Saturday, August 22, 2009

Trip Down Memory Lane... treasures in the trash

I took on a project a few weeks ago - a daunting task really. Since my divorce in 1999 I've moved countless times but continued lugging with me a couple of file caddy's full of paperwork and adding to them with new court proceedings, debt collections, etc. It's the kind of stuff you wish you could just forget but can't just throw away. Well, this collection of crap er...paperwork was taking up a LOT of space in my spare room closet (4 boxes worth), not to mention that the past 4 yrs it has been added to with crap from my present husband/life. So I decided that it was time to go through it once and for all and either throw away, shred or file. What that meant was that I had to touch thousands of pieces of paper not just once but twice. Ugh. Daunting, right?

I can say it took a lot longer than expected but then again I wasn't on any time frame. This task became a journey into my past of circumstances and situations that I would rather forget. For the most part there was a LOT of financial stuff (credit card statements, bank statements, etc) that just needed to be shredded. There were also court proceedings from my very trying divorce. Paperwork that reminded me of what lengths my ex went through to keep me from getting anything that I had coming to me. This brought up all kinds of unpleasant feelings and memories. It was painful to go through this stuff. Boy did it feel good to shred it all! It was like cutting a ball and chain off of me. There was a 2-3 yr time period during my divorce that I was just at the bottom and wondered if I'd ever be happy again. I went through financial ruin, emotional turmoil and I made some really bad mistakes - mistakes that I don't think I can ever completely forgive myself for but that I have learned to live with. I make amends today still by being the best person I can be one day at a time.

In this mountain of bad memories there was a small percentage of priceless jewels - I had saved all my children's special awards from school as well as all the awards that I received from their schools for being Room Mom, special helper, etc. It reminded me that I was a very involved parent and helped smooth over the pain of my errors. The best prize that I came across was buried in a set of medical records for my youngest child. You see I was her foster mother when she was just 6 weeks old and she never left us after that. We formally adopted her when she was 2 1/2 - before that I wasn't allowed to change her name so when the time came she already knew her name so we changed her middle name and her last name of course. I also did not have anything from when she was a newborn. She was placed in protective custody within 24 hours after her birth as her mother was a known drug user and and the baby tested positive for cocaine. I picked up these medical records of her short 5 day stay in the hospital when she was born and read through each page (what I could decipher). She was 5 lbs 2 oz, 18 inches long. She was actually pretty healthy for a drug exposed infant with her apgar scores 7 and 9. I teared up reading what the mother said (lies) and how sad it was to have to leave this baby motherless. It made my heart ache. Within the pages was something I had somehow missed before - her newborn footprints. I can't tell you how happy this made me - to have something from those early hours of her life are precious beyond belief to me.

This made the whole process worth it. And now my house is all cleaned out of old, useless, paperwork and memories leaving only the treasures that I choose to keep in my home and my heart.

All the shredded crap going to the recycle pile to be made into something useful.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Odds and Ends

It is another grey morning here in the Bay Area in a string of grey, cool days. I am beginning to wonder if we will have a summer at all! I am one of those crazy folks who actually likes hot weather - well, below 95 degrees I should say, so these temps that don't exceed the low 70's doesn't do much for me. Here it is August and we've only had our A/C on a couple of times this year. While that is great for our utility bill it's not so great for this sun lover. Usually when we take our Lake Tahoe vacation we escape the heat, not so this year, it was definitely hotter there than it has been here. I am longing for the beautiful Southern California weather and the beautiful beaches. One piece of good news is that the weather this summer is unusually cool for the Bay Area which is nice to hear that this is just a fluke and not how it's always going to be.

On the dental front - I had broken a front tooth cap while on vacation which has been annoying, embarrassing, inconvenient and emotionally painful (although not physically so). I've been dealing with this for 3 weeks now and was beginning to think I was never going to be able to get it fixed. Let's just say it involves a lot of dental work and $$$. I'm happy to report that as soon as I get an all clear from my Rheumatologist I can schedule and have the work done. Yippee!

Weight Watchers - I am thrilled to report that in three weeks I have lost 10 lbs! I have 20 more to go but I definitely feel motivated and hopeful that I will continue on the weight loss path. The timing of my weight loss and the dental work will actually work out great since Dave is planning for a really nice tropical vacation in February 2010. I should have a rockin smile and body by the time we go. Woo hoo! I'll be more careful on this next vacation with what I choose to eat - no biting and tearing on a hard crusted sandwich!

Marital bliss(?) - Well, I can say that I talked to the hubster on our trip up to Reno and spilled out all my feelings about our estrangement and how I feel like a piece of the furniture. It felt good to express my feelings to him. He listened to me and acknowledged my feelings but didn't want to respond at that time (the first day driving up). He never responded. Although he did say that he understands why I feel the way I do and he does love and appreciate me. Just being able to express myself helped a lot but I am still going to have another talk with him this weekend. He is still working like crazy. I know he does this to make more $ for our future and that his self worth is tied to his career but we can't lose our day to day enjoyment of life. In the meantime I am doing the things I know I need to do for myself.

Volunteerism - After applying with the American Cancer Society I was told that they have plenty of drivers and don't have a need for more at this time and then asked if I wanted to help with their annual fundraiser here in the Bay Area. At this point I am concentrating on getting the dental work done so that I am presentable again but I still plan on finding something that is suited for me. I NEED to find something to do outside the house. I am BORED and get depressed when I spend too much time alone.

Friendships -I am so happy that I have met some really great women since joining some and starting a Meetup group. I've been getting out and socializing which has been fantastic. I longed for girlfriend time and now I have it.. I am blessed that I make friends easily and the gals that I've been drawn to are similar to me. I adore them. Thanks!!! I highly recommend this site for joining groups of interest to you and meeting new friends. There are many, many different groups for every imaginable interest. This was how I met some great friends when I was in So Cal.

This about does it as far as catching up my thoughts on my little ole life.