Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On Birthdays...

I am thinking that I am acting and feeling rather hypocritical about the whole 'birthday' thing ...

I have some relatives that don't celebrate birthdays because of their religious beliefs. I respect their choices and I really don't give it a second thought. In fact, I applaud their integrity because I think a well chosen card, letter, gift or phone call means a lot more when it comes out of the blue and not because you are doing it out of obligation. The older I get, the more I think that they really have it right. I try, in my own way to honor their way of thinking. To send off some 'words' when they come from the heart for no occasion is something I do. And my heart feels so good when I do it.

Yet I have other friends who truly honor other peoples birthdays and I believe when it comes to their birthday, it is a gift to be able to give a little of what they give to others all year, in 'honoring' them as well on their birthday.

I like to reciprocate the feeling of the individual, whether it is or is not in 'honoring the day'. .

Mom has one of those 'milestone birthdays' coming up and our family is planning a gathering and using her birthday as an opportunity to invite our family to enjoy the day with us. The true gift to Mom, is bring her family to her for the day. And in doing so, it was my greatest wish to have all of the family attend, despite the 'beliefs' they did or didn't hold.

And I tried what I could, but it isn't meant to be. I'm saddened but not disheartened. I admire the integrity of a person who stands strong behind what they believe in.

Which brings me back to the beginning ... am I the hypocritical one since I am so willing to go either way?

Revitalized Again

I seem to have one 'crash and burn' day a week, to allow my body and mind to catch up from 'where they've been' lately... And I'm ready to take on my world again this morning!

I love waking up, excited about the day and with positive, energizing thoughts wafting through my mind.

It seems that so much 'fuel' comes from my Mom lately. I have talked to her on the phone more this past month, than ever before ... And it feels like our 'energy' is contagious. What she gives to me, I return. We are volleying this enthusiasm back and forth and no one is dropping the ball.

The winter months (particularly January) seem to be the toughest months of the year to endure. I am now beginning to see why resolutions became a tradition. If ever you need a month to pull yourself up and 'do impossible things', the longest coldest month of the year is a good month to do it!

I have pulled myself so far out of my comfort zone this month it has had its frightening moments. And it never fails - just when I'm feeling exhausted, overwhelmed or becoming lackadaisical ... Mom will call. Coincidence? I like to think not. I like to think that we are part of a team and we are equal partners in this adventure called 'January'......

Monday, January 28, 2008

Out of Steam, Out of Words...

I'm simply wiped tonight.

After a busy, busy weekend ... and a busy, busy day today (no school; lots of kids; and a full cooking/baking agenda) ... I'm tuckered out.

And ... it feels wonderful. I just want to hibernate tonight and let all the good things of these past days sift to the top of my consciousness and just revel in them. Quietly. And cozily (I just tried cleaning up some of the shovelling outside but it's mighty brisk out there -43 degrees with the wind).

I'm really not sure why I stopped here to write. Just happy to be home and warm tonight. Just happy.....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Gift of a Day

If ever there was a day I would like to wrap up like a gift so I could reexperience it ... it would be today!! It has been a day like no other .....

I started out the morning like I always do and was feeling so lucky because I had 'the gift of time' on my hands before my scheduled trek out to Davidson for the quest for stories for my book project.

I thought I was in the right mindset to sit down and do 'an impossible thing' (see my blog "6 Impossible Things Before Lunch"). I have had words stirring in my mind for a long time - an email that I wanted to send to a friend that I have lost touch with (neglected perhaps?). This is a friend that is 'tied up' with my past, so it is trickier navigation at times as the past intermingles with the present and it is too easy to be hurt or unintentionally do hurtful things. Because I knew that fault lied with me, for not keeping in closer touch, it was hard to do. But by the time I sat down this morning, the words were all at my fingertips.

I no sooner got to the point in my email where I needed to take a step back from it and reread it in a different light, when I got a phone call from another 'friend of my past'. Again ... both of us in a vulnerable spot where one is easily offended or hurt. It is so sad when someone who used to be so close, becomes someone you almost need to keep a distance from, because of those wounds - either fresh or newly healed.

To make a long story short, I ended my morning with a good visit under my belt with both of these friends. One, in person ... the other via email (a rather one-sided visit there, but at least a beginning). 'The gift of friends'....

The next item on the agenda was to pick up my cousin and head out to her Mom's in Davidson to 'research' the family history book.

Well. This cousin is a breath of fresh air. Purely enjoyable to be around, visit with, laugh with, and reminisce with. Our trip there and back went so fast as we managed to do a 'lifetime' of catching up in less than 2 1/2 hours.

And the visit at my aunts, with another aunt that I'm certain that I've really never spoken to in my life (she was married to my Mom's younger brother that we didn't see alot, as I grew up) was absolutely ... a gift.

I have stepped completely out of my comfort zone to call these family members to suggest we collect up the family's memories to put into a book. And I was welcomed into their homes and collection of family stories like I was a long lost friend (instead of a timid niece that barely spoke as a child).

We laughed ... and we laughed ... and we laughed (the 'gift of laughter'). Reminiscing with this most amazing group of relatives was something to behold. The memories of a time long ago that was most definately a life filled with challenges were recalled with fondness (and even the ability to almost chuckle over the stories about the frozen indoor 'commode' ... details left best to the imagination).

I hope that I am able to capture the essence of the feelings of this walk down memory lane, as I put all of these stories together.

I am blessed to be a part of a most special family. 'The gift of family'.

And today has been 'The Ultimate Gift'...........

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thinking Forward

I am envisioning the completion of 'The Book'. I have a title in mind (in keeping with weaving peoples stories together, ''Tapestry'' is part of it). And with tapestry in mind, I'm thinking that the family tartan would be a good part of the cover. And in keeping with that, wouldn't it be great if I could miniaturize the family crest and have it mark the beginning of each chapter??

Yes, I'm definately getting ahead of myself but I truly believe by envisioning the completed project in my mind, I am setting myself up for success. The completion of this project (finishing what I've started) defines success for me this first time around.

My mind is swirling with ways to tell our family's story. I am getting excited about it and I hope that feeling that excitement now, it will create excitement (or at least an interest) while the reader is reading it.

These are the meanderings of my mind today. I just have to write them down so I can go back and read them if I lose the inspiration to go forward....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'm Drinking From My Saucer

I read this verse years ago and it is resonating in my mind tonight. Thank goodness for Google and the ability to key in a few remembered words, so that I could copy and paste this on my blog tonight ... because I truly feel that I'm 'drinking from my saucer' a lot these days. I wish these words were mine, but they are good words to share no matter whose words they are .....

I'm Drinking From My SaucerAuthor Unknown
I've never made a fortune,
And it's probably too late now.
But I don't worry about that much,
I'm happy anyhow.
As I go along life's journey,
Reaping better than I have sowed,
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.
Ain't got a lot of riches,
And sometime the going's rough.
But I've got a family that loves me.
That makes me rich enough.
I just thank God for His blessings,
And the mercy He's bestowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.
I remember times when things went wrong,
And my faith got a little thin.
Then all at once the dark clouds broke,
And the old sun broke through again.
So, Lord, help me not to gripe
About the tough rows I have hoed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.
And if God gives me strength and courage
When the way gets steep and rough,
I won't ask for other blessings--
I'm already blessed enough.
Lord, may I never be too busy
To help others bear their loads.
Help me show them how to drink from their saucers
'Cause You make their cup overflow.
So I’ll just keep on drinking from my saucer,
‘Cause now I’ve come to know
God fills me with every blessing...
And now my saucer overflows!

Fulfillment

I am feeling absolutely jubliant about life these days!! I have an outlet for my excess words, here on this blog, I have an outlet for my 'creativity' with ''The Book", I have my dancing to fulfill the 'fun' part of my life, I have my work,which is something that I feel like I am doing well. I have my family - I feel like my own family unit is getting stronger once again. I have reached out to so many family members these past 6 months ... it is amazing. Between keeping in touch with my own siblings (planning a birthday gathering for Mom) and initiating these get togethers with my aunts to gather information and stories for "The Book". And friends. Where would I be without my friends? And I feel like I am a equal partner in my friendships ... not the needy one.....

I have patience with the kids, I am enjoying my the parents I babysit for, I feel like I am a better parent, I have something left of me to offer at the end of the day ... whether it is to help someone out in some way ... or actually leave the house and go and visit someone ... I am so very, very ''full''.

I have often felt a void in my life. And it has honestly felt like a hole in my heart or soul in some way. I can feel the difference in the way I eat, I shop and I live when I am ''full''.

I have shopped and filled my cart as though I was 'filling a void' ... I have eaten to the point where I am beyond full but still shovelling in the food to fill something inside me that is empty ... I have rejected people and socializing in my life because I am so hollow inside that I feel I have nothing to offer anyone.

But these days ... I am full. I eat because I am hungry. I shop because I need to. And I actually can leave the house at the end of a day ... and still feel like a vital human being that has something to offer someone else.

I have just returned home from a most enjoyable visit ... my heart and my soul are so content. Feeling like this at the end of the day defines contentment and happiness.

My cup is overflowing ...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Six Impossible Things Before Lunch

I once went to a very inspirational hair dresser who was full of thought provoking ideas. She told me of a client that she had, who had the motto to do ''Six Impossible Things Before Lunch". Depending on your day, some of those things may be as small as getting out of bed, having a shower and having breakfast. But the important thing was to do ''Six Impossible Things" in the morning.

Well, as I looked at the phone calls I had to make today as well as a "sick" computer (I'm still ending up causing havoc in people's inboxes with my emails). I felt overwhelmed at the tasks before me.

I made one phone call. I told myself that it is so much easier to call in the morning. By the end of the day I'm running out of gusto and the thought of picking up the phone and dialing it feels overwhelming a lot of the time.

One phone call led to the next and the next and the next. I have set up a time and place to meet up with a few more of my aunts (and invited a cousin along for the ride as well) for my next fact-finding mission for this history book.

I felt like I could conquer the world after I did "Four Impossible Things" (four phone calls). Wow!! Getting the tough part of your day over with first thing in the morning is definately a way to jump start your day!!! (I should really start exercising again. One more impossible thing).

After that, I was actually eager to tackle the computer problems. I contacted my the tech-support department of the antivirus program I have and ran scans in the 'safe mode' as they suggested. We'll see if that works.

I wonder what six impossible things I shall tackle tomorrow???

Monday, January 21, 2008

Reinspired and Raring to Go Again

It seems every time that I start to feel a tad overwhelmed or scared in this new 'life' I am living (the life where I put myself out on a limb a bit) ... something happens to reinspire me.

Last night after I transcribed the conversation I had with my aunt, into notes for ''The Book", I was so overwhelmed. I was so grateful that our hour had a few lulls in the conversation and a got off topic a bit every now and again ...

But after I retyped her words today, and fit everything into my outline of my 'story' ... I was wishing I had 2 or 3 times as much material as I had. That was a good feeling.

Then tonight I knew I should start making my next round of phone calls to line up my next interviews ... and I was stuck.

Wouldn't you know it? Mom called me and our conversation got me excited again ...

I had printed off a few of my blog entries and she had gotten them in the mail today. And her words felt so good to hear. Praise coming from your mother is simply the best approval in the world. She didn't say all that much ... but she said just enough to make me feel worthy. And capable of taking on this book endeavor.

Todays quote in "The Secret" calendar is by Martin Luther King Jr: "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step".

What perfect words for me to read and concentrate on today. Just when the staircase looked too steep ... I just need to focus on the first step. And now ... I'm onto the second one ....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Beginning

Afraid to venture out on the highways today (with temperatures feeling like -40 with the wind), our first road trip to gather stories for the family history book I am endeavoring to write, was tabled. I did still make a trip over to my aunts in the city and we got the ball rolling anyway.

I seem to be creating stress in peoples lives with my project. That was not my intent at all ... I was hopeful that it would be an enjoyable stroll down memory lane. Maybe once we get going with it and get together as a small group, they'll be able to relax and hopefully have fun with the idea.

I transposed our conversation today into a scribbler and I have several pages of words to try and put into the format that I have in mind. I am seeing a lot of words ... feeling the stress that I'm causing ... and I had to put that aside for tonight. A good nights rest and a new day will put things back into perspective and I hope to come back at this with a fresh eye tomorrow.

How to tell someone else's story is tricky. I want so much to keep their words true and weave their tale in a way to make a person want to find out more. Maybe I should have taken a writing class first? But I'll learn as I go along.

These uncomfortable steps make a person stronger and wiser I believe. I'm out in foreign territory at the moment. I need to get comfortable with where I'm at ... then I'll forge on.

It is a process .... this is just the first step of many.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another Banner Day

Yet another Saturday that was simply a wonderful day ...

I went into work and was busy from the moment I signed on my computer to the minute I walked out the door. Some challenges, but my brain was firing on all cylinders and I had the ability to figure things out and just roll with the punches. I love days that challenge me, yet don't overwhelm me at the same time.

I've cleared my slate for a getaway tomorrow afternoon to start the research for my 'book' (I loosely call it a book because it simply feels like I am gathering up stories ... but I want the end product to be bound like a book ... so a book it is). I am eager to get started on this project because once I start things, I do tend to obsess about completing them. And I am genuinely excited to put all of this together. Ideas of how to present it all are coming to me. I just hope that I can pull it off.

Ideas for Mom's upcoming birthday gathering are coming to me fast and furious. I don't know if I'm getting carried away with things, but I just seem to be receptive to different (possibly far reaching) ideas and they just seem like they would be perfect if we could somehow manage to make it come together ....

I am simply excited about 'life' lately. And it is a fantastic feeling!!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's Been a Good Week

It is Friday night and my week is behind me...

I cannot believe the peace I have within me this week. Striving towards that goal of making my days better one half hour at a time was a good one. I was more careful with my words with the kids, I was more tolerant of the wild moments, my patience level was so much better ... I was kinder. My Youngest had been video taping moments along the way and he caught me in the camera a few times. And I could wear a happier look on my face as I oversee the action here. But the stress levels were well under control. I do believe this was a banner week.

I seem to be absorbing the positive words that I am reading and hearing a lot this week. Between the quotes in the "The Secret" daily calendar ... the 'live your best life' moments that I catch, watching "Oprah" ... morsels of positiveness from emails that I've been getting ... ... ... I seem to have the capability to internalize a lot of these words lately. There for a while, I would read the and words and think "ya, ya, ya... I know I should ...", and the ability to put anything I read into action felt nil. I am feeling much better now.

I've had a bit of an emotional ride as I started feeling like I was risking too much of myself with these new endeavors I'm trying out. And I think that is why I've really been focusing on the positive self-talk a lot these past several blog entries. I'm working at keeping the negativity at bay and by focusing on the pluses, it is helping. It's helping a lot!

And of course I had my dance lesson tonight to wind up the week. There was some learning involved this week (not a lot, but a start), compared to last weeks lesson where we 'played' and simply danced. I can even feel the difference with my dancing. I feel much more relaxed and capable of taking in new information. By the time I quit dancing last winter, I felt like a saturated sponge. Unable to take in anything more. Now ... I'm ready to take it on again. Teach me!! I can learn again!!!

The week was a good one. It was a gift......

I Think I Can....

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, either way you are right"
-Henry Ford (1863-1947)

The thoughts we think, the internal voice inside of our heads is so very powerful.

Being around kids all day, I have become conscious of the words I speak and try to watch the direction I steer these young minds around me.

"He can't do that, he's too little" is a common refrain. My response to that is, "He can try. If he's too small or not strong enough he might not be able to right now ... but he can still try".

The power of that inner voice is so strong. How often do we talk ourselves out of trying something new because we think we can't?

I have taken a step far, far out of my comfort zone this past week. I am going to gather the information I need to start writing about our family's history. This encompasses getting together with aunts that I don't know really well; travelling a little; sacrificing some that that precious time I have left over at the end of the week; and then offering to put my words out there for others to read.

Scary stuff. But I have been told by people in so many different areas of my life that I should write a book. This 'book' will be other peoples stories. The risk is my interpretation of it and how I present it.

I feel like the little engine that could ... and I am envisioning the point where I am at the top of that hill and going down saying ... "I knew I could ... I knew I could!".

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Sum of Our Experiences

I just watched an episode of 'Oprah' where the father of a stripper-turned-screen-writer said, "In the end, we are all a product or sum of our experiences and maybe without those experiences she wouldn't be where she's at today".

How very true. As a parent, I've watched my children make choices that made me shudder and go through phases that weren't comfortable to live with. As a human being, I've made some unwise choices and found myself in situations that were tough.

I have often said that if I could do things over again, I would do it all the same. The errors in judgement and the paths that I chose have taught me so much. I would be a shell of the person that I am today if I hadn't travelled this road.

Our experiences have molded us into the people we are today. Whether that is a good thing or not, we still have the power to let our experiences guide us into better choices the next time...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Back on the Ground Again

I have been wafting on air since I started this blog last week. Taking on new challenges, confronting obstacles ... basically, just putting myself 'out there' in so many ways that are somewhat foreign to me.

Last night was the first night in many, that I wasn't glued to the computer. And it actually felt rather good.

I enjoy quiet moments and I haven't given myself the opportunity to indulge in that a lot lately.

I love a challenge and I think I need goals and new interests to keep me motivated. But time to just sit back and breathe is wonderful. Especially when so many positive thoughts are circulating through my mind.

My babysitting days this week have been crazy-busy and loud, loud, loud. And it's been okay. I've had more patience and just a healthier mind-set to be dealing with a house full of 5 year olds and under. I still don't have that aura about me that I'm aiming for. But I'm better. I'll settle for better ...

I have created a busyness in my life - commitments to other people - that I tend to shy away from . There has been a time when my free hours were so scarce that I became very greedy with my free moments. So to be offering to 'share' this precious time .... it's kind of scary. But overall, I think it is a sign that I am regaining some equilibrium in my life again. I'm ready to share my time and myself again. I have a little left over at the end of the day, and it feels good.

Yes, my feet are back on solid ground again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Infections

I found out yesterday, that emails that I had been sending to friends had been ending up in their "infected" box. I do regular scans on my computer but with all that I had been fiddling around with, between this blog and downloading programs to create a slideshow on my blog; edit my videos and other kinds of stuff, I wondered if I was somehow unknowingly infected. I checked and rechecked into it last night and went to bed with a heavy heart.

I woke up this morning with the 'infection' theme still resonating in my mind. It was then, that I found a truer meaning to this heaviness in my heart.

Infections ... whether they are computer related, airborn germs or attitudes.

Attitudes. Hmmm. Words. I have been putting myself and my thoughts out for 'the world' to read lately. And whether it is 'the world' or simply one or two people that may read this ... my words have the ability to 'infect'. And as with my computer infection scare, there is a possibility that I may unknowingly spreading an 'infection'. I read, reread, edit and reedit these words that I post ... but there is always the possibility that they could be misinterpreted.

I am so grateful for all of the friends that called to let me know about this computer infection message ... and I would also ask that if anyone reads something here that feels ''infected'', please let me know as well. I will do my best not to offend and if I do, I will do my best to resolve it.

Infections happen ... but they can be treated.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Gift of a Friend

Friends come in every different variety ... and as I was rereading my words about the group of friends that 'held the key' to what I needed to pull myself out of the hole I found myself in last year ... what I neglected to mention are the many other friends that are just as supportive and caring.

It seems I have a friend for each 'season' of my life ...

One friend who seems to intuitively know when she is needed in my life. She seems to be the one who hears me out when I am in the thick of a 'life transition'. She listens, offers words of advise, is there through the rough patches. Her intuitiveness amazes me ... and has been there through thick and thin.

I have another friend that I call when I am at my wits end. I was having a meltdown with my (babysitting) kids one morning and I knew she was the one to call. It never fails - it seems that we are always on the same page and able to relate with whatever the other is going through. We had an instant connection when we met in high school, parted ways as life took us off in different directions, met up by chance when we were riding the same bus one day ... and we've remained close (at heart, if not distance) ever since.

And I have several friends that are kind of friendships that time disappears the moment we hear each others voice on the phone, mail or email. Our lives are completely independent of each others, but the connection is strong and our friendship is real.

A cousin that I grew up with ... where we can go back in time and become our younger selves again when we visit. Echoes of the past, laughter, support, understanding, a kinship beyond our blood ties. We respect each others life choices and I believe our bond is unshakeable.

Friends tied to the past remain in my life. That is a more fragile bond - misunderstandings can happen easily because we sometimes are walking in uncharted territory. It doesn't undermine the bond we shared and I believe that an afternoon and a pot of coffee would bring us back to a stronger spot.

A best friend from my childhood that I haven't seen in ?? so many years I can't remember. We share a Christmas letter and now with email, we have the odd mid-year connection as well. My dream is to take a trip to see her. I feel like we could take a step back in time and reconnect in a fun and new level.

There is an email that has made the rounds many times about the people in our lives that are there for a 'Reason, Season or Lifetime'. My 'Lifetime' friends ... my 'forever-friends' as I so often call them .... I cherish the bond, the history and our friendship. There is simply a sense of ''knowing'' that we can pick up from where we last left off no matter how many miles or years have separated us.

My only hope is that I am able to return all that I have received in the name of friendship....

Reflecting...

As with my promise to try to live my life as if a camera was recording my actions, so it is with my blog. To allow myself to write these blurbs of my thinking, I must focus on how I am wording my thoughts as I record my thoughts and place them into 'cyberworld'.

As I read and reread my reference to ''the relationship that was toxic to me'', I thought that both sides of that coin deserve equal time.

What I am starting to discover (now that I have stepped away from things a bit emotionally), is the common denominator between my two failed relationships ....

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the power that words hold. Written or spoken. I have wielded my words like a sword. Whether in small ways, on a consistent basis ... or in big ways, when under duress. My exhusband didn't have the communication skills to defend himself, so he chose what was natural to him to 'fight my words'. That doesn't make his actions right, but the fact that he reacted was to be expected. And so it was, in my last relationship ... different reaction, but it was in response to my words and actions.

It takes two to argue. This is a fact. And as 'toxic' as these relationships were to me, they were just as lethal to the other party....

I have so much to learn and so far to grow in the world of relationships. What I have learned is that people will treat you the same way you treat yourself. If you feel unworthy and unloveable, that is what you will attract (the 'law of attraction' that ''The Secret'' talks of).

So I am finding it a very positive sign that I am 'falling in love with my life' and starting to feel so much stronger within myself. The need for a relationship to sustain this is nil.

After my relationship ended, I was hurting so much and for so long, that I wished that I could have immediately filled that void. Just to numb the pain and help me forget. I am so grateful that wish wasn't fulfilled.

We don't always get what we want in life. But we do get what we need.

Courage

A quote from the article "66 Ways to Build Courage", by Christine Kane:

"Because there’s a deeper level of courage. It makes you stronger with each move you make. It makes you fall in love with yourself. It makes you fall in love with your life. That’s because, at its core, courage is about strengthening your relationship with yourself."

There has been something resonating with me since I read that paragraph. "Falling in love with your life." That is exactly what I have been falling into during this most recent leg of my journey.

I have been giddy and euphoric for no outward reason. My heart is soaring with excitement and happiness. I stand taller, I feel more confident. Yes. I feel like I'm falling in love!! With myself?? So odd to think of it that way, but it fits.

My self esteem had been taking a gradual decline over the past many years and around this time last year it was sinking to its lowest. The lowest of lows. And the scariest part of it, was that it got worse before it got better. I look back to those days and I am forever grateful that I was able to crawl out of the abyss.

This article lists 66 ways to build your courage and starting a blog was one of them. This blog has been an idea festering in my mind for a good year. I have always have had more words in me than ears to listen, and the concept of journalling intrigued me. The idea of putting myself out into cyberspace made me stop and think on it (for about a year). But now that I'm "here", I'm in love!!

There were so many things that got me from 'there' to 'here'. Getting out of a relationship that was toxic to me was probably what saved me, although it certainly didn't feel like it at the time.

When I had hit the bottom of the pit, I knew that I had to do something. I had to act. I had to take one step forward. I sent out an ''SOS'' email to a group of friends. We originally tagged ourself with the name "The Optimist Group". I don't know if they really knew how desperate I was when I put myself out there on a limb and asked for a friend. But they came through like a team of princes (or princesses) on their white stallions and saved me from myself.

All it really took to start the tide of change was to know that I wasn't alone. What was a miracle, was the way in each individual held a small piece of the puzzle. Words I needed to hear and absorb to start back to the land of the "living". As little as one small statement, to start the process of turning my thoughts around.

I cannot say this enough!!! Surround yourself with people who make you feel good! People who make you laugh, make you think, that you care about and that care about you. I often said that my exhusband mirrored he last person that he talked to. ''If only'' (I lived in the world of ''ifs'' a lot back then), he could only be around good people, he could have been great.

Those thoughts are about 25 years old or more I can't believe that I had that tidbit of knowing way back then.

What do the people in your life reflect back to you?

P.S. If anyone is interested in this article on courage, please let me know and I'll pass it along. As with a good movie, some things are meant to be shared!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Life Under the Lights

I have been busy all night editing and reediting this footage of my dancing bloopers and spins ... I've scrutinized that 1/2 hour dance lesson last night, at least 7 hours tonight and probably 3 hours last night (I do think that I'm getting a little of the fine tuning honed on this video editing in the process).

What I have noticed is the expression on my instructors face ... the entire time!! He is smiling, laughing, upbeat ... and even when he is teaching me something, the expression in his voice is encouraging and uplifting.

Man!! If someone followed me around with a camera for even a half hour during my entire day, you wouldn't see even a portion of what I saw, saw and saw again (the bazillions of times I rewound, rewatched, reedited, revised...) in Greg's face. Pure enjoyment.

I have been very conscious of the video cameras presence in my house since I got it and I resolved to live my days with the kids, as though I was being taped. I've had some success, but after watching my dance videos the past few nights ... I know what I want to strive for!!

Yes, we all have our moments. And a half hour is easier to attain than 10 1/2 hours ... but one can still strive for ''one half hour at a time". Hey! Even one minute at a time, some days!

One of "The Secret's" suggestions was when you go to bed, rewind your day in your mind. And the things you could have handled better, rewind the 'tape' in your mind and recreate the event exactly as you would have wanted it to go. "Intentionally create new pictures for your future". That is something that I have to continue to work harder at.

I had a wonderful, wonderful day at work today. Jubliant, confident, enthusiastic and just plain happy. And it seemed that everyone around me was exactly the same ... If that camera had been on me today, it would captured the best in me. Now ... to attain that success on a more regular basis.

Too Much Time on a Saturday Night!

My dance instructor always jokes about how much he 'spins' me during my dance lesson. So I have composed a montage of all of our spins during our lesson last night.

Dancing is (literally) a great way to unwind after a long week ... I wouldn't want it any other way!


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The Editing Process

I was so excited that I managed to figure out how to edit down my dance lesson and show an abbreviated form of it last night. I woke up this morning and thought about the 'editing process'. Yes, I definately highlighted the areas where I wasn't making mistakes. But life's not like that. We don't learn without making mistakes. And I make a lot of them! (And that would be why I'm so smart, right?? Haha).

So I decided to include a blooper version as well. This is reality. You stumble before you walk ... you never stop learning (or making mistakes?).

And as you will see, this is why I love my dance lessons and think I have the best instructor out there. Listen to the laughter as we foul up along the way. If you can't laugh and learn from your mistakes ... what fun is there to learning??

The last 2 'bloopers' are from dance showcases and they aren't as obvious because we don't stop and laugh. We just carry on.

And that's the lesson of the day ... we all make mistakes, but we don't have to stop trying ... just pick yourself up and carry on (and laugh if you are able!).


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Friday, January 11, 2008

Excerpts From a Dance Lesson

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Here's a glimpse at my dance lesson.

What we danced: Fox Trot; Swing; Rumba; Waltz; Cha Cha; Viennese Waltz; Triple Swing and Samba ....

It was fantastic!

Dance Lesson #1

I'm back. Loving it, loving it, loving it!!!!

It felt great to walk back through the doors to the dance studio. I felt welcomed, happy and simply glad to be back.

It was like riding a bike ... we just started dancing and danced the 1/2 hour away. Fun! Fun! Fun!!

I wish I had a video editor I understood, because it would be nice to just splice little clips of my lesson together and post it here. I'll work on that...

As I rewatched my lesson (My Youngest taped us every time we danced so I literally got to relive the lesson), what stood out to me was the laughter and light-heartedness. That is exactly what I need in my life.

My Youngest and I went out for a coffee/donut after the lesson and it was simply wonderful to have the time. Not rushing to or from my lesson was great.

I was stretched and stressed to my max when I quit my lessons last February. Now ... I feel relaxed and enthusiastic. A much better recipe for success.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Talking Blog #1

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I have this habit of talking too fast at times ... to decipher one of those particular moments, I'll quote it here. ...."The past came up and bit us last night. But ... it's okay ... it didn't 'break the skin' .....".

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I'm Glad to be a Mom

I have so very, very many words behind that statement but most of them are in unedited form right now.

Wes has given me the best gift tonight and I doubt he realizes it.

The written word. How very powerful. Whether those words are written with love, compassion, anger, forgiveness .... they have such power.

I was blessed tonight.

I've been blessed often, and I actually have 'the written word' by my First and Second Born Sons to remind me of the incredible men they have grown up to be .....

The Words Will Come

I cannot believe the flow of words that are pouring out of my consciousness this morning!! I am so encouraged by the handful of people that contacted me yesterday. Whether about my video email (that definately got the most attention!!) or about my blog...

Well, it honestly doesn't take a lot to encourage me. Especially since this blog idea has been mulling about in my mind for over a year. To finally have the courage to follow through on it has been amazing. I started on my own, but I am fueled by encouragement.

All of a sudden I have so much to say!! I found myself writing down my thoughts as I was eating my breakfast this morning. I don't want to lose the flow.

What amazes me even more is My Youngest ... last night, he had to delay his bedtime for a few more minutes while he quickly had to ''write down the song he wrote while he was in the bathroom''. I love seeing the creative juices flowing. I must go and ask him if I can see his song.

If you write it ... they will come ...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Wow!!

I'm so excited to be sitting here, at my new blog ... I can't believe how simple it was to set up and transfer over most of the stuff I had on 'MySpace'.

The 'MySpace' thing just wasn't working for me. I was looking for a spot to connect with friends, share my stories, videos and pictures. I wasn't looking to meet up with strange men (not that I have anything against anyone who does ... but it is just not what I am looking for at this stage of my life). And that seemed to be what I was finding.

So here I am, sitting in my 'private' little blog and have invited my friends and family to come and join me here if and when they may like. The world is feeling like a smaller place right now as I try to close the gap that time and distance brings to those in my life.

I have sent off 4 'Video Messages' in the past two days and I simply cannot believe the thrill that I get by 'visiting' with people as far off as Yuma and Anchorage ... and I've also 'been' to Regina, Olds and Pambrun today. Wow!! I love technology!!!

When I ordered this 'Flip Video', (what I am now doing is what) I had hoped to have the courage, knowledge and enthusiasm to do, once I got it. New things frighten me - especially all these electronic gadgets. It was about 4 years ago that My Oldest gave me a new DVD player for Christmas and Second Son just laughed and said "She'll never be able to figure out how to use it". I did not only that, but so much more....

Since Dec 29th, I have figured out how to use and download my videos from my Flip Video camcorder; set up a MySpace account and figured out how to download the videos and photos onto it; am starting to figure out a little about the video editing process; I have found a way to email video messages to friends; and now I have set up a blog. Wow!! Now ... all I have left to figure out is how to operate the new CD player for my car that my Second Son got me.

Welcome to my new Blog. If you are here and reading this, I am soooo excited!!!!

What a day. Wow!!!!

Cha Cha Routine from 2006 Dance Showcase

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This is a revamped version of the very first routine I ever performed. The 'Cha Cha' is a favorite dance of mine - I think it is because the music is so fun and fast paced.

Viennese Waltz from 2004

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The Viennese Waltz is definately my favorite dance. This particular time I danced it, hot on the heals of Kurt and Kayley's jive. I felt pure and utter joy dancing after watching Kurt on the dance floor. A tough act to follow but I didn't care!

Lifes Quiet Days

06 Jan 2008

Sundays are my favorite days. My perfect Sunday is a mix of relaxation, ambition and visiting or talking with family and friends.

By those standards today wasn't half bad. My brain and body are just itching to go onto the next 'project' though, so I'm eager to settle down and figure out what that shall be.

Today's project was to try and figure out how to edit my videos and make 'movies'. I'm not having much luck so far which makes me feel like I've wasted a lot of the hours in this day. Oh well. Through trial and error I should be able to make some progress eventually.

My mind is fast forwarding to getting back into my dance shoes and see where they take me. My first lesson isn't until Friday, so I've got a bit of a wait.

Kids are back to school tomorrow so life shall get back into the regular routine for everyone once again. Holidays are nice, but the return to life as you know it is comforting.

Coasting

05 Jan 2008

I've been on a 'do' and 'go' mode for the past few days and today after work, I just got to 'coast' for a while. I don't mind coasting for a short restful break. But I don't like to prolong the sensation. Too much of a good thing isn't always the best.

Life is just too quiet sometimes. Tonight is like that.

Life Goes On

04 Jan 2008

I'm taking control of my destiny ... my life ...

I did it! I have booked my dance lesson. And I plan to give this my all, once again. I am going to walk back in those doors full of optimism and a driving desire to do the best I can with what I've got. Again.

I had planned on trying to return to the dance world in November but with Christmas and all the costs and distractions, I put it off. As one month led to the next I wondered if I was ever going to take the plunge again. But as this month dawned and I knew I needed something to motivate and excite me again ... the time was right.

I phoned the studio and left a message first thing yesterday morning so that I got the ball rolling. And as I awaited their return call, I knew more and more that this was the right thing to do and the right time. A friend called before the studio did and I mentioned I was going back to dancing and he was so supportive and assured me that I was a great dancer (he's never seen me dance but he said ''I've seen how you look when you talk about it'' and that my Second Son talks about my dancing without any embarrassment ''... so you have to be good at it...''). Saying this out loud to someone and feeling their encouragement fueled my desire and excitement about this.

Following my instincts. I've been following through on those little whims for several months now, and it has served me very well. Every time (almost every time anyway) I get the notion to pick up the phone and call or email or do something ... I've been doing it. And I dare say that I am running close to a 100% success rate.

When your heart is telling you to do something ... do it!!!!

Time for Change

03 Jan 2008

Okay, I am into the New Year by 3 days. The Christmas rush and season is all but a (good) memory. I need to get motivated again.

I want to dance. I sat down with my budget yesterday and I can afford to dance (for a while anyway). I have watched my dance videos and I want to 'be there' again.

I have had almost no contact with adults for 5 days now. Yes, that is self inflicted. I know how to pick up the phone. If I go back dancing that guarantees me one fun filled half hour per week. Hmmm ... a half an hour. But those feelings of joy from dancing carried me from week to week when I first started dancing.

I need to find something to carry me through these winter days. I think I shall dance...

Back to My Regularly Scheduled Life

02 Jan 2008

After a most wonderful 10 day holiday, I must return to my real world. Truth be told, I'm ready.

After 4 days of being home and almost no adult content in those days ... I'm ready to be around people again. I need to keep busy and I must be striving towards something or some goal to keep my mind healthy.

I got a daily calendar with quotes or inspirations from the book "The Secret" and todays message is to be grateful for every day - good or bad. And to start each day with the intent that it will be a great day and I will be joyful throughout the day (their words are much more poignant).

So I shall have a most wonderful day. I will enjoy the kids and be patient and kind with myself and my words.

It is going to be a great day!

The Ultimate Gift

31 Dec 2007

"The Ultimate Gift" ... All I can say is .... it is a movie worth watching ... and lessons learned worth living.

Without giving away the premise of the movie, the timing to watch a movie that has the power to transform a persons life (if they so choose), was perfect. A new year dawning - a time that is known for making resolutions.

I've never been big on making resolutions myself, but I thought I should write down 'The Gifts' and live my life in a way to attain them. The neat part when I watched this movie, is that last year my life turned in a fashion that I wasn't expecting and these ''gifts'' were sprinkled in among some of my most trying times. They were the reason I picked myself up and carried on. I had never felt more hopeless than I felt last year, but as my ''gifts'' were presented to me I regained strength, a sense of myself and I actually started to dream again.

Friends ... family ... dreams ... That was the focus of 2007. Friends ... family ... dreams ... That is still my focus for 2008. There are many other gifts to strive for and attain.

This is my beginning. It is not the end.

How Much I Don't Know

30 Dec 2007

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I have yet to know ....

I have puttered the day away with this MySpace and FlipVideo. I've got enough knowledge to get me started, but would like to know so much more to put all of this to a better use. My mind is whirling with ideas ... it is nice to have a mind that is busy with things that are fun.

As I watched some of my ballroom dancing, the urge to get back to dancing is returning. With a good part of winter left and no real driving force (that's what I love about Christmas, is that the focus is on others and I push myself out of my shell and am a happier person for it) ... I am toying with the idea of starting back.

What it boils down to is finances. I am still paying back some of my overspending of the past year. Technically I am in the black, but in my reality I must pay back my savings account. Then there is the month-to-month living. The outgo is exceeding the income which is not a good thing.

A new year is on the horizon ... what to do with it?? ... where will it take me?? ... and do I really want to know???

Post Christmas Musings

29 Dec 2007

It has been a 'Christmas of all Christmases' this year. It seems that the spirit of the season enveloped me and touched everything in my life. The entire month seems like it has been one blessing after another. Gatherings with friends and family ... the shared history that makes the simple act of getting together a gift unto itself.

I thoroughly enjoy the Christmas card exchange part of this season. Keeping in touch with friends and family near and far ... finding a unique way to 'tell my story' ... writing to each individual and feeling as though I had just sat down and shared a coffee (though the conversation is a little one sided) ... it inspires me, it envelops me with such a feeling of 'oneness' with this big place called earth. To feel connected to so many, from so many places, and our shared pasts. Hmmm...

I received yet another gift today ... the 'Flip Video' that I ordered before Christmas. As I was awaiting its arrival, I was pondering the ways I could use this to keep a little of that 'spirit of Christmas' and reaching out and 'touching someone' feeling alive all year long. As I stumbled upon 'MySpace' as a method to share my video I found this blog section and the seed of the idea that was planted, is now taking root.

Hopefully this is the beginning of something good ... my 'first video' is just a glimpse as to what this video and video sharing can do ... where can it go from here? .... we'll find out ...