Pondering, Damn It All

Really!

Today has not been bad. It’s been … meh. preceded by much of the same. What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

The “experts” say the happiest people in this world are grateful, no matter what their circumstances. Cool. God knows I’m grateful. Just haven’t reached the “no matter what the circumstances” zone. Definitely something to aspire to.

i am going to start saying this!!

I get this way sometimes. Good grief, at this stage of the game, you’d think I’d have this life stuff all tied up in a bow. Maybe it’s dull routine, maybe it’s a long weekend stretching ahead.

Lethal

In the olden days, my “escape plan” from these feelings was not well thought out, but a plan nonetheless. Just get on I-10 and head west and eventually I would end up in California. Like I said, not much of a plan.

truth.

Painful but oh so true. And it’s pretty much self-inflicted as “others” have no concept of my expectations and that’s not fair to them.

So true

Note to self: No Instagram or Facebook until further notice.

Weight Loss Motivation How To Find It And Keep It

I like that idea. Lighten up and move on down the alphabet.

dance...

PERFECT!! My favorite thing to do. So I think I will dance and eat a bunch of chocolate.

Lord, listen through my heart.

That would sum it up.

Off to dance, eat chocolate, and pray.

Later.

Iz

Angry Birds, Royal Wedding, Ellen DeGeneres & Other Randamonium

Well, hello there! What’s on your mind today? Here’s what’s on what is left of mine:

  • Angry Birds: If you “know” me, you know birds like to use me as a restroom. But I’m not talking about those birds. Talking about all the Angry Bird games. They are making me crazy. I get the utmost satisfaction when I aim a bird, let it fly, and it decimates a bunch of green pigs. Especially when I give the dastardly pigs names, usually names of people I know. Am greatly stressed at the moment because there are just some levels I have yet to win. Games should be relaxing but this one is making me crazy crazier. Back off, PETA; these pigs are animated and I love animals. Except fake green pigs. Meh.

 

  • Royal Wedding: Unlike most of the population, I’m not pissed I didn’t get an invite. Although I should have. My relative was the Queen of England … for eight days. Have stayed at The Goring, where Kate and Co. will stay until the wedding. It’s quite a lovely hotel and conveniently located right around the corner from Buckingham Palace. The only odd thing about the place is that the bar includes a herd of sit- upons resembling stuffed sheep. Of course, there’s an explanation for this, but I didn’t read the book. Baaaaaaaa! The sheep seats, ha!  These two lovebirds are getting hitched as quickly as possible; weddings are not held in the Anglican/Episcopal Church during the Lenten Season. Usually. And one more thing … Ellen DeGeneres didn’t get an invite, either, and Kate‘s her cousin. Someone has forgotten her manners. Maybe that’s common among commoners.

 

  • Ellen DeGeneres: She is one of the funniest people I don’t know. And she is kind and generous. She helps people. I’m still hunting for a job. So, I decided to write Ellen, requesting her help in this area. DON’T LAUGH OR I WILL CUT YOU… out of my will.  Am well aware that she gets grillions of letters, requests, pleas and such. Am also aware that I am not her demographic target. Nevertheless, I press on. I do know, from prior work, there are people hired to specifically go through all the communication and cull, giving her what they deem a “possibility” for her show. So I included a note to the person reading my words – “*Pretend I am your mother*” Maybe a tiny guilt trip will get my words in front of Ellen. Am not asking for job on her show – just employment that pays $$ that pays the bills. Will keep you posted re: any communication from Ellen. I don’t tweet, but I can dance. So we shall see ……….

 

  • Be Specific: Need to be more specific with my personal prayer requests. Finding myself in the dating pool at this stage of the game – well, I’ve uttered the phrase, “God help me!” about a million times. Usually after a date. So praying for a nice man or gaggle of nice men to enter my space is most necessary. That has yet to happen … or maybe it has. I live with a male who loves me unconditionally, would protect me to the death, who thinks I’m the nuts and soup. He’s awesome. But he is my dog, Cooper. Methinks more specificity is in order … need to add “human” to the mix. Silly moi.

Okay, Happy Day to all.

Am off to eat my weight in chocolate bunnies.

Later!

Just Because: Do the Math

 

This life is full of emotional math. One minute, you are whistling a happy tune, walking on the sunny side of the street. Blink. You are at a dead-stop in a silent place you cannot identify. And there are no signs and there are too many signs, indicating where your next step should be.  Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Math did not come easy to me in school. Life does not come easy to anyone. But, subtraction is overcome by addition, division by multiplication. This I do know. Just because.

Latest lessons (using “I” only because it is easier; feel free to insert “you” anywhere):

  • Just because … I can’t see doesn’t mean I don’t want to. Often times, we are irritated and impatient with others when we believe they are beating a dead horse, not moving fast enough, lazy, playing the victim. Guilty. Add compassion.
  • Just because … you find yourself “lost” does not mean you will not be “found”. Subtract despair, multiply hope. 
  • Just because … you face the unknown on all fronts does not mean anything other than you may be at the doorstep of the best life you’ve ever known. Negative thinking is easy. Divide it into smithereens, erase, and add amazing possibilities to each and every half empty glass in your possession.
  • Just because … you perceive a situation one way doesn’t mean it is true. A friend told me she’d recently seen another friend; instead of stopping to chat, the other friend turned and went a different way. Friend #1 had hurt feelings. What friend #1 didn’t know is that friend #2 was in a state of grief and despair, unable to talk to anyone at the time. “Things” usually aren’t what they seem. Isn’t this the spot where we subtract ego and add mercy?
  • Just because … I do what must be done does not mean I am “strong”. It means I don’t have a choice, a receiver going wide to catch my pass. “A joy shared is doubled, a sorrow shared is divided.” Subtract judgemental attitude, add empathy and provide a shoulder for the “strong” so they have a place to lean.
  • Just because … you reach out to a friend and the friend blows you off doesn’t make that friend a bad person. We all interpret needs differently. May I remember I am never too busy, too tired, not interested, or too self-absorbed to set aside all that to grasp a hand extended to me. Add discernment, subtract agenda. Multiply with love.
  • Just because … someone doesn’t operate the way I think they should doesn’t make me right. Intolerant and judgemental? Yes. May I remember that most everyone is doing the very best they can. This is not a hall pass for the intentionally harmful; but it is a reminder to me that I can add a whole bunch more kindness, love, consideration, and patience when dealing with most everyone.

There is always a learning curve, isn’t there? And the road goes squiggly just when you think you’ve got a most excellent grip on your life. But it is in the releasing that grip on what wasn’t, opening your eyes, your hands, and your heart to whatever comes next … well, that’s where the lesson is. And God knows, I still have much to learn.

Just because….

Back in the Saddle Again …with a Serious Question

Good grief! I never knew I would feel so “isolated” without a way to write (aside from pencil and paper). A grillion membership points, a brand new laptop, and three hours with a computer guru put me back in business yesterday. And I am doing a happy dance. Bad visual, good feeling. Have missed everyone in blog land. More than I could have imagined.

Have a question for you.  It concerns grief.

Someone I am thisclose to is grieving. It is delayed. The loss of both parents in a relatively short period of time and the ensuing fracture of the family infrastructure is just now hitting. Hard.  We all process differently – and at different times. The holidays can be hellish – when everything is going right; add infinite gallons of loss and one can feel downright dismal.  Add to the mix that men and women can and often do process differently. 

I felt a “disconnect” with this person brewing before Thanksgiving. Sensed the sadness, standing quietly by, reluctantly but instinctively. Repeating my mantra, “it’s not about me”. I addressed the disconnect between us last night. It was duly noted, my patience was requested. This is difficult for me as I haven’t experienced these losses nor would I want to be alone when doing so. I think. But this process does leave me alone more right now and it is confusing.

Which brings me to my question for you. Is delayed grief so pervasive it blankets everything in your life? Is it common for a loved one to be held at a distance?  What is the best way to handle this? Any insights would be most appreciated.

Because, in the end, love is the only thing that matters.

Later.

The Text You Don’t Want to Receive

Good grief! Am sitting here, trying to write happy words and my youngest daughter sends me a text:

“Gunman on campus”

“Where are you?”

“In the ___ house. They are searching for him but he was last seen at the PCL (*library behind her house*) A lot of girls heard the gunshots this morning. UT Alert: ARMED SUSPECT LAST SEEN AT PERRY CASTENADA LIBRARY. SHELTER IN PLACE. STAY WHERE YOU ARE. MORE INFORMATION TO FOLLOW”.

Have heard nothing from her since that text 20 minutes ago. Called the ABC affiliate here, talked to the news desk, they told me they just heard he’d shot himself. They wanted my daughter’s contact info. An ABC Newscaster just broke into Good Morning America to begin reporting on the story. The gunman is dead. The area around the library is closed down to all but police. I believe my daughter is safe. But this story shall play out during the day. I don’t think I will exhale until I hear from her … or see her on tv.

Shit.

*Update: now they are looking for second gunman; have not heard from daughter but am not freaking … yet*

Double shit.

*She sent me a text saying she’s ok. At the same time the television was running film of the police unload an armored tank on campus. They have issued an “All Clear”, school is closed, and her area butts up to the crime scene so she won’t be going anywhere today. Good grief.*

 

A Backward Glance While Moving Forward

Reading a number of blogs this morning, I was struck by one headline. “Sometimes your decisions are not yours to make…” by The Reluctant Mom’s Blog. While I love reading all the funny pieces, I also appreciate those that provoke thought.

You decide to have children. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t, maybe you can, maybe you can’t. This decision absolutely changes the course of your life.

You decide to marry, divorce, be a star, buy a house, go to church, take a huge risk, never make any decisions. And, although you believe you know what you are getting into, you don’t. So I think we make choices, which turn into decisions after the fact. Some good, others great, bad, and middle of the road.  Going a bit further, perhaps decisions are the consequences of our choices.  And, regardless of the outcome, those of us who have the freedom to make choices are the lucky ones.

It would not seem so, if we only focus on the mayhem induced by a bad choice or three. But I believe in scale, yin and yang, reasoning. So I have to say that although the end product of our choices can be our worst nightmares, we still had a part in it.

When I made the choice to divorce some years ago, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I was acutely aware of what I was getting myself out of. And no matter what anyone else thinks, divorce is, to quote a friend, “like being in a bad car wreck every single day”.  Those days, whether they span a week, a year, a lifetime, are indescribably atrocious. Individually and collectively.  I would not wish divorce on any couple I know. But sometimes it is necessary.

My ex is a good person. We have two daughters, two very bright stars, to mark the absolute best that came from our union. And I will never, ever be sorry for getting married because these two girls make the world a better place to live in. 

It has been my experience, personally and from observation, that when the woman initiates a divorce, she is the bad cop. Of course there are many exceptions, but I’ve not witnessed more than a few. As the saying goes, “it takes two”, but, in an effort to make sense of it, most friends and frenemies feel they must choose sides, fuel the rumor mill, and unintentionally make the aftershock of divorce so much worse than it needs to be. Choices, all. My exposure.

To make a long story short, the personal gains have far outweighed the losses. And I am not the same person I was. During, after, and since my divorce, I chose to be misunderstood. I am a private person and the inability to remain married was strictly between me and my ex. The toll was heavy in every way. But everything comes with a price to pay. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Divorce scares the hell out of couple friends. It forces them to look at their own situation. And they don’t want to catch the disease. After the implosion of family, I think the hardest, most heartbreaking consequence was the loss of lifelong friends. Individual and couples. While they remained at the top of my grid, they quickly filed me in their “out” boxes. No longer a “couple”, a member of their clubs, a part of their gatherings.  After my family, my friends have always been the most important people in my life.  I was naïve. Loyalty is a given if I’m your friend.  Had no idea they would divorce me.  But good always comes from terrible.

There were the handful of friends who did not waver, who will always have my back. And, I have made so many new and strong alliances with amazing people I might have missed along the way. I now know what it’s like to be truly loved. I am not naïve about people any longer. While I still enjoy the occasional celebration with “the old gang”, I must admit that afterwards I usually wonder why I spent so much time mourning their disappearance. And it always comes back to the same conclusion: I believed them to be people they weren’t. My bad. But my good, because my life now is richer because of the people who are in it.

There will always be those days when my heart sinks, just for a minute. And that is awesome. Hearing about the activities and stirrings of my old life, still raging like a freight train with a full tank of gas, used to send me to bed for … however long. Getting that puppy down to a minute is progress, folks.

Even if it’s made one tiny step at a time. “Sometimes your decisions are not yours to make ….”. But it’s what you do with the consequences. This, in my mind, is what determines the wiggly course of your life. Dealing, learning, overcoming, changing, trying … all survival buzz words.

Later.