I Give Up

Love is a funny thing. Some people jump in with both feet. They are more than satisfied not knowing what will happen. Some people wade in slowly, testing the waters and then easing in a little bit at a time as their comfort grows. 

Me? I swan dive. Face first. Every time. Sometimes that water can be pretty shallow and I wind up nursing my injuries. But other times, the water is so deep, you wish you could hold your breath forever. And just as quickly as I dove in, I can jump back out if the temperature changes.

When I have a job, I’m absorbed. I do everything I can picking up tasks the second the first is finished. I find things to do that no one knew needed to be done. I organize. I clean up. Then I try to make things easier or better. And if I work from home, I am a slave to the “one more minute” theory. It’ll just take me one more minute to finish this email. Two hours later, I’m still working. 

Books. I devoured books as a kid. Then there was a long stretch of time where I didn’t read at all. I like to refer to this as the zombie-parenting era. In the past few years, I’ve picked them up again. My bookshelves are overflowing. My husband is complaining. Thankfully, he bought me an ereader or I would start stashing them in any open space. 

This is me. I get addicted. I obsess. 

The good news is…I know it. 

We try to hide the characteristics we don’t like. We deny them. We don’t let them come out. But I find that the more I discover about myself, the more I have to find a way to like that quality. Somewhere along the line I stopped trying to fight my personality and now I work with it. I no longer try to change everything, I embrace it.

There is only so much you can change. There are certain aspects of ourselves that are simply rooted in our personality. Figure them out. Learn about yourself. And then see the positive. 

If you are told to build a cabinet, it’s easy if you have wood, nails and a  hammer. But if all you are given is some dinner plates and a hot glue gun, you’re going to have to figure out a new plan. 

MacGyver did it. So can you. 





~Most people live life on the path we set for them. Too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along and knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize free will is a gift, you’ll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that’s The Chairman’s real plan. And maybe, one day, we won’t write the plan. You will.

~ The Adjustment Bureau

This movie gets my wheels turning. What I like most is that it can be interpreted in different ways. I’m not particularly religious and while this movie hints at a nondescript divination, it doesn’t necessarily make that the focus. The focus is more on choosing your own path and it stirs me in so many ways. And watching Matt Damon and Emily Blunt together, I think they made a surprisingly convincing argument as a believable pair of regular people finding that intangible “something” in each other. The type of connection that is brilliantly clear from the first few moments and couldn’t, or shouldn’t be severed.

Love or no love, choose your own path. Make your own roads. View things from your own perspective and if you don’t like what you see, change your course. Whether you believe that your life is predetermined or not, you do have the power to make your own decisions and even if they don’t turn out the way you want, there are many other turns in the journey ahead that can lead to what you are looking for. Or better yet, what you didn’t know you were looking for.

The Madness of Mushiness

I’m feeling unnaturally thankful today.  I thought it would be good to put it in print so I can read it on those days when people are driving me nuts and everything feels like it’s going wrong.  If you are reading this, you are human (well, hopefully) and know what those days are like. 

I spent a week spinning with vertigo.  It’s almost gone, except for when I go to bed and turn over, but I am so grateful to not have that feeling walking around.  It forces me to sit still and not do anything…at all.  I was bored and anxious because I couldn’t get anything done.  My kids need me.  My husband needs me.  Being out of commission is not an option.  And frankly, I like being needed.  I feel like my strength has been renewed and life is good again.  I almost enjoyed the household chores…almost….really close to enjoyed.

My son had some issues the past couple weeks with a few kids in the neighborhood.  I was glad to find out they were not singling him out, but disappointed that there are a few bullies in our midst.  What I found out is that my son, at 10 years old and a bit softhearted, is sometimes more mature than I give him credit for.  I am so thankful he can actually listen to our advice and learn how to deal with situations like this.  He is thoughtful, intelligent, creative and I am incredulous at what an amazing person he is becoming.  I can’t imagine what life would be like without him.

As for my 3 year old girl, she is stubborn, mouthy and too smart for her own good.  We have recently been struggling to potty train her.  The problem is, she can go, has gone and knows when she has to go, yet she refuses.  She thinks it’s funny when she’s scolded.  She screams like a howler monkey.  She’s beautiful, intelligent and she challenges me in every way.  I honestly don’t know how I am so lucky to have these two children in my life.  Looking at them makes me want to smile and cry at the same time. 

My husband is ridiculously perfect for me.  He is the exact opposite of me and keeps me balanced.  Our house, that we moved into this year, is more than I could have hoped for our family.  And even though I am still without a steady job, I am truly hopeful that I can find something that will satisfy my thirst for writing.  I have met so many people on Twitter that I can’t even keep up with their greatness.  Let’s not forget the family that has given me, and helped to mold and support, the modest and wonderful life that I have.

I don’t know why I’m getting those extra thankful feelings today, but I’m going to hold on to them tight.  They are filling me up like morning coffee fueling the caffeine rush.  Ok, so this post is mushy, but I wrote it for my own selfish purposes AND for you to read and be able to count your own blessings.  No matter how big or small your reasons for being thankful, take a minute and think about them.  They might even help you put a smile on your face for the day.

If you’re feeling thankful, feel free to comment and let me know what is making you smile today. 😉

9/11 In Remembrance

I think every generation has at least one occurrence that brought them to tears as a citizen of this country.  The kind of event that they say, “I remember where I was when that happened.”

I was in a meeting at work.  A regular, monthly meeting to discuss the issues our department was facing, achievements and such.  I remember returning to my desk to find people milling about and looking solemn and nervous.  Then my supervisor walked up the aisle to announce that while we were in our conference room, the Twin Towers had been hit. 

I didn’t know anyone that worked there.  I didn’t even know anyone in the New York area.  I took my scheduled break, a bit stunned, and walked down to the cafeteria.  Televisions were lined up playing the news stories and I stopped to watch.  As I stood there, unsure and shaken, I prayed.  I prayed for the safety of the airline passengers, grim as their outcome was.  I prayed for the thousands of employees in the building.  I prayed for the citizens of the city in and around the buildings.  And I prayed for the good people trying to help them all.  And as I prayed, which is not a common thing for me to do, I cried.  I stood and watched and cried.  And even as I type these words, the tears well up once again.  Never had I felt so concerned, so yearning to help and so utterly helpless all at the same time.  After sufficient exposure to the incident, I wandered, in a daze, back to my desk. 

There’s no answer as to why.  There’s nothing that will satisfy our questions.  To this day, if I watch any show detailing what happened that day, I sob uncontrollably.  Even the Challenger explosion had not affected me to this extent.  Seeing a tragedy like this is earth shaking.  I cannot even fathom the fear those people experienced or the hopelessness they faced. 

So, to remember this day, I send my loving prayers and thoughts to each person affected by this day.  The families, the friends, the strangers.  All of us.  All of you.  My heart hurts on this day every year to think of the lives that have been lost.  And it fills with joy to know that we came together to help each other get through it with love and understanding and empathy.  Please remember this day always and forever.

All’s Fair in Love and Exes

It may be that my iPod hit too many Alanis Morrisette songs the other day, or maybe it was one of those mushy quotes that I read on Twitter.  Either way, I thought it would be theraputic to let go of some old ex-boyfriend baggage and look for the lessons I’ve learned from them.  In my journey of making my life right, I’ve continually reaffirmed my happiness by counting my blessings.  So, I decided the ill wills that may have laid dormant in the back of my mind needed to be cleaned out.  The more I pondered it, the more I realized each one held some valuable lessons whether it was a good or bad relationship.  In order to protect the innocent, and guilty, I’ll simply number them in chronological order with just a first initial.  No names will be shared…lucky for them.

#1-J:  Dating should be fun

Being friends after a break up is possible

Never “re-date” after a break up

#2-S:  Don’t stay in a relationship just to have a relationship

Know when you are done and end it

Being respectful of someone’s family counts

#3-J:  Listen to your instincts

Consider your friends’ advice

Friends who care will show it when it counts

#4-J:  Communication is key

Anger is not worth holding on to

Two wrongs don’t make a right

Be yourself

#5-M:  Know who you are

Stand up for yourself

An argument is okay, a fight is not

Music can be a therapist

Spirituality can be healing

You deserve better than you think

#6-R:  Some people deserve better than you

Don’t be suspicious of being treated well

Learn to recognize when someone genuinely cares

Trust is precious

Never say never (see boyfriend #1)

#7-M:  Soulmates exist

Timing is everything

Fight for what you want

Broken hearts will eventually mend (even if it takes years)

#8-T:  Fun doesn’t equal serious relationship

Figure out what you want from the other person and TELL THEM

Never return to bad habits

#9-M:  Trust is necessary

Even though you might grow up, it doesn’t mean they will

Have faith in yourself and your strength

Children change everything

No one ever said dating was easy.  I never assumed it.  I just never thought that the day I got married would be the day I could shake off all those old feelings and pack them away.  We are approaching our fifth anniversary in October and I’m glad that I have finally realized that the lessons I have learned from the past have guided me into a truly happy marriage.  I wouldn’t trade any of the heartache I experienced because it made me who I am today.


Metaphorically Speaking…

A long time ago, I suffered a deep wound.  I had received cuts like it before, but this one went a lot deeper than the others.  And even though I knew it hurt like no other, I simply slapped a Band-Aid on it, like I always had, and moved on.  Every now and then, I would feel the ache from it and see that it still had not healed.  All the others had healed just fine.  I even forgot about most of them.  But, this one, it still lingered, never able to close on its own.

So, recently, I came to my senses.  I realized that if I just rip that Band-Aid off, I could clean it up, sort out the damage and stitch it up properly in order to get some real healing.  Sure, it might leave a scar, but it would finally be healed. 

It’s a funny thing, ripping off that Band-Aid.  You stare at it.  You wonder what is the best angle you can grip it at to tear it off quickly.  You might even contemplate whether it is worth it at all to rip it off, or just let the adhesive wear down and it will eventually come off itself.  However, this Band-Aid was never going to fall off on its own.  It was holding on for dear life.  Every day it would convince itself that it was doing its job. 

I gave in.  I ripped it off.  What a relief!  I have to say, it was a very liberating feeling.  I thought that keeping that bandage on was what was keeping me going.  I agonized for days anticipating the pain of getting rid of it.  I even thought that tearing it off was going to be the beginning of an ordeal of stinging antiseptic and piercing stitching.  It turns out, the first step was the final step.  I already feel like I am healing.  And no matter what the cost of the medical treatment in the end, I think that I have already paid the price. 

To be continued?  Maybe…