January 8, 2013

My own advice.

Posted in Life Lessons, Parenthood tagged , , , , , , , , , at 12:23 pm by openendedcomment

Until I was thirty  I made resolutions…and each year I managed to break them, one by one.  At thirty-one I stopped and allowed myself to just accept the way life is/was and to not put such pressure on myself to change.  Through the past five years I’ve learned that while acceptance and peace are good things, so is the occasional kick in the ass and measure of accountability.  Sometimes, you, or in this case I, just need a Mom.  As my Mom has already raised me and as I don’t feel like fighting with her all over again (teen years were staggeringly bad) I’ve decided to treat myself the way I treat my children.  To expect from me what I expect from them.  If I were to look at myself as a Mother as opposed to…well…me…would I be proud? What would I tell myself to do?  What advice would I give?

1) Get healthy.  This encompasses many things.  Instead of stating I’m going to drop 20 pounds and work out five days a week while cutting all nicotine I’m wrapping it up into one…good health.  My goal is to be better to myself.  To care about what goes into my body and how it functions. 

2) Study and have my work reflect it.   If I am to take a really objective look at myself, I’m not doing as well as I ought to be and that needs to change.  I’m going to learn more about my industry and apply new ideas to my position and company this year.  It’s time to make 2013 a profitable one.

3) Do my chores.  This is pretty obvious..my house is sort of falling apart as I’ve become rather lazy.  I used to make sure dishes and laundry were done and that beds were made before I left for work, but in the past three or so months I’ve let it slip.  Time to get in gear.

4) Go to bed on time.  I need more sleep and there’s just no excuse for this.

5) Take my vitamins. 

6) Give it my all…in all things, even when it’s hard.

7) Don’t swear (I have the mouth of a sailor when angered/annoyed/etc…) 

8) Reward good behavior.  This goes to treating myself well, something I forget to do and something that may seem odd as a goal but one I think it’s time for.  My husband and I don’t even buy each other birthday or Christmas gifts.  We spoil our children, but never ourselves.  In truth, he’s better about this than I am.  If he really wants to go to a game, he goes.  If he decides he needs some new clothes, he buys them.  If he feels he needs a night out, he takes it.  I don’t…I always feel as though it is selfish of me and that is something I have to get over.  Maybe it’ll mean buying myself a new bag, even if my old one really could go another season…or getting a manicure more often…or nights out with friends, just because.  Whatever it is, I’m going to recognize that it’s OK for me to have things, too.

Last but not least…to work on what I started in 2012.  Forgiveness, peace and learning to let things and even on rare occasions, people…go.  To move toward a life filled with the people, values and experiences I choose as opposed to those I feel forced to deal with.  To me, to have that kind of life…that is the ultimate goal.

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August 8, 2012

Causes not yet lost.

Posted in Life Lessons tagged , , , , at 4:32 pm by openendedcomment

I wrote a post entitled “Trainwrecks and Time.”   The time has come.  The train wreck was only partially avoided.  I have written and rewritten this post so many times I have lost count.  It comes down to this: Forgive.  Forgive, find a way through and know that regrets, no matter how sure you are you won’t have any, can and do still jump out at you.  I know that we, my husband and I, did try.  I know that he did the right thing.  At least part of the right thing; I feel he and we could and should have done more. 

There are still relationships so sideways, backwards and upside-down that they seem irretrievably broken.  I say “seem” as opposed to ‘are” as though all signs point to “are”, I still have hope.  Not for me, for him and for them.  I have hope that someday, somehow, something resembling love, loyalty and understanding will find their way into those hearts and minds so closed off by anger, hurt and pain and that somehow what is so very, very wrong will someday at least inch towards right again.

I’ve been told I am an idiot for thinking this.  Perhaps I am.  Perhaps I need to be.  If I were to concede that there is indeed no hope of any form of reconciliation no matter how small then I would have to release that part of me that believes in the good of these men.  I don’t want to let that go.  I don’t want to lose love.  I don’t want to lose hope.  I want to know they are good as they are, in some small way, a part of the man I love and the children I adore.  They are in each other.  No matter how much either party chooses to pretend it isn’t so…it is there.  In their eyes, their mannerisms, their words and even in their stubborn and deep-seeded anger.  They will always be bound.

That time I spoke of…it hasn’t quite run out.  Not yet.  And though the sands are running ever faster through the hourglass, they haven’t ended.  That means that in these last moments there is still a chance…no matter how small.  I read once that in our lives each emotion comes down to two: Love or Fear.  The fear of rejection and anger and hurt drives all negative and the love…the love can change everything else.  The fear in this moment is suffocating.  It has taken so much from so many already.  The fear is the void and the void is endless.  I can’t fill it alone. 

I don’t pray very often.  I talk to God and I believe but I don’t pray for things I want to see happen.  I feel as though I’m using up my turns or if I ask for too much too often I won’t be taken seriously.  I prayed for this.  For their peace and their chance at love.  I got down on my knees and I begged for them to find it in their hearts to reach out…just once.  Once is all it would take.  Please give them just one time to look at each other without anger and try to remember the decades of brotherhood that they shared.  To feel even a fraction of the empathy for each other that once was so effortless.  I prayed with everything I have and knowing the life I have led I know that my prayers are not at the top of the list…so I humbly ask that any of you reading this, if you could or would spare a moment, please, say a little prayer.  A prayer for hope, a word for causes not yet lost.

February 29, 2012

That which we do not speak of.

Posted in Life Lessons tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:23 am by openendedcomment

Today the Father of a co-worker is ending his battle with cancer.

I have never witnessed such grace as that which she has shown in the past weeks leading to this very difficult moment.  She has humbled me with her ability to cope, process and to be a peace. She is unshakeable.

And now I know why.

There is nothing left unsaid.

A few weeks ago my DH and I were watching “Oprah’s Next Chapter”.  Me because I love Oprah and he because the subject of that episode was Governor Chris Christie (and I had the remote).  During it, Oprah asked Governor Christie about the day his Mother passed.  He said she had told him to go to work.  He was stunned and told her it could wait.  Her response? “There’s nothing left unsaid between us.”

How wonderful.  How amazing.  How very, very difficult to accomplish.

Now, I’m close to my parents, all three of them.  There are no major riffs and no issues (at least not that I’m aware of.)  BUT…if, God forbid, they were to leave, can I really say that there is nothing left to speak of?   What about my friends and family?  My husband?  My children?  There is so very, very much left unsaid that I’m afraid I would need a year just to get it all out…if I were to find the courage…which I doubt very much I would.  It dawned on me though, as I sit here wondering what that kind of total acceptance of a life lived must feel like…that I ought to at least try.

I want that.  I think I may even need it.

You see, I have pissed people off my life.  Shocked?  You must not know me.  Welcome.  I assure you, it is very true…Its sort of  a bad habit, like biting your nails, but with more problematic consequences.

The issue isn’t that I’m an inherently controversial person; I’m actually quite the opposite.  I really do try to avoid conflict/fights/issues…unfortunately, when faced with them (as is inevitable in anyone’s life) I tend to not back away from speaking my mind.  Again, shocking, I know.

I can’t stand watching someone I care for suffer and doing nothing about it.  As there are many people I care for, I tend to find myself “doing something about it” more often than perhaps I ought to.  I am also Irish.  And a red-head.  A typical one.  This means I use my words (I remember that being a good thing at one point in my life) and in doing so make my point.  Loudly.  Occasionally with venom.

In my family (5 red-heads and a blonde with a red beard), this is how we solved problems.  We spit it all out, worked it all out and then moved on with a  better understanding of where everyone was at.  In the rest of the world, this appears to be how problems get worse.  Who knew?

Me.  That’s who.  I’ve learned.  I have quite the trail of things left unsaid…the apologies I really do need to make (some I’ve made that went unanswered, others I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my pride to utter…untill now.  I think.  I hope.)  I have things to say to friends.  I have things to say to family.  I have things to say to myself.

I have good things and great things to say.  I have questions I need to answer and some I need to ask.  I have tears to shed and pride to swallow.  I have laughs to be shared and lessons to be imparted both on and to…I have other things as well.

I have things I do not speak of.  I have secrets buried deep and hurts which have been ignored.  Despite the bravado I so often portray…I am not a very open person.  There are so many things I do not mention…so much I don’t let be heard.  I married a man much like me…he is like me but better than me…and he too has much that goes unsaid.  I suppose we all do, in some way and on some subjects…to some people…we all have that which we do not wish to address…that which we are afraid of hurting from or causing hurt as a result of.

So much left unsaid.

In the world of blogs, Facebook, twitter, text, email…in the world we live in where communication has never been more abundant, in this world so filled with the noise of chatter and information from every direction…in this world at this moment the things we not speak of are deafening in their silence.

Perhaps, just maybe…just this once, I could make a wee bit of real noise…just one call…one note.  One message that needs to be received could finally be heard.  My co-worker, this woman I am blessed to know, she is not a loud woman. But her courage to be known is heard above the din.