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Just go with it


Sometimes I wish there were more hours in the day so I could get more done.  But then I realize what would I honestly do with that time?  Would I accomplish more, or simply waste more time?  I don’t have the answer to that.  I just wish there wasn’t so much that I want to do everyday.  I start off my day with a handy-dandy to do list and instead of happily crossing things off, the list tends to grow as the day goes along.  I feel like I have no control over what is happening around me, let alone to me.  Its like the waves of life come crashing in at the same time…always at the same time, and I can feel them pulling me under as I fight to keep my head above the water.  The more you fight, the worse it tends to get.  I have to remind myself to take a deep breath before I lose it all and just go with it…Ride the waves and try to enjoy the ride.  Sometimes a little splash, or a quick dunk in an ocean of the unknown can be refreshing and rewarding.  Not only can it make you feel appreciation for the security of the normal routine of life, but it can help you build strength, character and a new perspective on the world around you.

Yeah that sounds so easy…right?  Hell no.  When the waves start to break and you are sitting in the middle of it all, who thinks about all that they will learn from this?  Nobody that’s who. Well at least I know I don’t realize it until way later.  I am trying to focus on the here and now and enjoy where I am at and enjoy what I am doing.  If I am constantly worrying about what is next, I am always falling behind.  This is true with my to do lists.  They never end.  And I don’t enjoy any of it.

I always tell my girls at school that it’s not about the final answer, but it’s about the process of getting to it.  I need to listen to that in relation to my life.  I’m sure you’ve heard this one as well…Lifes not a destination, it’s a journey.  Well I want to start that journey, better yet I am ready to realize the journey I have been on for the past 39+ years.  Because haven’t we all been on a journey since the moment we were born.  It’s only when we realize it that we can start enjoying the sights along the way.  The view from my window is looking good!

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Letting Go…

be stribg

Letting go is difficult for all of us.  We are so comfortable in what we have and what we do everyday.  Change sucks.  Who wants to make a change and take a risk when you have absolutely no idea where it is going to lead you.  You know where your going tomorrow, if you don’t make any change.  Of course you can’t map out every second of your day…things can change on a dime.  But that is out of your control.  That is the unexpected crap of life.  I am talking about choosing to make a change when you are comfortable in your day-to-day because you  know you should.  There comes a time when we know our story has come to an end.  This chapter, is better, is closing and a new one needs to begin.  It could be as simple as a haircut…as in my case recently, or leaving your job, your hometown, your marriage.  You know that feeling and only you know it.  People may try to talk you out of it and say your crazy for making this drastic scary change, but that is their fear.  That is them being afraid of the unknown.  You know what you need to do, even though you may not know where it is going to take you.  I believe in being somewhere for a reason and having people in your life for reason…and sometimes the reason is to take you somewhere you have never been.  Sometimes it is to take the next step and enter into the new chapter of your life.  Don’t be stuck in where you know you no longer belong simply because you are afraid or it is the safe thing to do.  Stick to your gut, know your heart and live your life.  Fly on your own spirit and soar to great heights.  We all have so much to give and do…Don’t let anything hold you back.

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Do I need to reinvent myself in order to change?

fortune cookie

 Reinvention.  Why should I reinvent myself if this is who I am?  As I look into topics on teenage girls and self-esteem and helping them to live up to their full potential, I read over and over again about self acceptance and loving who you are.  If we want to be strong, independent, emotionally healthy woman, we should accept our gifts, our strengths as well as our weaknesses.  This is what self-esteem, and self-confidence is based on.  If this is what we are told, then why as we reach our mid-life years…our 40’s..why are there books and information about reinventing ourselves as if we weren’t good enough as we are?  Is reinvention the accurate term to be using?  Couldn’t we say we need to make some changes in our outlook? or maybe we need a make over?  That sounds so much less insulting.  As if who we are at our core hasn’t been “right” all these years, that now at 40 we need to be someone else.

I say all this half way joking, because I feel the need to reinvent as I near the big 4-0.  I feel like the first half my life is over, and though it was pretty darn good, I want the second half to be even better.  I talk with my friends about doing a head to toe make over to improve myself.  I think that is a better way of putting it.  I simply want to make some improvements in my life, not change it completely.  When I say head to toe, I really mean just that.  I start with the top of my head..or in other words my hair and work my way down until I have made whatever improvements I feel necessary at this time.  This can mean different things depending on who you are.  For example, I recently cut my short brown bob haircut off into a blonde highlighted pixie with long bangs.  A new look in the mirror, but really a new look at life.  It sounds cheesy to say a haircut can make that big of a difference, but every girl knows how good a haircut makes them feel.  Now think about it when it is a drastic change and you love it.   This leads to a good day!  I feel more positive, sassy and simply more like myself.  That is my real goal…to just do me.  I think all these years I kept trying to be a certain image.  Whether I was conscious of it or not, I always thought I should have long hair.  That’s what pretty girls have, and that is what makes them happy.  Really?  Did I honestly think this?  It is true.  Somewhere in my life, I got it stuck in my thick skull of mine that beauty and sex appeal comes from having long hair.  It has literally been an issue with me for as long as I can remember…just ask my husband, and my hair dresser.  I never like my hair.  I always want it different.  Because if my hair is different, better, longer, whatever, I would be better, different or whatever.  Makes no sense, I know, but that is how I have thought.  I think I have finally let that go.  At least partly.

Being comfortable in ones own skin is what I believe makes you beautiful, sexy and confident.  But how many people can actually say they feel this way.  We usually say things like I hate my thighs, or if my nails were longer, if I didn’t have that pooch in my belly, or something along those lines.  That sounds so ridiculous.  That’s not what would make us happy, it would just help us feel more comfortable in our skin.  But why don’t we?  This is us.  This is who we are.  Why can’t we just be ourselves and be proud?  I don’t really have any answers here, I’m just saying.

So the head to toe make over…my hair was the first to change.  I also went ahead and bought some new make up that would help me devote some more time to myself, which is always nice to do, and have been practicing new ways of applying it.  I do think I tend to get stuck in a rut of doing things, so trying something new ups my spirits as well.  I think that is what I am really trying to do.  Up my spirits.  Perhaps I am starting on the outside and working my way in, but at least I am starting.  I want to spend the rest of my life as happy as possible, and I think I need to be happy with me first.  This is where my life change is going to begin. Where is yours?

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The Long Road Ahead of Us


This new life journey began quickly.  He was going to begin treatment as soon as possible since the cancer was aggressive.  One of my new roles was being a “secretary”.  I was responsible for scheduling all doctors appointments, recording medicines, temperatures and and complaints.  I had to organize the kids as to who was taking care of them when and where and make the drop offs as smooth as possible.  Sometimes the kids were shuffled between two or three different places in a day.  They didn’t really seem to mind, since they were being spoiled rotten.  Everyone was taking them to fun places and letting them have a good time

I wasn’t so nervous about this role because I felt I had some control over it.  I could keep my focus on being organized and detailed in my note taking.  I became OCD about documenting everything he ate, drank and medicines he took.  I took his temperature a lot and would watch him sleep…not sure he knows this.  While he slept, I would read up on his illness and the treatments he was going to be having.  Taking in this knowledge helped me feel like I was a part of the solution.  I wanted to help and fix this for Pat, but I couldn’t.  That pissed me off.  I wanted to take away his pain.  Since I obviously couldn’t do this, I just tried to take care of everything so he didn’t have to worry about anything else.  As time went on, my role as secretary changed from being a  crazy note taker, to being the one to call the doctors and keep track of all the paperwork.

On top of all of this, the new school year was beginning and I was heading back to work.  I had to organize my classroom, redecorate, write lesson plans and attend all the back to school meetings.  I didn’t know how I was going to do two full time jobs, but I didn’t really have a choice.  I would leave the hospital for a few hours and work in my room, then head back to sit with him until bedtime.  While at the hospital, I would write lesson plans and map out the first few weeks of school.  I felt like my brain could never shut down.  I was either focused on him or on work…not to mention the three boys of my own.  They were heading back to school as well.  I had back to school shopping to do for them and I wanted to spend some time with them.  This wasn’t really going to be in the cards for a little longer.

When I had a chance I would take each one out for a quick shopping trip and then back to the hospital.  Everything was about quickness and not being away too long.  I didn’t want to be away from Pat because in my head I was the only one who could take care of him.  The love I felt for him powered me to continue pushing forward.  If I felt like I couldn’t do everything all I had to do was thinking about letting him down, and I would be right back to it.  I want to take care of everyone, I want to help.  That’s who I am…That’s what I do.  I don’t think I fully comprehended the challenge that was in front of me.

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Part II

part 2

And then…

Lymphoma of the bone marrow.  This was what the doctor was telling us, but all I felt was a blow to the stomach and my lungs deflate.  It was the most surreal moment.  It was as though I was outside of my body watching the conversation unfold.  I knew the doctor was speaking to us, and I knew I needed to hear everything he had to say, but I was somewhere else.  I had to shake my head to return to the conversation and focus on his actual words.   He gave us the prognosis and a brief description of a plan of action that really made no sense at the time.  When he left the room, I  had taken on a new role…caregiver.

I ran to my boys and hugged them all and then made all the necessary phone calls, where I repeatedly broke down sobbing. I took the boys home and began making plans for the next few days.  I would hold it together in front of the boys, but when I stepped away I would break.   At one point, talking to my sister explaining what was happening, I fell to the ground in front of my house, hyperventilating, asking why, why, why.  This couldn’t be happening to us.  I knew I was going to have to be stronger than I had ever been before in my life.  I just didn’t know if I was capable of this.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m one tough chick, but this was some serious shit and I had three boys and now a sick husband to take care of.  I know it wasn’t the truth in the matter, but it was my reality…this was all on me.  There was no room for me to make any mistakes.  I had to be everything to everybody and I had to do it right…right now.

This was going to be a long tough road and we had no map to follow.  We were heading out on an unknown path and I felt all alone, even though we were in this together.

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It’s Always Darkest Before Dawn

best days

Significant moments happen everyday.  The problem with these moments, is that we don’t always realize they are significant until we have some distance from the event and can reflect on the impact they have made.  Unfortunately there are those moments that when they occur…the second they occur, you know they are significant and you know that you will never be the same.  This third significant moment in my life is one of those.  I can remember the moment clear as day and I knew immediately I would never look at my life in the same way.  This day was August 9,2014.

It all began August 3.  My husband Pat, hadn’t been feeling100% for a few days and it seemed as though he was fighting a bug, as we all do from time to time.  We were having our annual “beach” party and had a lot of work to do to prepare.  Unfortunately, he didn’t  have the energy to get up and do anything.  He rested throughout the day so he would have energy for our guests.  He felt bad that I was busy and decided he was going to rake up the beach.  He was working for a few minutes and when I turned to look at him, he was white as a ghost and dripping in sweat.  He was breathing heavy and he looked terrible. He went to lay down and get him self going for the party.  Fortunately, the party was early ending and we were able to go to bed at a decent hour.  He had tried to take it easy throughout the night, but soon after we went to bed, he started to throw up and felt warm.

The next day, he stayed in bed and tried to rest.  He was exhausted within minutes and was white and sweaty.  He went up and down with fevers, and slept a lot.  By Monday he was still feeling terrible, and decided to tell me that he was having chest pains and thought we should go to the doctor on Tuesday.    I didn’t know what to do, so I took him to an urgent care down the street.  They gave him an ekg, which he failed.  They wanted to transport him by ambulance to the emergency room less than 1/2 mile away.  We could see the hospital from the room we were in.  After arguing about the ambulance for a bit, they released him so I could drive him to the hospital.  Stupidly, I didn’t know where to park and found a spot at the bottom of the hill and we walked up to the er.  Poor Pat.  He couldn’t breathe and his heart was hurting but he made it up the hill and was immediately taken back in a wheelchair.  They gave him another ekg, which he again failed.  This meant he was going to be admitted to the hospital.  They tested his blood to see if there were any heart enzymes released which would indicate a heart attack…there were none there.  He was not having a heart attack.  We were relieved and thought he was going to be discharged quickly with  a stern talking too about quitting to smoke, eating better and going to see a doctor for regular check ups.  But this slowly disappeared after day  after day of tests and doctors.   They couldn’t figure out what was wrong.  Not until August 9.

This was the day that changed our world in a flash.  When a doctor walked into our room, looked at our three boys and said we need to get them out of the room, I knew what was coming….

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Baby Steps


Today is day two. The day I talk about my horrible experience on September 11, 2006. At the time I was 7 months pregnant with my third child. I already had two boys at home, Seamus who was 3 and Quinn who was 19 months. I was a stay at home mom at the time and not the happiest to be pregnant yet again. I started to feel sick and figured I had the flu. I was throwing up and had a temperature that was ranging from 101 – 102.5. I was sleeping ALL the time. I thought that was what I needed in order to get over this illness. My husband figured I was sick and I was tired from being pregnant, so he did his best to handle things. After a while, he did get frustrated because I wasn’t taking care of the boys during the day and letting them play with my jewelry and make quite a mess in the house. Finally after a few days, my husband told me I had to contact the doctor. When I called it was a Sunday afternoon, so obviously they were not open. I left a message and went back to bed. That night, I was sweating a lot and woke up several times soaking wet. When I awoke on Monday I guess I thought I was better. The doctor called me back and I said I felt good. What did I know? My sister came over and took the boys from me so I could sleep some more. I don’t remember much more of that day…Monday, September 11.
My husband filled me in on the rest of the events that took place. When he got home from work, I was acting crazy. For example, I didn’t know how to open a jar of peanut butter, and I tried to use my husbands sock as a headband…Things like that. My husband suggested I go to the hospital because he felt something was wrong. I wouldn’t do that. He decided to call 911, but when they arrived I was not a happy camper. I was not going to go easily. I remember bits of pieces of these moments, but more like memories of a movie. I was swearing and yelling and screaming, and not being the sweet little thing I usually am 🙂 I was fighting with the paramedics and being a whole lot of nutty. When they got me to the hospital I had a spinaltap and it was determined that I had bacterial meningitis. Remember I was 7 months pregnant. This wasn’t an illness that pregnant woman typically had. I was transported to another hospital where I was placed into a medically induced coma. That is where I remained for 1 week.
When I awoke, I was obviously confused and completely unaware of what had happened to me. As I was filled in on the events over the past week I was totally blown away. There was a high chance of me dying. They had a crash cart ready for me and the baby. They thought that if I did survive, I wasn’t going to be the same. And if the baby survived, they would have their own issues. For example poor muscle development, and skin coloring issues. Fortunately, I woke up and was not brain dead. I did have some issues. I had to go to physical therapy to walk, talk do math and take care of myself again. I had to regain some memory and fine motor skills. What a week.
When the baby arrived, I had a perfect, beautiful baby boy with no issues! Not to mention, my eye sight had improved. It was a struggle to come back from this event and I lost some memories and some short term memory issues. But overall, I am fine, and so is Aidan, my sweet 7 year old.
This event made me view life and death differently. I realized I wasn’t immortal and how quickly everything can be taken from me. In a way I think I should have learned more than I did from this close encounter with death, but I can definitely say I am thankful to be alive and for all that I have.

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“The first step is that you have to say that you can” Will Smith

And so it goes.  Starting this blog is something I have wanted to do for some time.  For some reason fear has held me back.  Fear of what people will think, fear of having nothing to say, fear of having too much to say.  I’ve also been able to come up with a million excuses not to write.  It has been 16 days since my last post.  Why?  Let’s see..I’m tired, the boys are crazy tonight, I’d rather sit and do nothing, I’d rather watch t.v., I don’t know what to say, the computer is running slow, I didn’t charge the laptop, and so on.  Really I have no excuse. I just haven’t had the confidence to do it.  So here I am.  I am going to start again with saying Yes I can.  I can do this, and even if no one cares about what I have to write, I care about what I have to say.  

My new goal for myself is to write a post everyday for 1 week.  No excuses.  If I can do that…No I can do that and when I do, I will continue on with my writing and feel proud.  I want to make a change in my life and figure things out.  If I don’t take the risk and see what is truly inside,I will never be able to reach this goal.  

My last post focused on the first significant moment in my life…Todd.  My stalker who changed me in ways I never really knew.  He changed my feelings of security and trust, my self image and confidence.  The experience pushed my life and my focus in a new direction. There were two more significant moments in my life that are quite a story.  I think tomorrow I will share the events of my own personal, 9/11.