What’s normal?

I was unintentionally eavesdropping in on a conversation the other day.  I heard the person say, “that’s just not normal.”  It got me thinking about what that meant and who gets to decide what that is. Who was given this responsibility of labeling the world and deciding on the factors that define normal?  What exactly are the designated guidelines?  Did the prerequisite start simply with hair color and go on from there?  This label of normal makes it so uncomfortable for some folks, (yes, I used folks) to hide within themselves because of the fear of not being normal.  As a child I did the same.  I remember being incredibly shy and so deeply hidden inside I was afraid of my own shadow. You didn’t dare make too many unconventional waves back then, but now?   I, myself, may not always agree with someone’s ideology but it doesn’t mean I’m right and they are wrong or vice versa.  When we see something that is out of our own comfort zone, we are quick to judge that as not normal.  Nowadays, I tend to gravitate to the not normal, the non-standard, the atypical.  Quite honestly, it’s more fun.  Quite honestly, it may be the norm.  Who really knows? I’m stilling searching for the manual or committee that made up the rules.  Until then, I say, be who you are, live how you like, don’t let the fear of not fitting in keep you from living, because in my mind, normal is so overrated.  Normal is me not having the courage to step out. My normal may not be your normal and I’m so okay with that because there should not be one set of normal standards for anything. I want to be the magenta crayon next to the red one. Like Maya Angelou said, “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”  So, go find your amazing self.  The normal committee is off duty today.

 

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A mother’s loves

From the first little movement you feel in your stomach, to the moment you feel them in your arms, an instinctual love rushes over you and floods you with a sea of emotions. To every new mother who may have only had a few hours of sleep, or the taxi moms who don’t have enough hours in a day or the struggling moms of teenagers, I say hold on to each of those moments.  You will get through them and they go by too fast.  As I sit some days in a quiet house, I reminisce about the tiny hands I held, the little feet I kissed, the baby’s necks I smelled and nuzzled, and I often get melancholy.  I can’t look back at photographs without crying. I miss all those mother moments. All the firsts.  From scraped knees to broken hearts.  The first baby steps, to them walking out the door to find their own path.  My children have been grown and gone for decades now and it still pits my stomach every time I think of those days gone by.  So, I keep busy, try to remember all the joy my children gave to me.  Pray I never lose those memories in my mind and find my own path, but there will never be a path that was so worthy than that of being a mother.  I cannot thank God enough for the gifts of my children and now grandchildren and I cannot thank my children enough for giving me the honor of being their mother.  

We are human

Periodically I get messages from people regarding Christianity, faith, religion, and opinions on the gay world. The reason I’m writing this is not to single anyone out but to say, while I respect your wanting to educate me on worldly topics, I’d like it to stop. I find it sad that this even has to be a topic. I recently received a message stating how as Christians we can make a difference in America. I one hundred percent believe this. What angered me was the part that God only accepts certain people. I have family and friends that are gay. It saddens me that we live in a world where I feel I have to defend that. I do not think a person wakes up one morning saying, “gee I think I’ll be gay today. I think I’ll put myself out there to be unaccepted, ridiculed, shamed, disowned or live in fear.” It hurts me that there has to be that struggle. I do not believe that my God is so hateful as to not accept everyone into his kingdom. I’m all for freedom of speech but I do not want your ignorant views inflicted on me. I choose to ignore these direct messages because after the first few sentences I want to explode but that’s also counterproductive. My God teaches me to love and accept everyone regardless of race, religion, gender, sex. My God tells me we are human and should all start acting that way. So for those who choose to message me about changing the world I say, look in the mirror and start with you, because I love my colorful crayon box family and friends and the only thing I would ever change in this world is the hate. Oh and those ridiculous messages.

Ebb and Flow

It’s always hard to start the year with renewed energy when you are still depleted from the previous year. The older I get the more important this becomes. This pattern that I’ve created for myself, this ebbing and flowing hits me most this time of year. This is when life quiets down and emotions get disheveled and I’m not always sure what to do with it. I don’t like the term seasonal depression because that’s not what I’m feeling. It’s more that the universe is guiding me but I just don’t listen, because it’s the same time every year. Direct energy comes not only from what you put into it, but from what you are given. Sometimes that energy is not to be absorbed into the rat race but to have moments of stillness. Its not being afraid of sitting in the quiet, embracing the silence, emptying the mind, forgetting the to do lists, remembering to breathe. I seem to be more aware of my time left on earth. I fill every moment when each moment doesn’t need to be filled. I think quietness sometimes makes you feel emotions you’re afraid to feel. I don’t want to be afraid of that. I want to ebb and flow like nature. I want to have balance. I want to have moments to exhale. I know I’ll never be the kind of person that slows down and I’m ok with that, but I do want to be the kind of person who finds balance, even if it’s given in tidbits of time.

The Trench

It’s always easier to look at your life objectively when you’re on the other side of the trench. You’ve been at the bottom. You’ve been given advice you don’t want to hear, pills you don’t want to take. You’ve desperately tried to hide your pain with food, drugs, alcohol, but that only feeds it. You’re toxic, inside and out. While drowning in the depths of your soul, you’re searching for a life jacket that you want someone else to throw. What you don’t see is that you need a life boat that only you can row. Negativity is easy. Positivity is not. It takes work, strength and courage when you feel you have none. It’s not a day by day thing, some days it’s a minute by minute thing, but it’s on you. So much focus is placed on you, the person in pain, but what you don’t realize is that it infects everyone around you. You just don’t see it. Is it because you’re selfish? No. Do you even care at the time? Probably not, but having been on both sides, having been put on both sides, I’m going to tell you what it’s like standing out of the trench. It’s painful. It’s heartbreaking. You feel more defenseless than inside the trench and quite honestly, it’s unfair. It’s exhausting and it has the capability of pulling you back in the trench. While you grasp and claw, only you can dig deep and pull yourself out. Only you can have inner conversations, drag yourself to therapy, drag yourself out of bed just to go through the motions of a day. You can scream and yell, “it’s not fair “ all you want but the people around you are screaming it too, for you and for themselves. The broken person doesn’t realize that the people around them, the ones that love them are human too. As harsh as this is going to sound, the people around you can only do so much. They are not obligated nor do they always have the strength to help. They love you but sometimes in order for them to breathe, they have to remove themselves from the toxic situation themselves. Am I saying to let our loved ones drown? Of course not but you shouldn’t drown them either. Just be aware that if people are backing away, it’s not because they don’t care or love you, but for a brief moment they are coming up for air and just trying to save themselves. There are so many self help books. Trust me, I’ve probably read them all, that seem to focus on the self. They don’t tell you what you are doing to the people around you. Maybe they don’t want to push you further down the rabbit hole but that’s reality and it should be told. So the answers to the questions are this. No we wouldn’t be better off without you. Yes we honestly care. No we don’t have the answers. Yes we need to breathe ourselves. Yes we will be here for you but you need to do your part. No it’s not easy and yes it sucks. Not just for you but for everyone around you. Toxic spreads. Don’t let it infect. In the end it’s you that has to dig out and in the end it’s you that can say I did it. Remember we are ALL just human, not super human, no matter what side of the trench your on.

The Haven at Skanda

The road is lined with apple trees, you slightly feel the breeze.

Your racing heart, your scattered thoughts are suddenly at ease.

You drive along the open fields beside the wooden fence.

You leave behind a crazy world that sometimes makes no sense.

The ducks they play a game of tag, with little ones in tow.

The chickens are all frolicking and putting on a show.

The barns are filled with horses; some donkeys and a pig

The music plays to keep them calm or do a little jig.

The goats all wander aimlessly, the roosters give a crow

The little baby ducklings walk with momma in a row.

The well-worn barns, the fields of hay, the flowers, and the pond,

All create a peaceful home of bounty and beyond.

This place is filled with wonderment, with love and hope and cheer.

A place where love is blossomed, and it lasts throughout the year.

The place is called the Haven, where no animal is harmed.

A little piece of Heaven, that just sits upon a farm.

Zay

Zay

Twenty one years ago today you decided September was not the month you wished to be born. You preferred a hot summer day in July. This is how you started your life. Choosing to do what you wanted to do from the very beginning. Visiting you every day in the hospital, I prayed harder than I ever did in my life. Each day you grew stronger and more determined to show the world you were here to stay. I never knew a tiny preemie baby would teach me what faith and will really meant. I knew how much love I had for my own children but I could not have imagined how much more love my heart could hold once I became a grandmother. I can distinctly remember holding you and spending time with you and saying in my head , this will go by fast, and it did but I will always have those amazing memories. Thank you for being my grandson. Thank you for your happy heart. Your smile brightens our world. Thank you for your confidence and for embracing who you are. Happy 21st birthday to you, my Zay. Stay safe and don’t ever let the world change who you are. (I give you 21 chin points). Love gram.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day had always come with mix emotions for me. I wasn’t one of those kids lucky enough to have a good role model to look up to. Each year for me was, what in the world could I do or say to a man who had hardened my heart so much that it still takes work to break down the walls. When you don’t have a nurturing father child relationship that a young person needs you struggle with a lot of things. That bond is more important that you can imagine. However, I firmly believe in life you are given the people that you need. I had a grandfather who I idolized. He was the absolute best in the world. I learned so much from him. How to love and be loved. I was also blessed with the greatest father-in-law too. He was kind and he listened. Lastly, I was given my husband. I met him when I was broken. He filled the voids in my heart, he gave me two beautiful children and we journey through this life hand in hand and heart in heart. My dad, grandfather and father-in-law are in heaven. Happy Father’s Day to all three because although they were all completely different influences in my life, they helped shape who I am today. To my husband, happy Father’s Day the most. You a my quiet, humble, knight in shining armor and have been the best father to our children. To the people who didn’t have great father role models, become one. Be a father figure if need be. There is always a child out there that needs your help and heart. To the men who choose to love a child that is not your own, you have my deepest respect and love. Like they say, it takes a special person to be a dad.

Jared

Today when you walk down the aisle to receive your diploma, you walk out of your childhood and into your journey. Take with you all the words, the teachings, the values that everyone gave you to go through life. May your life be full of adventures. May you make mistakes to learn from and may you always stay humble and kind. Remember you are loved by so many and you are never alone. You have accomplished so much already and there is much more to come. Life has so much to offer. Do not be afraid to try new things, to have fun, to look adversity in the face and conquer. Today you walk out into the world a man. It’s waiting for you. Congratulations.

I didn’t plan on being a mother

I didn’t plan on being a mother. It wasn’t that I didn’t love children, it was an insecurity within myself on being responsible for another human being. I barely knew how to get myself through this world so how was I going to protect, nurture and love when I didn’t know how? Like everything else in my life however, god had a different plan. Twice. Apparently he thought I could do it. When I look back I realize the only time I had complete and utter control was when my babies were safely tucked inside my body. They were safe there. As they grew in me so did I. Even though pregnancy had its ups and downs, it’s nothing compared to raising another human being. I became fierce. No one would ever hurt my babies ever. Again I couldn’t have been more wrong. I held these little bodies and prayed for them to have a great life. I prayed for guidance because now I had no idea what to do. I stumbled through motherhood and my children taught me more than I could teach them. Whatever they went through in life it affected me more. Their triumphs, their defeats were magnified in my heart ten times more. I fiercely tried to save them and protect them from every evil of the world. That never went well because they needed to be able to stand on their own. So in spite of me my children grew to be awesome human beings. They continue to inspire me, make me grow and teach me to still become a better mother. I’m still fierce when it comes to protecting them but I stay fierce on the sidelines. These two little humans gave me the ride of my life and I am forever proud and happy that my plan didn’t work out because I cannot imagine one day without my children.

Chapter one

One year ago today I retired. It didn’t matter if I worked for someone else or if I was self employed, I gave it my all. I thought retirement would be an easy decision but it wasn’t. The transition was difficult. I missed the routine. I missed the people I worked with. I missed being a part of something. What I learned was that I was not always appreciated like I should have been. What I learned was my health in mind and body needed to come first. What I learned was I needed the time to explore what my next journey was going to be. Believe it or not there are days I still flounder. After working my whole life I have trouble with the relaxing part. In fact, I cannot seem to lose the guilt of not doing anything on a particular day. I know these feelings come from the way retirement came about. My body was ready but not my mind. Now that I have one year in the record book, I am determined to allow myself a guilt free retirement. To not worry about what I left behind but look forward to what is ahead. To explore new chapters and become whole again as a new person. Leave behind what was and become what is. One year ago I retired. The end. This year with pen in hand, I start a new book.

I don’t want to live in this world sometimes

I don’t want to live in this world sometimes. I don’t want to listen to the hate. I don’t want to fear for my life. I don’t want my grandchildren to never feel safe. I want the protests to stop. I want the bullying to stop. I want the killings to stop. I want the media to stop. I don’t want to look at someone with trepidation. I don’t want people to judge. I don’t want division. I don’t want a soulless world. I want diversity. I want acceptance. I want kindness. I want less chatter. I want more hugs. I don’t want to leave the world to the next generations in such a mess. I want to fix it. I don’t think it should be that hard but it is. Everyone is talking but nobody is listening. Everyone is blaming the other race, the other gender, the other religion, the other political side with such strong convictions, there are no conversations anymore. Apparently to be heard you have to create violence in one form or another; with words, with actions, with fear. Our carbon footprint left on this earth will be a muddy mess, quick sand unless it changes. I don’t want to live in this world sometimes because I know the difference but will my grandchildren? Will they grow up not knowing right from wrong, the laws, a world without hatred and turmoil? A world that is spinning so out of control that this will be their norm. Yet we can simply change it, one act of kindness at a time….starting today.

60

In a few months I am becoming 60. I say it that way because I am not turning 60, I am doing everything in my power to embrace 60. Letting it become me. Was I defiantly ignoring that fact? Yes, yes I was, but reality set in the day the calendar year clicked over. Turning 20 and 30 was rather seamless. For some strange reason I couldn’t wait to be 40. 50 wasn’t as scary as I anticipated, but when I pictured 60, I saw the faces of teachers I had in grade school. Someone who, at the time, looked incredibly old to me. Being 60 is not about my looks though. For the first time in forever I’m happy with how I look. It’s not about the changes in my body either because I’ve accepted those changes with as much grace as I can muster. It’s just something about the sound of that number. The saying, “age is just a number” is a lot easier to not roll your eyes at when your at an age far below 60. So while I approach my sixth decade of life, I will do my best to wave the white flag of acceptance. To go into it with confidence, with adventure, with 59 years of incredible experience and knowledge. Will I cry? I might. I’m not sure but if I do I’ll be okay with that. After that I will wake up every morning thanking God for yet another day. Look in the mirror and say, “Damn girl. You’re 60. Not bad. Not bad at all”.

Today I am 5

img_8329Dear World,

Today I am five. I am sweetness. I am innocence. Don’t define me by my face. Don’t define me by my gender. Don’t define me by the color of my skin. Don’t define me by my body type. Define me by who I am. Define me by who I will become. Show me your goodness and protect me from your ugliness. Guide me through the rocky paths that I will undoubtedly encounter. Teach me goodwill and kindness. Let me explore. Let be happy. Let me have fun. Fill me with love. I have yet to be tainted from life’s experiences. Watch me smile. Watch me grow. Watch me blossom. Dear world, today I am five. I am sweetness. I am innocence. Don’t blow it for me.

Happy birthday precious. Love Geema

Living in an Alexa world 

I was born in the era of the typewriter. When you made a mistake you either had to start over or carefully correct it. When the TV had three channels(if you were lucky), your phone had one ringtone and was attached to the wall and your music came from a transistor radio. Yes, I am THAT old. My car didn’t talk. I could read a map and I had to count change without a calculator. I lived on the edge of the technology boom. I’m not saying it was a better time, I’m saying it’s what I knew. My children have what I call IHouses. You can control everything from another location and everything controls everything else and they understand it. Especially the granddaughter. While I’m sitting on the couch trying to figure out which of the five remotes turns on the TV, the little four year old says “Alexa, turn on the TV.” While technology will forever be a part of our world now, I believe it has hastened our world and has done a great disservice for our patience. Believe me, even I don’t like to wait for a site to load or want instantaneous answers. I’m not knocking the next generation because this is what they know. The world is just too fast for me nowadays. I know we cannot live without technology anymore. It’s just nice to know we once knew how to. I do however long for the days of not being so accessible. When you don’t have a panic attack because you forgot your phone. When you actually talk to the person in the same room as you eye to eye and not text to text. Like I said early, yes, I am THAT old, but what I am hoping is that my children and grandchildren don’t lose sight of reality, to understand that human contact is far more important that emotionless machines. To disconnect, breathe the air, smell the flowers, work with your own mind and hands and don’t become lazy. Alexa may be able to turn on your TV but she cannot hug or love. So while I accept this wireless world we have created, I am happy that I am still capable of getting up and turning off my own lights. Maybe Alexa and I will be friends someday, when I’m 99 and physically need the help but I’m guessing probably not. At that point I’m thinking I’d much rather just leave the light on. 

I am not a failure

I’ve never been one that believed in failing. I personally don’t even like the word. When my children would say, “but what if I fail ?” I’d say, there’s no such thing as failing, there’s trying. I’ve always been a trier. I never went into anything in my life with the expectations of what if I fail. If I didn’t finish something or didn’t like what I was doing, I considered it one more thing that I experienced and tried and merely just changed my mind. There will always be things in life that you will not like. However, there is no way to even remotely know this until you try. A few times in my life I was called a quitter. My response was, I’m not a quitter. I simply just changed my mind. In fact, it’s been crazy thinking of all the things I’ve allowed myself to do and experience without that fear of failure with my try and change method. So I will continue to make my list, conquer what I can, try what I want and have fun along the way… or I may simply just change my mind. 

Finding peace in the craziness 

I went to bed last night feeling really worried, really scared, so I prayed. I prayed for calmness in my heart. I prayed for safety for my children and grandchildren and I pray for God to settle this world. You see, I don’t read the paper or listen to the news and I don’t read any negative posts especially about politics but you still hear the chatter sometimes and that small seed seeps into my brain and starts to grow. Those who feel they need to inform the world of their dissent are part of the problem. Whether you realize it or not, you are fueling the fire. Growing up I was proud of the world my grandparents left me. Today I am ashamed of it. Leaving my grandchildren to live in this craziness scares me to death. I no longer let anyone talk bad politics around me. I simply walk away. I realized that my opinion means nothing to you nor does yours to me. I realized that we will only fight. No one will listen to each other and the hate will grow. Hate is a very hard thing to change, so what I will do is start with the children. Their souls are still pure, untainted by the world. I will teach them love. I will show them kindness and compassion. I will plant a seed in their brain to destroy hate. I may not be able to change the whole world, or you and all the ugly words and actions out there but I can change my own little piece of my world. So if I walk away, turn off your chatter, throw away your paper, hide your posts it’s because you are part of the problem and I no longer want the craziness for myself and my children. 

Happy Place

I visited The Haven at Skanda for the first time recently. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a place that rescues broken animals. Animals that may have been ill or abused or emotionally broken. I thought maybe the feeling would be that of sadness or chaos but that wasn’t the case. There was peace. From the moment I drove down the long driveway, the air changed. I could breathe better, so I could totally understand why these beautiful creatures could too. The barns have that rustic, peeling paint kind of charm that I love. The fences are made up of a variety of materials. The fields are unmanicured and the volunteers quietly care for these beauties while adorned with tshirts, jeans and muddy boots. The animals that are allowed to roam freely, do just that. The ones that need special attention, get it. The ones that have settled in, seem content. I can picture myself sitting on any one of the many benches and watching the animals play. They give unconditional love. You can see it and you can feel it. The top priority is their safety and their care. There is a softness on this farm. No yelling. No rush. Just kind conversations that the animals seems to understand. I’m in awe of the concept of this farm. I’m in awe of the volunteers and of this organization. When you’re treated with kindness and love you flourish. The animals live at their own pace. When I left that day the feeling stayed with me. I think I may have found my new happy place. I know the animals certainly have. To learn more about this organization visit http://www.thehavenatskanda.org 

Imperfect Mom

If the dishes didn’t get done last night and the laundry sits in bushels, you might be an imperfect mom. If your socks stick to the floor and the beds are unmade, you might be an imperfect mom. If your hair is in a wad and you’re still in your robe, you might be an imperfect mom. If dinner tonight is from a cereal box (you know you’ve all done that ), you might be an imperfect mom. The nutrition you get is from the cheese on the crackers and you look at your cup of coffee like it’s a god, you might be an imperfect mom. You smell test your wardrobe for the day and de-wrinkle it in the dryer. You might be an imperfect mom. However, in your children’s eyes, they see a woman who sat on the floor doing puzzles, giving them more priority than the dishes and laundry. Their perfect mom. A woman who looked like a princess with that hair and that robe. Their perfect mom. A woman who loved them, fed them, cleaned them and dressed them. Their perfect mom. A woman who showed them ingenuity, perseverance and strength. Their perfect mom. Don’t spend time worrying about what others will notice, spend time making sure what your children will. The dishes can wait. The kisses cannot. The laundry can pile. The smiles cannot. The makeup can wait. The playtime cannot and “Don’t be so hard on yourself. The mom in ET had an alien living in her house for days and didn’t notice”. Go through life being your children’s imperfect mom.

Turning 59

When I was 9 I was an introverted shy child, struggling to break out of my own walls.

When I was 19  I was so lost that I thank God that he watched over me while I didn’t.

When I was 29 I was a mother of two, praying I could be the perfect mother.

When I was 39 I literally was on a dead run out of this decade and so looked forward to being 40.

When I was 49 reality hit that I would soon be a half a century old.

Today (April 27) I’m 59 and this is what I would say:

To my 9 year old self, don’t worry about being shy, it was your protection mechanism, it kept you humble and you will break those walls when you’re ready.

To my 19 year old self, you will soon be found and God always watches over you so make those mistakes, you will survive them.

To my 29 year old self, relax, there isn’t a perfect mother in the world so just do the best you can.

To my 39 year old self, yeah, that decade just sucked but you were sprinkled with some good so hang on to those moments and grow from the others.

To my 49 year old self, it’s just a number, be thankful you are here.

And to my 59 year old self, first, holy crap that happened fast but you are now at a place in your life that makes sense, enjoy it all, the good, the bad and the ugly but be forever thankful and girl, there may be days when you feel like a hot mess but look back, you always came out shining.

 

Word Angel Pt. 2

 

I haven’t written lately and this is not due to not having the words thrown in my head, as you can see by the scrawl on the post its. My Word Angel and I play Scrabble all the time but what I do love about her is that she knows when my brain is too full. She steps aside to let me silence the noise. She throws me tidbits of words or sentences and I do scribble them down.  They may not always form into something and sometimes they are saved for a later conversation, but these past few days she’s been saying, “OK, you’ve ignored me long enough” in her sweetest nagging voice ever. She is my vehicle voice so I let her speak, inside my head, where only her and I understand.  Sometimes there isn’t really any exact reason for a post and sometimes there’s a clear story. So, I just sit and start and it seems to flow. I didn’t have a clear agenda for this one but something changed. I felt a shift in my internal energy. I recently heard the words, “you have to inspire change not demand it”.  That was said in the context of change for others but I believe it was meant for me. I tend to demand so much from myself that it’s exhausting. I push for change to melt into my own comfort zone and that may not always be the change that is needed. I’m learning to rewrite myself, to allow the guidance to guide me and not the other way around. It’s learning to let down my guard, give good energy and not extract it from others. It’s not allowing others to push bad energy on me and to not absorb it.  I want to stop trying to figure out my purpose in life by a title or definition but to just be the purpose, for no other reason than to live this life as myself, right, wrong, or indifferent.  When the shift happens, you feel it first then see it.  A weight has been lifted off my shoulders for now. So, thank you Word Angel once again for helping to push me beyond my limits.

The storm before the calm

(It’s 11:15 pm. My word angel strikes again so I’m up writing. I told you she comes at the strangest times)

 

From the time I was five years old I have always been fiercely independent. At the age of eight I already was planning my exit strategy from childhood to adulthood to living on my own. I never liked to be told what to do even at a very young age. I’ve never been easily intimidated or bullied into silence either.  Stubborn, hard headed, call it what you will, I liked setting my own rules. This is not always easy when you live in a world full of them. It’s not that I don’t like them, I do. I believe we need guidance but I’m talking about my internal set. This is where it gets sticky, that being in charge part, or that helplessness you feel when you’re not. Sometimes life throws you curve balls or storms as I like to call them and you have to adjust on the fly. Sometimes there are instances that happen beyond your control that throw you deeper into the rain, but that is when you dig deep. You find that fierceness in you and weather on. A friend once said “There is courage in being afraid.”  I like that. Mostly because as fierce and stubborn and strong as I can be, I am also that much afraid and fiercely vulnerable at times. I think it’s because I’m now entering uncharted territory. I’m leaving my comfort zone, a life I’ve always known . Decades of motherhood is gone. My career is ending and I now will have the time to figure myself out as a woman.  Quite honestly while there’s an excitement about that, there’s an apprehension and it scares me.  That fiercely independent woman had become so complacent in her life that it became comfortable. Don’t get me wrong I like how I am; direct, outspoken and I  still do not like anyone telling me what to do or say or how to be. That’s kind of inbred, so I’m convinced that part will never change.  However, I need to welcome help. Welcome advice. Welcome choices. Welcome calmness. Welcome a new chapter in my life. While I seem to be writing it as I go and erasing and editing and erasing and editing. I’m curious to see what I write for the next chapter. I’ve always been the little girl who would say, “I want to do it myself” and I always will be but differently now; a little softer, a little less intense, a lot less messy, courageously fearful with just enough brave to keep me moving forward. So while I feel I have weathered many storms, I have to believe I still have enough strength to now live in the calm.

 

What she said or… meant 

Dear Facebook, With all of this social media, especially for my generation, it would make my life a lot easier if you had specific emotional fonts. I mean, the texters have symbol like lol fml jk lmao. I would like fonts that were cut and dry so you knew exactly what I was saying…the angry font, the happy font, the every day font. Or symbols. We kind of have those. The ^ means, yeah I’m talking to you above me. The ❤ side arrow and 3 means heart. (Obviously). The ever and over used happy face, 🙂 sad face 😦 befuddled face :/ Right now that’s the only way to let someone you know …no really..I’m just kidding even though it sounds sarcastic. But I would like a specific sarcastic font just for the fun of it. So I may just start symboling on my own. The * means, it’s all good..you know what you said up there, I agree. The ? meaning..oh no you didn’t just say that. The ! WHAT, I’m surprised you said that and the % meaning I have no opinion either way. The & meaning AND another thing..I’d like to say more but you will obviously take it the wrong way so just & knowing that I want to say more but won’t. That way I can use the symbols to say what I want to say in my own head without offending anyone. Then if someone interjects their thoughts I can always say, um..you didn’t read my font? I believe this would be helpful because I come from a generation of communicating face to face. The less people you saw, the less people you pissed off. So when you did see someone you were happy to see them. The expression on their faces or tone of their voice kind of let you know exactly where they stood. Thanks Facebook 😀 (That’s my really really happy face)

This old house

I’ve always been an old soul.  I am even more of one now because, um, technically, I am teetering on old.  I have always loved old things.  I volunteered and worked in nursing homes because I love old people. I love old cars, old houses, old items and pretty much anything with a story. So, when we finally purchased this old historic house I became obsessed.  People aren’t the only ones with souls, houses have them too. I didn’t realize this until this house literally cried for it’s previous owner the weekend they moved out. She cried, inside the house. I have no photos because I was in full freak out mode with the sound and the water but there are two witnesses who can verify this story.  She cried because he saved her from being demolished and becoming condominiums in 1984. I shudder whenever I think of that.  Her life began in 1903, was completed in 1905 and re-birthed in 1922.  I have heard so many times that people get attached to houses.  I’ve seen that on Ghost Adventures.  Go ahead. Laugh. Yes, I watch ghost shows. I get that from my grandmother, my very religious, Catholic, grandmother, so don’t judge. (HA)  I didn’t even know that was possible because I’ve lived in many places and have never been even remotely obsessed.  The day she (this old house) cried for the previous owner I touched the walls where the tears were streaming down and I told her not to worry, that I would take care of her. She believed me. She is happy and I can feel it. Others can feel it too. They feel her warmth, her positive energy and she hugs everyone who enters. I talk to her.   I tell her goodbye when I leave and she shines whenever she is filled with people. She knows she’s loved. I believe houses absorb energy.  She has had a lot of positive energy throughout her history.  I am absorbing hers and she is absorbing mine.  People say it’s a lot of work owning an old house.  I say it’s a labor of love.  We don’t call ourselves the owners. We call ourselves the caretakers because you cannot own beauty. She was here long before us and I pray long after.  I am thankful to the family who had the vision to build her not knowing where she would end up. I am thankful to the family that saved her and for their willingness to let her go.  I am thankful to my husband for his perseverance to get us this home and I am thankful to God for giving her to us, for guiding us and allowing us to share her with so many others.  She is truly my gift, for working hard with no expectations.  We are creating memories and are honored to become a part of her history. Not only am I the caretaker of her but she is the caretaker of me, my heart and my soul. While this old house has never been haunted with ghosts, there is no guarantee to the next caretakers that it won’t be in the future, by me, roaming the halls and gardens.  I won’t, however, be in an old fashioned white dress, I’ll be the one covered in paint or dirt…still taking care of this old house.

Hermit

Yeah, that’s me. Top row, second from the left. Just graduated from high school with the Business Student of the Year award, something I worked towards for three years and achieved. I was never getting married or having children. I even bet a co-worker, in writing, that it would never happen. I had just entered the corporate world at Carrier Corporation. They interview a hundred applicants and only picked eleven. I was thoroughly convinced I was on my way to being the next Mary Tyler Moore. I couldn’t have been more off. Three years later I was married and carrying my second child. That co-worker I bet, yeah, he made me pay up. So, I raised babies and did odd jobs here and there and helped my husband start a business. I’ll spare you the details of three decades on what it’s like to own your own business, for anyone who has, you know it’s not glamorous. I will fast forward to having sold it and then giving my notice to leave to find another path. Right now we are living in a mixed up, crazy, ugly time I feel. It’s like living the 1960’s all over again only without all the  peace, love and bell bottoms. Although in some ways I guess it kind of is the same as there were volatile times then too; just not the in your face kind of attention due to technology. It has become so easy to get sucked into the vortex of negativity and spew hate, so right about now becoming a hermit is on the top of my “what shall I do next list”. I am leaving with mixed feelings. Do I believe in the institution of corporations? Yes, I absolutely do because most were started by moms and pops and individuals that had ambition, drive, fear, desire and a dream to achieve. They put quite literally blood, sweat and tears into building that dream and business. Have I experienced working in the corporate world? Yes I have, several times and it’s not the corporation that makes it challenging, it’s the people running it. I was told a successful person is one who listens and puts their egos aside. Those who do not, do a great disservice to that mom and pop who devoted their whole lives to get everyone where they are today. I am thankful that God had this plan for me, to give me children when I thought I couldn’t do it, to give me the struggles to make me who I am today. However, this is a transition for me that I didn’t expect at this time. Right now I’m a fish flapping outside of the water, but do I want to go back into this hysterical world right now?  Not really. While I never got to throw my hat in the middle of a busy city street, I have that opportunity to do that now, in my quiet, suburban driveway, where it’s peaceful, because in all this crazy ugliness, becoming a hermit looks more and more appealing every day.