I am, am I?

Life is a strange journey. Last June I decided to stop being an ass, embrace my inner thin chick, make an unquiet peace with her, and try to get back to the business of losing weight so I can keep my good health. OH MY GAWD what was I not thinking? It has been a frustrating, sad, heart wrenching time in the world. Some days so filled with fear, apprehension and uncertainty that I can easily become anxious about every little thing. Yeah I know, preach. I am finding it very difficult to stay in the moment, to enjoy the peace that surrounds me.

A few years ago I used to blog about my weight loss. I learned a lot about high expectations from that failed exercise ( see what I did there{{{wink, wink}}} ?)! The pressure I put on myself to keep succeeding when I didn’t feel like circling the block anymore got to be too much and just like that [a quick snap of my fingers] I was back to being the “fat girl” with a killer smile, a quick line, a song … and a broken heart. I say broken because every time I walk away from the version of myself where I feel I belong a little more of who I know I am disappears.

The odd thing about losing weight is I know how to do that. It is staying in the mindset of healthy habits difficult to maintain. I have struggled all week with feeling enough. Am I doing enough? Am I enough? Have I exercised enough? ENOUGH of ENOUGH! I promised myself that on this leg of my life’s journey I would not give into that little girl lost that lives in my head. I AM ENOUGH! A mountain can not be climbed without effort. NO more obsessing. It is unhelpful, it is unhealthy, it is soul crushing. I deserve more from myself, for myself. I have always been enough. The scale does not define me! I DO!

Today for the first time I got to see “The Greatest Showman” on Disney +. I know I am late to the show( no pun intended) but that is what happens when you are afraid to go to a movie by yourself and no one else you know wants to see a musical. Live and learn but if you are a believer in everything happens for a reason then I wasn’t meant to see this movie until today.

The song THIS IS ME is me. I needed to hear those words. So often in my life I have felt like I was too broken to be valued, to have value. I was starting to slide back into that feeling…but an odd thing happened on my way to giving up on myself and it all started with a song. This journey is long. This journey is tough BUT I AM WORTH the journey! This is ME!

I have learned that I am not on the road by myself. Asking for help makes the journey easier to shoulder. I am strong. I am brave. I am. I can and I will…succeed, keep on keeping on, being in my moments, loving my life and all the wonderful people that help to make it worth the ride.

Never Give Up On The Person You Are Meant To BE

Be The Rainbow…

…Not The Cloud

Sometimes you don’t understand how much you need something until you have it. Or lose it. I was in Gloucester MA recently with some friends for some SAFE adventure fun. I LOVE this town. I come here to find my joy when I lose it or when the winter has been too long. I think we can all agree this winter is still lingering. It has been a season of loss, loneliness, uncertainty and anxiety. Holding onto JOY has been a battle. We came to town to refresh our souls, reset our sadness and sail.

There is a local collection of volunteers that maintain the garden spots along Western Avenue. They do amazing work, breathtaking. These green thumbers help to make the magic that is Gloucester. I tip my hat to you for all the hard work and hours that you GIVE. I love to go for a walk along this avenue. Stage Fort Park is along this stretch of road. The seasonal parking rates are reasonable. The grounds are vast and fun to explore. There is a “seafood/ice cream stand” called The Cupboard that has been in operation some 40 odd years. I love the vibe here. It makes me nostalgic “for the good ole days” Yes, I know I am showing my age but I don’t care. I come here to reconnect to my JOY, to reassure myself that there is still beauty, kindness and caring in the world.

I came to Gloucester with friends to go for a sail aboard the Schooner Lannon. We arrived in town a few hours early and set out to explore, take in the sunshine, the ocean views, the breeze and enjoy each others company. We tried a new {to us} BFast stop, Sherry’s Corner Cafe (amazing food, owner operated, friendly staff, excellent prices). We made some new friends, connections, and yes, I sang for some old timers who were sitting on the porch while they were eating their breakfast. Hey! I had a mask on and I was more than 6 feet away. It is sad to me that I even have to say that here, but safety first.

After finding a nice shaded spot along the street to park, we ladies went for a stroll. Walking along Western Avenue I came across this sweet reminder:

BE YOU…be the rainbow not the cloud…

Sweet amazing human whomever you are, where ever you are, THANK YOU! I needed to find this. It helped me in ways I can not list here. Once upon a time in my life I was more comfortable being the storm instead of the sun. It really is amazing how LOVE can change a life. I am very blessed to have the best: hubster, friends, family, co-workers, WW leader/peeps. I don’t tell you enough how much you mean to me but I try. This pandemic has not been easy on any of us but you have all made it easier to cope.

Love,

Sunshinewp-1596368083975.jpg

Changes

Some times I become very aggravated because life can feel like a cycle of routine where nothing ever changes, nothing is ever new, exciting, wonderful. AND…I am so wrong about that, so so wrong. I think if this viral attack on the world has taught me anything I can honestly say that life is ever changing. Life moves at its pace not mine. Slow your roll, I’ll get to it. i think I finally get it.

March 19, 2020 seems like a lifetime ago. Hubster and I had just finished lunch. We were spending a few moments as a couple before returning to our respective duties as employees, when all hell rained down. Everyone at our warehouse was furloughed immediately until further notice. 

Today is May 29, 2020 . We are in the 72nd day of together time! 72 days of every meal being made by me, every grocery run, every chore, every errand, every, Every, EVERY, eVeRy thing rests on me. I do it alone. I GOT ANGRY yesterday, over the top anger. Listen, I know it is my fault. I spent my childhood watching my Dad do everything for my Mom. I hated how she was. She was so damaged from her traumatic childhood she never truly lived a full healthy wonderful life and my Dad enabled her. I swore my marriage would be different. So I spoiled my hubby. BIG MISTAKE! My mistake. Just like my Dad, I am an enabler. 

No matter how much a person tries you can not unfry an egg. 

Having a blog is a wonderful thing. Having a blog is a terrifying thing. I can be myself at the keyboard. The only time I really feel pressure about what I write is if I think my MIL is trolling or I leak my frustrations out about my hubster. Truths even when they are only mine can hurt the people on its periphery. I was angry with myself so yes, I yelled and carried on at my hubby. He can be such a lump sometimes but he is my lump. In sickness and in health…traditional vows blah, blah, blah…Here is my view, my truth. iloveu

Loving is not easy. I often do not love myself.  True love is more than a feeling. It is actions. ACTION by its very nature is a verb. Love is something that dies when not shared or rejected but its strength so powerful that it won’t be forgotten. It can not be contained. Nor can it be controlled or measured or handed out. It is given willingly. It lasts. It takes commitment from all parties to remain true. Love defines each relationship in its own unique wonderful way. Never take anyone’s love for granted. It is the best gift they will ever give you.

I apologized for yelling. I could’ve handle that so much better, maybe next time. Who knows? Everything changes…even me.

He…She…US

Every year the week leading up to Mother’s Day haunts me. My FIL died 24 year ago on May 8, 1996. My husband and I married only days later on May 11, 1996. If you are a believer in omens you would have walked away knowing there was a chance for better luck some place else and yet I stayed. Why did I stay? for the best of reasons, LOVE.

Love is a strange and wonderful thing. Our 24th wedding anniversary is around the corner just passed Mother’s Day. We have never had a honeymoon or a vacation to celebrate our union. There have been times when I wanted my freedom; to wallow in my sadness, to be unwanted. Lord knows I gave him permission to leave me after our failed attempts at becoming parents. Every person should have the right to pursue someone who wants or is capable of having offspring. Growing up I never would have dreamed that I was infertile but there it was staring me in the face… cold hard facts; a failure as a female. He stayed. Love is a strange and wonderful thing. Who is she? She has a aura. A light that draws people to her. Where does it come from? Why does it shine so bright?

He makes me feel like I am whole that I am beautiful. I am his everything. He is my everything. Our life together has not always been easy. Any thing worth having is worth working for. I am thankful for that everyday. I am grateful that we have had this time together minus the outside world of QUARANTINE CENTRAL. We are good for each other. He calms me down when I am ready to go AWOL. I provide him the stability of being his. I love him; he loves me. He fears for my safety, our safety. He listens to me when I am sure no one hears a word I say. He knows who I am and he loves me anyway. Love is a strange and wonderful thing.

Love the people in your life, every day is a gift worth working for. Happy Anniversary Big D. I love you.

 

Sister Act>>>Frustration & Doubt

I thought about you for most of my day yesterday. I have thoughts …if you will indulge me. I say this from my personal experience with this journey. Frustration, boy….she can be a great friend or the worst enemy you’ve ever had. I find when I am frustrated with a project that she (Frustration) often helps me to take a moment which helps me plan a new strategy or new path. However, when I am uncertain what to do she can linger longer than she should and then I find myself full of her best friend Doubt. All I can say is when those two start hanging around, Failure ,Abandonment, and Anger are usually close behind looking to get their party on. These party guest sometimes take me years to clean up after so I suggest you DON’T entertain them! Frustration is not like Joy. We all know Joy is wonderful to have around but she is fickle and often leaves a party without anyone noticing she is gone until it is too late and the air has gone out of all the balloons. Am I right? Then you might feel a little Frustrated but you know deep down that when Joy returns you will try to enjoy her more so you let Frustration go. You have the power to have Joy or Anger or Frustration or any of her other friends when you need them. Those emotions tend to be controllers in our lives instead of us guiding their use. I have often left my own journey because I GAVE UP on the power of ME! I let all of my unnamed anger, frustration, doubt rule what I want, who I want to be.

I have often dumped Joy, Love, and Acceptance by the wayside because I felt unworthy to accept their unconditional friendship. Know Your worth. Stand up for the distance you have traveled on this journey. Bad feelings are temporary. YOU CAN DO THIS! You are worth all of the struggle. You are enough. You are stronger in ways you never give yourself credit for.

I had to learn to make peace with who I am. I did not become overweight overnight. I will not get healthy overnight either. This time I do this for the best version of myself. The one I love. The one I respect. The version of myself that has learned to be JOYFUL, LOVING, ACCEPTING. Sure I still feel Frustrated but I just stopped entertaining her and her motley crew. I busy myself with things that I enjoy and things have a way of calming down.

Don’t throw your successes away, keep fighting the good fight. I am proud of you!

Never Give UP On The Person You Are Meant To Be!

Mulligan Anyone?

A mulligan is a second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or a blunder. Its best-known meaning is in golf, whereby a player is informally allowed to replay a stroke, even though this is against the formal rules of golf. The term has also been applied to other sports and games, and to other fields generally. The origin of the term is unclear. I lifted this definition from Wikipedia.
that-golf-swing

What if this is your chance? a do- over? Reach out to someone you have lost touch with.  Maybe it is someone you miss, apologize and make that relationship whole again. Or does there need to be a deep cleanse of your Facebook page? Unfriending is an option. I found myself tempted by the prospects of letting go of the toxicity that often comes with “social media”. I have set a few people free and in doing so I have set myself free. Maya Angelou has a saying “when someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them the FIRST time!” If I had only heeded this advice more often than ignored it I would have been in a much better space right now. = )

Truths? Most people on the periphery of your life DO NOT GIVE ONE DAMN about you. I am learning real friends ask how you are. Real friends owl mail special things to your door on a rainy day. Real friends laugh with you. Real friends hold each other up, build bonds, offer help. Even if that help is just a video chat, a text, or a phone call. Everyone has a village. I am proud to say that my village has the best people. Some I chose, some chose me. My family, my book club ladies, my WWs peeps, co-workers, hockey peeps,  have all become more of an important part of my life. Something in my life I never dreamed of having, acceptance for everything weird thing that makes me who I am. You know what makes me stronger? and helps me see the next day and the next day and the day after that? YOU. So in case you still have not heard my message: you are important, you are beautiful, you are wanted, you are enough. I love you. I am always waiting in the wings. Curtains up!

(virus) We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important message. Love the people in your life while they are in your life. Life is a precarious balance between good and bad, love and hate. Be in your moments, all of them, make memories, be honest, be true to who you are not what people want. Try to leave warm thoughts of you with someone instead of a trail of sadness and anger. Try to be kind to everyone, self included. You will return to your busy lives soon enough.

Untitled Four Days Ago…

Gotta love WordPress for the motivation. This post was really not untitled, it was abandoned. I stepped away from it because I was starting to crawl into that dark spot in my mind that always gets me into trouble and causes me to dwell too long on things that are irrelevant but that my anxiety princess likes to hold onto.true You know what I am talking about, yes, you do. I am good enough? Can I do this? Why is everything in such turmoil? Like being on a carousel that has gone hay wire. Except, I am the one who controls this ride. ME not the media, not the virus, not the fear…me. 

Okay, so maybe the virus isn’t helpful. ( I mean really, enough already, sigh) but this is what we are dealing with right now. I am safe. I am loved. I am needed. I AM ENOUGH. Tough times often define people. Thins out a crowd and let’s those strong enough to stand up to be seen. I wasn’t always strong. I picked it up along the way on my journey.  A girl can only cry so much either stay lost or find your way to something… Yes, I know that to some of you I seem larger than life, that people see me. It is only because I make them see. I was invisible for a long long time. In my youth I sort of skirted the outer parameters of life. People knew I was around but very few cared what was on the other side of the fence. Or at least that’s the way I always felt; until I felt love. Not parental love but love of friends, my husband, of people in and around my life. The people I have met at WWS,  people I have met at hockey, people I have met because I am bold enough to sing in public for absolutely NO REASON, people who needed other people to see them…

I see you. I see you’re anxious. We are all worried. Life can be so full of conflict. Just don’t lose sight of the fact that life is also filled with light, love, laughs. I hope that we are able to return to our most frequented paths soon. Being brave for me means refusing to give into fear, to stand up and find my way. I am often afraid and uncertain about what is coming up next in the queue of life but I am also determined to see what is next. You are never alone as long as I’m somewhere nearby =)

Much love and positive vibes until we cross paths again.

The Road Untraveled

I have never been one to sit at home. I never thought that in my lifetime I would be forced to stay home for any length of time and yet… Mother Nature is a force not to be reckoned with. Karma is a real thing. I am guessing She had a score to settle. Good times, not! Okay, enough bitchin’. I have things to say. If you are a part of my life, if you know me, not who you think I am; but, who I really am then you know that when I love it is always on a grand scale and when I hate that scale is SO MUCH LARGER.

I hate what this pandemic is turning everyone into. All the pettiness, all the conspiracies, the blame game, the stupidity, sadness, and anxiety. I get it. I am scared too. I do not want to lose the people in my life that I love. I refuse to turn into a small, petty minded, harsh jerk. In the words of a lady I met this past summer in a happy circumstance JUST STOP.
Stop and think for a moment that the older person 6 feet away from you might need to see your smile or hear you say hello or need help in a small way. You can do it and still be safe.

Everyday life is so busy and pressed for time that people have forgotten how to be kind. Just stop, smell the flowers, sing the song, go for a walk. I have done all of these every day that I have been on quarantine. I plan on doing them again tomorrow and the tomorrow after that. I hate that I no longer feel safe. Safety is like evil, people often take them both for granted. No one ever realizes how fragile their own lives are. If you are not careful with your own safety, people get hurt by it. If you don’t recognize evil in the world it can put your safety and those that you love in peril. JUST STOP.

I need you. I need you in my life. My world is so much smaller than it used to be. Stay home, get on each others nerves. Be grateful that you CAN get on someone’s nerves. I love each and every one of my friends for varied reasons. Some of you make me cry, some make me think, some push my buttons, some I like in small doses but I love each of you because you make me a better version of myself every time we are together. Be my friend and we shall journey on this adventure we call life.

 

The Heart of the Matter

I have experienced great loss in my life. My kid sister, my Mom, my Pops, my cousin Mike. I love each of them dearly in entirely different ways. Both my cousin and my sister were on the younger side of life. My world was shaken to its core the day my sister died. Losing her changed me in ways I never imagined a person could change. I am kinder. I am in my moments. I tell people I love them. I HUG. I am less guarded with my emotions, which is both a blessing and a curse. I am not perfect nor do I want to be. Some days I am still a shit. I can be hateful but I try to be the better version of myself everyday.

I am writing this because I am trying to reign in my emotions. I have had a tough couple of days which in all honesty pales in comparison to the last couple of days in life of someone I love, my Auntie T. I love this woman. She is my Mother’s kid sister. She has always been the cool Aunt. The one who took you on adventures when you were a kid. The one who bought you the Christmas gift your parents didn’t know you needed. She took me to have my picture taken by a photographer before I started Kindergarten. I was petrified of the camera. She was so patient. I am part Native American so who knows maybe our ancestors knew a thing or two about soul stealers? When I was a little girl, before my Auntie started a family of her own, she was my magic. There was always something about her, almost like an energy, a force of nature.

As life sometime goes, in the process of growing up you also grow away. Life is a selfish journey sometimes and though no one is at fault we all move in directions that sometime remove us from the people we love the most. My teen years and her own growing family changed our dynamic.  We were busy moving in our own circles. Our lives on very separate paths for a long time…and then my sister died, and my mother was not well. Over the next few years I grew closer to my Auntie again. I guess I never realized just how much she has meant to me until she told me that she needed heart surgery.

My own mother had heart surgery when she was 48 or 49 years old. She almost did not survive. My mother smoked. She was obese. She struggled with mental illness. The real problems with her recovery were linked to a 3 pack a day smoking habit and the amount of psyche meds she was on. She was in a medically induced coma for several days and her body did not want to breathe again on its own.  Eventually my mother got better and after a very long 10 months she was back to herself. The vision of my mom lying lifeless after surgery lives in my memory. Needless to say I was very afraid for my Auntie.

I prayed. Small thing, right? Not for me. Not for the girl who feels invisible, even to God. I was relieved when the text came through my phone that my Auntie had pulled through surgery ok. Maybe just this once God heard me. I went to visit with her today. She is doing well. She is so much more healthier than my poor mother ever was. She has a long recovery in front of her but she will make it. I hope she has many well lived years ahead of her. Never underestimate what you mean to someone. I have always tried to be the best example to my niece and nephews because of my Auntie T. She knows I love her but I don’t think she knows how important a role she has played in my life. Thank you for being you.

You are loved more than you know.

You are stronger than you realize.

I Love You.

 

 

The Way It Is

It had been a good shower. The water just the right amount of heat. As I sat in my office combing my hair I could hear him fumbling around. “Hmmm, it’s only 5:37 am he shouldn’t be awake yet.” I said to myself, not seeing the cat in her Circle of Doom. I know why I could hear him. Asshole, the Ninja Cat had bounced into our bedroom eager for her early morning rubs,and brush routine. She is getting old and I think a little senile so … she does what she does. She is living her best life. I only wish we could say the same.

It is frustrating getting older, not just for me but my hubby as well. He often tells me to relax, that we will work everything out but he only says that in an attempt to calm me down, so I will feel safe. Hubby works a job stripping cartons off of trailers, sorting cartons by purchase orders onto pallets and then wheeling pallets down along a dock. Sounds simple enough, but it is heavy work and the constant walking back and forth is causing him hip issues because of the physical repetitive nature of his job. I want him to be free of the pain I know he is in. I want him to be able to work a job that he can excel in, one where he is appreciated and respected but we are “blue collar” which tends to limit possibilities for advancement or new job opportunities. Add to that we are both over the age of 50 so jobs are harder for us to secure.

We have been together for over 25 years and married for 23. A huge accomplishment for me on so many levels. I struggle with myself over so many issues: childhood bullsh*t I have a hard time letting go of and all the baggage I let that trauma create and yet I am the love of his life. Some days I want to run away, to go somewhere, to break free of life and all of its responsibilities. I become filled with a rage I find difficult to shake off and sometimes I don’t want to be married or tied to anyone in anyway, shape, or form. His love keeps me tethered. He can be frustrating. He doesn’t like change. He can be very single minded about a subject. He often has expectations I feel I can not meet. I allow him to get under my skin, my frustration levels rise, sometime we bicker. I want more for him but it is not in my power to grant it.

Sometimes by Friday he is worn out with nothing more to give. I called him out of work today. Somedays I cave and stay home with him. My anger over the situation spilling out of my mouth into words designed to hurt him. I lie to myself and promise that next time I will be more understanding, that I will be more supportive, that I will hold my tongue, that I will just go to work myself and find a way to keep up with the never ending supply of bills that NEED to be paid. Today I caved. Today I kept my promise, no words spilled. Today I am being supportive. I love this man. Somehow we will figure it all out. Today I chose peace over turmoil. The greatest gift we give each other is love. A job, is what you do, not WHO you are.

Never Give Up On The Person You Are MEANT To Be