Posts Tagged With: hopeful

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?

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hopeful and organized beginnings

This papercrumbs post spoke to me this morning.
On this the tenth day of the new year I’m still feeling a bit off kilter. Of course the holidays were hectic and with the mad weather, getting into the back to school routine was shot all to hell. So it makes a kind of sense to me that I’m still in that ‘waiting for the new to begin’ feeling to kick in.

I’ve completely reorganized the kitchen cabinets, drawers, pantry, and laundry closet. I reorganized the linen closet. I feel so peaceful now that these things are finished. I’m serious y’all. I feel peacefully content down deep in my soul.
This organization is one small part in the beauty of beginning again. Perhaps it makes it simpler for me to begin again when I have the comfort of everything being orderly? Perhaps I just can’t handle perceived chaos?
Whatever the case may be, I do know this. I feel more ready to begin again since accomplishing those tasks. Even with the chaos of snow days, early dismissals, and delayed openings, I feel more able to get back into the swing of things at school too.

It occurs to me as I write this what’s beautiful about beginning again and again is that it feels hopeful. Hope that however tiny, each new beginning can bring adventure, or comfort, or a new way of learning, or something I may not have even though of yet!
When I feel hopeful, I’m inclined to begin again.
Sometimes a beginning blows up in your face. But with hope, you take what you needed from that beginning and decide to begin again a different way. Sometimes a beginning is more than you could have hoped for, and you have exactly what you want or need. You needn’t begin again, but you want to, to see what’s next.

To begin again and again, as many times as you want is really a gift. To begin after disaster is scary. To begin after perfection is also scary. Being scared is OK. Being scared is natural. But, it’s important to remember you always have hope in your pocket. To me the saddest thing is choosing not to begin because you’re scared. You don’t have to be brave to begin.
Just begin.
Bravery will come to you.
Hope will remind you that it’s in your pocket.
Begin.
You might fail. That’s OK too. Keep the important bits you needed and begin again.

In my life, I had many beginnings. I had some pretty epic failures. I have learned so much. I have been scared. I forgot hope was in my pocket. Or I found hope in the pocket of something when I wasn’t even looking.
I began again, and began again, and began again as many times as I wanted or needed. But mostly with prep work. Mostly organized. I do not function well in perceived chaos. I need to feel like I have a handle on the beginning.
Of course this isn’t always a perfect scenario, sometimes I must begin without being organized. That oftentimes leads to some sort of new mini beginning.
But that’s OK too.
I believe in the importance of beginnings.
I believe in hope.

In an excellent book about beginnings, Dr Seuss wrote:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

and

“Out there things can happen, and frequently do, to people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew. Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!”

Each night promises a new morning. An opportunity to begin again. And again. And again. As many or as few times as you like.
Organize yourself.
Hold on to your hope.
You’ve got this!

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happy new year (occasionally, I’m a conformist)

I’m seeing all these end of year and happy new year things on social media, in the blogs I read, in news articles, etc. And you know what? It is really irritating me!

I understand it conceptually, but to be completely honest, I’m not really feeling it. I mean, sure, I’m more than willing to put 2017 in my rear-view mirror. But as I look at 2018 looming, I’m kind of…well, apathetic maybe? I’m not entirely sure that’s the right word…but that’s where I’ll settle for the moment.

I suspect part of my feeling (whatever we’re going to call it) is because this winter break has not been restful. Thing 2 and Boyfriend J were here, and we went at a full tilt boogie from nearly the moment they arrived. While the Nutcracker was blissful, and Christmas with three fourths of our family was fun, I sometimes struggle with Thing 2 and her wild mood swings. I struggle with the occasional drama with the boys mother. I sometimes struggle with so many people in this house at one time. I sometimes struggle with my inability to just take a big ass breath and not let other people affect me.

I was so excited about my most favorite of holidays and honestly, I was kind of left feeling relieved when the boys went back to their mother’s and Thing 2 and boyfriend J went back to SC and there was no one here but YBW and me. This makes me sad. Really and truly sad. But I’m being real, and I’m being honest. Doesn’t matter how much you love your kids, sometimes an empty nest is a beautiful thing.

Conceptually the idea of being surrounded by three of our four kids on Christmas fills me with childlike joy. The reality of it is that I’ve got to cook more, keep the peace more, and as it was the first time Boyfriend J was here, turns out I didn’t really get to spend that much time with Thing 2.
I was ready for a break from school. To kind of be filled with the Christmas spirit and recharge myself. But I’m more tired now than I was the last day of school December 21.
Advent happens for a reason, y’all. I sometimes wonder if the anticipation and excitement leading up to Christmas aren’t the real gift.

Nora and Dale invited us for dinner tonight. I’m not remotely feeling it. I have no desire to leave the warmth of the house to brave single digit wind chills to have dinner with friends.
Here’s the ridiculous part, I’ll have fun. I’ll be better off emotionally spending time with my sweet husband and our friends than if I stayed put in this house in my jammies.
But I don’t want to! (Yeah, I’m whining…what’s it to you?)

My (undefined) feelings about 2018 are most likely due to the fact that I’m tired. And let’s be real, who’s ready to tackle anything when they’re not at the top of their game?

Here’s what I do know.
2017 was the year I stopped living with chronic pain. With the help of three ‘alternative’ healthcare providers I’m off all prescription meds, pain free, and with a brain that is the proper shape and size.
That right there is the best possible way to begin 2018!

I’ll slip into 2018 tired yet hopeful.
Hopeful I’ll accomplish what I set out to do.
Hopeful that our kids are healthy, content, and whole.
Hopeful that we’ll have loads of snow days this winter and I’ll be able to rest then.
Spring will bring birthdays starting in March. June will bring Thing G’s high school graduation.

Y’all, I may be grouchy and tired, but I’m smiling as I write this.
As it turns out, I too am writing about saying goodbye to 2017 and welcoming 2018. How very conformist of me.
It’s cool, sometimes you gotta do what everybody else does to prove to yourself you’re a regular girl.
This regular girl wishes all y’all a non-conformist new year!

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every moment is a blessing

I spent time with my former co-teacher today. She’s going through a particularly vile divorce. It breaks my heart for her and her little daughter. I can’t really do anything to help, all I can do is love them.
But spending time with her today made me appreciate that I’m me and not anyone else. That may seem like a ridiculous thing to say, but I cannnot mean it any more.

I’ve been through seriously dreadful times in my life. I’ve been through moments of great wonder. Everything I’ve experienced in my life, every single moment, the good, the bad, the indifferent, has shaped me into who I am right now. Honestly I’m grateful I’ve had all this opportunity to throw so much paint at my life’s great big canvas.

I’ve obviously experienced a great deal of joy, especially recently.
Even the undiagnosed brain swelling is teaching me to remain present by listening carefully to what my body is telling me. Something I’ve not really done before. It’s easy to ignore your body when you’re more focused on everyone else.

I don’t know if my feeling hopeful has me feeling so appreciative of being me or if I’m just glad my troubles have been mine and not the troubles of anyone else. I don’t think it really matters.

We all have moments we would like to hand over to another. Any other. But when it comes right down to it there is always something better or worse being experienced by any other person at those very same moments. I remember this with great humility. My worst moments could be another’s best moments or my best moments could be meaningless to another.

I am grateful for every single one of my moments. I could never be the woman I am if I hadn’t experienced the moments of my life. It may have taken forty four years, but I rather like the woman I am!

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Hope. (an essay on redhaired girl)

The new year has me thinking.
Thinking about hope.
Which reminds me of ‘An Essay on Man’. Only I’m thinking of it as ‘an essay on redhaired girl’ because I feel hopeful. I don’t know why, but I do feel it with every fiber of my being.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
– Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle I, 1733

In feeling hopeful, I’m considering practical ways that my hope can translate to practicalities in my life, and the lives of the ones I love.

I’m feeling hopeful about my health. That my brain will finally find a way to heal itself. That I can put this struggle to be well behind me. Even though the swelling is no longer increasing because I’m responding well to the meds, my brain is still swollen. I’ve kind of decided this is the new way of being. That may sound a bit defeatist, but that’s not how I mean it. It may simply be acceptance.
I trust that I can have acceptance and hope together.

I’m feeling hopeful for my children.
Thing 1 and fiance N have had a bit of a rough patch. N was hurt on the job and has been out of work for almost a year. They’ve been living with his mother, which has been hard for all of them. He had surgery on his knee and has a clean bill of health from the doctors. This was what they were waiting for. Working with the VA, he’s in a program that helps find a home and new employment. He has a few job leads and they’re moving this week into their new home. The program will also assist in education for a career change, he’s very eager for that.
Thing 1 has a lead on a job working at a horse stable. How wonderful for her to earn a living doing what she loves!
They’re talking paint colors and she’s asking for my help finding things she needs. YBW and I are gifting them a new set of cookware. She’s so excited!
They’re finally getting their life together back in gear.
One thing I love about where they’re living is that it has not just a major state university, but several smaller colleges. I’m hoping this will entice her to go back and finish school.

I’m feeling hopeful for Thing 2. She’s in a living situation that isn’t as positive as it could be and I worry how it impacts her psyche. She’s being the “mom” of so many “lost” young adults and it seems to be sucking the life from her. Interestingly enough, she’s the youngest of all these friends.
She’s finished being stuck and tentatively starting to move forward. Her fear and anxiety are her worst enemies. I’m hopeful that her determination will overtake them and she’ll be stepping into the life she chooses to create for herself.
I have concerns that she isn’t comfortable about going to school. She doesn’t know what she wants to study, she doesn’t want to waste time and money. I don’t care what she goes to school for. Even trade school would be fine with me, a certificate to do whatever is enough that she’ll be able to take good care of herself.
I feel hopeful that with love and support she’ll be able to break the cycle of spinning her wheels. I’m hopeful that she will be able to start working towards creating a new life for herself, even though she’s not sure what she wants. Taking the first steps will get her moving forward and the rest will come as she goes.

I’m hopeful for this life I’m making with YBW. Being married feels a bit different than not being married, but the life we lead is essentially the same. I feel hopeful that we’re heading in the right direction.
We have three “grown” kids and one that’s quickly growing. We need to begin to decide what our life will be like without kids at home. How do we want to live? Maybe even where do we want to live?
I’m hopeful that we can begin planning for our future while we’re working to successfully live in our present.

I long for everyone I love to feel as hopeful as I feel.
I want those of you who read these words to know that I feel hopeful for you.
My heart is filled with love and hope. I wish the same for everyone.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

miscommunication is a bite in the ass

YBW came home Thursday ready to talk about the weirdness.
I felt better prepared because I’d written about it. He was ready to talk because he read what I wrote.
As it turns out, there was gross misunderstanding. (I can’t even feign surprise.)
He thought I was angry. He thought I was quite fed up with his YBW “shenanigans” so he was putting forth great effort to change his behavior. He also was feeling a great deal of fear after being hurt physically by me. It stirred up residual feelings from living with his second ex-wife.

I was horrified that he felt fearful of me. The only way I know to fix that is not to punch him in the arm anymore. This will be hard for me…it’s my “go to”. I don’t mean to hurt, it’s just a thing that started from having a brother and cousin and then the former husband as a way to make a point. Never hard enough to really hurt, but enough to get their attention and shift their behavior.
Is it a positive or healthy move? Of course not, but it’s what worked.
When I punched YBW in the arm, he was closer to me than I realized and the contact came swifter and with more force than I’d anticipated. He was actually hurt. But I’m realizing that he thought I was angry and hurt him out of anger. And that triggered his hot button of fear.

After we talked about the “kitchen incident”. I explained that I had no anger, that I was just messing around. Both Thing C and Thing 2 were in the kitchen with us, it was nothing more than us being silly about language and I never felt anything but playful.
The fact he thought I was angry and that it was my motivation to hurt him nearly broke my heart. That’s when my tears started. I honestly don’t think he believes me. That will have to come in time.

It turns out that when I was expressing that I noticed an imbalance in our being “handsy” with each other he thought it had to do with the kitchen incident and was under the impression that I was completely fed up with him being goofy.
He was trying to change to make me less frustrated.
It seems to me that he thinks I believe that he’s stupid, ridiculous, annoying, etc. I think he’s playful. Does that become tiresome occasionally? Of course it does. But I am self aware enough to know that I become tiresome occasionally too.

I told him that I liked him for who he really is. That if I’d been with him these six years it was because I liked his personality and for him to suddenly not be him was no way to “fix” anything.
He told me it would take a bit for him to relax enough to be himself and asked for me to be patient.
I told him that I would do my best not to rely on the arm punch.

Yesterday, things felt closer to normal. We went to this Salvadorian joint and had an early dinner yesterday, we came home and watched the Nats lose to the Marlins. We communicated realistically both verbally and physically. (And my bottom got patted while I brushed my teeth.)

Here’s my biggest thing:
I don’t know how to help him hear what I’m actually saying versus what he thinks he hears.
I don’t know how to trust that he’s not going to manipulate me if I make myself vulnerable to him.
Not because we’ve experienced either of these with the other. These are old patterns. Hurt caused by other people who came before each other in our lives.

I made a specific decision to trust him the first moment we were in the same physical space after months of dating over the phone and via email. In that moment I chose to be fearless. I have not regretted it in six years.
I know he’s not passive aggressive.
I know he’s not manipulative.
I know he’s not trying to undermine every forward step I take.
I trust that.
But I spent seventeen years walking on eggshells waiting to make the wrong move and suffer the emotional repercussions of that.
Waiting for “the other shoe to drop” is a pattern I work every day to break.

I am safe in this relationship. I know it like I know my own name.
I believe that YBW feels safe in this relationship. He’s trying to break his patterns too.
He’s been told he’s “less than” for so long he probably doesn’t even hear my words when I talk about his character and his kindness. He’s beautiful inside and out. That is his true self. He doesn’t know that. He doesn’t believe that.
I can’t change that for him, but I can keep expressing it in the hopes that one day he hears my words and not the words left over from his past.

I’m still not sleeping through the night. But I am sleeping in the bed we share and I’m not struggling to lie next to him.
It’s progress.
There is a great deal of love in our lives. I love YBW like I’ve never loved another man. I didn’t know I could love someone who didn’t come out of my body with this kind of unconditional love. I waited my entire life to find him. He has no idea that he elicits that kind of love just by being himself.
All that love doesn’t erase the past. But I hope that it can heal it. I hope it can create a new kind of relationship upon which to build the rest of our lives.

I’ve been told I’m more stubborn than a mule. (Thanks, Mommie.)
This statement is true, however unkind it may have sounded hearing it my whole life. Therefore I will use that stubbornness as I continue to chip away at old patterns in both of us. Eventually I’ll get there. And I will stop feeling like I need to wait for the other shoe to drop. And he will start hearing what he truly is and perhaps even begin to believe it.
And I’m hopeful we’ll continue to love and be loved the way we do. Playfully and earnestly. Only it will be better because we will use our past lives as foundation upon which to build this new way of being.

Categories: love, me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

if wishes were horses, beggars could ride

Yesterday was hard and I felt quiet. YBW celebrated with Thing C and Thing G and we went to his nephew’s graduation party. I was quiet, I drank water and ate a tiny spoonful of banana pudding. We went home and watched a movie all snuggled together on the sofa before the boys went back home to their mom’s. (It’s her week.)
When the boys left, YBW hugged me and asked was I sad, was I thinking about my dad. No, not sad, no, not really thinking about my dad in the context of Father’s Day…I can’t stop thinking about him…about the mess he left behind…about how much work it is to clean it up and how much I don’t want to clean it up.

I got home from school right about 4:00 on Friday, went upstairs, took off my shoes, then my britches and before I could put on new ones, I fell asleep on my bed. YBW came home (I don’t know what time it was.) and checked to see if I wanted to get up. I tried and couldn’t…I just kept sleeping. He came back a few hours later asking if I wanted dinner. No thank you, and back to sleep. I got up at 8:00 and got a drink of water pulled my jammies on and went back to bed. I slept straight through till 8:00 Saturday morning.
I just want to stay in my bed all the time.

This is my last week in my classroom…I move to a new classroom in a different age-group next week…I came here and completely salvaged the two year old program and now have been asked to do the same for the three year old program. So when I clean up this mess…will I have salvaged myself out of a job?
There is a part of me that is eager to get it underway, the transformation of space and ‘wrangling’ of children, creating a sense of community…a classroom family if you will.
YBW told me it’s what I do best, organize and restructure and make it run smoothly…he says I like to see the progress. He’s right. I’m just not sure now is the best time…
What I do know is this: I’ll be successful and satisfied.

Sundance and I are currently texting, asking how the other is we each respond with: ‘Same as it ever was.’ I then wrote: ‘I’m so sick of same as it ever was. Yet I dread change.’ (I’m going to need for you to get it together, Robynbird.)

Today is the first day of a thirty day cleanse…my body has suffered my indifference long enough and needs to be taken good care of. I spent a goodly bit of money without much thought…but it felt right when I considered it. It’s not about weight as much as my health and way my clothes fit…this is about losing inches as well as weight…bring on the inches! (Well, take away the inches, but you know what I mean.)

My dad used to say: If wishes were horses, beggars could ride.

That’s cool, Daddie, but I’m going to wish and ride and eventually feel better in the process. Perhaps the cleansing of my body will somehow promote the cleansing of my soul?

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