December 16th, 2018

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Today in North Idaho it is overcast with a high of 39°.  The funny and predictable thing about this seasonal area is that the weather can change repeatedly throughout the day.  It can rain, shine and snow all in a short period of time.  Today I woke up to the sound of the snow plow driving past my house, and with that knowledge I decided I would snuggle in a little longer and considered my first cup of coffee with extra delight.

The last few months have been interesting months in my life.  I am navigating what I like to refer to as a time of reinventing myself.  This is not the first time I have had this experience.  Each time it is much needed and every time I learn new truths about myself, new strengths and weaknesses.  In all honestly, I would say the ability to reinvent myself is one of my greatest strenghs and a true gift.  In this ability, I find comfort that nothing and no one will ever defeat me.  I know that no amount of pain, discomfort or heartbreak will last long beforeI will rebuild again.

This time it is a divorce after twenty+ years.  This time is the failure to find a way to keep my family together and watching my husband dismantal the person I know he wants to be but is not abel to see his way through to keep.  This time it is our children suffering the loss of home, securty in their memories both past and future and the inevitable division of holidays and birthdays.  This time it is because of weakness, selfishness and ego.  No matter what I would give, what I would do to go back, to see it through, to support that change, the truth I have come to known is that I was dying a slow emotional death in my marriage and had given too much of myself away to someone who would only continue to take and never been satisfied with what he had.  When my own children ask me why I would consider going back to him when he treated me with so little respect, I realized that I was hiding nothing from them.  I was not doing them any favors by staying and keeping our family intact.  The lies we tell ourselves.  And now in this knowledge I think of the years I wasted with a controlling, selfish, empty man.  I wouldn’t let him go beliving he was a better person than who he knew he really was.  Ultimatly, he knew this truth and just couldn’t hide it any longer.  And now…ultimatly…I have come to accept it.

I look back and clearly recall seeing that selfishness very early on.  I see how I made it easier for him to be that person.  I see how I died each time I realized that I could not change him.  How I found the truth in each lie.  Hiding money most likely as an escape plan.  Disappearing to spend time with his friends.  Neglecting our home and me while spending weeks or months helping his friends at their houses.  Starting new projects at our house to be left unfinished with the list of other projects that were already unfinished and then disappearing again.

Sometimes I wonder if it was my persistance for completition, presence, communication or love that assisted his withdrawl but that is just another lie I used to tell myself.

So back to reinventing.  I went back to school and recently passed my national certification exam for medical assistants.  I took a job with a local hospital’s cancer center.  I see my children and grandchildren as much as possible.  I don’t see my mother as much as possible simply because she is not happy and does not seek happiness.  I say Yes to my friends more and walk with my girfriends most weekends.  I get caught up the series Outlander and started this blog.  I am finding myself again.  That person that was so loving and free and hopeful for the future has returned.  I have reinvented myself and I feel like I’ve discovered life again.  And now you know…

But what you don’t know is that during this time of reinventing myself that my grandma Leona has held my hand and has come to me in my dreams bringing all that love that she had for me around that she had when she took me in as a young girl.  And what you don’t know is that the little girl that I was as a child is also with me holding my hand reminding me that there are terrible people in this world and that she is still within me and guiding me along with my grandmother.  And when I pray at night or when things are tough during the daylight hours, I feel such a peacful presence and loving guidance around me and though me that nothing is insurmountable.

Today, make your connections with your positive past and let that help you move forward in your future.

 

 

November 14th, 2018

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Today in North Idaho it is overcast with a high of 44°.  Bare feet fount the floors abrasive and were immediatly comforted by a warm pair of wool socks!

Yesterday I managed to remove the leaves in the front yard.  I love the large maple trees in the front yard; however, the leaves they produce are numerous!  I finally purchased a blower and now blow them into piles which makes the task of collecting them go a great deal faster!!

In preparation for winter I have collected all the hoses, lawn furniture, gardening equipment and outdoor pots and put them in the shed.  I also brought out the snowblower and shovel and placed them on the front deck.  I still need a bag of snow melt and then I”ll be finished preparing for cold weather. This is only my second year back in this home (The Nest) and I feel no small amount of pride in getting my place winter ready without help.  In general, the overall beauty of this home is that it is well within my power to care for and in fact make it more beautiful and homie.

Tomorrow I go back to work after two months off.  I am genuinly excited and looking forward to weekly continuity.  For the better part of my career life I have worked 8 to 5 with weekends off and I feel “normal” in that schedule.  This is the beginning of a new career for me after having gone back to school.  I have approximatly fifteen years before I can retire and I hope to do that in a career that I truly love and where I feel that I can be the best version of myself.   I believe I have found my place in cancer services and I feel truly blessed and grateful to wake up for work each day.

We have all had jobs where we have found ourselves feeling incomplete or unhappy in.  Some pay well and some do not but in the end it does not matter because you realize there is something else you are meant to be doing.  Some act on those feelings and some do not.  There is no way to say what is the right choice for each individual.  For me, the jounry has had its ups and downs.  I have doubted myself along the way however I kept moving forward.  I have made mistakes and conqured mountains and somehow found myself on the othere side of the original dream of obtraining a career that fills me.  I feel like every cliche I’ve ever read about following your dreams.  I feel like a warrior having returned victorious from battle.  I feel capable and whole and I’m read for whatever comes next.

Today I say to you that when you really want something in life you must do it your way and in the way you feel is necessary and correct.  Also, that your live may very well turn out in a way you did not foresee or plan for however they may turn out even better.  In the middle of your journey a road may present itself that you never had imagined and suddenly you know to the depths of your being that that road was the real reason you even started your journey.  You just didn’t know.  You had no way of knowing until you put your foot outside of your comfort zone.  Its okay to be afraid because change can be scary.  Its okay to be excited because it is also exciting.

Don’t be afraid to be afraid.  Make the best plan you can and follow your dreams.  You have one life and you should love it as much as humanly possible!!

November 5th, 2018

 

 

Today in North Idaho it is sunny with a high of 39°.  It has been rainy for the most part but the sun makes an appearance occasionally as it is now.  I am posting a couple of pictures of a pallet photo frame I’m making.  So easy and inexpensive.  Just the way I like it!!

I have spent the last couple of weeks settling back in at home and repainting my kitchen and living room.  Nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make your house feel clean and new!  I call my home The Nest.  It is the first house that I ever owned and which has been a rental for the past twelve years or so.  I moved back after my husband and I separated after twenty plus years of marriage. I could not manage the big house that we built and truly love The Nest where we raised our children and so being back in this home truly feeds my soul.  It feels like being in a place where hope and promise live and where every corner hold a memory of growth and love.

My home is located in N. Idaho just outside of a tourist town and close to walking trails, a restaurant, marina and lake. Just out of the daily hubbub in a very peaceful setting.  In fact, when my family first moved into this home our girls were very young and there were hardly any children to play with and the population was mostly comprised of elderly individuals that had lived here since they were children.  Now there is a big development right across the street from my house with million dollar waterfront homes and a flock of children playing in the streets daily.  How quickly things have change but not my little Nest!

Today I went on an Ellen binge.  Sometimes when I’m feeling unmotivated or low I’ll watch her past shows.  She makes me laugh and brings me up with her inspiring guests.  Her producer Andy had his annual scare at the haunted house last month!  He literally makes me laugh out loud and cry at the same time!  Where would this world be without Ellen Degeneres, I ask you??  She is the one person who constantly searches for ways to motivate her viewers to be better people and inspires them to love one another.  We just need to clone Ellen!  She is a real person who has a real and very public past both good and bad and has persevered with a kind heart!  Ellen is a perfect example for us all.

Tomorrow I’ll be moving into the spare bedroom and begin painting.  The weather is supposed to perk up a little and I’m hoping to collect my leaves before the snow falls.

Tomorrow I plan to leave a baggy with money in it in a random location with a note that reads “This is for you. Please enjoy this gift of kindness and don’t forget to pass on your own kindness when you can!”

Why…because someone may need warm socks…or a smile!  And because it feels good!

 

 

October 24th, 2018

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Today in North Idaho it is sunny with a high of 58°.  I am packed up and back on the road today heading out of Washington and back to North Idaho!  I will be taking a scenic route off of I5 and over to 20 through the Cascades. I’m hoping the weather holds out but I might run up against some fog.

It amazes me sometimes how my perspective can so quickly become tweaked. How a simple road trip can open my eyes and expand my heart. I imagine the lives of the people living in the towns I pass through. Some homes are so remote. What do they do for a living? Did they go to college? Do they work from home? Is there WiFi in these here parts?!?!  “Mow the lawn and find a tractor.”  And then the cities and the obvious loss of connection that the smaller towns can’t help but have.  The beautiful old architecture and massive manufacturing, a zillion shops, restaurants and pubs.  Different strokes for different folks.

How did I land in North Idaho?  Those little feet kept walking, my life had the same direction that all school children had in life.  After I graduated high school I married a man nine years my senior and went to college for stenography. I had my daughter shortly before I received my state CSR license. My mother had moved to North Idaho with her third husband about a year before I passed my exam and invited us to move up too. The area was beautiful so we packed our belongings and we went. My daughter was nine months old when we started life in North Idaho.  I must have sang Somewhere Out There from An American Tail a hundred times. Her favorite song and it kept her attention on the long drive!  The move was a big change. It was a new beginning.  Life was so full of promise and I’ll never regret moving to North Idaho and raising my daughter here.

My daughter has told me several times that she had a great childhood. I can’t begin to tell you the depth of peace that brings me. If I die tomorrow!  If I did nothing worth while with my life but give my daughter a happy childhood then I’m okay with that!! That is the only thing that has ever had my feet solidly placed on the ground. Her happiness was my only true purpose.

So know your purpose and fulfill it. It may take a life time!  It may be more than one thing!  Keep your focus because in the end everything else is just noise.

October 21st, 2018

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Today in North Idaho it is sunny with a high of 61°. My current location is starting out foggy again but promises sun later this afternoon.  I’ll be taking a trip to Mount Rainier National Park and will fill you in on that adventure tomorrow.

Today I want to talk about witnessing my mother being abused when I was a child.  The memory that came to me today was when I was in seventh grade.  My mother wanted to go out with her girlfriends and my step father would not let her take the car.  They fought often so hearing them yelling at each other was not out of the ordinary.  Looking back it seems to me that I would catch part of the fight, the yelling, and would stop what I was doing to see if it was going to last.  Time would stop while I waited for the ultimate escalation of events. Abusive langue, the crash of something being thrown or falling over, running or doors slamming.  My young mind racing with what may be happening.  When the event continued I would find myself on my feet walking towards them.  I needed to see but felt nervous and scared as to what I would find.  This time I rounding the corner of my bedroom and standing in my doorway watched my stepfather dragging my mother by her hair over a bicycle laying in the living room that was to be her source of transportation that night.  My mother had no clothes on and some part of the bike had caught her upper thigh and ripped it open.  I could see the blood, muscle and bone, my mother crying and trying to hold her leg together.  So much blood.  Her husband screaming “look what you made me do”.

My mother looked up and saw me looking on and told me to call the police.  I was literally paralyzed.  I stood there processing this scene until her voice slowly came to my attention.  I knew I needed to get to the phone. I knew I needed to move my body.  I could almost feel the location of the phone but could not move towards it.  I could also sense the location of my step father.  He was pacing and looking at my mother and looking at me.  He looked at me and said, “Don’t you dare touch that F’ing phone!”  I feel a wet warmth on my face.  I feel my feet start to move towards the phone. I feel him yank the phone from my hand and slam it back into the holder on the wall.  I see him storm into the bedroom and slam the door and scream out to my mother, “Don’t you come back when your pussy gets hungry.”  I’m unsure about the rest of that evening.

I have had a lot of counseling in my adult years.  I was diagnosed with PTSD and began EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.  In this therapy I was taught how to watch a memory happen in third person which allows me to remember but not marinate in the trauma.  I highly recommend this process to anyone who has experienced any kind of trauma in their life.  It is not a cure, and I’m sure there any many other wonderful therapies out there, but this one was a gift for me.

In my opinion, one of the worst things we can do to ourselves is to allow our childhood to negatively affect our lives as adults.  I used to hold tight to those painful memories as well as the people that hurt me as a child.  The promise was that I would wait until I was old enough, until I was no longer a hostage, to return that pain.  However, the truth is; the way to get free is; the way to win your future is; simply let go.  It is so much harder than it sounds and yet truly so simple.  I just don’t hold space for those people who broke my trust, broke my heart or broke my spirit.  They did what they did for their reasons and to an innocent child with no way to protect herself.  Shame.On.Them.

The memories I have are part of me and always will be.  More importantly they are part of my toolbox that allows me to see others in a way that is unique to me.  I can spot that pain, comfort and offer direction to heal that pain in someone else. It is a gift not a burden.  It is the way I choose to use that very emotionally expensive education to better who I am today.  I can help others exercise their nurturing memories and release what will no doubt hold them back in their adult life.  I can teach them about Frankincense.

Today started with a memory I would not have chosen for myself.  Today I shared a little part of me and that is my gift to you.

Never Stop Learning about the world or yourself!  Our education often comes in different forms, different institutions and different people.  It doesn’t end when we graduate a program or receive a degree.  Strive to be a better person today than you were yesterday.  Always keep your feet on the ground~