#Epic.FAIL….

5 Apr

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SOooooo, I was being just a tad bit nosy last week…cyber stalking a former friend’s page….a little Face Book voyeurism, if you will…
Don’t judge! You know you’ve done it too!
Truth is, I miss her.  She is hysterically funny, loyal and just fun to be around.
She is also pushy, controlling and demanding.
We ALL have our issues, don’t we?
However,  for the latter reasons, and the seeping of such into my world, I decided to end our friendship.  
We broke up.
Truth is, I changed. She didn’t.
Don’t get it twisted though, she didn’t need to change.
She is perfect just the way she is.  Just not a perfect fit into my life.
Through a painful period of self analysis, I realized boundaries were lacking in many of my relationships.  Internally, was bleeding….carving myself up every time I fed the need to please addiction raging under the surface.
Something…had…to…change.
I HAD to change.
Truth is, I needed some time to focus on me….on my marriage….on the boundary lines that had eroded over decades until I no longer recognized myself when I looked in the mirror…only the pencil outline remained of a  perfect mom, of a perfect wife….striving to be even more perfect with every breath.
Truth is, I only had room for one other human on my tattered, old boat. It was setting sail…Pushing away from the dock, I wasn’t even sure it would float with the additional weight. It was already taking on water, puddling and pruning my toes. In the days that followed, we fought for ground through ragging  storms, through silent nights….at times our arms flailing wildly, threatening to capsize the boat.
There were days that I thought we’d die on the water…someone would find our boat floating, empty and lifeless.  Would they even know we were there?  Would our bones remain with the memories? Would they say a prayer for a marriage lost?
Motor less, we had to learn to paddle in sync to make it to shore…. slowly at first… Then suddenly, the water calmed. The sun a little less harsh….we found a bit of comfort in the space…some peace…able to raise our heads and recognize beauty in the small gestures.
Soooo, when I received a notification that my former friend accepted my Facebook friend request…I was stunned. I hadn’t sent it…or at least I didn’t MEAN to send it….
Epic.F-A-I-L.
 
I fessed up through email …acknowledging my nosiness…

A spade is a spade….an embarrassing spade this was, indeed…

I didn’t want to un-friend her….left it up to her to decide how to move forward. In retrospect, maybe that wasn’t fair….
I honestly didn’t want to inflict more pain….and secretly I was hoping that one day, through the slow erosion of the defensive walls we built for self protection, we would be able to find friendship again.
What followed was a bit out of a high school text book…Social media brings out the inner teenager, doesn’t it? I was mistaken to believe we could co-exist without issue. There is still to much pain…to much heartache….
Truth is, she is entitled to feel the way she does…just as I am.
These days, I try to live in a drama free zone…yet I’m finding myself stuck smack dab in the middle of this bulls-eye….
Unfortunately, yet unapologetically, this boat still only has two seats.  Thankfully, K and I are closer to land now than ever before.

Still on the journey but not lost at sea….

Deeply

14 Mar

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I didn’t realize I was angry.

It snuck up on me the way the ocean consumes the sand on windless day. Slowly. Inch.by.Inch.  Before I knew it, there was no place to sit….No way I could deny it’s presence.

I haven’t heard your voice in four years.  I think I miss your wicked sense of humor most.  They way you could shake me out of myself with something hilariously sarcastic..and the way I would laugh for days about it when the memory resurfaced…

How I sobbed when you left.  Strange and deep, from the pit of my soul, I sobbed.  It was unfamiliar and scary.  Honestly, I didn’t recognize my own voice.  Grief had stepped in to guide my ship. His voice interrupted mine…until  I graciously stepped aside.  I didn’t know how to navigate this path.  I didn’t want to.

However those days, and the days that followed, were strangely covered in a cloak of peace. It hung on my shoulders like a winter shawl, beautiful but painful to the touch.

I understood it was time. You were tired.  Your body to weak to fight for air.  Your lungs had failed you.

I could point wagging fingers at DNA or life-style choices….I could….but I won’t

I remember the way you would get so excited to have treasures on hand for T.  No sooner would his feet cross your threshold than you would say, “sit. I have something for you” fumbling with the remote to play back his favorite show, or pointing at the candy dish.

When our oldest S, came over to do lawn work in the spring and summer, you were thankful for his service…but you cherished the conversations shared over a soda the most.  Relaxing together as he cooled down from the summer heat, you hung on his every word.  We laughed when your calls for lawn service became more frequent.  S would grin, knowing that what you really wanted, was some of his time.  The lawn work was just a means to the end.   If S, a man of few words, shared any hint of insight into his life, his dreams, or aspirations, you held on to that nugget like it was solid gold.  Pleased and thankful that he trusted you enough to share.

You loved my boys…and they loved you.

When I hold this baby girl, this beautiful precious great-great-grandchild of yours….when I see the corners of her eyes touch the corners of her smile…I think of you.  I know you would have adored her every movement.

And…. I’m mad that she will never know your voice.  I’m mad that you won’t experience the love that circles in the air when she is around.

I’m mad that you left to soon.

I pulled out the old wooden high chair from the attic last week….the one we thought about throwing away a few moves ago but couldn’t. Couldn’t because it is the one you refinished for S when he was a baby. Who would have thought It would last another generation….as sweet baby girl ate her green beans, I couldn’t help but wipe away a few tears knowing her great-great grandma poured so much love into the seat that held her.

They say the measure of your grief shows the greatness of your love…..

I guess that is true.

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Rest in Peace Gram.  You loved and were loved….Deeply….

Saying Goodbye

4 Mar

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Hey Jack,

Can we..umm… talk?
It’s been a fun few months and we’ve had some good times…for sure…

But…

There just isn’t an easy way to say this…so here it goes…I think it’s time for us to put some space between us….

At first I welcomed the cooler air…the times we spent snuggling with my scarf and the way you admired my boots. But now…now I don’t know….

I’m just tired. Tired of being cold…..and the extra layers…I feel like I’m suffocating.  And, when your family came to visit Jack, they brought the Frost with them…They killed my plants …

KILLED THEM with their FROSTY, frosty ways! Yes, I know, it’s their right…but Jack…it’s just plain rude.  Honestly, I don’t think I can get over it. I’ve tried…Lord knows, I’ve tried.

Before you jump to conclusions, let me just say, NO.

No, there isn’t anyone else. Yes…I know… Spring has been popping his head in every now and again…but he never stays long. I’m not even sure we bat on the same team…He flutters around making things beautiful and primping…talking flowers…singing and smiling…smiling and singing…

Of course! He is so much fun to hang out with and I deeply enjoy his company. Everyone should have some Spring in their life. We just don’t…well, we don’t have that sort of connection….

Summer? What about him?

He can be a bit of a southern bully. He muscles his way past Spring, doesn’t he? Announcing his presence triumphantly…It’s hard to stay mad at him though…He draws me in with his sunny disposition and boundless energy.

If I’m honest, I kind of flush when he’s around…even get a little sweaty…

You noticed??

Must be nervous energy. He comes out full force, guns blazing. It is kinda’ hot

…ummm…anyway….

Look, Jack Frost…I don’t want to talk about others….

You and I need some time apart…I know you will find someone who appreciates your cool style more than I….You deserve to be loved just the way you are….  I hear Boston has a thing for the wintry mix…

I really wish things were different…

It’s not you, it’s me.

I hope we can still be friends….

…Call me, maybe?

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Brain Mush

27 Feb

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Brain.MUSH….

As a recovering perfectionist, I hate when I can’t seem to form coherent sentences…or when the words that are on the tip of my tongue don’t form into the vocabulary I’m accustomed to. I struggle for syllables, tripping on consonants…misplacing vowels. Apologizing for my brain mush seems silly…but I do it anyway….

I’m not one to set resolutions at the new year. I do however, set goals for fitness, finance and personal growth. Over the last few years, this odd thing started to happen…Something on the spiritual level started to tug…snag on my day until I acknowledged it’s presence.

It crops up on its own..taking shape before my eyes… and I know…I know it is my job for the next twelve months to work on the assignment at hand.Like the dutiful student that I am, I dive in…Hoping to gain wisdom and find peace on the journey.

The first time this happened, it was the year of practicing patience… THAT was a freakin’ hard year…I had LOTS of homework and on the job training. I still wouldn’t define myself as a patient person…In fact, I don’t do anything slow…but I’ve come a long, long way. I can wait in line now without turning into a two year old with behavioral problems stomping my feet and rolling my eyes.

Last year I worked on loving people for who they are…where they are. Also…NOT AN EASY TASK, folks. Some people are NOT that loveable…Just saying… But what I gained out of that experience far out weighs the pain….

I even became friends with some folks that only move in first gear….as their fastest speed…Trust me when I tell you this used to drive me C.R.A.Z.Y….

Seriously….BAT SHIT CRAZY…who knew they could be so loveable?

So this year, I was a little shocked when the knocking at the door wore a lighter coat….a trench, let’s say. Putting his arm around my shoulders he said, “Let’s work on being in the moment”….

Hmmm….Don’t I already do that?

“Not very well” he replied….

So here I am…Drinking a glass of red wine, sitting on my back porch listening to the birds chirp. I had a very successful work week, watching an event that took months to plan, come together.

I’m exhausted…and will allow my body to rest without pushing for more.

My brain is mush…and no apologies are needed.

Visualizing a job well done…and basking in it’s light.

I’m in the moment…and it feels pretty damn good right about now….

I’m a work in progress…but I’m in it…to WIN it…

PS – during the writing of this blog…I posted to soon by mistake (^ see comment about brain mush)…AND, I lost half the post having to retype it…only for my computer to do a random shutdown and software update….

Guess I could still use some work on patience…because I nearly quit…and a few cuss words may have escaped into the atmosphere…

Downward DOG?

14 Feb

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So….I’ve heard the Yoga pant debate more times than I think necessary….

On the evening news…and in my social media feed.

Each and every time, I feel my blood pressure rising. The internal heat searching for a release….rising to my cheeks and spewing words in rapid fire… I want to scream at the insanity!

Women around the country are vowing to never wear yoga pants or leggings in public…because it may cause a man to lust…. Some idiot in Montana wants to outlaw them….

Seriously…

Yes…I’m SERIOUS….

Let’s stop selling heels and skirts that show our knees…oh, and make-up, and push-up bras….Perfume, maybe?

Feel pretty? Certainly someone finds THAT attractive…

Cue the mob to burn you at the stake! Potato sacks for EVERYONE!

Lord have mercy…a man is turned on by a women…stop the freakin’ presses….This is NOTHING new folks…and it has NOTHING to do with YOGA pants.

I’m from the opinion that straight men love women, because we are women…not particularly because of the way we dress, or the shoes we wear…but because of the way we move in those garments. The way our hips sway, the softness of our skin, the way our hands move through our hair. The way we smell…..Women are sensual. Frankly, I think they should be….It separates us from men….

Oh and men, if you think women don’t fantasize, lust after a man’s-man…Well, I laugh out loud at your arrogance… To think we are incapable of  having those same thoughts….

I’ve had more conversations than I can count of us “lady-folk” tantalized by your confidence in a suit, your jeans and simple white t-shirt, your swagger when you walk in a room…and own it…, by your smile, and the way you bite your lip when you are concentrating…Yes, women are not immune to lust….SURPRISE….

However, to think that any of those things listed above would cause you to behave out of character or cause you to cheat on your spouse….well, I beg to differ.

The world is round…and filled with busty women, large perky butts, legs that go for miles….men with muscles, perfect hair, tanned skin….and tight jeans….

If you have a problem with lust, with controlling yourself, well it is simply YOUR problem. Work on it. Talk to God…make an appointment with your therapist…whatever you need to do…but change YOU….

Don’t for a second think that your lack of control should spill over and  into my life…limiting my choices of attire.

Somehow, somewhere, we have lost the very definition of accountability….

Let’s make that a LAW… YOU are RESPONSIBLE for YOU.

Period. End of Story.

Dear Mrs. Victoria Secret,

3 Jan

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Dear Mrs. Victoria Secret,

I’ve tried on two of your garments in the last two days. One came in the mail, the other in my local shop…..Mrs. Secret, we need to chat….A little heart to heart…girl talk…

First, let’s start with the bathing suit I ordered (on sale) which was received this week. Since I’m now a grandma and all, I thought I may need something to cover my tummy on future boating outings….I mean, I certainly don’t remember my grandma sporting a bikini….

The price was right, the color hot! A bright peachy / pinky coral number, which looks fantastic on my olive skin. I read the dimensions more than once, carefully selecting the correct size. When the tankini (a tank top swim top) arrived, I was eager to try it on.

I ran over two miles that day and walked my dogs…I guess I could have been a little worn out, my muscles a little tired….

After the first 5 seconds of attempting to slip the tankini over my head, I knew this would not end well….

My arms splayed over my head, elbows touching, my eyes blinded by the fabric which is simultaneously gripping  my upper rib cage, it is now cutting off the circulation….my breath is becoming shallow…I sit on the toilet, arms still lifted, trying to fill my lungs…I feel like I’m caught in a bad game of Chinese handcuffs…the more I pull, the tighter it is…

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Breathe in, then out completely, like they taught me in yoga…now try to pull that damn thing down to my hips….it only took a couple of tries…maybe three…or four….I rest on the side of the bathtub before examining in the mirror.

Whewww… It looks fine, I think……smoothing it down, turning side to side…but it feels…It feels a bit like a sausage casing…and I can only imagine how I will get this damn thing off when it is wet…Scissors may be required…

We actually wear these things to swim in right??? Or am I the only one?

Fast forward to yesterday. Imagine my surprise when I land smack dab in the middle of your semi-annual sale. Yippeee…happy dance….My husband and I are just returning from a getaway, I think – ooohhh, I’ll try this little number on…Strappy and black… the bra connected to the skirt. As I walk into the fitting room, I wonder, how exactly does this thing work?

I try stepping into it…nope….

I try pulling it on over my head

….and I’m repeating the day before… Chinese handcuffs….

Now, I’m cussing…and my mood is foul….

Wholly shit…I don’t think I can get this damn thing off…and I’m certain I’m not ‘IN’ it to begin with….

I contemplate calling in the sales staff…I’ve seen three working the floor…flipping through the list, I wonder who would answer the call? The young 20ish, size 0, who could probably somersault into this get-up? Oh my Lawwddd…I close my eyes….shake my head…no, this is an adventure I must tackle alone….

….breathe in, breath out…pull, step… breathe in, breath out, crouch, push, sit….geezzzee…Who knew yoga could come in so handy?

I had no idea the level of athleticism needed for such a small amount of fabric….I mean, I’ve been working out and all…but COME ON VICTORIA!!

Mrs.Secret, I really like the IDEA of your garments…I’m sure they would look super cute…However, should you require six years of gymnastics experience and ownership of a trampoline to get your “outfits” on, it really should be noted in the description.

Exhausted,
Lady Chatsalot

PS – HIRE MORE WOMEN DESIGNERS!!

Rearview

1 Jan

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Looking back is nearly as important as looking ahead.  Acknowledging growth, the need and ability, makes it that much easier the next time around…and trust me, it always circles back around.

We are not meant to be stagnant.  If we are not growing, we are dying.

Here is the short list (there are tons more) of lessons learned in 2014 from a recovering perfectionist…(me)

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1) I’m only responsible for me.  My actions, my words, my thoughts…fully and completely.  This sounds like such an easy concept, right? Should be!  As a self labeled, hyper-responsible being, it’s been tremendously hard…

knock-your-head-against-the-wall… H.A.R.D.

But ohhhh the freedom when I aced this test!  I couldn’t have soared higher if I had wings!

Some could say it is an issue rooted in control…maybe so.  I know my intentions were not in that vein… but to make peace…in all situations, even when they weren’t mine to resolve.

….It’s possible  The need to please was rising to the top there too.

Anywhooo…I love that I’m free of those chains.  It isn’t to say that I don’t slip the cuffs on from time to time….but I recognize it sooner…and I know where I hide the key.

2) Let go of expectations.  Letting go of how you think someone should behave opens the space to give freely.  Why? Because you are not evaluating your giving based on their response.   Conflict swells when expectations are not clearly spoken, understood and agreed to.

If you are doing anything with the expectation (goal) of getting someone to respond in a particular way, take a moment to consider why you desire that response… to feel loved, happy or just to feel good about yourself?

Acknowledge what you need, why it’s needed, and if you can fill that void  with or without  the desired response from another…self-awareness unlocks the door to deep satisfaction.

3) There are lots of terrible things in the world. Having someone new to love is not one of them.  We welcomed baby girl into our lives almost six months ago. Their story isn’t picture perfect, but it works. My heart calls her name when we are apart. In her presence, my world stands still.  I’m a young grandma, AND I LOVE IT….every second, every minute.

4)  In the end,  ‘IT’ always works out…Worrying simply won’t change the outcome.  In fact, nine out of ten times, the thoughts rattling around between your ears is worse than the actual problem.

Pray. Do your best. Know when to walk away and when to stand your ground. Communicate.   Your track record for getting through tough times, as of today, is 100%.  I’d say that is pretty damn good…and a pretty good indicator of your future results.

In the mist of trying times, I’ve learned to ask myself, “What is the worst that can happen?”  I walk through the scenario until the answer is “life will go on” and i know it does….Always.

As I say farewell to 2014, I look forward to 2015 with excitement and eager anticipation.  Knowing it too, carries a suitcase of lessons yet to be unfolded. Lessons that will reshape, whittle away, and further define who I was created to be.

I can think of nothing better.

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Recurring Dream

22 Dec

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Lately, I’ve been having a recurring dream…

I’m being chased by a man in red suit….velvet and fur-lined.

Funny thing is, I think the same thing may have happened last year. I wonder if it is the pie I’ve been eating…a turkey allergy, maybe?

Gluten?

I really should be able to out run him. He’s a little over weight…and a smidge older than me. But man, is he QUICK. Faster than you would think….

Nipping on my heels, waking my slumber with the booming of his voice.

HO..HOO…Hooo…

Taunting with his winks and pointed fingers….

Man, I don’t  e.v.e.n …know.YOU.

Quit calling me names.

They profiled someone on the news last week who looks similar. Hard to tell with that beard….Could it be? They think he is responsible for multiple neighborhood break ins… A little delusional they said….

This guy..this guy carries a sack…Like a big mamma jamma one. He could fit some stuff in there.

Looking over my shoulder, I realize he is closer than before. We are almost face to face now….

And then I wake…

Quest without a map

14 Dec

I’ve felt the urge to write for a couple of weeks now…

An itch that can’t be reached.

Middle of my back and my arms are not… quite…long enough….

Insatiable

Life is nondescript for now….

not terribly hard…nor terribly easy…

A loss for words…yet the longing to purge….

A quest without a map.

Thanksgiving

26 Nov

On the eve of Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of my mantra…

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Living a purposeful life.

Thankful for blessings and thankful to be a blessing.  For we are not meant to only receive…or only to give… but to find balance between the two.

My twelve year old asked that I write about our experience today…and at first I was hesitant. Weighing heavy…I’m not sure that it is the right thing to do.  It’s not normally something I share…In fact, it makes  me quite uncomfortable to do so.

However, lots of topics on this blog make me uneasy…vulnerable, even….

-slips on the blind fold….I feel my feet bouncing on the board beneath me… I’m diving in…-

Admittedly, my life has been a bit disorganized and chaotic over the last few weeks. The lack of energy causing me to wait until the last minute to do our holiday food shopping.  By the time we crossed the threshold today, the store was packed and the aisles a bit bare. Sighing as we joined the crowd, our nerves take on the energy of those around us…It is maddening….

Our cart now full, I recant from memory the ingredients of the dishes I plan to cook tomorrow, ticking each one off as I scan my cart for accuracy…check..check…good…  Our cart picking up speed as we head to the register as if in a race.

Finding the shortest line, which on any other day would not be described as such, we wait…shifting my weight every three seconds…my hands on my hips…I’m a  bit impatient wondering why this conveyer belt is not moving and why the cashier appears to not be working.

I’m tired from a day of errands, from playing the referee  between two bickering ADHD-ers…one fully grown…to whom I happen to be married…and the other, well, twelve…

Moms around the world nod with understanding and sympathy…

At this point I just want my sweat pants and a hot cup of coffee.

TAKE.ME.HOME

Loading my groceries on the belt, I vaguely hear the lady in front of me.  She is having trouble with her new debit card. It worked at the gas station she says…she tries it again…and again. Maybe four times.  A mix of stress and embarrassment flush over her. She doesn’t have another form of payment. The line continuing to form behind her.

And I know

…I make a face in response. Twisted lips because I see the outcome before I’m ready to make the decision.

(Honest confession) I’m Torn…I’m not sure if I want to ….but I know I’m supposed to…..

I’m supposed to because I come from the belief that there are no REAL accidents, just missed opportunities.

So I slide my card to the cashier.

Done.

I didn’t have all the right words…didn’t do all the right things…It was a bit awkward for all…it wasn’t a planned moment.

Why? Because we are all in it together.  Because I know the panic that washes over you when you don’t have the money to pay… because blessings are meant to flow to you and through you….and I am blessed.

Shocked she wasn’t sure how to respond…She leaned in to hug me..clasping her hands to her face, then chest…..I mumbled quietly out the side of my mouth, “happy thanksgiving…and merry Christmas”….still not having a handle on  the events  transpiring before me.

I asked T, “Why would I…should I… tell this story?”

Proud to be a part of the day, he said,

“It was literally the meaning of thanksgiving.  You gave and she said thanks.  It was so awesome.”

From the eyes of a child it is just that simple.

A story to be told.

Take Chances. Give everything…. And have no regrets.

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