Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I Changed My Party Identification to Democrat Today

The Iowa caucus is behind us.  This pushed me to do something today that I have been meaning to to do for years.  I changed my party identification from Republican to Democrat officially.

This is HUGE.

It has taken a long time to step out of the shadows and embrace who I am.

This is BIG.  

In the last 2-3 years, I worried about posting anything on FB that would give away that I was not with the grain of my Red state.

At this point in time, I can't believe I ever felt that way.  

Politics and religion became intermixed when push button issues became Republican and equal being a Christian.  Now, I see that so differently  When I was ashamed before, now I think, how could you even think you are a follower of Jesus - and espouse such hate and fear.   What would Jesus do?

Living my authentic life is evolving.

Slowly and surely.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hello Roid Rage

I was sick for close to three weeks with the crud.  I would feel better and go out and then have relapses.  I had wheezing, sneezing, sore throat, nasal congestion, and allergies.   It gets old really fast to not have the energy to keep up with life.  I tried resting, antibiotics, inhalers, and other over the counter meds and I still wasn't up to par.  I went to the doctor and ended up with a steroid shot and then a steroid pack to take over several days.  I must have never had this combination before...

I woke up the next morning, feeling alive and righteous. There was no wheezing, no sore throat and oh my gosh, I feel alive and have energy!!  Woo Hoo!  Yes!  And then over time, it became apparent that an irritable alien took over my body.  I am angered so easily.  So very easily.  (There is no way to watch anything in the news about politics right now.)  I even felt the need to start posting political rants on FB, but just went so far as to like a few Democratic posts.  Benign FB posts are annoying me.  I don't feel right in my body.  At moments, it is hard to be with myself at all.

And then I began waking during the night, alert and for no reason.  And I want to eat everything in sight.

This weekend, I wanted to rip George's head off numerous times (and I know he wanted to rip mine as well).  And then there is our teenager...  I just backed away from her several times, because I knew I was in no frame of mind to go head to head.

The irritability feels so uncomfortable.   I have worked so hard at mindfulness to recognize when these feelings and energy come my way, to be curious, and to allow them through.  I have worked so hard to let anger, anxiety, and sadness not take over and paralyze me.

But this rage is not going anywhere.

Sitting and breathing with it.  Being in this present moment sucks.

And, this is life.  It is not guaranteed to be smooth.  At all.  Being in the present moment is harder right now but it will pass.

I just wanted to feel better.  I wished to feel better and have energy.  Heh heh, I got that.

This will pass.  I will avoid those things that I know stir me up.  I will back away.  I will not read about politics right now.  I will be angry.  This too will pass.  I will send a message to my doctor and ask, can I quit taking them now?  And it is okay.  Feeling uncomfortable will not do me in.  It feels like it will, but it won't.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Putting the Air Mask on First

During Christmas break, I tend to lose my marbles when the kids are home 24/7.  It's just the way it goes.  And every year, I forgot that this will occur, and finally after 13 years as a mom, I'm starting to catch on.    I get cranky, short-tempered and yearn for any adult conversation at Easter, Mardi Gras, Thanksgiving and Summer Vacation.  During this past Christmas break,  putting the air mask on first, what airlines tell you to do in preflight demonstration before you put the mask on your child, resonated with me big time.

It really sunk in.

It is one thing to have intellectual knowledge of a notion or idea it is another to put it in practice. (And for it to go well.)
I have read and talked about many parenting ideas that I know are right from an intellectual standpoint
yet putting ideas that I recognize to be good in practice requires much discomfort.

I saw an incremental change during the last school break. On the spur of the moment, I decided to go to yoga and leave the ten year old with the thirteen year old (and the ferocious guard dog and the alarm system on!)  The ten year old DOES NOT LIKE staying at home with the thirteen year old.   The thirteen year old who herself has Red Cross certification and one babysitting experience under her belt, DOES NOT WANT a sitter anymore. So what's standing in my way, is the beloved heart and nerves of a ten year old.  (On this particular occasion, my husband was able to leave later for work, and off I ran.)

But this time, I was going for it, no matter what.  Even though it made my ten year old uncomfortable, I wanted and needed to go.  In the past, I would have hedged back and forth, the child would have seen that I was hesitant and they would have gone for the jugular for me to do what they wanted.

The practice of yoga, feeds my soul and works out my body.   I feel refreshed, renewed, and mindful afterwards.  It is exactly what I needed to take on the rest of the day and school break.  And it hit me that this is what it means to put the air mask on first, because then you are better able to handle what comes your way.   This was actually practicing that idea with one caveat.

I would do things before that were FOR ME but I would feel GUILTY over it and WORRY the entire time.  This was one time, I walked away and left my worries at home and focused on myself for an entire hour.

It was almost better than an orgasm.

And it lasted longer.

I came home from yoga, went straight to Mallory and said, "I know you didn't want me to go and I appreciate your cooperation, I really love to practice yoga and it makes me feel really good" (...Laying the foundation for future yoga sessions)

And the kicker is this act of putting the air bag on first is teaching my children to take care of themselves.  Losing my mind and being short tempered, is not how I want to love my children or myself.

Taking care of me, helps me take care of them AND most importantly they learn from watching what I do.  Not what I say.  What I do.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

My First Aerobics Class Since 2008

I stepped out of my comfort zone this afternoon.  And I say Hallelujah every time I do this in large and small ways.  I attended a zumba type dance class.  I have not attended any type of "fitness" class other than yoga in many years.  I can tell you exactly when I walked away.  The scene is perfectly etched in my mind.  I see it.

It was 2008 and it was a horrible Muscle Works Class at a local gym.  I wrote about it on June 13, 2009 entitled "Nightmare in Muscle Works"  The instructor was a meanie.  I just reread what happened and I forgot some of the interaction that went on between she and I.  I don't do well with meanies.  Life is too short to deal with people that are negative and condescending.  It was such a defining moment that I walked away from ever attending another class like that for nearly 8 years.

At that time, I did decide yoga was my pathway for class settings but even that was in a very tepid, careful way.   And I LOVE YOGA and what it does for me.    I have had a love/hate relationship with "exercise" for a long time and I'm coming out of it.  That class or rather, that teacher made me feel inferior and discouraged about exercise classes, and I let her.  But yoga helped me work through it.

I realized tonight that I let that one person affect me dramatically.  There were plenty of other classes and teachers and gyms.  Yet, that is okay.  This was supposed to be my journey.

Found a picture on FB! That is me all the way to the left.

So this afternoon, I went to a Refit dance class taught by a teacher and another parent from my children's school.  I have been watching another Facebook friend post about the Refit classes she teaches for a couple of years now.  I was probably invited to attend one but it never entered my mind, that I could DO the class.  It looked somewhat appealing but in my head, I said, I can't.

That is so sad.

But I feel differently today.  I needed to walk away all those years ago.  I needed to practice yoga and develop a healthier relationship with exercise.  I am learning to listen to my body and know that it likes to move.  Not every single day but movement has become joyful moreso than "I HAVE to do this."  My body is a temple and I want to take care of it and that is sinking in more and more.  When I was resistant to going even to yoga, which I have been doing for fourteen years, my friend says she looks upon it as a massage.  I had never thought of it that way.  That is sinking in too.

Now, I WILL be sore for the next few days.  I can already feel some muscles feel like jello.  But it is great to move unused muscles and there is ibuprofen after all.

So, I plan to make another class soon and keep trying. It will take some time to learn the moves but it was fun.  It was a wonderful way to move my body with music and other women and no meanies.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Do I Deserve An Inground Swimming Pool?

I have not written many posts this year.  Sad face. What's up with that? I miss it.
And Liz Gilbert said unused creativity is not benign.  Hmm.  I believe I do have the creativity in me, and I need to write down when the thoughts pop in my head because if I don't, they are now GONE!  I love, love, love to work out life writing this blog.

Today's missive revolves around the project that has been going on at my house for the last few months.  We decided to build an inground pool back in August.  The fact that we had an above ground pool for 5-6 years might have indicated that we would use one.  We only toyed with the idea off and on over the years.

There was a small (destructive) voice inside of me that said, I was not worthy of a pool.

My view on December 27th, 2015

That same voice said we shouldn't buy a BMW or other "fancy" car.  I had a hard time buying our last vehicle which happened to be top of the line.  Something about a pool or expensive car says excess or is it that I'm not worthy?

It's interesting to pay attention to the thoughts around this.  And I have learned that I have for years told myself stories about my worthiness which were not true.  And I am cracking open those thoughts slowly but surely.  It's not easy work of course, but evolving never is.

But this time we went for the pool.  Refinanced and upped our mortgage a bit, and away we go.

First "spa" experience on 12/10/15
And after a few months of much mess and noise of digging, rebar, gunite, more concrete, plaster, banging, sawing, hammering, decking,  etc. the fantastic pool and roof area is finished.   The whole family (including reclusive teenager) swam on Christmas Eve! It was 75 degrees outside and we only had to heat the pool around 15 degrees.  And we swam again the day after Christmas and yesterday.  Although I have watched this process very intimately and worked with all of the different workers, I still can't believe we have a pool!!  I have looked at this site every day intimately and discussed issues with all of the workers of different specialties.  And I still can't believe we have a pool!  Being able to swim in it these last few days, and getting to know how it feels is phenomenal.

This is our backyard!

Mallory said it feels like a neighbor's yard and I concur.

And I'm going to enjoy every moment of it, including cleaning the blasted leaves out of the pool!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

We Suffer and That's Okay

A friend posted this on FB and it struck me.  So here it is.

This is true everyday but especially for me now during Christmas - too much to do.

"The next time you catch yourself in a maelstrom of comparison, anger, self-doubt, worry, or judgment, take a breath and ask, 'What am I practicing?' Be gentle with what comes up (no judging yourself for being judgmental) and notice if in embracing your experience with tenderness, compassion has a chance to blossom. Know this: It’s impossible to practice love and patience all the time. That kind of every-second-of-every-day bliss was not built into us humans. We suffer, and that’s okay. And when we can be compassionate with ourselves when we’re practicing things other than love, our heart softens, our grip loosens, and suddenly we have a greater access to the love we were seeking all along." ~Jamie Greenwood

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Learning to Live with The Energy: Donald Trump, Susan Boyle and Christmas

Over the last 7-8 years, I have taught myself how to feel my feelings again.   The years during infertility and especially postpartum depression really affected me.  I cried so much during that period of time, it was exhausting and I recall the despair very easily. I did not want to go down that rabbit hole of darkness and despondency ever again.

When I showed up in therapy (to lose weight) (smile),  I didn't know that I had made an unconscious decision not to cry anymore.  I learned over the next few months and years, that wasn't a good move.  It was protective, but not healthy for my soul at all.  Most of our society runs from it's feelings and compulsively avoids them at all costs.  It runs the gamut:  alcohol, shopping, religion, sports, legal and illegal drugs, food, cleaning, hoarding, perfectionism of anything, and the latest one, electronic devices which are all used to avoid the energy that is part of life.

How many times have you heard that it is a bad thing to cry?  "I'm sorry I made you cry." "Please don't cry."

I am learning to make friends with that energy that comes my way naturally every day.  And make friends with all of it including the so called negative emotions of anxiety, grief, fear and sadness.  As well as the "positive" ones: joy, laughter, and fun.  It was most surprising to me that when you block feelings and stay numb, you block all of them even the "good" ones.

I have had to learn how to have fun, be playful again because having fun made me extremely uncomfortable too.


Life is full of despair.  It will come again.  That is guaranteed.  As does the joy.

In therapy, I lost my religion, gained a loving relationship with God and most importantly learned to let go of fear (what I was running from avoiding the feelings) and embrace LOVE.  Hence, the title of my blog.

It takes so much practice though.  And it's very uncomfortable in the beginning and at times, I still freeze up.

But life will give you practice.

Death, Sickness, Terrorism, Donald Trump for President.  (grin)

In decorating for Christmas, thoughts turn to my mother in law.  She loved Christmas especially knick knacks.  We went through more of her belongings this past weekend and let go of more Christmas knick knacks.  As we played holiday tunes on the way to school this morning, I had a thought that I should have held on to some of those knick knacks.

Yet, I hate knick knacks.

So as I was cleaning up, I felt myself in that most uncomfortable place of sadness sitting on my chest.  How do I let it flow?  Hmmm.  I had pulled out Christmas CD's the night before. What music will make me cry?

I put on Susan Boyle and listened to "Perfect Day" which did the trick.

"Oh, it's such a perfect day
I'm glad I spent it with you"

The tears fell.  I felt like Ga Ga was with me.  And she was.

And the energy has passed for now.

Some more will come again.  That is life.