Friday, August 11, 2017

Endings and Beginnings

My 19 year marriage is ending- The roller coaster of life changing events over the past 15 months has brought me to an ending that neither of  us saw coming .    Though we are at a delicate place of peace and understanding - you can't go through this kind of ending without some battle wounds.  I could not predict that I would change so much over this past year - and with the change and  personal growth came an introspection of myself that surprises me still.   Some of those changes have been awesome and a few have been emotionally draining .   I think we are always meant to grow , change and evolve as human beings- maybe that process is the easy part.   It's the day in/ day out  grind, the always needing to meet another person's needs ,wants and desires  above  your own -being Selfless when you want to be Selfish  that can change a heart.    Mine changed, what it needs and wants changed and there is the rub my friends- Do you squash that down for your partner or do you decide to let it burst forth and take center stage ?   My husband has always let me be center stage, he has loved me endlessly , even  when I am unlovable.   This is hard.  He is one of the best people I know on the planet and I love him for that.  For standing by me and taking care of me -- through death, illness , loss of our baby and  Kevin's addiction.  He is one of my best friends and I am letting him go. He loves me enough to let me go  as well. Sometimes, what worked before , stops working . Sometimes, life is bigger than ourselves and takes on a path we are yet to understand. We can either embrace it and go with the flow  or fight it and stay stagnant and complacent.

This will be a shock to many,  as  Bob and I are just starting to share this news outside our most inner circle.   We have and continue to be surrounded by so much love and support  -   Our story is our story- and I can't  squish all of the details into one blog.    A new journey is just beginning for us both and we have no idea of what to expect around the next curve.   It's  scary, exciting , heart breaking and at times soul crushing.   Our life has always been more than just about us 2, and  the " uncoupling" is no exception-- There are  friends ,parents, siblings, a son , nieces ,nephews  and cousins whose dynamic shifts  along with ours as we make this choice.     I am just reminded that it's a time , more than ever , to show Grace and Love to each other .      I think the place where we are at is best described from this movie quote :

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mean Girls

Mean Girls, and I am not talking about the movie with Lindsay Lohan.  In fact, I can't believe at my age I am having to talk about it at all!   Shouldn't we , as women, strive to lift each other up and encourage each other ?   Have I really just taken a step back into 8th grade when I last felt mean girl gossip and pettiness ?!    This week has been the  epitome of mean girl actions and gossip , which started on Monday and has continued to unravel and each new day has uncovered more and more deceit and lies. AND THIS IS IN THE WORK PLACE!     I have never been the constant focus of attack and outright lies until now, I guess I am lucky I  have made it this far unscathed.  In fact, being the center or rather the target of someones ill will  has rattled me to the core- I have had 4 different people come up to me to say they were worried for my safety for crying out loud.   ( NOTE: I AM NOT afraid or feel unsafe, so please don't worry) . I thought that by today , things would have calmed down, but gossip and those who only want to hurt you and your character  must take a lot of persist ant joy in keeping me the center of discussion. I have tried the high road, I even went and talked to one of the person's whom I knew was involved in the mean girl gossip and was assured nothing more would be said and we were good.  Then today rolled around and I found out this mean girl decided to keep on talking and then that person talked too.. Seriously, I can't believe I am this fascinating of a discussion topic . What really baffles me , is I barely know a few of these people and I KNOW my interactions with these people have never been anything but kind.    Gossiping and spreading rumors about me   is one thing , but when what is being said keeps getting twisted and growing into something it never was , with the potential to harm others--  I just have to ask myself what kind of person(s) cares so little about others that they would intentionally cause harm and pain when its none of their freaking business and they don't have all the facts anyways ?!  

I hate that this has happened, but what really shatters me the most is that the events of this week have made  me feel that I can't trust  the new people  I am meeting and that it will change the nature of who I am.   I feel naive and my feelings are hurt by the lies that have been told. To know that people I thought were my friends, well, just are not .      I can find a  little bit of light though, even though I am seeing who the mean girls are, I have found the kind ones too - for that I am grateful.  This experience has just been a reminder to  keep my circle tight and to trust few.  I value more than ever those that have been true ,kind and loving to me. Day in and Day out with my imperfectness.   Those are the keepers, the ones to hold onto.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Blonde Ambition

I've feel like I have blogged a lot about my angst of late- Tonight I want to share some good stuff, some funny stuff and just some AZ observations.   When I very first started to blog  years ago,  I wanted to share my story about how gaining and losing weight has affected my life and to share experiences and encouragement along the way.  I'm going to hit some high and low points for those who don't know my story.   Low Point- Being 24 years old , 2 days before your 25th birthday and having your then husband  tell you you are fat and he doesn't want to be married to you anymore because you were not " the Homecoming Queen  you once were".    High Point-    Finally getting the courage to go to counseling and deal with all that shit and learning that no matter what weight I am,  I am fabulous .   Now there has been lots of life in between those  Low and High points and I haven't always stayed true to the course I promised myself I would  walk.        One great thing about moving to Arizona and away from the distractions of my Washington life  ( I.E- No family or friends here) is that I have  no excuse not to  work on my health.  I renewed that commitment to myself in February , more as a way to deal with  stress - but this time, things fell into a harmonious Rhythm and "clicked".   Maybe it's because   my life is quieter here, maybe because I am 48 and have more self -confidence in who I am as a person and just don't give a fuck about what anyone thinks of me the way I have before --needing people's approval  or to know they  " like " me.  Because at the end of the day - I LIKE ME.   And I want me to be the best I can be. So I started really committing to exercising and making some tweaks in the way I eat. Gone is my daily Starbucks habit - Hello plant based  protein shakes !     4 months in -  35 pounds down and muscles coming back where I haven't seen any in awhile!  Upside- I am down 2 clothing sizes- Downside- My boobs are down  1 cup size  too !  
Bottom line- I feel better, and when I feel good- life , overall, is more manageable.  

Some other AZ observations- Yoga Pants and Blonde ambition- I was on a phone conference last week and  at the end of the call we started to just have some friendly chit -chat--   I told her that I had noticed a lot of women in Scottsdale are always wearing these coordinated Yoga pants and tanks- is it because I live near Lululemon  ?   She laughed and said  oh those women are not going to Yoga, They go to Target  -  I don't know why , but this still makes me laugh, so had to share!      Being blonde-    In AZ,  my hair is blonder than it's every been.  Now I always wanted to either be blonde or black haired growing up. Either blonde like my mom or Black haired like my Aunts.  I was neither, just boring brown!     As I got older, I started to get my hair highlighted  with some blonde, because  it blends in with the grey hairs I  now get--- but here, in AZ - with all the sun- my hair gets brighter blonde.    I had someone tell me  " my friend doesn't like blondes ". Now , I still am not quite sure if I should be offended or not --but as I always say- I'm not a real blonde, I pay for this.    Besides the weekend outfit of a coordinated Yoga pants and tank, blonde ponytails are pretty popular too. They are swingy and perky and irritate the crap out of me when said person is next to me on the treadmill and I am sweating bullets -- oh wait, that is MY perky blonde ponytail!  HA!  

Finding Courage- I think one of the bravest things I have ever done , is move here-and away from my people and to live outside my comfort zone, pretty much every single day.   I feel tested, I feel that I am always having to prove myself of being smart and capable and at times I have resented it in a big way.  I have wanted to throw in the towel and say  ' I Quit- You win- I am going back home to Washington!      I am a  person who needs to have control over all areas of her life, To know what to expect next and  I recently came to the realization that  I have to let go of that , to let go of  the fear of  not knowing , to just embrace and do the best I can with TODAY - because I don't know with certainty what will happen tomorrow.  I  will also not stop being true to who I am and what I know are the things that make me  uniquely special.  I DO wear my heart on my sleeve, you almost always will know what I am thinking and  I try each and every day to make someone feel good and special.  I  give out to the universe what I hope to get back , even though it hurts me sometimes. I would rather be true to who I am , then be someone I am not.      I am perfectly imperfect and chose to lead my life  with love and  a  little perky blonde ambition !

Monday, June 5, 2017

Beauty in the Brokenness

I turned a corner of sorts today- away from  the sadness that has gripped me the last 6 weeks or so.   I decided that I can't let a few individuals take my power away.   "Take my power"  - you have probably heard or read that before - I know, I know, it sounds sort of  Oprah-ish but for me it is fitting. I realized as I was mentally preparing to head back to the office this week, that I have to control what I can and let go of what I can't. Yes, I am a people manager , and there for perhaps can control more of a situation than someone else, but for me- that is not my way.  There is a time and place for that, but when it comes to  how  I am letting others affect me  , well, that truly is what I CAN  control.  I can't make people like me,  or be what I want them to be- I can only stay true to myself and love them all in spite of being unlovable at times.   Or difficult, disagreeable and downright mean-spirited at times.    I have to remember that I don't know what that person's life is really like, nor they mine. You think you KNOW someone, you don't!    I know that I let people see what I want them too, what I am comfortable sharing.   I was telling Bob about how I was feeling about things today and my new approach to staying strong and keeping my power, maintaining my awesomeness even when inside I may feel not so awesome-  he reminded me that even though I may try and lead with the truth about myself, not everyone does the same. We are all a great big complicated mess at times.    It reminds me of something I watched recently -and if you are a Neil Patrick Harris fan you should check it out on YouTube- Dr. Horribles sing-along-blog.       " The status is not  Quo" ... The world is a mess and I just need to rule it". -Dr. Horrible. You see, that is me--  I am driven by my need to rule the  messiness of my world- to create order out of my chaos.   But today, I decided I would let go of that need to rule and tame the messiness of my world and just  let it go and try to  flow with the energy  around me, even if it made me uncomfortable, lonely and still a bit sad.      It's not easy for me to do that- in fact , I find myself going into the bathroom stall and just practicing some deep breathing and telling myself to Let Go what I can't control and that the Universe brings some new tribe members into my life!    I'm just a juxtaposition I suppose- trying to keep order while at the same time trying to keep my heart and soul open to new experiences, people and a new way of living.  The path has been so bumpy, but I wouldn't want it any other way.  There is such Beauty in the Brokenness and I think instead of fighting it , it is better to embrace it and see where it takes me next and to remember what my friend Mary sent to me this week : "Givers have to learn to set limits because takers don't have any."  

Friday, June 2, 2017

Givers and Takers

The month of May flew by, Hello  June! The last 6 weeks have been the hardest for me yet on a personal level.   I think at least once a day I give in to the thought of packing it all in and going home,  home to Washington- to the familiar, to the people that love me and know me.   I've talked before about how hard it is as an adult to start over in a new place where you know not a soul-  to try and forge new  connections  and relationships in  what at times feels like  I stepped back into 8th grade or that movie Mean Girls.  Who would think grown-ass people could be so clique-y ?  I always try to take the high road and think the very best of people in all circumstances but today and especially over the past few weeks - I have decided there are 2 camps of people - The Givers and The Takers. What is it about those of us that just constantly give to others until we are a hollowed out shell with our heart beating in our hands saying , ya, take that too  and  then there are those that  Take and Take with nary a look back over their shoulder or a Thank You ? Like the Thanks is an after thought or  OH , I need to show a modicum of politeness and say the obligatory Thank you for  all that you are and have  given to me- but don't worry  Givers, the Takers, they always come back- until you have nothing left.
I think the answer to finding a way to combat this but still keep a giving spirit is boundaries.  I have never been good at having boundaries or knowing when to put them up - I envision it as a force field around myself  . A La  Star Wars or something. HA! Maybe I need to carry around a light saber to ward of  the Takers ?!   I feel myself starting to resent how hard this has been when it comes to personal relationships and I want to give up.   I hate feeling so vulnerable and having such a strong desire to be " liked".   That's what I miss about being back home, at this point in my life, it was all just a given.      I think when your spirit and soul of who  you are feels so depleted, it is a sign to step back and just re-evaluate what is going on and what ,if any , changes need to be made.   Even though I am a Giver, I do control who I give to and how much I will let someone 'take' from me and of me.

Even though I am feeling at my weakest right now and missing back home, I know ,this too, shall pass.    Feeling weak sucks, feeling vulnerable sucks, feeling taken advantage of and that you can't trust people sucks!   I know only I can change this dynamic but I resent that I feel like I have to change a part of who I am  in order to find my way .   A friend who understands the struggle I am going through , sent this to me tonight - think I may hang it in my office :


Sunday, May 28, 2017

A bad week , a broken toe and a threesome

This week sucked,  from start to finish of  the work week- to ending tonight with  what is looking more like a broken toe or 2.     Let me start with this : Anxiety- I don't think I ever really suffered from it ,  until recently. I hate to call it stress,  how often do we hear " I'm stressed out" from someone in regards to a  situation ?       I really try not to say that , especially if I have no control over what is happening in my life. And of course lack of control over my life does indeed cause me stress. I like to control my environment , my schedule, my work and I suppose those close to me would say the people that flow in and out of my life on a regular basis.  "Bossy" has been a word to describe me  a time or 2 !  So when I don't have that control - I get very anxious. This week it was an amplified feeling that made it  near impossible to stay in my office and focus at all.     I felt like I was in a proverbial state of waiting for the other shoe to drop  regarding multiple people and situations I couldn't fix   :(   Friday rolled around and I ended up getting news I didn't want and having to say Good-Bye to someone who had become a wonderful friend !   In that moment life just felt so unfair and I felt so helpless to do anything about it at all.  The constant need to adjust my expectations ,regain even footing with people and my relationships here is at times enough to make me re-think  staying here in Arizona. I miss the ease of " knowing" . Knowing my role in my people's lives, and theirs in mine- love and friendship so easily given and received.    This last year in a new place has been that constant feeling of having to prove myself, face the fear  of rejection and as I have mentioned in earlier posts - feel a bit of heartache too- kind of has left me reeling at times.   I remind myself it's ultimately about  learning more about myself and personal growth buuuuttt... Come on, I think I am and have been , pretty awesome! :)    So despite some anxiety and disappointment this week, let me share how tonight went.  The morning started out great- I did a couple miles on the treadmill,  hung out at the pool and got to spend time reading  -one of my fave things to do! Can't complain right?!       I  found out one of my fave band was playing  in Old Town at a place called the LiveWire- it is general admission  on the floor so it's kind of like standing in a mosh pit.  Now , I am 5'2 and get really claustrophobic in crowds, especially at concerts where I know  most likely people will be taller than me and basically standing  over me.  To combat this, I had 4 Vodka cranberries at dinner and was feeling pretty good. It's already pretty darn hot here in AZ, so I knew I would sweat the alcohol out  by the time the show was over.   This time, we used our height to our advantage and squeezed our way to near the front of the stage. WHY did I think this was a good idea ? Oh, right, the 4 Vodka cranberries and my sassy attitude!  The opening act starts and she was awesome-  we have a  great view  and   there are some nice people around us,  and  we are not squeezed in  shoulder to shoulder . OK, I can do this I think.   Then , the main event happens-- and all of a sudden I am pushed forward and   of course their is a dude with a cowboy hat on in front of me, with 2 women in front of him - which I think is maybe his wife and daughter or something like that . Next to me is a really nice guy and his wife who are friendly, singing and dancing - until  she gets a cocktail and proceeds to  splash it  either on me  or  Bob - depending on how into the dancing she is getting.   But  I'm still having fun, even getting drinks splashed on me-- it' all good- I am in my own cocktail haze until  the cover of  'Come Together, Right Now' actually seemed to prompt cowboy hat guy and his 2 lady friends to start making out  right in front of me through the whole freaking song!   I'm rolling my eyes and trying to keep my tiny personal space of a bubble from  getting shoved into the kissing threesome when there is a surge from the crowd and  one of the kissing cousins smashes down HARD on my toes -and I'm wearing sandals!     I'm in pain but I refuse to leave until I have heard my favorite song of this band! And wouldn't ya know it... it is THE LAST song they play. The Last!   My toes are throbbing, I have to pee and I  turn around to tell Bob we have to stop at the bathroom.  I am waiting in line of course and   a gal in a red dress cuts in front me ,she can't walk steadily and proceeds to throw up all over the bathroom floor.   This night is turning so comical , I'm starting to feel sad my phone died because I should have at least been taking some pictures !   So we get out of LiveWire, make it home and  I take my sandals off and yep, 2 of my toes are swollen and purple and I can't move them right now.   Is this the perfect crappy ending to a perfectly crappy week ?   I have 2 more days to find out....  send me good thoughts , will you friends ?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Year In

 Last Tuesday I hit the 1 year mark that I have lived in Arizona.   I promised myself that I would give this place and my new life here 1 full year to see if it would be , could be, the right fit for me.
 It was harder than I thought- I really wasn't sure what to expect as I have never lived away from home or my family before .    I was embarking on a new life and the first 4 months I was doing it Solo. That was something new too- I had never lived totally alone before and here I was doing it at 47 and in a State where I didn't know anyone .   The first couple months-  I would inevitably end up crying whenever I would face- time  my hubby, my mom or my son.  I  usually saved those emotional outbursts for the weekend - I could make it through the week with my routine /schedule fine-- Weekends on my own were harder.   I could usually fill up some of the time  working for my own clients, shopping and learning my way around Scottsdale-- but what really surprised me was  the difference in the relationships I had with  people-- how much they changed and how hard it affected me .    There really is something  to be said for that day to day interaction and the ease of " just being around and available.    Hey I get it, we all have our own shit we are dealing with every day. And I truly think there is something to the whole  " Out of sight, Out of mind" thing.    A good part of this year was learning that and re-adjusting my expectations and learning a new dynamic in my relationships.    I have been surprised at what relationships have strengthened and those that have waned.   I have learned who I can really lean on and who will actually make the effort to be there for me - no matter where I live. Its been hurtful and wonderful , all at the same time.    

I have never worked harder than I do here- My role is a bit different , as are my responsibilities-and I  have pushed myself outside my comfort zone and stretched myself a bit to thin at times. Truthfully, I  have wanted to quit a few times too-- but my momma did not raise a quitter so I keep plugging away. I have grown more confident as  a leader , but it has not been without it's own kind of  pain and a bit of heartbreak too.    I often think  people mistake my kindness for weakness- and weak I  know I am not.    I think moving here has made me stronger- I don't think I would have grown as much if I had not experienced some hurt and pain along the way this past year.  I have learned if you don't take any risks ,you will never gain any rewards- you will get stagnant and you lose the opportunity to experience more joy.   You can't  experience more Joy without some Sorrow too-- but it's how you handle that sorrow that makes you stronger and  creates room for growth.

 Another really big change for me is my health -- living in such a hot climate , you  realize a couple things right away--  You don't want to wear a lot of clothes and being out of shape makes being out in the heat  harder to manage.    I lost 10 pounds within the first couple months of moving to Arizona and over the past few months another 32- I actually exercise 6 days a week and have never felt better.  Besides, I need that stress release for my  job!    

However- there are things I miss--     I miss seeing the Mountains and the rivers!  Sitting on my moms deck watching an Eagle in the tree and my parents BBQ- ing !  Shopping trips w/ my mom  to TJ Maxx, meeting my BFF's up in North Bend, HH w/ my ROI peeps and Blue Fridays!   I miss all that so much I can cry sometimes- Hell I do cry!  Hugging my son, visiting with my niece and my cousins-   going to Starbucks in Monroe and knowing  my favorite Barista Angie will make my drink right every time!   And even with those things I miss -  there are things I am beginning to love here-   My short commute,  brilliant blue skies and lighted  Palm trees!    Sitting outside  drinking a glass of wine and roasted brussel sprout chips!      

I am slowly making a new life here- it has not been easy at all, but I know it has been good for me.   I know in my heart,  I am meant to be here and on this journey.  

" Every new beginning  comes from some other beginnings end"