A New Year – A New Beginning

I have neglected my blog for so long. I think part of the reason is that I felt like I wasn’t writing for many readers beyond those friends who really know me well and probably aren’t particularly surprised by what I write… and I have wrestled with the concern about being anonymous. I am not ashamed of who I am, but for professional reasons I think certain things should be kept anonymous. So I am going to try an experiment… I am going to start sharing my blog on Twitter. This is a big step for me… just ask some of my friends with whom I went back and forth about even starting this blog. But I’ve made Twitter somewhat more anonymous and protected as well… so here I go!

And so, just in time for this new year, I am committing to working on and sharing this blog. This year feels like a pivotal one. This is my 40th year. I will turn 40 as 2012 ends. That always seemed so old… such a huge milestone. Like when my mom turned 40, she was really OLD (of course, I was 10 at the time…) But I’m not old… I am still young and fun and edgy… and crazy, but that really has nothing to do with age, does it??

Do I really need a warning label?

Sooo… during this 40th year of my life I am making a commitment to work on this blog and make it a reflection of how this year plays out. So far, so good. I had a rough day on my birthday… holidays and such seem to be harder for me now that I am working on feeling the emotions and not just stuffing them. But I allowed myself to have a bad day, I allowed myself to hide away and feel the crap and then calm myself down and then sleep. And the next day was a new day, it didn’t have to be defined by the fact that the day before was crappy. And it was a good day. And I’ve had some more good days since.

Back to work tomorrow after being off for 10 days. For the first time, I feel like I got a lot out of my vacation but I am ready to get back to the routine and to being useful. I make a difference to people in my work and I enjoy that. That keeps making it worth it. So I will drag my ass out of bed go to work with a positive attitude tomorrow. It’s going to be a good year… because I said so! And you know what? I know that doesn’t mean that it will be perfect. I will have really hard days, it goes with the territory. But I am going to remember that there is always tomorrow.

“Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.”  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

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The grass is greener…

How much do we live our lives wanting something that we don’t have? Looking at something that someone else has and wishing for it as our own? Creating a dream that MUST be better than what we are living? I think we all do it, some more than others. Recently, in reading a wonderful blog (I can’t find the specific link at the moment..) I came across this amazing statement:

“The grass is greener where you water it. So water this moment with your love and appreciation.”

I am so guilty of wishing for something different than what I have. Yes, I had an affair recently. Yes, I thought that this other person was everything that I didn’t have and that I needed in my life. It was my ultimate “grass is greener” moment. The recovery from that situation and its aftermath has been a difficult road. I have faced some painful truths. I have reevaluated almost every part of my life. And yet, through all of that pain, I have emerged with a growing inner strength that I never had before. A wise woman has told me that all things in life, even if they are painful, give us gifts. I have definitely emerged with gifts after this experience.

So, back to watering my grass… I was in the shower the other day, mulling over things as I often do in the shower, and my former other man came to mind and started buzzing around again. And I stopped and thought “What was it that you wanted out of that, really?” The answer? I wanted someone to have that fairy tale with… a love that would overcome all obstacles (that relationship definitely had obstacles) and a man who would do anything to be with me. You know what?? When I really think about it, I already do have that! I have an amazing man (my husband) who would and has done anything to be with me. And our love has overcome huge obstacles… including this affair mess. I am so blessed to have this love and I now know that I need to nurture the grass that I already have… because it really is quite beautiful!

So much truth…

Reflections

Today, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, is a day filled with reflection and remembrance and mourning. And this is so appropriate. And yet I find myself struggling with how I want to recognize this day, personally and with my family and publicly (like here, in my blog). I have made a conscious choice to not turn on the television. I have watched only two online videos related to the commemoration: one replaying “highlights” of the events of that day and one of a song being sung at the New York memorial today.

Roses at the 9/11 Memorial

Beyond that, I am choosing an attitude of reflection. Rather than dwelling in the past, I look to the lessons that can be learned and how we can live in a way that will somehow make some sense of those tragedies. Because, even in this case, I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t believe that reason was so that we would have a reason to go to war in the Middle East. In my opinion, retaliation does not solve anything. Truly, though, all I can do is find the lesson in this for myself and make my life mean something as a result.

Om Mani Padme Hum

This is a tattoo that I had done on my back on the last day of 2009. The meaning of the Buddhist mantra is not easy to convey in a few words, but the basic idea is that the recitation or viewing of the mantra will invoke the embodiment of compassion. And this is the lesson that I choose to learn… in all of my life, really. We can only accept people as they are and be compassionate for their position in the world. Yes, there are many who live their lives devoted to hatred and destruction. The roots of this hatred is deep rooted… and coming to some sort of understanding of that can lead us to compassion, even for those that cause such sadness.

Have I lost a loved one as a result of a terrorist act? No, I haven’t. Do I have a right to speak for how one should feel in such a situation? I probably don’t. But I do, in the need to find my own sense of understanding, have a right to my own feelings. And they are these: only compassion can bring this world to a place where there will be no more war, no more hatred, no more destruction. Without it, we not only hurt others, but we hurt ourselves.

“Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Ginger…

So yeah, I have red hair. It isn’t natural, but I get compliments on it all of the time… and it looks natural. It goes with my coloring. I love being a redhead… I once had a kid tell me that I look like “the” Celtic Woman

The Celtic Woman

Pretty, right? I think so…

So I had a thing with this guy that ended recently (that is a whole other post…) and when we broke up he was pretty angry with me because of something that I did (basically I told someone the truth about him… ouch!) His parting insults during his angry (and possibly drunk) tirade were that I am “fat, spiteful and ginger”.

Ok, I’m not skinny… and he isn’t Mr Universe himself… so the fat thing stings but it pretty much rolls off my back.

Spiteful? Sure! You push me, I push back!!

Ginger? Really?? Ginger??? Dude, I love my hair! I PAY to have my hair this color!

And I love this urbandictionary.com definition: “A ginger is, among other things, a person with red hair, freckles and pale skin. Some darker skinned or non-ginger haired persons feel compelled to denegrate gingers out of jealousy because a ginger’s look is unique. Men typically love ginger women.”

Yep, I bet that is what it is. He is jealous…. But, the truth is, he is British. Apparently British folk really don’t like people with red hair and calling them “ginger” is a big insult. I really think, though, that he should have considered his audience before lowering that boom… [insert exaggerated eye roll]

So, I leave you with an important message from the hysterical Tim Minchin on this sort of hair color prejudice:

Blogging – therapy for the over-sharer?

I have come to realize recently that I am, in fact, a compulsive over-sharer. Spilling all of the stuff that happens in my life, good and bad, seems to just come as some sort of instinct. And I’ve got those good friends that are always interested in hearing it and friends that listen and maybe just pretend at times to be interested… and then there are those people that I kinda know and I really shouldn’t be sharing certain stuff with. But you know what? Sometimes I do it anyway! And I don’t even think anything of it before I’ve totally proven that I am insane it is too late. Keep in mind, most of this is online sharing… yeah, I am one of those people with a big online group of friends. So I have these instances where I go too far and I imagine people running from their computer screaming and putting my pic out as “beware of this lunatic”. Yeah, I don’t really blame them.

But here’s the thing… this is me. Part of who I am is someone who lets it all hang out. I was out shopping today, enjoying all of the knicky knacks in the stationary store (you know, the one with the Christmas ornaments?) and I came across a wall hanging with the wonderful Dr Seuss quote on it –

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

So there it is… I am me and I’m going to share. And so I’ve decided to use this blog as my outlet for the need to share beyond the people who actually want to hear about it. And those of you reading this will be my captives willing readers because you chose to navigate here! Aren’t you lucky??

So let me thank you, in advance, for indulging this compulsion of mine. I hope you find something useful in all of these ramblings.