Friday, August 30, 2013

a day in the life

Today I thought maybe I'd give you all a snapshot of a moment in our day to day lives.

Right now at this moment, my 15 year old son is watching videos on Youtube and my 10 year old daughter is making french toast for a late breakfast. Until she started cooking she was playing Minecraft on my computer. One dog is sleeping (he's old and slowly dying) and the other is pacing about barking from time to time at one of the cats who is trying to nap. The other two cats are off somewhere hiding from the dog. My beloved husband is off working. He's been away for the last two nights, but will be home for dinner. Oh and the chickens are in their pen squabbling over pecking order. My son and I are dressed, but my daughter is still in her nightgown.

It's 10 AM and this is a pretty typical morning for us. Other kids started school the last couple of days, but we are doing our unschooling thing right here at home. In a little bit it will be my son's turn to play Minecraft and I'll lose my computer for a few hours. I'll probably read and my daughter will probably watch my son.

I don't really want to refer to my kids by name on my blog, so I'll go back to how I've often referred to them in the past. I've called my son - the boy and my daughter - the girl. I guess that will do for now. Anyone who can think of a cute nickname for them let me know here in the comments or on facebook and maybe I'll use something new. That could actually be fun. Some of you know us from real life and might think of something cute - fill me in if you come up with anything.

I've been thinking about different rites of passage and watching my kids grow up. I've been lucky, because we homeschool I've been a significant presence in every stage of my kids' development. The boy is deep into adolescence and the girl is on the edge. I've tried very hard to live in the moment with my kids. I've enjoyed and appreciated every stage of development and tried my best to support and guide them. I haven't always done the best job, but their lives have been filled with love and acceptance and I think that's important. I enjoyed being the mom to an infant, to a toddler, a preschooler, a little kid, and now a teenager and a preadolescent. Every stage has been a gift and I've tried to be there for it. It hasn't always been easy - there have been some significant challenges along the way, but I think I can safely say that my kids know they are loved for who they are right now.

Trying to protect them has often backfired, but everything we've gone through - we've gone through as a family. We've stuck together through thick and thin and boy has there been a lot of thick. I do worry a bit about empty nest syndrome because so much of my life has been wrapped up in my kids' lives. How do I try to deal with the future? First and foremost, I try to live in the moment and second I work at my relationship with myself and my husband. Sometimes, often actually, I look forward to the days when it'll just be he and I in our house.

I want my kids to be happy and I honestly don't know what that means yet. Ultimately it's not up to me. They are well on their way to adulthood and I have to accept that their future happiness is in their hands. I can only be here to help guide and support them through the choices that they make. Will they make mistakes? I hope so - that's one of the ways we learn. I'll be here to help them get back up when they fall and love them no matter how big those mistakes are. That's all I can do. That's my job.

Wow, this snapshot got kinda deep.......Yes that is the way my mind works. I think one simple little thought and suddenly my mind is off and running.

One of the best parts of this snapshot is that it is always changing. The boy is still on Youtube - now he's looking up different videos about how to manipulate Minecraft and I'm trying to convince the girl that getting dressed would be a good idea. The other dog has curled up on the coach and is napping under a blanket (yep it's still a bit chilly). Cats are still doing their thing - the kids are humming some song they remember from a tv show they watched together and the chickens are still working on that pesky pecking order.

All in all - I'd have to say I'm incredibly blessed.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Iced Coffee

I'm sitting here drinking iced coffee and thinking about my life while I wait for an appointment to spend some time with some of my online friends - online. We gather a few times a week in a chat room and watch videos together and chat. It's great fun. As I sit here waiting to start I'm struck by how grateful I am. I'm so lucky to have people in my life from all over the world that truly care for me. I may never meet them in person, but that doesn't change the fact that they truly care. That means so much to me. I find that I'm so grateful for social media, specifically Facebook because not only can I keep in touch with my family and friends from near and far, I can also meet new people that I share interests with. How wonderful is that. Do online friend replace my other friends? No of course not, but I find that I have become closer to some of those friends than to the ones I see in "real life". I talk to them more often and find it's sometimes easier to share because we may be in similar places in our journeys. I've discovered that I'm a bit of an introvert, so getting out and seeing others is not my forte - I'd much rather stay home and read a book or two or three ;) and spend time with my husband and kids. I love and am grateful to all the people who have chosen to be in my life whatever way we connected or however we stay in touch. I'm a truly blessed person to have folks who care for me and who I can care for right back. This is just another way my life is good.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I have written this post twice now and I just can't seem to get it right.

I want to write about how change has affected my life recently, but it seems my life is always in flux so change is inevitable. The most recent change in my life is that therapy is ending. This is bittersweet for me. On one hand I'm excited that I've done the work and developed the skills to function without therapy, but on the other I feel a little wary of living life without that particular net. I have to admit I will also miss my therapist. I've been working with her for 2 years now and seeing her once a week, twice a week or every other week for all that time. Honestly though, I've just reached a point where I don't know what to talk to her about anymore. We catch up and she reiterates that I'm doing a great job with my new tools. She's a wonderful lady and I'll miss her, but really I don't need her anymore. I've become a strong, capable, honest person who is much better at taking care of myself. Am I perfect? No, of course not. Will there still be bumps in the road along my journey? Of course! Now, I'm in a place where I understand these bumps are part of my growth and I don't need to panic anymore or even more likely for me - shut down. I can still function and have a good life changing my way of thinking and ultimately my feelings. Yes, I've been using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and it's been a godsend for me. These tools have helped me reclaim joy and hope in my life.

I feel so blessed and so thankful. I really am occasionally overwhelmed about how my life has changed over the last three years. I've been through some things that no one should have to go through, but I've learned that not everything that goes wrong in life is my fault nor do I have to take responsibility for other peoples actions and decisions. I have to own my own mistakes, but I don't have to hang onto them and continue beating myself up. I've learned to forgive myself and move on, learning from my mistakes, but not letting them rule my life. I've also learned or rather am learning to not let food run my life anymore. All this from therapy. Now, I'm ready to do these things without therapy - I know and practice my skills without my therapist telling me to - that's what I've been doing for months now. It's time to let go. It's time to trust myself.

Am I scared? A little, but I know I can do this. I believe in myself and I know I can face any challenge and learn and grow from it as opposed to letting it beat me down and ruin me. Wow, I really have changed.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

a new beginning (there are lots of those in my life)

A new me means a new blog......Yep, I'm on a journey of self discovery, I have been for a few years now. My last post on my other blog was in July of 2010, it's now August of 2013. A lot has changed.

I'm really not focused on the same things anymore - a lot of that journey was surpassed by a journey through mental and physical illness. I've worked hard to get past both and I'm discovering a new, healthier, hope filled me - hence the name of this blog - which could change by the way.

The purpose of this blog is to just share where I'm at, what I'm learning, how I'm doing and what I'm up to. Not many will be interested, but being able to write things down makes them more real for me so I'm taking this journey to a blog. I don't know how often I'll post - when I can - when I feel inspired - when something is on my mind. I'll write about a lot of different things and I'll try - as my friend Jenn says - to keep it real.

My journey has not been an easy one - the last couple of years have really shown me what I'm made of and I'm much stronger than I think. I'm far from the perfect person. I'm lazy, I have a short temper, and I can be a little selfish, but I'm also kind, compassionate, loving and I try desperately to be a good wife, mother and me.

I've been living my life in a larger body for a long time now and after the work I've done spiritually and mentally, I decided not too long ago to work on the physical as well. In keeping with a holistic approach, I'm walking a 12 step program to work toward a healthier body weight. I attend meetings in person once or twice a week and often attend on line meetings to keep myself on track. My abstinence is very important to me - I'm a food addict and compulsive overeater, so I need to be honest with myself in every way - mentally, physically and spiritually. I've had some success so far - 27 pounds down. I'm pretty proud of myself. I'll share this part of my journey here as well.

I will probably talk about my family a lot - my life is really focused on them to be honest. I have a wonderful loving husband - my soulmate and partner, a 15 year old teenaged son and a 10 year old daughter who is going on 40. They are my world in many ways, but I try to take care of myself so I can be a better wife and mother. I homeschool my two kids - right now we've been unschooling for the last few years, but we are considering something more structured per the advice of my therapist and the kids' therapists. Yep - we are a family that believes in therapy. I've been in therapy for years and the kids have been for months - we've had a rough few years and now we are working toward some normality - well our form of normality :)

Another thing about me that may seem a little weird is that I really enjoy reading M/M romances, mysteries, novels. I love reading about the self discovery of gay men and the loving relationships that evolve in fiction. I have a few favorite authors and I may from time to time write a bit about what I'm reading. I read a lot and I write a little. I also enjoy gay movies and storylines in soap operas. Those may get mentioned from time to time as well.

I also knit and sew and I will try to post about finished projects when I actually get around to finishing them. I'm teaching my daughter to sew right now and she's taking to it like a fish to water. I'm very proud of her.

This is me - this is my life. It's a good life most of the time, but there are bumps in the road. I'm learning the bumps are not the end of the road, they are just lessons along the journey. I'll try to be as honest as I can. I hope you will find something of interest as I share my journey with all of you.