Friday, February 27, 2015

Bye, Felicia!

I borrowed DJ’s car to go to the salon last Saturday and I found Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill CD playing as I drove away. I liked Alanis in the 90’s, but not enough to purposely listen to her music. Mostly, I remember going nuts with my friend Olivia and the rest of the girls on the dance floor at Bobby McGee’s whenever “You Oughta Know” came on. We’d sing at the top of our lungs and fling our hair around like rockers.

As I drove to and from the salon, I listened to “Hand In My Pocket” on repeat over and over and over again (and sang it like I was in concert). I had not paid attention 20 years ago to the meaning of the lyrics. I just knew she was always doing something different with the hand that wasn’t in her pocket. But that day, as I paid attention to what I was singing, it dawned on me how inspiring this song is! She says that no matter what, even if life is imperfect and upside down, everything is going to work out and be just fine. (I will post the lyrics at the end.)

I think the reason the lyrics resonate so much for me is that for as long as I can remember, I have found great comfort in hearing the words “Everything is going to be okay.” It’s one my “things” with DJ. We say it when the other is feeling upset , worried, scared, or anxious. When I hear DJ say “Everything is going to be ooooookkkkkkk.” (spoken in a high-pitched, sweet, girly voice) for some ridiculous reason, it actually brings me reassurance.  Sometimes it’s all he and I need to really believe that things will be alright.
I think, for the most part, whatever curve balls life throws; eventually you come out the other end as a survivor. In the moment, it may seem insurmountable, but I believe most of us pull through okay. We may get banged up, scratched, and bruised. We may have life-long scars from the explosions we encounter, but ultimately, life goes on and we learn to move forward.

I find it important to remember that tidbit. When we are feeling sad, depressed, lonely…we just need to remember that it’s only momentary and that everything is going to be okay.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Creature Under My Bed

It’s been nearly a month since I last wrote about my life-story. My apologies for keeping you waiting so long! I’m sure you’ve been losing sleep, waiting with bated breath, wondering how my saga continues. However, for this post, I’m keeping it light and breezy with (what I think is) an entertaining anecdote.  Sorry to disappoint. But sometimes you have to break up the seriousness with a bit of humor.

As I last wrote (here), my dad and Felicia left on a five-week road trip to Mexico. I was SO happy to see the wicked step-monster go. It gave me a lovely break from her evil ways. During those weeks that I was alone at home, I got to live out my fairytale fantasy of being Susie Homemaker. DJ and I would arrive at the house around the same time after work and I would attempt to make dinner for us. After we were done doing dishes, we’d snuggle on the couch and watch TV until it was time for him to return home. 

The nights were the hardest for me. I didn’t like being all alone for so many nights in a row, but DJ wasn’t willing to rock the boat too much with his conservative parents. It would not have been good for either of us to have him stay the night. 

On the weekends, we’d invite his siblings and cousins over to hang out and party. We’d drink and play games until the wee hours of the night. I was the oldest of the bunch and the only one with a place for everyone to gather. Some nights we kept it mellow and just rented movies to watch. 

One week-night, after DJ went home, I was fast asleep in my cabin-like room. Even though I was scared out of my mind to be home alone, I didn’t awaken easily. (In my younger years, I was quite the heavy-sleeper.) But for one reason or another on that particular night, I awoke to a strange, subtle sound in my room. The room was pitch black due to the dark wood paneling and wood shutters. There wasn’t a shred of light coming in so I couldn’t see a thing. All I could do was hear what sounded to me like something (an animal maybe??) chewing on something. I shot up in bed and listened intently, trying to place the sound. It was coming from the right side of my bed. My heart pounded out of my chest. I listened. The sound seemed to be moving closer toward me. My panic grew bigger. Is it a rat? A mouse? What the eff is  making that sound and what the eff is it eating???

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Let Your Self-Compassion Shine - #1000Speak

On this day, February 20, 2015, I proudly join forces with more than 1000 bloggers all over the world, speaking out on compassion. We are publishing our posts all on the same day, writing about compassion, kindness, support, and care for mankind. Our goal is to inundate the Blogosphere with goodness! I am honored to be part of such an important movement. You can help by sharing, tweeting, and re-blogging. Make a difference. Join the movement Keep the momentum going. #1000Speak

Dear Friend In Need of Compassion – 

I’m writing because I know you can use some compassion right now. We all need compassion from one another. We all need to give compassion and receive compassion. But more than anything, before you can give compassion, you need learn to have self-compassion. I know it’s not easy, but it’s something you need to work on doing every single day. Compassion is a practice. It’s something you must cultivate and work on daily. Some days will be easier than others but regardless, don’t give up on loving yourself. Show yourself compassion.

So often, when we make mistakes or when we do something we regret, we beat ourselves up internally. Our inner voice tells us “Nice going. You messed up again. What were you thinking? How could you be so stupid? You’re such an idiot. You’re never going to recover from this. You failed once again. No one is going to forgive you for this one. How could you be so selfish and thoughtless. You are a bad person…” and on and on your inner voice rambles incessantly. The more we listen to that voice, the louder it gets.

I want you to know though, that there is another voice. A voice that is barely a whisper, but one that is so much more powerful; a healing voice that is wise and true. It is the voice of self-compassion. Self-compassion is the quiet whisper that says “It’s okay. You did the best you could. You’re not a loser. Don’t worry about what others say or think. Everything is going to be okay. I love you.”

Friend, think of a time in your life when you could have used some self-compassion. Think of a time in your life when you were feeling worthless and unlovable. If you could go back to that time, what would you tell yourself now? We have all had times in our lives of feeling inadequate or rejected or broken. And we will continue to have moments like those. But instead of playing the same tapes in our heads; instead of listening to that same inner voice that makes us feel insignificant, small, and unimportant, we can make a different choice. We can choose to have self-compassion. We can talk to ourselves the same way we talk to someone we love.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Re-Blogging: An Open Letter About Time by Bloomingspiders

DJ and I celebrated our 25th Valentine's together. We like to joke that everyday is Valentine's for us...that's how in love we are. We don't need the gifts and chocolates and roses anymore. We don't need the fancy dinners and weekend-long celebrations. We are content to stay home; put the kids to bed; then have some wine and cheese out on the patio, listening to music. That's our ideal night, any night.

As he grilled some Argentine cuts of beef for us, I decided to read a blog I've been following recently. I wasn't prepared for the tears that ensued though as I read today's entry. Beautiful and profound doesn't begin to describe her words - especially to someone who often writes about her father, our rocky past, and our current journey of healing. I worry about losing him Every. Single. Day.

Reading Dani's words made me realize how precious time is and how we must never forget the love we have for those in our lives. We need to put our egos in check. Remember our spirits. Listen to our hearts; not our heads. Forgive. Love.

Please read this inspiring post. I hope you find healing and a desire for peace in your heart like it gave me.

"Dearest Reader,

I received a call four days ago. It was one of those calls; the kind that even the phone knows is bad. I was told my father couldn’t speak or move. He had been found that way. “The ambulance is on its way”, she said. “We’ll call once we have more information”.


In the car, I looked through my phone and changed my background to one of him and I. Then I went and listened to my voicemail. The most recent one was him saying “You never answer” then a click. I couldn’t move–couldn’t breathe really–and began thinking: What was it he said again?  I take what money and put it where?  And where are those documents? And then I call whom?"


...continue reading...An Open Letter About Time by Dani at Bloomingspiders

Photo by DanceLaughLuv
Jenner, CA, August 2010
where the Russian River meets the Pacific

Sunday, February 8, 2015

For Her...45 Years Later

Photograph by DanceLaughLuv

I think of her every single day during this time of year. Without a moment’s notice, she comes to the forefront of my mind like clockwork. It’s instinctive. It’s in my subconscious. 

I imagine what she must have felt throughout the nine months she carried me in her womb knowing that the day would come that she would have to say good-bye. I think about the shame she must have felt. I wonder what she was feeling as the dreaded day neared. Was she scared? Did she have doubts about the decision she was making? Did she wish she could run away and hide and keep me forever?

I picture her being advised not to hold me after I was born and the torment it must have caused her. I picture her feeling the deepest grief of her 19 years as she was wheeled out of the hospital with empty arms. I thought of her the day I left the hospital after losing Gabriel. I had walked into the hospital with a baby in my belly and I went home without any proof of his existence. She and I both experienced the loss of a baby, just in different forms. I wonder if she felt like a mother even though I was no longer with her? Because only a mother can feel such tremendous anguish and emptiness.

I have seen first-hand the pain and sadness in the face of a mother who has just voluntarily relinquished her rights. Twice. It is a something I will never forget. My children’s birthmothers mourned the losses of their babies and grieved deeply for what could have been, should have been. And both times that I have been witness to this courageous act, she never left my mind. I thought of the day she had to sign the papers. Who was with her? Did she cry as she was signing? Did she fall apart when she walked out of that room?

I think of all the things I wish I could tell her that would have helped her heal from any shame she felt. I wish I could tell her she is my hero; that she did the best thing for me she could have ever done; that I am so grateful that she made the difficult choice to place me; that I don’t hate her or resent her; on the contrary, I think she is a very special and remarkable human being for having the courage she did. I wish I could tell her what she means to me. I wish I could thank her. I wish I could hug her. I wish I could tell her I how much I love her.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Nonsensical Ramblings of a Newbie Blogger

I have started reading a number of blogs and following a handful of them recently. I decided it was time I checked out what other bloggers do; what the trends are; what the community is all about. I’ve been blogging for eight months and I hadn’t networked at all. I hadn’t even bothered to see who else is out there. (I was a complete Blog Virgin when I started this.)  So over the last couple of months I ventured into the blogosphere and found some pretty amazing women and blogs.

What I also found though is a bit of a crush to the ego. ‘Cause guess what I’m doing now, guys? Comparing! That dreadful, wicked thing we all do. Prior to reading other blogs, I had nothing to compare to, so I was ignorantly happy and proud of my little blog that hardly anyone reads. Now? Not so much. It kinda sucks because I’m seeing how much better than me so many others are; how much more interesting and entertaining and funny and eloquent and witty and intelligent and poetic and, and, and, <sigh> just better at writing and expressing themselves than I am! Better vocabularies, better use of grammar, better knowledge of punctuation, just better, better, better!! And I’m thinking “STOP, STOP, STOP!” because I know it’s wrong of me to compare and so not healthy. But I can’t help it. It’s human nature.

It’s also human nature to not be able to stop doing something once you start. The logical side of me says “OK, just go back to your cave and stop reading and checking out other blogs so that you stop comparing.” But it’s like a drug. I’m hooked and I can’t stop now.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Gyno-Chronicle

Here's what's not fun for me, still, all these years later…Sitting in a room-full of pregnant women. I wish it weren’t the case, but it still stirs up a bit of anxiety in me. I had to go to the gynecologist today and as I walked toward the office door, I silently prayed for an empty waiting room. No luck. I was instead confronted with seven big, fat, pregnant bellies and about seven more that paraded out as they finished with their visit. $#&@!!!

Immediately, I felt like the odd woman out. I wasn't there for a looksee at my growing fetus or a Doppler scan to listen for a heartbeat. No, I was there for a pap. I was also there to schedule an ultrasound and a subsequent surgery to hopefully once and for all be done with my gynecological woes. Well, not totally done, I guess, because I'm not having a hysterectomy - just an Endometrial Ablation.

I saw preggos with their mothers and preggos with their husbands, and preggos with their toddlers and preschoolers. I was there with my husband and my 3-year-old too. I wondered if the others assumed I was pregnant too because why else would my hubby be there with me. I wondered when they called my name if the others thought it was odd that only I went into the room and DJ and my little girl remained in the waiting room. (He came to babysit for me, bless his heart.) I wondered if any of them were going to have the type of news at their appointment that I had on September 14, 2000.

I have been to the gynecologist in the last 15 years more times than I can count. And I swear, each time I go, I recall the last appointment of my pregnancy. I recall the excitement I felt waking up that day. I recall the giddiness DJ and I felt knowing we were going to hear our baby's heartbeat. I also recall the wails I let out learning that there was no longer a heartbeat.