The Beauty of Aging

I am now over forty, and my favorite part about aging is the wisdom it brings.  I’m sure I thought I had things pretty much figured out when I was in my 20’s, but I was so wrong.  I thought I was an intellectual, but I was far from it.

I have been through so much since then.  I always thought everyone had it more together than me.  I thought I was the one with the worst problems.  I put people on pedestals, but not anymore.  Between then and now, I have seen pastors fall, couples I swore had storybook romances get divorced, and the perfect families break up.  I figured out that people were just like me and didn’t have it all figured out, and some even had it worse.  I thought people wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me, but I found out what types of people could be attracted to me, and it was scary.

Sadly, now some things don’t surprise me as much anymore.  Breakup and people losing faith are becoming more and more of the norm.  But in these days, I have found happiness in wisdom.  I have found my voice, and I’m more likely not to hide anymore.  I have found comfort in finding others are actually more like me than I thought.  That even though I’ve come across some evil people, there are still a lot of good ones out there.   Ones that are willing to accept me for who I am and are not afraid of my issues.  People who really seem to care and love me unconditionally.  I am more open with others about my struggles, and they are real with me, and I love it!.

Yes, I had to go through a lot to get to this place, but I made it.  I am a survivor.  I have been through a lot of bad situations, but I made it through and gained experience, confidence, and wisdom.  I am so glad that I wasn’t spoiled and have been forced to face problems that sometimes the Comfortable don’t get to experience.  No one did it for me, I had to do it myself.  I wear that like a badge of honor.

Sometimes I wonder if I would go back to my twenties with the knowledge that I have now.  That answer varies from day to day, but for the most part, I really don’t want to go back and start all over.  I went through what I went through to become the person I am today, and I am liking that person more and more so I think I’ll just ride it out and see what happens in the years to come.  Sure I have gained a lot of wisdom, but there is so much more I haven’t learned and much more wisdom to be gained.

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The Need to Write

I hate that I haven’t been on in awhile.  Life has been keeping me busy.  I’ve been working overtime at my job, and whatever has been left over of myself I have been giving to my family and home.  The daily struggle is real.  And it doesn’t really leave me much alone time.  I know a lot of you can relate.

I want to do this blog today, first of all, because I want to get back into writing.  I don’t care if no one reads it.  I just want to get back into the habit.  Blogging is the best way for me to do this because I hate writing by hand, I’d much rather type, and anyone who has seen my writing can tell it’s a struggle.  I guess I could type my blogs on my computer and save them, but then I’ll just forget about them, and then their meaning is lost on everyone including me.  I enjoy getting my thoughts and ideas out there even if I don’t get a single read or “like”.   I like thinking maybe I’ll make a connection.  I don’t want to write out of vanity because I think I’m such a great writer.  I want to write to get the creative juices flowing and work at doing something I enjoy.  This is my art.

For awhile, I was having some sort of writer’s block.  I couldn’t think of anything to write about.  It was in the back of my mind for awhile then I knew I had to do something about it.  I need to get back to writing.  And as soon as I confronted it, ideas just kept coming and coming.  Then I ran into the problem which one do I start first.  So here I am making time for myself and my blog.  I really feel I need to be doing this.  This is my passion and I need to make it so.  Thanks for hanging in there those who at least acknowledge that this blog exists.  So here we go….

 

My Thoughts on the Kneeling Thing

At first I was just not going to invest too much thought into this kneeling thing.  Okay they’re practicing their first amendment right whatever.  But I keep hearing about it over and over from the NFL level to the High School level, and the thoughts started coming, (and I can always use the practice writing anyways) so here I am writing a blog on this thing.

I thought I’d write because out of this whole kneeling protest which seems rather harmless at first something didn’t sit right with me.  When you are kneeling during the playing of the American Anthem, you are not disrespecting Trump, you are not bringing about awareness for injustice.  When you kneel, you are disrespecting the anthem, the flag which many people fought for to bring you the freedom to do dumb things like this kneeling protest.  When we stand for the anthem it is out of respect for our country.  A country which has given us so much and no place in the world is still as free as this country.    Try doing this in another country.  Do you think you would get the same response?  To me by kneeling during the anthem, you are committing a hate crime towards this country, and the very thing you say you are protesting (hate crimes).  I think that is why it feels so wrong.

Hey by the way, you NFL players have a means of helping others that is not available to most – millions of dollars.  Instead of kneeling, why don’t you stand up for those you feel have experienced injustice.  Help them to find the best lawyers available.  Use your money to pay for their lawyer fees.  Start some kind of program that helps against injustice.  Help kids in the inner city to get the help they need so they don’t have to live a life of crime to get by.   If you think Trump is the problem, use your money and position to support the next presidential candidate you want to win the next election.  Do something, cause kneeling is actually doing nothing.  Believe me, we are already aware of the liberal hatred of Trump, the black lives matter movement, and the injustice of the underprivileged.

In the end, this is really just a trend.  We had the ice bucket challenge, planking, and now not kneeling during the anthem.  Are these NFL players going to be doing this 5 years from now?  No, they will not be.  I watched a movie recently called, “Hacksaw Ridge”, based on a true story.  That man had conviction and stood up against violence.  He didn’t want to carry a gun in war.  I don’t agree with his stance, but I have great respect for him because he followed through on his belief until the day he died.  None of these athletes are going to be doing this till the end.  Injustice is never going to end.  This country will never be perfect.  There will always be evil.  Sadly, there will always be rogue police officers who go to far, there will always be racism, and injustice.

Again if they really cared, they would be doing more than just kneeling.  If it bugs the players so much why don’t they try to cancel the season or quit so they can practice what they preach.  “Instead of playing football, I’m going to help those in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico to rebuild their lives.”  Or go and be the voice for the people they feel don’t have a voice.  Hmm, I wonder why they won’t do that?   Isn’t that what Pat Tillman did???  He had a belief and he followed through with it until the day he died.

In the end, they are just puppets for the Liberals and the media who try so hard to divide this country.  They should not just be standing for the anthem, but kissing the flag and thankful to live in a country where they have so much freedom.  I know many foreigners who would love to take their place.  Oh yeah, and did those people ever leave when they said they were leaving if Trump ever became president?  I don’t believe so.  See that didn’t last either and neither will this.  We are definitely living in the era of the demagogue.  And these demagogues are going to destroy our country.

 

 

 

Life Overwhelming

Why is it in life you have some many things pulling you in so many directions?  Why can’t life be a little more simple?  You have kids, family, friends, health, faith and spirituality, work, financial, homelife, Me Time, and so much more just pulling and tugging at you in all directions, neverending.  And it is so hard to balance and to keep up.  Before you know it you are dragging and just don’t know what direction to go.  It is like a looming mountain in the distance all these things and obligations just fighting for your time.  Then people tell you stop your whining or cut more out of your life.  But you can’t because all these things that consume your time are equally important.  I just can’t cut out cleaning my house or not just hang out with my friends.  I need these things, they are very important (even though I have cut down time with friends considerably).  I can’t choose between my health and my faith.  They are both important.  I need to go to the gym to feed my health needs, but I also need to go to Church to satisfy my Spiritual needs.    Also, if I choose church over my health then I can burn myself out instead of getting the rest my body needs.  I would love to cut my job out.  That would be the first thing that would make the cut if I didn’t need the money to make a living.  Ugh.  It would’ve definitely freed up more time though.

LIFE….why are you so overwhelming?!?!?  Some days I just don’t know if I can do it anymore.  But what good comes from giving up?  Everything is just going to pile up anyways, and then I’ll be behind.  It’s neverending………

Oh shit, I just realized….why am I writing this blog when I could be doing something else.  *sigh*  Alright, I’m outta here.  Time to go to work.

Autumn

Autumn is my favorite time of year.  Whenever the weather starts to change, I feel so invigorated.  I was feeling a little down and depressed recently, but once the weather started changing I was feeling uplifted.  It is amazing how such a simple change in the weather can make a person feel so much better.

I like Spring and Summer, but my spirit never gets uplifted that much.  I love the newness Spring brings, and the sun’s warm rays for Summer.  But it’s when Autumn finally gets here that I feel so happy, inspired, and so alive.  Autumn gives me a pep in my step.

I know it ends with Winter, but that realization doesn’t even seem to get me down.  So welcome Autumn.  I am so glad you are here.

Welcome bonfires, apple cider, candy corn and peanuts, the beautiful, colorful foliage, pumpkins and Indian corn, Autumn brews, winter squash, Halloween and Thanksgiving, and the amazing Autumn clouds that let the sun peek through with glorious bursts of sunbeam.  Autumn is here!

Shame

When I was going to my therapist, Nancy, she helped me to attain some revelations about myself.  I had mentioned to her when I talk I often freeze a lot or have a hard time getting my words out.  She had mentioned that this could be a sign of “Shame”.  After she had told me that, I was taken aback.  I had knew I had experienced anxiety, fear, unworthiness, loneliness, self-loathing, but shame?  This was new to me, and it also made sense.  It really clicked with me.  She gave me this list with points about shame.  I guess a guideline on how to recognize shame in your life.  I wanted to share it.  I can relate with so many of these.  It’s actually kind of scary.  It is helpful though, and maybe you can identify, too.

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Shy

When I was taking riding lessons, there was this pony that had just moved into our stables.  The pony was pretty isolated previously, and wasn’t socialized properly with other ponies or horses.  The pony didn’t know how to act with the other horses and ponies in it’s new environment because of the lack of socialization.  I felt so bad for this little guy, cause I knew what it was like.

I know when my OCD began, but I really wish I could go back and pinpoint when my social anxiety began.  All I remember was before I was five, I was a pistol.  At church at the children’s sermon, I would get in trouble all the time because I would run around the altar instead of sitting and listening.  I definitely wasn’t shy then.  I believe that was when we lived in Alexandria, IN.  After that we moved to Mount Vernon, IL, and that I believe was the first time I attended Sunday school class by myself.  I remember the anxiety of that.  I wanted to go with my sister, but I wasn’t allowed to go to her class.  I remember feeling very awkward and not saying much.

We then moved to Midland, MI.  I remember not wanting to go up to the children’s sermons at our new church.  Then I started Kindergarten.  I remember starting out being pretty boisterous there.  I had to sing the loudest, I sang while I colored, and I prayed bent over basically reaching my feet with my hands.  Kids started making fun of me, and my Kindergarten teacher was pretty hard on me.  I remember practicing for a Christmas play, and the teacher had us sit boy girl boy girl, and at that time I didn’t like boys so I wanted to sit next to a girl, and I let a boy slide over so I could sit next to a girl.  Guess who got in trouble?  The worse part of Kindergarten though, was my teacher made me drink all my milk.  After lunch was nap time, and the kids who didn’t drink all their milk had to sit at the table and not participate in nap time until all their milk was gone.  Usually I would sit out the whole nap time.  It was me and another boy that took the longest.  I think I even had a dream about it once.  I remember her putting me and this boy in a closet to get us to drink all our milk.  I believe this had to have been a dream.  I never liked milk and I found out later in life that I’m lactose intolerant.

I also did make a friend in Kindergarten who was an odd duck like me, but he was held back the next year, so by the time I was ready for first grade I had no friends.  I stuck to myself, and barely talked to anyone at my school.  I did this for 8 years straight.

During those awkward teen years, I think that’s when I really started to self sabotage. That’s why I wasn’t successful at making friends with my best friend’s new friends.  It wasn’t intentional, I just didn’t know how to get out of the rut.  I wanted friends so bad, but I couldn’t figure out how to go about getting them.  I would start to make a friendship, and then I would say something stupid or embarrass myself, and then I would go back in my shell.  I didn’t realize you had to just pick yourself back up from your stumble and move on like nothing happened.  When things would start to go sour I gave up.  And why was that?  Because I was nothing.  When I was with a group of people I would stop and let them keep walking to prove, they didn’t even notice my existence.

I eventually moved to South Carolina.  I would think this is it.  Maybe I can finally get a group of friends.  People there really wanted to befriend me, and I had even gotten my first boyfriend.  I was actually looking forward to going to school in the morning, then I stumbled.  The self sabotage started to kick in.  All this self doubt would creep in and after a great 2 week relationship, I broke up with my boyfriend because he was immature once.  It didn’t bother me at all to friend zone him because I really didn’t think he would be in love with me.  Now that I look back I think he was, but at that time I couldn’t see it because I was unlovable.  You’d be a fool to be in love with me.  I guess I just thought he enjoyed my company.

Every once in awhile at that high school, a friendship would start to form, but then I would freak out because people would start to notice and I would have to start making friends with them and their friends and then I would just freak out and clam up.  It was definitely a pattern.  It was like I didn’t know how to make more than one friend.

Then the pattern followed me into adulthood.   I couldn’t make friends on the job.  I felt like a robot.  When I had conversations with people my personality didn’t really show through.  I would talk about things like toilet paper and swimming pools, and I felt as if people’s eyes would just glaze over.  Then I would notice and clam up.

When I became an adult, I was still quiet, obsessing, and self sabotaging my friendships.  I met my husband when I was 19.  He was handsome, and charming, and the closest thing to mentally stable compared to the other boys who liked me.  For some reason, I could open up to him even though I still couldn’t with other people.  I remember going to functions with him, and I would hang out with him and the guys while the girls would be in their own group.  My husband even mentioned, “Why don’t you hang out with them?” And honestly, I didn’t even know why I couldn’t.

I longed for close relationships with my husband’s sibling and their spouses, but I just felt like I would ruin them because I was too quiet and not fun.  Who would want to hang with a loser like me?  I was just so self conscious and judgmental towards myself.  I would dwell on the stupid things I would say, too.  They would come back to haunt me, and I would beat myself up.  Sometimes in the middle of a conversation even.  I would think I said something stupid, and then just withdraw as I would mentally over analyze everything I had just said.

It wouldn’t be until my late 30’s that I would start to overcome this.  With therapy and just taking some bold first steps, did I slowly come out of my shell.  I am still coming out of my shell to tell you the truth.  I am an introvert so I am always going to be a more quiet person, and I really don’t have any desire to become an extrovert either.  I am definitely learning about myself and accepting it.  Instead of trying to be what people want me to be, I am being true to myself.  So many thing have come together to help me to get to this point.

Now my husband no longer has to hear me ask him if I sounded okay or if I was too quiet.  I can handle holding my own now in a conversation.  I am also a good listener, and I think I am coming to realize how much people appreciate that, so being quiet sometimes isn’t a bad thing after all.

 

Oh and by the way, if you are shy don’t you hate it when people are so eager to point it out.  Like “Oh my gosh, you are so shy.  You never outgrew that.”  And so on and so forth.