I mean what about it? I am in any given day but rarely is about today. This day, the NOW. I am giving up on the things that just don’t make me happy. I am in the Autumn of my life. You know that crazy dozen or so years where we the older generation folks go through all of our worldly possessions and think, “Why the f*ck did I waste money on that? We relegate our life’s belongings into neat piles: donate, keep, BURN. I am saying good bye to my dreams for Tomorrow Land. A land that exists only in dreams where everything is shiny and perfect and? I am sure whatever you need it to be. The only day anyone ever has is today. Why have I been putting my whole life on hold waiting for a better tomorrow? I am never going to be… (the list is really super long so let’s just say that I am who I am )… and that’s okay. I am setting the balloon of expectations free to go haunt someone else with unrealistic goals ( good luck honey whoever you are ). It turns out those dreams were set in the false belief that I would never know profound love if I was not perfect. WRONG!
I am not going to keep being my own biggest disappointment. I am fluffy. I have been in various stages of fluffiness my entire life. I have spent endless vacations, birthdays, anniversaries, regular life days, banking holidays, you name it, raging over my inability to slim down so I might be lucky enough to be considered desirable as a person. Somehow being “perfect” might make it easier for people to love me or like me or want to be my friend or? What a waste of a perfectly good lifetime. Guess what? I am beautiful. My soul filled with love, kindness, understanding, compassion. I just struggle with believing it for some reason. Somewhere in my childhood someone must have made me feel like I deserved less. I decided this morning that I don’t care anymore. I am embracing my truth. I am Trish! Hear me, see me, enjoy me, be part of my life, don’t be part of my life but from now on I am LIVING for today.
What happens at Book Club stays at Book Club ; )
Growing up I desperately wanted to be “that girl”. The one all the boys wanted to date and all the girls wanted to hate. I foolishly dreamt that one day I would figure out how to be the smartest, prettiest, most wonderful example of femininity the world would ever hope to know. Instead I turned into the hater. On the outer edge of every social group one can imagine. I spent a lot of miserable years being unhappy about who I was instead of embracing who I was becoming. I never did become “that girl”. Time, love, and life experience have turned me into something more rewarding; ME ! I have had to learn some very tough lessons in life about loss, love, acceptance and friendships. It is important to the people in your life to know that you value them.
On my way home from work today I was thinking about all the wonderful women in my life. I couldn’t help but wonder if I had told any of them how much I enjoy their laughter, their companionship, their insights. My friends mean the world to me. Somehow I never seem to tell them that. Shame on me.
I have recently fallen into a group of women who like to read. Well, I throw that out there loosely because truthfully I think we like getting together to enjoy each others’ company. There is a lot of laughing, chatting, gossiping( a tad), eating and enjoying an adult beverage or two. Eventually as the night wears on we get around to whatever book was supposed to be read. I belong = ) These women have allowed me into their circle. At first I thought that maybe I shouldn’t join. I had only attended one or two book club gatherings as a tag-a-long. I tagged along with my bestie. I hadn’t formally been asked to join but I was curious and my BFF assured me that the “girls” would love me.
I have a touch of social anxiety that I try to keep hidden. I make terrible first impressions. I feel uncomfortable surrounded by people I am not overly familiar with. I fidget. I give the false impression of over confidence when in truth I am just trying not to fall in on myself with embarrassment. I didn’t have many friends growing up. I guess I have never learned what it is I am supposed to do with them? Being myself seems to work so I am trying to do that more.
I love belonging. I looked forward to going to club night. I have read all the books. Some I liked, some not so much but I like my new friends. The ladies of this book club are amazing. I am honored to be part of you. I enjoy our time together. You have taught me things when I wasn’t looking to learn. I am more relaxed in myself. I listen better. I am learning to enjoy the moments. I am blessed.
I have never tried to write my blog while listening to music before. I thought I would give it a try. I am listening to In Blue by The Corrs. I love this CD. It helps to put me in a better mood when the thick fog of funk rolls in. I have the sound turned down a bit so I can process my thoughts. It is true that you never forget a good lesson learned. I used to sing, listen to music in high school to help me prep for tests. Feels like home, who knew? I switched to my go to gal…Streisand. Her music gives me something no other music has ever given me, the ability to believe in myself.
Lately, ok maybe that is a bad reference for time. I have not been getting along with myself for a few years now. This rift in my being has caused me turmoil and self-loathing. One would think that I would have learned to set myself free from that bullshit already. I think I have finally realized it is part of the mystery I call me. I lost faith in myself. I got lost on my journey. I am in the deep woods surrounded by mosquitoes and other wild life with no FECKING idea how to get back to the main road… except, I know the way. I have been unwilling to “fix” my course. Listen, I was in the middle of a first class pity party. I had balloons and snacks and more snacks and more snacks, well I think you get the idea. Eventually it was time to crawl down from my perch in the tress and rejoin the world around me.
I choose my life. Every crappy, wonderful, screwed up minute. I want to be healthy. One of my mother’s last wishes for me was to be well. She knew she was fading and her time was drawing to a close. She gave me one of her best Junie hugs. “I love you, Trish. I know you will take care of Daddy but I worry you won’t look after you. Don’t become me. I can’t walk. I struggle for breath. Someone has to help me with every small thing. Do you want to end up like me? unable to live like you want?” I brushed it off at the time. Mom being dramatic with all the trappings. She died three months later. I started WWs March 3, 2007. My mom passed away June 11.2007. In that short time I lost 50 pounds. I continued to lose for her, for me until I left behind 145 pounds. Hold your applause. Yes, I lost all that weight and then I walked away.
Funny thing about grief after awhile your mind softens the sharp edges so you can move on with your life. Unfortunately, I chose to move in the wrong direction. I had my reasons; ill conceived most of them. Shortly after my Mom’s passing I began taking care of my Dad. In the beginning he only needed gentle reminders and help with his shopping. I was on course. I managed to lose 145 pounds. I was 6 pounds short of reaching lifetime goal at WWs when my Dad had a cardio-vascular accident that changed our lives. He nearly died on me. I was thrust into full time caregiver with part time hours. Where was my rock? Suddenly I felt so useless and small. Dad got better physically but his dementia…well, that is an ongoing adventure = (
I coped the only way an addict knows how. I FELL off the wagon. No, that’s a lie. I JUMPED. It has taken eight years to regain most of the weight I lost. I didn’t want to deal with all the sadness, disappointment and loneliness that comes from taking care of an ailing loved one. There is no one to blame. It is what it is. I allowed myself to fall short on purpose, fulfilling my own doom theory. Well guess what? Screw that shit. I have things I want to do. Things I need to fix. Adventures to take. People to love. I accept I will always have to fight my need to “fix” my problems with food. Food is the worst friend, ever. I can’t live without her. She won’t change so I need to learn to give her space so my soul can have peace.
really? I try to go see Dad everyday. I am his link to his world. The life he once lived in, loved in, laughed in. I can tell you with all honesty it is the toughest part of my day. I hate to cry. I hate feeling open and vulnerable. Yesterday was hard for me. I had my afternoon coffee fix and prepped a bag to bring to Pops. I kissed my hubby and off I went. Dad was not in a good place. The nurse on duty pulled me aside to inform me that Dad had been grumpy and short (my Mom was grumpy and short but I think she meant Dad was out of sorts ?)
Pops contacted a cold from one of the other patients who likes to kiss the boys and make them cry. There is nothing I can really do about those behaviors so I let Pops be. The nurse I spoke with assured me Dad had been getting cold meds and seemed to be getting better except for his demeanor. She asked me if I had any ideas as to why Pops suddenly seemed angry. I am not sure how much any of you really understand dementia. A person who lives with dementia has their own sense of reality and most likely you are not invited so you have to learn to watch for the signs. Any time my Dad is in pain or has a fever he gets angry, really angry. I informed the nurse that Pops has a history of bladder/urinary problems and infections and sometimes that is enough to send him to Anger Land.
I feel like the outsider now. If pops were home I would have simply called his Dr. and scheduled a urinalysis and a meet and greet to check his vitals. Doctor appointments change when your loved one lives in a nursing home. Someone on staff calls a nurse. The nurse does a quick assessment and then decides whether or not to contact the Dr. or nurse practitioner. Tests were ordered for Dad. I think he is having a urinary tract infection or a flair up with his rheumatoid arthritis.
I left Pops shortly after his supper. I left distracted, angry, scared and plain SAD. I jumped into my Jeep and blindly drove away. Away. Far away. I was nearly into West Boylston before I realized I had no idea where I was going or why I was going. I can’t outrun my Pops’ decline. It is what it is. In my face, part of my life everyday. It sucks. It wears me down and leaves me feeling lonely and vulnerable unable to fix what has gone so wrong.
it was never about the food. All these years I have held myself separate from all of the things I wanted or needed or cared about. It is not the story but the telling of the tale that matters. I was never taught how to manage my feelings. I was raised to believe my feelings had no place. My wants, needs, desires were of no consequence. I was supposed to learn how to table them not handle them. I think that is one of the reasons that I grew up feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I was a fraidy-cat when I was a kid. No adult ever explained to me that a human body goes through many changes as it develops and grows. I was so fearful I often obsessed with my own untimely demise. My mother just called me ‘Camille”. I was overly dramatic and needed to get a grasp on reality. If it had only dawned on her that I was apprehensive about the changes I was experiencing maybe she would have been gentler with important info, maybe. I taught myself to eat instead of feel. If I eat I won’t need to be in my moments. I won’t get hurt. Turns out the only thing I taught myself was how to buy a bad lie.
Have you ever stood in front of an audience and spoke at great lengths on a subject only to realize that no one is listening to you? Story of my life. I have always felt invisible yet I am not Trish alone. I have my constant companions Fear and Loathing. They seem like nice girls but one never wants to do a thing outside of her comfort zone and the other; well, she just hates everything. It is tough to get one damn thing accomplished. These two scream in my thoughts for attention. Thank Gawd for that ray of sunshine called Hope. I love her. She makes everything seem possible. She speaks quietly, determined to be heard, she lurks in the background waiting for her moments. Her moments are the life changing ones. That voice in your head that says, “I can do this!”, ” I am worthy.” “I crave acceptance not food.”, “I am somebody.” I wish I could learn to listen to her more.
When you take Hope by the hand and embrace all that she has to offer, the possibilities seem endless. Live in the moments that make your life better.
Today I took Hope to a WWs meeting. It’s time for her to make another appearance in my life. I lost my way. I tabled the belief I had in myself because my life got hard. I have taken care of my Dad for nearly eight years. He lives with dementia. Over the Christmas holidays my Dad was placed into a nursing home. For the first time in a very long time, I can relax a tad. Enjoy my moments, have some Hope that tomorrow will be better. I learned a lot about myself in those eight years. I am stronger than I thought I would ever have to be. I can be tough. I am a loving person. I learned how to hug. I lied to myself for years that I was unhuggable. Hugging someone means being so close to a person that you share the good vibe, exchange chakra. There is a warm glow sensed between the hugger and the huggy. A good hug equals total acceptance from me. The person who I am hugging has earned my respect, my trust. I also learned that sometimes when you hug someone you give them a little of your Hope. In the giving of a small part of yourself you make someone else’s battle seem worth the fight.