Posts Tagged With: hope

in love with being alive

I saw this on my friend Becca’s (I think) insta.
I was over here like, First of all I don’t drink coffee…
But then I read the last sentence and I got the gooseflesh.

I hope you fall in love with being alive again.
Y’all, let’s ponder that for a moment.

I’m going to ignore the size of the assumption someone has fallen out of love with being alive. I mean, cause that’s one hell of a big assumption.
But…

I wrote just the other day about paying attention. By deliberately acknowledging my gratitude I felt peaceful and joyful. And I might not have had this language in that moment, but I realize now that I can say I truly felt in love with being alive.
That’s been an overarching theme for me this year. And yes, the year is still young. But the feeling has been building in me for quite some time now, it just began to make enough sense to put it into play after the holidays.

I get bogged down in the living of life. The day to day minutiae becomes the focus. I’m so involved in doing the tedious daily requirements I sometimes forget to look up. To pay attention.

That’s life though, right?
Only what if it wasn’t?
What if I could be focused on tedious tasks, manage the minutiae, and still be aware?
What if? What if? What if?
That question ought to be stricken from my vernacular.
As a lifetime question-asker, I’m still learning how to phrase questions so they can be answered.
So instead of asking what if? the question could be something much more specific.
What can I do to complete tedious tasks and manage the minutiae without it being my sole focus?
What can I do each day to help me look up and pay attention?
Simple rephrasing.
Look how much easier those questions seem than the what if? question.
I think I’m on to something here…just gotta figure out what it is exactly.

Anyway, life can get in the way of living. I think we all experience that. It doesn’t have to though. We really can manage to do the ‘all the things’ and still experience peace, joy, and gratitude.
We can be in love with being alive!
I believe with every fiber of my being that it is the simplest thing.
(Most of us) were in love with being alive when we were kids. And at other important/special times in our lives. We just have to remember how to do it.
We have to remember that the tedium and minutiae are just box checking. A handful of specific things we must accomplish in this life.
But we have two hands!
What’s in the other one?
Is that where the magic of love, hope, joy, and gratitude are?

Life can be frustrating.
Difficult people or situations can get in your way.
One of my biggest pet peeves is people in stores who push their buggies all willy-nilly through the aisles. I get foaming-at-the-mouth angry. I lay curses and wish plagues upon them. I want to stab them with my ice pick. My anger doesn’t impact them, only me. I’m the one all jacked up and they’re just shopping.
What would it be like if I didn’t?
What would it be like if I accepted being in this situation without focusing all my white hot anger at it?
Would make my visits to the shops much better for me. I might even find some joy and gratitude with my purchases, right?

Perception is key. (Or is it ‘Don’t be a hater’?)
Either way, I know I’m on to something this time.

I know I have the ability to shift my focus.
I know I can pay attention to what brings me joy and gratitude.
I know by looking up once in a while, I can quite easily be in love with being alive.

However worn out we feel, however tired we are of the tedium and minutiae of life, we are not broken. We may have fissures, or be fractured, but life cannot truly break us.
I know this because I’m full of love. I’m full of hope. It slips in and fills in the cracks from those long ago fractures. Love and hope make me whole.

Hope reminds me to look up and pay attention.
Gratitude brings me peace.
Love is my intention.
And that’s what helps me fall (and remain) in love with being alive!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

feeling the appropriate amount of drama

Apparently my wish is PWCS command. I got the text that schools were closed last night just before 9:00.
We have a snow day!
But it’s dry as a bone outside…the southern part of VA got pounded, even the southern part of the county.
Who cares! I’m home today!
Gotta make the most of it.

**warning**
Buckle up kiddies, we’re going on one hell of a stream of consciousness ride today.
For your own safety, and peace of mind, please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times.

I wrote this on Friday:

It feels like I waste so much time.
I am truly astonished at how much time I actually waste each day.
I’m not sure what that’s about.
I don’t have it in me to write.
I don’t pick up things to read.
I am not depressed.
I am not having issues with my brain.
I’m just in this weird cycle of pressuring myself to work and not actually getting any thing done.
Will put some time at considering how I might break the cycle.

I wrote these words this morning:

I’m a bit worried. I can feel myself being really anxious and there’s not a logical reason for it.
I’m not doing anything I’m meant to be doing except go to work and do my job. I’m barely feeding myself. I’m not writing or reading. I’m not doing homework.
I’m avoiding things I normally enjoy.
The more I write, the more these things are describing depression.
I don’t feel depressed!
Unless…
These are signs of what’s to come…? These are my warning signs…?

I’m not sure how to shake myself loose!
It’s easy to say, “just do it” (fuck you, Nike) but it doesn’t work that way.

I have to write six lesson plans and I literally cannot even open the rubric to see what needs to be done.
I need to watch classroom videos and can’t stand the sight or sounds of children long enough to record my observations.
I have a stack of books in my TBR shelf and I don’t even want to touch them!
And the thing that kind of frightens me the most…I’m not all SQUEEEEEE!! about wrapping gifts.

On this gift of a snow day I’ve already started the laundry and plan to wrap gifts.
And if there’s time before my massage appointment, I’ll do some homework.
I may attempt to turn part of this into a blog post, but maybe not till Wed…?
Of course, I started one Sunday last week when we came home from the play…I lost my momentum and thought process because I didn’t make the time to go back to it until yesterday.

I think those words are key: make the time

I’m not making the time to do anything!
I’m literally just wasting the days away.
Of course, I’m tired after school. And this family schedule is…tricky to say the least. But I’m not sure I’m actually forcing myself to do what needs to be done.
Just the words ‘forcing myself’ speak volumes.

I am overwhelmed.
I’m not sure what that’s about really.
Is it conceptual overwhelm-edness? Am I just so caught up in what needs to be done and what I’m not actually doing that it’s stressing me out?
I do feel overwhelmed.
Anxious.
Like I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
But I need to sort it so I don’t go down the rabbit hole! Especially at this time of year!

Perhaps building a quick schedule. Moderate my time?
Also create a looking forward to thingie, some kind of list maybe?
So I’ll do what I’m meant to be doing and then I’ll be excited with what I’m looking forward to…that could inspire me to get it together with a quickness…?

I can hear my mother in my head, ‘put your nose to the grindstone and work’ ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ ‘stop being so dramatic’
Is it that easy?
Can I just buck up and power through?

It’s not just my stuff that makes me anxious.
I’m anxious around the house.
I’m anxious around my husband.
I’m avoiding the kid so as not to be anxious around him. I was saying this to YBW and he mused that perhaps that’s why the kid never leaves his room when he’s home.
That was more responsibility than I’m interested in taking on. I was just talking about how tricky it is to want to help him and also let him do his own thing. How that induces anxiety in me. Is what I’m feeling causing actions in the kid? Well, that’s a conversation that could be had, but I’ll not be taking the responsibility for it.
Feeling all the more anxious…

I don’t feel comfortable.
Almost as though I’m in a show I don’t understand. As though I learned my lines, and blocking, and costume changes, but when I arrived on stage, I don’t recognize the other actors, or dialogue, or anything really. As though I prepped for a completely different show.
That seems rather dramatic as I read it, but it’s exactly how I feel!
That scenario is appropriate for the level of confusion and anxiety I am experiencing.

I hear my mother hissing, “Don’t be so dramatic!”
My initial response is the hang my head.

But the reality is that this is my life, and the only one I’ll get.
I feel the way I feel. I’m not behaving in an overly dramatic way, I’m just feeling my feels in a somewhat dramatic way.
Feeling my feels is only mine. So I’ll feel as dramatic (or not) as is appropriate to me.
I’m going to do my best to figure how to work through this. To do what needs to be done, tempered with not feeling so anxious about it.

However overwhelmed I’m feeling, I have the power.
My life. My power.
I can do whatever, whenever, and however it works best for me.
Now, currently it doesn’t feel like much is working…but I have the power to change that.
I just have to figure a way to make the time to tap into it…

Categories: me, mental health | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

giving of thanks for November

November. The month that contains the giving of thanks. And y’all, I am not a Thanksgiving kind of girl.
That said, I am chock full of gratitude this month.


Charleston visit.
Time with Sally and her fam.
Time with Jessica.
Solitary road trip.

My therapist.
Two of the three alternative healthcare providers.
Our therapist.
Amber. (she does my hair)


First snow day of the year! (Nov 15)
YBW’s sense of humor.
An unexpected day spent with Catherine.
Independent bookshops.
Michaels coupons.
Mail from Sundance.
My mother in law’s ring back on my finger.
40% off sale at J Crew. (Roby’s getting a new coat for Christmas.)
Flannel jammie pants.
My monogrammed rain boots.
Target’s customer service.
Old Town Warrenton.
Shop small Saturday.
Accidental wine tastings.
Eric Clapton’s Christmas album.
redbubble.com
Holding hands with YBW.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Apple cider mimosas.
Spending Thanksgiving with friends and family and actually enjoying myself.
YBW’s mad kitchen cleaning skills.
A powerful phone conversation with Thing 2.

A new menorah for Hanukkah. (first night is Dec 2)
Christmas decorating.
Making bows.
Fairy lights on the banister.
So! Many! Baby! Jesuses!

And quite possibly what I’m most grateful for!

Thing 1 is pregnant!
The best part is that she is in excellent health, and the baby is strong and healthy!

My cup runneth over.

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September gratitude

September was a difficult month.
That wretched therapy appointment started it off.
YBW and I spent a great deal of time focused on the lack of effort Thing G spends on being responsible for his own life.
I didn’t realize how disappointed I would be when the time came for us to be holding a new baby and there was not one to hold.

That said, there’s much to be grateful for!

Boyfriend J’s birthday.
My therapist.
Our therapist.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s production of Gloria.

All three of my alternative healthcare providers.
Fall decorations!
Amber. (She does my hair, and it looks GOOD!)
Meaningful conversations with Sally.
The sun finally showed up!
Ridiculously fun meme sharing with Sundance.
The easiest blood draw I’ve ever experienced! (my veins roll and that makes for bad times)
Double date at the art festival with M and J.
Phone calls with Jessica.
Being in the park for the last home game of the season. (Nats won 9-3!!)
Sirius XM Broadway.
Cocktails with YBW.
Sitting in the sun at the Naval Academy watching our nephew play Rugby.
Spending time with great friends-as-family in Annapolis!
Talking with my girls.
Cooler temperatures. (Only by a smitch, but I’ll take it!)
Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Comedy of Errors.

Finishing a successful school term.
Did I mention the sun finally showed up?

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what kind of mother does that? or love and hope make me whole

It’s no secret I have mother issues. Normally they’re on the DL, you know, just kind of there minding their own business. But Tuesday? Well, Tuesday they threw a f**king parade.
YBW and I were with our therapist Tuesday. And while discussing something (that at the time seemed) completely unrelated the teenage girl in me was triggered.

*****
The summer after my freshman year of high school, my mother literally removed all trace of me from my home. She packed up all my belongings in black trash bags and left them on the porch. When my father took me to pick up my things, my mother would not allow me in the house. She actually stood behind the storm door long enough to deny me entrance before closing the big door in my face. I wasn’t allowed to say goodbye to my brother. I never got to hug my Grandaddy. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to my cat.
When I was fifteen years old, my mother sent me to live with the father who abandoned me when I was five.

I know you want to ask why.
Believe me, I asked it enough. In fact, the last time I made the attempt to speak with my mother about it, she politely told me she was not going to discuss it. That it was over and there was no reason to go back to it.
UM…NO REASON TO DISCUSS THE SEMINAL MOMENT IN MY LIFE!?!?
So, to answer your question, I don’t know why.

I do know that she didn’t like the fact that I was beginning to become my own person. I no longer wanted to be a girl scout. I no longer wanted to be a memember of the CAR. I didn’t want to do the things she forced me to do. I wanted to do things I was curious about, interested in, not just what she decided I would do.
I wanted to play softball. I wanted to take theater, and dance classes.
I played briefly at not turning in homework and skipping classes. That didn’t last long, I love(d) learning and understood it was ridiculous to miss out on something I loved to spite my mother.
I started dating a very sweet guy that was instantly hated simply because of the timing. He was kind and caring and was actually good for me, encouraging me to be more focused in school, etc.
I wanted to choose more for myself. I was weary of living the life she designed, I wanted to be my own person.
Of course, this is actually developmentally appropriate behavior for teenagers.
And I was not drinking. I was not doing drugs. I was just trying to figure out what I wanted my life to look like.
That was not what my mother wanted. She expected me to do all the things she wanted me to do. She expected me to live my life for her. She didn’t want any part of a daughter that didn’t keep her head down and do what she was told.

According to my father, my mother called him one day at work and when he answered she said, “If you don’t take her, I’m putting her in a home.” His reply…? “Who is this?”
(I learned this as a 40-something year old woman)
Yeah, these two f**kwits were my parents. Yay. (sarcasm, just so we’re clear)

I didn’t do what she wanted me to so she got rid of me.
Let that sink in. I didn’t do what she wanted me to do so she got rid of me.
No conversation, no talk with me about ‘getting it together’, no warning. Just me calling her from my dad’s one afternoon in the summer asking her to pick me up so I could come home and her telling me, “You’re not coming home.”
Let that sink in. “You’re not coming home.”
That was her solution to her problem of me. Her first born child, her only daughter. Her solution to the problem of me not doing what she wanted was to get rid of me.
What kind of mother does that?
*****

And even after my deep-heel-digging-in resistance, this all (and more) came out in our therapy session.
So. Many. Tears.
I didn’t want YBW there. I didn’t want the therapist there. I’d rather never have to be there, but of course, ‘there’ is always down deep in me.
Here’s why I don’t want anyone there.
First of all, it was the most damaging moment of my life. In that moment I was taught that if I didn’t do what someone else wanted/expected/told me to do, I was so unlovable that I needed to be disposed of. In that moment I learned that without knowing all the rules all the time I was never going to be safe. In that moment I learned that home is nothing but a noun.
Secondly, I have so much shame regarding every single bit of that.
I am so ashamed it happened to me. Ashamed because I feel like I’m betraying my mother if I tell this story.
No one should experience what I did. Even secondhand.

Of course, that’s not how therapy works. And I’m a weeping, gasping, snotty mess talking about how my mother didn’t love me. Talking about how I was sent away from my little brother. How I was sent away from my own precious Grandaddy.
I wanted to run as far away from that room as my feet could carry me. I hated every single moment of sharing that story. To be perfectly honest, I would rather have removed my own tongue than share that experience.

After the worst of it, I talked about Grandaddy. How he was the first man I ever loved. How he taught me how to give and receive love. How he taught me to express myself and not be passive aggressive like my mother. How he once told me that if anything every happened to my mother, I never had to worry, I didn’t have to leave him, he would keep me with him always. How until the day I left Thing 2 in the NICU, the day he died was the worst day of my life. How even though he could sometimes be a grouchy old man, he was chock full of love.
Our therapist suggested that I’m kind of a grouch in love because that’s how I learned to love.
I actually laughed out loud! She’s right.
I’m gruff but loving.
Velvet hammer, much?
I love the way I was loved by the only adult who loved me consistently and unconditionally.
(I suspect the girls will experience a great “Ah ha” moment at reading this.)

What kind of mother throws away her child because she can no longer control her?
My kind of mother.
All my issues with trust, with always having to know and understand what the rules are. All my issues of never feeling good enough, or truly lovable. All my issues regarding feeling safe. And my issues regarding house vs home, wondering if I’ll ever feel at home anywhere again?
These are directly related to that trauma.
That trauma she caused.
The one she flat refused to discuss later on in our lives.
And still I have the guilt. Still I have the shame.
It feels like, I shouldn’t talk mad shit about my mother. I should protect her. She loved me. She did the best she could.
How every single bit of it still feels like my fault.

Our therapist asked YBW to be my fifteen year old self’s ‘champion’ as a way of having an adult speak to my mother.
First he told her that I am an amazing, beautiful, loving, woman and mother no thanks to her.
He told her I was fractured, but she did not break me.
He told her that I learned love from her father and that he is a part of me every single day and she is not.
He told her that I am a really wonderful mother, and she should never have told me otherwise.
He told her that because I’m so lovely he was blessed and honored to be my husband.
He told her a great big f**k you!
And finally, he told her that all I wanted to do was go home, why wouldn’t she let me go home?

Years ago, I used to say, “Home is where the Roby is.”
I didn’t realize it was because I felt so f**king homeless. But I was determined to create a home where I felt safe, so wherever I was, that was home. Only I couldn’t love myself unconditionally enough, so that didn’t quite work out.
That’s why I’m so hell-bent to build a home with YBW that’s just ours, not one he already had, not one with any of our kids in it. Just him and me, in the home we create. Where we’ll both feel safe and sound and loved and wanted.
One day…

This story has been in me for thirty two years.
This experience of sharing it has been upsetting me for the last couple days.
I’m feeling pathetic and needy. I’m wanting to be snuggly. I want to, as Grandaddy used to say, “crawl into a hole and pull the hole in after you”. Mostly I want reassurance that I’m lovable and not disposable. YBW’s on it.
I laid my head on him this morning, and he asked if I was OK.
No, I’m not remotely OK, I told him, but I feel better now.

Here’s what I know now.
If I hadn’t been sent to my father’s I wouldn’t have met my ex-husband, and while that may have been a bonus, I would not have my girls. And my girls are everything!
I wouldn’t have been in British Lit senior year of high school with a boy I took no notice of, but twenty years later took great notice of. So much so that six years later, we got hitched.
I wouldn’t have Sundance, or Sally. Don’t want to live with out them!
I might not have Jessica, or Nicole, or Becca in my world.

I know that I’m not the perfect mother, I know I’ve f**ked shit right up for my girls. But, I do know that I did everything in my power to make sure they felt loved. To make sure they felt safe. To make sure they could make their own choices.
It is my ultimate hope that they know I love them more than anything else. Ever. In the history of the world!
For me, however bad things were, I wanted them fiercely and I wanted them to know that.

I know that I’m flawed.
Jesus, by this time in my life, it’s simply part of my charm!
I know why I’m flawed. I know my responsibilities in my flaws. I know that these flaws make me the woman I am. And steaming hot mess or not, I’m full of love. I’m full of hope. It slips in and fills in the cracks from those long ago fractures. Love and hope make me a whole woman.
For how much more could I ask?

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peace out, August

As I say goodbye to a summer I’m more than happy to have in my rear view mirror, I want to take a moment to share my gratitude for what I experienced in August.

Unexpected trip to New Orleans.
Mental health care providers.
Farmers market Thursdays with Meredith, Beau, and their Mommy.
Time with Nora and Dale’s kids.
SiriusXM Broadway.
Libran Provence Rose.
Back to school with people I enjoy.
Massage therapist.
Surprise packages from a friend that knew I needed a bit of love.
Celebrating the full and loving life of Sundance’s Grandpa.
YBW’s love and companionship.
Long phone conversations with the girls.
Independent book shops.
Bloom gin.
The Town of Vienna.
Old Town Manassas.
Crossroads Tabletop Tavern
Diet Dr Pepper.
Essie nail polish.
Analog clocks.
Gel pens.
Sleeping in my own bed.
Old Bust Head Brewery.

Tomorrow is the start of ‘Meteorological Fall’. I can hardly wait! I’ve got loads of Autumnal items in bins in the closet under the stairs waiting to be set free!
Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. I’m not a PSL kind of girl, though I do love pumpkiny things.
My point is, I’m not “basic” in my love of Fall. Sure I love sweater, jeans, and boots weather, but it’s so much more than that! The change of seasons brings all things new. And even though some consider this the ‘dying time’ I look at it as a time for rest, for recharging, for beginning all new things, and continuing older things with hope.
Hope is truly the greatest ability we possess.
As we move from Summer into Autumn I wish all y’all as much gratitude and hope as your hearts can possibly hold!

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mizpah

There is a Hebrew word I absolutely adore.
Mizpah.
It means watchtower.
The biblical example comes from the story of Jacob and Laban, after a bit of drama, the men come to an agreement with God as their only witness. They create a tower of stones to symbolize it.
It was also called Mizpah, because he said, May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.
Genesis 31:49 NIV

Of course, mizpah has a more commonly understood meaning.

The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.
Think about that for a moment.
Let it fill you completely.

Mizpah.
A magnificent and sacred blessing. An ancient word of inspiration and protection. A word that goes beyond the boundaries of social and cultural norms, and of faith. A spiritual symbol of hope and love and peace.

Many of the people I love most live far away from me.
Two of them are my babies. Grown ass women, but always my babies.
Time and distance are irrelevant because of mizpah. We are blessed with the knowledge that we are safe and connected when we are apart because of the strength of our love.
Mizpah gives us the opportunity to actively love without constraints of time and distance, and keeps us all anchored in that love until we are fortunate enough to be in the same physical space.

Those of you whom I love so dearly and deeply, this word is my gift to you. The promise that our love will be safe when we’re apart, and the light to guide us back to one another.
Mizpah.

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

I look forward

It has been a long time since I wrote anything.
I’m finally ready to write, only I’m not writing what I intended when I sat down at my computer.
This morning I received an email that sits ill with me, and that’s what I’m going to write about today.

This email is from JM, the former husband.
We met on April 1, 1988 when my (then) boyfriend began renting a room at the house owned by JM.

My initial reaction was a combination of irritation and sadness. Irritation that thirty years is not a flash, but an entire lifetime. My entire (adult) lifetime. My sadness is because it’s still so important to him and not at all important to me.
I honestly hadn’t considered that today was anything other than a curiosity that Easter fell on April Fool’s. Yet here he is the moment he wakes, (check the timestamp) considering this thirtieth anniversary of the day we met.

That speaks volumes.
And what I hear fills me with pity.
He continues to live in the past and refuses to move forward and that makes me feel sorry for him.
Yet I know he is choosing to live this way.
I can’t imagine why he would choose to remain so focused on a woman that is no longer in his life.
How sad for him.

It’s curious though, I thought recently that while I’m well shot of him, I’m grateful that we were together.
I benefited from knowing him.
I learned a great deal about myself and my place in the world during my time with him. That knowledge is invaluable. I am stronger and more capable than I ever believed. I wouldn’t trade knowing for anything.
I have three incredible human beings in my world because of him.
My Sally.
She is his cousin, though they behave like brother and sister. I always say, “I got to keep her in the divorce.” Though she is his blood kin, she and I are sisters of the heart. I cannot imagine my life without her. Our love is deep and wide and transcends the lines of family.
Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Without their father, they would not be. It’s as simple as that.
He gave to me the most precious gifts I’ve ever received.
They are worth every single moment of time I spent with him.
I’m lucky enough to be free from him and still have the best parts of him.
I regret nothing.

Thing 2 recently told me something her father said to her. He said something to the effect of: she does pretty well for a ‘lunch lady’.
What an awfully unkind thing to say about anyone.
What an awfully unkind thing to say to a child about her mother.
How miserable must he be to feel the need to say such an unkind thing? Is that how he makes himself feel better?
And you know, I’m not even mad. All I feel for him is pity.
I feel sad for him.
I feel sorry for him.
I feel pity for him.

But here’s the ultimate truth.
I only feel those things when I think about him.
And I honestly don’t think about him all that much.
Only when the girls talk with me about him, or Sally says she’s seen or spoken with him.
He is not a part of my daily life.
I have so many other, more relevant, things to think about.
I am looking forward.
I look forward with hope, and courage and kindness, and love.

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apparently, I need to “calm my stress”

At the holistic doctor on Tuesday, “Your adrenals are pissed. You need to calm your stress.”
Um…Ya think?

I’m staying off social media.
I’m not watching the news.
I’m trying not to listen when I overhear folks talking.
This is what I’m doing to calm my stress over the school shooting in Parkland Florida.

It is not lost on me that I spend my days in a public school. In a huge, open room with no safe place to corral children to hide. With doors that do not lock.
Would I do whatever it took to keep these children safe?
Yes.
Would I die for them?
Possibly.
Do I feel like that’s my job?
Hell no.

Do I want to keep the children in my school safe?
Absolutely!
Do I need to give my life to do so?
I’d rather not, thanks.

I’m a mom. I’m a wife. In the Autumn, I’ll be a grandmother. However grown, is it acceptable for my girls to be motherless because I died protecting other peoples children? And YBW? Is it acceptable for him to be a widower before we even gain traction on our greatest life adventure together? And little Shrimpy, the bebe I long to know and love. To teach and learn with. To watch irritate his or her mother and Auntie. Is it acceptable for that child to miss out on what might possibly be the coolest grandmother-grandchild relationship ever?

I carry this in me each day I arrive at my sweet little suburban elementary school. (Which, BTW shares physical campus space with an equally sweet suburban high school.)

Now this concept is always and has always been in the back of my mind. And to be quite honest, I lived through something similar during the sniper attacks in October 2002. Keeping children safe through that was a bit more simple, we just never let them go out of doors. At school, or at home.

Do I honestly believe someone will come into our school and start shooting it up?
No.
Is my concern understandable?
Yes.

And then we had a two day heat wave. And I mean record breaking warm temperatures.
I opened the windows wide!
I let the cruddy stale winter air be replaced by delightful breezy spring air.
We needed the sunlight. (My vitamin D is so low.) We needed the beauty of the past two days.

Of course, we’re not the only house in the neighborhood with windows open. And so it came to pass yesterday from the hours of 3:00 to nearly 8:00 the horrible shouty man screamed obscenities and threats at his wife.
This is not new in our neighborhood. There is long standing knowledge of the chaos that is their relationship. Apparently it isn’t physical, just verbal. She drinks too much and he shouts horrific things at her. He shouts horrific things at her and she drinks too much.
Which came first?
We may never know.

I’ve been anxious and bordering on depressed for a few weeks now, to such degree I’ve begun conversations with YBW about me talking with my doctor regarding mood meds.
I’m dull. I’ve lost my sparkle. I’m sleeping too much. I’m suffering insomnia. I eat nothing. I’m bingeing.
I can’t seem to shake myself loose from it.

It’s partly because of this that what happened to those kids in Parkland feels…more.
It’s partly because of this that the horrible shouty man screaming at his wife on and off for five hours did me in yesterday.

Early on in the afternoon, his shouting made me anxious. I knew it then, but I was busy with laundry, and had the TV on for sound it was easy to not hear his actual words. And somehow that kept me feeling safe in my own house while I could hear him in his. But as it wore on and on I could feel myself flooding with stress hormones.
But then as suddenly as it began, it stopped.

Just as I began to feel comfortable again, YBW came home. Even though I’m struggling, I had momentary joy.

Before long, the shouting started again. Only this time, it was closer.
From what I can deduce, the wife went over to one of the neighbors to get away from him. So when his shouting began again, they were at the house directly behind ours.
I was sitting in my comfy chair right next to the window. I could hear every word.
I was on the computer in the middle of something that I needed to finish immediately. I turned on music to drown out his shouting. I wanted to close the window but I was hot and the breeze felt nice.
As I sat here, I became more stressed and more anxious. Realizing I was feeling fearful in my own house!
My face was hot and my head began to hurt and I forced myself out of the shallow breathing pattern.

When I finally finished my task, I went downstairs. YBW was watching the Olympics. I came into the room and said, “I’m so anxious from listening to him shout for so long.” YBW immediately wrapped his body around mine and held me close and quietly. I actually felt as though I melted into him for a moment. That embrace was powerful enough to calm my body and my spirit. YBW’s love grounded me, and I’m so grateful.

Just writing about this now I’m feeling nearly as anxious as I did yesterday.

The actions of others are impacting me with a greater force than I would like.
Normally I have the skills to fend off these outside influences. I normally repel them with the strength of my character. My strong will, and sense of humor.
Seems I’m tapped out of late.
I seem unable to calm my stress.
I hear Hagrid’s frantic voice in my head, “It was dark times, Harry. Dark times.”

I have an appointment with my therapist.
I have herbs and supplements from the holistic doctor that are meant to aid in improving my sense of emotional well being.
If I can’t seem to shake myself from the place I am, I’ll go my general practitioner and have a conversation to see if spending a bit of time with Wellbutrin might make a difference.

In the meantime, I’m only watching HGTV, Food Network, and the Olympics, and I’ve closed the windows on my computer and my house to help block things that only make me more anxious.
But I left the curtains open to let in the ever helpful and hopeful sunlight.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Paul knew what was up


1 Corinthians 16:14
The general consensus is Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians between 54-58 in the common era. This verse is from the conclusion of the letter.
I feel like Paul knew what was up when it comes to this particular verse. He’s ending his letter with, well, some good advice really.

Be alert. Stand firm in the faith. Be strong. And do everything in love.

Almost as though he’s presenting ideas for possible rules to live by.

Do everything in love.

Love is my intention.
I live my life by love.
I mean even when I’m crabby and kind of evil…I actually live each day of my life by do(ing) everything in love. (Is it weird that I wonder if Paul would dig it?)

Lately I’ve wondered if I’m not being mindful about doing things in love for myself. That is, living in love for me, treating myself with the same love I share with others.
Only, after considering this for a while, I’ve come to understand that by doing everything in love, I am treating myself with the same love, grace, and gratitude I do for everyone else.
I think I just haven’t been paying enough attention. And while that’s OK on occasion, I must remember to be present and recognize living my intention begins with me.
Love is in the simple every day things.
It’s with the children at school. With my family. With my friends. It’s even in the way I drive my buggy around the grocery store.
Love actually is all around me.
Every day. In every thing I do. And that love gives me hope. As far as I can tell, hope and love go hand in hand.
(Seriously, though, Paul wrote about that in the same damn letter, right!?)

I’m grateful for Paul’s advice. I truly take it to heart. I live my life by it.
I do everything in love.
Y’all, isn’t that the most beautifully hopeful way to be?

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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