What I thought…

I thought if you love someone you could pretend they are family.  You can’t. When you have no blood left in the world, when your heart needs the closeness of another who will love you no matter what you are or say, it’s so tempting to pretend friends are family. Sometimes we are lucky enough to find those friends who are truly family, friends who love you no matter what your situation. Sometimes it’s a slap in the face to realize someone you loved judges you by one bad decision, even if it’s a decision that’s not fair for anyone to have to make.  Today I miss my dog more than ever.  My Chloe was a Golden Retriever, she was one of the most beautiful souls I ever knew. She didn’t care what I did that day or what I said or thought, all she cared was that I was happy to see her when I arrived home, and was happy to be with me. Being raised in a dysfunctional family wasn’t easy, and I learned to adapt and feel empathy for people in unfortunate situations.  I learned how to deal with the grief of losing my father,  not because I love him, but because he died never giving me the opportunity to be a daughter. I grieved the loss of an opportunity for him to apologize. When my father died, that opportunity evaporated. I didn’t grieve him, I grieved the loss of a chance to make it right. Fortunately I got that chance with my mother, who passed 9 months before I conceived my only son.  We had a difficult relationship, she was an alcoholic, and suffered painful things herself growing up, but we reconnected years before she died. My sister is my only living immediate family, but I consider her dead to me.  I can’t imagine a relationship with someone who stole from me my whole life, lied about me to everyone we knew, slept with almost every man I had a relationship with except my husband, and drove a wedge between me and my father and is pretty much dead to me. So my husband and my son are my only family. They have their own interests, which is fine, but I miss companionship, which is where my Chloe came in.  I miss that dog with every fiber of my being. She couldn’t talk to me, she couldn’t pat me me on the back, but she made me smile, she loved being with me, she just loved me. Like family.  At  56 I miss family more than ever. I missed them when my son was born, the little things everyone takes for granted, like telling me “you smiled like that when you were a baby” or “you giggled the same way”…..stupid things like that which everyone takes for granted. When they’re gone, it’s a hollow feeling. You always wonder. You get jealous hearing your husband’s parents telling him those things. It’s like you are a sidebar.  I remember taking my son to church when my son was an infant. I slipped on ice and fell, but sheltered him so he wasn’t hurt. An older woman ran up to me and asked if I was okay, I told her my baby is okay. She said no, are YOU okay?  I cried all the way home. I still remember that feeling, someone cared if I was okay. Like my mom would have cared. Fleeting, but the memory still brings tears to my eyes.  So in closing, I guess I’m writing this because it hurts that a friend I considered family shut me out over one decision that was incredibly hard for me to make.  You can’t love people, pretend they are family…and make them love you back. You are simply blessed when you find that kind of love outside of blood.  Like Chloe. Love you baby, and miss you every day.


Hell Has Frozen Over

Well, probably not, but it certainly feels like it the past few weeks.  My New Year resolution to be a happier person is shaping up and I’ve had considerable amount of challenges, but none that can’t be overcome with a smile.  It’s amazing how forcing one’s self to smile can change an attitude.  Days when I felt overwhelmed or sad I made myself smile and it actually works. Takes a while and a good amount of pep talk, but anything worth doing is worth the work, right?  Making mistakes at work in a new job had me admonishing myself, but reminding myself that I’m not unique in my imperfection made it easier to go on with the day.  I’ll (hopefully) never make those mistakes again, and I was harder on myself than anyone else was, so just move on. Happier.  I didn’t drink the 3 bottles of water a day I was aiming for, but I hit 2 most days. Better than not trying at all, so it’s a move in a positive direction.  Learning how to take my shortcomings and use them as stepping stones to overcome them is not easy.  When I was in my early 30’s I read that whatever a person is by the time they are 30 years old is how they will most likely be for the rest of their life.  I took a really hard look at myself, stepping outside myself and looking at me as a stranger would. At that point in my life I was bitter, regretful of stupid decisions, and always expecting the worst of people.   Life had not been easy my first 27 years, and it showed in my attitude.  It wasn’t easy to look at myself that way, and it’s been an uphill battle to live in grace and thankfulness, but I am.  If I could be determined enough to create a good life, I could learn to appreciate it and cut the past away. Why carry around what doesn’t serve you well?  I know, easier said than done, but it can be accomplished. I’m living proof.  Appreciate all the good in your life, appreciate each day that you have a roof over your head, many don’t.  Acknowledge the good in yourself, so many people focus on negatives, turn it around and look for your positives as intently as you would see the negatives.  Everyone should be their own best friend first, and then you can be a better friend to others.  Help others, be a volunteer in whatever interests you.  The reward of helping others is the satisfaction that you improved someone else’s life.  It’s a Happy Feat!  Happy Sunday everyone, and though it may be below freezing outside, at least it’s not snowing!

Back to the Grind

Day 2 started out well, actually got my ass out of bed early and worked out, yay me! Now back to work for first time in over a week.  Rule one: smile. Rule two: move as much as possible! Rule three: drink 3 bottles of water.  Hope your day is as good as mine is going to be, and try to fit a few chair sit ups if you’re desk bound. Here’s how to do it: Sit straight, hold your armrests firmly, extend your legs then lift both knees towards your chest while maintaining straight back. Feel your abs while doing it, close your eyes if you have to and focus on your abdominal muscles, this will help you work the muscles, at least it does for me!

Another New Year!

2018 promises to be great because it simply exists! I made it to another year with all my limbs in tact, a good job, a roof over my head, wonderful friends and my family.  Today is another opportunity to use the first day of the New Year as a spring board to reinforce good habits and work on new ones!  So besides the obvious (and continuing fight) to lower sugar in my diet, I think changing my outlook on life needs to change.  I have spent too much time worrying about things I cannot change, so this year I am determined to meet day to day obstacles with a smile and quiet determination to work through them.  Appreciate my blessings, and realize that I have problems that most people wish they had.  Dental problems? Good thing I have insurance and a job that enables me to afford it.  Not in as physically fit as I’d like to be? I have the ability to work out and financially able to join a gym! You get the general idea, my resolution is to appreciate all the good things in my life, God is good!  So Happy New Year everyone, and good luck to all of you with your resolutions!

New Year Resolution

Not this year, I have totally and completely given up on the New Year Resolution this year.  I am, however, gearing up to change old bad habits. Again. I guess it’s better to keep trying than to just give up.  So, while I didn’t join the hoards using the first day of January as their diving board in to better habits, I am psyching myself up to make changes, eventually. The body is just not cooperating, I can understand why women just let themselves go as they age. I used to look at aging women and think I would never let myself go to pot, but I didn’t realize the raging war our bodies give us as it ages. My weight has increased 10 pounds in the past year, and I promise you my eating habits are better than they were 10 pounds ago, my workouts are just as strenuous.  WTH? There are days I get home, step on the scale and think, WTH? Why bother? I walked every lunch and break, I ate freaking carrots and celery all day and i gained 2 pounds. In the back of my head I understand that it’s probably water weight, but when it doesn’t go away and actually increases I just want to give up. And that’s when the sugar gives it’s siren call to me, and I see a higher number on the scale the next morning.  I am going to try giving up sugar completely again.  Maybe less breads too, but I have to really be ready. I think the number on the scale this morning is my wake up call. Can I get in a bikini this summer? Let’s see. Yes, I know that even 20 pounds less in a bikini is not going to look as photogenic in my 50’s as it would in my 20’s, but it’s not like I’m going to wear it in public. Wish me luck. Day One, again.  I think Ground Hog Day will be my new New Year Resolution start date.

I’ll miss you, August

I love the month of August, so sorry to see it go.  I love the heat, the humidity, the slight breeze over my skin cooling me off during early morning jogs through my green universe! Everything is so full of life in August, my garden is giving me fruits of my labor and my kitchen is steamy most weekends from canning my harvests.  While September is lovely, and I am still bringing in vegetables to put up, it means cooler weather is on the way.  This weekend I planned on canning tomato sauce, but for some reason many of them are still green. What’s a girl to do?  Make green tomato relish! First time with this recipe, I’ll have to post taste test when they’re done. Rest of carrots will be pulled up today or tomorrow and preserved with pressure canner. I’ll get the last of the green beans and make hot dill beans.

Life on the Raw Side

Here I am, Day 3 after microdiscectomy, and I only need OTC for pain during the day supplemented by several catnaps. The incision site feels raw and stiff, but a little better than yesterday. I started taking White Willow Plus this morning in place of Motrin. White Willow Plus was prescribed by my naturalist, Aimee Long at Natural Family Health. It is supposed to be a natural equivalent to aspirin, and at least today seemed to do the job for me. It contains some caffeine, so I took 2 Motrin this afternoon. The sciatic pain is gone, but incision site is really tender, I have to get used to resting and not doing too much around the house. Easier said than done! My son was home with me today. Due to heavy snowfall school was canceled, so I had a personal man servant to help me out today. What a great kid, he never complained all day, and I had him do vacuuming, sweeping, snow shoveling, 3 loads of laundry washed, dried and folded, and helped me put dishes in the dishwasher. I cannot bend over, have to limit my walking and physical activity, and even though I can squat, I cannot reach things that are on the floor yet. I CAN climb stair, stand, walk around the house though, and it’s fantastic to be able to do it without sciatic pain. If you’ve never experienced sciatica, I’m here to tell you it must be Purgatory on Earth. The nights I would wake up in tears, the days at work I would be crying in the bathroom from the pain; I wouldn’t wish this on my very worst enemy. Taking Percocet the last few weeks has taken a toll on my insides. If any of you ever have to take painkillers, you need to get Metamucil, this has been my best friend the last couple days. Just saying. I’m getting ready for bed soon, the surgery must have taken a lot out of me to be this able to sleep so much, so must listen to the body, it knows what it needs. I wish all of you healthy spines and bodies, take care of them and they will take care of you!