Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Reason I'm Here Right Now

If you know me, you know it is hard for me to be here in Minnesota at this time in my life. I truly want to be near the ocean and in a warm climate, where my health is always more responsive. :)

I only noticed my resistance to my "home" state (where I lived the longest anyways) after I had moved to south Florida. That first time, in an abusive relationship with an infant, I came back because I have help here. Family. They have wanted me to get back on my feet, as far back as 2003. And still they want good things.

BUT. I resist being here. Things are easier here. They are easier in the sense I can simply shut down if I choose to. I can just figure out how to bring enough money in to take care of my daughter. Choosing this means I am not taking care of myself. This is the part that tears my heart apart, what makes me long for the ocean. For the opposite of where I am right now, for what I cannot have at the moment.

The ocean has been very healing for me. Even when I lived in a shelter inland in Miami. Destructively, I would drive past my ex husband's house when I was sad or distraught. His choice to continue using drugs drove me away from him every time I would muster up enough courage to see if he'd changed. It put my daughter and I in a shelter for the second time. One day I drove to the ocean instead. We played in the sand. After that day, I went to the ocean instead of torturing myself by driving by his place. I still have many treasures we found on our walks to the ocean. They are near me now.

Yet the reason I am here is because when I was on my own, I told myself it was too hard to do everything. Yes, I was alone. I made a few friends. I had a job. We got our own apartment seven blocks from the ocean. We took advantage of living a life near the ocean and near abundance in outdoor activities. We found a loving unity church with wondrous music, speakers and kind souls. The sunshine and the ocean breathed life into my soul again. It did become too much. Abuse follows you. The administrators at my job needed to be hung by their toenails. People don't have to be mean. They chose to follow unsaid rules, thinking it is what they are supposed to do instead of being decent. I have loved the south, yet those who don't tell me it's called the dirty south. Yep.

My heart can still be a bit naive at times, and I am ever the optimist. Honestly, I think about what I desire and forge ahead to get it. And I learn from everything. I lived down by the ocean for two years. I put myself in the situation where I got behind paying for basics, and just didn't have enough money. My mother came to see my daughter's pre-kindergarten graduation, staying overnight in our studio apartment. It still had vibrant colors but it was even teenier with three people in it. She begged me to come live with them in their house again. At that time, they didn't have enough money. They were blessed to reduce their house payment. My dad lost everything in stocks, for himself and his clients. It was heartbreaking. I can only now realize that my sucky relationship with my mom had begun to heal being 2,000 miles apart from each other.

I chose the easier path. Each time I would share that I was leaving, my heart would break open with fresh tears. I was acting on this being "the right thing to do" for my parents and for my daughter to supposedly live in a better place (than where her mama was happy?). Ah, well. We do things. We act at the time, then later on realize what was really going on.

It is no lie it has been a struggle for me up here. In many ways. My daughter brings daily joy and laughter to our lives. I am parenting differently than my rigid, fearful mom. The light that shines through is my women friends and our get togethers. They are fun, fabulous and non-judgmental. I am blessed and ever-grateful. For the great things and for everything else, which is a work in progress. In my mind, I continually think about or even make lists of what I need to do to improve my life and be happy again. Some days I even work towards it. At a snail's pace. That's okay. I've now realized why I'm here. More healing. To slow down enough to heal. Whatever it is I need to heal that can only be healed by living here, being here another cold winter with my controlling, unhappy parents. It is what is meant to be for now. And when I am ready for the next step, I will be there. I hope immediately.

I embrace the healing. I would ask my self, my heart, my soul for courage to leap into it. To release all that no longer serves me so I may be happier sooner. I am appreciative and grateful for all the lessons.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Still Loved

How long has it been?
How many years?
I read about other beloved pets
Tears start falling
I am so sad, so sad.
I know why he was in my life
I did not do for him
What he did for me.
He saved my life.
More tears, many more!
I was newly pregnant
When he came into my life, my heart
I loved him more than
That abusive drug addict.
He was mama's little guy
Even after I had to leave
I went back to get him
But in between and sad
And not yet recovering from the abuse
No place to take him
They put him in a better place,
Oh how I still miss him
Six years later
Tributes and pictures and
Still my heart is broken.
I know he is still here
My guide when I am quiet
Oh black white little big pit bull
I loved you deeply
Thank you for your immense love
Still loved,still loving him.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Starting To Walk The Path

I feel like I'm getting my normally positive and optimistic stride back. I am used to being positive and loving life. Okay. I was used to this way of life before I met my ex-husband and had my spirit displaced for a brief few years. I've long had it back from that experience, but I get out of sorts living here in the winters in Minnesota. And I get used to not feeling the best. I'm wading uphill in a stream living with my mom.

It's funny. Whenever people I meet or know talk about how awesome, loving or understanding their mom is, I audibly tell them they are blessed. And they are. I am not. Or at least I must not have finished learning my lessons from mine YET as we still struggle. I'm not so sure she struggles with attempting to control me and how I choose to raise my daughter. I've been meeting with therapists since after college. I am diligently raising my daughter different than some ways I was raised. I work at having fun with her, and loving her unconditionally for all of who she is. I might hate something she chooses, but I realizes from my own background how important it is for her to be confident in being able to choose, in the choices she makes and me supporting her decisions. I love it when we do what we need to do and then we laugh and have fun! Makes life as a single mom much better!

I've been unemployed since May. We have enough right now, and I am content to not yet add the stress of working and managing the rest of life around that to the mix. I can feel I am getting ready to make some moves. Yes, it's winter. It would be easier to just keep staying in and going out to meet friends and do a few things here and there. I get cold and unhappy in these months here in the tundra. I tell myself I am making the best of it. I do feel like I want to invite more movement in now. That's how I can tell I'm feeling better, less depressed (hooray!) and ready to work again.

I've also been thinking for about six years now of going back to school for nursing. I am going to start with at least one class next semester. It's a good start. I do great with lists. So I've made my list of what I need to do to get into nursing school. It's good to at least start somewhere. And I am trusting I will have enough money or be able to get the assistance I need to start on the path and keep going. Since I've held this in my heart for some time, I know the energy won't die in one week. I need to begin with yes, to start somewhere. I worked for two fabulous neurosurgeons at the University of Miami for two years. That got me interested in more detailed nursing care. I love engaging my mind, and those around me or that I have met are encouraging about this new direction.

I am simply happy to have some happy energy toward something. One of my dreams is to live somewhere fun and warm again, to live on my own with my daughter and be able to happily manage. It feels good to start walking that path.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gotta Get My Life Back!

Oh the horrors, the dissatisfaction
Of living with a demented mom
Or is it merely bipolar or non-money stress?
Living with shit and negativity
Makes me
lose faith inmyself
We can't have that
Me or my daughter
Yes, the chips are down
Not for the count
Time to spring back up
To get my life moving again
To truly allow being happier,
On bringing the chance of joy in
Each day is a gift
We are our own treasure
The mind can hold so much good
I'm in
Are you?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fresh Snow

It is beautiful to look at the freshly falling snow. I like looking at it. Then I step outside...brrr. This girl who'd rather be in the tropics is making the best of another winter.

My daughter has already made a snowman, and now she's at her cousins playing outside again. She loves the winter and the snow. It's funny, sometimes she will lament how much she misses the ocean too.

We bought our new pug a little red santa suit, complete with a hood. Soooo cute! Adorable. Today he liked it. He still can't figure out how to go potty outside in the snow too well.

We like our new little pug. I think we've had him for about a month. He's little, perhaps only 12 pounds. Truly, he is only in our house because my daughter has wanted a little dog for quite some time now. When we were in Miami Beach, someone gave us a chihuahua but alas, we only kept it for a weekend. I liked that. Bella has been wanting a small dog. I'm a lover of pit bulls, american bulldogs and viszlas. They are all clever and beautiful-souled. If I had room, I'd love a great dane. I once dog-sat for one and had dreams Joey and I knew each other in another lifetime.

Little poochie is a cute addition. We have enough room for him to run around after himself or his toys to wear himself out. He enjoys short walks already. It's good for me to get out of the house, out of my unwelcome depression with him. He's a happy little guy.

I called him Little Guy initially. I find it was wrong to do that. I hold on to memories of the heart, and Little Guy was a pit bull I lost to domestic violence and my ex-husband. So this little one is now named Poquito (for little). We love it! He's even got a PINK nametag already. Ha!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ocean, Please Rescue Me

It's not enough
To be surrounded
By my treasures from the ocean,
From when I felt alive
And healed by the ocean's waves every day
I am in mourning
It goes deep within me
I treasure all I've lived,

I want more time by my
Beloved ocean
More years,
More time to be healed
I am still broken
I feel this every day here
This place I live is so desolate to my soul.
The tundra.
And when I let them,
The tears fall hard.
Perhaps some part of me
Is still ravaged inside
From the not-so-long ago pain
Oh, my soul, my heart and spirit ---
Withering here in the land of
You must have a plan or
You must have your life together
I do not. I'm already 40
Most days I am okay with this,
Leaning on my past treasured times.
I long relentlessly for life at the ocean
Why am I being punished in this
Barren place I'm forced to call home?
Oh ocean, please rescue me!

November 7, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 16: Something/Someone I Could Definitely Live Without

I could live without a lot of things. I lived without a television for three years. Then I lived with and briefly married someone who aquired three televisions for our home. I love the freedom it gave me. It made me harness my natural inclinations. Yes, I got bored. I was much more active, going out for three mile walks spontaneously (it helped that I lived by three fabulous lakes) or a ten mile bike ride to watch the sun setting and journal.

On days like today, when I wasn't so good to myself healthy-eating-wise, I could do without sugar. I love it when I eat healthy. I know I'm doing what my body wants me to do. I'm actually listening instead of succumbing to what I feel will "save me" or "my reward" for a "hard life". It isn't that hard. I am honored and grateful when people tell me I'm a great mom. I just do the things I do to take care of my daughter and bring her up every day. Today she gave me a list of "homework" for the weekend. This included cleaning up the house, including "everything". Precious. I told her I might need to hire her to help. :)

I could live without caffeine, which equivilates to drinking coca cola for me. I feel I need it but I don't want to need it.

At the end of the day, no matter what I no longer need or want in my life, if I take even baby steps toward releasing things I feel whole again. I feel like I'm on the road to me again.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 15: Something I Cannot Live Without

Ahem. I'm doing it. When life has gotten crazy and I quit writing, my life doesn't fall apart quickly. I do notice how much better I feel at the page. And that is the phrase I use when journaling.

At times I quit because my living situation doesn't permit me a table or desk or I just am not able to go seek writing places out in the world. Other times I squished myself into a terrible existence for the sake of someone else, giving up that which I value most. Still other times, I simply don't. I get too caught up in myself. My woes. My addicting murder sagas or sagas down by the ocean, the life I don't have.

I do feel at home when I'm writing. A-ha's come right through me. Yet at times it does take a lot of effort to get back in the habit. I have to make myself take time to journal three pages. Make myself write that poem about the brilliant red leaves that have fallen half away. Yet I am richly rewarded. Even in those moments when my life does suck, is failing miserably and all I can do is keep the pen moving about the next bad thing I'm thinking about myself.

I remember in February, 1996 I stayed at a Pension on Avda Rambla in Barcelona. I only stayed for three days. I was by myself, perhaps in the beginning of my third month in Europe by myself for the winter. I remember being so happy my room had a writing table. It had a toilet and a sink and a medium-lumpy standard bed and a window that looked out into a dark hallway. Yet it brought me bliss to see that table. That trip started to define me as a writer. Never mind I had a bachelor of arts in writing by age 22. Oh, that's right, I was only 25/26 on that trip. (I'm 40 now and chuckling about my youthfulness.)

I also remember how I loved my cabana in Placencia, Belize. This was the only time I overslept on a trip. I rebooked my flight to leave the next day. I had three days before I met my group of 32 to sail on four katamarans for eight days. Bliss! I had no plans before meeting them. Miraculously, the man I sat next to on the plane right from Houston to Belize City suggested I get a puddle jumper down to Placencia. So I did. I had no plan. As I was riding in a van down the dirt road after the plane touched down, someone told me about huts without electricity or running water for $100/night. Too much for me. I was astounded I found a spacious cabana for $55/night. And it had a writing table. Ah. It was about 10 feet from the ocean. I woke up each morning and did tai chi ch'ih out on the sand. Divine. And I wrote. I was 29 then.

My life is more beautiful and more full of music when I take the time to write. I aspire to whip some things into shape so I can be a more serious writer, to allow myself to take off with my ideas. Sometimes I'm simply afraid to even try so I let myself get caught up in the rest of my life, thinking it more importantly needs to be tended to. Another beautiful time in life was when I rented out a writing studio and spent some serious time in it. I didn't produce any big projects. I settled myself into myself more as a writer. Ah, a beautiful life.

Day 14: Letter To A Hero That Let Me Down

The only mentors I've ever had were authors I adored. Authors whose every book I have read. The authors I love are SARK, Geneen Roth, Natalie Goldberg, and Anne Lamott. I have met SARK and Natalie. I love the way these authors weave their lives into their words. It makes them human to me. The way they share their human travails with the words they choose and their deliberate writing styles perhaps sort of tricks my mind into thinking they are one of my friends. Someone I am sitting down with who tells me their latest funniness and lessons they have been learning in life. Ah. I feel blessed to read their writings.

I have never had any in-person writing mentors. Nor can I think of any heros I have had. I think as I've gotten older, I've seen peoples' flaws. Their humanness. And that's okay.

Day 13 - A Musical Artist Who Gets Me Through The Day

It's not any one particular artist presently. I am partial to uplifting songs. What I love best is listening to music repeatedly with my headphones on. I was born with a hearing loss. It's not profound, yet it's who I am. I can't hear everything, and I don't even want to wear my two hearing aids all the time. (chuckle) So I listen and listen, then I know the words and want to hear them over and over. I could rattle off music that gives me negative connotations of exes. I'm consciously creating new memories these days, and actively telling myself this.

I adore the upbeat music of Micheal Franti. I still love Hope and Keepin' It Real by Shaggy. (I used to listen to that every single morning when I first came back to Minnesota after living in Key West for two years and being traumatized and I had a newborn. I'm drawn to songs like Sand In My Toes by Dido. It makes me think of how I used to be a midwesterner that loved going on vacation. After living in the tropics, I truly know my soul is drawn to the ocean.

I think the theme these days is either silence (at home...I have yet to set up my little stereo and my new laptop's sound system is grossly inadequate) or party/wake up music. i attribute this to living in south beach. I'm not at all admitting I was a party girl on the beach. Well, perhaps for about two or three nights. Okay, more than that over the span of the two years I had a little studio apartment seven blocks from the ocean. My daughter and I lived there. I had run away again. And landed in a not-so-good situation that turned good. I had a rewarding job for two weeks shy of two years. I took a lot of shit there from bad management yet loved the knowledge and friends I gained.

It seems like the theme of my life since I got away from my abusive ex-husband is trying to wake up enough to live. I have gained weight, travelled back to Florida many times because I love living there, worked on my healing, raised my daughter, and avoided many, many things. The party music wakes me up. And it's amusing that my daughter loves the songs too. We used to be much more in our cars. Now we live in the sticks. When I am home, I am still and noise is minimal. Out on the road, I bring the beats to my heart.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 12 - Something I Never Get Compliments On

Hmmm. I sure don't get compliments on being fit right now. Or healing and getting over my divorce. Or being a happy camper here in Minnesota/with my life right now. It's not that I dislike this question. It doesn't lead me down the staircase to the calm, reflective room with sinky couches where I can reflect on my life then am inspired to leap up and start living that life.

I simply have too many crutches. Too many excuses are my norm inside my mind these days. Yes, I want to change, I want to get back into being a person who does more, who does exactly what I want and it works and people admire me for it. On the other hand, I've been sinking for a while. I am, however, starting to pull out of it. Using the computer less as a number. I'm kind of compulsive here and there and with certain things. So using the computer less and getting back into real life is great! Now I owe this wonderful change in feeling more like a participant in life to me. My new lifecoach merely suggested a few things during our session last week. I love working with her. We are all so truly wise. After all, we know ourselves best. What works, what can catapault us again. Sigh. A good one.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


A calm, reflective day
Finally a divine massage
A walk around my old haunts
Lake of the Isles.
I wondered if I would again, by chance, see
The movie director I met on this same walk
And then watched the movie in his living room.
The lake holds my heart softly and forever, dare I admit.

This day I saw a tree
Half its leaves vanished
Like all the hopes and dreams
I used to have
I am different
A mother, still slightly depressed for living here
The emptiness, all the creative ideas
I haven't taken time to allow
For no reason. Really.

I feel sad. There's no reason
I don't do my art, my ideas, my writing
I lack movement, perhaps also motivation

I know much inside my heart --
To start and do something is a good day.
To hold the dreams near
They have not yet disappeared
True, if I start, more will follow
My heart will become fuller, more hopeful.

I can tell myself all good things
Good intentions, positivity, yeah, all that.
Until I make a start
And keep making a start every day
I am half gone, half empty
Like the full tree
Whereas I'd rather be flaming red,
Full of color, ideas, fresh

M. Reede
October 21, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 11: Something People Seem To Compliment Me Most On

In all places I end up, people nickname me "Sunshine". And it isn't for my love of living in Florida! I find when I'm around people, I'm simply positive. For the most part, I stay positive. Even when situations aren't. Or circumstances. Like right now. When I'm by myself, my self talk isn't always positive. Yet in my heart I know whatever I want to creat and bring in, I can do it! Perhaps it's also that I've truly lived and I'm still positive and so not willing to settle for the middle of the road that draws people to me, and to see how positive I am. Yep, I need more of this right now! Even when I'm just by myself. I don't think it's that I have two personas (one by myself and one with others). In my quiet moments the negative is wrestling itself out of me. I hope it is!

I love that I am ever positive! It's a great way to live. Long ago I gave up worrying. You can do what you can to live a joyous life.

Day 10: Someone I Need To Let Go Of Or Wish I Didn't Know

To be honest, this would be my mother. It's my most toxic relationship. I have compassion for her and am sad she's so afraid of life. Yet clearly I see she is so far from who I am and who I choose to be. I choose to be positive, and to believe all things are possible. I am now a recovered lutheran, and have been for about 15 years or so. So much of what I grew up with no longer serves me. At time, I see more of the differences than the similarities between my family and myself.

Even though my mother has never been able to love me unconditionally, or be a role model of a strong, supportive woman who goes after and lives her dreams, I am grateful for all the good things she has passed along to me. I am grateful for all the travels across our oceans I was able to go on, allowing me to become more of who I am today. I am grateful for the good foundation I received, and for being in sports and other character-building activities as I grew up.

I won't be letting her go any time soon, not until she chooses to no longer be on earth. I'll keep doing the work on myself and continue being compassionate about her life and her struggles and be in gratitude for the wonderful things.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 9: Someone I Didn't Want To Let Go Of

I generally let go pretty easily and quickly of women friends who no longer serve a purpose in my life. The trouble I used to have is picking the wrong men to like. I picked unavailable men. Obviously I was doing this because I didn't think I was worth anything or worth someone great. I'm still working on changing that belief!

The one person I can say I didn't want to let go of was a married guy I saw for a year and a half. Wasting time with unavailable men is my only regret! We'll call this one K. I didn't know he was married when I met him and he was a great liar. It's not that it was even a relationship or even mildly fulfilling. In reflecting on my past, I just wanted to be loved. I know I drank a bit in the relationship, perhaps to numb myself into not facing reality. There was also craziness in it that I did not want to see. I feel so sad and tender for this unloved person I used to be, in this and other relationships.

On a happy note, when I finally had the courage to kick him out of my life and not wallow with weakness to let him back in, I did things for myself. I did huge exercising (walked a marathon and biked an MS150) the first six months. It was hard to step out of it, but I now know and have been staying away from unavailable men. Yes, I've got a pretty quiet life. That's okay. It's better time spent to work on myself and discern what people I spend time and energy on. Ah, just realizing this on "paper" makes me sigh with happy contentment. It's good to move on.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 8: Someone Who Made My Life Hell/Treated Me Like Shit

I am so grateful my days with this person are over. Unfortunately, he will potentially be in my life in the future because he's my daughters father.

Several years ago, I had a great life. Adventurous, I moved to Florida. I met him three days after arriving, two days into our Key West vacation/adventure. I must say I am eternally grateful for my daughter, although i honestly didn't plan to be a single mom. Whatever way I'm making a life with my daughter, I'm eternally grateful.

There were numerous red flags (probably 500 or so), yet I stayed. I didn't realize it until long after I'd left the umpteenth time I just wanted to be loved. This was so strong that I stayed with someone who didn't know how to be a decent person. I didn't see the warning signs that he was a drug addict. I was hooked too early into it. Not hooked on the drugs, hooked on him, hooked on thinking it was indeed my fault he was so mean.

I am blessed I did not stay with him for long. In my years of support groups for survivors of domestic violence, I have learned inumerable valuable things. About myself. About abusers. And best of all, to stay away. I guess we hope beyond hope they will change, but time shows in my own experience they do not. Now is the time to keep healing and in the good times for me, to focus on me instead of wondering if he's changed and wants to be part of my daughter's life, my life. I have to keep telling myself he's made his choice. He's a few years older than me and had a rough life. Still, he's shown me he's already made his choices. Bigger than that, for what I never learned in time, I am happy to teach my daughter about healthy relationships, treating yourself nurturingly so you don't have deep problems later on, and how to be a healthy, positive, loving woman with her eyes open in today's world.

Day 7: Who Has Made My Life Worth Living For

Ah, of course. My wonderful daughter. Right now she is sleeping. :) I truly am grateful for her and for many, many reasons. I love how a smile comes to my face whenever I think of her. Or when I think of any one of the fiftybazillion cute things she does/has done. Ah.

I am truly most grateful for her for giving me a second childhood. For giving me a reason to have fun, play and be child-like. When I was single, I was adventurous and did fun things on my own (and occasionally with others, but it's easier to just do them on your own and get used to that to stay away from the nay-sayers). Now I notice when she's gone for the weekend, apart from me for any length of time more than a day or two, I just don't have as much fun. Not so much here. When we lived in Miami Beach from 2007-2009, she used to come up here to Minnesota to stay with her grandparents for 3 weeks when she was 3, 4 weeks when she was 4 and 7 when she was 5. The first time I didn't know what to do with myself. The second time I made the most of it. It's a lot of work being a single parent. And also having recovered (read: still recovering!!) from being in an abusive relationship. It's all about balance. Sometimes this and not that. Or that and not this gets the attention on a different day.

I have also learned to be a lot kinder to / on myself. I could push myself more to do more and be more, but some days I just don't. Some days you just enjoy sharing the moments and all the fits of laughter and giggling in between. I also feel blessed. I had her when I was 33. Now I am almost 41. In being kinder to myself and making better dating choices (this has basically meant discerning a bit NO to most with meeting a handful of beautiful souls), I may not have any more children. So I'll treasure the one I have. I'll savor the moments I can with her, knowing in my heart I'm raising her differently than I was raised. Perhaps I don't have tons of money, yet I pepper her with love and attention and giggles.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 6: Something I Hope I Never Have To Do

The only thing that comes to mind is bury my daughter before myself. Okay, I mean cremate. Another thing I hope to never have to do is stay stuck and unhappy in not living my dreams. I am somewhat surrounded by negative nellies. Yet I still have much hope for myself and know I need to do more to work on making and watching my dreams come true! :) And that includes what I'm doing now - witing. I end up procrastinating when I'm at home, finding "other" things to do instead of what I know I'm to do. Yes, a life without reaching more dreams is truly not worth living. It's enough to get me out of my self-imposed slump! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 5: Something I Hope To Do many things! One thing I would truly love to do is take a writing retreat in Italy. To spend hours every day (or as much as I need to) writing my curent book. And spend the afternoon and evenings exploring areas around the villa I rent or enjoying feasts of magnificent food. This is such a dream. I hope to go for six weeks or however long I can. I don't have to know how it will work itself out, I will put it out there to whisper into the universe's heart and know it will come to me. It would be lovely to take my daughter with me and someone I trust to take care of her while I'm writing, or to put her into classes while I write. Or perhaps I will be able to do this when she's old enough to entertain herself. We shall see how it comes about. For now, I can assemble my chairs back together and start writing my first book here in this life right now. Anything is possible!

Day 4: Someone I Need To Forgive

Ha. That's easy. My mom. And I tell myself I forgive her at night/all the time. I do better when I live 2000 miles away from her.:) I do love her because she's my mom. I just dislike many mean things she does or says to me/about me. And all this isn't something I can control, so I work on he stuff I can, like loving myself and doing my best to allow my daughter and I to have a great relationship.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 3: Something I Forgive Myself For

Hmm, everything! At night when I finally lay down, I started to say two different things to myself until I actually fall asleep (sometimes it takes a little while). First I go over things I forgive myself for. It can be something from the day and then I usually go into bigger, lifelong things. The second thing I say are all the things I'm grateful for. These two things have been immensely helpful.

The thing I want to forgive myself most for today and right now is living the life I want to be living. I used to live by the ocean. In my mind's eye, I see that time in my life as a time I was vibrantly alive, and able to move through the every day challenges better. Simply put, I was a different person at that time than I am now. Honestly, I don't like all of me right now too much. I could forgive myself for not being who I want to be or think I want to be. I could forgive myself for not taking better care of myself in order to have a better life right now.

Yes, there's a whole slew of things I could list to forgive myself for! I'll start with today and do what I can to get back to that place where I love myself and love my life right now!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 2: Something I Love About Myself

This makes me think about how Louise Hay tells you to look at the mirror and smile at yourself constantly and say "I Love You" when you are beginning the work of loving yourself again.

The thing I love about myself is that I'm fearless when it comes to travel. Fearless or an optimist. In earlier years of being a single mom/recovering from being abused by my ex-husband/my daughter's father, I used to say it was easy as pie for me to go travel in a foreign country where I might not speak the language and I never needed a plan. I would just get a whim to go up to Northern Ireland because they had a cease fire when I was there in February of 1996. So I took the train to Dublin and hung about the train/bus station until my bus left. And then I located a youth hostel once in Belfast and met the most amazing people. All without a plan. Travel is freeing. Those around me see me as fearless and courageous and all that good stuff for going to 20 countries. I just see it as having been adventurous and blessed with all the opportunities I've had and made for myself. Incredibly blessed! I used to say it was easier to go travel in a foreign country than to navigate my newly sucky life (or still sucky!) with a baby, being divorced, not mentally being able to work yet and not knowing how to let go of this man I had loved but treated me terribly. It is hard work to make a life, or to remake it.

So today I love that I can find adventures with my daughter. That I can share moments of courageous fearlessness in the life I am now living. And, yes, just as life is getting better every day, I trust I will travel again, and even take my daughter travelling!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 1: Something I Hate About Myself

Hmmm. Well, right now I'm overweight. In itself that tells me i'm not taking loving care of myself and my life.

For the purpose of this writing exercise, the thing I hate about myself is that I'm sooooo big on ideas and not at all big on finishing them. Motivation or stick-to-it-ness is my downfall. And it's so dumb, I even discussed it recently with a therapist. We were doing some good work, wondering what core belief I have inside me which makes me tell myself I'm not worth doing all these good things. And then I went and skipped town for a month. Never mind that everyone told me not to go. The tarot cards, people, family. OH well. Packed my kid up to what I reasonably assumed was going to be a good/tolerable/at least workable situation. Even though it blew up in my face (again! :( ), I can already see how much I "got rid of". I'm not on the constant pity pot any more. I'm less in fear about doing my creative work/things I love. More especially I sooo don't care what others think about me. The others that have been in my life or in my head for a long time. Hooray for that month releasing those talons.

One thought/belief I've gained from reading Ken Robert's creative blogs ( is you need to just do the thing. To do the creative work. Not worry so much or so anxiously about the outcome. Sometimes nothing may come of it other than you needed to write a 500 page book for the sake of knowing you had to rewrite it differently. If you never started, you'd still be in your head about it. I also hold on to wanting to be paid (and paid well) as a writer for all the projects whirring around in my brain and on paper. It would be better for me to just start somewhere. And keep going. To simply do the creative stuff to do it. I know I'll be successful, yet I need to separate the two. And just do the creative stuff.

I am deciding to treat this sort-of trait just like everything else I've been releasing furiously: I will trust it will work itself out and no longer bother me. Sounds great to me!

30 Days of Truth: Questions To Answer About Myself

Wow! I have a fabulous facebook friend who is an artist, Barb Black. She's inspiring to say the least! She blogs nearly every day. She borrowed from one of her blogger friends, Becky at Barb has encouraged me to do this, too. I will! I may not do it every single day, and some may be easier than others...I'm motivated to dig deeper. Especially since my immediate goals are to get a writing studio and finish a book I've already started writing (got about 50 or so pages written on one part of it). When I used to be a more serious writer, I did different kinds of writing each day. I hope these exercises will free up my interior a little so i can get on the road faster! I must preface this with my excuse of being a single mom. However, thank goodness school is in session!! I often find myself big on ideas but not so big on follow up. So here's the neat list:

30 Days of Truth: An Introduction

Day 01 - Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 - Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 - Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 - Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 - Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 - Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 - Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 - Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 - Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 - Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 - Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 - Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 - A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 - A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 - Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 - Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 - A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 - Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 - What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 - Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 - (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 - Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 - Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 - Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 - The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 - Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 - What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 - What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 - Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 - A letter to yourself, tell yourself everything you love about yourself.

And if you decided to do this too, even privately, keep me posted!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

List of Impossible Things

Yes, I believe all things are possible! I'm naming this after Joel Runyon (, who has an awesome website/blog about all the impossible things he's achieving, and also the life he's living along the way.

Here's my list:

1. Get published in O, Oprah's magazine.
2. Marry my soulmate.
3. Live by the ocean, cultivating a creative yet laid back life filled with travelling, friends, pets, spontaneity and more.
4. Travel to 50/100 countries, including Costa Rica, Bali, Italy, Greece...
5. Climb the Grand Canyon.
6. Own a sailboat, learn to sail, sail around the world or caribbean for a few months.
7. Learn about living by the sea from natives.
8. Be fit and healthy and love my body and lead by example so my daughter does the same.
9. Take a writing sabbatical in Italy, writing and eating and walking, for several months to finish a book.
10. Travel the world with my daughter so she starts earlier than me.
11. Do a triathalon.
12. Run a marathon.
13. Be a famous multi-book published author who helps people with my writing.
14. Have an inspiritational website.
15. Drive a Lamborghini 200 mph on the autobahn.
16. Own a house by the seashore with a verandah stocked with plenty of fun drinks and casual clothes!
17. Pay my debts off.
18. Get an MFA in Creative Writing.
19. Love the body I'm in.
20. Have a Pit Bull and American Bulldog as pets.
21. Learn how to garden.
22. Become an ordained minister through Lynn Woodland.
23. Live a happy, joyful life ALL the time.
24. Swim with dolphins and other sea animals.
25. Volunteer with sea animals and better understand them/their needs.
26. Experience mardi gras.
27. Have a good experience at Fantasy Fest.
28. Get a tattoo of Little Guy.
29. Get tattos of the ocean on all my back!
30. Live a magical life! Be spontaneous! Be open to love, life and happiness!
31. Learn to surf.
32. Learn to kiteboard.
33. Get certified to scuba dive (if possible with my ears).
34. Scuba Blue Hole in Belize and Key West/surrounding waters and other beautiful areas in the world.
35. Get my own long rainstick in the rainforest.

i know there's more! i am so grateful for all the wonderful things i have already done! :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

An Afternoon On The Water

I've transitioned myself into my happier life. I am again by the ocean. Sigh. Thank goodness. It didn't take much to get here, but in a sense it did. I had inertia just to get myself physically moved and to actually leave. And then the 2.5 day drive down, 30 miles short of Key West. It's all good now.

Saturday we went to move my friend/roommate's 30 foot sailboat. We amazingly put this humongous anchor in my suv. It took three people to get it out. Gypsy's friend Doc and his girlfriend Esther took us out on their pontoon to find Gypsy's boat. Driving to our starting point on Cudjoe, we saw little ponds everywhere to remind us of the torrential rains in the night. It was cloudy on the way over to the sailboat.

With high winds from all the hurricane season storms swirling around, her boat moved inland quite a bit. It was in shallow water. It was actually stuck in the four foot something water we could stand in the bottom full of seaweed and sand. Holy tangled anchor ropes! It took Esther, Gypsy and Doc about two hours to untangle the ropes, chains and anchors and prepare them for re-anchoring.

Another setback we thought we had was the boat pretty much being stuck or non-moving in the shallows. The powerful pontoon motor pulled it right out. We were relieved. So everything was taken care of in it's own time.

We didn't plan on being gone almost seven hours. Lucky Bella and I haven't been hungry since we arrived in hot hot hot Florida. We had plenty of drinks, compliments of our fabulous boat friends. As always too with a child, you can expect things to go okay for a certain amount of time. Sometimes I get tired of apologizing to others for my daughter's behavior when she gets out of sorts. She didn't want food. She wanted to jump in the water and swim. At first, it wasn't possible. In fact, after Gypsy fell in and almost hit the running motor, she punched a nurse shark in the nose. I didn't realize this. I just kept hearing or seeing her suddenly disappear, falling off into the water.

Bella loved the water! Esther had a lavender-colored noodle, so I was okay with Bella swimming by herself. Pretty soon I jumped in too. She really loved both of us swimming around together. We kept taking laps around both of the boats. Esther kept taking pictures of us laughing in the water, but soon Bella didn't want her picture taken.

My little Bella does well with me. Sometimes she has her tantrums, or her moments. We talk about things. She gets things taken away occasionally but it usually doesn't come to that. It's just been her and I. One of the reasons to move away again to live by the ocean is so it can be only her and I living our lives together. We're successfully destressing from living with my parents for 9 months or so.

One thing I dislike is when others try to tell you how to take care of your child. The woman we were with kept drinking beer after beer. None of the rest of us drank. I enjoyed talking with her, finding out about her near death truck accident on US1 a few months ago, and talking about how she had a daughter who is already 20. Because she kept drinking, I had less respect for her when she tried to philosophize to my daughter about life in relation to her behavior. I didn't blame my daughter for not wanting to listen to her.

I think we certainly had a fabulous and worthwhile day. You have to leave room for expecting to be gone a short while and being gone for many extra hours ~ this I say directly in relation to caring for my daughter. I am hoping we find better people to spend time on the water with. I would love to see the dolphins down here - we both would!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Taming Some Fears

Wow! Incredible! My daughter and I went hiking to these gorgeous waterfalls on last Saturday night. It was a fun hike. I don't know why, I just don't do enough fun nature stuff with her...I let my sadness for living in this place keep me a little stuck sometimes and also my sadness in not liking who I am right now...until I move right along. So we went hiking. I've been there before. I'm so not too keen on my birth state of Wisconsin. Oh well. I like what I like.

We hiked. They had changed Willow River State Park around a bit, so I had to get my bearings to figure out how to get to the waterfalls again. We hiked down a steep hill. We saw some new things for Bella and a few critters. Never mind that we have a creek right in back of our house, it was great to get out in real nature, right into the woods. Wow again. I absolutely adore nature once I do all the work to get there. I have only to stop making excuses. Then I can get there faster.

I used to do a lot more physical activity. I loved exploring nature, training for events. I feel so good in the middle of a forest or when I remember hiking in Glacier Park and seeing baby bears 10 feet away.

When we approached the waterfalls, there were gobs of people climbing up and down the shallow parts and also across the water. My daughter is part fearless and part careful from me telling her not to run at the pool so she wouldn't fall and get a TBI (traumatic brain injury - yes, I worked for a brain trauma neurosurgeon for 2 years!). She begged for a few minutes and we made our way over for her to get in the water. I thought I would simply take pictures of her. Soon enough, I took my shoes and socks off too. The rocks weren't slippery with the shallow amounts of fast-moving, slightly cold water flowing over them. I climbed up and up again. I was amazed at myself. This allowed me to remember much of the beautiful things I'd done. Jumping off a cliff in Negril. A rock climbing and sea kayaking weekend on the North Shore at age 28. Ah, life.

I love how once you've done something you never lose it. I haven't felt around for the perfect reach and holds for my hands and feet to keep hoisting myself upward for years. It came easily that day.

And then I decided we would make our way across the waterfalls to the other side rather than climb down backwards. I held my daughter's hand and sidled across ever so slowly. I was more the cautious turtle. Fear moved through me. I could feel myself shaking. Even moreso, I felt an invigorating energy. I felt an energy and thoughts inside wondering why I don't just do what it is I want to do.

We made our way to the other side, got our shoes on again and climbed all the way up and then down. That was another feat. It was about a 20 food vertical drop. It wasn't directly straight down, but fairly close. When we finally headed back on the hiking trail, it was becoming dark. It was fun to field her questions about the background noise of frogs croaking. Funny how I rarely am afraid in a situation like that where I am walking back in the near dark but daily life occasionally halts me briefly.

I was so grateful we went that night, and that I didn't let my fears take over. It's time to keep at it and keep at this fun life I'm living and keep creating more of a beautiful life!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Little Bit

I am a little bit fixed.
My teeth are whole again
No longer oozing
With the failure of the world, my world.
So much of me still is
Screaming out in pain
Needing repair.

My ego is sad,
Not my heart or my spirit ~
For they wait patiently
Until I step back into my journey
Boldly, or even dare to
Step back into it,
To begin fixing more

Why am I so broken?
Why do I see myself as broken?
Is it the place, the space I am?
Boldly I say, I state:
I am no longer a victim
For I choose To live again!
I want to say yes to
My health
More travel
A new career with a better future

I will get there step by step
I have already started my journey
back to my self.

A.Santana/M. Reede

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Leaving My Expectations Behind

This afternoon I took my six year old daughter to see Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. She was estatic to see it. I was not. I love to see movies with her most of the time, but before I saw this one, I could have taken it or left it. It turned out to be pretty darn cute. No tears for this one, but a nice cast of characters, a nice plot and lots of cute things the characters did to win you over. Plus, it's immensely fun to see movies with my daughter! She changed seats to the other side of me in the middle so she could "cuddle" with me. Yes, I'm blessed.

It makes me think of simply allowing yourself to do more. You may not be too thrilled about something, but give it a go and much of the time, you like the results.

I did this last night too. Chuckle chuckle. My friend is getting her masters in public health. She has long been an overachiever - and a delightful one to know!! She took on making a documentary about women and masturbation. We were individually "interviewed" on camera. It was such easy work. YOu were in, you were out. It was fun! I've long loved attention anyways. One of my main points was for my daughter to know it's okay to enjoy herself in the things she chooses to do, unlike the sad, repressed way I grew up.

I brought a new woman friend I just met at a "Wild Women Gathering" only a couple weeks ago. When I met her, she made me laugh out loud. She was so frank and candid. I love women like that! So I brought her to the "m" party. At first it was kind of quiet. I was reminded how, even though I'm quite social and talkative, when I first get to a party, I wish everyone would be swarming to talk to me and make me tell all my interestg and true stories. My friend and I found seats in a second room. We would slink back into the main room to load up our plates with tasty treats a few times and visit for a few minutes with the other women. A few came over and talked to us. My friend had plans of going to see a band afterwards and she was starting to be hell bent that we needed to leave. My allegiences were more to my friend and helping her out. There were quite a few of us, and it took time to film us.

We had so much fun right before we left talking to these other women. There is nothing better than sharing laughter with others. Then my friend and I fled. We were too late to see the band for more than an hour, so it wasn't worth going in. I wasn't excited about seeing a band perform 70s music (just not too excited about reliving that era where my mom made me wear ugly brown clothes day in and day out), but I was up for going out. I had dropped my daughter off at a sleepover. Instead, we ended up going to a fun couple of small bars on a main street of all town.

The funny thing was, my friend kept apologizing we weren't having more fun. I kind of stopped having expectations some time back. Okay, about some things. These days I'm just excited to get out with another fun soul. I hate to be honest, but I live in the middle of nowhere, am not super prosperous right now, and take care of my daughter almost all the time. Yes, you can bet I make the best of when I do get out with others.

What fun times! Nice, fun times without any expectations set up. I am happy to be changing into enjoying moments more instead of lamenting about what I no longer am living or what I plain just don't have that I'd love to have in my life. For now, I graciously accept the small joys!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Positives Outweigh Touches of Sadness - Yay!

I am not truly a sad person. I don't do depression well. And it seems like every job I end up at, they call me "Sunshine". Only after they do I tell them it follows me everywhere. In my normal life out in the world (this could lead to another post about who I am at home and who I am out in the world...) I do my best to be optimistic. To be positive, to keep moving forward to live the life I want.

I also move forward when I am who I am at home. Yet I'm much more free at home, in my space. (Even with my daughter!) I relax. I just am. I'm human.

At home in the midst of relaxing and healing and not pushing myself yet pushing myself to move my life forward (being "productive is cyclical), I have sad moments. Not so many lately. I honor who I am inside and what is working it's way outward. Yet I am truly happy to have all this creative encouragement around me! Other humans who are doing their art and sharing it with the world. I love that we all do our art. I love that I am writing more frequently. Yes, it does lift us out of ourselves and into who we might or could truly be.

I still have moments where I cry. It comes less and less. I notice when I allow myself to be sad and sink into it, I feel so alone in this world. I feel shocked about the things that have happened to me. And these days, it passes even more quickly. I am choosing to be more conscious about no longer even needing to stay stuck in the unmoving spot. Hooray for me and my healing. Hemal Radia pointed out that even when something horrific has happened it's best to place your energy clearly on something else in order to distract yourself from focusing on the bad things.

I feel blessed to have all my friends and positive influences surrounding me. I feel blessed to feel the not so great feelings fluttering away that have been dwelling within. I feel even more blessed to be creatively moving forward. Okay, they might be tiny steps right now. I know I have it in me to keep creating. If I live out all the dreams I have inside for my creative adventures I live them. It's good to keep working on them, in any case. It's good to simply create.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Moves

This girl is happy! I've been on the fence about something. For at least one reason I'm now commiting to something soooo close to my heart, to happiness, to more joy. To making a good life again! Now I'm ready for life to keep flowing great again. I'll keep you posted about the good news as I actually move into it.

I love it when you make a decision and things fall right into place. When that happens, it's the universe whispering you are my beautiful child and you will live what you desire, here you go, let me help you. :)

I feel like I have many things I want to write about ~ some of my posts have been like that, meandering this way and that. And if you've ever met me, I speak like I email. I've just got lots of stories inside me!

I just feel like life is ready to open up again. I love that this happens every summer for me. It has to when I'm living in Minnesota. Chuckle. The winter season is mostly miserable for me after living in Key West and Miami Beach. Of course summer here has got to be fabulous. I've loved how I work on the internal in the fallow months. I've loved all the work I've done in Lynn Woodland's wonderful groups. I'm pretty sure I'll partake in one more before I sail off again.

When your life isn't going absolutely fabulous, one recommendation is to be in gratitude. All the time. I have started a new practice for falling asleep for the last several months. My mind goes and goes (especially now not leaving for a day job but staying home with my daughter instead), so it can take a while to fall asleep. Lately I start with forgivenesses. I have gotten miles out of forgiving myself and those in my life for everything. Things happening that day and many more things that already happened. It has freed me up. I admit knowing I had been stuck and physically not what I want to be teaches me to work on loving myself again. Loving yourself is such a great thing to work on day in and day out! After forgivenesses, I list what I am grateful for. I love falling asleep doing one of these self-talk exercises. Much healthier than worrying and having fitful dreams! :)

Do you have any thoughts on how we can use gratitude to transform our lives? The one way I have seen it transform my life is when I bring good things in, to truly be grateful all the time. It feels good to stay in this energy. And I tell you, I may be at the tail end of being in a Minnesota funk, but I've been in terribly worse funks. I'm grateful to be where I'm at in this moment! Thank you for reading my thoughts ~ I appreciate you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stop Caring What Others Think About You!

I just got back from a walk with my mom. I had turned into a slug with a bad knee and swollen feet so it's great that I make myself go walking. Even though my parents bug the shit out of me, I know my mom likes to "do things" with me. So I asked her to go. It was only 45 minutes around our boring as hell subdivision. (Yes, can you tell I'm not for the suburbs...chuckle, chuckle)

Wow. Amazing that my mother is 65 and she still cares about what you say out loud when people are walking by instead of not giving a rip. What a crock of hooey! My request: "Can ah have a diff-er-ent muther pulease?" No? Okay, then I'll the next best thing: retrain myself not to care. And get on with my life so I can do what I'm meant to do. I know it's generational for her. It's just the way she is: she cares more about what the Jones' think. Sigh. Boring life.

People who know me absolutely know I'd rather have a different mom. I grapple with the spiritual fact that I chose her. I seem to have chosen the need to learn either to have skin so tough I don't let others affect me as I move through life attempting to do my work (this hasn't worked so far, at best it's off and on). Or I've been chosen to be an eternal teacher to her. And it's funny when she gets mad at me saying I'm the child and I'm not supposed to be teaching her how to treat me. Pfft!!!

It is most definitely my job to stand up for myself! Yes, it's been such a long road. Yes, fun and beautiful and breathtaking at times. For moments, anyways. I've been truly blessed in so many different ways. One thing I can do is take the good and keep the gratefulness of those good things in my heart in order to keep working on having a better life. And keep doing my art, my craft.

Last night I was journaling and realized I have some more tools for turning myself and my life around. I blog occasionally and I journal about the same. To journal I do three pages of writing what has been on my heart lately. I make myself write three pages. I get into good stuff. Stuff that turns me around and helps me begin on my healing path and the path to a much better life. Yes, you've read here life hasn't been the best lately since choosing to live in my parent's house (albeit in our own space). Thank goodness it's summer. Isn't everything better in the summer in Minnesota! :)

I recently had some major dental work done, and have more to go. Yes, it's painful. At the same time, I'm incredibly blessed to be a superfast healer! In being able to eat next to nothing, I immediately had to give up my sugar crutches. Hooray! And I journaled about how it's difficult when we are so caught up in what we are caught up in to stop. To restart. This has been a good circumstance for me to give up some things that blocked more than healthy eating. Clutching onto food, as in at night when I have down time from being a single mom, keeps me attached to the fear of never succeeding in all my fabulous ideas.

It's so good to figure out what exactly I can do to shift my energy so life keeps getting better and back to what I truly desire (living by the ocean and having enough money to take care of us to stay there!!). So hooray for realizations and hooray for what I am doing to keep moving forward. And pfft to naysayers! In some ways it makes me a tad sad I have to be my own cheerleader but that is my life right now. If you have a fabulous mom, you are blessed!

I'll keep you posted on how I'm moving forward and the fun projects I'm working on. The first one is getting my fabulous children's book out the door!

I love it when you shift your energy and, in your mind at least, you are so unstoppingly positive and see only success for yourself! I want more of that life!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bad Boys Finish Last Too...Eventually

An old time family friend posted as his fb status "nice guys finish last". I didn't know if he was referring to himself or his situation of detangling from a marriage with two small girls. Some thoughts came to mind since reading this from him - but first I must say obviously we can never ever truly know what another has lived. Immediately I wondered if he wasn't a bad boy. So perhaps people can change from what they used to be, if perhaps they grew up kind of wild.

This can a person change thing has got to be a home-grown Minnesota concept. Ha! Myself, I met my bad boy walking down Duval street in Key West on May 25, 2002. He had long, dark, curly hair and we talked for hours that first night. We're long divorced, although he still intrigues me.

I believe we have the capacity to let any situation or person change us into a better person. Reflecting just on a surface level, I think it could happen. Yet if one was wild and addicted in the first place, you're not going to be living a deep, spiritual, fulfilling life I would gather.

It's heartwrenching when you figure out you do have a bad boy and that's what he is. As for myself, I'm anxious to know why indeed we settle for these surfacey sexier-than-hell boys when we end up running like hell later on? Please share with me your thoughts on this! At least in this journey of the last eight years or so, I've allowed myself to turn inward and reflect good things. Yes, you could say it's all good or it simply is. Thank goodness I'm where I am now, with this man who'll stay in my life because of our daughter not being such a bad boy any more. Today I'm grateful for all the forgiveness work I've done and even moreso for all the learning and self-reflecting to know how I've gotten to this step.

I know I didn't really touch on how they do get theirs, but even when all seems unfair and perhaps your whole world has topped momentarily, everything does get evened out. You only need to wait and the tears will dry.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Inspiration All Around Me

Wow. I'm astounded by the creative, beautiful minds I've surrounded myself with. Amongst the many ways to receive inspiration, books and movies seem perhaps not true sources yet they are really stories. They can be fleeting but are inspirational at the same time for me. For such a long time I've been a lover of books and also the stories movies briefly wrap us up in. (I must confess in the last few years with no real romance and sometimes not even much "of a life" while I work/take care of my six year old, I am periodically drawn to fluffy things that make me feel good for the moment.) Even the fluff can have its benefits. I love when you shift your energy, and sometimes the fluffiest fluff does that for me.

These days I am staying at home with my daughter, choosing not to work out in the world. Whenever I've chosen not to work conventionally in the past, I tend to get squirrelly. I need stimulation and contact with others. I'm quite the extrovert. I can also honestly admit living in Key West and Miami Beach has given me the gift of thinking I need more stimulation, that my life and all surrounding me needs to be like a comedic sitcom. It's fun when it is, yet I do see it for what it is and how I've changed.

What I love these days about staying home and recreating my space and, at the same time, my life, is going within. I feel more vibrant and more alive when I take time for me by journaling my three pages, by blogging, by connecting with like-minded souls. I had the most wonderful life before my daughter was born. I did a lot of work on myself, becoming more spiritual, releasing qualities I no longer needed from the world at large and my family of origin in specific. I wouldn't trade those times for anything. I also love how what we've lived allows us to be who we are at this moment. Even the hard stuff. It's so difficult when we're going through the low moments, and yet we know we'll end up learning much from it.

What I truly appreciate is those who inspire me with their tales of how they live their creative lives. I read and frequently. I have loved reading the words of SARK, Geneen Roth, Nathalie Goldberg, Anne Lammott, yet the blogs are right there, so easy to read the honest words, take it into my heart, and pick myself up if needed. Or to go create some art. Or room for making art.

For the millions of reasons doing your art is good for your soul, the one I love best is that it allows you to sink into yourself. To get to know yourself (again perhaps if you've gotten caught up in life), to allow yourself to actually like yourself again. Yay! Isn't that a valid yet great goal in life? To do what you love so you learn to love yourself or if you already do, keep loving yourself? Seems to me it's a grand life if you can do this. Thanks to my creative mentors for encouraging me!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

These have been full days, yet...

As my friend Barb says, Create! So here I am.

Life has been so very full lately, but not really at the same time. Many, many familial disappointments, but could I ever expect anything less with the disappointment I grew up with? At the same time, my life has been so hushed here in this place I semi-choose to call home at present, so I welcome the sitcom dramas that come into my life. It makes me wonder where I picked this up? So long ago I was a peaceful, purposeful spiritual being. Now I am so vastly opposite of that being.

Now I am a single mom. My daughter is six. I love her dearly. I'm better when I use my brakes and say no to the evils of the world influencing her. (Evils of the world: some television, her grandparents, born-agains, what else? Judgement, anything that crushes her almighty I know it takes a lllllooooonnnnnggggg time to rebuild yourself.) I love watching icarly and hannah montana with her, yet once upon a time for three whole years i owned no television set. people used to ask me what in the world i did. many great writers have taken to nature to discover their interiors.

So I lost my job in May. Yes, my day job. I thought I loved it. Now that I'm exceedingly happy it was disappeared, it is humorous that through this first again horrendous Minnesota winter I lived through after pretty much not being able to stay living in south Florida, I saw my job as the one thing keeping me here. I came back here to make some good money, pay things off, to help my parents out a little, and mostly, so my daughter could hang out with her grandparents. Not hard, as we live in the same house, different floors. I can only laugh loudly that I ever expect anything different from my nutty mom. I'm appreciative of most that she does, but I am the different one in this family. No, I'm not "successful" or "happily married". Yet I'm truly happy with much of the life I've lived. I'm truly blessed to have my daughter, have forgiveness in my heart (an an open eye) as she, her dad and I reconnect.

It's time to enjoy these full days. And also to work on my own creating again. Thanks to all of you who inspire me and push me! These wondrous things we achieve happen baby step by baby step! I'm ready for more! That's what I love about summer - it's brings such beauty and joy internally and externally in our lives.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Wind Is Out Of My Sails

A couple of my creatively influential facebook friends have been doing poems, so I got in the mood...

The Wind Is Out Of My Sails
I am not nothing
After I write
Or take a hot bath
Or walk the woody paths.

But right now in my life
I am nothing.
My days pass, blend together

I am bored
My mind is listless at times
Facebook, yahoo, tv, movies
Ah, but not a real life

Every so often
I take care of my soul ~
I journal my three pages
I uncover more unhappy crap
I dive within
I take the time
I have good realizations

And yet, I am not moving on
I am still here
Still wishing to begin
The next part of my life
I have sad moments
Sad I am not whole, not healed
I hope I am

In these moments of this life
I am bored
I know myself.
Slowly, slowly
I dig myself out
I see the unhappy, the unrest within

I am strong
I have vision
I need to remember these good things
Then the good will come,
Will keep coming

My life is not so bad,
Not so sad and listless
The wind is out of the sails ~~
Not for long!

A.Santana/M. Reede

Monday, June 7, 2010

A What-If Exercise

How many people know who the author SARK is? I adore her!! (yes, truth be told, I’m a little sarkette!) Lately, I’ve been napping a lot and reading a bit too…I still owe money to the library so I haven’t gone in about two months… I’ve been good about journaling at least two times a week, and sometimes more. In the spirit of SARK’s braveness and always encouraging us to be ever more creative, I did a couple What-Ifs. Here’s part of that recent journal entry:

I keep thinking what ifs. What if I give up sugar, dairy, flour? How can I even do this? Why do I think these things are who I am? Why is it so hard for me to separate the crap from me – to peel the crap away? Ugh. Makes me sad for myself! If I did peel the crap away, I’d like myself, I’d be able to move back to the ocean. I’d be able to be a published author.

What if I went walking for one hour every day for a week? For a month? What the hell am I so afraid of? I don’t even like all this fat, this “wait” that keeps an extra guest room in the house of my body. It runs the castle. Now ruins. It keeps me from so much more! If I did walk for one hour every day for even a week I would like myself so much more. I would even be proud of myself. And if I did it for a whole month I’d be super happy to get rid of the excess that is just begging to come off!

(I did walk for one hour last night, the day after I wrote that…and it helped me feel so much better about more than just my body!)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Do I Ride The YES Wave?

My question – how long do we take to heal? How long does it actually take besides forever?

I have so much to do. It’s a lot. Easy to avoid the creative stuff – that’s another way of staying stuck in the victim/abused mentality or energy. I totally could do this creative stuff. I could totally make things work, make my life great again by getting myself creatively out into the world! I could send in my first chapter of Losing Little Guy to The Sun. Or somewhere else. I totally could take great pictures and submit them. That would be fun for me. I would love to learn how to ride the YES wave!

How do I ride the YES wave?

How do I stay in that energy? By living simply and taking care of myself daily. By sleeping enough. When I hear a no or struggle with having energy to do something, I can work through it. To crawl towards yes. It’s so sad when we get like this. Yet every good thing is one great thing for creative us.

There are so many things I would absolutely love to do again. Like paint poems of all these sucky men I’ve met. Then maybe someday I’ll be writing real love poems again (like I used when I was infatuated with college boys). Ha – life is so funny! (Written May 18, 2010)

This Place I Am In

(Part of my journal entry from last night…) I’m inbetwixt being afraid and totally trusting. Trusting things will work out great this time and I’ll actually move toward the good life I desire. I’m generally doubtful whenever I lose a job or when things change like I have to move from Florida to Minnesota (never the other way around, ha!).

Sad things are happening on all my television shows. Sad that I’m so close to them, to these characters. They are like my friends. Okay. I need to get out more, and with my daughter.

I can’t even say or feel it’s sad I never do anything here (in Minnesota). I never expect anything else up here. I tell myself it’s going to be better this time, this time is going to be the trick, the different time. It never is. I get so easily bored. I’m sad for myself yet I have little expectations up here. I am just bland of feelings, of expecting good things up here. Is it better to have no expectations, to simply accept how lifeless things are? I used to say in Miami, “I have no life” yet I had more of one there than here. I had no life because I’m a single mom only taking care of my daughter and doing the simple things in life like working and caring for my daughter and whatever home I live in. I started saying “I have no life” after I got divorced, after forcing myself to move up here rather than try harder to make it on our own because that was too damn hard.

And it isn’t even that I’m tired. I feel lifeless. Void of feeling excitement. I feel life when I create something. Like over two months ago when I got a new writing client from Miami.

I felt so vibrant in Miami. Sort of in the Florida Keys, too, but not as much. For whatever reason, I need to live on my own. My life force gets sucked out of me when I live with others. My friend I lived with for two months last fall in the Keys did this. I have so few friends, yet I know this friend isn’t good for my spirit, and neither is my ex. Why I am so on the fence? Why am I so bored that I can’t simply close these two doors and walk away for good? I have no idea, except that I do things which do not serve me. All of my, and mostly my creative self.

Why do I not do what I desire? Like I’ve waited for so long to be a famous author (like SARK or anyone!) but I must be so internally afraid I just run the other way. I need to get back on the Marcia Wieder wagon! To say yes to life again. To map out all the steps to make every dream come true!

So what if my life is a little quieter than I’m used to or I like. So I take this time to truly focus on me, fix my body, lock in on these oh-so-precious years with my daughter! There are so many things I want to do with her.

Time to get back to me. These days I’m clearing out and organizing my space. Welcome back to me! It’s okay to stay a while in this quieter me. (Written May 21, 2010)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

When Did I Stay Stuck?

Are only bad things happening in my week? Has this been a bad week, bad month, bad year? Relentlessly, why do I find this a bad place to live? Interesting. Monday morning I lost my job. I hadn’t had it for all that long. When I started it on the solstice at the end of last year, I felt blessed. Truly, it was the only solid thing anchoring me to stay here in Minnesota. So now that anchor was hurled out into the vast ocean, which is ironically where I want to return to.

I love love love the ocean. It’s been so healing for me. Life has proven to be a challenge for me for quite some time, even before my daughter was born, October 29, 2003. I’m such an odd duck in my family. I’m a free spirit. I’ve worked hard to moor myself loose from all the crap I was splattered with growing up. I’ve learned countless lessons by diving in and afterwards realizing it would have been better to run like hell (my ex-husband). I’ve also led more than a delightful life.

It’s such a mix at times like this. Inwardly, I’m churning and have anger at my present situations. Losing this job, and even though I chose it because asked, having to live here in Minnesota dims my wattage. At times like this, I also allow myself to realize I could walk a different way. I could be positive and this could be the time I walk into my perfect life. I have to chuckle at myself. I’ve been in a funk of ugh and unhappiness for a while, even before moving back here. Yet I have sooooooo many beautiful tools to rebuild myself again. I’d been seriously working on rebuilding myself for some time now, really, since I left my ex. It was devastating with him. I’ve learned tremendous amounts about myself since then.

And yet right now in my life I can see I’ve been choosing to stay stuck. Stuck and unhappy – in my fat body, in my not knowing what to do next with my life, in trying to figure out what I can do to “get it together” or motivate myself to do the same. You name it, I’m stuck. I do feel I had more before we moved back here…but then there are solid reasons I’m back here. I had the ocean, so I’ve brought it back with me, go visit it, have pictures reminding me of it. I’ve had spirit and a fun, spontaneous life.

I am realizing it’s up to me. If I shift my negative thoughts into what the next small step is to get into living the life I want, then I know I’m going to make it. Of course life can be beautiful again. It has been for many of my pasts moments. Thank you to all who care about me. A special thank you to those who encourage and inspire me to take the time to do my creative stuff. It’s been so much easier for me to give up, to say no and just not even start. These days, I must just take that next small step. And BELIEVE! I know I’ll love life again soon!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Missing My Old Life

I used to be so sad, so depressed. In those times, my moments were filled with thoughts of what I had lived that I still held dear to my heart. Grand people and grand experiences make a lasting impression on my heart. This could be because I grew up not very confident in myself around the opposite sex. Yes, I believed in myself in many other areas and I grew up to be smart. It’s not the same to have inside you being comfortable with others in romantic relationships. I simply didn’t have many. And then I began picking the wrong men. Ah, for all the tender hearts out there…

In sad moments, why I think about things I already lived that I loved for so long? I love Pablo Neruda’s line loving is so short, forgetting is so long. This follows me after these wrong men already climbed into my heart and I had to eventually untangle myself from them. I never saw myself as someone who had only bad things happen, or more bad things happen in her life than good things. Still, as I’ve grown older I’ve opened up more and chosen beautiful, spontaneous adventures. They’ve made me feel truly alive. In these sad times, I’m grateful I have a few grand memories. Yet at the end of the day, the sadness still sometimes pours over.

I allow myself to reflect on the beautiful things I’ve lived which have already vanished. Life is okay. It’s not great, and it’s certainly no longer horrible. It is only my life right now. I have to keep telling myself to no longer wish for the things I miss. Right now I won’t be able to make some of the choices I might like to. I have my daughter. I also have my parents who are coming to rely on my daughter and I in small yet profound ways. It saddens me to be akin to many who settle for an unfulfilling life, where perhaps choices aren’t ours to make. There must be waves in our lives where we do things for others, not entirely living our own lives. Not that I’m losing myself in my life right now. I am starting to make the choices I can to continue the good work I’ve started, living a good life. A more authentic life. To walk more lightly on my path.

For years, I’ve been mindful it’s a good practice to be in the now, to be grateful for my right now. I practiced this in small ways. The ocean helped me heal and appreciate life more, even the things that were not so good. In my transition now, I put one foot in front of the next. I can’t make grand plans for myself, my life, my heart. I can hold my heart’s desires inside my heart and walk toward them. I hold my tender feelings gently and lovingly, breathing life into them again. Breathing life into my journey of right now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Worn Out Friday Night

Wow, it’s Friday night. I’ve had an incredibly long week at work. I’m watching this week’s episode of Private Practice. It’s tearing me up. I think for such a long time I have been sort of in limbo. Working (sometimes not very greatly) at being able to live – to work, to all alone take care of my now six year old daughter, to keep up the place we’re able to live in at the time. And then there’s my spirit. Perhaps that’s what the tears are about. I sooooo feel I haven’t had a life, haven’t been allowed to have a life. Yes, I’ve had a life. But the expected things I do haven’t nourished my soul, my spirit. Listening to others has added to the emptiness inside me.

At this time, I’m not able to live anywhere on my own. So many parts about being a single mom are hard and a challenge every day. One positive thing that has kept me moving forward to live a better life again is that I’ve lived such a rich life. I guess at times such as these, when I watch a show about characters on tv I love, it bring out the tenderest parts of me. I am sad for all my life is not. No romance (no more cabana boy – he was just an occasional sex call now and then anyways), no thin, healthy body with a zest for life, no money to travel adventurously in unknown territories. It’s as though there is no steadiness in my life. The big emptiness inside me (sadly, I am realizing it’s perhaps been there quite a long time) has leaked out in other ways, such as mindless hours on the computer chattering with other empty souls or watching lots of shows.

I’m ready to move on. I am allowed to embrace tenderly the sad parts of me. And yet, I embrace how good life could be again. In any case, I can keep remembering if I keep doing as much as I can for myself, I will be back into loving all parts of my life soon!

Steer Me Away From Boring!

I’m a writer. I adore reading. For the first few years after getting divorced, leaving that abusive partner, and doing not too great a job of my own healing from abuse while taking care of my wonderful daughter, I used to say “I have no life!” so I would read or watch tv. I’m certain I’ve read hundreds of books in this “meantime”. Not too terribly long ago, I didn’t own a television for three whole years. Incredible to look back now. Isn’t it absolutely amazing how different your life was before having a child? My daughter’s already six. She’s half Cuban, and half boring-ass Minnesotan. I’m not at all a boring person, I just find myself occasionally surrounded by them as I settle in for some time in the Midwest again.

When I talk, I veer off in tangents. It’s amusing my email friends say I talk the same way I write…so this blog is just whatever comes up. I’m not who I want to be. Sometimes I’m alive and juicy and naughty (got a tattoo last summer in Miami Beach before moving back here) and the rest of the time, I just live. I just work at finding balance, finding energy to do everything I want to, to be juicy again!

I hope you enjoy my electronic travails. I love when I make time to journal, taking time enough to take pen to smooth paper and rediscover my interior for that day. I also hope this blog will share experiences or thoughts we share. I used to attend domestic violence support groups, at the beginning of my healing journey back to myself. As we shared our stories, often we found ourselves laughing out loud, “Were we married to the same person?” So turn it around now, because life isn’t easy, yet it’s much, much better. I’m grateful for the journey. I’m grateful for all I’ve learned. Thanks for letting me share with you my journey toward a more authentic life…please email me or comment. Most of all, live succulently starting today!