Posts Tagged With: life

mind full or mindful


I’m actively focusing on this as I create my summer schedule.
I must pay attention to where I am while I’m creating my schedule.
Being mindful of building in time for self care.

I have three things that must be accomplished before school starts.
1. 5 courses
2. GOOB Lula
3. house

I can most likely complete three of my five courses between now and when school starts, leaving me with one month to finish two. I’m going to do this if it kills me, and y’all it just might.

Getting rid of all the Lula merch before school starts is a must for me. I need to close the book on this going out of business.

The process of fixing the hole in the house has finally begun. We met with the roofer Saturday. Of course they can’t begin work for about a month, but I was assured it would be finished before I have to go back to school in August.

My mind is full.
There are lists. And tasks. And plans.
I must be mindful about my time, and needs, and state of being so I don’t overwhelm myself.

On Monday I tempered homework with writing for this blog, and running to the post office and Costco.
Tuesday I posted Lula merch in an online sale, and did homework, and wrote.
Today I’m writing and I’ll do homework. I have two appointments today, one with my therapist, the other to see the massage therapist. I need both these appointments. My therapist and I will talk of how best to plan. The massage therapist will ease the discomfort in my head for a while.

When my mind is full, I feel frantic. I’m not actually checking anything off my list because I’m just spinning my wheels. I’m aware of how much I have to do, but not actually doing any of it. I’m like the Tasmanian Devil spinning around creating more chaos in my wake. I’m like a pinball bouncing around off things, all flashing lights and dinging bells.
I know this about myself. I know that I’ve not made the best use of my time or skills. Neither have I taken the best care of myself.
When I’m mindful, I’m still. I’m aware. I’m comfortable and confident.
Shifting gears from the former to the later is not exactly simple, but neither is it all that difficult. I only have to remember that I must stop to shift. Can’t shift on the fly, don’t want to ruin my transmission.
So I stop and I breathe.
Then I plan.

Create my summer schedule.
On paper with a pen.
Times and tasks and appointments.
But I’m also adding porch life and cocktails and maybe even a trip!

I’m paying attention to what I need to accomplish and what I need to be me. Being mindful about tempering crossing accomplishments off lists with simply living my life.
My mind feels full. I feel a little bit of anxiety about accomplishing tasks.
By being mindful about myself and my place in the world, I feel confident I can do what needs to be done without becoming overwhelmed. I know how to make it work. Just have to set about the planning.
Being mindful, living my intention, kicking ass and taking names, I got this!

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the difference between planning life and living life

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
This quote is from Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) a song by John Lennon. Turns out it was originally from an article written for Reader’s Digest by a guy called Allen Saunders.
Only that’s not really the point I making.

My point is that even the best life plans can become waylaid by simply living your life.

As I get back into the routine of my life after a death, and birthdays and as we anticipate Thing G’s graduation and a house full of people, I know I’ll plan. I know I’ll make lists, and organize time, and tasks, and school assignments.
I’ll create my summer schedule. But I also know I’ll drop everything to go do something fun. Or I’ll spend more porch life time on some days than on others. I know important things will pop up.

All my planning, and list making, and organization will aid me in accomplishing what I set out to do, but I’ll have to be flexible. Because sometimes life is what’s happening all around and in between plans and lists.
As I grow and mature as a human, (refusing to put away laundry notwithstanding) I’m learning to accept that things don’t always go my way. (After my childhood, you’d think I’d already mastered that knowledge, but that’s another whole post.)
Things don’t always go my way. But sometimes they go an even better way. That’s why I have to accept that can only execute a portion of what I plan. Because as mad as my planning skills are, the possibility of being surprised by life can be a lovely experience!

Life happens whether or not you’ve penciled it into your book. And for an uptight control freak list lady like me, that’s not always the most comfortable way to function. (Understatement much?)
I’ll continue to plan. I’ll accept what happens, planned or not.
This is my journey through life, if I’m so busy worrying about planning and not being present for what happens, it’s not going to be any good at all.

You know what Ferris said:

Ferris knows what’s up. He had the best skive day in the history of all skive days!

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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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Husband N

I’ve mentioned before my daughter Thing 1 is married to Husband N. Now, Husband N is a patient human being, God love him, he has to be to be married to my daughter. He’s rather adept at accepting her for who she is without ever really “letting her off the hook”. I like that about him. They’re giving each other a run for their money, that’s for sure. But they’re doing it with so much love!

I received this text from him this morning.

When Mo died, I was choked by my own grief. I was in mommy mode about my girls and their grief. I was grateful that Husband N was there with Thing 1, but I never stopped to consider his grief. That man welcomed into their home, with open arms, the dogs of his wife’s childhood (well, teen age anyway). He was working with Mo to develop a healthy relationship, switching over from the Things father being Mo’s “father” to Husband N being Mo’s “father”.
He cared for Mo. He moved his lifeless body to the grave he and my daughter created. He did this out of love for their dog.
Their dog.
Even though Mo started out being all of ours, in the last five or six months he truly became theirs. Husband N loves Thing 1. He loves Thing 2. He loves me. But he also loves Mo. His grief was just as real as ours.
He was strong and brave for us.
I don’t have the words to express how strongly I felt the love for him this morning when that text came. I just hope he can feel it.

Now, it took me longer than it should have to decide to like, and then love Husband N. That had almost nothing to do with him and mostly everything to do with me (and Thing 1).
Thing 1 met Husband N when she went away to school. They met in a math class, bonding over their sarcastic senses of humor.
Now this is a meet-cute I can get behind.
What I struggled to get behind was her dropping out of school and shacking up with this guy.
That was not my plan for her! That wasn’t the life she was meant to have.
All I could see what that he’s older than she is, by more than a decade. That she left school because of him. That we didn’t know him from Adam.
I was frightened she was making all the same mistakes I made… a guy so much older than she is…no education…no way to support herself. I wanted more for her than the life I’d lived. I wanted her to be healthy and content and able to take care of herself. I didn’t want her to suffer and struggle.

Of course, what the hell did I know?
A whole lotta nothing, I’ll tell you that.

Turns out, Husband N is a kind and loving man. An intelligent man. A helpful and sincere man. A man who loves my daughter and would do (and has done) whatever it takes to make sure she’s safe and sound.

Y’all know that when YBW and I got married, his Things and my Things were our best men and maids of honor. The girls even “gave me away” that day. Thing 1 remarked to my friend and mentor, Jessica, that she had no idea how (emotionally) hard it would be to give her mom away.
Well, (not yet) Husband N and Thing 2’s then boyfriend were here too. And even though it was busy and a bit chaotic, I got to spend some good time with Husband N. And when YBW were driving to the airport to go to Barbados for our honeymoon, I turned to him, and said, “I like Husband N!” YBW was so relieved! He was waiting for me to decide to like Husband N because he very much liked him.

Then they came back for Christmas that year. And I got to spend even more time with him. I love his childlike enthusiasm! I listened to him and my daughter talk about what kind of life they wanted. And I realized it wasn’t the life Husband N wanted that Thing 1 just accepted, neither was it the life Thing 1 wanted that Husband N accepted. They had really thought about this. They had talked about it. They were planning this life that they wanted together!

They are truly each other’s best friend. They are both great big nerds about books and movies and comics and D & D and video games. They’re learning from each other how to appreciate these things the other brings to the table. They are so loving. They are also quick to get after each other. Each one feisty in their own way. They fight. They laugh. They play. They love. They do these things with the entirety of themselves. They give everything to each other and their relationship.
How could I possibly want more for my daughter? Or her sweet husband?

When they married, I was joyous for them! It wasn’t a big white wedding, but it was them. There was love and laughter and genuine joy surrounding them. This man is the husband of my very first girl. That was hard yet simple all in the same moment. I knew they could marry and build a life together and I wouldn’t have to worry about their ability to work together. I wouldn’t have to worry about their ability to love each other and embrace each other’s families.

Husband N just might love Thing 2 as much as her big sister does.
I know Thing 2 adores him.
They have such a special friendship.
I believe he’s been instrumental in helping my girls rebuild their relationship.
One more thing to love about him.

When his grandmother died and there was talk of them moving to her farm. Thing 1 was all for it. Husband N was a bit more hesitant. He called me and we talked for a long time. He shared his concerns. He asked my opinion. We talked about how he didn’t want to disappoint Thing 1, but felt so strongly that he didn’t want to raise (future) children where he grew up. He wanted more and better for them. (I can SO relate to that.)
I made some suggestions. I offered to speak with his wife. I promised to have their backs no matter what choices they made for their future.
I was touched he wanted to have that conversation with me. I was honored that he valued my opinion. I was pleased to be his (mostly) impartial sounding board for that important process.

I talk with my girls frequently. A phone call at least once a week, but there are texts and snapchats, emails and social media posts mixed in there too.
Husband N and I also text, snap and share things with each other’s social media. We sometimes even talk on the phone. It’s fun. He makes me laugh. He shares information he thinks I’ll be interested in. He expresses his concern for my health.
He expresses his love for my daughters and acknowledges how hard I worked to help them become the women they are.


Dude loves my girls.
Respects my hard work to help them become those ‘epic legends’.

I’m so grateful.
My girl chose well.
For herself.
For her sister.
For her Momma.
Husband N has his hands full with we three girls, but he takes it in stride.
Y’all we are so damn blessed!

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cardinal rules

I have a friend who’s second unbreakable life rule or, “Rule # 2” is that no one is permitted into his home.
I find this fascinating. No one in his home. Ever. (my suspicion is that emergency medical providers are the only exception)

I don’t know that I could ever have his second rule. Let us disregard for a moment the fact that I share a dwelling with YBW and his children (part time).
I need that energy that people bring…and I like to be in my own space. So, that would never work for me. I occasionally want to be around people while also remaining in my own physical space.
And that’s OK. I’m me, not him.

That got me thinking: I’m so me. Like, all the freaking time! And that me is an unholy mess of a girl, as well as put together AF.
I like that about me.
I embrace it, and I celebrate it.

It occurs to me that so many people don’t embrace and celebrate the “me” they are. Folks are so busy trying to be something they may not be because of any number of outside influences, societal rules, or even to impress a potential mate.
In trying to become something else, bits of the me get lost.
Some of those could be OK to lose, crap bits to bid a “good riddance” to. But some of those are important pieces. Invaluable and irreplaceable.
The me is the best and most important piece of the puzzle. Even if you haven’t completely figured out your me.
I learn about the me I am every day.
I learn stuff I love, and want to keep, I learn stuff I feel ambivalent about but realize may have value. I learn stuff I know I can chuck in the bin because it’s bad for me and anyone I come in contact with. But even the chuck it in the bin stuff can be embraced, because I learned something from it. At the very least, I learned I didn’t need it…at most, I may have even learned why.

Some folks are so concerned with improvement they don’t stop first to examine what’s there that might be handy. They just dump it and begin searching for new stuff to fill the void.
That will never get anybody anywhere!
If folks are externally motivated, they’re never going to experience the all-important A-ha! moments. Never experience the all-important I did it! moments.
I believe you lose the most important aspect of the me when you’re externally motivated. When you need to be filled up by other people, or things. It doesn’t seem to me that you’re even aware of the me inside you, much less embracing and celebrating it. That makes me so sad. I cannot stress enough how much that (those) someones are missing out!

Embrace and celebrate what you have within you. Learn it and learn from it.
Accept and release some of it. Accept and embrace other of it.
But, above all, celebrate the “me” inside you.

I’m me.
I’m a hot mess and a tight ship. And that is the way I like it. I’m so over trying to be what external influences expect me to be.
I’m just the me I expect me to be.
I’m amazing and wonderful because I’m flawed.
Each lesson I’ve learned, the good, the bad, the indifferent have made and continue to make me this wonderfully flawed woman.

I think that’s the most important of my Cardinal Rules.
If I decided to create unbreakable rules for my life they might look like this.

1. Embrace and celebrate the me I am.
2. Live my intention.
3.

(yeah, I sort of borrowed that one, but I feel it keenly)
4. Communicate with honesty.
5. Know my limits.

That’s just off the top of my head…I might mix it up a little, I might keep it the way it is. But, over all, that’s how I intended to live my life.
Cardinal Rules.
It occurs to me that I already lived them, just never stopped to write them down.

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love-filled, lemon-scented paradise

Y’all know I am absolutely obsessed with porch life. This spring and summer have afforded me loads of time to spend on the back porch.
Currently it’s just too damn hot to even consider going out there. We hit a heat index of 105 yesterday, and it’s not much less today at 101.

Over the weekend and earlier in the week though, I was out on the porch a great deal.
Monday afternoon I went out with my journal and sat writing for the longest time.

I was having a really lovely day. I was productive and felt fully present in my life. I was truly living my intention that day. And while I was writing, the most amazing (albeit obvious) thing occurred to me.
My love of porch life is me living my intention!
I feel like there should be a great big, “Duh!” at the end of that statement. Only I’m not going to judge it. I’m just embracing the hell out of it.

Little reminders. Little things. Little pleasures. That’s the love.
When I’m writing about how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking, and how it impacts my daily life, I experience the love.
More times than not, it’s about paying attention.
When I’m present in my life, I mean actively living, and open to the world around me, I’m living my intention without even trying.
Enjoying porch life is a way I can express love for myself. It’s a way of living my intention of love for me.
Life on the porch is a peaceful, love-filled, lemon-scented paradise and if that’s not living my intention, I don’t know what could be.

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all this tricky day planning

This is how I’m feeling about summer!
All this tricky day planning!
That’s why I created a schedule.
That’s why I prioritized my tasks.

House- and schoolwork fall under the challenging catagory, while porch life is without doubt in the seductive.
It’s about marrying the two.
Sure, it makes it difficult to plan your day.

This morning I woke late, mostly recovered from a headache. I’m choosing to set aside my schedule. It’s not about seductive or challenging for me this morning, it’s about paying attention to my body. It obviously needed the rest.
So, my plan of attack for this Saturday will be set aside while I feel out how I’m going to function.
You know what?
It’s fine with me to let the day sort of plan itself.

There will be time for challenges and seduction as the days move along.
Will I plan? Pfft. Do you have to ask?
Will I deviate from those plans? Possibly.
The days we have in this world are a gift. And whether it’s to enjoy or improve, I intend to utilize them to the fullest.

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time to cull the herd

Don’t you find as you get older that you just have less f**ks to give?

If we’re to believe Alice, I’m not the only one.

I want a simpler life.
I want strong relationships with the people in my life.
I grow weary of the drama.
I’m not drama, so why have it in my life?
It’s time for a cull.
Time to rid my life of unnecessary complications and weak relationships.

My life won’t look different to others. (Unless ‘others’ is among the culled.)
My life may not look that much different to me.
But I can assure you I’ll feel so much better.

The f**ks I give are mine.
And I’ll be holding on to them, thanks.
So I bid unnecessary complications and weak relationships a hearty:

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occasionally I burst into song

Standing in the bathroom yesterday morning. YBW is shaving and I’m doing my hair.
I begin to sing about what I’m observing. Just belting it out, making it up as I go along. The tune comes from nowhere, the words are silly and mostly make a kind of sense that doesn’t.
He chuckles.
I say, “See! Real people sometimes burst into song in their daily lives!”
He nods, “Yes, but you’re not singing verse after verse.”
“Neither do I have a choreographed dance number.” I say with a wink.

Folks really do sing at random as they go about their day.
Sure, huge orchestral music and background dancers aren’t involved. (At least not in my random song bursts.) But there are times that life really is a cabaret, old chum, and one must burst into song.

Not all of us are fortunate enough to have the Sherman brothers

or Stephen Sondheim

be our personal lyricists.
But that’s OK. When you’re moved by the situation and need to create a little music about it, go ahead. Belt it out! Sing as though MGM has created an entire technicolor soundstage as a place for you to stand.
Sing the song of your life.

After I sang about personal grooming, I switched into Libertines mode and sang I Get Along

So sing your song. Sing loudly or quietly. Sing on or off key. Sing with your eyes wide open or shut. Sing the song of your life. Sing the words and tune that happen in your soul at any moment.
It’ll make you feel good and if someone gives you grief or causes you to feel embarrassed, just remember my favorite line from I Get Along:

I get along just singing my song, people tell me I’m wrong.
F**k ’em.

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what I learned from crayons

I discovered that there is was a water leak. It seems to have started in the boy’s bathroom and run under the wall into my work area of the bedroom.
As I work at tables, I lack storage space. The solution for that is stylish (yet affordable) storage boxes. Constructed of sturdy cardboard, the boxes in direct contact with the floor absorbed the water. I didn’t discover this for some time. And last night when I did, I was sad and disappointed.
The box that took the most damage was filled with boxes of crayons. Now this may not seem like a big deal to most people. But it is a terrifically big deal to me. All the crayons were “collector” boxes. Most of them were standard Crayola cardboard. Some of the crayons have never even been used.
I carefully removed everything from the box, salvaged what I could. Some of the boxes were damaged beyond repair, so those brand new crayons went into quart storage bags. I labeled the bags based on the boxes, “Crayola’s 100th Anniversary 100 colors collection.”, “First edition box of 96 crayons.”, “Crayon color names retired in 1990 special edition box.” And so on.
Now here’s where it gets real.
I know crayons aren’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.
But in the Roby scheme of things crayons are of a most big deal.

I was feeling frustrated. In all honesty I was feeling a bit defeated.
Does that sound dramatic?
I suppose it does.
Yet that’s how I felt.

I asked myself why it is that so many of my things have been destroyed since moving into this house.
My family photos.
My dishes.
My crayons.

Is this house out to get me? Is it retaliating because I call it a “hand me down house”?
This stimulates that awful feeling of sacrificing everything to come here and attempt to make a life. That I continue to sacrifice parts of *my* life to be in this one.
Those feelings had subsided. I finally felt as though it was all for the right reasons.
Yet here they are. All shiny and new because some cardboard got wet.

It’s hurtful. To give up everything you’ve spent your entire life creating. To turn simply walk away from it. Even bringing some of your “things” along doesn’t make it simpler, or feel any less painful. And then those things are broken or damaged…
I feel angry! Must everything be stripped from me? (This is super dramatic, but I’m serious about the way it feels.)

So I went to bed feeling…alienated.
But I woke up with a different feeling.
A sort of peaceful understanding.

Perhaps it’s OK that photos and crayon boxes get ruined with water. Perhaps it’s OK that dishes break.
Perhaps it’s part of the process.
Perhaps I’m still evolving.
Perhaps I still need to shed bits of that old life as I work at building this new one.
Perhaps crayons are simply colored wax wrapped in paper. (My ass! Crayons are magical and that’s the truth!)

I realize that we all “have a past”. I realize that we carry through our lives the things we hold dear. But they are simply things. Things that are emotionally tied to, or are physical representations of experiences from our pasts.
Perhaps the trick to building a new life is to somehow keep the emotions while being able to say goodbye to the things.
All in good time, my little pretties. All in good time.

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