The Confessional….

In my office, I am the Mama Hen. I work with 6 guys. I am older than all of them. Much older.

I send these guys into harms way on a nightly basis. They depend on me to get them the information they need to be safe. I am a 911 dispatcher.

I worry about “my boys”. If they have to be out on a call that is difficult, if they have to travel on bad roads, I worry about them. My job is to make sure they home to their families safely.

Now,  guys will rag on each other. They compare muscles and daring feats they have performed. They are dudes. When they speak to me though it is different. I can hold my own with them and I get in a good shot every now and then. It catches them by surprises from time to time but over all they are getting used to when I get cranked up, I can give them grief.

As a collective group they are a rowdy group of oversized boys.

When they wander into the office individually, that is when I know they want to talk about something a little deeper.

It may be their marriage, their kids, their spouses sickness and this was just last night.

They know that they can talk to me and I will be honest. I will listen sometimes giving advice, sometimes just being a sounding board.

Last night, the one I have know longest. The leader of the pack, came in and talked to me. His wife is sick and they are having trouble getting her built back up and it has come to the place where he is worried.

Been there and done that. You need to talk to someone who has been in a similar situation. It is getting to the place where it is scary for him and he is a tough guy. He has seriously been through some stuff.

I asked how he was dealing with his stress. He has to be on top of his game mentally and physically. He told me that he works out.

Being a walker for several  years and not much more of  a workout I asked him some questions. He is building muscle. I am trying to lose fat and not get saggy. Pushing fifty and being over weight all my teen and adult life. I have to be careful.

We talked about our gym at work, which is good enough for me but doesn’t have the equipment he wants. He told me some things that might help me. He told me which machines to use at the gym.

He talked about what he lifts when he goes to work out and how he encourages the new guys who come in. He even went so far as to tell me that he doesn’t lift heavy in front of new guys because it could discourage him.

I told him that being fat, I didn’t want to go to the gym. He asked me why. I said you are a dude. You aren’t going to judge the new guy coming into the gym. Women are catty. They are going to totally just the size of your ass; how quickly you get winded; if you can’t do it right the first time. They are going to judge you.

He looked at me straight in the eye and said, everybody starts at the same place. The bottom. I didn’t go in lifting what I do now. I used to be embarrassed when I would see other guys lifting triple what I did. It has taken me three years to get to this point.

They he said the thing that really gave me a shot in the arm. He said “And further more, I don’t see you giving a damn”. After he left the office, I thought about what he had said. Why do I give a damn. I am not doing it for them, I am not doing it for vanity sake. I am doing it for my health. I need to get some issues under control and if someone doesn’t like it, oh well.

I think I will go check it out. I may or may not go until warm weather when I can get out and walk more. I would rather be out in nature anyway.

This time, the confessional was meant for me to reveal my insecurities and maybe for my healing.

 

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A Dinosaurs View of Dating Today…

I am one of those people who can talk to people of all ages. I have friends in their 20s and on up.

Tonight one of them called me and wanted to know if wanted to have dinner with him. I told him I had already eaten and promised him a rain check. His dad is a really good friend of mine. He has recently moved back from where his parents moved to and he is still not reacclimated to small town life.

I have a friend who is 22. She makes me think of myself a great deal. She is funny, smart, introverted, she had just not had the best luck with guys. She has been attracted to a certain type of guy and they have treated her like crap.

Not too long ago, she told me she was going to give herself 6 months before she dated anyone.

Now being a teen in the 1980s meeting people and dating was somewhat different.

This was when phones still had a cord and you would lay in the floor with your feet propped up on the wall and they could hear you giggle or shyly respond to a compliment.  They had to actually ask you out on a date. At my house, your parents met them before you left with them. You had to be careful because the whole family could hear what you were saying and believe me, my folks were listening.

Back in a time before texting and smart phones. We didn’t have messenger or tinder where you swipe one way of you are interested or the other way if you’re not. The only way this dinosaur knows about this stuff is that she has 20 something friends.

You were either dating back in the day or you were just friends. There was not a term called “we’re talking”. If you wanted to communicate you had to talk.

Sorry, I wandered. My friend was going to stay single for six months. Here is a sure fired way to meet someone, give up, swear off dating, give yourself the power to decide what you want, so someone can swoop in and shake you up to your very core.

I know this; it has happened to me twice. Both times turned out great or at least the second one has so far. The first time it happened there was an 18 1/2 year marriage.

The second I have enjoyed keeping company or talking to or whatever it is you do nowadays for 5ish years.

This was after being lied to and cheated on by this lame, cowboy wanna be.  So I know what it is like to say, nah I’d rather be alone.

And right on schedule a handsome, charming, brilliant man notices me. Still trying to understand what he sees in me but I ain’t knocking it.

So the night she told me about the six month thing, I told her to buckle her seatbelt. He came out of no where. He wasn’t on her radar. She was taken aback that he absolutely flipped over her. I see her point of view, I would feel the same way.

She of course started with I have never dated anyone like him before  and being the brutally honest type I said and those turned out so well.

Then she started finding little quirks about him. I knew what was happening, she was running scared. She told me in the past that she had done all the chasing, that when someone was interested in her she got more emotionally invested than they did and a lot faster.

She got spooked. He will drive three hours to spend time with her. He has taken her to meet his parents. He tells her that she is perfect. She doesn’t know what to do with that. I told her to enjoy it. I remember when someone told me I was perfect and beautiful although I couldn’t see it myself. That was another life time. It would take someone seeing it before I admitted it to myself .

She is at the point where he wants to meet her parents and she isn’t sure she is ready for that. I get it, there are family members that I don’t want to subject my person to simply to protect him from them. Family will latch on and pick something apart and ruin something good if you are not careful.

She doesn’t know how to handle this. She is not sure of her feelings. I told her to take her time. Not to make any rash decisions either way, to enjoy the time they spend together.

I understand walls, I have them but if he truly loves her, he will slowly tap and chip away at that wall. If he tries to bulldoze it down she will run like a rabbit.

I don’t know how it will end. I listen to her, weigh in when asked, choose my words so carefully that she made a comment that she sees the wheels turning.

She wants the fairytale. I truly hope she gets it. I have just seen enough of life to realize that everyone seems to think that everything is disposable, including relationships. I don’t see life that way, never have and I guess I never will. I take commitment seriously. I have lived through the worst thing I could. Guess that’s a good thing about being around before swipe left, swipe right and such existed.

Still I Rise; A Phenomenal Woman

I love poetry. It is one of my favorite forms of literature and spoken word.

It is always breathtaking to me to hear a poet read their own words. To hear the inflection the use and the words they stress as they try you to understand the meaning behind their work.

One of my favorite poets would have to be Dr. Maya Angelou.

The two poems in the title of this post are two of my favorites. They inspire me to be a better woman.

Phenomenal woman speaks to all women. It speaks to the power you possess and how you should carry yourself as to exhibit that power.

If you look up the word phenomenal it means: remarkable, exceptional, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable and stunning.

That is powerful if you change phenomenal with any of those words yet, phenomenal encompasses them all.

I shall rise speaks to humans as a whole both men and women. It talks about the resiliency of the human spirit and now matter how low we get we can rise. The part that speaks to my soul in this piece is the part about the long night and in the morning we look at people and say I’m fine. We all do it. Even if we’re not, we say we’re fine. That is actually a running joke in my family, no matter what, we are always fine.

Dr Angelou and I are very different. I am light skinned, she was dark skinned. She was a college professor, poet, activist, pulitizer prize and Grammy winner, she received the Presidental medal of freedom. I am a high school graduate with a degree in the school of life. I have an important job for my community but I never achieve any of the honors she did.

She was phenomenal in her way and I like to think that I am in mine. I got the chance to speak with her once on the telephone when I worked as a librarian. I was asking her for a copy of one of her poems to give away at a Black History program. When the package arrived, there were two poems. One to give away and one for me.

No one knows until now that I have it. It is safely tucked away.

I was in a Barnes and Noble in the same city she was in the day she transitioned from this life. I had gotten me a cup of coffee and was sitting there when I heard the news. I cried, a friend had left. As I sat there wiping my tears, all I could think was the caged bird was free and oh what a song she must be singing.

Writing Prompt, If I Were A Television Character, who would I be?…

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If I could compare myself to any TV character at this point in my life I would say it would be Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds.

Played by actress Kirsten Vangsness, Penelope is in a role much like my own, only amp my job up by 1,000 %. She plays the support role for a team that goes out into the field into harms way. She is their eyes and ears. I play that same part in a different way.

Penelope had struggled with her weight all her life. I understand that struggle. Penelope has learned to love her curves outwardly but still desires to feel comfortable  in her own skin. I know that desire all too well.

Penelope wears really vibrant glasses and has fun pens and her outfits are stellar. I love my red glasses and my fun pens and I would drool everytime I open my closet if I had her wardrobe.

Penelope has her scars from being bullied by girls because she was an early bloomer and being forgotten by the boys when the other girls bloomed and she continued to grow. I totally get that.

Then there is Derek Morgan, who she is secretly Gaga over. Although she regularly makes comments to him and about his physical prowess. I have my own version of Derek in my life. He is not a coworker. He is my person and I am getting more comfortable making my own comments.

So, if I was a TV 📺 character, I would be Penelope Garcia.

The Experience of Overcoming Fear….

I found some writing prompts on Pinterest and thought I would take a break from lamenting over health, family and business . The struggle of being a widow in a world she doesn’t understand anymore and all the other things I add to the blog as they cross my mind.

This exercise will allow me to reach deeper than the current moment and somewhat stretch my creative muscle.

So the first prompt the experience of overcoming fear….

When I first read this, I thought of a single incident when I faced a specific fear. Rereading the same prompt, I allowed myself to remember several.

Fear has drive my existence my entire life.  Several specific things come to mind.

I have a overwhelming fear of snakes. When I was a youth services librarian, we would have a snake program every other summer. Of course my first summer was the snake program. So the day of the program came and the performer hands me two small snakes. They are so small that both of them fit in the palm of one hand. As I’m walking amongst this group of children, I remind myself that I can’t let them see that I’m afraid. So as I’m walking along in the back of my mind I’m singing the words to Jesus loves me suddenly I realize that I’m Singing it out loud. Here is a grown woman carrying two small snakes, humming Jesus loves me and these kids are clamoring to touch the snakes.  In the following years it was much easier for me to assist with this program. Am I still afraid of snakes yes only now I am more educated.

The second time I faced my fear was of course when my husband passed away. I had lived with my parents for 24 years, I had lived with him for 18 1/2 years and at the age of 43,for the first time in my life,  I lived alone. Of course I was scared not of residing by myself. But I’m facing life on my own. The only thing I could see was dark. The bleakness encompassed me. This was probably the lowest point in my life.  I learned a lot during that period of my life. I learned that I was much stronger than I ever thought I could be; yet much weaker than I ever knew.

I was actually at the point where I consider taking my own life but thankfully someone reach through the darkness and allowed me to realize that someone cared for me.

And this brings me to the third  on this post. I remember when I realized that I had fallen in love for the second time in my life. It scared the crap out of me. I knew I had to tell him and I wasn’t sure how he would respond. Fear of rejection is a vicious animal. For two days I didn’t eat or sleep. I was miserable. I wanted so much to tell him how I felt and in my heart of hearts I wanted to him to respond in kind. So the next time  I saw him,  I just blurted, out with ugly crying how I felt about him. I figured once I had told him that he would never speak to me again. Remember I was the fat girl in school that no one wanted to date. We expect what we have experienced in the past. I am happy to say that five years later  he is still talking to me and he has a major influence in my life.

The last point I wish to speak on is when I decided to change jobs at the age of 48. I  had struggled to create something that should’ve been it’s own entity but others wanted to change it and make it fit into their limited  vision. Our vision for this project was much broader than what they saw.  I began to question my own sanity at beating my head over a wall just to see if it would still hurt. Finally giving up I reached out and found a new career. This change completely turned my life topsy-turvy but in the process began to gain I realization  of who I am.

So whatever  you are facing at this moment know that you were strong enough to handle it!!

Taking Care of The Feminine Goddess….

Tonight, I care for my inner goddess. Every woman has one she just may not acknowledge it as freely as I do.

Women are warriors. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home mom, trying to climb the corporate ladder, building your own business, trying to save the world or to simply save yourself. You are a warrior.

Tonight, I began caring for her by changing the bed she will sleep in. I draped soft sheets over the mattress so they will feel good next to her skin.

I lit a relaxation candle and allowed her to inhale the natural eculyptus that filled the room. I gave the room soft lighting.

I fixed her a healthy steak dinner and washed her dishes. I apologized to her when I had to give her a shot in the stomach. A result of not taking better care of her in the past.

I washed her face and moisturized her skin seeing how tired she looked but promising to do better.

I washed her hair and combed it 100 strokes. I fingered moouse through the strands of her hair. I would allow it to air dry because it is more gentle on her hair.

I dressed her in her favorite garment. The one nobody else has ever seen.

I allowed her to soak her feet and gave her toes a new coat of color.

I rubbed lotion over the curves of her body. She reminded me that she didn’t hate those as much as she once did. She sighed as I rubbed the lotion on her legs and feet.

I fed her a snack of fresh kiwis and strawberries.

I made her a cup of chamomile tea and tucked her into bed.

An evening of self care has made a world of difference in the woman who tries to be a warrior, the kind that wants to save the world.

It’s Time…

So the last time I wrote, it was about my anxiety. I have a friend who is a nurse and I just sat down and had a talk with her.

We talked about a great number of things. She let me talk as she listened. Then she spoke. She kind of hit me where I lived.

She said, we have known each other a while, yet every time we speak, you put that chair between us. You have a wall up.

You want to let someone in, I see the smile when your phone goes off, there is someone. I had to tell her yes. She said but you are afraid to let him. You have had a big hurt. You don’t know how to take the lead. You are afraid that you will get hurt again.

I understand that change is scary for you. The least little thing can set your anxiety off so you keep yourself being this nice brick wall. Maybe it is time to bust down that wall. You are the only one that can do it. You don’t need to be afraid to let people see the soft person behind that strong persona you put off.

You have lived through the worst thing you could live through. Maybe it is time for you to let someone in, completely.

You need to stop holding yourself to the standard that your do. You give everyone else a pass, you accept everyone’s excuses. Yet, you don’t give yourself the same break.

It is time for you to tear down that wall you have been hiding behind. Maybe it it time for you to love again. It really is okay for you to touch someone you love. It sets off endorphins in the brain. That will help make your life so much better.   You don’t need to be so afraid. Everyone needs to touch and it might be as good for him as it is for you.

It gave me a great deal to think about. Yeah, I think it is time to bust through and find out where things could go if I just throw caution to the wind and live for real.

Screw what everyone else thinks. It is after all my life. It is time for me to love and allow myself to be loved, exactly for who I am.

A woman who craves human contact in the most intimate of ways. A woman who wants to be seen as a sexy beast. A woman who is confident enough in herself to wear that corset she longs to own, for him but more for herself. A woman who wants to be fully awake instead of making love to him in my dreams.