Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Was An Audacious Year!

"It's only when we have nothing else to hold onto that we're willing to hold onto something very audacious and scary." ~Sonia Johnson

[I borrowed this idea from Dan Pearce's Single Dad Laughing's post here with permission]
I never imagined after the rough year I had in 2013 that 2014 could be so amazing.  I mean, it had to be better - once you hit rock bottom, there's only one way to go.  But it surpassed even my wildest imagination!

It was difficult to start the year off with the pounds I had put back on, but I was bound and determined that I was going to take them off for good this year.  I set my goal high - go big or go home, right? - to lose 100 pounds.  Well, I beat it by a few and I can't tell you how amazing I feel.  I haven't been this small since college.  I attribute it to eating clean which was the best lifestyle change I could have ever made.

I also started the year off with a bang in my running.  I ran a 5k every other week to train for the half-marathons.  My first was in April.  I was afraid I wouldn't finish, but I did it in 3 1/2 hours which beat my expectations by 30 minutes.  I not only did one Warrior Dash, but two and ran the second half in October.  My target was to run 365 miles in 2014, but I blew past that and hit 500.  Needless to say I went through several pairs of shoes.

I finally got the house finished and rented out.  This put us on a great start to getting out of debt.  By September my student loans were paid off and I started saving for a down payment on a house.  We should finally be in our own early in 2015.  I know the kids are going to love that!

After a rocky end to 2013, work has been great!  Although I love my job, my blog has taken off to a point that I'm finally bringing in some good income.  I finally started on a book that was almost finished by the end of NaNoWriMoI'm putting on the final touches and I can't wait for y'all to read it.  

God placed several things on my heart for this year and one of those was for homeless ministries.  I got involved with a great group of people and we have helped countless people get off the streets.  My good friend Oscar has been invaluable to showing us the true needs of those living in the cold.  My blessings have been more than I ever could have given.

I finally listened and started a children's choir at church.  Through this, we have had a number of families come to know Jesus.  I love to see the word of God shine through these beautiful faces.

One of my most cherished and fun goals this year was to get a Neighbor's Table.  I don't have my house yet, but we were able to get a rental with a big enough yard to put one in.  We invited anyone that could come for Thanksgiving and Christmas to join us at this amazing table and share what community looks like.  Those are memories I will never forget! 

The kids and I took several vacations this year.  We all went to Texas to visit their best friend Ishita and their brother Addison.  It was great finally meeting Alex and Olivia in person!  We swung by Oklahoma on the way and got to meet up with a lot of awesome dreamers.  We also went to our favorite place on Earth - Emerald Isle - with our favorite people on Earth.  

I even snuck away for a few trips of my own.  The first was to the Storyline Conference in San Diego where I got to meet Jon Acuff and Bob Goff in person.  These are two of the people who had such an incredible impact on my healing and moving forward.  I'm in the middle of packing for my second trip - I'm headed to Europe to spend the rest of the holidays with one of my good friends from college.

All in all, I'd have to say it was an amazing year.  What a turnaround from depression and rock bottom a year and a half ago.  It's incredible the healing God brought me and the life he was preparing me for.  I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Dinner for One

"I am not alone at all, I thought.  I was never alone at all.  And that, of course, is the message of Christmas.  We are never alone.  Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent.  For this is still the time God chooses." ~Taylor Caldwell

I realized today that this is the first Christmas Eve I have ever been alone.  Truly alone.  In my entire life.  No last minute shopping.  No visiting 10 houses before midnight.  No kids trying to peek at presents under the tree. 

I am sitting here enjoying the ham Wayne's mom sent home with me.  I threw together some other stuff I had in the cupboards and poured a glass of wine.  I am singing along to Christmas music and catching up on all the well-wishes.

I may be sitting here alone in a quiet apartment with cats resting under the tree, but I'm not really alone.  I am spending it I am reveling in amazement at the people God brought into my life.  I am looking at dozens upon dozens of cards hanging on my wall from beautiful people all over the world.  I am gazing at the handmade ornaments my new friends have made lovingly and sent for an ornament exchange.  I see the bottom of the tree void of any boxes.  The gifts I received can't be placed in a box or a bag.  They can't be bought nor returned.  

This year I've received an outpouring of love completely unimaginable.  I've been giving the gift of friendship from friends both old and new.  I've been given laughter and even a few tears but always with a shoulder to cry on.  I have found out that I don't always have to be strong but can be weak and it's still OK.  I've even found a little bit of Christmas magic.  But most of all, I have found peace.  Peace within myself.  Peace with my situation.  Peace that I can sit here in the quiet and know that I am not alone and I never have been.

So tonight, I toast my glass of wine to you whether you are visiting with family and friends or sitting alone in the quiet like me.  I hope that amongst the piles of boxes and wrapping paper you are able to find the gifts that really matter the most!  I love you all and I wish you the merriest of Christmases!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Grieving No More

"The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief -
But the pain of grief is only a shadow
When compared with the pain of never risking love."
~Hilary Stanton Zunin

A friend of mine reminded me it was OK to grieve.  But the thing is, I have grieved for over half a year.  Most of 2013 wasted trying to get back what I lost.  I grieved for a relationship that is no more.  The "we" that we were is gone; never to return no matter how many tears I shed or how many hours on my knees I spent praying.  I grieved for the person I was.  A huge part of me is gone.  The part of me that believed in Christmas magic and happily ever after.  The person that would watch sappy Hallmark movies with tears in her eyes knowing that I had found my fairy tale and it was even better than the movies.  I grieved for the Olan Mills family pictures that would never be.  The family cookouts and birthday parties and the white picket fence.

But I'm done grieving.  I'm not going to spend the last month of this crappy year crying.  I don't know that I'm ready to move forward in any way yet, but I can't live in the past any longer.  Nothing I can do could bring back my life as I knew it before June.  It took something as a new pair of jeans to finally give me the closure I needed.  It took someone reminding me that if I didn't forgive, it was one of the worst sins I could commit because God gives me his mercy every day.

And I forgave.  Wayne for not loving me the way I needed and for walking out of my life.  The family members that turned their backs on me when I needed them the most.  But most of all - I forgave myself.  For putting my heart and soul into a man that threw it away.  For not trusting that God had a bigger plan for me and wasn't ready to unveil it yet.  For not seeing the precious gifts I had in my children.  For not cherishing the absolutely incredible friends I still have and the blessed angels that have come into my life since then. 

So, I don't shed tears for the past anymore.  I don't have dreams for the future.  What I have is the knowledge of a promise that God will make this all work out in the end.  Whether it's because of destiny or just because I plowed away at it until it worked.  I can't say I even have hope.  But I have prayers.  And I know that somehow, someway those are going to get to the big man and He's going to answer in His own way.  Until then, I'm going to continue to be still and try to hear whatever message I am supposed to be getting from all of this.  And maybe - just maybe - a stray Christmas snowflake will hold just enough Christmas magic to bring the spark back again.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It was meant to be...

“Fate is never fair. You are caught in a current much stronger than you are; struggle against it and you'll drown not just yourself but those who try to save you. Swim with it. and you'll survive”
Cassandra Clare,
City of Ashes

"It was meant to be..."  My daughter told me this tonight.  If I had a dollar for every time I heard a well-meaning person tell me this, at least half my troubles would disappear.

The first time I really remember hearing it was when I lost the baby.  Five years of trying and all my hopes were wrenched out of me along with her body.  I always think of her as a girl although I will never know as I was only twelve weeks along.  "There was probably something wrong with it, so it's probably for the best" one friend said.  "Everything happens for a reason" said another.   So many people with such good intentions.  Little did they know that every time felt like another stab to my soul.  "God has a purpose, so this is meant to be" said a third.  There - they pulled out the God card.  This couldn't just be an accident.  God caused it to happen so that makes everything OK.  Like it would take some of the pain out of the situation somehow if I knew that God wanted me to lose my baby.  

Lately I have heard these "words of encouragement" entirely too much since Wayne left.  What makes it so much harder for me is knowing that God brought him into my life.  Well, that's what we always told each other.  If this is true, than God ripped him right out of it as well.  I've been struggling with this thought for months.  Why would he take him out of my life?  Am I being punished for something I did?  I must have some really bad karma coming back my way.  Is he being punished?  I think a large part of my depression stems from just not understanding this.  I look for logic in everything and this time there just doesn't seem to be any.

I've been reading a lot of books in my journey to heal and I'm beginning to realize that God probably isn't overly concerned with who I date or marry.  I'm not sure He even has a hand in matchmaking at all.  I think He essentially wants us to be happy and He wants us to be with a certain type of person so we can do amazing things to glorify Him.  If I chose Joe or Tom or Larry, as long as we do what's right and look upwards, God's going to be happy.  

If I look at the alternative, it's almost devastating.  I mean - if all of this pain was meant to be than God is really, really mad at me.  And every single time something bad happens to me I must deserve it.  I'm not perfect by any means, but I can't believe that I have been that bad. 

So, for now, I'm going to try to convince myself that this year just simply sucked.  Not because God wanted it to.  Or because I did something wrong.  It just did.  And someday, hopefully soon, the suckiness will start blowing away and life will get better again.  And I do believe God will very much be a part of the good.  But not because He thinks I deserve it finally.  But because I let Him be.  That is the one thing I can control.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Faith Revisited

"Faith isn't faith until it's all you're holding on to" ~Patrick Overton

Y'all know I've had a pretty crappy summer.  My fall isn't looking so hot yet either.  All of this has made me take a hard look back and evaluate the last three years.  

Three years ago I moved from the city I had lived in my entire adult life back home.  I quit the job I had for 17 years and I came without a job.  I moved with the job market the worst it had been since I graduated from high school to one of the cities with the least amount of potential jobs.  I packed up three kids and drove 10 hours away from everything that I knew to a city I could barely remember.  I leapt with both feet and no net knowing that God would carry us.

And He did.  I was filled with faith

Until this year.  This year, everything we had built up started crashing down.  The future we had built was ripped away.  Our support system virtually disappeared.  Our world as we knew it was turned upside down overnight.

I've spent the better part of 4 months trying to recover.  The first month just trying to find my footing.  The second month trying to crawl out of the hole I had fallen so deeply into.  The third month just being.  Being still.  Being patient.  Being a mom and an employee and attempting to be a functioning human being.  This last month I have tried to heal and figure out where to move forward. 

Now, as I'm trying to put the pieces back together, I'm having a hard time finding the path.  Every step I take seems like it's backwards.  Doors are slamming in my face left and right.  I'm a do-er, and everything I do seems to be fraught with problems.  I'm not sure at all if I'm doing this right or even if I should be doing it.

I've lost my faith.

When I moved back, faith was easy.  I had my 401k money in the bank.  No matter what, we were going to be taken care of.  My relationship with my family was good.  We had places to go if everything else failed.  The future was easy because we believed.  We just knew it was all going to turn out OK.

Now that we have been let down by people that we never expected to hurt us, faith is much harder to come by.  It's so much harder to trust when you expect to be hurt again.  It's harder to believe because dreams don't always come true.  It's harder to stick your neck out when time and time again you bang your head against another closed door.

But I realized yesterday that I am exactly where I need to be right now.  God said "Yeah, it was easy to have faith when you had everything.  Now I want you to have it when you have lost everything.  Show me just how faithful you are."  Wow.  Yeah.  I got that message loud and clear.  I have to believe that even if I lose what little we have left, He is still going to take care of us.  He will provide, even if it's not what I expect.

So,  now I will have to test just how much faith I have in God.  I will have to completely open myself up to being vulnerable and trust in whatever plans He has for our future.  I have to quit trying to be in control and let God take the wheel - He has a much better driving record anyways.  I need to go back to that cliff now that my eyes have been opened and I can see just how far away the bottom is and leap again.  No safety net.  No way to know if He will catch me this time.  It's all I have left to hold on to.  Well, here I go...

P.S.  This is the original Faith post just over three years ago.

Monday, September 30, 2013


Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty." ~Mother Theresa

This week marks the third anniversary of my divorce.  It doesn't quite feel right to celebrate the ending of a covenant such as that.  Granted, it was necessary and the right move for us, but the thought of this makes me sad.

Yesterday I saw that a past love changed his status update to engaged.  That guy that was never going to get married again.  The one who brought me out of such a dark time.  I'm truly happy for him though.  That means he's healed.  He figured out how to finally love himself so he can now love someone else.

And last night I listened to the last voicemail I got from Wayne.  At the end of it he said "I love you."  Five days later he left.  I still can't figure out how this happened.  My love didn't fade - it's still as strong today as it was four months ago.  Broken and battered, but still there.  

But it's unwelcome.  


And that makes me feel unwanted.  

Unwanted.  Ouch.  Yeah... a failed marriage.  A discarded love.  A forgotten heart simply left behind.  They walked away and just left me standing there.

This takes me back to the nightmare class they called gym.  On dodge ball (AKA the cruelest game ever) day.  The worst.  The two coolest people got picked to be team captains.  Then they chose their friends: the popular kids; the athletic ones.  They went through the lines and, one by one, everyone is picked.  All I could do was pray that I wouldn't be last.  I mean, I had to be just a little bit better, a little cooler, than that kid at the end.  Every once in a while I ended up being that kid and it sucked.

Today I feel like that kid.  

I'm the last one in line.  

All the other kids have found a team.  

I am standing alone on the wall wishing I could fade into the cold cinder blocks. 

Now I get to Jesus-juke you.  Because it's OK that I'm last.  It doesn't matter that the cool kids didn't pick me.  I'm not the most popular.  I'm not the most athletic or the prettiest or even the most pulled together (far from it).  But there's one who chose me despite all of this and possibly because of it.  Jesus chose me.  He died on the cross for me.  He took every poke of that thorny crown and every swing of the hammer that forced the nails through his skin.  He did all that for me.  Because He loved me that much.  How could I let the fact that it didn't work with these guys take away from all of that?  

So, it doesn't matter that my ex and I couldn't work it out.  It doesn't matter that someone could just walk away.  What matters is that the love I've been given is so much greater than all of this.  And the love I have to give is so much greater than this.  And I know that someone very special is still waiting out there for me. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013


"The way Signor Brasini stopped, turned to his wife, put his big farmer's hands out and caressed her face.  Pulled her close to him and kissed her just like in the films.  He kissed her for a long time and then looked at her and smiled… And when I saw all that, I knew that their way would be my way.  Their way, not my father's...way - their way was how I wanted my life to be.  I knew that someday I would be loved by a man like Brasini.  I understood how things worked and how they didn't work." ~ Marlena De Blasi That Summer in Sicily

This is a story of a 9-year-old girl whose cold-hearted father sells her to a rich prince.  The prince inquires "How did you manage to emerge from such hurtful abandonment by your father without growing bitter yourself?"  She answered by telling of an experience she had in the market one day.

"Well", you're probably asking yourself, "why is this soccer mom writing about a little Italian girl?" It goes back to a challenge I was given to tell who my hero was from growing up.  I thought long and hard on this and realized that I didn't really have a person in my life that I would call hero.  I felt pretty bad about that but realized there had to be someone or something that motivated me to crawl out of the life I was born into.  Someone that made me believe in something better. 

My "Brasini" were the characters in my book.  Hundreds and probably thousands of books I kept my nose deeply buried in.  Every book in my school library was polished off.  Then I finished every last book at the public library close to my house.  The librarians would save the new books so that I could read them before anyone else.  

My books were my escape.  I lived in Narnia.  Then traveled through the universe on a tesseract.  You might find me swinging over a creek in Terabithia or solving mysteries with Encyclopedia Brown.  And then as I got older, murder mysteries to solve and then romances where the fair prince would come and steal me away from all of the pain.

But the characters - that was what hooked me.  Their normal families doing normal things in a house with a white picket fence.  "Their way was how I wanted my life to be."  They showed me there was something better.  There was no screaming and fighting.  No crying mom or worn-out dad.  No divorce.  No alcoholism.  In books I could be anyone.  I wasn't a scared, shy little girl who was afraid of her own shadow.  There were no limits as to where I could go or what I could do. Or to the kind of life I could have.  

I realize now that all of the fiction that I devoured caused me to romanticize every facet of my life:  my relationships, my career, and my family.  Just as I hid from reality in my books, I chose not to look at the reality of my reality.  I wanted to believe in the good.  I wanted everything to work out and I guess I thought if I just wished it that way that it would.  I mean - it always worked out in the books, right?

So, just as the books gave me my dreams, I have found a new set of heroes to help me rebuild my reality - a completely amazing community that is helping me to find my dreams and become the person I am meant to be.  It took me being broken to see through the fantasy world I had always hoped for into a little bit harsher, more serious world.  There is still beauty, but the sun does have to set, the thorns do make me bleed, and the prince may or may not carry me off into the sunset.  I am going to have to make it on my own.  I am going to have to make adult decisions and I won't always like the consequences.  But I have a feeling that the ending of this story is going to be ever so much better than any book I could write...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What I Might Be...

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." ~Lao Tsu

There is a positive side to being crushed and broken.  When your guts are exposed for all of the world to see, you are finally able to start seeing yourself for who you really are. Or aren't in my case.

You see - I was Superwoman.  

I could leap tall buildings with a single bound and traverse freeways at high speeds to get to a soccer game without getting a ticket or losing a kid.  I ran from one end of town to another because I was an awesome mom.  I stayed up until 4 a.m. to make cupcakes so everyone would know what a perfect family we had.

I was the fixer.  

I was the one to make everything better because I was so good at it.  I was the strong one.  I could face giants with just my slingshot and battle evil Principals to advocate for my children.  I was the loyal one.  I stuck it out even though the marriage had torn me to shreds and daily stole a little bit more of my soul.  Because it was the right thing to do.

I was the karate kid.

I earned my blackbelt in my early 40's.  I was a ultra-marathon athlete (5k actually) climbing over foreboding obstacles and crawling through the mud.  I was the biggest loser who lost 80 pounds in 6 months.  I worked out not to get in shape, but because I didn't want to be the fat bride in the wedding pictures when that finally happened.  I spend a small fortune on clothes and shoes and jewelry so I can look great for a guy because I am so afraid that he is going to see me for who I really am - a 42-year-old divorced mom with a few more stretch marks than she would like vegging in shorts and a tank top.  

I am a fraud.

I am not really any of those things - strong, confident, together, Superwoman, fixed.  What I am is a scared little girl that has no real idea how to make it in this world.  I am fighting by instinct alone, having grown up without any guidelines as to what a normal family is.  I don't know how to be a great mom while working 50 hours a week.  I am afraid to write what is really on my heart because I am so scared I am going to hurt someone else's feelings - totally disregarding my own.

I am afraid.

I am still that scared little girl in St. Jerome's playground sitting on the curb afraid to talk to anyone because I am afraid that no one will really like me when they see who I really am.  I am a frazzled, wannabe soccer mom who desperately wants a normal family with a dad and mom and a white picket fence, not a two bedroom apartment in the middle of 1300 other apartments that is a mess because today we had to run to karate, cub scouts, two soccer games on the other end of town, the grocery store, Wendy's drive -in, parent teacher conferences and then back to Walgreen's because the girls have a project due tomorrow and it's already way past their bedtime.  So I'll drive across town to meet you not because I'm so cool but because after all of that, I didn't have time to wash the dishes or make my bed.  

I am broken.

But now, being broken, all the pieces are laid out before me now like a shattered mirror.  I can see every imperfection reflecting back at me.  I can still see the good stuff too but I'm able to put them in perspective now.  I know all of the pieces are going to be put back together as I heal.  It won't be perfect.  It might not even be pretty.  Not all the pieces will fit just right, so there may be some extra putty holding it there.  But I know God will be that putty and if I just give in a be who I am instead of who I want everyone to think I am, it will be ok.  I will be ok.  And now I get to start seeing just who I might be...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Found my rose-colored glasses...

It's not what's happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it's your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you're going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny. ~Anthony Robbins

Focus.  Today was a difficult day for me.  I should have been in a beautiful place with an amazing person having the time of my life.  Instead, I got to play soccer mom.  Granted, it's one of my favorite jobs in the whole world, but that trip had been "our" trip.  At least for the seemingly fairy-taley last two years.  But he's gone and is no longer our trip.

I was worried that I wouldn't be able to think of anything else today.  I mean, I knew he was going to be there.  I knew he was with somebody new.  I knew someone else was going to be in his arms and causing his smile.  Damn.  

But God had other plans for me today.  I went to the soccer pictures and saw several of my East Side friends.  I went to practice and enjoyed the morning sun on my face and the dew on my feet.  I introduced myself to one of the Cub Scout moms.  Then, right as we were finished, I happened to strike up a conversation with a truly amazing pair of people.  And to think I almost walked away before I could meet them because we had been gone all morning.

We talked about everything from ADHD to dating to divorce and found that we had a ton of stuff in common.  But most importantly, we talked about God.  How He is in our lives and His plans for us.  How God should be first in our lives.  Our spouses second and kids third.  I know it's a hard pill to swallow, but it truly makes sense when you see it in action.  David said for the guy to focus on God and the wife to focus on the man.  That God on the sixth day sent His Spirit out into the world.

That's when it hit me.  I posted last week that I had misplaced my rose-colored glasses.  The glasses aren't glasses at all.  It's why I can see the good even though I acknowledge the bad.  God is the rose-colored tint.  He is the good I want to see despite the ugly.  Despite the wrinkles and the scars.  God is my pair of glasses and by looking for Him in the world, I will see the beauty that I have always craved.  His spirit is the beauty that I see in everyone.  

It has nothing to do with me only wanting to see the pretty side of things.  It's that I want to be closer to God and anything that reminds me of him.  From my kids to a sunset to a smile from a stranger.  The reason I thought I had misplaced them was because my anger was blinding me to the fact that God was there all the time waiting for me to open my eyes.  He hadn't gone anywhere.  My pain and anguish just caused me not to be willing to see what was right in front of my eyes. 

So today, go look for the beauty.  It is everywhere and in everything.  Know that the warmth and comfort you gain is the Holy Spirit laying His wings upon you.  And me.  Because I can finally see and feel what God has been telling me all along: "I'm here and I'm not going away.  You just have to look and I'm right there waiting for you."  And He is. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Has anyone seen my rose-colored glasses?

“Rose-colored glasses are never made in bifocals. Nobody wants to read the small print in dreams.” ~Ann Landers

 Reality.  It sucks.  Yeah I said it.  I have been accused many times of looking through life through rose-colored glasses.  It's not that I'm naive (which I am sometimes).  It's that I like to focus on the good in people and situations.  I don't like to think about the ugly parts of it.   Life is too short to dwell on the negative.  But being depressed tends to change all that in a very abrupt and painful way.  It's like pulling an extremely sticky bandage off of a very open wound and then pouring acid on it.  And then putting the old dirty bandage back over it to seal in all the yuck.

  The great part about depression (as if there can be a great part to being devestated) is that it rips the rose-colored glasses off of you and shoves your face into reality.  If you allow it, it will only let you look at the ugly side of things.  I say that as if you could have any control at allowing it or not.  You don't.  You could have the most beautiful sunset on the most beautiful beach in the world sitting with the most amazing people and feel completely numb to it.  You almost can't feel the heat from the sun.  

  Believe me, I know from experience.  Because less than a month ago I was there.  On the perfect beach with a perfect sunset with the perfect people.  And I was just this side of numb.  I had the power of the warm salty ocean crashing against my body yet I could barely feel it.  Maybe it's because I put so many walls up so I couldn't feel the pain that it just blocked everything.

  Life has forced me to take a very harsh look at everything in my life.  It's almost like it screamed at me "wake up and take a look around you!"  What I see is very much not the perfect little life I thought I had.  Or maybe I had but I've lost it.  Everything looks different now.  Feels different now.  I'm back to those shadows I didn't even know existed until I was in the light.  Those rose-colored glasses not only skewed my vision but my feelings as well.  Now the warmth has been taken away.

  Or I'm blocking it.  Which means I hold the key to my recovery.  I'd like to find where I placed those glasses.  If I just had those, then everything would be warm and fuzzy.  I'm sitting here at my desk with the sunlight filtering in the window yet I'm sitting in the shadows.  The sun begins merely a foot or so away from me.  I know the light would warm me from the inside out yet I am paralyzed to move towards it.  Is it that I can't move or I won't?  Isn't that the million dollar question?!

  So for today, I am looking for the beauty in little things.  A pretty sunrise, a gentle wind blowing through the branches, a new melody that piques my curiosity.  I can't quite feel them yet and extract the pleasure that I know is there.  But I'm looking for them and towards them; trying to ignore the ugliness and putting it behind me.  I hope soon I can let it go instead of holding on to it like an anchor.  And maybe soon I will find where I misplaced those glasses...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sometimes you can even see the angels...

“Friends are angels who lift our feet when our own wings have trouble remembering how to fly.” ~Unknown 

  End of the month.  What a crappy couple of months it has been.  Probably the worst I’ve had in a long time.  At least since before the divorce.    That’s a time I don’t even like to think about.  I was a different person back then.  I am a different person today than I was two months ago.  Not sure if it’s for the better yet.  I was definitely hammered and melted down and reformed several times just as the brass is here at work.  I was an ugly mess.  I still need some polishing, but I’m getting there.

 What a difference a week has made.  Closure.  Knowing that I can’t do anything to change your mind is helping me to move on.  You feel that you were the only one putting any effort into the relationship (really???) and that I didn’t have enough time for you (single mom with a full time job???).  I won’t convince you to change your heart and I can't change my situation.  I deserve better than that.

  Don’t get me wrong – I still love you.  I can’t seem to throw that away.  But I’m letting it go.  Praying a lot.  And I’ve had help with that.  I have some very incredible people in my life.  Some old friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin.  Some newer that are equally as special to me.  And some very new.  Beautiful angels placed in my path letting me know God is definitely watching out for me.  He wants the best for me and wants me to be happy.  And is telling me that this isn't my fault and maybe it's not me who is being punished.  Maybe he has much bigger plans for me so I need to change my path.  It never ceases to amaze me the messages God sends and who he sends them through if I am just willing to listen.

  Breathe.  That is what’s on my post-it on my computer.  I’ve added patience and listening to it.  Now trust and no expectations = no disappointment.  Maybe my only fault that I expected so much and you weren’t able to deliver on it.  So I’m trying to take it one day at a time.  One step at a time.  Remembering what is now in indelible ink on my foot so I'll never forget.  Not imagine and daydream of how it might be.  Just enjoy it for what it is now.

  I’m not able to dream yet.  I need something solid to stand on.  When I find that, maybe I can look forward again.  It’s still about today.  About making it from break to break.  I don’t even want to plan next week let alone next month because I’m afraid of what it will hold (or won’t hold).  And I can’t afford to slip backwards into that darkness again.

  For now it’s repairing my relationship with God.  Strengthening my relationship with my children.  We have definitely all hurt and grown from this.  And repairing my relationship with myself.  Learning to trust myself again.  To have faith in my judgement.  To trust that I can love again.  Even more importantly that I can be loved again and there are many people out there that love me unconditionally.  Especially when I didn’t love myself.  Building and rebuilding ties with the beautiful people who have stayed.  God has sent many angels to surround me and protect me.  Sometimes you can even see those angels. 

  So here's a thank you to my angels.  You know who you are and I hope you realize how incredibly special you are to me.  I will never be able to thank you enough for loving me and standing by me when I couldn't stand myself.  For lifting my feet when I couldn't feel my wings.  For showing me I could fly again...

Almost time

“You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future” ~Unknown

Wow.  Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Now that I re-read this I'm mad that I didn't realize it was coming.  But he did.  And now it's done...

January 14th.  It's almost time.  I can feel it now.  The end is approaching.  I don't know when but it's coming.  And I don't think I am dreading it as much as I thought.  
I love this man.  Truly.  Deeply.  And it will hurt a lot when this happens.  But I've learned to love myself.  I don't know if this pulls away from getting too close to someone.  I know this time I've held back a little.  After you've had your heart shattered it's tough to completely open it again.  I made the decision not to hold myself back from love.  But I don't know if I will ever leave myself that vulnerable again.  
I can tell that their has been a shift.  Phone calls have been more brief.  Date nights have been fewer and further between.  I know we have both been busy and tired, but we've settled into being an old married couple.  He doesn't talk as much about marriage any more and he's the one who brought it up in the first place.  
But I want to be an old married couple.  I just wanted to be married when we got to that point.  Now I think it's just comfortable.  I don't know if I've been acting different or pulling back because I'm anticipating the end.  
I'm not saying anything though.  I don't want to make a problem if there isn't one and I don't want to be the nagging girlfriend.  
I think the busy "soccer mom" with three kids was more than he bargained for.  It sounded good that our kids were closer in age.  But his are closer to college and we still have another 10 years before we get there.  He is ready to settle down and start preparing for retirement.  I'm not there yet.  I've got a lot of life left to live.
I wonder if trying to get fit has caused this shift.  I love the way he looks and I know he is ok with my current shape.  But I'm doing this so I can still be active 20-30 years from now.  I don't know if he gets that.  
So I'm still waiting.  I won't be posting these until after it happens, so if you are seeing this, the time came and went.

Monday, June 24, 2013

How to Prepare for a Broken Heart

We often try to prepare ourselves for major events in our lives - graduations, weddings, parenthood, etc.  We might condition parts of our bodies such as our brains for learning, our lungs for running a race, our muscles to carry heavy loads.  But how does one condition a heart to be broken?  

The first thing one must understand is that there are two parts to a broken heart - the physical organ and the shattering of the soul.  The organ itself is an amazing object.  It draws blood into itself and pumps it back out to every vein in your body.  It supplies blood with oxygen and helps to clean out the bad stuff.  Without it we would die.  Doctors have discovered many ways of repairing this ball of tissue and vessels to keep us alive.

Then there's the soul part of it.  The mystical thing we tie to this life-giving muscle.  The part that separates us from other animals.  The part that makes us who we are.  The part that actually breaks.  The part that doctors can't fix.  Only God can repair this half of the puzzle.  

We can condition the physical part of the heart by working out.  We can prepare ourselves for battle.  But the only thing we can do for the soul side is build lots and lots of imaginary walls around it.  Walls that keep us from getting hurt (or so we tell ourselves).  Walls that keep us from giving all that we are so we don't get hurt (and in the end makes us the cause of our own pain).  There's no way to exercise it.  No matter how many times we are let down or have our "hearts broken".  

What can you do when you really know you are in for a killer of a broken heart?  Our first instinct is to withdraw into ourselves.  Hide in our shell and wait for the blast to come.  The problem with this tactic is that it shields us from seeing what good might be around us.  It's not a one-way mirror.  

How about pushing the issue and bringing it to a head so you can deal with it on your own terms?  Perhaps a better idea, but only if you are absolutely sure of all of the variables.  Did you read all of the signs correctly or are you filling in the blanks from your own fear.  If you get this wrong, you have just ended a perfectly good relationship.

Or do you just wait?  Wait for the inevitable.  Not knowing the time or place, but knowing all of the signs are pointing to that one moment - the moment you know that again you are simply not the right person.  All of the time and effort you invested in this relationship is wasted.  All of your hopes and dreams thrown away.  All of your self-confidence shredded.  Because you're not good enough - again.  No amount of woman's lib can fix this one.  It will be a long time before you can trust the person you are is good enough.  

 For me - I'm in between waiting and pushing it forward.  I'll know the answer soon enough either way.  The ending - no matter what the subject - will always be bittersweet.

That moment when...

(I wrote this March of 2012.  I knew then even though I was afraid to say it)

Don't you hate that moment.  The moment when you know.  Beyond a shadow of a doubt.  That it's over.  Before they even realize it themselves.

It's like you're on the outside looking in.  Reading a novel.  Knowing what is just around the corner but the characters can't see it.  Scanning ahead quickly so you can get past the inevitable.

I saw it in your eyes that night after Cub Scouts.  It was a tough night.  But I walked out of the meeting and just knew.  I felt every bit of the frustration you tried to mask.  I mean, taking on three kids and an overworked soccer mom is a lot to ask for.  I knew at that point it was just too much.

But you stayed.  At least together.  You left for the night and I broke down in tears.  Because I knew.  I knew at that moment the tide had shifted.  You just didn't realize it yet.

Because I love my children more than life itself.  And I can't fix them.  They are who they are and what they are regardless of my interference.  And I am who I am in spite of trying to re-invent myself.

And I heard it in your voice today.  Well, not today because I won't be posting this blog just yet.  Today being March 5th.  Just barely less than a year from when we met.  But soon it will be yesterday.  I'll wait until you figure it out.  Until then I'll wait.

Because I know my heart will shatter again when you do.  And you will hesitate to tell me because I know you still care.  It's just too much.  You will tear yourself up inside trying to figure out the right time to tell me.  How to tell me without admitting the real reason why.

So for now I will be still.  On edge knowing that the time is coming.  Never knowing when the words will come spilling out.  Writing this now because I can hold back the tears (barely).  I won't be able to then.