Speaking of The Universe….

universe

Every weekday, I get a “Note From The Universe” delivered to my email inbox. Many days I just skim over it. Sometimes it speaks to me, sometimes it doesn’t. But today’s note was like it was written just for me.

It’s not knowing what the answer or solution is, Sunshine, but simply knowing that there is one, which brings it forth.

I needed to hear this right now. Lately it feels like I’ve been beating my head against a wall, looking for an answer to a particular problem. This little note reminded me that an answer it there, and that I just have to be patient and wait for it to appear. Because as we all know, sometimes we’re looking so hard for something we miss the thing that’s right in front of us.

So thanks, Universe. I’ll do my best to be more patient. :-)

Lessons From The Universe

I wrote recently about how I’ve been feeling a change beginning inside of myself. I wasn’t entirely certain what that meant when I wrote it, but now, many weeks later, things are beginning to take a bit more shape.

That is, The Universe has given me a big old knock on top of the head — again. To be honest, I’ve received these knocks before, and have either ignored them or told myself that they were something else entirely. Or I’ve made small, feeble attempts toward change that never ended up lasting.

No more.

There are things that need to change in my life. The changes won’t be easy — change rarely ever is. I will want to abandon the plan rather than pressing forward. I am certain that more than a few tears will be shed. I will doubt myself on more than one occasion — of this I am sure. The only thing I can do is keep my mind focused on The Big Picture, which will make all the discomfort and tears and doubts worth it. For me and for my family.

The first step in all of this is acceptance. Acceptance of my situation and the people in it. Acceptance of limitations — both mine and theirs. Acceptance that I can’t control others, only myself. Acceptance that I can’t change others, either.

It’s a tough life lesson, but one that I need to learn.

I’m ready, Universe.

change

Your Family Is Messed Up

I’m going to flat-out, straight-up admit something about myself right here.

I love hearing other people’s “my family is messed up” stories.

Now…what I mean by “messed up” is basically anything other than a story of two parents who stayed married forever and their 2.5 kids. I used to think that those kinds of stories were pretty normal. That is, of course, while I was young and naïve and hadn’t gotten to know anyone very well.

When I first separated from my husband I was kind of convinced that my kids were going to end up messed up. I mean…they were coming from “a broken home”, right? As time went on, and as I got more comfortable with this whole “divorced family” thing, I realized that divorce doesn’t necessarily equal messed up kids. Just like an “intact” family doesn’t guarantee happy, healthy kids, either.

When I first met CBG and learned about his story — I’ll be honest, it made me cringe a little bit. Three kids, three different baby mommas. One of those kids he didn’t even know at that point. Yikes. I didn’t let that scare me off, though; and as I got to know him a little bit more, I accepted his family story as a part of him.

As I’ve gotten out in the world, and met lots of different people with different backgrounds, I’ve begun to learn their stories, too. And what I’ve come to see is that stories like ours, “atypical families”, are actually a lot more common than likely most people know. Stories of adopted siblings, parents divorced and remarried numerous times, long lost half siblings, several baby mommas or daddies, people raised by family members other than their parents….the list goes on and on. I’ve come to believe that most people have at least one branch of their family tree that doesn’t fit into the “traditional mold”.

And guess what? That’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay…it’s all part of what makes this world an interesting place. If we were all the same, well, how boring would that be?

The truth is, we, as humans are messed up. We make mistakes. We make our own choices that aren’t necessarily the same choices that other people would make in the same situation. But as long as we go through life with an open heart and mind, willing to own our mistakes and learn from them, well, it’s all good.

I’ve come to love hearing other people’s atypical family stories. They remind me that there’s no one “right” way to have a family. Families come in many different shapes and sizes. It’s utterly fascinating and wonderful. Our family now includes five kids. These five kids have four different biological moms, and two different biological dads. Three of these kids have a dad and a stepdad. One kid has three dads — the dad who raised her, her step dad, and her “bio dad”, who recently just burst onto the scene.

These kids also have some step-grandparents, and even a step-step grandmother for good measure. Throw in some step-aunts and step-uncles and a few step-cousins all around and life just gets even more interesting.

My oldest daughter observed something interesting recently. She made mention of how extended our newly blended family has become, and that she really liked how she’s got “so many more people in her life who love her”. Such an amazing way to see things.

At this rate, we’ve got an incredible amount of love.

Why Everyone Needs to Just Be Quiet

I’m not normally the kind of person who follows trends “just because”. That’s not to say that I don’t engage in trendy things, because I certainly do from time to time, but for me, this engagement comes from a place of genuinely enjoying something, not because I’m “following the crowd”.

In fact, sometimes “the crowd” causes me to turn away from popular trends, just because I don’t want to be doing what everyone else is doing.

Very hipster of me, no?

This is especially true of television shows. For some reason, nothing turns me off wanting to watch a television series more than having someone rave about what a GREAT show it is, and how I HAVE to watch it.

Ugh.

That’s not to say that I don’t watch popular TV programs. For example, I loved, loved, loved Dexter. LOVED IT. Though I often avoided conversations with others about it, and frequently comforted myself by remembering that I watched that show from the dexbeginning, before it was uber-popular. I also loved Six Feet Under and Sex and the City (both of these I watched well after the series were finished and most people weren’t talking about them anymore).

Again with the hipster theme. I hear it.

There are plenty of shows over the years I’ve refused to watch, thanks to social media and over-zealous coworkers and family members, insisting that I was missing out on something. Like Breaking Bad. Sons of Anarchy. Walking Dead. Blah blah blah. As soon as I hear people ranting about these shows, I immediately tune them out.

Yeah, I realize that this is rather childish of me. Whatevs. There’s just a part of me (that 12 year old girl part) that resents having anyone tell me what I should and shouldn’t like.

The thing is, I’m pretty sure I’ve been missing out on some gems.

MMOne weekend this summer I had a couple of days to myself. I was flipping through Netflix and came across Mad Men. I knew of a few people with great things to say about the show, which made me hesitant, but boredom won out.

I was five episodes into the first season before I knew it. CBG arrived home near the end of episode five and was immediately drawn in. Next thing I know, we were binge-watching Mad Men every chance we got, and in the matter of a few months, we’ve totally caught up on all the episodes. Don Draper totally drew me in.

After this we made an attempt at Breaking Bad. I think we got 4 episodes into the first season before I called it quits. There was just nothing about Walter White that made me want to keep watching. I couldn’t get into the characters. At all. So we decided that maybe our run of good tv series had come to an end, much like one of Dexter’s victims.

And then, well, we decided to give Orange is the New Black a try. Because it was a Friday night and we had nothing else to watch, basically.

OITNBEpisode 1 drew me in….just like that. And really, it was only one tiny little scene where Chapman phones her fiancé after being in prison for what — two days? And went on a run-down of everything that had happened to her during that time. Because you know what? I could relate to that, because it’s totally something I would do if I were in the same position. And from that moment on, I wanted to know more. Surprisingly, this show is nothing like what I expected to be. I smell more binge-watching in our future.

So the whole point of this post isn’t to try and tell you to give these shows a shot. If you’re anything like me, that’s only going to turn you off, if you’re not already a fan. No…the point here, really, is about giving things a chance, even if you think you know how you feel.

Because you never know…you just might surprise yourself.

 

Two Wolves

I’ve read this story before, but happened upon it again yesterday and realized that it’s very relevant to my life right now. I know that CBG in particular, could do with the reminder. I’m sure that many of us can appreciate the simple message.

* * * * *

2 wolves

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Upswing

I’ve been feeling better lately. I mean, I’m still not working at 100%, but my mood and my energy levels have definitely improved, thanks to a good regimen of self care. I’m still dealing with fear, but I find that I’ve been a little better at keeping it at bay. Again, I’ll also credit that to good self-care. Funny how much of this boils down to the same things.

I’ve also being thinking long and hard lately about CBG and everything that he’s dealing with — namely, depression. And the thing is, he needs me right now. Marriage requires that sometimes one partner or the other is required to sacrifice a bit for the one that they love. And when you hold the two of us side by side — me with my winter blues and him with capital “D” Depression — well, it’s pretty obvious who needs to be the priority and who needs to put on her big girl panties and suck it up.

I know what to expect with my condition. I know what will help and what will make it worse. Also, most importantly, I know that come March or so, it will feel like a big, dark cloud has been lifted and I will be my regular self again. CBG, on the other hand, doesn’t know how long he’s going to be struggling with the worst of it, or exactly what is going to help him get to where he needs to be.

In the hierarchy of important issues, his is on the top. And you know what? I’m okay with that. There have been times (and will be times again, I’m sure) when our relationship was way more about me and my issues than it was about him and his. That’s when he sucked it up and did what was required to help me through things. Now it’s simply time for me to step up and be the supporter.

Oddly enough, this has actually contributed to my feeling better in the past week or so. I’m no longer wallowing in my own exhaustion and negative feelings. I’m in “go mode”. I’m in, “I’m-here-to-help-and-support-my-husband-any-way-I-can mode.” Nothing like getting out of your own head and forgetting about your issues in order to help someone else through theirs. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I’m ignoring my own needs — not by a long shot. I know that I can set a good example for my husband by taking good care of myself while I’m helping him, too.

I’m just sitting in the back seat while I do it. Because that’s what marriage sometimes requires.

Best Friends

I was recently talking with a friend of mine and during the course of the conversation it came up that I honestly feel as though CBG is my best friend. I know, I know…that’s one of those cutesy things that lots of married people say about their spouse, and lord knows that I’ve said it before in the past, about other people I’ve dated/married. I’ve thought a lot about this lately, though, and I’ve realized that a best friend needs to be more than just the person that you spend the majority of your time with (which is the main criteria I’d used to make this assessment in the past).

A best friend is more than just the person that you spend most of your time with. A best friend is the person that you can truly be yourself with. It is someone that you can talk and talk and talk with. It is someone who makes you laugh until your sides ache and tears stream down your cheeks. It is the person you think of first when you have some juicy news or gossip to share.  It is someone that you can sometimes sit beside in comfortable silence without every having to say a word. It is the person you can say the most ridiculous things in the world to, without having to worry about what they’re going to think. It is someone who “gets” you. It is the person who’s got your back in life, no matter what.

As I go down this checklist, I can put a happy little tick beside all of these things when it comes to CBG. He is my best friend. Not just because I love him, either. Because I truly enjoy his company and spending time with him. Because he is a pretty awesome person, who makes me want to be an awesome person, too.

And really, what more can someone ask for in a marriage?

m&T

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