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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Trying a Different Approach…

There are situations in life that have you stumped . I have several of those at the moment. One in particular will be the focus of this post.

I deal nightly with someone who is so very angry. They have deeper issues than I wish to go into here.

They often ask for services that we do not provide and see it as a personal attack. It isn’t, we try to appease them but it seems to back fire. When we ask questions we are required to ask we get yelled at and cursed.

I want to be kind and I try but they have the ability to speak to you like you are an underling. Last night they snarkily referred to me as “Humble Servant”, then proceeded to yell at me.

When approached with that much hostility, everybody tends to have a negative response but I have been praying about this.

I let them  have their rant and never spoke. When they  finished, my response was okay. No argument,  no point in that. I did not try to reason. They are not in a place a place in their life where they can not be reasoned with. Perception is reality.

During the second call of the night, they yelled at me,  they accused me of not doing my job and wanted some information. I looked up the information on the web and gave it to them. I didn’t tell them that it would not be helpful, not my place. I did so calmly, I did not get flustered, in an even voice I read off the information on the screen.

When they heard the tone, their whole attitude changed. They explained that it had been a rough time for them. I sat there and I let them talk. See they just want someone to listen.

I never offered advice, not in my scope of duties to do so.

Something occurred to me as well I was talking to them, they are angry at life and the people who sit in my chair are easy targets. Someone is there 24/7. It is easy for people to blame us for their pain.

I know what pain feels like, I never  took it out on others, I punished myself until I learned to cope with it and then learned to love myself just for who I am.

It is how you see the world. Some people see pain as an attack, some see it as a chance to grow because it is as complex and as simple as I said before perception is reality.

Silent Screams and Mindful Musings….

I have many wishes and dreams. Some of them about my personal life. Some of them about the business I am trying to grow.

I have thoughts about many different things. My person, my family, my church, my friends. They all are in these thoughts. I don’t talk about it much and when questioned, you can tell from my tone if it is a good feeling or a bad feeling I am filled with.

I am working through some of the things that are weighing me down and I am celebrating those things that lift me up.

I am the type of person who rather than deal with confrontation, will walk away. I will be there if you need me but I will not allow the pain to continue. I will distance myself to save my sanity. Tried to hang on too long once and that bit me.  I am thinking of one person in particular. I felt dismissed by them and therefore, I choose to cut off communication. There is no discussion, the point is mute. Call it a bruised ego if you like. I can deal with that.

In the past 6 years, I have learned to be who I am and do what I love. They don’t understand it and honestly, they have said they are jealous of my freedom. My “freedom” came with a hell of a price. I lost half of me and had to figure out how to survive on my own until there was a bright cloud in a gray sky.

I had to figure out who I was, what I liked, that my life wasn’t over, no matter how many times I wanted it to be and was on the verge of making that happen, at one time. I had to learn that life goes on and love doesn’t die. That it is more than okay to love more than one person in your lifetime.

I have allowed pieces of my personality to come to the forefront like the fact that I am a fan of steampunk and I want to wear corsets, that I like to make messes and masterpieces and they just haven’t seen that side of me. I never let anyone see it. It is my safe place to try, to fail, to try again as many times as I need to.

Through all the things they have been through over the past several years, I have been right there. Through children being born, to falls from grace, to them doing something I thought about, I have been there. Never once, did I question. I was just present to love and support.

When I needed them most, they left me to fend for myself and recently I was reminded of how alone I am. I didn’t and won’t ask why. I don’t need to know. I can’t help how people perceive me. I know who I am, I know my strengths and I know my weakness, I know those things that I yearn for. I deal with those daily.

I work in a job where any call I get can mean life or death. I handle that will skill and confidence. I am the voice behind the backs of those who are entrusted to my care 12 hours  a night. If I need to, I can send more people to their location if I don’t feel right about something. I do that with authority. Yet, when it comes to my own projects, those things I am passionate about, I falter. I stumble. I do it wrong.

When I speak my heart and it is met with indifference, once again, I  retreat. I feel like my voice is unheeded so I slip back into the shell I have built around my turtle like existence.

Believe me when I say I have to summons up every ounce of courage that I can to put my feeling out there. I just usually lay in bed and cry because I can’t be one of those cute flirty girl. I’m just not. I am big and gawky and awkward. By the time I say it, I have run it through my head a hundred times over; Then…. crickets.

My head is busy at all times. Even in my sleep I fight because I can’t relax. Today, while trying to relax, standing beside running water I couldn’t. Life wouldn’t let me.

So I will plod along, with my silent screams and my mindful musings. I will continue to seek that peace that we all search for. I will press on. I will dream and I will wish. It is at the core of my being.

I will not change that for anyone. It is who I am.

Looking Deep Inside….

Recently, I saw a man I had a great deal of respect for laying in a casket. His time here is over. Now, I am a firm believer that respect is earned, it not automatically given. Much like trust and loyalty, I hold this in high regard so if I respect, trust and am loyal to you, you have to be something special.

I have been very quite over the past week. I have been deep in thought and taking some time for introspection through this process. What am I doing with my life? If I die today, was my life worth living?

I have decided that some changes need to take place. Very few noticed that  I haven’t been talking as much. So if no one misses what you have to say, it really must not matter, so stop talking. If anyone wants to know what you are thinking, they will ask at some point, then I will talk until , just say nothing. If you implode, maybe they will realize that what you said mattered.

I am going to stop promoting a business that is not working for me right now. I will not bore people with what I am working on, I will continue working but once again in silence. I will only share it with those who care about it, not the public.  When you feel like you have little support, you do it for yourself not for others. You make what you like. You enjoy what you are doing even if no one stands and applauds. That is passion.

I am going to make the most of the days I have remaining. As I heard two days ago, we are all one step away from death. Do I want to spend the rest of my time chasing dreams that may not happen or am I going to do those things that stir my soul? I would rather stir my soul. If people like it cool, if not, that’s okay too.

I want passion, fun, life. I don’t want to spend all my time worrying about what I am doing wrong. I don’t want to try to measure up to what others think I should be, being the perfect daughter, sister, aunt, employee whatever…. I will never be the perfect anything. I promised myself a long time ago, no regrets, I don’t intend to have any. I will use the words “I love you” more. I will follow my passions. I will not allow myself to settle. I will be happy with who I am, what I look like at any given moment, what I love to do and who I want to be with. It is my life and I want to live every moment of it. I like the rush I get from trying new things. I like it when I am busy and my mind is racing a hundred miles a minute on something creative or constructive. I love that feeling. It is like jumping out of an airplane and free falling.

I want to live every moment, not just exist because, some day, someone will be standing over me and reminding people that this is coming to all of us some day.

And Then Came The Crash….

It has been a hard couple of weeks. Worked an extra shift, switched my schedule to photograph a wedding that cancelled my services 12 hours before I was supposed to be there, had a big to do at work, followed by working 3 straight 12 hour shifts when I should have worked two.

I am not whining (okay maybe a little) but that is much better than I felt earlier today.

Let’s go back to yesterday….. Zigzag lines inserted here.

We were honored publicly at work by our community, which is cool, unless you are introverted and the low chick on the totem pole.

We were standing inside and everyone was talking about this person being there for them and that person being there for them. I kept silent. I was asked if anyone was going to be there for me. Nope. Nobody. Nada. Zipola.

Not that I didn’t know pretty much everyone there. Some I was glad to see, some I could have done without; but none of them were there for me.

We were in the middle of a large group of people, with our backs to them. You wondered what was going on behind you. My guys all had to leave because the job still goes on no matter what.

When it was over, I wandered around alone killing a couple hours before going on shift. This is when I felt the crash coming on. I knew it was coming. I was exhausted. Hell, if everything goes well, I will be 49 in two days. I have to work but hopefully I will be around to do so.

 I thought about a couple of guys that I went to school with that had passed away in two weeks. I cried for their families.

One had been sick for a while. The other was sudden. They will not see another birthday.

I have not seen my people in a week. Well, my best friend I saw on Tuesday but to have contact with my person, my folks, my girls, it has been a week.

Although I test an introvert, I am more of an ambivert so I need that social interaction with those I love. I hinted a couple times that I wanted to spend time, only to be shot down.

To quote Kid Rock, I ain’t seen the sunshine in three damn days.

I have not been taking care of myself physically, I have been sleeping but not resting. I have been eating one meal in 24 hours. I have been having kidney issues from a trip I had to take for work and couldn’t use the bathroom for 6 hours. Not good for someone with kidney stones.

My job is both mentally and emotionally draining so some calls you sleep with, even though you don’t want to. I went to sleep today with my door unlocked and the keys hanging in the door. That is exhausted.

Today when I woke up, I cried til I thought there was nothing left. My sister texted me and wanted to know if I wanted to come to her house and pick up my birthday present since they were going to be out of town on Monday.

I didn’t answer immediately. So she sent me a facebook message. Okay, drag yourself out of bed. Make your body move whether you want to or not. You need food it has been 15 hours since you ate. So I go over, I walked into her house, listen to her talk to someone on the phone for 15 minutes while it sit there with my arms crossed across my body telling her I am practicing for my funeral.

Then the six year old showed up. We listened to music, we swung on the swing set, we took a walk and picked wild strawberries.

We had food, we played frisbee and of course it landed on the roof. With some help, she climbed the ladder and got it, proclaiming as she worked her way down the ladder that she wasn’t afraid of heights.

I  asked her at one point to tell me the secret of life, somewhere along the way, I have lost it, if I ever knew it, so she told me a story about nice people who live in the woods.

When I got ready to leave, I told them to have fun at the beach. She told me she would bring me back a seashell for my birthday but she WOULD NOT tell me what color.

I came back home and went back to bed. I slept another 6 hours. In less that 20 hours, I have slept 16. I know a change is going to have to happen.

I feel like I am letting everyone down. I feel alone and isolated. This is not good for my mental health.

For now, night shift brain has kick in. It is the middle of the night. I am wide awake and the person I love is sleeping (I guess) so I sit here and I cry.

The crash finally came.

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.

The Big Pile Of “I Don’t Know”

You get to points in your life where you just don’t know about some things. I am in one of those moments in time. Right now, I am trying to sort through some things and figure out who is telling me lies and feeding me candy, so to speak.

I know some people speak out of both sides of their face. I have lived through that and I have learned from that so for right now, I am letting people do the talking, I am doing the listening. Keep your mouth shut, keep your ears open.

I am hearing a great number of this could happen, that could happen, you may be here,  you may be there, you could be doing this, you could be doing that, you have been assigned to this committee. This, that and the other thing. I don’t know who to believe at this point.

Having evacuated once to save my own sanity, I am cautious. Overly cautious.

Right now, I gotta take care of me. I can’t do that again.

I am in the big pile of I don’t know. I hate being there. I need to know where I stand, cause if you don’t know, you stand no where.

So right now, I am quite. I am keeping to myself. I am going to let it play out.

I thought about this today as I cleaned out a closet of clothes I never wear. I would like to wear them but the time has not presented itself. It will. I have all kinds of dress clothes for going to nice place and I never go.

So, today I set a timer. 1 hour. I was going to clean this closet in one hour. I took all the clothes out of this closet. There was the keep pile, the donate pile and the I don’t know pile.

The keep and donate went rather quickly. I noticed that the I don’t know pile just kept growing. So, I started trying on clothes. Too loose, too tight, doesn’t look right. The one factor that decided a great deal was how it felt on my skin. Okay maybe two things… the second, how did my butt look in it. Honestly.  If it didn’t feel right or made my butt look big, it was outta here.

I have enough in my life that doesn’t feel right at this point. Clothing was not going to be one of those things that I had to deal with the rubs me wrong.

Just as I slipped the last I don’t know over my head, the timer went off. I had accomplished my goal. One of the I don’t knows has been dealt with.