Me, First.

Lioness

Lioness (Photo credit: Crouchy69)

I need to give myself more time to trust people, I need to stop following just my emotions and balance myself instead of falling in love with people.  I AM a Libra after all. People need to prove themselves to me, slowly, before I trust them. No more eyes lighting up with a friendly smile, no more picking out a person and internally saying “I want HER to be my friend.” Nope, not gonna happen anymore.

I’m too old for this.  Stranger people are often more attracted to me, people with stories upon stories because I do like to help and I am a good listener.I am also the most gullible person alive because I believe in truth and have learned the hard way, several times, that many people are manipulative and NOT honest, not even a bit.  People sniff out that I am a good and loyal friend because I always get sucked in. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m too old to do that,

I need to take care of myself, finally. Me. I come first. Not some stranger on the Internet or the woman picking trash and me encouraging her to come to my house so she could take our cans. Of course, she could take our cans but that’s not really the point. I don’t have to become her to be nice to her, I don’t need to get wrapped up in her life to feel her pain. I do what I can do. I don’t need to borrow her sadness and take it on, we all have sadness in our lives, struggles. Being empathetic is good, taking on everyone’s pain as your own is not.

Of course I feel horrible for the family whose husband has cancer and yes, I donated money, not a lot, but the amount we could afford. I wrote them a note to offer help because that is something I can give but I can’t pretend that this family whom I have never met are my best friends. I don’t know them, I just know that someone’s husband and children’s daddy does not have long to live, for the mother and father and siblings who have to bury him. I am sad for that. For anyone facing that.

I mourned for the little girl who died of cancer who I knew really only from the internet. I became attached to her as many people did. I checked on her status as often as I could. I followed her photographs. There was one photograph that had a lasting impression on me, it looked like she was walking straight into heaven’s door, and she was still alive. Talia Castellano, I still think of you, you definitely have left your mark on the world and on my soul. That is not something I want to ever change.

But, I no longer want to be that quivering duck, hiding in the corner anticipating disaster before it presents itself, worrying before there is something t worry about. As an old friend used to say “Don’t meet worry half way.” No longer a duck, I am a lioness, strong, in control, protective of my loved ones, independent. A lioness, a strong woman, in nature. I have my family, I have my two soul sisters, Ash and Michelle, I have my close friends.

I need more bubble wrap, more of a shield to protect myself instead of always caring too much for others. It can’t continue. My friends know I will be there in a heartbeat, there is no doubt. I need to strengthen MY boundaries and tighten up some rules. Not for you, for me. I want to stay centered and make my life easier. Because, damn it, I deserve it. I am tired of being super sensitive and people, I am sure, are sick of it too. I need a thicker skin, so that annoyances, criticism, hurt feelings will roll off my back like oil and water. I want to be those little beads that form and separate and not get emotionally weighed down all the time. I’m not saying it will be easy or that I won’t get sucked back in sometimes but I am going to make a conscious effort to be aware of it. I need a filter from the outside world, a shield. This is my life too.

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I’m Cranky, No, I’m Sad, Whatever…..

Cottage in the Woods with Bluebonnets

Cottage in the Woods with Bluebonnets (Photo credit: Bill Gracey)

I want to slap people, well, not really.  I’m disappointed in people: in general and specifically and now there is nobody I want to be around except my auburn colored dog, Lexi.  It’s not as if anyone has done something horrendous but it seems a lot of people (okay, women my age) are going through a lot of “something-something” (as my friend Barbara would say) at the same time. Kind of a later mid-life crisis for women, different from when we turned 30 or even 40. This is worse, this is mid-life crisis on steroids or acid, maybe both.

Yup, I said it. First I just felt cranky and after a bit, I felt lonely. All along I thought those words were antonyms when in fact, they feel like synonyms today, they are definitely connected. I could blame these moods on a lot of things, certainly the beastly weather. This unbearable heat and humidity for the last week has everybody miserable but I think I would be doing myself a disservice. I’m not sure that answer would be entirely honest. It definitely has an impact on how I feel physically, Fibromyalgia Flare-Ups, IBS, not sleeping well, feeling out of sorts, all are true, but there’s definitely an emotional component as well.

I want to crawl and hide someplace where no one can find me. I want to be on a path, in the woods where I can find my peace, in Nature where nobody will hurt me, I trust animals, I don’t trust people; not anyone. Everyone’s history has its secrets, its shame, hurt, heartbreak. In nature there is innocence, love, and peacefulness. I want to move to a little red cottage in the woods somewhere where nobody can hurt me. Again.

Today is July 4th and here is one time where I want to be social and go to a barbecue. The one family who intimated they wanted us to come over apparently forgot, changed their minds or life got in their way. We’re not invited to anyone’s barbecue basically because every year my husband and I host the barbecue ( Thanksgiving,  parties etc). I’m tired of being taken advantage of and being the one that hosts the numerous meals for friends and my family. I’m right here, I’m not invisible, look at me. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it could be a pizza on paper plates, it’s the effort and the manners and the feeling of being wanted. I’m both cranky and and lonely, it’s a tough combination.

I told everyone at the last big gathering that “I’m now on strike.” So while I am fantasizing about a Hebrew National hot dog, sizzling on the grill, plumped to perfection and lying in a soft bun covered with mustard, I will be here trying to forget other people’s broken promises and talking myself down from being way too sensitive. Everything is alright, I have to make it alright, I have no choice.

There is only one thing that is a guaranteed fix. Works every time. (No, NOT drugs or alcohol ) The one movie I love more than life itself: The Sound Of Music. It fixes me, I can’t resist singing every song (knowing every word to every song) and relaxing while watching it. So, today while you are eating S’mores and drinking beer, sweating in the horrendous heat and humidity, I’ll be here, on my bed, in air-conditioned splendor singing along with Maria and the Von Trapp Family Singers with my dog Lexi, on my lap.

Dear Alice,

Creamy Coconut Cake

Creamy Coconut Cake (Photo credit: 3liz4)

Hey, Alice, did you see? I wrote about another lunch, this time it had bread and cheese and red grapes which is my all time favorite lunch combination but knowing me I should have added dessert. Yes, I know I should say something like a square of dark chocolate but who am I kidding? First, it would be milk chocolate that would melt slowly, (and not just one piece, mind you)  but you know THE real answer, now don’t you? Well, I’m not going to bring THAT up again, that’s for darn sure.  I have to limit myself on sweets because once I start I can easily continue and that can get bad. I didn’t say I was going to do it but I sure would be tempted with ONE dessert. Oh, don’t even bring up my diabetes, it’s just borderline. Hush.

It’s been a nasty day here, cloud covering, humidity, thick as if holding the rain inside as a hostage, we want it to open up and pour so we can get some relief but there is no relief coming. Not today and not for several more days.  I can’t stand the freezing cold and I am miserable in the extreme heat, basically, I get about two to three weeks a year when I am comfortable but my old bones hurt anyway. Stiff and sore, swollen. I can barely walk now without using that darn walker too. What a pretty sight I am!

It does seem unfair that life is wasted on young people and of course, we were the same way, weren’t we? We knew everything and our lives were just beginning. What happened? Where did the years go?  My it was their first day of nursery school just a minute ago and now they are both all grown up. It goes by too quick doesn’t it Alice?

I just had my after dinner snack and I can hear you laughing.  I had a huge bowl of cereal,  four different cereals mixed together. Someone bought skim milk instead of one percent and frankly that milk looks gray-green to me. It really does taste the same but I find the color just disgusting. I did add some of that half and half and that sure made it more tasty. Like old times when we drank hot coffee with mostly cream and sugar in it pretending we were so grown-up.

Do you remember all the good food we used to eat at your house when we were little? You had the best food of all our friends.  That cake, the coconut cake your mom would make, oh my, that was the most delicious thing I ever ate in my life. Every time I’d go to a restaurant if they had coconut cake I would order it but none compared to your mom’s home-made cake. I begged you to get that recipe for me, but you never did.  I still hold a grudge for that, yes I do and I always will. Yes, always.

It was bad enough that you had the cancer and died on me when we had our plans to live next door to each other in the retirement home, sitting in our rocking chairs, side by side, that was bad enough, that was real bad, Allie. But the only favor I ever ask from you and you never gave me that recipe, for that coconut cake that I loved so dearly. Why Alice, why did you have to die and leave me here alone.

rocking chair

rocking chair (Photo credit: grimescene)

Plinky Prompt: Tell us about a thing you’ll never write about:

secret & oublié

secret & oublié (Photo credit: andrefromont/fernandomort)

  • Never, Not A Chance
  • A best friend’s secret. The definition of a best friend is to be able to have someone who you can trust entirely. If my best friend told me something that was very sensitive and made for a good story, I wouldn’t write about it…even if someone wanted to pay for the story…( well, okay I would think about changing the names and situation! just kidding ) A secret is a secret, you don’t talk about it, gossip about it, write or whisper about it. What you do with a secret is keep it safe, tucked away securely in your heart. Secret?
    What secret? I have no idea what you are talking about…

Free Write Friday, Kellie Elmore

House cat with a ball of yarn.

House cat with a ball of yarn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The air was thick with humidity, Emily hadn’t seen the sun in five straight days. To say she was going “stir-crazy” was the understatement of a lifetime. It was hard to breathe, harder to move. She was home with her teenage children, her husband worked long hours and while he used to call her nine times a day just to say hello, he had stopped calling altogether. She had signed up for a clay class but she just heard that it had been cancelled. Her volunteer work at the hospital had ended three weeks ago. She had nothing to do, nowhere to go and she was starting to feel bored, restless and just a little off-center.

She made dinner for the family, most of which was eaten in silence. The cat, Ivy, purred on the sofa, her head resting on a ball of blue yarn. Emily let out an audible sigh of envy, at least the cat was happy, she thought, at least someone was, she certainly wasn’t. What was it about this summer that seemed so different? She felt so closed in, none of her friends were around and there was nothing to do, no one to talk to. She wasn’t brave enough to fly someplace alone and even if she was, they couldn’t afford it but she knew it couldn’t go on like this, she needed to do something, soon.

She thought about it that week and slowly she came up with an idea, an idea that made her smile inwardly. She came up with a plan that involved everything she loved, didn’t cost a lot of money, gave her independence and a mini-vacation. She didn’t ask anyone’s permission, why should she? She had waited on her husband and family for years but one night she told them, not asked them, that she was going to be away for a few days, with her old college roommate. They barely even acknowledged what she said, they mumbled “ok” and  her son asked ” Who is going to cook us dinner?” was the only question asked by her son. You’ll figure it out, ” she said calmly, “Dad can give you extra money for pizza.”

The next morning, after everyone had left she packed her car, turned on the music, her music, on loud and headed to meet her old friend in Boston. She knew they were heading to the beach, which beach she wasn’t sure. She would stop at a motel or an Inn, whatever appealed to her on the way. There were no rules, no rules except for her to have fun and to do whatever made her happy. She had packed a few books, she had her radio and she felt peaceful. She was going to pick up Jane and then Jane would take over the driving. Leaving had made her happy, that was something to think about on its own.

They hugged tightly when they saw each other, it had been years since their last reunion. Jane took over the driving while Emily, now wearing her new sunglasses, put her arm and hand out the window in joyous rhythm to the music she loved. She tilted her head back, grinning, laughed happily and sang, loudly off-key.

Come what may (Carry on Tuesday)

Old Man Grieving - Vincent van Gogh

Old Man Grieving – Vincent van Gogh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life can be very scary. In one second your entire world could change, blow up into tiny, little pieces. Destroyed. The world you once knew would become Before and After. Usually, unless this change is winning the 22 million dollar lottery, this does not usually occur in good situations. Am I right? In everyday life there are always tragedies that come unexpectedly,  probably things completely different from what you worried about and it never is good.

It’s called growing up. Realizing that sometimes there is fear hiding around the corner, which eery corner you have no idea but for a time it will be dark. You tend to forget about the dangers in life for brief periods of time when things go along swimmingly until something happens and then you realize “yes, it’s been quiet for too long.” As John Lennon used to sing “Life is what happens, when you are making other plans.” The unexpected, the things you didn’t plan for, the strong red slap stinging and leaving an imprint across your pale, white face.

Hold on to someone tight, a best friend, a spouse, a partner, a sister or a brother, anyone. Because, when bad things happen you will need someone who you trust and love, someone who loves you back. A person who will try to soothe you even though you think it may not help. Let them try, accept their offer to make you a hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows to comfort you A person that will make you lie down and force you to rest no matter if you can’t sleep, a person you can cry in front of alone or just someone to hold your hand and cover you in soft blue blankets.

Life is not easy, though we don’t realize that until we are older, but come what may, having someone, to share it with, makes it just a little easier to breathe because you have them and their support.  While your heart is still literally in pain and skipping beats eventually your own heart starts beating at a similar rhythm you had before. You are still alive. You will grieve your loss in your own way, take your  time and try to let your feelings out.  Mourn YOUR way. There are no steps to follow to make it easier for you.  My sister once told me after our father died, that I was “grieving too much.” I knew I wasn’t, I was just grieving louder, and expressing my grief differently than her. We also had a very different relationship with our dad. There is no right or wrong, no time limit, no book to follow.

Sooner or later, with time, you will see that while the pain never completely goes away, it becomes less potent, it happens less often and with less severity. You might even find that one day, you will talk about the loss of a person you loved with a smile of fondness and love. You might think that you had the opportunity, the blessing to love someone and have them in your life for so many years instead of focusing on them dying and leaving your life.

Just two weeks ago I held up a new pen that I knew my father would love for Father’s Day. I picked it up and smiled broadly with delight. I was on my way to the register when I remembered I had no father to give this to. Life will get better, with time, after loss. Truly, it will, I know that. But don’t let anyone tell you that you will never have any tough moments. I can’t lie to you, once in a great while, you will.

After All Tomorrow Is Another Day (Carry On Tuesday)

glass_1

glass_1 (Photo credit: nebarnix)

Cara? it’s me, Janie.

Car, I fucked up. I fucked up bad and now I’m sitting on the floor in the living room and I look like one of those bunched up rubber band balls we used to make in junior high. Why do you have to ask me that every time? Fine, I had some wine and a few beers. A  lot of wine. I don’t remember it all, damn it!

Little Keith, he isn’t here now, he went to Grandma’s. No, I didn’t send him, he left. I can’t stop crying because there’s more. Car, I’m so cold I’m shaking and I’m covered by all my blankets and the red shawl you crocheted for me for my birthday.

I know we made a promise to love each as best friends always but I did something really, really bad. I made a mistake, but this was the worst one because little Keith saw it and I didn’t know he was in the room.

I’m TRYING TO CALM DOWN, I don’t need a lecture, Cara, I can just hang up. Fine, yes, I am taking a deep breath. Everything just got to me all at once: Johnny’s unemployment, my shift got canceled, all our overdue bills, taking care of my parents, not enough money for food… I swear I never thought we would end up this way and I couldn’t handle it. I didn’t buy the wine or beer, it had been in the house from a long time ago when we had a party and I stashed it there, yes I hid it.

I drank too much and my head hurts bad, real bad, yes I am drinking coffee. I knew I shouldn’t have been drinking again but I FELT so furious and hopeless that I threw the empty wine bottle across the room, hard, and it hit the wall and it sounded like a bomb had gone off. There are shards of glass everywhere.

The worst part was little Keith had come into the room and saw it all. I could tell he had been there a while, yes, with me drinking. I said I was sorry but I knew I had scared him and he backed away from me. I saw it in his eyes and he ran to his room and slammed his door. He wouldn’t let me in, I couldn’t even apologize. A few minutes later he went next door to Grandma’s, without even looking at me. The worst part was I knew I was the one who caused his pain and I couldn’t take it back.

Cara, you’re right. I need help. I need to do this for me and I mean it. I can’t go on like this, hurting everyone. I lied when I told you that I hadn’t read the brochure about the in-patient program in Ellis but I know I need to go. Yes, I mean it. I promised you and now I have to do it for me, me and Keith. Yes, whatever you say, soon is okay. What details? I can’t think with a pounding head. Do whatever you need to do, just let my head get better. I will take aspirin and drink water I am sitting in the black chair, I won’t move. I want it to be like the old days when the boys would play and we would drink lemonade and make oatmeal raisin cookies together and sit on the porch laughing. Do you think that could happen again? Why aren’t you answering me?!

Cara? I am still on the phone, I need to clean up the glass. What do you mean no, it’s dangerous. Oh fine, I’ll leave it till the morning. What do you mean you are here? Is that you knocking on the door? Oh, honey, thank you so much for coming. WHAT? NO, Cara, NOW? I thought we were going tomorrow, not now. Please, just one more night? Can’t I just start tomorrow, after all it’s just another day. Please? No? But I’m scared, Cara. My head is aching so badly. You took care of everything, I don’t know what that means. One more day, Cara, I beg of you.  You won’t change your mind? Don’t you dare call the police, you don’t mean you will leave me alone forever if I don’t come with you. Cara, I can’t take that. I have no one. Yes, I promised.  God, please forgive me and give me strength.

Alcoholics Anonymous :

www.aa.org/

Yellow Magic Madness # 5: Peeps

Peeps!

Peeps! (Photo credit: Carol Brownewho is known as my twin peep. For me, peeps must be yellow and eaten around Easter. I know they make Christmas Peeps now, shaped as

My friend Marty and I call each other “Twin Peeps.” We’ve been friends since elementary school. I’ve loved YELLOW peeps all my life. Soft, marshmallow, sugary, yellow peeps: only eaten when Easter is on the way. A sure sign that Spring is around the corner. How can perky yellow peeps not make you grin?

And In The End…

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year 2013 (Photo credit: Mark Kens)

Last post of 2112:

After my rather solemn afternoon,(see the post before this one: https://hibernationnow.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/bloody-foolish-me/) I pulled myself together and we had a wonderful early dinner as a family, the food was exquisite and our children 18 and 20, entertained us, as usual. The no fighting/no texting rule was in effect. There was much laughter and seriously good food. For my foodies (and I am one of them, here is most of the menu)  Appetizer: There was a choice of raw tuna with tofu, lobster bisque or gnocchi with mushrooms. I chose the gnocchi, our son chose the bisque and my husband ordered the raw (really hard for me not to say EEW) tuna and tofu. I’m trying to be serious here, it’s tough! Our daughter had a salad for an appetizer. You will see why later.

For our entrees: choice of filet mignon (yes, please for the three of us) with mashed potatoes and mushrooms that tasted like frizzled onions, were divine. I eat red meat about once every six months and I dare say, I enjoyed it. Our daughter (the vegetarian) had the gnocchi as a main dish, no mushrooms, in a tomato sauce. In my opinion, they should have stayed with the white (cream?) sauce that we had and my daughter agreed. The other options were…..I have no idea as soon as we saw the filet mignon we didn’t concentrate, sorry. Wait, my husband said there was also chicken and a seafood risotto and maybe something else. He also said once he saw the steak he couldn’t concentrate. On the table there were slices of dark raisin/walnut bread and some hard wheat bread.(Okay, so I ordered more bread for the table so I could have two slices of the raisin walnut bread with butter.) It was an occasion( and I have been eating like a bunny.)

For dessert there were three options: Linzer torte (we’re HERE!!!) or chocolate mousse cake with coffee crunch ice cream ( or vanilla) and pumpkin cheesecake that we all laughed about. My husband and I could not decide so we ordered one linzer torte and one chocolate mousse and split both in half. Sometimes, you just need both. They also offered sorbet ( seriously?) but our family doesn’t even count that as an option but they did offer it so I thought I should tell you.

It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m grateful. Grateful for my loving family, grateful I got through the day and that I talked to both my sister and my mother, grateful I can put my nightshirt on soon. I will feel happier when my daughter texts me when she arrives at her destination, moms worry like that, yup, we do.

To all my readers, I am GRATEFUL for you. Thank you for keeping me going, for your comments, for your dedication. I’m about to reach 1,000 posts really soon!!

This would not be complete if I did not acknowledge some very special friends that I feel extremely close to (even though I have never met them in person) These women I feel honored to call my friends and my support system. I actually feel closer to these women than some that live around the block. I mean that with all my heart and as they know, I wear my heart on my sleeve.  Great love and hugs to: Judy/Judith, Maureen, Rosemary, Ash, Michelle, and Tammy. I LOVE all of you. If your name is not mentioned I swear I came to a complete blank. You know who you are, please forgive me and just write your names in here _________________ and ___________________. I apologize.

Wishing you all a HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2013.

WITH LOVE,

From me, Hibernationnow.wordpress.com

Laurie xoxoxo

Love Is Love In Any Language

It doesn’t take much to make another person happy. I’ve been actively trying and going out of my way to make sure I give extra smiles, be extra patient while driving (I never said it was easy) and generally be a nicer, better, human being. It has to start somewhere so random acts of kindness and going out of my way to do good has always been part of my life’s plan. I’m just doubling the efforts now. Maybe the people I am doing little things for will actually do something nice for another person and then another person….I hope so. In any case, it certainly can’t hurt.

I’m not the most patient person all the time, me of the rolling eyes and the heaving sighs. Yes, it’s true, I have been known to do that when I get aggravated or annoyed (ask my children they will certainly tell you) but at least I’m aware of it now and if I catch myself while I am doing it, I may look like a lunatic but I try to change that behavior mid-stream. I’m trying. Success definitely takes time.

This isn’t a new 2013 New Year’s Resolution, I frankly don’t believe in those. This is a general way to feed my soul and hope it helps other people. I just want to be a nicer human being and hope others want the same thing too. I want to go out of my way to do something I normally wouldn’t do. At the supermarket I am guilty of leaving the grocery cart near my car, that’s not nice. So, I will make an effort to roll it to the nearest stand, it will only take me an extra minute. I might complain about the cold weather to myself but it’s the least I can do.  If I do something nice for you, please pass it on to someone else. This country needs this, especially now.

If even one person reading this decides that he or she wants to do the same thing, it would make a huge difference. Check out the video below, you don’t need to know the language, you will understand the thought and the kindness immediately.