Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blank Pages

"We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Ahh.  New Year's Eve.  The end of 2010.  The end of a very long road for some.  The beginning of a new journey for others.  The finality of a period of great changes for me.

What a year!  I was in a different state a twelve months ago.  Not only by location, but a completely different state of mind.  Hope had dwindled.  Dreams long lost and thrown by the wayside.  I was very much trapped in a self-made prison with just glimpses of what might have been.

Funny, as I type this, I realize that I was probably very much depressed.  Funny because if you know me, I am never depressed.  Of course, if you truly know me, you also know I hide my real feelings very well.  Too well sometimes.  I didn't realize how sad I was.  I just knew I wasn't happy.  I guess it's like not knowing just how dark it is until someone turns on a light.

Well, the light was turned on for me.  In so many ways.  I felt the glow of warmth from someone who really cared for me and showed me I was worth it.  A hand was held out for me to pull me out of that pit.  I was carried in the loving hands of God throughout my journey back home.  He gave me the strength and the courage to embark on this new life.   The delicate ties of friendship were strengthened with quite a few people and re-strung with others.  I have become closer to my children and to my family. 

Somewhere along the way I started to find myself.  Didn't know that I was looking (or lost lol).  Really.  I thought that I knew just who I was when I came back.  Now I realize that even I don't know myself that well.  Or maybe I'm changing.  Or Cleveland is changing me.  And I'm not done yet.  I can feel it.  There's more just around the bend.  New adventures to experience and new encounters to make.  Who knows?  

I mean, less than eight months ago I didn't even have a clue that I would be here now, back home, single at forty.  More confident (most of the time).  In a better place spiritually.  Enjoying my job.  Looking forward to waking up the next day and not staying up all night avoiding the inevitable.  Alright, well I get more sleep than I used to anyways.  But now I am filling more of my time using my talents.  Sharing what I've been given with others.

So, I haven't made it yet, wherever there is.  But I'm on a better path.  A road less taken obviously.  One with a lot more scenic views.  Probably a few more detours.  And definitely a lot more memory-making adventures.  I've got a lot of learning left to do.  In the meantime, I will be composing my story, and hopefully taking you on my amazing excursion.  Can't wait to see what the next chapters hold!  I hope everyone has the most incredible and blessed New Year!

P.S. Just what will you be writing on those empty pages? :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Gifts

"Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness.  To an opponent, tolerance.  To a friend, your heart.  To a customer, service.  To all, charity.  To every child, a good example.  To yourself, respect." ~Oren Arnold

There's not much on my Christmas list.  Honestly, I can't even think of anything I really want.  Mainly because I have just about everything I could ask for.  No, I'm not rich.  I don't have everything I desire.  But I definitely have everything I need.

I have been truly blessed.  Especially this year.  I have been given a taste of freedom I have never truly known before.  I am in a job that I enjoy waking up and going to every day (well - almost...).  My three beautiful, healthy children love their teachers and the new friends that they have acquired.  We live in a nice apartment in a great location and even have high-speed internet again (lol!).

I love being back with my family.  It's so nice for the kids to be able to build strong relationships with the people who helped make me the amazing person I am. And I am rebuilding and reinforcing those same family ties.

As far as stuff, I have realized that it is just that - stuff.  Ya can't take it with you.  I have lost my attachment and the need to keep getting more of it.  Don't get me wrong - I have decided I like new clothes and pretty necklaces - but again, I have enough.  And then some.

In reference to the quote, this is what I want this year.  Forgiveness from those I have wronged.  Tolerance from those who would judge me.  From my friends, as you always have shared with me, your heart.  And I'll always take a free smile or laugh.  The ability to provide my best in my job and in everything I do.  For my eyes to be open to area where I can best share the gifts that I have been given and the courage to provide it.  To be able to be the best parent I possibly can.  The gift I can only give to myself - respect.  And last but not least (no, it's not in the quote), true love.  I don't know if Santa can deliver that one, so I may have to defer to a higher power.

So, I hope everyone has a truly blessed Christmas and a most amazing New Year!  I know I am really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


"The biggest mistake you can make in your life is to be continually fearing you will make one."~Elbert Hubbard

Well, this quote pretty much fits how I've been acting lately.  I haven't been able to put my finger on it.  I've been holding back in every aspect of my life.  Meek is a really good word to describe it.  It's been driving me nuts (not a far drive I know).  I've either been afraid I could succeed or was afraid I could.  I was so scared of messing things up that I couldn't move forward.

I put a stop (for the most part) to this last Wednesday.  I had gotten myself in a pretty good mess at work because I wasn't being forceful enough with certain people and I was missing deadlines because of it.  Someone even had the nerve to call me the "good cop."  That's when I knew I had let it go to far.  

I mean me - the good cop?  For those who have had the fortune (or misfortune) to work with me have at some point had a glimpse at my fiery Irish temper.  I don't sit back and accept being blown off when someone is supposed to be doing something for me.  Yet that's exactly what I have been doing.  So I buckled down this week and figured if I was going to get fired, it would be because I did what I thought was right and took no prisoners and not because I laid down and got run over.  And it worked.  Fabulously.  I even got a "perfect" from my customer.  Whoohoo!

As I said, I am letting this happen in all areas of my life.  Not just work.  I seem to have lost my voice (perhaps a blessing in disguise to others).  I don't know if I've lost my confidence because so many things were going wrong at once.  I wish I knew what the trigger was.  I think it was more of a compilation of little things.  Well, I'm going to start changing this too.  Hey - I even signed up for a Karate class.  And they are giving me weapons (bwahahaha)!

So,  I'm done with being afraid.  At least with letting fear rule my decisions. I am going to attempt to go back to taking control of my life -- at least the parts I can control.  I have a week or so before the New Year to regroup and prepare for the battles that lie ahead.  Maybe those weapons might help... :) 

Monday, December 13, 2010


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." ~Albert Einstein 

It never ceases to amaze me the differences in my view of the world and my children's view.  We, as adults, are inconvenienced by the traffic, snow-piled roads, and the half-an-hour extra each day it takes to bundle up our kids.  My little ones, however, see the world through different eyes.  They trudge through the snow drifts, filling their boots with snow and soaking their socks.  They grab at the littlest patch of snow and aim for the nearest hint of bare skin.  And they especially walk to the truck with their mouths open, trying to catch the first snowflakes of the season.

It would be nice to stop and take a fresh look at our surroundings more often.  What little details are we missing because we are so worried about getting to our next destination?  What gifts from God do we overlook because we are too busy?  I'm pretty sure that He has more in mind for me than just being a taxi driver. 

So, as usual, I will take a cue from my kids.  I am going to slow down just a bit, set my phone down, and take a new look around me.  Perhaps there are some newly formed snowflakes waiting...

Thursday, December 9, 2010


"Reason only controls individuals after emotions and impulse have lost their impetus." ~Carlton Simon
Well, life is rarely boring for me as you must have figured out by now.  There is never a dull moment.  Quite the opposite most days.  And the days fly by so quickly as we get closer to Christmas.  This just tends to make my life more hectic and my sleep schedule shorter and shorter.

On top of the normal chaos (that's an oxymoron - right?), every couple of days Jacob decides to "fall out."  At least that's what we call it around here.  The rest of us are going along our merry ways when something doesn't sit right with Jacob.  At this point, he begins to hold the rest of the family hostage.  I don't give into his tantrums, which only tends to prolong the suffering.  This pulls my attention away from the girls and gets unfairly proportioned to a screaming young child.

Homework is another area of torture.  For both of us.  Just picture Supernanny and her worse case scenario.  It takes about an hour to get through a two-sided paper.  He's a smart kid.  He just can't seem to focus or have the desire to.  Most of the time we don't even finish until the weekend and turn them in late.

I finally broke down and took him to the doctor's about this.  It's not for me.  I can deal with it.  But this behavior is severely affecting his classwork and doesn't seem to have any hope for improvement.  I found a great doctor through a friend's recommendation.  Any other time I pray that Jacob sits still and behaves.  Not this one.  During the forty-five minute appointment, Jacob only sat still for about ten seconds.  Even if I didn't open my mouth, it would have been completely obvious that there was a problem here.  

He has ADHD.  Not much of a shock to anyone who has ever met him.  I was hoping he would grow out of whatever it was.  But now I know for sure.  The treatment will consist of behavior modification, parent training, and medications.  The goal is not for his personality to change but to improve impulse control.  I am supposed to see a different kid in about six weeks.  It helps me and his sisters to know exactly what we are dealing with.  They've put up with it every bit as much as I have.  Probably more because he tends to be the center of attention. 

So, there it is.  I'm not a bad parent.  It isn't because I didn't raise him right or give him enough discipline when he was younger.  There is a medically documented reason for his behavior.  We'll need prayers to get through this.  Thank you to everyone who has helped so far and in advance to those who will continue to struggle with us.