Feeling…supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

So I mentioned that I had some good news…I’ve been thinking about how to share some of my “wisdom” with others and I kept coming back to Louise and Sam’s rules for life that I blogged about previously. Louise Dietzel has an office in my state and so I decided to write her a letter and ask if I could share her rules in a children’s book (Sam passed away years ago).

I carefully crafted a letter reminding her of our previous encounters years and years ago. I explained to her that I have been healing from depression and that I feel a need to share what has helped…I asked for an opportunity to discuss sharing her rules.

And now for the best part: the minute she opened my letter and read it, she called me. I was in the midst of making pancakes and cutting up melon while 5 kids set the table. To say it wasn’t a good time would’ve been an understatement. But I took the call, listened and answered and asked if I could call her back in a little while.

After I hung up the phone, I started to jump up and down. I was smiling ear to ear and couldn’t find any words to describe the feelings…the kids asked, “do you have to go pee?” I smiled and told them that I was really really excited. It’s only a couple weeks later, on the eve of my resulting meeting with Louise, that I finally found the word to describe how I was feeling after that phone call:

SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

Stay tuned to hear about my wonderful meeting with her!!

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I’m not perfect

News flash: I’m a little messed up, a little broken, a little crazy, and a little muddled.

I make mistakes.

I piss people off at times.

But I try to be the best person I can be when I’m able.

People believe what they want to, but unless you’ve had first hand experience, or been part of a situation, you have no idea what has transpired between two people.

The insecure will cling to the worst possible scenario and spread their negativity. The strong will keep their mouth shut and take the high road. I’m trying so hard to take that high road but I get so furious when the insecure try to make something so simple and positive into something ugly and unkind.

Deep breath.

I’m not perfect. I’m just…me.

Yes, I do need to be my own hero

I just got home from paddling and checking in with a friend, had a nice conversation. Came home, put some of my stuff away and opened up my social media. Lately, I’m digging Andy Grammer and his new video was posted. I gave it a listen and before it was half over, I was saying to myself, “that’s exactly what I have to do, what I’ve been trying to do!”

Check out this inspiring song

So in the interest of following what strikes me, I am going to be my own hero. I am going to look within, and look at my skills, and notice the positive impacts I can have on the people in my world. I am going to be my own hero.

Please feel free to share if I have affected you in a positive way!

Little by Little…

I was in the newspaper today!

Little by little, I’m getting better and better all the time. And I feel proud. And happy. And I’m sure I’ll have more roller coaster moments, but I’m stronger than I’ve been in a long time.

I had a roller coaster moment this week for sure, and it hit me hard at first. But I picked myself up, dusted myself off and looked for a reason…a next step. I was able to reflect and begin to let go and move forward. And though it’s still in progress, I’m feeling good about my next step.

I had a therapy appointment just this morning, and usually, when something happens and I choose to hold onto it, I don’t tell her. But I’m feeling solid in my forced and reluctant decision, and so I told her. And I thought I’d cry and be all kinds of whiny or whatever, but I wasn’t. I surprised the both of us!

I did cry eventually though…because I am letting go of my dear friend finally. The friend who sparked my soul and started this whole thing…we have reached a point where we are no longer good for each other. And though it really is the right decision, it’s tough. I shed tears thinking back to those first acts of kindness and friendship, the laughter and the discoveries, the debates and the conversations. I am grateful for all that came in the days since, despite pain and tears…I’m finally becoming, little by little.

Knowledge is Power: a super power, so keep learning

When I was a student, I thought this was a load of crap. Why on earth do I want to spend my time studying? I’m never going to use this stuff in real life! But you never know what you will or will not use. Now that I’m much older and wiser, I get it. Education and knowledge have only enriched and enhanced my life, my career, and my roles as leader and mentor. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I wish I didn’t know so much” and mean it?

Now here’s the kicker…you can apply the phrase Knowledge is Power in a variety of ways. Book smarts, math smarts, science, art…so many areas for this to apply! But I’d like to draw your attention to emotional smarts, or emotional intelligence. I was introduced to this concept at a conference this fall by the keynote speaker Debra Cannerella. She uses emotional intelligence as a tool for companies to maximize employee performance and ensure leadership success.

Emotional Intelligence is defined by Dr. Dick Thompson, President and CEO of High Performing Systems, Inc., as a person’s innate ability to perceive and manage his/her own emotions in a manner that results in successful interactions with the environment and, if others are present, to also perceive and manage their emotions in a manner that results in successful interpersonal interactions.

Learning to read facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, as well as your triggers, stress management techniques, all of these can give us information that we can use to maximize our interactions. But it also makes a big difference to know your own emotional intelligence skills, impacting interactions, and decision making.

Anyway, what I’m saying is this…keep learning. Embrace it. Seek it. At least now that I’m an adult, I can choose what I want to learn about, when, and how I learn. Growth of the mind is a valuable thing, and should never be taken for granted.

“Pain is Love” a misunderstood quote

My friend has this quote tattooed on his arm and I always thought it was cynical and negative, and honestly quite sad. But as I step into the new year, I’ve been thinking about it, and I get it now. The article below says it so much better than me so please read it, but I will grab some highlights for you that resonated with me in particular.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.huffpost.com/entry/why-can-love-be-so-painful-6-ways-to-heal-and-move-on_b_5134565/amp

Love is painful, because it transforms you. Love is growth.

Love means the death of the ego, because love cannot be controlled.

To suffer in love is not to suffer in vain; it takes you to higher levels of consciousness.

The transformation we all go through is from control of the mind to vulnerability of the heart.

With love, the ego drops and the soul arises. Love is food for the soul.

Go through the dark night and you reach a beautiful sunrise.

This song just came on, and the line “hell will always come before you grow” captured my ear

update: after some consideration, I think the expression should be pain from love…it hurts because of the love we have for one another…

Friendship is…

  • Humorous
  • Vulnerability
  • Dependable
  • Forgiving
  • Fallible
  • Ever changing
  • Supportive
  • Inspiring
  • Challenging
  • Honest
  • Authentic
  • Scary
  • Transcending time, distance
  • Imperfect
  • Enduring
  • Provocative
  • Understanding
  • Patient
  • Tolerant
  • Honest
  • Surprising
  • Trustworthy
  • Reciprocal, though lopsided at times
  • Emotional
  • Loving
  • Enlightening
  • Adventurous
  • Thoughtful
  • Inconsistent
  • A risk
  • At times, brief
  • Rare

Watching new show a million little things …we all hide our pain, and sometimes it’s the most seemingly easy going, happy people who are in the most pain…depression described using a plane crash metaphor…losing sight of the horizon…and subsequent nosedive…hopelessness and powerlessness hide just beneath the surface and we want it to be detected, but we do not want to be the one to shine the light on it…

My recovery “recipe” has included therapy, medication, and a shift in my priorities. I come first, and I never would have gotten to this point if not for friendship. When my best friend died, I shutdown that part of myself. It’s funny though, my long time friends, including my husband, have all been here for me, and I’m grateful. But sometimes it’s the new people you meet that wake you up, revive that part of yourself and make you feel again. To be seen and heard by someone new reminded me that I’m more, have something to offer, and rekindles a desire to think and learn and engage in my life again.

In my next post, I’ll reveal how my husband has dealt with some of this…spoiler alert…it’s pretty incredible.

One more piece of the puzzle…

Talking with a friend today, we got to a subject I avoid: my dad. Well, how when dads leave us as kids, the way we feel and how it impacts us for years to come… As an adult, I get it now: he wasn’t capable of being a parent, and didn’t know how, and quite frankly, was told to get lost by my (amazing) no-nonsense mom.

When I think about that time in my childhood, it’s kind of blurry. I had a dad in my life, around the house. Then my memories skip to when he wasn’t around. I don’t have strong feelings from that time, I was kind of just gliding along like it was no big thing (mom: maybe I acted out or something, but I have no recollection).

The feelings of rejection and being abandoned came later. Much later. And with those also came anger, worthlessness, confusion.

I had what most would call a normal home with family that loved me, including a step dad who turned out to be soooo much better than the “real” thing, and a mom who worked hard and sacrificed a lot for us (despite my ignorance to this fact). For all intents and purposes, I had a good life.

Well here’s the thing: when someone who gives you life, DNA, biology (you get it) leaves your life, and you’re a child who is still learning what love is, looking for where you belong, who you are…you take it personally. Maybe not at first, or like others, maybe all at once, or whatever…it took me awhile, but eventually I felt it. I felt defective, broken, unworthy.

Why would he leave me? Wasn’t I special? Wasn’t I good enough? Wasn’t I enough?

As an adolescent, I still saw him and his side of the family from time to time. As I began to learn more about him, and got to know him better, two things started to happen: I began to understand that he was NOT capable of being a father and I decided that he should have tried harder. Why didn’t he try harder?”

Anyway, long story short…despite the fact that it was best for me in some ways, his leaving/being kicked out shaped me for years, still impacts how I conduct myself, and influences who I am. That being said, I’ve worked through a lot of it, and I no longer feel so angry. I’m sad for him, after all, he missed out. But he does the best he can within his own limits. And it’s not just me, I wasn’t the problem. I didn’t do anything wrong. I am enough.

But along the way, those feelings of worthlessness and abandonment led me to make poor choices at times…so tell yourself (or someone who may have had a similar experience):

  • You didn’t do anything wrong
  • Dad has limits, he can’t do more.
  • It’s not about you, though it feels like it, it really isn’t.
  • You are worthy of love and belonging.
  • You are enough. Just as you are.

I found something I’d been missing…and it feels good

First off, Mom, stop reading. If you read it anyway, pretend you didn’t please.

So over these last months, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and pondering and just plain exploring my mind and whatever happens to pop in. I had been looking at some art online for inspiration and came upon some beautiful pieces of art that sparked a memory, well, less of a memory and more the remnants of a feeling long ago forgotten.

I came upon some nudes of women: curvy, colorful, serene, bold and sensual. I kept looking at them, realizing more and more that I wanted to see myself reflected in those moods and models. You see, for years, I have been a caregiver, a maid, a secretary, a chef, and a chauffeur. I was anything but a woman, let alone a woman who wants to celebrate her curves and sexuality and simple beauty. I would like to think that I’m more than all of those roles.

I am a woman who wants to feel bold in her skin, tender, and even sexy. I want my husband to be all over me, not because it’s been awhile, but because he can tell that I want him to be. I want to be at peace with myself and have it show in the way I carry myself.

More than anything, I want to enjoy being a woman, feeling alive and electric and satisfied and whole. I had forgotten that part of myself. I think I’m finding my way back, and it feels wonderful.

This song inspired me as well

Making A Mountain Out Of A Molehill: how I’m my own worst enemy

Here’s the thing…on a good day, when I’m feeling content and calm, a simple statement is just that. Simple. But on a day when I’m feeling anxious, worried or just plain irritable, the littlest thing blows up in my mind, quickly becoming the end of everything.

The other day, someone said to me, “I just don’t have time for you right now.” And typically, I know she’s busy and I can roll with it. The other day though, I took it as “we aren’t friends anymore because I don’t have time for you right now”. See the difference?

So I begin to spiral…I start thinking of all the things about the friendship that tick me off and annoy me and I send a text outlining my arguments for why we should still be friends and all the things that have bothered me about our friendship and so-on…you get the picture.

Well, my message goes unanswered and I’m quite sure she’ll never speak to me again. I’ve cried and sulked and resigned myself to a lost relationship. The next morning, I wake up in a pretty good mood, energetic and ready for the day. I’m still bummed about the day before but I decided to put it out of my head and do my work.

Hours later, I’m sitting down to relax and it comes to me: I made a mountain out of a molehill. I added my own tainted thought to her message and ran with it. I looked back at the original message, and realized what an idiot I had been. I texted her and asked if I was guilty of creating this drama, and sure enough, the answer was yes.

We talked and things are good, but I thought now would be a good time to reflect on how I got to this place. I definitely let my mood dictate my perspective. And it seems obvious now, but at the time, I just didn’t see it.

And the best part about this situation, is that I realized that I’d been holding in a lot of little things that bothered me about our friendship. I hadn’t noticed that I’d held on so tightly until I expressed those issues. I’m thinking the reason I woke up so energetic and happy the next day was due to the catharsis that I allowed myself. Lesson learned: engage in relationships that allow you to be yourself, in which you can voice what irks you without fear of rejection, that nurture your soul, and forgive your mistakes.