Whatever State You Are in , Be Content…..

Usually, when I work on Saturday night, I don’t go to church on Sunday. This Sunday was different.  I started my vacation that night. There was only one thing I wanted to do on my vacation. I wanted to just go on a day trip to one place. I hinted to it but it hasn’t happened. It isn’t but a 3 hour drive.

As I sat there, in church, I listened as the preacher  read my moms favorite Bible verse. He talked about God providing for our needs but we as human beings don’t know sometimes the difference between needs and wants.

We feel like it is a need but is it?

My anxiety level was high. I had a program the next day and it had been a year and a half since I had worked with kids. Did I still have it? Was I going to fall on my face? I was so anxious, I couldn’t sleep. At all!!

I went to church and went out to lunch with my parents. Came home and laid down. Couldn’t sleep. Posted a sale on my jewelry. Dealt with that. Went over my talk with the kids in my mind. Went through the stuff I was taking on last time.

I knew I was as ready as I could be, yet, my anxiety was still high. Anxiety feeds off anxiety. You get lost in your own thoughts and it lead to sheer misery at times. This was where I was at. I just wanted someone to take me and hold me. Not just anybody. Him. He was busy, he was working on a project and he was kind of quite. I really wanted to talk to him but he needed to do what he needed to do, I get that. I didn’t want to bother him, I feel like I bother him too much as is.

I began to cry my eyes out. I couldn’t stop it from coming. I was trying, believe me. I finally started praying. And somewhere deep inside me I heard the words, be content.

This was about 4 hours before I was supposed to get up and get ready for the program.

All went well. The kids were happy, the people who hired me were happy. I was happy.

Within 30 minutes, I received a phone call that I needed to meet with some people about some of my jewelry that had been jurored. Once again, the anxiety level went back up. Once again inside me I hear the words, be content.

That night I slept like a baby. I asked him if he wanted to come with me but he never responded until I was there. I would have liked the company as he is more used to this than I am but it wasn’t meant to be.

I had the meeting. It went better than I figured. I was happy about that. I then came home to  an empty house. I played in the dirt resetting some plants. I went and got dinner and ate alone. I was kind of sad there was no one to share it with in person. I sat and I ate in silence. The words came back to me. Be content.

I am going to hold on to those words of life with everything I have inside me. If I am alone or with someone, be content.

If things are going well or life is beating me up, be content. For you see I am never truly alone. There are things I want but do I need them. Lonesome is a state of mind. I just work until my body tells me to go to bed. Then I lay there and think of the good things in my life and I am content.

Sometimes Being at Peace Is More Important Than Being Right…

Today, I let my curiosity get the better of me. I wound up being upset.

Something I had given a great number of hours and a good deal of money to was attempting to be recreated.

Now, as before those “in charge” don’t get the idea behind it. It is still their program. Only now, they are allowing facilitators are being compensated. Not a great deal but still being compensated. They allowed another facilitator and myself to provide ideas, supplies and our time for nothing. Now, being employed with them at the time, I could see dissing me.

Not him. He was a volunteer. His time, his talent, his stuff. They never once offered to  compensate him. I mentioned several time about it but I was just blown off.

This was one of  the straws that broke the camels hump with me.

I gave it my all and in the end it was not good enough.

Now having said all that, I am very happy where I am. I can give my creative energy to my own projects and not theirs.

I do still have a bad taste about it though. They didn’t listen to the people. They had their preconceived ideas and no matter what, their minds were not going to be changed.

After I found some things out, a wonderful day became a crappy one, I was kind of still on a cloud after spending time with him yesterday. I am still allowing those people who had no place in my life anymore still have an effect on my emotions.

I called my mom and she gave me some words of wisdom. She reminded me that the devil knows our weaknesses and he will play on those. That is what was happening. I just took a few moments to allow the emotions I was feeling to be real then I cranked up my music, regrouped and refocused my energy on working on the new studio, I found out that I can get a great deal done when I am in that mood.

When I got ready for work, I stopped by a local eatery and there were two couples I knew from that time in my life and they all told me how they missed me and how things were not the same. Hugs were exchanged and they all asked if I was enjoying the new chapter in my life. I assured them that I was much happier.

When I came into work, there was a gift basket from a lady I had talked to on the worst night of her life.

Somehow, when you focus on the good, the bad just kind of flows away.

Five Years Later…

It had happened. It was a Tuesday. It was 12:35 pm (yes, I looked at the clock, I need to remember the exact time). Some Disney channel show was playing in the background.

I stood up from the chair where I had pretty much been planted for the previous 2 months.

I went over to the door that had been closed for the past few days because I didn’t want people going up and down the hall peeking in the door to see if he was still there.

I walked up the hall as casually as any other day. I looked at the nurse standing at the nurses station and I calmly said, “He’s Not BREATHING”.  I turned and I walked back to our room.

They rushed past me into the room. There was no reason to hurry, his struggle was over, he was free. They couldn’t touch him anyway, he had a DNR.

I looked at someone in the room and said “Go get Shawn”. Shawn had been his CNA, who became his friend.He had made me promise that when something happened that he could be there.  I wound up holding onto to him because he was crying so hard.

It was silent when it happened. There was not letting of breath, there was no sound. Death eased into the room and ushered the him that I knew, away.

As the staff asked me to step out into the hallway so they could attend to him, I made a call.

“I need you”. “Is he getting worse?”. “I need you now”. “Oh!!! I will be right there.” That was the whole conversation. The person on the other end of the phone was my friend, the local funeral director.

The second call I made was to my mom. She asked me if I was okay. I said yes, what else could I say. I was fine, I was standing in the hall way talking on the phone. My heart had been ripped out and lay in the floor in front of me in shards but I was still standing.

My sister came first. My dad was going to get my mom. It was real, it was happening and it was happening to me. You always think it is someone else, until you are that someone else.

He had battled kidney cancer for 18 months. When I say he battled it, he fought like a trooper, in his words “just to stay with me”.

I stayed until his earthly house left the building  The thing I noticed how quickly he started getting cold. Once his spirit left his body, it happened fast.

I gathered what I would need at that moment and left room 5 for the last time.

As I walked out of the building, I noticed what a beautiful day it was. Sunny with just a breeze stirring.

I walked toward my car and my mom said “Let your daddy drive you home”. I looked at her as straight as I could and said “I Will Drive Myself”.

I drove myself and my mom to my house. I walked in the door and I picked up my little dog and I cried. I was where I would be safe to cry. Nobody was here to see how I would react. I could finally feel.

I went to let all our friends know that it had happened. Not being able to think of anything else to say I simply typed “It is Finished”. Someone had already shared it with the world, I noticed later that the first sharing of the news was not from me, it was from someone else.

The next few days were a blur. I do remember the first person to my house was my best friend and her daughter. I remember our little dog sniffy the shoes of every man who came into the house and walking away because it was not him. I remember how  many people came to pay their respects. I remember my middle great niece straightening his tie during the viewing.

 I tucked him in for the last time as they closed the casket at the funeral home. My friend called me up and said I know you have tucked him in many times. I want you to help me do it one last time.  It was the final thing I could do for him. I did it through tear filled eyes but I am glad now that I did do it.

In that moment chapter 2 of my life began.

Well, here I am five years later. If anyone would have told me what I would have done in the past five years, I would have laughed in their face. All I wanted to do was die. I even had a plan on how it would happen. Luckily, the right person at the right second, said the right thing. It was eight words that changed my life.

I am not going to say it has been easy. It hasn’t.

I went from living with my parents, to living with him, to at the age of 43 living by myself for the first time.

I had to figure out how to navigate the waters again on my own. Without the man, I planned on spending more years with that what I got, beside me.

I learned (and am still learning) who I am and what I want out of my life.

I have fallen in love with an amazing man who understands that that part of my life did happen and I will speak of it from time to time. He has been patient, loving and kind. He makes me laugh. He encourages me to be the best I can be. He is smart, funny, creative and handsome. He allows me to be the incredible mess that I am and still comes back for more. He is one of those once in a lifetime people.

Me, the person whose plan A was to sit on the side of the road and die, am in love.

I have taken on more challenges and made more changes than I ever thought I would or could. I have chased waterfalls and lightening  with camera in hand. I am starting two businesses. I changed careers.

I have amazing people in my life, I would be lost without the friends I have been blessed to have in my life. My best friend has been an anchor calling me every day since that fateful day and I am living my life.

Tonight, I even went out with some of those friends. It was a very enjoyable evening. There was love, laughter and life. It was great.

So tomorrow, I will not be sitting around thinking about the past. I will be celebrating life. I will be thankful that his spirit was freed from a very sick body and he is free from those things which kept him earthbound.

I will wake up tomorrow and be thankful that I have not only gotten to love once but twice in my life. I will spend the day exploring with my new love.

I guess if I could ask  one question, it would be if he is proud of the woman I have grown into. I think I know the answer….he would be and he would be happy that I have lived a life I enjoy and have loved again.

If I could tell him one thing that I want him to know, that would be that the caterpillar finally sees the butterfly that he saw and that I am sorry I didn’t see it before.

 I think he is smiling on me, nah, I know he is.

A View of the World from Inside an Ambiverted, Menopausal, Gemini Woman

It is not a surprise that a Gemini would test to be an ambivert.

It is the perfect storm. You are of two minds on most things except those things that you are 100% certain.

It like two prepubescent sisters attached at the brain.

One wants to be pretty and dress up, makeup, heels, and bling she wants to be told she is pretty. The other wants to throw on a tank top, denim shorts and a snap back and just chill.

One wants to focus. The other bounces around like a howler monkey on crack.

One wants her house neat and organized. The other has 99 projects to work on at the same time. So the house usually looks like a cluster. Until the IDG slams her foot down and they both clean.

Some days you eat like a horse and the next day you don’t eat a bite.

One has so much energy and the other one wouldn’t care if she didn’t get out of bed for days.

One wants to isolate. The other screams for company.

One is stand and fight, the other is run and hide.

One wants to be social but the noise is drowning to the introvert in you, to the extrovert in you, silence is deafening. So you keep you conversations one on one most of the time.

Take all this and throw it into menopause. Mood swings are varied and brutal.

I went from a job that was both physically and mentally demanding to one that is totally mental.

My fitbit is telling me some things.

I am not getting enough steps in on a regular basis. When I don’t get enough exercise, it shows up in how restless I am during my sleep.

When I don’t get enough exercise, I overthink everything. You have to use up energy some way. If you don’t fire off one set of neurons, another is going to fire.  If your body doesn’t use the energy you mind will and that can be dangerous.

So…..as of today, I am changing things up. I went today and got in half the steps I need in a days time. I then came back home and took a nap.

I have packed walking clothes so they will be in my car at all times. Remove the excuses. Before I come home from work in the mornings, I will walk. I know how many steps it is for me around the course I walk. I will work my way up from here. I will fire of those happy little neurons and silently quieten the worry warts.

It is an experiment. I like experiments. This time I am the guinea pig.

BALANCE…..that’s a nice word, balance.

Two Tigers…

Do you ever feel certain things are just out of your out of your grasp. That no matter how hard you try, when you reach as far as you can reach you still can’t attain that thing.

That no matter what you do, it will never be good enough. Someone is always going to be bigger, better, faster, stronger, more attractive, smarter, more loved,  more this, more that….

There is always going to be someone who has that thing you long for.

I heard a metaphor today that really hit home with me, you are being chased by a tiger toward a cliff, your choices are to jump over the cliff or face the tiger. You jump off the cliff and are hanging by a tree branch. A twig, really that is pulling out of the side of the mountain. You look down only seeing another tiger waiting for you to fall. Trapped between the two tigers, you look over and see a wild strawberry and with your free hand you reach over a grasp it. You place it into your mouth and taste its sweetness. And in that moment you realize it is the best strawberry you have ever tasted. (This is a punched up version of the metaphor.)

It made me think a great deal of my own life. You are running from whatever your tiger is only to realize that there is another waiting for you with baited breath. He doesn’t have to do anything, just wait.

Those things in life that you enjoy, those people who make you feel like you are someone of value, well, those are you strawberries.

Like your best friend, you have a language all your own. There is a transfer of thought that says, say a prayer for me or I may kill these people, or I can’t what is on my mind right now but I’ll call you later.

Your niece is as close as you will ever have to a daughter because you have never had the honor of giving life yourself. She is not only your family, she is also your friend.

Your little ones who are excited to see you when you show up and sad to see you leave.

Being the only girl in the boys club where I work, I see how they respect me when a mouthful comes out and they look at me and apologize.

The little 20 something guy who works with my best friend and when I walk in his first response is Hello Beautiful. I know he is just being kind but it always  brightens my day.

That person who encourages you to pursue your dreams and when you think you have done everything you can do, they challenge you to do more.

The one who pointed me to the career I am in now because he saw I was at my breaking point and he saw an out for me. I just prayed for peace. He pointed me toward my peace in the midst of chaos.

We all have those strawberries that help us savor life, they are the stars in our crown. They are the things we savor when we know that someday that branch is going to break and the tiger will swallow us up.

Everything is an Adventure IF….

I look at life as one big adventure. I don’t travel far from my life long home, not that I don’t want to, just haven’t had the means to do so.

I like exploring and just see what other people might miss or take for granted.

I like to go to new places just to see what is there. I love being in the outdoors and just seeing things.

Some of them intrigue me and others might frighten me.

For example, yesterday, my person and I went for a drive. We got out of the car and strolled about in a couple of locations. I saw some very interesting plants that I captured in photos. I love examining the plants that grow along the different trails that we walk on. If Earth science had this much fun, I would have probably been a better student.

We watched fish swimming about in a pond. In my mind I named them Henry and Lady Fish after the characters in “The Incredible Mr. Limpet”. Then we were walking up to an overlook and I saw this fire engine red salamander. Being indoorsy most of my adult life, I approached it with caution. He got right down nose to nose with this little guy and got some amazing photos of it.

It made my heart smile seeing this man get down and interact with this tiny, colorful creature. Not many people would get down on that level and see the world from that perspective, yet he did.

I just stood there smiling at this moment, thankful I was there to witness it.

Then there was the snake, this was one part of the adventure I decided to stay in the car for but not him.

Then we tested out one of his creations. It was interesting to be part of what he is making. I did the driving and he did the watching.

I am not one of the people who need or want the world handed to me. I just like to go adventures and share them with him.

There was also the laughter we shared. He can make me laugh more than anyone I know. I love to laugh. Sometimes he even gets me to laugh at myself.

Those are the memories I want to keep.

Because, everything, every little thing is an adventure if you keep your heart, your mind and your eyes open. Having him to share the journey with, man, that is just amazing!!!

Wow What a Change…

So, I have been writing about getting my hair done. My niece was a rock star today. She did my hair, cut and triple process color.  She did another ladies root touch up.

My hair turned out wonderfully. The color is vibrant and she added some soft curls.

When she turned the chair around so I could see, I almost cried. I was so shocked at what a difference it had made in me.

I have been working so hard on my inside that I had kind of let the outside go. Shame on me.

Honestly, I felt like a sex kitten. Now, that is not a term I have NEVER used about myself. The combination of color and curls, oh yeah, I felt sexy.

I was so anxious for my person to see it, but I didn’t want to let on. He didn’t say a great deal. He asked me if I liked it, I said Oh Yes!! He said Nice!!!

We drove around this evening and I found myself twirling my hair. It was definitely a flirty gesture on my part, hoping he wondered what it would feel like to run his fingers through my hair.

Then we stopped to have dessert along the way, I found myself openly flirting with him over a piece of pie. Who is this woman? I am the socially awkward person who trips over themselves trying to flirt. Now here I was tempting him in this teasing voice over a piece of pie.

I like it…. I like being flirty (with him only) ….. I like feeling like a sex kitten with lush, loose curls.

I have spent enough time not liking me and my body, maybe the time has come that we could all be friends.