Hope is a beautiful thing…

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Yup.  I saw this in my pinterest feed today and it really struck a nerve.  In a good way.  At some point, you have to get on with living.  Whether a person is recovering and grieving the loss of a friend, a relative, a broken relationship, a failed test, or even a disappointment at work.  There comes a point where you have to let go of the dreams and expectations of what was…and embrace what IS that is right in front of you.

It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks, between dealing with my daughter and her ever changing needs, my son – who turns 5 tomorrow! I can’t believe it!!, work and my ever challenging but still amazing boss, or a whole host of other things… to say it has been busy is simply an understatement.  But what I’m finding to be quite interesting, is that I’m not feeling beat down by it.  Sure, I’ve had a few days here and there where I’ve questioned myself or felt a bit unsure, but I still plowed forward.  And today, was a good day.  🙂

At work, I had the opportunity to sit down and do some design and innovating.  It’s funny, it’s what people hire me to do for them, and yet I rarely actually get to sit and DO it.  It seems most of my days are filled with meetings and coaching and overseeing.  Rarely do I get the luxury to sit and just dream and let my imagination flow.  So because I got to do that today, I’m riding a bit of an inspiration high this evening.  I came up with something very interesting today.  Something incredibly unique, and it might not be THAT hard to pull off from an engineering perspective.  I’m very excited about it and can’t wait to take another couple of days to really bring the idea to life with more comps and drawings.  Then next week, I’ll pitch it… the company I work for would have to be bonkers not to do it.  🙂  It’s very exciting.  🙂

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One of my closest female friends challenged me almost a year ago to do an experiment on myself, in regards to my self esteem.  She told me to take 1 selfie per day.  Doesn’t matter if I hate it, I have to keep at least one from each day.  Now, truthfully, I didn’t remember EVERY single day… but I have put in an effort and have managed roughly one a week.    I HATE pictures of myself.  In fact, there are very few photos of me that I like.  I prefer to be on the other end of the camera. 🙂  So when J challenged me to do this, it wasn’t something I was enthusiastic about doing.  Tonight I flipped through them.  She was right.  As a collection… viewing them changed something for me.  I laughed at the ones that looked HORRIBLE.. I smiled at others that reflected how happy I was or how sleepy I was.  And as I finished up… the overall opinion I had on them, and me, and how I look….

I’m pretty!  And cute.  🙂  My god, it only took me 34 years to really understand and be able to say that and mean it.  I love my dimples, and freckles, my frizzy curls, my eyes that oddly change color when I’m wearing different things or near certain colors.  I love my nerdy glasses and the fact that most days I’m in a hoodie, yoga pants and flip flops.  I even love my squishy tummy.  It is me.  This body has been through so much, and it’s so damn strong!  I have curves, and a waist – something that I didn’t have years ago.  Here’s a few from the last few weeks.

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I’m enjoying life right now.  I’m enjoying finding myself, learning to be a home owner, spending quality time with my children and my family.  Is it strange that I can say that life is good right now?  Even with all the turmoil we’ve gone through in the last few weeks?  And that’s not me burying my head in the sand.

For the first time… maybe in my entire life, I truly have a sense of comfort.  I’m content.  And I have so much hope bursting in me for the future.  For my kids… but more than that.  For me.  Hope.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It’s not something I’ve felt in a very long time when it comes to me personally.  I think, as much as I don’t like to admit it, I’d been a bit burnt out.  Perhaps taking some time off was a good thing.  🙂

Well neverland, it’s time for me to get some sleep.  But if you’re still awake.. here’s a goodnight kiss to you.

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Sometimes, you have to circle the wagons

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My apologies on not posting anything in a bit, but I’ve been busy circling my wagons.  My main focus has been my daughter and son, work, and the house.  I haven’t been a very good friend to a few folks in the last couple of weeks, and although I feel guilty over it, I know that I’m doing the right thing.  I’m not planning any outings, no dates or events with friends.

My daughter came home from the hospital on Friday.  It was a lovely weekend with just her and me.  A lot of talking and sharing, crying and laughing.  We spent most of the weekend working on the house and doing artwork together.  We’re going to focus on our hobbies a bit.  The garden, and artwork will keep us occupied when we have some spare time.  Because I’ve had to take some major time off to take care of her, Work has gotten a bit behind.  I’ve got to really keep my head down and focus on getting caught up.

So to my friends and family… I’m sorry if I’ve been a bit distant.  I’m simply trying to keep my head above water – please have patience with me.

Much love to you Neverland.  Happy Monday.

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My family… and funerals.

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Today was strange.  Truthfully, I don’t have a lot of experience with funerals.  My daughter insisted on going, and although I had my misgivings, in the end, I was happy she’d come along.  I love that she and I are buddies.  I keep waiting for the terrible teen to show up, but so far (knock on wood!) it really hasn’t hit all that much.  She’s a good kid.  And it was her and I who stood with and for our side of the family today.  We were there to support Dad and my step mom and brother and sister.  But a funny thing happened…

In the end… big picture… we stood as one family together.  It’s the first time that has happened on my dad’s side of the family since I was a teenager.  I hadn’t seen my uncles or aunts or cousins since.  That side of the family has always had it’s issues.  They could never figure out how to just come together.  I was surprised so many of my younger cousins remembered me.  I really didn’t think they would.  Us “kids”, today, we all said enough was enough.  We’re going to get together and screw the old folks, if that’s what it takes.  The idea of it makes me very happy.

I am still processing all of what happened today.  So I apologize if this post comes out in spurts. When I write – I just let my thoughts just come out and then I hit post before I chicken out.  Very rarely will I edit my thoughts, so sometimes, my punctuation and flow might be a little bit raw.

I had a range of emotions when I saw my aunt and her daughters today, and truthfully, I’d done my best to prepare for it.  My aunt is/was addicted to plastic surgery.  And at least one of her daughters seems to be following suit.  I had to remind my daughter not to stare impolitely.  My aunt used to be so very beautiful.  Super model-like.  I cannot quite fathom how bad a person’s self image must be to get to where she is.  So frail and oddly proportioned in places that weren’t quite natural.  She’s not old by any means, I’d wager, she’s in her her early 50’s.  But she looked aged in a different way.  It made me feel incredibly sad for her.  I know nothing of her life, so I cannot judge or begin to understand.  But it still made me feel very sad.

She didn’t know it, but her and I have a common bond.  Grandpa wasn’t happy with either of us.  Her, for her problems with her addiction, and me, because of Ben and a few misunderstandings.

I always felt a bit strange around that side of the family.  I can remember as a kid, feeling both a part of them… and yet.. an outsider looking in.  There was a song by Mariah Carey called Looking In.  As a younger teen, I related to it in how I feel about that family.  I can remember never quite feeling like I mattered with them.  It hurt as a kid, and as an adult, for the most part, I’ve worked my way through it.  Until today, when they listed Grandpa’s grandchildren and forgot me.  Dad had to jump in and say something.  And while I’m grateful and happy that he did… it still stung an old wound I’d forgotten that I’d had.

I learned some things about Grandpa today that I never knew.  He helped build the space needle.  He and Grandma did some interesting entrepreneurial things together (owned a snack bar, a restaurant and something else but I’m not remembering it).  He was 83.  And he had MANY girlfriends.  It was quite funny.  The first girlfriend he ever had was there, along with a few others.  Many had become family to all of us.  🙂

At one point, they invited people to speak.  I don’t know what came over me, but I spoke.  I said how Grandpa was always the one who prized courage.  You might not feel it, but just take a step.  Then take another.  That doing that.. the courage would come.  You might start off in the wrong direction, but you have to start… then you can course correct.  I also said how Grandpa was always there for us.  It didn’t matter if a year had gone by, we could always just call him or come to him.  He’d listen.

Then later, everyone was reminiscing about the last things they told him.  Here, I stayed quiet.  I didn’t need to share my last words.  I felt shame.  I cried.  And it’s ok.

My daughter and I ended up wandering the cemetery a little bit.  We found my great grandmother and great grandfather on my dad’s side.  We put a rock on each one and cleared some of the moss that was growing.  I didn’t know they were there.  We promised each other that at some point, we’ll come back and leave everyone a flower.

It was strange to see my Dad cry.  I don’t think I’ve seen it before.  Maybe during Ben – but truthfully, I don’t recall.  It hurt to see him hurt.  He and I hugged often today.  I tried to give him whatever courage and strength that I could.  He commented on how today was the worst day ever… that he’s sad that he won’t be able to talk to his Dad anymore.  I reminded him that he can still talk to his Dad anytime he wants to.  As I do with Ben.

Grandpa was jewish, as were his adopted parents.  The ceremony was really quite interesting.  Of course, because I don’t speak hebrew, understanding all of it was a bit of a challenge.  We all helped to shovel dirt on top of his casket.  The sound of the first couple shovels was oddly an uncomfortable sound.

A fantastic weekend overall…

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I’m not ready for it to be Monday.  Truthfully, I got plenty of sleep last night, I’m not sure why I’m dragging as badly as I am today, but there it is.  Not even the vanilla latte is helping.

This weekend flew by a little too quickly, and overall, it was amazing.  I had an amazing meal and an even better conversation on Friday night.  It was one of those nights where I found myself not really wanting it to end.  When I got home afterwards, I’d discovered that the new area rug I’d ordered for my living room had arrived, so I stayed up late getting that all set up.

Then on Saturday, my 20 year old brother and I went out for breakfast.  I came home and started working on my son’s room.  The goal was to get it all set up and decorated before he came home on Sunday evening.  (And just to note – the look on his face when he saw his new room – made everything worth it…he lit up, with an ear to ear grin and came over and just hugged me for a solid few minutes.  Felt damn good to be a mom at that moment.)  Later that afternoon, a friend stopped by and he kept me company while I built furniture.  I had been mulling over some questions in my head and found it nice to bounce my thoughts and questions off of him.

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I’ve been thinking.. a lot… about religion and god.  And since those typically aren’t topics that I think about, let alone ask others about, it was nice to get someone else’s perspective, even if their perspective was VERY different from my own.

On Sunday, my other brother and his fiance came over for a visit before I had to go pick up the kids.  The topic of religion came up again, and I found it was nice to be able to compare perspectives even further.  Theirs in particular was VERY different from my friend’s from the day before… and again, very different from my own.

As much as I appreciate the ability to sit with people I love and trust to talk about these things with… I actually found that I was left with more questions.  More confusion.  A few years ago – had you asked me my opinions on religion and god, I’d have had an answer for you.  Now?  I don’t know.  I suppose I’m feeling a bit lost these days in that respect.

I think what dawned on me on Saturday, is that I don’t think even I realized just how angry I have been with God.  For many reasons.  I dont’ feel like I’m angry much these days.  In fact, it was a few weeks ago that I found myself saying a prayer before I fell asleep.  It has been YEARS since I’ve done THAT.  Maybe I’m somehow coming back around to it all?  Only this time… it’s different.  I’m not coming around to God for anyone or any reason other than it’s right for me.

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What faith am I?  I have no clue.  I’ve studied so many.  There are so many parts of different religions that I connect with… and yet – still parts of them all that don’t quite hit the mark.

My brother’s fiance and I had a very interesting debate about the Bible.  I had asked how she can trust a book that has been edited many many times?  That ultimately, the book was written and edited by Men.  And men – are fallible.  Don’t misunderstand – I find a lot of what is written in the bible to be incredible and there are many lessons one could live by… BUT…. I don’t believe all that I read.  Logically – being swallowed by a whale (ok a giant fish) just isn’t realistic.  But the lessons and morals behind the stories are still clear and valuable.  For her, she believes the bible … literally, figuratively… all of it.  I asked if it was possible to be a christian and not believe that all of the bible is completely 100% true.  Not sure that I really got an answer there.

I also found myself asking why religions seem to pull away from just worshipping God?  Catholics seem to do a lot of worship of Mary, for Christian’s it’s Jesus Christ.  I’ve never fully understood that before.  She had an interesting analogy for me that helped me at the very least understand.  She said that God is a perfect being… one that we, as fallible humans, cannot really understand or communicate with.  She said that Christians pray to Jesus because he then can act as a translator between us as men and God.  Interesting – I’ve never thought about it like that.

Sigh… so much to learn.  🙂

Well – I better get back to my daily grind today.  I’m lacking in motivation today.  I’d much rather curl up and take a nap.  Hope you all are well – much love to you!!

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Couch surfing…

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Ok , this title is a bit misleading… but only sort of.  I talked to my Dad tonight.  I asked if it would be possible, on weekends when I don’t have the kids, if I could come stay with him and the family.  I was nervous, as I wasn’t entirely sure what he would say.  But he was kind and sweet and caring and said that I am always welcome.  He asked me what was going on and I shared.  To sum it up – I need some space.  The energy in the house, when the kids aren’t around has been negative and depressing lately and I honestly can’t stand it.  I find it to be making me anxious and since I’m not typically an anxious kind of person, it helps me realize just how much I need a break from it.

I may go check into a hotel somewhere, I may go stay at a friends, and now, if I need to, I have the option of staying with my dad.  Having those options makes me feel better about things.

My housemates and I sat down and discussed budgets and plans.  I am planning on being out of here and into a new place by April 1st.  And no, that’s no fools joke.  I feel better now that we all sat down and planned things out.  Everyone is on the same page.  I know what I have to contribute to the house, and worked out a very detailed budget for myself in order to meet the savings goals I have set.  All of that, plus my tax return and my bonus, I will be more than capable of buying a home and covering the moving costs and having a small cushion for those home owner surprises that are bound to come up.  I’m proud of myself.  I’m not always very good at speaking up.  I’m far too often “the nice one” who ends up being a doormat.  And I’m not doing that now.  I’m taking care of me and the kids first – everyone else comes after that.  It’s a first for me.  And oddly – it feels good.

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Today was day 1 of 3 of a very intense review session of the work I’ve been doing since October.  So far, things are going very well.  I’m proud, and relieved, and nervous as there are still 2 more days of this.  Everything I’ve been building and documenting and testing is being analyzed and picked apart.  I have to have reasoning and data to support every decision I’ve made and have to have contingency plans already prepped and ready in case something isn’t approved.  It’s been a very long few months with a ton of hours, even travel to get this far.  In roughly 2 weeks, my part of this project will be complete.  Another check in the box, another project to add to my portfolio – but this one is a bit different.  It’s the first time I’ve looked at this industry (TV and cable) and in the past, I’d probably pass on it.  It wasn’t glamorous or exciting enough.  But I’m trying to build the start of something to re-shape and re-think the way we think about our TV’s.  It’s not there yet – but it will be…and it’s kind of cool. 🙂

Well – I better get some sleep.  Another long day tomorrow.  Thankfully, no reviews tomorrow, just a day full of meetings with all my direct reports.  Goodnight neverland.

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