…Happily Ever AFTER

After what? Hmm? Really, why do we have to wait for after? What if after never comes? I will be happy now in the present not AFTER : I own my own home, or get the best job, or wait until the debts are paid down. Happily ever after is an old timey way of feeling good about living through a rough patch, being greeted with fresh hope for the better tomorrows that may never come. Screw that.

We met at hockey. She was part of the staff of security guards at our local arena/convention center/concert venue. We hit it off. We have had some good belly laughs over the years. We have gossiped, chatted, compared war wounds, and held our heads as high up as we could manage when one of us got our wings clipped ( life decides to throw a curve ball ). She is the one I walk with whenever we both manage some time away from commitments, chores and other miscellaneous happenings.

She has always been the shoulder I seek to lean on when I need to lean. She never tells me to get over myself, or stop being a baby, or “grow up” she listens. She hears me. I hope she feels the same way about me. I try to be her sounding board when she wants to vent, “no strings attached”, no judgements thrown or made. She is indeed a rare find. Her and her hubby have not had the best of it lately. There have been too many doctor/hospital visits in the recent months. Yet, she still manages to be as open, upbeat, and well, her. Everyone takes a beating from life. You just can’t let it beat you in the race. Show up, participate, be your best self. She has taught me so much. Don’t just listen but hear what is said. Take in all of the beauty around you. She is the best kind of friend, in being herself I have become a better person.

I wonder if you realize how brave you are? how strong? how wise? Your life path is headed in a new direction. I will not leave you because that life path has become difficult. It just means that some days I will lead. All you have to do is call… I want you to know how important you are to me, to the people in your life, to you yourself. You are enough. You mean everything to someone. You are loved.

The Light of a New Day

There is a soft sound coming from somewhere near by, sweet and melodious but I can’t discern where it might be coming from. I am in that state between a dream in sleep and waking. I open my eyes. My room is still bathed in the shadow of early morning. My cat is sleeping beside my upper left thigh rolled into a ball, head tucked into tail. I carefully free my arm from the warm layers of blanket it has been cozy in to sneak a quick scratch to the cat. She lifts her head to look at me. I am greeted with a quick chirp. I love this cat. Hubby and I rescued her during the Big Life Shutdown (Covid-19). I can still hear the tune that stirred me. I am able to hear my inner voice quite clearly and I am sure it is me thinking about a song that I just can’t get out of my mind. I am awake in the light of a new day.

Some times life changes in ways that is unexpected and unwanted but it happens so pull up those big girl panties and show up. I am changing. I am not the person I once was. The person I strove to be in my younger years I now find distasteful. I surprise myself with how unready I was to be a grown up. Silly fantasy instead of planning a life. I could have gone to college. I could have been anything I wanted to work for but I chose a different path. I have no regrets. The less travelled road often reaps the best hidden gems; BUT, I can not undo the years where I felt like I was less than everyone. Was I not as intelligent, not as wise, not as beautiful as everyone around me? Maybe but unlikely. What was I? Complicit. No excuses. My sisters and I were raised without much expectation so I rose to that level. I was complicit in my own failure to achieve something greater than I had been exposed to .

I tried to never have any friends. I rarely reached out to family. I liked to pretend I was all alone in my misery. I really desperately wanted to be seen but I was more afraid to experience any more emotional pain. In my adult life I managed to find love and get married. I let my wall of defenses down long enough to allow myself to find love. Life changing in so many good ways. I think it is the real reason I have allowed myself to grow as a person. I was accepted as I was; not as a token to what I might be or what I could become. Just me, warts and all. I have love and I am still married.

People are so simple and yet so complex. We will do anything to make a friend and then everything to make them go away when they get “too close” or a conflict develops. Someone I was once very close with recently told me that over the past few years I had become increasing hard to be friends with. News to me. There were no warning flares, no “hey! you are being a bitch”, no “this isn’t fun anymore”…. just avoidance, from both of us. I think we both knew in the back of our minds that our friendship had seen better days. Our friendship started to feel like an old married couple who don’t want to face the truth of their dead love; we dragged our friendship around, until I made that step. I committed the worst deed. I spoke up. I fancied the idea of chasing after her, to make things better, to right whatever wrong I may have done; but, I stopped myself. I am better than that. I have learned how to say goodbye. I know what I am worth, what my time means to me. I am no longer interested in trivial bullshit I had no hand in creating.

In the light of a new day I know I will make other friends. I know I will let others drift away from me and I will be drifted away from but at the end of my days my life will still be better for all of it. The memories, the laughs, and yes, even the tears. I will miss her. She taught me many lessons, some life changing, some soul burning, some life affirming. You can’t make anyone like you. It has to be a gift freely given. No regrets.

In the light of a new day? I am enough just as I am.

If She Knew What She Wants

Whenever I am really quiet I hear a small voice screaming from the depths of my soul. She is my true self; the one that wants to be free but I refuse to let her into my life. I wish I could sort out what I want from what I need. My biggest fear? I will get to the end of my life and be the same hot mess that I am right now. I want to stop. I am not interested in punishing myself anymore. I put too much pressure on myself to be perfect in my WW journey. Changing out terrible eating habits for better eating habits is a job that never ends. One bad choice on my part and I spiral out of control, sometimes for years. When I say bad choice I don’t mean potato at supper instead of salad, I mean I get bored or angry or frustrated and then I just decide to stop going any further. I cave in on myself. I have been brooding about how I walk away from myself since before Christmas letting my anger fester, growing more and more discontent with myself.

Depression is a merry go round I never truly get to escape from. Have you ever listened to the lyrics of the Pink Floyd song HEY YOU? It is the desperate cries of someone who feels invisible and wishes to be SEEN. I feel like people never really see ME. They see my persona, the shiny part of the mirror that deflects away from the broken shards that make up my soul. That persona draws people in like a moth to a flame.  HOLD IT! WAIT!! STOP!!! BULLSHIT ALERT!!!!

Is it okay to call bullshit on myself? The people in my life don’t always know when I am hurting or in a bad head space because I do my damnedest to keep them at arms length. Feeling invisible is on me no one else. {breathe, just breathe} No one is a mind reader. Sometimes I can’t make up my own mind so why would I falsely believe people don’t know me? or can’t see through what is causing me distress?

I don’t want to be like my mother. It was hard growing up in a family with a damaged parent. I am shrapnel in a wound that won’t heal. I am not sure how I ended up here feeling like this again. I feel like I am lost at the edge of the woods. I can see where I need to be but I am over run with anxiety about which path to take so I choose no path, which adds to my anxiety, which makes me spiral farther, which adds to my depression, which adds to…

I need to quiet the noise. I need to return to myself. I need to be the person I am. When I wander too far from myself all of my relationships suffer. I smile less, I worry more. I am dissatisfied with myself, my life, my hubby, my friends. I mope around. The only energy I am willing to spend is for napping.

Honestly, I have happy moments. I know that I am loved. I have wonderful friends. My lifemate stands as my rock. He steadies me when I feel all is lost. He angers me, he moves me, he loves me even when I don’t love myself. Is it possible to become a beautiful butterfly after the age of 50? I don’t know but I will never give up trying. The sun will shine again. Spring is here, more hours of sunshine and warmth are on the way. Adventure season starts soon. There are always going to be things in my life that need attention in order for me to feel my best. I need to learn to ask for help. [ What a novel idea = ) ] We are all on the same road trip called LIFE. Will you walk with me awhile?

I love this song from GODSPELL.

My Year In The Rearview

As this year comes to a close, I have been stuck in my head thinking. I have been without my dear Pops for fifteen months now. The void he left difficult to fill. I feel ???… Everything has changed. I shop closer to home. I waste huge amounts of time in the guise of being tired after work. In reality I don’t have a clear idea on what I want to do with all this free time I now find myself with. My Pops always had a way of making me laugh or smile. I miss that. I still feel disconnected. How did I end up here? I feel like I have no sense of purpose. I have fallen out of love with the routines of my life. I am in a RUT, RuT, rUT, rUt…ERGH!!!

Lately, I feel like I am stuck in a sitcom from the 50s. The sameness of life, the lack of real JOY, no color, or maybe its more Pleasantville in style just before their awakening. I miss the innocence of youth. Trusting in the grown ups around my life that everything would indeed turn out okay. At some point in my coming of age I started to notice life wasn’t simple. Black and white really was a narrow way of thinking and living. Like the characters in Pleasantville I began to “live” in my surroundings, discover new and scary things about myself. I have come to understand, life is a series of successes and failings. What you do with those experiences is what makes life worth being a part of. I am not the same girl I was a short twenty years ago. I like to think I am a better person now.

I used to have a chip on my shoulder the size of a baseball mitt. I have always balked at authority. I hate to be told what to do. I have an vein of anger that runs just below my surface. It has caused me irreparable harm whenever I have wielded it in an attempt to get my way, or prove a point, or just to be an ass. I stomped about wanting to be left alone…life finally gave me what I always wanted and you know what? I was wrong! I know now that what I really craved was acceptance. I wanted to feel like I belonged to something, anything. I was seeking guidance.  My parents were too involved in their own messy lives; my sisters and I were left to figure shit out on our own. I hold my parents no ill will. They did the best they could to keep our family intact. My mother suffered with mental illness her whole life. Everyday was an adventure with her! Would today be a clothing optional day? Would we be play acting with the neighbors for pocket change so she could buy cigarettes? Would I find her at our local church crying to God in the hopes he would rescue her from being a housewife? Oh, the memories!

My Pops loved that crazy woman. His faith in her never wavered. I wonder how alone he must have felt? My Pops was old skool, never cry, never let them see you sweat. If he had resentment towards my mother I never knew it as a child. He only ever mentioned how bad things were sometimes after she had passed away, before his dementia turned her into a saint. He never gave up on her or any of his children. In my Pops eyes I could be anything I worked for, have anything I reached for, become something spectacular as humans go. I will find a way to keep working on a better version of myself because he never gave up gazing at his stars.

This past year there was very little sparkle. I am finally beginning to feel my age, with its wonderful assortment of aches, pains, and wrinkles. I will always have to be a WW. It holds me accountable for my bad food moods. I will not be taking anymore selfies. Every time I do I see this old woman looking back at me. She just does not match the beauty that lives in my soul. I will continue to sing even if no one hears me. It helps me to feel I have a reason to be. Every time I make a little kid smile or touch the heart of a person passing by, it makes me feel like I have a purpose. I do not like menopause… a roller coaster ride of screw you, my emotions taking me on a ride I am pretty sure I didn’t buy a ticket for. I am one of the lucky ones? no hot flashes, yet! I got heart palpitations instead! Oh JOY!

Hockey started up again this year as did my resentment for the amount of time it steals from me. In all honesty, because sometimes it is good for me to put my bullshit meter on pause, I have made some amazing friends at this frozen sport. I am trying to find something creative to do whilst hubby is preoccupied with his sport of choice. And by being creative I mean, stay away from the Booster Club table so I won’t eat my weight in anger. This should be an interesting ride!

I found my courage this year to adventure without my bestie by my side. No lies to be told. I missed her, terribly, but her children are at those ages where everything is drive them here, do this , do that, and adventuring just had no room in her busy life. I managed. I can now say that I have a small circle of women I enjoy going on adventures with = ) All because I took a chance and asked them if they would like to “hang out” with me.

Life is in the living. Good-bye 2017. Hello, to the mistakes I will make this year, to the adventures I will undertake, to whatever 2018 has in store for me. If I could take anything from the past year into the new year with me it would be Hope. She knows how to keep things light and filled with anticipation. I wish you  all the best things for 2018. Love the people in your life. Step out of your comfort zone. Embrace change.

Never Give Up On The Person You Are Meant To Be

The Honeymoon…

…is over! It’s official. The shiny newness of this lifestyle change that I have undertaken has worn off. The holiday season didn’t help much either. Well meaning people that foolishly think that in order to be in good cheer you must be over served, over hors d’oeuvred, over fed, and overwhelmed. Enough! I have had enough. When I started this ten months ago it was because I was living in the danger zone again. I left WWs on my own in 2008 thinking that I had conquered myself and my need to overfeed my demons. WRONG!

The only thing I successfully did was LIE to myself about my motives and my sadness. Addiction is the shittiest thing you can do to yourself. It is like one long bad date you wouldn’t let your best friend suffer through but you are going to take it on and WIN! All lies. I hate myself for all of the things that I think I should be able to control and can’t. I hate myself for not being perfect. I hate myself because it is easier than love.

No surprise but I did not enjoy my time off from work or the holiday season. Surrounded by people, none of them mine =  (   my first Christmas on my own. Yes, it is all on me. I chose not to be happy. Being content in your life takes work. My character flaw. There is no greater actress than the one who is bad at pretending to be happy. I wanted to sit on the floor of my closet with the doors closed and wail about all that I have lost. No one wants to see a clown cry but often the funniest person in the room hides the most tears. It amazes me that after all of my years of self inflicted ED injury I am still drawn to it in times of distress. Feed a soul that is hungry. What is it I hunger for?

The honeymoon may be over but my journey is not. I absolutely refuse to give in. My journey got harder because I put a roadblock up. I got complacent and a little bored. I sat down late last night. Angry and disappointed in how I have been treating myself, I decided to stop, rest, and access my situation. What do I need to change  in order to achieve my goal? The answer is always the same, my mind set. Accepting my truths, ugly sweater and all, works for me. Don’t buy food you can not trust yourself to be left alone with. Don’t even, just stop .

I can not eat sugar. I am a diabetic. It is a health risk for me. Sugar is not my friend. I am weak in its presence. I am unable to stop myself once I allow myself to partake of its sweetness. I am like a thirsty sponge in search of rain. I will eat and eat and eat until I make myself sick. It adds inches to my waistline and anger to an already sad soul. I am glad this holiday season is drawing to a close. For me, there is comfort in structure, odd but true.

I just had the courage to buy the bucket, now I need to make my list. Live your life! Spring is coming and adventure season will be here before I know it =  )

Never Give Up On The Person You Are Meant To Be, I’m Not!

The Lost Weekend

A film noir from 1945 starring Ray Milland and Jane Wyman. It is a story of an alcoholic that goes on a bender and well, loses an entire weekend. That’s how I felt last weekend. I overbooked my free time, stretching myself too thin (no pun intended) and poor choices were made. It’s a strange feeling when you first uncork that bottle. The aroma wafts toward you and you feel light headed, enticed and maybe even giddy. You are having such a great time that you don’t realize just how far your lifeboat has drifted away from its anchor…

…and it is election night and you can cut the tension in the room with a knife. People are angry and don’t handle their emotions well on all sides. Long term friends (not mine) are questioning loyalties and people go out of their way to be hurtful and hateful instead of life affirming and giving. What a week! I want to retire to my bed and mope under the covers until Spring…

…but I won’t!

I am better than all that! I deserve more from myself than giving up! It was one weekend. It is over. I had a ton of fun. I had stress that I could have handled better. Next time I will slow down and be better. Observe, absorb, learn, move on. I got to spend some amazing quality time with family, my best friend and a co-worker who I adore. There will always be another chance to put my best effort forward. Never lose HOPE! for without hope all will truly be lost. She is the holder of the light and beauty that guides us through our darkest days.

Never Give Up On The Person You Are Meant to BE!hopewpid-wp-1410621777438.jpeg

 

Words = Power

HMMMmmmm….. seems I am out of words. Maybe it is because right now I have so many streams of consciousness (free flowing thoughts separate yet connected) that I am having difficulty putting my feelings in their proper place. Part of my weight loss journey is about celebrating NSVs, establishing better eating habits, recognizing , accepting and changing the things in my life that helped me to overserve myself in the first place. In other words, I finally shook off all of my regularly schedule list of excuses and lies. I stood up to myself and demanded to get better. I have been trying to be kinder, gentler to myself. Be more open to changes.

I am happy. That is not to say that I don’t have tough days or a week, unbridled happiness is fiction for TV. I did not make my regularly scheduled blog post this past Friday. I showed up late to my Saturday morning meeting. I was met with a wide smile and a question of concern from one of the leaders (who reads my blog) over my non posting and my tardiness. At that moment I shrugged it off due to being at the BIG E the day before.  I didn’t lie to her. I was tired and hormonal. I got up late! I am a girl, sometimes my monthly kicks my ass. I told her I was too tired to sit in front of my laptop and focus about my journey but that is not the entire truth.

Words = Power

In the beginning I started this journey towards a better me for a multitude of reasons. I missed the girl I used to be. I missed feeling well. You never know what a new day will bring. I forgot to take care of myself when my life was in turmoil.  I felt so hopeless I forgot how happiness soothes like sunshine after a rain. Everyone who breathes knows sadness, turmoil and pain. That is what makes us all alike. I let mine steal my worth.

Words = Power

Even if the only one who hears the words is me. Lies when repeated in your head somehow have a way of becoming self-truths. I know that MY negative thoughts are dangerous for me. I use my hubby as a sounding board when I am feeling like I should be punished for a food transgression. He is the one who gently reminds me that I am loved, that I am beautiful, that I am important. He never lets me down no matter how hard I push back.

Words = Power

I really like my primary care physician. I had my once a year physical last Monday. I am not a big fan of going to the doctor. Physicals, mammograms, oil changes are all part of life so why do they feel so intrusive? I have been putting my best foot forward since February. I dutifully went and had my lab work done in the middle of my vacation ! I was beaming to go see her, show her all that I have accomplished so far and you know what?…

Words = Power

…while she was pleased with the overall results of my efforts; I need to do more!  She was pleased to tell me that she could now move me off the MORBIDLY OBESE warning on my chart!  She has no idea that her words hurt me. She is a great physician and is very supportive. But,W-O-W!!!!  I think getting smacked with a pointy rock would have hurt less = (  I didn’t leave there feeling empowered. I left with a hole in my happiness. I struggled with myself and how this news made me feel the rest of the week.  The negative thought demon was swinging around in my mind, taunting me with bad ideas, lies and misdirection. I tracked all of my foods everyday. I made a list of any NSVs I had. Every time I let myself get distracted by my littered thoughts I tried to find something to change my mood. Instead of eating, I started binge watching a new show on Netflix! I finished two books I have been sort of reading for months now! I kept on keeping on. I was worried about going to the BIG E on Friday. Large Fairs have a way of sucking a person into a false sense of freedom; to do whatever, eat whatever, drink whatever. I almost forgot myself but I managed.

wordshavepower

I started to blog because I felt powerless and ineffective about taking care of a parent with dementia. I started to blog because I wanted to find myself. I started to blog because I knew someone might be out there feeling just like I do; like they are alone.  Words do equal power. I wield my power to help me be a better person. I am not perfect but I refuse to give up on the person I am meant to be. I had to let go of those medical words. I am working on a better version of me everyday. Everyday that I don’t give into a negative thought I am that much closer to achieving a healthier me! I am beautiful. I am strong. I am…whatever I can imagine I might want to be =  )

NEVER GIVE UP ON THE PERSON YOU ARE MEANT TO BE !

WORDS = POWER

 

 

House of Cards

In the quiet of the gloaming I find myself reflecting on the moments of my day. Gloaming is the time before darkness settles in and the afternoon is filled with the soft glow of dusk.  The heat of the day is saying goodbye. The birds of song change their tune to something more soothing and mellow as if they know night is nearby.  I can feel the tension in my body begin to wane. I cherish these moments. Summer is hectic. The long days make me want to throw 40 hours into a 24 hour day. I hate when I become inpatient and try to live my life in 12 minutes.

We deserve more for ourselves. What is wrong with taking your time? This weekend, which for me began on Friday, was both crammed with activity and inactivity. Hubby and I made our annual trek to Springfield MA to visit the BIG E! As I get older I enjoy the trek across my great state less and less. The Mass Pike has never been a fun ride, ever. It is crazy long between exits and people with bad driving habits often make it unsafe. The Big E means the beginning of Autumn for me. I wait all summer for its arrival; yet, I dread the thought of going. It isn’t because I don’t have fun while I am there. It is just reality has a heavy hand. Now I have to prepare myself for shorter, cooler days with less and less outside time. Something WINTER this way comes…

I love the crispness of the air. I love being able to wear warmer snuggly clothes. I love that I can put on a hoodie and not have to wear the heavy digs of Winter. But, my mood begins to suffer. I struggle with sadness and feelings of being trapped. I grow anxious as the days get shorter and colder. I feel like a House of Cards waiting to be set astray by the gentlest of breezes. Something WINTER this way comes…  I wonder if this is how my Dad feels.

I feel melancholy since returning from my adventure on Friday. I have been fighting with myself all weekend. My Dad struggles with Dementia. He lives in a nursing home now.  I took care of my Dad by myself for nearly eight years. I am falling into the mood I adopted while taking care of him. At the end of each Summer I always felt like I was losing just a touch more of who he used to be. I would struggle with sadness, fear and anxiety. I learned to hate the dark seasons. I spent precious hours biding our time until the earliest hints of sunshine and light returned to our days freeing us. I am torn everyday. I want him to live forever but I want him to be free. I want him to remember but I know he will forget. I hate that love can’t fix everything. Happiness is a House of Cards.

 

For the Love of a Popsicle

OMG it has been HOT. No, I am not complaining . I am stating the facts. Summertime used to mean heading out everyday after my dad got home from work and hitting a local swim spot. After I learned to drive it was trips to Hampton Beach, Newport and other lovely coastal beaches. Now that I am older (sounds as horrible as it feels) as soon as I get home from the J-O-B, it is kick the shoes off, turn the air conditioner up full blast and whine as I watch bad afternoon TV. Oh! for the love of a popsicle! What the hell has happened to me?

It has been too uncomfortable to eat much of anything. I have no interest in any food. I know!?! who is this girl and what happened to Trish? but it is true. The bad part it’s tougher to stay on plan when there is an unplan in charge. I have been back to WWs since the beginning of February. My choices and determination are harder to manage. I like to call this portion of our trip THE CLIMB. Why? It has more to do with the length of time spent on the road than it does with the results I am seeing. Will I survive the climb? Sure, I will. The real question?  can I survive the plateau?

I am heading for the mental plateau. It is a scary place. Stay too long at Casa Plateau and find your resolve starting to wane. Don’t stay long enough you run the risk of ending your journey before it really picks up steam. Let’s be honest, learning new healthy habits is a lot of work. It tires a gal out. It fills me with a huge sense of self-fulfillment but sometimes I don’t want to do this anymore. What to do? Time to mix it up! Try a different exercise, eat KALE( no,just kidding), take stock in where you are, where you want to be. Could be it is time to leave the comfort zone of what works and try a few new untried curiosities. Don’t allow yourself to become bored in this journey. The cost of bad decisions while bored is immeasurable. Just ask anyone who has ever done a home perm! Never give up on the person you are meant to be. It is okay to have doubt; just don’t forget you are the one in charge. Journey on…

 

 

What Makes Us Different…

makes us the same.

It starts early in my day on Fridays. I start thinking about what I want to blog about. I worry no one will read my thoughts or worse that no one will care.  Sometimes I wonder if the effort I put in is worth it. Then I remember this blog is for me. I write as a way to keep myself in check. I share how I am feeling in the hopes that what I have to say helps one person to realize that they are not alone. We all struggle with something :  loneliness, depression, weight, beauty, stress from a bad marriage, death of a loved one…the list is endless. What makes us different makes us the same.

I started this weight loss journey again in February. I decided it was time for me to change my outlook (I had painted it grim, I was buying my own lies hook, line, and sinker). I forgot how to be happy, to live in my moments. I had spent so much time and energy trying to be the best daughter to my Pops, who suffers with dementia, that I had stopped taking care of myself. I stopped caring about me. I should have reached out for help. Maybe, I wouldn’t have gotten so lost if I had just stopped and asked for direction.

I throw a wall of emotions out in front of me to keep me safe from prying eyes. I make people laugh so I won’t cry. I sing because I am in distress. I eat because I am angry and I don’t know how to use that negative energy in a positive way. I decided that those things that are sometimes true about me needed to be changed. I needed to change. I am learning to own my anger. I don’t have to self-destruct. I am bigger than that. I am worth more than that. I am learning to laugh from joy. I sing because it makes me happy. I  try to talk myself out of my anger. I am trying to let go of things I am unable to change.  I am growing as a person, not in the waistband, a first for me.  = )

The truth is everyone is afraid to get hurt. Life is not a free ride. It comes with pain and disappointment. It has moments of grief and anger. It is the longest, most intense adventure you will ever undertake. You deserve to be in every messy, wonderful, emotion filled moment of it. Learn to be kind to yourself. You do it for other people, learn to value yourself. Stop blaming yourself for the way things have gone in the past. Live for the now.

You have the chance to be a better version of you, right now.  You are strong enough to stand up for what you want. There is no need to feel guilty about being successful at being you. Never give up on the person you are meant to be.

What makes us different makes us the same  =  ) We can do this Cupcake!