Tuesday, November 19, 2013

wow, has it really been since August?

So we had that vacation. My mother hasn't mentioned her cancer lately. She had a scare where she thought she had MS, but she doesn't. Something is going on with her, but what else is new?

I had a challenge to my boundaries and I passed it I think. Life keeps going on. I keep going on, although sometimes I wonder why. I wonder why I am still here when so many of my peers are already gone. Depressing thoughts.

The weather is colder now, the days are darker, and the holidays approach us.

I am here. I am hanging on. I hope you are too.

Friday, August 16, 2013

preparing for vacation & keeping the focus on myself

Today is the last day of day camp for my daughter this summer. We will spend the next 10 days together until school starts on August 28th. I need to remind myself of my Al-Anon right now.

1. Keep it simple
2. Let go of expectations
3. Keep the focus on myself!  This is especially true when dealing with my husband. I keep thinking of HIS to-do lists and I need to focus on MY OWN!!
4. Worrying is a waste of energy.

And truly if I focus on myself then I am happier. My mother has cancer again. My mother is upset that we are not coming to see her during this vacation time. These are my mother's problems, not mine. If I don't think about her problems I will be happier.

My husband has been sick. He has an infection and isn't cured yet. He is going to the doctor's office, taking his medication, etc. etc. He is taking care of himself. I should not waste my energy worrying. If I do not waste my energy worrying I am happier.

Today is payday. Today I will leave work early. Today I will try to find time to relax. Today I saw 2 herons and 2 deer on my way to work this morning at sunrise. Today I am happy.

One moment at a time. Right now I am happy, excited, maybe even manic. Keeping my focus on me is a good thing.

I need to do that in the next 10 days, and not let other people weigh me down.

Fall is coming. The cool mornings are already here. I am going to go and have a GREAT vacation before it gets cold again.

Be well my friends.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

And we're off and into it!

Yes those early mornings started last week. My alarm goes off at 4:15am. I am awake when the newspaper carrier throws the paper up on the deck, using the house as a backboard. I hear the "thump" and turn on the light and retrieve the paper as his car pulls away. On Fridays I get up at 4:15 am anyway even though there is no reading class. If I'm doing it Monday-Thursday anyway I may as well do it on Fridays. I let the other two get an extra hour of sleep though, and use that time to myself. We have completed Week 1 of the schedule, and are in Week 2 now.

On Saturday we visited the local children's picture art museum, and on Sunday we visited the local living history museum. I didn't set the alarm clock on those mornings. We took our time leaving the house. They were still full days though.

The lawn will still be there when I have more time. Children keep growing though. I have a handwritten list of each week of summer with the two, three, or four activities that we have scheduled for the week. I check it off as we go along.  I still haven't finished putting photos in my daughter's memory book from May and June. I just haven't had time. I will  get there though, eventually. In the meantime we are halfway through July, on week four of summer camp. On Friday we will be at the halfway point. After week eight we get our BIG FAMILY VACATION. Still, I am trying to enjoy each week and not just think of it as biding time, checking off things on the list. Each day is important, or it should be. I try to pause, to listen, and to answer questions. Answer questions like "Why do some people get married and other people don't? How does that happen?" Because 7 will turn into 7 1/2 and then 8 and then 18 all too soon.

I know this just like 30 turned into 42, and how is it that my mother is now 63. When did that happen? It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating her turning 50, and now I'm closer to that milestone than she is. How did that happen?

Stay cool, enjoy the summer, and appreciate your moment in time. Let it go and leave your expectations at the door. That's what it is all about. Am I right, reader?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Life goes on

Kind of difficult to follow up from that last post. Life goes on.

After the visit with my mother, my husband arrived in Tampa for the weekend. His mother did too. We spent two days as the four of us doing some touristy stuff. Then on Monday we flew home. I won't go into those details because this blog isn't about them. Every family has dynamics and the relationships here are their own.

Life goes on. After the Florida trip we had a quiet Mother's Day weekend. Then we zoomed through the last of the school year with day trips and special school events, and all of the normal things that happen in a normal family with a school child.

This week we began Summer Day Camp. The schedule is 2 weeks of camp, then 4 weeks of OH MY GOD IT'S TOO EARLY, and then 2 more weeks of camp. THEN we will get our vacation.

To expand on the OH MY GOD IT'S TOO EARLY bit.. For four weeks, Monday-Thursday my husband is going to have to bring our daughter to school for reading help BEFORE camp starts. On Fridays they get a break and can just go to camp. My daughter likes the teacher and is looking forward to seeing her for some one on one time. My husband and I have a... EXPECTATION that these days are not going to go smoothly. Sad, but true. We are doing what we should do to help our child, but we are dreading those mornings already and they are still over a week away. It starts July 8th.

So I am working on LETTING GO because I will already be at work when they hurry out of the house, and I will not be there at all for these early morning reading sessions. I will really not be involved at all except to get myself out of the way early enough in the morning so that they can get themselves up and out of the house in time for this. Really working on my Al-Anon here. It is completely beyond my control. It is none of my business. I can't control it, etc. etc.. It all comes into play I think. Applying my Al-Anon to something so simple and yet so stressful that hasn't even happened yet.

In the meantime in case I don't write, I hope you all have a Happy 4th of July!

May you find peace today.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Post #200 Visit to see mom is complete

On Thursday morning I put my daughter and I on an airplane and flew to Tampa, FL. We got a rental car and drove the 45 minutes to my mother's apartment building. She is living in an eight-story high-rise now. I can't even guess how many apartments are there.

Anyway we arrived in time for an early lunch, or brunch for us. Mom led us to a rundown strip mall to a "family" place that made me raise my eyebrows. Inside the owner was friendly, and breakfast was always on the menu. I was grateful for the coffee after the 3am wakeup for the trip. My daughter had brought her "sharing book" and caught grandma up on her life in the past year. It had been two years since we'd seen her so it was a good ice breaker.

After lunch we proceeded to a beach that was recommended. It was nice, on the Gulf of Mexico. I got my daughter changed into the bathing suit that I had packed in the carry-on luggage, and we had made sure my mother had clean beach towels waiting for us on arrival (I sent them as her birthday gift in March). I was too exhausted to swim, but my daughter got wet and mom did too. Collecting shells and enjoying the water, even as it sprinkled. My daughter had fun. That was the important thing.

Back in the car mom wanted us to meet her boyfriend. My daughter didn't want to. She's seven years old. This became an interesting situation. Where do you choose your battles? Whose boundaries are more important? I felt very conflicted. I wanted to be polite, and honor my mother's desire to share her life with us. However, I also know that the boyfriend is addicted to marijuana and painkillers. So I am not in any hurry to have him be an important part of my life. My daughter bailed us out. She fell asleep in the car on the way to the restaurant. I met the boyfriend in the parking lot, and passed my mother over him. I explained the early wake-up and the long plane ride, and said "maybe tomorrow". I left my mother with him to go to dinner, and I made the hour drive to my hotel. My daughter woke up just before I got us there.

We had some wonderful bonding unloading the luggage and getting our room ready. Then we walked in the rain to a nearby restaurant and sat on the covered patio listening to music, watching the rain, and looking out on the bay. It was a nice dinner. We found a small store to get some milk and snacks, and watched a couple of ducks waddling around randomly. Back in our room we saw a rainbow over the water and palm trees. It was a simple and beautiful night.

The next day we drove again to see my mother. We did the sightseeing we had planned to do. My mother used a bad word and I told her so. Another grandmother told her to watch it too. I was glad it didn't just come from me. Then mom tried to take us to a beach that was covered in crabs. It was close to her house but man... my daughter said "no way". I tried to be brave and power through it but eventually I had to agree. It was just not acceptable. So we got in the car, over mom's protests, and went back to the beach we had gone to the day before. This time I had my bathing suit and I swam in the salty water. The weather was nicer too so that helped.

Once again we were faced with the issue of The Boyfriend wanting to have dinner with us. This was really hard for me. I wanted to support both my mother and my daughter. Finally my mother decided that he probably wasn't feeling well enough (or maybe it was too late) or whatever.. but we didn't include him. We went to an IHOP just the three of us. It was near her apartment so it was a short ride home after it was over.

She didn't mention my weight. I didn't mention hers. We tried very hard not to fight. My daughter got to see her grandmother and share with her. They splashed water at each other, collected shells, and enjoyed a boat ride on a river. Hopefully a memory was made for both of them.

It was hard work, it was expensive, and it was a reminder that my mother is growing older and will die with the diseases I have known her to have. She is not getting better. She never will. She is who she is.

I'm having nightmares now. Nightmares of being disabled, poor, lost, and alone. Maybe nightmares of what it might feel like to be in her shoes. My subconscious knows something I don't. Something I can't articulate well. I am aware of this. I am grieving, coping, and hoping I am doing the right things.

There but for the grace of God go I.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day 2013

Happy Earth Day! For something completely different, here is some of the "earth" I've been blessed to see this morning, all before 9am.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston is a reminder

I was having a good day yesterday. We went to Old Sturbridge Village. We taught our daughter about Patriots Day, and about what freedom meant.

Then we left and heard the news about the Boston Marathon.

Our hearts go out to all involved.

And while that is happening I have to really fight to not feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I didn't cause it, I can't control it, and I can't cure it. I am powerless. I must let it go and let a higher power take over.

A chance to let Alanon touch my life where I might not expect it.

This is a crazy world we live in, no doubt.

I am so grateful that I have these tools to help me cope.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My neighbor died

My neighbor died of cancer last week. She was only 35 years old. She left behind a husband and two children still in elementary school. She fought the battle for 13 long months and died on Monday, March 18th.

I was thinking this morning on my way to work about how her death hits me on an Al-Anon level. So many things to think about. The topic of ABANDONMENT was front and center. I don't think I can write about those things yet in a way that will be understood by you all. I'm afraid I would sound selfish if I tried.

During her illness I mediated about Letting Go and Letting God, and Letting Go of Expectations. Also thought about Minding my own business. Haha... really, her illness was hers, not mine. I couldn't fix it. I thought about those 3 Cs quite a bit too. My husband was good for reminding me of those. Fear, detachment, guilt, attitude of Gratitude.

Still, there is it is. So many lessons to be learned, and so many memories she left behind for all who knew her.

Love while you can. We don't know what will be tomorrow, a month from now, or next year.

Monday, March 4, 2013


I am a lefty. On February 16th I broke my elbow and messed up my wrist, on my left arm. So typing is hard right now. I can't eat left-handed, can't brush my own hair, can't do a lot of things I want to do. It is two more long weeks before I go back to the doctor to see if I will be rollerskating with my daughter in time for her birthday. I have to let go of my expectations on that one I know. It is hard. I am hopeful but I cannot know what will be said.

In the meantime I am practicing all those things I need to practice. Let go.

Be well friends.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Politics- a lesson on the 3 Cs & more

Cause, cure, control.... I didn't cause it. I can't cure it, and I can't control it. Sure I can write to the politicians. I can share my opinions with anyone who will listen. I can educate myself. I can vote, but if I get out-voted then it becomes mute I guess.

What am I talking about? Politics of course. There is a lot of stuff going on in the world today, and I do not want to debate anybody here about any of it. However, I am trying really hard right now to find my serenity again. I am trying to apply my Al-Anon to this part of my life, and I will say it is hard. I am very frustrated. I do not like what is happening in our country, and around the world, and I feel helpless. I want things done MY way. I don't understand why everyone else doesn't want it done my way too. I feel judgmental at times toward people who have different views and I have to remind myself to remain tolerant and allow my friends the freedom to express their own views, just as they hopefully let me express my views. To be open-minded I think means to be tolerant of others and not to shut everyone out who disagrees with you. I am doing a decent job of that but it is not easy.

The elections were one thing. I knew I'd be outvoted. I always am because I am part of a minority in this country that wants a 3rd choice. We're past the elections though, and there is still so much going on. Some good, some not so good, and I am powerless over all of it.

I really need to let things go, and be part of the ignorant masses that our society seems to be so full of, but I do not really know how to do that. I am not very good at apathy. I care too much.


Be well my friends. Let Go, Let God... if only it were that easy. I need to focus on myself. I need to practice detachment. I just can't. I am feeling too much fear.