My Kinda Midlife

I was spending way too much time sitting at my desk.

Now, I’m pondering selling my desk. What changed? I did.

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Today, I attended a class about Ayurveda. Yesterday, I attended an ‘Adult Children of Alcoholics‘ meeting, and Saturday I’m learning how to make a smudge stick.

How did I get to where I am today? I began months ago.

Since moving out of the country, and into civilization, there are endless opportunities to plug-in. I saw signs that God had me right where He wanted me, but oh, this little prayer!

“”What do I want to do?’ can be, “Dear God, what would you have me do?”

One thing leads to another. One conversation with the right person leads to another conversation with another person.

Stepping away from social media has me stepping out of my house each day.

This is my kinda midlife. Marianne Williamson writes,

“At midlife, you suddenly see an endgame where you used to see an endless stretch. You know now on a visceral level that this lifetime will not go on forever. There’s no more time for five-year detours. No more time for getting it wrong. No more time for relationships that don’t serve, or for staying in situations that aren’t authentically you.”

How do you want to spend the rest of your life?

(Feel free to respond in the comment section below)

I Want Normal

The life my daughter and I share is not normal. We care for one another at a very high level. We watch each other, and learn how to do so. We are now down to the details.

I bought a new toothbrush holder, and noticed the openings are large enough to hold more than a toothbrush, so I put my razor in it. I recently noticed she had followed suit. Her razor now stands beside her toothbrush too.

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To love one another like God loves us. Unconditionally.

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Fresh flowers in the house as often as possible is normal.

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She makes her famous crepes when I need some extra care.

At a young age I told her, “Everything has it’s place. When you take something from it’s place, you need to put it back when you’re done using it.” We know where things are.

When my daughter visits her Dad for the weekend, I want it to feel like home when she returns. Her room is never messy, but I go in and change her sheets, open the blinds, add fresh flowers if we have them, and light a candle.

I don’t have to ask her to do things. She knows when she’s away from home, this feels good to come home to. She has been shown to uncover the beauty.

When I am gone for the day, she goes in my room and makes the bed, opens the blinds, and lights my candle. Not because I asked, she just knows what that feels like.

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She surpasses me. I didn’t take time to make cookies throughout her life, but she knows I love them. After a long day on Thursday, I walked into the house to these.

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And yes, I made a coffee pour over to go with them!

Our kids are watching. What are we showing them?

My daughter is now watching me stretch and grow myself. This year, I’ve been doing the hard stuff. Cleaning house in more ways than one, but that will be another Blog.

My daughter has gifts and talents to make this world a better place. We are called to use everything God has given us, so I am walking through every door He is opening.

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All of the notes I left for her when she was a child have come full circle. She left this on the fridge for me last week.

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I told her, “I am happy for us, that this is normal.”

Rooted in Real

After I Bled Out, a shift happened, and I wanted real.

I’ve been a part of and seen the effects social media has on well-being. It wasn’t healthy for me, so I stepped away, and have no desire to go back. This Blog hasn’t been connected to any social media for weeks, but people are finding it, and reading it. My stats didn’t bottom out from no connection.

My soul bottomed out while it was connected.

I stopped downloading books on Kindle, and ordered real ones. The kind you can hold in your hands, and mark up a page if needed. I ordered some magazines for the first time in 20 years for the same reason. Not to mention they are pretty laying on the coffee table for everyone to enjoy.

My screen time is minimal, but present moments abound.

I don’t have to check my phone before bed, and when I awake.

I check in with God instead.

When I started this Blog, it was to have a space that held a recap of our lives for my daughter. I’ve done that, and we are on a new chapter. This new chapter will be in book form, that you can hold in your hands, and feel something real. I want every area of my life to be rooted in what’s real.

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Be a Friend

Going with the flow is sometimes difficult.

It’s so worth it if you can allow it to happen.

I was sitting at my desk, planning parts of my day. I had typed up a message, but hadn’t hit send yet, when my daughter walked up, and stood at my desk. I looked up at her, and grinned, knowing that she wanted something.

She asked if I could take her to pick up her car from the shop. It was ready. I deleted the message, and said yes. I had been playing message tag with this gentleman all week, over a piece of furniture I have for sale. It can wait.

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My daughter gave me this for Christmas.

Opening the pantry in search of a bottle of water, I find one bottle of water sitting there. My daughter and I drink water by the case! She left the last one for me. It’s what we do. We leave the last of something for the other person, but I have been known to become selfish over the last piece of chocolate.

Unfortunately, my daughter believes it’s normal how we treat one another. She expects the same treatment from friends, but they weren’t raised in our home. She wants to make new friends since our move, and she asked me yesterday, “Mom? How do you make friends?”

I believe we show people how we want to be treated.

My daughter went to one of her favorite coffee shops, to take a break from studying. Her friend texted her, she shared her location, and invited her to meet. Her friend walked into the coffee shop, and sat down with her.

Twenty minutes later, my daughter was home.

Their meetup was brief, because my daughter cut the visit short. She revealed her friend was on her phone the entire time,  and actually face-timing another friend. After several minutes of seeing that her friend had no plan of getting off her phone, she excused herself, and came home.

Maybe our standards are too high in today’s world?

Yesterday, my daughter received a text from a friend. He was hosting a Bible study, and asked her to come. I encouraged her to go, not only for herself, but to be there for him. She was apprehensive not knowing the other people she may see, but wanted to see her friend.

I believed she saw her answer to her question from earlier in the day. The best way to make friends, is to be a friend.

Before it Breaks

I enjoy fixing things, but have my limits.

I’ll begin with the shower from our previous home as an example. The spout didn’t function to the best of its ability.

This happened over time. When you turned the water on, it came out of the spout, and into the tub. The little knob you pull up, to send the water to the shower head had a problem. It has been used for years, and began to break under pressure. It was falling apart, and couldn’t completely stop the water from flowing out of the spout. The shower head couldn’t receive the full flow potential.

There was water spewing from the spout, and trickling from the shower head. It was like it couldn’t decide how much it wanted to give me, and from where. It wasn’t fun.

My landlord’s helper stopped by to complete an unfinished task, and I showed him the shower. He knew exactly what to do, and within the hour, had installed a new spout. Now the lever could stop all the trickling from the spout, and give a full force shower! The ginormous rain head, rained!

My landlord had no idea it was broken. He said, “You need to tell me these things before it breaks.”

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When we moved into our new home, I found it ironic this shower had the same issue. It was like a test to see how long it would take for me to say something was wrong.

I quickly snapped a pic, and sent it to my landlord, asking him to please fix this. He sent his handyman to replace the spout, but once complete, he felt bad because the finishes didn’t match. I told him, ‘It doesn’t have to look perfect. As long as it works, and offers up it’s very best, we’re good.”

 

Living with Ambiguity

“Sometimes the picture isn’t finished yet.”

“Ideas, possibilities, hopes, dreams float around, circling us like asteroids around a planet. We may think events in our lives are happening aimlessly, without purpose. All we see are disconnected, floating blobs.”

“We reach for them, try to grab them in our hands so we can connect them, force them into a whole, force them into a picture we can see, something that makes sense.”

“Let the pieces be. Let yourself be. Let life be.”

“Sometimes, chaos needs to precede order. The pieces will come together in a picture that makes sense, in a beautiful work of art that pleases.”

“You don’t have to force the pieces to fit together if it’s not time. You don’t have to know. There is power in letting go.

“Power in waiting. Power in stillness. Power in trust. There is power in letting the disconnected pieces be until they settle into a whole. The action you are to take will appear.”

“Timely. Clearly. What you’re to do will become clear.”

(Excerpt from Melody Beattie~Journey to the Heart)

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A Good Problem

Blogging is like having a public journal.

Blogging has worked, because I kept misplacing journals whenever we moved. Writing publicly is healing, and can help others heal, so yes, it’s like letting everyone read your journal. I am behind, so let’s take some time to catch up.

I promised a friend I would write about this, so here it is E!

In August, I read a book by Melodie Beattie entitled, Make Miracles in Forty Days. You may be aware, I’m a huge Melody fan, and treasure all her books, but this one intrigued me. I believe in miracles, and believe I’m a walking miracle, so I read the book, and did what she said.

At first glance it seemed like another gratitude list exercise, but there’s a twist! You write what you’re grateful for, but you also write what you’re NOT grateful for.

On August 26th my writing began. At first it was habitual to list everything I was grateful for. Referring back to the book, I learned how to phrase things that were bothering me. Here are a few examples, along with their outcome.

You begin by writing, “I am grateful today that…”

My doctor wants to see me, even though I don’t know why. (The miracle is they were not alarmed by my mammogram and agreed to see me In Six Months)

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I have a dependable job, and get to work from home, even though I would like to make more money. (I was offered a new job)

I love my home, but would like for my daughter to live closer to town, her friends, and her father. (We are moving into a new home, near the lake, January 1st) I love the lake.

You get the idea. I’m grateful for a beautiful life, and this exercise helped open my heart, and mind for changes that needed to be made. The journaling continued longer than 40 days, because I still do it today. You can also do this with a friend via email. To just stay grateful, and let God work.

I told a friend, “I don’t know how many more of God’s blessings I can take!

That is a good problem to have.

It’s Old School

I visit people almost daily. Just to ask how their life is going, and then listen. Sometimes, it’s just for a hug if I sense they need one. Never turn down a heartfelt hug. It’s healing.

It’s old school, and that is where I enjoy being today.

Every now and then, I leave my phone at home on purpose, just to check and see if I miss it. Can’t say that I have. The person I’m with is more important than what my phone is doing. It’s like saying, “I love you more than my phone.”

I wrote this a couple of nights ago:

My daughter and I are sitting here quietly typing on our laptops. She has Classical Piano softly playing in the background. It’s peaceful, and the kind of moment you want to last indefinitely. I appreciate at her young age that she effortlessly creates moments like this. She will pass them along to her family, and they will have moments.

Breaking the ties to my phone, and social media is one of the best things I’ve done all year. To be present, and enjoy what’s happening in the now. My daughter told me in June, “You are always staring at that phone!” Now she tells me when it makes a noise, and I can’t remember where it is. She doesn’t see my hunting for it, over spending time with her.

As Gibbs would say, “It’s old school.” Well Gibbs, I like it.

Mark-Harmon

Gibbs is portrayed by Mark Harmon on the TV show, NCIS.

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You Haveta Wanna

This Blog post is for anyone suffering from an addiction.

To overcome the addiction, you have to want to. Your ‘want to‘ has to become bigger than it. God created us to be overcomers, and because He has overcome the world, there is nothing we cannot overcome through Him.

I give credit to AA for giving me the relationship I have with God today. The first 3 steps are all about God, and this scares some people away, but He took the desire to drink away from me. I will happily spend the rest of my life serving Him, because I get to enjoy life sober.

There will always be an excuse to drink. Someone asked me once, “How do you know you’re an alcoholic?” Because normal people can have one drink, and stop. My one drink was the entire bottle of wine. To numb the feelings that were bubbling up inside of me. When I stopped drinking, I had to feel those feelings. With sobriety there is no hiding.

When you stop drinking, you meet all the parts of yourself you have been at war with. Face them.

If I didn’t face my feelings, I would drink, but I also knew those same feelings would still be there once I sobered up again. Pouring alcohol over those feelings was a temporary fix, not to mention all the stupid stuff I did while drinking.

That just added to the horror of what I was trying to drown.

It’s no big secret how to stay sober. Go to meetings. That means I have to shower, get in my truck, and drive, and then walk into a room full of strangers. Not necessarily. You can sit in front of a computer screen in an online meeting. I did that. I also drank wine while watching what was being said in that online meeting. You cannot hide and stay sober.

My fear of waking up hungover, and not remembering what I said and did is real. I will go to any length to enjoy this life God has given me sober. My ‘want to’ is bigger than any fear.

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Coffee and Chocolate

My daughter called lastnight, and we chatted for a while.

She asked, “How is everything?” I said, “Just beautiful! Except, there is no chocolate in this house!” Two females need chocolate available at a moments notice, so that will be fixed.

I’ve been going to bed earlier, and waking up earlier.

This morning, I sat on the porch, and watched the sunrise. It was stunningly beautiful. Then it was time for coffee.

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There is something about pouring hot liquid, into a cracked cup. It’s made of fine china, and allows me to trust that it is going to hold that liquid. I carry it with the saucer underneath, just in case it decides to give in to the crack.

When my daughter and I were packing to leave my marriage, we had one rule of thumb. She wasn’t sure what to take, and what to leave, so I asked her, “Do you love it? If you love it, and will use it, then pack it up.” This caused me to ponder what I had in the house that I loved, but didn’t use.

This china was only used at Christmas. The rest of the time, it was displayed in the china cabinet with all of the other, ‘look but don’t touch’ items. It was time for that to change.

I packed up the china, and we use it like everyday plates.

My daughter knows I’m not big into Halloween, but I love fall. Last year, she bought me a pumpkin covered in sequins. I said, “I’m going to have to find our fall decoration pumpkin, and set it out.” She wasn’t as amused as I was.

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I saw this yesterday, and brought it home. A year ago, I would have walked right by it because it’s real. Taking care of plants this year gave me this philosophy. It will either thrive, or we will enjoy it while it’s here. She says the Boston Ferns on the front porch are so huge, they are obnoxious.

I’m excited about seeing her today, and hearing about her travels. Time to head out for some coffee and chocolate.

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