Thursday, August 28, 2008
I turned 50 in May and really haven't felt the greatest about my appearance - especially since I have gained about 20 pounds in the last few months :( Well, I read something this morning about gratitude and I am a big fan of making gratitude lists, in fact I do it every morning. What I haven't done, however, is to be grateful for things I DON'T like. Yeah, sounds wacky huh? The preface is that if you're always negative about a certain thing - like where you live, the car you drive, the job, the spouse, etc; then you're going to be only focusing on negative and not opening up enough for positive changes to happen. It made perfect sense to me. So much so that as I soaked in a tub this morning I focused on being grateful for my body - for my body?!?!? Yes! Even though I have not loved it much lately I focused on the fact that this is the body that gets me around, birthed and nourished my beautiful children, love my family with, create with, give hugs and touches of encouragement to my friends and loved ones, and many, many other things. And how grateful I am for the fact that I am pretty healthy, can see, walk, hear, dance, etc. And then I just kept positive, grateful and loving thoughts towards my body.
Then I had an appointment at MAC to get my makeup done and buy some makeup. Here is the final result and the booty I brought home. I am feeling pretty darn good about myself today!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
All in all this was a very good decision and I'm definitely happy about it. Especially since I can still correspond with the peeps I miss.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I realized when a website takes up that much of my time and then to wake in the middle of the night thinking about something that happened with friends and the website it was time for me to back off and get back into the real world.
I do have to say that MM was many things for me when I needed it to be. During my moves and stressful times it was great to have some continuity with the people on there and of course I had a lot of laughs. The most important thing I got out of MM was the practice of speaking my mind. Before MM I had a very hard time saying how I really felt about things for fear of not being liked. I look back from when I first joined until now and can see the evolving and progress I have made. I'm proud of myself for that. I have met some amazing women - women who gave me tons of encouragement, love and laughter. I will hold them near and dear to my heart. And I hope to keep in touch with many of them. I know it's probably not going to happen because of how the world is - we're just such a mobile and busy society. I do feel however that there have been a few friendships that will last.
All the time I spent on the website I can now pour into my personal life such as exercise, meeting with friends, volunteering or maybe I'll get a job. Not sure but I am sure it's going to be better for me to participate in the real world around me. I have two sisters who live just a few miles away from me that I hardly ever see - I can start with nurturing those relationships. My husband is happy that I will be more 'present' in the evenings for him. All around I know it was a good decision. A healthy decision for me. My deep desire and beliefs are to be positive and see the positive in situations and how I can grow and learn from them - this is a time for growth and learning about Linda on an even deeper level.
There are many things I would love to do and now maybe this is the kick in the pants to do some of them. Learn a new language (French or Italian), take a cooking class, take kick-boxing, volunteer...This will still be my journal/blog and way to stay in connection with my friends who desire to stay in contact with me and also a way for me to record and see how I am growing.
I am not at all sure if BBC or MM have indeed canceled my account yet. I asked them to yesterday so we shall see. I will not be on the site so even it this feeds into my journal there I will not be there to view any comments. Hopefully they will close my account ASAP.
Now, onward and upward!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
My daughter, Stephanie (Mom911), is truly one of my heroes. She started parenthood as a single Mom with a high school diploma. The year she was pregnant was one of the roughest years for our family. Her father had serious health problems culminating with open heart surgery at Stanford with Stephanie right by his side the whole way (7 mos pg) while I was in a 28 day rehab for Vicodin addiction. Steph refused to go on welfare and took jobs to do what she had to do all the while battling constant morning/noon/night sickness. Everywhere she went, she had to take a barf bag with her. When her Dad was in the hospital she had to wait her turn for a public bathroom to puke and then go back and comfort her Dad. My sister suffered breast cancer that year as well. There was a great deal of stress and sadness in our family and instead of us supporting Steph, she did the supporting. She was my biggest cheerleader while I was going through re-hab. She had no support from 'the father' of my grandson and held down my home and took care of her convalescing father in her last months of pregnancy. I'm sure she was scared and overwhelmed by the idea of becoming a single Mom but always had a positive outlook about the baby. After the worst year of her life on the very last day of the year she gave birth to her son ending the year on a high note.
After her son was born Stephanie took a pizza delivery job to support them, then went on to selling bottled water, cleaning offices at a secure site and from there she had an opportunity to learn security dispatch (mind you this was all working nights with an infant) which eventually led to the position that she has now as a 911 dispatcher. Those early years were so rough but she did what she had to do. Along with Jared, she now has a wonderful husband and a beautiful 3 yr old daughter. She commutes and works a long shift. When her father learned last summer that his cancer had returned Steph stepped up and insisted he move in with her so that she could take care of him. So with her family and work schedule she also managed everything regarding her father's medical care. They were very close and she was a devoted daughter. Sadly, her Dad lost his battle with cancer early this year and Stephanie once again has stepped up and done what had to be done. Her Dad felt completely safe and cared for by her. He was very lucky to have had her for a daughter and I know she felt priviledged to have been able to spend those last months with him.
My daughter is the woman I wished I could be. I admire her strength, tenacity, intelligence, humor, character, heart and especially her caring spirit. If I had to choose a person to share a foxhole with it would be her. She is hard as nails with a heart big enough for everyone - she is - my daughter....
I am wondering if he knows that we miss him so. I do have faith that he is in a much better place than I. Not in the religious way - I am not religious in the way that believes that only a fraction of humankind are gonna be 'in a better place' but that we are all connected and the connection transcends time and space. That is my personal belief - not a challenge to any one else's.
I just know that people in my life have touched me and taught me. There have been special people in my life that have left their heartprint on mine. It will never go away - it is there for me when I need it. Even now as I miss Skip so, I can remember something that we would laugh about and it makes me happy. I was so lucky to have had the relationship that I had with him. I am especially happy that Stephanie had that security and experience of having parents that loved her and that loved and respected each other even tho we couldn't stay married. He was one of kind - that's for sure and I was priviledged to have been his friend.
2. What is your relationship status?"
3. What is your favorite color?"
4. Who is your celebrity crush?"
5. What band are you currently listening to?"
6. What is your favorite movie?"
7. What type of phone do you have?"
8. What do you want to be when you grow up?n
9. What do you love most in the world?"
10. One word to describe you?"
11. Where were you born?"
12. What do you hate?br>
13. What's better...blond or brunette?
14. What is your favorite show?"
15. What is your favorite pasttime?"
16. What did you have for breakfast this morning?"
17. What kind of car do you drive?"
18. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
19. What was your high school mascot?"
20. Favorite flavor of coffee?
21. Closest thing to you that is red?br
22. What do you wear to sleep in?"
23. What is the last book you read?
24. What is the closest thing to your right leg?"
25. What do you think of this survey?"
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"
And that is dying.
-Henry Van Dyke
"It's not what's happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it's your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you're going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny." - Anthony Robbins
Just the other day I was walking through the parking lot of a local grocery store and it hit me so profoundly that all I had ever wanted when I was younger was to be a Mom. Then the gratitude flooded in - not only did I give birth to two beautiful, healthy kids but I was doubly blessed by adopting my youngest, beautiful healthy baby girl. I was lucky enough to have these children in my life and was able to stay home with them and be a big part of their lives. It WAS what I had dreamed of and so much more. It is a simple realization of gratitude to be the Mother of these 3 fine people (adults now) that just really took me aback. I am 50 today and when you hit that mark you start to wonder if you're where you 'should' be in life. Did I acccomplish what I wanted? Am I in shape? Have I been enough? What else do I want to accomplish in my life?
All I have to do is think back 30 years ago when all I ever wanted was to be a Mom and I am overwhelmingly grateful that I did fulfill my life's dreams - and their names are Stephanie, Michael and Christina and I will love them til the day I die.
So many things to be grateful for. Yesterday I spent the day with my oldest DD, her DH and my beautiful grandchildren. Stephanie's hubby went out and got us lunch and then Steph and I went to Maid of Honor. Very cute movie. The kids had cards and gifts for me. Beautiful journal and yummy smelling cherry candles with a cool holder from Candlelite. Then Steph and I sat outside and talked and had a cup of coffee - it was so nice. My wonderful SIL then made dinner for all of us and afterward we sat around and reminisced about old times. It was a fabulous day. I have to say the best gift of the day was the hugs and loves from the kiddos. It melts my heart. The only thing better than being a Mom is being a Grandma
It is sunny in my heart today and for that I am truly grateful.
So one of things I have realized lately in my quest to recover from depression/anxiety was that the list that I had made after my divorce had been pretty much fulfilled and I hadn't bothered with another. It is good to have things to look forward to and goals to attain. I know it will give me a little extra something to work toward. The last list had things on it like - Riding on a Harley, Skydiving, Parasailing, Kayaking, Finding a lifelong partner, Getting a certain job, etc. I did all those things within a year. I haven't had anything dreams and goals specific to me in a long while and I found myself missing 'me'. The adventurous, tenacious, life loving woman was becoming a mere shadow of her husband (again). Not good, not good at all. No wonder I got depressed! So, here and now, I am going to start a new list. My good friends here will help encourage me - I know they will as well as friends around me and my fabulous daughter, Stephanie. So here goes.
1. A trip to Mazatlan
2. Learn a foreign language
3. Learn Tai Chi
4. Take a dance class
5. Get some vocational counseling and then work toward a job.
6. Trip to Canada
7. Study Eastern Religions
8. Take a cooking class
9. Join a community theater
This list could and probably will take up to 10 years to finish but at least now I have something to plan and think about. I'm taking a Tai Chi class this summer and probably the cooking class too. I like the number 9 because it's said to be spiritual.
2. When my daughter makes me a CD cuz she knows all the music that I like.
3. When I come downstairs and the coffee is already made.
4. When my grandkids tell me they love me.
5. When I win in Vegas.
6. When my KIDS tell me they love me.
7. When I get a surprise card in the mail.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Finally I found what I felt was the perfect fit for us. It was our kind of church. It was hyped as the church for the average Joe and Jill. We started going in their very first month so everything was new as far as the people and general program. We met in a local Jr High school. I loved it - I loved how friendly people were, I loved how there were so many things for me to do, I loved how we would all grow together. I found a home and friends fast at this church. I was lucky enough to make a really good friend in one woman in particular - her name was Tammy and she had such a spirit of God around her - I honestly never in a million years felt that I could be as Godly. But we were fast friends. And our husbands became great friends too. We were in the 'IN' crowd at the church. We did a lot of the work and we socialized a lot with the core group. Tammy and her husband adopted two babies before I had gotten Christina so I really looked to her for guidance.
So fast forward a few years - the church was in the process of acquiring land and a building fund for our new wonderful church. I was heavily involved in the fund raising aspect of this and I was starting to have a few little twinges. I also was very involved with the women's group and bible studies - even leading one at my home and I was a part of a small group of prayer warriors with the pastor's wife. Mostly it was all good. Tammy and I were super close - we talked daily and had a lot of fun together. She and Pastor Bill were very close and she ended up doing some secretarial work for him at the church. Pastor Bill and her husband played golf together and were buddies. Everyone loved Pastor Bill - he was very charismatic. We loved our leader.
I started noticing that Bill would be at Tammy's house during the day but I really thought nothing of it because they were good friends and both very Godly. Eventually Tammy and her husband pursued their dream of buying land and a house out in the country. We would go out and visit and go swimming. Still having lots of fun. Later I started work as a Real Estate Agent and could no longer go to church on Sundays as I worked New Homes and worked weekends. Then we moved to a smaller town and left the church all together. I was starting to get sick with my RA and taking a lot of pain pills, my marriage was very stressed as my husband worked a lot of crazy hours and finally I ended up going on disability and really crashing and burning. We split up and I went to rehab. Thank god Tammy was there for me to take care of my kids. Soon after that she confided in me about how she and Pastor Bill had had a sexual relationship. She had recently told her husband and was now coming out and telling others. She needed to heal and this was the way. It lead to an investigation by the Host church - the American Baptist supported our church in a lot of ways. What happened from there was even more astonishing and painful. He denied it ever happened and she was basically scorned by many of the members of this church that we were all good friends with. I supported Tammy 100 percent - I knew enough to realize that she was a victim not a perpetrator. He took complete advantage of her - he counseled she and her husband on their marriage problems all the while telling Tammy that there was nothing sinful about their 'love' . Ugh, I tell you it was sickening. The investigation revealed that he had also been accused of this same thing several times and denied it and moved each time. This time he had a large following in the church although it did split the congregation. He continued to deny and left Tammy out to dry. I was the best friend I could possibly be. I defended her to our mutual friends - I would have walked through fire for her. She still maintained her faith and found a new church in which to heal.
After all that happened my ex and I did split up for good (nothing to do with the church) - he was seriously addicted to porn and I felt he was not going to change and I had to change in order to live so I was out. I was down, really down and I received a letter from my friend Tammy - in it she said she could not support me in my decision to divorce my husband and how it was a sin. She just could not condone it by supporting me or even really being my friend. I was devastated.
I know that this has nothing to do with my own personal relationship with a Higher Power but it was very difficult for me to separate that for awhile. In order for me to be happy, healthy and sober I had to have a relationship with a Higher Power. So I have been seeking for the past 9 years and I feel that I am in a really good place now. Through my seeking I have learned a great deal about who I am and what I believe. I didn't reject Christianity for myself based solely on the experience with my former church and pastor but in my search as well. So there you have it. I am so sorry this was so long but I felt things had to be said in order for the whole story to be told. I haven't spoken with Tammy in many years and I do think of her and wish her the best.
At Great America we ran into the Fairly Oddparents and Leah got kisses.
And this is her last day with me - we went swimming.
Can you tell I am filled with the spirit? Well, I am full of hope and happiness that is for sure. Next month the center is starting this class and I can hardly wait - Live the Eternal Way: A Guide to Spiritually Conscious Living
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Well, we went to Great America yesterday. It's nice to have season passes because then I don't feel bad when we only stay 2-3 hours and 2-3 hours is just right with a 4 yr old. I squeezed my big booty in the little pint sized roller coasters, splashed down the log ride, road on the Flintstone's carousal, fielded a million questions, doled out snacks, bought ice cream and cotton candy and then road in the sky tram back to the front. The little kids area is in the back of the park. I don't know why I didn't think of the sky tram when we got there. Oh well. Leah and I both were worn out as we dragged our butts back to the car. After the park we were on our way to the library to pick up some vids and books. I told Leah not to fall asleep yet- she did great until the last 2 minutes! Yep, had to wake her when we got there. But she was a trooper and we quickly found 3 dvd's and 5 books and then jammed home. I had absolutely no energy to cook so my wonderful husband stopped on the way home and got us Taco Bell - he's the best. After dinner and bath we started on our craft. Finally I couldn't answer another question or glue another jewel we went to the bed and I read her two books. I said I was going to watch TV and she looked at me with big sad eyes - 'I'm not tired' she says. She doesn't want me to go or she wants to go with me. I offered to rub her back. It took two minutes and then she was out - for 12 hours! No, she wasn't tired at all!
This is the only still pic I took - the rest were short little vids for Stephanie. They're on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/my_videos
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
* Link to the person who tagged you.
* Mention the rules.
* Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
* Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.
* Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment to let them know that they’ve been tagged.
1. I have to put cold water in my hot coffee. Can't drink it too hot and I like to drink it fast.
2. I can't stand having someone's feet on me.
3. I have my best inspirations in the shower.
4. I've never had a ticket.
5. I am 5 feet tall.
6. I've never been farther East than Phoenix Ariz.
I tag -
Mom of Twins
(I didn't know anymore 'bloggers' here that haven't been tagged so tagging MM) And sorry Lisa I couldn't figure out how to link to you.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
At this stage of my life I really didn't think that Dave and I would be purchasing a home. After all we both have been there, done that in our pasts, we don't have kids at home and we're really rather a couple of free spirits aka vagabonds. But, with the economy, Dave's position (it seems he is set on staying here) and his back problems we've really been exploring the option of buying a home. Well, if you know anything about the Bay Area you know it's crazy real estate prices. We have just been looking at older, small condo's and they run from 300k-500k in a decent area plus add another 300-600 a month for HOA dues. Holy cow! But we decided to take the plunge and are getting ourselves into the position to buy next Spring. It's not the payments that are so high (although they are) it's the down payment! Really how many people keep 75k-100k laying around to put down on a house???? So, we decided to bite the bullet and sell my (not his) new Acura. The one we bought back in November - the one I love to drive - the one that with ins/car payment is costing us close to $1,000 a month! Yeah, that one. I'm the one who suggested it - I don't think Dave would have dared and I really don't mind since we're getting a home and I already have another car (2003 Toyota with great gas mileage).
I had told Dave when we first got married to please never have me live in a 'mobile home' - well, I've changed my tune. The manufactured homes now days are fabulous and there are some really nice parks here. And the big plus is that it will be much easier to get into one and I won't have to deal with having someone living on top or below me in a condo. This is the car we're saying bye-bye to and this link to a home of the several we're looking at. http://www.silvercrest.com/w69.htm We're getting kind of excited about it. We will have it paid off by the time Dave retires and then just have the park rent. That'll be nice cuz then we'll be able to travel.
We'll be taking a pretty big hit on the car but we'll recoup it in about 4 mos - that is if it sells. I'll keep you posted.