29 July, 2009

Week in Review

Okay, here it is the week in review, since I haven't posted in a while.

1 - July 21st celebrated my birthday, ate yummy food at the Ritz Carlton with my family of 4. Mystikman done good! Great Present and treat that was.

2 - Parent's arrived for a couple of days.

3 - Drove to Key Largo on Mary Magdalena's feast Day. Celebrated her at the ocean.

4 - Spent time at the beach with parents and children.

5 - Attended last Summer Reading Program were the boys won another prize, tally is 3 now.

6 - Drove to Atlanta, GA with boys and parents.

7 - Spent a day in Atlanta eating at a favorite joint and spent time with my aunt's family.

8 - Drove to Chippewa Lake, OH and now plan on staying for a couple of weeks at parents' house.

9 - Renewed Driver's License

10 - Ate at favorite Sushi Place

11 - Saw my niece's and they grew like weeds!!!

12 - Watched my boys run around outside with happy glea in "their" yard whenever they wanted to, not when mommy has time to take them to the park. It was spontaneous play, not planned because we live in a highrise.

13 - Working tomorrow at a Farmer's Market for another Aunt.

14 - Enjoying the cool night breezes and sleeping weather.

Well that wraps it up so far....

18 July, 2009

Realizing Maturity

Today at the library I picked up the book Postsecret. I am in a reading program this summer at our library requiring me to read a staff pick, which this was. The boys are also in a summer reading program and have participated fully, winning raffle tickets throughout the summer.

Getting back to this book...

As I read the entries, there were times, I just wanted to put it down and erase my mind from the contents inside. I read many postcards full of anger, sadness, loss and dissatisfaction. The cards were negative and loathing. There may have been 2-3 entries that didn't make me cringe and were hopeful. Isn't that sad? Out of all the secrets kept, most of them were negative? Is this what secrets are, to keep bad things in?

When I finished the book, I realized, I no longer live in that space and time of anger and angst. I have every right to be negative and angry; anyone of childhood abuse earns that right through each abusive act. But as I grow and mature, I am learning to let it go and have consequently carved out a healthy, happy place to live. I matured and reading that book today, I saw my growth.

I pray we all find the love that exists in our hearts and realize it was and is always there. If we could see it for ourselves then we wouldn't wait for others to pull it out or allow them to take it away.

14 July, 2009

Letter of Forgiveness Part 1

Previously, I have hinted at my childhood abuse. At times, I thought to write about it here and go into details, as a way to explain and possibly provide healing for anyone else going through the healing process.

But it seems what I want to share is a letter of forgiveness first. This letter is the second letter which comes 16 years after the first letter I sent. The first letter sent back in 1993 actually revealed to my perpetrators what I knew and experienced. One would think retelling people what they did was a silly thing to do, but when you live with secrets and denial, sometimes point blank shouting it out is the only thing to do.

Again this is what the Story of the Little Soul encouraged me to do, after 34 years when the abuse began.


"Many years have passed, with silence, blame and accusations between us. Within this time and space, I have taken the necessary steps to find peace among the chaos that was our shared past. When I made accusations so long ago, I was mad, hurt, confused and felt as if my entire existence was based on a lie. My childhood was not happy, because there were ugly secrets hiding in the background.

My truth is that through observation, actual play or conversation, I was exposed to topics not meant for children. I do understand you were also a child in many ways, trying to make sense of your experiences. I also understand you went through some difficult times growing up with your own abuses.

The person I have become is only possible with my life experiences. The woman I am today is a strong, self reliant, dedicated, persistent, spiritual person. Not saying I think my life experiences to date have all been rosy or acceptable, but they have made me the woman I am today. I love who I am and if that means accepting my past, then I will and I have.

I would say thank you for shaping me into this person, but that sounds a bit “odd” considering the history between us. But, “I forgive you for all the past transgressions”, seems more appropriate and freeing for us both.

Forgiveness is a term defined in many ways. I have let go of this many years ago, but never indicated this to you. I didn’t think it necessary, as you have your life/choices to contend with as I have mine. However, I came across a story of forgiveness which struck a cord. This story gave me the desire to actually write this letter.

What is my intent after this letter? The honest truth, I don’t expect or want anything more. This is not to be an invitation for relationship. I am quite content with my life as it is, in terms of who and what I have become. I am deeply spiritual, dedicated to a life built on humanity and fairness. From what I know, my life would jar yours and that would not be a comfortable place for either of us. My lifestyle and choices are not main stream and I am not willing to compromise for anyone. I am certain if you asked my parents they would agree. I am an eclectic, passionate person with a strong opinion. This can be a challenge to be around and quite honestly, I am satisfied with that.

In closing, I wish you the best on your journey of life’s discovery. Please know I have let go of all ill will and have arrived at a very happy place of peace and understanding.

May the Universe provide you with what it is you need in terms of life’s lessons and supports. I know deep within, my soul is on its path and that you had a hand in providing me some of my life lessons, for this I am grateful and apologetic for causing you any harm.

Peace and light,"

13 July, 2009

Discipline

There are a couple of things I don't do well. (Yes, I am admitting this right here and now). The first is exercise.

I am full of excuses as to why my body is not tone, slimmer and more fit. I eat the right foods, I know the correct way to exercise and I even have the proper attire. The kicker is... I don't like it!

I never really had to work at staying the same size so there was never a need for a fitness regime. I also didn't grow up with parents or other relatives that were fit. My mom's side is well "robust" and my dad's side was always fairly thin with the occasional diet thrown in. There were no runners, no weight lifters, no aerobics, just living and doing and eating whatever seemed to taste good.

The only physical activity I truly enjoy is swimming. Now there are a couple of hurdles to make this a daily habit. You have to have access to ample water for swimming, you need to have another pair of eyes/ears on the children and the water needs to be at a certain temperature. Now if you don't have free access to water, then there is the cost factor of joining a pool/facility.

This summer, I have access to a pool which is large enough to warrant lap swimming. I have done a decent job swimming laps at least 4x week. So maybe I can start a routine...assuming I still have access to a decent body of water to exercise in.

The second challenge is spending.

I tend to shop here and there. I tend to go out to eat here and there. All the while I know we really don't have the extra funds for any of the spending. But somehow, we are squeezing by using up our little cushion, we had built up.

Tonight I sat down with the checkbook. I was going through all the transactions and saw the entries... $28m $29, $44, $32, $18, $14 etc. Kinda small, and some of those actually fed a family of 4, which one might be proud of! But in the end, when it occurs more than once a month, it starts to add up and affect the overall budget.

The thought that ran through my head... "I have to employ more discipline"! Yes, folks I don't have discipline in any area. I live my life according to what makes sense and feels right. For the most part, I have a great balance and my lifestyle is easy to follow. But for those areas I struggle with...this is were the discipline needs to happen.

What areas of your life need some discipline???

08 July, 2009

Slowing Down


Recently, I was struck by this blog. When I retold the gist to mystikmam later that day, I came to a few ah ha moments for myself.

I have been known to do some MAJOR speeding in my day. How about doing 85 in a 35 zone, past a parked patrol car??? Yeah, I was lucky that I wasn't pulled over! I also have shown little patience on the idea of waiting....

A couple of things have happened to me these past couple of years and that post, in simple terms, made it all make sense. Why are we in a hurry? Why do we rush from this place to that place? Why does time consume our days? Why do we have to time races, who are we really competing against? What clock? Are we really in a hurry to live?

If we hurry too much, are we just rushing through our life? Are we speeding up to our grave, the final destination in this life form? This is the thought that made me stop and take note. I have rushed my whole life to be on time, first place, early arrivals, beat the clock, etc etc. Even now, I struggle with being comfortable at NOT knowing what I am to be/do for the "rest of my life". HA! What a funny line that really is, when you think about it.

Watching Michael Jackson's memorial yesterday, I saw a young boy pushed to excel. He excelled so quickly to please those around him. In the process he found something he was good at. (Note: could he also be good at something else? Not certain, because he wasn't allowed to find out or explore).

He was rushed from this gig to that gig. This TV special to that special, this concert to that concert. He was up against a clock of what will he do next? What is his next move going to be???

Now his life is over on this earth and it could be viewed as a rush to an early grave. This makes me pause to really contemplate what the rushing is for. I am here, living, and this is what we are to do in this lifetime, live!

Living is exploring this world. I want to explore as much of it as possible. I want to see how things work, who people are, what makes sense and know why. If I rush through it, I might miss a critical piece of the entire whole.

Many would agree Michael missed a critical piece of his puzzle. He missed out on something he was never able to regain. His heart was missing a piece and it could have very well been a simple piece, the idea to love and accept who he was. But he missed it in the rush to perform, to please.

I plan on living a healthy, able life until 2072, yes a 100 years. Mystikman will live at least a month longer than my life and the boys will continue after that. So what is the rush? We might as well take time to enjoy the journey.

Yes there are challenges and wouldn't it be nice to fast forward through those? But if we did, we would just have to repeat them, until we learned what it was we were supposed to learn. So I am allowing myself the time to live and take it all in, second by second.

This is a challenge for me, as many of you can attest. But it is a worthwhile pursuit and it just might bring me to a better understanding of me and this world.

Slow down, smell those roses, find the pieces to your puzzle and enjoy the journey. Soon enough you will return to the light and this world will be gone in a flash.

05 July, 2009

On Turning 7


This weekend was my oldest son's birthday. He turned 7 this year and boy he came in with a bang! Not certain if the growing pains affected his behavior, but he was a bear for sure. I explained that when you turn 7, you are no longer allowed to behave in such terms again. (Strategy is half working....)

As with most holidays and special family days, mystikman had to work, so we will do the birthday meal, cake and opening of presents tomorrow when the family can be together. However, L was able to see his birthday crown and we brought homemade cookies to the pool for everyone to celebrate. L was happy and seemed to have a good day.

With all the consumerist behaviors found in our country, I saddens me that so many children grow up expecting lavish birthday parties where there are a ton of children brought together for some made up party, gifting something their parents bought and then leaving with some plastic trinkets as a favor for their attendance. I am lucky in terms of having a summer baby, so I am not bombarded with this pressure. Now that I homeschool the boys, I feel equally blessed to remove myself from the rat race of out doing the other party etc.

I grew up in a family that celebrated our birthdays simply... you were able to eat a favorite meal, you choose your birthday cake flavor and you got together with family for the exchange of presents. Granted I came from a large extended family, but there was simplicity in this approach that I find refreshing. My children don't need to have the family party, the friend party, the school party... it is just too much! Acknowledgment for the day is good, but going overboard pushes the limits and certainly my buttons.

So when we passed out 80 handmade cookies to those at the pool and sang the traditional song, that was enough. L was happy, felt special enough and we then proceeded with our day. (L is the one with the swim cap on in the middle. Box of cookies in front. We didn't even need a candle, it was festive enough)!

Tomorrow he wants to have BBQ chicken and cantaloupe. We certainly will indulge his menu choice and invite a long time family friend to celebrate and that will be it. The 5 of us will dine, eat cake and L will open his presents. He is happy, not wanting for anything more and feels special. Happy Birthday my lovely L!~