Co-Parenting : Forgiveness Required

I may need to do a search through all the posts on this blog to find it, but sometime back in 2011 I wrote a piece about forgiveness. The act of forgiveness, how and why and the importance of it all. Four years later I can finally report back.

Four years ago I was still rather bitter about getting divorced. Hurt and angry, but I had decided that maybe forgiveness was the approach for me. So, I took a deep breath, said many prayers and chose to forgive my ex husband for his behavior while we were married.

This was not an easy choice.

There is something that happens in a break up that makes everything seem worse. Everyone you know chooses a side. You may think that I mean his side or my side, but I don’t. They decide how each single parent should co-parent when the other party hasn’t lived up to their end of the bargain during the marriage.

The most popular among my peers was the one that removed my ex-husband from not just the marriage, but from our life. As though POOF I had two kids and POOF I magically get a check every month to help cover their living expenses.

I was so angry at the time that I do have 100% parental custody. I could fly to China tomorrow without my ex-husbands permission and he would just have to deal with it. I won’t…but I have the ability. Anger makes us do so many things.

Then I thought about simply arranging supervised visitation. Only I was so poor. We were barely scraping by so there was no way to cover the cost of providing supervised visitation. I was quite irrational at this point so I maintained our distance. We saw my ex-husband about once every few months and not for very long, a couple of hours at most.

Then something I found sadder than the possibility of having to see my ex-husband on a more regular basis. It was our sons. They didn’t know him.

As a child of a single family home I know what that is like. My father was not a good person, at least as far as his behavior back in 1985, but we were raised by my mother and maternal grandparents. I had a relatively happy childhood. We had our drama, but what family doesn’t? Perhaps we had more drama than average, but I think we are all more interesting to talk to because of it…anyway. That’s a different story. I didn’t know my father. I knew what other people thought of him. I knew where he was from and what I thought of the people from that place. But I didn’t know him and that is a great cloud over the happy times. All of those times I saw my friends with their dads were sad times for me because I had never known what that was like.

As I became an adult I tried looking for my father to no avail. He didn’t want to be found in the digital age and therefore had no digital footprint. That didn’t mean the sadness was gone. “Who was he?” “How was he?” “Did I have other sisters or brothers?” “Did I have a step mom I didn’t know about?” Always having those questions is sad. I didn’t want that for my kids. Who was I to make that choice for them?

That is what I found to be this sad thing. I was an adult who had lived in a set of circumstances that made me mad. So mad that I thought it a good idea to remove the person that held the other half of their DNA in his genes.

But was I so angry that I couldn’t find it within myself to forgive a man for his behavior? How could I call myself a good person if at the first test of faith I proved to have none? It is no secret that I am a Christian, perhaps a different breed than the ones you read about, but I try to have a simple faith, based on love. In our church we are taught to love and forgive.

I was faced with two options.

One my kids didn’t really remember who this guy was that we sometimes saw really was, so we could just gently fade away and he could become a memory.

Two embrace the pain, and allow them to fully know their father and make the decision for themselves.

To do the first would have been the easiest choice for someone as angry as I had been. He didn’t know where we lived, who we hung out with, where I worked, all I would have had to do was change my phone number and we would have been done. Simple. Clean. Heartbreaking for him and for me. I would be setting my kids up for the same thought process I always had. Always wondering why I wasn’t good enough to be loved by the people who are supposed to love you the most.2015/01/img_2354.jpg

So I embraced the pain. The hardest and easiest choice on so many levels. The cold aloof anger has been replaced by hesitant resolve. Hesitant because everything we went through leaves a mark on the psyche, but resolve because it has turned out to be the right thing to do. My kids are 4 and 8 now. They know their father. They’ve seen where he sleeps and we know how he lives, where he lives, and why he lives.

Over the last four years we have fought and cried and been angry for past ills all over again, but there has been so much forgiveness and contrition. So much of what we have worked through together has made us better people for our next partners. We know more of how each of us failed the other that we will continue to work hard to not make the same mistake. We know that finding that next perfect person for our new selves will be hard, we each have a longer list of must haves…okay at least I do..but I am optimistic about the prospects.

Forgiving him has taught me more about my faith than any pastor could ever tell me. Forgiveness is not something that you do once and it is done, it is something you do every time you wake up and face the day. It’s choosing who you are and not wavering from that path every single morning. Choosing your words and actions before your emotions, and never letting the bad times get the best of you.

It’s also choosing to put the best choice instead of the popular choice.

Special note…A physically abusive spouse should be handled differently. An alcoholic husband or wife who did not exhibit abusive traits is very different from an abusive spouse. Alcoholics tend to only want to inflict pain on themselves though they learn to manipulate what they want out of people to get what they want. That’s how so many nurturing people become enablers. It’s like they can smell your ability to empathize on your sleeve don’t fall for that either.

All the wonders

Twelve months have gone by in a quick succession of rapid fire days and short blissful pauses. January turned to March which turned to November before I knew is it was today. Saturday…the last Saturday in December 2014.

How did this happen? What happened to my sense of time that it feels as thought it should still be January. Not January now, but January 2014.

This year has been so joyous and hopeful that it is a wonder I have survived with my head clear and mind in one piece. Peace.

Peace seems to be an ever changing anomaly. The busier I got this year the clearer my mind got and in turn the clearer my goals became. Some goals…not all. I’m still unclear as to my professional direction in a business with endless possibilities. If only I could be a normal person who didn’t dream dreams the size of Texas and have expectations of a life bigger than it is. However I also want a small life. If that makes sense. I want to do gargantuan amounts of good, but live a life of simplicity.

Dreams of bigger houses aren’t what I want.

Dreams of bringing shelter to the homeless, food to the insecure, selfish dreams of changing lives are purely selfish as much as they are altruistic. I wouldn’t want to do it if it didn’t give me and the person in receipt of the help a smile. If it didn’t make me feel whole. It’s what I dream of though in the quiet moments and loud.

I would also choose a small life in a tiny apartment in the city. Just big enough to have friends over for coffee and muffins or family over for a Sunday dinner. Close to shops so I wouldn’t have to drive and parks so that I could walk around in the grass.

I’m closer at the end of 2014 to seeing these dreams become real. I have gotten to meet like-minded people during the last 12 months. People who want to create a place of peace and community. A sheltering tribe of new friends and colleagues. People who want to see us all reach our potential and see the limitless potential of possibility. I’ve been more active in the community. More excited about the prospects of what is to come.

Beginning in 2015, I will be a steering committee member for my companies non-profit and I will be continuing my role with TEDxYouth@Houston. I had so much fun with each group in 2014 that I can’t wait to see what we do in 2015. I got to do arts and crafts at a group home with some colleagues and help organize the big event for the youth in November. I’m excited.

I took some small advice to heart last year and it helped make it a splendid experience.

If you stop limiting yourself, you can do so much more. You will do things you dreamed because you aren’t holding yourself back because you don’t think you are qualified or you don’t think what you want is valid. Hogwash. It is valid and you can do it.

Repeatedly throughout the years I’ve heard that what you put out into the universe is what you get back. I try to live this way. I try to live better because of past missteps and errors in judgement. I try to see the joy in each moment because at any moment we could be gone. I work each problem as it comes up because if I don’t there is no super hero who will do it for me and the problem will only persist and/or grow.

2014 has been full of wonder.

2015 promises to have just a bit more.

I hope you get to hold the joy of this year’s end near, and embrace the future with an open heart and a clear mind.

Galveston Beach - Sunset September 29, 2013

Galveston Beach – Sunset September 29, 2013

Feel like a phony?

02Last week I had dinner with a friend and he felt the need to point out that I belong. I constantly second guess myself and any abilities that I do or don’t have which may be why I start a lot of things and don’t finish them all or I do some things really well, but the little bits that would make the completed project perfect are crap.

Maybe I do this to prove to myself that I am a phony.

Some times

Really I just feel like a phony a lot and never quite feel worthy of the things that I have worked for and the accomplishments that I have earned. I’m a mish mash of ideas and thoughts and theories that make an interesting person who doesn’t want to talk about them so when they come out on paper they make me sound mad.

I can talk shop with anyone…to a point. I don’t share my best ideas and I often hold back from the conversation all together. If I talk to you with any depth it’s because I’ve decided your trustworthy. But I still don’t share. Not vocally.

I share here, but even there I haven’t shared much in the last year and a half. I have plenty going on I just don’t want to sound showy or “Hey, hey, look at me now!” So many of the bloggers that I connected with at the inception of this blogging journey are still struggling with their finances and lifestyles. I’m not. Sure I have problems, but they are nothing when compared to the stories that I read and the struggles that I have faced and I feel like a phony finding a complaint. Clearly this isn’t a humor blog. I don’t do obvious humor.

I feel it is now my mission to not dawdle in the past strife, but to build up others as much as possible. How can I share a piece of the good word, a good idea, a good thought that may make a day brighter. Likewise I share stories of others that need to be shared because it’s news that you won’t see unless you’re looking. That takes a lot less space, so it’s all on Twitter or Facebook (Friend me I will accept).

Often I feel like a phony, an imposter, a person who does not deserve all this goodness. I feel the past follows me like a cloak waiting to wrap itself around me in a swift wind. Not that it warms me, but it makes me cold. The emotions of the craziness that didn’t feel crazy until I stepped away and looked back. I feel like someone somewhere is just waiting to throw the cloak on me even though I’ve grown up, I’ve changed, and there is so little of that person remaining. That sad girl who wanted so much to feel the warmth of love and being needed that she clung to the first person who passed her way. I still haven’t figured that out. Why did the thing that damages have to be the thing that stuck for so long?

That may be a question I can never answer.

I feel like a phony to have bigger dreams. To want to be and do more in this world. All the dreams I write about on this blog…I want to see them realized, but that cloak of doubt keeps the fear inside me. I don’t deserve my dreams to become reality because I didn’t do this or that, or I don’t look a certain way.

Why is that? How many of you feel this way? How many of you hold yourselves back because you don’t feel worthy?

Damn it – FEEL WORTHY!

I say this to myself as much as I say it to you.

We belong. We have earned it. We fight for it daily.

The things we have accomplished are worth talking about. Every day little wins are worth sharing. Letting people know that this day is an awesome day because you woke up and set out to conquer the day is worth being said!

Don’t be afraid. You are not a phony.

Surround yourself with positive reinforcement and bring light to the world.

When you see that light in someone else – that kinship – reach out to them!

It’s only by building ourselves and others up that we finally begin to feel worthy.

For a bit of inspiration tonight watch:

Why Not Overestimate What You Can Do?

This afternoon I had every intention of coming home at the end of the day and posting a blog reworking day one of The Purpose Driven Life. Well…crap…life happens and things change…so I don’t get to write that post because there is other stuff going on.

Life…the eternal brevity of life.

We are all here forever in our minds. Our days become months that turn into years that form our lives. We don’t know why we are here in the grand scheme of things and where are we going?? Only time will tell us.

But we are here and we are intelligent and for better or worse we will make it work.

There was a quote that I shared once on people overestimating what they can do in a day, but underestimating what they can do in a life. What can we do? What can we change? How can we live to our potential in the quick succession of our many days?

Is it even important that we change the world to effect change on the world?

I don’t think so.

We can change the entire future of our planet by simply changing how we relate to it. We need to realize our power is not in the halls of government or the corner offices of commerce, but in how we live out each and every one of our days.

Today several things have happened that I think will have an impact on me for a while. First, something as simple as a book club. This book club was not just a small group of girls gathering to read fiction. This book club is at my office. I now work for a Fortune 100 (plus a few) company. We are a STEM company and are trying to stay the leading company in our field. The book we are reading is Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.

Here’s the thing. Our industry is traditionally dominated by men. They are the great builders, engineers and designers…at least in theory. But our office has something special that I don’t think many of the women (several thousand) understand the value of – we have a female chief operating officer running our campus.

Our big cheese is a woman!

This is abundantly important for us as women!

I am not going to look up the exact statistic now, but the ratio of female to male COOs of companies our size is miniscule! Then considering our industry…I was shocked that there weren’t more women at book club! I don’t think we would have had this book club if it wasn’t for her belief in possibility.

I have heard so many times women complain that they do all the work but never get the reward. The men get to have all the glory, but the women are the one holding it all together. Head down, pencil to paper, getting shit done.

Simple truth is – if your head is always in the muck – it will only ever see more muck.

How many women are so wrapped in their work that they don’t look up and see the opportunity? How many are concentrating so hard on what is that they don’t see the possibility of what could be? I am just getting into the book, but I challenge women to stand up, find their power, show up to the meetings, be heard. Make a difference!

So much happens when we are present, not just in body, but in mind and awareness.

Second thing that happened today…an awareness of self, not self-awareness, but an awareness that if I just keep working, growing, learning, and pushing that I will be where I always thought I would. It may not be the exact place or thing that was in my mind, but it is working out exactly how God made it.

This reminded me that we each on a different path and that there are no shortcuts to ease the pain. The pain is there to make you stronger. The hardships we face are intolerable when they happen, but when we finally taste success the result is sweeter because we can acknowledge the pain of the past.

Finally, TED. Dear sweet, amazing TED. This week is TED active and my inbox has exploded with massive amounts of info-porn. Seriously. My favorite week’s are TED week’s because the ideas and information that come out of them are transformational for each of us individually and all of us globally. So many things that changed as a result of putting these ideas into ACTIONS.

What is an idea if it can’t be put into action?!

A waste of freaking time!!!

I love the philanthropic, socially aware, more political ideological discussions, and today was mind-blowing. I am still watching, because I was late to the party, but it is all on video. I highly suggest you all watch it.

Here’s what ties the day’s events together. When we look up from the day-to-day and we see the possibility of what could be it is up to us to grab it, to hold it, to nurture it into existence. We must breathe the life into the thing that gives us purpose, that gives us life.

If your thing is simply living life as joyfully as possible and showing that joy to everyone you meet then do it. Your smile and easy laughter will change hearts and won’t cost a dime. If you are Bill and Melinda Gates and your thing is creating a planet that sees the best possible future in vaccinations and education improvements for children. Then do that!

We are each blessed with different gifts, scopes, and thought processes. The important thing is that you do it.

Please watch the evenings TED events here. TED2014: The Next Chapter
http://conferences.ted.com/TED2014/

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What makes You itch?

What makes you itch? ~Alan Watts

I love that.

I hear that and so many ideas come to mind. Writing the great American Novel, Globe School, having a Bed and Breakfast, being a stay at home mom, or being a successful independent business woman. But what really makes me itch? More pointedly, as Alan asks at the end of the video

“What do I desire?”

All kinds of things.

Galveston Beach - Sunset September 29

Galveston, Sunny Beach, Sunset – September 29, 2013

I challenge you to ask yourself every morning while you are brushing your teeth,

“What do I desire today?”

Where will you be if you work to create the feelings inside of you that fulfill that desire?

Do you desire happiness? This is a choice made each day. Make it and own your happiness.

Do you desire freedom? We are not as free as we once were, but we are as free as we want to be to drive down the road with the top down, to run around the beach, to go out into the world and experience it. We are free to be ourselves. Claim your freedom.

Do you desire love? This is trickier, but I think you must love yourself broken and bruised before anyone else can love you. Until the day you meet someone who is the shining reflection of your inner light keep yourself a work in progress.

Don’t let yourself be defined by the people who may have broken you before.

You are worthy of love. Believe it.

But these aren’t really what this video is about. This video is about way more than that.

Alan Watts is speaking about the quality of your life.

“What would you do if money were no object?”

Imagine for a moment that you are the most wealthy woman (or man) to ever inherit money on the planet and never had to work another day in your life.

How would you fill the hours?

Would you paint?

Would you write?

Would you buy a farm and tend the land?

Would you fight for the causes that cause you the most heartache?

Would you simply live life and raise a family?

Would you spend your life in selfish pursuits? I’m not judging, it’s a valid choice.

Dock for Post 10-10

Galveston Bay, Sometime in April, from the balcony of Noah’s Ark Cafe

I think I would not hesitate on globe school a moment longer. My sons and I would head out as soon as the money was in the bank! But even traveling and educating them would leave me with a hole, a void that would need to be filled.

I do not exist in a vacuum. I see through the façade too easily to be able to live so solitarily for too long.

After our journey I would buy a B&B somewhere and settle into writing books and cleaning toilets and making delicious gourmet treats. I would find a way to give back to the community.

But life isn’t this way. We have to work. We have to live. We have to make money for the things that pay for the fact that we live in the world we do.

On second thought and as Alan Watts states in the video,

“If money IS the only thing, then you will spend your entire life completely wasting your time.”

I have moments where I know I am completely wasting my time. I do too much that I have to do and not enough of what I want to do. I ignore the desires. I hide in my happiness because that is a choice I make each day, but it’s not always how I feel.

That’s not right!

We all enter the world with a purpose that is ours to discover and we are blessed with the abilities to do it, whatever “it” is.

Money is a means by which we have to live, but it should not define us.

What if we stopped focusing so much on monetary value and started to focus on our worth?

What if we focused on our passion?

What would you do?

Would you write? Would you paint? Would you have more children? Would you give of yourself to charity?

It is baffling, but there are actually people who love to sit at a desk all day maintaining ledgers and making the world run.

What if we each did what we were meant to do instead of what we have to do?

So much of our daily activity is soul crushing and menial.

Statistically as our society and culture became center more on money, than on pursuits of passion, the need for mental health treatment has risen – dramatically.

That should tell you something.

We have problems because we were not made to have money as our only focus. We were not made to be slaves to a clock or to sit in cubes and offices all day doing nothing but mindless tasks.

We were made to create!

We were made to be free!

We were made to love and live on this miraculous planet.

So, what makes you itch?

America – We missed the mark on Remembrance

Remembrance does strange things to people. It makes them intolerant. It makes them violent. It takes a day that is already bad enough and makes it worse.

Yesterday was the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that left America scattered and scared. The 12th anniversary of the deaths of thousands at the hands of 19 individuals whose moral compass had become so extreme that they were willing to die to make us pay for…I don’t know exactly.

I never understood the why’s of 9/11. I won’t share in the conspiracy theory there is tons of that online and in life. The point is that this was a tragedy that has become a religious and racist argument that will never be won.

The Devil has already won if we continue to fight about whose God is right.

We are all humans. We live on a planet we call Earth. We all bleed red. We all eat and drink and procreate. The things that set us apart from the animals are – murder and mind.

We have the ability to cognitively process everything that happens to us and around us. There are theories as to evolution, but we don’t know why we became so evolved. We just are.

So, why do we kill each other for any reason?

Is it humanity’s fatal flaw to be violent in the face of power, passion, or religion?

Is religion a fatal flaw?

We are all people after all and we all want to live long full lives, so it doesn’t make sense to take someone else’s life from them. At least it doesn’t to me. We live on a huge planet. Go live somewhere else if you can’t stand where you are and who you are with.

If you can’t stand someone ELSE’s religion then don’t practice it.

Yesterday there was a plan for a “Million Muslim March” on the Mall in Washington, D.C. It happened but more like a fraction of a percent of Muslims participated in the event. Reasoning being unclear as to why there were not more people. Perhaps they knew the backlash that could have resulted from this or perhaps it was the 2 million bikers that thought to show up and interrupt this event.

I’d be scared if 2 million bikers promised to end my march…as it was there was no violence just a bunch of bikers driving through DC. The police blocked them from doing anything else and wouldn’t give them a permit for a march of their own.

Yesterday should have been a day of Peace and Remembrance. We should have pondered those who lost their lives. We should have spent the day reaching out to our loved ones and friends telling them we love them and appreciate them.

A gathering of Muslims for Peace on a day that produced violence by Muslims seems like a way for that community to come full circle. It was meant to be an olive branch in the religious inconsistencies of our national character.

Want religious freedom? Well that doesn’t just mean your religion. Religious freedom is meant to be for everyone.

Want to be able to meet and assemble? That doesn’t mean just for causes you find worthy.

Want to be able to complain about it? Freedom of speech is for everyone.

Those are your first amendment rights. They are for everyone. Anyone on American soil has these freedoms. This is what the Revolutionary War was fought for and what our soldiers continue to believe as they fight for us. There are so many differing views on religion, politics, heredity, and social standing that these have become unimportant in light of someone’s character and interaction with the rest of the world.

What if starting today we lived without prejudice?

What if starting today we lived fully compassionate lives?

What if starting today we began to trust again?

What if starting today we showed respect for everyone?

What if starting today we chose to live as God intended?

To begin with you need to stop grouping a set of strangers together calling all of them bad people who want to kill us all without actually knowing anything about them. A sad state of American society is that we automatically classify people of the Muslim religion as extremists who want to murder us and take over the country.

Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but this is profoundly untrue. The Muslim religion is not to blame, no more than the Christian religion is to blame for the Holocaust or the Spanish Inquisition. Those things happened because of the thoughts and actions of a small group of people, not because of their religion. Step one someone else’s religion is not your responsibility. Your responsibility is your faith, your path, your choice of religion.

As a Christian I believe that at the end of my life I will be placed before God and judged. He will not judge me on my works; He will judge me on my faith and my obedience in accepting Jesus Christ as my eternal Savior. What part does anything to do with someone else’s religion? Nada.

Another part of my walk as a Christian is more of a universal rule that I live by and would appreciate others to do as well. “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” I know I didn’t quote the scripture or verse, but you know what I mean. This fully encapsulates how to live compassionately. If you see someone who is hungry try to feed him. If you see someone that needs a home, show him where to get the help to get a home.

Living compassionately is not a life in the mission field, it should simply be life.

If you claim to be Christian the rule we are taught is to live a “Christ-like Life.” Who was Christ? Jesus. How did he live? He was self-sacrificing and lived to make the lives of those around him better than his own. We cannot save the world, but we can show each other mercy.

What do you think the world would be like if more Christians lived that way?

I think it would be easier to trust if you knew that the people who claimed to be good, peace-loving, wholesome individuals really were. There is nothing more troubling than believing in others and having them shatter that belief. Perhaps my trust in others is my fatal flaw, because I trust everyone until they’ve given me a reason not to and that is dangerous. Because you can’t actually trust anyone these days until they have proven their worth.

If you can’t trust simply try to respect others. Everyone.

All trust starts with respect. If someone can’t respect other people they can’t be trusted. Of all the definitions of respect I think the one most closely resembling what we view as respect is thoughtfulness or consideration. By being considerate of others we can earn their trust and compassion, which could bring them to a non-judgmental state regardless of your chosen lifestyle or religion…which are none of their business anyway.

I for one like my rights as an American and I would hate to see them further sullied because of some extreme belief in the supremacy of one religion over another.

Every time you act and react is a characteristic of yourself, not your religion, not your hometown, not even your family. We are all on this planet. We won’t all agree. We won’t all get along.

Tolerance isn’t about conformity it’s about life.

Pulled from a Facebook Share

Pulled from a Facebook Share

“Being In Service to Something Larger Than Yourself”

Every day we are told to do what is best for our own self-interests.

Do whatever you need to do to give yourself the best life possible, who cares what happens to everyone else. They are not your problem.

I can’t get over how wrong I think this idea of life is…I am not the only one.

I personally think that nature is the best teacher for this and it’s in nature that you can see how interdependent we are meant to be.  We are not meant to be islands unto ourselves. It may be a dog eat dog world, but it wasn’t supposed to be.

I envision a world where we are each dependent upon each other. No one has to go without because there is plenty to go around. I don’t think it’s socialist to change and equate the systems. There is no reason for poverty and homelessness. There is no reason for greed and persecution. There should be no place for these things in our world.

Yet they are everywhere.

What do you suppose would happen if we chose to live a different way?

What do you suppose would happen if you reached out and helped those around you?

Watch this video. I am not the only one who has a new vision for our planet.

We are not individuals. We are all one. We have to grow beyond that thinking.

 

“Bow into service.”

Become “the more beautiful world your heart knows is possible.”blog

Have you been Wrecked?

Have you been wrecked?

This is a simple question asked in an email from Jeff Goins. Actually the email contained his manifesto, “Wrecked for the Ordinary: A Manifesto for Misfits.” In bold print on page two – “MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW WHO THEY ARE.”

So of course I had to continue reading.

If you have been following this blog or stopping by temporarily to catch my latest ramblings you know that I have been writing out who I am. Figuring out who I am and how I relate to the world around me. Trying to figure out how to make a typical existence work for me when everything inside is screaming that I shouldn’t.

I call it my gypsy soul, but I wonder if it is something more.

I am the “I can do that” person that always wants to do more for others and help, but never quite seem to fill the void that makes me want to do these things. I want to join in every charity that my heart wants to help despite my brain saying, “You have no time for this!” I get over run with things to do and never quite do any of them very well because I am always thinking about the next thing that has to be done.

As Jeff writes, “ [I am] struggling to find meaning in [my] everyday life. [I am] floundering, lost in a cloud of insignificance and mediocrity.”

This is hard to admit that I do all of these things trying to fill the void that exists when I try to just live a normal life. I know many, if not most, of you don’t understand this void, or if you do you have learned to control it. I have tried everything from living life on the edge with craziness and an alcoholic spouse to just struggling every day to provide for my family. I haven’t figured it all out, but no matter how much there is TO Do I never quite feel fulfilled.

“They strive. They long for what they can’t have and thus despair, perhaps growing a bit disillusioned.”

To despair is to be hopeless and I am anything but hopeless. I think I have enough for what could be, but living life as I do every day makes the feeling of “hopelessness” exist. I get up, I get dressed, I wake the boys and get them ready, the nanny/babysitter arrives and I leave for work, drive 40 miles one way to my office and proceed to work 9-10 hours and go home. I drive the 40 miles back home, pick the kids up for whatever activity we have that evening OR if I have charity meetings in town I drive to that, do that, and THEN drive the 40 miles home…I get home in time to eat dinner, read a story and lay the boys down to bed. We repeat this 5 five days a week and you have some idea of how much time I spend chasing my wheels.

I know this is not the first time I have lamented this, but it is to make this point again, that there is more to life than this.

There is no amount of time that I spend away from home all day that justifies the void that I feel when I lay down at night. No matter what I have filled the time I was awake doing there is still that voice inside that says I should be doing more.

What? When? It isn’t possible!

It’s impossible to think that there is any way I could do more in present circumstance, so I have to seek a way to change the circumstance.

Hey – It’s not the first time.

Back to line one, “Have [I] been wrecked?”

There is both a resounding yes and a humble no. I have been wrecked by always striving for a life that I don’t think I will ever have. I have been wrecked by homelessness and insecurity. I have been wrecked by the daily struggle of every single mom who may or may not have enough money to make it to her next payday. But I have not seen first-hand how hard life could be. I have not walked into a village of people whose life is put on the line every day just to provide for their families. I have not reached beyond myself to grasp the hand of a dying man because he wanted to connect with life.

I haven’t forced myself to fill the void that exists.

I have tried repeatedly to close my ears to a calling to a higher purpose.

Jeff says, “At first, it’s disorienting – maybe even distracting. It calls out of you the greatest parts of you – the parts you might be afraid to let out.”

“In the end, you’re not who you were before. You’re different. You’re changed. You may even feel like your old values have been, in a sense, ruined by this new worldview.”

So I am seeking answers to where to go from here. Globe school for the boys will be a big part of this, but I think it is evolving from a purely selfish idea into something where I can act compassionately with a group of like-minded individuals. I’ve asked the only friend I know who left his life in pursuit of compassionate action how he knew it was the right choice when he did it. I am hoping he can help me as I have to walk down this path. I am not built for apathy and ignorance is a four-letter word to me.

The void must be filled, the thirst must be quenched.

Life must be meaningful, status quo will never work for me.

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The Inevitable Inspirational Research

Monday I shared this blog about starting Globe School. I have spent some down time during the day re-researching this insanity.

I just wanted those who read to know that I think it is slightly insane to leave everything you know and everything you’ve been taught to believe behind. As adventurous as it is – as much as I want this – there (in the world) is still that voice inside and out there that says this is impossible.

For the sake of my life I hope it is not.

Do I think this will be easy? No. I think it will be very hard, but perhaps it won’t be as hard as I imagine. I will no longer be able to tell my children that if they don’t behave we will go straight home!

Home will be where ever we are.

I have learned however that I am not the only person who would rather spend their lives traveling than as a random citizen. I am not the only one that has ever sought to teach their children on the road and outside of a classroom. I am not the only one that has ever wanted to circle the globe by car, foot, train, bike, boat, and with very few plane rides.

Come to think of it I should only need two, unless I can find a friend with a big boat. Now that would be an adventure!

I found this blog – Almost Fearless – and the author wrote this e-book about how to get started. I read it. I am still working through some of the questions it raised, but this is a work in progress.

First things first – set a date. I set one before I ever read the book. June 1, 2014…or January 1, 2014…really depends on how the universe (or God or whatever you want to call it)works. I prefer God. He is in charge of this.

Second – what is holding you back?

In a word…PLENTY!

Not the idea, but self doubt. Self-doubt has held many adventurers back for millenniums. We want to go out an conquer the world…but what we really mean is that we want to conquer our little corner of it never seeing what’s on the other side!

A film posted on the Irish Polyglot’s Blog about his 29 life lessons learned from being a constant traveler caught my eye.

 

This is reality for so many of us. We do everything “right” only to find that at the end all we have ever done is the journey around our own little corner of the world.

You never had your “big break” because maybe your “big break” was meant to happen in Spain or Mauritania or Australia.

I have for the most part burst my own bubble on writing my way through the planet because many people think this way. Plus – I am lazy…who wants to do that kind of research! I am not going to make a list of bus routes and car parks and can you climb a hill to see the sea.

However – there are alternatives.

I found WWOOF. It stands for “Willing Workers On Organic Farms” this fits quite nicely within the parameters of Globe School. Teaching the boys about plants and cultivation without the use of pesticides and chemicals. It gives you a prearranged schedule to work in trade for a bed and your meals. It is an interesting idea that I may try out locally before the end of the year. I am sure SOMEONE in Texas does this.

I have also started a Couchsurfing account. Not that I have plans of surfing couches, but I know there are families and single mothers out there who are travelers. I offer them use of my couch in exchange for their information.

How do they make it work?

Since I have had my account for a total of 30 hours, I haven’t learned that much from the site. I have explained some things to do in and around Houston. I am a great tour guide for Texas, especially Houston on the cheap, but we must progress beyond our door.

Remember what Bilbo used to say: ‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.’ – J.R.R. Tolkien

I am sort of hoping to get swept off to some place truly spectacular, doing something truly spectacular. However, I know that I don’t want my expectations to meet disappointment, so I will just say that I hope my adventure is good. Good can be dull or it can be interesting, but either way it is good.

Sunset in Wyoming - Definitely on my list to see.

Sunset in Wyoming – Definitely on my list to see.

If you would like to learn more about the places we will go follow my board on Pinterest – Globe School.

Do you have any helpful websites that I can browse? If so, link in the comments!

Why start Globe School?

Tuesday morning (July 22, 2013) I was sitting at lunch surrounded by professional Houstonians eating a baked potato; when my boss started telling the vendor who had taken us to lunch about a book.

“Who moved my Cheese?” 

I think this book is written in an effort to get you to work harder, smarter, and become a better employee. My boss and all of our managers read it as part of leadership training to make them better leaders. Upper management is trying to make everyone realize that they need to continue to work hard to stay at the top. They need to adapt and become a force in their department.

Be the most knowledgeable! Be the most adaptable! Be the go to guy!

“Anticipate change!” “Enjoy change!” “Monitor change!”

After lunch, my interest in the story impelled my boss to forward me the link to the YouTube video that the leadership training team had shown to them.

For everyone that understands the point and propaganda I applaud you. This video had the opposite effect on me. For me all I saw was the invisible maze, the rat race. I am not a rat, nor do I want to be in a race striving for an end that someone other than me predetermines my needs.

“When you change what you believe you change what you do…”

This got me thinking about what I believe.

1)      I believe the world is a more compassionate place than we give her credit for, and that given the opportunity she would show me.

2)      That there is more to life than going to work to pay the bill and leaving my sons with a babysitter.

3)      My children need me in their life every day. Yes I like time away from everyone, just me and my thoughts, but in the entire world I would rather be with these two little guys than anyone.

4)      What happened to traveling the world? What happened to the adventurer who would see it all before she was old?

5)      I am creative. I am a writer. I am a gypsy-soul trapped in the race. I am in desperate need to see the world before I get any older.

The question that came down like a hammer striking me on the head was, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

What would I do?

What could I do?

What should I do?

At first I thought, I would quit my job and open a bakery. Make cookies and cakes, and get fat and sell my wares. Become a member of the community and live out my days in quiet contented illusion. Calm the gypsy within by taking annual trips. Just living the “American Dream,” but that is such a dream. I don’t want a house. I don’t want to be tied to things that become an anchor. I like my freedom too much. I won’t see nearly enough of the world – if I see any!

That was like writing my obituary long before I am ever dead!

“Here lies Megan. She was good.”

In reality, my dream has always been the same. Become a permanent traveler, by car and by foot. Sell everything and live go out in search of the world.

I remember reading about a family who became travelers. One day they just decided that the material existence of their lives had become their only existence. It didn’t matter that they had a baby who was too young to walk. It didn’t matter that they had a mortgage and car payments.

They just decided to be different.

I want to do that.

I have said “I” a lot in this, but really it is a “we” experience. I have two sons. I am determined to show them the world and give them an education unlike any other. I think they should visit battlegrounds and castles and natural landscapes to learn about history, geography, culture, languages, and so, so much more. I think they should experience with all five senses and develop a sense of being a citizen of not just America, but of the world.

I have thought about the effects of this lifestyle and I can’t find any that would be detrimental. I know our families would visit us where ever we are or we could fly home for breaks in our adventure. Technology makes it possible for me to keep in touch easily and cheaply. A global network of friends and relatives will make it easier to sleep in a warm bed.

One thought keeps ringing through my head.

Where would I make money?

I would like to share our adventures. I would like to be paid to write articles, short stories, and books detailing our trek around the globe. I am a decent photographer, I have two of the most handsome models ever, and I know that people would want to read the tale.

So we move on to phase two of the planning of Globe School. Finding kindred souls to assist in embarking on this great adventure.