Monday, December 30, 2013

Phoenix Rising - Soon

Phoenix by Amy Brown
"2013 was your Phoenix year"

Yes, but the Phoenix rose up from the ashes and soared. My wings are still a bit dirty and I'm still
practicing taking offs.

I'm nowhere close to flying.

I still have days filled with self doubt and a big time lack of confidence. I take full responsibility for this being my issue. No matter what anyone says, only I have the power to allow myself to feel small. I've gotten much better about not listening to those who want to bring me down. What I still struggle with though is listening to my own voices telling me I'm not good enough.

Some days the voices whisper. Some days they shout.

And on days like today when they are shouting at me I don't know how to shut them up.

So when someone says something nice to me I don't know how to respond except list all the ways they are wrong.  It's how I play nice with my voices.

Now logically I know that playing nice and keeping the peace has never gotten me where I wanted to be. But it's what I'm used to. Be a good girl, don't cause trouble. Just be quiet because it probably won't work anyway.

I know I will never rise and fly until I reframe my thinking. What if I do speak up? What if it does work out?

Instead of asking what is the worst that can happen, I want to start asking what is the best that can happen?

Maybe finally then those voices in my head will shut the f* up.

And I will fly.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Vision Boards

It's that time of year again when all my creative, artsy fartsy yoga fairy friends are making vision boards.  My friends Rick and Jilda Watson have created and blogged about their vision boards as long as I've known them. But, then again, Rick and Jilda are artists and musicians and so they have that creative spirit.

I don't consider myself artsy. I don't like crafts. By my own admission my brain is often too steeped in reality. I'm not much into magical thinking. I know from experience that wishing to lose 10 pounds or to find some lost money doesn't make a skinny body with a heavy wallet into reality.

But this vision board thing is interesting. And since I'm now in the process of reinventing my life it seems like the perfect time to really sit down and figure out what I want.

My understanding is that a vision board isn't just magical or wishful thinking. It's to find clarity on what I want to manifest and then placing those images not only onto paper, but into my subconscious where they can percolate and guide the choices I make this year.

The board itself doesn't impact reality; what changes your life is the process of creating the images—combinations of objects and events that will stick in your subconscious mind and steer your choices toward making the vision real.

(Read more:

I don't have a  picture of my vision board to show here because it's not done yet.  I know myself too well. I'll have the tendency to squash my artsy fairy side and be too realistic and logical about it all. So I'm going to take my time and slowly gather images to include as I find them.

I'm looking forward to creating the image of a new life.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

2014- Bring It: #reverb13 Day 21

Then, without thinking too hard about it, grab a pen and some paper and finish the following five sentences:

2014 is going to be MY YEAR because...

In 2014, I am going to do...

In 2014, I am going to feel...

In 2014, I am not going to...

In December 2014, I am going to look back and say...

For bonus points, if you participated in #reverb12, compare your answers to the ones you wrote this time last year. What has been revealed? Where are the surprises?

2014 is going to be my year because:  I have claimed it as mine.

In 2014 I am going to: See my book in print. Look only forward.  Follow my bliss. Listen to my heart. Be more present. Be more open.

In 2014 I am going to feel:  Happy. Contented. Excited. Confident. Loved.

In 2014 I am not going to: Talk myself out of taking chances. Be the first to put myself down. Constantly compare myself to others. Play small.

In December 2014 I am going to look back and say: Holy shit, I did it!

I didn't participate in #reverb12 last year. I was still in the eye of the storm of 2012 and nowhere near being ready to look back at what had happened. I certainly was in no condition to be manifesting for the year ahead.

Now as I sit here in December 2013 looking back at what all I've gone through, I can say:
Holy shit, I made it!

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Forward: #reverb13 Day 20

Forward is the only direction.

The mirror never lies, but everything in it is backwards. 

Look at what you see in the mirror. How does it change if you view yourself with eyes that can only look forward?

When I look in the mirror I finally see what everyone has been telling me they see for the past year:

I am better.
I am healthy.
I am happy.
I now have the opportunity to make my life what I want it to be.

And it's ok that I'm not always exactly sure what I see for my future because I finally believe I have a future.

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Peace: #reverb13 Day 18

I am often surprised where I find peace, it is usually in the midst of chaos.

In the midst of living, did you find moments to breathe? Were there moments that held you in the embrace of peace and quiet and pure contentment? 

Did these moments catch you by surprise or did you create the space for peace to find you?

Where I find peace:

Spending time with my kids.

This photo was taken by Bing Osterman Photography. I had no idea that Bing and my kids had planned this and I honestly cried when I opened the wrapping paper. Each of the kids wrote on their hand one word they feel describes our family. In difficult times I will look at this picture and remember why I do what I do.

In the yoga studio.

My mat, my space, my time. I realize now that I have to occasionally be "selfish" and take time for myself to attend a class. More important than keeping me physically strong, it keeps me mentally strong.

Quiet time.

Sometimes it's just driving in the car.

Or snuggled up under blankets on a rainy afternoon.

The beach

I live six hours away from the nearest beach. Too far. The smell of the salt air and the sound of the waves calms me like nothing else can.

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Habits & Addictions: #reverb13 Day 16

Habits and addictions, some are silly, some serious; when we have issues without answers, they can hold us so tight that we stop moving forward with the life we intended.

Were you able to loosen those fetters this year, and if you were successful, how did you manage it? Did you accept outside help, or work alone?

If you still feel that grasp of addiction or hurtful habits, what will you do differently in the year to come?

I'm more than a little sensitive to the word addiction and I don't use it lightly. Living with an alcoholic for more than 20 years I know the damage done by addictive behaviors. I'm fortunate in that I've never struggled with addiction and I no longer am in an addictive relationship. I'm in a much healthier place now.

However, that doesn't mean I don't still have my own battles to fight.

My dreams and plans are constantly feuding with self sabotage. I don't drink. I don't do drugs. No, instead I harm myself with negative self talk.

I don't really fit in here.
They are just being nice, no one really cares.
I have no talent.
I'm too old. Too fat. Too lazy.

I've played small and talked myself out of taking risks for a long time. I can give a list of reasons, but really the blame lies with me. Now, when I "accidentally" let someone else know of my plans and I know they are waiting for me to follow through, I can go for it and get it done. 

I'm not sure why I'm so mean to myself. The alcoholic drinks to temporarily forget his problems. Addicts get a short-lived high with their behavior. Mine only brings me down.

Playing small may keep me safe, but it doesn't make me happy. It's definitely time to find a little more happy.

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sensory Highlights: #reverb13 Day 15

Give us a sensory tour of 2013. How would you describe the year that's passing in terms of: Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch?

Joshua Tree National Park 
Sight: A desert sunset. My kids smiles. Little ballerinas in tights and leotards. Extra chairs pulled up to my dining room table. Colorful fruits and vegetables at the farmers market. The smiling face of a
friend walking off a plane. Crossing the finish line. My kids all together.

Sound: Laughter, more laughter and even more laughter. Singing in the car as we drive home. The waves crashing ashore. A late night text just to say hello and I am thinking of you. Music turned way up. 

Smell: Saltwater. An unrolled yoga mat. Vinegar. A Christmas tree. Saltwater again, it soothes me.

Taste: The best clam chowder I've ever eaten. Wine shared with a friend. Eating fresh organic cherries at work during their short summer season.

Touch: Picking up a cactus to keep as a souvenir from the desert and dropping it right away as my hand suddenly felt on fire. The cold Pacific lapping at my feet. The warm sun on my face. An embrace I never want to end. Braiding my girls hair. Snuggling under the covers. 

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Intentions: #reverb13 Day 14

What are your best intentions for 2014? How do you see yourself actualizing those intentions?

A few years ago I wrote a post titled These Are Not New Years Resolutions. Then two years later I wrote Letter To The Universe.  I'm good at setting intentions.

Not necessarily as good at fulfilling those intentions.

So here I go again: a list of intentions for 2014. With everything that has happened the past year, I believe it's time to get real and make my intentions real. 

  • Pay it forward
Each Christmas it's a family tradition to always put money into the Salvation Army kettle any time we see one. Family legend tells that when my grandfather was a child during The Depression, it was the Salvation Army that kept him and his family alive one long, cold winter. Probably 80 years later now and we are still saying thank you.
A few years ago I was walking with the kids through downtown Philadelphia. We passed by a man in a wheelchair holding a sign that said "homeless vet."  Kid 2, at the time maybe 14 years old, turned around, pulled a few dollars out of his pocket and gave it to the man. As we continued to walk on the guy yelled to me "You've got a fine boy there ma'am."  Yes, I do. Even though we never really know if someone is homeless or it's a scam, my kids believe it's best to err on the side of caution. I've seen them hand over their own money numerous times. 
Fast forward to now and so many people have been generous to me and my family that I can never repay them all. As with any true act of generosity though, they don't want to be paid back and in many cases they don't even want acknowledged for their acts of kindness. So, I will be on the lookout for ways to continue to pay it forward any time and any way I can. 

  • Write more. Write more often. Just write. 
Well, yes I've already put it out there that I am re-committed to finishing my book.  But I also have numerous blog ideas, half written blogs and notes entered into my iPhone. Inspiration never hits me when it's convenient. It usually happens when I'm driving and all I can do is dictate into my phone and hope I don't forget about it. 
My friends Rick and Jilda are fellow bloggers who write every single day. Even during the tornadoes that destroyed their town last year, they managed to continue to blog regularly. I not only admire that but I know it also makes them better writers. In fact, it helped Rick with the discipline he needed to write his book. (Hint, hint to self.)

  • Rewrite my story
Looking back over my blog and now participating in #reverb13, I realize how much of my writing lately centers around my divorce. It's a necessary part of the cathartic process for me so I'm allowing myself to continue to write about it, for now. Eventually though the time will come that I am no longer Jennifer, the one who got divorced. I'll rewrite my story to become Jennifer, the one who.....

  • Let go of the guilt
It's time to let go of why wasn't I good enough? Why did I stay when I so obviously shouldn't? It's time to cut myself some slack on the parenting mistakes I've made and will continue to make.  It's become too heavy to carry the guilt of making myself a priority. Whether that means taking a yoga class, getting a massage, going for a walk or just taking some time alone to recharge, I need it to not only thrive but to survive so that I can be everything to everyone.

  • Be more open
This is something that has been gnawing at me lately. I'm only beginning to be able to put it into words for myself, so I'll leave at I'd like to be more open to any and all opportunities that the Universe has in store for me in 2014. 

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Elephant Journal.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Community: #reverb13 Day 13

The phrase “It takes a village” is often bandied about, in reference to child-rearing, running a business, just about everything. But if you’re anything like me, you may not be a natural born collaborator.

In 2014, how could you explore what community means to you?

It might be a question of sharing the load, asking for help or signing on someone with a complementary skill set. Or it could be about a creative collaboration that pushes you to explore new ideas and media.

I have always kept my circle of trust tightly closed and well guarded. 

For years this was done for self preservation and protection. Since I was (poorly) hiding a bad marriage to an alcoholic, I had a brave front to put on to the world that all is good and I am happy. Very few people knew the truth of my marital problems. And I naively thought I had everyone else convinced there were no problems. 

When the marriage finally exploded in such a painful and public way, I had to pull my trusted circle of friends even closer and tighter. People I thought I could trust betrayed me. Friends I thought were friends crept away rather than face the ugliness of the truth. I had a lot of work to do making a new life for me and the kids and I didn't trust anyone but myself to get us there. Too many times I didn't even trust myself.

I quickly realized though that building a new life was going to be far too labor intensive to do alone. 

First, I needed a job to not only support me and the kids, but also one that would allow me the freedom to still be the hands-on mom I've always been. Fortunately, someone quickly stepped up and took a chance on me to help run his business. Although I had no choice but to trust him initially, I made it quite clear I was gone as soon as something else came along.  I'm now at the end of the one year I promised him and am thrilled to know that I will be continuing on in my position into 2014. What began as strictly a business relationship has evolved into a valued friendship of mutual trust, not just in business matters but in life as well.

Nanny Lindsey sneaking a pic on one
of her summer outings with my kids.
I needed help being a single mom to six kids. Again, help arrived in an unexpected place. My staff at work is young, very young. Their average age is about 21. They are busy with college, boys, dance clubs, boys, planning their own future and boys. Yet when I had to bring my kids to work they were right there engaging with them. The young guy at work developed an older brother-younger brother type friendship with kid 5 that my son looks forward to. 

Even when not on the clock, a couple of the girls have really stepped up to help with the kids. "Nanny  Lindsey" was a lifesaver for me this summer. On her days off from the fitness center she would take my kids on field trips to the zoo, swimming, movies and for snow cone treats. Although a good 20 years younger than me, Nanny Lindsey has evolved from employee, to nanny, to friend and finally to a part of our family. It actually took two of my staff girls to help me out when I recently went out of town. They arranged their own busy schedules to get my girls to their dance classes each night. We jokingly call Kelly the "nanny in training" although there's really no training involved. Love my kids, protect them and you are invited into my circle.

I've written here before praising my staff. I'm honored that they allow me to be not just their boss but their friend as well. 

When I was married I had lots of "friends" to socialize with as part of a couple. Now that I'm single, my friend list is whittled down drastically. Those old friends left on my now shortened friends list are the ones who were there for me during the worst of times. They were the ones who stepped up to keep things together when I was falling apart. They will be on my friends list forever.

Once you are in my inner sanctum, you are a part of my family. Although others tried to tear my immediate family apart this year, what really ended up happening was my community expanded and in extension grew my family. 

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words to Soothe The Weary Soul.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Auto-Pilot: #reverb 13 Day 10

Living life on auto-pilot can feel disorienting and dull. How did you cultivate a life worth loving during 2013?

How can you turn off your auto-pilot button in 2014?

This post was meant to be tonight.

Today, I fulfilled a life-long dream and took my first flying lesson. No more living on auto-pilot for
this girl!

Driving there I figured I would probably just get to be a passenger and not do any actual flying on my own. Once in the air,  I turned to my flight instructor and asked how much am I flying and how much are you really in control.

"It's all you," he said. "I"m just along for the ride."

Oh, well maybe I'm not ready for this and you
Selfie at 1200 feet!
My fool flight instructor who trusted me with
controls of an airplane.
should take back control I said. But no, he was right. I got this!

I was so happy driving home I actually cried a little bit. Not just because I finally did something I've always wanted to do, but because I was taking control of my own life. I was flying the plane, I was making my own decisions in life and I could go anywhere I had the courage to go.

Which, even before I saw this prompt tonight, made me think of what have I been on autopilot about lately. The answer is glaringly obvious.

My book.

I wrote a book. The book was 95% complete when I was hit with the unexpected and sudden divorce drama last year. I was so distraught over the ending of my 23 year marriage I threw the book away.

Yes, you read that write. I took almost a years worth of work, walked to the trash can and threw it away. It was stupid and self destructive I know. But I couldn't think straight. My whole world had been thrown upside down and I believed everything I had written about living an authentic life was a lie. I'm a middle aged woman who was clueless her husband was having an affair. What could I possibly have to say of value to the world?

Thankfully though, I either had enough sense or not enough wits about me to even think of it, I did not destroy the copy that was on my hard drive.

A few of those closest to me have inquired a couple times this year , "so how's the book coming?" Umm, yeah I'm going to get back to work on it. I just don't have the time right now. That's what I tell them and that's what I tell myself.

But really, is it true? I have time to sit and blog. I have time to get lost on Pinterest. I even have time to go comatose in front of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Why don't I make the time to finish the book? Fear that it's not any good. Fear that I'm not good enough to do this. Fear that it, and in turn I, will be criticized.

When I had a couple hours on a plane earlier this year I did pull the book up and read through it. You know what? It's good. It still has value. In fact, I think it has even more value now than it did then because now I can say I have lived through it. I made it. Of course it needs some editing and a few parts need rewritten, but the essence of it is still there.

So, here we go.... No more living on autopilot!

This book, my book, will be written. It will be finished. And it will be published.

Oh god, now that I've put it out there I think I'm going to throw up.

Which,  after flying around for about 30 minutes today my flight instructor asked if I got motion sickness. No I don't. Have you ever been to zero G's he asked? Well, no I haven't.

Here we go!

Oh (insert expletive here)!

That was scary as hell! But way cool. Let's do it again!

Finishing this book is scary. But when it's published and out there I know it's going to be way cool too.

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words to Soothe The Weary Soul. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What Went Right: #reverb13 Day 8

What went right in 2013?

Maybe you didn't quit smoking or lose those pounds or go to Paris, but something did work, did happen, and/or was realized. What was it?

On my birthday last April I made a list of thing to accomplish now that I am creating a new life: Forty Four For My Next 44. 

Some of the items on the list are still waiting to happen, but looking back I see that quite a few have already come true. What I'm most proud of getting right is actually the last one on this list.

  1. Travel more - This year during my annual California trip I went to Los Angeles and Palm Springs. Who knew I would love the desert and Palm Springs so much? When I'm an old rich person I plan on pushing my little dog in a stroller down the streets of Palm Springs. Late this summer I went to Seattle and absolutely loved that city, and not just because it's the home of Starbucks. They have a fabulous yoga community, food and vibe.
  2. Dance more - I miss dancing the night away.  I haven't been to a dance club in years, but not too long ago there I was in the middle of a club on the dance floor. I had so much fun dancing and laughing and feeling free. I will definitely be going back again. 
  3. Ride in a hot air balloon
  4. Finally find a sun dress that doesn't make my butt look huge -  Thank you to my mom for teaching me to love Macy's and know how to shop their sales. I not only found one sundress that didn't make my butt look huge, I found many of them! (See #7)
  5. Skydive
  6. See the Grand Canyon
  7. Not wait for special occasions to dress up - This turned out to be the summer of sun dresses! (See #4) I wore them almost any day I wasn't at work. It didn't matter if I was going to the farmer's market or out with friends. Because I work in a gym my standard attire is sneakers and yoga pants. It feels good to dress girly when I can!
  8. Swim with dolphins
  9. Go on a cruise
  10. Whale watching
  11. Take an aerobics class in Los Angeles with Richard Simmons at his Slimmons Gym
  12. Ride a cable car in San Francisco
  13. Visit all 50 states - I added one more to my list - Washington state! (see #1)
  14. Have more fresh flowers in my house - So it turns out you don't have to wait for someone to give you flowers, you can buy them for yourself!  Although I actually did receive many beautiful bouquets this year. 
  15. Take a surfing lesson
  16. Take ballroom dance lessons - thanks to a "bring a friend" offer I've already taken two free lessons. Maybe someday I'll be able to afford more lessons.
  17. Be more spontaneous -I did good this year just "going with the flow" and learning to surrender control. It's very freeing to surround myself with people that I can trust to let my guard down. 
  18. Encourage my creative side to flourish - I'm finally writing again and I've printed out some pictures I took this year. I even made a painting all by myself! 
  19. Publish my book (It's in the editing process now. I just need to devote more time to it)
  20. Attend Summer Solstice in Times Square 
  21. Finish my 500 hour RYT
  22. Get back to a regular yoga practice again- And oh how good it feels to be on the mat again.
  23. Get back to a semi-regular meditation practice again - Maybe not quite semi-regular but on its way.
  24. Stress less about finances
  25. Make time to read more - My Kindle is with me almost always.
  26. Redecorate my kitchen
  27. Take more pictures
  28. Walk more
  29. Get a Labradoodle dog
  30. Be able to afford a house cleaner
  31. Watch my kids grow up to be healthy, productive adults
  32. Stay healthy into my old age
  33. Walk the beach more
  34. Take more chances
  35. Attend more live theater -I love the theater! And fortunately I've found a couple friends who also enjoy it. Last month I saw West Side Story and we already have tickets to Wicked in a couple months!
  36. Find a way to combine what I love to do with a way to support myself financially
  37. Laugh more - For a brief time I didn't think I'd ever laugh again. My laughter has returned and I'll be damn sure it doesn't leave me ever again. 
  38. See my book for sale on Amazon (see #19)
  39. Be debt free
  40. Care a little less what people think
  41. Paint a baseball field onto my backyard
  42. Take the kids to Disney World
  43. Find balance 
  44. Be happy- yes I can honestly say I am happy. Of all the things on my list, this is the one I'm most proud to have gotten right this year. In odd moments it would hit me - hey I'm happy! And now that I'm happier than I've been in many, many years, I am more confident in what I want, what I don't want, and ready to set down a path to reach the rest of my goals. 

This post is a part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words to Soothe The Weary Soul. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Reveal Your Self (ie): #reverb13 Day 7

Please post your favourite picture of yourself from 2013, self-portrait or otherwise!

That's me in the middle in the Flyer's sweatshirt. To the right are my girls and to my left are my "might-as-well-be-my-girls we are together so much anyway" daughters of my good friend.

It's not my most flattering picture of 2013. It's not even a good quality picture.

It is though my most carefree picture this year. And my happiest.

It was taken on one of those rare days that had no plan, yet the day ended up being absolutely perfect.

When I look at it I see a happy person, someone who can let go of her control issues and just live with abandon. I see laughter and happiness in the faces of those around her.

And, I see someone who can still rock a back bend with pre-teen girls.

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNallyWords To Soothe The Weary Soul

Friday, December 6, 2013

Books: #reverb13 Day 6

What was a favorite book that you read this year?

Any genre, any author, any subject. Or—choose up to five, if it’s too impossible to narrow it down to a single volume.*
Looking back over my Kindle, there wasn't any one book that grabbed me especially hard this year. Probably because my time is so much more limited now so admittedly I'm not reading what would be considered great quality classic literature.

But I have read some good stuff this year:

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - a suspenseful novel of a bad marriage and a woman on the run. I read it all in one weekend.

2. Heft by Liz Moore - a severely obese man becomes friends with the woman who was once his student. An unlikely friendship begins that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

3. Who Will Cry When You Die  by Robin Sharma - I'm not sure there is really anything original in this book, but he does a great job of breaking down the big picture into simpler 101 tips to living a happy, healthy life. It's an easy read that I keep around to pick up and review when I'm feeling I need to get myself back on track.

4. There's More To Life Than This by Theresa Caputo - Although I haven't yet blogged about it, a couple months ago I saw The Long Island Medium in Memphis. It was a very emotional night. That night and then reading her book have really helped me put to rest some of my questions and doubts about my mom's death. Whether you believe Theresa Caputo can really talk to dead people or not, the woman is funny and has offered healing to many people.

5. Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss - If you've ever thought you were "addicted" to junk food, this book proves you right. The author traces the rise of the processed food industry and uncovers internal records that show the companies actually do use salt, sugar and fat to addict people.

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found on Elephant Journal.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Low Points: #reverb13 Day 3

What was the low point of your year? How did you rise up, heal and move forward?

I didn't write this #reverb13 post last night because I just didn't know what my low point of the year was. Weird right?

My divorce was final. That was pretty low. I had a major falling out with Kid 1. That was horribly low.  

But when I think of low, I think of 2012. I think of sitting in the closet in the middle of the night trying to pry the gun cabinet open with a screw driver. I think of the nights of relentless insomnia where the only thing I could think to do was walk up and down the street at 3am with nothing but my dog by my side. The days that it just wasn't physically possible for me to get out of bed. 

Compared to all that, 2013 is my year to rise up, heal and move forward. 

Never looking back, always moving forward. 

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and manifest the year ahead. I'm following the prompts found on Elephant Journal.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gifts: #reverb13 Day 2

What was the most cherished gift you received this year? What was the best gift you gave?

 The best gift I received this year is the gift of love. 

After a year of being told I am no longer loved and no longer feeling lovable, my heart was in pieces. Shattered to the point I didn't believe it could ever be healed.

Although I still keep my heart closely guarded, those around me gave me the gift of their love this year in so many ways:
  • Friends who held me while I cried and wiped my tears. 
  • New coworkers who have become friends and an extended family. The kind that made sure I wasn't alone on Valentines Day, became caretakers to my kids and encouraged me to create a new life.
  • My children who were strong when I was weak and who stood by my side. My older children have stepped up to help me parent and my younger kids even gave me a card on Fathers Day. 
I spent too much of my adult life questioning how someone can say they love me but not show their love to me in a healthy way. I don't want to question that ever again and I certainly don't want anyone to ever question how I feel about them. I always tell those I love " I love you".

I don't have much to give as gifts. But if I say I love you to you I mean it. They aren't just words to me. It is my gift to you. 

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and manifest the year ahead. I'm following the prompts found on Elephant Journal. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

One Word

Encapsulate your 2013 in one word. Why that word? What would you like your word to be for 2014? Why?

2013: Persevere
To continue steadfastly in a course of action especially in spite of opposition. To last or endure tenaciously.

This is supposed to be my rebuilding year, my time to create a new and better life post divorce. No one said it would be easy yet no one warned me about the seemingly constant obstacles I'd have to face.

I've said more than once this year "I'm just so weary of the constant battle."

But there's no rest for the weary when a new life needs designed. So trudge on I must.

2014: Prosper
To be successful or fortunate, thrive, flourish

My hope is this year I have done a good job laying the groundwork so that next year I will prosper creatively, spiritually, emotionally, financially,  socially and professionally.

This post is part of #reverb13, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and manifest the year ahead. I'm following the prompts found on Elephant Journal.