In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Here I am, finally at this place, where my heart has longed to be…needed to be…to just write…to write all the things I think about through out my days and nights…to vent and sort out…to make sense of this life that I have chosen. I write in my head a lot…so many thoughts I want to record and yet I run out of time…and the energy that it takes to carve out this time for me.

And yet, in ways it feels so selfish to ask for this time for myself, when I know it means letting something go for the moment…that something or someone won’t get my attention. Because I write in this moment something else goes undone. I have to be okay with this or else I will go crazy.

I asked my husband a few weeks ago, why I can’t be stronger even though I am trying so hard. Why I can’t seem to keep up with everything and just be okay. Why I can’t just fucking be strong like so many women around me. Why I can’t just knock this shit off and be okay. He reminded me that while he thought I was the strongest person he has ever known, that I had worked through a lot of personal demons over the past couple of months and should give myself some slack….and wondered if I had forgotten about being resilient instead of strong?

Back in November, I wrote this post called I am resilient, hear me roar. I claimed resilient as my new word because it freed me from having to be strong. Resilient means, springing back; rebounding; returning to the original form or position after being bent, compressed or stretched; recovering readily from illness, depression or adversity. My yoga teacher gave me this word when she didn’t have a clue about me or my life. She didn’t know why, she just knew she was suppose to tell me to stop trying to be strong and to instead be resilient. Little did I know then, how much I needed this freedom in my life.

It’s not that I haven’t focused on being resilient as of late, but I will admit to getting lost in this journey and trying to take back being strong…of trying to be strong in quitting the smoking…of trying to be strong as I vomited out those old shit sandwiches, took a look at them and flushed them down the toilet…of trying to be strong as I looked at myself in the mirror and coming to terms with my reflection…of trying to be strong as I walked away from a job I loved to another…of trying to be strong in spite of my pain being a lot worse…but most of all, trying to be strong so that I could not only face all of the above and come out on top but also keep up with daily life…whether it be this grand mommy gig I got going on, or the responsibilities of work, home and family.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I went to this book store after a doctor appointment. We walked in the door and there on display was this book called Resilience, by Elizabeth Edwards. My friend noticed it right away, as did I. This display was like a flashing neon light. She knew about my claim for being resilient and suggested I buy this book. I knew that it was somehow a sign because just one week before, I had that conversation with my husband. I knew I couldn’t buy it at that time but thought about it for days after. I told my husband about it and he suggested I buy it the next time I go to that town for an appointment.

A couple days later, this book came to me in the mail! It was sent anonymously. Right away, I assumed my friend or husband had done this but they were just as shocked as I was. I asked the only other person(in my life here) who knows about my ties to being resilient, the yoga teacher, and she was shocked as well. The only other people that know about this, are you people, my blog friends. It has to be one of you. Who ever sent this book to me…thank you. This book has blessed me more than you could possibly know. Thank you for reminding me!

So here I’ve been reminded once again, that no matter what adversities I face or comes my way, I don’t have to be strong. I am resilient. I can be resilient. I am resilient in the storms that cross my path...I am resilient in the day to day chaos that is my life…in this grand mommy gig or whatever else pulls me for it‘s attention…I am resilient even though the demands of the day never end and my time is stretched every single day. I am resilient in the midst of this pain that works to wear me down and stop me. It is my resiliency that will keep me fighting for the time to come back here to write…that will allow myself this time for myself. I am clothed in resiliency so that I can be the woman I want to be…even if I fall short of my ideal or what I think “I should” be, I know that in this moment, of this day, that if I do fall down, I will get back up. I will always get back up!

I am resilient, hear me roar!

In what ways are you resilient?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jumping in Mud Puddles & Jumping off Bridges

When I was a little girl, jumping in mud puddles, was one of my most favorite things to do. Growing up on a busy farm kept all of us quite busy, especially in the summer time when there was constant work to be done. Often times the only time we had respite from the work was when it rained.

When it rained during the day, it was an opportunity to run through the rain to cool off. When your hot and sweaty nothing feels better then a cool rain as it hits your face and body. It started with dancing in the rain but if it rained enough, this meant running and jumping over puddles. Which of course led to jumping in the puddles. Which naturally led to riding our bicycles through them. Of course all of this led to being covered in mud because it was only a matter of time before we were jumping in the mud puddles and throwing it at each other. Oh the unbridled joy of mud slinging at my brothers, while squealing with excitement as I dodged a handful of mud that flew by my face!

Oh to be young and feel so free as we danced in the rain and played in the mud. We welcomed this break from the work and heat with such excitement and laughter. We welcomed this opportunity to just be kids for the moment…to have this time to just play. We knew it was just a matter of time before we would be sprayed down with cold water from the garden hose and put back to work once again.

Some of our fields were on the other side of a river, so after working much of the day in the heat, on one of those fields, we would have the opportunity to quickly get off the tractor or hay rack and run to the river. Most of the time, due to the kind of work we were doing, in spite of the summer heat, we had to wear long pants and shirts out in the field. We could hardly wait to escape these warm clothes…to wash off the sweat. Often times I wore my swimsuit underneath my clothes in anticipation of this opportunity, so as soon as we were on our way back home, I would start taking off my clothes. Swimsuit or not, a chance to cool off in the river would not be passed up. What a sight we must have been as we jumped from the hayrack and ran down that gravel road towards the bridge.

We barely missed a beat as we reached the bridge, climbed up and jumped into the cold river water. I remember how I screamed with wild abandonment as my feet flew in the air, off that bridge, knowing how the shock of the cold water would feel the instant I hit the water…how I screamed yet again as I welcomed the coolness to my hot sweaty body…how it felt like heaven…how I just wanted to stay there in the water yet knowing this was a short lived moment of respite. We knew how to time it just right so that we weren’t left to walk all the way home. It wasn’t long before we were jumping out of the water, running down the hot gravel road, to catch up with the moving tractor, that would not wait for us.
These are some of the fond memories that summer evokes in me. There is something about getting dirty or wet when you’re a kid. There is something about playing so hard and with such imagination that all else is forgotten. It speaks of fun and adventure…of letting go and being so caught up in enjoying the moment that you are clueless to how dirty you are getting…whether it be sand, dirt or mud…ice cream, spaghetti or chocolate, paint or sidewalk chalk. There is nothing like feeling wild abandonment for something that is so innocent yet feels so good, whether that be jumping off bridges or jumping in mud puddles.

Today, we have an unplanned day home from work. Today, we are having a free day. I am letting my little people play with wild abandonment today. No rules, restrictions or of what we have to do next(all within reason and safety of course). I have stepped back and let them just “be”. They are free. It almost comes as no surprise that there has not been one single fight. Their squeals of excitement and laughter can be heard through out the house.

They have been playing outside in dirt, mud and water because it rained during the night last night. They are filthy dirty. Their faces are covered with the pizza from the picnic they had upon a great ship of their invention. When I am done writing here, I think an ice cream cone will add nicely to the mess upon their faces, don't you think?

I can hear the excitement in their little voices as they talk back and forth, as they go from one adventure to another. They have dug for treasures. Our yard is filled with lions, tigers, bears and monkeys that must be tended to. Besides the dirt and sand, sticks, leaves, rocks, empty boxes and containers are the tools of their play.

They are so caught up in their imaginations and adventures that I don’t have the heart to make them stop to take a nap. So I won’t. Not today. Today is their day. Today is their day for making memories. Today I will not interrupt their fun.

It looks like rain again, which we will welcome as it is much needed. If we are lucky, it will rain, so that they can experience the delight of running and dancing in it. If we are lucky, it will rain, and I will join them, to show them, how it’s done. And if we’re really lucky, we will have a mud puddle or two, that need jumping in!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Beauty That is Us

In the midst, of all that has been going on over the past few months, something good and beautiful emerged out of all of it. I fell in love with my husband all over again.

It’s not that I wasn’t already head over heels in love with him already. It’s not like things have ever been bad between us, even with all the on going stress and conflict with his daughter and taking on raising her children. It’s not that we didn’t already have a great relationship. It’s not that we were really fighting or at odds with each other.

I knew when I found him, that he was in deed “the one” and if you were to ask him, he would say the same thing. We just knew and from there we became friends and that friendship has grown over the course of our marriage. He has not just been my husband and lover but my friend. This friendship has seen us through all the interruptions that have come into our lives since before we were even married.

But, the thing is, we have not had “time” for just us. Not ever. Ever. When we were dating, I still had a teenage son living at home so it was important for me to be around for him. We knew his time at home would end all too quickly and then it would be our time. We also spent time trying to help his daughter and her baby son, who is now our little man. We waited patiently for our time to come. Our time never came.

After our wedding, we put off going on a honeymoon because my step daughter was due to have her daughter, who is now our little lady. It wasn’t long after little lady was born, before one thing led to another and we were caring for them much of the time. We would plan a weekend away and one crisis with my step daughter after another, prevented us from going away. Still, we waited patiently for our time to come.

It wasn’t long before we became parents of two little people. Yes, we put our dreams and plans on hold to do this. And yes, they are more than worth it. In the middle of all of this, my daughter and her son needed to move home for awhile and we watched our grandson while she worked. Yet, we still tried to get away.

People tried to watch them so we could get away for a planned weekend. Without fail something always happened that prevented us from getting away. Life, work, responsibilities, sickness, and finances could all be excuses of why it didn’t happen. I could also give you all the reasons why it should have happened because we needed it. It’s just that we had gotten so caught up in doing all the things we needed to do, that we neglected to nurture the foundation of this family…our relationship.

Lo and behold it happened! We got away! A couple of weeks ago, my husbands best friend was getting married, so we made plans to go there on Thursday evening and to be gone until Sunday. My sister and her husband agreed to care for the little people. They are like the grandparents that we don’t get to be and are wonderful with them, so we knew they were in good hands.

We had 3 nights to ourselves...that means 3 nights of not having to get little people ready for bed...that means 3 nights of getting to sleep naked(favorite way to sleep but something I've had to give up) and not having to worry about being interrupted by a little person...3 mornings of not being woken up way too early. Flipping fantastic!!

Even though this was not a whole weekend to just ourselves, we did get some time to just ourselves. We had the time of our lives. Seriously. I had forgotten what it was like to just be with him. We laughed. We danced. We talked. We had a blast. I fell in love with him all over again.

I fell in love again, with this crazy man that makes me laugh like crazy…who still makes my heart stop when he looks at me a certain way…who dances with me even when he would rather not but does anyways, just because he knows how much I love it…who knows how to have fun…who doesn’t take life so seriously that he can’t see the humor in it…who puts a smile on my face every single day.
It’s not that I don’t get angry with him or he with me. It’s not that we don’t drive each other crazy at times and I have a feeling I drive him a little bit more crazy than he does me. But, I do know that I am crazy about him. And I have a feeling that he might be just as crazy about me!

Going away together, was a wake up call to both of us, of the importance of nurturing our relationship by giving it the gift of alone time….time without interruptions, even if those interruptions are important one’s, like our little people…time outside of the daily demands, responsibilities and stressful situations. Keeping our relationship strong is vital to our families happiness and growth…it’s vital for our own happiness…it’s vital, so that what we have, doesn’t get lost along the that we can keep the beauty that is us.

PS I apologize for this publishing twice. After publishing this post I realized that many of you may be unaware of my past history. The reason that this is so BIG for me is because I do NOT have a good track record with men, relationships and marriage. I could write a book titled “ How to fall in love with an abusive man and marry him”. I do not hide the fact that I have made bad choices in regards to men. That is my normal.

As much as I may regret these relationships, I do NOT ever for one moment regret the children that came out of them. Not one of them is a mistake. The fact that I found my husband is a miracle in itself. The fact that when he looks at me, he doesn’t see any of “that” past is even more of a miracle. While I worked hard to get to the point of being able to be in a healthy relationship, I do not take lightly, the fact that I found him. A thousand times over, I cannot take for granted this gift that has been given to me. Totally and completely awesome.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blogmanity is a Beautiful Thing

I can hardly believe that I am sitting here typing at my computer. I have missed writing down my thoughts and reading your comments. I have missed this place, this blogging community, more than most people could know. I have missed visiting you…reading your words…that encourage me, challenge me and teach me…and make me smile and laugh. I know I have said this before, but I will say it again. You people mean a lot to me and I consider you my friends. You, in your own corners of the world, have amazing voices, that touch me. You make me want to be a better person and challenge me to be authentic. Thank you!

Thank you, to all of you that wrote me personally or commented here, to check up on me. Thank you to all of you who have remained silent yet I know you are there. Yes, I am alive. I have not gone away for good…I am working on coming back…on getting my voice back. I never intended on being absent for the past month but somehow as things hit me and knocked me on my ass…as life unfolded…as life got a little ugly and messy…as my time was taken up unpacking, sorting through and throwing away my excess baggage that I had been carrying around for far too many years, it is something that got left behind. I have had so much to say but my voice has been lost for too many reasons to explain.

I have missed having a voice. I have missed hearing yours. I didn’t realize how much I liked having a voice and being heard, until this part of my life was taken away from me. I didn’t realize how much I liked listening to yours until it all came to a stop. I didn’t realize anyone else could see how much writing here and connecting with all of you was of such benefit to me, until my husband spoke up about it, this past week. He noticed. It is because of him, that I am here today.

After reading over my post entries that I had written since I wrote the post about addiction, on April 13th, I am both shocked and amazed that I have made it to where I am today. Not just because of what I wrote but because there were so many things that went unsaid at the time. As I read, it became clear to me that there is so much I did not write…so much that got left out. Not intentionally, but because there was no way to put into words some of the things I was going through…maybe because there was so much happening in the moment that there was no way I could have kept up…maybe because I hate sounding negative…maybe because I really didn’t know what to say…maybe because it seems like I keep running out of time…and all of that led to my being absent over this past month.

All I know is that this blogging community…this “blogmanity” like my friend Jason from The Jason Show called it some time ago, is a beautiful place. This sharing of our voices…of our lives, our dreams, our hopes, our struggles, our sins, our wisdom, our laughter, our joys, our families, our thoughts, our daily journeys…whatever it may be, is a beautiful amazing opportunity to connect with people we would other wise never know.

It is my hope to stay connected with all of you. It is my hope to gain back my voice and share with you, all that I have been learning on this journey. There is too much to share in one post and these are things that are significant to my life’s journey… and some how I know it’s important for me to record them. I want to be able to look back here a year from now and see just how far I have come. I also love getting your honest feed back.

It is also my hope to visit you and listen to your voice in the very near future. I love reading about your journey’s…love that your sharing them with me. As I continue to figure things out, it may take me some time to stop by your place, but please know I will be by soon!

Last but not least…I am still smoke free!!!! I have not had a single cigarette since April 5th!!! Now isn't that amazing?!!!