Happy Thanksgiving

Close your eyes (figuratively speaking) take a deep breath, in, slowly, allowing it to fill you up from the bottom of your rib cage straight through to the top of your head. Breath in until you feel as though your lungs will burst, then breath out, slowly. Relaxing every muscle of your mind. Repeat with each muscle group until you are completely relaxed. Until every physical fiber of your being is jello.

We need this – NOW!

We have survived another day of togetherness. Another Thanksgiving.

 We have joined with our families, eaten our turkey (or Chinese), and managed to coexist with the people we love for more than a moment. The brief grouping of hours where the capitalist system is shut down and we are forced to be together.

I don’t think I would have changed a thing about today. Except maybe Michael’s inability to NOT cry when I leave the room or the absence of a few of the loves of my life. I am sure they all enjoyed their turkey though in their familial settings.

We have a fairly relaxed approach to this whole affair. We aren’t the “movie moms” that wake up and shove a bird in the oven by 8 am. We don’t spend the entire day up to our elbows in food preparation in the kitchen. We can’t find the button within that says that’s what has to happen.

I think there was a time when that used to happen in my family. We used to slave and cook and bake for days. I remember in 2004, when we held the family Thanksgiving at our house I remember working for a solid week before turkey day. Shopping, cleaning, painting, making sure the yard looked great, and then the day or two before I made bread and pies.

I didn’t use a bread machine like we did today, I literally handmade the bread and baked the rolls.

I made the pie crusts and peeled the apples and baked the pies.

I learned that I make amazing apple pie. I can’t stand apple pie though, so unless I know someone likes it and that someone will be present the gift goes unused.

Then Thanksgiving day arrived and my ex husband (he’s a chef) made three turkeys for the number of people we were going to have. We fried two in deep southern tradition and baked a traditional bird. Best birds ever…

This was the last good Thanksgiving I remember having with him. The rest were a combination of separations and work days.

Today was the first Thanksgiving that I got to spend with my mom cooking since 2004.

So much of life has changed since…

I am grateful to the Lord for many of the changes that have been made, however a few I could have done with out. But even in sadness we must say Thank you God. Tonight, Lord, even as I think of all the changes you have made that have placed me in this house, typing on this computer, I am grateful for the reconciliation with my mother. I am grateful for the ability of my family to forgive, and I am grateful for the possibilities that you are presenting me with for the future. So much wonder, so much love.

Happy Thanksgiving and Welcome to the Holiday Season!

“Bury that horse in the ground” – Shake it Out

This is my new theme song. Part of what I hope is a happier approach to life.

Have a listen. It’s an awesome song, Shake it Out, but Florence and the Machine.

What is this whole thing about burying the past after yesterday’s lamentation of being stuck there and not being able to move on? Well, it’s two things really.

First, no matter what you’re stuck on the world continues, day turns to night which turns to day, and the dates flick by on the calendar. Even if we feel like we are stuck, we really aren’t, everything around us continues all we have to do is join in.

Second, it’s not really attractive to constantly bring up the past. Something I have learned – it’s a no-no. If you are reconnecting with an old pal and letting them know how your life has been since you have seen them last, that’s one thing. Tell the story, get it out there, and leave it alone. Don’t let it hinder the progress of the friendship. Your trust, commitment, or relationship issues really aren’t their problem, cut them some slack.

If you would, indulge me by reading the lyrics you may better understand why this is my new theme song.

Florence And The Machine
Shake It Out lyrics

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues strong
It’s always darkest before the dawn

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse around

And our love is pastured such a mournful sound
Tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues strong
But it’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
Cause I like to keep my issues strong
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaahAnd it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woahAnd given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a final mess but it’s left me so empty
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Oh woah, oh woah…

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat
Cause looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

**http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/f/florence_and_the_machine/shake_it_out.html

It’s hard to live if you are constantly thinking about your past. Reflection is natural, but moving forward should be how you cope.

Get out there, have fun, do something with yourself. Find a hobby.

I know that some times this is hard to do. You may not be ready to find someone, but you can find something.

My ladies group and I are starting a charity, I am going to throw myself into that. Helping those who are in need is a great stress reliever. I’m not into dating. I am otherwise busy.

I also need to take a serious inventory of what I am going to be needing for me.

If you are here, where I am, I suggest figuring that out. Make your list and don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. My friends keep telling me to do this, but I have lived the saying, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

When we constantly attach ourselves to the same type of people it is because we know those patterns, we know those behaviors, we are comfortable in our struggle because we don’t expect more. By diverting from that we can run into one of two things, people who exceed our expectations and people we should run from, far away as fast as our feet will carry us.

It’s that second type that make this a scary process. I dated someone who ended up being a complete psycho, so yeah….I ran back to the man I had filed for a divorce from and cancelled the filing. But as Flo says, “I’m going to bury that horse in the ground.”

I am hoping to meet someone who exceeds my expectations. That’s what we all need after all. Someone to cherish us, hold us, and make us feel like we are worth their efforts.

Here’s the trick for some people to learn…be worthy.

Can Men and Women be friends??? Read and Comment

I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know if I should try to explain, but I do know that some things in life are worth looking like an idiot over.

Our kids are one. They make me look like an idiot regularly.

Love is another.

Here’s the deal. I really like someone, could possibly one day love, given the chance. This someone doesn’t seem to feel the same way. I know they don’t feel the same way. There is no hinting around stated facts. But my heart and head aren’t cooperating, so the blog gets to bear the brunt of my emotions.

So, I am trying to not get here…

Cause you see when someone says they like you, they like you enough to want to keep you around regardless of your detachment issues.

Side note: Amidst the turmoil of recent months there have been a few rays of sunshine, and the person I am referring to in the above is one of them.

My ability to shove my foot in my mouth repeatedly or act like a complete moron have pretty much set a precedent though.

Seriously, it’s been bad.

I feel like an utter fool typing this blog, because this was over about the time it got started, so yeah my inability to just let go is also at issue.

That may take some (ACTUAL) therapy to determine the cause there.

Anyway, since that time I have tried to treat said boy as a friend. Yeah, I wanted something that he didn’t, but I can compartmentalize. I realize that the words he said were consistent even if I wasn’t. I would still like to talk, email, get together as I do with the rest of the people who I know.

I feel like my efforts are for not. I wonder if my ability to restrain myself seems to reek of desperation. Or if the boy realizes that I can in fact take a deep breath and would very much like to be a good friend.

I guess I am naive this way.

I think it is possible for men and women to be friends. I think it is possible to have a platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex.

Then again, I think lots of guys agree with Billy Crystal’s character in When Harry Met Sally

Harry Burns: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally Albright: Why not?
Harry Burns: What I’m saying is – and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form – is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
Sally Albright: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
Harry Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: You only think you do.
Sally Albright: You say I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?
Harry Burns: No, what I’m saying is they all WANT to have sex with you.
Sally Albright: They do not.
Harry Burns: Do too.
Sally Albright: They do not.
Harry Burns: Do too.
Sally Albright: How do you know?
Harry Burns: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally Albright: So, you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
Harry Burns: No. You pretty much want to nail ’em too.
Sally Albright: What if THEY don’t want to have sex with YOU?
Harry Burns: Doesn’t matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.
Sally Albright: Well, I guess we’re not going to be friends then.
Harry Burns: I guess not.
Sally Albright: That’s too bad. You were the only person I knew in New York.

All the above being said…what is it about “more than friends” relationships that make it impossible for some in that relationship to just go on to be friends?

Is it possible to be “one of the guys?”

So I am going to leave it to you fine people…what do you think?

And if you’re the boy…

Harry Burns: The fact that you’re not answering leads me to believe you’re either (a) not at home, (b) home but don’t want to talk to me, or (c) home, desperately want to talk to me, but trapped under something heavy. If it’s either (a) or (c), please call me back.

**Quotes courtesy of When Harry Met Sally, by way of IMDb.

The Funk

Trying to bust out of my funk. Why am I in a funk you ask?

Hmm…it’s three fold really.

First, I am divorcing my husband. I have 22 more days and then it will be final…meanwhile…the Texas Attorney General has decided my custody hearing should occur 2 days prior to that. So, before Thanksgiving I will be able to go and do as I please.

There is something both liberating and debilitating about this to me. The finality of all of this is a bit much.

Second, I lost one of the two people on the earth who knew absolutely everything about me. (The other being the man I am divorcing.) This was one of my confidants for a long time, someone who could talk to me, and take care of me even when I didn’t know what I needed. The unknown events surrounding his death have made it hard to take really. He had told a buddy of his that he was ready to end it all, but at the same time he may have just slipped off the curb. Either way the car that struck him was driving down a road that I have to drive down regularly for work. 

Finally, just the general struggle for existence – it is getting better financially, but it won’t be fixed until I can find a better paying position. All of the talk about the underemployed…that’s me. I am not making enough to support the three people in my house on my salary. I am looking for a new gig, there just aren’t many, and there are so many overly qualified people laid off right now that no one wants to give me a shot!

This isn’t for anyone to offer to cover an expense, this is just me telling you about my funk. It’s my funk, no one else’s. So, what am I doing to try to get out of the funk?

Well, for starters, I paid some bills with my grant refund for school. Weight off shoulders. I joined a gym so that I can get some endorphins working during lunch. Loaded my social calendar up with family, church, and other events with my friends. This week I have my niece’s birthday tonight, a friend’s band has a gig Friday, a HFT event Saturday, that is if I skip the Lone Star Rally, but I really want to go to the rally, all followed by a birthday party for one of my oldest friends Saturday night, and as always church Sunday morning.

Aside from that, I think I need to move. I think it would be better for my psyche if I was out of this area. There are so many memories of my life with my husband (both good and horrible), of my friendship that ended badly, then tragically, and just get a fresh start.

A fresh start somewhere in the vicinity of central Texas would be lovely.

Living Social…right…

Life was easier in 2005. Our friends were the special folks in our life that we saw all the time. We’d email them and they’d respond and we’d kept a sort of daily banter, but we saw eachother live and in person.

Fast forward 6 years and a gazillion bits of memory later and we have…facebook, google+, twitter, gowalla, foursquare, and so many more…it’s ridiculous.

Who needs that many ways to keep in touch with the same group of people!

The people you liked and saw, you kept up with them, their lives, their problems, and you offered a hand or a shoulder to cry on. Your distance to travel was probably short, but your stamina for these people was great.

Today. Now. We are all about now. We are all about living social. We are all about the instant gratification of letting people know exactly what we are doing. Well…I am not, but lots of people are. Lots of celebrities are now interactive!

Wow @AndersonCooper you can read my twitter status by simply adding your name with an @ symbol. How freaking ridiculous!

They don’t care!

WE don’t care!

We love you and think you are special but we honestly don’t care if you are eating dinner with George Patton at The Russian Tea Room.

Facebook has also lead to some drama.

Wow – ever want to feel like you’re in high school?! Post a blib about who you are seeing. Post a comment about who went to rehab. Post a note about what you think about your former best friend who is now your aunt. (Okay – so I haven’t done any of those things and none of my best friends are my aunts…unless they became my Aunt before they were my friend.)

But you get the point right?

Life was also easier on the dating front. You never had to ask yourself if you are in fact, “Facebook official.” What the heck does that mean anyway?!

Why does life have to be so complicated?!

It doesn’t, really. You don’t have to participate in the drama. You don’t have to post about anything of real signifigance. You don’t even have to post at all; and you CAN block your wall from everyone except yourself.

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Gowalla your experience with these tools is what you make it. You can pretend your still a 15 year old gossip or you can grow up.

Those that care about who and what we post about on facebook are the same people that care about who and what you are in real life.

These are the people that through it all will be there with a shoulder to cry on, a tissue to wipe your nose, and a bottle of Jack to numb the pain.

These are also the people who hold your hand a pray with you. They pray for the bumps in life to be small and the rewards to be great.

After all the facebook drama don’t you want to go out and enjoy people in person?

I do. See you around at my favorite places. Cheers!

The How and Why of the Forbidden Button

I think how you handle people who want nothing more than to see you squashed like a bee has a lot to say about who you are. For example, do you lash out at everyone or do you accept it with a deep sigh and move on?

Inevitably there will be people in your life that just don’t like you. There is no rhyme or reason other than your existence pisses them off.

I wish I could answer why for you, but that is between them and God.

I just don’t know.

I am going to admit this not before God and everybody…there are sometimes things about people who I just don’t like, don’t understand, and although I want to put out the effort to be nice and agreeable I just don’t care.

It’s like the  Pythagorean theorem you had to memorize in high school geometry, but don’t remotely remember now. You just don’t really care!

So, I guess sometimes that makes me the hater. Oh well.

Sometimes you got to stand on your own two feet and say, “I don’t like you very much and you’re not a very nice person.”

Now back to the subject of handling your own haters…people who just don’t care. I think there are several ways to handle them.

You walk away.

You smile and nod and when you can you escape.

You find a way to admit to yourself and to them that you want to click the “un-friend” or God forbid the “un-like” buttons on Facebook and IT’S OKAY!

You don’t reply to the extreme email.

You don’t immediately call them back when the phone rings. Or – Gasp! – You hit the ignore button on your phone!

I am not saying this to be mean. I am not saying this to be pointed or tacky.

People just need to learn when to leave and when to cleave. You need to let go of people you just don’t like anymore. You need to learn that no matter how tight a family may try to be most of the time, in many families, those relationships are not what they appear to be.

As for Facebook…look at your friends list. Who do you just really not care to hear from ever again? Click the un-friend/un-like button…come on! It’s Liberating!!!

Love and prayers to you all! Happy Thursday – cause tomorrow’s FRIDAY!!!

Cold Cup of Coffee

My original goal for the day was to write about the Response…but I am just not feeling it. So, maybe later.

I am struck by the memory muse because a bunch of my friends are posting in new groups on facebook about life back home. The sort of back home you can’t go back to. I have been reading posts all weekend about places that have long since disappeared and been torn down. Memories that you can share with your family and friends but you can’t take them to these places to make new ones.

It has made me think about the fragility of life, of places, of things.

I think I understand why some people become hoarders. It is because for one fleeting moment an item brought them a sense of joy and they don’t want to lose it. They have trouble letting go with the past because outside of themselves and their homes the world is in constant motion.

The only the eternal is this motion.

I commented over the weekend about my seemingly insensitive nature to get rid of things. I am constantly discarding and getting rid of items because I don’t want the clutter. I don’t want to think about where this came from or who gave that because if I sit there and think about it too much I will never get rid of anything.

My small apartment will become a dwelling place for the past and I think too much about the future to be weighed down by trivial things.

To some the items I discard may not be trivial.

But you have to realize in the end that much of what you have is just stuff. Stuff that could be part of the next landfill. So, if you want to think green, give more stuff away. Someone, somewhere may need your old speakers. They may know how to make them work again. Post it on freecycle, craigslist, anywhere there is a swap’n’shop-type website or store.

That being said, you can never go back home again.

In a post several months ago I wrote about my return to my hometown and it felt all wrong. Like a pair of jeans that I out grew.

I drove past the point of the lake that used to contain a resort I helped at for a few years, it was gone.

Bulldozed for progress.

Really, the mansion or property running alongside needed a bigger lawn.

The restaurant I worked at for a year and a half at the end of high school is no longer there either. The barge is, but the people that made the restaurant a tourist attraction are gone.

People are also not a constant.

Friendships end, evolve, explore, and even explode.

Not many of us have had the same friends for the last twenty years. Not many of us have the same family members that we had twenty years ago either. The ideas of the family have evolved in the last twenty years.

We are beyond just step families.

In the last ten years, much of my family has been the close friends that I have depended on for a shoulder to cry on, a hand to help me through the fire, and an ear to listen long into the night. I have needed them and I hoped that I was able to be there for them when they needed me. But many of those are ended also. I still talk to the girls I once worked with and we may know eachothers pains but the closeness we once shared is gone.

A new step in life and people pull away. Like a small thread in a sweater that you pull just a little, but then you make a hole. Eventually you pull enough and you no longer have a sweater.

I am glad that God created us with a memory. A memory that will hopefully function the rest of my days. A memory that will return to all the happy times and will lessen the intensity of the bad times.

A memory that like a cup of coffee is scalding at first, but over time becomes

a cold cup of coffee. Sweet and with the hint of what once was…

What’s the story??

Hmmm….my life makes me wonder as we see people walking around what their stories entail. Is the soccer mom with three kids a former stripper? Is the dad pulling his daughter down the street in a wagon a convicted murder? Everyone has a history, everyone has a past. These two examples may be someone you know. These two examples may be some of the best people you know. We have no idea if the history people tell you is true to their life or if they prefer to not talk about it. We don’t know their story, just as I don’t know your story. “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” I prefer to live life by this mantra, these words from the Bible.

Think on this for a moment, if you meet someone and they are supremely awesome human beings, then you learn something about their past you don’t like, do you judge them? Do you not make the effort to meet up with them? Do you try to pull away because 20 years ago they messed up?

What about that thought process is right?

Take people into consideration. Take the evolution of self into account. People grow and change so much between 20 and 40 that you can’t compare the two stages of life. At 20, we are reckless, we are carefree, we think nothing bad will ever happen to us, we continue to make life changing mistakes for a long time. By 40, we have fallen, we have scraped our knees, and we have figured out that if you play with fire it more than likely will burn you every time.

As I type I am listening to Blue October. One of my favorite hometown bands, and the lyric is “Hate me today, so you can finally see what’s good for you…” This is my favorite song of theirs. It is full of pain and remorse, forgiveness and hope. Hope for the future. Hope for the possibility of not being judged for who you were, but for who you are.

If you haven’t heard this song, for whatever reason…listen to it just click on the title and it will take you to the video at Roxwell.com

If you take one thing from today, please let it be this…don’t blame people for their pasts, it already hurts enough, love them and befriend them for who they are today.