Flowers in a jar…

I remember the days my heart physically hurt, when I thought I could no longer go on.  I remember thinking , I never want to love again because I could not survive this pain again.

But the truth is , I loved all the way through it, and even while love was breaking my heart, it was healing it also.

When my last marriage failed that was it for me, I wanted nothing to do with love again.  I was so ready to swear off love forever and pour concrete in my heart, let it turn to stone.  I was convinced I would never need it again.

And now years later I wake up and the light is back on, the clouds are white and fluffy instead of dark and ominous ,  at the end of the road I see a light calling for me to keep going around the next corner and the next.   No longer do I reach the end of the road and see the dead-end sign.

I have these conversations with myself now, I think I want to love again, hopefully someday I will have the chance ….and then I stop myself and think, ” what the hell are you talking about.”   You have loved and been loved through this entire process.

It’s like your walking along and you walk right past a diamond ring on the ground, you don’t even see it, and years later someone who was walking behind you shows it to you, they tell you they picked it up after you walked right past it, and you think to yourself…Damn, how did I miss something so beautiful when it was right in front of my face.

Now, I look back and I see all these beautiful things that happened to me in moments that were so dark I didn’t notice them really.

All those beautiful things, are the people, my friends and family that picked me up off the ground, brushed me off, put their arm around me and walked with me until I found the light again.   The people who told me over and over again that I was worthy and beautiful.    The people that supported me in more ways than I can mention.   The ones that laughed with me and cried with me, the ones that never told me to shut up when I talked about the same thing over and over again, until one day I had finally purged it from my soul.

Do you have any idea what you did for me?   Imagine each time you gave  me something I needed in the moment, you placed a flower in a jar.

At first I didn’t notice the jar, each time I walked past it I only saw an empty jar…

Until one day I noticed it was spilling over with vibrant, beautiful flowers.  My “jar” had runneth over.

I thought Love had torn me apart, but the truth is, Love had put me back together.

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Thank you friends, I will carry these flowers with me for the rest of my days.

 

 

 

 

I love me this much….

I’m a people pleaser by nature, I used to think that was the way we all need to live, give of ourselves, put others first, always forgive, try to forget, don’t hold a grudge, walk a mile in their shoes, kill them with kindness, you get back what you give.

“When you leave this earth you will be remembered for how you lived your life, not what you have in it or what you did for yourself.”   I grew up hearing all those quotes from my Mother, I watched her live by those words

It was instilled in my head it was the  ” Mother Theresa , Christian, good way to live.”

And so…somehow in all that talk I learned that I was of less importance in this world than everyone else, that I should somehow sacrifice myself to make the lives of others better.

And so I lived that way of life for many years, I stayed in a bad marriage for 17 years because I thought his life and the happiness of his family was more important than mine.  I stayed entangled in bad friendships because of loyalty and time, because I was supposed to be the bigger person, I was not allowed to judge.    I sacrificed all of me for my children.

Sounds like a good person doesn’t it?

You know what you end up with when you marry such a giver?  You end up with an empty shell that has given everything away and has kept nothing for herself.

By teaching my children to live this way, I was teaching them that everyone else came first, that they mattered LAST in their lives.   ( What a horrible lesson to teach my kids).  And only when I started keeping a little reserve for myself as the kids got older do I feel I was truly a good parent.

There is something about reaching mid-life that changes you in many ways, It is the age when all your life lessons collide with this new person that cares less of what people think about them, that realizes that we are not going to please everyone EVER, that sacrificing ourselves,  in the end sacrifices everyone we love and are trying to help because it empty’s us of all our goodness.

I wish I could go back and talk to my younger self and tell her :  it is okay to put yourself first, no it is absolutely necessary to put yourself  first – You are all you have, when you give all of you away, you have nothing left for anyone.

The answer is Balance, we all need it, we all deserve it, we all must find a way to keep it for ourselves.

I still believe in all those core values my Mother taught me, but I believe it is important to pick the people you share your good stuff with, and not waste it on those that will suck the life out of you .

Put energy in to those that give you back the same energy, give love to those that will re-fuel you with love, treat yourself better than you treat ANYONE else and you will have an abundance of everything good to give back .      Pick the people you spend your energy on wisely, there will always be those that are just out to take from you and will drain you, but trust me there are people out there that will give you back as much as you give, choose them.

I don’t feel like I OWE anyone anymore, I choose the people I spend my time and love on, and I choose them wisely, sure there are times I catch myself giving it away to someone who doesn’t deserve it, but I have gotten to a point where I can spot that within myself now, I listen to my gut, I respond to the negative feelings I get in my body, I don’t ignore the signs.

All the love I give now is the best of my love, because I am not spreading it so thin , because I am getting re-fueled, because for the first time in my life I can say ” I am the most important person in my life , I come first and I am in control of my life , my future, my well-being.

Damn, I love getting older.

  It’s a ticket we have earned to stop apologizing for Loving and putting ourselves first.

 

as i began

 

 

 

 

 

We will miss you

Merle Haggard just died…

However, this post isn’t about Merle.

It’s about suicide.

I have heard far too many stories of people taking their own lives in the past couple of weeks, young, vibrant people with their whole lives in front of them , or a good majority of  life in front of them still…and it breaks my heart that someone’s life could be so dark that the last split second before they take their life… something , anything doesn’t enter their mind that brings a moment of something to live for…that at that moment they still decide nothing is worth staying here.

 

That’s a dark moment, the darkest of all – and they aren’t alone, I come from a family riddled with depression and deep seeded anxiety, I bet you do also, in fact chances are whomever is reading this has had the thought of taking their own life enter their minds once or more in their lives, no we didn’t act on it…or maybe we did, but it didn’t work… or maybe we got to that darkest of places and at the last second the light entered and we decided to hold on for one more day, and one more day became months and then  years, and here we are, still here. Continue reading “We will miss you”

The Haunting

I don’t know what it is…..

The fact that it’s been four years for me and I haven’t been able to move on and find someone else?

OR

The fact that you seem to move from woman to woman so seamlessly, as if to brush a fly off your shirt sleeve and welcome the next as she lands there .

OR

The fact that I have spent nights in agony over the death of our marriage and our love, and I bet you haven’t felt more than an uncomfortable sting from time to time in your heart and then poured alcohol over it , first just enough to ease the pain,  then adding another dose to numb it completely.

OR

The fact that you want to be my friend and I can’t quite put my finger on why.  My gut tells me it’s to torture me of my decision to leave for as long as you possibly can,  it’s as if you drop the moon in front of me just long enough for my eyes to adjust and then you throw a blanket over it , making the night sky black and impossible for me to move about freely again.

OR

The fact that every time I start to hear the  music again and want to dance…you tip toe up behind me and sweep your leg under mine…I stumble and sway and eventually fall…then I need to make the decision to stand and start the waltz again, or try to graciously exit center stage.

OR

That I was right all along, that your love is elusive and has never been truly given to anyone, least me..thus the reason I eventually left.   That there is something hidden just beneath your surface that makes it impossible for you to love, that your hiding from yourself…. and the one way to never be seen,  is to always hide behind someone else.

I don’t know what is – but it all haunts me just the same.

Moving along part 3- Walking to work

I don’t want you to feel ” lost” when you read this.  Being lost is scary, unless you want to be lost, or unless your lost and thirsty and you pull over to get directions at some random ho bunk bar and you start talking to some really nice people there, and you stay for lunch, and then dinner, and then the next day you wake up and you have joined some religion where they only eat hamburgers and french fries-EVER and only work on Tuesday’s …I have been lost more than once and THAT scenario right there, has NEVER , ever happened to me, so I plan on getting lost a few more times in my life waiting for it to come true. ( I dream big, what can I say)?

If you don’t feel like getting lost today, I totally understand, so here are the links to part one and two of this story, where most likely everyone in my life story has been lost a time or two.

 

Moving along- Part One ” A Gypsy heart”.

Moving along Part 2- Somewhere on a farm in Iowa, hold your breath. ( Biography, Memoirs)

 

 

 

When I ask my Mom what she did after my Dad tracked her all the way from Iowa to Minnesota, found her at a friend’s house, knocked on the door and asked for the keys to his car back…she said this ” Hmmm, I don’t remember, I know I walked to work for quite some time as I couldn’t afford a car.”

I think to myself:   ” Does this explain my innate inability to stay angry with anyone?”

  I want my Mother to react with some sort of anger, some deep harbored hurt, for herself, for me and my brother, for someone….but she doesn’t, she doesn’t focus on the moment of hurt, she focuses on the moment she walked away from it.

Or does she place all the hurts in the bag she carries around with her, like an old lipstick, she flippantly  tosses them back in the bag, until years later she leans to one side from the weight of it, the seams start to rip and pretty soon she can no longer stuff the hurt and keep ignoring it like an old lipstick she no longer wears.    Sooner or later the bag is going to give, the weight of it is going to leave her unable to walk straight… and trust me it’s going to be a mess.

 But I am getting ahead of myself…  Continue reading “Moving along part 3- Walking to work”

Friday with friends- The longest slumber party- EVER!

I met her years ago at a wine club , in other words- a bunch of bored women that get together once a month to taste wines and eat cheese and talk, and boy could we talk, and eat and drink.

There were,at any given time fourteen women in the club and although all of them I found very nice and welcoming, I made an instant connection with two women, she being one of them.   The THREE of us call ourselves the YA YA’s, but I have to separate them for the purpose of my Friday with friends post as they both deserve their own spotlight.

Anyway…at one such wine club night we were outside partaking in a glass of what other but … wine , chatting about life and such…I think this was maybe my 3rd time at wine club so I didn’t know anyone that well yet.  This woman started telling me that she was single , but  had been dating lately and the weekend before she had a date with a ” wild” man from up around where we all lived.   She had just had surgery and was supposed to be at home resting, but instead was out playing leap frog on the dance floor with this guy, that’s right I said leap frog…on the dance floor.      I instantly knew I had to be her friend, as I had never known ANYONE at our age ( we were in our early 40’s) that played leap frog with anyone, let alone on a first date, in a bar, on a dance floor, after surgery.

We started to giggle and then I asked her for the name of this ” crazy, wild” man she was out with, she said his first name, I swallowed hard, looked her in the eye and said ” was his last name ( bleep)? ”  She looked back at me, swallowed hard and said- ” Yes, do you know him?”

” Yes I said, I do.  He is the father of my children and my ex-husband, I know him well.”

And….on that note, let’s HOP in to this story and let  me introduce you to this week’s Friday with Friends LEAP FROG L

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Kid’s don’t try this at home, and certainly don’t do it after surgery.

Continue reading “Friday with friends- The longest slumber party- EVER!”