It’s My Story & I’m Sticking To It

More often than not, we learn our role during our childhood. As such, as adults we continue to play that role which consequently teaches the people in our adult lives the role we play.

Follow me: Growing up you are consistantly called a trouble maker due to various situations you find yourself in. Maybe your just clumsy, are a victim of bad timing, or simply act out in small ways due to a need of attention. Hypothetically speaking – there is a group of children in a room and a picture gets broke. Maybe the some of the children find it easy to blame you because they know you often get in trouble…OR…no child blames anyone but the adults assume it was you because you’re the trouble maker. *And, in reality, the picture broke because a cat jumped up onto the table and knocked it over. There is no way to prove it, so you are to blame.

Maybe this or something similar happens frequently and your inner self begins to believe your role in life is to be a trouble maker. Or maybe since you always get blamed anyway, you decide you may as well be a trouble maker because you’re going to get punished for something no matter what. Subsequently as you age this sticks with you and you either. A. Have little to no self esteem and live your life taking the blame for everything no matter what B. Become a complete hellion because well, truthfully you will most likely be called one anyway so why not

Maybe as a child someone learns that they are better than all the other kids. They learn that they are superior, for whatever reason. What role do you suppose that child will play in life as an adult? True, not always as there is no perfect science to figure out human behavior, but I think it’s safe to say this is a viable probability.

I’m going to go one step further, as a child you are regularly told that you are to blame. As a result, as an adult you play the role of the person at fault. Your children watch you play the person at fault role and as they mature they also treat you as the person at fault because it’s the role you have unknowingly taught them is yours. Hum… Opens up a whole new can of worms doesn’t it.

I could go on, but I suspect you get the jist of what I’m implying. You need to decide what role you want to play in your life. Then, you need to set your boundaries and expectations accordingly. Don’t allow the role others have put you in define you, unless it’s the role you want to take. There are healthy ways to make this transition. I have saught the guidance of a paid professional. Perhaps had I understood this earlier in my life I could have done it on my own. At this point however that’s neither here nor there. There are so many resources out there, so much support, don’t limit yourself. Don’t limit the possibilities of the life in which you want to live. The gift of life that was given to you, and only you can decide what to do with this precious gift. You only get one, so don’t let someone else decide for you, they have their own gift of life, they don’t need yours too.

Through all of this, remember that you are your own best advocate. You must accept, understand and finally act. You can do it all with confidence, as well as graciously and respectfully. We are all here with a different story, different characters, different genre. But what we all share is the want, the need to live our story in its entirety with a beautiful ending.

Decide what role you want to play in your story and what kind of story you want it to be. Choose the characters in your story wisely as you are not only the lead role, but the author, director, producer and publisher as well. Take pride in your story and in yourself, there is no shame in being who you choose to be.

Go Back to the Beach if You Must

I’m going back to the beach today. Not only because I want to, but because I must. I need to see the water, I need to feel the sand under my feet. I need to hear the waves crashing into the pier and I need to listen to the surfers speaking of their love of living.

I thought I brought it home with me, er I thought we brought it home with us. But it’s not here. There were some very special, private things I thought were gone forever, but I found at the beach. I really thought I had them all gathered to bring back home. In all of the frenzy of gathering up to leave, it must have been forgotten in the chaos.

I know everything will be fine, because I had it when I was there. I tried to bring it back. I thought I had brought it back, but I see now that I didn’t. Leaving it there isn’t an option for me as it saved my intimate self and I see now a huge part of me was dying without it.

At the beach I was whole again. What the universe had taken from me, the beach gave back. And now that I’ve been reminded of its importance, I see how necessary it is and how detrimental the effects of losing it are.

I’m not sure how I’ll get there and I’m not sure how long it will take, but this time it’s not a vacation it’s a matter of survival.

When you’ve lost something so dear, so precious, and you are fortunate enough to have it given back to you, don’t take it for granted. Don’t assume it will just follow you on it’s own. If you know how precious it is, then you know you must not lose it again. I suppose half of the secret here, is that you must be aware. You must be aware of what’s lost, so that you will be aware when it’s found. Because if you don’t recognize it’s importance, it’s impossible for you to hang on to it. Most importantly, always remember to keep your eyes and your heart open, pay attention to more than just the obvious, pay attention to the details. Because what may seem trivial at the moment, could be the lifeline later on.

I’m going back to the beach, because I know I must.

RANT: Thought I had it figured out…and Then I didn’t

Today I just need to get this out into the universe… Maybe Have you ever tried so hard and no matter what, you just couldn’t make it happen? You try so hard to get over it and you can’t. The failure is so deep, so personal that it reopens old wounds. You’ve tried to share the severity, you’ve done everything within your means to make it easy. But after all of the living you’ve done, all of the wishing, hoping and even pleading…hasn’t, can’t and won’t change. It is what it is…can’t ever change what is? Can we, should we settle for that?

The Art of Being Nice – subjective?

My psychologist told me a while back that “being nice” has many different definitions depending on who you ask.  In other words, what you think is being nice may seem like nothing compared to the next person.  She advised me to be aware that everyone has the choice to be nice or not to be. But the second part of that is to realize that not everyones definition of nice is the same. This has been a hard truth for me to understand and in turn a harder lesson for me to learn. I am finally starting to accept this, but it doesn’t mean I like it.

I in no way have the delusion that I am a perfect person or that I have my or anyone elses life or how people live their lives figured out. However, I do know that I am a nice person, and I am fairly certain that most would agree. My “in a nutshell” definition of a nice person is someone who always TRIES to do the right thing. Someone who genuinely cares about others, and TRIES to put others wants/needs ahead of their own.  I readily admit that when I feel I am being treated badly, I am not always strong enough to meet that treatment by being nice.  I may get angry and defend myself, but I will not intentionally cause harm to anyone or intentionally hurt their feelings. I try hard not to smear peoples name or reputation, and to allow people a fair chance to prove themselves to me and others. I also try to always give others the benefit of doubt until they’ve given me reason not to.

Apparantly one of my greatest misconceptions in life, has been that all of this holds true for everyone or at least most people. I believe I am a fairly open minded person and in all fairness, most often try to see things from all perspectives. After all, I am an obsessive overanalyzer.

Early examples of my ignorance?For a very long time it was hard for me to recognize when I was being manipulated, made fun of or duped.  I suppose that made me ignorant, or maybe even still makes me ignorant much of the time. When I think back to my adolescent years, I remember being teased by “the popular” kids and thinking it meant I was accepted and part of the group. I remember one day sitting in a “friends” car waiting for them to come out, and then seeing 4 of my peers in the window pointing at me and laughing. I never did find out why, but the memory of that day creeps into my head frequently. The “popular” kids acted like we were buddies and were nice to me when no one else was around, but not in a crowd. I remember cheering at basketball games and some of the popular boys sitting in the stands often pointing and laughing at me without any particular reason, or laughing at or about me on the bus going to games. I believed it must mean the smiles they had meant something good. After all, it’s good when people smile, which means they are nice..right?……..Early examples of my ignorance?

Amongst other things, most importantly I am a mother.  I am a mother-in-law.  I am a grandmother.  As you have read in previous posts, this past year I have been shunned by 2 of my sons and their significant others.  And as you have heard, when this first happened I was spoken horribly of publicly by both of them, even AFTER I completely withdrew from the “disagreement”.  The point I’m trying to make here is that even now, after all of the pain and irreversible hurt my family has suffered and continues to suffer, I do not speak badly or make questionably negative comments about any of them when people ask me about them. For example, if someone were to ask about any of them, at worst I say “I don’t see them much anymore”. I would NEVER describe them with any negative connotation including saying “they have issues” to anyone as a first impression, not even now. It is not fair nor is it nice to plant a preconceived notion in someone’s head because of my current situation. Added to that, even with all that has happened, at the end of the day I will always love my children.

Nice people don’t bully, ignore, lie, or manipulate situations to their advantage. Nice people don’t steal not only tangible items but time and integrity included. Nice people are human, and humans do make mistakes, however “mistake” means “oops” and when the same mistake happens over and over again, it’s generally safe to say it’s no longer an oops it’s intentional. Ya’ll following me? I thought so.

For ease of conversation let’s focus on family. Is a family member gossiping about you, lying about or to you? Are you, your feelings or a situation being manipulated? Is your loyalty being taken for granted? Is someone taking full advantage of your being a “nice person”? The probability is, if you are a nice person you most likely refuse to see it, refuse to acknowledge it, refuse to accept it and refuse to as they say, “call a spade a spade”. I have lived the majority of my life with the belief that most people are nice and if someone wasn’t nice to me it was because I wasn’t worthy.

…and then I met my husband. In my world, he was like one of the cool guys in school . Only this time was very different. Not only did he acknowledge my exsistance in front of other people but he treated me with nothing but respect. He didn’t laugh at me but he did laugh with me. I mean seriously, even my exhusband and my own children laughed at me sometimes daily. I wanted to be friends with him because he made me feel worthy and who doesn’t want a friend like that?

We both have family members that aren’t “nice” to us. I suspect everyone does but not everyone knows it. Together we have struggled with “doing the right thing” and “being nice” because that’s how we believe family should behave. In turn, we have found our “being nice” getting taken advantage of and ourselves being manipulated or duped. The dilemma upon us now is how do we react to the situation?

Do you feel manipulated, duped or simply taken advantage of? On the other side of the coin, are you the manipulator, the one doing the duping, or taking advantage of a family members good nature? STOP!! Reflect. Be honest with yourself. Find your core values and access your situation. Do you need to step back and accept that someone in your family is not “being nice” to you? Worse, are you not “being nice” to a family member? I am NOT suggesting anyone gets angry, violent or grudge holding in any manner. I AM saying however, in my opinion, that no one deserves anything less than “nice” from their family members. Remember, it’s always ok for you to take care of yourself first, as long as you are not intentionally hurting someone else by doing so. It’s ok to love a family member from a distance if that is what keeps “nice” on the table. You cannot control others behavior or force them to “be nice” But you can decide for yourself that it’s ok to surround yourself with the family that is “nice” to you and keep the others at a respectful distance. If by chance you find yourself alone, perhaps you need to re-access your definition of “being nice”, or truthfully, maybe you unfortinately drew the low spade in the family game. (Always call a spade a spade) If that is the case, then I tell you this, IF NOT BLESSED WITH A BIOLOGICAL LOVING FAMILY, THERE IS ALWAYS THE CHOICE- FAMILY YOU CHOOSE.

Keeping the Beachlife Alive

My dream vacation has come to an end. After 8 days of travels and beach bumming we are home. I’m happily snuggling with my puppies and listening to my son in the next room, enjoying being back. Yet at the same time, I sit here with this ridiculous feeling of lonliness while my husband, my rock, my knight in shining armor, the love of my life had to go back to work because he had to return today. (I have 6 more days off)

Let’s take a step back. On our drive back, less than 30 miles away from home I started to cry, AGAIN. My love pulled off the interstate, grabbed my hand and asked what was wrong. I told him I wanted to go back to the beach where I felt like I was his princess again. Forgetting I was sick, forgetting about all this extra weight I’ve put on, forgetting how we work such different hours and spend half as much time together as we used to. I went on to say that our entire time on the beach, he looked at me like he did in the beginning of our relationship …his sparkling eyes with the look of “I want you”, he didn’t rush when he spoke using his calm sexy voice, and happiness was practically oozing from his pores. But the closer we got to home, the more I fretted “returning to normal”. It was there, on the side of the road that gently turned my face towards him, kissed me and assured me I’ve never stopped being his princess. He told me that I’m beautiful and can’t help age or illness. He said we will do better about taking time to ourselves and he will work hard to not let me forget that I will always be his princess.

I find myself wishing he was here with me right now, with our puppies and our son, only with the beach outside and the sound of waves crashing into the pier. It makes me remember the surfers and their lifestyle that shows they believe that relieving stress and having fun are equaly important as your work and life responsibilities.

I vow to myself and to my love, that I will not forget to have fun. I will remember for myself and remind him that all parts of our lives, the fun and the work. are equally important. I promise to enjoy and appreciate to the fullest extent – every moment, every sunrise, every conversation, every smile, every kiss, every breath.

We owe it to ourselves to live our life to its fullest. No matter if we are ill, put on weight, lose to much weight, lose our hair, lose our job, have family drama, whatever issues we encounter…we still all deserve to enjoy our life and all that is in it. We deserve to be happy. We deserve a life that isn’t constantly stressing us out to the max. The big lesson I learned taking this break, is how much I forgot to love and appreciate. Not because I took it for granted, but because when you are constantly stressed, your mind forgets how to rest and recharge so the BS slowly takes over your mind. Don’t forget to take moments for yourself, whether big or small. Whatever it takes to RELAX a little, everyone wants, deserves and needs a break, a recharge of some kind. Don’t delay taking a vacation because it’s not a good time. Find a way to give yourself that break, even if it is only for a weekend. There are inexpensive options out there, you just need to take the time to look. Most importantly, between vacations, don’t forget to regularly treat yourself, treat your family, giving yourself little moments of stress relief. A frequent bubble bath. A favorite desert after supper. A splurge for a Grande coffee. A movie outing. A walk in the park. More frequent nooky with your spouse. WHATEVER can help you enjoy your days, your life, a little more… do it! I want to. I realize I need to. I’m committed to. You should to.

Taking the Beach Home

Each morning of vacation is started with my necessary medication regime so that I can poop and relieve my “bottom issues” . If this isn’t followed accordingly, the day no matter how fun, will be extremely uncomfortable. I can proudly say each morning was a victory in that department. 🙂

Our second morning on the beach, we were greeted with a breath taking pink and orange sunrise over the Gulf with sugar sand under our feet. My Gulf greeting was followed by an example of balancing that thin line between “you deserve the best, expect the best and settle for nothing less”, and “don’t set your expectations too high so it doesn’t hurt so much when they’re not met”.

So much anticipated excitement replaced with disappointment. I found myself feeling useless, unworthy, ugly….but I didn’t yell, scream, cry or panick. I kept myself calm, centered, and grounded. I used the tools I have been working so hard on, and on my own, I overcame and did my best to enjoy my surrounding even if it meant I had to do it on my own. A huge victory for me! I acknowledge I didn’t have the dreamy day I was expecting, but I don’t have to give up the dream. I improvised that day and will keep that dream on my future vacation to do list. 🙂

The next day we were greeted with fog, and a lot of it. We couldn’t see past our balcony. We didn’t let that take all of our beach time away. The beach was full of jellyfish that had been washed ashore overnight. We were met by several surfers on our little walk who happily educated us on the jellyfish and the Gulf’s waves & currents do’s and don’ts. They made such an impression on me. All with a different lifestyle, yet a similar story in such a way as they all watch the radar daily, the waters current and the weather predictions just to get the chance to try to catch a wave or two even if it’s only for a short time. What a concept, making it a priority to do something for yourself, to relieve some stress. Soon after we did a little traveling, met some nice people and saw some fun sights. We had so much fun finding souvenirs for our family back home. A really fun part of the day was traveling to the neighboring state, finding 2 bakeries that had gluten free-vegan options and picking out some yummies! We smiled nonstop, we laughed a lot and believe it or not, I think I only contacted home once or twice that day. 😉 We were both exhausted (and broke lol) at the end of the day, but I believe it’s safe to say our hearts were full of love, appreciation and thanks. I went to bed that night feeling like I was on top of the moon. The day was exactly what I remembered our dating days to be like. For the entire day I felt like a princess. I forgot I was sick, I forgot I was fat, I was living a real life fantasy with the love of my life…because of the love of my life. It’s possible to let yourself have fun and it’s so worth it!

The following morning we watched the sun slowly burn the fog off of the water and the beach. As soon as my body was ready, we headed down to the beach. I was so excited! This would be my 4th day here, but the first day I would get to spend on the sugar sand and by the water with my love in its entirety! The day I had been waiting so long for, but kept evading me because of circumstances that were out of my control. He wasn’t interested in walking with me, but we didn’t let that stop my fun. He sat and watched while I walked the beach hunting for shells. I walked barefoot in the sugar white sand up and down the beach. I thanked the enormous body of water for sharing itself with me and for the gifts he gave me. There was a dead fish on the beach this morning which a seagull was picking at. Shortly after my little chat with the water, the seagulls disappeared and down swooped a bald eagle. He grabbed the fish faster than I could speak and flew off to meet his mate in the sky and they disappeared together into the blue sky. This happened 30 feet in front of me, if it was that far. I felt as though this was another lesson for me to take note. We need to take action in our lives and do what we need to do in order to survive, physically, emotionally and mentally.

I did more searching but decided to get more assertive while remaining respectful in my hunt. Just as I need to be assertive yet respectful in my day to day life. I planted my feet into the sugar sand under the water a couple feet in from the tide line. When a wave came in, behind the wave foam, hundreds of shells lay there washed up with the wave. When the water receded however it would take the shells back into the Gulf with it. Sometimes the water is generous and leaves a shell on the beach for you, but most of the time, it takes them all back. While I stood there in the water, I reached into the wave and grabbed the shells I could before it took back. Some waves hitting my knees. While some waves hitting my hips. It was a red flag day which means use extreme caution due to high surf and/or strong current or both therefore only go in water if a keen swimmer. I got so many shells! It was absolutely extremely satisfying and exhilarating! I felt as though Mr. Gulf was playing with me and testing me at the same time. I had to be bold, face my fears, respectfully aggressive and assertive while respecting the boundaries of the water. If I had fell in too high of a wave the current could have easily pulled me out into its clutches.

This is no different than what I’ve learned about living my life. It’s ok, even necessary sometimes to be respectfully aggressive and assertive when dealing with a stronger force or stronger personality than our own. And as long as we remain within the boundaries set and be respectful we will find rewards, just as I found seashells.

Later in the day, we were able to go on a dolphin cruise and fortunate to see a few dolphins. Watching these beautiful, playful family comes first creatures in their home is an experience I will never forget. Such powerful swimmers, such playful creatures allowing you to see them or not, using their full discretion. As long as we remained respectful within the boundaries we were able to be a part of their world, even if only a small part. Do you see the similarities to the healthy life decision making we should be making in our own lives?

The next and final morning on the beach, we took one last waterside walk. I told Mr. Gulf one last thank you for sharing so much with me and for allowing me my safety on my visit. I also told him good bye. I told him I hoped ever so much that this was a “Until next time my friend”, but I know all to well that’s a farewell I have no right to promise, not to Mr. Gulf, nor to myself.

It’s funny you know. I cried so hard about leaving the safety and comfort of my home. Now here I was, crying about leaving this beautiful place. The beach had so much to say, so much to teach, and I listened, I tried to learn every lesson it laid out before me and under my feet. The water, the sunrises, the sunsets, the sugarsand, the shells, the jellies, the dolphins and even the surfers, they all had something to teach and I was a receptive student and tried to take in every ounce of wisdom and life lessons I could. But this class was over, time to go back to the real world. The world of incertainty, the world of negativity, the world with disappointments, sadness and uncertain boundaries. The true test is now. Can I take the gifts of beauty and wisdom home with me and apply it to my life? I can, I must, I will, I can’t afford not to, and it would be a great sign of disrespect if I didn’t.

Day 2

Not spending much time here. Just checking in to say it’s been a wonderful day of firsts for us both. We even found a store and 3 restaurants that can serve gluten free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free and grain free. YAY! I can eat!

I enjoyed today like there’s no tomorrow, because you know….tomorrow may never come.

Day 1

Day 1 of vacation. We started our journey 12 hours ahead of schedule. We traveled just under 1300 miles with 2 hours of sleep at a rest stop in just under 21 hours. We have another 4 1/2 hours to go. The goal is to get there before noon. That is 3 more states my husband has taken to me and will add 1 if not 2 tomorrow. And then… 5 days of nothing but whatever we decide at whatever time we decide. We will follow that with 2 romantic where we spent our honeymoon 6 years ago.

Leaving last night was so hard. Hubby was ready to leave the moment he got home from work. I sat for hours holding my puppies and talking to my son while nervously crying and scared to leave. As excited as I was to come on this trip with my hubby, I didn’t want to leave my puppies or my son. After much reassurance from my son and our families best friend, I finally agreed to go early and we left. It took several hours for me to be able to settle into my “vacation spirit”.

I spoke with my son twice, our puppies once, and multiple others via text. My goal for tomorrow is to make the entire day and only check on my son and puppies. I have recently overcome so much, taking this time and using it to heal, recharge, and my husband and I to rekindle that new love feeling. It’s been so long since I’ve, since we’ve gotten out of the house on a date, much less leave town it’s hard for me to feel comfortable and not feel selfish.

Goal for tomorrow…no panicking, no checking in with anyone other than our son and no feeling selfish. It’s important because we never know what tomorrow will or won’t bring, if we even get a tomorrow at all.

AMAZING! STRONG! EMPOWERED! IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING!!!

That feeling you get leaving your psychology appointment after the doctor says you’ve made tremendous progress and she is not only impressed but proud….and in less than 24 hours you leave for a white sandy beach to spend a quiet week with the love of your life.

This moment……PRICELESS ❤