Making Reservations

makingreservations

Hey, it’s a new year and a new start and I’m making reservations!

I used to love to make reservations and go out when I was married.  Heck, I like it even now, but I haven’t been doing it because my financial life has changed.  However, it occurred to me today that I hold myself back a lot and with the new year, I’m not doing that anymore.

I like the phrase making reservations because it sounds special and I think that this year is to be special for all of us.  I was reading some numerologist posts on FB and yesterday was 1/1/11 which I didn’t understand at all.  I thought it was a typo, but it seems that 2018 when added together equals 11 which is a year of personal growth!  Yay!  Just what I’m looking for in this first full officially divorced year!

Making reservations doesn’t have to be limited to restaurant seating.  I think I’m going to use that mindset in all that I do for me.  I will reserve some blogging time, some quiet, contemplative coffee time and make reservations in my life for self-care more often.

Don’t you think the phrase making reservations sounds better than a to do list?  LOL  I want to raise up my vibrations this year and put myself out of my comfort zone more often and take a little more me time out of the day when I can.  I’m not saying that I won’t be me or Mom – but I think at 50, it’s time to start chapter 2.0 with a little more self-care, kindness towards me and feeling special.  Because heck, if I don’t roll out the red carpet for me (figuratively with a giggle), then nobody will.  I don’t want to play Cinderella in the scullery anymore.  I want to work hard, but also have time for a foot rub and maybe even slide my foot into that glass slipper when it comes my way!

Want to join me?

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Cheers To 2018!

2018

Happy 2018!  The brand new start of a new year for us all!  I feel like a little kid on the edge of my seat, toes tapping, waiting for the show to begin (well, the year to begin)! LOL

May 2018 be YOUR year filled with a brilliant design of lovely surprises just for you!

May love and happiness surround you.

May you enjoy good health and much wealth.

May your relationships be healthy and not toxic.

May you realize your dreams.

May hopes and plans be fulfilled.

May the magic of love heal you.

May you continue to make connections everyday.

May you be grateful for every dawn and be at peace every dusk.

May you smile more than you cry.

May you find hope in everyday.

May you love yourself and others.

May you feel the love that others have for you.

May you find good in everyday.

May you love and be loved every single day!

I guess, in a nutshell, I wish you peace and love!

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Happy New Year’s Eve

happynewyearseve

We made it to the end of 2017!  With the ringing of the end of the year and ushering in the new year, I feel reborn!  This morning as I sat quietly sipping my coffee, I felt the urge of gratitude for everything I learned in 2017 and as you’ve been reading my blog, it was a lot.  I want to thank you all for walking this journey with me.  You truly helped in so many ways that I can never thank you all enough for being so kind, so supportive and for sharing your stories with me as well.

You made a difference in my life!  A positive one!  Thank you!

I feel at peace today.  A depth of peace in my soul that I haven’t felt for a long time.  It’s like when you exhale that big deep breath and let it all out.  I am releasing the past and embracing the present and future full of possibility!  I realized that I am now my own boss, that there’s nobody left with power over me, but me, and it feels really good.  I don’t have to answer to my ex or my ex-laws anymore.  I only have my kids and myself to love, protect and to comfort and that’s fine with me.  It’s a freeing feeling to release the gunk of the past in my life.  I’m starting fresh today with sweeping out the old sadness and embracing hope and love in my life.

I don’t make resolutions for the new year.  I never stuck with them anyway so I don’t even make the effort now.  But I do like to put out hopes and dreams for the new year which I’m mulling over so that I can bring clarity to what I want in 2018.

I hope you take a little time today or tomorrow to do the same!

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What Are Your New Year’s Plans?

whatareyournewyearsplans

Onward and upwards my friends!  I’ve spent the last few years alone on New Year’s Eve as my kids were always with my ex and his family at a family party to which I was excluded.  I have to say, I liked having that night to myself because I used it as a reset button to herald the new year with the intentions I wanted to bring to my life.  A glass of champagne, take out dinner (usually it was Chinese) and I was golden.  Really.

This year will be different.  Ex lied and kids are with me (he made up some story that the kids said I was having a party and they wanted to stay with me).  Unbeknownst to him, the kids told me that he told them that he’d let me have them this year to be nice.  But to his family, he lied and said I asked for the kids so they wouldn’t be at his family’s party.  Lies, like chickens come home to roost, so I’m not worried.  The truth will come out.  The kids already know he’s lied because he wanted to spend the night with his girlfriend.  Which by the way, they are ok with, but they are angry that he just didn’t tell the truth.  But then they are seeing that he’s uncomfortable with the truth, so he lies.   Sad story, but not my problem.

Anyway,….

What are you planning for New Year’s Eve?  Will you be alone?  With friends and family?  Do you have a party to attend?  A lovely couple’s night planned?  Are you going out?  Staying in?  Tell me all about it!

After the kids said they were staying with me, I thought about having a small open house to herald the new year and inviting the kids’ friends and families over if they wanted to stop by.  But now my kids have parties to go to so I think I will be chauffeur mom that night which is tough.  But it’s fine because I’m Mom and that’s what Mom’s does.  But I will miss my champagne and not worrying about driving someone else around.  Oh well.

This is a new year for me.  First New Year’s Eve formally divorced (even though we’ve been split up for years).  I’m kinda excited.  Wondering what delights 2018 has in store for me?!

I remember the first New Year’s Eve I spent alone.  Ex had left me months earlier and my first holiday alone yawned before me.  My friend called me and talked with me for a long time that night as she was divorced and alone that night too.  Having experienced a few holidays alone herself, her wise advice to me was:

It’s just another night.  If you can look at it like that, you will have peace.  Take the night for what it is, a night to relax, and to enjoy yourself in the peacefulness of your home.  Rest and rejuvenate because the kids will be back tomorrow.  Don’t let them know you were crying and having a sad night.  Don’t burden them with that.  Use it as a healing night.  You can do this and I did.  And so can you.

 ♥

 

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Can You Love Narcissists?

canyoulovenarcissist

Most times when we read about narcissists, it’s a bad thing.  They are portrayed as bad people because of their innate neediness to be better, to be praised, to be in control and all the other traits that I’m sure you’ve read about in other articles.

But having emerged from being a narcissist’s pawn for many years, I am able to see them in a clearer light and to even love them.  How the heck did I get into this place of peace with the family of narcissism that I’ve been in for so long?  Well, it’s taken me a lifetime, but here’s what I’ve learned and maybe it will help you too.

Narcissists aren’t bad people.  They just live in a fear controlled mindset that they can’t help.  Perhaps it was how they were raised?  Perhaps it stemmed from experiences that they’ve had in life?  Perhaps it’s innate and it’s just how they function?  Perhaps it’s just what happens over time for some people?  The causes may be a myriad of reasons that we probably won’t ever know and really, we don’t need to know.  We just need to acknowledge that their ways of loving are different from ours.

I love my family of narcissists from afar.  Yup, I do.  I can see that they really do love me too in their own way, even though for years, I couldn’t understand their ways.  Perhaps I don’t really understand their ways now either, but I am at peace with them.  Finally.  I may waver on this for a bit longer though, but the glimpse of peace has settled in me recently, the letting go of trying to be and prove my love when theirs was conditional.  I see them in a different light.

At heart, they want what we all want which is love.  But they have to have love shown in their way and their need for control isn’t something they can turn off because it’s powerful to them and very necessary.  And the funny thing is, most of them aren’t even aware of it.  It’s only healthy people that can really see it and I was unhealthy for a long time.  I bought into the whole have to do as I say mentality in order to be given love.  But I’ve learned that I am enough with or without their love and that they do love me in their own way, but not in mine.  And that’s ok for me.  Narcissists lack emotional empathy so they just don’t understand what you’re talking about when you say something about your feelings.  There’s simply no core connection in the narcissist mind.  Narcissists are disconnected, to themselves and to those whom they have in their lives.  Any connection is superficial, even though in their minds, it is a love connection.  But we know what healthy love is – it’s unconditional – and the fact is that they don’t.

Love them from afar.  Allow their cold mood swings to not affect you because they don’t even know why they are doing it.  They just know that in order to put you down, they feel better and that’s what they are craving.  They are superior and they must tell it to you.  It’s like air to them.  And when you don’t supply that love in their particular way, they are angry.  But they don’t know why so they blame it on you.  When really, they are angry with that part of themselves.  They can’t be vulnerable and they hate you for wearing your heart on your sleeve.  They may even dislike you for being so readily available to meet their needs.  It’s a strange dance with a narcissist.  They are unpredictable.  They jump to conclusions.  They make up stories in their heads about you and situations that aren’t true because the truth, in the bare bones truth, can’t be tolerated.  They can’t be wrong.  They can’t be blamed, so they blame you.  It’s a wild ride in loving a narcissist.  For me, I didn’t fight back.  I just took it and thought it was that I wasn’t enough.  But my eyes have been opened and I realize that I am enough and they, in their heart of hearts, don’t think they are enough so they lash out because their view of love is skewed.  There may be glimpses of knowledge that comes to them, but they can’t handle it so they push those bits of awareness away from them quickly.  They can’t go there.  So they prey on your vulnerability in order to make themselves feel better.  It’s sad that they are so messed up.  Don’t be angry with them.  Feel sorry for them because they don’t understand healthy love and the give and take that comes with it.

I’m in a place of forgiveness lately and of acceptance.  Not acceptance of bad treatment, but in an understanding place of acceptance.  While I hate the following phrase, it is what it is, it suits the situation well.  Because you can’t change them.  You can only change your perception.  You can remove yourself from engaging with them or you can limit the time spent with them.  What you need to keep in mind is that you need to protect yourself from their toxicity and you will never be able to make them understand even if you explained yourself for a thousand years.  It would spin a huge fight to call them a narcissist and it would do irreparable damage to the relationship.  Now if you don’t want any part of the toxic relationship, then distance yourself cold turkey style.  But if you are like me, and have to keep some semblance of a relationship because of outside factors, (you still have to deal with them because they are family etc), then allow distance to build up and yet stay barely connected.  Because narcissists are smart cookies.  If you stop feeding their egos, they will notice.  They may move onto someone else, but when that supply runs out, they may be back to you with more neediness.

Do you understand what I’m saying?  How do you feel about narcissists in your life?  Sometimes to be with them in like being in a den of snakes so I get it if you have completely removed them from your life.  But I guess I’m a glutton for punishment because I won’t do that as of now.  I’ve got my eyes wide open, but for the sake of my children, for many different reasons, I keep a loose connection to the narcissists in my life.

 

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Shedding The Narcissist

sheddingthenarcissist

When it comes to my brother and my Ex and his family, I’m stumped.  I’m an even keeled person for the most part.  When I say I love you, I mean I love you all the time.  It’s not conditional love.  It’s not if you send me a gift or kiss my ass, then I love you.  I love you, really no matter what.  But I’m surrounded by people who offer and take away conditional love and the sad fact is that I thought it was my fault.  I thought it was me.

Let me explain.  The hot/cold treatment from them was baffling to me.  I thought it was me that wasn’t enough so when the cold treatment came, I tried harder.  They seemingly raised their expectations and I jumped higher according to their whims.  Then, when they dropped me cold, I was understandably upset, wondering what I did and how I could get back into their good graces.  It has been a lifetime of cyclical, dare I say it?  Narcissistic abuse.  When I did stand up at times and ask, actually speaking out to bring up the subject of why there was either silence or overly ‘loving’ treatment, I was met with baffled stares and silence, followed by them telling me it was all in my head.  There was something wrong with me.

I am embarrassed to say, I believed them for it was all around me that this was happening.  I always thought I was different.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I try to be a good person.  I treat others like I want to be treated.  These were my family members (blood and by marriage) who I thought loved me.  So I thought it was me.  There was something wrong with me.  I was too sensitive and wanted a life on even keel, steady with love and kindness.  Perhaps I was wrong?  Perhaps that’s not the way life is supposed to be?  I looked around and my friends weren’t that way with me, but I thought it was because they weren’t family.  When I began to open up to friends about the situation and after some of them had observed the treatment of me by family, they confirmed what I knew in my heart, but didn’t want to see.  There’s a lot of dysfunction in my life.

Ok, I knew that long ago.  But after reading about narcissism I realized that many of the traits of narcissists could easily be associated to some of my family members, my Ex and his family as well.  That took awhile for me to digest mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I didn’t want to accept it.  I loved them for who they were, quirks and all.  I understood that they didn’t meant to treat me badly, it was just that they needed to be coddled, to feel superior, to be the center of attention and to be overly praised.  I was ok with freely giving them what they needed in order to keep the peace.  It became so much easier for me to just allow them to be themselves and then they wouldn’t be cold to me as often.  I thought that was being a good person – I was loving people for who they are.

But the price I paid for all of that was losing me.  I was trying to keep up with their needs and not taking care of myself.  I was being hurt by their mood swings from cool and aloof to syrupy sweet and lovey dovey.  It was mental anguish not ever knowing how they would be with me and they could change at a moment’s notice.  It certainly kept me on my toes, anxious when we were together or when we talked on the phone.  I walked on eggshells with them as I did when I was married.

And finally, enough was enough.  What I realized is that I’m healthier than I was and therefore I can finally see the light and I don’t want to live like this anymore.  I want distance between us.  I don’t want to be their pawn in the name of loving me.  I am not sure that they even know what they do or what it is because part of it is innate.  They need to say or be a certain way, otherwise they are not feeling good about themselves so it’s never going to change.  The only way it’s going to change is if I change.  Which is going to upset the traditional apple cart of family relations.

But I can’t go back to that anguish.  As much as I may miss my family (biological and by ex-marriage unit), I know it’s not healthy love that is being given.  I also know that it’s how they know how to love so they do love me in their own way, but I can’t do this anymore.  I want to stay friendly and love them from afar.  Be kind, be me, but keep a healthy distance so that I keep my heart intact.  I need to get out of that comfort zone and into a healthy loving authentic me again.

I began extricating myself from this pattern which made them angry, but I did it step by step, slowly so as they didn’t see it until it was over.  But they’re smart cookies and they probably noticed because that’s who they are.  They are getting their unconditional love from me, but not in the pattern of the past.  I can love them from afar, but no longer is this healthy me living like this anymore.

Thanks for reading and listening to me.  I don’t know if any of this resonates with you and your relationships, but I’d sure like to hear if you’d like to share.

 

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What We Learned This Christmas

Thank you all for reading and commenting on yesterday’s post.  It helped me so much to write and to vent in a safe place so that I could process what was going on from all different levels.  In the aftermath of the Christmas firestorm, I’m grateful to share that peace has found its inherent level here.  What has torn at the remnants of relationships has borne a freedom inside of me – back to the innate centeredness of rejoicing in being authentically me!

You see, the kids dubbed this the worst Christmas on record.  Even yesterday was not what they wanted to happen and yet, we survived.  We made it through the sometimes unsavory experiences by bonding which only made us a stronger family.  At the helm of the family unit, I raised the peace flag and like a broken record, repeated that together we can do all things with kindness and love in our hearts.  And, pat on the back, we made it through with grace, with dignity and as a family unit of three.

I am proud of my actions.  I found my happy mommy place where I was able to overcome the despair, anger and hurt that my kids were feeling and support them fully without ugly feelings about ex’s family antics.  Foremost in my head was the reminder that they kids needed to vent and let out their feelings about the situation and then process it with healing.  As their mom, it is my responsibility to find the good when they could only see the bad and to help them to begin to heal their broken hearts into a place of acceptance for what they deemed unacceptable.  I want them to have a good relationship with their dad and his family.  I want them to understand that we are all human, we make mistakes, we are all doing the best we can at that moment and that they all love them in their own ways.  I want them to find peace in their hearts, to forgive by understanding his family’s motives and to learn how to deal with the situation from a place of grace, dignity and love.  It was a monstrous task, but it was so well worth it.

I made a difference, a positive difference in how they saw their relationships.  To love is to accept the unacceptable at times, to see beyond the masks of neediness of others (and ourselves) and to hold steady in our own peace.  While they likened it to a whirlwind weekend of boxing lessons, quick punches, jabs and diversions that they experienced, it all came back to them returning to our home, where peace reigns, where love is abundant and where feeling the freedom of speech, of sharing feelings and of knowing you are loved was key.

I’m grateful to be that home for them, that peace and understanding, and to be able to give them the stability needed for them to grow into the men I know they inherently are.  While I would have loved to have sheltered them from those lessons, I know that life lessons grow us in ways we cannot fathom at the time and only increase our understanding of people and the world around us.  At the precipice of adulthood, they stand now centered and bonded together in ways that I could not have manufactured myself.  Family is sacred and flourishes when healthy relationships abound.

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