Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bruised Heart

I   read a lot, every night actually. No matter how tired I am ,  it is part of my routine to read something. I've been in that habit since I was small.   I recently came across a character , and she was called an Empath :  Here is the definition : Being an empath is when you are affected by other people's energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others' desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. 

This struck me hard, because I think this is me , in a nutshell.  I usually find myself able to navigate through all the different energies and moods around me, but today was  a day I couldn't and I found myself crying in my office .  Sometimes, someone will come along and they break my heart wide open,  my soul cracks open a little and there energy slides into me and then my emotions get to the best of me- Hence tears!  I wish I had the ability to block some of those energies sometimes, but I am such a people person- I am fascinated by new people and I want to get to know them- I invest in them- I want to call them friend  and become their encourager, their cheerleader .  I can't even explain why I do this, but I find myself doing it all the time.  I lead with my heart wide open, but that  also means my heart get's hurt a lot too.     I am bruised and battered a bit this week, and it's only Wednesday!    So, I am taking stock of this week--  its the end of April-- a painful week as I remember my baby that I lost 9 years ago on the 28th.  I'm a couple weeks away from hitting my 1 year mark in Arizona too.   Hard to believe how much my life has changed in that year.   I'm sad today , so I am really missing my family, my son Kevin, seeing my niece and nephews , cousins and my girlfriends. I miss our weekend trips and my ROI  HH's.   What I have learned, is those things can not be duplicated and I am so thankful I have those good times stored up to remember.       I am thankful for Facetime and FB messenger- talk about lifelines to see the faces and hear from those I hold dearest.      Even though I feel sad today /this week- I wouldnt trade this move to the Land of the Sun. The Desert is beautiful- I love Palm trees ,constant sunshine and all the fantastic things there are to do.   I like to know that I am learning new things , meeting new people, slowly forging new friendships and working on becoming the best version of myself.   I am building a new tribe, even while missing the old one.   I am proud that I am pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. So I will keep my heart wide open, I will let it get bruised a bit -for I often think of what God commands- that we love one another , as HE  has loved me.

And to my Washington tribe-   My door is always open, because I love you !


Thursday, March 30, 2017

High Anxiety

Sometimes, when my stress level hits it's highest , and I feel anxiety rise, the only thing I can do is release it out into the Universe somehow-  exercise has always been the best option for me to do so, but after a week of working out twice a day and still not able to sleep- thought I would revert back to writing.     I  SAY     I am a proponent of change and I made such a big one last  May, but even when it's good- it is still so damn hard.   Leaving what I know , who I know, my daily routine and interactions and starting that all over  again  wasn't scary to me at  first. Well, it was , but the excitement outweighed that fear.  I consider myself an easy going person, someone who makes friends easily and  I thought I could replicate my life here in Arizona , the way it was in Washington.  
 What I know, is that is not the case at all.  It's been a bigger personal change than I ever imagined it would be for me personally.   Things that are NOT the same: Even though I went to work for a office that was similar to my old office, I learned it is truly the people, whom I interact with every day that are what make things work or not work.    Learning about new people, what makes them tick was not as easy here  for me. Maybe it was because I am the boss, I don't know- but the  building of trust took so much longer and it nearly sucked the  joy out of me.  Living for the first time on my own , for  months, also taught me how important my Independence on myself was.   There was freedom in having the bed to myself, taking up all the counter space, choosing to eat  Gelato for dinner- but there was also having to take the garbage out and do all the cleaning by myself too.       Being here has taught me more about being strong and capable than any other time in my life .    That is a confidence builder  and one I didn't realize I was missing.      The  Fall really brought some changes into my life. Bob and Frodo made the move down permanently, and I started to forge some new relationships with people.  You know how you just get comfortable being in a certain role ? Like I have always considered myself  the " mom" of the office so that is where I always tend to come from-- this time its been different--- I am a 48  year old woman with  a lot of freedom , choices and responsibilities. I have to make decisions and choices for people all day  , pretty much every day.      It strips me of energy. How do I get that back ?  New friends ? New job?  More therapy?   I have felt  so stripped down and full of self doubt that its almost paralyzing.    I'm shocked at the wave of insecurities I feel. Am I smart enough, pretty enough, to fat , not interesting ?  Can I lead  and do it well? Can I  succeed and make a difference in who depends on me  ?   These  feelings I thought I had long dealt with , but they are front and center right now.    But then ,  God, or the Universe bring the right people into your life if you are open enough to listen.  That's all I can think.  People who see you through  a different lens,  who don't necessarily see what you see, meaning I see my flaws ,self doubt and  what I feel are my imperfections.    Why at 48 am I still trying to chase being Perfect  and being everything to everybody ?      You know, I don't know why I am like that. I guess because I am a people pleaser- but then  my mom came and visited and I was reminded how well loved  I have always been-- no matter  how I look  or what I do or say.   Because  as I am lovingly reminded, I am bossy and can be snarky-- but my family loves me anyway.      Then the Universe throws me a friend or 2 - someone who sees me with new eyes- and  I am reminded again  how good , funny and kind people are .    People that say Hey ,  I think you add value to my life and I want you in it.     You know I don't think we can ever   truly get away from that small voice that loudly points out what we see as flaws,  weight, scars, those outside imperfections- but if  you find someone  that lifts you up, that makes you laugh that accepts  that your perfectly imperfect and wants to be around you anyway- that is a friend to hold onto. That is when maybe you can breathe easier and realize that you can make this change work- that you will be OK . I know God gave me a tender heart and a kind soul . I look to connect with people and  have relationships .  My cousin told me  once that she thought that was my gift- that I make people feel good, feel happy.   Maybe, I do enjoy that .  I am learning that  I have to let myself be vulnerable all why keeping my heart open wide and hope it doesn't get trampled to much- but I would rather be trampled, and a bit bruised than scared to try or to venture  into something unknown.   I would rather live with no regrets at all and love as much as I can.  I would rather fail and fail then wonder what -if. I would rather get my heart broken than to no never put my whole self out there to meet new people and have new adventures .     If you find someone who can not accept you for who and what you are, then you have to  let them go or move on to a new place.   I , alone, am responsible for my own ultimate happiness.- Reminds me of my favorite quote that I will end this rambling  with :

' I am the Master of my Fate, I am the Captain of my Soul '   ~ Invictus

Friday, March 17, 2017

February Thoughts from a far

I'm behind in my goal of writing  each month!  February was a a roller coaster of some emotions - Here are  the highlights and low lights  :  My baby turned 30!   It took me a couple months even to say that number  out loud, it just feels so different to me.     I've shared our journey before , so not going to delve deep  again, but this boy  ( er-man) ,turning 30 and reaching a milestone of over 2 years healthy  , is nothing short of a miracle and I am grateful every day.     God is Good!

 I have been in Arizona 10 months now and am starting to feel like  I live here and am not on a vacation.    The possibilities of things to do  is almost overwhelming when you wake up to sunny skies each day.  I am loving the desert !  It's the people from home I miss , of course.      
 That the hard part- being far away  from  "my people".  We recently had a good friend's husband die way to young (50) and so suddenly. It was  a very helpless feeling to  hear about and   " watch " from from a few states away when all you want to do is be able to  go hug your friend whose suffering! person.      You know, I still feel like I'M 30 -    not inching closer to 5-0.    Fun Fact : Did you know that Scottsdale has the most plastic surgeons per capita in the USA? Beauty and Health     & Fitness is a serious business in these parts!     You definitely feel the need to have a healthy lifestyle- one of which I am trying to embrace. When  it gets as hot as it does here ( this week , already 90's  temps) you don't bundle up in sweatshirts and sweaters!     Shorts, tanks and  dresses are the outfits Du jour!

I  am starting to finally make some friends and  learn my way around AZ- we have had some visitors and hope to have a few more come enjoy the glorious weather we are experiencing.  I have been blown away by all the activities that draw people here ;  Car show, sports, concerts,   Golf  and  Spring training to name a    few--- So much to do , so  come visit us  :)    

 I feel like I am meant to be here , in the Land of the Sun and that great adventure awaits!    What I am learning for sure, it that when you feel  good in who you are, when you make your well being a priority- there pretty much isn't anything that you can't do . It took moving away from home to realize  I take " home"  with me.  I don't have to give that love , support and encouragement up  just because I am 1100 miles away.      I carry you all with me- every single day.  February, you are the month of Love , after all- and you did not disappoint!          

Monday, January 2, 2017

My 2016 Year in Review

2016 was full of major life change for me- Here are a few of them :    Leaving everything and everyone behind in Washington to move to Arizona!    And when I say everyone ,  I meant that. I  started my job  a few months before Bob so for the first time in my life, I lived solo , not  even my  little fur -baby Frodo came with me.    I had the basics of what I needed and off  I went.    It was a huge learning experience for me in many ways and  I truly appreciated  the presence of my husband and him invading " my space"   4 months later.  Living in  such a different  space and climate  has been an adventure and we are both looking forward to  exploring much more of our new State in 2017.

Leaving behind old relationships and old routines gave me the opportunity to see them in a different light.  I think there are things we do out of comfort and routine and that includes how we interact with our friends and family  to  where we stop for coffee and what we eat for breakfast.   What role did we play in the day to day and when you remove yourself  from it,  what happens next ?     I find myself  adjusting to the different roles and routines that distance now plays in my life  in Arizona from what I knew in Washington.    Some of it painfully so.  It is not easy to make friends in a new place as an Adult.    I am a person who needs connection and places a lot of value on my relationships- I wasn't prepared for the emptiness and pain I would feel when some of those relationships changed.   In the same breath , there is a newer appreciation and closeness with my family  that I really treasure.

All I can say to that is  technology is awesome and I've already earned enough airline miles for a free ticket or 2!

Besides 2016 bringing me personal growth and change- it made me a Great-Aunt 4 times over- seeing the next generation of my family coming into this world is startling and exciting- I mean, my little brother is a Grandpa! And as is the cycle of life , I have had loved ones leave  this earth this year and watched those I care about grieve their losses.    Births, Death, Marriages, Moves, Break-Ups, Love, Heart-Ache, Happiness and Despair- Whether I am here or there- life just keeps rolling along and I have hung on  for the ride and learned some things along the way in 2016 .

There is something  magical to me about a New year starting - like a brand new, blank journal page or  blanket of   Un -touched white snow that begs for a snow angel or snow-man to be made.  It's all fresh, new and exciting.   There are  Adventures to be had, New people to meet,  Places to explore , new food to try , movies to watch , music to listen too, and books to be read.   And there will still be family to love and  celebrations to have.   I'm looking forward to it 2017- I am ready for ya!    

Sunday, November 20, 2016

6 month move-a-versary

 Last week marked  6 months since I have moved   to Arizona- Can't believe  that its been that long since I have  left all that I have known to start a new adventure with new scenery, climate,  job and people .      I lived  the first 4 months on my own, with half my furniture and sans my hubby and dog.  
  Even though we have been together over 1 years, I had to laugh at  how I quickly I adapted to living on my own for the very first in my adult life. When Bob and Frodo along with the rest of our stuff arrived, we settled back into our  old routine like we had in Washington.... except this time... I realized  I was back to sharing  my bed with another human and the dog wedged between my pillows. No more sleeping in the center with all the pillows and the temp on very cool.  I am in the hot flash stage of life, the poor hubs is like sleeping next to a sauna- doesn't make for cohesive sleeping arrangements!   The Bathroom-- Bob gets up earlier than I do and now that he and Frodo were back, I was being awoken at 4AM  and the fur-baby wanted to go outside for his morning  constitution  and breakfast.   It used to be easy- I could go out in my pj's to the back yard and be  back in in 15 minutes with Frodo snuggled back  in bed for another 2 hours. Now , we have to get dressed , I have to at least put my bra on)  leash frodo  up and go down 3 floors to the dog park.- All the while hoping I don't run into any neighbors on the way in my disheveled , blurry eyed state.      Besides adjusting our routine- I had to adjust my stuff.   I had gotten used to having all the drawer and double sink bathroom  space to myself!     And more people means more cleaning!      Even though its just 2 plus a 7 pound pooch, it was double the laundry and   instead of Sushi Wednesdays and  Friday Chipotle  runs,   to my chagrin I actually had to dust  my stove top off and get back to cooking!      I can't complain  though , its nice to have someone who always knows when to take the garbage out  !

 I knew I would be homesick, but the fact that I could face time and skype with my family and friends constantly made it much more bearable.  Being away from what I know and my routine has been  nothing short of an eye opening ,growing experience for me.  Life still trucks along at the same pace.   I still go to Starbucks , though less frequently- I drink less coffee here-and I when I order my mocha, I always have to specify hot.  There is every  type of  restaurant and variety of food at every  corner. You truly don't need to cook here  if you aren't into that!

The spaces are large  and wide open- when I am back in Washington, all the trees make me feel "closed in".          I still get up and go to work,  I actually work more here,   I haven't  achieved the work /life balance I would like too, but  I think that is because I  don't have the same tribe of  people in my life to do things with or who needed my attention more.  It's a odd place to be , until I find my footing.       I realize  I am a person who seeks and craves  connection with people and I miss those   relationships.   I'm very thankful that a old friend  from Washington moved to AZ and we work together, its nice to have someone  who knows the things and  places that I know and shares the love of the SeaHawks!    

I know for certain that change is good, and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone helps us all to grow and move in the direction we are meant to go in.    I'm thankful I haven't let  those moments of fear and self doubt  make me change my mind to pack it all in and head home to WA!.    I figured out what  'home' actually represent to me : It's where my people are,  where my heart   beats and where I am comfortable being  me. It's my  3rd floor apartment in Scottsdale with my husband and my dog, walking among palm trees,  its my mom's living room in Washington- having coffee with her, my brother and my son hanging out and laughing. Its a facetime    chat with my cousin  Jenn to catch up on our lives ,it's a group instant message conversation  late at night with my girls from ROI .

 If anything , these people and moments are all the more precious to me.  They all strengthen and lift me up to continue on a journey that is not necessarily easy to  walk.   The easy road always seems to take the least amount of effort but yields minimal happiness.       I am grateful that I am not taking the easy road, though there have been times already that I wish  I  had -- then  I happened upon this  quote :

" The cost of not following your heart, is spending the rest of your life wishing you had. "


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

" If I could write a letter to me "

You know that song, " If I could write a letter to me " sung by Brad Paisley?     With my birthday around the corner , the lyrics keep flitting through my mind so thought I would share a few things if I were to write a letter to my younger self  :

8 year old self :1. Keep writing stories. 2.Your brother will always be a pain in your ass 3. Don't be afraid  4. You are never to young to start using moisturizer

18 year old me: You are 18 and are about to embark on 2 of the biggest life changing events .  1. You will get married-- Don't!  2. You will have your first son.-  Don't be scared, you can do this on your own. You have the most supportive family a person could have.  3. You can still have dreams and goals just because you have become a mother. 4. SAVE $    5. Keep using moisturizer

 28 year old me:  You have just gone through a gut wrenching divorce and you have  low self esteem.
 1.Go see a counselor,   2.  Look in the mirror and accept your awesomeness 3.  Exercise 4. Don't start drinking coffee 4. Save $$ 5. Travel 6. Keep writing  7.  Keep using moisturizer

38 year old me: 1. Leave the job you are miserable in  2.  Practice Forgiveness 3. Eat less fast food
4. Exercise  5. Start writing again 6. Don't enable 7. Travel 8. Save $$   9.  Step out in Faith 10.Keep  seeing a counselor 11. Still use  moisturizer  

About to turn 48 year old me:  1. Keep embracing change- do not give in to fear, celebrate your strength  2. Exercise AND weight lift  3. Eat less sugar  4.  Show gratitude for all your blessings and surviving some really shitty stuff. 5. Celebrate the fact you have reached 18 years of marriage and it's still going strong   6.  It's not the Quantity but the Quality of your relationships  7. Save $$$  8.  Travel MORE  9. Keep your mind and heart open- walk in Faith. 10. To keep the grey out of your hair,  you must foil and spend a small fortune at hair salons.  11. You must also wax weird hairs that spring up on your chin 12.   Travel to far away lands 13. Keep writing  14. Books, wine and girl time is some of  the best therapy around 15.  Keep slathering on the moisturizer, now include your elbows.

And as my friend Val likes to say- Those that have the most candles on their cake, wins!


Saturday, July 30, 2016

In honor of my 30th Class Reunion- SHS Class of 1986!

My 30th Class Reunion is this weekend  and I am missing it , but  in honor of this momentous occasion, I spent some time  going through some pictures and reminiscing which inspired today's blog.  I think back and I feel lucky- I went to the same school - with the same core group of people the entire time- Grades K-12. Even though its 30 years later ,  and life has taken us on our own paths and in different directions- I  still can recall clearly  so many memories  that include my classmates!   Time has not diminished anything and though I look in the mirror and the face looking back is older, rounder, greyer- I still feel  like the same girl that has known this same core group of people since I was 5 years old! Amazing to me really. I can think back to growing up and feeling so isolated and so  "small town " and thinking my tiny school called the Sultan Turks was just so lame.  My parents went to that school, then my  brother and myself and  now I can add my own son , nieces, nephews and cousins.   With the passing of time and the maturity of living life- I am wise enough to appreciate how actually wonderful it was to  go through  Sultan Elementary and High School with the group of people that make up the Class of 86!   Now it may  seem like I am waxing poetic and it was all sunshine and roses- I am talking about the times in life  that as a kid can be pretty hard, embarrassing, difficult, painful and for some I am sure felt it was not a good time. I recognize that - but  today I am just sharing where I am at now and how in this moment I am at a point where I still feel that it was a overall good experience but more importantly- I  still find it remarkable that those 18 years  with that group of people still are so vivid in my mind!  That events and people can still come to forefront of my life and I realize  truly shape me as the person I am today!   I am glad for that, thankful my memories are  more happy than not.    So as my classmates  gather tonight and tomorrow - I am enjoying my own walk down memory lane. Here are some of the highlights that come to mind:

  The first and oldest friend I ever had from Sultan will be Teri Casey- Our parents went to High School together, I am sure that is one of the reasons our paths crossed so early in life.  I can remember many a slumber party that included you Teri as well as playing soccer together and Volleyball later on in High School.  I hope I will see you in Arizona when you are here next.  PM  Kindergarten brought Lara into my life and we became  best friends for many years.   So many things we did together--  Lara was certainly a influential person in my formative years , and through most of High School. I think my most memorable teachers were Mrs York and Mrs Moore--   My most vivid memory with Mrs Moore  was that she made me eat the crust on my sandwiches and I hated that . She told me it would make my hair curly.     I remember loving Mrs Martinensen-- 3rd grade - I think we had a class hamster.   Mrs Dalan- I had here for 5th AND 6th grade.   Beside the year we got to have the sleepover SPOP (?) party at her house ( I can't imagine that ever happening in today's world) the other teacher I remember having was Mr Sparks.    - NOT my favorite , but I did meet Teresa and we have remained friends all this time!   Grade school memories also include Blue Birds and  Gremlin soccer with  so many people--  Kate, Kati , Teri , Laura, Monica, Toni , Angie Fox, Angie Thelen. Janis, Eve, Juanita, Lisa , Jessi , Lara. Erika V. and I think Carrie Krause  joined us about 4th grade and  we all navigated our way all the way to the end, mostly all together = Graduation!   In the 8th grade girls bathroom I met Kim and that is another person whom I have remained good friends with- thankful to have  gone through  our Senior year together!  Junior High for this group actually put us on the High School campus  where more definite cliques and  the usual Jr High/ High School drama occurs-  and people split more off into their own " group" I will call it. Friendships and relationships changed but  what I think is cool is that there was still lots of  " cross-over" and  good times shared depending on what you were into. Whether it was  Football games and dances, Volleyball games,  Wrestling = STATE! in Moses Lake or crazy times at  Band Camp--- think Montesano and Footloose people- the cliques were dropped and we were all just this group of kids from Sultan experiencing life and making memories together.  My favorite teachers were  Ms. Waller , also loved her as a Volleyball coach, Ms Whitfield- thank you for what I do still remember from your Spanish class, Mr Hagglund and that damn loud horn he had- Mr Armstrong, though I never took art- he was just cool-- Mr Bagby- your class made me cry- I still dont like math! and who doesnt love Mrs. Champeaux and Home Ec!   Can't forget Mr Mac either- thank you for letting me be  TA for Weight lifting class :)      Senior year brought new friendships and life changing events for me-  Prom, parties  and our Epic Senior trip and overnight Grad party.   I shared many fun times that year with Kim, Val, Kate, Angie, Eve and Ross, Rex,  James  and of course Terry , whom I would later marry and have our son with.  We all celebrated turning 21 together and  later marriages, divorces and kids. Relationships I still hold near and dear to me .   I hope we celebrate 50 together!    
 With today's technology and the invention of  Facebook - we have the means to keep in touch and witness /share life events - its almost like a constant reunion  and it's a testament to the class of 86 that many of us our on FB and are  FB friends!  So even in Arizona, I can feel like I am  a part of it all.  So to the  SHS Class of 86 - I salute you all!  Thank you for being You !