Monthly Archives: September 2014

Watching my son…

” I feel hurt, I feel betrayed. How could someone who I gave a roof to, went to bat for, bought smokes for, gave food and drink to, and stood up for a thousand times do this to me? How many times did I tell his father that this time, his son had changed? How many times did I talk to the girlfriend’s parents, standing up for my friend? And now he comes into the house and steals from me? I know that I can be a doormat sometimes but oh my god, why would he do this to me? Fool me once, shame on you… fool me twice, shame on me. I’m done, with a capital D!”

I watched the color drain from my son’s face, watched his body tense and his eyes lose a little sparkle. It was agonizing, and all I could do was listen. I knew this about his friend, have addressed it several times with both boys, even the “friend” in this instance. He is the equivalent of a human anchor that can drown my sons even in the shallowest waters. I ask him repeatedly to stay away but he always comes back and drama ensues…today is perfect proof. I watched my son physically battle the anger and frustration and disgust and betrayal. Every inch of his body reflected the emotion coursing through his mind and his heart. He lost a little something today and I saw it happen…it’s one of the hardest events I have ever witnessed or been a part of. My heart aches as I watch my son.

He continues speaking, moving onto today’s second crisis that immediately followed the first. His father, in his wisdom, decided today that since his scooter broke down (ie the engine blew up) that he would take back the vehicle my son has been working on. New battery, new tires, soon to have new power steering lines, brake lines, shocks & struts…$750 for a vehicle his father had put aside, left to rot and disintegrate in my yard. I watched my son stand up and say NO- that is NOT the way this is going down. His father replied…well you can have the truck once you officially have your license. I watched my son try to process the words he was hearing, trying to balance the theft by his friend on top of now being told his vehicle was being taken back…rage, anger, frustration, a quick flash of hopelessness, betrayal. His father saw it as well and called him selfish. (he will not have that vehicle after my son and I did all the footwork and negotiating to get those repairs completed. the truck will remain my son’s vehicle, regardless of whatever consequences and repercussions may follow.)

I watched my son battle two betrayals in a row, try to process how people can treat him this way, understand that not everyone shows the same loyalty and respect to him as he shows them. I watched him become enraged. I watched my young man mirror the upset little child he once was…I saw the same hurt, the same anger, the same sadness wash over his beautiful face. I continued to listen, inputting my “mom” only where it was needed…I sat with him, didn’t leave his side until he got up to go do boy stuff. I watched a soul splitting battle that will forever damage who my son is, how he will view the world, who he will trust, and potentially who and how he loves. I watched my son…

Contrast…

I’ve slacked a bit in getting these assignments done, but decided that contrast is an easy topic for me. A little fun and yes, I admit, I’m cheating on this one!! There are two dimensions in which I have lived my life, the North and the South. Being a true Mainah, there are so many elements about Maine and New England that I truly love. However, having spent time in North Carolina, there are too many elements of that lifestyle that truly overpower the Mainah in this country gal. The only way to describe it is with pictures…two pictures, that is all it will take.

Picture 1 is taken at Carolina Beach, North Carolina, about three miles down the road from my cute little condo that sadly, I had to leave when my family refused to adjust and transition (yes, still a bitter pill that I choke on from time to time!)

nc beach bar

Picture 2 is taken in Berwick, Maine in my front yard after 1 snowstorm that was thirty two inches of the horrid white stuff! Mind you, I have grown up in cold weather but never, at any point in my life, have I been a fan of this cold weather! My family, ie boys, on the other hand love it and were in the throes of building a huge fort.

snow

The contrast is that my heart and soul love and need the warmth and energy that the sun brought to me on a daily basis. I was literally warmed to the core while taking leisurely strolls daily along the beach. I miss the south immensely but understand my family never feeling it could be considered home. At the same time, with snow abundant in our part of southern Maine, I would not trade a second of seeing my boys happy and active again, getting out of the house, rounding up the crew and building a snow fort or lighting a bonfire or heading to someone’s house for a pool party.

They say home is where the heart is, and when it is in two places at once, contrast is the perfect word I would use to explain it. As a mother, my heart loves the warmth and sunshine and crashing waves and year round lifestyle I was able to live in North Carolina…and at the same time, none of that is worth it if my boys are not right there with me! All the warmth and color in the world mean nothing without their laughter and smiles, hearing them whisper in brother code behind a closed door, or watching them walk out each morning and hearing them greet me. Contrast …  yup, this is mine!!!

 

 

Please welcome a friend….

Already it appears a good thing is happening for T. Looking forward to shared adventures and tales!!
http://my2weeknotice.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/here-it-is/

In transition…

While I have embarked on this blogging and writing challenge, day three under the belt and still going, I’m feeling there may be something to this journey of rediscovering a long lost voice, finding the courage to share it, finding the value in what I’m doing, to really contribute something important at some time in the future. How can there not be when there are so many out there going through a similar process…whether our kiddos are moving away, growing up, going to college, writing their own next chapters; or people who are moving out of the traditional workforce to find their own avenues and businesses and opportunities; or women who are rediscovering themselves, their voices, their strengths, etc. I’ve been so blessed to meet so many of those new voices lately and am feeling very inspired.

That being said, it’s time to break out my business books and begin looking not only at where I am but where I want to go, what a solid plan of attack is to get there, what that will mean for my work/life balance, solid resources and sources of information, and how to implement all of that information into my own path and if blessed, share that information with the others out there. I’m telling you, I am on to something here and know it’s of value to someone other than just myself. I’m not pulling in the whole hormonal menopausal bit, simply the transition of the young family to that of a more mature family and finding a balance that is encouraging to all while creating open space to spread large wings for stop & go flights before the big journey begins.

 

HI to the neighbors…

As with any endeavor or new career choice, networking is a huge part of the process. Not only do you meet your local owners, businesses, etc, you meet the local market and culture. Having spent five years in staffing and recruiting, networking was a regular part of my position…bonus points that I got paid to go and mingle, attend after hour dinner parties and speaking engagements, meet the local companies and business owners. Bonus that in meeting those folks, I was building relationships, finding common ground, sharing stories, hearing how companies had been done wrong by other agencies and having the opportunity to fix those errors…I did well in this field and loved every minute of it!

Writing and blogging for me has become much the same. I follow blogs that seem to be like minded, and when I find photography sites or blogs with random eccentric ideas, I tune into those as well. I’m noticing my field of view isn’t quite as wide as it once was and needs retuning from time to time, and there’s nothing like being caught totally off guard and finding oneself smiling! There are so many options out there, so many amazing people and writers, and I’ve been blessed to find other like minded writers…photographers, musicians, writers, mothers, successful business women. It’s like the gathering of an orchestra…melodies, harmonies, sharps and flats, racing tempos, and beats that make me want to tap/sing along. I forgot…TRAVELERS!!! There is one blog in particular I recommend to everyone…it’s called LiveLaughRV.net. It’s the lifestyle I dream one day will be my own…fantastic, well written, photographs, humor, television references and just  smile after smile. If you have a minute, take a look. I’ve told the writer, Ingrid, that reading her blog daily is like a mental vacation/getaway…too much fun.l

I didn’t reminisce about songs…music was such a huge part of my life and still is. Whether its classic rock, country, classical, some hip hop, or whatever, I have a silly memory or some sappy romantic moment that flashes through my mind. My favorite music memories just to be brief…dancing with my little boy to Always be my baby…jumping in circles on my bed with both boys to Montel Jordan and Blackstreet…dancing with my husband at our wedding to More than Words…watching my sister dance at her wedding with my nieces to You are beautiful by Christina Aguilera…hearing my father sing along with Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Marty Robbins, George Jones, Randy Travis…. hearing my own boys sing along, or rap along to whatever song is storming through the radio…being in a car full of boys dancing and singing out loud on my oldest son’s 16th birthday  (though they were really hoping they could sell my husband on a trip to Hooters to celebrate!)

So there it is … Hello to my neighbors. I’ve read and continue to read your blogs. I can relate as a mom, wife, sister, woman, person, coworker, writer…whether it is shared music, shared ideas, shared feelings, my world is expanding and blogging has been a big piece of that.

The Habit of Writing…

Getting back into the habit of writing is by far my biggest challenge, and I repeat that to myself in blog drafts from a while ago. My goal is to find my voice, get comfortable with it, and by God, do something with it besides sit at my desk. There has to be something more…(I think there’s a song in that somewhere)

While time management is a huge part of my day to day, getting home to clean the house, cook a meal, do those dishes, be a mom, drive my son to work, etc takes a toll on my available time. My mind spins constantly with thoughts and ideas, and I find that not getting them down in writing means I lose them, or the thought becomes less focused and directed as it appeared when it was originally running wild and free through my mind. Finding time for me and for writing is by far the toughest assignment I face every day! I know that about myself and am working on it, so please bear with me!

That being said, my real focus these days is the transition my entire family is going through. I’m the one person that works and provides full time support to my house. My husband works part time…”and that’s all I have to say about that!” My oldest son is working on getting his truck fixed, just began a new full time position as a laborer/apprentice in a machine shop, and my youngest son goes to school full time and works almost full time. My boys are on the brink of creating that next chapter, taking that next step, and that is where my heart and mind run full bore wide open all the time. Getting them to that next place/step is forefront at all times…doing whatever it takes to make their transition into life one level smoother. I want them to move forward with money in their pockets, self earned money but money just the same…my parents were unable to pave the way for me, and I am in the same boat with my own kids. I see that as having failed them though I was able to provide the rest of the skills to make them successful “contributing members of society.” I don’t know…my thought train just jumped off the tracks…15 minutes is up thank goodness!

Say My Name…

Oh my goodness! Being as sarcastic as I am with a small touch of naughty, say my name is a little more than I wish to exclaim on my blog. However, I get the theory…how will I be found if you don’t know who I am. My blog is already on the money for me, so I don’t feel the need to make changes to that piece of information…Kathylynn Bentz by day and to most of the world, Maine Mama to those who know my online voice and personality. Is change part of my journey? Absolutely, but do I wish to make that change just now…I don’t think so!

My title line and caption will remain the same as it is true to who I am. I never know who or what might strike my fancy, when my intended message may jump into a book or some interesting facts, or when my brain may be a bit scattered and the reader finds a round of chatter. This is true to who I am…no title changes or subtitle changes are required.

However, in line with the Say My Name assignment…I can say that I was instantly reminded of the Destiny’s Child song. “Say my name, say my name…if no one is around you say baby I love you, if you aint runnin’ games!” A little pop culture from when the kiddoes were small and coaching cheer clinics took the better part of a summer!!!

Unlock the mind…here we go!

Having signed up for both Writing 101 and Blogging 101, my goal is simply to gain confidence in the voice that for so long has haunted me as being lost, or even worse, no worth hearing, reading or listening to. I tend to speak in circles, following the proper etiquette with transitions and grammar and whatnot, always circling back to my original thought and ideas. It thrills and terrifies me to openly talk/write but provides such a great way of reviewing where I have been and what I may learned, what I may need to relearn. There’s therapy in writing, at least for me, and that has been my goal in this year’s writing.

My journals are tucked away, and while I have one that I keep with me at all times, it is blogging I love best as I can now type almost as fast as my mind rolls and much faster than I can hand write. And typing is so much neater (though I still love the handwriting and personal touch paper and pen bring to the world and to my life.) My original blog was simply a way to rediscover my voice, one that seemed to have gotten lost in the years of being a mother, being married, working full time. I did a little work on it but it lacked some serious heart.

Now, having turned 42 in January, and having read a book that reminded me where I was lacking and how i might begin a new approach, blogging took on a whole new meaning. I felt like I had direction…forward, onward, upward. I have obstacles to overcome, but on a good hike or climb, who doesn’t find the occasional puckerbrush or big rock? I no longer worry so much, while writing about what’s around the next corner…though I still doubt my voice and wonder whether or not my words serve any really purpose or still, have any real value to anyone but me. I may never scale that cliff…and that is why I’m here.

Ding…time’s up!! I’m here to strengthen that voice, use my positive energy and mindset to move forward, and somehow make it/writing not only therapeutic but a career. I need this…I’m suffocating in my office…I’m tired of watching vs. feeling the sunshine ya know?

“Who I am and why I’m here”

Since the first time I was given free license to be creative, and believe me that was quite some time ago, my heart has taken to writing and fortunately, it felt completely natural even on the most writing blocked days. Writing felt and still feels like an extension of myself!  That being said, the person I am on the outside – mom, wife, worker, sister, friend, goofball tall red headed mama no doubt plays a huge role in the writing and voice I tend to create. I’m no one famous, no major published pieces of literature outside of college newspaper stories, local newspaper stories, and a guest appearance for cheerleading holiday crafts (that is a story for another day though).

My initial goal in creating my blog was to get back to the basics, rediscover a voice that I was afraid had gone away. I was at a period in my life where there was much change happening, and I couldn’t keep a promise to myself (like writing) let alone to anyone else. I used my blog as an outlet to share the adventures of my new transition, to NC, not only as a journal and memory keeper, but as a way to stay in touch with friends and family. Blogging led to posting photos and getting positive feedback…my voice was becoming more sure, more solid, and more like the old me, the true me. I kept writing…I fed on the positive energy and kept writing…I thanked everyone for their feedback and kept writing. I was finding that long lost voice and spirit, and from there it has just continued.

My writing still focuses on the positive aspects in my life, whether home or work or life or mom or family related. I find myself lifted in sharing my writing publicly because you never know who is reading, who may be sharing a similar moment, who may be in need of some random thought or positive message that day. Books speak to me that way, as if a certain sentence is written just for me…and on more than one occasion, it’s another mom or aunt or friend or family member who can relate to what I’m writing. My therapy brings someone else a little solace…a word, sentence, or posted photograph. Is there anything better than that feeling?

And where am I, the Maine Mama, headed? My writing tends to be about family, photos, positive energy, moving forward, staying focused, and refusing to give up. I am moved by the voices of strong women, individually or in group settings…the stories of humanity and overcoming through simple acts or words…about rising out of our daily grind to overcome and succeed with flying colors. That is who I am and why I am here…I’m moving forward, onward, upward…overcoming challenges, staying strong, taking pride in where I have been and how that path brought me to where I am now. I am the Maine Mama!!