Have you ever found yourself in an awkward place or social event or family gathering when something happens and you find yourself at loss for words? It happens to me more times than I care to tell you but why start hiding things from you now? Sometimes I am awkward in person. Like a small puppy that hasn’t grown into her ears I trip over myself. Once I say the wrong things, I tend to pile more wrong things on top until my anxiety takes over and I begin to slur my thoughts into an almost unintelligible speech pattern. I feel the heat rush to my face and I wish from the darkest reaches of my soul that the ground would open and cease my suffering.
There is nothing I can say to ever make you feel comfortable in your own skin. I can’t make you feel beautiful even though I may tell you how beautiful you are. I can not make you believe you have value if you don’t know your worth. It is very hard for me to tell people I care for them or have concerns for their well being. I have lost so many people I have loved. It is unfair of me to pin my fear of loss on you. So I stand there not knowing what to say because in truth my heart wants to cry out…NO! no more loss. I don’t want you to go. I want you to be better. There are days to fill with laughter and memories. There are people to love and jokes to tell. If I could ease your pain I would.
Tomorrow and the tomorrow after that are not guaranteed. Live your life. Sing that song. Make an ass out of yourself. Make sure people remember you for the right reasons. When I stumble trying to tell you how or why I feel the way I do, watch my body language. Maybe I am tripping over my own emotions or insecurities while trying to give the appearance of complete control. I want everyone in my life to know peace. I want you to know that you are loved, wanted and appreciated. I want you to know that some days it will rain but in time the sun does shine. If you are a part of my life it is because I WANT you there.
Sometimes I don’t know what to say. That’s why I write. Love the people in your life, they are here for that reason. Tell them how important they are to you. Stop with empty promises Give them something you value; a hug or a smile, a bouquet of flowers or do something unexpected for them.
I have been employed at the same company for 33 years. In all of that time I have only once before taken two weeks of vacation together. Once in the honeymoon stage of my employment before year seven and then this vacation. All I can say is WOW! Hubby and I have always resisted doing a two week stint because it is so tough mentally to get back into the swing of the early morning rise again and the bust your hump (him, not me) of a physically demanding the job. We both work for the same company, and yes, that is how we met = ) .
Have you ever had a vacation filled with UNPLANS? An unplan is pretty self explanatory. I can honestly tell you that not having any premade plans to go anywhere or do anything drives me to distraction but this year I embraced the unplan. This past year has been a time of transition for me. I have been struggling emotionally about life without my Dad. My hubby lost a favorite auntie and I a cousin, one of the cool kids. All unplans. All things I didn’t plan for or expect. Why is it when someone you love dies you feel like you are treading the outer rim of a whirlpool? Gaining speed as you spin around and around not really going anywhere but desperately trying not to get sucked into the center!
On this vacation I finally let go of the panic. I am made of stronger things. After one more go around I found the safest spot at which to exit and now I am happy to report I am back on course. It is not our loved ones who have died that suffer the loss; it is the ones who are left behind on the shores of uncertainty that have to figure out how to be happy again, live their own lives, be the person they are meant to be. I learned so much from my parents about the kind of person I want to be, that I AM! My Dad taught me never to give up, to never back down from a challenge, and never settle for anything done poorly. He taught how to drive, to laugh, to whistle and sing. He taught me how to love with my soul wide open. My Mom taught me patience, kindness, poetry. She taught me that not every soul is beautiful but if you look hard enough there is beauty. Orphaned as a child all she ever wanted was to be loved. I wish she knew how much she WAS LOVED but sometimes no matter how much you try to convey to someone special that they are indeed loved the more unworthy they feel.
I enjoyed this vacation. I went on a crazy adventure with my BFF. I spent so many days away from the kitchen that right about now a meal made with love is all that I am craving. I stepped away from my WWs program. I am totally Okay with that = ) if you want perfect you have stopped at the wrong address. Life is in the living! I enjoyed spending quiet, unrushed time with my hubster. I even made him go on an adventure! All these years and we still like each other! Love is a amazing isn’t it? ❤
We have already decided that next year will are going to take two consecutive weeks off again. The peace was worth it.
My mother loved John Denver. When she was in the midst of a depressive episode and there were many she would hijack my turntable and play this guys music off the walls. Today is her birthday. Like her favorite song today has been diamonds and stones. My hubby just lost a favorite auntie a few days ago to an illness, my Mom’s Birthday is today and the anniversary of her passing is on the 11th. What a way to roll in, JUNE! I want you to know you are loved and missed. Your kid sister wears you next to her heart everyday in the form of a little butterfly mizpah to honor her love for you. I know she misses your stories and your wisdom. The lottery hasn’t been the same since you left, revenue is down = )
My birthday wish for you; I hope you truly know happiness, that you enjoy the peace, and that you found Dad when he checked in. He missed you SO much. He loved you with his whole being.
His hands were thick and stocky. The fingers twisted and knotted from a lifetime of physical labor. He carried each of his daughters with those hands. He threatened to end many a boys lives with those hands; just let one of those boys be foolish enough to harm his girls. Those hands dried tears and helped to wipe runny noses. Those hands were quick to unleash justice from the end of his belt even if his pants threatened to fall down. I miss those hands. When I was a little girl I used to like to watch my Dad’s hands as they worked. He ran a mean a shoe shine kit. I loved watching him fix his car or work on a project or when he let me watch him shave. I would sit quietly on the edge of the sink as my Pop prepped his face for a Sunday before church shave. Everyday before my Dad left for work he would use his electric shaver or a make quick run over his chops with a cheap disposable razor but Sundays were special. On Sundays my Dad went out of his way to be dressed in his absolute best. I miss the smell of Old Spice in the air.
My Dad would stand at the bathroom sink, while hot water filled the basin and he would tell me the stories of his Dad. How his father before him had a straight razor, a strop, a brush, and a mug with a cake of shaving soap. My Dad would wet his cupped hands in the basin drawing hot water up to his face. He’d grab the boar haired brush off its little stand and wet it in the sink. He would spin that brush over the surface of the cake in the mug until the lather spilled out over the edge and I could smell the fragrant soap in the air. He would make the funniest of faces while he dragged that soapy brush all over his face and neck. I was mesmerized by the act of shaving: rinsing, shaving, lathering, shaving…
I loved to watch my Dad make himself beautiful. When he was finished shaving he’d pour some Old Spice into his hands rub them together quickly and then give his face a few quick slaps. “Good for what ails you” he announced to no one in particular. If I was lucky he’d dab a little on my cheeks and send me on my way. I loved smelling like a hug from my Dad It made me feel special. = )
As a child I remember many nights when he came home from work tired, hungry and beaten by the crap of the day. There was always something more to do. Sound familiar? How he looked forward to the weekend. How we all look forward to the weekend, feelings lost on the foolishness of youth but cherished today for what they really mean to an adult.
Now I realize that I was making memories, then I was just loving my Dad for all of the things that made him special to me.
Sometimes the beginning of a story happens at the end. Everyday that we get up and participate in our life we write more of our own story. We alone are responsible for its content and meter. My rhythm was recently interrupted by a ripple I never saw coming. One chapter ends and a new one begins. In a good read, chapters are often ways for an author to tie up loose ends or introduce a new plot twist or a dangerous and suspicious evil character. Who will I be for the next chapter in my story? Am I a damsel in distress? or a damsel in a dress? or am I damsel at all?
In my lifetime I have had numerous people tell me they “know” me. What I like, how I react, when my mood swings…You know the type of person I am talking about, right? Funny thing is some days I don’t know myself. So how in the world do smug pricks always think they have the plug-in for what I am feeling or what it is that I will be doing next, when I am not sure myself?
I am just getting home after work, from my Jeep I can tell the mailman has made his rounds blessing my homestead with the unwanted littering of ads. Maybe there will be some mail I might need. I never expected his death certificates to be amongst the upcoming grocery sales. The envelope is simply stamped city clerk’s office from the city where I live. Holding it in my hands I feel my soul begin to shrink in on itself. I feel nervous and anxious. I know he is gone. So why does this envelope make me feel so empty? and lost?
A new chapter begins where another ends. I make the rounds to the places that need confirmation from this envelope of finality. Social Security office, the administration office that manages his pension, the IRS, the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the list is lengthy. My anxiety begins to mount and suddenly I am crying full steam ahead in the arms of a complete stranger. WTH? Cathartic and horrifying. Healing, because for the first time I am feeling his loss, horrifying because now this stranger thinks I am a little crazy. Just wonderful! I call my hubby from my vehicle. I am hyperventilating. The sadness of my Dad’s passing finally slapping me so hard I am struggling to stay focused. No one wants to happen upon someone in the midst of hysterics. I want to run away from myself but I can’t. No matter which way I turn or run reality is still there patiently waiting for my acceptance. I am learning to adult better but I am afraid.
Thanksgiving is fast approaching. I don’t feel thankful. I am depressed and angry. It’s very hard for me to tell any one when I am feeling less than stellar. There is a long history in my immediate family associated with depression. Depression comes with stigma. A heavy necklace of doom you are tasked to wear. I hate it. I hate everything about it. Depression lies. Its voices penetrating my soul in places I DO NOT like to linger in for too long. We all struggle. No one is happy and well adjusted all the time.
Not knowing the answer to questions I have always had makes me more anxious. I am on the journey of my life. I no longer have a mother or a father that I can bounce questions off of. There is no one left who knows every little thing about me: all of my secrets, my loves, my hates, my ambitions, my loneliness, how I got the scar in my eyebrow. There is no one left to reminisce with about the good ole days gone by. I lost so much more than my Dad. I lost the last link to my history.
No matter where I run I can not hide from myself. I have been thinking about changing the direction of my blog. Sadly it is my life which needs direction not my blog. I have been in turmoil with myself for a long time. Not happy. I grew up with someone who was never happy. Did she rub off on me? Did I pick up her bad habits? In a room full of people I love, I find myself feeling empty, overwhelmed, sad. I don’t really know how to just talk with people. I am not a great listener, not one of my better qualities.
I am a fixer. I want to fix whatever it is that may be troubling you or making you sad or uneasy; yet, I don’t know how to fix those things for myself. The only coping skills I taught myself? Be the smartest person in the room. Rely on only yourself, never ask for help. Don’t cry! it is a sign of weakness. Never take care of yourself first, fix everyone else’s unhappiness. Well, guess what? not good edicts to live by. It has terrible side effects.Whenever I feel overwhelmed (which is often) I hit the snacks.
I have found that I am not always the smartest person in the room and that is ok. I don’t always know what to do. It kills me to ask for help. I am working on it. I am afraid of so many little things that they become overwhelming . These fears strip me of my ability to get out of my self-created misery. Lately I am crying at the slightest provocation. Some people blame it on impending menopause but that is horseshit. I cry because bravery comes with a cost. When I can’t smile at the storm one second longer I lose my battle and the tears flow. I have the hardest time not fucking up my own happiness. I don’t know how to take care of myself. It is time I learned, really learned not just practiced. I live with this need to punish myself for my shortcomings. No more hiding. No more punishing.
I can’t do this to myself anymore. I need to be happy with myself and my life choices.
I have never tried to write my blog while listening to music before. I thought I would give it a try. I am listening to In Blue by The Corrs. I love this CD. It helps to put me in a better mood when the thick fog of funk rolls in. I have the sound turned down a bit so I can process my thoughts. It is true that you never forget a good lesson learned. I used to sing, listen to music in high school to help me prep for tests. Feels like home, who knew? I switched to my go to gal…Streisand. Her music gives me something no other music has ever given me, the ability to believe in myself.
Lately, ok maybe that is a bad reference for time. I have not been getting along with myself for a few years now. This rift in my being has caused me turmoil and self-loathing. One would think that I would have learned to set myself free from that bullshit already. I think I have finally realized it is part of the mystery I call me. I lost faith in myself. I got lost on my journey. I am in the deep woods surrounded by mosquitoes and other wild life with no FECKING idea how to get back to the main road… except, I know the way. I have been unwilling to “fix” my course. Listen, I was in the middle of a first class pity party. I had balloons and snacks and more snacks and more snacks, well I think you get the idea. Eventually it was time to crawl down from my perch in the tress and rejoin the world around me.
I choose my life. Every crappy, wonderful, screwed up minute. I want to be healthy. One of my mother’s last wishes for me was to be well. She knew she was fading and her time was drawing to a close. She gave me one of her best Junie hugs. “I love you, Trish. I know you will take care of Daddy but I worry you won’t look after you. Don’t become me. I can’t walk. I struggle for breath. Someone has to help me with every small thing. Do you want to end up like me? unable to live like you want?” I brushed it off at the time. Mom being dramatic with all the trappings. She died three months later. I started WWs March 3, 2007. My mom passed away June 11.2007. In that short time I lost 50 pounds. I continued to lose for her, for me until I left behind 145 pounds. Hold your applause. Yes, I lost all that weight and then I walked away.
Funny thing about grief after awhile your mind softens the sharp edges so you can move on with your life. Unfortunately, I chose to move in the wrong direction. I had my reasons; ill conceived most of them. Shortly after my Mom’s passing I began taking care of my Dad. In the beginning he only needed gentle reminders and help with his shopping. I was on course. I managed to lose 145 pounds. I was 6 pounds short of reaching lifetime goal at WWs when my Dad had a cardio-vascular accident that changed our lives. He nearly died on me. I was thrust into full time caregiver with part time hours. Where was my rock? Suddenly I felt so useless and small. Dad got better physically but his dementia…well, that is an ongoing adventure = (
I coped the only way an addict knows how. I FELL off the wagon. No, that’s a lie. I JUMPED. It has taken eight years to regain most of the weight I lost. I didn’t want to deal with all the sadness, disappointment and loneliness that comes from taking care of an ailing loved one. There is no one to blame. It is what it is. I allowed myself to fall short on purpose, fulfilling my own doom theory. Well guess what? Screw that shit. I have things I want to do. Things I need to fix. Adventures to take. People to love. I accept I will always have to fight my need to “fix” my problems with food. Food is the worst friend, ever. I can’t live without her. She won’t change so I need to learn to give her space so my soul can have peace.