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From the moment we are born, and that first glimmer of light penetrates our primitive eyes, we are part of it.
We try to understand it, dissect it, lay it all out in a linear form, chart it, graph it, narrow it down into decorative boxes inside boxes inside more boxes still… We follow it and plan for it, we plot it, revisit it, remember it and look forward to it. We try to steal it, slow it down, stretch it out, run away from it, chase it down, and still we always eventually miss it. We are all bound to it, and bound together by it. We cannot change it, lie to it, or ever escape that we eventually, and inevitably, give every last speck of who and what we are to it. And it gives all of what it can to us, and when it stops… So too, do we.
Slaves to time, are we.

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Following the general rule of my life… I’m changing things up again…
Cant allow myself to get too comfortable in a rut.
I’ve got to keep moving forward until I’ve found my perfect slice of happiness.
Carving it a little here and there as I go… But now it’s time to break the mold again.
I’ve been keeping to myself.  Quiet and anti-social. It suited me for a while, but it is becoming like a security blanket… anytime anything happens I duck out of view and POOF!
I’m tired of Poofing.
So I figure its about time to start putting myself out there…

but I’m *scared* to put myself out there….
I’m afraid of getting hurt… again…

And to that I am going to apply a little bit of wisdom that my new boss imparted upon me last week…
He said “yeah, you’ve been through a lot… but GET OVER IT! – Have fun! Live your life.”

Okay that’s what I’m going to try now.  I think I’m ready and I’ve got things under control now.
I know who I am, and what I want, and certainly have plenty of experience with what I DON’T want…

I’m going to try something new… have some fun… meet some people… and all the while I’m going to just be me. {which is really the only person I could be, since I don’t have any kind of personality disorders or anything…}
And, yes… I am afraid to be “out there”  since it’s so much safer “in here” as I’ve mentioned before… But, I’ll get over it. =)

I’ll write again… soonish.
I plan on having some fun and interesting stories to share.

Oh brother, here they come again…
“THE Holidays”

As we entered the final quarter of each year, I began to feel the trepidation, as they sort of loom in the not so far off distance…
Every year I try to battle my trepidations with same old method of trying to look at them from new and inventive perspectives.
The general theory behind that is; each year being different, each year yielding different lessons and experiences, leaves me slightly different from the year before. Therefore it shouldn’t be hard to find a new perspective. It’s almost expected…

This is my second year as a single mother.
This year has been chock-a-block full of life altering, personality molding, wisdom earning experience
Has it changed that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think of the holiday season…?
Not exactly.
Lets face it, some changes don’t always yield the tangible positive end results we expect from them…
Yup, I still get knots around the holidays…
Now,  Don’t get me wrong, I have more than ever to be grateful for… and I am… Deeply indescribably grateful…
It seems the more I go through, the more I can appreciate having gotten through it. Thankful that I’m not down and out. But instead, Moving forward in an upward angle. I have become a living testament to that old phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” This is invariably true in my life.
And I certainly shouldn’t downplay how incredibly lucky I’ve been thus far. For every pitfall I’ve run across,  There has always been a way out. Many of you might consider me blessed. I wouldn’t discount that assessment, as I’ve got no reasonable explanation that would better suffice.
However, there are still holiday drawbacks that weigh on my mind…  for example, Its no fun to be to be so far away from family at Christmas.  I was hoping to be in CO with my sister and nephew this year for the holidays, or at least for my nephews first birthday {which just passed}… and it’s hard to think on how much they miss us, and want to be with us at the holidays, and we just can’t make it.
Obviously, the holidays are never easy on any single parent… the shopping, hiding gifts, decorating the house, picking a tree, carefully choreographing the finances to accommodate everything, the wrapping and cooking, and then there’s the aftermath! Phew! it’s a lot for 2 people… its positively daunting for ONE.
And then there’s the actuality of being alone as it pertains to me personally… No one to kiss under the mistletoe, or as the new year’s ball drops… you know, that  stuff… Blah! 
I’ve learned the most in that  area of my life over the past year…
I learned not to take these things so seriously.  There’s just no need to.  Its just so much easier to let the pieces fall where they may… and just live MY life.
The ability to get along, without expectations, has made me a MUCH happier and healthier person.  And because I can just relax about it, being alone simply doesn’t suck as much… It’s still does a little at Christmas, but not as much, and it WILL pass…
Now that aside, I wonder –  what am I really looking at this holiday season…?
Another WONDERFUL Christmas with my amazing boys.
A Custom, Made-to-order, Marvelously Crazy, full of laughter, full of love, full of a deep rooted appreciation for all we have, family holiday that will go down in the kids memories as another year that we pulled it off, and made something fantastic happen, against the odds.
And that right there makes all the fretting, the extra stress, the financial tango, and the clean-up so very worth it…

So much has happened since my last post, but the general lesson learned has been that my recent positivity, and hard work combined with a dash of good luck, has seemingly become my recipe for a happier me!

Or so it seems lately, anyhow… Doors and windows have begun to open for me, and it feels so good to be truly out from under the rock I’ve been crushed by for so long!
I’ve reached a cross roads in my life, and I’m moving forward on a positive path.
I’ve found a new job {or, I should say – it found me…} and the potential for personal growth there is quite grand.
I’m excited, Motovated, and feeling a sort of pride.
I am proud that my efforts and endeavors have not gone unnoticed nor unnappreciated and I’m finally getting my chance to really climb to new heights.
It’s a little scary, because I’m completely on my own here… but I KNOW that I can do this.
I know I will work hard and do my best, and not give up.  And thats the best I can offer, but that should be plenty to build a success story out of this lovely new opportunity.  =)
I feel as though the pieces are really starting to come together in  my life.
I’m not looking to jynx it, and I’m not bragging.  I just HAD to share/ update.
I’m hopeful that things will continue to flow smoothly along this same current towards a bright shiny future for my family.
=)
Much Love to all! ❤

Swallowed a brick?!?!

Remember the last time your heart was broken…?
The last person you mistakenly got too attached to… Felt like you served your heart up on a silver platter, like a fool?
I’ll bet you learned to be more careful, learned to protect your now somewhat damaged heart… Maybe even became a bit fearful and closed off for a while…
Do you remember how it felt, for days or weeks or even months later… When you thought about them… Or some memory you shared… Seemingly profound to you, but wasted and forgotten by them…
Yeah, you know those moments when there was an ache and a weight… A physical discomfort to accompany the emotional pain you felt.
For me, it feels like I swallowed a brick. A cold hard heaviness stuck in the bottom of my throat and pressing on my chest…
I felt that again briefly , when the subject of someone I once had cared a bit too deeply for, had come up… and couldn’t help but mention it to some friends over dinner…
They didn’t quite understand what I meant at first, and I was embarrassed… But then as I described it, I realized that they knew the feeling, even if they didn’t describe it the same way… So once I got home, I asked a few people if they ever experienced it… The answer ( every time) was a resounding yes…
So, apparently this is a common side effect of the “heartbreak experience”
It’s funny how people are so different, and every experience is so unique, yet we are all bound together by some of the very same symptoms of being human.
Which serves as yet another reminder to me, as to exactly why we should all be kind to each other… as much as possible.

The greastest comfort can come in the simplest forms, a hug from a loved one… or sharing laughter with friends… this is something we all need…
We need each other.
To share our joys.
To ease our pain.
To make life richer.
When I’m hurting I instinctively turn to my loved ones for comfort and connection.
There isn’t a day that goes by when I dont appreciate them… just for being a part of my life – and for making me a part of theirs as well…

I’m not sure why I felt the need to post this, other than the sheer simple fact that it’s weighing heavily on my mind today.

Today, I will remember to take heart – because we are all in this together… and my, what an experience it all is turning out to be…

There is a quote from Winston Churchill that someone decided to engrave onto fancy gold tone book marks, stylishly accented with navy blue satin ribbon.  They are sold at my favorite massive bookstore in plastic sleeves on a black velvet background.

Never Never Never Give Up…

I bought this book mark for my son 3 years ago or so. During a period of time when he had inexplicably stopped talking. His grades were slipping, his behavior took a strange turn, and I was so very worried.  I tried to reach him. I talked to him all the time, and one day while out running my weekly errands I picked up a copy of a book that I knew he was looking forward to, and gave him the bookmark with a small personal note of encouragement.
I have always tried to instill a sense of hopefulness in my children… I’ve always wanted to see them make the best of any situation, to always try, to learn and grow from mistakes, and mostly I just want them to be happy people.
Since then our lives have been turned upside down and continues to be somewhat topsy turvy, but we’ve gotten this far…
And we’re doing alright… {he’s doing quite well, actually}

Recently I came across that book mark while cleaning the boys bedrooms. 
For reasons I cannot explain, I just stopped what I was doing and stared at it for a moment… sort of zoned out.
It’s true that I was tired, and would likely have stopped for a coffee break around that time anyhow, but still, I found myself overthinking the meaning *I* should be taking from this quote.

Never give up. – simple concept.  and I thought to myself that I had given up. I had given up on hope, I had given up on growth and traded in for fear and disappointment and general overall stress.  I wish I could say that I felt some level of shame, but it wasn’t so. I felt angry and resentful and justified.  I’m ALWAYS overwhelmed and I never seem to get anywhere. WHY??

Oh-right, probably because I gave up – huh?
“Circumstances outside of my control” are trying to take over my whole life. I’m afraid that I will become embittered… and so I just keep my head down in anticipation of more issues, problems and disappointment.
What I’m NOT doing is changing my situation by worrying so much.  Just trying to get through it, to survive it, get by…
I gave up hope. I began to waste my time expecting the worst, and making my self sick over “oh-no, what will I do *IF*…

And this is where it all turns around…
The next evening, I came home from work looking pretty worn out… everything still weighing heavily on my mind, and it must have showed… Because my son could read it on me like a billboard.
However, it seems that Hope hasn’t given up on me just yet…
Once he found a quiet moment to approach me, my son said to me – “just remember mom, no matter how bad things seem right now, they are still so much better than they were Before
{ I can’t help but tear up when I think about this}
In that moment I was done with just being down and feeling bad.  Our situation is NOT that bad!!!  
I have my two amazing boys, we still have a roof over our heads {regardless of the struggle it may be to keep that going} and thus far, I’ve been able to provide them with all that they require… {And worrying about being able to continue that, isn’t helping anyone but the company that makes my anti-acids….} and hell, even if we lose everything we have… WE HAVE EACH OTHER!  
Funny, how simple things really are, when I’m not over-complicating it all in my own mind.
I’m just going to keep doing what I have been doing with some smallish changes,  instead of wasting my energy with unnecessary worry, I will make a bigger effort to enjoy the simple things again, Like I used to… Let go of those things that made me feel so bad all the time. Keep trying, keep living, and Never, Never, Never Give Up!

❤ Much Love to All. ❤

Saturday evening… the end of a long day.

I turned in for bed wondering what I might do with my boys the next day.  Its our weekend together, and I really wanted to do something outside the regular weekend errands. 
Sleepless night, with much on my mind, I tossed and turned for several hours.
12:00am – “I’d better get some sleep, because I don’t want to waste the day”
1:00am –  “Ugh! I’m going to be Wrecked all day”
2:00am – “Dammit! What am I going to do with my boys, if I don’t get any sleep??”
2:30am – EUREKA!!! I’ve got the perfect plan!

So at 2:30 am I woke up my kids and loaded them into the car. Flashlight, Blanket, Beach chairs, bug repellant, and a tank full of gas is all I needed, and we set forth on our adventure.
It’s an hour and fifteen minute drive from my home to our destination.
My two boys Love this drive.  They put on music, we tell jokes, and watch for deer, bunnies, raccoons and other night time critters along the way.
We arrived at the Montauk Point Lighthouse at about 4 am. Just before sunrise.
We took a few moments to stretch, gather up what we really needed, and took off for the beach.

When I was a teen, I came out to this very place with my friends for this very same experience, and ever since, this has been my favorite escape. I’ve brought my kids here many times over the years but never for the sunrise, which is Spectacular at this location, since it is the eastern-most point on the Island and there’s nothing but the Atlantic Ocean and the wide open sky as far as you can see.

It didn’t disappoint… What a gorgeous sunrise! What a way to start the day! The boys enjoyed it immensely. And once the morning was in full force, we went for a long walk on the beach and enjoyed the sights, the seashells and everything else we came across. It was a perfect family day. =)

MTK 7-21-13 (2) MTK 7-21-13 (5) MTK 7-21-13 (6) MTK 7-21-13 (7) MTK 7-21-13 (8) MTK 7-21-13 (9)MTK 7-21-13 (10)     Montauk Sunrise 7-21-13 (18) Silly Boys Montauk Sunrise 7-21-13 (19) Montauk Sunrise 7-21-13 (20)

“They” say: “Home is where the heart is.”
{I’m not sure who “they” are but they are always saying something interesting.}

When most people think of this phrase, it conjurs up warm thoughts of their own home, family and more than likely their mother.
As  a mother, this phrase takes on new meaning. As a single mother, this new meaning has an even broader impact.
I find myself writing about being a single mother a lot lately. Most likely because this has become what my life is about, and as time goes by and I more settled into this role, I also feel more comfortable writing about it. I’m still learning as I go, details still need ironing out, and sometimes tensions run high… So here I am again, writing about things at home, and I suspect this will come off a bit like a rant. It pretty much is.

I have found myself thinking long and hard about what my kids minds will conjure up when they are adults and they hear that “home is where the heart is”? 
Will it be that they will remember all the fun silly things we do together?  Will they remember how very loved they are?

Or will they remember that mom was always busy, and stressed out, and the house was in disarray more often than not?
The former is far more appealing and comforting than the latter but both are the reality. This made me pretty sad because it’s *my job* to make sure that our home – no matter where it may be – is where the heart is.
Where is the heart in all the frustration, and stress, and mess?  It’s there, but it gets cluttered up, and then it can be like a scavenger hunt.  When it gets to this point, I feel like the only way to rectify the situation is to simplify my life.
I shut down in a lot of ways, and refocus on home, happiness and at the heart of it all – my children.

The first thing to go… Social networks {Facebook}  it’s a frivolous distraction, a guilty pleasure – yes, but very unnecessary and a time killer.  Social events – They constantly come up, and I feel a lot of pressure to participate, but I really cannot. It’s nice to break free from my life, to some degree, once in a blue, but this too can become excessive and draining.  Dating – uhm… riiiight. So, that’s out of the question right now… regardless.  I had been going to a writing class, it was a free class and it certainly has helped me out a lot, but unfortunately its on a weeknight and is a considerable distance from my home and work. It too became too much and I had to stop going. One more night each week at home, to cook a real dinner so my kids and I can sit down and talk, catch up on laundry {my nemesis}, and maybe {just maybe} once I’ve got things in order {it’ll happen, I swear!} I can possibly just *relax*…{?} I’ll have time to go back to my  time eating, guilty pleasures and distractions later on. 
I still have numerous divorce related court appearances to make, which also means meetings with my lawyer, bringing the kids to their law guardians, not to mention doctors visits, family counselling and school related meetings.  So, the schedule is certainly full enough – thank you very much…

Any little bit of peace and quiet, or moment to bond with my kids that I can possibly stitch together can only help in the process of weaving together a tapestry of warm and loving memories for my kids to look back on when they are older.  ❤

Stability… What on Earth is that…?  From this single mothers standpoint it’s like a fairytale… alongside other such myths like unicorns, pixiedust, and monogamous men…

Joking aside, it seems to me that all good parents want to be GREAT parents… but somehow or other always seem to struggle with feelings of inadequacy due to a number of variables, Financial strain, too much time spent working – not enough time with the kids, internal family frictions/sibling rivalry issues… etc.. this list could go on, and on, but you get the point… Well, what I’m trying to say is that, I am no different… I want to live up to this “Super-mom” standard but I just can’t seem to get there… Plus, I amplify all my shortcomings by focusing on them obsessively, especially when I’m in no position to change things right at the moment.
My apartment has been a disaster since the kids and I moved here in July. It is now April… =(   I’ve considered inviting FEMA in to assess the place… I figure, I’m pretty sure I could fool them into believing a smallish concentrated tornado (that would be my youngest son) whipped through here… and then maybe my FEMA check could help out with the finances around here, since my “X” hasn’t paid a cent in child support since mid January.
I feel bad, I work on average 57 hours a week, and still can’t manage to bring in enough to take care of everything, or even come close. My savings {which was supposed to buy a decent used  family vehicle – since we currently don’t have one} is hemorrhaging itself into nothingness, as I am forced to use it for everything from paying rent/bills to buying the kids new clothes/shoes/glasses…etc…

Teenage boys never cease to outgrow or wear out EVERYTHING every 3 months, like clockwork.  I did the math, it works out to an average of 8 pairs of sneakers, 40 pairs of jeans, 50-60 shirts and 96 pairs of socks per year. Sheesh!  Raising my boys is no joke, though there is always plenty of laughter.  My kids are naturally ingrained with highly irrational giggle triggers… The oldest has a quick wit, very cerebral, stuff that makes you use your head before you realize what he means and end up laughing till you snort. The little guy is, well, for lack of a better term, he’s a goofball, and sometimes he tries so hard to get your attention that it’s either irritating or so funny you end up with snot bubbles.  {he asked me to write something about snot bubbles… that was the best I could do} The point is, they crack me up… and that’s a good thing because sometimes its the fine line between grounding them {which means they sit in their dungeons – oops I mean bedrooms – with nothing to do but think about what an evil cackling witch their mom is}  or laughing off the matter and showing some forgiveness. They know this too, and they use it against me, like evil little clowns…

Sometimes I feel the importance of being stern, I try and get them to take me seriously, and I get pretty upset when they don’t sometimes, and then I yell…  I always feel terrible after yelling at my kids. I can only imagine they like it even less than I do.  Often nights after being “mean mommy” I over evaluate and suffer serious guilt pangs all night.  Further tarnishing my sparkly pink “S”  for “super-mom”  that I always strive for, and dream of, but seemingly always fall short of earning…

When I became a single parent, I figured it was going to be a challenge, but I guess I never realized on how many levels… I get overwhelmed, and wonder how it is that I’m not handling this better than I was *before*…  After some consideration, It occurred to me that while my “X” was a part of our lives, {albeit not a great part, not even a good part} he was the main source of income, and though he wasn’t wise with money and bills, there was so much more income that mine didn’t matter as much, over all. And that afforded me the freedom to work less, and focus more on my home, my children, and those things that I seem to be grappling with now on my own.

As hard as things are now, I still wouldn’t trade back.  Things weren’t exactly easy before either…  The kids and I spent most of our time at home, acutely aware that we were living with a ticking time bomb, and none of us knew when or why it might explode.. when it did, no matter who got the brunt of the blast, the shrapnel hit us all. We 3 lived completely devoid of any sense of security or self worth. That’s no way to live… No way to raise children. My boys are better off in a home where they feel safe, and are surrounded by love and laughter, and mess, and with only One slightly off kilter, constantly working, loving, good, yet not quite “super” parent, than two miserable parents, {one with a very short fuse} less mess, and more money… There’s just no comparison.

So as I dangle over the edge of the world, holding on with one pinkynail, while scorpions run down my spine, {and apparently blowing snot bubbles – the scorpion of course… *I’m a lady* – } and i ponder all of my shortcomings…  I ask myself from time to time… “Am I good enough?”
-Damn straight, I am!