How do you calm your nerves?

There are two days left in my work week. Then I’m off for some surgery and recovery time. I’m nervous and anxious to get it all over and done with. I know it will go just fine – and that I’m likely worked up and worried over nothing… but I’m struggling to contain my anxieties and nervousness this week. I regret setting my week up to where I had to come into work for the first half, as my brain is definitely NOT on my work.

One of the things I had to do this weekend, in prep for my surgery, was to complete an advanced directive and update my will. Such an uncomfortable thing to think about and complete…. even if it IS the responsible thing to do.

The one thing I realized as I was thinking through things – was how small my circle of trust has truly become as I’ve aged. When I was younger – so many people had my trust – people who didn’t deserve it in many cases. Now – there are 2, maybe 3 people whom I trust. That’s it. It’s a strange feeling. I’m happy to know that I, at least, have those few amazing souls in my life. It made me wonder what people do who have no one. No family, no friends, no solid relationships they can trust. How do they know that their children will be cared for if they have no one to entrust them to?

I made my annual homemade kahlua this weekend. It has to steep now until christmas – better yet – new years. I’m excited to give them out as gifts. It’s interesting, I love giving gifts to others, and often put a lot of thought into it. I’ve never been a fan of giving gift cards – they seem so impersonal, and last minute. And the experience a person has while opening a gift card is almost too quick, and anti-climatic. I want to see a person light up when they open something from me. That’s always my goal. To have them feel as if they are cared about, and like the person giving the gift knows or understands them at a deeper level.

Is the day over yet? I’d really like to be done, to go home, snuggle with my pup and a soft blanket and just do what I can to let my anxieties settle down. What do you all do to settle yourself down when you’re nervous? Give me some of your favorite tips and tricks.

Much love to you all in Neverland today. Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend.

Lessons from my life

I thought I was going to write to Ben this morning. I can’t sleep. I woke up early with my mind a buzz of thoughts. 10 years ago today was the last time I held him. The last time I felt his breath or heard him sigh. The last time. The LAST time. It hurts. It hurts more this year than it has in a very long time. And the past few weeks haven’t exactly helped me work my way thru it all. The promises I made to him keep replaying over in my head. I promised to hand out love like it was candy from my pocket.

I’ve been searching my whole life for something… To feel cared about. To feel loved. Not superficially.. but in that genuine, throw your entire self into it kind of love. The little girl who lives deep within me has been seeking for that feeling to be reciprocated for her whole life. She’s been seeking her place of comfort, her home, since she was 4 years old. She’s just wanted someone to pick her up and put her in their pocket. And that’s not something I admit easily. It feels like a weakness. But it’s not.

And this morning – I had a realization. A big one that left me feeling shook to my core. The only person who will love me that way – is me. Everyone else will have some sort of bias, or agenda… or worse, they will be too afraid and scared to open up and embrace the love that is offered to them… and the little girl will end up feeling hurt, let down, and unsafe.

The thing is – I have the courage to change. I have the courage to get cut down, and to still stand tall. I have the courage to walk in my shoes in a different direction… into the unknown. It’s funny – so many people in my life have commented that I am a force of nature. Stubborn and caring, I rarely back down, rarely lose. If I want something – I go after it and work my ass off to get it. I used to think that my courage came from my absolute faith that love is real, that it’s out there, that if you’re a good girl and you do right by people that it will come. I’m not sure that’s true anymore. I think maybe my best friend is partially right… you have to love yourself. Not because it will then allow love to find you – he’s wrong there – but because maybe it’s the only way you’ll have it at all. Sounds bleak, but I don’t mean it to.

I’ve walked a long road on this road of life. And anyone who walks it with me – whether it’s for a short moment, or for a long while will have to understand that I am not the same girl I used to be. I’ve gotten better over the years. I’ve grown and my perspectives have widened. I’ve learned what grief and loss does to a person. I’ve learned what abusive marriages do to a person. I’ve learned how to love with all of who I am. I’ve learned how to choose myself, my happiness and well-being over the destructive or toxic – no matter how normal they may have seemed to me. Growing up with toxic environments or toxic people shifts your perspectives and makes it hard to know what’s healthy or not. I’ve also learned how to channel so much of my vulnerabilities into a new kind of strength and courage. I know what hides in the dark shadows of life. The monsters that used to hide in my closet or under my bed – are still there. But if you shine brightly and give all you’ve got – the shadows will fall back and the monsters will be forced to stay in their shadows. I may not always have blind faith when it comes to God. He and I have our ups and downs since Ben’s death. But when it comes to my ability to take anything on I have absolute blind faith. When it comes to knowing that the goodness, the care, the love I seek is out there…. I’ve always known that too.

I have no doubt that there will always be people in my life who “love” me. But to them, I’m going to want to say a few things… First off – thank you. Thank you for your spoons of energy, thank you for caring in those moments. Know that I love you too, and truly appreciate the love and care you give back to me. But… If I’m just somebody that you’re gonna leave, or if you’re just some habit that I’ll have to break. If you don’t feel something when you look at me…. just let me down slowly – I’ll be ok.

I’ve got a little girl of my own – I say little – but she’s practically all grown up now. But she looks at me. She thinks I’m this courageous, loving, creative badass. That I’m this amazing strong woman. And yes – for her, I will always be. But what she doesn’t always know – is that the little girl in me is still scared of the monsters in my closet. And now here I am, walking down the road of life trying to show her how to be strong and how to face the monsters from her own closet. Sometimes it feels strange to try and teach my children how to do something that I haven’t yet fully figured out. Talk about the blind leading the blind. 🙂

It’s interesting to me… how I can feel both scared and broken and still stand tall and feel like I’m unbreakable. It’s such a strange mix. But all of it is truth. I AM a badass. I AM a force of nature. I AM capable of feeling emotions at a depth that rivals some of the best stories from literature. I am also capable of being hurt, even by the best of intentions. I’m capable of being misled. I make mistakes, errors in judgement, I overshare and often over communicate. In my head – it’s better to blurt everything that you’re feeling out and at least allow people to sort through it – than it is to stay quiet and keep it all in. But even that side of me is starting to change as I age. I’m learning that it’s often safer to sit. To ask questions. To listen. But even that fails me at times. Curiosity can kill the cat, after all. And even with all of my listening – I don’t always see the full story.

I don’t always have all the answers. How I wish life had a magic 8 ball at times. Although with my luck – if it did – I’d shake it, and turn it over, only to be told “Reply Hazy – Try again later”.

More thoughts

It’s a write twice kind of day. I’m feeling thoughtful today. Reflective. Not in a bad or negative way, but in a very quiet kind of way. It kind of feels like my emotions are hovering just below the surface today and if I’m not super careful they’ll all come rushing out. Not exactly where I like to be – but maybe it’s necessary.

I spent some of my morning thinking about the concept of “Gaslighting”. Having experienced it, I shared what I was feeling in the moment, and how it doesn’t feel good to have someone make you question your own memory or worse – sanity. I’ve had people do things like that to me since I was just a little kid- and even today- as a 37 year old woman -I still struggle to always be able to recognize it for what it is in the moment. But this morning – I did. And it’s left me pondering things.

Ugh… i’m blocked. I have things i want to say. Things i want to let come spilling out of me – but I don’t feel like this is the moment. I don’t feel like I’m in the right headspace to let it out and actually have it make sense. I’ve been struggling ALL day to make sense of my own head. Even in a one-on-one meeting with my boss this morning I was struggling. Either I would be too quiet – or suddenly an avalanche of communication would come flooding out of me all at once. My boss totally felt bombarded in that moment and I felt guilty afterwards. As a leader – I need to learn to be more succinct. It’s hard for me sometimes – as i’m the over communicator.

Well – I’ll just leave this here for now. Who knows – I may come back and add more later if I can figure out what it is I’m trying to actually lay down.

Thanks for being there Neverland.

I’m losing my voice

It has me feeling a bit upset to be honest. I’m hoping it is temporary. My surgery on the 5th should help a bit, but it still has me nervous. Being able to sing has always been my thing! My grandparents called me Jenny Wren – because I was their song bird. Either I was playing an instrument, singing a song or dancing to something for a HUGE chunk of every single day that I was growing up. And I love that.

The past year or so, I’ve gone kind of quiet. The only place I really jam out anymore is in the car – and sometimes in the shower. This past month or so, I’ve been turning on the tunes more often when I’m home. It’s felt good to let the music flow through me again. I didn’t realize how much of a mood lift it can really be. Makes me want to plan a night with some good wine, some good music, soft candlelight, maybe a fire in the fireplace. So soothing to my soul.

Now if only I can get this silly throat thing fixed and healed up so I can sing again.

Good morning Neverland! 🙂 I hope you enjoy your day.

It’s thanksgiving week

It’s quiet in the office this week. I always love being at work during the holidays, it feels like I get so much more done. That said, I’m looking forward to a few days off. Last weekend was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a very long time, and I’ve been riding the wave of relaxed bliss this week. And thankfully, because of my family’s new thanksgiving traditions – I don’t have to worry about attending any stressful family gatherings or cooking and cleaning for a ton of people. It’s nice.

Next week will be a short week for me, as I have to go in for some surgery and will be out for recovery for 7 days. If I’m honest, I’m nervous about the procedure. I’m sure it will go just fine, but I’m nervous all the same. It has been kind of nice to clear my work calendar. It feels like I’m actually going to get a moment to disconnect and focus on my own self-care for once. Which is something I’m not always good at.

I did a little christmas “shopping” this morning. I’m behind -normally by now I’d be mostly complete with my holiday purchases. But this year, I’m putting a lot more thought and effort into creating things that have deeper meaning or have experiences and memories tied to them. I put “shopping” in quotes because this morning I picked up the things I needed to pull off a gift for my best friend. I’m super excited about it and hope it turns out the way I have in my head. We’ll see!?

Well – i’m going to cut this short today – going to attempt to scoot out of the office a bit earlier than normal and hopefully beat the afternoon traffic debacle. Fingers crossed for me!