sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist, an unschooler, and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Posts tagged ‘perspective’

Story of my life

Have you ever seen the video for the song, Story of My LIfe, by One direction?

I have always liked the song and having just watched the video, I like it even more.

And I am very picky about my videos. My favorite song currently is Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill, but oh my! I really dislike the video. It just does not do the song justice. I find the video cheesy. But I will focus back on the video I like…

Story of My Life by One Direction

Today is my half birthday.

Crazy? That a 48 year old woman is celebrating her half birthday?…

Maybe…

There is no cake or anything. I just always think about it when it arrives, 6 months prior to my next birthday.

And today, I am using the date to focus on me and my life for my blog.

What better song to use and after watching the video, I knew it was perfect.

Do three links to the video impress upon how much I want you to watch this video?

I will superimpose my blog within the lyrics of the song today….

“Story Of My Life”

Written in these walls are the stories that I can’t explain

I leave my heart open but it stays right here empty for days

April 15, 2018

I am 48.5 years old today. My 49th birthday is 6 months away. It is also “tax day” but being Sunday, I guess that will really be tomorrow.

I am very happy with my life right now. I would not have said that last year. Two years ago, I might have, but several years prior to that, most likely not. I have had more than my share of challenges over the past 11 years. Somewhere in all of it, I lost myself but have been working to uncover myself again. In doing so, I have discovered that the truest part of me has been lost for far more than 11 years.

The last time I remember being this confident and happy with myself was when I was 10, 11, and 12 years old and living in Bethel Park, Pa. I lived there for 3 years of my life: September 1979 through the summer of 1982. I made some wonderful friends in those 3 years and have some of my best childhood memories from that time period. I was a Girl Scout, a safety guard for the bus stop, part of the writing crew for a child run and produced news show that ran on the local channel and was facilitated by my 5th grade teacher at Washington Elementary School. I learned to play the clarinet and was in the band which continued even after moving across the state and when entering high school. I played softball for a church league and was a catcher and learned to hit the ball and even got a home run! I played softball the year before we moved to Pennsylvania, when we lived in Ohio, but we later found out that I really needed glasses and this explained my not hitting the ball for an entire season of softball. It is much more fun to play softball when you can see.

She told me in the morning she don’t feel the same about us in her bones

Seems to me that when I die these words will be written on my stone

I received my first journal, “dairy” when I was 10 years old. My sister gave it to me for my 10th birthday, October 15, 1979.

I still have that diary and every one after it that I have been writing in for the past 38 1/2 years. I have been a writer for as long as I an remember. My 6th grade language arts teacher was the best. I can remember creating a book of poetry in her class and I vividly remember her sitting down to review it with me. She encouraged me and praised m writing.

We moved a year later and somehow, my vision of myself as a writer changed. Somehow, when I was in high school and thinking about college, I never thought of pursuing a career in writing. Looking back at my life now, I see how everything I did was perfect to bring me to where I am today. I would not change going to E-town College and majoring in Occupational Therapy. Nor would I change all the places I have worked as an Occupational Therapist. Even the job I held for only one month. It all brought me to where I am now.

I used to say “I am a writer that got detoured by a career in Occupational Therapy”.

I don’t know that I would say that anymore.

I am a writer AND…

I am an Occupational Therapist.

Both are a large part of who I am.

And I’ll be gone, gone tonight

The ground beneath my feet is open wide

The way that I been holding on too tight

With nothing in between

The story of my life

I take her home

I drive all night

To keep her warm

And time is frozen (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

I give her hope

I spend her love

Until she’s broke

Inside

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

Any love song I listen to now, I often think about loving my inner child.

Nourishing the part of me that got lost, my true self.

I have been actively working to nurture my inner child for over 14 years ever since I began practicing EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique with Jan Luther.

I did personal work and went on to study EFT further and earned a level 1 and level 2 EFT training certificates. I also received level 1 and level 2 Reiki training. I am a student of Conversations with God. That goes back even further, I believe to before my oldest child was born over 20 years ago. I remember hearing Neale Donald Walsh speak at Unity of Charlotte when I was pregnant with my oldest child. I have read many self help books as well and engaged in classes on spiritual health and growth. I went to counseling with my husband when we fist met and before we even had a first fight. I attended further therapy on my own and joined a women’s group and continued to be in touch with those women for several years.

Written on these walls are the colors that I can’t change

Leave my heart open but it stays right here in its cage

I know that in the morning now I see us in the light upon a hill

Although I am broken, my heart is untamed, still

Depression has been a part of my life since my teenage years. I did not struggle significantly until my senior year of college at the age of 22. Although, high school was difficult for me and I lacked self-confidence and could not wait to move out of highschool. I excelled academically but socially was a very different story.

Moving out on my own after graduating college was a shock to my system. Somehow I envisioned that experience to be an extension of college, but it was not. I had challenges but found my way.

I met my husband in March of 1993, just four months after moving 600 miles south to North Carolina.

I can still see the add in my OT magazine for the job, it read,

Shouldn’t you be in Charlotte?

It spoke to me.

I am glad I listened. That is one “should” that benefited me!

Married in May of 1994

First big job change in August of 1995 with significant pay increase and less stress

First child born November of 1997

Changed to part time work (from full time) in January of 2000

Moved to new larger house in April of 2001

Child number two born February of 2002

Home full time in Summer of 2007, something I had desired since February of 1998 when I returned to full time work leaving my 12 week old son home with his dad

Spring of 2008, expecting my third child and when three months pregnant,

…Back to work because my husband was reduced from full time employee with salary to contractor paid commission only

January 8, 2009 my third child is born and I choose to stay home for a full year because that is why we had waited to have a third child…

So that I could be home full time

Our financial struggles began in summer of 2008 when my husband lost. his job, but never collected unemployment because he still had a job, as a contractor, paid commission, and he even had to collect the money from customers.

I sought work but it took a few months to get hired and worked many weekends ad other days as needed until December when I felt I was too pregnant to continue. I had worked up to the day before for my first two children, but this time I was 39 years old and very tired with this pregnancy.

I returned to work at that same job in spring of 2010 when my youngest was just over a year old, working “PRN” on a part time, as needed basis. I continued at that job until recently.

I could continue to list life events from this point on and yet, that would take hours.

I already have many blogs written about the challenges overt the past 10 years.

The important part…

Is that I am on the other side now

I have walked through the mud

Swam the swamp and come up for air

Hurdled the obstacles with bruises and scars

Badges of honor abound

And courage…

I am stronger because of it

I am also who I am because of all of my experiences

I am NOT what has happened to me…

I AM who I now as, as a result of my choices I have made about what has happened.

And I,’ll be gone, gone tonight

The fire beneath my feet is burning bright

The way that I been holding on so tight

With nothing in between

The story of my life

I take her home

I drive all night

To keep her warm

And time is frozen (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

I give her hope

I spend her love

Until she’s broke

Inside

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

And I been waiting for this time to come around

But baby running after you is like chasing the clouds

The story of my life

I take her home

I drive all night

To keep her warm

And time is frozen

The story of my life

I give her hope (give her hope)

I spend her love

Until she’s broke (until she’s broke inside)

Inside

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

The story of my life (the story of, the story of)

The story of my life

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Freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, “the right to protest for right”

I read Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech this morning in honor of his passing 50 years ago: April 4, 1968.

His last speech was delivered in Memphis, Tenn on April 3, 1968. I visited the Loraine motel several years ago with my family and visited the museum in honor of him. He had great influence on the America of today, the America where Barack Obama was elected President. I want to honor him and his life.

Reading his last speech was more powerful than I could have imagined.

His words in his final speech are powerful right now in light of all the challenges we face today.

And as I read these words, I thought about the teens who are protesting and marching today for change because of the large numbers of people who have been killed by gun violence, the children who have died while attending school.

And I have thought about the people who call the youth of today names and make comments about their marching and protesting, telling them to “go home” and “do something more productive”, implying that they are not worthy of the rights of all Americans.

Martin Luther King Jr. said these words after the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

He said them in Memphis, Tennessee on April 3, 1968 because of the sanitation workers strike due to poor pay and dangerous working conditions and the death of workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker who died in garbage compactors.

This great man spoke out in the places where great injustices were happening.

All we say to America is, “Be true to what you said on paper.” If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. And so just as I say, we aren’t going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on.

Watch this part of his speech, the end of it here:

.youtube.com/watch

If this great man were alive today…

I can only imagine the great things he would be doing if he were alive today.

He inspired many people and inspired great change in America.

Now is the time for more inspiration.

For great change is needed.

To all the young people of the United States of America,

I say this to you

Speak up

Speak out

March and protest peacefully

Words are more powerful than guns

Words are more powerful than violence

Words can change the world.

Depression and Bipolar 2: January 22, 2018

Coming out of depression

I have diagnosed my self with Bipolar 2. I swing from depression to jypomania.

I have seen this tendency throughout my adult life and it became exaggerated after Don’s heart attack.

When I came out of the depression back in 2014, I think that was the year, is when I saw how depressed I had been and for how long. I couldn’t fully see the extend of the depression until I was out of it.

It was quite a realization to look back on years of my life and see how I had been barely functioning slowly sinking further into depression.

So many life challenges had entered my life that had drained my energy and suppressed my true self.

What is depression?

Not being who you truly are

I always think of mud, being stuck in the mud, moving through mud

Slow and difficult, extra work to do everything, to get through each day

Drowning in water, but not quite, trying to keep your head above the water

A continuous doggie paddle

Slipping into the water, unable to breath and then coming up for gasps of air

Just enough air to keep going

Through off your mental chains. (Thank you Howard Jones)

Jacob Marley’s chains

Dragging you down

Then I slipped back into depression, I could see it slowly creeping up on me

I could feel it taking a hold and yet I couldn’t stop it

I couldn’t see how much lower I would sink, Thinking at each stage that “this” is the lowest point

Only to find myself further down the spiral, lost and wondering,

“How the hell did I get here again?”

PRESSURE

Pushing down on me, pushing down on you

These are the days that it never rains, but pours

It is the terror of knowing what this world is about,

Watching good friends scream, let me out

Turned away from it all like a blind man

Insanity laughs

This is our last dance, this is our last dance

This is ourselves, under pressure

Music moves me through the memories of depression and what it feels like

And music helps me move forward and out of the depression

I am way too young and I won’t stop running!

I believe the tables will turn

I won’t stop dreaming

This isn’t over, it’s never over

Facing forward, lights out, I wont stop running

Falling backwards, I won’t stop running

I will take another sunrise….

I am way too young and I won’t stop running

I am living it all

Tearing off the labels….

This isn’t over

This isn’t over

I am way too young and I won’t stop running

Thank You to Queen and lyrics of Under Pressure

Thank You to A Great Big World and lyrics of Won’t Stop Running

My 500 Words: In the Silence

Silence

Sitting in my living room with a hot cup of tea

No music

Just me and the keyboard

Words

Coming to me slowly

As i take time for reflection

Before looking at social media and before

Diving in to the tasks of the day

In the silence

House noises, creaks and the fan on the wii, I’m guessing

The cat moves about in these early morning hours

It’s 6:17am

WEnt to bed early last night, exhausted

Busy weekend

Working and preparing for his 9th birthday party

Making a multilayered cake with strawberries and blueberries

Gingerbread men and icing to decorate along with organic, all natural candies

An afternoon of fun

Kids running a bout the house

Joined in by Rosa, via skype, his online friend from Ohio

And then Abby joined us via FaceTime as well

Opening presents with 2 iPads to bring them here virtually

Pictures of Jason over these pat 9 years on the walls of our kitchen

Smiling, laughing, joyous Jason

I stop to wonder how many words I have written

My WordPress app does not keep count

Making writing playlists

Music speaks to me

Inspires me

Motivates me

Brings me to life

Writing in the silence is a challenge

Going within

Quieting the anxious mind

God time….God time

Meditations at Unity with Randolph Wilkinson

Connecting to my inner soul

The silence allows me to dig deep, to reflect and be alone in my thoughts

Peaceful and yet, unsettling in a way

In the moment

Now

Taking in my surroundings

Noticing

The silk plant Don bought me for an anniversary

The balloons hanging up from Jason’s birthday party

The way the light from the floor lamp hits the ceiling

Looking for ladybugs

Because they flock to the light in the spring an the fall and when it warms up in winter

Winter

Big snowfall, snow days, making a snowman, snow person

Eager to put my earbuds in to listen to my new playlist I created

While sitting in the bathroom

Plants growing

We have had them for a long time, gifts from when Jason was born or when Don had his heart attack

I often forget to water them but they are still alive,

I think it is time to add new soil to help them grow and flourish

New soil

Fresh starts

The house is so clean

Awesome husband who took care of things while I worked

Cleaned the house, made the cake and cut out the gingerbread men

Enjoying my work more now, enjoying talking to people

People

How many people have I interacted with in my 25 years as an Occupational Therapist

So many different kind so people

Interesting lives and personalities and beliefs

It amazes me how different going to work can be

When I am depressed compared to now, hypomanic

Fully alive and engaged, manic?

Doesn’t matter how I label myself

As long as I take time for reflection

Go within

To connect with my soul and my true self

To be the greatest version of the grandest vision every I held about who I am

Jumping with Jason,right here and now while he is 2

Before the holidays, my friends on my Facebook Homeschool Group shared information about a Groupon for a new Jump place that was opening and they planned to attend the first week of January.  I went to the site and saw pictures of giant padded sided trampolines and learned there was a separate area for younger kids.  I knew my younger two would like it and maybe my oldest.  I bought three Groupons.

My daughter came down with the coughing crud I had before Christmas and wasn’t up to jumping today and my oldest wasn’t interested, he is a jump alone kind of guy.

And so, Jason, my almost three-year old (his birthday is 4 days from today), and I headed out alone to drive across town to go jumping.  Well, I had a ticket for him and not me, hadn’t even thought about if I could get a ticket but had assumed his sister would be jumping with him when I got the Groupons.

As usual he was slow to warm up and despite being only one of two kids- the other was my friend’s son that he knows even though they don’t interact much yet- and it took him time before he would try.  I sat on the edge and even walked on the trampoline surface with him- as you can walk right up to it at the same level, but was told by the nice attending employee that due to liability, I wasn’t allowed on the trampoline surface but she got her manager and they had me sign a waiver and get a red arm band and I then got to join him (at no charge- shh,not sure if that is the policy)!

He still didn’t like the girl who was working there and wanted her to leave which he expresses well for a 2-year-old and then other kids came to the area and he doesn’t like people he doesn’t know.

Then we jumped into the foam pit and luckily there was no one else around at first because he got to stay in the foam pit which he loved.  He was sad when we had to get out of the foam pit to let others jump into it but I convinced him to go to the other area that was just trampoline space and we began jumping!

It was frustrating when we were there with just my friend and her son and he wouldn’t try it, yet all my children have been “slow to warm up” kids.  Sometimes with Jason, it takes him until it is time to go home.   That is always sad and challenging to have him riding in the car home saying “I want to swim” or “I want to get my hair cut”.

It was so great that I got to join him today.  It was fun and took his mind off all the other people, who he usually calls “evil” and describes how he will knock them down or put fire on them.   The only other kids about his age were also jumping with a parent which was good to see.

I think we push kids away from us before they are ready and miss opportunities to spend time with them when they are small and want to be with us.  Trust me, it doesn’t last.  Sure, I am very close to my older two children and we spent a lot of time together but there is nothing like the love of a toddler who wants to marry you and live with you forever.  I guess I like my kids when they are in the “need mommy” stages.  It seams simpler to help them when they are young or even ill and just want to sit with mom.  I know I appreciate my youngest as a toddler more than my older two because my older two are 9 and 14.  Even though, he is my most challenging toddler!

He used to want to be big like his sister and brother but lately has been telling me he wants to stay “wittle” and stay with me.  I am happy to hear this.  I tell him he can live with me forever and he will be little for a long time.  It is good to enjoy being little and each and every age of our children because it all passes….and too quickly.

A good reminder to me for sure because I have my days when I wonder why I had more than one child or long for the day when they are all out of the house.  But not really.  Life can be crazy and noisy and out-of-order at my house, but I do like having children and three of them.  I still wish I had four because it would be more even but that didn’t happen and instead  we somehow  have a dog instead (I am so very much a cat person) and so she is number four.

Now,I need to find a way to remind myself of this every day and especially during the really challenging times.  This makes for a good New Year’s Resolution.  To remember how much I love having kids and to remember that they will soon be 3, 10 and 15……and then 18, 25 and 30!  Enjoy them for who they are right here and now.

May 26- June 5…life after my husband’s heart attack

My husband has been home for 10 days now after 12 days in the hospital.  We are beginning to recreate our life and learning to live with his medications and advocating for him and for resources.

Ten days have passed since I began this post. Life is busy doesn’t even come close to describing the past three weeks since Don came home from the hospital. it bothers me that I haven’t blogged more but I will let go and move forward.

We are busy with regular life activities like homeschool field trips and events, birthday and pool parties, doctor visits, grocery shopping (my last trip to Trader Joes, the clerk, seeing my over stuffed cart asked “How long has it been since you’ve been grocery shopping?” ~ and I replied honestly “3 weeks!”) too name a few activities. And we are busy with irregular life activities like reviewing our health insurance policy so we can let the company know what they need to pay for, and adjusting to Dons altered life with prescription medications and regular cardiologist visits, home health visits and planning for cardiac rehab.

Through all of this, I have gained a new appreciation for women with husbands who are either gone working all the time and/ or husbands who do very little around the house and in caring for the kids. I knew Don did more than most husbands and fathers but I have an even greater appreciation for all he has done and slowly gets back to doing. The sight of my husband sitting in a recliner chair with a lap top is one I am still getting used to. Don is not known for sitting still and is the kind of guy who needs to be told to just sit and relax. Before his heart attack, he was always busy either taking care of his kids, our home, our pets, or busy with finding work, working on his business and growing new business and prepping for the class’s he teaches.

Our thirteen year old son took over his job of finishing the kitchen clean up, running the dishwashwer and washing dishes each night before going to sleep. I had to let him know it was ok if he didn’t get it all done. (I must add that he voluntarily took up is task without any discussion.) Whenever I go to work, I don’t have to tell my husband what needs to be done. He knows and does it, from feeding kids to helping them with homeschool tasks to laundry and cleaning And pet care. Our family and close friends all know that Don is the cleaner in the house and I would much rather be outside doing yard work than cleaning the house. It is ironic that Don had a heart attack while moving the grass. I used to love mowing the yard. Don, not so much.

I am getting lost in small details of the past there weeks. I really want to give a big picture description of how my life, how our life has changed. Yet, the details of day to day life make it harder to step back and share that greater perspective that came so easily to me right after his heart attack and for the 12 days he was in the hospital when I saw angels and miracles all around me.

Life was simpler while he was in the hospital. I was either at the hospital taking care of him or at home taking care of my kids. And somewhere in there taking care of myself, something I began to pay more attention to after the effects of little food and sleep took it’s toll on me. I have no desire to move back in time. Only forward. I am glad that part is behind me and in retrospect, I don’t know how I did all that I did Especially the first day. Adrenaline is powerful and helps you do things you never thought possible. when I talk to friends now about Dons heart attack and al that ensued when it happened, they ask me how I did it and wasn’t I an emotional mess. I too would think I would have been crying uncontrollably or out of my mind in some format. Somehow, I was able to think clearly and know what my kids needed and wait patiently and calmly. It is surreal to Think about it now. I recall waking up a day or two after it happened wondering if it was all a bad dream.

When I look at my husband now, I feel like it is a miracle that he is here. I know that it is a miracle, a medical and metaphysical miracle that kept him alive here on earth. I know that he and I have big things to do with our lives and I am grateful that we can continue our journey together.

Nothing else really matters in life but love. Family, friends, relationships, God; all are other words for love