Monday, March 20, 2017

growth...

Watching the sun creep over the horizon on this beautiful morning, I needed a minute to slow down.

I have to work late tonight, but I am heading in early.  Too much to get done.  Then I sat down.  The sight of the sunrise and my steaming hot coffee beckoned, pleaded.  I had to listen.

It's been a crazy few months.  The clock is spinning out of control it seems and here we are celebrating the first day of spring. What?  It seems like the last time that I took a deep breath it was almost Christmas.  How on earth did this happen?

I have simply got to find a better work/life balance.  Hubs and I both do.  We haven't had time for a walk in... dang, I do not even know. I don't remember the last one.  I packed a bag for work today, I will be there for about 11 hours, I think somewhere in there I can find time to put on play clothes and go for a walk.

Hubs and I have been struggling to find time to just be.  I haven't been in my sewing room in months!  Even though I have two quilts to get made.  I have taxes to do and laundry happens in spurts with me ironing each morning to keep up.

Saturday was an eye opener for me.  It was already going to be a LONG work day and I was okay with it. But due to some miscommunication - mostly on my part. Hubs showed up with a fantastic lunch just moments after I let my desk person go on her 30 minute break.  In the grand scheme of things, 30 minutes is not really that long.  But when you feel like the person that you haven't seen in forever has put something else in front of you again, it feels like an eternity!  It felt like an eternity to me also. And the day dragged out a thousand times longer as in his hurt and anger he ignored all my calls and text messages all day.

I've felt that way.  There have been many times that I felt like his career got more of him that I did. Temporarily the shoe is on the other foot, but the last thing I ever want to do is cause hurt to the heart I love the most.  So... I need to do some restructuring.

I am reading and listening to a great leadership book right now.  And frankly, I need to do more than read it. I need to live it.  I know myself.  I know that I will insure that a task gets completed, regardless if the person it was assigned to completed it or not.  And I've come to realize that, it simply does not work that way.  In allowing others to shirk their duties and picking up the slack, I have enabled bad behaviors and I have unintentionally created more work for myself.


So while I watch Hubs leave for work this morning, on a day that it is expected to hit 80 degrees, on his Harley.  I felt a bit jealous.   I wanted to be on the back, I wanted to be heading out on an adventure. The stars aligned for him, he'd already scheduled a trip to Potosi, down those long winding country back roads, Mother Nature just gave him the gift of clear skies and warm weather.  He needs it.

I have to balance those scales out for me also... starting today...

This has been a year of "ah ha's" a year of understanding and growth.  I don't feel like it's anywhere close to done.

But I'm making progress...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

i hate snakes...

Ugghhhh... completely lacking in motivation this morning.  Seems an odd statement from someone that has already caught up on emails, composed two letters, walked my dogs, fed my animals, taken care of my
daughter's zoo, watered her seedlings and been out in the snow flurries.

All before my first cup of coffee.  As I am sitting here enjoying it and contemplating breakfast, I know that I should be multi-tasking a bit more.  Frankly, I don't have it in me.  I need to steal a few moments before I climb the stairs to get ready for the day.   I need a few more moments of peace.  Watching the light flicker off of those big fluffy flakes that aren't even thinking about sticking around.  Listening to the water in the aquarium.  And drinking my coffee.

I didn't sleep great last night.  And I am paying for it this morning.  I hate the time change, it really kicks my FMS butt, to be perfectly blunt.  I feel drained and in need of 12 straight hours of sleep, or at least that is what my brain thinks. Between the time change and bad dreams, I don't feel like I closed my eyes at all.

I am pretty sure it was because of the stress at my daughter's house earlier in the evening.

Have I mentioned that I hate snakes?  Because I do.  With an absolute, overwhelming, terror-filled passion. Just thinking about one is enough to make my skin crawl.  I don't need to physically see one.


So... my daughter has a snake.  I can't remember what kind it is.  Frankly, it doesn't matter it is a snake.  We have an agreement.  I will watch her critters while she is on vacations, no worries.  I will NOT under any circumstances deal with that snake.  She needs to insure he has everything he needs when she leaves and as long as he stays contained, we have no problems.

Imagine my dismay when I arrived last night to take care of the "zoo" to find a fairly substantial part of his "nose" sticking out of the mesh covering.  I do believe that he and the mouse, that is supposed to have been his dinner, have been plotting their escape.

My daughter switched his aquarium to give him a bit more space to move around before she left.  He has been pushing at the mesh and has two large sections loose and hanging free.  This isn't going to work for me.

At all!

For now, I have two large sheets of plywood and a 4x4 blocking his progress.  I have no idea how long that will last.  He sure gave me an attitude this morning.  Putting his snubby nose and beady eyes up to the glass and flicking that tongue at me.

Ugghhh...

Tonight on my way home I stopped to take care of the zoo and measure the aquarium.  Needed to get a lid for that stupid thing.  I couldn't take the stress of it's existence any longer. At least he'd retreated to the inside of his rock and I no longer had to see him. Still didn't inspire a warm, fuzzy feeling reaching across that darn aquarium, knowing that he was lurking inside, glaring out in his arrogance.

Quick run up to the pet store to get a lid and I was feeling pretty darn confident that this day had finally gotten better.  Did I mention that this was definitely a high stress, challenge filled day?  Because it was.

Zipping along home, marveling at the utter lack of traffic and thrilled as I was starving having not ended up having time for lunch today, and I'd put off dinner until after I dealt with the snake issue. I was back at her house in record time.  All the while thinking, this daylight savings might not be so bad as it was still light enough to see what I was doing.

A quick check in the aquarium revealed that my nemesis appeared to be sleeping, at any rate he was not out slithering around.  I quickly prepared to swap lids.  Almost breaking into a cold sweat at the very thought of removing that lid.

I did mention that I am terrified of snakes, right?

I quickly pulled the old lid out, and popped the new one on.  And my heart sank!  The only size they had was just a bit too loose, I fussed with the lid locks for a few moments before realizing I had NO idea how to work them and not feeling to comforted by their "security".

No that was not going to do at all.  Thankfully I found the brick with the lid locks and for my peace of mind... I put the 4x4 back on top.

I loathe snakes!

Feeling pretty darn proud of myself, I reinstalled the "red" light and plugged it in.  I proceeded to ignore the demon snake and take care of the bunny.  Carlos is everything that demon is not.  Fuzzy, sweet, adorable, boned...

As I am walking back from the kitchen maybe 5 feet away... the demon snake is causing problems again. Okay, in all fairness I am pretty sure it wasn't him physically, but I am positive his sheer evilness caused it!  Just as I am coming back to the living room, there is a LOUD pop and flames shoot out of the light in 3 directions.  I dropped the water bottle and scurried under the aquarium to unplug the stupid thing.  Have you ever seen an ungraceful 51 year old scurry anywhere?  Thank you Lord that no one was filming it, that would have been a disaster scene!

Seriously?? As black smoke billows up from it, I am rushing to get it out of the house.  I am fairly certain the dog, cats, rabbit, mice (snacks for the snake) and the demon snake were all as terrified as I was.

Calling my daughter... well, unless you want laughed at for all the drama you are dealing with... don't bother. And she didn't have another light anyhow.

Rabbit's water reattached - check.  Living room checked on hands and knees to insure no live embers - check.  Exhausted stressed mommy taking herself out for dinner - check.  I really wanted a margarita, but with the day I'd had... one probably wouldn't have been enough and I didn't want to tempt fate.

So now the sun has set, Hubs should be on his way home, although I am not going to count on it. The demon snake was still in his rock when I went back by looking for my favorite scarf (and just to assure myself that I hadn't truly tried to burn down my daughters house). My boys have had their afternoon loves... and I am getting ready to call it a night.

What a day... Glad she's relaxing in one of the most beautiful places on earth...

Saturday, March 11, 2017

instead...

What?
So... I definitely have a few hundred things on my to do lists.  Both for home and work.

Am I doing them?

Nope.  

I think I am mentally exhausted.  It feels like the last two plus weeks have been a mind numbing emotional roller coaster.

So many emotionally charged highs, tempered by equally extreme emotional lows.  For someone that like their pendulum to sway gently in the middle, these extremes are wearing me out.

Heck even Mother Nature appears to be throwing a temper tantrum as the mild 60 and 70 degree days that we've come to enjoy this "winter" have given birth to huge snowflakes dancing around the Bradford Pear blossoms. It won't stick, just small little patches on elevated surfaces, but it is definitely distracting.

Instead of writing, I should be tidying the house, ironing clothes, or maybe even washing some.  I could do our taxes or even make a menu for the upcoming week. Or complete the two commissioned quilts in my sewing room. I could be using the quiet and calm to catch up on a million work items that would bring me a bit more balance.

Nope... instead I find myself a bit envious of my daughter who is scurrying around getting ready to head out for a nice spring break vacation.

I think Hubs and I need to manage to steal one of those before too long. It doesn't even have to be lengthy or exotic. Just peaceful. A bit of time to catch up on shows, play some cards, go for long hikes. A reset.

He's being amazing with the long hours I am putting in.  Walking the boys and keeping himself entertained. But it feels disjointed, off-center.  We are supposed to go out tonight, I am hoping we do, I'm very excited to go and "play".  He's been fighting a tummy bug, so it's possible that he won't be going.  That seems to be the story of our lives lately.

We're holding on to each other for dear life and chaos is swirling around us.  I know that is how life is, but then I have to stop and wonder... is it?

Some of the people that are causing me the most grief, are the very ones that are living a "balanced" life.  Is that how it works?  Are there some people that are more entitled to that balance than others?

Doesn't seem right, but... who knows.

The newest grand was under the weather for the past few days, when you are barely two weeks old, that can be a problem.  It wasn't.  She's okay.  But it's still scary and unsettling. The older grand is showing a few signs of needing a bit less of her sis... and a bit more of the life she used to have.  The adjustment period is going to be a bit of a struggle.  Hopefully this little vacation will help all three of the girls mellow and meld.

There is just too much turmoil and angst lately.  So many amazing things are being wrapped in a blanket of struggle and disappointment. So many people are deliberately hurtful, destructive and plain mean. Everywhere I turn I am surrounded by people that are pure takers.  You know the kind... do for me, do for me... and then in return... crickets.

All of this is making me tired.  Joy gets sucked out of life when you are surrounded by that.

So today, instead, I am chilling.
I am taking that long bath, the kind where you lounge and read until the water gets chilled and it's been so long that it takes a full minute or two for the water to come back up the pipes for your shower.

I'm putting my feet up with a hot coffee, enjoying the soft snores of my little old guy lounging on the sitting room couch.  Cherishing each gray whisker.  And treating him with extra strips of chicken when he does wake up and come find me.

I'm simply taking a bit of time to just be.  I need it.  I need to block out people that think it's okay to hurt other's because of something lacking in their character.

I need to not solve the world's problems, or even my own.

I need to relish the fact that I got a few hours with my daughter for her birthday, snuggling the littlest, and finally seeing the oldest.

I hope Hubs ends up being able to go out.  I need it.  But if not, I will understand.  The same way that he has to when I can't do what he needs.

I feel strongly that I need "instead" to balance out my world.... You?


Sunday, March 5, 2017

manipulated...

I'm tired Boss... Mostly I'm tired of people being ugly to one another. 


One of my B's sent me that in a private message the other day.  I don't know if she knew exactly how exhausted I was, I don't know if she could feel the pain in my heart and the exhaustion in my very soul.  But I am thankful that she sent it.  It perfectly summed up my feelings. 

I strive so hard to treat other's as I want to be treated.  I will celebrate you, I will treat you with respect, I will do anything I can to make your path an easier one to walk.  I will not judge you.  I will absorb the hurt you choose to give out, and still be there to pick you up when you fall.  Because I believe firmly that in this life that what we put out there is what comes back. 

I will take your call in the middle of the night, even though there are many times that I need that person in my life to find that no one is there. I have Hubs. I know if I reached out to the B's, they would be there for me. But oddly the people that I support and lift up the most are the ones that do the most damage to me personally. 

It's been a rough week.  I'm exhausted. Mentally, physically and mostly emotionally.  I am drained.  I have nothing left to give up to anyone.

If I could I would lock my doors, turn off my phone and put up a wall the size of a mountain.  

I can't. 

Somewhere in all the half truths and misdirecting words there is a balance.  Somewhere out there are people that have the emotional intelligence to be honest and not wrap it in deceit because they know that hurtfulness is not the way to say things.  That you can share your heart, feelings, ideas and concerns from a place of love and it will be okay.  

That simply being kind and honest is a welcome thing. 

How did we become a world where we've forgotten that it's okay to be different, that it's okay to not see eye to eye on anything or everything and still be kind?

I'm tired. 

I wrote that a week ago today.  While I was feeling hurt, devastated, drained and at my lowest.  It's been a week.  There have been important conversations and life is completely different.

Last week, during a highly emotional time, when my little family should have been celebrating the greatest miracle our little Panda's arrival.  We were being played by someone that never had that right.  Instead of having wonderful homecoming memories, we are the proud owners of hurt and pain.

A million times over the course of this week as I have sorted through my feelings about the situation that occurred and been angry at the callous selfish behavior that caused it, I have thought of a million different ways to respond.

We can never regain what was stolen from us.  The hurt was intention... to teach everyone a lesson.  Tell a truth that we "needed to hear".  Sadly, truth tellers with evil hearts should probably insure they have all their facts straight before they meddle.

Hubs and I will never again be able to recapture being part of Panda's homecoming.  Nothing can erase the brutal words that were spewed forth... in the name of honesty (really?).  New parents were left sitting for hours, prepared for a celebration that only one person knew they had "planned" but was never going to happen.  Anxiety was high, tears flowed, hatred festered.

All for what?  Truthfully, I have spent a week trying to figure it out.  I have tried during those quiet intimate hours of alone time, to sort out what kind of person could do that.  And then ride off into the sunset, mission accomplished, pain, chaos and disarray left in the dust.
I don't have an answer.  What I have is faith that we raised wonderful children and we are focused on loving each other and being there for each other.  We don't lie to one another, we don't hide behind falsehoods. We talk things out.

We hug and we move forward.

Love is far more powerful than lies, half-truths and I hate to say it, but... manipulative bullshit.

Last night rocking my sweet new Panda, while my mini-me was staying with friends and mom was having a moment to catch her breath.  I forgave.

Now, forgiving and forgetting are two separate things.  I forgave, because that was for me.  I will not allow the hatefulness to stain the love I have for my children and their children, their partners and friends.

The one that did this... Forgiveness does not change the fact that it was a final straw.

I can't change that person.  Nor will I try.  Karma will take care of that.  For decades I have allowed that person to be hateful and mean to myself and others.  Always listening to the "they need to hear the truth" line and choosing to be silent.  To walk away injured or aware of another person injured to avoid the wraith that everyone knows comes when you cross that person.

I spent years away from my family after being told "none of us even want you here, you only cause trouble". I heard the bitter, hateful words spewed at other loved ones.  All in the name of truth and "tough love".  I didn't take a stand.


I won't say I'm not feeling bitter, because I am, but in forgiveness comes peace.  Mini-me and Panda are going to be our partners in crime for the balance of our days.  My girl and I are stronger than ever due to the hurt inflicted. Hubs and I are blessed with the family that we have and strong enough to stand up to any storm.



Sadly, the result is that while I am a slow learner, I am not stupid.  I do learn.  An unending ability to understand and reason out another's actions, well... evidently it is not unending.

It ended.  Last Sunday was the final straw.  I have warned the appropriate people that I will not be involved with that person again.  That they are not welcome in my home nor will I attend anything they are at.  I started to waiver, until I found out that when confronted with their actions their response was an arrogant "they needed to hear the truth".

Nope, sorry.  "Truth" is always a gray area depending on the conversation, the people involved and the first hand knowledge of the situation.  And then it is still gray.  No one has the right to destroy based on their version of the "truth".

I'm starting to feel this burst in my own personal bubble is very reflective of what is happening far too often in our world as a whole.

How many times do each of us react to situations based on some version of "the truth".  When in reality the only people that truly know are the ones intimately involved and yet, it is still tainted by their perception of the circumstances?

How many times are people with their own agenda's destroying others simply because it isn't working out the way they want it to?

Do we often step away from the situation long enough to take a deep look at what is being presented to us? Or do we react out of anger, hurt of fear?

Does the misrepresentation of facts, with holding of information, and deceitful behavior taint reality for us?

I feel like it does.  I know in my personal bubble it cause terrible chaos, hurt, tears, and almost life long damage.  We can't unwind the clock, there isn't going to be a do over.  How often is that happening on a local, national and international scale.

How often are malicious people taking our fears and twisting them around to cause hatred, pain and more fears that suit their purpose? Is it something as small as someone that you should be able to trust, "sharing" with you that the people you love and would lay your life down for don't really like you, that they wish you would stay out of their lives? Or is it something as grand as on a local, national and global level that people are painting that kind of hurt between any factions they can, because hurt and pain feed on hurt and pain.

I don't have answers.

What I have is the ability to distance myself.  For how long, I don't know. Until it isn't a sore, red, gaping wound that is too large to bandage.  Until I can look in Hubs eyes and not see the devastation and hurt that I still see lingering at the edges.  Until I can't hear the ragged tone of his voice, echoing in my heart, that screamed "I guess I am just a 'step-father' and not a good one at that", until I know longer hear my girls asking "what did we do so wrong that you weren't there"... I don't know that forgiveness can make that day ever come.

What I have learned from it all is to question always. Not just in my personal life, but in my outside life as well.

Because sometimes that person reaching out that helping hand, they don't want to help.  They saw an opportunity to change you and they are going to do their level best to do just that.  Are you tired, down, lonely, sad, stressed, feeling unsure? That person is waiting for that moment in time.  I won't be giving it to them again.

And if you think I will always stay quietly in the corner and not say anything... think again. Sometimes people mistake silence for weakness.  I promise I am not weak.

I'm tired Boss... Mostly I'm tired of people being ugly to one another.