Thank God It is Today

Yesterday was NOT my day.  I was my worst self. I was bitchy at work, impatient in my mothering, and quite honestly,  depressed.  I get in these funks every now and then and while in the moment of my temporary misery, it all feels justified, real, and permanent. For a brief moment in time, yesterday, I thought I would never ever feel any better.  A good friend of mine texted me late at night and said: “Take it one simple task at a time and know that tomorrow is a new day.” Yea, right, tomorrow is a new day.

I fell asleep with immense guilt on my mind and regret in my heart. My beautiful 3 children suffered the consequences of my funk. I was not present. I did not do or say anything bad, but I was not able to simply enjoy the moments with them. I was agitated, rushing our moments so I could get to sleep and be done with the day.  Then, it happened. They lay sounds asleep at 9:30 and I stare at the peaceful, angelic faces and hate myself for not being present with them. They cleaned their rooms and I did not even express my praise or gratitude. I rushed them through the homework, and said no to the last request for a snack just because I was too tired to do anything. I wanted to wake them up and start over right away. I made a promise to myself to be better tomorrow and never feel this maternal remorse again.

Today is tomorrow! And it is a new day! My mind is fresh, my patience is intact (so far) and I can and I can commit to making today great! No bad attitude today. No bitchy comments at work, and no agitation at my children. Today, I choose who I want to be and I wake with intention of being my self self. All day for just one day. I love tomorrows. And I love todays, too.

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Life’s Balls. My Hands.

Yes, you read that correctly. I am taking life by the balls. Finally!  I am so done with this idea of simply being happy with what I have.  Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with all of the many blessings I have in my life.  But I want more.  And guess what? I write my own story. I create my own future.  My whole life I have been a “sit back and wait for things to happen to me” girl.  Starting today, 7/14/17 I declare myself a “make it happen” girl. The world is my oyster.  No more sitting back. No more waiting. I am a creator. I have a vision. I am grabbing life by the balls and I am becoming.  Watch out, Life! You are my bitch now.

Have You Met My Husband?

Have you met my husband? Eh-hem….Have you met my SECOND husband? Well, neither have I. But I have learned some valuable lessons through dating, heartbreak, and singledom that have made me wiser, stronger, and more prepared for the moment when I finally “exhale.” I am in no rush to meet him (in my convincing-myself voice).  I have been cheated on, lied to, heart broken, served papers…you get the idea. I have also had years of butterflies and excitement and visions of weddings and babies. Hell, I have actually had a wedding. And 3 babies!  But I have yet to meet the one. Each romantic experience from adolescence through adulthood, be it painful or joyous, has led me closer to this notion of romantic wisdom. I have spent most of my life chasing “unconditional love” and the warm, secure and fuzzy feeling that I imagine comes with it.  I have worked really, really hard to convince myself that the man of the moment is the one, and in turn have made excuses for cheating, lying, eye rolling, controlling behaviors, jealousy, you name it, I have put up with it and somehow justified it as unconditional love.

Every broken relationship has taught me something valuable about my second husband and I have a new, simple and  improved Must Have list to help me weed through all of the men knocking down my door (sarcasm fully intended). Really- I don’t know who I think I am coming up with such a list when I can’t even remember the last time I was properly asked out on a date, but here it goes, in no particular order.

THE LIST– from now on these items are non-negotiable. Once I determine a suitor does not have one of the following qualities, he is no longer an option. No questions asked, no second guessing myself, no justifying, no, “ but he is so fill-in-the-blank.”  If I am going to devote and commit my time, heart, emotions, and body to a person, the following are the bare-minimum requirements.  I will not second guess myself. End of story.

  1. Sense of Humor

Witty, sarcastic, intelligent, pee-my-pants funny. ‘Nuff said.

  1. Spiritual

No need to believe in God per se, but some connection to a power greater than himself-nature, music, vibrational energy, whatever keeps him connected to something spiritual. My second husband must have something that supersedes human expectations and offers him serenity, a sense of belonging and wonder, and a belief that there is more to life than just life.

  1. Humility

This is a quality that I admire so very much in others. Humility is best defined through example.  When a person who truly possesses humility is in my presence I know it, I feel it, and I appreciate it.  No one human is better than the next. Financial status, personal and professional experience, looks, character do not set one human being higher than another.  Humility lends itself to compassion, understanding and kindness. It is one of the hardest qualities to come by in adults in today’s world. It is also contagious in a way.  Less ego, please. Shirtless gym selfies need not apply.

  1. No Eye Rolling/ Passive Aggressive Behaviors

Yes, I understand I am asking a lot on this one- but for some reason I always attract the passive aggressive ones.  I cannot stand it. I am simply aggressive. I will never understand the need for the passive part. Roll your eyes at me once and we are done. Yes, there is a story or 2 behind this one, but I will not excuse this behavior. Be a man. Use your words.

  1. He must fully support and understand my sobriety.

I am sober. I do not drink. I go to meetings. God is a huge part of my life. My sobriety is number one and needs to stay there. I am who I am because I am who I am.

So, that is it. That is my list. I will not stray from it, I will not settle and I will not forget these things because now they are forever etched in my blog.  Now, back to living life, not rushing to find Mr.-Second-Husband. But, if you happen to meet him, send him my way.

 

 

 

2016

2016 was quite the year. It felt long and drawn out. It certainly was not an easy year… I faced many challenges this year and hit so many different emotional lows. I made bad decisions. Not the “I don’t know any better” bad decisions either. These were the “I know this isn’t the best decision but let’s roll the dice” type decisions.  I held on too tightly to people, whom I should have let go, and I let go of things and people that I should have grasped tightly with my heart strings.  I gambled with my faith and I overstuffed my ego.   I also challenged myself and made it through some rough patches with some newfound life lessons that I would not trade for the world. Everything has unfolded in the most perfect way….I leave 2016 with the following lessons:

  • I can do it: Whatever it is- if I want it badly enough, I can, indeed do it. I quit smoking this year. I survived the mice infestation of 2016. I survived heartbreak.  I can do it. Whatever it is. I can do it.
  • I am not cool anymore. I used to be the cool mom. Not anymore.  I now have unwritten rules that I should follow if I know what is good for me. Rules like do not dance. Ever. It used to be “don’t dance in the car” or “mom, not at the hockey rink”- you know when friends are around? But now, dancing in the privacy of my own home somehow embarrasses my teen daughter. And let me tell you-I can dance. So wtf? When did I become a mom mom? I say things like, “Molly, that shirt is OTC.” FYI: OTC means “off the chain” in my world. I think it is clever, cool and a little hood. But my kids… not so much. I am not the cool mom. I am starting to wonder if I ever really was? I am afraid I will always be 28 in my own mind.
  • Weight is just a number. I did the atkins diet and bought ketosis strips. I carb-cycled. I attempted to stick to a  1200 calorie diet. I did spinning 4-5 times a week for a few months. I tried everything I possibly could to lose weight. Sometimes my newest fad of a lifestyle would last a month, other times a week, sometimes not even an entire day. For this entire year, I worried, obsessed, struggled with and tried everything to lose weight. I caused myself so much stress, worry, self-hatred, over my weight and these ridiculous diets. And guess what? My weight never fluctuated up or down, more than about 8 pounds. Those times when I would sit and eat an entire box of chocolates after a 3 course dinner at Chili’s three times a week? Still within the 8-pound range. So let it go. Weight is just a number. I am actually defined by my character and my soul, not my physique. It takes a lot of work to undo this obsession with weight, but I am working on it- I look in the mirror and compliment myself on something character-based as a reminder that my looks and weight are not what define me. I want to be and feel healthy, but I do not want to crazy binge diet and obsess over caloric intake for one more day. Because I am still me. And that scale, well, it is hardly moving anyways. 8 pounds up with a  steak and potato diet is just fine with me.
  • Politics Do NOT Belong in the Work Place. Most people who discuss politics are passionate about their stance. So much of one’s political stance is based on personal beliefs, upbringing, life experiences. Politics were openly discussed at my place of employment this past year.  It made for a very uncomfortable and awkward work environment. I did my best to remain neutral or completely absent from any political conversations, but at times it was impossible. I toyed with merely agreeing with what others said for a while and that worked but it felt… wrong. Was I “drinking the kool-aid?” I was lying, I know that much. I was not being true to myself. However, the workplace and politics do NOT mix and I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Eventually I let my opinions be known…. I was sick of people coming into my office and unknowingly insulting me.  One poor history teacher finally got a mouth full from me and what ensued was a heated, yet fun and intellectual debate about abortion, the death penalty and cold blooded murder. I went into a long, but well-supported and very well-presented (if I do say so myself) argument defending my stance on all of the above. We both somewhat enjoyed the heated discussion as we challenged one another, but it was not professional and it was neither the time nor the place.  Politics do not belong in the work place.  End of story.
  • Life is short. I lost a beloved aunt this year to cancer. She left behind 8 adult children, 8 of the most wonderful and faithful young adults I have known. She was taken too quickly and left a hole in the hearts of many who loved her dearly. The funeral was a beautiful ceremony that ultimately led me back to Sunday mass, but more importantly, awakened in me an awareness of the brevity of life. I also have several friends who were diagnosed with cancer throughout the year. I watched a poignant and heart-warming movie titled “The Heart of Christmas” with my children about a toddler who was given 4 weeks to live. It left us with a new attitude-we wanted to live each day as if we only had 4 weeks to live. Suddenly, I did not care which pants my son wore to Sunday mass, what time they went to sleep, or how long it took them to get settled and buckled in the car.  I actually proceeded as if one of us- not even sure which one- had only 4 weeks to live. The pace of my day was slowed. There was more laughter and I love yous and less scolding and no yelling at all! I have started to say out loud to myself and my kids, “4 weeks to live.” That is enough to remind me that our loved ones could be ripped out of our lives without notice.  Every second matters. Make it count.
  • Get out of God’s Way: Shit, how many times do I have to learn this lesson? I get in His way. A lot. I think I know better. I want what I want when I want it. I am a superb justifier. I manipulate pretty darn good, too. This is the exact reason for me making those gamble-type decisions- the not-so-good even though I know better decisions. Whatever the bad decision, it would somehow, in my mind, bring me -some sort of instant gratification- more money, stress relief of some sort, excitement, more sleep, less work… I took the easy way out. I said let me handle this because God’s way takes too long. When I take over for God, things get messy. I absolutely must get out of His way. The only way to do this is to do the next right thing, pray, and wait…
  • God is doing for me what I cannot do for myself: I already knew this, of course, but this past year it hit me- God does this in many ways. That job I didn’t get? That guy I thought was the one that is currently so NOT the one? God took those things off of the table for me-they were not part of His plan for me. If I had it my way, I would have both the boyfriend and the job right now.. I would never have given these things up, but I did not have to. God took care of it. And I have to let Him. These things that hurt me and that do not make sense to my mortal mind? These are all part of His plan. I need to not lose sight of that. I am so lucky to have Him doing for me what I cannot do for myself.
  • In Pain There is Growth: So, I hit some emotional lows. Quite a few actually. I cried a lot this past year. I felt alone often. I questioned God and I got angry with Him.  I had very little gratitude at times. I wanted to give up. In some ways, I did give up. But what happened? God’s will prevailed.  Each emotional low brought me to my knees. Desperation brought me closer to God. The relationships I wrongfully let go of came back to me and were strengthened and now are more honest and loving than ever before. I am stronger than I ever thought I was. I am empowered, yet humbled. I am ready to fight harder than ever, to be more self-aware, to hold myself more accountable and to trust God fully. My job is simple. . . I simply do the next right thing, pray, wait and trust God.

 . . . .Here is to 2017. God Bless. If God brings you to it, He will see you through it. 

God is Real

 

God is real. I have no doubt whatsoever. I am blessed to have a faith that I never thought possible- faith that I did not know was missing from my life.  I was raised Catholic, went to a Catholic elementary school, a Franciscan college, church on Sundays. I prayed foxhole prayers. I believed in heaven. I could recite the Beatitudes, The Our Father, Hail Mary, and The Act of Contrition. But I did not have Faith.  I lived my life under the pretense that I controlled my own fate. I was in the driver’s seat. My actions, my thoughts, my feelings, my decisions would ultimately decide the outcome of my day, my year, my marriage, career, what have you.  I was in charge on my destiny and I could pray to God when I needed something. Period. Any prayers from my lips to God’s ears were requests for things to go MY way. That is it. I had the answers. I simply asked God to give me what I wanted.  And if he did not give me what I wanted, I tried harder to get it for myself.

Today, God is not someone I simply pray to. God is my best friend. I communicate with him throughout the day. Sometimes, I laugh with God. Yes, I laugh with God. I have even danced with God. Call me crazy, I don’t care. I have danced with God through deep meditation. I have been in fights with God. I have said things I regret to God. I have apologized to God. I have ignored God. I have pushed God away.  But God always brings me back to Him. He always loves me. He always forgives me.

God communicates to me through people, through song, through situations.  He never lets me down. Ever.  I let me down.  The key to my constant communication with God is to let him in to my life, my spirit, and my heart. I do this by living how God wants me to live. If I stray from this path of living right, I can no longer hear God.  All I have to do today is live right. Wake up and be the best me I can be and treat others with love as God treats me with love.  If I can accomplish that one minute at a time, then I am 100% certain that I do not have to figure anything out. Not one thing.  God is working on it for me. He loves me. He has a plan for me. All I have to do is the next right thing, one action at a time. God will take care of the rest. I am so blessed to know this today.  Whatever person, place or situation I may face, it is part of God’s plan. “Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.”   And I love it.

200 Words or Less?

This is a little something I wrote for a contest to win a home. The contest, of course, was cancelled.  The instructions were to write in 200 words or less something about why you deserve the home and how you have undergone some sort of transition in your life… . I forget the exact wording of the assignment.. At any rate, 200 or words or less is a challenge for me.. But I love how this turned out.  I am happy to report I now have a home. Two homes, actually, but that brings me back to the mice, and I just do not want to go there….

February 2, 2014:  Emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. Defeated, broken, hopeless. Life had thrown all it could at me. I was falling apart.

Today:  I am whole. My faith gets me through difficulties that come my way. I am the mother I dreamed I could be; the mother I want to be. I have a fulfilling career. I am at peace with my past. I hold no resentments. I am full of gratitude for all my blessings. God fills me with happiness and hope. My insides match my outsides. I am whole. I love to see those words. I am whole.

How did I undergo such a transformation?  Desperation evoked a willingness within me, which slowly turned into faith and hope. There was, and still is, constant work. Hard work. Daily inventories of my moral fiber. Prayer. Faith. More Prayer. More Faith. Miracles.

I am whole.

Why, then, am I entering this contest? Molly, Nora and Emmet. My children. Children of divorce. Children who have had to be resilient, courageous, strong. Children who would love a backyard. Children who could truly benefit from a miracle: The miracle of a house, which will become a home, and help them to feel whole.