Until It Is Carved In Stone [an Excerpt from Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach]

It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth — and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up — that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Visiting old cemeteries can be very illuminating. They are so still and silent. So quiet. Old cemeteries remind us that until it is carved in stone, realizing our heart’s desire is possible every day if we recognize what it is that makes us happy.

In Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town a deeply poignant scene takes place in a graveyard. Ghosts comfort the young heroine, who has recently died in childbirth. Emily, still longing for the life she has just left, wishes to revisit it one ordinary, “unimportant” day in her life. When she gets her wish, she realizes how much the living take for granted.

Eventually her visit is too much for her to bear. “I didn’t realize,” she confesses mournfully, “all that was going on and we never noticed … Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover’s Corners … Mama and Papa. Good-by to clocks ticking … and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths … and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”

This is the season of Epiphany, when the renewal of light and revelation are celebrated in the liturgy of the Catholic, Episcopal, and Eastern Orthodox churches. On our new path we seek everyday epiphanies — occasions on which we can experience the Sacred in the ordinary — and come to the awakening, as Emily finally does, that we cannot longer afford to throw away even one “unimportant” day by not noticing the wonder of it all. We have to be willing to discover and then appreciate the authentic moments of happiness available to all of us every day.

[excerpted from the book Simple Abundance; A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach]

Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

via Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet.

I have had many really good teachers in my life, but the one that comes to the forefront of my mind was my elementary school librarian – Mrs. Rayburn.  Our friendship blossomed because of an unusual situation; my elementary school had a lady come in once a week and tell bible stories in class. Because of my unusual biblical education as a Kindergartner, I often ended up in theological disputes with this little old lady. Because of that, she wouldn’t have me in the classroom when she told her bible stories, so from that point on, I spent those days in the Library with Mrs. Rayburn. I could already read in Kindergarten, and she took that ability and turned it into a serious love of literature. We began to meet before school every morning, to review the book I had taken home the night before and to get a new book for that night. I devoured everything she gave me. By the end of that year, I was already reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and other young fiction. That love of reading has never left me. In addition, Mrs. Rayburn became a fixture in my life outside of school, as I would often be invited to spend weekends at her home with her and Mr. Rayburn. You see, Mrs. Rayburn was estranged from her son, because he had embraced the very religion I was raised in. I feel really good because I helped her understand the religion more, and to become reconciled with her son after she realized it wasn’t bad, like she had been predisposed to believe. She had a real affection for me, and the feeling was mutual. She took on the role of a grandparent to me, as all my grandparents were passed on by the time I was 3 or 4 years old. I stayed in touch with her over the years, even after I moved away from Appalachia and to Cincinnati. I loved her dearly and respected what she did.

A little bit more about Inez (that’s her first name): She was a teacher in one-room schoolhouses when my parents were little. She taught my father in the 40’s in one of those schoolhouses, and she had to travel a long way each direction just to teach there. She was head librarian over several schools and often traveled from school to school visiting the libraries.

Now, as an adult and a parent, I have been volunteering in our elementary media center for three years. Every day that I’m there, helping children find literature to light up their imaginations, shelving books, setting up displays to catch their eyes, I feel Mrs. Rayburn with me. She always went above and beyond her simple duties as an educator and loved all the kids she worked with.

What Is It You Truly Need? [An Excerpt from Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach]

In my life’s chain of events nothing was accidental. Everything happened according to an inner need.
~Hannah Senesh

Do you have everything you need right now? What about your wants? Few of us have everything we want, and at times our wants can seem positively all-consuming. Our sensibilities become confused and overstimulated by a mass media that glorifies beautiful people and expensive objects. It’s easy to lose clarity about what it is we need to live authentically. Most of us are hungering for something more in our lives. But do you really think the answer can be found in a glossy magazine or on the movie screen?

If we are to live happy, creative, and fulfilled lives, it is crucial to distinguish between our wants and our needs. Unfortunately, many women blur the distinction and then wonder why they feel so diminished.

Make peace with the knowledge that you can’t have everything you want. Why? Because it’s more important for us to get everything we need. Like infants, we feel contentment when our essential needs are met.

Be courageous. Ask yourself: what is it I truly need to make me happy? The deeply personal answers to this vital question will be different for each of us. Trust the loving wisdom of your heart. It is only after we acknowledge our inner needs that we can harness the creative energy necessary to manifest them in our lives. “It is inevitable when one has a great need of something, one finds it,” Gertrude Stein reminds us. “What you need you attract like a lover.”

***

The Underrated Duty [an excerpt from the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach]

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Perhaps you think you’ll be happy when you get a bigger kitchen, or a new job, or the perfect someone with whom to share your life. But don’t you want to start making happiness a habit right now? Every morning when we wake up we’ve been given a wonderful gift — another day of life — so let’s make the most of it. No one can do it for us. “Happiness is not a possession to be prized,” Daphne du Maurier wrote in Rebecca. “It is a quality of thought, a state of mind.”

Let’s adopt a new state of mind about happiness. Let’s stop thinking that things outside our control will bring us happiness.

Admittedly, remodeling the kitchen, landing the job we’ve been dreaming of, or finding that special someone can make us feel — at least momentarily — happier. But the magic seeds of contentment are planted deep within us. Happiness that the world cannot take away only flourishes in the secret garden of our souls. By tending to our inner garden and uprooting the weeds of external expectations, we can nurture our authentic happiness the way we would nurture something that’s beautiful and alive. Happiness is a living emotion.

Your happiness is not a frivolous, expendable luxury. The pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence. But we have to be willing to pursue it. Ultimately, genuine happiness can only be realized once we commit to making it a personal priority in our lives. This may be new behavior for some of us and a bit intimidating. Be gentle with yourself. It will all unfold. Today you may not be familiar with the happiness habit. But like any new behavior, happiness can be learned.

***

I like to use this book – Simple Abundance – A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach, when I’m trying to reframe my thought patterns. I often do not stick to the daybook very far into the year or jump in at different times of the year. What I’d really like to do this year is to actually read the day’s passage each day for this year, and take the thoughts into consideration during my day’s activities. I really like the tenor of this book and I think having a morning ritual where I read the passage and let it be in my mind for the day, could be very helpful to me for keeping myself living with intent and not just letting the days go by.

Today, I’ve been thinking about the things I’ve denied myself over the years that I really wanted — things I wanted to learn, do or become — and I’ve decided that I’m going to tackle the biggest of my shelved-away dreams this year. I’ve always wanted to play a celtic or concert harp. I’ve wanted this since I was 16 or 17 years old and my desire has never waned. I yearn for it, and I’ve never allowed myself to chase the dream because I felt that any expenditure to pursuing this dream would be frivolous and wasteful when raising a family and having so many other things that always seem to take precedence over such things. However, I think that the cost of pursuing the harp and the lessons would be more than offset by my quality of life improving a great deal. I know that my quality of life will improve because although I have never owned my own harp, I have always adored harp music, and I have quite a few times sat at harps in stores or other locations and I’ve already been able to play simple tunes by ear. And the feeling of contentment and happiness I feel with the soundboard against my heart is a pleasure I cannot describe. It’s one of those things – you know you were meant to do something – and I have resisted this gravitational pull for many years. I’m done resisting, I’m going to follow that dream this year, so help me.

harp-vered-fishman
Painting by Vered Fishman

Prelude-W-cp troubador_VI

2013 – A New Beginning

It’s been quite a while since I blogged regularly. I have been feeling the urge to share my thoughts again in a venue where I can get feedback from others; and just really feeling the need to express myself in writing, the way I used to.

I have a lot of things to update regarding this blog, but the past week, I have been considering “New Year’s Resolutions”.  I’m not really very good at keeping resolutions, but I want to live this next 12 months with some sort of intention and plan. I haven’t really ever done that before. But I really want 2013 to be SPECIAL. Noteworthy. A time of transformation and a new direction.
So instead of making resolutions, I would like to state intentions. Specifically, I am going to state intentions – ranging from intensely personal, to family-related, to finance, to just-for-fun.

So, here goes:

  1. I fully intend on cultivating more patience and kindness with my husband and children. Lately, I have let my irritability and impatience color my dealings with them, and my tongue has become quite sharp. I really want to try to be more present in mind when they need something from me or want to ask/tell me something.
  2. I fully intend on cultivating more patience and kindness with MYSELF.  I have become such a cruel critic of myself that I often find myself in the throes of terrible anxiety/panic attacks when I am indulging in leisure activities, or trying to take much-needed naps. There is nothing like having a guilt-induced panic attack just because you’re trying to catch an afternoon nap when your kids are not at home.
  3. I fully intend to allow myself downtime every day without guilt or “woulda”, “shoulda” or “coulda” statements. If my fibromyalgia, SAD, or anxiety is causing me to need to take it easy for the entire day, I need to allow myself to do this without recrimination.
  4. I fully intend to continue to work on cultivating multiple streams of income. I have two very good part-time work-from-home gigs going on, and I’m going to encourage those employers to send more work my way, and increase my monetary contribution to the household. I will try to be open to new avenues of income as well.
  5. I fully intend on continuing to work from home, but not more than 35-40 hours a week.  For once in my life, I’m going to do my best to avoid getting burned out, as I have so often done with employment in the past.
  6. I fully intend to continue the progress I’ve made with my dietary choices. I all but eliminated caffeine from my diet this fall. My hope for this year is to seriously cut down on soda drinks, and to drink more water. I also would like to approach eating healthier by picking one unhealthy food choice at a time and replace it with something healthier. When I feel I have overcome that unhealthy food habit, I will tackle another one. Again, trying hard not to get burned out.
  7. Become more disciplined and organized with regard to time management.  I have always tried to come up with these all-encompassing schedules, to-do lists, calendars, systems, etc., and they never seem to last very long. My goal is to really cut out all the things I have always told myself I HAD to include in a schedule/system, and simplify my schedule, so that I don’t feel so overwhelmed with housework, paying bills, etc.  I am going to have a far less stringent approach to expectations with regard to keeping house, and decide what the truly important tasks are each week and do my best to get those few things done. I don’t need to worry about dusting every week, or mopping every other day, etc. It’s just silly. I can go a couple of weeks without doing those things and you can’t even tell, so obviously these are just expectations put in my head by my OCD mother’s upbringing! I hate to have chaos in my home, but picking up clutter is one thing – getting down and hand washing the floors is excessive and I need to stop putting that on myself.
  8. I fully intend on making more time to spend with my husband. We’ve never had the chance to be “just us two”, as he already had a daughter when we got together. We have never had a good support system of people to watch our kids for us so we can go out and be together. That hasn’t changed really, but I am willing to hire some of the college kids that I know well to babysit now that they are grown. I don’t have to just depend on my oldest daughter’s availability to make this happen. My relationship with my husband needs nurturing, and not just once every couple of months. I want to put this to the forefront of my efforts this year.
  9. I fully intend on taking care of ME: taking more of an interest and pride in my appearance, investing in myself with exercise, spiritual/mental care, and fun and hobbies. I really want to be happy where I am at now, instead of focusing on some far-off time when all will be aligned. I find the most happiness from the simplest pleasures, ones that I have always enjoyed – reading, music, movies, games, etc., and I need to allow myself those things without guilt. Life’s too short not to be happy. And red lipstick and garish eye makeup make me happy too, so I’m going to take more time for myself to vamp it up, even if I’m just gonna be home that day.
  10. Work on the worrying – I really need to get a handle on my self-talk. My inner dialogue is my own worst enemy. If nothing else happens this year, I have to beat this inner demon that judges me more harshly than all the bully cheerleaders at my high school ever did.

Well, that’s all I’ve got right now. Basically it boils down to: BE NICER TO MYSELF. BE NICER TO MY FAMILY. KEEP IT SIMPLE, SILLY. IF IT FEELS GOOD, LET YOURSELF DO IT.  STOP TREATING MY BODY LIKE A TRASH COMPACTOR AND MORE LIKE A TEMPLE.

Have a great week!!

A Few More Days

Well, there are only a few more days until we go on vacation.  I am so looking forward to it; I need time with my sisters, and my husband, and all the kids.

My husband and kids and I are going to be staying in a rental house in Florida, with my sisters L and J, and husbands and kids.  My nephew N and his girlfriend will be there also.  The house is large, has an inground pool and hot tub, and a billiards/game room as well.  It should be very nice for us all to relax and bond.  We are bringing our kayak and picking up L’s kayak as well, so there should be some paddling trips down the channel.  I am also anticipating time on the beach, watching my precious girl build sand castles and enjoy herself.

I have been spending the last week or so preparing for the trip.  To me, one of the major things I do to prepare for a vacation is to clean my house thoroughly, so that when I get home, I’m coming home to a clean and uncluttered house.  It makes it possible to keep the “vacation glow” just a little bit longer.  Coming home to chaos and clutter just makes me quickly lose the buzz!  This time, I did more than just the general straightening-up I normally do, I really have been deep cleaning the house.  When I get home, I am hoping to start fresh with a set routine for myself and the girls this summer.  I also have been reviewing and reworking our budget and think I have come up with some ideas to really help us get our spending in order, and increase our savings.

I know, boring, right?  Sorry!

What else is going on…hm…the fact that all I can tell you about is home routines and budgets is pretty sad.

Princess is finishing her last week as a sophomore.  Next year, she will be a junior and will be driving!  We got her a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it needs a new engine before she can drive it.  She and her dad are going to spend this summer repairing the Jeep and getting it up and running.  She has to learn a certain list of maintenance tasks for vehicles before her dad will let her get her second level license, and drive on her own.  Already, she has changed the  oil in my van, along with  the air filter.  She has to not only do these things, but remember it so she can do it many times.  Her dad is making sure she has the practice.  The engine building should be excellent bonding time for them and teach her to understand the workings of her car.  Then, hopefully, she won’t be easily taken advantage of when she needs repairs on her vehicles when she is an adult.

Lola is gearing up to start kindergarten next fall.  I am excited for her, and nervous too.  I’m excited because she really needs interaction with kids her own age.  I see her loneliness.  She has a very active imagination and lives in a pretend world most of the time.  She has a LOT of “imaginary” friends.  The little kids next door are very antisocial with anyone but their own siblings.  It’s quite strange.  Lola would love to play with them, but they always seem unavailable.  It hurts her feelings.  I assure her it is not her fault, but there is this little worry inside me that she is so intense they just don’t like playing with her.  I have watched her play with others, and other than a tendency to try to be bossy, I think she is really sweet to other kids.  Yesterday, I went to  my insurance agent’s office and while I was there, the office assistant took her out to the lobby and was coloring pictures with her, and she was so nice to Lola, and Lola really just opened right up and they were just chattering away.  The lady was so good with her, and Lola’s eyes were just sparkling and she was so happy.  She didn’t want to leave.  I would love for her to have a kindergarten teacher like that.  I will not know how she will fare in school until she starts going.  I pray that the teacher realizes how loveable and smart she is, and helps us teach her to know when it is appropriate to interject, and not to interrupt and make it all about her. LOL.

Hubby is working really hard lately, lots of overtime, to help me get our finances in order, and to continue to allow me to stay home with the kids.  I really want to stay home until Lola is in school all day, which looks to be first grade.  When I *do* go back to work, I have absolutely NO idea what I will do.  I do not want to go back into an office environment again.  It really makes me feel claustrophobic.  Right now, I am turning some options around in my mind – either cosmetology school or back to college for another career option.  I would like to do something in the health care field, but I have to be careful what I select.  I’m not good with seeing injuries, etc.  It’s not that I get queasy from blood.  I get upset and I get sympathy pains very intensely when I see a wound.  I have seen some bad ones and have almost been incapacitated from the pain.

I have been told that I am an “empath” – that I am able to share other’s emotions and feelings, including pain.  I believe this is true.  I have always been able to tell 99% of the time, when someone is being dishonest to me, even to the point of just withholding information.  I can feel when someone is in pain even if they don’t say they are hurting.  When someone is angry or upset with me, I get really sick, because I feel my own feelings and I can feel their anger too.  I am very sensitive to other people’s feelings and usually, if I really care about them, I try to be very careful about what I say and how I say it.  Now, I’m not perfect, and I will sometimes say things that I regret.  I have been learning, the hard way, to keep my angry words to myself and give myself time to work through them to see if it is even worth spewing venom at someone else.  I have found this to be very effective, I have fewer regrets nowadays than I have for the past actions I took. And it seems that Lola may have inherited this trait from me – she cannot seem to handle seeing other people in pain.  She often will look at my mom’s finger, which had been partially amputated but has long-since healed, and she will say, “Oh, it hurts me, mamaw!”

But anyway, like I was saying, I would like to do something in the health care field where I would see less injury and still be able to help others.  Possibly as an ultrasound technician, or even an x-ray technician.  I do know that sometimes I will see some injuries as an x-ray tech, but maybe they won’t be as gory.  And even if they are, it’s not like I throw up or anything.  I just get those sympathy pains.  Maybe with time I would have them less?

But cosmetology is a big contender.  I love doing hair and makeup.  I love making someone look beautiful.  Especially working with Princess’s friends, I have been able to give some makeup help to a couple of them and really helped them be able to put their best foot forward in the world.  I love seeing the boost of confidence they have gotten from what I taught them.  I just feel at peace when I am styling someone’s hair.  I wanted to take cosmetology in vocational school when I was in high school, but the class was filled, and so I took secretarial courses instead.  It was my first inclination, and I still like the thought of doing it.  So maybe I should give it a chance!

Well, my little Lola just woke up.  We have some errands to run this morning.  Gotta get those done before Princess gets home.  She’s bringing her boyfriend home to study for the physics exam tomorrow, and they need babysitting! hee hee

Well, everyone, if anyone, who might be reading this, I hope you have a wonderful day!

P.S.  “By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.” – Winston Churchill

Songs to blog by:

Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
We’re In This Love Together – Al Jarreau
Girls – Beastie Boys
No Sleep Til Brooklyn – Beastie Boys
The Longest Time – Billy Joel
Beautiful – Gordon Lightfoot

Thoughts and Ruminations

OK, this is just going to be a stream-of-consciousness thing so bear with me.

1) Since I quit my job on February 4, everyone recovered from their illnesses within just a couple of days, and haven’t been sick since.  Hm………

2) We got a motorcycle.  We traded our truck for it, since we couldn’t seem to sell it.  It is a very nice motorcycle.  A Honda Goldwing Aspencade – a real touring bike.  I look forward to summer.

3) Sometimes I feel like my husband doesn’t love me anymore.  Tell me I am a dumb ass.

4) I have a ton of things to do around here to continue getting ready for Lola’s birthday this weekend.  I am not doing them.  I am writing this.

5) I have a job interview on Wednesday.  I am not going to say anything further because I don’t want to jinx it, but Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m., if you could send some positive energy my way and prayers or whatever medium you prefer; that would be nice.  This job would be IDEAL.

6) I cannot believe my Lola bean will be Three Years Old tomorrow.  I cry.

7) I feel happy and unhappy.

8) I need to go out and get birthday stuff, including cupcakes to take to Lola’s class tomorrow, and ordering a birthday cake for Saturday.  I do not want to go out tonight.  But I guess I have to. 

9) I am feeling some resentment towards my husband.  I have so much to do and he knows that, and he has not asked once since he got home “Is there anything I can do to help?”  The only thing he has done is take the laundry down to the basement for me.  Now he is outside working on the bike so he will not come back in until I complain that I need him to come in and then I will be a bitch. 

10) I hate leaving on an odd number so I’ll write this to end on.

Bye.

Liz

Ok, so I give up on giving up.

*sigh*.

I am just trying to keep afloat through a downswing.

However, I am just taking some time this weekend to babystep my way to getting some of this weight of stress off me.  Little things that are just geting in my way as far as concentrating on my plans for the future.

Clean my house.  Do my laundry.  Get the clutter and the chaos out of my face.

It’s kind of hard to do when your daughter has a raging ear infection in both ears.  And now the hubby is sick too.  The big girl went to her best friend’s birthday slumber party so she’s not here, and its probably for the best.  Her mom took 5 bottles of pills and tried to kill herself last Sunday.  We only just found out about it yesterday (Friday).  Princess is broken hearted and feeling pretty betrayed – both the fact that her mother did that and the fact that no one would tell her what was going on just because they didn’t want Hubby and Me to know.  It really sucks. 

At any rate, I’m hoping the Succubus stays in medical treatment somewhere and gets some help; although that has not worked for her the last 5 to 7 times she’s attempted this.  One thing I must say is that she has never taken these many pills before, so I’m thinking for once she really meant to do it.  As bad as I have felt, I can sympathize with her for feeling that hopeless.  I’ve been there, and I’ve been there in the recent past.  However, every time my mind started to stray down the path of “not wanting to live anymore” I would remember that there were indeed people who, although they could manage without me, I could not deny that my doing something like that would hurt them tremendously.  When I would think about the ripples in the pond that my suicide would have made — made me realize I do have some value in this world and the fact that I have so much love for those people that I would never want to give them even a mild bit of pain with  my passing, makes me realize life is worth living.  A good time with them once every few months is worth all the rest of the mundane days, and the crappy days, and the despairing day every now and then. 

So although they don’t know it – these people saved my life, and will continue to do so; because of them, I know my life is way more good than bad: Hubby, Princess, Lola, Kitty, Mom, Dad, Lois, Jim, Nate, Tiffy, Joey, Brian, June, Tina, TayTay, Stewart, my other nieces and nephews, even my SIL and BIL, my cousins, Nicole, Kath, even my online precious friends Y and Karen and others.  I guess that’s a pretty good list of people.  This shows me I’ve done something in my life that I can be proud of.  I have the love and/or friendship of all these wonderful people.  I have two beautiful daughters.  I have a wonderful husband. 

I often feel unworthy – that I have nothing real to contribute anymore.  I often feel like people would be better off without me sucking the life out of them, or whatever.  I feel guilt  for needing more than I think I should.  I get so tired of slogging through life every day, never having enough money, always worrying about where our family is going next, worrying about whether or not I’m ever going to find the peace within that I crave.  How I will find the energy and the drive to do the things my heart and soul long to do.  Sometimes I get so frustrated that the thought I wish I didn’t exist goes through my mind just because it’s such hard work to just live today.  But the thought never goes far.  And that can be frustrating too because sometimes I feel so bad, because I’m *pinned* here!  But ultimately, that’s the best thing in my life.

Right now I am reconsidering the job I have taken.  It is very stressful and I’m not sure if that is the best thing for me.  I really need to decide if the extra $ from this position is worth the stress of it all.  I’m not certain that it is.  Hubby and I really need to talk this through and figure out what is best for us as a family and me as a mom.  The ultimate solution would be to get the damned transfer to Tennessee anytime soon!!!

Well, I am going to get off here – I am making progress around the house so I better take advantage of that.

Songs to blog by tonight:

Lady – Styx
Barely Breathing – Duncan Sheik
Respect Yourself – Bruce Willis
Southern Cross – CSN&Y
Can’t Stop – After 7
Big Log – Robert Plant

Week Update

Hi.

I am sitting around on Saturday, just enjoying being home and being with my daughter.

This week went OK.  My first 3 days of work went OK too; it was pretty much just “peon” work — busy work — filing, copy jobs, etc.  I am sure that they will be wanting me to do other things as I get acclimated, but for now it is just low-end clerical.  I am not sure I would be happy in this kind of position, as my skills would be highly underutilized.  However, it could be a nice foot in the door for getting a job at the Prosecutor’s Office or moving up in the Probate Department. 

Then again, there is something to be said for brainless work that is not too taxing.  If the job just ended up being stuff like this, I could really enjoy not having to work too hard and make a decent wage, along with the excellent governmental benefits. 

I have been enjoying getting out of the house and being around other adults.  I am enjoying feeling useful and productive.  I do enjoy eating lunch by myself outside of the house and being alone with my thoughts like I used to when I was working.  I am less than a block away from the New Age bookstore, so I will probably trek out there next week and spend some time.  I love bookstores like this one; they always inspire me to live my life more consciously and deliberately.  Starbucks is several blocks away, to my chagrin, because getting a hot chocolate every morning would add to my enjoyment even more.

I do like most of my coworkers.  There is this one that seems a bit bitchy at times but she is friendly enough when I approach her to talk.  Apparently this is not her normal behavior (the bitchiness) but she is angry with the supervisor and she is very good at holding a grudge.  And oh wow — I came in yesterday and they were in their Friday staff meeting; and it became VERY heated.  It was this employee and the supervisor, I think.  Raised voices, cussing, etc.  If this is how it is in those meetings I’m not sure if I like that.  I will continue to observe the dynamics between people.  I would sure hate to be thinking this job is something it will not be if I stay permanently.

The hardest part of it all has been missing and worrying about Lola.  I have been calling every day at lunch and I get the report — she is doing great.  She seems to really enjoy it and she wants to go every morning.  When I wake her up and say, “Let’s get ready for school,” she says “OK!” and cheerfully gets up and lets me clean her up.  Once we are gathering things to head out the door she’ll have a moment of unwillingness because she wants to watch TV, but once I get her to the back door to put on her coat she is fine, and eager to go, again.  Once she gets there she takes off her coat and runs off to play with the other kids.  She does cry if she sees me heading out the door but I assume that she gets over it quickly, just like she does when anyone else is babysitting her.

When I call they tell me that she has been eating her snack, eating her lunch, and taking a nap with the rest of the kids.  Yesterday I got a packet of work and art she did during the week and I was really impressed.  I didn’t know she could use scissors and cut things out!!!  They have weekly themes and this week the color was brown, the number was 5 and the letter was S.  I am thinking this is actually working out well for her.  I will continue to watch her and see if she is happy.  OH, they are working with her on the potty training, so that is another good thing.  The fact that they know our family because Princess used to go there for before/after school daycare really helps.  I have a good rapport with them.  This daycare is a family run entity–the mom is the owner, and her son and daughter both work there.  They both have children in the daycare as well.  As a matter of fact, Dan (not his real name), the son’s — daughter seems to be Lola’s special friend.  Her name is Lila.  So it’s Lila and Lola (LOL).

She is happy when I pick her up.  “I am so happy to see you, Mommy!”  She can’t wait to get home and see her sissy and her daddy.  She cries, “I’m Home! I’m Home!” when we pull in the driveway.  And when I ask her if she had fun at school, she says, “Yes.”  So I guess daycare is agreeing with her.  I love her so much.  Being away from her all day is making me appreciate her more.  And there is something to be said about her not being in front of the TV all day long like she has been doing all this time. 

Mornings have been a challenge for us.  I am going to have to get into some sort of routine to make this all go more smoothly.  Four people getting ready at the same time, leaving at the same time, etc.  One bathroom…well needless to say that is amusing to watch.

I have been taking Zoloft for a week now, along with my Lamictal and so far that seems to be helping.  I am feeling much more hopeful and happy with things.  I don’t know how I am going to be able to squeeze in exercise now that I only get 4 hours in the evening with my little one and I don’t want to waste a minute of it.  Getting up earlier is not an option right now because I can barely drag my ass out of bed in the morning as it is.

I think if I can get my house cleaned up today, we can set up the Christmas tree tomorrow when Hubby is off work.

Take care, everyone.

A New Week

Hi everyone (that’s seriously every ONE because I think that’s how many are reading it LOL).

I had a GREAT weekend in Cincinnati with Kitty!  We had a blast.  There was time for long, therapeutic talks, and then we went to dinner and karaoke.  I sang a couple of great songs that were received well by the crowd.  I got hit on by two or three different guys which I found amusing.  One of them sang a song to me.  I kind of felt bad because I had to tell him I was married!  Poor guy.  I just looked pretty the other night.  I’m not sure what I did different

OTHER THAN EXERCISE AND TAKE CARE OF MYSELF FOR THREE STRAIGHT WEEKS!!!

I am feeling pretty damned good.  I have moments of hesitation and I just push them aside.  I am sticking to something and seeing almost immediate fruits of my labors has made me feel so good about myself. 

I am not losing weight with my 20 minute walks.  I did some reading on it and I am finding that “walking for fitness” experts say for weight loss you should walk 45 to 60 minutes a day.  I am DEFINITELY not up for that length of time right now and I’m not sure if I WANT to walk that long every day at one time.  If I had a treadmill….we might find I feel differently.

Oh – a couple of different people read my aura this weekend — and universally they said I have a bluish/purple aura.  I did some research about aura colors and this is what I found.

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Blues are some of the most loving, nurturing and supportive personalities of the Life Colors. They live from their heart and emotions. Their purpose for being on the planet is to give love, to teach love and to learn that they are loved. Their priorities are love, relationships, and spirituality.

Blues are traditionally teachers, counselors, and nurses—basically the loving, nurturers and caretakers on the planet. Blues are constantly helping others. They want to make sure that everyone feels loved and accepted. People are always turning to Blues for comfort and counsel because Blues will always be there for them. They consistently provide a shoulder for others to cry on.

Blues are the most emotional personalities in the aura spectrum. They can cry at the drop of a hat. Blues cry when they are happy, hurt, angry, sad, or for no apparent reason at all. Even watching a sentimental commercial on television can bring on tears.

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Violets are the inspirational visionaries, leaders and teachers who are here to help save the planet. Most Violets feel drawn to educate the masses, to inspire higher ideals, to improve the quality of life on the planet, or to help save people, animals and the environment.

All Violets have an inner sense that they are here to do something important, that their destiny is greater than that of the average person. Most Violets have felt this way since childhood. As children, many Violets imagined becoming famous, or traveling the planet, possibly joining humanitarian causes such the Peace Corp. Many of these charismatic personalities take on roles as leaders and teachers, while other Violets prefer to reach people through music, film or other art form.

Because this era is currently the “Violet Age,” any Violets who are not accomplishing what they came here to do are experiencing an inner “push” — even an inner “earthquake.” Inner forces seem to be shaking them up and pushing them to move into action, to fulfill their life purpose. Violets know they are here to do something significant. However, they aren’t always sure what that something is or how to accomplish it.

Many Violets were taught as children that their dreams and aspirations were unrealistic, so they have lost touch with their original visions. It’s important for Violets to reconnect with their life purpose and vision, and to take action. Otherwise they will always feel unfulfilled. They will always sense something is missing from their lives. Violets need to learn to slow down long enough to listen to their inner voice and to connect with their higher vision.

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I have made a new commitment to myself and my family.  I am limiting my time on the internet starting today.  I am also limiting where I go during that limited time.  I have determined that my time on Cafemom causes me more stress than a feeling of community with other mothers.  I am considering dropping out of that site completely but I did make a couple of friends there I don’t know otherwise.  What I *did* do in the interim was drop out of almost ALL of my groups, and especially any group that has topics that cause me anger, anxiety, stress or negative feelings.  I moved that little message box with the most recent message board topics to the bottom of my page so I can’t see it if I come on to journal or read my messages.  AND the new rule is, I can only go and check on Friday morning, no other days of the week.  As far as MySpace goes, I am going to keep my account there because, again, that is how I have contact with a couple other people in my life that I like.  I will check that everyday because generally it doesn’t stress me out to go there.

I am allowing myself 1 hour in the morning and a half hour in the evening.  During that time I will get on sparkpeople and enter all my information and read health articles, etc., get support in my groups, etc.  I will go to my Bipolar support website and talk to my friends there.  I will check my email, read my d-land journals and write in my own journal.  In the evening I will enter my meds and moods into my moodtracker.

My reason for this change is to focus more on my baby and my family, and do more productive things with my time.  Last night, I colored two mandalas from a book I bought.  It’s waxy paper that when you put the pictures up on the windows and the sun shines in, it looks like stained glass.  It was fun and relaxing.  I am also thinking of getting back into crocheting. AND Reading!!!

My plans also include more structured time with Lola.  Getting outside to play, etc.

I wrote some of my friends to see if anyone wanted to have a card/board playing game night once a month.  Once I get replies from a few people I’m going to set it up.

OK – I need to go and get going on the rest of my day.  My internet time allowance is about done.

😀

Today’s Inspirational Muse Provided by:

Come Dancing – The Kinks
Promises – Eric Clapton
I Heard a Rumor – Bananarama
Dance Hall Days – Wang Chung
Cool It Now – New Edition
Ladies Night – Atomic Kitten
No One In The World – Anita Baker