All things means ALL things!

So lately, I have been doing some deep thinking on some issues that I would like to tackle to make my life better; to make me a better person, to make myself more healthy, to allow myself to have a life that has more meaning.  But, I have been scared.  Well, I am not even sure that scared would be the right word.  More like defeated.  Defeated before I ever got started.  Sort of sad right?

We took a quick weekend trip this weekend to celebrate my husband’s 51st birthday.  Went to Mount Airy NC to see “Mayberry” from the old tv show “Andy Griffith”.  After a day of sightseeing, we went to the hotel.  My husband and youngest daughter, Tori, were swimming in the hotel’s pool, and I walked outside to smoke a cigarette (one of the things on my to-do list).  Another thing on my to-do list is to give up soft drinks.  Come to think of it, most of my list is to give something up.  Apparently, I have an addictive personality.  It’s scary.  It’s terrifying to me.  I know it sounds silly, but the thought of no sodas and no cigarettes just scares me.  And I try to ignore it and keep on chugging and puffing away.  Though I know it is so very unhealthy for me!

So, as I walk through the lobby, I notice a big, good-looking glass jug of water with slices of lemon floating around in it.  Yum!  I ask the clerk if she has made this lemonade herself.  She informs me that is just lemon water.  No sugar?  I quickly pass by it.  No way am I drinking just lemon water.

I sit outside for awhile smoking and playing on facebook.  Coming back into that lobby, I notice that jug again.  It looks so cold and so refreshing!  Even the evenings of a 90 degree plus day in the South are no joke!  Ok, I am just going to try it.  I pour myself a small cup and…

This stuff is great!  I mean its really great.  In the end, I drink it the rest of the evening.  This morning, I go right back to it.  My body adjusts so easily.  This stuns me.  The ease that my body has switching from sugar filled soft drinks to healthy, fruit filled water just stuns me.  My soda addicted brain, in the end, is no match for my body and what it knows is best for it.  I am amazed.

Then, I do some deep thinking on the smoking issue.  I know this will be much more difficult than simply switching from soda to water.  This will be a task.  Then, I realize.  I realize in a single instant that the only reason these tasks seem so daunting to me at all is that I am trying to do them on my own.  Which brings us back to the to-do list and the number one item on it.  Have more faith.  Strengthen my relationship with my Savior.  Pray more.  Study His word more.  Be with Him more.  Something I desperately need and want to do.

Which leads me to the realization that I need to stop thinking so much, stop all this planning and trying to keep control over these things, and just jump in head first and do them.  All of them.  From number one to number ten.  Actually, just number one.  If I do number one, then all the rest will just fall into place.  Somehow, I know this.

Phillippians 4:13.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  All means all.  Having more faith, making my life more positive, making it have more meaning, and yes, even switching from sodas to water.  All things.  From big to small.  All.  All means all.

Perhaps one of the most productive weekends I will ever have in my life!


60 Days In… Jail!!

Ok, ok I swore I would never be a fan of reality television.  Then, one day, I realized that if I didn’t watch a reality show here and there, there wouldn’t be much left for me to watch!

60 Days In.  The sheriff at the Clark County Jail just across the Indiana state line from Louisville KY put seven regular people in jail for a two month time span.  They aren’t regular inmates.  They are spies for him.  But, spies in a good way I guess.  He is trying to find out information about how his jail is ran.

I checked out a message board.  The talley seems pretty much the same.  Zac is everyone’s favorite by far.  Nobody much likes Tami, and come to find out, she’s been “retired” from being a police officer for 15 years!  Now, let’s talk about that for a minute.  Tami said she was, I believe 46 years old, and she does look about that age.  How does one retire from a job at 31 years old?  Not possible!  I would say it is more along the lines that she was probably let go.  After all, if she had been hurt or something, she would be saying disabled police officer right?  But retired?  That makes no sense.  They had a Q & A on facebook with her, and she told someone she continued to say she was a police officer because she had been trained as one.  My opinion is that she has mental problems.  She has a “wife” and the facial expressions she gives to her are just weird.  Her body language is just weird.  The way she carries herself is just weird.  I agree with the majority of what I have seen.  I don’t care for Tami.  I am glad she is no longer carrying a gun or wearing a badge.

The only take I get on Robert the teacher is that he is scared to death in there.  Jeff- he should have never gone in there to begin with.  No toughness about him at all.  No street smarts and absolutely NO sign of any street cred… all things that are pretty much required to survive successfully in jail.  The young one, Isaiah, he’s doing ok I think.  He’s quiet though and with him not really interacting with other inmates, I don’t see how he will get any feedback.

Back to the women.  Barbara.  I laugh when I see her now.  Why?  Remembering how her 25 year old sheltered self had it all just figured out going in.  She has had an awakening for sure.  She has shown her maturity level.  First with failing to have her friend Tami’s back.  Second with the crying and huge amount of drama given to her cellies getting her jail BFF’s snacks when she left.  Did she really think the girl that was gone cared about her dang nutty bar???

Now to the best.  Maryam.  Daughter of Muhammad Ali.  Seems nobody had any idea he had any daughter other than the tiny bit famous Layla.  Yet, her entire story line seems to summon the worries from her mouth that somebody will recognize her.  Somebody will know who her father is.  Somebody will care.  Yet, nobody does.  I did some quick research.  Seems he has seven daughters.  When you are one of seven, with no fame or fortune, yeah, nobody knows you.  She seems to be determined to make sure that people think she is some sort of VIP though.  Hopefully, reading the message boards (and I know that her type of ego will have to do just that) will get her informed that nobody’s watching her every move, and she can get herself a more healthy self-view.  God knows, she sure needs one.

If you haven’t watched this one, you need to.  Zac is the one to watch.  Wanting to be a DEA agent, he took the program seriously and transformed himself into a straight up inmate crook type.  He will give the best insight by far.  Hopefully.  Last week, during a raid, it was hinted that cocaine was found in his bed.  Waiting to see what happens with that!!!

How do some people get so many Facebook likes????

Ok, it is driving me absolutely crazy.  There is this one woman who is seriously about the most unattractive woman alive.  Her husband used to be handsome in his younger days but the thought that men get better looking with age does not apply to him.  Their child… their child is cute yes.  But, she’s basic.  Average.  No better looking than anyone else’s child. So….

Why does this family get tons of likes on facebook?  I cannot figure it out.  A friend and myself are watching constantly and… it never fails.  For some reason, people just drool over every post these people make.  They are all photo posts.  Never a text post.  And like, like, like, comment, comment, comment, and on and on.

My friend’s theory is that it is the church people doing all the liking.  I have no theory.  I am just majorly stunned that people think this family is all that.  And…

It has seriously gone to the woman’s head.  She thinks she is above others here, and she thinks her kids are.  I wonder if her wonderful facebook world is going to extend into real life.  Somehow, I doubt it.

How do some people on facebook get so many more likes than others???

Premonitions and Estrangement

I used to have premonitions when I was young.  I was so afraid that I would end up alone.  I was actually worried about this when I was still in single digit years.  Sounds neurotic doesn’t it?  Yeah, well maybe it does.

Except that it seems to be coming true.  My Daddy was the glue who held my family together.  But, he wasn’t exactly a good glue.  He was rather abusive in some ways.  Not so much physically, though he was that to my brother a couple of times.  But, mentally.  He controlled us all sitting from his chair at the family kitchen table or the comfy chair of his in the living room.  He was always huge- just a huge presence in our lives.  He made sure to be a demanding part of everything we were a part of.  We had to agree with him.  After all, why wouldn’t we?  Why wouldn’t we agree with all of his decisions for our lives when he knew everything there was to know?

He taught everyone a big lesson with me.  I was the oldest and therefore, the first to try to attempt to disagree with him.  What happened was that I was punished by being pushed to the outer fringes of the family.  I was allowed to stay in the family only to a certain limit.  Just barely.  Strangely enough, I held onto this.  What young adult just starting out who has been dictated to their entire life and made to believe they couldn’t make a decision for themselves wants to strike out on their own and leave?  He punished me.  Oh, did he punish me.  For the terrible mistake of wanting to be the master of my own life.

He died in the summer of 2007.  Since then, the family has slowly drifted away.  My oldest daughter and the whole family- my nephew and the whole family, though his mother is a huge part of that.  He has turned into a pawn.  He can’t see his step-mom, per his mom, so he can’t see his dad either.  His own father.  How sad.

My oldest daughter.  I don’t know.  She goes farther and farther away from me.  Myself and my little brother.  We are losing our children.  We honestly don’t know why.  We don’t feel we did anything to deserve it all.  We honestly don’t.  But, we don’t know what to do. We have tried to get them back.  We have failed.  We are lost.  We don’t know what to do anymore.

Sometimes, no matter what you do, you might end up alone.

Finding me again…. Going back to when I was me

Finding myself again during middle-age… changing a life that didn’t turn out exactly as planned…

For so long, I sat and watched other people and wished I could be like them.  I wished I could be happy, have a happy family, have friendly and happy kids, and looked at my own life and thought it rather pathetic.  I was almost resigned to this fact…. that my life just be pathetic and less than half of what I wanted it to be.  Then, I woke up.

Nobody’s life turns out as planned.  We are so innocent- so fresh during our childhood and teenage years.  Then, issues and events happen.  Grandparents pass away along with a high school friend or two, first boyfriends and girlfriends break up with us or worse yet, cheat with their next romance before fully breaking up with us, best friends start friendships with someone else and we are left out, and maybe high school, first jobs, first cars, beginning college, anything… just doesn’t turn out like we planned.  Something goes a little wrong and then something else goes a little wrong, and then over the years, we get a little hardened.  A tad bit at a time that sweet innocence of childhood leaves us.  A tad bit at a time our hearts are blocked.  Walls go up in self defense, and days are a little less intense; a little less bright.

We finish college or find jobs.  We find spouses and enter into marriage with the highest of hopes.  Nobody at all ever gets married thinking they will get divorced.  Yet, at least half of us do.  So, if its not us, then its a close friend or a first cousin.  Divorce impacts our lives in some way.  We are taught that loyalty is not always true, and that family doesn’t always stick together.

Children are born, and we find out that being an adult, being a parent is hard!  I mean really hard!  We secretly yearn for our room at our parents home.  We yearn to once again, hear that high school bell, and to ride the bus home, and run into that room and feel safety and to be taken care of.  We secretly yearn for our responsibility to be taken away for just one day.  We wonder just why it was exactly that we wanted to grow up so fast.

The years pass by, one after one, trudging by in a solid and steady manner, like soldiers marching a stomp march down long streets in time.  Our lives become like those soldiers… struggling to stay in order and in perfect step, and when we do fall out of step, we rush to get things back in order, back to that perfect stomping sound in our minds that assure us that our lives are moving ahead smoothly down that long street that just does not seem to end.  Children have birthdays and start school, we have anniversaries, holidays come and go, all the while we document each and every moment in time for our memories though we don’t need the paper pictures as we have them in a scrapbook that exists solely in our minds.  The scrapbook becomes heavier and fuller, and we find ourselves, late in the night, opening it more and more than we used to.  For we find ourselves, having so much life behind us.

We second-guess ourselves, our spouses, our children.  It seems there is always someone that we wish we were, but we are not.  Someone is always happier, better looking, more successful, more popular, and we cannot figure it out for the life of us.  We cannot figure out how people missed how special we were, and how we just became ordinary. We live in our cookie cutter houses, driving our cookie cutter cars, with our cookie cutter lives, fighting sadness because we missed the special train that dammit, we certainly had a place on.

Then, in middle age, our children leave us.  Those wonderful little humans that we gave our entire selves and salaries and energy and time to for so many years, suddenly not only don’t need us, they don’t want us either, and where does that leave us? Our own parents are older now, and we struggle to care for them while getting help from siblings that we no longer know.  Many of us deal with in-laws, parents in-law, or siblings in-law that don’t like us and only tolerate us, and that is just fine because truth be told, we don’t care for them either. Jobs are so stagnant; we have done this same thing for a couple of decades now, and we know the work with our eyes closed, and yet that always unseen management, that exists only in the words of our bosses and other employees, sends people who are half of our age with twice our education, and we, then, spend our days suffering in utter humiliation as we must ask this person who sees us as a middle-aged wash out and gives us grief over doing a job the same way that we have completed it for over a decade, and nobody told us that it was wrong then. We struggle to bite our lips and learn new tricks to preserve a pension that we only pray will still be there in a few years when we can finally get out of this place even though we know that we will have to work for minimum wage in a grocery store or hotel to make ends meet, but at least we won’t have any real responsiblity.

Our children get married to a spouse that, if we are lucky, will love us, and if we are not, will look at us with suspicion.  Either way, we know that they are not good enough for our babies- the same babies who are now strangers, and where are those manners that we raised them with anyway?  What happened to that child who loved me so much?  They stand before us, yet they are gone, and we wonder where?  Are they out in the place where karma and destiny and dreams exist?  Cause they sure aren’t here.  This can’t be the sweet child that I raised.  I gave all of those years to that child, and they are only going to leave us alone in the end.  Throw us in some nursing home like we are an unwanted pet that nobody truly has time for, yet everyone smiles and pretends that they care and are doing what is best for us when what would be best would be to have our children, our siblings, the people from our life still care about us and want to keep us.

But, if we are lucky, before that day comes, one day, one sweet and fine day, we will wake up.  Wake up and smell the coffee, wake up and smell the roses, or however one wishes to say it but the ending is the same- we wake up.  We look around at our middle-aged shamble of a life and decide to change it.  Just like that.  And… now we can.  Now, we have the life experience, the money, the time, and motivation to change things.  A new journey begins.  It’s not over after all.

This happened to me.  Two days ago.  I spent an entire night, tossing and restless, and examining the life that others had given to me, and I had apparently accepted because here I was with it, and I decided no more.  I decided to take my own life back.  No more people who didn’t matter and people who did telling me what I was going to do or bullying me into making decisions, or pulling drama to make me miserable.  No more.  Today, I take back my life and my emotions and choose to be happy.  I choose to feel time and not to let it just pass me by.  The same with moments, smells, sights, feelings… I want them back.  I want them back to badly that it takes my breath away and gives me a hollow feeling of urgency in my chest. I attack those walls that have been built up over these years to find that they are strong and steady and even the smallest holes have been heavily patched so I have to dig and chip away and claw at them until my fingers bleed and my tears run hot and heavy, and it is tons of work and might take years but that will be fine because on the other side, I will find me again, and I know that I am determined to get there.

I want to find me.  I miss that girl.  It’s been so long since I saw her.  I will find her.  I will.