Monthly Archives: January 2014

Today…

Today, waking up to the warmth in my room, I felt positive and energized, ready to grab the day by the horns and get to it. Work has, so far, been very productive and I’m feeling encouraged. I’ve realized about work that right, I’ve “topped out” as I have the position that no one else really wants. Knowing this gives me knowledge that my predecessor already possessed…that she couldn’t move ahead without somone else being taught, kicking and screaming, the details of her position. Instead, she opted out and left the training to someone else, for someone new…ME! The irony is that a year ago, I would have found this news of minimal growth overly disappointing. On the plus side, my comfort with this position and the various tasks it entails allows me the freedom to sneak in a blog or two on occasion (hence yesterday’s book review on My Literary Desserts page.)

I feel today like I could take on the world. I’m broke as all get out until payday, and can’t wait to get home again. Cook up something delicious and spend time with my son. Granted, he has a girlfriend now who chats him up all night on Skype, but even his presence brings a serene comfort to my world and my sould. There is nothing like it. My oldest son is the same…no girlfriend but a solid quiet presence who’s inner strength amazes me every time I look at him. The two of them, my sun and moon, bring such comfort and balance. They’re wonderful…every bit as perfect as I imagined them, all faults included in my description of perfect. In so many ways they are like me, and in other ways, my polar opposites…comfort, love, stability, and balance! We are a good blend.

Onward and upward, not letting the small things get to me, taking each challenge in stride, overcoming the sad news that I may have topped out in my job, and so comforted by the boys who will be home when I get there. It’s the little things, and as a smile passes over my face, I look forward to the rest of today and the excitement and challenges tomorrow may bring!

On me…

 

Having grown up the oldest child in a single parent household, I was given a handful of responsibility at the wise old age of 8! As the oldest child, I spent many mornings getting myself and my sister ready for school, walking together to catch the bus at the friend of the family’s house, and making sure that as we left the bus, that my sister had what she needed. School was easy, for both of us, then home to await the return of our mother…never leaving the house or yard until she returned. We weren’t unsafe in our ultra-rural town, and our neighbors watched over us. We stayed inside, cleaned the living room, made sure the kitchen wasn’t a wreck, and that our laundry was downstairs. But I was 8!

I’m thinking, in the scheme of things, that 8 is where this all started. “This all” is a high level of accountability, responsibility, expectations, and a stubborn streak that never allows me to give up. “This all” has been the biggest positive and negative in my life. “This all” to which I hold myself each day makes me someone people can count on, come to for help, depend on, and rely on. “This all” has made motivation and drive second nature for me, and introduced me to lots of people with those same goals; and to lots more without those goals. “This all” has been helpful most of my life…my mother is proud of me, a strong young woman, educated, well spoken, well respected, a good mother who holds her children to those expectations. My father things I’m the coolest, smartest, most talented woman to come down the pike since his own mother…and believe me, that is a huge compliment!!

“This all”…

Notice that “this all” doesn’t speak to the emotions, feelings, love. Granted, the love for my friends and family is a given, comes naturally, is like breathing air. But having grown up the oldest child in a single parent household, I never saw the model of a relationship, and that is where “This All” has become a hindrance in my world. I’ve been married for almost 23 years, to a single child of a single parent household…no sharing space, no sharing time or toys, no sharing of morning routines or after school rituals, just him…no expectations, no need to be motivated, no push to drive or excel but only to exist. To me, this is very sad…on a number of levels. He said it wasn’t overly lonely and that he was ok to just “settle” as it was what seemed to work in his house. SETTLE…red flag. 

On my side of the window, “this all” serves me well in getting it all done – full time job, household managed, chores complete, meals cooked, one kiddo graduated and the other within a year of completion. His side of the window – he works part time which is more than enough. K is doing her job, I’m just going to rest for 12 hours here on the couch and flip through the television channels. On my side, there’s no excuse for 12 hours on a couch unless you’re dead or really sick (and by sick, I mean a small child who is tucked in his blankets and wants to watch cartoons and movies with mom/dad). His side – Snoring now. My side – anger because there is still so much to do and accomplish and get done. His side – he twitches in his sleep. I continue the quest; keep working on laundry, dishes, whatever needs completion. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…almost done, almost there…His side – he awakens “I’m really hungry.” My side – REALLY??? I mean “I’m going to start cooking momentarily” through a rage that nearly kills me to stifle.

This weekend, THIS ALL got the best of me and blew through my household like a dam blown apart during a tsunami. THIS ALL took hold of my voice and cut loose, very calm and honest, straightforward and with direction, clear of what changes had to evolve for anything to go any further in “our” life. It’s on me now to manage the hold that THIS ALL has over my life. It’s on me to stand by my convictions for the first time in ages. It’s on me to hold true to who I am and what I want. It’s on me if this all sounds selfish but I am married with two boys, not the single mother of three. While I cannot undo damage already inflicted, I can move into the future making better choices for myself and my children. THIS ALL, while it may be the undoing of my marriage, may reestablish the beginning of my life…at 42…the oldest daughter of a single parent household.

And out of the darkness….

And out of the darkness a new light shines … a new day, a new smile, a new voice, a new thought, a new confidence, and a new comfort level that has been lacking in my life for so very long. Even numbered years are often eye openers for me, leading me to a higher level of thinking and processing, forcing me to re-examine certain elements of my life and my world. I keep coming back to the same thought…when my heart is in writing and photography, even though some of those edges are still a bit jagged and in need of polishing, why is it that I’m not doing this full time?

Now granted, my bank account strongly disagrees with what I want in this world, to travel and write. But what if, just what if, I could transition, one piece at a time, into writing full time, taking pictures full time, and incorporating that passion into a paycheck. I’ve got a great mind for details, can put words to almost anything, have penned a few published articles, and receive much encouragement from friends and family. All those positives yet here I sit, at my safe little desk in my cozy little office…but that time is rapidly approaching for me where flip flops become my dress shoes and my camera bag becomes my accessory of choice along with a notepad or tablet to jot down ideas.

The more I think about it, the more I smile. Onward and upward, moving forward for the first time in a long time towards my heart and passion, towards beaches and adventure, sunshine and smiles, meeting new faces and seeing new places and locations, and documenting each fresh footstep left behind. Yes, as a smile crosses my face, I’m just on the brink…the time is coming…so many ideas, so little time!  

The angle rounded to whole degrees for which a rainbow appears (the critical angle)??

42 is the correct number, though per my father, I don’t officially reach that number until 1030pm tonight, at which time I will still be laughing it up with friends at Chili’s OR already home in a margarita coma! Either way, 1030 will be a hit as I round another turn on the ball field of life. 42nd time around, surrounded by those that I love; those who have always been and will always be my biggest fans.

However, I just wanted to share my bizarre 42 factoid…being a fan of rainbows, I thought it was a lovely connection to my age for this season!

Birthday Bonanza!

From what I’ve gathered I am one of the few that as an adult still enjoy my birthday, still enjoy being queen for the day, and always figure out a way to rally my troops for a fun night out! This year, we have at least 12, headed to a local Chili’s Bar & Grill…the restaurant has been called/warned to expect a large crowd around 7pm! And with $75 in gift cards it could prove quite a night!! My friends are a little loud, definitely silly, and always fun to be around. None of us have a lot, from a financial standpoint, but our friendship and laughter brings us much joy and has been a true blessing in my life.

I’ve tried to figure out why, as an adult, my birthday is such a big deal for me. Yes, I admit that part of it is simply being the center of attention, but there’s something else. It’s knowing that I have survived another year, overcome obstacles last season that I wasn’t sure I could get over or around, rose above situations when I just wanted to duck out, and continued moving forward in my life. I didn’t take shortcuts to get where I am, and while my current view could be improved, I’m happy and healthy and blessed. That’s a pretty good birthday to me…I can look back with a smile, look ahead with energy and enthusiasm, and look around my present and just glow with happiness, love, pride, and a heartwarming admiration and thankfulness for all that I have and am.

Onward and Upward

Lost in my own oblivion of more writing, organizing my house, managing my life and those of my kiddoes, I’ve found that I failed to look outwardly just long enough to miss a key element of someone else’s need for change. The someone else I’m referring to is my niece, who having just turned 18 on the 5th, signed herself into Rehab. Yes, as in “They try to make me go to Rehab but I wont go, no no!”  While I knew there were some herbal remedies floating in her repetoire, I had no idea that we had surpassed green and gone on to something else. Her crowd is just varied enough that it would have been difficult to make an actual call on the severity of party favors…

She decided yesterday or maybe over the course of the weekend, to take charge of her life. She had a straight conversation with her mother (my sister) and really put herself out there. She was completely honest, laying before my sister the menu of herbal and other party favors that have become a regular part of her life. She closed by telling her mother that it was time to get it together, to stop all this sillyness, and that she/my niece wanted to sign herself into Rehab. Six months…she will be just over two hours from us all, can have visitors on Saturdays. I can only hope that the goal of this program and that my niece’s determination stay in line with each other; that the brave choice leaves my niece feeling accomplished, clean, sober, healthy, happier; that this program allows her not only to continue her education but also to further herself, her artistic abilities, and her employment and professional plans.

I’m very proud of this young woman, the decision she has made for herself. Selfishly, I admit that I am sad that she is leaving. Although we don’t spend enough time together, her presence and spirit are always with me, and there is something very calming and familiar about that. However, despite my “sad” feeling, there is also such a glowing sense of pride and admiration for the bravery it had to have taken to make this life changing decision…to move from everyone and everything you know and commit to something like this. My sister and I BOTH admitted last night that we would never have had that kind of courage.

So onward and upward for my niece…time to kick out the bad and focus on the good; to find ways of coping with weaknesses and letting her strengths shine through (and she has many, just needs the courage to take the bright path). Onward and upward…north to Augusta!

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

This is a great article…definitely worth a read!!

 

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself.