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When I Grow Up

Last week, I was immensely privileged to be involved in something I not only loved doing, but loved myself while engaged. I challenged myself and garnered self-esteem from the success of my endeavor, as well as plenty of kudos from a lot of people. I felt happily and blissfully at home within myself. It felt like the high of falling in love. I can’t wait to feel that again. And this feeling belonged to me, a gift from myself.

I vaguely remember attending parties in my twenties, where I may or may not have enjoyed myself, when someone attempted to make conversation and asked, “So, what do you do for a living?” Stunned and overcome with shame and queasiness, I was forced to share my shameful truth. I was a waitress or a maid or a receptionist or a bartender. Hoping to lure them away from my truth, I would probably redirect the conversation. My untold truth was that I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. The expiration date on my childhood had come and gone and I’d spoiled while waiting to be purposed.

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My wish for every child and/or teen is for them to find an activity in which they like themselves while engaged. If you do something you like to do, you may develop friendships, mentors, and self-esteem. People like to be with people who like themselves. My teen self based my self-esteem and power on my sex appeal. If I could prove my desirability, I had power. I didn’t need no stinking mentor. I was alone and I liked it that way.

I spent six years in a university to land a job in my field of choice only to discover my chosen field was full of egomaniacal jack-#*@es. This was bad news for nice little me. I was ashamed my college education seemed a waste. After receiving my BS, I still supported myself with restaurant jobs and never pursued any involvement in activities I loved, like writing or art. I didn’t want to mess my dreams up too. They were safe as long as I didn’t touch them.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Somewhere I read a quote that said life is what happens while you’re aspiring to other things. My life took a left when I said adios to the manifestation of my critical parent in husband form. It took another hard right when I needed a shoulder operation and the doc said no more waitressing. In new mental and physical places, far away from everything I’d ever known, I began renovating myself and the old house I’d bought with my second husband. I worked toward a place I had never been but knew existed; a safe and happy place to play and love being me.

Gradually I cleared the clutter from my brain and my space. I stripped away the dysfunctional relationships and the addictive behaviors, and I finally arrived in that safer calmer place. I discovered what I really loved to do. And I sort of I liked myself while I was doing it. If you had met me back in those promiscuous teen days, with my Farrah hair, tight black T-shirt, and attitude, you’d never guess I’d end up here in an urban town decorating, designing, cooking, gardening, and entertaining too. This is the real me.

I have found a place where my brain is really happy. My recent opportunity and challenge was a chance to assist the fund-raising committee for the church’s annual auction event. Immediately, I was designing the tablescapes, colors, installations, lights, and florals in my head. Mostly created with stuff I had or borrowed, people donated, or what I bought on super sale, I created a fabulous event space. With more than a little help from my husband’s lighting company, the ambiance was over the top.I think design and aesthetic beauty have an undeniable impact on our outlooks and psyches. The auction raised more money than it ever had before. The community was very appreciative.

I now know I should have gotten my college degree in either design or writing. However, I will continue offering my design help to people in need because it’s about the playing, not the money. Although making some cash wouldn’t be a bad thing. If you took me back to that party in my twenties but asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would now say, “I hope I want to be me when I grow up.”

(This was first published on Divine Caroline in October of 2009. I’ve revised it slightly to republish as the special event this year, featuring my inspirational event design, was held last night. And again, I felt the same rush.)

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

My sister lives in Rhode Island and purchased a house with extra rooms five years ago with the intention of having us come visit. But until this year, we hadn’t. My daughter was too small and then there were Summer camps. We didn’t have the right vehicle and then she just came and visit us instead.

But we just returned from our Summer vacation to RI.

Absence Makes Your Heart Grow Fonder on Shalavee.com

Absence Makes Your Heart Grow Fonder on Shalavee.com

All my daughter wanted to do was swim in the pool. I ended up spending all my time with her there. And we ate out a lot. I just needed to decide what I wanted to eat. So not a lot of dishes. And not a lot more than just being and playing together. Because that is what visiting people is all about and something I want to do a lot more of.

Absence Makes Your Heart Grow Fonder on Shalavee.com

Absence Makes Your Heart Grow Fonder on Shalavee.com

There’s a lot to be said for shaking the etch-a-sketch and leaving your house for a couple days. It’s refreshing to return to the comfort of your home where you know where everything is. But you’re not overwhelmed by everything you have to do immediately. That’s how I eventually end up but for now, I’m holding onto the high of the absence.

Absence Makes Your Heart Grow Fonder on Shalavee.com

Absence Makes Your Heart Grow Fonder on Shalavee.com

To complicate things prior to our departure, our new little cat had an injured eye and I was scheduling an eye operation for her for when we returned. (That was today.) That made me nervous as did all the warnings for Covid travel from State to State. My husband said, don’t worry, be happy. And so I spent the time leading to our departure focused on leaving in a timely intentional way. We got there in less than 7 hours and now we know what it takes to visit. My sister was a lovely hostess and her house is amazing. Cozy and the most comfortable bed ever!

Absence Makes Your Heart Grow Fonder on Shalavee.com

Absence Makes Your Heart Grow Fonder on Shalavee.com

Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for my upcoming Blogaversary Post.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Grow Through What You Go Through

Grow through what you go through.

The best way out is always though.

For me, the largest shift happened not because I chose for it to happen

But because I stopped stopping it from happening.

My story two years ago,

The Fear shield comes up.

It disallows all the work I’ve done prior to matter.

Infantalizing me, ignoring all my efforts, it insists it needs to keep me safe in its way.

But I’ve done all of this work i say. I’ve studied and thought and grieved to get here.

Let me pass.

But there was always an impasse. Until l introduced anti-anxiety medication into my equation.

Then an unexpected shift happened.

I felt less resistance to my thoughts and dreams. My perpetual daily fear tape stopped running.

And I began to feel hope and movement.

Growth wanted to happen. It took all my learning and knowledge and applied it.

And fear took a back seat.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

A Guest Blog Post on Self-Bullying for Attract Readers.com’s International Women’s Day Roundup

I have had the privilege of “meeting” and conversing with many lovely people online, two of which have a blog called Attract Readers. Jean Wolfe and Ute Wieczorek-King both have impressive backgrounds in writing, marketing, and business training/mentoring and the purpose of their blog is to simply help bloggers get read.

Bloggers understand how this may be harder than it seems and we respect the efforts of each other in making our readership grow. Attract Readers, in honor of International Women’s Day, asked for people to write and contribute blog posts on a women’s issue which were then published on March 8th. The hope is that people will follow the blog post back to the bloggers home blog for more interaction.

The topics were to be for “mid-life women with lively minds” on a subject personal to you. I said I’d love to offer them this piece on self-bullying. It was the perfect excuse to make it real. And I am very pleased at the way it came out. The magic is in the editing process. I must have edited it 20 times.

Follow this link https://www.attractreaders.com/self-bullying/ to read my piece, look around at the other posts, and let me know what you think and how you felt when you read it.

I will be forever grateful to Jean and Ute for their tenacity in wanting women’s voices to be heard. I think the world needs to hear our stories but I also think we need to hear ourselves tell our stories to make an impact on our lives as well.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Our Fear of the Growing Older Pains

I have gone through a lot in the past two years to rid myself of the aches and pains that I garnered from an aging body. I endured needles jammed into my backside multiple times. And then waited cautiously to see if the procedure worked. I waited again to be pain free when I had another needle in my shoulder. I then awaited the pains to return. And waited.

How was it that my ever-exuberant self became to person who sat and waited for pain? What I discovered is that aging is an unknown and therefore fearful. We’ve seen others age and we know any minute now it’ll render us useless, quivering pain-riddled shells of our former selves.

I’ve spoken to elderly people who have confirmed that they feel more anxious in their later years. Our minds begin to imagine our decline even when the evidence may or may not support our undoing.

I had a talk with myself the other day and asked myself, when was the last time I had aching belly muscles from a good core workout? Can’t remember. Or why I couldn’t do an hour of cardio at a time? Was pain preventing me or just fear of pain?

We need to heap compassion on ourselves as we age and on the elderly we know. Sometimes, it takes a lot of courage to show up in the ways we used to. But, unless I am at a three or more pain level and need to return to the doctor’s for yet another shot, I need to get on with the business of being in good shape for 50. I want to feel pride not fear on a daily basis. How about you? Any of this resonate?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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