Finding the flowers amongst the weeds.

To say that the last two months the Universe has been testing me is an understatement. Now, I am aware that many other humans are suffering and going through shit storms that do not even compare to what I feel has been a trying time. Please note, that my perspective and disposition is typically Positive Polly although I do (sometimes) show my old  “waiting for the bottom to fall out” circa embryo to about 5 years ago.

I will not go through the entire list that keeps circulating in my head when I think back to the beginning of May to the present.  That will only make this time stay with me longer. Reliving and giving these events more energy is just like feeding a Gremlin after midnight.

Earlier this week, I met my yoga teacher/gal pal E for a short 3 mile run, dinner and drinks. E is my safe zone. I am my authentic self. Sometimes 100% crazy oversharing me. Sometimes the positive polly. Sometimes negative nancy. Sometimes quiet. One of the several traits that I admire about E is that she “gets on my level”. She listens with no judging when needed and sometimes judging when I ask her too. E and I were talking about how much we love “Hands Free Mama”. After we read this blog, while wiping the tears from our eyes and snot from our nose, this blogger gives us the motivation to become a little bit more. More patient. More loving. More real.  E sent me the link to one of her favorite “Hands Free Mama”posts.  It came at a perfect time. My new mantra after reading this is to find the flowers amongst the weeds.

 

Weed: My Uncle Gary took his final breath May 9th. He was 59 years old.

Flower: Besides no more suffering ( severe depression, CHF, COPD, diabetes), my cousin has returned to our hometown to live  in order to handle the path of destruction that my Uncle left behind. J, cousin that returned, was not doing so hot. Drinking to numbness became a daily (not nightly) occurrence.  J recognized this and took himself to AA. The strength to do this is admirable. I am not sure J would have came home without his passing. J would have stayed in his current situation and the spiral would have continued.

Weed: My Grandmother took her final breath June 4th. She was 89 years old.

Flower: Again, beside no more suffering ( Alzheimers, renal failure) and living in a nursing home that she despised, this side of my family has re-united after not much contact for the past 5-30 years ( depending on which family members/ different relationships). We all look older but the same personalities still shine through. Personalities and dispositions are timeless. Sharing what life has been like ( marriage, kids, divorce, marriage again, more kids, troubles with the law, getting clean from meth, retiring, moving, grandchildren) were just some of the lives that we have lived that none of us knew about. My hope is that this death has now brought life to our family again.

Weed: Earlier mornings. Later nights. Less “fun” ( I am being very picky with who I spend my time with and the events I attend).

Flower: I am training for my first marathon.( Eek. Gulp.OMG.) 4:30am is my alarm for tomorrow. Yes it is a Saturday and the Cavs are playing. I am finishing this post ( and my beer) and hitting the hay. Training for this marathon will keep me disciplined and I am only choose events that I truly want to go too. My BRFs are telling me that this training will be life altering. I can see this already. If it was not for running right now, I think I would be a hotter mess. Thank you to my body for holding me up when all I want to do is lay down.

Some more weeds have occurred in my flower bed but from now on, I am only admiring the growing, prospering and beautiful blooms.

 

 

Blossoming

I have made the decision to cut the cancer out of my body.  To stop watering the flower that will never bloom regardless of the amount of sun, water or soil.  The door needs to be shut and locked.  It may remain shut forever or not.  For now, it needs to be shut.  And stay shut.  No more opening just a little bit and peeking inside. No more pulling it all the way open in hopes of seeing something different on the other side of the door. My heart knows what’s on the other side (or what’s not).

To mourn a relationship with your parents while they are still alive but dead is a tough feat. To continue hoping, praying and begging for love from them is harder.

God wanted me in this world and they are the mechanism that brought me here.  They didn’t want to be parents.  They still don’t want too.  And thats ok.  Coming to face with the reality of this is making me accept, forgive and even love them for who they truly are, not for the ghost of what I longed for them to be.

Looking back, I have always been an orphan of sorts. I had to be an adult many times when I should have been a child.  I have had to be the parent when I was just a daughter. Joy, happiness and love were replaced by fear, rejection and doubt. I may have not had a childhood but I am choosing to have an adulthood.

While I can not undo, redo or take back … I can move on.  The time is now.  Now I will move on, leaving behind a relationship that is no longer serving my highest good.  I will be brave with my head held high knowing that I no longer will need to live in a state of wondering what can I do to be loved, accepted and good enough. I am loved, accepted and good enough.

Sometimes flowers don’t bloom and we don’t know why. Even after more water, new soil and a different place to grow.  Instead of focusing all of my energy on the one flower that is not growing, I am now choosing to nurture all of the other beautiful flowers around it.  And the most beautiful flower of all- myself. spent-flower-bloom

 

Attacking the Attachment

Allow myself some grace for the less than stellar moments. I am ( and will remain) perfectly imperfect.

For lent, I declared with my dearest friend, C, to give up booze and sugar.  I added mediation and gratitude. We are 14 days in. Let me be honest from the get go.  I have consumed booze and I have had sugar.  I have also meditated and made my grateful list.  3 times I have had some sort of alcohol and I think it is about 4 times that I have had some sort of sugar treat.  Prior to lent, I was partaking in sugar daily and booze at least 4 times a week.

Some may look at this and declare a fail. Some may also look at this and think perhaps I have a problem with booze.  Some may understand 100%.

I am not Catholic but I wanted to support my friend.  The times that I have “given in” the guilt is present and very real. Setting goals and meeting them are motivation for me.  I think that is why running is always my “go to”.  Training schedule indicates to run 3 miles.  Check. Done. Next.

Lent has taught me that I have attachments to above mentioned items as well as others. I am a complete asshole if I do not get to run and do yoga.  My body NEEDS these things for me to feel complete.  Coffee also makes the list.  Mediation is now on the list too.  Every morning, I make myself take 5 minutes to sit with my thoughts.

Are these attachments such bad thing?  If push comes to shove, could I give up living with no attachments?  If they are ok then why the guilt?

Let us also not forget my old blue Nike sweatshirt ( its has multiple stains- including bleach).  For whatever reason, I remember THE exact day I bought this sweatshirt in college.  It provides security for me.  I can not get rid of it and I do not want too.

I will continue to do my very best with lent.  I do feel much better and have more energy for my runs. I have also been straight vegan for 24 days. All I can do ( or all that we can do) is show up and do the best that we can given what the day brings .

Lent is also teaching me to be gentle with myself.  Allow myself some grace for the less than stellar moments.  I am ( and will remain) perfectly imperfect.

What about the other 364 days?

Somewhere in between kids and developing security in myself, I no longer care.

Valentine’s day. For some, this day is used to define the level of love or worthiness of a relationship. Some refer to it as a Hallmark Holiday. A day that consumers spend money on cards, chocolate, jewelry, and flowers. Somewhere along the past 15 years, I lost that loving feeling for Vday.

Hubby and I do usually go out to dinner but it does not hold any more energy or significance than any other dinner date out. Now, time travel back to 6,8, 10 years ago and my idea of what should happen on Valentine’s was much different. No card. No flowers. No gift.  Does this mean you don’t love me?  You don’t care?

Somewhere in between kids and developing security in myself, I no longer care.

The standards I base my marriage on is more significant than a box of shitty chocolates. While I do feel hubby and I are just a kick-ass couple, trekking through life as a team, our marriage has been rocked.  The foundation has been tested.  The roof has leaked.  Windows have gotten broken.  BUT the house still remains.  The house is respected, loved and even fragile.  The house forgives.

What matters is how your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend acts or treats you the other 364 days a year.  Really, it takes no effort to “put on airs”for one day or even one love packed sickening weekend.  How does your better half act when you are sick?  Do they support you?  Show up or show out? It is my believe that hubby and I  should treat each other with the same respect whether it is Flag Day or Valentines Day.

That being said…. if Mothers Day is not declared a National holiday in my house… hell have no fury like a woman scorned.

 

PS- if you are curious how we spent Sunday… We got to see love and happiness on M’s(6) face as her buddy D(6) came over, in the snow, with homemade frosted sugar cookies, card covered in crayon and a homemade bead necklace displaying Ms name for Valentine’s day. Hubby also took the kiddos to the grocery store so I could nap ( best. “gift”. ever).  We then checked out an amazing new Vegan restaurant that we both have been eyeing for a few months now.

 

Written in Ink

I am not running away from you, I am running towards the next page.

The picture posted is my daughter, M (6), running last week at a local reservation we love to go too.  It was 60 degrees in Ohio in February. The day sounded and felt like Spring. This reservation has something called Storybook Trail.  Our library puts a children’s book one page at a time along a path on a wooden covered post to encourage reading while being active.  The book is usually 15 pages long.  M and I look forward to this very much. The books are changed out the first of the month.  (Have I mentioned how grateful I am for our community and library?  They are always coming up with new ideas to keep the kiddos engaged in reading.)

M was running ahead and I said to her ” Hey you!!!  Why are you running away from me!??!” M’s response ” I am not running away from you, I am running towards the next page”.  Wow.  That simple phrase made me stop, take out my phone to capture this moment.  That’s it.  Right there.  What M said.  Running towards the next page.

Being a runner, I love to run TO something. I often run to the lake. The treadmill feels like someone is locking me up in a small room with no windows.  To be running and going nowhere is an awful feeling for me.  I will brave almost all elements just to avoid the dreadmill.  I know this about myself so why do I continue to ” lock myself in a small room with no windows” about things in my past that I need to move on from?  Why can’t I just run towards the next page? I have already read that page ( time and time and time again).  The words never change.  The image is imprinted. Its part of my story.

I am living “running and going nowhere” when I obsessively dwell on events that occurred years ago. No matter how many times I hash it out- think it through- make up different or happier endings, the page will not change. It is set in ink.

And it’s just as it should be.  My story is being written with times of sorrow, depression, anger, hate, and innocence.  Just as well, my story includes joy, humor, love, happiness and hope.

I will run to the next page with the same excitement, adventure and enthusiasm as M did last Wednesday. Now… if I could just find a pair on pink glittery cowgirl boots in my size….

mads

Ok Universe. I will listen.

That silent voice that keeps getting louder… maybe it is time to listen.

This week has been filled with a repetitive message that the universe is trying to teach me (as well as some of my dearest friends and family)… When to let go.  Often, we hold on to expectations, beliefs, situations and even people, when deep down the voice inside of us is screaming “NO. GO”. Is it fear of giving up on someone or something?  Is it that this person or expectation defines who we are?  Is it that we feel obligated? Are we “what if’ing” ourselves into the possibility of a better future?

I have not ran since last Friday  This left leg thing is really stubborn and hurts like a mother.  I am supposed to be training for a half marathon in April.  Sunday, husband and I attempted to run a few miles ( and for the record, husband only runs with me maybe 1-2 a year with much, much persistence).  The pain was intense.  I had to stop. I had to let go of the fact that running was not going to happen. I was in pain and upset because all I wanted to do is enjoy a nice sunny Sunday run with my soul man. In fact, I was having such a hard time letting go, I attempted to run 2 more times even when the tears were washing my cheeks.  It was time to face reality. My body was screaming NOOO and I was responding back GOOOO. I know that I will heal and will be hitting the streets very soon. I had to let go of that run and my expectations.

The Uncle situation is a hot mess. After multiple phone calls and attempts to try to help him to help himself, I finally needed to let go of this.  I can not want to live his life more than he does.  The love and support is here but Uncle doesn’t want it.

Morning routines need to be followed in order for M to successfully get out the door fed, read, brushed and trussed in time for the bus.  Letting this idea go has made me a less insane mommy in the mornings.  Worse case scenario…if we are running behind… I take her to school( a mere 7 minute car ride). Best case scenario… no tears or screaming from anyone in the wee hours of the morning.

A hard area for me, that I am always trying to let go or balance ( damn Libra’s), is cleaning the house.  It needs to be done but I don’t want it to take away time from the kiddos or from my “me” time.  I am working on the fact that the house does not need to be this or that. Growing up, cleaning or having a clean room, was the only way that I was shown love.  To me, clean = worthy of love or that I was not a good child because of this “mess”.  Saturday mornings were spent trying to make the house spotless while at the same time praying that this would be the day that I did enough or that the house was clean enough, so I would be loved by my parents.  This day never came. And I know it never will.

let go

 

 

 

Mean and Nice. What defines you as a parent?

Wear your hat proudly, either way.

Sleeping in for me is a sailed ship.  The last time I was able to sleep past 8am (and that is being very generous) was probably 6 years ago.  That was before I was pregnant with M.  I can recall Saturday mornings spent hungover on the couch in our one bedroom, almost lake view, apartment.  We would get up around 11am. Order food. Watch tv. Take a nap. Shower.  Then head out to the bar again for a few pints of Smithwicks at our favorite Irish Pub. We used to think we were so very busy. So important. So very adult.

This morning I was woken up by M, peeking in our room, to see if we were awake.            ” Squeakkkkkkkk ” the door went. Shit.  Now I am up. My first thought on Saturday morning is, do I need to get out to get a quick run in or can I do it later, perhaps even tomorrow. I decided to rest today. Something funky is going on with my left leg. Now husband is up too. M crawls in bed with us. I log into Facebook to wish my irun4 buddy, Jacob, good luck on his pinewood derby today. I see something a nurse friend of mine posted as she asked her daughters a series of questions.  I asked M if she wanted to partake as well. M answered the questions for me and then for husband.  While some of her answers were funny and heart warming, a few of them really got me thinking.

When you are parents, you are somehow divide.  One is the “mean” one that makes the kiddos eat fruit, veggies, do homework, go to the bathroom, take showers, pick up toys, write thank cards, say please, apologize, share, get shots, go to the dentist, and just tried to keep the train for derailing off the tracks.  The other parent is the “nice” one. Nice parent gets to have all of the fun while the mean one, is again, trying to make sure the train doesn’t go off the tracks. I know later in life, the mean parent will be proud of the hopeful responsible, polite, little human that now is a productive part of society.

The mean parent usually also gets to be the one to provide comfort such as a hug, kiss, and holding until the world feels more safe. G is in teething toddler hell. Which means, I too, am in teething toddler hell. One minute he is happily playing and the next , tears for no reason what-so-ever.  Its like he is a hormonal pregnant person. Of course, I love hugging and holding G.  Wiping his tears. trying to distract with a squirrel outside or the 14 yr old beagle.  However, it would be nice to be able to “flip a switch”. Being a nice parent seems more carefree, more less responsible, more fun.

The fear with the switch being flipped is that the mean, now nice parent, would return to the mean parent the next to more laundry. More dishes. More emails needing returned. More of everything.  Its hard to let your finger off the trigger. The fear of “what if” and “shoulding” yourself, stops you.

Wearing my hat proud and loud as the mean parent, I have come to terms ( well, trying too anyways), with my role and what that means. Being the mean parent is needed.  The balance between good cop/bad cop is not a bad thing.  Kids require different traits.  Although M’s answers to these ridiculous Facebook quiz made me feel “less than”, I am enough to be her mom. I am enough to hold G and give him comfort. I am enough to obsessively check on them multiple times a night. I am enough to remind them of what it takes to be a decent human being. I am enough to keep this train on the tracks.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just remembered this morning asking M to pick up her room as it looked as if her closet threw up and G is crying for no reason.  Again.  < goes to put on conductor mom mean hat, proudly>

(this is G in a toddler teething crying fit)F8157D4D-1841-427A-87FF-720AE65707B153DB0627-25F0-412A-B4EC-2A1177D40913