Sometimes you gotta just deal

I’m trying to tap into some issues I’ve kind of pushed aside because I’ve come to a point where I need to purge. Sadness has been a big one for me. Even when the sun shines, in my world, the sky is overcast. There are people I miss, experiences I haven’t had the opportunity to fully appreciate or feel. I have a sense that I need to allow myself to mourn, and in the process come to accept that my life may not be what I dreamed or desired, but through it all, I am here. I am alive and I know what it means to feel deeply. I know what it means to love fiercely, even when the odds stacked against me crashed down with such force that everything I had was torn away. Life. It’s a ride and I’m trying to get to that place where even when I’m tossed around like a bag in the wind, I am grateful. It begins, for me, with letting go and being comfortable being alone.

This isn’t where I imagined I’d be at 7
Barbie and her white dress with its lace and frills
Promised me a future of happy ever after…not this.
The one I dreamed when the boy with the brown eyes and crooked smile
Easy laugh and nervous, almost careful conversation
Took my heart and every beat after
He said I was beautiful
No word before or since has ever warmed my bones so deeply and completely
A vow, forever
Even with you gone, I feel it
Truth is, there was always something greater than us
Neither of us could handle the weight together
Years later I’m still getting used it
The quiet left in the aftermath of a storm
Picking up the pieces left behind

Happiness in simple things

Like finding just what you need in a place you maybe wouldn’t have thought to look. Inspired by the finding of a black bow tie at a thrift shop near downtown Indianapolis. It was the finishing touch to a Halloween costume and just as I began to think “we might need to go to a tuxedo shop somewhere and find a new one” there it was. I found it. All I needed was patience and the willingness to SEE. And all it cost, this bit of joy, was 40 cents!

A dented gold bell tinkles a welcome
Where mounds of long forgotten and discarded things are sifted and sorted and hanged and shelved in order of size and type and color, though not so orderly that the undiscerning eye can find the value
But where small treasures nonetheless exist
where old things, used and dented and perhaps even abused things
When found by loving hands
Can be made new

Thank you Maya

For reminding me that I am, above all, a poet and that even if my words are my own and never touch the hearts, minds and souls of anyone, that I am living authentically when I put pen to paper and set my soul free…

Mind Over

You serve as inspiration in the best
worst way
My muse, sweet pain
Your lips
embers that ignite what another could never
Life and death wrapped in a caramel kiss
Be mine be mine be mine I beg
Despite my pleas, you fly…
Mind over says to let you go
History says you’ll return again
Where my heart awaits
Ever the Fool
To open the door


Half marathon thought marathon

In Corral T, waiting for my wave to start.
In Corral T, waiting for my wave to start.

On Saturday, May 3, I ran a half marathon in Indianapolis. I’m not going to get into the specifics of training or go on (too much) about how difficult it is to run that many miles because honestly, yes it’s a lot of miles, but it’s not 26.2. I have this habit of always remembering that what’s bad could always be worse. Keeps me in a more grateful state of mind. Anyhoo, I did train and I prepped myself as much as someone who’s never run a half marathon before could possibly prep. My body was definitely ready for the run. However, I was not t prepared for the flood of thoughts I’d have throughout the run, how emotional I would be, or how much I’d learn about myself. I finished the race in 2:27:04. Not too shabby for a 41-year-old first timer. Strangely, as I got closer to the finish I began to think that I could definitely pull off 26.2. I am now trying to decide which 26.2 to run. In Indy, I saw some awe-inspiring people along the way. Firefighters in full gear. Military personnel in boots and carrying full packs. A man running on a prosthetic leg. A woman in a wheelchair. All driven by a desire to get to the finish…I was pretty much left in awe of humanity, because I will tell you, we are pretty amazing when we set out to do good things…our grit. Our determination. So beautiful!  I know if you’re reading this you have a dream or a goal…something you’d like to accomplish. I’m telling you, DO IT. NOW. Believe me when I say, YOU CAN.

Listening to road sounds can really make you think

He was the sunshine to my night when we first met
the one I loved the most, my John
became my Judas.

Sometimes it’s like this with people. An odd contrast. I was thinking about it pretty deeply the other day on my way home from work. Since I have no radio, (as I explained in an earlier post, it was stolen) I am forced to listen to road sounds, which lull me into deep thought. I was thinking about how I have been betrayed in the past, and how those betrayals play into my inability to fully trust people. We all have our John’s and our Judas’…what lessons do they teach us? How does our time with them change our lives…our perspectives…our ability to be open and to trust others? 

As I was forming the words to this poem in my head and thinking thought after thought about the role certain people have played in my life, I began to reflect on the times I have been John, and the times I have been Judas. I realized it’s not a “them” problem. It’s a “me” problem. How can I be better…how can I love, despite my fear that I could be let down? The truth is that wholeheartedly loving another person can not happen when FEAR exists (and here, I am not JUST talking about romantic love, I am talking about LOVE period), because fear holds you back. It prevents you from giving 100 percent of your heart. I can love more if I let go of the fear of being hurt. I can love more if I let go of the fear of loss…I can love more if I forgive myself for the times that I have been Judas to another…I can love more if I forgive those who were Judas to me. Not an easy thing to do…but I have to because I realize that to be fully alive, I have to LOVE without fear. Even if it means loving Judas. 


If you’re going to do it…do it my way


So here’s the thing: I am a perfectionist. I don’t say that in a snotty “I’m better than you” kind of way. I say it because it’s how I approach my work and the things I do in my life. If I cook, I cook to perfection. If I clean, I clean to perfection. Everything I do, I do to the very best of my ability so that, in my mind at least, it is perfect.

It’s a problem. I recognize it’s a problem and I will tell you why: perfectionists rarely get stuff done.

Now I know there are going to be some out there who will argue with this. “That’s you! I get stuff done,” they’ll say. I don’t doubt you get stuff done. Hell, I also get stuff done. Just not as much stuff as I COULD get done if I let go and allowed 1) other people to help me and 2) myself to ease up on the control I feel I have to have in EVERY situation so that things can be done “my way.” I venture to say I’d also have more energy to do some of the things I’d like to do (more writing, for example) if I gave myself permission to let go of my need for perfection and control.

With this in mind, I devised an experiment. I would start delegating some of the things I generally do myself because other people’s way of doing these things is not up to my standards. It began with telling my 16-year-old son to clean the bathroom. Now, cleaning the bathroom is a big deal for me. It has to be done a CERTAIN WAY. Otherwise, it is not RIGHT. I mean, even down to the way the soap and shampoo bottles are aligned. Right. As I am typing this, I can feel the anxiety mounting – even though this technically happened days ago, I can still feel the anxiety. Seriously. 

Did he do it RIGHT? Yes and no. He did the bathroom RIGHT according to his own specifications. He did a great job making sure he properly cleaned and disinfected all of the surfaces. The chrome gleamed, the porcelain shined, and the mirror was streak free. I twitched a little when I noticed that he hadn’t emptied and cleaned out the bathroom’s trash container. I could feel my anxiety reach new heights as I saw he lined the bottles and soaps up his way, not mine. I fought the urge to “correct” it.  I had to take a step back, for real because I realized something in that moment: The fact is, he did a great job. He did it his way and though it wasn’t MY way, it was perfection in HIS eyes. I had to appreciate the effort he made. I let him know he did a great job, that I was glad I could trust him with the responsibility, and that I would definitely be relying on him to clean the bathroom again. He was proud of his work. I beamed! I mean, I do have a great son. I’m one lucky mom!

Once he was out of sight, I fixed the shampoo bottles.

Baby steps.


The birth of a blog

This blog was born in the wake of loss. This summer, I lost my grandfather, and just this past week, I lost a friend. These were two men who walked different, yet similar paths. Family, tradition, love, strength and courage are just a few of the traits they shared. I won’t go into the details of their individual struggles…suffice it to say that my grandfather died after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. My friend died after a 3 year battle with cancer. Where their paths diverged can be seen in the families they left behind. One family, my grandfather’s, is broken…a break that is more than likely irreparable. My friend’s family is bonded forever by a tremendous amount of love.

What these two men taught me, very simply, is to LIVE. I have been alive for 40 years now. But I can’t say that I ever truly lived. I’ve spent the vast majority of my time feeling stuck, feeling trapped and unable. The borders I constructed for myself included the belief that what other people thought of me mattered…that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough…worthy enough. Fear of judgment and failure dictated the constructs of my life. After the death of my grandfather, who I was very close to in the end, I began to realize that maybe, just maybe, all these 40 years of “living” I had under my belt wasn’t really living at all. And when my friend died, I UNDERSTOOD that I haven’t lived.

Living means very different things to different people. These two people, in a short span of a few months, have sparked a fire in me to define, for myself, what it means to truly LIVE. They have inspired me, for once in my life, to step out without fear of anything. To be ME with the understanding that I am here to push limits. I am here to leave a legacy. I am here to LOVE.

With this in mind, I am setting out on a journey to appreciate the time I have left, to become the person I was meant to be, and to leave a permanent mark on all the people I am gifted to have in my life. One small step at a time…so here goes.