Getting Back to Me

Two years ago, I was enjoying going to the gym on a regular basis.  I was running, boxing, doing free weights and even had belly dance classes.  Today, I am reclaiming those goals.  I joined a gym with many locations, and I bought a yoga trapeze swing.  Have you seen those things? It will be a spectacular way to keep fit, and a lot of fun, if I don’t break my neck.

Wing-Yoga-Swing-Inversion-Sling-2-5-meter-full-set-Aerial-Anti-gravity-Yoga-Hammock-Swing

Slowly, I am getting back to me, back to who I was two years ago, and back to where my life was.  I know that after all that has happened, I while I will never be same, not would I want to be, I can get my life back.  I have done all the work to be emotionally and mentally healthy. I am praying, meditating and taking care of my self spiritually, which is so very important. Now it is time for the physical.  This is my time to make myself and my life whatever it is I want it to be.

And so I start out running again, as I did earlier this year before it got so hot.  Now there is no excuse for not working out.  Now, it is my time.  I am so ready to get back to myself, to get back to fit,  and to have fun doing it.

When you are a caretaker, many times you end up being too busy and too tired to take care of yourself.  And that is where I found myself.  I was wearing slouchy, baggy, unattractive clothes, not fixing my hair, being too tired to put on make up, no nail polish, nothing.  I stopped exercising, stopped even trying to look good.  I was just too exhausted.

But now that is not the case.  I have energy, I have the time, I have the desire.  I am rediscovering what it is like to be the girl. I am wearing make up, fixing my hair, and wearing stylish outfits again.  I m embracing life.

And so far so good.  I have a great job, there have been concerts, there is theater coming up, trips to be planned and soon a move into an amazing new house.  I cannot wait. Because this is only the beginning.

A Letter to You Mom

Hi Mom,

It’s me.  It’s been a year since you passed.  Today is a year since your memorial service.  I cannot believe it has been a whole year. A year since I saw you, hugged you, heard your voice.  I play your voice mails often so I can hear you tell me you love me and laugh at some of the other messages.

I don’t really remember the day of your memorial service.  I know we used the plants from Patsy, I know the ladies at the church helped out. I know that Dad was there with Michael.  I know that I spoke or read things at the service.  But I do not really remember anything other than that.  I know that Dad came up to live with us after that, and that he spent most of the night crying and telling me things about his life that I never know before.

I miss you so very much, but I think you would be proud of me.  I am finally through with the deep profound grief.  You know I still miss you, every day.  But I am not so sad anymore.  I am smiling, laughing, dancing and am even joyful.  I know you would not want me to just shrivel up.  I know you want me to be happy because it is you who taught me that your life is bigger than any one event of person.  I was listening when you taught me things Mom.

I tried to take care of Dad as best as I could.  I am sorry about Michael and how he turned out.  I know that you liked him and that you were happy that I had finally found the man of my dreams.  But he wasn’t Mom.  But I know you know that. While he did help take care of Dad, that cannot undo the terrible other things he did.  And all the fights he caused while Dad was here.  I didn’t know how to stop him.

I envision you and Dad as wonderful, beautiful rays of light and energy, zipping and and playing around, being so joyful.  I imagine you guys being mischievous and playful. I imagine you riding on the wings of dragon flies, and being the light for a firefly. I know that you are just as magic now as you were when alive.  And you were magic Mom.  Pure, magic and love. If I am even half the human being, half the woman, half the mother that you were, I will be happy.

A year.  I have missed you every day, and that will continue. But I know that you want me to be happy.  And I am.  But it has been hard to get to the point to be happy without you guys, it has been hard working through the grief.  And Michael didn’t make it any easier.  It’s been easier and I have been happier since he has been out of my life.  Him leaving is the reason why I was finally able to focus on y life and get over through the grief finally.

And finally Mom, I am ready to move forward. I am happy and am ready to start my life in this new normal.  I am ready Mom.  But I will never be used to a life without you guys, so you have to be around.  You still have to give me signs now and then.  And please, show up in my dreams.  I love seeing you in my dreams, because hen I can still hear you, see you, touch you, hug you.  I love those dreams.  I wake up so happy.

I want you to know that it was my honor and privilege to take care of you, to be there, to hold your hand when you passed.  The time we spent together was precious.  You were and are the best mother ever.  I love you so, so very much. And always will.

The Happy Voice

They say that the eyes are windows into the soul….but what about the voice?  As someone who used to be in radio, I can tell you that the voice can show a wide range of emotions and insights as well.  As someone who used to be in radio, the voice can be a very powerful tool.

A It happened a day ago, I was talking to one of my best friends on the phone. And she stopped me mid sentence to say that she had mot heard me this happy in at least a year.  She could tell that I was happy, lighter and no longer sad.  She was so excited to hear it in my voice.

And it is true,  I am happier now than I have been in years actually.  Even today, the anniversary of my Mother’s memorial service I am happier than I have been in a long time.  Don’t get me wrong, a year ago today was horrible.  And my life is so different than I thought it would be.  But my life today is also incredibly blessed.

The time of profound grief is over, so while today is melancholy, and there have been tears, it is better than last year.  One of the biggest improvements is that I got rid on a toxic person with whom I had a toxic relationship. A man who took pleasure in my pain, a man who took pleasure in being vindictive for sport.  A man who tried to deeply scar me, but failed.

Now there is a wonderful new job, great opportunities, and even chances for new relationships and love. The world is truly mine.  And my parents are above me, lvoing me and guiding me as I love forward.

And now there is Peace in my life.  There is no fighting, there are no accusations, there are no arguments, no negativity, no darkness, nothing bad.  There is Peace, love, friendships and goodness.  Getting this toxic person out of my gave me the time, space and peace to heal from my Mother’s death.  It allowed me to fully process everything so I could finally get over the profound grief.  And now everyone can hear it, see it, feel it and experience the happiness that is bubbling up from my soul.

Get those negative, toxic people out f your life and get a happy voice too.

 

The Now in the What

It is the time you have decided will be the time of your life.  You are tired of all the bad and are ready for the good stuff.  You want excitement and friends and family and all that is wonderful.  And then…you look around and wonder…Now what?

This is where I find myself.  After what is arguably the worst year of my life, I have come out of it better, stronger, more.  And I am ready for all the wonderful.  But now what? How exactly does it happen?  How do I go about it?  What do I do now?

I think many find themselves in this place at some point our lives.  I think maybe we must be patient. I will pray, I will meditate, I will follow the good and what makes me happy.  I will follow what brings joy to my life and heart.  I will have fun and share that goodness.

But that doesn’t mean to be busy all the time.  There needs to be moments of rest and reflection.  TO get the house in order, to write, to read, and breath.  This is a hard one for me, because I tend to want everything NOW.  Especially when I make up my mind.  So patience.  Whatever needs to be, whatever is supposed to be, will come. Naturally, organically, truly.  I just have to trust in God, that His timing is perfect and that HE will show me the direction in which to go.

So that is the what next. Trusting and being patient. And having a glass of wine.

Peace if Life

It has taken a while to happen, and it has taken a lot of work, a lot of tears a lot of processing.  But there is finally here.  Peace.  I have Peace. I am at Peace.  And it feels wonderful.

I am at peace with my past.  At peace with all that has transpired.  At peace with the death of my parents, though I will always miss them.  At peace with the end of the toxic relationship that needed to end. I am at peace with the mistakes I have made, and the things I have done, and the things I have left undone.

With Peace there is also a sense of calm and balance and stability.  This may seem counterintuitive to the excitement I have also been feeling, but they go hand in hand. It is simple and basic – that which brings you peace will make you happy.

There is no internal struggle, or external struggle for that matter. It is felt deep in the soul, where the light dances with the dark. It is hard to describe except everything is good.  Everything is right.  It is what happens when you love until there is nothing left.  It is what happens when, like the Velveteen Rabbit, you become Real. It is what happens when you and God rebuild yourself.  And you become very protective of it.  When you feel Peace like this, you don’t want anything to disturb it again.

And so you learn to walk away from anything that causes a wrinkle in in it, the Peace that rocks you to sleep at night.  And so I want to keep this feeling, this wonderful calm after al the storms. And I want it to become the foundation on which I build.

Release Me

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.  – Nelson Mandela

We all have a time in life where we have reached a goal, accomplished what we set out to do, or faced a fear.  Sometimes all of them.  This is the case with me.  And this goal is bitter sweet, but a celebration none the less.

Since Dad’s death I have been in intense grief therapy.  I saw two grief counselors with the Hospice which Dad was blessed enough to be a part of, and a separate counselor to help with putting life back together.  I am a big believer in reaching out and getting help when a situation is bigger than what you can handle yourself.  This past year was it for me.

So I set out with the help of others, to rebuild, to face my grief and go through it, all of it.  Every heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, horrible moment of it.  And I cried, and ye;led and questioned.  I wrote letters, said prayers, did meditations, talked with friends, cried more, read books, watched TV shows, wrote a lot and cried even more again.

And finally, after the first year anniversary f Mom’s death, after finally having the time and the peace to sit down and truly go through each day, of all that happened and process it, I have been told that i am done.  I have had all of them tell me that indeed, I have gone through the process and that the profound grief is over.  I have done it. I have come out the other side and I have been released form the program.

I have been told that I am emotionally healthy and have done a great job in rebuilding my life.  I have the foundation now to have whatever life that I want in the future.

That is not to say that I am not going to have moments, I will still miss them every day, I’ll still cry, I will still have triggers.  But the worst is finally over and I can grow from here.

It has been a long, hard road. It has taken time to go through all the feelings and resolve all that happened within my mind and heart.  But now, I have just another reason to celebrate.  I could not have done it without these wonderful, compassionate, loving, caring, individuals who led me through the landmine and helped me get back on my feet.

If you are going through, or have suffered the loss of a loved one, I encourage you to seek help of a grief counselor.  It will truly make a difference. I felt like Humpty Dupty, and now not only have I been put back together again, so has my life.  I am thankful and blessed.

And now, let the celebration of life, love, happiness, friendship and more start….now!

Better with Age

Many women (and men) begrudge getting older.  I love it.  There are so many wonderful benefits that come with age and I do not understand why we do not celebrate it. Sure, there are a few more wrinkles, but who says that isn’t sexy?  I like the lines on my face, I like how my body is evolving. I like my looks more now than when I was younger.  Yes, the hips are a but fuller now, but I like them.  And what are these benefits that only come with age?  Sit down and get comfortable, as I will be more than happy to tell you.

Wisdom:  I love this part.  I am so much wiser than I was when I was a kid, and by kid I mean in my 20’s.  In your 20’s you don’t have anything figured out.  You may think you do, you may even have it all together, but you are an idiot when it comes to life.  Trust me.

Comfort in your own skin: I see those little 20-somethings all pump up and insecure in their little outfits and such, worrying about how many likes something gets, how many followers, what he says or what she thinks…because that is where their world is.  Oh, they can have it.  I feel just as comfortable and sexy in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt as I do an evening gown, or sexy vampy dress and boots. Because sexiness comes from within, and that is something those 20 year-olds haven’t figured out yet.  So let the glam it up…I’ll be sitting in the table in the corner, people watching, enjoying a glass of wine and not trying to impress anyone.

You don’t care: This goes along with being comfortable in your own skin, but takes it much further.  To be honest, you just can’t be bothered. With what exactly?  IT doesn’t matter.  Anything you don’t want to fool with or be concerned over, you just aren’t.  IT doesn’t matter what other people say, think or do…what. Ever.  You. Don’t. Care.  You are too busy enjoying your own life to let someone else’s drama interfere.  This frees up a lot of time and energy that is was wasted in your 20’s and even 30’s.  You are a lot more relaxed when older.

Dating and intimacy: This isn’t your first rodeo and you are proud of that. You can own your womanhood.  You don’t have to do anything, and you won’t unless you want to.  You know what you are worth and what you are not. You know which rules to break and which ones to follow.  You also are much more comfortable with your body and what feels good, and you are not afraid to make sure you get it. There is no playing coy, unless you want the fun of it. You know the tricks you need to do to make you and your man happy.  And I don’t mean what you read out of Comso magazine.  Cosmo is for beginners.  This is the kind of knowledge that only comes from experience.

You know when to watch: You are also not afraid to get the popcorn and watch when the men in their 50’s try to date GIRLS half their age because of their midlife crisis.  That’s right guys, if you are 50, and you are dating or trying to date someone in their 20’s… you look ridiculous and are an idiot. We are watching you with the popcorn ready, waiting for it to magnificently explode in your face.  The only thing those girls have are daddy issues and money issues, both of which are a mess. So go ahead and hi five your friends, we will be there with a big bag of I-Told-You-So on the other side when you are licking your wounds wondering what happened.  She isn’t going to settle down and she isn’t going to make you happy. And no we are not insecure.  We are however, very entertained.

Sexiness: It drips off of you because you don’t care if you impress someone or not, you don’t have to have them and you are comfortable on your own.  This is because sexiness comes from the inside, and nothing is sexier than confidence and knowledge. And the quiet confidence of your knowledge.  Knowing that you can walk into the room and own every pair of eyes in that room, but you choose to go home alone.  You can’t buy that at Forever 21.

Money/Career: Speaking of buying, did I mention we make more money that our younger selves? We have our career figured out. We don’t need anyone to give us a leg up, we are helping others at this point in our lives.  We have done the rate race, we are happy where we are, and are not having that “OMG, what am I going to do with my life now that I am almost 30” crisis.  Been there, done that.  We don’t need a man to pay our bills (but we will let him if he offers).  We are thinking about retirement and how to travel – first class – when we vacation.

These are just a few of the reason I love getting older.  Women are like a fine wine, we just keep getting better and better. And if I am this fabulous now, imagine how much better I will be in 5 years or even 10, or more.

Live life, enjoy, make experiences and memories.  Enjoy getting older as it is a luxury not afforded to everyone.