Friday, March 26, 2010

T.G.I.F. Ramblings

It's here, it's here...FRIDAY!!  Certainly the last three days have been better than my Monday.  But, then that wouldn't have taken alot. 

I am looking forward to my weekend, supposed to be in the 70's here tomorrow.  Just might be a good day for a walk in the park with one or all three of the furkiddos.  They need a good long walk & so do I.  Could be just want I need to jumpstart my waning exercise program.  The yoga & pilates dvd's are lying on top of the tv ready to load into the player.  I know how good I feel when I exercise each morning, but I have just been lazy.  Shape up, girl!!  Get with the program!!

I was watching Sober House w/Dr. Drew last night & I thought how blessed I am.  I never went to rehab, detoxed on my own, & worked the Steps like a maniac so that I could start my life over.  That's been over 15 yrs now.  What I have learned during those years couldn't all be listed here if I wrote all day.  What I do know without a doubt is that I am an addict.  I have an addictive personality so I must be ever vigilent.  I don't crave drugs anymore, haven't for years.  I don't even take aspirin.  Decided to handle depression without drugs.  Didn't like the way anti-depressants made me feel.  Basically, because I felt nothing at all.  I was numb all the time.  Wasn't depressed, wasn't anything.  So, I decided that I needed to feel the feelings & learn to deal with them.  Oh, sometimes the darkness threatens & sometimes I take a moment to acknowledge it.  But I do not allow it to take over.  I know that if I stay in touch with my feelings, acknowledge them, & work through them I will be alright.  I know that I have a chemical imbalance.  I treat it naturally.  But just knowing that it is chemicals, not insanity has really helped.  It is easy to sink into insanity when you are not insane.  I've been crazy & this Life I have now is much better.  I am much better.  So, self-medicating is no longer an option for me.  I am choosing to live a healthy life.

I have learned that liquor is not a problem even though I was a binge drinker for many years.  I can have a beer with bar-b-que or Mexican food & I am lucky to finish it.  I can have a glass of Merlot sitting on the patio enjoying the last rays of sunshine on a lovely day with a dog on my lap.  Don't even get a buzz.   So no more black-outs, no more hangovers.  Thank Great Spirit for that!

While I will not mention her name here, the therapist I saw for several years got me through the rest of the rough spots & I am deeply grateful.  She blessed me beyond measure.  It is a debt I could never repay so I try, in whatever small way possible, to make a difference in someone else's life.  I offer whatever comfort & advice I may have.  I faced my demons, I faced my childhood, I faced the truth about my family.  I looked at all the events that shaped me & I decided what parts I would keep.  There weren't many.  Just stepping back as an observer & looking at my past from the outside was enlightening.  I am glad I was able to look honestly & accept that which I cannot change...those who I cannot change.  I can only change me...& I have. 

The day I sat on my Daddy's grave & said all that had been unsaid for more years than I could count was a freeing moment.  I yelled, I cried, I talked.  Then I told him I would not be back.  I haven't.  No more flowers left, no more trying to make him be the Dad I wanted even though he has crossed over to the Other Side.  Our moment for any reconciliation is long past.  He has been dead for 24-25yrs, and the moment had passed long before that.   I can only hope that his Spirit is free at last.  His demons were far greater than mine.  And he left this Life with much on his soul.  I hope he has found peace.  I have. 

So, today & everyday, I walk with a smile & an appreciation of how good life can be, how happy one can be when acceptance, peace, & contentment are chosen.  When asked "How are you?" my response "Fabulous, as always!!"

~~blessed be...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Are you a "Girly Girl"?

I have never described myself as a "girly" girl.  When I heard that term I always thought of a very frilly, bouncy type of female.  You know all kinda "cotton candy-like".  I am more the jeans, leather jacket, t-shirt, & boots kinda gal.  Hanging with the guys.  Going on Adventures.  I always thought I was too tough, too brash, too outspoken to be defined as "girly". But, I do wear jewelry.  Lots of jewelry.  Always have.  I pile on the bracelets, rings, & never go out without earrings.  I wear make-up.  Less than I used to but much more artfully applied than in the "blue eyeshadow days".  And I do like for my hair to look good.  Not "done" but casually attractive-I don't mind if it gets blown around in the convertable or on the back of a Harley, but I want to be able to brush it, shake it out & look good when I get out.  Back in the day,  I wore braids quite often, ususally just one long one down my back.

Then, one day several years ago, a guy I know called me a "girly" girl.  WHAT????!!??  He went on to say that of course I was "girly", that in fact I was quite "girly".  Some of it had to do with my figure (I am curvy), but mostly he said it had to do with the fact I wear makeup, do my hair, & wear jewelry even when I am in jeans, t-shirt, boots, & leather.  Also because I will not leave the house without earrings.  Who knew that made you "girly".  So, I took a poll of the guys I know.  BIG SURPRISE...they ALL thought I was "girly".  Guess the fact I can cuss like a sailor does not detract from the overall girliness.  Huh, was I ever surprised that guys see me that way. 

My oldest granddaughter embraces her girliness.  She wears at least one article of pink with everything.  She loves jewelry & has since before she could really talk.  She is one tough little cookie, but she is a girl & likes girl-things.  I was afraid I would not be able to relate to her girliness but I was oh so wrong.  We connect on several levels.  She is a mini-me with the attitude to match.  I am so sorry for that my dear son!!  But it does crack me up big-time.

So, I have embraced my "girliness".  I now relish being girly.  I wallow in girliness.  I strive for girliness & being feminine.  Still don't wear ruffles, but I do pile on the pearls from time to time.  I do wear diamonds occasionally.  And I never leave the house without my earrings.

~~blessed be...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sometimes I forget...

to stop & say "Thank You!!!". 

An Attitude of Gratitude--something I always strive to have in my daily life.  For several days I have forgotten.  Forgotten that I have so much for which I should be thankful, so many blessings. 

Sometimes we get mired down in the daily grind, & I don't mean that morning cup of coffee.  We muck about in the mud of Life, bogging further down in the crap. At times the crap can threaten to bury us, if we do not shovel fast enough.  Monday I forgot to shovel at all.  And in doing so got swallowed up, buried, & wallowed in the mud, couldn't find my footing.  I had some trouble digging out that day.  But, Tuesday the sun rose in the East, shined brightly on my head (I also had a very good hair day LOL), & I remembered to be grateful.  Grateful for a good paying job (even if I do have "boss issues") in a time when so many are unemployed, grateful for good health (even if I am one of the "uninsured"), grateful for good friends who send love, support, & advice, grateful that I am here in this moment, grateful to be grateful. 

Today, I am back!  Me--positive, hopeful, energetic, happy, ready to keep moving forward.  And, BTW, still having a good hair day!!  Good hair & make-up can really change a woman's attitude, not to mention being at my lowest weight in 10 yrs.  Still not at my goal, still need to exercise EVERY DAY to finish the loss process, but thankful for having to punch more holes in the belt, thankful that I am feeling good.

While working on my meditation today I came across the link listed below.  Just what I needed today to reinforce what I already knew.  Visual reminders are always a good thing.  So I though I would share it.  I hope it blesses your day also.

~~blessed be...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Someday, once again...

I want to know how it feels to be this kind of "in love". I had that once, & he dedicated this song to me.  Sometimes I miss it, miss it alot.  I like my life & really have no plans to ever marry again.  But, I miss that overwhelming, breath-taking feeling of being totally in love, & of someone being in love with me.  I miss that connection with another person.

The other guy dedicated the following songs to me.  I think of him everytime I hear them.  Takes me back to being young, foolish, in love, thinking I was 10 ft tall & bullet-proof.

 Well, that's just me remembering the guys in my life who loved me...& who I loved.  These two were very bad boys.  But they suited my life at the time 'cause I was livin' the bad girl life.

This next one was dedicated to me by the first boy I ever loved, ever kissed when I was 14.  He is still in my life. And I still love him.  We just cannot seem to get our lives together...together.  I loved you then, I love you now, & I will love you with my last breath.

~~blessed be...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Balancing Act

I Tivo The Today Show every day & watch it when I go home for lunch &/or when I get home at night.  Today there was a segment with Ann Curry (one of my favorite reporters because of the grace & compassion she shows).  All week the anchors have been answering questions from viewers.  Today was Ann's turn & her question was on balancing work & family.  She started the segment saying that several years ago her doctor had asked what she did to balance her life.  She told him about balancing work & family.  He told her that was not what he meant.  He suggested that everyone needs to find their passion & exercise it thereby finding balance within.  Her passion is photography & she talked about that journey.  Also she mentioned that a person should devote one day a week to their passion, to balancing their life.

How many of us do that ?  Not too many I would imagine.  I know that I don't do so on a regular basis.  When I have been away from complete balance in my life is when I get "antsy", when I feel out of whack with myself, when I feel "stuck", when I get to craving an Adventure.  I know how important it is to be balanced- mentally, emotionally, spiritually, & physically-all working together to keep me "healthy" & not obsessed over one thing or another.  When my life has been out of balance is when I have made some of my worst decisions--acted on an impulse--didn't think it through--went off half-cocked--played to my manic side.  Can't call them mistakes because I have taken away something positive from even the most negative of situations.  There is always a lesson to be learned.

This all got me to thinking about what my true passion is in my life.  What makes me feel the most balanced.  What gives me the greatest pleasure.  I, too, like photography but do not devote alot of time to it even though I take my camera everywhere on weekends & days off.  Sometimes I shoot sometimes I do not.  But I love to work in black & white.  I think that produces the truest images.  Especially in people, buildings, & in some sceneries.   It has to do with light & shadows.

I write, but again not as much as I have in the past.  I really enjoy writing.  Ideas are always swirling around in my head.  I jot things down constantly.  Sometimes the ideas show up here, sometimes it is in the fiction I write (short stories, continuations of my novel, beginnings of a new novel).  Many times I think that I should be writing more about the life lessons I have learned.  I used to speak about those quite often in different venues.  One year I did the Vagina Monologues.  I wrote & presented a piece for the end based on my domestic abuse story.  I really enjoyed working on the films I acted in, I enjoyed theatre when I used to do that in high school & college.  But acting is not my passion even though I find it to be a wonderful creative outlet.

But, if I could just quit my job & do anything I wanted with my life it would be two things:

  1. Animal Rescue--I have such a heart for homeless dogs.  All dogs no particular breed, I love em all.  Just wish I had a place big enough to keep more.  This is a passion.
  2. Holistic healing--I have always wanted to take a massage course & then become a holistic practitioner.  I would really like to use this in the treatment of addiction & domestic abuse.   This is a dream I wish I had pursued years ago, but now it is more a dream than a passion. 
When I dream my life, I see myself in one of two places (a. Montana or (b. Florida Keys, living a very laid-back lifestyle, surrounded by animals, working for my causes, writing & speaking.   I really think that is where my true talent, shall we say, lies.  I don't want to famous or even rich (but then I wouldn't turn it down if it came my way).  I really just want to use my Journey to help others.  I truly believe that I could fulfill my Destiny in this Life by telling my story, be it spoken or written.  Speaking against intolerance, prejudice,& injustice.  Those things are so prevalent in this world.  That, & doing my small part to stop millions of animals from be euthanized each year.  I think these are truly my passions because both are about stopping pain & suffering.

So, for the short-term, I will continue to write, take care of myself so that I can live a completely balanced life, & change what I need to in order to achieve my dreams.  Today, I have been inspired once more to get back to complete Balance.  No more procrastinating about my Yoga, Pilates, walks, riding my bike, my meditations,  & no more just plopping down in front of the TV each night.  First me, then vegging. 

Thanks, Ann Curry, for being you!!

~~blessed be...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Co-Dependent No More...


I was talking to a very good friend the other night & he was sharing his experiences with the business he is building.  A business, I might add, to which he is very well-suited & quite good at doing the tasks involved.  He is a very talented teacher, is teaching something he loves, & has trained for many years.  He is becoming quite well known in his circle.   As he was sharing some of the business-end stuff (he is undercharging for his services), I commented that he needed a manager to help him figure out the finacial stuff, i.e. class charges, expenses, mileage, pre diem, hotel rates, etc.  He agreed.  He also shared a very nice compliment from his brother "You have become the kind of person you have always admired".  Then my friend shared how hard it is to shut off the dialogue from his childhood-he is the child of an alcoholic & has always been co-dependent, an "I'll fix everything for you" kinda person.  The dialogue of "You are a disappointment", "You have let us down", "You have failed at everything", etc, etc.  This guy is very intellegent, has been through therapy, knows the psyco-babble & yet when he is on the cusp of succeeding the mind talk starts.  You know what I mean, that little voice that keeps getting louder while replaying the soundtrack of your childhood.  The crappy soundtrack, the one you should not have bought.  But the tapes still exist, & you just cannot seem to throw them out with the rest of the trash.

I am a survivor of domestic abuse, as ya'll know.  But I can tell you that the tape in my head from childhood has been the hardest to quiet.  The bruises healed, I moved on with my life, I broke all ties with my abuser.  I don't remember how bad my back hurt when I thought it was broken.  What I do remember are the hurtful words my dad spoke to me throughout my childhood & teenage years.  I could sit here right now & write every one of them down.  That is the deepest hurt, the pain that surfaced over & over through the years.  Those wounds take so much longer to heal.  So I understand exactly what my friend is saying.

I can thank the most wonderful therapist for helping me quiet the voice, to see my worth, to believe in myself, & to find a new tape to play in my head when I think I can go no further.  It takes so much hard, continuing work to get past co-dependency.  Quite frankly, as with any addiction, you are never really "healed" you just learn to do better, to be better, to stop the cycle.  I do believe co-dependency is a form of addiction.  You become addicted to the feeling, to being responsible for everyone's well-being, to smoothing out all the bumps in the road for everyone else, but never for yourself.  You get high off their compliments telling you how wonderful, smart, competent you are.  When that is withdrawn the lows are intolerable, unmanagable.  That is why most co-dependents also self-medicate. 

You are told that if you take care of yourself you are selfish.  But taking care of yourself is the most selfless act you can perform.  You cannot be a healthy, fully functional person if you do not take care of yourself.  You must take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.  No other person can give this to you for it is a private Journey.

Being in recovery from co-dependency colors my life daily.  It is something of which I am acutely aware in all my relationships.  One of my AHHH HAAAA moments occured when my Mom started her ususal dialogue to get me to do something she wanted (there is a certain tone she has to her voice when this is about to occur), but that I had no intention of doing.  In the past I would have said no, argued, lost my temper, then ultimately done it anyway & hated myself for it.  The first time I said no, meant it, & stuck to it was such an epiphany.  I was not angry, I did not argue, I did not make excuses.  I simply said no.  I did this with Sparky once also.  There was something he wanted to do one weekend that I did not want to do, an event I did not want to attend.  So, I said no. He was shocked.  He called another friend, he was busy.  Called me back. I still said no.  He waited awhile & called me again.  Didn't want to go alone, would I go?  "No".  Then came the kicker, "You aren't going to change your mind are you?" "No, I am not".  That was the moment.  The moment that I knew that if our friendship hinged on me going, I did not care.  He still calls, we still go places.  But when I want to do my own thing without him I do so. If I don't want to do what he wants, I don't.   I have no fear that he "won't like me".  I have no fear that my Mom "won't love me" if I deny a request.   If a relationship hinges on me making all the concessions then it is not a real relationship-it is not a true friendship.  And, after all these years, I do not feel badly about saying no to requests.  I don't have the voice yacking at me telling me what a worthless person I am because I chose to say no. 

I still remember the day my therapist told me to find a mantra for my self-worth, & to say it to myself every day looking in the mirror.  I was so resistant.  It went against all I had ever known to say something good, affirming, or positive about myself.  Other people were supposed to give me my self-esteem & self-worth.  I wasn't good enough to do that for me.  But she insisted.  I finally came up with a compliment that a cowboy walked up to the bar where I was working one day & said to me.  "You are a handsome woman".  I have remembered that for 20+ years.  It came at a time in my life where I was so low, & it came out of the blue.  It was sincerely said, because he walked away after saying it.  So, for a very long time that was my daily mantra "You are a handsome woman".  One day I began to believe it, & so much more about myself.

Today, I am whole.  Sometimes still a little crazy, but in a way that I think everyone is crazy.  I am my own best friend, I live comfortably inside my own skin.  I have friends who love me just as I am, friends who see into my heart & Spirit.  I have found my authenticity, my Truth, & love for myself.  In finding that in me, others have been able to see it & to accept me as I am.  In that Circle of Life, I have found true worth, true peace, true harmony.  I am co-dependent no more.

~~blessed be...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Night is darkest before Dawn, coldest before Sunrise...

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. ~Proverb


Not only does this apply to the Seasons but also to our lives.  No matter how dark the moment, how lost we feel, Light does come & we find ourselves once more.   Once again able to walk in Joy, in Grace, & in Love.  I think that is the most enlightening part of going through "things" be it a tragedy, a death, a loss of any kind, or just a dark, lonely period of life.  I learned long ago that I could wallow in the self-pity, remorse, sadness, or "wishing it was all different" mode, blame others, or I could face it, deal with it, learn the lesson I was meant to learn from the experience, & then move forward without regret.  Move forward & live with Joy & Grace.  Spread Love, a pure honest authentic Love, to those with whom I come in contact.

Believe me, it is not easy to face all situations with Grace much less give Love to someone who has just royally rained on my parade.  I was sharing my last two weeks experiences with my boss with a very dear friend last night & he said to me "Obviously, he does not know with whom he is dealing"  I laughed because that was so true.  I could just turn & walk away or take offense (which I do sometimes, silently) at what he says to me & how he treats me.  I could really mess with him, but I do not.  It would just not be right.  I have to consciously make myself think how scary it must be for someone in their 70's who cannot even turn on the computer, much less get information from it to have to rely on someone else, completely, for the information necessary to run their business.  It takes a huge amount of trust. Therein lies the problem, he really does not trust or appreciate what I do.  That hurts.  So, I have to get past Ego & take a deep breath, figuratively walk away, regroup, then continue doing my job.  Grace.  I ask for Grace each day, moment by moment sometimes.  Because when I have Grace & Love for my fellow person I have Joy within myself. 

Life is too short to live without Grace, Love, & Joy.  Honor is important too.  I know I am an honorable person, a "handshake" kind of person.  I give my word on something & it is not necessary to have me sign something or "promise".  I gave my word, I "shook" on it therefore I will do it no matter what else happens.

Oh, I still blow-off steam, vent my frustrations, talk about how I would like to handle some situations, but in my heart of hearts I know that I will always do the "right" thing no matter how unjust the situation may be.  Because, in the end, I have to live with me.  In the end, I have to face the woman in the mirror.  And, ultimately, I have to answer for the decisions I make, the actions I take.  Karma will bite you in the butt if you are not careful.  The Universe will shift, & I prefer that shift be a positive one.  So, I strive each day to walk with Grace, live in Love, feel Joy.  That is, for me, being authentic & true to myself.

~~blessed be...