Inner Strength

It’s that time of year when thoughts go to Christmas decorations coming down, resolutions for the new year come to mind, what your “word of the year” or theme will be be. Reflection. Changes. Decluttering. Reorganizing. (And you know how I love to declutter!)

But this year, as I was contemplating all of this, I had a slightly different take on it. Yes, I still want most of the crap in my basement gone. I’ll be working on that slowly this winter. Yes, I want to lose more weight, gain more muscle, and get Linda Hamilton arms. Yes, I want to find my inner zen more easily in times in difficulty or stress. Find my breath.

I want to also let go. I want to let go of things that weigh me down, both physically and mentally. I want to start each day with a positive intention and carry it through my day, no matter what is thrown at me. I’m not trying to be unrealistic. Everyone has a bad day. Or two. Or 10. But I want to find a way, if I can, to not get bogged down with stress, or misfortune, or just general unhappiness. I want to look at it in a different way.

What can I do to change it? Make it better? Because that is all that is my power. I can’t change someone else or their situation. I can fix me. I can fix my outlook. I can change my reaction. I can change what comes out of my mouth (which has got me in trouble more than a little!) and I can certainly change my perception.

So what weighs us down? A bad relationship that you know is not serving you and your interests anymore? Are you staying for the wrong reasons with a friend, a spouse, a lover? Are you spending more time bitching about this person instead of finding ways to improve it? Can you admit your part in it to help you find closure? That’s a tough one! It’s so much easier to place all the blame on the other person, but does that really help you feel better when you close your eyes at night?

Finding out what you need, what you really truly need, and then making that happen is what you can control. And what a wonderful feeling. Sometimes, the only thing you can control is your own breath. The world feels like it’s falling apart all around you and the only thing you can do for those first few moments is breathe. My yogi tells us to listen to our breath. Listen to it. Control it. Slow it. Regain your footing. When you feel you’re on solid ground, then start over. But you’ll have a harder time regaining your own footing when you’re relying on someone else for that. Trying to hold on to the broken friendship, the crumbled marriage, the relationship you thought was going somewhere turned out in the light of morning to not be what you hoped it would be. What then? Do you blame the friend, the spouse, for their failure in making you happy?

The guilt that comes with letting go of those relationships can be overwhelming too. We try and try and try to make it work. We don’t want to give up on years of that friendship. Or think we should stay in a marriage for the kids. Don’t we lose ourselves in that process? I’ve spoken before about the great loss I went through losing a friend of decades and how I didn’t know how to cope, how to deal and move forward. It seriously was harder than my divorce. More tears were shed, more sleepless nights, more self doubt and constant questioning shouting in my head. I couldn’t make her take me back. I couldn’t make her want me in her life. I couldn’t make her see how completely devastated I was. But through all that, I learned how to find myself that I had lost.

This year, this year is about finding my inner strength. Mind, body and spirit. I’m going to push myself to do things I never would have thought to try. I’m going to do things I always wanted to do but was afraid to. (Maybe time for my tattoo on my shoulder??) I’m going to allow myself to be a bit selfish. To think of what I want, what I need, and making it happen. I’m going find my inner zen. It’s going to be a challenge, and it’s going to stretch me out of my comfort zone as a people pleaser and a habitual “fixer”. And I’m thankful for 2014 teaching me that I can’t fix anyone but me. And what a waste of time it has been to try.

Namaste.

Balance

Missed Opportunities

The past few days I’ve noticed more than others how I’ve had things I wanted to say, but no opportunity to say them. I don’t mean huge conversations I wish I had, but more in passing comments. Comments to compliment someone, acknowledge what they were doing was great or just asking someone how they’re doing.

These comments have the ability to make someone feel better, or show them that what they are doing is appreciated, but the timing is just wrong. And I’m struggling with how I could do better in this.

Have you ever been to a wedding and the complete stranger in the row in front of you has a beautiful dress on? Or been in church and you see someone who has her hair looking like it should be in a magazine? Or even someone doing something that seems menial but is doing such a great job? We had a waitress over the weekend who was so busy. She had many customers and was running around non stop, filling drinks, replacing dropped silverware and offering suggestions but not one time did she make any of her customers feel that she was in a hurry or they were slowing her down.

The last example is easier because you can leave a nice tip, maybe even a note on a napkin and let her know what a great job she did. But the other examples aren’t so easy to remedy. Obviously during a wedding ceremony, it’s not appropriate to lean forward and compliment someone on her dress choice. But after the ceremony, when she is no where to be found, it feels like a missed opportunity.

What about the frazzled mom in the grocery store with her young children crying, demanding the box of cereal because of the toy inside? Any mom (or dad) has been there before. Do you offer a sympathetic smile? Do you avoid eye contact? Are you annoyed the kids are crying? Or can you simply say as you pass by “We’ve all been there. Hang in there. You’re doing great.” and keep walking by? If you are that frazzled mom, would you be insulted someone said that you or would you take it for what it was, a type of encouragement and acknowledgement?

I know I have been in situations lately where I’ve wanted to say “Wow, your purse is perfect for summer! I love it!” or encourage a friend going through a rough time with just a little “I’m here for you, whenever you need me, and you don’t have to be strong or put on a brave face for me.” Wouldn’t we all like to hear that when we feel our world is crumbling around us and beyond our control?

But when the circumstance isn’t the right time, what do you do? I like to think I could make a mental note of such a thing and tell that person at a later more appropriate time. First of all, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning, so the chances of me remembering what someone was wearing, or their hair/handbag/sandals is slim to none. Second, and this is what I’m struggling with, is the universe trying to tell me to keep my mouth shut? I’m afraid that could be the case.

The stranger with the gorgeous hair is not going to know, or care, if I don’t say something. But what if it would make her day? Her daily journey could alter it’s course with a compliment from a unknown face who isn’t just giving her lip service. What about the friend who needs to hear “I love you and I’m here for you.” but finding the right time seems difficult?

I have a family member who was given a scary life threatening diagnosis. It makes me think about how blurting it out, not holding back, might be the better course. You never know when the opportunity, once missed, will ever present itself again. Why wait? Tapping someone on the shoulder in front of you and telling her that her dress is gorgeous, telling the mom to hang in there, letting your friends know you’ll be there even if they aren’t ready to hear from anyone yet, is a window I don’t want to close before I say something.

So I hope my compliment in the middle of the store, or at a wake, or when you’re having a horribly bad day, is taken for what it is. It’s just me trying to not let a moment escape that I might not get back.

Plus…..I might forget by the time I see you again.

missed opportunities

Getting there

Today I hit a major milestone. A journey of a few years that started slowly but has picked up in pace and payoff. And lessons! Oh boy, the lessons I’ve learned along the way. 

Today marks the day I have officially lost 50 pounds. FIFTY. That’s such a huge number! I’m not even sure I could lift fifty pounds and to think I was carrying that weight around with me daily. It’s almost hard to describe the feeling. Almost. But you know I’m not one that’s for a loss of words for long. 

(And now for my red carpet Emmy speech. Please don’t start the wrap up music yet!) 

I have so many people that have helped me along my way and I wanted to take a moment to thank them because I don’t know if they realize how important they were to me. (So, yea, just bear with me as I go through my list.) First and foremost I want to thank Tammy for encouraging me to just do it. Just try. And for never ever EVER making me feel like she was annoyed or I was holding her back. Just try to run. Just try yoga. Just try. Trying to do something, even a little bit, was better than sitting on the couch not doing anything while eating Oreos. It’s so cliche (but aren’t cliches there for a reason?) but going slow is better than not going at all. Right? She has been my constant encourager, has seen me at my worst and still loves me anyway. What more can you ask for in a friend? I love you more than you’ll ever know. 

I want to thank Tracy because even though we’re miles and miles apart, we’re never farther than a phone call or a text and your example and your constant love and support over 2 decades of varying stages in my life is something that doesn’t come along often. I cherish you and our friendship and how no matter what comes out of my mouth, I’ve never shocked you into a coma. (Not yet anyway!) 

I want to thank Julie, Sandy, and Yolanda for not only making a very unbendy girl much much more bendy, but for the friendships and encouragement you have shown to me over the past one and a half years. Through my sweating, heavy breathing and modified poses, I have come to not only “doing” yoga but to truly, deeply love yoga. I feel stronger, leaner, and yes, even more bendy than I ever have in my entire life. 

Yolanda shared a story in yoga Monday that has stayed with me (yea, yea, I know it’s only Wednesday, but seriously, for something to still be in my brain after 20 minutes is something to be cheered!) about how someone asked Michelangelo how he carved David out of a solid piece. He replied that David was always in there and just needed to come out. So he chipped away what wasn’t needed. Isn’t that what we all need and strive for? To let our true selves out from whatever it is that has shrouded us? Mentally or physically. To let go of what is holding us back. Those damn inner voices that speak too loud or the past that can’t be changed or thousands of other inner problems that hold us back. 

I want to thank Julie for walking with me and going even when she didn’t feel like going. I know some days were a struggle and the fact that you set aside time for me and we had such fun walking and talking that the time and the miles flew by. There were days I didn’t feel like going, but you gently encouraged me to go and I’ve never come back regretting it. Thank you for that and being such a friend. 

My goals have now been readjusted. I have a new weight goal, but beyond that number, I want to be stronger! Fitter!! Leaner!! That’s my new focus. Because now I know that nothing can hold me back. I’ve quashed those inner voices and shushed the naysayers. I’ve had people who have known me for years and are shocked when they see me. I have to admit that’s an AWESOME feeling! To be able to go shopping and buy something off the rack and know it will fit is not a feeling I have known in a very long time. 

So am I boasting? HELL YES I AM! I have worked hard and am proud of myself. But my work is not done. I’m still chipping away. And I hope to always be chipping away because none of us is perfect. Some people like to think they are and look at others and think they are better. All of us are walking a path that contains struggle and pain. (Another cliche?) Encouraging everyone to continue that path, and maybe make a turn they wouldn’t have made, is the best kind of friendship and love I can think of. And in that regard, I am truly, humbly blessed. 

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44…..45….close enough

I could have waited a few more days, but with the things that keep popping up at me with great urgency, I figured I better write now while I had a few moments to collect my thoughts. Alone. 

And let me clarify ahead of time, this isn’t just to pat myself on the back. It kind of is. But not just to do that. But let’s start back a few years for context. 

I haven’t been the skinniest girl. Ever. I remember I worked with a guy at the bank eons ago who was a real creep. Like seriously. Eww! I don’t even remember what his name was. But I remember his words ringing in my ears. He was doing his typical male chauvinist pig walk, checking out the girls, making rude and lewd comments. And he stopped at my little cubicle and told me the only thing that would ever be thin about me was my ankles, and he turned and walked away. What a prick. And this was BEFORE I had Rob! Way to crush a 20 year olds soul. But why did I let it bother me? I don’t even remember his name, so why can I still hear his voice in my head? Guess I need to call my shrink for that one. ::Adds another thing to my To Do list::

Through the years my weight had always yo-yo’d. Up 20 pounds. Down 15. Up another 30, Down 10. The down never seemed in line with the up. Never gain 5, lose 5. Or even gain 5, lose 10! Wouldn’t that be something? 

Then a few years ago, I went through a horrible, devastating, soul shattering, “how I am going to ever get through this?”, “I can’t breathe” break up. Not with my husband, but with a friend I had made way back at the same time and place as jerkhead who made the ankle comment. We worked together, became immediate and hard fast friends. A friendship that lasted longer than my first marriage and she was there for me during and after the divorce. Was there for the second marriage. Through thick and thin. Forever and ever amen. Til we weren’t. A few years ago, I didn’t think I could or wanted to come out on the other side because I was to devastated, way too wounded. It was harder than divorce. A huge part of me was gone.  

And in my despair, I turned to comfort food. And I ate. And I cried. And I cried and I ate. (As I side note, please understand, I am not in any way, shape or form blaming anything on anyone but myself. This was MY internal struggle. This was MY self sabotage. This was MY unfortunate way of coping with the void and loss. I am not placing blame on anyone else. I hope we’re clear.) I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t see past what I thought was solid. Grounded. Permanent. But there was always cookies. Or chips. Or Michael’s fabulous chicken alfredo with homemade real cream and cheese alfredo sauce coupled with garlic cheese bread and a salad. And salad is good for you, especially drenched in ranch dressing, right? 

And as the weight piled on, and my clothes got bigger and bigger, and my already severely fractured self-esteem and sense of loss just seemed to grow, I lost myself. I didn’t care that I was the fat mom. I didn’t care that I was clearly obese to everyone who looked at me. I deserved that look of pity. That look of embarrassment. “You have such a pretty face” or “Your personality just *shines* through you!”. Yea, pass the donuts. 

Until. 

Until the donuts don’t work. Until the thought of not being able to fit into the last new pair of pants makes you weep. Until your doctor is cautioning you of diabetes, heart disease, and a range of other symptoms that come along with that bag of Doritos. 

Until.

Until a friend says, hey, let’s go for a walk. It doesn’t matter how slow or how long it will take you. Let’s just go. I’m here with you. Let’s try jogging. Let’s see if we can run *one block*. If we can’t, no big deal. We’ll try. And we do. And we did. 

Until that friend introduces me to yoga and I discover that I can do this and focus solely and exclusively on me and it’s not only ok to do that, but you’re SUPPOSED to do that! Inside the corners of my own mat is all that counts. I didn’t get that at first. I didn’t get that it wasn’t about how I compared to the other people in my class. At how graceful and beautiful they were and I could barely touch my toes. But in the year I’ve been practicing, I have learned that. I have learned I can be stronger than **I** was a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. It’s MY journey. And I have made strides!

As of today, I have lost 44 pounds. I have gone down 6 sizes. I haven’t weighed this in a very very long time. But it’s not just about a number on a scale or the tag inside my shorts. It’s about an attitude shift. I don’t need pasta to fill a void. I don’t need Twizzlers or sitting on the couch feeling sad about how something turned out. I can move more, eat less. I can eyeball a new shirt and know it will fit me. I can wear those little yoga tops with the built in bras instead of the mandatory “hold ’em down” sports bras. And yea, I’m damn happy about that.

My goal is to lose another 15 pounds. I know I’ll get there very soon. Because I will get myself there. Who says 40something is too old? I’m just beginning! My journey, my success, my set backs, my hurdles. But I’ve learned about myself and what I’m capable of. And I’m so thankful to my friends who didn’t give up on me, who encouraged me, who made me see that I was worth fighting for. THAT is what a girl needs. Not a plate of nachos. 

 

 

nachos

Proceed with caution

This blog post may not be for everyone. Actually, it should be for everyone, but, well, as the title says, proceed with caution. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Twice.

You’re still here? Ok, keep reading. Breathe deeply. In through the nose. Out through the nose. 

I had a colonoscopy yesterday. (Eeekkk!! The horror!!) Please don’t faint. 

The process started Tuesday with a clear liquid only diet. I had a lovely long list of things I was allowed to have; broth, tea, coffee (with no cream so really just cross that out), Popsicles, jello, hard candy, Gatorade, apple juice, white grape juice. EXCEPT none of it could be red, blue or orange. So let’s cross off the Popsicles, jello, hard candy and Gatorade. I stuck with what we had on hand out of the list. That left me with tea and broth. For two days.

It was pretty easy to not feel hungry because I was terrified, yes TERRIFIED, of the prep drink I had waiting for me starting at 5pm Wednesday. I had zero appetite. The anticipation of the unknown was seriously scaring me. Yea, those who know me know I’m a pretty regimented kind of girl. The unknown scares me half to death.

My parents called me to check on me and it was so nice to feel the love and concern coming through the phone from far away. I’m a lucky girl to have been born to the most wonderful set of parents I could imagine. 

So promptly at 5, I unscrew the cap, pour my first of seven 8 oz glasses I had to drink every 15 minutes. I don’t drink that much WINE every 15 minutes, let alone something that is gross and nasty! I take a big gulp, then another, then another. Finished. I called my brother because I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this. He told me to pretend it was wine. He said he’d pretend it was gin. Ok, hold on, here goes another glass. And another. He talked to me through almost all 7 doses and I’ll never forget him for doing that.

By glass 6, I was feeling sick. I was determined to get it down, keep it down, and not let what I had already drank be for nothing. I finished up and wrapped myself in my pink fuzzy blanket to ward off the chills I had. Thinking of repeating this process starting at 7am the next day literally made me burst into tears. (Yes, I’m a baby)

But here’s where my friends stepped up. I’m not going to name you all, but you know who you are. You all made me laugh. You made me forget I was scared and nervous. You made me feel like no matter how bad I was feeling, you would be there with me through it all. Even holding my hair if need be! I love my friends more than words could ever express. Give yourselves a big hug, kiss and a woo hoo!!

Michael drove me to the office where the, um, procedure would be taking place. The waiting room left much to be desired and I could feel some apprehension on Michael’s part. But after they took me back, it was just like a hospital. Same gurney’s, same gowns, same curtain on a rail from the ceiling to pull closed for some small impression of privacy. The first nurse came in and asked me questions which was great, until nurse #2 came in to start my IV. She asked if she could and I said no. She laughed. I didn’t. She said it would be fine, she does this all day long. Uh huh. She prepped my arm and I calmly looked at nurse #1 and took her hand, which completely surprised her. But she looked at me, held my hand and totally focused on calming me down. I need her name because she deserves a card or cookies or something. Nurse #2 did a fine job, it only hurt for a second, but she doesn’t get cookies. She stuck that damned thing in my arm.

A few minutes later they were wheeling me into the “procedure room”, asking me questions again. The doctor came in and we spoke for a few minutes. I told him I wanted to come prepared with a joke to tell him but my mind was blank right now. He said he’d heard them all; if you find my keys, don’t use your hand, if Obama’s head was up there please leave it, it was funny and we laughed. Which was nice. Nurse #3 said she was going to put the medicine in my IV now to make me sleep. That’s the last thing I remember in that room. 

I woke up back in my little waiting pod with the pulled curtain. Michael was there waiting for me, holding my hand. I was very groggy and even though I was awake, I don’t remember much for hours afterward. I know I spoke with my parents, some friends, my brother, but I could’ve told them I was on the moon for all I know. It’s very hazy. 

The results however, are a big reason I am writing this. I had 15 polyps. **15**!!! They were all biopsied and sent to the lab. With my family history of cancer (you name it, we’ve had it) my doctor wanted me to get this before I turned 50. I can’t even imagine what could’ve happened if I had waited another 3 years. Due to the number and size of the polyps, I have to go back in a year. I don’t wanna drink that stuff again in a year. Or 3. Or 5. 

I’m glad I did it. I’m glad my doctor recommended I do it. I’m glad my dad bugged me to do it. And now I’m bugging YOU to do it. Because it gives little warning before it’s too late. Because you get to drop 7 pounds in the course of 3 days! Because you get to tell butt jokes to a doctor!! I mean, that right there is reason enough, right? 

So take care of yourself. If you have a family history, don’t put it off. It was bad, but not worth my life. It’s not worth yours either. And I’ll be there to make you laugh, hold your hair, and maybe think up a new joke to tell your doctor. 

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Judgement Day

I have contemplated this blog post for several weeks. I haven’t found the right angle, the right words in my head, so I’m just going to type it out. My “train of thought process” writing that I do. I don’t want to be cliche or repetitive. But sometimes, the cliche is because it’s true. 

We are all guilty of making judgments on everyone, every day, in a split second. We all see someone, something, a place, and we make a snap judgement. And most of the time, we’re wrong. Can you admit when you’re wrong?

Let’s use some examples.  

The kid who studies every night, turns down rare social invitations, and doesn’t have a lot of friends. He gets judged by his classmates without one person taking the time to get to know him. He might be abused at home and he thinks going to college far, far away is his only escape.

The fit, trim gorgeous woman running on the treadmill next to you at the gym. Easy to take one look and be envious of her. Judging her on her looks. Only a few people know what’s really going on inside is she just found out she has breast cancer despite all she has done to take care of herself.   

The young man, walking down the street with a dog. Seems like something you see every day. You think nothing of it as you smile at him walking by. Except he doesn’t smile back. He’s staring straight ahead. He starts yelling at no one in particular. Snap judgement that this guy is crazy/drunk/weird. Everyone has left him because of his PTSD from the war. 

The examples can go on and on. There are millions of different scenarios of how and why we do that. I think it’s human nature. But how simply amazing would it be, if we took the time to really get to know one another. If we, despite our flaws, got to know the person inside. And realize we’re all not that different from each other. 

There was a young man in our small town that committed suicide a few nights ago. I didn’t know him, and I’m not trying to point him out but to use the scenario because it happens every day. From what I have heard in the past 36 hours is he was funny, loved to smile, loved to joke around, had a great heart and looked out for others. And yet. There was something underneath that smile that was crying out. It’s no ones fault and it’s not something anyone can put on their shoulders. 

What happened was what made me realize I needed to write this blog, even though it has turned out much different than I thought it would 2 weeks ago when I first decided to write about judgement. I was coming from a much more personal space. How my scars are viewed. How my legs are and now forever will be marred and weaker. How people can look at me in shorts and ONLY see the scars. How they make a judgement when they see the long scar on my arm. Or my back. Or my shoulder. It is so rare for anyone to care to find out WHY. 

Am I weird that way? Maybe I am. I mean, I would never go up to a stranger and ask why he has a scar. Or why she is blind. Or why are you an amputee? Or any of the things people make snap judgments on. But for someone you are actually getting to know, friendships forming, wouldn’t you ask? That is part of the person. How do you get to know, really know, someone without knowing them on the inside. 

People make up their minds about other people without even MEETING that person or getting to know them yourself. Have you ever done that? A friend doesn’t like that person, or had a falling out with someone, and well, now **I’M** not going to like them either!! Hmmmph!! What if you had tons in common with that person? What if you could learn from them, or they from you, but you never found out because of the judgement you had based off of another persons opinion? Would you ever take the time to meet with someone and see for yourself? Are you so full of friends and acquaintances that one more person in your life is too much? Really?

I just wish that we as a whole would stop being so judgement driven, and be more open. More understanding. More. 

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100

This day took much longer to arrive than I first envisioned it. I thought it would happen by last summer at the latest, but here we are, the first full week of March 2014! Wow. And in it’s own way, it caused me to delay another few days because I had to really think and narrow it down.

This is my 100th blog post. I feel like the elementary school kid on his “100 days of school” project, with 100 M&M’s. Oooooo, M&M’s. No! Not on the “it’s almost spring” plan. So many amazing, wonderful, exciting, scary, sad, and joyful things have happened in the past 100 posts.

I started my blog January 1, 2013. I had so much encouragement before I even started from friends who kept saying “You should write a blog”. I had never even contemplated it before. So I dove in. What did I have to lose? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

Part of who I am is always on my sleeve, which is why I thought doing this would be easy. I tell people what I think, I try to be tactful but it doesn’t always work out that way, and I am loyal (to a scary fault) to my friends. But if you hurt me, or my kids, or my family, the gloves are off. I regret that in some instances. I don’t in others. I found myself struggling more often than not on how to express myself through my blog, which just seemed strange and foreign to me. And the more I struggled with it, the more I fretted over it. Vicious cycle.

So some days I would write, and delete the whole thing before I published. And then I would cry out of frustration. (Everyone here knows I can cry at the drop of a hat right? Yep. Kleenex commercials used to get me every.single.time. It’s the curse of someone who is too touchy feely and emotional, but it’s also part of why you always know where you stand with me) Over the past 100 posts I’ve tried to get myself to forgive myself over not having the perfect blog, gaps in the days and imperfect sentence structure/punctuation/grammar/run-on-sentences/over-use of parenthesis (but I really LIKE using parenthesis because it makes me feel like I’m actually talking to you instead of just writing. Like a little sidebar in our conversation.)

There have been so many changes over the past 100 posts. I started yoga last spring and love it more every week. I have lost weight, I have been able to do things I never thought my middle aged un-bendy body could do and even with some of my limitations from my surgeries, I have learned that I can try. If I can’t do it, oh trust me, I get very frustrated with myself and then spend 5 minutes trying to get it out of my head that I couldn’t do it, but I tried. Some of the muscles in my legs may never work the way they should. But I can try. I can modify. I’m doing something I never thought I would do and that’s pretty amazing in itself. I have one of my closest friends to thank for the push to go and I have made some new friends with an amazingly strong group of women who do nothing but encourage and cheer each other on. Simply life altering and such a blessing.

I have had friends who got married (for the “next time”, cuz really, at our age, do we need to count? No!) and some who got divorced. Sometimes it’s for the better, sometimes it was blind-sided agony. I think one thing I have learned over the past 100 posts is that at our age, for our generation, it is ok to be happy. I’m not advocating divorce. I’m not saying that vows taken shouldn’t be held to the highest standard. You said you would take that person to be your spouse for your life, you said it in front of friends, family and God. It’s not something to be taken lightly. I also believe that friends, family and God want you happy. Sometimes there are circumstances that are out of your control. Things happen. Sometimes, things don’t happen, or change or grow.

I’ve seen my oldest son grow and flourish and become the wonderful man I knew was in there. He just needed to let him come out from the shadow of the frat boy. I think men take longer at this than women do. But now that he has, my heart just bursts with pride over him and how amazing he continues to be. The youngest has grown into a young man with a job, and a kid who makes me laugh daily. He has the heart of a gentle giant. His struggles with school I have documented over the past 100 posts and it continues to be such a hurdle for him. It breaks my heart. He tries harder than most kids with little to show of it. And let me give a bit of advice if I may. All kids who have learning disabilities do not have signs stapled to their foreheads. It does not mean he is not intelligent. It does not mean he will not be successful. It means he learns outside the box. Just because he is not in AP classes or on the honor roll does not mean he is below your child. That makes me so angry.

My horrible, awful, please-why-won’t-they-just-MOVE-already neighbors are still here and some how managed to get out of yet another foreclosure proceeding. I seriously don’t understand it. How many times does this have to happen? Oh, and in case you were wondering, as of this writing, yes, yes they do still have Christmas decorations up. In March. Sigh. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will be moving before they do. Oh, did I mention that I am now on our HOA Board? Yea. Yea I am.

 

I am hoping to hit my 200th blog before the end of this year. I am thankful to all my followers from all over the world. I am thankful to the people who have contacted me through email, through Facebook, through the blog, that I have impacted them in some way. Please keep the feedback coming. I love it. And I love you for reading this. Here’s the next 100!! CHEERS!!!!  

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