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What Are You Here To Do?

The following is one of my all-time favorite questions.

WHAT are you here to do?

I’ve always said I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I think I said it again last week…….

How is it that some people simply know their calling and others struggle with it?  As long as I can remember, the one thing I wanted to be was a mother.  Well, with two kids out of the house and another two on their way out within the next few years, what do I want to do with the rest of my life?

Oh, I know you never really stop mothering – it just changes – you aren’t needed with the same intensity.  And you eventually get to grandparent (which, by the way, IS WONDERFUL).

I guess I always thought there would be some sort of sign;  a defining “AHA” moment in which it would all come to me.  There hasn’t been. So I look at the 5 things that I do each week that make me happy…..as suggested by Joe Vitale in “The Ultimate Law of Attraction” (available on www.audible.com or www.amazon.com).  Joe states that one or all of those things could be your calling.

My five things are:  yoga, reading, writing, cooking and mothering.  Which of these are my calling?  And how do I transform it into a career or what I’m meant to do?  Hmmmm…..I’ll have to get back to you on that one.  I’m still working on it!!  But I WILL figure it out!

So tell me, what are YOU here to do?

Peace & Love!  Have a wonderful week.

 

What Are You Here To Do
By Jim Warda

What are you here to do?

O.K., so that question might have caught you off guard but off guard can be a great place to start.

So, again, I’m curious. What are you here to do?

The thing that, when you think about being it, you almost catch fire.

Because I’ve been noticing your wild eyes lately. In fact, I had meant to tell you earlier. But, somehow life got its hands on me.

But, the truth is that I’ve seen your restlessness, the way you just can’t seem to get comfortable, like sitting in a leather chair with shorts on.

And I’ve heard your fingers tapping against the railing as you make your way down the stairs. And you’re humming a song from a high school play you never tried out for.

And I know that look. The one that means you’re getting clear on who and what and why you want to do what you’re going to do with your life. And even more definite about the fact that you’re intended for a quest, a quixotic blaze of goodness and glory.

So, please let me know, what is it? What gifts are you going to gift us with? What tales will you tell with your lips and your song?

What chills your skin with the thought of just doing it? What widens your eyes simply by saying it?  I’m so excited that I just can’t contain myself.

And, you know how impatient I can be, so I’ll just ask again.

What are you here to do?

Oh, and I almost forgot.

Are you doing it? 

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5 Signs You’re Codependent

I first pondered the notion that I might have codependent tendencies when my oldest daughter was in the midst of her, shall we say, “rebellion”.  It  was not a good time in our lives, I was a complete wreck, I thought she had lost her mind and it was scaring the crap out of me.  I kept attempting to “make” things better and “fix” her.  Not a good strategy at all.

Somehow, in my mind, if I continued to “help” her, the situation wasn’t REALLY as bad as it was (and it was BAD).  I thought if I was able to help I was still somehow in control.  Turns out, I was never in control.

And thus began the dance…………..for several years – yes YEARS (I tend to be a slow learner).  I wasn’t making the situation any better.  I was prolonging it (hindsight is a wonderful yet frustrating thing).

She knew that I would jump into action when she called with whatever sob story she had concocted that particular day.  I would give her money, buy her food, take her places, help her move, get her a new phone – the list goes on and on and on and……..well, I’m assuming you get the picture.

In the process, my other children felt like they were forgotten. And a lot of the time, their needs became secondary to hers.
My primary focus WAS on her.  My life started to fall apart.  It was hell.

In retrospect, I thought I was keeping her alive (which was my greatest concern – my biggest fear was that I would get the call to identify her body).  Thankfully, that never happened.

But what did happen was, after a very, very long time (because I’m a slow learner), I got sick of it.  I got sick of being in a constant state of chaos; sick of handing over money (always with a promise to THIS time pay me back – also never happened); sick of the excuses; sick of being completely consumed by her issues and so, so, SO sick of the lies.

I started to do a lot of reading and research.  I needed answers.  Why had this happened to our family and for the love of Pete, how?  Most importantly, could I make it stop?

Turns out, you don’t make IT stop; YOU stop.  That too was a very long process.

So, how do you know if you’re codependent?  There are a few tell tale signs.

#1.  Control

This is a BIG one.  When I was trying to “fix” and “help” her that was about control.  I was attempting to manage her and her situation.  I was trying to manage and control how things “looked” to other people – i.e.:  my daughter hadn’t really gone wild – I had it under control.  My intentions were good.  I believed I was doing what I was supposed to do as a parent.  I believed I was still teaching her.

And I was.  I was teaching her how to manipulate me and laid right down and let her do it.  Not a lot of control there was there?

#2.  Poor Boundaries

Do you overshare with people?  I am an over sharer.  I sometimes can’t stop myself.  Even with strangers.  Somewhere in my head I’ll hear a voice saying “STOP TALKING” but I just can’t.

I think this stems from very poor boundaries that were set by my mother and sisters when I was little.  They each told everyone else EVERYTHING about themselves, their kids, their husbands and worst of all, each other.  I remember doing it also when I became an adult.  It was normal to me.  Trust me, its not normal and its not healthy.

#3.  Dependency

Along with the poor boundaries in my family, there was also a lot of dependency.  If I didn’t check in with my mother at a minimum of once a day (as a 35 year old woman), she would call my sisters to see if they had heard from me.  They would then call me to let me know that she was upset that I hadn’t called her.  Never mind that I had children, a husband and a house to take care of (while working full time).  I learned from a very young age to always tell them all where I was going and with whom.  A vacation out of the area was extremely stressful because “God only knows what could happen”.  Sigh.

Decisions about simple things were discussed with my parents and sisters in addition to my husband.  We were all very dependent on one another.

#4.  Low Self-Esteem

I don’t remember really liking who I was until just a few years ago.  I never felt like I was my own person.  I felt as though I was an extension of all these other people and who they wanted me to be.  I do remember being completely consumed with worry about what other people thought about me.  It was the catalyst in most of my decision making and probably why I didn’t trust myself to make a decision alone.

#5.  Pleasing Others and Giving Up Yourself

It’s not unusual for women to put others first.  It’s just what we do.  But when it’s ALL you do, it’s problematic.

Do you do things for yourself?  Do you spend time doing things that only make YOU happy?  Do you ask others to help you or do things for you?  Or is your time consumed completely with work, cleaning, kids, schedules, your parents and your husband?  If you can’t think of a time in the last week that you spent doing something you love for at least 20 minutes, you need to step back and take a good look at whats going on.

There are many good books on codependency.  My favorite is Codependent No More by Melody Beattie.

And it never hurts to find someone to talk to about it.

The good news is that you CAN stop being codependent.  It isn’t an easy thing to do, it takes work and sometimes that work is difficult.  But you can do it.

I have made significant progress and am happy to report that my daughter is no longer “wild”.  It honestly took me removing myself (some call it tough love – I have a hard time with that) and making her figure out her problems on her own. She did have to hit rock bottom but guess what?  She’s a smart girl – she’s just fine.  She didn’t need her mommy constantly hovering over her and her bad decisions trying to fix them.  Once she realized I wasn’t doing that anymore, she started making better decisions.  Go figure!!!

Hang in there!  Be tough.  You can do it too.  And don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

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Why I LOVE My Kindle Fire

So you’re looking for a new toy!  Let me direct you to the Kindle Fire HD 7.

I absolutely love my Kindle Fire HD7.  It is my “go to” electronic device.  It travels everywhere with me – I mean EVERYWHERE.  I take it in the car to listen to audiobooks, I leave it on my night stand so I can pick it up to check my blog quickly or look up things on Pinterest, I bring it to work with me so I can read on my breaks. I have downloaded textbooks for my courses, games for when I’m bored (ha.ha.ha.) and use it just like I would a tablet or IPad.
With a Kindle Fire you can surf the web, manage social media, download apps and download books.  

The selling points for me with the Fire were:

1.  Cost

This was a biggy.  I think I spent around $100 when I purchased mine.  They’ve now gone down quite a bit in price.

I have purchased tablets in the past and I have to say that the Kindle is a much better product than a generic brand tablet for the cost.

2.  Ease of Use

I literally took it out of the box and started using it.  Set-up was EASY.  I didn’t want something that I had to fiddle with because I’m am the least techy person I know.

The only real issue I’ve had with it, was one time (in 2 years) it froze.  I simply had to reset it.  That was it and it’s never done it again.

Even my 6 year old grandson can use a Kindle without it being complicated for him.

I also discovered Kindle Unlimited which allows you to download certain books (an unlimted number of books) for $9.99 per month.  This was a much more economical solution for us given the number of Kindle’s we have.

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in your purchase.  We absolutely love our Kindle’s.

For the best deals, head on over to www.amazon.com.

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Alzheimer’s Disease

This is my favorite picture of my Mom – she was around 14.

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She would have been 82 in February.  She’s been gone for over 4 years.

I still find myself wanting to pick up the phone to tell her something or to ask for her advice.  I still miss her just as much as I did 4 years ago.  The pain of losing someone never REALLY goes away – you just get use to them not being around.

The day she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is forever etched in my mind.

She was 76 and had started to repeat herself quite a bit.  There were a few occasions that I would be on the phone with her and she would simply go silent.

Then one day my father found her lying on the kitchen floor.  She couldn’t get up and cried out in pain when he tried to help her.  We ended up taking her to the hospital where they couldn’t find anything wrong.  This scenario repeated itself several times – her seemingly falling and then having to be transported to the hospital. The day she was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she went in on a stretcher, screaming at the male nurse that if he touched her she would call the police.

She didn’t know where she was.  That became the norm for the remainder of her life.

We ended up moving her to a nursing home because she became increadibly weak and needed around the clock care.  The day we dropped her off, I remember wanting to climb in the bed with her. It was horrible leaving her there.  I wonder if she knew it broke my heart.

She was in the nursing home for a total of 16 months.  For the first 12 months, I only missed two days of visiting her.  One of the days, she ended up with an intestinal blockage.  When I got there, her belly was distended and I had to argue with a nurse to get her to call the doctor, who promptly had my mother transported to the hospital.  I felt horrible.

We were fortunate that until the day she left us, she knew all of us.  Alzheimer’s left her disoriented – she never fully understood that she was in a nursing home.  She thought my father had added on to the house and brought in nurses to take care of her.  It took her strength – she eventually was too weak to get out of bed.  She saw things floating in the air, snakes coming in the windows and cats wandering around her room.  But she remembered her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  That was the one blessing out of all of it.

Four years ago, a week before she passed away, I took my 4 children and my grandson to the nursing home to celebrate my mom’s 78th birthday.  She couldn’t get out of the bed but sat up, talked with us, had some cake and knew each one of us.  We laughed, cried and reminisced.  She seemed so alert that day.

Ten days later I received the call that the end was near and I needed to come.  I got to the nursing home and two of my sisters were already there.  They told me that my mom had been mumbling for hours and the only audible thing they could understand was my name.  When I kissed her and talked to her, she settled down.  Throughout the day other family members came to say goodbye.

She passed away peacefully several hours later, after everyone decided to head out to get some rest.  I should have known that she would wait for us to leave.  She spent her life protecting us right until the very end.

So, everyday I try to celebrate her life.  She was a gift to us all.  She loved her family beyond measure and I believe, because of that strength, never succumbed fully to the disease that took her from us.

I love and miss you Mom.

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My Transgression

When I slept with my ex-boyfriend just a few weeks after he’d moved out, I was thinking maybe we could be “friends with benefits”, really only because I have no desire at this time to start dating and, frankly, I need to get a little once in a while (don’t we all?!).  He’s familiar and still turns (turned) me on.  But deep down, I think I was afraid to let go completely.

What I clearly didn’t think through, however, was that in my ex’s mind, by sleeping with him, I was re-opening the “window” (so to speak) of opportunity for him.  I think he believed he would be moving back in to my house within a relatively short period of time.  Not happening.

So, he came over for dinner, we cooked together like we use to and ate;  we watched tv for a while; we snuggled and then we fucked.  In between all these things, he smoked, drank, critiqued, smoked some weed, critiqued some more, whined that he misses me, smuggly looked around the house like “yep, she’s gonna need me soon – she can’t handle this on her own” and then smoked more weed.  Did I mention he’s always high?

He also has trouble sleeping, so he was up most of the night watching tv.  When morning rolled around, I was up and busy doing housework and homework.  At approximately 11:00AM, when he still wasn’t up, I took him a cup of coffee, sat on the bed and ever so gently woke him up.

Why did I do that?  Let me tell you why – the man needed to leave.  I honestly couldn’t wait for him to get the fuck out.

All this time I thought I missed him.  Turns out, not so much.  What I miss is who I thought he was or better yet who I pretended he was.  Who ever he really is though, is not someone I like – at all.

Now when I look into his eyes, I swear to God he’s crazy.  And when he tries to give me his sad, puppy eyes and says he misses me, I almost want to laugh because it is so damn fake.  I find myself wondering what it was that I even saw in him to begin with.  I can’t even wear the jewelry he gave me without gagging a little.

This whole process has completely sucked. I knew it would which is most likely why I avoided the breakup for such a long time.  I still find myself having “poor spells” – just the other night I sat in my car in the driveway and bawled.  Then parked my ass in the tub with a beer and some ice cream.  BUT I got through it without contacting him.    That night he texted me a heart and a kissy face – I didn’t acknowledge it (still haven’t).

Will I date again?  Probably.  Am I going to live my life for myself?  Hell Yes! ABSOLUTELY!  Will my standards for the next man be higher?  If they aren’t, someone needs to kick my ass.

Ladies, life is short – BE HAPPY, love yourself, you are enough.

I know we all get caught up in the everyday things that go on in our lives and don’t take very good care of ourselves but please, please, please try.

Peace and love girlies!!

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Sleeping with the Ex

 

 

Well, the moving on process is going horribly.  I fucked up and I slept with him – once (ok, ok – twice).  I also had dinner with him another night………..and I’ve answered his calls and texts….

THIS isn’t  technically called moving on, is it?

Sex didn’t make me feel any better – it actually made me feel worse after the “fix” wore off.  And to boot,  it was NOT very good.  He seemed disinterested and didn’t even “finish” – either time.  I think that made it much worse.

Why do I do this to myself?  I’ve somehow tied this man to my self-worth and he is not worth that level of importance at all.

He still, after nearly two months, has shit (a lot) in my garage and is still whining that “his life is not complete without me”, sends me little kissy text faces but yet has done nothing, I mean NOTHING, to prove that his presence in my life would be valuable to ME.  Clearly, its about him as it always has been.

I need to grow a pair, tell him to come get his stuff and move the fuck on with my life. I don’t want to waste any more time on this jerk.  I’m tired of feeling bad.  I simply want to live my life peacefully (as peacefully as is possible with teenagers in my house) and be happy again.  Is that too much to ask??

Sorry for the spouting……….I needed to get it off my chest.

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Moving On from a Breakup

 

 

So how long does this process take exactly?  When will he no longer be at the forefront of my thoughts and dreams?  I hate it. I simply HATE it.

I want someone to give me the exact steps that need to be taken to feel better and the exact date that it will happen.  And I want proof.  I want someone to tell me that in two months if you do x, y and z, you won’t even recall that you were in a relationship with that loser.

Don’t get me wrong, I have good days.  Days when I can focus on work, school and my family.  Days when I’m thankful and happy.  Days when I know this was for the best.

And then there are other days when I can still physically feel the pain of my heart break.  Days that I want to crawl under the covers and hide.  Days where I want to call him and beg him to love me again.

Of course the reason we aren’t together is still very clear in my mind.  But somehow, I keep getting stuck on the fact that had he truly loved me, there wouldn’t have been an issue to begin with.

I want to feel his touch, his lips on mine, the warmth of his body next to me.  And then sometimes, I just want to punch him.

It’s all soooo conflicting.

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The Breakup

I first and foremost want to apologize for my absence.  This has been one of the most difficult months of my life.   My heart is filled with absolute sadness.

The man that I have loved (for many years) and I have decided to part ways.  He is a narcissist and I was duped.  I know ultimately, this is for the best.  We are COMPLETE opposites and while opposites do attract, they also can, and generally do, implode.

When I say complete opposites I mean:  he smokes weed, I do not; he doesn’t work, I do; he sleeps until 11:00AM, I’m up at 6:30AM; he believes respect is obligatory, I believe its earned; he thinks he gets points because “he never even cheated on me” and and I think there simply are no words for that statement.  Ultimately, he stole from me and that was the last straw.

And honestly, the list goes on and on.  I saw the writing on the wall a long time ago and ignored it.  I wanted to avoid the “icky” part of breaking up – the painful, gut wrenching, ache that you feel when you hurt.

Over past 5 years I have lost both of my parents, divorced my husband of 2o-some years, watched my daughter go through a horrible addiction and took custody of my grandson.  All while working and raising my other children.  I couldn’t stand the thought of losing One. More. Person.

But now I have.

I’m on the other side of the “icky” part, still feeling the sting but not crying every 20 minutes.  It just sucks.

I am blessed with great kids, great friends and family and a strong will to survive – which I will.

For all of you struggling in a relationship, life is short.  Do what you need to do to be happy.  Even if that means in the short run, you have to be uncomfortable.  Every day I feel a little bit better and stronger.

In the meantime, I will simply trust that this is what I must do.  That the universe knows what’s best.  It’s a process.

Peace and Love.

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Loving An Addict

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So, you love an addict.  You think you can change them.  You whole heartedly believe that your “love” will make them want to change.

You’re wrong.

Let me tell you why ~

1.  Their addiction will ALWAYS come first.  Whatever they do, including trying to behave for you, revolves around their addition.  They will “act” like they’re ok to throw you off about what is really going on.  Listen to me – IT IS AN ACT.  It is one that they have repeated throughout their lives to get what they want – their fix (alcohol, drugs, etc).

Once again, it is an act.  Unless they check themselves into rehab, they’re NOT trying to get better and they don’t want to get better.

2.  They will lie, cheat and steal from you EVERY TIME.  When you begin to think they’re getting better and let your guard down, they will lie, cheat and steal from YOU – the person who is trying to help them.

I want you to think about that.  You are trying to help them and they are bascially flipping you off and laughing at you while they F**K you over.

They know, because you are a good person (which you have repeatedly pointed out to them) that you probably won’t just walk away.

What should you do then?  

WALK AWAY…..no better yet, sprint away.

Here is what is going to happen if you don’t:

~ Your friends and family will get sick of it.  They’ve tried to tell you whats happening but you continually make EXCUSES for the addict.  If you’re lucky, when all is said and done, you’ll still have a few people standing by you.  Some aren’t that lucky – the addict tries to drive everyone else in your life away.

Don’t let them.

~ The addict will literally drain you – emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually.  You will eventually just be too tired to fight it.

Is that truly how you want to live?  Do you want to spend the rest of your life parked in that particular rut?

I don’t – life is too short as it is.

So, what can you do?

First, you have to be done with it.  YOU have to be done with it – not your friends or family – YOU.

It’s going to be difficult to end it because you’re going to feel guilty (there’s that damn word again).  It’s going to hurt, you’re going to be sad but you have to remove yourself from the addict.  Period.  You need to save yourself – they’re not going to.

If they decide to go get help, good.  Make them prove it – make them show you that they intend to work on it.  But don’t let them back into your life until they follow through.  They’ll make all kinds of promises (because thats just what they do).  Actions speak louder than words.

 

You also need help.  Go see a counselor, talk to your pastor, read a few books.  One of my favorites is “Co-dependent No More” (http://www.amazon.com/Codependent-No-More-Controlling-Yourself/dp/0894864025/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454945465&sr=8-1&keywords=codependent+no+more+by+melody+beattie) – you can get it on audiobook from Audible.