Monthly Archives: April 2015

Inevitable Bubbles

There are lots of inevitables in life that we all have just, well, come to expect. Like the fact that Curious George will absolutely always and without fail get into some sort of trouble when the man-in-the-yellow-hat leaves him alone. Remember watching Southpark? Yeah, Kenny always died. The same as how every episode of the Waltons ended with ‘Goodnight John Boy’, and the same as the Cookie Monster always ate too many cookies. (By the way, I’m fairly certain that I WAS Cookie Monster in a far off life, not so far away). When we blow soapy water through a ring, we all have come to expect those magical fleeting bubbles that never go out of style, and for which we never really get to old to enjoy.

Predictability can be awesome. Predictability can be as warm and snuggly as the baby blanket with satin lining that some of us used to carry around until we were old enough to become aware of germs, at which point we finally stopped sucking the satin.

What? That was just me?

Anyway, predictability can be great, BUT predictability can also be a great big ginormous dinosaur of a thorn right in our sides. Like when an ex-husband has been struggling with an addiction for the last 8 years, and you know that no matter how much he loves his son, he’s probably not going to stay clean long enough to teach his son the sort of stability and security that he needs. And I’ve come to learn that no matter how many times Ethan’s dad tries, I’m still going to always end up being the ONLY responsible and dependable parent my youngest will know. His dad hasn’t had a job in three years, and has told more stories than are in the Bible over the last 8 years of his addiction. I can’t even listen anymore. And the older Ethan gets, the more difficult it becomes for me to keep all of this a secret.

But I will because I love my child. The longer I can protect him from the ugly parts of life, the better.

So, while today was like hundreds of other days, with the ‘dad’ not calling or picking him up as planned, and with Ethan having multiple meltdowns leading to me having multiple meltdowns, it could always be worse. Much worse.

And those are my thoughts, as I watch Ethan and his best pal Jackson relishing in the simplicity of bubbles, those inevitable, beautiful, dependable, timeless wonders. Like childhood, they are fleeting, but worthy of pause and gratitude. Goodnight John Boy.;) Namaste.

Changes

Changes. Nothing moves forward without them. No one gets uncomfortable without them. Everything stays the same without them. We are human. We are not equipped to stay the same, but we’re also ill-equipped when it comes to instigating our own changes.

A new pair of shoes has to be ‘worked in’ before they can ever become anything close to resembling those favorite comfortable shoes. When we move, we are faced with working out a whole new routine; the best route to the grocery store, how to avoid school zones, the nearest gas station, the nearest church, new neighbors, new schools, new teachers, new postman.

It feels like starting over. WE are now the strangers, the freshman, the low man on the totem pole. When we change careers, the same thing happens again. We are now the one in training instead of being the trainer. We have to follow others until we work ourselves into a new routine. We, who once lead, now are shadows, learning our way but leaning on everyone around us. There is a sense of vulnerability, of humility, that kicks in & takes over our thinking.

But while some change is forced on us by loved ones or circumstances (i.e. getting laid off, divorced, a death in the family), lots of change is pre-meditated and intended, even initiated by the changer. Those changes are fun. We don’t tend to change careers unless we are unhappy, and we don’t tend to ask for a divorce if we are content and happy with our current spouse. If we liked where we were, we wouldn’t choose to leave.

For many of us, those conditions have to decline to the level of deplorable before we even flinch. Why? Because change takes more energy than we have to muster when we’re so miserable where we are. One of my favorite things about being human and having free will? Having the opportunity and the freedom to wait for the right time to make changes.

You hear people say that there is really ‘no right time’ for anything, be it getting married, having babies, changing careers, deciding to live a healthier lifestyle, whatever. I disagree. The right time is exactly at that moment of your day, your week, your month, in the middle of the night, where it hits you and you know that you truly are FED up with that area of your life. In THAT moment it really doesn’t matter that you don’t have enough savings yet, or that you may hurt someone else’s feelings in the process. When it’s time, you will know, and in that moment, you will relish in the freedom of free will and know that, because it’s time, everything will work out in the end. And whether you end up where you want or not, you can at least say that you did your part. You took the path with your full heart. There can be no regrets.

Twitch

It’s been 10 days since it first started, this nagging eyelid twitch, this muscle spasm attack occurring every 3 minutes or so, waking, sleeping, yawning, driving, laughing, crying. Doesn’t matter. The twitch does not go away. It persists, along with the nagging negative thoughts twitching convulsively through my mind. All of those thoughts are focused in on one area as well, also having to do with sight, or blindness, or love, or doubt, or patterns. I believe in the law of attraction. I do. But what do you do when the same thoughts keep battling their way in. How can I combat THAT in REM?

I feel like it’s a disease, maybe there is such a thing as Cancer of the eyelid? The whole removing myself from all parts of my life – modifying custody, selling the business, dropping my networking groups, a disconnect from friends, and a withdrawal from as many social situations as I can get away with without anyone growing overly curious…it all sounds a little familiar. If this inconvenience has any medical connection, I will not know until I can no longer know. The truth is, I’ve had enough of sickness. One thing I’ve learned from both of my deceased parents is that. Never let anyone see what I don’t want to see myself. Sometimes reality is just simply too ugly. I absolutely 1,000% want no one taking care of me. I would imitate a dog on her last day and walk off into the woods somewhere. If I were writing a novel of my own life, my character would (at this time in her young life) be diagnosed with something bad. It just makes sense. No worries, no stress, love of her life, two wonderful boys, finances in order….and GAME OVER. It just makes sense. Why does it have to make so much damn sense, and since when does twitch make sense?

how this only prevents the lonelies

I remember as a child, sitting in the room of our little basement rancher playing paper dolls for hours on end.   My parents would be doing their thing. Typically, dad would be down in the basement building go-carts, or out in the carport waxing his super cool Knight Rider Trans-Am. Mom would be downstairs as well doing 6 loads of laundry that had accumulated through the week. I didn’t know what boredom was. I’ve never known the meaning of boredom.

Today was the ultimate only day. My boyfriend is gone on vacation, both of my boys are at their other homes, and my Hayley dog and I have had the day completely to ourselves. The only exception was that I watched my youngest play in a heartbreaking soccer game this morning, so I was afforded the pleasure of mingling with my parent friends & running up and down the field yelling for just one more goal. At that point, I had already had breakfast, worked out, showered, and succesfully landed myself at the start of the game with minutes to spare. That’s very unusual for this fashionably late little lady..

After the game, I stopped by the car wash, scrubbed and detailed my Sante Fe that I hadn’t driven in over a year, making sure to finger nail all of the nooks and crannies for french fry crumbs & other funky unmentionables that had gathered in inconvenient cracks and crevices. I came home, ate lunch, felt sleepy, and proceeded to change into my swimsuit for a sunbathing siesta. Why not? Time has been my friend today afterall. Time was my buffet, my smorgasboard to fill however I chose. After about 30 minutes of laying there upon awakening, trying to decide if moving my tired muscles in order to arouse them back into production was really worth it, the workaholic part of me won out. So I got up, mulched, and pulled, and tugged, and weeded out in my three small flower beds until sweat was dripping, and my face had turned a brighter shade of apple.

That would have probably been enough, but not for me. I was on a roll. I came back inside, folded two loads of laundry, and worked out yet again. I finished the day with shorts shopping and a visit to Earthfare. In between some of that, I talked to my boyfriend’s mom, who had called to tease me about picking up Doug. We had our usual banter over who would get the privelege, but I finally won out. The call from her pretty much made my day.

I wouldn’t want to be alone every day of my life. I have a strong belief that we all need people. But having this day by myself was refreshing. There was no tv watching, although there was lots and lots of music. Hayley got more than her fair share of dog walks, and my own thoughts never failed to keep me entertained. I miss my boys. I miss my man. But what I learn on days like these is that I also miss myself sometimes. It feels good to be reunited with me.

Apples and Purples

I think I’m pretty strong. Sometimes I am. Sometimes I’m just pretty foolish, like when I start comparing my life to the lives of those around me. I know better. First of all, there are plenty of people out there who dream of having my life. I have two healthy boys, an incredible boyfriend, lots of very loyal and loving friends and family members. I’m in good health, have lots of hair, and even have achieved white girl Michelle Obama arms. I live in a free country, can workout any time I want, go grocery shopping when I’m out of toilet paper, sing Karaoke if I choose, and travel down any road without feeling the threat of passing soldiers or overhead bombings. Instead of paying attention to any of that however, whenever I spend too long in my own skull, I begin digressing into that old-school pity party where I used to live in high school.That place where no one understood the troubles I’ve seen. No one can see my sorrows.

That’s a shade of grey I wish would stay away. It’s so controlling and abusive. I never signed up for it, but the moment I let my guard down…

Conversations that have taken place over the last few days start replaying in my head. For instance, I hear Doug and his mom discussing how much they all need each other and how good they are for each other. That’s absolute truth! But now, in my lowly mood, what I hear is ‘you have no one, Heather’, ‘You’re an orphan, Heather’. When I think of the differences between Doug and I, I wonder if I am worthy – just like I used to – or if, in reality, I simply have too much baggage & I’m just too pitiful for him & threaten to bring his world down. Has he ever said this? Um. No. It’s all in my ridiculous thoughts.

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s 2015 and I really really really want to be his wife someday, but know that it will be at least a couple more years because I cannot get married next year. And maybe it’s because every time I hop onto Facebook, someone else is signing off for the night to curl up with their husband to watch a movie before bed, and I don’t remember what it’s like to take that for granted.

My life is what it is. God has a plan and I believe that with everything I am. I just wish that it was a plan I liked this time around, and I’m scared to death that it isn’t turning out to be all that.

But I still like apples and purples over oranges. I still have my own two feet firmly planted on the ground, holding up this abusive little mind that still loves mornings and decaf and hates night time mindful meanderings that lead to nightmares and loneliness. And if I could only find a way to fast forward through that part of my day that happens just after my kids’ bed time, and just before my alarm goes off the next day, I would be a very happy only indeed.

Because beginnings are full of hope, and endings are full of sorry.

Wandering Minds Want to Grow

Stress. It has its appeal. We get all worked up over work, over disgruntled employees, dissatisfied customers, the overflowing inbox, flaky technology, unpaid bills, and all the what-ifs that come with day-to-day possibilities. Stress is always there. Sometimes we’re just too darn busy to recognize its grasp. Until one day we aren’t too busy. That’s when stress tries to crawl in bed with us, wrap us up in its misery, and suffocate us with our own dark thoughts. That’s when we notice it, when it should be gone, because we thought we weeded it out of our overcrowded gardens.

That’s how it begins. We recognize what we look like, all draped in stress, and start undressing. First we shed ourselves of the things we believe are slowly killing us. Maybe we end a relationship, or quit a stressful job. Maybe we begin taking better care of ourselves, get ourselves on the healing track. We start feeling better, losing the weight of burden & worry. Life starts looking better. We start looking better. We become leaner, more confident versions of ourselves. We bring on peace, and filter out stress until we almost don’t recognize ourselves. Life is good. We feel amazing.

For a while, we forget that we were ever stressed – maybe for a day, or a week. We are grateful to ourselves for taking action, for leaving that stress in a pile in the corner of our minds. But it gets too quiet. And like parents of a toddler, we begin to question the silence. What trouble is lurking in there? It’s too quiet! We don’t voluntarily go there, but the second our guards go down, our minds wander off into that forbidden corner.

Staying positive, keeping stress at bay, and keeping up our sunny dispositions…these are not easy tasks. Everything in life will not always be sunshine and roses ALL the time, even without so much stress. Like anything else wonderful in our ives – friendships, marriage, relationships – it takes diligence and determination, but maybe even more importantly, it takes having a plan. Sometimes staying positive even takes the support of friends and loved ones. Maybe especially for those of us who think we can do it all by ourselves. That’s okay. That’s more than okay. That’s called being human.

So go ahead. Undress the stress. Find that peace beneath. Then….fight like crazy to keep it. Peace looks beautiful on you.

In the Raw

I don’t want anyone to see me like this – raccoon eyed rocky Balboa without the motivation and drive. Little miss motivator isn’t very good at motivating herself today it seems.

Oh sure, I still woke up at 5 and worked out, dropped off Ethan with all the same happy goodbyes as every morning. I still made it into work, actually maybe a little more on time than usual. I announced some pretty big news to my girls there, and shared some teary eyed smiles. My love Doug spent his lunch break with me letting me spill the drama that is my life right now all over him…yet again, with all the fervor and heart a human can have. He never lets a moment pass without showing me his unbelievable support, and I can’t imagine the weight he must feel.

But this girl leaned on her mom until she could no longer stand.

I can’t lean anymore. I don’t want to lose anyone else.

Sometimes when I feel this way, reaching out to help console someone else swiftly frees me from my own muck. I tried this trick tonight, and for the first time in memory, it backfired with a great big explosion of FAIL. A fellow Beachbody coach, whom I’ve never met, posted a vent about feeling overwhelmed with her crazy busy life, and how she thought she was going to have a nervous breakdown. I replied with my normal self-diagnosed counselor heart-felt advice, and felt that familiar calm wash over me for a very short period of time. When I checked back in, the girl had arrived home from her terrible day to her husband handing her a glass of wine. He was there, and I felt happiness for her, and pity for me until I was 10 steps lower than the lowness from which I had started. First comes grief, then comes pity, then comes guilt. And that’s the snowball that I fear every single time the emptiness kicks in.

I know better than to live there, and I won’t. I will awaken and be renewed, which is my personal proof of God’s existence. Always has been. Always will be. But for tonight I will make my own dreams and pretend I live in that world – the world where emptiness does not exist…except in a glass in a quaint restaurant where the server endlessly replenishes.

Joy Ride in the Cadi

I drive your car now, the Cadillac. The very one that I teased you about. I remember saying that you were too young to drive such a car at only 63. ‘Cadillacs were for old people’, I said. I still see them, the clones of your car, and even though I’m in yours, I still look for your burst of blonde and your bright grin. I wait to see how fast you’re going so that I can scold you for your lead foot later. I miss that lead foot.

I fell in love with her a few months after you passed. I made a weekend trip to Nashville and began to truly appreciate her smoothness, her dependability, but most of all- her power. Her power was like butter for my crusty bitter grief, like a soft and sleek lubricant for my blistered mood, and fast couldn’t go fast enough for this used-to-be granny driver. There is something consoling about speeding, something that screams ‘Life is short. Make it count. Feel alive!’. Anything that reminds me of your warm hug, your proud smile, and your glassy eyes that almost never shed a tear have been like blankets I carry along to console me when the world turns cold.

I’ve driven our car now on lots of trips. It carries me well, with lots of room for all of my baggage, warm seats for my cold rump, and lots of nifty compartments still housing your chap stick, your lighter, and your hand cream. You might even say that I’ve accepted this granny car with open arms.

But….

There is a downside to our Cadillac. You’re not in there.

If I go with someone else, and pull back into our parking lot at work and see your pearl white heap of pride, I feel instant giddiness like I did when that car was a beacon of hope because you were inside our office, waiting to direct me, waiting to fill my ears with your laughter, your gossip, or your story about the movie you slept through last night. It’s like that dream that you really wanted to have, only you had to wake up and face the reality of it’s falseness, only to realize your heart was broken again. It’s like being dumped over and over and over and over….

Would I change those memories? Would I erase them from my mind? No way! I carry you with me regardless of whether or not I carry your ‘stuff’ or not. Those things no longer matter to you. I do. I always will. The fact that I’m a mom too tells me that.

So when you’re up there watching only the happiest moments, when your legacy swoops in and fills me with the courage I never summonsed in your lifetime, that’s when I feel you the most. That’s when I know. This is our Cadillac, and yes…you are still driving. 😉