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Loosing isn’t Easy

So as with life we have to learn to deal with loss. Our lives move forward not always taking us all in the same directions and we drift apart losing touch and sight of the people we love and care about. Well that’s what is happening with me. I had a wonderful BFF, someone who I could laugh with, cry with, someone who everyone around us told us we were the perfect Homance…however, that is all coming to an end now and while I try to be strong for everyone around me, I’m really crying inside. I’m not the only one that has lost her, and I am trying to be so strong for them and it’s becoming harder and harder to do so. I’m happy for her on one hand because she needed to get out and explore the world, needing to learn to be the strong and independent person that I know she is, but I didn’t think that would mean her moving away.

While everyone says that just because someone moves away they are still your friends, but let’s face it, long distant friendships are hard to keep and while she will always be my friend, eventually she will have new Bff’s related to her current life. While we may still pick up the phone or chat on Facebook, it still isn’t the same. No more late night trips to Starbucks, or morning coffee at each other’s house. No more grocery store trips or afternoons chasing yard sales, or just stopping by to say hi. It’s a loss that I feel profoundly in my day to day life. I envy my husband who has a friend back in Ohio and they have been friends for 20 years and still call each other on a weekly basis, and he still calls him his best friend, but I think for a women it’s a lot different. We crave interaction, we need to be able to see that face when it sits across from you laughing or crying with you. We need to be able to pick up that phone and say can you be ready in 10 minutes.

Realistically I haven’t been a great friend to many people. Even ones that live somewhat locally, and I have always understood the hurt that they harbor because they were expecting so much for me, expecting more than I could give. I am really only capable of having one really good friend at a time. While I love to have multiple friends to get together with, there’s really only room for one BFF at a time. That’s my fault, my burden to bear, because when that one friend moves on, I become reclusive, depressed and disappointed that I didn’t do things differently. I guess you can say that I can only have one at a time, because it’s to hard to share with everyone. People get jealous, they start to be petty and it doesn’t become very pretty.

I have tried to join groups in the hopes that I can finally find a group of women who can get past all that and just be a group. You know in the movies when you have 3 or 4 women who are all friends together like and I hate to use this but Sex in the City. There are 4 women all of different backgrounds, family status, but it doesn’t matter because they all come together and are not jealous and petty and they don’t monopolize one over the other, but I have never found that. I have only been able to cultivate one good friendship at a time. I am thankful for that and each one gets better, but just finding that one person that you connect with on so many levels is very difficult to find.

Even toward the end she even became a little jealous over the fact that I had cultivated new friendships and was spending time with other people. What am I supposed to do? She left me…kind of like having a boyfriend, you can’t just expect me to sit and wait every day and night waiting for that phone call or wondering if your going to be in town for the day or night. I have to learn to move on with my life. It’s been hard, because again I understand her need to move on and I wish her so much happiness, but I feel like I was dumped and I can’t help but be a little sad and frankly a little angry over that. Ironically we became friends as couples, but we envisioned ourselves as old women sitting in our rocking chairs on our front porch, now I have a vision of two men sitting in front of the TV blowing up people on the latest video game even when they are 60. But at the same time, someday we will all drift as well towards new lives that probably wont’ include him either. Because when your no longer a couple of course your now on the hunt for you own new life that may include a new place, a new person, a new way of doing things.

I have tried so hard to not let this affect me, but I know it is and I just had to get it out. There of course was a lot of other drama involved, not necessarily on my part, but it’s hard when your still friends with the spouse and you are there trying to help them pick up the pieces too. A marriage is definitely more important than just a friend status, but since he seems to be getting over it and moving on now, it’s my time to be a little selfish and sad, is that wrong of me??? Well like the job, I went on vacation and really just had an opportunity to get over it, and again I will be leaving again soon for another adventure that will also help me just come to terms with things and I can get back on track to my own road of new adventure and discovery.

A True Getaway

When people think of getting away they think of a week or weekend of R & R (Rest and Relaxation), but I have had the luxury of really getting away from it all for almost a month now. It’s like running away, but not because I know I have to go back to reality at some point. However, it’s been wonderful here. Visiting family and being able to truly unwind from the events of the last 6 months. My shoulder doesn’t hurt, I am sleeping good and eating good and for the first time in years I can relax my shoulders and body and just be a vegetable.

This has been a time of reflexion, but not to the point where I feel stressed about where I am going next because I still haven’t figured that part out and right now I don’t want to. I can choose to sleep in or get up and take the spoiled Lab Zoie to doggy day care. I can stay up late, watch movies or read, and if I want to get dressed some days I can or I can choose to stay in my pajamas all day too.  I have been spoiled rotten while I have been here. I have had a whole wardrobe make-over, new make-up, I even have learned to fix my hair a little differently and all of it has really made me feel like a new person. We have gone to dinner to different places around town, after dinner cocktails and cigars at a local cigar lounge has been one of our favorite things to do. Also we have had some wonderful meals here at home as well, with all of us chipping in to fix and clean up. We have 5 o’clock wine and cheese hour where I have tried new wines from around the world as well as share lots of laughs.

It’s amazing what a time away from your reality can do! It helps to give you a fresh perspective on your own life that sometimes a short mini vacation can not do. I realize that there are things that I need to be doing different, and should be doing different and it’s an exciting thing to think how these changes are going to be. Everyone needs the chance to step back and evaluate their life, a time where they can just find who they are again, to be free and let go of the things that aren’t so important and re-evaluate what is. It’s not as if I have had any epiphanies, but I don’t think those are necessarily required. It’s not like everything in my life has gone wrong, because it’s not. It’s just learning to get back to some of the basics such as my relationship with my husband, friends, house hold duties, and just everyday life.

I’m so blessed and lucky to have a husband who is so understanding and while sometimes I feel he is a needy person, he is really selfless when it comes to me. I have extended my stay twice now and both times he just said ok, left me know when you are coming home. He doesn’t whine, beg, or tell me no I can’t. He’s been such a support when it comes to this extended stay. I think he has finally realized that you have to check the mail to be sure that something isn’t due right away, and he’s really learned what it is to run the house, but most importantly, he hasn’t called me every 5 minutes or with every little problem. He’s letting me take care of things that I need to in my own time, and that’s something not every husband would do, or even put up with. I am looking forward to going home most of all to be with him.

I realize that we need to get back to the basics just with the two of us. We used to be able to spend many weekends alone doing stuff together and yet we have allowed ourselves to be surrounded by people almost every day of each weekend. That isn’t healthy for a relationship because than you depend on others to keep us entertained. Don’t get me wrong, I love to entertain and have company, but I need to learn to say no more often. There are so many things that we could be doing as a couple and yet we don’t. It’s like we are missing life by being afraid to deviate from the normal weekend routine. We need to learn to balance our activities, friends, and time together better.

Being away I realize that I haven’t been keeping up on the 52 weeks of me project, but that’s ok. I will pick it up again and I don’t think I am going to try to catch up. I think that the project has been really good, but I have also made this last month all about me in my own way and I think that has been much more important. In fact I really have kept a distance from being on the computer at all! I have my new phone that brings me Facebook updates and all that, but I don’t feel that I have had to respond to each and every one, and I have only logged onto an actual computer 2-3 times. There are some things that I have needed to weed myself away from and the computer is one of them. It’s a device that can suck the life out of you because we spend so much time on it doing really things that aren’t really all that important.

So for now I am going to sign off, the only reality thing that I need to do today is pay the bills….how fun is that, but thankfully I have another week and a half before I have to re-enter my life as I known it, but I know that it won’t be the same, it will be a new and improved Holly going back to California, I just hope everyone is prepared for that!

De-Stressing…it’s a Chronic Problem

For any of you who have experienced the joys of an entire body massage, you know the feeling of what it feels like to be complete jello. That moment when they are done and all you can do is lay there and think “I don’t want to have to move”. I thought it would be like that for me now that I am not working, but it’s not. I think by the time that I moved, (packing and then a flurry of unpacking), the holidays (I hosted Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years) and then the flurry of packing all the decorations away and giving the house a good cleaning, I have now only been able to experience a miniscule amount of de-stressing.

However, I hear that some doctors tell you that 6 months just still isn’t enough time to undo all the stress of a decade and I can finally understand that. My shoulders are still tight, and I can’t seem to relax my body until I fall to sleep in sheer exhaustion. Problem is, what am I tired from? Grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, or sitting on the computer? I haven’t figured it out yet, but I need a plan. When you go to bed and you can’t unclench your muscles and take a deep even breath, there is something still severely wrong with you. Ok, well I mean there is still something wrong with me. I had my full body masage, but the tight knot under my shoulder-blade tells me that I still need more work to at least release the toxins of stress from my body.

Maybe it’s just the world we live in. Bills are due, house needs cleaning, laundry needs done, and there’s just one more thing you need to put on your to do list everyday. How do people do it? I look at all these blogs of “artists” and think how do you have time for your craft? Martha Stewart is a good example of women who seem to be able to do it all and look relaxed doing it. Grant it she has a team of people who do a lot for her, but you mean to tell me that she can pick apples in her orchard in the morning, think up a new pattern for one of her many home lines, make fresh apple sauce, deal with her 3 dogs, pigs, cows and employees and still look calm and serene by 4 in the afternoon? What’s her secret, I would really like to know!

I know coming down from a job that made you miserable can take a while and I’m sure all the activities of the holidays didn’t help very much, but really….when does this end? When am I going to feel “normal”? or is there such a thing as normal in our world anymore?

Celebration Banner

I made this banner last week for my husbands birthday. It was basically made from papers from DCWV and my Cricut Cartridges, Lyrical Letters (for the banner it’s self) Celebrate with Flourish ( with the balloons, and only available through Walmart) and Wall Decor (for the lettering). I cut the letters from a thin chipboard (the backs of paper packs do great) cut the letters again in black, applied craft glue and covered with glitter. Let dry, and then apply hair spray to seal the glitter in. String together with ribbon and hang.

Why Couldn’t I have Married a Foodie?

Today being a lazy Sunday, I finished the book “I loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti”, by Guillia Melucchi. It was a funny book about how her failed romances increased her culinary abilities. While I can’t say that I envy anyone being in their mid thirties, unmarried, I can appreciate her experiences with food. Something that in my adult years I have not been able to realize to my full potential. When I mean full potential I mean the experiences of going to eat at all kinds of different and out-of-the-way bistro’s, restaurants, and mom and pop joints. Of course living where I do there is less opportunity to do things like that because most cuisine in these parts caters to the geriatric, or the middle class which makes for a large variety of franchised food.

There is no such thing as a tucked away little diner that you can go roaming into at 2 in the morning, unless that diner has a big yellow sign out front that says Denny’s, and what we know as real Italian food is so Americanized it squeaks of Olive Garden under tones. However, aside from all that, I also have not been blessed with a husband that cares all that much for food, eating, let alone whether a Chardonnay should be coupled with chicken, pork, or fish because he can’t stand wine or any derivative of it. To top it off, he can’t stand all three of those items listed, unless the pork is a roast served up with mashed potatoes and corn. I have been blessed fortunately with a husband that isn’t concerned whether or not I am a few….ok several pounds heavier than I should be, but more so about the small pot belly that he has accumulated over our years together from the beer that he has consumed, that albeit being a light Bud Light and something that I can’t find it in my heart to drink due to my I’m sure more sophisticated palate. So there is a never-ending battle with what to make for dinner.

I’m also happy to report that while magazines still talk about being skinny, there are more and more writers that incorporate their love of writing with their love of food and show this by including recipes in with their witty semi-autobiographies, which leads me to believe that there is still hope our there for me. In our household we have a few staples that we live by. Spaghetti with Prego sauce and ground beef (for him), while I always try to find some other fancy type of jarred sauce, steak, pot roast, crock pot roast, pork roast accompanied by a starch and a vegetable. Every now and then I can squeak in something new or at least something that make me feels like cooking, like my Chili Verde, which is our Sunday night dinner, at least for tonight. I can also always make what I call “White Trash Lasagna.” I call it this, and not out of spite or meanness, but it’s what my husband grew up with. Have you ever had a lasagna with sliced American cheese wrapped up in the single serving plastic covers? The first time I had this, I basically had to choke it down. He made this for me and everything in my being was revolted by the thought of this cheese on a lasagna that I didn’t even think was good enough for my common sandwich! Over the years we have learned to compromise on this and I can now add mozzarella to the mix and has become a family favorite for all of us. For anyone wishing to try this new lasagna here’s the recipe.

White Trash Lasagna

1 package of lasagna noodles (I prefer Barilla) cooked according to package instructions. (Use a little olive oil in the water to keep the noodles from sticking)

1 large jar of Prego with fresh mushrooms

1 pound of ground beef cooked

1 large package of shredded mozzarella, or ball, whatever you prefer and really however much you wish to put in the dish

approximately 24 slices of any brand American cheese slices (at least use Kraft)

Cook beef till no longer pink, add in the pasta sauce and warm. Set aside. Cook Noodles until done, and drain off most of the water, but leave some in so they don’t dry out and stick. Assemble as you would any other lasagna. Layer on your noodles, sauce, American cheese, than Mozzarella. Repeat process until the baking pan (13 x 9 or larger) is full. Bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese is bubbly. Serve with garlic bread and a salad if you choose. Pair with a cheap Merlot or Shiraz.

One recipe that I was very surprised to find that my husband liked was Chili Verde. A friend of ours made it one night and we all waited in anticipation to see what the outcome would be for him. Wouldn’t you know….Mickey liked it! He said the flavor reminded him of stuffed green peppers. How he got that interpretation out of it I will never know, but I didn’t argue. I came home armed with the recipe and I have been making it for my family ever since. I call it the white girl version of Chili Verde, even though my friend Stephanie is Hispanic, and since she started making it has graduated to stewing up her own tomatillos for the sauce, but I have continued to use the canned versions of everything.

White Girl Chili Verde

4-5 pounds of country pork ribs (boneless or a pork roast of any cut you want)

1 medium-sized onion diced finely

4-5 cloves of garlic skinned and diced finely

3 small cans of tomato sauce unseasoned

2-3 small cans of dived green chilies already chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Sour cream

tortillas

rice

1 large jar of green salsa (here you can go mild, medium or hot depending on you or your crowd and any brand, but I prefer Herdez)

Chop up your pork in small bite size pieces removing as much of the fat as possible. Put a bit of olive oil in a large skillet and heat, add onions and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes or until the onions begin to clarify. Add the chopped up pork and let cook stirring every so often. Add some salt and pepper at this point and once the pink disappears, place a lid on the pan and set to cook on medium for about 20 minutes. Than add all your other ingredients to the pan and let it all come to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for a couple of more hours. You can add a little more salt at this point if you feel it’s necessary, especially if you use natural tomato sauce. You actually can get this done in about an hour, but I like to let the flavors simmer for a while and it also makes the pork more tender.  Once your ready to serve, cook up some rice enough for you and however is eating, add rice to a bowl, cover with the Chili Verde and top with sour cream. Warm tortillas to place on the table and dip, wrap or just eat along with the Verde. Makes at least enough for 4-6 helpings and leftovers.

So yesterday, in one of the few adventures to one of our large malls located about 40 minutes from us mom and I went into Crate and Barell. Every time I go in there I get the cooking bug. I bought a hand-held citrus juicer. I never have had one and realized it was time for one when I was using a spoon the other day to extract lime juice from a stubborn and almost dry lime. I also bought 6 prep bowls with lids and two very nice bamboo spoons (used today for the Verde) that were much in need since I threw all the rest of my wooden spoons away when I found out that they probably weren’t good for me to use since they weren’t bamboo. I also found a book on Chinese cooking which I took a picture of to try to find cheaper somewhere on the internet. Now one of the few things that I enjoy eating out is Chinese, so on further thought I may pass on that one. If I make it, than I won’t have a reason to go out any more. However, I have gotten the bug to cook again. I loved to cook. I used to come up with some strange stuff, but at least I had an imagination if I didn’t have money to buy much back in the day. I keep thinking to myself that I get more creative and really work at it that maybe someday I will change my husbands mind about food. So it will be interesting to see what I come up with. Of course I can’t do something new everyday, because that would get expensive and he would be sure to eat lunch later and later feigning that he wasn’t hungry when he got home, but I am going to try. Heck the meatballs that I made earlier this week to substitute the plain ground beef in the spaghetti was a hit. I found the recipe on the Kraft Foods website and basically it was beef, stuffing mix chicken flavor, egg, and water. At least is was different, and it has given me a little encouragement that slowly but surely I can finely cook the way I have always wanted to. Wish me luck in this endeavor!

Dreams – The Flip Side

I think most women dream of having a family. Children to call their own, to raise differently than we were raised, and a chance to see our legacy continue well after we are gone. I suppose I wasn’t any different from most women at least when I was younger. Marry Mr. Right, have 2.5 children, a white picket fence, and the family dog. However, once I reached my 20’s something seriously went wrong.

My first marriage was to a Marine who hadn’t been in the Corps for very long and I knew it was going to be a hard road for us, at least for a while. I thought I was pregnant at one point, and I think it was all the talk around me a our friends wanting babies, having babies, or being pregnant. It became obvious that I wasn’t and so life continued and I made sure that I was protected. Since he didn’t plan on making the Marine Corps a career I didn’t want to have to start a new life within a couple of years carting around a small child or baby. It wasn’t long after he got out we moved and then separated. I am grateful to this day that I didn’t have children with him. I’m glad that I didn’t have to have him in my life.

Than I met Paul, my current, second, and last husband. We both had had rocky relationships, and while I was ready to commit early on, I realized that he wasn’t. So I gave up the dream of marriage, and children once again. We enjoyed each other, but separated 3 different times. The last time being him leaving to return back to his native Ohio. He was gone for a year, and I never expected him to return, but return he did. When he had left we were “engaged”, but his pleas to come home left me with a dilemma. I still loved him…A LOT…. and this time he had made the promise that we were going to get married, and settle down. People thought I was crazy to let him come back and live with me right away, but honestly we had lived together for over 4 years before that and why date, make him get a separate apartment and have us be on our best behavior? It was either going to work or not. Talk about dreams of prince charming coming to sweep you off your feet gone forever. However, I am not sure that I would have wanted it any other way at this point. The trials that we have been through before our marriage and the fact that we could still come together is a true testament to our strength. That even in marriage we can weather anything together.

We both finally had jobs that made good money, and we bought a house and lived a couple of years after getting married just building our equity, or so we thought. I should have known at the beginning that we got the not so great end of the stick on our home loan, we had to take out a second for some financial issues, and in two years were struggling to get a re-finance. By this time I am 35 years old and realizing that I am getting past my child-bearing years. I had a co-worker and friend that is almost 5 years older than me who said we should try to get pregnant at the same time. I chickend out and now she has a 3-year-old little girl. That was when I was 33-34.

When I finally got the courage to get off the pills I became pregnant fairly quickly. Paul and I had just been to my first pre-natal appointment and the doctor told us at the next appointment we would be able to hear the heart beat. Within the week, I was scrapping with my friend and I came out of the bathroom to announce that I was having a small amount of spotting. She calmly packed up her stuff, told me to call Paul and we were going to go to the emergency room, but not to worry, these things can be normal. It wasn’t. The doctor in the emergency room kept asking me how far along they told me I was. Almost 2 months I replied. They couldn’t read my sonograms there in the room, and had to take me to x-ray. After 3 or more hours, the doctor pronounced that the baby wasn’t “viable” and that I should see my regular physician on what to do next. Less than a week later I am back at the same doctor who didn’t seem to recognize me, didn’t care, and told me to go back to emergency to have a DNC done because he didn’t have time for me. I didn’t know what to do, I had never been through this before, but I did know what a DNC was, and that was to scary for me to contemplate. That afternoon, I left my mom in the middle of Home Depot with the worst pain ever, drove home, called my husband, and had a miscarriage before he got home. Never made it back to the hospital. Maybe these are to many details for some, but it’s my blog and it feels good to write it down.

There were two more attempts over a 6 month period of time. My body and my mind just couldn’t handle anymore. I know there are women out there who have multiple before they have a good one, but physically it was taking a lot of out of me, and mentally as well. I am hypothyroidism and while that doesn’t keep you from having children, if you’re not on the right doses of your medication you can severely harm a baby. Also I was realizing that I waited to long. Most of our friends already had children who were grown or at least old enough to go to the bathroom and eat on their own if not almost in high school or almost graduated. I was entering the later part of my 30’s which for a women not in peak physical condition isn’t a good thing.

Paul and I finally discussed the issue and even he decided that we should stop. He couldn’t stand it for me to have to go through all the pain, couldn’t watch me freak out thinking I’m doing everything wrong. We also concluded, that life was fine the way it was. Sometimes it seemed like we could barely take care of ourselves. The house had sucked so much out of us, that sometimes groceries were not on our list of needs at payday. We also liked the fact that we could pick up and go whenever we wanted to. We didn’t have to worry about babysitters, and extra money to pay them, we could randomly go where we wanted and when we wanted.

I had a friend once, a good Christian women, who told me that she couldn’t fully feel like she was a women without having given birth. I had told her that whatever God has in store for her will be and that being a woman has nothing to do with your womb. It’s a bonus that God decides whether it will be or not. I know for me I feel like I have been the maker of that destiny. Always on birth control, being very careful. But honestly, even the most careful of women still get pregnant on the pill, and perhaps it was just never meant to be for me. Sure I have missed dozens of times, a day here or there, and even days sometimes. I know people say children aren’t planned, they just happen, but maybe I planned to much. Not having stability for a child scared me and maybe it just came to late. I’m amazed at the women and men alike who seem to envy us our freedom. We don’t deal with late night diaper changing, terrible two’s, and the terrible teens. People tell us outright while they wouldn’t change having their children, they often wonder and think it would have been nice to not got the traditional route and not have to worry about them.

To those people I say there is a flip side of deciding not to have children especially when you have a very small family. You see I am an only child. No siblings, very few cousins, and a part of a family back east that is completely lost and unknown to me. Here in this area of California, it’s me, my husband, and my mom and dad. No grandparents, no cousins, no nothing. My husband has family, but they are scattered and not close either. Once my parents are gone, it’s just Paul and I. As a person who loves to scrapbook, I find this highly ironic. People scrap their children, in fact the majority of their pictures involve their kids. Mine are filled with the four of us, our dogs, and the few close friends that we have surrounded ourselves with through the years. Of all the artistic trades, or hobbies that I have tried scrapping was the one thing I took to and very quickly. I have always struggled with the reasons why I scrap, because these are albums that you leave to your family as your lasting legacy (ah, there’s that word again), but I know mine will someday be in an estate sale, and eventually sent out to the dump. I hope not, I hope someday I have someone I can leave them to, but for now, and for as sad as this sounds, I keep them as my memories to sustain me through the long cold, lonely nights of my ending years. These will become my dreams when all else fails me. They will be my comfort and my joy of the good life that I did have.

Things definitely haven’t turned out the way I thought they would have. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing, just different. I’m happy in our life. Being unemployed now, I am grateful that I dont’ have to worry about another mouth or mouths to feed. Even with it being the two of us, we have never been able to survive on just one income. I don’t envy those that have children, at least financially, but sometimes I envy the fact that they will have someone when they are old. Though I wonder if that will always be the case for them. I drive by the numerous elderly care facilities in our town and wonder how many of them actually get regular visits from their children, or whether they are just as alone there as they would have been without a lot of family. I see the people I know who have siblings and hear about the fights, the months of no communication, the children that come home and say they hate them, and wonder if I’m better off. I will never know that, but I do know one thing, don’t fight with your family, find away to make amends, spend all the time you can with them and hold them tight. It’s a precious gift, not one to be squandered. If your dream was to have children, always keep those ties together, never once consider what life would have been like without them, but cherish each moment, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and be thankful. Not everyone’s dream for a family comes true and if it doesn’t for you, find something else to set your sights on. I hope someday Paul and I will be able to travel the globe, that we will have friends that we can make as close as our family, and that our lives will be just as full. For now, I will set dreams to seeing the Eiffel Tower, or floating on a gondola in Venice, or even seeing the white snow caps of Mount Everest. Dreams don’t have to end when they don’t come true, that’s why they are called dreams, but when you stop dreaming, you stop truly living.

I Breathe

I breath, I live;

     I dream, I live;

           I create, I live;

                I make mistakes, I live;

                        I move forward, I live;

                                I don’t know where I am going, but I breath, and I live.

Dreams – Flashbacks

The only problem about participating in a challenge, is that you don’t know what the next week’s theme is going to be. Last week the theme was all about current dreams which lead me to remember my dreams of the past and where that has led me now. This weeks challenge is to remember the dreams of the past, and yet I already feel that I have covered this, but at the same time I haven’t.

Thanks to my DVR, I just finished the first episode of the new show “Live to Dance.” I love these shows, the creativity, the passion, and the drive that these people have. As with any reality talent T.V. show, I am always inspired by the people who go on these shows. Kids that are only 9 years old to women who are 90 years young. I find that their inspiration, their passions move me to tears. Yes, I can honestly say I am a Paula Abdul when it comes to watching these shows. I find myself crying  just because of the love and the dream that they have for something, which I feel is lacking in my own life. I realize that while I had dreams, I never found the passion for anything beyond the day-to-day. I played piano for years and I tried dance. Neither one really at the time inspired any type of passion within me.

Where does passion and dreams come from? Where does the drive to excel come from? Is it born in you? Is it something that transfers from parent to child? Is it the product of an upbringing or the lack of drive and passion from those that influence you? I’m not going to blame my parents for the lack of passion and drive, but at the same time for me I think I have to lay some responsibility at their feet. While it may not be fair to make them responsible for my now past future, when you see no drive in those around you it leaves the impression that life is all about growing up, getting a good job, raising a family and just working. My parents didn’t go to the river, didn’t ski, didn’t go to the beach, and didn’t excel at any particular craft. There was not a lot of worldly experience growing up, in fact I was kept in a bubble of protection and ignorance.

I also can look back at the people who were teaching me and found that there wasn’t much passion within them either. Dance was taught in the traditional manner, nothing noted about a student who has a passion and maybe needed more that what they were giving. A piano teacher who didn’t teach theory or get more in-depth about the music, it was just all about the keys and the timing. Today I couldn’t tell you what A minor is and even how to play it. Does it mean something is sharp, or flat? While I enjoy watching dance, and have a wonderful appreciation for music, I feel that something is still missing.

Than I have to look within myself and wonder why as I sit here admiring these young people for their talent and drive, why I don’t have this quality in me to pursue the dreams of my youth. I loved to dig in the dirt, I loved to see faraway places through movies, T.V., and books. I love to decorate and make things beautiful. Now that I have the time to really think about where it is I want to go, why can’t I pin point what it is that I want to do and run with it? Why can’t I seem to break free of the invisible chains that bind me and fly? I find in the darkest moments of the night that I still can’t just relax my body, my breathing and let my mind drift away; but instead lay there chest tightening and breathing ragged and fear gripping my body.

How do you go back and recreate your childhood dreams, making them reality? I don’t know how to do it. It’s as simple as that, I just don’t know where to start? The fears of being to old to start over, not smart enough, not talented enough become a block wall that I haven’t found the mental sledge-hammer to break down. I look at all the things that I loved or love and wonder how I can incorporate them into something that will fulfill me. I wanted to be a lawyer, an archeologist, a historian, a traveller, and a dancer. It seems to me that I must learn how to fly free, before I can realize any of these dreams. Once I learn how to do that, I hope that the rest will just fall into place.

iDream

Unfurl – The Word for 2011

What does it mean to unfurl? The dictionary defines it as a verb that means to spread out, to unfold, and to unwind. Synonyms that go with the word “unfurl” is develop, display, expand, open spread, unfold, unroll, unwind. I am taking an idea from a recent blog that I visited, (I wish I could remember which one, there are so many wonderful blogs I have seen in the last few days) where the Author started her journey with a word that she would live by for the year and when things got off track she could come back and refer to that word. I don’t like to copy people, but I think I needed a starting point to my 2011 journey and I have chosen “unfurl”.

Interesting word, don’t you think? I thought it would take forever for me to come up with a word, but it came to me immediately. I like the sound of the word. It left me visions of butterflies emerging from their cocoons, of a bright-colored sail being raised on a beautiful day and cruising the harbor, a glower spreading its color for the world to see. The visions of me were that of a snake coiled ready to strike, a clock tightly wound up, any toy that you have to wind and then it mechanically moves around once released, the rose bud that your always waiting for to open and it never does so you miss its color, its scent. Not pretty pictures of me.

I have spent now the last 5 months being angry and hurt, but I think I have spent years being coiled tighter than a rattler. I wasn’t always like this, I wasn’t always the person that would get angry and talk about the injustice of it all. Not to say that standing up for injustice isn’t a good thing, but I think it’s the manner in which you do it. It started with my first marriage and my angry husband, through to my job, economics make me angry, rude people make me angry, people driving with a cell phone plastered to their ear when it’s illegal makes me angry, inconsiderate people make me angry, health care makes me angry; ok to be honest I think almost everything outside my doors makes me angry. I have lost my house, lost my job, but I know that while we have debt that we cannot repay, I am very blessed to be where I live and I have to use this time that I have here at home to make myself better.

I want to view myself as a butterfly, or a rose bud spreading myself up and showing beauty, I want to rid myself of that vision of a rattle snake or a coil ready to snap. It’s not going to be an easy road, I know that I have to re-adjust my thinking on everything. Quick example, Mom and I were out yesterday shopping for our New Year’s Eve goodies and everywhere we went it seemed like people just kept pushing us out-of-the-way. We would be looking for cheese or meatballs and next thing you know someone keeps moving in, cutting in front of us, or inching closer and closer. For the ones that would blatantly just push themselves in I would say loudly “excuse me, it’s not like I was looking here”, or someone blocking the way while chit chatting on a cell phone while shopping I would say something like “If your conversation is so important maybe you should have stayed at home.” I make these comments loud enough for people to hear, whether they do or not I don’t know, but never directly to them. I have to learn to stop, breath, and when appropriate, perhaps just say, “excuse me, I will be done in a moment, I waited my turn, please give me that same courtesy as waiting your.” I feel it’s because I’m one of those invisible people, because I look around and it doesn’t happen to everyone, well I’m not going to be invisible any longer, but I will do it with kindness, patience, and creativity.

In the unfurling process I want to shed anger, hate, and feelings of injustice. I will need to learn to avoid certain topics if I can’t discuss them calmly and rationally and not to be afraid to tell people I would rather not talk about it. I need to learn to stop yelling at the trucker or the driver on the cell phone. I physically need to rid myself of the constant tense muscles in my neck, shoulders, and legs and learn to breathe deep and clear. It’s not going to be an easy road, but I am ready for the challenge. I want to use my excess energy on art, family, friends, finding new experiences, getting back to loving myself and being proud of who I see in the mirror.

Now that I have put this out there in the cyber world, I have you all to be accountable to, and I’m not making any more resolutions either. I think that’s a pretty big one in its self. I’m looking forward to 2011 to be the start of a new era for me. the 00’s weren’t that good to us, but I think it’s now all in what you make it, and I’m going to make the future the best I can. Happy New Year world, I am Welcoming 2011 with open arms are you?

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