Hope

When my ex and I lived together I always had at least 45 good minutes a day. From 5:30 to 6:15 weekday evenings. No matter what came before nor happened after, those were content moments, sometimes the best of the day. I’ve thought about and discussed this before and labeled my feelings as excitement. I’ve been ruminating on this today (because it’s been just that kind of day) and had a realization: it wasn’t excitement, it was hope. My ex came home from work at 6:15. I spent the time before hopeful that he would be happy to see me. That I would be pleasing and pleased. That our evening would be nice. That it would be a turning point or a restart. During those 45 minutes my life had the possibility of being how I wanted it, how we planned it. And not sometime/somewhere down the road but that night, at dinner. I miss those minutes. I miss that feeling of hope. I’ve been trying to find it in other moments, but nothing has quite replicated it.

 

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Process

I need to process things (psychologically speaking, it’s not like I make American cheese). “Hang on, let me process that.” The preceding sentence has come out of my mouth, often, and not as a joke. I need to think, feel, listen, understand, deliberate, acknowledge, admit. It’s just the way my brain works. Sometimes it takes a minute. Sometimes it screws up my mind until I can finally figure it out or just freakin’ let it go. A problem arises when I don’t have the information, when I can’t discuss. There’s no way to process it fully, so I have to fall back on letting go. Which is not a skill of mine. I’d rather have the chance to comprehend and accept.

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Feels

I feel all the feels. I used to apologize to others and degrade myself for this. I thought it was a flaw. Um, wrong. So wrong. Yes, I hurt tons, but I forgive just as much. I experience deep sadness…and deep joy.  I can truly feel self-love because I felt so much self-hate. As royally pissed off I can become, I show even more passion. My fear often paralyzes me but my pride moves me. Frustration can explode within me, although how much I appreciate even little things blows it away. Embarrassment rules me at times, yet my understanding is a gift to others.

I no longer apologize for being so emotional, I thank myself.
And you’re welcome.

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Choices

Peter has his Lost Boys. Are there the Lost Girls too? Because I know there are Lost Middle-aged Women. Well, at least one.

I had a nice, snotty cry the other night about my choices and how each one seems worse than the one before. I’m not talking about choosing which dress to wear or what to have for dinner. I’m talking about life choices. Where to live. What job to do. Which friend to make. When to be in a relationship. Who to be. I keep trying to fix my life. Make it better. Make it decent. Make it plan B…C…actually I’m on like P or maybe Q now. And every single frickin’ time, with every single frickin’ choice, I make it worse. These aren’t flighty decisions. Yes, I make very quick emotional decisions. But then I take a deep breath and a step back while I let my logical, informed side have a go at it.  My final decision is based on my heart AND my head.

Of course now I’m paralyzed. How can I possibly decide what to do when I KNOW it will be the wrong decision? So I play the Vizzini battle of the wits game. If I think I should do this, maybe I should then do that. But then if I pick that, maybe that means I should pick this. Meanwhile many areas of my life deteriorate. So not making a choice also leaves me, well, lost.

 

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Isolation

Almost a month ago I cracked my clavicle and jacked my shoulder. So, pain. Varying amounts of pain for weeks now. Not fun. I’m also fairly incapacitated. Which equals frustration, disappointment, boredom, and, well, not fun. I have cancelled many plans and am missing out on a bunch. I’ve made it out to health appointments, Walgreens, and the grocery store. That’s been pretty much the extent of my human contact for weeks. Calls and messages from friends have been helpful and meaningful, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t take the place of spending time in someone’s company.

As much as the physical pain hurts, the isolation does too. I hadn’t realized how much it was affecting me until I finally went out for a bit with a friend. Sitting and talking, just being with someone else meant so much. I was shocked at how emotional I was afterwards. I am an introvert. I don’t need to be around people all the time. In fact, I prefer more alone time. But I’m human and therefore I need some in person interaction. Being out of commission has taken a toll not only on my body, but my spirit too.

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Care

What happens when the caretaker needs care?

I make pots of minestrone and loaves of bread for people who are ill.
I send care packages full of puzzle books, crayons, Silly Putty, games, and magazines to injured friends and family.
I give flowers to people I love who are going through rough times.
I helped raise hundreds of children, whether in their home or school.
I treated kids with special (emotional and physical) needs.
I spent weeks playing nursemaid to my former partner when he was hurt.
I stepped away from my life for a bit to take care of my mom when my dad died.

I take care of people. It’s not just what I do, it’s who I am. I am a caretaker. It’s a role I now accept willingly and proudly. It gives meaning to my life.

What happens now that I am the one injured and could use some care and concern? Well, it’s hard for me to accept it, but I am also hurt by the lack of it. I don’t really know how to deal with someone taking care of me, even though that is something I want so very much. So I am taking care of myself the best I can, being thankful for any concern which comes my way, and realizing it’s OK if people don’t respond the same way I do. I’m using the time in my sickbed to evaluate how the caretaker role works for me and how I can take better care of myself.

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Plans

Most of us have heard the Burns/Sheldon saying about “the best laid plans.” But the turn of phrase I usually use is Julia Sweeney’s “God said, ‘Ha!'”

This has been/continues to be a year of change in all aspects of my life. My main plan for this fall was to get in physical shape. I started working with a personal trainer and began learning and incorporating Ayruvedic ideas. I got my butt back on my yoga mat. I went to a woman’s retreat to become stronger. One component of this was learning self-defense techniques. As I was helping one of the other women practice, bam. I was flipped on my shoulder, breaking my clavicle. All my plans had to change. Total reevaluation of my priorities. No physical activity for weeks. Building up the big guns and getting the six-pack can’t happen this fall. Life obviously wants me to work on other issues. Like emotional ones. Like the more difficult to face ones I was attempting to put off. So, I will be getting more messy and sweaty than if I were hitting the gym, because instead I will be hitting my therapist’s office and doing the real dirty work. God/life said, “Ha!” And I said, “Fine. I’ll do it your way.”

 

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