Thursday, September 30, 2010

An Expression of Gratitude

Sometimes we are reminded that someone actually HAS played an important part in our life, though we hadn’t realized it. We suddenly discover the purpose behind their coming into our lives. As though we’ve put on a new pair of glasses and we have a new, crisper and clearer vision; we can see this person for who they REALLY are and why they have been a part of our life.

When I was 15, my boyfriend brought a shot gun to school hidden under his jacket. We had dated for 6 months and were coming to a rough end to the relationship. Rumors, of course, said he planned to use the gun on me, or he was going to shoot us both and others said there was no plan, he just wanted to scare me.

This situation of course caused a lot of drama at school between me and several others. Everyone wanted to blame me for the trouble that he was now in and a lot of people “hated” me. (Never mind that he was a young adult with a mind of his own!) People hated me; especially the girlfriend of one of his “groupies”. She would push me into the lockers every time that she passed me in the hallways, of course call me names and generally try to make my life hell. One morning she found me alone in the smoking pit at our school and grabbed me by my wrists and began pushing me around the area saying nasty things to me. That was probably one of my first “serious” or physical confrontations with somebody, and I was unprepared with how to handle it. I was scared. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, another group of people came out. 1 girl didn’t think of what anyone else would say or do; she came right over and told her to let go and leave me alone.

This girl and I knew OF each other, though at that point we likely only knew the other’s name and not much else. Over the next 2 years that we were in high school our circles touched occasionally; we would casually have a cigarette together at school or meet up at a party. I have always remembered her as one of the girls that was usually quite happy, always friendly, funny and fun to be around; but we were by no means close or spent any real time together. Almost 15 years later we came across each other on Facebook and added each other as friends. We have commented on the others page a few times, but nothing in depth. I discovered she had a blog around the same time as mom was urging me to start my own; I was very intrigued and inspired by it. She has a beautiful family, a lot of friends, she takes amazing photos and just appears to be at a really great place in her life. I was overcome with feelings of happiness for her; which is strange considering our lack of closeness. In the end, I would honestly say that it was because of my visits to her blog, getting a glimpse into her world, I decided to give it a try. I can’t fully explain why, but it compelled me go ahead in a way that my mom had not succeeded.

She popped into my head last night as I was getting ready for bed; seeming to come up like one of those unexplainable things that need further exploration or acknowledgement. It struck me that this person, despite how little we actually know about each other, has played an important role in the chain of events of my life TWICE. I always refer to my believing that every person is/has been in our life for a reason, no matter how big or small. I can only say that she was there when I “needed” her. Once, to show me I was not alone, to blame or deserving in the situation that I faced as a kid, and again too guide me back/towards expressing myself the way I always have and always wanted to do. She has seemed to bring a candle to dark hallways that had left me feeling paralyzed by fear or lost in a faceless crowd. While I may not have realized it in the moments, she has been sent to me exactly when I needed her to be there.

While these things may seem insignificant to another, I realized last night that they were monumental for me. I can see and have a fuller appreciation for the fact that she taught me a lot; I wasn’t alone, I didn’t deserve to be a scapegoat, I could have strength, I had a voice, I could be myself and not be afraid of being accepted. While of course I realize that, most likely, she has no idea the role she played for me or the teacher that she was for me. I feel the need to in some small way express my gratitude for this woman and her place in my life. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Sometimes we find ourselves asking questions; about life, our job, something we want to know more about, our relationships or maybe where exactly we came from. There are times we question ourselves; why do we do A, why can’t we do B or am I doing C right?

Why do these questions come up for us? Aside from natural curiosity in some cases; in other circumstances than say, knowledgeable growth, why do we question that which exists in our life? What gives us that nudge, the one that says “Hey, you need to take another look here…”

I suppose that there are those times that we purposely come up with questions to sabotage ourselves. We are questioning our strength, our capabilities or our dedication in an effort to distract our minds or hearts from hard work that is required of us. This is when we come up with all the excuses required to “answer” the question we have; “Oh, it’s because…”, “I don’t have time”, “I don’t have enough money”, etc.

I am talking about the OTHER questions. The deeper things that seem to “pop” like a bubble in front of your nose, announcing suddenly “WE NEED TO KNOW MORE”. The things that seem to appear from nowhere, something you may never before have given a second thought to; suddenly it is front and center in your mind and you can’t let it go. Where do THESE thoughts in need of more information come from?

“One can only see what one observes, and one observes only things which are already in the mind.” – Alphonse Bertillon

“All bodies emerge from the soul and return to it. The visible emerges from the invisible, is controlled by it, and returns to it.” – Lao Russell

I imagine that it is our TRUTH, our TRUE PURPOSE, calling out to us. “This is your next step” or “It’s time to do/know…” Our inner self is guiding us and giving the spark intended to ignite a FIRE!! We are being fed an energy source that will link us to a new path, or maybe back to the source from which we are intended to be working from/with. We are being gently led by the hand through a doorway which leads to an exciting new chapter in our lives.

If we accept that the “question” may actually be the “answer” that we are searching for, we can find ourselves in a beautiful and exciting new place in our life.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Makiya's Greetings

My daughter never ceases to amaze me with just how polite and friendly she is.

She waves and says bye as we pass stop signs. She waves and says hello to the self-checkout machines at the grocery store, gives me a little reminder to grab our receipt and then waves bye-bye. Makiya always has a greeting for cashiers, even other customers in line, and usually wants to show them something (typically her lunch or snack). These people are often not mindful of a little person that may be trying to interact with them, and Makiya gets a little frustrated. You can hear the frustration as her voice gets louder “hi…Hi…HI…HI…HI…HI!!”

It makes me beam to watch her, and even more so when I notice her transform a complete strangers demeanor with her smiles.

Her little “hi and bye” game works to our advantage sometimes too; like when we need to distract her from something so we can move on. For instance, those little kiddy rides that can be found in the mall; all children seem to have a fascination with them, understandably. We however do not want to be sucked into the ritual of HAVING to allow her to ride them EVERY time we are there, so we had not actually been letting her go for rides. One day there was a very friendly lady there with her two little ones and she was freely offering the rides to us as her kids weren’t interested. Well of course Makiya LOVED it and so began the struggle each time we would go by; I even tried walking outside to bypass the scenario, but she knew where we were regardless!! So, I decided to try the “hi and bye” game! Before we even got in eye sight of the rides, I said “oh, here comes the car, helicopter and fish!! Say hi!!” It works EVERY time now!!

Our children really have wonderful things to show us. The simple things that we have tendencies to lose in our lives are brought back by our kids. They teach us to slow down and appreciate the small things in life. The amazement and wonder in their faces is infectious as they help us to see our world in a whole new light.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why Didn't I Do ______?

Have you ever wanted to do or say something that you FELT inside that you probably shouldn’t? Maybe it’s something new, a new love, a job; it could be so many different things…

You think of those words/actions, that thing you WANT to do, something you so desperately desire to express, and your heart begins to race? Your skin suddenly feels tingly, and you feel your body temperature rise. Your feet feel light, almost as if you are skipping in delight and your hands begin to tremble. You feel giddy; like a child exploring something new and exciting for the very first time! You want to scream out; the anticipation almost too much to contain! You hear the words or see your actions, and they continue to play in your mind; over and over. You envision the scenario; you know it and feel it with every fiber of your being. It seems to have become a part of you inside and out.

Then the moment comes. You completely miss the opportunity. Well, you don’t miss it; you opt to take a pass on your chance. Was it because you KNEW better? Was it because you were scared? All you know for sure is that your heart was pounding, you were sweating like you had just ran a marathon and you felt that same giddiness throughout your body. You feel an overwhelming sensation of LET DOWN. You feel disappointment in yourself, curiousity towards the nature of your NON-REACTION. You missed it; the moment you dreamed of is suddenly gone in an instant…

Every path that we choose takes us somewhere special. It takes us to a place where we learn. If we choose the path, it is for a reason; we were meant to walk that journey. If we opt out, and go a different route, we did that on purpose too. Lesson learned, wrong time and place; there was something else meant for us in the moment. We weren’t ready for that particular adventure yet, or, even, maybe at all.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Be a BIG Girl/Boy - Quit Lying!!

Lies. How do you recognize when someone is lying to you? Can you tell?

Most times you just KNOW. Some of us know how to read body language well enough to pick up the signals, the involuntary body reactions. Maybe you find out later from someone else. Maybe you overhear the liar in conversation to another. Perhaps they stumble and you catch them in their lie. We usually have an intense physical reaction to their energy; whether we choose to listen is another story.

“Oh, what a tangled we weave when first we practice to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott

I have never thought myself to be a good liar. Sure, the rebellious teenager learns to do it fairly well, and we all tell those little ones; “I’m good”, “I’m so happy”, “Oh, I can’t today” etc., but beyond that I never was very good at it. I know before I even try; my face must be burning, I must be shaking, my eyes must be looking in that direction (the one that gives you away, I can’t remember if it’s left or right, but I know it’s up and…!!). It is just not something I have ever been good at and something that as I have grown, realized is just harmful, to myself as well as the person involved. It is a waste of everyone’s time and energy.

Some people just cannot seem to avoid lying. They open their mouths, and oops, another lie! They forget the lie they told before; they’ve told so many that they have a hard time keeping the story straight. Evidently it doesn’t matter who it is that they lie to, it’s a part of who they seem to be.

There are times when we know this person and we KNOW they are a liar. We find ourselves tangled in their web of deception. We don’t want to be there, but we’ve been woven into it. We call them on it occasionally, but it’s either “not true” or “ok, what of it?”. In response; we shake our head, we tell ourselves that we won’t believe a word next time, or we pretend that we didn’t notice.

Every lie told deprives someone of a truth that they have the RIGHT to. No single person truly has the right to deny another of knowledge about that which may have direct impact on them. “For every action, there is a reaction.” (I guess we all say that one, not sure the origin though…) We respond to what we are told; to not have the full truth to work from is certainly not a fair option to impose on another. While it may seem like such a minute thing to do in the moment, the after effects of a single lie can be truly devastating to another. That lie can cause an avalanche within a sensitive, or scarred, or even a completely honest person. It can send them down a path they have no clue how to navigate; a road they did not and never wanted to go down.

Sometimes it is very true that the truth hurts. If that truth WOULD cause me pain, I would still absolutely prefer to have known from the earliest point in time. I would prefer to have FULL knowledge about ANY THING that I am embarking on. I don’t think it is fair to deprive someone of the response they would naturally have given to a certain circumstance; especially if that response is feared by the liar. The liar has the responsibility to own up to their actions; they DO NOT have the right to hide something because they don’t want to deal with the effects of what they have or have not done.

To the LIARS: STOP IT!! Quit ruining others lives, breaking others trust/belief, taking the fire from the moment and stealing others time! Tell the truth and take the consequences that are deserved and earned like a BIG girl/boy!!

Precious Babies

It is, and in some ways may always be, one of those things that we never talk about. There is always a sense of stigma attached to it. We are often left with an overwhelming sense of loneliness that cannot be filled; we don’t realize that we can and should talk about it.

Many of us, and more of us than we often realize, have suffered the traumatic loss of a baby. It is very sad that, as women, we not only have to go through the tremendous loss itself physically and emotionally, but we get left alone to deal with the emotions afterwards and we can be horrifically labeled for something we had absolutely no control over. In an effort to protect ourselves, we then have a tendency to shut down, disconnect from the loss and become numb to it. We don’t talk about it.

I lost 4 precious angels through Ectopic/Tubal Pregnancy. The first one completely blindsided me; I had no idea that I was pregnant. I was, again, having serious abdominal pain that led me to the doctor after work one night. A test confirmed I was pregnant, but, with no explanation at hand for the rest of my symptoms I was sent home for the evening to return for further testing. The next day became a whirlwind; gynecologists, rushing to the hospital, pain medications and of course the news; I would lose this baby. I was utterly devastated and felt truly alone. No one around me had experienced or could even imagine what I was going through. I was very young, in a new relationship and the only words of “comfort” I received were, “Well at least they got rid of it” from the mother of my boyfriend. With the next 2 Ectopic’s, I was ready. When the pain started, I KNEW what was happening. I would spend a few days in denial, not wanting to go through the experience again. I talked to the babies, I pleaded with them and I apologized for not being able to keep them. Other than that, I was almost numb. I had more people around me when I went through the 2nd and 3rd losses, but I was keeping myself guarded. None of the people that I was surrounded by KNEW what I was feeling inside. The last Ectopic that I had was in some ways the worst to go through. My husband and I had talked about wanting to have a child together. It was something I had wanted so BADLY to happen in my life, though I had resigned myself in many ways to believing I wouldn’t be able to. This time the tornado that swept me away was much more violent. I was in my state of denial again; the feelings were all too familiar. I was at work when I began to shake, feel dizzy, turn white and of course was in severe abdominal pain. The girls finally convinced me to at least call the Health Link to speak with a nurse who insisted I be taken to the hospital immediately. By the time my husband arrived and the news was given, I was higher than a kite on morphine for the pain. This was when they decided to also insist on removing both of my tubes to prevent this from happening again. I wanted to refuse so badly, and at first I did. The pressure and the relaxing/sleepy effects of the drugs allowed me to concede. When I woke up from surgery, I no longer had a baby or the parts required for my body to conceive another. I felt more empty than I ever had before. This time, even though I had many supportive and loving people around me, I was an emotional mess. I was finally grieving for my first three angels as well as the fourth. I was grieving the loss of pieces of my body. This time I was also bothered by the fact that NOT ONCE when I went through this process was I offered any type of guidance or support while in the hospital. Aside from nurses comments, “Wow, this is your 4th, you’re so young…”, no one even came close to saying “This is an extremely difficult thing to go through, I am so sorry. Here are some groups/numbers etc. that can help you deal with what you must be feeling.” I felt that I NEEDED that, so I looked on-line and found a few chat places, message boards, nurses etc. that were specifically for dealing with the emotions and aftermath of an Ectopic Pregnancy. It was something I really had to do for myself, I couldn’t bury the feelings and devastation any more. I had to learn to cope, grieve and try to move forward.

The amazing sense of peace that I found in actually letting it out is something that is hard to find words to fully express. Talking to someone, in person, professionally, in an on-line chat/message board, a group etc. can give the comfort that we desperately search for. I know I thought that I would and could accept, mourn and move forward, but I realized that I couldn’t do it on my own. When I realized that there are so many other wonderful women that have gone through what I had, that have walked the same step, I felt a warm sense of comfort and belonging come over me. While I could never say that I have “gotten over it”, I have come to a better sense of terms with it. It is sometimes easy to become overcome with emotions about it still, but I can accept it a little more. And it always helps to remember that I am NOT ALONE.

I have shared these few details with only a small number of people in my life. Most people know the facts, it happened, it happened 4 times, but I haven’t shared the feelings with many. I think it may even be the first time that I wrote it out like this. It is soothing to write these words. I hope that at least one of you who reads this can identify even a little, and maybe feel just a little less alone in your pain and grief.

I Love you my precious babies…

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ALL That We Can Do

“What do you do?”

We spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to others. What do THEY do or not do in comparison to us? Typically, whether we choose to vocalize it or not, there is a judgment formed within our minds. Wow, how do they manage to do it all? Or, why don’t they get off their butt and get moving? We compare ourselves to them in such a way as to minimize our own doings; what’s wrong with me, why can’t I do what they are doing? Why can’t I keep up with the kids, the house or my job like they are? There’s something wrong with me, I should be able to do that too.

On the other hand, we RECEIVE criticism when we can’t “keep up”. We are often demeaned for not appearing to stay on track with “the rest of the group”, whatever that may be. It could come from our boss, our parents or in-laws, our spouse or the other mommies in the crowd.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

We are all different as individuals. We each have a way of handling life’s daily rituals. Each of us does these things in a manner that is all our own. We have learned “how” as we grew up; we learned in a unique way, from our OWN “families”, circumstances and experiences. We all come from a place that is different than where the next person arose. Each step we have taken has led us down a path, and we do what we KNOW how to do with that knowledge. We react differently to each situation, we cope with stresses in opposite manners, and we try the best we can.

“You did what you knew how to do at the time and when you knew more, you did better.” – Maya Angelou

“The sower may mistake and sow his peas crookedly; the peas make no mistake, but come up and show his line.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What we DO is quite simply; EVERY possible thing we can in any given moment. We are not clones of one another. We aren’t meant to be the same. We are supposed to be individuals, bringing a little piece of OUR soul and life experience to EVERYTHING we do and EVERY PERSON that we encounter. Those things may not be what is “expected”, but aren’t expectations a little boring anyways?

I AM a Writer

Lately, I find myself asking, “Why do I want to write?”

I can (as I know my mom and do!) remember being around 7 years old with my first “diary”. I of course didn’t have many juicy entries at that young age, a little childish complaining and some stories. Though I now confess openly, there was one that was not mine. I had proudly brought out my newly written story to show off to mom and dad. It was only a moment after mom handed the story over to dad for him to read, when he blurted out, “You didn’t write this! I just read this in an Archie comic book!” While I don’t recall purposely copying the idea, I had clearly done something wrong; hence the lecture on plagarism that followed!

Both of my parents were avid readers and surely had wanted to pass that along, so I had always been surrounded by words. I had discovered early on that my mom was a writer. So, perhaps, this is likely how the writing bug seemed to find me. I always kept “diaries” and was forever trying to write poems. I wrote on my mom’s old typewriter, in my journals, later on the computer and, then, in what became “The Old Blue Binder”. I constantly wrote, and loved to share my pieces with close friends. As I became a teenager, and began to walk the dark and twisting path that became my youth, my writing got darker and full of pain. That was the time when I realized that I, one day, wanted to share my words with many others; at that time hoping to reach other teens that were dealing with depression or drug/alcohol issues. I wanted to help others realize that they were not alone in their emotions, someone else out there DID have feelings like their own.

I have always used writing to sort through my emotions. I used it to release feelings that likely would come out no other way. There have been times where I wrote to say to another that which my mouth could not seem to vocalize. For the most part, I have written my way through the darkest times of my life, not seeming to have words when life was good.

Over the years, I have let both my reading and writing fall to the side. Life has gotten in the way of two of my favorite things to do. I was living and learning. Learning brought me back to the books, and I as began to grow, I began to find the desire to write about what I have been and still am learning. My mom, as I have mentioned, is also a huge contributor to my attempt at picking up the pen (or keyboard!) again. Having known all these years, her desire and yearning to become an author; she is now realizing that dream. It is inspiring! (Of course, there’s that, and then there is her constant nagging about it!! Just kidding mom!)

As I am sitting here writing this, I realize the answer to my question is right there in front of me. Words are a part of me. They are inside the blood, the energy, the heart and soul of me. I have a desire inside of me that needs to write. There are words I must get out. Things I am intended to say. So, I guess that I am writing because, honestly, how could I not?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dinnertime Tears

Last night, as I prepared to make dinner, I made a single mistake. While this little error in judgment was certainly not the end of the world; in that instant my world DID stop. I broke down into tears. My husband gave me a little look, followed by words that kind of grind the moment down even further, “It’s that bad that you’re now going to be all grumpy?” Needless to say, he didn’t receive an answer!

The answer to his question was “No.” However, in that minute where everything changed from what I had expected, the weight of the world crashed down upon my shoulders. Every other frustration in my mind, every worry and concern; I suddenly felt like I was beneath a large, dark mountain. I couldn’t control the tears as they began to fall. Large, wet drops streamed down my face. I stared out the window, conscious of the fact that I wasn’t crying about dinner. All of the things I’ve wanted and all of the things I haven’t wished to experience just seemed to smother me then. “What do I do now?” was echoing through my mind, but the question was no longer about dinner. I honestly felt like just walking out the door into the dark, wet streets and wandering.

It took me awhile, but I finally took a deep breath in…through the nose…and let it all out…through the mouth. There was certainly nothing that could be done to solve anything at the time, so I knew I had to just step forward. After all, dinner wasn’t going to cook itself!

Today, I can more fully comprehend what was happening inside of me last night. It has reminded me of a few important things:

1. We should never judge another’s reaction to any circumstance; you don’t always know where exactly the emotions are really coming from.

2. Keeping things bottled up inside is never a good thing, those emotions are guaranteed to come out in the worst and least expected times.

3. Life doesn’t fix itself. Nothing in our lives will change unless WE do something to bring that change about.

4. Love and Marriage require work; consistent and continuous work. I miss my husband. Yes, he is here, but we have been going through a bit of a rough patch. We are both missing each other, but, we’ve obviously not been paying attention to what I mention in #3!

I’ve got some thinking and work to do it would seem! At least dinner is already cooking away in the Crock Pot!

“To give ones heart, is to give all” – Ghandi

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

“You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.” - Rumi

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What We See In Others

Throughout my life I have walked with so many different types of people. I have spent time, for the most part, with people that so many others would “condemn”. I, myself, at times, have done the same.

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."- Anais Nin
Words that can be so hard to accept and actually realize sometimes, but they are right on the mark. In a sense, I suppose, we look into a mirror when we look into the eyes of another.

We encounter people in our lives, and we tend to label them. “Successful”, “Drug Addict”, “Loving”, “Inspiring”, “Rude”, “Lazy”, “Phony” etc. It seems to be so easy to pass a judgement on someone else and their life or lifestyle, to think that we could/would never… How often do we really know, or even bother to take the time to get the real story behind what we see and therefore assume to be true. We make assumptions and judge others, sometimes even ourselves, without taking into account the history behind what is seen.

I think of strengths and weaknesses. The strengths that we carry within ourselves, the ones we don’t really even know exist until we are put into a situation where they are required. When faced with a crisis, we all react differently, but, mostly, we go into survival mode. We do things that we never knew we would, things that we never even knew we could do! On the opposite side, while we also do things we never knew we could or ever would, the action comes from a place of weakness. They come from an immature place inside of us; a part of ourselves that hasn’t yet been given the opportunity to grow, and, where like a child, we make mistakes.

You did what you knew how to do at the time, and when you knew more, you did better." - Maya Angelou.

The things that we find ourselves focusing on in another person give us a feeling, perhaps one of comfort, or maybe irritation and annoyance. Why do we get that feeling? Obviously we don’t usually tend to question the positive feelings we receive, but what about the negative vibe we get from another person? How could that come from something within ourselves? How could it be that our strong feeling about another and something they do, a personal trait they have, is actually in direct relation to a part of ourselves that we actually like or dislike?

Maybe deep inside, we really wish we could be more relaxed, or not “care” what others think, the way that the other person APPEARS to be. We might want the “freedom” they seem to have, tired of our OWN responsibilities. The alcohol or drug problem we fault them for having; it could be that we haven’t fully faced/accepted a problem in our own life or even our family history. We perhaps call someone loud and obnoxious, but inside, we actually wish we had the courage to say what we truly feel. You might condemn another for their beliefs, but actually not be firm enough in your own and feel threatened by them.

I suppose in a way, the Universe is showing you what already is. What already exists somewhere in your life.

I believe that our interaction with another is ALWAYS for a reason. If there is something there that bothers you on such a deep level, that person must obviously be there for a special reason. Whether you are able to accept it or not, they are there to remind you of something, to teach you a lesson or maybe for you to actually reach them on some level. There is something there that needs to be discovered, not just tossed aside without a second glance.

I have never walked the straightest path, seemingly to prefer the treacherous rock climb. At times, surrounding myself with those that, at first glance, may not have been “right” for my life. But those people were with me for a reason, some of those reasons I still work at discovering, but I took something with me during those times. Good or bad influence, the people throughout my life have had valuable things to show me. I have never been able to settle for a life without drama of some sort! But, in the end, I wouldn’t have it any other way! I try very hard to hold few regrets. I remind myself (sometimes new reminders are required!) that everything I have ever done or said, every person that I have encountered, was on the path that led me to the place I am at now.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Summer at the Horse Races

I was 16 the summer my girlfriend had gotten me a job with her on weekends at the horse track. I, of course, was nervous; the only job I ever had, and still held then, was at a library. Very peaceful, not much in the way of interaction with the patrons, and if there was, I KNEW where to find the book, and it was quite simple to scan a library card and the spine of a book! Now I had to learn the difference between a trifecta, a boxed bet, an exacta and others!

I was a runner, getting whatever was needed for other workers, snacks, drinks, lunch… I was taking bets. It was so exciting then; getting the big bills for large bets, paying out great amounts and receiving tips! I remember the heat, of course being in Kamloops that was to be expected, but being in that building; running back and forth, the energy in the air from anticipation and excitement. It has stayed with me all of these years later.

We would get dropped off after work at the apartment that our boyfriends shared. The basement suite was at least a little cooler than where we had come from. We would enjoy a cold bottle of beer and take turns using their shower. I can feel the dust that covered me; it slipped into every imaginable place on my body, like an extra skin, and it left my hair feeling thicker, but stiff. I can still smell the Outrageous shampoo that I used to wash it clean. I remember coming out of that bathroom feeling invigorated.

Walking with Makiya

It’s been awhile since I wrote about baby girl. Makiya is now 20 months, and I can’t even believe it! She is just an amazing little creature, and it makes my heart swell as I watch her grow. She is so very smart, sweet and funny!

While of course I know EACH and EVERY parent at some point has the opinion that THEIR child is of course the next Albert Einstein, or whomever, I am not alone in this view of my own daughter! We are constantly hearing voices of surprise at the things she has learned. Makiya surprises US sometimes, showing us something that seems to have come out of thin air! She has somehow associated ear wax with bees, so if I mention that she has some wax in her ear, she will start to buzz like a bee!

She has the most tender of hearts. While it has (and still can be!) been a bit of a process with teaching her to show compassion instead of laughing when someone cries, we witnessed her run to her crying cousin to give her a hug! If she thinks I am upset or angry, she looks at me with those big eyes, and asks “appee?”

A sense of humour. This child absolutely has one! She KNOWS funny. She shows us a funny face, she knows what IS funny. She understands lines in her books, “he drives me crazy” (part of a line from I’ll Love You Forever-Robert Munsch) makes her give a little laugh! She plays these little games with us that reduce her to that absolutely adorable belly laugh. Makiya loves to squeeze her eyes shut as tight as she can, and she will perform; be it “jumping”, walking backwards, pretending to not listen to instructions, etc. You can see, she honestly thinks she is hilarious!

It was like she heard me speak as she slept a few nights ago. Dad and I were talking about how, still, she just has no real interest in any of her 5 baby dolls. Makiya is certainly more of a book, puzzle, animal and nature, outdoorsy, getting dirty playing kind of girl. The very next day, she took to one of her “bee-bees” (she CAN say baby, she just doesn’t!)!! It is very rapidly growing into a new favorite. She keeps a big plastic cup, a spoon, 2 bowls and her green, plastic grapes on hand (in addition to her tea set with cake), and is constantly stirring and feeding her little “beebee”. She picks that doll up, puts it on her shoulder and pats its back, she holds it in her arms and caresses its little baby face. We emptied one of her little toy baskets so she could use it for a crib for the baby. She so carefully covers up the baby, pats her and says “bu-aye”!

I could be wrong, but I am convinced that we missed our golden opportunity for potty training with Makiya. She was telling us when she was going “tinkle” and we could always tell when that morning “poo poo” was coming! Between Summertime fun and company, I knew it was time to get on it, but time got away from me. A while back we got the potty, intending to get on with the plan, but we didn’t get the rest of the supplies. She would move her new potty around, sit on it, say “tinko, tinko” and even insists on having the wipes to wipe her still clothed bottom! Last Monday was the BIG day. Training pants, big girl panties, bare bum and a potty she liked… Well, let me say that she peed on our floor more times that day than I regularly change her diapers! It was unbelievable! I was on top of it, asking her if it was time, telling her it was time to sit on the potty, and all I got was SCREAMS, running and 5 minutes later when my back was turned, no warning, no telling, PEE ON THE FLOOR!! (I was lucky enough that morning to have it timed right, and she was in training pants for Number 2!!) After 2 days of that, we switched, temporarily, to training pants only. She just has no interest anymore!

A couple of other tidbits for this week:

-I realize NOW, that this one came from me, but, she will now answer to instructions with “Uh…No.”

-eating vegetable soup on her own like a BIG girl…oh so very adorable…she takes a bite, “aaahhh”!!

- we were going through her Flash Cards, she started mimicking the one with a boy on it pointing right! She uses her right hand, gets into her silly walk and points her way through the house!

- I had turned Oprah’s Season Opener on Monday, it only took a few minutes and Makiya is now saying “Opah”!

-She is beginning to want to sit in the dining chairs instead of her high chair! It was only a short time ago she began to show us that she can now climb into her own high chair!

She shows us so many new little things each and every day. If all of that wasn’t enough; the precious look of pride and joy on her face when she gets something new, she beams, claps her hands and says “I di-ih”!

What an incredible journey that I get to walk everyday!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Appreciating our Inner Circles

After reading my last post and not seeing me anywhere else on line much over the last couple of days, my mom sent me a text, “Are you ok?” I had to give a little laugh at the time, half heartedly expecting SOME type of response from her; I mean it was a bit of a DARK piece! (It wasn’t coming from some place in my current life; it was simply something inside that needed to come out) After attempting a texting conversation, I gave up and called her.

We first talked, of course, about what I had written, and its relevance. We continued with our writing, and how we love getting comments on our blogs. She again encouraged me to get out there more, be sure to leave my own comments on others blogs. The conversation then turned to Facebook, and the commenting or lack thereof that occurs there; we are basically Cyber Stalkers!! We silently navigate our way through this On-Line world, occasionally leaving our mark. We step into the world of others, our “friends”, our “associates” or FILL IN THE BLANK, but we don’t actually appreciate our connections.

My mom is, of course, the one who WOULD, after having the slightest question in her mind, take action and make contact with me after reading a “disturbing” blog post. But, it is a funny thing. When it comes to others that we claim to care about, we don’t take the actual time required to care. Their personal topic/circumstance could be absolutely wonderful, it could be a little on the lonely side or even have an air of pain, and yet we often just breeze on by. Some type of “emotion” or thought comes up for us in response to what we have read. But we don’t bother to share that. We don’t share our excitement or concern, or even offer the slightest hint of emotion, reflection or empathy. We don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to relate with those that we actually cared enough to make contact with in the beginning!

Perhaps, like me, you questioned responding to that “Friend Request”. Maybe you wanted to send one out, but you hesitated. But in the end, we made a conscious decision to do so or not. Thereby, sending out to the universe a message. That entire sequence happened for SOME REASON. We likely entered into a “relationship”. Be it friendship, teacher, student etc. There is something there for us. Why then is it that we ignore what comes back to us?

Although it is often easy to become distracted, I try to remember that every person we encounter, each individual that comes into our lives is there for a reason. I believe that every person we come across is there for us to learn from or that we have something to share with them. I suppose that is why this conversation with mom really hit something inside of me. I am guilty, just like so many others, of neglecting the relationships in our lives.

I, we all, make a conscious choice each and every day. We CHOOSE who it is that we are going to allow in our lives. We handpick who gets to stay in our “Inner Circle”. It therefore is entirely up to us what we get out of that relationship.

We can fully appreciate the people we let remain in our lives, or we can ignore them and allow the union to wilt: lose out on the opportunity to experience the goodness (lessons, love, etc.), allow them to leave our world without ever fully being acknowledged.

I hope to be a little more conscious of these things the next time I am walking through the pages of my friends lives.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Other Side-Her Night

All of the words, each carefully planned sentence, she breathed back into her soul. She took a gulp of air as she heard the doorknob turn. Frozen for an instant, but forced back into her rhythm. Her mind instantly emptied, but spinning off track; in the same moment. She felt her heart miss a beat, like it may have fallen into the bottom of her stomach, or maybe lower, into her abdomen. The pounding in her chest caused her entire body to develop a slight stutter. Her feet felt heavy and yet conscious, as if they had a mind of their own. They took each step lightly and mindfully.

She took a silent vow, tonight WILL be different. She made a promise. Though her eyes had surely told a different story, she smiled. To do so had nearly caused physical pain, her body in protest of the action. Every fiber of her being screamed at her, turn around and walk away, far away. But, she carefully stepped forward and turned the corner.

She saw his shoulders first. Rounded and low. His arms hung by his sides, hands seemingly unsure what to do with themselves. His head lifted slowly, and their eyes had met. She noticed the tears that seemed to be welling up within his. She felt the heaviness in the air, it almost suffocated her.

Then, she felt the cold. Frigid air consumed her, and she felt frozen again. But this time, all of the thoughts she hadn’t completed came rushing at her. She felt them, she heard them, they echoed loudly in her mind. From the corner of her eye, she had seen him slowly lift his arms, offering himself to her. As if she hadn’t noticed, she held her head high and walked right by.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I’ve been sitting here all day struggling with an idea for writing. Then, my husband came home. Tools, tools and more tools; that has been the dominating topic of conversation this evening! So, as it always happens, there it is! An inspiration! I love how life works, giving you what you need, when you need it!

Tools. We have them inside of us. I didn’t actually intend to talk about the tools that are immediately thought of, hammer, screwdriver or ladder. That was not my intent, but as I sit here, I realize that the comparisons to our own personal tools are amazingly close.

The Hammer: We use a tool inside ourselves called strength to accomplish the same goal the hammer has; pound a nail (our personal rights, beliefs etc.) into something (a person, a cause etc.).

Screwdriver: The tool inside of us that I think this resembles is a little harder to name in one word. It is also strength, but more, perseverance, love, patience… The screwdriver turns, or weaves the screw into the intended target. It is the force behind the binding of material (or, and again hard to name in one word; love, family, friendship etc.).

Ladder: A ladder is used to reach new heights. Well, again, where do you find the exact word to make that comparison?! I would say strength, perseverance and patience again, but what about determination, wisdom and belief? In order for us to reach a new point or chapter in our lives, we have to use our tools to get there.

We carry a multitude of tools inside of ourselves. Like a tradesman, in our personal lives, tools are required to complete every task that we encounter. As it is in their line of work, we start small. Only the basic tools can be found in the toolbox. But we grow, we learn; we acquire through experience, more tools in the toolbox.

We already carry inside that which is required to face any given situation, but we don’t realize it. There are times when we KNOW our resources are there, our courage etc., but we have a difficult time acknowledging that we could actually possess that (insert tool) within. We are afraid to embark on a new “job”, believing it would be pointless to begin because we think we aren’t fully equipped.

It is all there. All that is required IS, HAS BEEN and ALWAYS WILL be there. Every little piece of gear that is possibly imaginable exists inside of us.

Perhaps we are only inexperienced with utilizing them. As I tell my daughter constantly; “It is something new sweetheart; you are just learning something new and it will take practice. Practice, practice and more practice. The more you do it, the more you try, the easier it will become.”

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Like an Oyster...

"Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore."

—Dorothy Bryant

This quote reminds me of when my mom gave me Grandmas silver and pearl necklace. While I don’t recall the exact words, I think I have it saved in a card in my Hope Chest, it was a comparison of me and an oyster. The hard, protective shell of the oyster, much like the walls I put up, on the outside, with this beautiful gem on the inside.

I think of these walls often, in so many different contexts. I felt it as I walked down the street alone last night. I feel it when I am out in public. I allow the walls to stay up in the presence of family and friends at times. I know they’re up, but how exactly is it portrayed? Is it my stance, my body language, or is it my eyes or the expression that my face holds? Honestly, I assume it would be a combination of all these things. I don’t need someone to tell me when my walls are up, I know. I surely see it in the faces of those that I encounter. I can feel it in the air.

I put these blocks up, sometimes on purpose. But what would the purpose be? At times I am honestly more content to be within my own thoughts. I suppose there could be a level of fear, that of non-acceptance, or maybe it’s my own false judgements. I say false, because that which we dislike in another person, are the traits within our own selves that we struggle with. Perhaps we insist on carrying guilt or shame within us. Maybe it’s something else, but in the end we are holding onto something that will absolutely keep us guarded, but not necessarily safe.

To be so closed off. The doors that must close constantly right before my eyes. To allow ourselves to operate in this way is in some ways consenting to remain stagnant. We are basically saying that it is okay with us to stay EXACTLY where we are, without growing or learning. We are also sending out the message that we DON’T want extra love, guidance or opportunities. The walls only succeed in keeping US in. It doesn’t matter what trial we are faced with, it is only harmful to keep ourselves so locked up. We miss out on so much.

As I grow, I recognize these things more and more often. I have learned about myself, my strengths and weaknesses, my rights and wrongs… I have learned, and I suppose am still learning, how to love and respect the woman/person that I am becoming. I can see the precious things inside of myself, even if I have only shared them with a few, at certain times, they most definitely exist. I have light and gifts inside my soul that are still waiting to come out, and I know that. I am comfortable (albeit too comfortable at times and at others I do allow myself to become consumed) going through each stage, each chapter. At the end of each day I can consciously recognize that my journey is necessary. Just like everyone else, I AM going somewhere. THIS is all for a reason. I WILL (and DO) SHINE!

"There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it."

—Elizabeth A. Behnke

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I was reading my moms blog ( ) today, she was speaking of an attempt to clean her bookshelves. She hoped to slim down the collection and actually add some ornaments in an effort to make it more appealing to the eye. She talked of having a difficult time sorting through them and the books being more like old friends or family members. Each book had the power to take her back to another time, another place. She didn’t complete the task in the perceived way, in the end, deciding to keep most of them.

It got me thinking of my own collection of books, memories and people that I have a hard time letting go of. I am sure we can all add a whole slew of other things to the list, but we aren’t talking about Hoarding as an issue! I completely identify with my mom when it comes to my books, they really do become a part of us, and I have faced the same dilemma as far as trying to discard some. But there are other things that I keep in my life with images of the future, what I may want then, what I may want to share with others and some with a project in mind. I keep things in my life with no purpose for them in the given moment.

I think of these things that we have difficulty releasing from our possession, our hearts, minds and our lives. At times we think these items define us, we think they are a part of WHO we are. Sometimes we tell ourselves it would be a loss to not have this thing in our life, it would be missed or needed in the future. We say that it wouldn’t be fair to forget, or we think that to forget would be to forgive. We believe that to leave that person behind would end their world, or to allow them to leave us would stop our own lives. There is a tendency to hold onto the things that truly hold us back, or put up blocks in the natural flow of our life, while actually doing so is what holds us back from our true intentions. We look for comfort in these old “habits”, when what we actually do is prevent the things that we DO want from coming to us.

While of course there are certain times, books, “things” that we will always keep close, I think we need to be fairly vigilant in what we do allow to remain in our lives. It is important to really understand the thought process that exists inside of us. Are we blocking the good things from coming to us because we INSIST on holding onto ________? Deep down inside do I think I really don’t deserve more? Do I believe that to move forward would be forever forgetting or letting so and so down? Maybe we think that if we hold on just a little bit longer, things will change, they will improve…

It could be certain belongings, thoughts, habits or something else that we insist on holding onto so fervently, but, we need to pause and take an evaluation of what it is that we are really keeping in our life. It’s funny, but there are times that we finally release some of these “things”, and suddenly we feel so much freer, open and hopeful. The doorways have been swept clean and there is a Welcome sign up for all the good that has been waiting for us.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Learning Experiences

She had just turned 18 years old when she packed her bags and boarded a Greyhound bus for the 12 hour trip that October. No specific plans, only a friend with a place to stay and visions of an amazing, grown up life. Running from a life she had created but no longer wanted, she truly believed she had the power to build more for herself on this adventure. She imagined a strength that would blossom as soon as she set foot in the next province, a truly foreign place to her. As the bus rolled forward and she gazed out the window, into the clouds, she saw faces and places that she was sure to encounter. She pictured all of the wonderful new people that would become a part of her life, the terrific office job that she would be hired for, the nights out and even her stylish, shared apartment. As the city grew closer and the bus seemed to grow colder, the anticipation seemed ready to explode within her. This season was a never her favorite, but the deep snow that lined the streets and the ice sparkling in the air as they drove into the city was suddenly beautiful and held a certain air of magic and promise.

During that time, nearly a year, her experience appeared to be quite the opposite of those images she had during that long bus ride. The fun people and good times were only mirrored images of her past life. There were no fresh personalities, no high profile career begun, and the apartment, just like those she spent time in back home. The few people that she met were angry, troubled souls, most of whom had no aspirations of a future anywhere close to that which she dreamed for herself. The bitter cold and blowing snow, more like ice inside the bones, worse than anything she’d ever experienced. She felt more alone than she had previously thought possible.

She felt the only thing she achieved in this “Life Changing Big City Move” was crying more tears, feeling bigger hurts and having dreams turn to dust. She was more broken and lost then when she stepped foot on that Greyhound bus. The grown up girl that she thought she was had been reduced to a bitter soul once again searching.

All of these years later she realizes that she had gained much more life knowledge than she could comprehend back in that time. She experienced all of the things that she had hoped to, they were simply wearing faces that she hadn’t expected. Some of those people she still looks back on and remembers them as teachers, some positive, some negative. All lessons, marks on her soul. Experiences that truly shaped her heart, helping her become the woman she is today.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Other Side

He walks through the door with the rain dripping from his hat like tears from his eyes. His shoulders feel heavy, like the weight of his wet jacket may actually cause him to collapse. The words he longs to say gone with the cool air as he closes the door. For him, the warmth of his home is too much in that instant. Just like fire melting ice, emotions rush to the surface. Like the storm outside, he feels only electricity, static, noise. It’s all too much and must come out. No thought given to consequence or perceptions, he falls to his knees and cries. He begs forgiveness, for help, for love… His tears met by silence at first. Blinding, deafening, alone.

She feels her heart skip a beat. Her breath is taken away with the turning of the door handle. Her tears suddenly dry upon her cheek. The words that, only moments ago, burned at her tongue, eager to come out, gone with the cool air as the door opens and closes. She feels the electricity, confused and yet not. Her heart cries out, and yet she is frozen. She feels the warmth of hope, feels the pull of love and she is consumed by desire… Not the desire of a sexual nature, but a deeper, more nurturing and loving kind. Her ears are suddenly filled with noise, but she can’t decipher the difference any longer and she finds it to be too much. She closes her eyes and feels the tears that begin to threaten. She is blinded, deafened and alone.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dancing with Chaos

Your mind is burned out from spinning in high gear and threatens to shut down.

Your eyes feel swollen from crying.

Your heart aches, worsened by the fast pace that makes you wonder if your heart could really explode?

Your body trembles, as if you are cold, but in that instant you are on fire.

Your stomach churns, filled with a hunger that will seemingly never be filled.

You consistently walk backwards, neck strained from going back and forth…

You spin in circles.

You say the same words, over and over…

You try, or would like to tell yourself that you do.

You sit in a chair, curled up tightly under a blanket, and stare out the window. You see the vibrant colors of nature, the trees dancing in the cool wind and feel the pull. You feel the calling of nature, of life and of the moment. You know inside that you should be warmed, feel hope and promise. Instead, your stomach and heart seem to be straining against each other. You feel physically pained from head to toe and wish only to cry out loud.


You long for it, you yearn for it and it finally comes.

Sometimes, something is better than nothing though. The pause seems to be too much… The sense of aloneness is more than you can take, so you take a step, back into the fire. You’ve gone back into the Dance of Chaos.

One step, two steps…forwards or backwards…does it matter?
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