell her that I was having a really tough time right now, but I don’t feel like I can say that to her anymore. ¬†She has a tough time staying on task, and she also worries so much, she also jumbles up all the facts. ¬†Generally, when I confide a confidence in her, I regret it because I have more to deal with afterwards. ¬†But today, without having to say “I need you”, we were just able to need each other at the same time, and be there for each other, and laugh with each other – like we used to, when the world seemed a little lighter to bare. ¬†I miss my mom, but was grateful to get a glimpse of “her” today. ¬†Silly, goofy, nonsensical mom. ¬†I made her laugh, and forget her woes, and her pains, and we laughed till we cried- in a good way- ¬†and she did the same for me.

Grateful.

Today will be a bit easier to handle I think because of this “reluctant” conversation we had just now. ¬†And tomorrow, I will be stronger and better.

Thanks for listening.