Follow my heart? How?

It’s hard to rebuild your life.  I’m not going to lie.  Is it worth it? Yes! And most satisfying.

In the past few years I’ve been trying to figure out what will make me happy.  I’ve spent a lot of time trying to think back on the times in my life when I was content, and the things that make me calm, relaxed and happy.  Where do I belong?  Where do I fit into this world and what was I put here to do?  One of the things I used to want to do were fashion design. I once thought about going to Vassar College, but that didn’t go anywhere. Couldn’t afford it, didn’t have enough self confidence to think I could make it…and so on!   I’ve always loved art, and writing.  I started drawing when I was in high school, and had to keep a sketchbook for art class. I never knew I could draw until then.   I’ve always loved anything that involved putting pen or pencil to paper.  Drawing, writing in journals, or writing story’s, even English class.  My heart and mind keep going back to this. Like I need it, like its in my soul.  Whenever Ive imagined my life, what I wanted and where I wanted to be, I always go back to having a small log cabin on a lake.  Being on the water, quiet, rustic and peaceful.  Drawing and writing in the calm serenity of this place I would call home.  That is what I want and where I long to be.  I recently went back to school, majoring in Paralegal.  I thought it would be a good job, making decent money.  I used to work in Human Resources and enjoyed the legal part of it.  So, I thought, it’s lots of research and writing so it’ll be perfect.  But I’m not so sure.  I would love to pack up and move to the coast.  I keep talking about taking a leap of faith and just doing it, but how do you afford to live on faith.   I’d be worse off than I am now.  How do you find your way to your dreams?  How do you even figure out what  your dreams are supposed to be.   I know what I like and what makes me happy.  But how do I find what it is that I”m supposed to do with that?  I can’t follow my heart when I don’t really understand where it’s taking me?

Life’s Blessings

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The Kids and I

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that in the difficult times, it’s so important to remember what you’re blessed with.  We all go through hard times, difficult times.  But sometimes it seems like the hard times will never end.  So I started to think about all of the things in my life that I have been blessed with.  First and foremost are my two beautiful and healthy children.  Sadly, there are too many parents that have children that are not blessed with good health.  Also I have my health, and a roof over my head and food on the table.  I may not have much money, but I get by with the basic necessities that many people do not even have.  I have been blessed with the ability to start college at 37 years old, because I have the strength and determination to fight like hell to have a better life.  I value my independence, and am proud of myself for being able to survive mostly on my own, and be such a good role model for my kids. 

I could not do all of it on my own though, I have been blessed with the most amazing friends, that are always there for me.  Thankfully I still have a little time for my friends, my flowers, and for studying  despite the three jobs I need to work to pay the bills.  I am blessed to have a good therapist, that has helped me to deal with depression, grief, guilt and loss.  Helping also to deal with the feelings I have about my daughters cutting.

All in all I have more than a lot of people even dream of.  When I feel like I have nothing, or when other people are lucky and they have more than I do, I just remind myself that there is always someone that is worse off than I am.  Always someone who has less or is in a worse situation.  I am a glass half full kind of person.  I always see the good in people.  Sometimes it gets me hurt, sometimes I get taken advantage of, but it’s who I am and it’ll never change.  It is and always has been my nature to believe other people are good. Sometimes circumstances get me down for a while, but I get right back up.  Thanks to all of the blessings in my life. 

Relaxation and Dreams

Today was perfect. Despite getting up at 4 AM I knew that it was for a day at the beach, much different from a day at work. We made it to Gloucester just before nine and the beach was already filling up fast. The weather was absolutely wonderful and the water was amazingly clear. I was able to spend the day relaxing without any worries on my mind. I read for a little while, I dozed off for a little while, and I was able to spend a lot of time thinking about what I wanted for my future…my hopes…my dreams… Thinking about how I could be true to myself. It’s not so much that I have soul-searching to do, but I have to learn how to be good to myself and do what’s best for me. I think I’m on my way. It was a good day and it was just what the doctor ordered.
I look like a lobster tonight, but I’m home and comfy on my couch settling in for the night. I can’t wait until next weekend to see my kids…can’t believe our summer is almost over.

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– Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff –

My afternoon beach read :)

My afternoon beach read 🙂

For the past few weeks I have been so incredibly tense. Work problems, job searching, the kids, custody situation, school starting again in 2 weeks…I just feel overwhelmed. Yesterday when I went to my afternoon job for the 81 year old that is in a wheelchair, partially paralyzed, she said today we were going to go to a pre-auction showing.  This lady is crazy okay.  She has nothing better to do than sit at home and buy junk from catalogs and buy junk from people she thinks is worth a fortune and her favorite past time is spending an afternoon browsing at The Salvation Army.  I just really wanted a break.  I told her I really didn’t feel like spending the afternoon looking at things that you can’t even buy yet, that she needed groceries and we needed to go get her glasses fixed.  She said, my old glasses are good enough, and I don’t need food> Of course.  You would rather shop for NON-essentials.  Grrr…So I said to myself that I could really use a day away from her.  Tomorrow was Friday after all, and I should just take the day off.  But as usual I drove the 20 minutes to her house and she was not home.  Now I was both annoyed with her and myself.  Her for not telling me she was going out with the neighbor and she wouldn’t be there and myself for forgetting the house key in my backpack at home.  However, I breathed a sigh of relief realizing she had gone to the auction with the lady that told her about it I knew they wouldn’t be back any time soon,  So, I decided It was going to be MY DAY! I put some music on and ran an errand to return something that had been sitting in my car for a friend and then I headed to Barnes and Noble.  I browsed for a while not really knowing what I was looking for and then I found a small book on the clearance shelf called “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff”, by Kristine Carlson.  There is 100 short essays about dealing with stress, making time for yourself, laughing when all else fails, avoiding letting self doubt get in your way and so on…

I thought, this is exactly what I am looking for.  So I checked out, ran another errand and went home.  I have taken my therapists advice and tried not to worry about holding those who have done me wrong accountable.  She reminded me that what goes around comes around, and they will be punished one way or another.  I thought of all the energy I had put into my anger and was trying to let it go.  I got home and took a nap with the kitty for a little while, and when I woke up I worked in the yard.  I weeded, deadheaded flowers and watered.  Already feeling more relaxed.  Of course, I’m home and not at work, but I have to think positive.  Right now, I’m relaxed and feel a little more centered.  From now on, it’s about me and what I want and what I need.  No, I don’t think I’m selfish.  I think if I am going to be healthy and happy I need to look out for me because no one else will.  My kids need a happy healthy mom, first and foremost.  And no matter how busy I am and how crazy my life  is, I am there for them whenever they need it.  They know that and that’s all I can do.

So, tomorrow is an early day, heading to Gloucester to the beach with one of my girlfriends and I’m going to relax on the beach and read my new book.  Hoping it will be as insightful and helpful as I hope it will be.  I’ll let you know what I think.  Check it out for yourself. She has others as well. If I like this one, I’m going to pick up “don’t sweat the small stuff in LOVE”.

 

Alicia’s Progress – 1 Month

When I spoke to Alicia the other day she seemed distant.  Actually the past few times I’ve talked to her she has, since she went home to her fathers.  This is concerning, because I was hoping to be able to monitor her progress with the new antidepressant over the summer while she was with me.  That did not last long.  I worry that things may slowly start to regress back to the point of her being so stressed and upset that she will start cutting again.  I don’t like feeling distant from her.  I asked if she was still taking the antidepressant and she said “unfortunately yes”. Well, at least she is still on it I guess.  From what I can see and heard when she was in the hospital, there is no love in the house where she is living.  There is no laughter and silliness and I wish I could make that go away.  We have so much fun here when they are with me.  All I can do is be there for her now.  I can keep in contact and monitor her.  She will be 15 in October and wants to stay where she is with her friends and go to school with them, and I respect that.  I honestly do.  I just hope home life will not keep bringing her down, further and further.  I need to remind myself that Teenagers are manipulators and can play their parents against each other. And even though her father and I are divorced and live apart (obviously), she can still play us against each other.

She says, “well, in October when I turn 15 I’m gonna start working anyway, and save up to move as soon as I can”. I said well, that’s good to have a goal.  Deep down I wanted to say, Good Luck Sistah…I have way more experience and I’ve been looking for a new job for a very long time.  AND I did tell her, school and grades come first.  I don’t want to sour her on working though, it’s good for her to want that, I just hope she isn’t disappointed when she cant find anything right away, and she doesn’t make enough money a week to buy a pair of Jeans AND a shirt…but one or the other.

So all in all I can’t complain.  She is still taking her medication, still seeing her therapist, NOT cutting and thinking about the future a little bit.  (she didn’t say the word College, but I can work on that) 🙂

As for my son…well…that kid’s always happy.  I love my monsters and miss them so much. But, one of their parents has to work right?

A Leap of Faith

When I saw my therapist this morning the events of the past week came spewing out of my mouth like lava from a volcano.  I was so stressed I was actually short of breath telling her about the issues.  She said she could see I was wound tight – no kidding – I’m gonna snap the line pretty soon! Amazingly enough, an hour later I left her office feeling better.  Not 100 percent, but better.  She got me to look at one big problem I kept basing everything in my life on, in a different way.  First off, just because my kids live with my ex-husband doesn’t mean he has to bully me or pull the strings like I’m his puppet.  I need to stay strong and stand up to him.  Also, I keep basing every decision in my life on whether the kids live with me or stay with him.  If they live with me I can work full time days and not pay him child support and then I can survive on one job.  If they stay with him I have to stay doing 3 jobs I’m not happy with just to pay my own bills.  She told me I”m looking at it all wrong.  I need to let go of the work and ex-husband issues that are controlling me because it’s exhausting me, mentally.  It is wearing me down.
She reminded me that I am strong, I’m a survivor, and I always manage to do what needs to be done and I always manage to get by.  She said, first of all, you must get out of a job that is making you physically ill.  And don’t worry about the child support so much, don’t obsess over it like it rules YOU! (oh yeah…my ex bribed the kids into staying with him, so I was once again feeling like what the hell do I do now, I can’t accept a full time job on days because I need these three jobs) So she said, you pay him $150/wk, look at that as your weekly grocery bill, you would have to spend if they lived with you anyway.  You have a job and your looking so  you can afford to be more picky and get what you want.  If you make enough in one job, that 150/wk (groceries) wont  be missed so much and you can survive, you always survive.  I realized, yes, it’s time for me to take a leap of faith.  Sometimes you can’t figure it all out ahead of time.  I need to take the full time job on days if one is offered to me and start feeling like a normal person and then the rest of it will fall into place.  I think the lack of sleep from the schedule I keep is not helping me at all.  When I was 18, going to bed at 1am and getting up at 545 was okay, not anymore.  Its just making me exhausted and cranky.  It’s time for a change, I have faith, that when I make the big leap, I will be okay and find land under my feet.  Even If I stumble a little bit, it’s not like I’ve never stumbled before.  So from now on I’m doing what’s best for me.  I’m not re-arranging my life around everyone else’s needs.  I can’t do it.  I am going to respect myself and the things I want.  Right now my kids are safe, they are being clothed and fed (supposedly) and going for check-ups and getting good grades.  I’m leaving it at that.  My daughter is almost 15 if this is her decision then that is the final decision.  I told her this isn’t a revolving door.  I will not re-arrange my entire life for her every time she has a fight with her father.  I told her I am always here, and if there is a problem she can come to me, but she needs to learn to work it out with her dad and step mom instead of saying I want to live here, no there, no here, no there.  I feel like a yo-yo.  Not anymore.  It’s hard to put your foot down and let go, but she needs to learn you  can’t run from your problems. you also have to live with the decisions you make. 

Now it’s my turn to try to find some happiness and normalcy in my life.  I pray that it’s right around the corner. 

Pure Exhaustion

The exhaustion that I feel today is not from work. It’s from the range of emotions that has gone through me in one day. I went to bed with the anger that I felt from problems at work last night. I woke up still angry and that feeling turned into the feeling of helplessness and frustration after I made some phone calls and waited for others to be returned. Then after hearing from my ex-husband my emotion went back to anger and then sadness and grief and stress thinking about what will come next. Everything in my life he has to turn into a fight so now I have to prepare for another one. I went to work and I was moody because my mind was in another place. And I worked this evening I went to a range of emotions ranging from happiness to sadness, With some hidden tears running down my face So that my partner wouldn’t see how upset I was. I felt determined I felt weak, I felt angry, fearful, hopeful, sad, betrayed, frustrated, happy and loved and probably every other emotion possible all in one day. I cannot believe the energy and the strength that this took from me today…complete and other exhaustion. Holding onto everything that I have inside, everything that I keep bottled up inside of me is really exhausting to hold onto. I don’t know how to let any of it go. I really hope that I can get offered a new job, I got called on one today. I hope I can start a new chapter soon because I’m ready I need some change. Heading to bed because I cannot even keep my eyes open. they’re scratchy and burning they are so tired. Praying things start to turn around for the better, Because I can’t keep going at the pace I am.