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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day Three - 8 Fears

Fear is and one of those things I have battled with seemingly always.
Fear is crippling   and controlling.  Fear takes your power from you.

I wish I was fear free... maybe some day I will learn to minimize my fears or eliminate them, but until then...



8 Fears

1. I am seriously claustrophobic.  I fear small spaces, tight spaces and enclosed spaces.  I panic if I can't freely move my limbs.  You don't want to see me on an elevator, or stuck in a super small car and forget port-a-potty's.

2. Like other mothers I am sure, I have a real fear that my children will be harmed in some terrible way.  I don't keep them in a bubble, but my fears creep in when they are not near me.  The chance that something really bad would actually happen is slime I know but I fear that someone or something would hurt them, which would break me in a way I don't think I could recover from.

3. Flying Bugs reduce me to a crying, screaming two year old.  Flies, bumble bees and other small flying bugs I can tolerate (I wont cry), anything bigger than a fly and I crumble.  Grasshoppers, Tree Roaches, Large Mouths and Wasps will invoke tears and panic every time.

4.  I never thought I had a fear of death until one day while driving down the street my mortality seemed to smack me in the face.  Since then I find I truly fear dying.  What would my family do, who would take care of my children, would it hurt to die, where would I go.  Anxiety attacks usually ensue when I get caught up in this fear.

5. It is a completely irrational fear, but I am petrified of construction cranes.  Yes... Construction Cranes, and the taller they are, the more I really can't go ANYWHERE near them.  I do this thing where I try to determine my safe zone - how close I can  get to the crane without it actually falling on me.  I've had this fear since I was a young child.  I don't know where it comes from but it cripples me.  Getting to close to a crane always triggers an anxiety attack.

6. I worry a lot about the future, but I have an intense fear that I will go through life and accomplish nothing.  Yes, my children are miracle and something I will always be able to say I accomplished, and that should be enough... but it's not.  I fear I won't have accomplishments that help define me as anything more than a mom... and I need more.

7. I fear failure above almost anything else.  This is a deep deeded fear that has always been a part of me.  I would rather not do something than fail at it.  Failing is unacceptable, this was the cornerstone of my childhood and what has haunted me through my whole life.

8.  Birds... yep, I have a horrible fear of birds.  That is not to say I don't like birds... my favorite animal is a owl, I think birds are beautiful and enchanting... I just don't really care to actually be anywhere near them.  I won't get out of my car if there is more than one bird around.  I almost vomit if a flock starts flying around me.  If you ever see a grown woman running and screaming because birds are over head... that's me.

When I deal with these fears they are sometimes overwhelming and consume me.  Looking at this list, they don't feel so intimidating... that's got to count for something.




Monday, October 20, 2014

Day Two - 9 Loves

I have love for many things and even a few people.  The world is cold and brutal, love is what gives us warmth and security.

9 Loves

1.     J-Bird, The Boy and T-Dog, my incredible, beautiful perfectly flawed children who are my fuel and my passion. Loving them makes me whole.

2.     The Hubby - who I still find myself madly in love with even after almost 14 years of bliss!

3.     My Mom, Dad, Brothers and Sister - although our relationships have never been perfect, they are my family and my love for them fills my heart daily.

4.     The BFF Boobs! My Friend, My Sister, My Soul-mate. Life changes with the true love of a friend.

5.     Books - Yes - Books. I have had a deep and profound love for books since I was a young girl. I love the smell or books, the feel of books and all that books give us.

6.     A field full of Aspen Trees in the fall as there leave dance like gold coins in the wind. It's a place of m childhood, my teen-hood and my adulthood and it is where my soul can be calm.
7.     A dark room and a good playlist. It is like a reset button for my heart, mind, and soul.

8.     Owls!! I love owls! They make me smile any time I see one. They bring joy to my heart. They are my quan.

9.     Writing - I don't feel I am the writer I want to be yet, but I love putting words together to form thoughts that invoke emotion of some kind to someone, somewhere.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

10 Day Challenge - Day One - 10 Secrets

From time to time I come across a topic or piece a fellow blogger has done that inspires me, or makes me want to do the same type of piece.
The 10 Day Challenge is one of those pieces. I followed Kelly at Debie Hive when she did her 10 Day Challenge back in March and I made a note to do my own 10 Day Challenge at some point...

I've had horrible writers block lately... completely unable to get any thought to translate to written word... so the 10 Day Challenge is really a perfect prompt to get words out right now.

This is the challenge:

It looks so simple, yet sharing so much about myself is not as easy as one would think.

That some point has come...

10 Secrets:

1. I wish every singe day that I could make a living doing the things I love.

2.  I am not the person I want to be, NOT EVEN CLOSE

3. I want to live in the middle of nowhere and live off the land.  I am not a Doomsdayer, just an introvert.

4. I am prepared to survive almost any kind of apocalypse. Again, not a Doomsdayer, just tend to over prepare.

5. I am a diabetic and I don't have health insurance.

6. I wish my kids were nerds... like "Revenge of the Nerds" nerds.

7. I have struggled with addictions my whole life.  Some I have overcome, some I have not, some are silly and some are dangerous.

8. I don't really like people all that much.

9. There are 3 things I wish I had an endless suply of: Yarn, Books and Jellybeans.

10.  There world scares me some days.

Phew... that was not too bad...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Reach

This week I am linking up with More than Cheese and Beer for Sunday Confessions.  This week the prompt is Reach.


We spend our lives reaching...
We reach for someone or something.
We reach for things seen and unseen.
We reach out for love, for friendship, for companionship.
We reach out to those in need, when we are in need, for those we need.
We reach out to be heard, to be seen, to be known.
We reach inward for strength, for words, for motivation.
We reach inward to find ourselves, to find answers, to find initiative, to find hope, to find faith.
We reach to touch, to feel, to comfort, to secure.
We reach to hold, to catch to share.
We reach for things to sooth us, to entertain us, to feed us, to clean us, even to harm us.
We reach for things we want, for things we need, for things we crave and things we long for.
We reach to the heavens in prayer.
We reach for our children to hold.
We reach for lovers in the dark.
We reach moments when we say hello and moments when we must say good-bye.
We reach milestones, achievements, goals.
We reach forks in the road, bumps on the path and final destinations.
We reach decisions, moments, conclusions, assumptions and judgments.
We reach moments we never want to end and moments that reach us in profound and life changing ways.
We reach for people, we reach for substance, we reach for all we require, for all we long for, for all we desire, strive for, posses and consume.  
We spend our lives reaching.


Friday, September 26, 2014

The Liebster Award





Y'all are never going to believe this... but Jenny over at Life With The Bearded J's nominated me for the Liebster Award!  I am truly honored Jenny, Thank You so very much!  Some times it is enough to just be nominated!!

Of course I am the girl who never wins anything (No REALLY... NOTHING... EVER) but who daydreams of winning!  I know my day is bound to come.  I've been practicing my autograph since I was 7 and I've got an acceptance speech around here somewhere... hold on... seriously... I just saw it the other day... where is it... of course, now that I actually need it I can't find it... I think I have it memorized though...

It is not everyday you get nominated for an award (or in my case EVER).  I am truly honored and blessed to accept this nomination.  There are so many deserving people who I owe a thank you too... Let's face it, a writer is only as successful as their readers make them.  I stand here (okay I am sitting, but same difference) humbled and blessed to have the best fans.  Y'all make this journey easier with your support, feedback and yes, even your friendship.  I know that my blog is just a blip in the Blog Universe, but someday, when I have hit it big, you, my fans will be able to say "I knew her when".
My acceptance speech would not be complete without thanking my amazing children J-Bird, The Boy and T-Dog.  Without them I'd be a hell of a lot skinnier, but nowhere near as complete as I am with them!  The Hubby of course get's a huge THANK YOU... for putting up with my craziness for the last 14 years, for allowing me to take some time to explore this writing thing and for giving me excellent material to write about.  I have to also thank my mom for the childhood that is the source of my crazy... and finally the universe for setting me on this path.  I can only write what I know, and thanks to the universe (or God, or whoever/whatever is in charge of such things) I know I have seen, smelled, tasted and touched more than I would have chosen for myself!  I am here because of all the bloggers before me who inspired and motivated me, as much as my family and fans deserve a thank you, so do they... Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thaaannnk Yoooouuuu (yes, I totally sang that last thank you!)

Okay, here we go with the questions Jenny picked for me to answer...

WHATS YOUR FAVORITE PAST TIME ASIDE FROM BLOGGING?
I love to crochet.  I know, a totally "Old Lady" past time... but I find it relaxing while being creative at the same time.  And YES... I know it is not an  "Old Lady" hobby, but you know you pictured an old lady in a rocking chair when you first read this!

IF YOU COULD TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME, AND DO ONE THING IN LIFE DIFFERENTLY WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
This is a loaded questions for me.  I try to live by the idea that everything happens for a reason.  I also know that every step, every decision good or bad, every moment I've had, has brought me to this moment in my life, and even though life is not perfect and there are plenty of moments that I think about redoing... would I still be here, right now, with my incredible husband and beautiful children. As much as I think I could pin point a moment in time that I could go back to and change and still end up here... where I want to be... I don't know that I would want to risk the chance I'd change everything.  I know plenty of moments I'd relive, but not one moment in my life would be worth changing if it took today way.

WHAT IS YOUR MAIN GOAL YOU WOULD LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH YOUR BLOG?
To be a voice that is heard!  What that voice says and what it stands for is still evolving, but I do know I want to be heard.  I want my blog to have a voice that might make a difference, might be a friend to someone in need or a lifeline for those sinking.  A voice that might entertain, or educate or provoke thought and debate.  It's one thing to make noise, it's  another to be heard.

IF YOU COULD HAVE LUNCH WITH ONE PERSON DEAD OR ALIVE WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I have had so many different answes to this question over the years.  As I've grown and evolved, so has my answer.  
We moved 1,000 miles away from the only home I had ever known 4 years ago and since then I have had few moments with some of my favorite people in the world.  If I could have lunch with just one person right now it would be my best friend Boobs (I promise she really is good with the nickname). I have not seen her since Christmas and even then there was so much drama going on we did not get much time with each other.  Boobs knows me better than anyone on the planet (yes, even better than The Hubby or my mom).  She has been with me during the darkest of dark days and is the ONE person that I know I can count on to be there for me NO MATTER WHAT.  She is my soul mate.  Living across the country from her has been painful at times.  We talk as much as we can, even if it is just for 2 minutes or 2 hours - we take what we can get.  A whole, long afternoon lunch with her would be just what my soul needs to feel whole for awhile.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE?
Everything inspires me to write.  I saw a psychic once who told me I had a story tellers soul.  My divine purpose is to share stories with the world. I have an opinion on EVERYTHING (really, everything), which gives me a point of view in which to write from.  I like the fact that I am inspired by the world around me... it means I can always find something to write about.

WHAT IS YOUR BLOGGING ROUTINE?
I don't have a bogging routine, I probably should have one, but I don't.  I try to write every day, it does not always happen though.  Is a routine important?  Should I make this more of a priority? OMG... have I been blogging wrong?  Anxiety is kicking in... shit.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WANT THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?  I am a work in process.  I am still discovering what my voice sounds like and how to translate what I want to say into words people will understand find value in.  Be patient with me as I grow and evolve and I will make it worth your wild.

WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY?
I am the oldest of 4 kids who for the first 15 years of my life were raised by a single mom.  We never had much and my mom worked a lot.  When we did do something special, she went all out to make is as memorable as possible.  My fondest memory from childhood is Christmas morning... any year of my childhood.  No matter how tight things were, no matter how little she would tell us to expect, Christmas morning was always met with celebration and surprised.  Everything always looked magical, with full stockings, a beautiful tree, presents dressed like art, special Santa gifts, the smell of Christmas in the air.  We never felt disappointed, never felt unloved or forgotten.  As a child I had no idea how hard she worked to pull it all off, what she sacrificed, what she begged and bartered for to ensure that all 4 of us kids got what we wanted.  She made Christmas magical and left a lasting impression on me.

IF YOU WERE NOT DOING WHAT YOU DO EVERYDAY, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING (FOR WORK OR FUN)?  If I was not the Homemaker and Part-time customer service agent I currently am... I would be a full time, PAID writer.  I would like to be a columnist, featured writer or even a novelist (I really want to be a novelist).  I have always wanted to write for a living - but life had other plans for me and I've pursued other career paths over the years.  It is my goal in life to get paid for doing what I love, and I love to write!!

DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST "REAL DATE", THE ONE WITHOUT CHAPERONS?
I am pretty sure I was 14 when I went on my first real date.  I had a steady boyfriend, in fact we had been together for over a year when the parents agreed to let us go on a date unchaperoned. We went to see a play that a few of my friends were in.  We took the city bus after school (my hometown has an excellent mass transit system that everyone uses) to the mall, where we had dinner at this local diner that was across the street.  It was an old school diner where the waiters still had to serve on roller skates and they had the best homemade malts ever (the diner was torn down a decade or so ago... made me sad to see it go).  My mom gave me money that morning before I went to school, telling me "a girl should never assume a boy will pay her way".  My date did pay though, I remember how proud he looked handing he money to the waitress.  After dinner we walked the three blocks to the warehouse that had been converted to a theater.  We held hands as we walked and may have stopped a few times to kiss a little.  All during the play we held hands and I rested my head on his shoulder.  Our parents had raised us better than to make out in public, but we certainly sat closer to each other than we would have had parents been present.  We certainly stole a quick kisses more often than we would have if parents were present.  I remember thinking how cool real dates were.
After the play we walked back to the mall with a few of our friends to get frozen yogurt.  We were the only couple among our friends that night.  They were envious we were allowed on a date without a chaperon of any kind.  Their envy created a lot of pressure actually... like we were being tested, like some how we could fail and never be allowed to date again.  We had fun, we were relaxed together, but we had been a couple for a year already so it was second nature to spend time together.  The pressure our friends seemed to bring was unexpected, but we survived.  My mom was picking me up from the mall that night, so before I knew I had to go outside to meet her, we stole off to a private corner to spend a few minutest saying good night..  We had been alone before, nut never like this, never without a friend close by or a parent or teacher close by.  Those stolen moments are still some of my fondest memories even all these years later. When my mom picked me up I guess I was grinning from ear to ear because she laughed and asked if I had made her a grandma.  It had been a perfect night, the perfect first real date!  We managed to stay together (admittedly off and on) for 5 more years and among my best dates in life he holds the top spots still.

Now that the fun part is over... 
Part of being nominated for the Liebster Award is to nominate other blogs.  I follow many blogs., they feed my lust for reading material and inspiration. These are a few blogs I feel are worthy of a nomination:
A Day in the Life of a Drama Queens Mamma
Life of a Traveling Navy Wife
Mother of Serendipity
Murphy UnCut
Tracy on the Rocks

Okay, the following are the 10 Questions I would love for the Blog Writers I've nominated to answer:

1. Why did you decide to start a blog?

2. What song best describes you?

3. Favorite Jolly Rancher flavor and why?

4. Name the one book that has had the most impact on your life?

5. The one place in the world you've never visited but that you would like to and why?

6. If you could have anyone (currently living) write your obituary, who would it be and why?

7. It's the zombie apocalypse and a swarm is headed your way, you have One Minute to gather everything you can carry (don't worry, kids, spouses and pets are safe), what do you grab and why?

8. What 3 lessons do you thing every child should be taught?

9. If you were to write a book, what would you title it and why?

10. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?



Official Rules of the Liebster Award
If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award and choose to accept it, you must write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:
1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link back to their blog on your blog.
2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget” on your sidebar.
3. Answer the 10 questions about yourself provided to you by the person who nominated you.
4. Nominate 5 – 10 blogs that you feel deserve the award. (They must have a less than 1000 followers.)
5. Create a new list of questions for those bloggers to answer.
6. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.)
7. Once you have written and published it, you then must inform the people/blogs that you nominated and provide a link to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)




Sunday, September 21, 2014

Letting Go of Ghosts

We all have ghosts, you know, those memories of people of the past that can come out of nowhere and haunt you.  I work really hard to keep my ghosts at bay, to not let them get to me,  There is nothing I can do about the past except make sure I don't make similar mistakes.

With all the talk about domestic violence in the news lately, one of my ghosts has managed to get to me.  I've tried not to dwell on the 3 years this ghost represents but the thoughts and memories are there.  I've decided to write about my experience in the hopes that getting it all out will let me bury this ghost once and for all.

I spent 3 years in a physically, emotionally and verbally abusive relationship.  "J" (it's better I keep his real name out of this) was that clean cut attractive farm boy all the girls had a crush on.  Although young and wild, I knew I was not looking for love, just a good time when I met him.  He swept me off my feet of course.  He was full of charm and swagger, with a boyish smile and fire in his eyes.

Our relationship was complicated at best in the beginning, we both brought a lot of baggage with us.  I had been around long enough to have been in a few dysfunctional relationships already, chaos and tension were kind of the norm for me in those days.

The abuse started almost right away, at first it was subtle things, a grab of the arm just a little too hard, discrediting friends who seemed to dislike him, intense verbal attacks, exaggerated jealousy.  I mistook his behavior for passion, for desire, for love, instead of what it really was.

I never thought I would end up in an abusive relationship.  I thought I was stronger than that, smarter than that.  J just had this power over me from the very start.  I let him control me, abuse me, manipulate me and violate me.  I had never let anyone treat me the way he treated me.  He was my kryptonite - I felt powerless against him.

I use to think the reasons I used to stay made sense.  We had only been together a few months when I got pregnant.  I had been raised without a father, I did not want the same fate for my child.  Even when I would be laying on the bathroom floor curled in a ball to protect my womb from his forceful kicks, I rationalized my reasons for staying.  J did not like for me to work.  He thought my place was in the home.  I did everything I could to make him happy.  I had never really saw myself as domesticated, but I learned fast.  I made sure I took care of his every need.  I was completely dependent on him for everything but I created a home environment that made it feel as though he needed me, how could I leave, he needed me.

By the time our child was born, I knew he would never willingly let me go.  I had tried once to leave, early on in our relationship after he beat me for the first time.  When he found me, hiding at a friends house he did not care for, he told me that I belonged to him, that our unborn child belong to him and that he would rather kill me before letting me just walk away from him.  That is when I lost hope of ever being free. Staying felt like the only option I had.  That's what he wanted.

The worst part of it all was that NO ONE really knew how bad the abuse was.  Living with J was like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  To the outside world J was a hardworking young man who doted on his Wife (we were common-law) and child.  He went to work, he paid his bills, was nice to the people around him.  He smiled in public, held my hand in public, whispered sweet nothings in my ear in public.  He was helpful and friendly and people loved him, they praised him and they lifted him up.  Of course, at home, behind closed doors he was dark and cruel.  He loved to joke that he ruled with an iron fist... sadly though it was not really a joke.  I had rules that must be followed.  He had no tolerance for anything not done his way.  There were punishments for what he deemed misbehavior.  I woke up everyday knowing that I would be called worthless, lazy, and ugly.  I woke up everyday knowing I would be hit at least once in the course of the day, because it reminded me of his power.  He was brutal and mean behind closed doors.  He was manipulating and dominate behind closed doors, and he always demonstrated his power and control.

It was 3 long years of fear, of pain, of soul crushing weakness.  I would dream of running away, of being strong enough to stay away.  I dreamed of finding control, finding strength.  I dreamed of loving him enough to change him, to heal him of his anger.  I dreamed that maybe one day the abuse would stop and we could be a real family, with no pain, no hurt and no anger.

It's been almost 16 years since I finally found the courage to leave J.  He did not make it easy, but once I found my courage, he did not seem so scary.  I still don't know why it took me so long to find that courage, but once I did there was no going back.
I use to think about what made me so helpless under J's control, what made me powerless in his presents, why I didn't lover myself enough to leave him the first time he hit me.  I blamed myself for the abuse, sure it was something I did, or didn't do that caused him such anger.  3 years of abuse striped away my self confidence, my self worth and my voice.

Healing from the abuse was a long, rough road.  J was no longer physically able to abuse me, but he was very much in my head and had a grip on my emotions for years.  Even after I found away to forgive him, I struggled with finding  forgiveness for myself.  I might not have done anything wrong to create the abuse, it might not have been my fault J was broken inside.  My guilt had to do with staying, with what I saw as allowing the abuse to continue when I could have left.  I understand now of course that the guilt was a product of the abuse, I did not deserve to be beaten, to be dehumanized and violated.  I may not have been perfect, but even with faults, nothing I did warranted being treated like a punching bad, being torn and beaten down.

J may have meant to ruin me, to take away my spirit and my willingness to love again, but he did not succeed. I survived his abuse, I over came his abuse.  I discovered real love, respectful love, true love.  J's ghost haunts me still from time to time but he is long gone from my heart and my soul and even though it felt like I spent 3 years in hell, I am better and stronger then he ever thought I would be, then he ever said I would be - I guess I could say, I won in the end.

I am ready to let go of his ghost, of the ghost that was our relationship, that was my prison.  I've long ago forgiven him and forgotten him and as my beautiful oldest child inches ever closer to adulthood, it is time to let go finally of these ghost and live free from the sorrow and pain that was those 3 years.

Ghosts can be hard to live with, they can be hard to ignore or dismiss - but when you find the strength to let the ghost go, it can be the most enlightening and uplifting experience... One I am grateful to have.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Reflection: The Double-Edged Sword

Now that school is back in session and the house has returned to a quiet sanctuary - I have time to think, time to focus, time to reflect.

I believe that reflection, on life, on self, on focus and change is important.  I believe that reflection is needed for growth and to evolve as a person.  Without reflection you can not learn who you are, where you have been, or where you are headed.

I am learning however, that reflection can be a double-edged sword.  Reflection may help spur growth and change, but as an over-thinking worrywart, refection often comes at a cost... opening old wounds, stirring emotions, reminding of pain and sadness as well as joy and success.

It is not easy to spend time working on ones self when it hurts, when there is pain and sorrow.  No one wants to be reminded of the bad choices, the ignorant decisions, the blows from those we thought loved us, or at best, liked us.  Without spending time reflecting though, how would we ever rise up from the ashes?

Reflection may bring me tears, it may allow regret to creep in and for me to feel vulnerable and exposed, but some how I am a better person for feeling it, for allowing myself to reflect on the moments of the past and using what I gain from my refection to grow.

So here is to my quiet house, my time to think, time to focus, time to reflect, my time to grow and feel and move forward in this crazy insane life.