Big News

After all my months and months of pain and heartache and joy and love and reflection and…

My therapist told she is proud of all the work I accomplished and said she didn’t think I needed to come back, I could always call if I need her, but she thinks I’m going to be alright.

I know I still have so much work to do, I just feel like I’ve got a handle on it now. A good friend of mine just came over, right after my appointment, and telling her about this news made me so happy so I’m sharing it with all of you!

I hope all of you keep reading me, and learning and growing, and struggling and…remember to incorporate gratitude as well…I feel like it has been so valuable to my recovery, even though it was a little late to the party…

Watching The Bucket list…

See the trailer here

Love this movie-it’s hilarious and thought provoking. Though my bucket list is for when my husband kicks the bucket, which I know is terrible, but that’s how I cope with his continuous unhealthy choices despite his family’s history of strokes and heart attacks. It’s too painful otherwise, so I make jokes saying, “When my hubby kicks the bucket…”. Anyway, when he kicks the bucket, I will get a big fluffy dog, a real Christmas tree for the holidays, and…that’s all I want to share for now.

In the movie, Carter asks Edward to answer these questions, and it got me thinking…

Have you found joy in your life?

Have you brought joy to others?

These two questions are my bucket list for my own life…I want to make sure that I’ve found and brought joy. It’s tough to measure, and a process…

I also view my work with children, families, and colleagues as my legacy, my mark left on the world.

And then there’s my son. I’m the voice in his head, the smile on his face and I’m those rolling eyes!

And of course…this blog. I hope it helps just one person…of course, it has helped me which has made me a better mom, wife, daughter, friend…so I guess I’ve achieved that goal at least!

…I know that when he died, his eyes were closed and his heart was open.

-Carter Chambers

…I’m deeply proud that this man found it worth his while to know me.

-Edward Perewin Cole

The New Year…2020

As a new decade begins, I’m leaving some things behind:

  • depression,
  • my best friend (and her death),
  • my sister (and the hurt and anger that comes with her),
  • my dear friend michael (and the roller coaster that came with him),
  • my ridiculous sense of insecurity and worry.

As a new decade begins, I’m carrying bits and pieces of the above mentioned with me:

  • Gratitude, for good days and better times
  • Gratitude, for the lessons learned
  • Gratitude, for letting go
  • Gratitude, for feeling seen and heard and valued
  • Gratitude, for becoming me, and accepting myself just as I am.

In this new year, I will be myself. Nothing more, nothing less…just me.

Becoming the best version of myself…

This is my third post resulting from my meeting with Louise, and I found this one hardest to write for some reason…

She says things that I once thought of as cheesy or goofy, and though I’m coming around to her way of thinking, speaking like her is a different story.

So I’m going to give it a try. No, I’m not. I’m just going to do it. Not yet though, I’d like to break it down for you first. She described to me three parts of defining who we are and how to be the best version of ourselves.

What I am…essence and spirit of our being, a gift, sharing, compassion, light, kindness, presence.

What I have…gifts I’ve been given, make up, joy, compassion, unique talents.

What I do…you write, you create, you share. You live a good life as an expression of who you are.

When we hold back who we are, we get depressed, anxious…we have to go back to the beginning, to the source, to be our best self.

It’s funny, because I have always been one to think about my past and value it for shaping me as I am now. Some people say to forget about it and move on, that it doesn’t do any good to dwell on it. And while wallowing isn’t productive, I think reflection is, and I feel like Louise validates that with these words. So here is a glimpse of how I see myself, or define myself, or at least begin to…

What I am…open, vulnerability , fallibility, dedication, anxiety, adoration, pride,

What I have…resilience, hope, creativity, potential, emerging courage, opportunity

What I do…caring for children and families, teaching, parenting, illuminating the strengths of others, listening, sharing, writing, “creating energy and consciousness of goodness and wholeness, and compassion, kindness and sharingas Louise describes.

This is the essence of who I am and what I am, at least right now in this moment…

More on my meeting with Louise…

Because she is not just my mentor, she is a psychologist, and I had just come from therapy, and also, so much of my personal journey is wrapped up in my books…we discussed some of my…stuff. Here is a list of the topics mentioned and her warm and wonderful words that followed:

  • Self-published my book…why? Fear of rejection and desire for independence. Louise responds, “rather than fearing rejection, maybe you feared acceptance. The spirit does not have rejective qualities.” (Wow. Mind blown. Nailed it.)
  • A future book about death, animal kingdom, energy, coming from kids. Again, her response is beautiful, “one cannot create or destroy spirit, it always is. It always is and will be, instinct, intuition, spirit.” She goes further to state, “the body is just a carrier of our spirit, you think and feel the energy, it is formless.” And one more statement, “When we function as [just a] body, then we lose spirit, and it’s the spirit that unites us.”
  • In discussing the artwork of my book, I share how Jess and I became friends in 10th grade, and she stopped me and said, “that’s why you became friends in 10th grade, you were meant to come together,” to share your gifts with the world, to share your light, your compassion. She follows it up with more, “When we trust in where we come from, it’s magical…magic, magic, magic.” She reveals the simple idea that maybe I lit a spark in Jess…
  • And my dear friend…I told her how I had been numb and closed off until his kindness…sparked something. At some point, there was a defining moment when I allowed the light in, she says. I’m not so sure, and she goes on to say, “his kindness and light lit a spark in you, it sparked and it’s going to keep on sparking others. [What came] before the spark isn’t there anymore. You came alive and you awakened. You can’t go back. You have the strength to continue being who you are no matter what anyone says.” She reminds me that his friendship was a gift at a time that I needed it most, that I shared my gifts with him as well. She tells me that I don’t need him anymore, I have my own light now. She reminds me that nothing can diminish the gifts he shared with me, that they’ll always be with me, and mine with him.
  • We also briefly discussed the nature of a wolf, being part of the pack, “Even though I am a wolf, I still have my own individuality.” She breaks it down quite simply, “My worth is my pack. You do, do, do. Empire becomes your identity.” And warns, “Do not lose your essence even though you are part of a pack.” I hope my dear friend reads this…it’s how his family seems to operate, a pack defined by the empire they’ve created.
  • And finally, for now (yes there’s more, so much more), she emphasizes the need for patience in this world, in this life…”patience for the innate process of growth.”

One person can make a difference…

I truly believe one person can make a difference, and I use this blog to do this in my own way (hopefully it’s working😉). But when I see others who think the same, I like to bring attention to it.

Now this guy has a voice, notoriety, a well-established platform and an Emmy…but it’s for his work with sharks. I want to highlight his why…and he has conveniently provided a little film for us:

WATCH THIS!

I love this film because he is open and honest and vulnerable, sharing how he always felt different. I think it’s important to share our stories to help others, and to remind young people especially, that being different can be a good thing. Accepting your own weirdness or quirkiness can unlock a whole new world for you, and it can free you to find your niche, where you feel belonging and connection and find your passion!

And of course, there’s a beautiful message here about conservation which is incredibly important…all creatures of the sea are connected and impacted by humans and what we put into the oceans. And one person CAN make a difference!

Sometimes I surprise myself…

It’s been a weird week with a few bad days that culminated in something amazing happening, but more on that later…

I’m finally detaching myself from my dear friend, and I think it’s for good this time, but more importantly…I’m doing ok…and that’s the surprise.

Long story, but he is no longer able to have me in his life, though I know it is not his preference, which helps me. It makes me still feel valued…the last time I saw him, I got to hear how he was taking time for hobbies and reconnecting with friends. I feel like he’s been listening and has some newfound resilience built into his world now.

I also was able to tell him how much he’s meant to me and changed my life. And while I still feel a little unsettled and wish I could see or talk to him, I’m focusing on my relationships, my work, and myself.

And I’m surprised at myself. I’ve been trying to let go for the past year, and just felt like I couldn’t…and while I still don’t want to, I now know that I can…I’m going to be okay, due in large part to the healing prompted by my dear friend. My dear friend that I will never forget, always care about, and wish well 😊

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.

Noticing the impact of the waves…

Over the weekend, I had a chance to spend some time on the beach. I watched boats go by, and saw the wake of each one gradually make their way to shore. It got me thinking…

Now that I’m getting better, I’m noticing things…trying to notice the impact of my actions. I used to feel like I didn’t matter, didn’t have any power, and, well…you know where I’m going with this…

So to keep my insecurities at bay, I try to notice when I have an impact…so I launch a boat, and watch the wake left behind in the water. Here are a few specific examples that have stayed on my mind:

  • I bumped into a young man I’m acquainted with at the grocery store awhile back. He was buying a lot of frozen meals. I have a tendency to be a mother hen, so I say, “be careful, those dinners are loaded with salt, you should try not to eat them so often.” Well, a few months later, he has lost 12 pounds. I asked what his secret was, “cooking more often.” And while he gave me no credit, I’m quite sure I had a little something to do with it!
  • In my work with young children, my teenage son is frequently nearby, and I’m always modeling how to resolve conflicts, meet their needs, and validate their feelings. I hear him using my words, echoing my tone, and mirroring my body language…that is one strong and persistent wave!
  • When I was finally ready to share with my mom that I was in therapy, i was nervous. I didn’t know what she’d think, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised…she has been taking inspiration from my journey, yet another ripple, long lasting.
  • I started my first blog to write about child care issues for families and providers. I eventually started this blog to share my struggle with depression, and hopefully bring awareness and help to others. Now this ripple might be a reach, because I was just a passenger in the boat that someone else was driving, but a young woman in my life started a blog sharing her thoughts as she is working to make sense of her mom’s illness. Another small ripple…
  • And my dear friend that I’ve been going back and forth with, but trying to let go…from the beginning of our friendship, I tried to impart the wisdom of my years, specifically the importance of having friends. And after almost 3 years, he is finally making an effort to connect with friends for the first time since college. Guy friends, outside of work, outside of his marriage, are becoming part of his world because I drove the loudest and fastest boat I could find. That wave hit him hard again and again!

Which one of my biggest “failures” brought me the most value?

I love this question because it takes me all the way back to why I write this blog: I failed to care for my own needs after several family issues demanded I care for others first. I ignored my need for friends and connections, my need for physical health, my professional goals, and my emotional well-being as well.

And while it’s not a choice I would make, this failure led me to where I am right now, and the value in that is immense: I AM FINALLY ME. I broke as a result of that failure and as I unraveled my failure, my life, I learned about myself, and slowly became the person I always wanted to be.

Now I am doing my best to take care of my needs, because I cannot afford to fail again, at least in that department!