September 11

The blue sky and occasional clouds outside my window remind me of the skies twenty years ago when tragedy struck. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years and how much life has changed for all of us since then. I look back on my life and my kids’ from that time and how things have changed so much since that fateful day. Then to think that it’s only been two decades and how much life changes over a lifetime and I’m still in wonder.

I am a little bit shell-shocked even twenty years later though I’ll admit. While I didn’t say anything to the kids, I was grateful that they were safe in my home and none of us had anywhere to go today. Well, I was supposed to go to a bridal shower, but once I saw the date it was planned for, I told them I wasn’t able to attend and sent a gift instead. I guess I’m sounding like a scaredy cat, but with so much going on, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

I knew people who passed on 9/11 and I watched how their families had a tough time picking up the pieces of their lives. On social media there were tons of tributes, 911 calls from those whose lives were lost (just before they passed) and so many photos from that day. It just makes me so sad even though I have little direct grief from it, it still can affect me. In years prior, I just said my prayers and went on with my day, but today felt different being the 20th anniversary. How in the world has 20 years passed in the blink of an eye?

And now with this virus, I have to wonder what the heck we will think when we look back in 20 years time (if we’re still here) about this era in our lives. Because this pandemic has wreaked havoc in a different way than 9/11. It’s separated us instead of uniting us. It’s encouraged us to split in so many different ways: politically, racially, vax vs unvax, masked vs unmasked, conspiratorially, and financially. People are suffering from the anxiety, the frustrations, the demands, the fear and they’re hurting. But we’re not banding together as a nation this time with this virus. We’re allowing ourselves to be pulled apart instead.

I felt like 9/11 dropped everyone’s differences and united us as a nation. People helped others, even strangers and volunteered when needed. Donations of time, help and energy were a priority as we were all hurting for those who lost their lives and those workers who tirelessly fought to find people as well as the families who were grieving. As a nation, we joined together.

I don’t have a crystal ball and even if I did, I’m not sure I’d want to know what’s coming in our future. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but there’s a ton of uncertainty out there and many are overwhelmed by it. I just keep trying to stay safe and healthy and keep the kids the same.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be fine tomorrow. But in the meantime, I think just being in my home and resting is best for me. I hope you’re having a restful day too. Stay healthy and safe!

Posted in finding happiness at 50, Untold Stories of Isolation | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Eerily Centered

I’ve got friends who are losing it lately. Too much stress in their jobs, in their lives and poof! they’re not able to cope. In fact, one went to the hospital the other day because she hadn’t slept in 3 nights, felt “delirious” and couldn’t remember anything in short-term. She called out of her job (which is in the mental health field) and is currently on ‘leave’ until next week. The hospital ER doctor called it excessive stress and fatigue and sent her home. Alone.

So her sister and I have been calling her and keeping each other in the loop. She’s divorced and her kids are independent so they don’t even know what’s going on with their mom. I don’t live nearby so it’s not like I can go check in on her or bring her some yummy chicken soup which always helps. Luckily her sister lives about an hour away and she’s been to see her (and take her to the hospital). But my friend was adamant that her sister not stay with her at her home when she was released.

I’ve heard of many people beginning to crash under what they’ve been through as many jobs have increased stress associated with them these days. I don’t know why though I’ve been spared and am eerily centered.

Eerily centered is that I am at peace and able to navigate others’ stressors. It started maybe a week ago when my computer just overheated (again) and the tech helper on the phone ERASED my computer without my knowledge nor consent. I could have lost it and lost precious peace time in my head. Instead, for whatever reason that I can’t even begin to figure out, I got mad for about 30 minutes and then made an appointment to buy a new one even though this one wasn’t even 2 years old and had already had problems in the past.

Fresh start. Let it go. Move on. Whatever it is, it is was what kept repeating in my head so I didn’t deal with the suffering of worry, I just trusted that there was nothing I could do and so be it.

And guess what? It worked! I got a new computer and whatever I’ve lost, I don’t care about now. There was a lot that transferred over to the new one from the cloud so that’s good.

I don’t know if anyone else is feeling eerily centered, but please let me know how you’re doing!

Posted in finding happiness at 50, Untold Stories of Isolation | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Masked Intentions

As if it weren’t enough with the vax vs not vax, additionally, there’s the mask compliant vs mask refusal. Goodness gracious, things are starting to swirl out of control around here. Let me set the scenario.

I have a friend who owns a store. Her daughter is terrified of the virus as is one oof her workers. They’ve all gotten the shot. So my friend put a sign up asking the public to wear a mask in her store (so that they would feel more comfortable). She’s even put out free masks in case someone doesn’t have one. The majority of the public has abided by her request without problem. A few have come in and when they sailed past the obvious sign to “please wear a mask” one of the workers would gently remind them and the customers put them on. A few have balked at the ‘rule’ and left, but such is life.

However, a mutual friend is hotly against wearing a mask, citing governmental control issues and its inefficacy in protecting the wearer from the virus. She has ‘gone down the rabbit hole’ in conspiracy theories and is well-versed in what is being questioned. (Now I am not saying what is true and what isn’t. Nor am I throwing shade on her choice. In fact, I like to hear all sides of it so she shares with me what she’s learned and I find it interesting and even sometimes scary. But that’s another post for another day.)

So, mutual friend enters the store, sees the sign and stops in her tracks. She is not going to compromise her steadfast beliefs by wearing the mask. Store owner friend knows this and quickly tells her that she knows how she feels and she can come in, but stay where the public cannot see her unmasked. Mutual friend hides, but gets uncomfortable, but not enough to don the mask. The worried employee is unsure how to deal with the potential danger who’s unmasked even though they’re friendly and both know how each feels about the mask (which is completely at odds). After awhile, mutual friend leaves because this feels against her beliefs and she cannot understand how her friend (store owner) is not believing what she’s been telling her about her research in regards to the mask wearing.

And guess who ended up in the middle of this? Yup, me. Both came to me to tell about the incident. And while I understood both sides of the mask dilemma, and thank goodness I wasn’t there, they came to me because I’m not involved directly.

So I told them both what I thought.

To the shop owner, I told her that this was her store to request as she saw fit, but I also reminded her that the fear factor isn’t helping her own sanity. She already knew that and honestly, is only doing it for the comfort of her daughter and employee. She reminded me that she knew our mutual friend’s feelings on the mask and never demanded she wear one. She just didn’t want the customers to see someone without one in the store.

To the mutual friend, I told her that while I don’t like wearing masks, I abide by the rules when I’m out. (I don’t know if they help or hinder by the way, but again, that’s another post). Because of the friendship I have with our store owner friend, I always wear one in her store because that’s her rule. I do not feel that it is anything more than being kind to a friend – like taking off your shoes in a home that prefers it that way. So…for that, for the small amount of time that I am in her store, I don’t find it anything more than being a friend by wearing a mask and following the rules set by our friend, the store owner who is trying to help her family and employees feel safe.

Bottom line is it’s about bridging the gap between us and connecting instead of isolating, punishing and making others feel badly in these uncertain times.

What would you have done? Have you been in a similar situation? How do you feel about it?

Please remember to be kind in your comments. My intention is to help people to work things out so that all can feel safe with the world around them.

Posted in Covid-19 Virus, Untold Stories of Isolation | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments

An Exception To The Rule

Middle of the night calls are always jarring as, who calls after midnight? Unless you’re a known night owl in my life, nobody does. And when the phone does ring in the middle of the night, usually it’s not for a good reason, is it? At least in my experience, it’s never been. So when my phone rang with my kid’s ringtone at 4am, I jumped awake, adrenaline surging through my body, grabbing the phone and immediately breathlessly shouting, “Are you ok?”

Yes, I’ll admit it’s a bit dramatic, but my heart was racing and I wasn’t expecting him to be home that night. I had been in a deep sleep and why would he be calling at that hour unless he needed his mom?

Well, luckily for me, he was outside our home and had ben trying to disarm the security system, but the app wasn’t working. He said he’d been trying for a few minutes and finally gave up. He figured calling me was less upsetting than opening the door and having the alarm blare.

I was so relieved that I began laughing and couldn’t stop. Probably the release of the whoosh of energy as in my head I had been gearing up to go save him somewhere in my imagination. LOL Such is the life of a divorced mom who’s got college kids at home.

After he came in, he was wired from driving home (he’d decided not to stay at a friend’s house, preferring to sleep in his own bed), we sat down and chatted for about 40 minutes. Because, as you can imagine, I was now wide awake.

The reason I’m telling this story is because at first he thought I’d be mad, but as I explained that he just broke the rule I had in my head that no call after midnight is good news, we laughed together. He went on to tell me how the night went (he’d gone out with college friends) and how everyone was. It was a mom/son bonding time as he regaled me with stories of the evening with his friends (most of whom I know).

When he finally went to bed, he leaned over and kissed my cheek. “Mom, thanks.” I gave him a hug and asked, “For what?” He smiled and said, “For being my Mom. I love you.” A huge grin spread across my face and I just had that good Mom feeling. You know what I mean?

I wonder if he’ll remember last night some day when he’s older. Will he remember that we had some giggles in the middle of the night as he shared the fun night he’d had? While he’ll probably never know how it took me ages to fall back to sleep after being so wide awake, it was so worth it. Luckily I have all day to relax today and maybe even catch a cat nap to make up for the rather sleepless night. LOL

And that’s why I love my life. Moments like these make all the sacrifices, the worries, the being a Mom so worth it. Thanks for letting me share. Feel free to share yours as well as I’d love to hear your latest Mom or Dad moment! I know you’ve got a few!

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50 | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

A Healing Poem I Found

my brain and heart divorced

a decade ago

over who was to blame about how big of a mess I have become

eventually, they couldn’t be in the same room with each other

now my head and heart share custody of me

I stay with my brain during the week

and my heart gets me on weekends

they never speak to one another

– instead, they give me the same note to pass to each other every week

and the notes they send to one another always say the same thing:

“This is all your fault”

on Sundays my heart complains about how my head has let me down in the past

and on Wednesday my head lists all of the times my heart has screwed things up for me in the future

they blame each other for the state of my life

there’s been a lot of yelling – and crying

so,

lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my gut

who serves as my unofficial therapist

most nights, I sneak out of the window in my ribcage

and slide down my spine and collapse on my gut’s plush leather chair that’s always open for me

and I just sit sit sit until the sun comes up

last evening, my gut asked me if I was having a hard time being caught between my heart and my head

I nodded

I said I didn’t know if I could live with either of them anymore

“my heart is always sad about something that happened yesterday while my head is always worried about something that may happen tomorrow.” I lamented.

my gut squeezed my hand

“I just can’t live with the mistakes of the past or my anxiety about the future.” I sighed.

my gut smiled and said:

“in that case, you should go stay with your lungs for awhile.”

I was confused – the look on my face gave it away

“If you are exhausted about your heart’s obsession with the fixed past and your mind’s focus on the uncertain future

your lungs are the perfect place for you

there is no yesterday in your lungs

there is no tomorrow there either

there is only now

there is only inhale

there is only exhale

there is only this moment

there is only breath

and in that breath you can rest while your heart and head work their relationship.”

this morning, while my brain was busy reading tea leaves

and while my heart was starting at old photographs

I packed a little bag and walked to the door of my lungs

before I could even knock, she opened the door with a smile and as a gust of air embraced me she said,

“what took you so long?”

  • Author: John Roedel

*I know that the capitalization isn’t correct, but I typed it as it was written.

Posted in divorce, love, poetry | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Fighting Like High School Girls

I have some friends/acquaintances who are going at it hard, fighting on social media. It’s bizarre to me as it’s reminiscent of mean girl fights in high school which I stayed away from at all costs. Middle-aged women snapping at each other over trivial stuff is pathetic. While I have yet to unfriend/unfollow them, I am always surprised to see to what depths they are willing to fall in order to call out the other person via their minions.

Human nature often mesmerizes me, especially when I am the observer and not put directly into the fray. And yes, I’m thankful I’m not in the middle of it. I chose to walk away from what I felt was simmering awhile back because this was what I felt was coming.

It’s easy to be the observer when it’s not your business. Like that Monday morning quarterbacking phrase, right? Sure, I knew this should have been said/done or I told you this would happen. Blah blah blah…

But what still shocks me is that these two were friendly before this blew up and what they’re fighting about is my opinion is plain silliness. It’s not about the issue at hand, it’s about one’s entitlement to be heard no matter the cost. Because by their posting on social media, those not in the loop of what’s going on, just see mean posts about ‘her’ and what ‘she’ did to me or how ‘I am being spoken of badly behind my back.’ It’s just bizarre to watch and so not worth my time.

Have you ever witnessed this type of behavior? I hope you haven’t been stuck in the middle of anything similar! Isn’t it so uncomfortable when people do this, especially on social media? What has our world come to?

Do you think maybe it’s a result of what’s been going on in the world? The covid, the masks, the fear, the quarantine, the work from home, the isolation and stress has finally unglued some people?

Posted in #womenofacertainage, Untold Stories of Isolation | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Rhetoric and Agenda

I had an interesting conversation with one of my kids recently about their relationship with their dad (the ex). The rhetoric that was coming from my kid was not his own, so I knew that someone (narcissist ex-MIL?) had bent his ear about how he needed to still love and accept his dad for who he is. And I’m ok with it because their relationship is between them and not me. Also, I have always wanted them to have a healthy relationship with their dad, but it hasn’t been that way for years because the ex lies about everything! Even though the kid sees it, he has a tough time matching that version of his dad with the one he wants him to be.

But his dad lied to him about a story over the weekend. He told two completely different versions on two separate days and neither was the truth. Only partial truths. The kid realized the first version couldn’t be right (and I confirmed it) because it didn’t make any sense. The kid said he was going to ask his cousin if that was what happened, but he never did. Then Sunday, the kid came home from seeing his dad with a totally different version of the event.

I looked at my kid and reminded him of Saturday’s rendition and bluntly said that they were totally different. While the kid did admit that his dad told two totally different stories, he told me that his dad lies a lot and that he has come to realize that you can love and accept someone for who they are because it’s your dad and that you’re here because of him. The kid went on to tell me that while he understood that I have had major problems with the lies and deceit his dad has done to me, he feels that I am not being understanding of his (the kid’s) predicament and that he needs to continue the relationship with his dad as it is.

I pulled my chin off the floor because my jaw had dropped and simply said that I wanted him to be at peace with his relationship with his dad and that it was his business and not mine. I have a completely different view of his dad’s deceit and that I was simply pointing out the obvious, but that I will no longer speak about it. But I added that he needed to keep the relationship with his dad on a healthy level and not a toxic one.

Talk about drop the mic (I don’t know if that phrase works here, but it felt like it). I’m done listening to and helping to process the lies when the kids come home trying to figure out what’s the closest version of the truth from their dad.

This happens occasionally, but they always come back in a month when the lies become hurtful and sting and then they are even more upset because they’ve been super-duped into their dad’s muck of lies. It’s cyclical here. But I don’t need to be on the Merry-Go-Round anymore. This is their lesson to learn now. Their relationship to manage. Their impressionable choice to accept versions of the truth for the sake of ‘having a father’ when it’s convenient for their dad to even give them any attention.

Yes, I was a bit more than exasperated, but I’m over it. I cannot save them from learning the lessons the hard way, nor will I put my relationship with them at jeopardy when they’re obviously listening to someone else’s rhetoric who has an agenda. I have no agenda except to have them open their eyes, but apparently they’re not ready.

And it has nothing to do with me.

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50 | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

White Possum Dream

I awoke this morning and remembered my dream. It doesn’t happen often to me, but when it does, I immediately search for the meaning when it’s significant. And boy, was it significant this morning!

I was dreaming that I was with the ex, but it was a separate time, not now, because we were much younger. We were in a house and it was morning. I walked out of the bedroom and into the living area (I didn’t recognize the house, but I suppose we lived there) and saw him in the kitchen making coffee. I was looking for the cat to feed her breakfast because he didn’t like to do that, when I looked down and there was a white possum laying on the floor like the cat would do in the morning. Waiting to be pet.

I looked at the ex and asked where the cat was and if he had seen this white possum laying on the floor. He shrugged and told me not to worry about it. Just put the food out for the cat and the possum can eat too.

I couldn’t get over that he wasn’t the least bit concerned that there was a white possum laying on the floor of our livingroom and that the cat, our pet, was nowhere to be found. I remember looking at the white possum who was completely content and not aggressive at all. I decided to look for the cat as I was really upset that she wasn’t around. He turned away from me and continued to make his coffee and then I woke up.

So I was really confused because I don’t normally dream about the ex, especially not our younger selves. But lately he’s been lying so badly to the kids that it’s driving me crazy and apparently invading my sleep. I have to cut the cords that connect us because it isn’t healthy for me.

So I looked up:

Dream about White possum – it means that you do not fear anything, and you feel like everything in your life is peaceful…

Possum dream meaning is teaching you how to survive in stressful situations. Dream about possum is telling you to prepare a strategy to become successful in life or a matter of love. The meaning of this animal is helping you to understand the work of this universe and your guardian angels.

This animal will also help you in getting close to your target. The only thing that this animal is asking from you is to keep patience. You will be able to develop intelligent strategies with the help of which you will be able to overcome difficult situations of your life.

coolastro.com

Interesting, right? I am not sure if that’s true, but I’ll take it for now. Have you ever had any strange dreams that you looked up the meaning of?

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Silence Is Golden

I awoke on the couch this morning because I’m still super sick and my bedroom is just too hot to sleep in. It was so quiet this morning when I woke up, no air conditioning units humming, just the bird song from outside. And for a few minutes, I just laid there on the couch, taking in the golden silence.

Because I realized how silent I have been in my life. I thought I was taking the high road by staying silent and not speaking up. I was giving a golden gift to myself and to others by not telling them how hurt I was, but I think I was wrong. Not that there’s anything I can change now with it, but still. Probably good to know so I can evolve.

There are people I was really close to that now we really aren’t. More often it is happening to me and I see how relationships strain as we get further away from how close we once were. And while it was breaking my heart, I am working to try to find peace within because of it. We’re just on different levels of understanding, of life, of relationships, of lifestyles. And while it worked for many years, it doesn’t feel like it’s working now.

I’ve been quietly justifying the golden silence, not speaking up to how I feel because I know people are hurting lately so what reason do I have to say anything that might start to poke and prod them? Just allowing it to unfold however it may is how I justify the golden silence.

There’s a time and a place for everything and this surely isn’t either.

Have you been feeling this change in relationships as well?

Posted in #womenofacertainage, finding happiness at 50 | Tagged , , | 17 Comments