These are the days of looking inside everyone’s life through social media. You’re looking at their beautiful children and their perfect marriage. You see all the fun they’re having. You see all of their wonderful times out with friends, vacations and new toys. You notice how perfect they are and you cringe because you know you aren’t like them. 

You tend to forget that people don’t live their inside outside. It’s so much pressure to be perfectly perfect, isn’t it? You must have it all. You’re failing if you don’t. The truth is that no one truly has it all. 

The older I get the more I realize that people aren’t who they seem. People aren’t perfect, with perfect children and perfect marriages. That’s all for show. That’s the outside. 

I just read an article about being a mother in your 20’s and 30’s. It was perhaps a relevant topic to me at one point, because at one point I was in my 20’s and 30’s. A mother working, balancing house and career. I worried that I wasn’t doing it right. I worried because of ear infections, bullying, giving enough of myself to this person and that person. I worried. 

The same is true of me now, the woman in her 40’s. The topics change, the worries shift, the balancing is different. I’d almost like to go back to those days. Those are the days that you should slow down the most. Nurture your children, love your spouse, instill strength and self love, take care of yourself, find who you are. 

The woman I am now in her 40’s is finding that perhaps this is actually the real shit. The real hard shit. See, it’s just relevant. 

My father lives with us and I continually am reminded of how sad his life is. It’s frustrating beyond belief to have to face his mental illness day in and day out. Choices. I made the choice to move him into my home. 

My daughter is utterly exciting to watch as she spreads her wings. As she speaks of moving, life without me, I can’t help but have a tinge of jealousy. Sometimes I want to spread my wings. That’s exactly why I am all for her becoming the self she wants to be. No regrets. No, I wish I would haves. 

My son struggles day in and day out. I can’t fix him. I’m no longer the mom in her 30’s who could have at one point hugged him tight and made it all better just by being mommy. This shit is hard. 

I no longer have hugs and snuggles. I no longer have someone needing me like they once did. There is no more helping with homework, fixing snacks, playing Disney movies a million times or kissing a hurt knee. Both of my children are finding their own way and it’s starting to feel like I have little to do with that. I have to remember that the woman I was in her 20’s and 30’s has a lot to do with that. 

Each stage of life is hard. It’s all hard. Its relevance to you is undeniable. Don’t forget that people show their outside to you. They struggle as well. Perhaps their struggles aren’t like yours, but again…. relevance is key here. 

Years from now you’ll look back and find yourself realizing you made it through. You made it to the next stage. For that, let your inside be thankful.

The Deepest Love

There are times in our lives that some of us unfortunately experience that take our breath away. Not in a good way. No romance here, enlightenment or euphoria. I’m talking about those times that punch your chest; and instead of reminding you that you’re alive, you barely feel alive. 

You wake up each day dreading the feeling of the floor under your feet. The aches and pains set in from your restless night of worry. 

Have no fear that I am tore asunder. I am a woman, a wife and most importantly, a mother. I am a person of strength; yet strength shall see weakness from time to time.  Those that I carry on my shoulders may at times carry me. We may find ourselves at times entangled together. When we do, have faith that we shall find a way to once again stand.

I will never let you fall. 

I love you

Good morning, morning.

I started counseling. I’m on my third counselor. The first woman sent me to another counselor she felt best suited for me. That’s okay, she had a mullet and I can’t take that seriously. 

The man counselor always sat with his back arched in his extendable office chair with his hands interwoven behind his head. He grunted a lot. I think he used to be a linebacker. I need a softer touch.

My new counselor has a huge office. All the furniture is Mid Century modern in the softest shades of grays and blues. The Kleenex box is inside another fancy box and I actually think she uses the real deal-Kleenex with lotion. Ahhh. 

She asked me to practice gratefulness. 

Okay-I have to admit to something. Yesterday I was in the yard pulling up weeds and just piddling around. I had this idea to be grateful for finding a four leaf clover, only I never did. 

Then I realized I was doing it again… I was trying to control. I was even controlling  my own gratitude based on what I specifically thought I should be thankful for. What a power struggle inside my mind. 

I took a moment to readjust my brain and lay on the grass for a moment in the sunshine. I said silently to myself over and over, “I am thankful for this peaceful moment and for having my own yard to have this moment in.”

I’m getting there.

Feeling the Wind

My last writing on here was pretty negative and for that, I apologize. I almost came back and deleted the entire thing. I decided that life is full of ups and downs and there’s no reason to be perfect all the time. Besides, that so damn tiring. 

My father is on the upswing. He’s let go of some anger and he’s becoming more enjoyable. That’s the goal. The entire point of him living with our family. Due to his debilitating ailments, he’s really never been too involved as a grandfather. That changed for him yesterday.  He sat silently through most of the household chaos yesterday as my son and daughter got ready for prom. Even though he didn’t say much, he smiled and he smiled a lot.

Seth, my son, struggles with social anxiety a lot. However a Junior in High School asked him to be her date. When he said yes, I almost fell over. Im so happy he’s stepping out of his comfort zone. 

Rowan, my daughter is a Senior. This was to be her last dance and she was on court. My father at first didn’t want to go, but as my mother and step-father were on their way up with a three hour drive to come watch the festivities, he had a change of heart.

I’m so happy he did, and the proof was in his smiles that he was happy as well. Seth marched right down the line during procession and even looked up! He was so handsome and I knew inside my heart he was fighting with all his might to make each leg move towards the arch that ends to face the crowd. 

Rowan was stunning and when they announced her as Prom Queen, my heart burst open at what a wonderful moment in each of my children’s lives we were a part of that evening. Somehow I managed to get Rowan and Seth together for a photo and I’m so proud to show it off.

Life goes up and down and it twists and it turns, but somehow I’ve found myself wonderfully elated where my feet always land.

What’s in a Bowl?

  Something inside me continues to question why. Why is that our brains have to make us suffer? Why is it that our hearts have to make us suffer? 
  Suffering at times can be a very beautiful thing, for knowledge is gained. Some truths come from pain. There are moments that trickle into life that are completely unexpected pain, perhaps the pain that others cause.
  I walked into the ward this evening and passed by a room with a girl inside. She was alone, it was visiting hours. She was on her bed rocking herself back and forth and uttering words full of anguish. She was shaming herself for not being strong. I can’t step into her room. It’s against the rules, for I do not even know this young girl. I wanted to go inside. 
  My father. I step into his room and suddenly he turns to me to say hello. This my friends, is progress. He’s eating a tiny bit more. He’s observing others. He told me a story about the girl across from him and how her intellect was impressing him today. I didn’t tell him she was in her room beating herself into a bloody self shame now as he speaks so highly of her. 
  My father. He told me that he is beginning to feel like he’s awake. He described himself as a goldfish bowl. A bowl that others throw food into. The food comes at him so quickly and it looks so appetizing, but once it hits the bowl, it’s gone. The food is no longer in existence.
I sat there wondering why he wasn’t a fish. Why is it that he proclaimed to be the bowl? 
  When I left, the young girl was telling herself that she’s made so many mistakes. She was still absorbed in her own dark bowl. Her bowl has murky water. It seems to me, she was eating…Soaking every last bite up with a fine piece of bread. 

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood 

Do you ever walk away from a situation thinking to yourself that you’re not perfect? Wondering why is it that the Jones family down the street have it all and you don’t? How is it that Mary and Bob can still swoon over one another after 20 years of marriage? Why is your family dysfunctional and their family is not?
Trust me, we all live tiny white lies. Can’t you feel fake? I can. 
There was a time in my life however that I lived a perfect life. In my mind I had to have it all and no one would have ever realized that on the inside I was dying. I lived this way for years. It’s exhausting. This fake little existence. Facade. 
When my life and it’s perfect little package opened with shreds of pain, I realized how alone I was. I had not let those that loved me in. I had not allowed myself to show others how vulnerable I was. So I found myself with this constant lump in my throat. This annoying little frog stuck in there. How do you utter the words, I am not perfect? Once I did, I was set free.
When you can’t sweep all the pain and disgust under the rug anymore. When all the dirt blows into your face and on all your belongings. Who will be there for you? Who will already know that the current is shifting? Who will hold you up and support you through the shadows of darkness? Can you answer this question? If you can’t, then it’s time to shed that facade and start realizing you aren’t alone. No one lives a perfect life and if anyone ever told you that you have to be perfect, then they are probably psychotic. I’m being serious. 
I’m open now because I’ve realized that the more open I am, the less work I have to do. The less fake I have to muster up. I’m open. There is no reason to wrap this package of my life back up and seal it tight. I’m not perfect and I don’t want to be. 
I am not one to have a thousand friends. I have few friends, in fact. I have friends that I talk to every day and friends that I haven’t spoken to in a year. However, each one of them I have chosen because I know that in a time of need, I can pick up my phone and call them. Without a doubt, I know my chosen few would drop everything and come to me. These are men and women who I know would tell me their life struggles. Who would admit that behind the scenes they suck at life sometimes. 
I beg you, if you’re perfect, rethink this. When your white lies become white noise, you may find yourself needing to be heard.