Archive | February 2013

Out With the Old! – Cleaning Up, Giving Up and Stress Relief

We all go through those times were we need to clean out – the car, the closet, the friends list, the email, the garage. We all also know people whose house, closet, desk, etc are all so cluttered that you just can’t even think. Sometimes you just want to go in with a big trash back, or industrial size vacuum cleaner that can suck up all those magazines, old shoes and pants that don’t fit, so you can see the forest without all the leaves. I am doing all of that. They say that there is a psychological benefits to cleaning  Here and here. (And you can thank me for such interesting, cool reading).

For me, cleaning out the clutter is extremely cathartic. it starts with the physical cleaning out…and makes it’s way to emotionally cleaning out the cobwebs, old information, ideas and such that serve no purpose.  And I am looking forward to that as much as I am actually having room in my closet.

Ther has been much mental and emotional clutter buyilt up, and it is time to clean the cobwebs out. If it does not serve me, then it is going out – shoes, pants, people and old magazines. Thats’ it. I’ve had enough and I don;t want the clutter anymore!

Why do we have clutter byuild up anyway? IT’s like a bad ring of soap scum around the bathtub of life. Gross!  Maybe it’s because we arew afraid to let go of those old memories, thoughts or things. Even if the do not fit us, or our lives anymore, we know them. we kn0w the faults they have, know where they don’t fit, and find comfort in that familiarity. Maybe others are afraid to let go fo things because that means letting go of a part of life that is jut too painful to try to part with. And again, some people can get comfortable in their pain, because they know it, and the thought of being open to a new pain is just too…terrifying.

But we will never have room for the new wonderful adventures, thoughts, ideas and people are emant to have in our lives, if we always hang on the is old and what we have outgrown. There is a reason why they call it growing pains, because change is not comfortable for most people. But nothing good ever came easy.

So don’t be afraid to clean out that garage, or desk, or friendslist. Because your life is waiting for you…and you will never know until you make room for all the wonderful things life has in store for you. Clean out, appreciate what the old brought you, taught you and made you…then gently put them in the trash and step away…right into the life that is waiting for you.

Lent and Self Reflection

Today is Ash Wednesday, and it marks the start of Lent. For those who are not familiar with this season in the Christian church, it is a time of discipline and self reflection. It is a time of quiet and stillness. To be find your center.

Every year I give up something and take another task on. This year I am giving up cokes (and all carbonated drinks. Eek).  Then this year the extra discipline will be to open up and connect with others on a deeper level. I have become quite a hermit in the last year, and have closed quite a few people out.

I am also concentrating on much self reflection. IT is difficult for me to admit in a public forum, but because of the attack, I have been diagnosed with PTSD. This may seem strange, but more people suffer from PTSD after a violent attack of domestic violence, than vets coming back from the wars. You can read about the causes and symptoms of PTSD here and here and here. Pretty intersting stuff. And i suffered from every symptom right after the attack. Now I am mainly just subject to being extra irritable, and thus have a hard time maintaining close personal relaitonships.

Now the legal and physical battle is finally over, I am taking this time to really heal from the attack and subsequent 18 months of legal hassles, stalking and fear. Finally I can rest and relax.

So this Lenten Season will have a different tone to it. It’s meaning will be much more intimate to me. Because this is the season I get back to me. And that feels good. I have seen glimpses of me along in the past 18 months, but they have been fleeting and in between legal fights and scary threats. I look forward to being healed, from the inside out.

And I really look forward to drinking cokes again. And I am really looking forward to going to church with someone.

Lingerie Modeling – I Can Cross That off My List!

When we are young, we often make lists of what we want to do or be in life. A bucket list so to speak. And as we go throug blife, we realize that some of those things will never be crossed off the list…but then, if we are lucky, most of them will be.

I always wanted to be paid to write. And I can cross that off the list. I always =wanted to interview nacy Reagan, and I crossed thatoff my life. Always wanted to be in TV, wanted to be in a movie, and yes, I have crossed those off my list. As a joke, I said that I would love to walk the catwalk as a model…and I have been able to check that one off too.  But I never thought I would be able to check off “be a lingeri model.” But starting next week, Iwill be a professional ligerie model. Holy crap.

It is a high end store, in a high end part of town that also has stores in Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto. They want real women who have nice figures. Which is good because I am over 100 lbs and am not planning on starving myself anytime soon. Don’t get me wrong, I am no slouch, but neither a Victoria’s Secret model either. It does make me a bit nervous – lots of the crew seeing me in barely there outfits. Eek. And they are going top Pay Me. OK, that makes up for the whole, lots of people are going to see me in my panties thing.

It reminds me of the Sex and the City episode where Carrie is asked to walk the catwalk in a fashion show with real women. Carrie ended up tripping and falling on the runway due to a questionable pair of shoes – something that indeed did happen to me during my brief stint as a shoe model. Accept I was back stage when it happened…and my leg stuck out on the stage from behind the curtain. Not a great moment. My clumsiness is always finding me at the worst possible times.

Outside of falling backstage to become “fashion roadkill,” it was much fun, with hair, make up and woredrobe people assigned to each model. And they gave us lots of champagne before each show because they wanted us happy and bubbly.

So, it is with excitement and a little bit of nervousness that I start this adventure. I can check off being a lingerie model from my list of things I never thought I would get a chance to do in my life. And all my ex boyfriends can brag ghat they went out with a model…a lingerie model. And they will be talking about me. So cool! Yes, this year is going to be full of wonderful things, this just being one of them. It’s fun to play a model…then go home, get in your comfy sweatpants and eat some ice cream.

Guess I better make an appointment to get waxed.

The Best Ex’s

Tonight I recieved a call from a very dear friend, who also happens to be on ex-boyfriend. He and I dated over 6years ago and he is a great man and has been a great friend. He was in the area and wanted to catch up over a beer. I said yes.

The next 2 hours were spent catching up, laughing and talking about what had been going on (lots to talk about there). I had to leave because dinner was being cooked for me somewhere else, but it was wonderful to see him.

This is is my New Years Eve Buddy – we have a tradition that if we are not dating anyone, we celebrate the New Year together. I come over and he grills lamb and makes his amazing shitaki mushrooms. Then a delicious dessert and lots of wine and champange. And the best part of the evening? The fact that we wear our worst, most ugly, mosts horrible pajamas. The first year we did this, I wore some flannel pajamas patterned with large yellow goldfish with Big blue eyes and red lips. The outfit was only complete when I wore my big fuzzy fish slippers (think fuzzy bunny slippers, only fish). Oh yes, I was too sexy.

In my life, I have dated some of the most wonderful men. They have been a blessing to my life, and most have remained very good friends. He, in particular, has been a wonderful friend and solid confidant. He has supported me when things were rough, kept my secrets and confessions, and explained sports to me with endless patience.

And it started me thinking, with the exception of one, maybe two men, I have the best ex’s. Most of them were great guys it with whom it just didn’t work out. But they have all had integrity and honor. They have all been kind and compassionate. And they were all very good to me. I have been blessed to have them in my life and to have most of them as friends still.

The Plight of the Elderly

Disclaimer – This post is meant to be funny and may cause uncontrollable laughter, smiling and induce a feeling of well being and happiness. Please be advised and read responsibly.

We have all heard it, how rough the elderly have it in this country. And no doubt getting older in this day and age is a lot harder than it used to be. The cost of living is much higher, pensions. medicaid and medicare assistance is lower, medicine and health care are sky rocketing, just to name a few.  But really, do the elderly have it that bad?

Honestly, I cannot wait to be in my 60′s and 70′s. Here’s why…

As I traveled with my mother this weekend, I noticed all the special treatment that was given to her. I might as well have been rotten chopped liver. But she was treated like royalty. There were discounts at the hotels for her, discounts for food for her, she did not have to put her own heavy suitcase in the above compartment on the airplane. There was none of that for me.  And speaking of airplanes, let’s just talk about the special treatment older people get in the security line.

Older people do not have to take their coats or shoes off. It even says so on a big sign in the security line. My mother accidentally left two (yes two!) cigarette lighters in her purse. The security people noticed it, smiled and put them back in her bags – on girl even smiling at her and telling my mother to just put it in her pocket. Do you know what would happen if I even thought about taking a lighter in my luggage at the airport? There would be 5 huge security people waiting to tackle me on the other side of the scanner, a strip search, an interrogation and possible jail time. For my mom? She got sweet approving smiles.

And have you noticed that older people can say whatever they want and it’s considered charming, funny, adorable or eccentric? I mean think about it…an 80 year old woman lets out a strong of obscenities and it’s funny, she could host Saturday Night Live. Just look at the wonderful, lovely, adorably and funny Betty White. Anyone under the age of 65? We are chastised, considered trashy and low class. If you see an elderly man wearing a t-shirt that has something dirty written on it? We think – good for them! Grandpa can still get it on!  Not so much for the younger set of men…

Have you ever been to church, I mean an old, large, well established Southern church? Especially on a special occasion like Easter? It must be a rule that the older you are, the bigger your hat must be. The size of a elderly woman’s hat in church is truly a status symbol, similar to how big a girls hair and shoulder pads could get back in the 80′s. The English have nothing on older Southern women when it comes to hats. The more colorful and outrageous those big hats are in church, the better. I think an elderly lady could wear a hat with naked hula dancers on it and it would be considered tasteful if over the age of 65.

There are two times in life that I plan to take full advantage and more of my situation. First, when I am pregnant and can blame everything on hormones – I plan to not hold back or be polite at all. That filter will be gone for a good 8 months. And I am going to eat everything I can get my teeth on. I am going to gain a lot of weight, because no one is going to take food away from a pregant woman, and I will be perfectly excused for attacking someone with my fork if they try. And me, and my big boobs and big thighs will be very happy. And then, when I am older, I am going to take full advantage of the fact that I will be able to get away with so much more than I ever could when younger.

If an older woman beats a man with a cane and she is praised as the feisty grandmother. If I did that today…well, it would not turn out so pretty. So, I am going to wait until I am in my 70′s, then visit all those people that made fun of me in school, laughed at me, cut me off in traffic or made me have a bad day…find them in the retirement home they are in and beat them with my feisty Grandmother cane. Then curse at them while wearing a completely in appropriate t-shirt and a huge tall colorful hat. Try doing that at 40 and they will commit you. At 70-something, they may throw you your own parade.

So these older whipper-snappers should stop complaining about how rough they have it. The world is their oyster. Maybe if they really wanted to do something constructive they would chase down congress and beat them their canes. Want the government to run right? Get a whole bunch of angry seniors armed with canes, Ben Gay, polygrip, and the like…the government would be on the right path in a day. McGiever has nothing on a whole bunch of scheming seniors who remember how to actually do math without a calculator. Run a budget? Those older people survived during several recessions and know how to make money stretch after retirement.

And maybe that is why seniors are given so much “social forgiveness”…because they have so much to teach us, if we will sit down long enough to learn from them.

 

The Trip of a Lifetime

We all have them, a trip that turns out to be the trip of a lifetime. We memories are made and a new view on life is unleashed. This past weekend was that trip for me. Now I have had trips to remoste tropical islands, great cities and had wonderful adventures. But this is one of the best trips. It was the tip of a lifetime.

The trip was to Chicago with my mother. We have always had a good time when traveling together, whether she was driving me to Atlanta or to Boca Raton for classes when I was younger, to short trips across town. But this was different.

This was her being there just for me. My dad came up to watch my cats – and he is not a cat person. My Mom traveled with me, with a bad back, a bad hip and a hate for cold tempuratures. She traveled with me to a very cold city in a blizzard.

And as we walked across the snow and ice, in the middle of a blizzard, we talked about life, love, the past, the present and the future. We talked of friends, family, possibilites, failures, triumps and everything in between.

She was there with me during one of the hardest days on Friday. And then, afterwards, when it was late and I finally fell asleep, she stayed up and made sure I had no bad dreams as I been having, that I did not get cold or wake up shaking. She stayed up almosts all night, until she was sure that I was sleeping peacefully and truly got rest.

And I am so very lucky and blessed. To have a mother like that, who will truly be there for you no matter what. And a Dad who would watch over my cats, when he is not a cat person. I have so much more than most, but sometimes, it is easy to forget our blessings. Sometimes it is easy to miss the forest for the trees in front of us.

So take a look around, at those who have done things for you, those who have cared for you even when you did not deserve it, those who have supported you, those who have been brave enough to tell you when you where wrong or out of line even. Because they are the ones who will be there for you through anything. Those are the people who will love you no matter whoat, no matter your faults, and stick with you through you dark days and share in the celebration of your best days. But you must first look around and recognize them.

And when you do see them, tell them you love them and that your appreciate them. That is something you never get tired of hearing.

The Celebration of a New Beginning

And here I am, after the last 18 months. And after tonight, I feel a sense of relief. And what I now see is that all the drama is over, finally.

And at last, there is freedom. And finally, after 18 months, I can relax.

At last I can move on with no fear and no looking over my shoulder. No worries or wonder. And that is a lot to gain.

And so I go forth, a little more cautious, but hopeful. Life is ahead of me, Peace in my heart, relief on my mind and a sense of excitement that has not been felt for quite a long time. Life awaits…

And with the start of this blog, tehre is a celebration of a new beginning. Of life, of wonder, of smiles, of love, of everything. and I move forward also knowing my worth and that anyone worth my time and energy will know it too.

Pop open a bottle of chapagne, because my life is back. Oh, how I have missed you.

Judgement Day

There is something I have to tell my friends. Something that makes me afraid that they will either not believe me or for which I will be judged. I am terrified of that actually. But I have found that the best way to deal with your worst fears is to face them head on. Don’t hide from them at all. Ever.

I already told the worst judge. He made snarky comments and acted quite callous. But that is why I chose to practice on him. If I could tell him, then I could face any critic. The result has been a sense of relief.

Sure, we are judged every day in one way or another. People judge us on how we look, what we say, how we act, the work we do, how much money we make, the kind of car we drive. You name it, we are judged by it.

And there is a large part of me who says, fuck them. Don’t let yourself care about what anyone thinks about you, or how they might judge you. And for the most part that is the way I live my life. I am me, if you don’t like me, you can find the door. But I am human. And it is different when it is people for which you care a great deal. People who mean something to you. It is different when there is humiliation, shame and embarrassment involved.

So I will gather my friends over in the next night. And I will tell them that which I am ashamed, embarrassed and feel humiliated by. And I hope they do not judge me. My friends are my heart, and it will break my heart if they do. But that is the thing about broken hearts – you survive. You keep going. You may hurt, but life goes on,  Judgment or not.

I did a similar thing when I was 20, and I told my friends that I was not a virgin. That may sound trivial to most reading, but in the Bible Belt South, where all of my friends believed that if you had sex before marriage you were going to be sent to burn in Hell for eternity, and anyone who had sex before marriage was a whore not to be associated with, it was putting the scarlet letter on myself, inviting judgment. It was the fat kid in school volunteering to step on the scale in front of everyone to be laughed at. And it was terrifying. (Yes, I know that is not the politically correct thing to say – the fat kid – but this is my blog. If you don’t like it get your own blog and be politically correct.)

But I could not live a lie and let everyone think that I was something that I was not. Honesty, integrity and honor are very important to me. So I gathered them all up and told them anyway. Some left. And it hurt me right down to my core. But most stayed and said they loved me anyway and gave me big hugs for having the courage to stand up and tell them.

And life went on. And I have still had a wonderful and happy life. No doubt this will be the same. But it doesn’t make it any easier, it just makes me know that I will be just fine, either way.
So if you judge me, or anyone, do so lightly. Because there is a human being underneath, who may be scared, hurt and ashamed.

It reminds me of a toast my mother taught me long ago:

Here’s to you,
Here’s to me
May be never disagree
But if we do,
To Hell with you!
Here’s to me!