Author’s Note: I found this blog on my computer, written last April, but not published until today.
Writing has become difficult these days. My brain races from topic to topic. One thing I know is that it would be really easy to list the things I don’t have.
- I lost my job today. I don’t have a rainy day fund. Like California, my bank account is in a drought.
- My son may be heading to prison next month. Mental illness combined with addiction just SUCKS. Just when things are going well, “it” comes out and bites you bad, knocks the breath out of you and feels like acid on your tongue.
- The divorce is still not f-ing finished even though we separated almost seven years ago.
- I grieve after putting my goofy big dog down in February because he had a brain tumor.
- Mom is in the hospital again with a blood clot. Not good.
Lucky for me there is something deep down that that moves me and keeps me from getting stuck. “It’s not my style to be negative,” I say when people ask me how I persevere. Don’t get me wrong. I have moments and sometimes days when I slip into sadness. I am human. I walk that fine line; fearing the fall into another depression. (the sticky dark pit)
My strategy? Every day I live what I speak and my strategy is to focus on my choices. Without choices I WOULD feel hopeless. I would be stuck and probably dead.
I ask myself, “If I don’t like it, can I make a change? Will I practice gratitude or wallow in negativity? “
- The Job—I won’t get caught without an emergency fund again. I will find a new job and make good use of the time off.
- My Son—I can’t describe the pain I feel when my son struggles. It is a visceral ache with no remedy that I carry every waking moment and often in my dreams. Despite numerous hospitalizations and arrests, he is alive. He has his own path and purpose in this lifetime. My lesson is to love without judgment while surrendering any concept of blame or control.
- The Divorce—uhhhh. Enough already! I am going to get this done before the end of the year. Realizing I will never receive the apology I seek from the “X”, I can forgive myself and then celebrate my courage, integrity and endurance.
- Bosco—you were one of a kind dog and so many warm memories remain. I did everything I could but you told me it was OK when you stopped wanting to take walks or tear up the garbage.
- Mom– we can spend time together and I can try to help without the pressure of working.
What else will I do?
I will dance
I will cocoon.
I will laugh.
I will sleep.
I will give.
I will learn.
I will breathe.
I remember the day I understood that MY happiness was strictly MY responsibility. I had been...
There are times when you just need to be alone. Decompress, evaluate, cry, binge on TV, sleep, eat cookies, fret, eat more cookies and then WRITE about it.
I’ve found myself requiring more solace than usual lately. Respite and quiet times are healing but to the outside observer, this may look like isolation. In a way I guess I do isolate myself but this is a necessary part of my self-care regime. BUT, if you don’t see me surface after a few days, please check on me. I may have been arrested and hello, there is no internet in jail.
I don’t want to complain but let me take a sec to give frame to my need for space.
The job I have loved for the last 29 months came abruptly to an end on Friday. While I knew it was likely, I told myself I had at least six more weeks before it ended. It isn’t that I haven’t been looking for a new position because I have! My heart was still tied to the company because I worked with really good people (minus one)! Good people who work hard, play hard, laugh at themselves and laugh at me for my creative (a.k.a. critical and controlling) ways. I salute you!
You see, I have only been unemployed once and just for six months. I had a husband to rely on then and my bruised ego didn’t have to worry about paying the bills. Now it is just me. JUST ME and no safely net. Will I be OK? Yes. I will figure things out. I am going to make the most of this opportunity.
Last night I started watching a new series on Netflix where the main character goes to federal prison for carrying drug money once when she was 22 and very stupid. Looking at 15 months in the pen, she tells her fiancé that she plans to get ripped, read all the books on her Amazon wish list and maybe even, learn a craft. I think that this is perfect advice for me!!
- Time to exercise. No excuses about my schedule.
- Read, read, and read. My favorite thing to do!
- Craft– you bought a vintage sewing machine. The possibilities are endless.
- I will add one more to the list.
- GET SHIT DONE.
I am starting a list of the things I want to tackle like get a serious grasp of my finances. God willing, I will move from the UNdivorce to the DONEdivorce. Further explore my love of storytelling and find a writing mentor. Boost my visibility as a voice actress and launch a self-marketing campaign. Organize the photos. Get a will. Date, cook, dance and enjoy the company of amazing friends.
Hopelessness is contagious but so is gratitude. I could be angry or I could be happy. The choice is mine. Watch out now, here I come.
From the heart,
Hello there friends! Wondering where the heck I have been? Well, let me tell you, I have been “embracing change”. So as I nurse my heat wave induced headache and my second pineapple margarita, I am happy to bring you up to date.
My friend Jo asks me what is going on with my divorce or rather the “UN-divorce”. Don’t you love that? The divorce that never progresses! Despite the tease of mediation, I still have nothing substantial to report. I got sidetracked when I found out I had to move. I will get to the divorce as soon as I recharge my tanks. Lesson learned? What does a piece of paper have to do with my happiness? Nothing unless of course we are talking about a settlement check. :0
Let me say a little more about Jo, a friend from my first days in California (notice how I didn’t say OLD friend?) We haven’t seen each other in a very long time. What is miraculous is that we had lived in the same neighborhood for the past two years without running into each other. As soon as I move to a new place, we see each other at a local grocery counter during lunch! Twenty six years ago she gave me a place to stay when I arrived here all white bread and corn fed from the Midwest. She is still as genuine as ever and I consider it such a gift to have reconnected. Lesson learned? It was’tn by chance we ran into each other. It was meant to be. I needed to feel grounded.
Yes, my big move. With little notice, I was told the house I was renting was going on the market. Nothing like being thrown head first into a big stressor but then again, I firmly believed that there would be something good awaiting me. Three weeks later when another friend Katy found me at the gas station searching for a Tootsie Roll at 10pm in tears, she reminded me of the power of visualization. After sucking down the candy, I wrote out exactly what I wanted in my new home and hung it on my refrigerator. One day later the perfect townhouse was listed on Craig’s List and I grabbed it. It was meant to be. Lesson learned? VISUALIZE while eating a Tootsie Roll.
Now that I had the move conquered, it was time to put a little attention to romance. Why several gentlemen couldn’t see my “fabulousity” (a Real Housewives word!) is a mystery to me but it is clearly their loss! Finally I met a fine man I’ll call Mr. Sweetness. We had a record three dates only to find out that there is this little thing between us that I find incompatible. Today I am bummed out, feeling the letdown. The excitement and attention made my 50 year old brain feel 15 again. Mr. Sweetness gives me hope that there are other wonderful, communicative men in the world! I will get back on the horse (stallion preferred) and keep trying! Lesson learned? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
There were a few other things going on too like a minor surgery, seeing a loved one’s resilience after relapse and wondering if I would still be employed by end of...
The Christmas holiday in my little Zen Den was simply wonderful. I hope that you too enjoyed a lovely December celebration whether it was alone or with family and friends.
There are many things that could (and did!) stress me out over the holidays. See my blog entry called “Christmas Crisis” if you are curious. However this year I experienced a new pressure. I felt the pressure to “be in a relationship” or at least have a date every time I attended a holiday party.
Why does it really matter?
Why does the pressure seem higher for single people at the holidays? There are millions of people out there dreaming of ending their dysfunctional relationships. They are envious of people like me eating take-out food in front of the TV while they have to dazzle others with witty conversation and their understanding of current events.
Is it the cold weather that drives the desire to hold hands and cozily cuddle up?
Is it primal behavior?
Or is it just bull shit?
Well, I am going to put a scratch to this itch and pony up. Ok, that sounded really strange! Let me clarify. I am officially in search of a relationship. Correction, please. I’ll start with trying to converse with an interesting gentleman!!!! I’ll take it slow. I am search of a quality date.
It makes a great deal of sense to try on-line dating. There is a nice safety net with virtual communication. I can screen out those that can’t spell or read! I can paste my profile and hope that I attract someone who matches my list of 59 “must haves”. Just kidding—I only have a few “must haves” like you MUST be single, kind, loyal, honest and intelligent. OK, a few more. You must be able to support yourself and communicate well. OK, OK. And you must live within 30 miles of me. There.
One of the dating sites asked a question that I don’t know how to answer. Can you believe it? I am haunted by this damn question. Help me with this, “What is one thing that you want people to know about you?” List one thing. Only one!
OK, if I let my thoughts fly, I could easily fill this page but that is not the exercise. I need to come up with one thing. Well then, why is it so hard to settle on one thing? I know myself pretty well but I find it impossible to prioritize my attributes. Plus I want to show I have a sense of humor. What am I going to say?
Does this mean I am over confident and a little arrogant or insecure and fearful of saying the wrong thing? I am confused. I will set this aside for tonight and trust that the answer will bubble up from my heart by morning. I’d love to hear what you think too.
I found this quote on a blog called Cindy T is for Triathlon. “They said the only way to get over a broken heart is to fall in love again. So I fell in love with myself. Best relationship of my life!”
How true! I am my own best company. I needed to fall in love with myself all over again which sets the stage for me...
I am celebrating Olympic Gold here in the Zen Den!!!
Twenty five years ago I moved to California and in a blink twenty five years later, I am starting again—my way. In just the last two years I have experienced a move, a new job, the death of a parent and deciding to move forward on my divorce PLUS I became an empty nester all while facing my 50th birthday. If I recounted all that has happened in the last five or ten years—you’d swear I was a reading straight from the pages of a great work of fiction. Too much drama for one person to endure!
Therefore, to celebrate the trials and tribulations of my last quarter century, I am awarding myself Gold medals in the categories of Mental Gymnastics and Emotional Track and Field. I have performed like a champion!
Hands down, this is the happiest time of my life. Why you ask? Because I learned that being happy begins with the intention of being happy; then you have to make happy happen. Make more happy, think less crappy. (I have not been drinking (much) today.)
I minimize, eliminate and avoid the things that don’t make me happy. Let me clarify, I don’t avoid responsibility. I live through uncomfortable moments and learn from them. I refuse to be victimized by my struggles. Where there is pain there is growth whether I am ready for it or not. I don’t grin and bear it but rather I grit my teeth and swear.
I also laugh at the weirdest moments. Like when I walked into the county jail to visit someone only to realize I was wearing my bright red 4th of July tank top that said, in sequins no less, “I Love Freedom”. I didn’t plan this of course—I wouldn’t be that insensitive. There lies the funny.
I also thanked a quiet man who approached me in the grocery store yesterday to say, “Your aura is huge and warm and that of a healer. Standing next to you I feel just as good as when I am home cuddling with my eight cats.” I kid you not. It was a “bless your heart” moment –more sweet than creepy. I’ve decided that I may be a super hero in disguise and since the name Kittylicious is already taken, you can call me Madam Meow. Is this funny or is it just me??
Or the time I was standing in the library when a wiry four foot tall silver haired elder grabbed a book right out of my hands saying she had seen it first, she just needed time to walk across the room to pick take if off the shelf. One of the few times I found myself speechless! Had to laugh at that one…. I was bullied by a tiny granny!
The brain is pliable and can be rewired for positivity after just a few weeks of concerted effort. If you feel that you have nothing to celebrate, look again. You may be looking for miracles while missing...