Friday, November 16, 2012

Better days . . .

Over the last year or so I have really made a turn around in how I see myself and how I react to the world.  Some of the things I struggle with have gotten markedly better and some things are still quite there, I just deal with them better.  As I step back and look at what I have done differently, I can point to a few things that have directly helped and I wanted to outline them here for me as well as whoever might benefit from how I currently see the world . . .

1.  I communicate far better with my husband than I used to.  I try my best not just to snap at him, but explain why I am frustrated.  He has made a point of listening instead of getting defensive.  I think explaining how my mind works and how I perceive things has helped him get a better understanding of who I am and why I get so bent out of shape about certain things.  I take time to explain when things bother me and why.  He has been trying really hard not to take things personally.
2.  Reiki has helped me take control of not only how I relate with people but also my circumstances.  IT has allowed me to rest in the "now" and stop and take a breath.  It lets me "sit" with where I am and revel in the fact that I am alive, breathing and can experience the energy and world around me.  It helps me connect with God on a level that I can "feel".  I feel closer to God than I have in a long while and feel a connection with Him in a different way than I ever had. . . that alone is life changing.
3.  I have tried to surround myself with positivity.  I have affirmations on my wall at work directly above my desk.  I purposely put them on sticky notes so I could change them out and move things around.  I am trying to focus not just on "Woe is me" sayings, but positive things that can affect my mood and my outlook.  It is easy to gravitate toward the "ugly" and wallow in pity, but it is hard to pull yourself out of that and look at the positive side of things.  Having stuff in my face works for me.  Focus on the positives even when you can't see them. For me, when I cannot think of anything positive, I think about a roof over my head, my children, food in my belly, and the love of friends.

4. Tapping.  I use tapping mostly when I feel like blowing up and losing my cool.   Sometimes I find myself tapping even before I am conscious of it.  I also find that I tap in the car alot.  For me it is not about the mantra it is a self soothing technique and it works for me.  Tapping has so many benefits that I truly think it is miraculous.  I am pleased it is in my arsenal!

5.  Unplugged.  I have tried to unplug from 24 hour news media.  The divisiveness  made me crazy.  I try very hard to get my news and move on.  I cannot wallow in that type of negativity that news channels bring.  The same thing with my phone.  My phone that was always attached to my hand gets plugged up in the foyer when I get home.  I am still accessible for friends and family, but I am not constantly receiving news alerts, text alerts and being fed garbage from media.   My home number is only given out to a few friends and family and I know when it rings that it is someone I want to talk to.  I feel so much more relaxed than I use to with that phone stuck to my body!

6.  My Best Friend.  She is amazing.  Always there for me even through her own crap, she is willing to listen and laugh with me.  I couldn't have made it through the last year of family issues, constant pain from my leg accident and "just life" without her.  She is a part of who I am today even though she has only been in my life a short time.  She is the sister I never had and sometimes I think we were separated at birth.  She amazes me with her strength and her resiliency.  She makes me a better person. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mostly finished project . . .

The stairs have been finished as much as they are going to be for now.  If they hold up, I will likely make a few changes and take time to caulk all the joints in the wood and repaint the edges so things look clean and finished.  For now, they are good enough!

I ended up purchasing  16 x 24 carpet tiles from the Dollar Store (!!!) and a package of 97 cent nails with larger heads.  I did have to purchase 2 different tiles due to availability, but that is my favorite part.  I simply cut the tiles in half and tacked them on the treads with the nails.  $11 and I am so pleased with how they look!

The kids picked the words so they are all a bit different.  If I had picked them out they would all be the same family (like they would all be verbs) but it was a joint project and they are thrilled with their choices.

It is nearly impossible to photograph the steps, so these photos will have to do :)

See ya . . .

Last night was the first time in a while that Dustin has chosen to run out the front door.  He was mad at me because we were cleaning up the house and I asked McCartney to hold the trash bag.  Yep, mad for not getting to hold the trash bag. He shouted, "That's it! I'm out of here." and walked to the front door.  I chose not to chase him.  I knew it was quite dark and cold and I knew that he wouldn't stay out there too long.  He stopped at the door and turned around and said, "Mom, did you hear me? I'm outta here and I'm not coming back!"  I simply kept working on my project, called his bluff and said, "Bye dear."  He called my bluff and took off out the door.

The littles were cleaning and they always freak out when Dustin runs.  I told them to be calm and try to ignore it.  About 4 minutes later we heard him tromping onto the porch.  I knew he was making noises so I would hear him and come chase him.  I wasn't going out there!  It is cold! I quietly crept to the door but he heard me coming and ran out to the sidewalk.  He was standing there waiting for me to come out while I snuck a peek out the peep hole.  He was getting rustrated that I wouldn't come out and then he walked away.  We did this "dance" for about 25 minutes.  Then the doorbell rang. 

I answered the door and it was Dustin.  I said, "Well hi!  Can I help you?" He said he was cold and asked if he oculd come inside.  I said, "This is your house so you are welcome to come in."  We carried on like nothing ever happened.  He was not amused.

I was, however, quite amused.

Will it work next time?  Who knows.  But it was quite funny to see the look on his face when he realized I was not going to chase him.  Later he asked me if I would miss him if he left, and of course I said I would.  He kept trying to get me to talk about him leaving and I was very nonchalant about it.  Perhaps if he sees that it doesn't poke my buttons it will stop this behavior . . . at least until spring. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Work in progress . . .

My home is 120+ years old.  Most of it is original.  It was a rental for many years and even a fraternity house at one point.  It had been very well abused loved before we bought it.

I have 3 kids, 2 dogs and 3 cats.  We have definitely made our mark.  I replaced the carpet on the stairs a few years back myself.  It was a light carpet remnant and it has well past it's prime.  I decided to rip it out yesterday and paint the steps.  I had originally planned on just painting them with the dark brown floor/porch paint that I used upstairs on our unfinished wood floors that I blogged about here. And then I decided we needed to FUNKIFY them!

I have a LARGE stash of mistint paint and various leftovers from projects.  I knew I had some pretty bright colors from the Glidden paint promotions a couple years back so I decided to go for it.  I did paint the treads with the porch paint and then I just painted the risers random colors. 
On the way to school today I asked the kids for some words for the steps.  They came up with some words and I printed them out on legal size paper in various fonts.  A bit of sidewalk chalk on the back of the paper allowed me to easily transfer the type to the steps by simply tracing over them with a pencil.  I simply took a small artist brush and filled in the words.

It is still a work in progress, but it is turning out to be a fun addition to our eclectic home.  The stairs are OLD and ratty, but I am hoping that the colors and words will distract from their less than perfect finish.  I think I may buy a package of carpet squares from Lowes, cut them in half and tack them to the stair treads with large head nails.  We shall see what strikes my fancy! :)

So much for that . . .

So much for blogging every day for November.  I blew it already, but this weekend was a rough one.  Dustin has been quite difficult and as I was opining to my mother on the phone yesterday (she is on vacation) she mentioned that it is "that time of year".  Duh!  Autumn is always particularly rough for him as he has had numerous traumaversaries in the fall. 

We had a visit to the psych on Thursday and what could I say other than he is doing as well as I can hope.  I don't have much hope that medication can control much of the behaviors we are seeing now.  The medication has done it's best to control his impulsivity and the mood disorder the best that we  could ask for.  The problem we are seeing now is simply being a self centered 5 year old in the body of a 17 year old.  The constant me, me, me mentality is sucking the life right out of us.  He worries about nothing but his needs, his desires and his happiness.  He cares virtually nothing for anyone around him of the needs of anyone else.  

It is tiring and frustrating.  I have to remind myself constantly that he ddid not ask for this life and it is my job to make it as pleasant as possible.  I fail at that daily, but I lay my head on that pillow nightly vowing that I will try again tomorrow.  

I suppose that is all I can do.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Kids say . . .

Tonight we were in the car heading home.  I mentioned that McCartney had an appointment with her doctor.

H:  Isn't Dr. _____ a physicist?
Me: No, he is a Psychiatrist.
H: Don't Psychiatrists see psychos? No offense McCartney.
M: Not funny.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

After . . .

Congrats Mr. President on a second term.  My family had to pleasure of meeting then Senator Obama during the primary in 2004.  You can read the story here. 

The family while we were waiting. We had my mom praying for the kids behavior to be fantastic. Apparently the prayers for McCartney hadn't yet reached heaven. Check out the grumpiness.

There's a smile! It's about time. She did however get everything she wanted because we really didn't want a blow up. I did however have to threaten her with the secret service taking her away a few times.

Robert and the man of the hour. This was taken just as Harrison ran up to him and hugged his knees.

Harrison is thrilled. Can you tell? Directly behind me are about 2 dozen photographers snapping away. Boy, that man can sure smile.

You can tell he is the father of two girls. He was telling her that she had a beautiful dress on and that he liked her painted toenails. She was smitten.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Pressure . . .

Last night in the car my daughter got a bit teary eyed and said, "Mommy, I am sad I need to tell you something."  I asked what, expecting that she got in trouble for talking in school (wonder where she gets her penchant for "too many words" ?) And she replied with, "I am sorry, but I want Mitt to win."

I asked her why and she said, "My friends want him to win and they said I am bad if I like Obama." 

Deep sigh.

I carefully chose my words because she is a sensitive child.  I told her that I don't dislike Governor Romney.  I am certain there are good things about him as a man and as a candidate.  As a  voter, I get to choose who I think will do a better job moving our country into the direction that I feel it needs to move.  I was careful to point out that others get to make that same choice and that I respect their right to choose for themselves.  I would prefer that Obama was in office another 4 years, if that doesn't happen our world will not fall apart (we survived Bush!)

Then I began talking about peer pressure.  I told her that she needs to make decisions for herself not because others want her to choose a particular thing.  I explained that votes can be secret.  I explained that I have never known who my mother voted for.  She keeps her vote private.  She believes that it is no one's business who she casts her vote for.   I respect that.

I also explained that this is why kids do not vote.  Kids are easily swayed by their peers and the hope is that once someone becomes an adult they may have more of an ability to think for themselves and not worry about that peer pressure.

All being said and done it hurt my heart.  It hurt that she felt WRONG for wanting to like Obama.  And it hurt my heart that she would be afraid to tell me that she might vote for a candidate other than the one I choose.  When my children are grown, I will welcome their vote regardless of the political leaning.  

Reiki Revisited . . .

Completing the education portion of this journey on Saturday was monumental for me.  Truth be told, I really didn't want to do it.  I wanted to sit back and rest assured that I had learned everything I needed to learn in Reiki 1 and 2 and have a relaxing and uneventful Saturday.  Even after I paid for the class in full, I was considering going back and asking for a refund.  I was not "feeling it".  Even Saturday, I woke up late and wanted to just blow it off.  I am so very glad I did not.   I am certain that I was put in that place for a reason and I feel as though I grew exponentially in my understanding of Reiki and in my place in this journey.

We focused more on intuition in this class and it really struck a cord with me.  The possibility of providing just what the client needs at the appropriate time and place, even if they don't know what it is, is a heady proposition.  It really secured in me that I am merely a vessel for the energy to flow through.  It reminded me that there is a far greater force at work through me and I am simply the conduit who is willing and open to being used.  That concept was what drives me to use this ability for good.  The fact that I don't have to know what is needed, I just simply have to be present and willing.  While I initiate the contact by welcoming God to use me, I really just have to sit back and allow Him to provide and perform.

The other piece of that puzzle for me is the LOVE.  The acceptance of what it is to be obedient to a higher power and be that part of the puzzle is overwhelmingly peaceful.  I am called to love.  I am called to accept.  I am called to provide kindness and positivity in all areas of my life.  Opening that part of me has been a long journey over the past few years.  It has been one that has taught me to let go of my assumptions, my preconceived notions and my judgements.  It has given me the understanding that I have not walked in the shoes of others.  I have no idea where their journeys have taken them and how they have reached the point where they are today.  I cannot judge their path or their conclusions.  I can simply accept and love that they are where they are at this given moment.  It is my job to love.  I may not agree, but that does not stop the love.  I can see that the journey I have been a part of for these past few years, has been leading up to my Reiki training.  The time is now to begin putting into action what has been resonating within my soul during this time.

Reiki has given me the instrument in allowing that love to feel real to others.  As I call on the God of the universe to work through me and for the greater good of the person in front of me, I am showing that love in corporal form.  I am the avenue for energy filled with love and acceptance.  The force of that love is healing and benefiting another human being.  That, my friends, is powerful and something I am humbled to be a part of.  I am blessed to be given the ability to show that love in such a tangible way.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Election . . .

Tomorrows election.  I am a firm believer that everyone who can vote, should.  I believe that too many people fought for your right to vote and not doing so is just plain wrong.  I have seen many posts of my facebook feed about people wishing this election was not only over, but that they are tired of seeing others express their opinions on social media.  I disagree.  While I may not always agree with their opinions, I am happy to see others questioning and espousing their beliefs.  Usually, that means that they are not blindly following a party like sheep, but they are making their own decisions.

I am a firm believer that if we take the time for have a civil discussion about out political beliefs that we can find something to agree on.  That, of course, requires CIVIL discourse, not name calling, and diving in depth about our beliefs not just spouting talking points and single issue topics.  We will not always come to the same conclusion, but it is helpful to see that while we are not voting for the same candidate we can hold some of the same beliefs important.  It helps me to see that although we differ, we have come to that decision even though we can agree on a fraction of the points that lead us in two different directions.  For me, that makes it much more personal and allows me to honor the other person if not their choices.

I have yet to un-friend someone due to their political rants on social media. I do however have to scroll quickly past some who are so closed minded who cannot even fathom that  there is a different opinion other than theirs that could be remotely valuable.  Those who make me particularly upset are the ones that post things such as "As Christians, there should be no question . . ."  and "We Christians must stand up for . . . " .  Not only does that alienate me as a believer who thinks differently, but does nothing to reach others who may be questioning or searching for faith.  As a Christian, I come to my opinions and beliefs on politics with much soul searching and prayer.  I try my best to separate my beliefs and my political convictions as much as possible and look at what is best for the country as a whole.  I am not bound to vote as you think and as you prefer.  That does not make me wrong or even inherently evil.  I choose love.  I choose tolerance.  I choose peace. Just because a particular candidate does not agree with what my God intends, does not mean I cannot vote for them.  I can still practice my religion and serve my God regardless of their views.  That is what America is founded on and I thank God for that.  It doesn't mean that I have to vote for "biblical values" in order to uphold biblical values and live by them.  No one is taking that ability away from me.

It is my job as a citizen of the Untied States and of Earth to be the best person I can be.  It is my job to love others, help others and be a good example for my children.  I fail daily.  If I held myself up to the same scrutiny that some hold our leaders up to, I would fail miserably.  I try to have faith that God has a hand in my life and in my decisions as he does yours.  We each come for different places.  I am called to do the best for me and my family and honor God.  I believe I am doing that.  I don't need your accolades to feel as though I am doing the right thing.   That is between me and my God just as it is for you.  So, please don't tell me how to vote and I won't assume to know why you make your choices either.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Alexander . . .

Today was a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day.  Dustin was extremely "off" today.  I am not sure why, but his constant chatter was off the charts and his belligerent attitude was in full force.  I am proud that I was able to hold my tongue, be as positive as possible and have a mostly quiet voice.  Some days, that is all you can be thankful for. 

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Positivity . . .

Today I finished my series of Reiki classes.  I am now a certified Reiki Master Teacher.  I am a third degree Reiki practitioner.  To be completely honest, I was not looking forward to the class, but I signed up instead of waiting until the next series in the spring.  I am so glad I did.

We spent much time today talking about intuitive healing.  With that comes some discussion on energy fields and the power of positive thinking.  The science behind energy fields is quite interesting.  The human body is an amazing and miraculous thing that I don' think we will ever fully understand.  

The power we hold in our mind and hearts to help instruct our bodies to heal itself is nothing short of amazing.   I don't believe that we are inside the field of energy, we are that field.  It is an extension of our body and how it interacts with it's environment and with others. 

A portion of our day spoke directly to what I have been working on in my life.  The premise is based in Thought Field Therapy.  It focuses on actively and carefully CHOOSING the thoughts that you think and the awareness that those thoughts are conducive to your healing.  If we focus of cur rounding ourselves with positive thoughts than our heart which has lots of neural tissue can transmit that positivity and healing to our brains which in turn send that information to our bodies.  My mother uses the phrase "Don't speak that" often. She is a firm believer that if you speak negativity or unwanted possibilities you may make that manifest in your life and this follows the same thought. 

I have noticed a shift in my home since beginning this Reiki journey in my life.  I have noticed a larger sense of calm and peace in our home.  I have attempted to surround myself with more positivity and I do see that it is affecting our environment in a positive way.  This journey has been a blessing all around and I look forward to continuing the process as I grow and learn more from my own experiences and those of others. 

Friday, November 02, 2012

Possibilities . . .

Today's blogging prompt for NaBloPoMo is If you could live anywhere, where would it be?.  

I answer is not exactly a physical place. If I could live anywhere it would be in a home that is not riddled with trauma due to my son's birth mother's choices.  It would be in a home that is not consumed with constant supervision.  There would be no hyper-vigilance on my part or his.  He would not have to live inside a body and a brain that has been altered due to prenatal alcohol consumption. 

It is not that I regret our decision to adopt him, it is that I would much prefer that he be with his birth family, enjoying his life at 17 years old, living the life he was meant to have with those he was meant to share it with.  I would prefer he be healthy than mine.  I love him so much that I wish that for him.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Day 1 . . .

November 2012

NaBloPoMo. First time I have tried this, but here goes.  I will likely be using the writing prompts that BlogHer has provided because I feel like I have run out of juice, which is the primay reason for participating. 

Favorite Quotation.  Hmmm.  I am not sure if I would call it a quotation, but what I have been resting in for the last year is . . . " It Is What It Is."  Simple.  Plain.  But so powerful.

My version of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder tends to manifest itself in worry and fret.  I struggle with ruminations.  I worry about worrying.  I need to have plans.  I need to have back up plans for every scenario.  I need to feel prepared and have all my ducks in a row.  This is not always feasible and it drives my husband insane. He is a crockpot. He has to let things simmer and he doesn't worry about the future.  I am a microwave.  When I need a solution it has to be now and yesterday!

Over the last year or so, I have been working on letting things just "be".   It Is What It Is.  That doesn't mean that I don't plan, it means that I don't fret over the 50 scenarios that COULD happen.  I am working hard on changing those thought patterns.

It has been difficult.  It is much easier now.  It has been a journey that has given me peace.

Not only have I been living this principle for my future possibilities, I am learning to let go of the past.   It Is What It Is.  There is no changing things that have happened.  That goes for my actions, my kids actions and other's choices.   It Is What It Is.  Living with what has already transpired may not be easy, but fretting about it does nothing but stress me out.  Learning to live with It Is What It Is has given me the ability to take a breath, let go of the stress and walk away from the past.  There is not I can do to change it. 

When it comes to others, It Is What It Is has given me a much higher capacity to be tolerant.  I am able to take a step back and realize that I cannot change other people's choices.  I cannot control what they do.  I can express my opinion civilly, but I cannot be held responsible for their actions. Not only has that given me a peace, it has given me the ability to love them for the differences and changed the negative attitude I may have had in the past which benefits us both.

I am finding that I am able to focus more on loving and not judgement more than ever before.  And that, my friends, can only be a good thing.

It Is What It Is.