The Opportunity to Live what I Learn

I have learned I can love from a distance. Tomorrow it will officially be 1 year since I’ve seen or heard my sons voice. He’s not dead, he’s not in a coma, he’s not in another part of the world. He’s right here in the same city living 3.3 miles away from me, but he wants nothing to do with me or his little brother. He has text me three times over this past year. Once to tell me how worthless I was, once to tell me he loved us and followed by telling me his little brother is a prick and I’m delusional. And yesterday he text me to tell me to “stay safe because bad things are coming quickly”, and that he loves me. (He’s completely bought into a cultish conspiracy theory) My first inclination was to ask how he is and discuss the current events. However I stopped myself knowing I can’t let this situation disintegrate all of the hard work I’ve done in order to become an emotionally strong and mentally healthy woman. So I replied with “I love you” and later, a quick note saying if he ever feels unsafe, our home will be open to him. No discussion, no door opening to word lashing or gaslighting. It’s almost ironic how I’ve been working on loving from a distance and now we are learning social distancing.

What is COVID19 going to bring for us all? It’s already brought sickness, fear, panick, doubt, economic disarray to mention just a few. Yes it’s new, yes it’s unchartered territory for us all. Like so many others,I have to file for unemployment due to my office closing for a few weeks for the safety of our staff, families and patients. And as I sit here with a lot of time to think, I wonder if I should be contacting “the distant” ones just in case something bad happens in or to our family. But I come to my senses and realize that even if my presence or invitation was welcomed, there would be no fix and the gaslighting and abuse would quickly pick up right where it left off and cause another round of hurt not only to us, but to our two innocent grandchildren and I in no way am letting them go through more unnecessary BS. So I hold the dear ones close to my heart, remember them in my prayers, and stay the course.

This quiet quarantine time will be a good time to catch up on things at home, do some binge movie watching, call some old friends to catch up, and best of all time to meditate, reconnect with ourselves collect our thoughts and prepare ourselves for the new normal.

This is a strenuous time for us all, and for those like myself who suffer from chronic heightened anxiety this situation is a definite test of our coping skills. Practice your mindfulness. Give yourself a break and trust that everything will work itself out, doesn’t it always if we let it? Believe in goodness, believe in technology, believe in a higher power. Don’t make rash decisions that you will most likely regret in your not so distant future.

Surround yourself with the aura of love, health and peace. If you want to be helpful, help yourself first, help your family, then help others however you can as long as you are doing it all in a safe manner.

Be well my friends, be well.

Expectations Met as Important as Boundaries

I have learned so much about myself in the past year and I continue to learn each and every day. I have allowed people to push me around for so long, perhaps for always. However, when I got pushed too far into a situation that I could no longer handle, I would lose it and scream at whoever was closest. Now instead I am able to stick up for myself, I can hold my values and know that it’s ok for me to believe in myself, my wants, my needs, my feelings from the beginning leaving no reason for screaming.

The hardest part of getting mentally strong, is dealing with everyone else. People dont know how to deal with a pushover if they are no longer the pushover. One of my bully sons recently tried to smooze his way back into our lives while making demands. To his surprise, I didn’t crumble, I held true to my values, I stated the facts even if he didn’t want to hear them, and I protected my 17 year old son whom he threatened and bad mouthed. This is new territory.

It’s not only your family that has to learn to deal with the healthy you, but coworkers and friends do too. Which brings another interesting question…will your friends still be your friends when you use your voice?

I want to be surrounded by people whos values are the same as mine. Friends don’t have to agree on everything, but friends should support each other when one is dealing with a major issue. The bigger the trouble, the more support one needs. Good friends support one another.

What can you do to show your friends and family members you support them? What do your friends and family do to support you? Are you the one ALWAYS initiating texts or phone calls? Be good to yourself, stick up for yourself and your values. Don’t be afraid to stick to your expectations. We talk about boundaries and not letting people cross them, but included with that are your expectations. Be respectful, be honorable, and stay strong. Believe in what you need, you need it for a reason.

When Is the Time Right

When does the responsibility as mom go from the main support role to the supportive role? 18? 20? 25? I mean, I dont feel like a mom should just disappear when a kid turns 18. Because my 29 and 28 year olds banished me from their lives a year ago, after I gave more money, more energy, more time and more favors to them and their families than anyones else. I realize that I have lived my entire life around my kids and what they want and for what? My 22 and 17 year olds are everything you could hope for your children to be. Responsible, hard working, dedicated, caring and both are more self sustaining at a young age than either of their brothers were until they were 25 years old. After my youngest graduates and gets settled with his next step of his life, I don’t want them to think I’m deserting them but I really do want to start a new adventure with my life. My biggest fear however, is that they will feel abandoned. I realize this is probably not healthy, because if they decide they want to see what else the world has to offer them, I don’t want them to hesitate because of me. I love them with all of myself and love to be with them but I know how important it is to live your dream.  I want to start actively planning for the next step in my life, but I don’t want it to look like I’m excited for my youngest to grow up.  Truth is, I dread the day he leaves home and I think the only way I will be able to handle it without a complete breakdown is to have something exciting to look forward to.  After all, if I move away to take an adventure, I can always come back, or move closer to wherever my two amazing sons decide to live their lives. 

Chances are I will get to be an active grandma in their childrens lives should they have families of their own, and I dont want to squander that opportunity or blessing if or when the time comes. Because I know these 2 sons will not only want, but appreciate that relationship.

I always thought I wanted to stay in our home, our house so that my boys always had a “back home”. But I’m seeing now, there is so much crap, so much BS that I really dont even want it anymore. In fact, even if I stayed in this town, I dont want this house. Yes, there are some wonderful memories here, but we will always hang on to those memories. I however, need to ditch the shit.

The valuable lesson I want to pass along is this. The old adage is true, HOME IS WHERE YOUR HEART IS. It’s not one specific house to stay that way forever, my home is wherever I can be happy, not just existing but truely be living, and I can bring it with me wherever I go.

That Ugly Four Letter Word

I am not a first. I am not his first. Hell I’m not even in his first ten or twenty but I am his last, or at least that’s the plan ie my hope. A sensitive subject for many people, especially sensitive for low self-worth people, is their spouse or significant others past. Let me rephrase that…

It is always hard for me to be reminded of my husbands “active” past filled with countless sexual encounters and/or relationships with countless women. It’s ironic that at this point of my life, I wish I was one of the girls that was lucky to fall in love, lose her virginity and marry her first love, and I his. I wouldn’t have to cope with the ugly feelings of worrying if I measure up to “all of them”, or even “most of them”. It’s true nor is he my first. Which is why we make it a priority to keep track of all of our “firsts” together and to make them all special no matter how big or small. But regardless of how strong our relationship is, I hate feeling like I’m “less than” all of the others. In fact, I have this huge need to feel like I’m the special one. To feel like EVERYTHING about me, our relationship, our love, our marriage, our sex, EVERYTHING is not only different but BETTER than all of those before me.

Not only were we friends for years before we dated (so I witnessed much of his dating endeavours first hand), but after we were together people would constantly bring up stories about his past that no girl wants to hear about her man.  It got to the point that it was hard to want to go out on weekends because we couldn’t go anywhere without someone bringing up some inappropriate story of his carousing days and I was tired of hearing about it.

I’m going to get personal here, but hey, I’ve told you private and humiliating things including health facts of my nether regions so I guess the line has already been crossed. 😉

One of the most personal and beautiful stories I hold very dear about my husband and I is our first “morning after” conversation. I replay that conversation in my mind often and it still gives me a big cheesey smile and the shivers. I told him that I felt different than I had ever felt. That “it” felt different than anything I had ever experienced and he claimed the same. He told me he thought it was different because we had been friends for so long. That we knew each other so well, our hearts were drawn to each other before we even knew it. He said it was the first time he knew a girl and built a meaningful friendship with her before he dated her and then went any further. I remember him saying that it was obvious we were meant to be. 

Either he was one hell of a smooth talker and I got played big by THE “player”, or I really did find my soulmate. Here we are happily married all these years later, I think it’s safe to assume the soulmate theory. (No doubt he was also a smooth talker-ha)

Before I agreed to go out with him, there was a lot of discussion between us about his past, all the women in it and how I wasn’t impressed in the least. I made it very clear I was not interested in being a “notch on the bed pole girl”. So when the time came that we reached that point in our relationship, to hear such beautiful words come out his mouth made me feel like I was in a fairytale, perhaps his first fairytale as well.  Which is why I loved it so much when he started to reference me as his princess. 

Here I am, almost 10 years later, his wife of 6 years (his longest relationship by a landslide), and I STILL can’t help but be jealous of and despise the women in his past. So tonight when he made a comment during an innocent conversation that made me feel like our “first night together” was no different than any of his other “flings”….I was crushed, floored, felt like I was slugged in the gut with a bat. He didn’t intentionally try to hurt my feelings, and who knows, maybe it was just how it came out. I don’t even remember what we were talking about or how it happened exactly. But he used that nasty F word while referencing our first night together and my heart sunk. All I can do now is sit here and wonder. “Did I get played? Did he say those beautiful words to other girls?” We are married, I am his wife, I know he loves me more than life without question and that was years ago….but still….ouch….

So what would my psychologist Dr. Nancy tell me? She would most likely first ask me how it made me feel. We would then talk about why using the 4 letter F word in reference to he and I bothers me so much and we would discuss my opinions and thoughts of the different terms used for fornicating. Then she would probably remind me that we are happily married and that men are often thoughtless when it comes to these things. Of course she would finish by advising me to talk to my hubby about it and explain to him why it bothers me and that I would really appreciate it if he could use more delicate terms.  I’m not offended by the 4 letter F word, as a matter of fact I cuss like a sailor.  But that’s the difference, to me it’s a cuss word, an ugly word, a dirty word, not something he and I have done.  There is and never has been anything ugly or dirty about us or what we’ve done.    Understand what I’m saying? 

But for now, I’m going to stay where I’m at because if I go to bed (he’s there now), I won’t be able to sleep anyway and I’ll be more tempted to want to talk about it.  Obviously talking about it at 2:00am isn’t a great idea, so the couch is the best place for me.  And honestly, even if he didn’t try to hurt my feelings, it should be no surprise to him that I hate that term being used to reference us in that way and the comment hurt me.  Worse, I doubt he has any idea that I will be awake all night wondering if he played me that morning so many years ago with some speech heard by many before me.  

So many hurdles to get over. *Don’t allow yourself to waste your valuable time being jealous. *Don’t allow yourself to waste your valuable time to worry and to wonder. *Allow yourself to live free of the what if. *Leave the past in the past, both yours and his, you can’t go forward if you’re always looking behind you. *Believe in yourself, believe in him, believe in your being together – you found each other, you enjoyed each other, you wanted each other, you chose each other. *Always choose happiness. *Be honest and be open. *Be thoughtful and be sincere. *Don’t forget what matters or who matters. *Forgive and ask for forgiveness. *Understand and ask to be understood. *Give respect and demand respect. *Allow them to love you and put your whole heart into loving them back. *Start today so you don’t miss your chance, you never know when tomorrow won’t come.

Another Beach Lesson

Today is a new day. Are you going to the beach, or are you bringing it with you? When I say “Going to the Beach”, if I’m not lucky enough to actually be on the sugarsand, I’m taking time to myself, concentrating on me, closing my eyes and envisioning myself on the 5th floor balcony on the beach. When I ask if you are “bringing it with you”, how can you?” I have a couple little personal ways to bring it with me. Most days I carry my grandsons little T-Rex toy in my pocket. Those days it’s calming for me because it makes me feel like he is with me. Sometimes I simply sit and look at pictures of him and play with his toys. I’ve also found since our vacation, how calming it is for me to play in the sand I brought back with me. Heck, I even put a jar of sand and shells on my desk at the office so I can take a moment to invision or even touch. Whatever it is that you can carry in your pocket, your purse, your wallet, that will calm you, gives you peace or even simply give you a smile is a perfect way to “bring the beach with you”.

If you need to sneak a moment in the other room,  sneak it.  If you want to go to the beach, go. If you want to take it with you, do so.

What I realize now is that a part of my heart is still on the beach, and a part of the beach is still in my heart. And I know without a doubt, that when it’s time to take the next step into the next journey of my life, that road leads to the sandy beach or at minimum many miles closer to it. It’s a journey my love and I have discussed at length and look forward to. Every journey has its sacrifices and even draw backs, but every journey also has a purpose. You and I can discuss this at length another day.

For the past 30 years and for a few more, my beach is here with my children. This vacation however, showed me that my next beach has real sand. Have you asked yourself “Where or what is my beach”? It may not always be the same, your beach may and probably will change at some point in your life if it hasn’t already. I believe the secret is to enjoy the beach you have and if you can’t be directly on it, take it with you. We get only one chance to live this life, don’t waste it always waiting for tomorrow, take action today. You never know when tomorrow won’t come.

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.