Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Step back, breath...

    The present

+ an attitude of gratitude

+ positive action
= my perfect life.

Excerpt from: Living a Five Star Life,
by Betty Mahalik


I have much for which I am grateful.  Sometimes I get so hung up in looking into the future that I forget to stop & simply say "Thank you" for all that I have today.  After all, today is really all we have.  As the saying goes, "Life is what happens when we are making plans".  That is so very true, & I have seen it first-hand on more than one occasion.  Plans are good, but not when the planning of  Life hampers the Living of Life.  Life is meant to to be a full-out, adrenaline pumping, head-long race.  Not to a goal so much as to an Adventure.  At least that is what it has always been for me.   The Adventure of  Living  is what makes Life so exciting, fulfilling, & worth-while.  Because when you are in that Adventure you experience, truly experience, all that Life has to offer.  Mostly good, but some tragic.  But it is through tragedy that we learn to savor the good times, to remember that Life is short-lived (shorter for some than others), & that we must take time for what is truly important.  Love, living fully, service to others, compassion, acceptance, humility, humanity, tolerance.  To serve & love others as much or more than yourself is truly a Life well lived.

So, today I stopped, took a deep breath, & remember all the things (in no particular order) for which I am grateful:

  • Great friends
  • A job
  • A lovely home
  • A reliable car
  • Good health
  • My sanity
  • The ability to do as I please with my free-time
  • Sitting on the back patio at sunset with my pupsters enjoying the last vestige of the day
  • Watching the sun go down, the moon come up & the stars coming out to play
  • Watching lightening bugs dance across the yard
  • Listening to the doves coo
  • Watching the sun come up & the world come alive
  • Being greeted with puppy kisses & hugs
  • The smiles that light up the faces of my grandchildren
  • Laughter
  • A day filled with sunshine
  • A little jingle in my pocket for a treat now & then
  • A personal relationship with Great Spirit
  • A loving relationship with my son & his family
  • Beautiful, smart, happy, healthy grandchildren
The list could go on, but I think you get the idea.  It is the simple things, the things that we all go to work each day to provide ourselves & our family.  It is the things that cannot be bought with the fruits of our labors.  It is all the things with which we are blessed.  Not because we deserve any of  them, but because the Universe saw fit to give them to us.

So, let's just stop-step back-breath-& say "Thank you". 

~~blessed be...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Musings on a rainy Sunday afternoon

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. -Lao Tzu


Got a real surprise Friday afternoon just before 5pm.  The boss & his wife took me out for coffee at a local coffee shop near the office.  We had a very nice chat, enjoyed a very nice coffee frappe, & it started the weekend off pleasantly. 

Spent several hours in Ada on Saturday. Sparky was behind in his filing.  That is really a misstatement since he never files.  So, I should say I was very behind in my filing.  Got it all taken care of in about 90 minutes.  He had sold his older bucket truck (one we bought 10 yrs ago) & the buyer came to pick it up.  Kinda bitter sweet because I remembered when we went to Springfield, MO to get it, driving it back to OK, then all the times I drove it on jobs with him, & the times I actually worked up in the bucket.   So much has happened in that 10 yrs.  We went to lunch with a couple who have been his friends for over 20 yrs to celebrate her birthday.  Went to the new Chinese restaurant.  Very good food.  They actually had sushi & a mongolian grill not to mention way too many selections on the buffet.  Then I came home early afternoon, did laundry, & hung out with the pupsters.  It rained all day, into the night, & is still raining.  I have spent today cleaning the kitchen, watching movies, then I made buffalo chili.  Turned out really good.  Lots of spices.

The quote above really spoke to me today.  In fact, it would have spoken to me on any day lately.  I never, ever expected to still be in OK in 2010.  My plans 5 1/2 yrs ago were to move to Seattle.  I like Seattle, I liked the life I had there with my Big Guy (he is still there, has a very nice life, & is getting his business going).  I miss the social life I had there. 

The photo is the sunset off Mallory Square in Key West.  That is where my heart is & has been since I went there on a trip my brother requested (he called it his Make a Wish trip).  I love the ocean, the beach, the sun, the laid back lifestyle.  I like the ecclectic vibe.  I like the nightlife.  But mostly I like the acceptance of everyone's exintricities.   It is a place where you can just "be".  I long to just be. 

I know it is time to get back to my writing.  Back to the novel that has been shelved for way too long.  I have had a hard time getting back to my life since my brother died.  I got so wrapped up in his care, in his cancer, that I lost myself.  I lost my drive to live my dream.  I lost my creativity.  I do not in any way regret devoting my life to my brother during his illness.  It was an honor & a priviledge to serve him, to take care of him, to do all that needed to be done.  But here I am, almost six years later, still trying to get back to myself.  For some reason, I have found that very hard to do in OK.  I love OK, don't get me wrong.  She is the land of my birth, red dirt flows in my veins, I am an Okie.  But I am more.  That more is difficult to grasp in the circle in which I now exist.  Sparky has never lived more than 30 miles from where he was born, & that is ok.  He is content, it is the life he wants.  For me, I have been to the city & I have seen the elephant.  My horizons have expanded so far beyond the horizon I can see from my window.  I miss seeing the elephant.  I miss stimulating conversations.  I miss the arts, discussing best sellers, exploring out of the way neighborhoods.  I miss trying new, exotic, ethnic restaurants.  I miss festivals, & walks in parks. 

I live 1.5 hrs from two large cities, 4 hrs from another one.  When we go to these cities for a day, I always remember that Sparky does not "get" what I like to do.  He is not a walker (that has to do with a foot problem).  He is not a lover of art, movies (I am a fanatic for movies, but have not been "to the movies" since I quit going to Seattle), or music other than metal or oldies Rock.  He has never read a book so while I can browse in a bookstore for hours, he cannot.  I did get him to try Latin food the other day, but he does not have adventurous taste buds either.  He is steady, a good man, & I am told often (by others) how lucky I am to have him in my life.  I am blessed, I know that.  But I am dying in my spirit. 

I do go out of town by myself every other month or so.  I get my hair trimmed, I eat Indian food at a restaurant I really like, I explore out of the way shops I have heard about.  But, I need to sit down in a coffee shop with like-minded friends & have real talks. 

I am at a crossroads in my life.  I know what my heart tells me, but I also know that I am "stuck" here in many ways.  Mostly because the job market is terrible.  I am not 20 any more.  When I was, I just picked up & went.  Now I think about reinventing myself rather than just doing it.   I have obligations that I could not handle if I lived in Key West or Seattle, or Montana.  It appears that I will be in OK for many more years.  How do I get my life back, stay here, & not lose myself in the process?  How do I find what I gave up when I moved back here?   

Whiney aren't I?  I think the weather gets me thinking like this.  I need sunshine, hot weather, I need to go for a long run.  Make that a walk, I might be a little out of shape to start with a run. LOL

I need to take time each day to write.  I need to get together with my "big city" friends.  I need a day to "do lunch", go out for coffee, listen to music, sit at a sidewalk cafe', browse a bookstore, have a stimulating conversation with friends who have diverse views.  I need mental stimulation.  I need to go sit on a rock & contemplate.  I need to not just recharge my Spirit, but I need to replenish my well that has run dry. 

I need to find myself again.

~~blessed be...

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Perfect Family...

"So the Perfect Family wasn't so perfect after all".  That's what Sparky said when I told him the story of my childhood.  The REAL story.  Authentic, truthful, full of pain, drama, intrigue, and lies.  Telling that story is a part of my healing, a part of living a healthy life.

Last night my Mom called to chat and to let me know that my step-dad is having some routine procedures done next week.  He likes for me to be informed & had told her to call me.  Pops loves me!! And I feel blessed to finally have a "Dad" who actually likes me & wants to spend time with me.  As it always happens when Mom & I talk the conversation was turned to my daddy, by Mom.  She says she has let go of the past, but with every conversation she goes back to it, back to events that are very painful.  What she doesn't realize is that with each telling of the "facts" she gives me more of the "truths" & I find out that what she told me originally, time-line wise, is not true.  She knew the facts a lot longer than she originally told my brother & me.  It really does not matter at this point in time, but it sure explains much more.  While I still don't really remember my childhood, she does fill in some blanks. 

I have been thinking about this post for months.  I thought about it last night & went back & forth on whether or not I would even write it.  But, this year I have promised myself that I would write the truth of my Journey, whatever that might be & where ever it might lead, either currently or in my past, with complete truth & authenticity.  Yesterday I saw a report on the news about a young man who killed the man who had molested him as a child then continued, allegedly, to stalk him as an adult.  The wife of the slain man has asked that the young man not be given prison time, not be charged with murder because she believes "my husband had a secret life."  That opened up a big can of worms for me.  So, here is my truth...

My dad molested at least one boy (who as a young adult returned to that small town in OK to blackmail my daddy-looking for $20,000 to go away.  He didn't get the money because my Mom bluffed him, stood up & refused to pay.  He went away, but I think my dad may have given him the money.), maybe two.  For all I know there were more.  I have spoken about this but I have never written those words before.  That was harder than I thought.  I know he did not abuse his children in that manner.  I know this for a fact about my brother although Mom says there was an "incident" with my brother when he was a baby that made her very uncomfortable & that after that she never allowed either of us to be alone with our dad.  That is why he never went to father/daughter functions with me, Mom would tell him it wasn't important & that I didn't care one way or the other (I did though, it hurt me so much that I never could attend those functions with my daddy & I never knew until recently that Mom kept this from happening because she did not want him to be alone with me).  There was the time that he exposed himself to me when I was 15 or 16.  I never told anyone until I was in intensive therapy when I told my therapist.  Later I told my Mom.  There is one incident when I was 5 that I can only remember up to a certain point then nothing.  It was when I was alone with my daddy.  I shared this in therapy & know that I can probably undergo hypnosis & remember but I am not sure I want to at this point in my life.  I have come out the other side on so much & what would it solve.  I shared this with my Mom also & she has pretty much poo-pooed the whole thing, but I understand that is a defense mechanism for her.  

I have strong feelings that my daddy should have gone to jail for what he did--I can never forgive what he did nor can I justify it.  I also cannot justify or forgive the fact that when my Mom knew for certain she did nothing, kept quiet, kept up appearances.  That just goes against all that I believe is right.  My Mom knows intellectually that this should have happened-he should have been sent to jail, he should have had to make amends when she became aware of the scope of the abuse, but to this day she feels that would have as she says "ruined" all of our lives.  That we would have had to move away from my hometown.  She believes that stigma would have scarred my brother & me for life.  Hell, we were scarred anyway by the childhood we had to live.  Could it have really been any worse?  Would have knowing the truth, living the truth perhaps set us free?  Would we have been healthier sooner if the lies had not been told?  I don't know.  What I do know is that I am free now.  Free of believing I was somehow less than I needed to be in order to be loved by my daddy.  After all these years, it wasn't me.  I could have saved myself a lot of wrong roads in life, a few bad choices, & perhaps had a marriage that actually lasted had I only known the truth. 

What I do wonder about my dad is this.  I know he was gay, I know he had relationships with men.  One of them was a really nice man who was very good to my brother & me.  He & daddy took me to see the movie Pollyanna-it is one of my favorite childhood memories.  He spent time at our house, he brought us gifts-a stuffed poodle was my favorite.  We (including my Mom) visited his house.  What caused my dad, later, to become interested in young boys, teenagers?  That is not typical of a gay man.  I have many gay friends - they are not like that.  I like my gay friends, I respect them.  In fact, I love my gay friends.  They treat me with such respect & love.  I would have been happy to say "My dad is gay", I would have been fine if he had a partner.  I would have embraced that, but I just cannot wrap my mind around the other.  These are questions that will never be answered in this Life.  But what I do know is this, I chose this Journey these parents when my Spirit chose to have a human experience.  I am only now beginning to understand the full extent of the lessons those choices are teaching me.   Someday, I will be fully Enlightened & will know all the answers.  For now, I walk my Path.

~~blessed be...