7 Years….

Tomorrow at 12:35 pm, will mark 7 years since my life forever changed.

It came silently. It crept in. I knew it was coming yet I wasn’t prepared. I was sitting right there in a chair beside his hospital bed and it crept right in and took him from my life, at least in a physical sense.

Death crept in and took him, 7 years ago tomorrow.

This time of year is always hard for me. It is when I tend to become more reflective.

7 years, 84 months, 2,555 days, 61,320 hours, 3,679,200 minutes and 220,752,000 seconds. Yes, I did the math. That is a great number of heartbeats and breaths.

Then, I was 43; now I am 50. Am I wiser? That’s a good question.

There has been a great deal of learning in that time. Learning how to take those first steps, learning how to keep walking (even on days when I didn’t want to), learning how to survive on my own, learning what I enjoy, learning to love again, learning how to live again.

Part of learning is making mistakes  but taking a lesson away from the experience (I have probably more of those in the past year than I my life) but I learned to be better.

I will get through tomorrow, just as I have the past 7 years.

I can’t help but wonder if he would be proud of the woman I have become.

I don’t have the answer to that… maybe some day I will be proud enough of myself for both of us.

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When Your Soul Is Tired….

There is no tired worse than when your soul is tired.

I have been telling people when I would have a few moments of peace that those moments were good for my soul.

The other day, it all collapsed on me at once. It wasn’t one thing it was multiple things.

The thing that really got me thinking that I needed to care for my soul was when they found my neighbor dead.

At that point, I decided my soul needed to rest. It needed care, I wasn’t sure how to start; I began by emptying out. My journal has been busy. I have been writing about all those things that were making me weary.

I didn’t use this time to make anything. I haven’t even stepped foot in my workroom. I cleaned my living space. It tends to get cluttered when my mind is cluttered.

I filled up, I listened to only music that inspired me. I joined the local gym to take care of my body, I read  a book about a strong woman that I admire.

I took some time to relax and watch some movies that make me laugh.

I gave myself a facial, I gave myself a pedicure and a manicure, I took care of my skin.

I fed my mind and my body and ultimately my soul.

A Day Of Exercise (in many forms)

Today I worked out in my flower bed.

My plan was on the nice warmer winter days, I would go out and work on it but with my schedule those days didn’t exist (for me)  during the winter months.

This morning when I came home from work I was down. I was tired. I looked at the rock flower bed my grandfather had built over fifty years ago. It was in sad shape. Not the bed itself. It is as sturdy as it has ever been. It was suffering from neglect. Having set there from the autumn season.

 I went inside to sleep which happened quickly. I don’t even remember getting into bed. I slept for a few hours and when I woke up I was wide awake and my mind was whirling.

I decided to go out and see if it was warm enough to begin working through the vines and thorns to reclaim the flower bed and allow the daffodils and tulips that reside there to flourish.

I assessed the situation. I walked around the oblong rock flower bed, I chose my point of attack. I walked back to my carport and gathered the spade, shovel, rake, broom and clippers.

I was ready to do battle. There was walking, tugging, straining, climbing up into the flower bed, bending over to clear out debris, working with the shovel using muscles I don’t use everyday in that manner.  This was the physical exercise.

When stepping in between the fragile new growth, I had to be careful not to damage what I was trying to salvage.

When I used the spade and could not get the roots of the intruding vines and thorns, I had to use the shovel having to use care once again to not to damage the desired plants while evicting the intruders. This was the mental exercise.

Once the roots were removed to prevent the squatters from returning, I would shake the dirt from the roots and for the first time in my life, I realized how I enjoyed the smell of the fresh dirt. There was something alluring about the smell.

It’s not like I haven’t played in the dirt before. I have many times in that same flower bed. It is just this time I feel like I was more present.

It was so strong that when I saw my person later in the day, I made mention of it; how amazing the smell was to me.

As I worked with my hands, I thought what those weeds and thorns represented in my own life and how removing said interlopers makes room for the good to grow.

I thought about my grandmother. How she would walk up to the flower bed and work as much as she could, which was not long because she had spurs on her spine. I can work for hours and she could only work for minutes but there is a shared love of the flowers that grow there.

I looked at the metal pipe in the middle of the flower bed. My sister, cousins and I used to pretend it was a periscope. I smiled at the memories flooding my soul. This was the soul exercise.

A need to clean out a flowerbed became a body, mind, spirit connection and what started out as a chore turned into a blessing.

When You Open Up to Someone…

Scammers newest way to get to you is Instagram. Not that it is the fault of this social media presence. It is just their (the scammers)  latest way to get to you.

Due to some of my business ventures, my account is open. I will not identify it here or anywhere else for that matter.

Anyone can message me. One such person did.

I will admit he was good but I thought I was smarter. I didn’t tell him where I was. I did tell him what I did for a living. He had access to my photos. I post pics of myself on the site often. It is easy enough to screen shot them and you have my pic.

Those will be coming down. When I switched it from a private to publicly viewed account, I took down any pics of my littles or any one else. Trying to think smart.

I never put on there where I live.

Tried to do everything the smart way.

You never know when you could meet someone great. Not so much in this case.

Like I said the dude that started talking to me seemed legit. We were friendly but never went too far. He never used foul language. Never asked me for anything. Just chatted about our days. I would say we became friends to a degree.

He made some big promises that were yellow flags. Be wise. Be careful, but there was nothing that screamed that this will be a problem. There wasn’t some of the things you know to look for. Everything seemed fine. I even looked up the town he said he was from.

He was supposed to be leaving the country on business. He asked me to join googlehangouts. Once again not blaming them. This is all on me for being naive.

When I asked why, he said he wanted to have two ways to contact me. Okay, I join. I joined with the address I used to use for this blog. That has now been changed. So there is no connection to this blog.

Things were going well for a while until he asked me for money.

I honestly told him I could not help him. I was being honest. I can’t. It wasn’t an excuse. I am trying to get two businesses off the ground. I have no income to spare and I don’t know him that well.

He became more intrusive and forceful. Down to the point that he asked where I do my banking. That was the step over the line.  I at that point had to make some changes.

I created a new email account.

I deleted the old one.

I blocked him from instagram.

I spoke to local law enforcement just in case there is someway he can find me.

I have done all I can. It hopefully over. We’ll see.

Because of one persons need to prey on the innocent, I had to change my life. Is this fair? No. Is this the world we live in now? Yes. Could I have been smarter? Yes. Will I talk to a stranger again? Probably not.

To quote Alanis Morisette…. You LEARN, sometimes the hard way.

So in closing, this is just a reminder to not only you but to myself, be brave but be safe and smart at the same time. Talks are great, invasion of privacy is not.

A Time For Self Care

I have been thinking about this depressive episode I am going through.

My personality type requires that I have some alone time. I am on the cusp of being exactly in the middle of introvert and extrovert. I am just barely on the introverted side.

The flip side of that coin is when I am alone for too long, I get in my own head. That is where I am now.

I work in a box for 12 hours per night, alone. My schedule is that I work different schedules on different weeks. Therefore, a sleep pattern is non existent.

Throw on top of all this that I had to have some medical tests run that weakened my immune system which opened me up to take the flu, followed by a sinus infection.

Being the person I am, I went back to work too quickly. I didn’t give my body time to heal.

Too much isolation has lead to the spiral I have taken. I need some time with my people. My littles, I haven’t seen them in three weeks. I need some time out in nature. The weather has not been very accommodating for me to be outside.

I need to get my creative groove back which I started last night when I couldn’t sleep.

I need to eat better, sleep better, spend some more time taking care of me. You can’t pour water from an empty vessel.

So for now, I need to do for me, I just hope everyone else can understand.

You Have To Be Okay With It

I am depressed. I am aware of this fact. I am swishing back and forth between eating too much and making myself physically sick and not eating at all.

All I want to do is sleep. If I am sleeping, I’m not thinking. So sleep wins.

I am for the most part avoiding social media as far as putting anything personal out there, no one needs to know what I am feeling right now. I am not putting my work out there anymore. A decision I came to today. This is kind of where this bout of depression started anyway.

The support I give to others is not given in return so I will work in silence and keep it to myself for now. It is not like it matters to anyone else anyway.

There has been a great deal going on in my life with medical issues and tests. I have had some tests to take at work, I have agreed to teach a class on jewelry making, only to prove one single point.

I need to get past that and maybe things will get better.

Someone recently reminded me that I am a beautiful, sexy creature, going into detail what they would like to do with me. It made me feel good that someone noticed, made me feel bad that it was the wrong person.

They reminded that I am a person who likes to be desired and to a point, I was starving for that. I am not the woman that men look at with desire. I am not what most men look at with lust in their eyes.

I am the type of woman that supports you and doesn’t ask anything in return. I am your biggest cheerleader, I will do anything to make something happen for you only to be overlooked.

So when someone tells you that they desire to touch your body, it scares and thrills you at the same time. You go from oh wow to what do you want from me in like 2.2 seconds.

The thing is that this man knows what he wants and is not shy saying it.

All this is temporary, it will all pass and things will go back to normal. My job is to ride out the storm. I may have to sleep through it but I am okay with that.

Safe Space

Yesterday, I was tired. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, I had gone to church, went to the store with my dad because my mom didn’t feel well, fixed lunch and laid down for a nap.

I recently started hosting at a local eatery and worked both Friday and Saturday night.

I would wake up from my naps when my dryer alarm would go off, check or switch clothes around and nap again.

I was in the midst of one of these naps, when there was a knock at my door. As no one ever comes to visit except my parents, this took me by surprise.

I grabbed my phone and called someone so there was a connection to the outside world before opening the door.

When I answered the door it was a friend of mine. He needed to talk. He needed a safe space to let his guard down and say what was in his heart. Here I was, no bra, in my napping clothes and my hair all over my head.

He didn’t care. He just needed to talk to his friend. He knew that there would be no judgement to what he was saying. I would not offer advice unless he asked for it.

He sat on my sofa and spoke in a hummingbird like manner. Jumping from subject to subject yet somehow managing to connect the garbled thoughts spilling from him.

He stayed for a couple of hours. When he left he thanked me for allowing him into my home. He just needed a safe space to be real.

The same thing happened Saturday. A young friend who is being yo-Yoed around by a guy needed to talk. She needed me to be present while she tried to figure somethings out for herself, it was just easier to have another body in the car while she was driving and talking.

She asked me some questions and I told her how I felt, not being brutally honest but honest. She is going to be hurt. I can’t stop that. She wants the fairytale and Prince Charming has a wandering eye.

Being the personality type I am, when those close to me hurt I hurt as well. So much so that it woke me up Saturday night. Foolishly, I posted a comment on social media that turned around to bite me.

I am glad to be a safe space. I carry a great deal of others worries. It is one of the things I am good at.

I care for people. I am grateful to be there when others need someone, I know what it is not to have a listening ear in the middle of the night. It sucks. It blows. It is horrible.

You have to be careful and never let just anyone see it for they will use it against you. So if my friends need a safe space, I will be there. Today and always.