Saturday, April 23, 2016

Are you familiar with the transition of having known someone intimately who slowly becomes someone you once knew? I suppose it's happened to all of us, whether with a friend, lover,or sibling. It's a curious thing to me right now because I am experiencing it with multiple people. Some of these changing relationships are painful, others not so much, but they point to one thing for certain; I am the common denominator. These transitions are unfolding because of things I've said and/or decisions I've made. Make no mistake about that. I am the cause and I don't claim to be a victim. There is a weight to that realization, which is at times, an uncomfortable burden. At others, I don't feel it much at all. No surprise, I like it better when I don't feel it.

I've known people - mostly women - who get to a point in their lives where they just seem to stop caring about what others think or what others expect of them. If it doesn't feel good, they don't do it and they are without apology. They stop trying to please everyone else and begin to start doing what makes them happy. I have arrived at that particular station. It took forty-eight years, but I'm here.

I don't think it's uncommon for women my age to become aware that they've lost themselves (or parts of themselves) along the way. While trying to be the best parent, spouse, sibling, employee, etc, some of us get a little lost.

Before you get your panties in a bunch, I'm not saying that I've stopped loving my family or wanting them to be happy. Calm yourself. I still plan to take care of my babies as best I can, but I will no longer do things I don't like doing. (Again, relax. I'll still go to work and pay my bills. Try to follow along.).....  I'm a pretty happy-go-lucky person. I love to laugh and be silly and feed people. However, I've been known to attend functions that I dreaded just because it was expected of me. I've spent hours upon hours with people that I truly don't enjoy being with because they are happiness vampires (they live to suck the joy out of life) - because they invited me for dinner and I felt obligated to join. I don't plan to be rude or unkind to anyone, but if I don't want to do it, I won't. If it doesn't feel good, I'm no longer going to engage.

Does that sound selfish? Oh well. Color me as you see fit.

Will there be meetings I'd rather skip, but have to attend? Of course. Will I be able to avoid the grocery store forever? No.

Try to keep up.

I'm not talking about things like laundry and cleaning and grocery shopping. I'm talking about not allowing people to manipulate me through guilt or a sense of obligation. I speak to not pretending that everything is rosy if, in fact, it sucks sweaty moose balls. I'm referring to ending relationships - however intimate they may be - with people who don't treat me with the respect and love I need. Seems obvious, right? It sounds easier to do that it actually is because our "jobs" (expectations as a spouse/parent/child/employee) dictate a lot of what we do.

What does this mean? Who the hell knows. I feel like I should be performing a Monty Python skit to better articulate what I'm trying to say.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Bumpy Ride?

I recently commented that my life seems to be paralleling the lives of at least one of the fictitious characters in my latest book. While it may sound intriguing to some of you on that side of the fence, it's down-right frightening at times from over here. I'm not searching for sympathy, just capturing my thoughts. If you've gleaned nothing from reading my blog (how presumptuous I can if you read this crap), you'll have probably figured out that putting my thoughts "on paper" is one of the only ways to clear my mind and allow me to focus on the things that require me to be present. (Like being a parent and doing my job.)  This blog kept me sane for quite some time and then I didn't post for a year. You do the math.

Having provided that background, I can - with a decent amount of certainty - assure you that I'm not insane, although one never really knows for sure...let's take into account my childhood. Oh shit. Perhaps I AM a nutter. Well, there's no helping me now.

Very recently, I altered the way I'm living; quite drastically. Life is about trade-offs. (Well, it's about more than that, of course. There's pizza and beer and Sean Connery, but I'm focusing on trade offs for now.) If you want this, then you have to forego that. It's pretty straightforward, really.

Recent decisions about what I'm willing to live with and what I'm not will no doubt become my defining moments for this decade.

What happens next is really up to me, isn't it? Whoa. That's a powerful realization. Buckle up, kids. We might be in for a bumpy ride.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I'm baaacckkkkk

It's been a year since my last post. A year. Twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. You get the idea. It's been a long, damn time.

Before I launch into a Christmas card-like essay and what's been going on (complete with pictures of children, pets, and vacations to bore you), I'll suggest that you take a moment and consider where you were/what you were doing last spring. What's transpired in your life since then? Have there been major hurdles and/or changes? No doubt, there have been. It's what the experts call living life. Trust me. I once read about it on Facebook.

I'll spare you the drama and details, because let's face it, who wants to listen to that crap anyway? Instead, I'll share a thunderbolt-to-the-head moment that occurred to me just this afternoon. You may recall that I've written a third book. I'm still in the editing process (does that ever end?) while searching for an agent. Stop rolling your eyes. It could happen. Stranger things do. Each and every day.

As I sat at my laptop rewriting a sentence that felt clunky, I was punched in the face by a realization that escaped me until that moment. (You can't use this kind of language when you're a Victim Advocate or work in a Domestic Abuse Shelter, but since I'm home, I'm going for it.) The book that I began two years ago about fictional people living their crazy lives in the Keys is now a mirror reflection of my life in many ways. No kidding. It was mind-blowing and nothing less when that realization hit. Many of the things that I'd "made up" have actually taken place/are unfolding in my own life. The parallels are unsettling and yet compelling.

Perhaps I should change the ending before it's too late?